Silly rabbit, Trix are for kids.

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So, while walking McKenzie to/from school 3 things happened:

1) We saw this glorious piece of work…pimp-mobile anyone? Then I’m wondering: are they passionate about cereal, or trying to make a clever implication that they like prostitutes? What’s the deal? McKenzie thought it was awesome though, she said, “Look! What a cool car! Can we get colorful wheels?”
2) Walking back from her school I got hollered at not once, but twice…no make-up & in workout clothes…obviously I’m not visibly preggo with a jacket on yet. Not gonna lie, it made my day. Haha.
AND 3) A young fellow with dreadlocks stopped his car and offered to help me walk my dogs, who were both heeling perfectly. Goodness, I’m flattered, but I cannot wait to move…we don’t even live in a bad area! Either way, I’m definitely ready for a change. And a single-family house. It’s nice to know I’ve still “got it” though. ;) Know what I’m sayin?

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A Great Week, In Sum

Time is going really fast lately, and I think that’s great! I miss Jon SO much and it can’t go fast enough. I’ve been staying really busy, and I have wonderful friends who take the time to come visit me & hang out. It’s pretty great. Here is the last week in sum:

Monday: In the morning I ran errands and then in the afternoon McKenzie and I had our little photo sesh with the baby shoes to announce the sex of the bebe. She’s such a good sport, it took all of 10 minutes…but then I locked us out of the building. A kindly neighbor let us in, but I need to make a *mental note to get spare keys and give them to Madison friends.* I spent the rest of the afternoon editing the photos & letting McKenzie play. BigCollageTuesday: This was McKenzie’s first day back at school from Spring Break, and THE BIG DAY to find out the sex of the baby! The appointment wasn’t until 4:30, so I cleaned house and did TONS of laundry (long overdue) to keep myself busy. While McKenzie was at school I took a long, glorious nap. I have been EXHAUSTED lately…the kind of tired that makes your eyelids feel like anvils on a thread. If you’ve been preggo, you know what I mean. When 4:30 FINALLY rolled around, we went to the appointment at Baby’s Debut here in Madison. Some people have asked McKenzie’s reaction to finding out she’s going to have a little brother…and honestly, her initial response was “EWWW! A penis!” Oh my gosh, it was hilarious. But she enjoyed seeing the baby too, and of course I love it. I would have an ultrasound every day if I could. This is my favorite pic, I think he looks so peaceful like he’s sleeping. And the technologist said everything looks great, so that’s always nice to hear. 10 fingers, 10 toes, healthy heart. At night, I wrote Jon a nice, long letter to mail off on Wednesday.wpid-KUEHL-BABY-BOY-16-WEEKS_18.JPG

Wednesday: Oh geez, I went and got my military ID at the local reserve office first thing in the morning. The photo is HORRENDOUS. I think the lady made me look like a troll on purpose. Blah. She was not friendly. And it’s so embarrassing, I’ll have to use it all the time! Urgh. I was not pleased. Anyway, I’d also had all the photos of Baby Boy printed at Walgreens, so I sent off a letter to Jon telling him the news. I’d contemplated calling the unit and asking if they could tell him, but I think a personal with photos is a little more romantical. Ya know? Then, around lunchtime my good friend Stephanie came into town for a sleepover. She’s a music teacher at an elementary school, and she brought a ukelele for McKenzie to play with. She is a rockstar with McKenzie! They sang and danced SO much, so of course McKenzie was head-over-heels! Many adorable moments ensued, including this “You Are My Sunshine” duet. *melt* We went to the mall after McKenzie was done with school. then had a lovely evening, complete with pizza & a Disney movie marathon.

Thursday: Since we’d had a sleepover, we got some delicious breakfast at Monty’s Blue Plate Diner. The food was amazing, as always. Then Stephanie had to go home, and I took McKenzie to school…after which I had another long, glorious nap. Did I mention that the weather has been GORGEOUS? I’ve been walking the dogs to school when I drop-off/pick-up McKenzie and taking the long way back home. It adds up to 2.5 miles per day (1.25 round-trip, one way). Go me, that’s more than I’ve gotten in awhile. How sad. Darn Wisco winters. =/ I’m going to make a point of walking whenever the weather’s nice.

Friday: McKenzie has ballet Friday mornings, then after I quickly stopped into the doctor’s office. I’ve been having the most horrible itching…like widespread, horrible itching. Like, so bad it wakes me up. They were concerned it was early pre-eclampsia, but my blood pressure was fine, so they did some labs to test for something else that’s a little more scary. I should hear back about that tomorrow. After the short doc visit, our long-lost neighbor came to visit with her 2-year-old. What a handsome little guy! We got to chat while the kiddos played, and even took the dogs/kiddos to a nearby playground to get some energy out. She gave me a great idea for a future blog: balancing dogs & kids. It’s pretty rough some days, especially being alone lately. I feel so guilty sometimes, like I’m a terrible dog owner. =( Sooo, more to come on that another day.

Saturday: We finally got McKenzie a big girl bed! She was definitely outgrowing her toddler one, and she LOVES it. I had been looking for one for awhile, and finally settled on this one…and I’m SO pleased. It’s solid wood, very sturdy, and it was on sale for $189 when I bought it. Compared to some “standard” white twin bed frames I was looking at it was a steal! Plus, it’s a space saver, and she loves using the ladder. But I spent the ENTIRE day putting it together by myself and rearranging her room (although I’m not satisfied with the layout yet). The bed took 2 hours, but it was extremely easy. We don’t have the mattress yet, but I ordered the special 6″ bunk-bed mattress, so she’ll still have ample railing space still to prevent any rolling accidents, as per suggestions in the reviews. I do love that it’s not too high for her (chest height), so I’m not too worried about her falling. I would’ve loved a bed like this when I was a kid! I think I might put up a tension rod & some curtains underneath to make the “fort” even cooler.

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Sunday (today): We had a lazy morning…McKenzie slept in until 9! It was amazing. Around 1, we headed over to a 1st birthday party for my BFF’s identical twin boys! It was so cute, and her decor was awesome. It’s been so fun to watch them grow up the past year! And of course, McKenzie had fun playing with all the balloons. And there was pulled pork…the same to-die-for pulled pork recipe that I’ve posted. Yummm. Then McKenzie and I went to run some errands: a quick trip to the grocery store, and a successful trip to Michael’s (craft store)… To elaborate, I have been eying these adorable Easter Baskets at Pottery Barn Kids for the past 2 months, but I absolutely could not justify spending $30-$50 on an Easter basket…no matter how cute, even if it’ll be used every year. Anyway, at Michael’s all the Easter stuff was on clearance for 70% off, and I managed to score this Easter basket for a grand total of $5.60 (originally $16.99). I was pleased! It might not be *as* cute, but I think I can trick it out a bit. Either way, it’s definitely a cute upgrade. =)basketAll-in-all it was a great week. Finding out we’re having a BOY was definitely the highlight though. I look at those little ultrasound pictures every day. Sometimes it’s still hard to believe I’m even pregnant since I’m not that big yet! Soon enough. I’m sure I’ll be eating those words in a month. Lol. Today I am officially 17 weeks, but here is my 16 week photo since I forgot to post it last week. And no, I am not angry (as some FB commenters noted)…that is my straight face. Yes, I have an angry-looking straight face. Thanks for noticing. Haha. 16weeks.words

This week, we’re looking forward to going to visit Grandpa Jeff for a week in California. There is sure to be lots of yummy food, boat-riding, and dolphin-watching! Have a great week everyone. =)

First Day of Ballet & a HILARIOUS Video

BalletDancerAs I mentioned yesterday, I signed McKenzie up for her first Ballet class. She loved it! She didn’t have the right shoes today (oops), but it went great. She was incredibly nervous at first, but one of her 4K friends happens to be in the class, so she settled in quickly. Phew! Afterward we went swimming. The YMCA here has an awesome little splash pad for kids with dumping buckets, squirt gun thingys, and a little water slide. She loved that too. Maybe I’ll take her swimming every morning? It was a fun day, and really nice for me to get out of the house. Ballet

And since yesterday was my bad day, I watched this video like 5 times. It made me laugh so hard! And it’s only a minute long, soooooooo check it out and laugh your butts off too…I was definitely not expecting that! And I like the guy’s reaction at the end, priceless. Haha. Another one that makes me crack up is this drive-thru prank. Are there any videos that never fail to make you laugh?! Laughter is the best medicine, after all, so do share. ;)

You spent $1,000 on a…WHAT?!?

Yes, it’s true. As I alluded to in this post, we got a 2012 Bugaboo Cameleon! (Pictured below is the color scheme we got.) If you don’t know anything about these strollers, it’s probably because they start at $979 brand new. Which is insane. I mean, who spends that much on a stroller?! That’s a lot of dough. It’s pretty sweet though…just look at it. But you know who turned me on to it? My momma. Bugaboo

You see, before McKenzie was born, my mom practically begged to buy us this stroller. She thought it was super cool. Awesome even. But I vehemently opposed the purchase of a $1,000 stroller.  I was like, “Geez Mom…for that price, would you please just buy the entire bedroom set AND a cheaper stroller/car-seat set?” But at the time, I wasn’t personally aware of the awesomeness that is the Bugaboo Cam. Until now.

When we found out about Baby #2, I started thinking about strollers immediately, so of course my mind drifted to the Bugaboo, which my mom had liked so much. I did TONS of research. Read hundreds of reviews. Etc. And I came to the same conclusion: it’s pretty awesome. It has a sweet bassinet (w/ a foam mattress!). It’s car-seat compatible. It can be forward or rear-facing. It has 6 different positions. Adjustable suspension (no kidding!). Heavy-duty foam tires. A reversible, height-adjustable handlebar. On top of all that, it’s relatively compact, and everything is machine washable…and according to the legends, you can push this bad-boy with one hand, no problem.

McKenzie will be 5 by the time the baby is born…which, I’ve decided, is a little old to be using a stroller…don’t you think? So I quickly ruled out double strollers. ((As a hilarious side-note, check out www.toobigforstroller.com for photographic evidence of this phenomena, if you could use a laugh.)) BUT, that said, if I’m going on a long, work-out-style walk, it might be too far for her little legs. Enter: the Bugaboo’s roller-board! I had never heard of these…but it folds up or detaches easily when not in-use…the perfect solution to my problem! I can still use a single stroller, but my kindergartener can ride along if she’s tired. Brilliant.

bugabooboard

Anyway, so I decided to go ahead with my Mom-inspired purchase, but I was still completely opposed to paying full-price. No freakin’ way am I dropping $1,000 on a stroller. So I began obsessively checking Craigslist and eBay. Unfortunately, not a lot of people in Madison, WI (or even Milwaukee) use Bugaboo strollers. And on eBay, they were pretty beat-up. Then, I had a genius idea: my step-dad lives in Orange County, California…so I searched the Craigslist there, and there were pages of Bugaboo listings. Score!

I kept my eye on them, and found a 2012 stroller, listed for $450 with car seat adapter + other accessories included. My lovely step-dad swooped over and scooped it up at my request…and after some bargaining, the final price was $375!  It’s still a lot for a stroller (I know), but we didn’t spend $1,000 on it. We managed to get a *mint* condition Bugaboo Cam for almost 65% off. I’m stoked, and I can’t wait to push Baby #2 around in it! And the best part is: I know my momma would approve. ;)

Drama, drama, drama. And gunshots.

So. There was a motherf*cking SHOOTING outside our condo Wednesday night. What. The. F*ck. Some lovely Police gentlemen woke us up at midnight, asking us if we’d heard the gunshot. That was interesting…try falling back asleep after that one. So that was my week for ya.

We don’t live in the best neighborhood in the world, but it is certainly NOT bad by any means. We own our condo. It’s nice. We have nice neighbors, except for one: to me, he looks like this, and I have code-named him Vincenzo:monsterGet the idea? Certified creeper. Word on the street is that Vincenzo’s a heroin addict, hailing from the projects in Chicago. I’m serious. In June he started his apartment on fire because he left “something” cooking on the stove and went to a friend’s house. According to his records, he has been arrested for pan-handling and the manufacture/intent to distribute cocaine. He has solicited us for money, and I’m fairly certain he’s a drug dealer (based on the multiple cars/”guests” he has at his apartment on a given day). Given his record, it’s not a stretch. Here’s the kicker: he’s almost 60. Oh, and once he found my phone outside & tried to sell it back to me. Quality person, no doubt.

How is Vincenzo still living here, you ask? Well. He lives in a condo owned by his sister, who lives out-of-state. Rent-free. He doesn’t work. He just “chills” with his “associates” all day and buys 40’s from the gas station at 9am. No judgement. Ha! A real winner. But of course (he thinks) it’s because he’s black…never mind his shady behavior, or the fact that we have other African American neighbors with whom we have great relationships.

Anyhow, despite my many complaints and letters to the management company (even citing specific dates/incidents), there’s not a whole lot they can do about someone having too many “guests.” Would I care if he were having company over for a lovely dinner party?? No. Am I the only one who has expressed discomfort at his presence in our building? No.

Well this drug-related shooting has hopefully sealed his fate…at least for him maintaining a residence here. The management company received MULTIPLE complaints in the morning. I guess people don’t like the police waking them up in the middle of the night with questions about a shooting? Whether or not he was the shooter, the target, or it was one of his “associates,” I politely informed the management company that his behavior and “associates” are directly affecting the quality of life for the whole building and it’s unacceptable.

In happier news, we got to hear Baby #2’s heartbeat on Wednesday! Strong at 150 beats per minute. And I got my dream stroller…but more on that another day. =)

It’s true: I’m a fish murderer.

Yes, I’m a fish murderer. Oh goodness, that sounds bad. Perhaps “killer” is more appropriate…after all, “murderer” implies malicious intent, and it was really a complete accident…both times. What’s worse is that they were both McKenzie’s beloved fish. *sigh*

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Hanky

So here’s the scoop: First we had “Hanky” (January 2012-June 2012). He was a lovely purple Betta that McKenzie and I rescued from Wal-Mart…he was on the verge of death quite pathetic looking, and we nursed him back to health. He loved us and would swim up to us whenever we came in the room. Then came our vacation in June…we completely forgot all about him! McKenzie went to stay with her Nina (grandma) for a week, and poor Hanky was sadly forgotten. We quickly realized our mistake and went to check on him as soon as we got home…here’s the kicker: HE LIVED! He only died after I overfed him and he binged…so my friends, do not feed a starved fish 10 pellets. It kills them. After soothing McKenzie’s many tears, we had a lovely funeral and he was flushed ceremoniously. RIP Hanky.

About a week later we went to Wal-Mart again, and this time we rescued a lovely blue Betta, whom McKenzie aptly named “Blue” (June 2012-January 2013). Now, Blue was not as nice as Hanky…he would hide from us when we’d try to peer in his bowl, but McKenzie loved him all the same. Two weeks ago, when Jon and I went to Mexico, we actually remembered him! We brought him to Nina’s this time, and Nina put him in her large tank with other fish. Blue loved the warm, temperature-regulated water and was very active and uncharacteristically friendly. When we got back, he was fine! His fins were a little bit nibbled by the other fish, but I googled it did some research, and according to what I read he should’ve healed within a month.

So, after getting back to our house I decided to wash Blue’s bowl because it was filthy. I got the water really hot and scrubbed away (can you guess what happened?!). Now, I’m not sure if my hands were just really hot from washing the bowl, because I triple-checked the water before I put him in…it felt cool to me, I swear! But alas, it was scalding. I poured him in and he swam one tortured, “I’m burning alive!” lap around the bowl and dropped dead. Oh goodness, I felt SO bad. McKenzie was hysterical, because I screamed “No, Blue!!!” and tried to get him out right away…so she figured it out pretty quickly. As with Hanky, we had a lovely funeral for Blue. And we even blew out a candle. RIP Blue.

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McKenzie & Norman

A couple days later, McKenzie and I went and got our 3rd Betta, “Norman” from PetSmart. McKenzie picked him out all by herself. He’s a pretty, iridescent white (although admittedly, I was trying to urge her towards a beautiful red one, yet she still insisted on Norman). He’s is a super friendly little guy, we really like him a lot. I will make a point of having better luck with him! I also got a new 2 gallon tank for him, with a light and an aerator/filter…it was only $19.99, so I thought that was pretty good. As an added bonus, it also functions as a night-light in McKenzie’s room. Score.

So, I will definitely make Norman last longer than 6 months. I’m hoping that my vicious, fish-killing cycle will be broken with this little guy. Wish me luck! Have you ever had an “oops!” experience with a pet?

8 Things to Know Before Buying Hunter Boots

shoes_iaec1211333After perusing Google a lot of research, I finally got some Hunter Wellington Boots (for Christmas)! I love them. They’re amazing. Not particularly warm for winter (even with the special socks), but perfect for running errands, letting the dogs out, etc…and they’re more durable than my Uggs! That said, there are just a few things to know before buying:

  1. They run large, so size down. I’m usually a 10.5 and I got a 9…they fit perfectly.
  2. There is a difference between “Hunters Original” and “Huntress” boots. Huntress is a wide-calf boot for ladies with a calf larger than 15″, or who like to wear layered socks. I went with the Huntress.
  3. The Original Hunter “wellies” are about an inch taller than the Huntress…so if you’re really short, I’d go with the Huntress. Otherwise, based on what I’ve read, you might chafe the back of your knees.
  4. There are not special socks for Huntress…if you order Hunter Welly Socks, they are a little bit taller than the Huntress boot because they’re meant for the Hunter Originals. I just tucked mine in, it worked fine. On that note, the Welly Socks have awkward seams on the feet. It feels a little weird when you’re first wearing them, but you get used to it.
  5. The tread is not ideal for ice (personal experience).
  6. They are heavy on your feet.
  7. Green is the “classic” color, but there are tons of fun color options available now. I got the brighIMAG0530t red (pictured). I originally got the “Merlot” color, but it was a hideous purpleish-brown…not cranberry like I thought they’d be. I don’t recommend that color, but hey, to each her own.
  8. You should probably use Zappos if you’re buying online. From personal experience, the free 2-way shipping and easy exchanges are definitely worth it.

Oh, and here is a pic of me in my red Huntress boots. This photo is embarrassing for 3 reasons: 1) I don’t have a full-length mirror so I am standing on the toilet in my daughter’s bathroom (ha!), 2) My bathroom is dirty, and 3) Yes, that is my 4 year-old folding washcloths in the bottom-left corner…I make her do chores whilst I take pictures of myself. #Momshaming anyone? ;)

How to have a happy marriage: 9 little words.

“Don’t sweat the petty stuff…pet the sweaty stuff.” Oh my goodness, isn’t that ridiculous? Hilarious? Horrifying even? Haha. You know what makes it even worse? Apparently that was one of my dad’s favorite lines (of course I never knew that though). It sorta makes me want to gag and giggle simultaneously. I’ve said it to Jon before when he was upset, and I sorta yelled it at him, “DON’T SWEAT THE PETTY STUFF, PET THE SWEATY STUFF!” It ended in a mutual fit of laughter. You should try it. Works like a charm. I think it covers pretty much everything: the importance of both communication and intimacy…and it lightens any mood because it’s so damn ridiculous. Yup. 9 little words to live by.

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Not quite the same, but you get the idea. ;)

Stupid sh*t kids do. Care to share?

stupidkids0Fortunately for my parents, but unfortunately for me, I was an overly well-behaved kid. The worst thing I ever did was try to break my own leg (no joke). I thought it was cool to have a cast, so I wedged my leg under a couch and tried to break it. I was unsuccessful. Ha. Oh and once in high school once I sneaked out the car with my friends to drive around before I had my license. Still pretty tame in my opinion. I partied a little in high school, but not a lot. Basically, if my daughter is a teen like me, I will be extremely grateful.

These kids on the other hand…sniffing shit to get high? Putting vodka in your eye? Gang-bangs? Fence-plowing? Garage-jumping? Vodka soaked tampons? Their parents should be proud. Yikes. What was the worst thing you did when you were a kid?