Ready for Cincinnati Reds Baseball Season!

At The Herron Nest, we are ALL ready for some Cincinnati Reds baseball! So much, that the new Cincinnati Reds hat (George recently picked up for his baseball fantasy draft night), is now the new favorite toy for Abbey. Thought I would share the picture and give in to the Cincinnati Reds baseball fever that everyone else in this town is feeling too. Can you believe that people actually sit outside the Great American Ballpark in the cold waiting to purchase tickets for Opening Day, April 1st? Apparently there are only 1,500 tickets available and you can start camping out at 9am on March 22nd. NO THANKS! We’ll just wear daddy’s hat and giggle around here.

Abbey and Daddy playingAnd yes, George is wearing Abbey’s headband. But really, it is only fair because she stole his Cincinnati Reds hat!

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One Month Till One Year

When did my baby start turning into a toddler? Maybe it was when she started getting her two bottom teeth. Or maybe it was when she started walking at almost 10 months old. But today for sure when she started saying “Ugh-oh” and “Oh yeah” while walking around the living room and kitchen only stopping to see me for the occasional bite of our shared banana.

Not only is Abbey turning into a toddler but she is becoming so independent during the journey out of “babyhood.” She has such a great mix of George and my personality. Outgoing, talkative, independent, spoiled and a bit stubborn (you can decide which character trait belongs to who). She is trying new foods, loves to hear herself sing (or screech), gives herself kisses in the mirror, gives great kisses to mommy, daddy and the occasional stranger, loves her dog, boy cousins and all her care-givers, keeps us entertained and keeps herself entertained by reading books, playing with wooden spoons or hugging one of her baby dolls. I’m ready for my baby to turn one but I’m going to cherish every little moment of “babyhood” for the next 30 days!

Here are a few pictures of Abbey at 11 months old:

10 Months Old and Walking

{Abbey is 10 Months Old}

The first year of a baby’s life is quite far the most exciting (so I’ve heard) with many new things happening ALL-THE-TIME! You read about the first year developments and of course you are reminded of each stage at each pediatrician check up but experiencing it all is quite mind-blowing. Abbey has always been “on-track” with development but it literally seems like she went from being completely non-mobile to sitting up on her own, crawling, standing and now walking in about three short months. How does that happen? How can it go so fast?

Here is Abbey walking (toddling) the other night. I stopped the video short because she started to grab dog hair, which is a never ending battle at the house.

{What else at 10 months?}

Abbey still only has the two bottom teeth but she is constantly putting objects in her mouth to gnaw on so perhaps more teeth are on the way. Items on Abbey’s favorite chew-toy list include;  her binki, teether ring, and her crib! OY, that child has been grinding and sharpening her teeth on the crib for weeks now and I really just don’t know how to get her to stop. Any ideas? It is so bad that I’m actively looking for bits of wood in her diapers! George thinks that she is part beaver and uses the crib to sharpen her teeth. I hope she isn’t planning to create a dam in the house.

Kisses by Abbey are pretty much the best thing in my world right now but they are pretty scary for George because he is already thinking of Abbey and boys! She gives a kiss with her mouth wide open and occasionally sticks out her tongue. George has already threatened 5-year old Owen who lives up the street. George told Owen (after he was playing with Abbey one night) that he wasn’t allowed to be near our house and that George was watching him. Owen of course wasn’t thinking about Abbey the way George was eluding so Owen responded with, “you aren’t being very nice.” Too funny!

Now that Abbey’s interest in crawling has decreased and the interest in walking has increased there is now way socks are lasting on her feet for long periods of time. When she is home I don’t mind as much and love watching her toddle around barefoot but what do you do when you are out? I don’t want her to be barefoot at a restaurant or other public places but do you just use socks and if she wants to get down and walk you let her do it in just the socks? The germ-a-phobe in me is slightly freaking out about that thought right now. Any ideas here would also be helpful.

9 Month Old Abbey Road

P.S. this is the best toy EVER and a great grab at a local garage sale for 8 bucks.

{Check up on Abbey}

Abbey had her 9 month well check up today with our amazing pediatrician, Dr. Somsak. We had a great appointment and of course have all the latest stats on our baby girl. Abbey is weighing in at 19.5 lbs and is 28 inches long and as I’m typing this I’m realizing how much she’s going to hate me for having all this information and pictures online for all her future boyfriends and husband to see. OH how I love technology!

{What’s up with Abbey}

  • Finally two bottom teeth are peaking their way out (discovery credit to my Aunt Sue Martin!!).
  • Loves having raspberry wars with daddy.
  • Saying “dada” and “momo” and something that resembles “dog”
  • walks when you hold her hands.
  • Her favorite toy is the Fisher Price one shown in the picture above but she also loves her mirror and wooden spoons.
  • She’s eating chunky foods and snacks and recently tried avocado (she thought it was okay) and has bites of mommy’s banana each morning.

    Peeking around the corner after climbing up to stand, so proud of herself

  • Crawling has now turned into complete mobility all around the house.
  • She is pulling herself up on kitchen chairs, the couch and pretty much anything that is stable enough within her reach (yes, that includes the dog who is no longer safe).
  • Balancing herself in a crouched position,
  • Abbey gives the best kisses, of course it is completely open-mouthed and super slobbery (beware future boyfriends and husband).
  • Abbey gives her two older boy cousins a run for their money as she lovingly attacks their hair whenever she sees them. George calls this “aggressive love.” Future boyfriends and husband don’t need to read this part!

{Coming soon}

Since Abbey has great role models that are walking or beginning to walk, I’m thinking that she will pick up on it quickly. Her ability to fall gracefully (something her mother never learned) will come in handy as she starts to practice walking by herself. Once she gets her balance we’ll be adding  bubble wrap all over the house as our new decor.

Lastly, her ONE YEAR birthday party is now just around the corner! I have already started thinking about the theme and what I’m going to do for this amazing day. I just need to find a place big enough for family and friends to celebrate, Beatles themed of course!

Here are a few more pictures of Abbey at 9 months old, getting her still was quite a challenge!

My little froggie using her sippy cup like a big girl

Checking out one of her favorite books with Aunt Sarah, Uncle CJ and cousin Henry

One of my favorite Abbey pics at my favorite spot to see sunflowers. Beautiful picture taken by my talented photographer cousin, Gayle Rothmeeler.

Madness on the Weekends

I’m sure like many other families with both parents working, the weekends become madness with cramming all family time into just 2 short days. Our family is no different except for the fact that my family includes me! I want to do so much that I’m literally dragging George and Abbey all over the place and come Sunday night we are all extremely exhausted. Luckily we are all having fun and creating great memories together. Here are some highlights of a typical Herron Nest weekend. 

Friday:

  • Dinner out at McAlister’s
  • Ice cream with Grandma and Grandpa Bird to celebrate 39th wedding anniversary
  • Shopping at Carter’s for Abbey (spoiled by above grandparents!)

Saturday:

  • Started the day with a morning run
  • Head downtown to wait in line for Bengals practice tickets
  • Brunch at Taste of Belgium in OTR
  • Meet up with old co-worker and his wife to play at Washington Park
  • Head home for Abbey’s nap while I weed the front garden
  • Cousin and kids pop over for lunch and play with Abbey and George and friend go to Bengals practice
  • Aunt Jami came over to spoil and watch Abbey crawl
  • Met up with friends and their kids out for dinner at El Pueblo’s
  • Came back to the house to give everyone a tour of Kat’s amazing remodeled home (totally HGTV looking)
  • The kiddos played at our house
  • And then everyone went to bed!

Sunday:

  • Clean up around the house
  • Laundry
  • Abbey nap time = George and Jesy get things done or nap a bit (LOVE naps by the way)
  • Laundry again
  • Pool time
  • Dinner
  • More Laundry
  • Abbey gets a bath
  • Put Abbey to bed
  • And more laundry
  • THEN CRASH!

As George and I have said, this is what its all about. Feeling exhausted on Sunday knowing that we had a great weekend filled with lots of Abbey playtime and getting some stuff around the house. I know that we are not the only ones that jam-pack our weekends but I’m also curious as to how the rest of you balance family life. How often and when do you and your significant other do date nights? What is your typical weekend like? Maybe we are the only ones that go 100 miles per hour from 6:00p Friday night to 8:00p Sunday night. Any and all comments welcome!

Abbey the Convict

Look at her, all sweet and innocent. It’s exactly what she WANTS you to think.

Awwwwww, isn’t she cute?  Isn’t she a sweet ball of innocence and sweetness glazed with adorableness?  She’s so playful and cuddly that it almost makes you diabetic!  She is entering a phase now where she likes to screech and scream at everything, which for right now is cute, but I can see it becoming a problem since we always laugh at it.  But how can you not laugh and smile at this little ball of cuteness?  She’s an angel….right?

FALSE.

As most of you know Abbey is the light of our lives, the apple of our eyes, but she is NOT all that sweet and innocent.  I will even go a step further and tell you that she is a hardened criminal in the making.  Hard to believe I know, she conceals it well in front of others, just like any sociopath but if you can catch her alone, she forgets to act nice and gentle.  As I was playing with her the other day I noticed some odd and disturbing behavior that I thought that I should share.  This isn’t the liberal media here folks, I am fair and present you with all the facts, and the fact is that if Abbey were 18 she would be likely spending the rest of her life in jail.  From what I saw she not only will be in prison, but they might not let her in general population once there!

I rest my case your honor. Abbey has Dolly in a pile driver while eating her foot.

So here is how the story goes, and you won’t hear an alternative since Abbey can only screech and scream at this point.  Yes you heard me screech and scream, there is no “inside voice” with her.  So I was pushing her in her little swing, just having a splendid time when I thought that she might be getting bored.  Of course she was, she has the attention span of a gnat and she was having to stare at my ugly mug for the last 15 minutes.  So being the nice father I am I reached over and found one of her favorite toys, or so I thought, and gave it to her.  It is a little doll that if squeezed in the right place will light up and play music.  Abbey’s seemingly innocent and cute face lit up immediately upon seeing her toy.  I handed it to her and then could only sit and watch in frozen horror.

She punished that doll like Jeffrey Dahmer would have punished his kids.  She took “Dolly” by her arms, legs and even head and flailed her all about.  Bashing her face and body into anything and everything she possibly could with clearly little to no regard for Dolly.  Then, as if that wasn’t enough, she started to eat Dolly.  Eat her hands, eat her feet, hell anything she could get in her mouth she would eat.  You would have thought Dolly was a Jeff Ruby steak.  It was appalling to watch.  And finally after munching on all Dolly’s extremities she simply tossed her aside like garbage.  Dolly almost looked sad laying there in a pool of drool that could have just as easily been blood.  I mean thank God she didn’t have any weapons, could you imagine what kind of brutality this child could bring with any wort of weapon?!

It was bad enough to have had to witness this whole ordeal, but to see Abbey’s face the entire time was enough to turn my stomach.  She was smiling, not only smiling but laughing, hysterically.  Like it was some twisted game that she had won.  Like this massacre was fun for her.  And to think she loved Dolly, what would she have done to a stuffed friend that she actually didn’t like?  And what is she capable of in the future?  I sat there staring at her in disbelief, she just smiled coyly as if to say, “step out of line old man and you are next.”  GULP.  I feel threatened by my 5 month old.

So let’s do that math, had she been 18 what could I have expected for prison sentence?

  • Assault – Since this is a first time offense (That I know of) probably 2 years.
  • Murder – 10-25 years with a chance of probation after 10.
  • Cannibalism – Would have to be the icing on the cake.  This should get her life for sure with no chance of parole.

Is this what the future holds for my sweet baby girl?

Well the proof is in the pudding.  If Jesy and I can’t get a handle on this thing we are looking at having to pay for court costs, attorney fees and bail for a really long time.  I guess the only bright side is that we probably won’t have to worry about college or a wedding to pay for anymore.

New Parents Money Saving Tip: The Diaper Bag

See, he can't even carry the bag over his shoulder. Of course his shoulders are the size of two small planets, so that might be a factor.

In case you don’t know this already, babies are expensive.  Even before they peak their little cone-shaped head out of your wife’s who-ha they are costing you a fortune in new furniture for the nursery, clothes, diapers, doctor visits and ultrasounds.  Seriously, if you aren’t sitting in the delivery room thinking you might have just gotten “Madoffed” then something is wrong.

Today I  have something that will help elevate a chunk of that national debt that you seem to be compiling.  I was shocked to see how much the baby stores were charging for diaper bags.  They are astronomical!  And for what?  A bag!  Don’t believe me, look at some prices.

BuyBuy Baby:

Did you see any bags for less than $30?  Hell no.  As a matter of fact if you clicked on the link you probably found that most of the bags cost over $100!  Seriously?  It’s not like Louis Vuitton or Coach are making these bags, no it is Eddie Bauer and the like, or the B listers of bag making.

I like how BuyBuy Baby had a “bags for dad’s” section.  Although if you look closely none of the bags are manly at all, other than the backpacks.  Seriously, throwing some camouflage pattern on a diaper bag doesn’t make it manly, isn’t that right Vin Diesel? It just makes for a terrible movie.

But don’t worry I’m not just going to pick on BuyBuy Baby, let’s take a look at Babies R Us and see if they have any better options.

Babies R Us:

See, just more of the same.  Insanely over priced bags simply because it is a “baby bag”.  And again I hope you noticed the “bags for dad’s” section was a bunch of neutral colored (not pink) bags or bags with camo or some other “manly” design like guitars and such.  Are they marketing to men or 10-year-old boys?  Or do marketers think that’s what men are, 10-year-old boys?  Where is Frued when you need him?

The only other place that I thought to really look was Target.  And they were certainly better, but still over priced if you asked me.  So what did we go with?  What is this brilliant idea that saved us a ton of money?  Well, it took a combined effort from several sources but we decided to go off the grid for a diaper bag. We knew we wanted a backpack.  My brother-in-law, Matt, got a backpack and it is just so much easier and is the most manly looking of all the bag styles out there.  You can call them totes, messenger bags or even satchels if you are an Indiana Jones fan, but that doesn’t make them any more manly looking.  A backpack never slips off your shoulder when you are carrying a baby in a car seat and the ten million other items you always need when traveling with your baby.  And lastly the backpacks seemed to have the most room for everything.

Since we were sold on the idea of a backpack did we really have to get a “baby backpack”?  Hell no!  Thanks to Jesy’s cousin, Kat, we realized that any old backpack would do and that even some sports bags would work great since they always had multiple pockets for your sports equipment.

The winner! Coincidentally it's the Victory Backpack by Under Armour.

Being sold on the idea, Jesy and I went to the Prime Outlets in Monroe and hit up the Under Armour store for a backpack.  Eureka!  We found exactly what we were looking for and didn’t spend over $20!  The prices on the website are a little higher, but if you go to the outlet store you can find some damn good deals.  But not only was price a factor we got way more room in the Under Armour bag than we got with any of the leading backpacks that the baby stores were selling.

  • Typical baby backpack – 13.75 x 17 x 6.5
  • Under Armour bag – 18 x 12.75 x 9.25

So to all you soon to be, or new parents out there, don’t waste your money on a product that isn’t what you really NEED.  Take an Andrew Jackson and go up to Monroe and get something that you will really be happy with.  And while you are there you can see the progress on the new Giant Jesus, bonus!

And no I wasn’t paid by Under Armour, but I really feel like I should have been.

You’re welcome Under Armour, if you want to throw me some free merch I will not object.