two noms and some questions

I was recently (ish) "nominated" for the Liebster award by Sweet Turtle Soup and The Sunshine Award by Pardon My French. To which I say thank you, thank you very much in my very best Elvis voice. I might have bowed in dramatic fashion. So here I am answering all the questions (finally) in one post. Laziness at its finest yes? Besides, we all love a little Q&A.

Courtney's Questions:
1. How did you come up with your blog name? I wanted something Italian and I'm constantly on the go... So andiamo just fit the bill I guess.
2. What is your favourite colour this spring? This spring and any time it's teal. As in the Caribbean. 
3. How many kids did you picture having before you actually had any? Did that number change post baby? I can't remember!!! I think I always wanted four. Because I am from a family a four. This didn't change once I had kids. Matt just isn't sold yet. Let's work on him shall we?
4. What is your favourite cereal? Cornflakes. Nothing boring about an original. But I really am loving them with an inordinate amount of raspberries and strawberries. Like. All the time.
5. What is your favourite part about blogging? Reading past posts. That sounds very self-absorbed I'm sure but I just love looking back and remembering what we were up to last year at this time or more importantly what my kids were up to. They change so quickly and my brain has lost most of it's retention power. Second to this is the people I've "met" through blogging. Ya'll are a pretty great bunch.
6. Are you a sweets or salty snacker? Salty. And now that I've gone and said that I want salt & malt chips in my mouth like yesterday.
7. What is the first blog you started following? Life of Charmings. Everyone says you remember your first time right? Wink wink. I was scouring Pinterest when I was very pregnant with David and saw a photo of a pregnant girl in a fedora and she was just so stinking adorable I had to know more. That lead to her blog and I prettttty much read the entire thing from start to finish. I texted Kerri and was like hey! this blogging thing is awesome and Brittany is awesome and I kinda really love her. From there I just kept finding more and more blogs until I finally made my own almost a year later (Matt made me do it).
8. What are you looking forward to the most this summer? Most of all I am looking forward to spending more time with my best friend/neighbor love. She's a teacher so the summers are our happy time!
9. Finish this sentence: I can't help but smile when... I hear Letty playing by herself. Acting out scenes and having it all planned out. She's a little person in there under all that sass.
10. If you could do anything with your hair right now, what would you do? I love my hair. I wouldn't mind it being a little longer.... maybe a bit more drastic ombre? Rhonda? What say you?
11. What is your guilty pleasure? Wine. But is that really guilty? Because I never feel guilt. 

Kelsey's Questions:
1. What is your favorite fast food place? McDonald's. There is something about that Big Mac that just no other burger can beat. It's the grease I realize, but it's soooo tasty. And that sauce. Yum.
2. What is your dream vacation spot? Is it bad I want to say Disney? I just keep thinking about where I would want to go where I would be the most relaxed and happy. And although I would almost kill to go to Greece I can't say I would be chomping at the bit to go there now with the kids. I'm losing my hair just thinking about it.
3. What is your favorite household chore? Disinfecting the counters. Love it.
4. What is one skill you wish you had? Patience. Is that a skill? I lack it in spades.
5. Are you a fruit or veggie person? Fruit. I am a very bad person and a bad role model because I hate the majority of vegetables.
6. What is your favorite beauty product? Chapstick. Forever and ever.
7. How long is too long to not wash your hair? I can't get past two days. I work out every day so I'm thinking no one else would want me to go longer than that either.
8. Would you ever want to re-new your vows? No no no. No. I am not a romantic person, much to Matt's chagrin. This may be something great for so many people but not for me. I did it once. That is enough. Aren't I just the sweetest?
9. How tall are you? 5'6.
10. What is the best piece of advice anyone ever gave you? "Leave the gun. Take the canoli." Otherwise known as I am terrible at listening to advice.
11. You just won a million dollars, what do you do first? Pay off my mortgage. And my parent's too because they have done so much for us. Then I would go on a cruise around Europe for about a month straight and drink all the wine on deck. I'm so fiscally responsible.

The end! Thanks girls for saving me from having to come up with a post topic all on my onesie.

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easy diy bar, a matt sponsored post

In our basement there lies a problem. The problem is that of end tables. And of drink slash popcorn bowl placement. What is to be done? The simple solution would be to just have a Handy Matty. Since I'm not really willing to rent him out too easily I (with his help of course) threw together this little diy for you. He schlepped together this bar in I don't even know how long. A matter of hours if you count the distraction of having a three-almost-four year old helper. This is where Handy Matty takes over.

What one needs is:
1 sheet of 4x8 plywood
4 2x4's
Whatever you want to put on top - We went with the vinyl 12x12" tiles that look like ceramic tile.  If you go the ceramic tile route remember to use backer board. 
3' long 3/4" black steel pipes and floor flanges for the top (connect to the bar) and bottom (to secure to the floor. 

And what one does is:
Cut the plywood out into the shape you want the bar.  I only wanted a place to have drinks and a bowl (of popcorn) if needed.  So our bar is 12' wide and 7' long with a 2'x2' offset for the popcorn machine.  After you have cut out the plywood, cut down the 2x4" to make a perimeter for under the plywood.  This will make it strong and you will have something to screw the floor flanges into.  Next install whatever top you chose to the plywood top.  For our purposes I installed the 12"x12" vinyl tiles with Liquid Nails.  After that screw the legs into place and then I screwed the legs to the floor.  

And now we have this super sturdy and easy to clean bar that is just perfect for all kinds of beverage drinking and popcorn eating and movie watching. 

And! Mikey (Letty) likes it!

Oh. And the barstools were purchased at Ikea. One just cannot beat the price. Unless one weighs more than 220 pounds in which case just chose the couch.

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montgomery county, md and their firemen. and frucks.

Sometimes, as a parent, things don't go the way you envision them in your head. I'm not talking about major things just yet, but I'm sure I'll have my time for them soon enough and I'll have them in spades. I'm talking about a visit to a certain fire station and a certain fireman and the joy that I thought that would bring my two year old little boy who is obsessed with frucks and fire frucks. And wheels. And lights.

To set the background a tiny bit... on Monday, whilst dining on Noodles & Company, a giant yellow (his favorite color nonetheless) fire truck pulled into the parking lot. His excitement was not to be contained. He even lost his bones for a little when I wouldn't let him gallivant off into the parking lot to investigate. Not to mention the time earlier this month when he was privy to a fire fruck museum! They are his happy place those fire frucks. Anddddd then we move on to yesterday when as planned we, with our neighbor loves, piled into the van and once again headed in a southerly direction on The Great Route 83 towards Maryland. Our destination was a fire station in Montgomery County where my (little) brother works. He was kind enough to agree to a tour and even kind enough to allow me to take photos of him with my big giant camera which, I am sure, embarrassed him immensely. He is a good sport.

First he gave us a tour of the station. We saw all the lovely recliners. Their table. Their kitchen. We met a few of the other firemen who were all incredibly kind and good to the kids. I've decided good souls those firefighters. Every last one of them. Through and through. They had fire safety coloring pages and crayons and even papers for us moms to read. The boys were a bit scared of the trucks... I guess? Not sure what got into them other than they are children and therefore as unpredictable as the weather. They wouldn't go near them. All those wheels they could investigate and those lights and yet... nothing. They stood by us. Poor Uncle Robbie. David wouldn't even let him hold him. There were quite a few tears on David's part when he was offered a place behind the wheel of the ambulance. It is quite disturbing to be offered the reality of such a dream as a seat behind a wheel of an ambulance. I get it.

We saw an old old fire truck and were offered a front seat on that as well...a seat only Avery was brave enough to take on alone. We got to see the ambulance go out on a call oh so cooly and oh so calmly. The children enjoyed the siren and the lights, even the boys, which we figure was a major breakthrough. We got to see the big red engine come backing in to the station and then say hello to the captain and watch the men take off their big boots and pants, which to the kids was a very big and very somber deal. We were shown where all their tools are in the truck and where the hoses are kept. And we learned that they wash those trucks every single day. And oh how they shine!

And then we thanked them over and over again and waved bye bye to the fire frucks and went to eat some Sweet Frog.

Thank you once again to my brother and his fellow firefighters for letting a bunch of us take a gander at your place. It was very exciting for us all, even if the boys didn't act as anticipated. Oh and thank you for all you do and what not. I just want to hug each and every last one of you. Except my little brother would kill me.

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how do I find the time...

I guess I do a lot? I mean that I keep myself and my family kind of busy. I start to get the shakes when my calendar frees up and January through April is particularly trying for me when the weather isn't cooperating and the world has decided to go and hibernate. Sometimes people query how I can do _____. The simplest answer would be 'organization' and that I have in spades. But there's more (Matt, to say the least). So in answer to the question 'how do I find the time...'

...To run. This non-negotiable is quite the thing of habit. How it works for us at this season in our lives is that I run first thing in the morning before Matt has to work. If he has to be out earlier than usual that only means I run earlier. He is on kid and breakfast and morning routine duty. Sometimes I run at 6 but more often it's at 7. That 45 minutes is my special time. 

...To blog. Most of this happens at night whilst the children are sleeping. Usually only on one night, Sundays. I write out however many posts and I edit them and I schedule them and I am done. As far as reading blogs or commenting on them or responding to comments, that I do throughout the day each day. The most significant chunk of time being when David naps and Letty enjoys her afternoon snack and quiet time. 

...To clean. I have a very rigid schedule. Certain days of the week have certain things to be done and I have it broken up into pieces that are manageable. i.e. I can get them done in a minimal amount of time mixed in with other business. Laundry I do always (who doesn't?). And picking up toys? Whenever we leave a room. Going to the store? Pick up toys. Going upstairs so mommy can shower? Pick up toys. The reason this madness is successful is twofold. One, the job never gets unmanageable because it's always being done. And two, I am OCD, therefore this is successful.

...To watch movies/read/drink wine. Night! Glorious night! After the kids are tucked in bed and asleep we have our wine (currently just Matt has his wine) and we watch our movies. Sometimes we are stupid and stay up well past midnight. Those days aren't wise. I read either right before bed or when David naps and Letty is practicing being quiet. 

It's all about priorities. And Matt. Always Matt.  

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bumpgate, week 18

These posts. Not exactly sure how I feel about them... but I do want to remember what is most likely my last time on this ride.... and so yes. I think I shall.

So. I am 18 weeks. This is what I look like if I turn to the side. It's quite pretty isn't it? I guess my body is just like oh here we are again I might as well just let it all hang out. No use holding on to any false pretense of having core strength. Yes. And I like to match my dining room walls.

Boy/girl, girl/boy| We will learn of the gender in the beginning of August and I am only counting down the days, not the hours. I'm not really rooting for any gender in particular (so long as there is one) because there are perks to both. Matt is rooting for the male and rooting hard. 

The icks| Mostly all gone the way of the Walkman. The heartburn is hanging out for the long haul so we are thinking we will have another hairy baby like little Miss Letty. She was a monkey that one. I'm having some icks when it comes to the prenatal vitamins but we are working those kinks out just fine. Also anytime the oven is on the smell makes me have to leave the room. 

The LB's| People share this I suppose? I always find it most annoying because, really? 40 weeks and you've gained 9 pounds? Humph. To date I've gained 2.5. Which! Sounds like nothing. Just know I had a lot to start out with. And I work out every single day without fail. I chase around two kids all day. I didn't feel good for a long time (woohoo!) and finally, when wine consumption goes down so does caloric intake. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

The eats| We all know I have a thing for cereal with fresh fruit. And vanilla milkshakes. And vanilla wafers. You know, all the basic food groups. Also I'm pretty darn close to being a vegetarian. Or a beef only eater. I don't hate it.

The movings around happening on the inside| It is finally happening. I felt a tickle very early (14 weeks) that I most certainly decided was in fact a baby and not something other but only recently has it been more consistent and in my mind, official. Feeling the movement is one of my most favorite things about being pregnant. I especially love when I can see the movement. So there is that to look forward to.

On the nesting front| I have a problem when my hormones start to go a bit wacky where I want to buy things. Lots of things. Since I have two people I tow around everywhere this is mostly virtual shopping. If I need a quick fix I fill up a shopping cart online at Target or Forever 21 or Amazon and then I delete it all. I need therapy (retail therapy booya!). Right now I am still full on into making my house look like a Pottery Barn catalog. My mother has been letting me "shop" in her house and that has  been most effective. Once the gender is known I'll start scouring the interwebs for nursery stuff and filling up all kinds of fun carts.

And here is Letty's photography addition to this post:

I love love love being pregnant (most ardently). All of it - minus the absence of wine of course. In my mind I think I have pretty easy pregnancies and hormones and such but Matt may tell a different tale.... To be continued. Wink.

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