Happy Holidays at The Herron Nest

We at The Herron Nest are feeling pretty blessed this holiday season. We have had a very merry Christmas with so many family gatherings, toys littered all over the floor and quality family-time with each other. Here are a few pics from the last week that sums up the pure joy from all of us.

Baking and decorating Christmas cookies, someone went crazy with the sprinkles

Baking and decorating Christmas cookies, someone went crazy with the sprinkles

Abbey checking out her bag that Santa left for her on Christmas Eve

Abbey checking out her bag that Santa left for her on Christmas Eve

Annual family photo on Christmas Eve

Annual family photo on Christmas Eve

Christmas morning snuggy-licious photo snap

Christmas morning snuggy-licious photo snap

Happy and very spoiled little elves

Happy and very spoiled little elves

 

We all had to show off our hot blue bods!

We all had to show off our hot blue bods!

 

Abbey and her Grandma Herron on Christmas night

Abbey and her Grandma Herron on Christmas night

 

Snuggling with Daddy as she checks out Santa at Kiesewetter Christmas

Snuggling with Daddy as she checks out Santa at Kiesewetter Christmas

 

Abbey's turn to sit on Santa's lap

Abbey’s turn to sit on Santa’s lap

 

Snuggling with her littlest cousin, Isabella.

Snuggling with her littlest cousin, Isabella

 

Meeting Jack in 3D

Meeting Jack in 3D

As I settle in on a Sunday night (football in the background of course), I’m reflecting on the last week and what a whirlwind it has been. No better way to wrap up Christmas than to see our baby boy in 3D – he is so handsome! I’m hoping for continued health for both Jack and myself in my last trimester. After seeing him and comparing his features to Abbey, I’m more excited to meet our little man but I’m cherishing these moments with Abbey as a family of three. What a great way to begin to wrap up 2013, such a great year!

 

 

OZO Play Cafe {The Herron Nest Review}

ozo play cafe logo I’ve heard nothing but great things about the indoor play cafe in Montgomery, OZO Play Cafe, so we had to try it out for ourselves. The location is extremely convenient, the play cafe is located on Montgomery Road in Montgomery across the street from Kroger. It is nestled in a plaza with Salon Lofts and Jet Pizza.

When you first walk in there are Ikea cubbies for the whole family to store shoes/purse/diaper bag so that you can enter the play area without tracking in dirt from your shoes. Mom’s you’ll want to make sure everyone is wearing socks (and maybe the socks with the rubber on the bottom for those that could easily fall) because part of the floor is concrete and cold this time of year. You then go to the back of the cafe to pay for your child to play, $8 for an all-day pass for the first child and $6 for the second child. Note – this is geared for children 6 and younger, they had a special area for 12 month and younger to play.

We arrived just before 11am and were there until about 12:30p and that was plenty of time for Ab to play but she of course wanted to stay longer. We first hung out playing with the train and wood track, but then we were off exploring the rest of the center. The slide and mini jungle gym, tumbling on the colorful mats, riding on a scooter, pushing the shopping cart full of food, playing with the animals (Ab was loving the lion and was yelling ROAR while chasing me), building with the blocks, more tumbling and then making everyone dinner in the kitchen area. Whew! I was a bit wore out but really there is so much for a toddler to do. We didn’t even get to the large chalkboard but I’m sure she would have loved that area too.

ozo tumbling_ TheHerronNest.com

ozo kitchen_TheHerronNest.comDefinitely a place I would recommend and a place I would bring Ab back to play. Actually, I did find out that they will be selling day pass gift cards as we get closer to the holidays. This is going to be a fun treat for both of my nephews for Christmas! *Side note, I really wanted to take half of these toys home especially the tumbling mats. So fun!

Another great idea is to host your kid’s birthday party at ozo. There are a few party packages and both seem reasonable enough plus you don’t have to clean your house or pick up when everyone leaves. You can go to the website for more information http://ozoplaycafe.com/

The only cons from our experience is more a “me” problem but here it goes:

  • Parents that don’t follow the rules – arg! It says no shoes, so don’t come back in the play area with your shoes on. It says to put the toys that your child puts in their mouth in this separate bin, so DO IT!
  • Parents that don’t watch their kids – there was a little boy (probably around 5) that was riding the scooter at excessive speeds. One other parent that was standing near me actually said, “it is pretty funny to watch all of the other parents physically get tense when this little boy almost knocks down their own kid” PRETTY MUCH!
  • Self policing if your kid is sick – I made sure that we washed our hands right before we left and kept Ab from sticking her hands in her mouth just in case.

All-in-all I’m excited about the cafe as an indoor option during the winter months! And a MAJOR plus…. it really wore both her and George out!

ozo sleeping_TheHerronNest

Rear Facing Until 4 Years Old, Really!

This is my fair warning that this post might rub someone the wrong way, it is bound to happen since what I’m going to write about is a bit on the controversial side. But here I go….

new car seat

Happy 2nd Birthday Abbey!

We have decided to keep Abbey in a rear facing car seat until she is 4 years old. WHAT? OMG! The Herron’s are cray-cray! Yes, it is true, we are cray-cray but even more so we are crazy about keeping our little girl safe. We were actually all set and sort of excited about going to purchase Abbey another car seat to replace the one she uses in my car (her infant seat that holds her up to 30 lbs) and fully expected to turn her facing forward as soon as she turns two (11 days). We are very happy with our current car seat which is a Britax Marathon 70-G3 and decided we would go ahead and purchase the same one. While at Buy Buy Baby I was talking to the nice man in the car seats and stroller department about our graduation to forward facing car seat time. He looked at me, looked at Abbey and asked, “how old is she?” I told him she would be two in 11 days and were happy to turn her car seat around basically patting myself on the back for being the parent who kept her rear facing this long. WHAAP! That was my slap across the face because he basically schooled me on when I should actually turn a toddler around to a  forward facing car seat, age FOUR.

Buy Buy Baby was previously recommending that forward facing was okay at age two then they changed their tune to recommend keeping toddlers rear facing as long as possible after age two to now recommending that you do not turn your toddler forward facing until the ripe old age of four. His explanation went something like, the bones in their body don’t oscillate until they turn four years old and basically it was better for them to potentially break bones in their legs in a car accident versus having internal decapitation in an accident. That was it! I was already sold on the same car seat we have now but I was basically yelling for George because we would be keeping Abbey rear facing until 4 years old. Then of course I needed to dive into the Interwebs and find other articles and opinions that backed what the Buy Buy Baby guy was saying. I actually found that the child breaking their legs while rear facing was simply untrue and it is MORE likely to occur if the child is forward facing.

http://www.thecarseatlady.com/car_seats/rear-facing_seats_6.html – BEST article I could find, hands down.

http://thestir.cafemom.com/toddler/120133/Proof_That_Older_Taller_Kids – Pictures are cute in this one!

http://www.rearfacing.co.uk/ – there is actually a Rear Facing campaign in the UK

I can’t wait to ask Abbey’s pediatrician to weigh in on this as well, George and I value Dr. Somsak’s opinion very much and typically look to her for these types of questions. Dr. Somsak, if you are out there and want to weigh in, please feel free to do so, otherwise we will see you in a few weeks 🙂 For now I did find a few articles that are at least great reference points. There is not much updated on the rule that went into effect in 2011 about staying rear facing until two but I did find a few. Hopefully this is helpful for those of you also looking for answers on what to do, this is not something to take lightly yet it is damn near impossible to get a straight answer. I’ll be the first to admit it, I was looking forward to forward facing car seat time. I drive a Mazda 3 and the passenger seat is literally up as far as it will go so that Abbey’s car seat fits behind it. What the hell am I going to do with two little ones rear facing in my back seat? Ummmm…. that is up for another discussion, I guess I need a new car?

I’ll leave you with this, a wise woman once told me (you know who you are), “You only get one shot when raising your kids” and this is that time when I need to think about keeping Abbey safe versus convenience for George and me.

 

Disney On Ice And The Mickey & Minnie Meetup

The Herron family can go ahead and chalk this night up as one for the history books. Well, at least that is the case for our Abbey-girl because she got to meet Mickey and Minnie for the second time. Thanks to Feld Family Entertainment Direction, Adam, for hooking up the bloggers with this exclusive meeting with Abbey’s favorite characters. George was brilliant for capturing the moment Abbey saw Mickey and Minnie, best 30 seconds ever!

As soon as it was Abbey and Mason’s turn to get their picture with Mickey and Minnie, they both ran up to the beloved characters like they had been best friends for years. Neither one of them hesitated or were afraid for one second! So proud of these munchkins. Abbey just kept waving at Minnie, hugging her, hugging Mickey, blowing them kisses and then right before we walked away Abbey had to touch Mickey’s nose. Too cute!

Abbey and Mason Meeting Mickey & MInnie

And if meeting Mickey and Minnie wasn’t enough, Mason and Abbey got the best goody bags to root through before the actual show. Disney-themed goody bags included 1 stuffed animal, Stitch, 1 stuffed animal, Young Simba, 1 Disney On Ice 100 Years of Magic Show book and 1 Disney-themed photo frame. All this before we enjoyed the show – such a magical night!

Abbey_Mason_goodbags

Seats were phenomenal and the show was just as magical as it promised. Thanks to our photographer for capturing so many characters dancing on the ice. The colors, music, interaction from the characters, lights, costumes and fireworks!

DisneyOnIce_MickeyandCrew DisneyOnIce_Ariel DisneyOnIce_Nemo

If you haven’t already, GET.TICKETS.NOW.

Halloween will be a bust anyway – go to the show instead and enjoy a family four pack. More details on how you can get your tickets:

Show times are Wednes­day, Oct. 30, 7 p.m., Thurs­day, Oct. 31, 7 p.m., Fri­day, Nov. 1, 7 p.m., Sat­ur­day, Nov. 2, 11 a.m., 3 p.m. and 7 p.m. and Sun­day, Nov. 3, 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.  Ticket prices are $17 to $56 and avail­able at the U.S. Bank Arena box office, at all Tick­et­Mas­ter loca­tions, www.ticketmaster.com or by call­ing 1.800.745.3000.

DISNEY ON ICE SUPER FAMILY 4 PACK

OFFER:

Family Four Pack – $99.00 valid on non-VIP seats.  The offer excludes Weekday performances because of the weekday pricing discount of $12 flat non-VIP tickets.

4 – $20.00 tickets (Dayton only) or $22.00 tickets (Cincinnati only)

4 – 16oz Lemonade (in a Disney On Ice logo plastic cup)

4 – REG Popcorn Box

4 – Disney On Ice Coloring Book

RESTRICTIONS:

  • Valid from Now – Oct. 27 (Dayton) and Nov. 3 (Cincinnati) at midnight
  • Good on non-weekday performances as noted above.
  • Not combinable with any other offer
  • $20.00 (Dayton) / $22.00 (Cincinnati) seating only
  • Cannot use with Ticket Fast delivery method
  • Valid online, phones, outlets, and box office

Thank you again to Feld Family Entertainment, what a great night!

 

Abbey Moments

As a parent of a toddler who is constantly in “entertainment” mode, I wish I could capture each and every single moment but that just isn’t possible. This blog along with Facebook and Instagram have certainly helped but I must say, this weekend was chock full of Abbyisms that I need to record now! Don’t want to forget…..Don’t want to forget…..Don’t want to forget! So here goes a few of my favorites even though this doesn’t cover even half of the moments. Pshhh.. if only TLC would recognize the disfunctional talent my family has and start taping us for our own reality show already. C’mon TLC, we are way more entertaining than Kate Gosselin.

{Abbeyism #1}

As Abbey, George and I were playing in our very empty basement she decides that she no longer wants to play and instead she wants to watch “Mickey Mouse Cub House.” And so she hops up on the couch and starts saying over and over “Mickey Mouse Cub House.” As a mom who wants to limit the TV time, I said no and told her she needed to come off the couch to play with mommy and daddy. She didn’t like my answer and decided to tell me again “Mickey Mouse Cub House Mommy.” At this point George had to cover his face so she wouldn’t see him laughing while I was disciplining. Abbey then shouted to George, “Daddy, I see you!” And then we were done, the laughing from the both of us was uncontrollable at that point. Although, we didn’t watch the show but did play. Mommy/Daddy 1 – Abbey 0Abbey and Mommy

{Abbeyism #2}

Goofing around on Sunday morning after Abbey had  woken up and still had her binky in her mouth (we are on a limit of naps and bedtime only as we further attempt to wean her from her binky time) and she had been snuggling with mommy and daddy. She pulled up my shirt and shared her binky with Squishy. Of course she thinks Squishy lives in my belly button and attempts to push the binky in my belly button or she will try to tickle Squishy and basically shoves her finger in my belly button. Awww sibling love!

{Abbeyism #3}Abbey tantrum

After taking Ab to the zoo for some Abbey and Mommy time (which we had a BLAST), we were getting in the car and Ab said to me, “I have fun momma.” Serious heart melter! I need to remember these sweet moments when she is sitting at the dinner table crying for 20 minutes over the last bite of food I want her to eat! That is a whole different story with the bottom line of mommy and daddy winning so I guess the score is now Mommy and Daddy 2 – Abbey 0. OH trust me friends, she wins a LOT! Did you see my Facebook post about the $9.00 pumpkins for her and Bubby? Yea, there was a lot of “Pease Momma” going on that day!

{Abbeyism #4}

Post Loveland Bike Trail PhotoComing home from a fun day Sunday of a couple miles in the Loveland bike trail (11.5 which is damn good for a prego) and dinner at The Works (not good by the way) we were in the car trying to keep Abbey awake. It was only 7:00pm and I wanted to make sure she got a bath when she got home and didn’t want her to fall asleep just to wake her up because she never would have gone down at descent time. So Abbey and I were bantering back and forth and I would yell back to her in a funny voice, “NO SLEEPING!” and she would yell it back to me and giggle. But one time after I yelled the “NO SLEEPING” she muttered under her breath, “Oh god.” Umm what? I had to correct her with, you mean “gosh.” Where does she learn this… ahem, George, I mean, I dunno.

Baby Herron Has a Nickname

When I was pregnant with Abbey we didn’t have a nickname for her. It was simply “Baby Herron” until the day we found out that “baby” was going to be our sweet Abbey Road.

This time it is oh-so-different because of Abbey. Baby Herron already has a nickname and is called this name affectionately by it’s older sister. Baby Herron is now referred to as “Squishy” or “Baby Squishy.” keep-calm-and-love-squishy

Sunday morning, as most weekend mornings now, started with Abbey kissing my belly and then poking my belly button and saying, “morning Squishy” and then gave my belly a kiss and sweet hug with her sighing, “awww momma.” Of course my heart melted a million times over for that sweet moment.

The name is  already catching on, when we went to Grandma and Papa Herron’s house last night Papa started referring to the baby as “Squish” and telling Abbey that she gets one rocking chair and Squish gets the other when they visit. As you see, Dora in Finding Nemo claimed that a ocean creature would be called Squishy and a really cute line from the movie was created. Perhaps we can find Abbey a big sister t-shirt with this line on it {or I’ll just make one}.

As much as I can’t wait to find out if we are having a girl or boy I’m at least happy to not refer to the baby as “IT” even if it is an odd nickname, it is still cute. I’m guessing no matter what we name the baby, Abbey will ultimately have the final say in what the baby will actually be called!

Did your baby-to-be have a nickname?

The Most Important Meal of the Day, #Breakfast

My little one has always been a good eater, I’m lucky and I know this lovely fact. Breakfast is no different but there was always this need to literally have the exact same thing every morning – 3 mini pancakes, fruit and yogurt. I really hated the fact that I was feeding my kid yucky microwave pancakes every morning and tried making her french toast with the best organic eggs and wheat bread. The response to the french toast was NO. How about I make blueberry pancakes since I have a connection to the very best blueberries in the tristate? The response to the gluten free blueberry pancakes was okay for the first few days then she went back to the yucky pancakes.

Just recently we have been saying NO to the pancakes, win for mommy! But crap, what do I feed her now?

This morning we tried Fruit-O’s and milk. A real bowl of cereal and milk for my big girl!

Cereal and Milk #Breakfast

Cereal and Milk #Breakfast

Cereal and Milk #BreakfastI think it is safe to say that Fruit-O’s and Milk was a big HIT for my little bed-head girl this morning. I do think it is funny that she automatically knew to just tip the bowl to finish the delicious milk at the end of a nice bowl of cereal.

What do you feed your growing toddler for breakfast? I’m assuming this won’t last long and I’ll need more ideas fast!