Friday, October 30, 2009

Return of the Mack

I just got Peanut to sleep and since this is the first time in four days I have been more than like two feet from him, I decided I would blog. J. Hogan has been a little under the weather this week and therefore VERY clingy to me. I am little exhausted, but really, I'm okay with it. He will be asking me to drop him off around the corner before I know it.

I thought I would fill you guys in on our week last week. I had not mentioned it on this blog due to my crazy safety OCD and did not want many people knowing we would be out of town. These feelings were only exaggerated since our beautiful cousin Lauren was house/pet sitting for us and I did not want her to be bothered by having to report a break in.

So last Saturday morning, Chris, J. Hogan, and I picked up our good friends Chad, Debra and their six year old daughter and began vacationing... or fleeing some sort of danger. I'm just not sure. Why else would you leave at 3:00 a.m.? But, we had more fun than you can imagine. The kids were awesome and I do believe J. Hogan will forever have a certain kind of love and admiration for that six year old sweetie pie.

I won't go into too many details... right now. I mean I could tell many tales on this blog and I might just continue this for weeks to come. I'll just give you some of the highlights.

First we spent one night in Cocoa Beach, Florida. That evening we gathered the crew and ended up at a place called Fishlips. Hmmm... That was my first thought too. It was great. We ate upstairs on a covered porch and had some wonderful seafood and ice cold beverages and all the while a great band entertained us. It was a lot like college minus the wonderful seafood, oh and I now have a child to chase. So here is the highlight - J. Hogan picked up his first girl. I mean THE BOY PUT THE MOVES ON A LITTLE GIRL AND WON!!! Here is how I think he will remember it -

"It was a cool fall evening at the beach. The band was playing "Brown-Eyed Girl." She was an older woman (a mere two days come to find out). I spotted her from across the room. Her dance moves were irresistible. I casually danced my way to her and once our eyes met, she never wanted me to leave her. Parting was such sorrow, but I will never forget her"

And that is pretty much how it went. I have it on video and thought about posting it, but I need to do some editing first. We all laughed so hard. He is such a mack daddy.

So on Sunday, our 12th wedding anniversary mind you, we hopped on board a cruise to the Bahamas. This is our sixth cruise, but the first for our friends and J. Hogan. Honestly, the week leading up to our trip, I began to panic about taking a 20 month old on a cruise, but I just reminded myself that we love to travel and will not be the "leave the kids at home" kind of parents. Well, not all the time... maybe a few trips a year.

So the verdict - IT WAS AWESOME. Well besides the last night feeling like the boat was going to tip over from the rough seas. No really, I was actually in bed with J. Hogan and I suddenly found myself thanking Jesus Christ that we had a balcony room and asking him to give me the strength to swim through the door and to the surface with Peanut in my arms. Needless to say, the boat was arockin' and not in the good kind of way your mind just went to.

We had a blast. We visited Port Lucaya just outside of Freeport and had the BEST conch salad ever known to man or beast. We then went to Atlantis in Nassau which all I can say about is PURE PERFECTION. Chris and I promised all of the staff and the many pools and water slides that we would be back next year for a long stay. And that is a promise that I am just not comfortable breaking.

Other ship highlights included a great little Halloween party for the kids where J. Hogan won his very first trophy by winning the costume contest that might I add, he was technically not even old enough to be in. But he won - of course, because he is a mack. All in all, it was a great cruise - great cruise, great entertainment, great food, great ports, and most of all - great friends.

So Thursday we got off the ship and headed to the mecca of all happiness. No, I am not talking about the Burberry Store, but that place does make me cry a little every time I visit. There's just so much goodness. No, no... we went to Disney World!!!! We got to the resort around 12noon and tried our best to get the kids to rest - Chad and Debra 1 Reeves 0. Then put on our Halloween costumes and headed to the Mickey's Not So Scary Halloween Party. It was magical. I think I actually cried at one point. I mean not every kid gets to trick-or-treat for the first time at Magic Kingdom. I know he won't remember a thing about this trip, but we will, and the memories will be incredible.

If you are not familiar with Mickey's Halloween party, I urge you to go immediately to the website and book your next trip. The best way to describe is it is what you imagine Disney World to be like. They only allow 1/4 of the number of guests into the park during this time and therefore there are no lines. Did you hear that? THERE ARE NO LINES!!! We met tons of characters and walked on almost every ride. Chris and I have been to Disney many times, but never with kids. We were so surprised to find out that J. Hogan could ride almost every ride at Magic Kingdom. He had a ball... and a power nap... then another ball.

We played at Magic Kingdom on Friday too and then headed back to reality on Saturday. BOOOOO (I am using way too many CAPITAL letters in this post). These are just a few photos I thought you would enjoy out of the 393 I took... and I think the Debra took twice as many as I did. I will post more later. They are just that good, and I want to tell you so much more, but "The Mack" just yelled for "Ma-mee". That would be me - proudly me.

Tuesday, October 6, 2009


J. Hogan has decided he is a big boy and will only sit in a regular chair. Unfortunately, that poses a problem when you are less than four feet tall. His booster seat was in the car and I was just too distracted to get it, so I came up with a solution.

It worked and it made me feel good about finding a use for the phonebook.

Speaking of recycling (random lead in), J. Hogan gets the "Earth Friendly" award. We always recycle in our house so it is just a part of his life. So now, you can give him a piece of trash and he will take it to the garbage can and you can give him something like paper and he will take it to the recycling - without prompting. So readers, no excuses for not recycling - even a toddler can do it... and his mom... with a phonebook.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Just a Little Off the Sides

J. Hogan had his first haircut.

I'll give you a moment to stop laughing.

Yes, I know he is the baldest 18 month old ever, but his curls in the back had grown into a mullet and there is one thing my child will never have besides Kool-Aid, and that is a mullet.

So we headed to a little place called Tiki Cuts for Kids and "got his do done." I was shocked at his cooperation. Grant it, he is the most even-keeled toddler known to man, but lately he has been testing the waters. But he was perfect and they even shaved his little neck. Apparently you should start getting him used to it now so that someday his neck doesn't look like a chia pet when he develops a fear of vibrating knives approaching his head. I actually don't see that being a problem though since his dad can't grow a small moustache and I only have to shave my legs once a month.

All bragging aside, here is the final result.

And trust me, he knows he is stylin'. He is sassy and not afraid to show it. Next thing you know he will be wanting Kool Aid.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

I Need to Find a Teeny Tiny AA

I have learned so much lately. Don't worry about jumping up to grab a pen and paper. It really is just a bunch of crazy stuff that will probably not enhance your life at all. Well, maybe if you ever find yourself in a plague of locust or a knife fight.

The other night I learned toothpaste and saliva will take blood stains out of clothing. I know what you are thinking - did I actually cut myself while brushing my teeth? Well, no. I was getting ready to put clean sheets on our bed when J. Hogan ran in and thought the sheets were pillows and did a triple lindy into them only to split his upper lip open and lose enough blood that caused me to worry vampires would be knocking on my door.

I will give you a moment to pull yourself together.

Our tragedy ended rather quickly. He is a tough little guy. And when the smoke cleared, or rather when the screaming ended, he was left with a fat upper lip and blood stained clothes. I then began screaming since I realized that my brand new J. Crew tank that I just cut the tags off of, was covered in blood. So I composed myself and did what any red-blooded girl would do and went straight to the Internet. And that is how I learned that saliva and toothpaste would remove blood stains. And yes sports fans, it works... really it works. Technique is not important and therefore I will spare you the gory details.

While on Google I remembered that I also needed to find out how to get rid of a couple of elusive gnats that had setup residency in my home. I am a clean fanatic and I cannot tolerate any unidentified flying objects in my home. To save you time, there many ways to get rid of them that does not involve harmful chemicals - from sucking them into the vacuum cleaner (what!?!?) to trapping them with rotten fruit (gag). I chose a method that seemed to be fairly humane and strangely similar to how Chris and I met - trap them with wine.

The instructions were as follows -
1. Poor approximately 1/2 cup of wine (preferably red) into a bowl.
2. Cover bowl tightly with plastic wrap.
3. Using a fork, poke holes in plastic wrap.
4. Leave on counter overnight.
5. Dispose of wine and gnats that have lost their life to consumption.

Unlike the spit-toothpaste blood removal of 2009, this did not work and I am fairly upset over the loss of wine. I actually watched a gnat enter the bowl, land and fly out.

Apparently instead of building a trap, I just built them an all-inclusive relaxing vacation spot. I am thinking of setting up a little mariachi band for them tonight. If you can't kill them, at least be a good hostess.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Who Knew

Yesterday was a BIG day in our home. It was J. Hogan's first day of school, or rather Mom's Day Out. Yes, I know that about a year ago, I posted an entry about J. Hogan's first day of school, but this REALLY was his first day of school. And here is how I know - I woke up really early and packed his lunch, I packed his backpack, I put him in the car, I drove him to our church, I walked him inside, I put his things in his cubby hole (adorned with the cutest name tag), I kissed him goodbye, and I left... for 4 1/2 hours... him there... with his teacher... alone. Sure there were other kids, but he's my baby. (sob, sob, sob)

The fact of the matter is, he did great. He hardly knew I was gone. He played on the playground, he made friends, he ate his lunch and he took a nap. I could not believe it when I walked in to pick him up and HE WAS THE ONLY ONE ASLEEP! I'm not bitter, I mean I love the 20 minute naps he will take for me at home.

I don't know if I should be jealous or suspicious.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

One Guilt Riden Blog

Well, school starts soon so I guess it is time to get back to blogging. Actually, I don't know what those two have in common, but it just made me feel like less of a slacker. I had not thought too much about blogging until my good friend Ginger sent me a guilt ridden email from her igloo in Alaska that made me realize it's been a while - try a few months - okay like six. So this one is really for you Ginger and I promise the next one will not be delayed.

This summer has been a bundle full of fun and activities. We have been on the go since May and what fun we had. Unfortunately it has not been documented on this blog, but has in the golfer's tan J. Hogan has developed. So here's the recap - we swam, we traveled, we went to zoos, we went to waterparks, we rode ducks, we had sleepovers, we went to Kindermusik, we did art projects, we played, we went to a million birthday parties, oh and we said goodbye to good friends.

Ginger, we really miss you guys. Chisel your way out of the frozen tundra and come back for a visit soon!

Monday, March 2, 2009

One Is the Loneliest Number... Whatever!!!

Hi, my name is Dana and I have a one year old. Sometimes I do feel like there should be some kind of support group for moms when their babies make the leap into the world of one.

All in all, we had an amazing first birthday experience. We started Thursday on his actual birthday. We woke up early and I made J. Hogan pancakes for the first time (no syrup of course... I am still "me" after all). He LOVED them. G'Mo and Pa came down about lunch time and we headed to the aquarium. Pa stayed at the house and worked on monkeys for the party. It sure is nice having an artist in the family especially at birthday time.

As usual J. Hogan had a big time at the aquarium. It's funny how he notices different things with each visit. This time his favorite were the Hyacinth Macaws. We watched them for probably 20 minutes which translates into adult time as four hours. We had a wonderful time. Once we were back in the car, he collapsed into a much awaited nap and we headed home.

That evening we had our own little private family celebration complete with spaghetti. That boy loves some spaghetti.

His birthday party was on Sunday afternoon at our church's Christian Life Center (aka - gym). Illness unfortunately kept several of our friends from joining in the festivities and we missed them no doubt. But we celebrated and had a "monkey" good time. There were monkeys on the door (Thanks Pa!), monkeys on the tables, monkeys on the cake, monkey treat bags, monkey crafts, oh and a monkey soundtrack for your "monkey dancing" enjoyment. Oh I forgot to tell you he had a monkey party - just in case you were wondering.

With a one year old, you never know how he will react when 60 of his closest friends gather around and sing to him while mommy brings him a cake with flames coming out of the top. Well, I will tell you how he reacts, with huge smiles, moments of laughter and clapped as everyone sang. We had been practicing blowing out candles and he gave it his best effort. Now I am not big on giving my child sugar, but can I just say, "THE BOY LOVED HIM SOME CAKE!!!" He dove right in and ate with determination and stamina that only a fellow sugar addict could be proud of.

He got gifts, and more gifts, and then a few more gifts. I am always overwhelmed at the thought of how many people love my child. That is a blessing to a mom. I appreciate everyone who was there (and those who were feeling under the weather - I know you were there in spirit). I am so glad all of you joined us to celebrate J. Hogan's first birthday party. It was a blast.

Next year, hmmmm... oh what will I think of next. Maybe a beach theme, on location, in the Caribbean, where it is warm and sunny. Yes, I do believe that will be what he wants.

So now I am off to scarf down a piece of leftover birthday cake. And yes, I will be eating it in much the same manner as my little peanut ate his. One - what a great age, what a great kid.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Dear Year...

Dear Year,

Where did you go? Just this time last year I was checking into the hospital in the middle of labor. That does not seem twelve months ago, maybe one month, but definitely not twelve. I end this day, my final day with a child under the age of one, with such a roller coaster of emotion. I embrace every moment - the good times and the bad. I now look back and understand the importance of sleepless nights. I have my whole life to rest, but I only have a short moment to hold my son in my arms and watch him drift off to sleep. I realize now why nursing was so painful for so many months. It made me stronger, prouder for not giving up. And though this time last year I said I would not allow my child to sleep in the bed with me, I would not trade those mornings when I a gentle kiss on the cheek and the sound of "mama" was my wake up call.

I have no regrets. There is nothing I would change. Every moment you have given me has been better than the last. Tomorrow is creeping up on me like a thief threatening to steal my baby and turn him into a toddler. Year, I won't let you bring the tears tomorrow. I only have room for fun and happiness. I can't let you have the day, because you just took 365 of them, curled them in your hand and hurled them at me with speed only a mother knows. No, tomorrow is a day of celebration because I know it only gets faster. I don't want to blink, I think I shall keep my eyes wide open on you year. Your greed can't be trusted.

Thursday, February 5, 2009


I just realized what makes babies so cute. It's their wonderful self-esteem. I have never seen one try to hold in his stomach when you walk into the room or one try to hide her thigh cellulite from the other babies. They are the happiest when they are naked and they don't care who sees them.

So maybe if we all act this way our world will be more beautiful. Uh, second thought, let's leave out the happy naked thing. Oprah naked - 'nuf said.

Monday, February 2, 2009

IT SNOWED!!!! now when is spring coming

Today was a snow day. I woke up to a cold, wet, rainy day. Not just a gentle rain, but one of those where you can't even use an umbrella because the rain hits you anyway. I just wrote the day off to a gloomy stay-inside kind of day.

Then it all changed. I put Peanut down for a nap and hopped in the shower. After about 30 minutes of intense beautification, I peaked outside to see not just snow, but a downpour of snow. I was so excited.

This is really J. Hogan's first real snow. In the end, we had about 1/4 of inch on the ground and it melted within minutes, but for about 2 hours it snowed - like is snows in Colorado - continuous - big flakes. It was wonderful.

J. Hogan woke up and just sat in his room for about 20 minutes staring out the window. When I got up there I explained the crazy phenomenon to him and to my delight he belted out a hardy "ow". That's J. Hoganese for snow.

I bundled him up and we went to play.

Then I came inside to hear Punxsutawney Phil said we have six more weeks of this garbage and that just deflated my happiness.

Oh sweet springtime, please don't wait. I long for your sunshine and warm days.

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Lost... and not going to look for it.

From day one, I have been a HUGE fan of Lost. Last season, I had to catch up with episodes online since I had the audacity to have a child in the middle of the season. During the catch-up, I noticed that my interest in the storyline was fading. I just chalked it up to the tiny baby that wanted to nurse every 30 minutes, my post pregnancy loss of brain cells (yes it does happen), and I basically new how they ended when friends would discuss the episodes in front of me prior to my review.

Last night I eagerly awaited the arrival of the new season. I did my bedtime routine two hours early and cuddled into the bed for my reunion with a long-lost love - LOST.

I appreciated the recap that was on before the show. It freshened the storyline and gave me even more excitement as to what was about to happen.

In the next statement, I will probably alienate many readers of this blog who are "Lost Crazies". I thought the storyline last night was the dumbest, most hard to follow, mish mosh of ideas I have ever seen. I am starting to think the writers are either writing about bizarre dreams they have or they are consuming some illegal narcotics.

Based on last night's premier, this is one Lost fan that the show just, well... lost.

Monday, January 12, 2009

No Turtles Were Harmed in the Writing of This Blog

It was so cold today that I just did not want to leave the comfort of my warm home. J. Hogan and I spent the entire morning and most of the afternoon chillin' in the crib. (I am second guessing the use of the words "chillin'" and "crib". Do you think I can pull it off?)

Peanut took a good long nap this morning and woke up ready to play. I on the other hand was in the middle of reducing our never-ending pile of laundry. So I combined the too and well, he sat in here and played for about 20 minutes. This is the child who HATES his pack and play, but give him a laundry basket and he is Mr. Happy.

For those of you who are wondering, yes that is a turtle in his mouth... by its head. I think it is safe to say I don't see any pet turtles in our future.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Camera Crazy Mom Seeks Attentive Audience

I took a few new pictures of J. Hogan earlier this week and I thought I would share them with you - just in case you haven't seen enough pictures of him.

I know you all see this picture and think "wow, she must really be a huge football fan since it is the big championship week." Sorry. This is just one of my absolute favorite shirts of his and if it is clean, he wears it. The reason I took this picture is that I realized I did not have any of him in it and that would make me sad in say six months or so when my mind drifted to that sweet blue eyed sports fan. I got this picture in just under the wire. If you look closely, the sleeves are just about too short. Yes, he has his mother's freakishly long arms.

This is his new chair that he got for Christmas from his G'Mo and Pa. When I suggested this gift I figured he would probably be able to climb into in a few months. Surprise! The day we brought it home and put it in the floor, he crawled over and climbed in. I love to see him sitting in it. He looks like such a big boy.
Oh and this is his 10 month old picture. And yes that is the 12-18 month old onesie we use every month. And yes, that would be his chubby belly challenging the sturdy craftsmanship of Pottery Barn Kids clothes.

I call this one "Can You Do This?" No seriously, I am taking a poll - can you do this?

I took this picture because of the conversation he was having with the yellow "Spot" dog on the ottoman. It went something like this -
J. Hogan: Ma Ma, Daddy, Da Do (that's Elmo), thank you, no no, duck... along with lots more J.Hoganese that I have yet to interpret.
Spot: (silence as he stared lovingly at such a remarkable child)
There was also some pointing, clapping, and other lecturing hand gestures. That was J. Hogan, not the dog.
J. Hogan loves this little Spot. His Aunt Joy gave it to him for Christmas and it's been a big hit.

And this was his reaction when he found out I was listening in on his conversation. Can't a boy get some privacy.

This is J. Hogan playing with a Christmas card that G'Mo and Pa sent to him. He loves it and looks for it first thing every morning. It has Elmo on the front and you press a little button and Elmo sings Jingle Bells... every time you press that button Elmo sings Jingle Bells... over and over and over again. Oh did I mention Christmas was over two weeks ago. I believe it's time for Elmo to stop dashing through the snow and find himself a sunny spot on the beach.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Happy New Year

I was trying to think of some cute catchy title for today's blog - the first of the new year. I just could not come up with a thing that did not make me sound like a writer for Regis and Kelly and thus make me want to vomit. So I stuck with the simple yet eloquent "Happy New Year". And so far it seems to be pretty jolly.
Chris and I have never been big on New Year's Eve parties. We just don't like being on the roads after midnight with those who enjoy the New Year's Eve parties. This year we went to dinner at our good friend's the Malones and then back home by 9pm and well, I hate to admit it, but I was fast asleep by 11:15pm. I have always heard that what you are doing when you ring in the new year will be what you will be doing during the upcoming year. I will take the notion of sleep all the merry year through. I do believe in that saying. Two years ago I was holding a friend's baby when the year began and guess what sports fans - six months later I was pregnant.
So here are some things I really want to do in 2009. Not resolutions - just desires. I will spare you the usual - exercise more, do more community service, etc. That's always a given every year. Here goes -
I want to...
visit friends in Vancouver.
organize my home office.
pick out furniture for my living room and complete the remodel of it.
go to the aquarium at least once every two weeks.
go to the Creative Discovery Museum (once Peanut is walking).
see the Jim Henson exhibit in Atlanta.
go to the beach.
go to the Master's.
throw J. Hogan an awesome 1st birthday party.
have dinner (and lunches) with my girlfriends more often.
continue eliminating high fructose corn syrup from my diet.
install new flooring in eight rooms of the house (well at least pay someone to).
grow some sort of edible something in my back yard.
have friends over for dinner more and introduce them to our various groups of people.
potty train J.Hogan (just the thought brings tears to my eyes - he's a little young, but I can hope).
introduce J. Hogan to the joy of art projects.
go hiking.
re-read two classic works of literature along with new works.
use less paper towels (that one's for you Chris ;) you can wipe the tears away).
take more pictures.
blog more often.
If I think of others, I will sure let you know. Oh and I just did - sleep more!