Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Girlfriend Is Ready For The Zoo

Red, White, & Blue And Zebra Print Too!

We had a FaBuLoUs Monday hanging out with friends.  
Abby and AJ played all day as Mommy got to craft with a friend!
Check out Abby & Ashley in all their matching cuteness! 
(AJ stayed in his train pajamas all day.)

When I didn't find a skirt or bottoms I loved for Girlfriend's 4th of July, I decided to make my own...so 6 yards of tulle and a couple pieces of elastic later...
Abby & Ashley are ready for the 4th!
& although we imagined an afternoon splashing around in the kiddie pool on the deck...the kids had a different plan...the pool lasted about 3 minutes...
After our friends left I decided to conquer a new project for Abby to wear on our family trip to the zoo.
Of all the things I have ever made for Abby, this is my favorite!
She shall have tiered skirts in every fabric in my stash...
Check out Kuky Ideas for a great Tiered Skirt Tutorial.
I can't wait to try her shirred dress tutorial soon!
Better run...AJ woke up mumbling, "go to zoo...see nanimals."
When asked what nanimals he would like to see he enthusiastically replied, "ebras & ippos!"
(notice he didn't say eacocks...ha!"

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Hanging Around Our House, Recipes, & Paper Crafting

We spent Saturday afternoon finally hanging up some fun projects that were completed long ago.  I am so excited that they are now where they belong!

Here is a before pic of a free shelf I got at a yard sale and a fun welcoming hello I received as a gift from a friend.  I fell in love with both of them and knew they had potential to help warm up our hallway entrance!
Here is the fabulous after!  What a perfect greeting when you walk in the door.  Soon our family picture will also adorn our new shelf!  I am so happy with how this turned out!
Andy wasn't done hanging up there...he also put up the curtain tie backs in our bedroom!  Now we can enjoy the summer sunlight!
He was on a roll...so I had him put up AJ's Douglas bear rack that I painted way back when.
I love to see the quilts up in his room!
AND before Andy could put the drill and level away, 
I had him put up our fun silhouettes from Little Bit Funky!  
I am so thrilled with how these turned out!  
I find reasons to go down the hall just to look at them!

For dinner on the deck, I made homemade Triple-Citrus Mojitos from this little kit I received from a student as an end of the year gift.
Wow!  Talk about a fabulous teacher gift!
Keep reading for the recipe!
Triple-Citrus Mojitos 

1/2 cup sugar
1/2 cup water
1 package (.75 oz) fresh mint leaves (about 1 & 1/4 cups leaves), divided
1 orange
2 lemons, divided
2 limes, divided
1/2 cup white rum (optional)
5 cups chilled lemon-lime soda

1.  Combine sugar and water in microwave safe bowl.  Tear six mint leaves in half and place in pitcher; set aside.  Finely chop remaining leaves and place in bowl with sugar/water.  Zest orange, one of the lemons and one of the limes; add zest to mint/sugar/water mixture.  Microwave on high 2-3 minutes or until sugar is dissolved.
2.  Slice orange, both lemons, both limes in half crosswise.  Reserve half of one lemon and half of one lime for garnish.  Juice remaining lemon and lime halves; add juices to pitcher.  Juice orange & add juice to pitcher.
3.  Pour mint mixture through strainer into pitcher; discard chopped mint and zest.  Add rum, if desired.  Carefully add soda.  Slice reserved lemon and lime; place into pitcher.  

To garnish rims of glasses, rub with lemon or lime to moisten and dip into sugar.

Andy also got out the Fry Daddy again for these fabulous Corn Fritters.  
The recipe is below.

Corn Fritters

8 and 1/2 oz. can creamed corn
8 and 3/4 oz. can corn (drained)
2 eggs, beaten
1/2 tablespoon baking powder
7 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
oil for deep frying

Combine first 5 ingredients; mix well.  Drop by tablespoons into hot oil; heat until golden.  Turn and heat other side until golden also. 

And although I do not have a picture of this one, but while we are on recipes...
here is a super fabulous yet super easy dessert I made for a crafting day at a friend's house today.  I highly recommend this one:

Chocolate-Cherry Crunch

Two 14 & 1/2 oz. cans cherry pie filling
19.8 oz. pkg. fudge brownie mix (not prepared)
1/2 cup chopped pecans
1 cup quick-cooking oats, uncooked
3/4 cup margarine, melted

Pour pie filling in the bottom of an ungreased 13 by 9 inch baking pan; set aside.  Blend remaining ingredients together until coarse crumbs form; sprnkle over pie filling.  Bake at 350 degrees for 30 minutes.  

I just couldn't wait to bust out these new chandelier stamps and summery pattern papers I bought last week!  A kid-free crafting afternoon was just what I needed!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Snack Strategy

Something I have learned about AJ

 If there are two snacks and you really want snack B, use this strategy:

 Offer AJ snack A (To which he will refuse it)

 Offer AJ snack B (To which he will refuse it & grab snack A instead)

This works 9 times out of ten…

The part where it gets tricky is…

probably 7 times out of ten…he will finish snack A and then demand snack B…hopefully you haven’t eaten your desired snack B those 7 times…or you better have a very appealing snack C…

Thursday, June 25, 2009

From 5:28 to 11:02

5:28 AJ rolls over and requests, “milk please?”  Everything is foggy…his voice is slightly muffled…I must be dreaming…it can’t be morning yet.

 5:29 AJ pokes me in the ear and kicks me in the side screaming, “MILK PA--LEA--SE!”  Okay, this is not a dream…he is really waking me up at 5:30 in the morning on one of my very few days of “summer break”. 

 I try to convince AJ to watch TV so I can sleep some more…I mean Abby isn’t even up yet…

 5:38 Fumble out of bed very groggy, attempting to shake myself awake enough to walk safely down the stairs and get AJ a damn…I mean…a nice, cold glass of milk.

 Why won’t my left eye open up…is revolting against getting up…no use of my left eye lid?...This can’t be good.

 5:45 Admit defeat and realize AJ really is up for the long hull…try to find clothes that look clean enough to wear...

 5:47-5:57 Fight with AJ about going potty IN THE POTTY.  Give up without success…return to the kitchen.

 5:58 AJ decides on his own that he needs to potty and pees in the potty!  What?!  Does it really matter if I ask him or if he thinks it is his idea.  (and yes I gave my child candy at 5:58am for using the potty)

 6:00 Greet Abby with a warm bottle

 6:02 AJ bursts into Abby’s room, startling her half to death, demanding a bowl of cereal…why didn’t I just make a bowl of cereal when I got his milk?...Mommy is not firing on all cylinders today.  This could be a long day…

 6:15 Try to convince AJ that hanging off the side of the glider and yelling about going to the park is not helping Abby focus on drinking her bottle and we cannot leave until she is finished eating.  AJ hides under Abby's crib.

 6:25 Abby finishes bottle, gets new diaper, and dressed for the day.

 6:26 AJ resurfaces from under the crib, grins and says, “park please.”  (I was kind-a hoping he would forget about the that.)

 6:28 Surrender and get AJ dressed for the park.  He doesn’t even fight the sun block.  Load Abby into the stroller…grab a cold Dr. Pepper…because I feel I deserve it at this point.

 6:48 Attempt to convince AJ that his bike helmet is not a hat and that he doesn’t really need to wear it to the park.  Pull out of the garage to head to the park…with AJ wearing the bike helmet...

 6:55 Arrive at the park, console AJ about the fact that no other children are at the park YET and it is okay to play by himself.  Take pictures and email to dad and Aunt Jess.

 7:12 Head to the bigger park…hoping to find kids for AJ to play with.  Pass several joggers, dog walkers, and bikers wearing Body Bugs on their arms as I drink my Dr. Pepper and attempt to steer the stroller one-handed.

 7:22 Arrive at big park…no kids...  AJ plays. 

 7:25 AJ has that look on his face.  Mommy asks AJ if he needs to potty.  AJ says no…and proceeds to poop and pee in his pants.

 How do stay at home moms do this?

 7:26 I inform AJ that we have to go home now and clean up after his accident.  AJ requests to be carried….right…AJ gets mad at mommy for not carrying him and starts making a lovely whining sound...similar to how whales communicate as he baby steps down the sidewalk in a bow legged kind-of “I have a load in my pants waddle”.  I just smile and nod at passing joggers.  

 8:04 Finally arrive home…after a painfully long journey to get there. 

 8:05 Get Abby squared away in her swing, give AJ a bath.  Get AJ dressed for the second time today.

 8:30 Attempt to fold laundry. 

 8:33  Abby is crying…AJ playing in sand box.  Snuggle love Abby and get her a fresh diaper.

 8:55 Attempt to fold laundry again.

 9:00 Go back down stairs to discover Kallie eating the rest of AJ’s cereal...and that AJ has decided to move his sand box into the dining room floor by cup loads.  Start straightening up the kitchen…carefully selecting tasks that AJ will not undo in seconds flat.

 9:30 Throw a load in the washer.  The following conversation unfolds,

Me: AJ get off of Kallie, we do not ride Kallie like a horse.

AJ: Why? 

Me: Because Kallie is a dog and doesn’t like to have you sit on her.

AJ: Kallie tired, close eyes

Me: AJ stop laying on top of Kallie and do not poke her in the eyes.  She is not fond of your game.

AJ: Why?

Me: (no response...)

Oh dear God,  is it ever going to be 11:00?

 9:45 AJ returns to his sandbox (he pretty much lives in there during the summer) and I check my email.

 10:00 I turn on the curling iron to start getting ready to go to lunch with daddy. 

 10:03 Remember I need to feed Abby…unplug curling iron and make a bottle.

 10:07  Tell AJ to stop flicking Kallie in the ear.  Sit on couch to feed Abby. 

 10:08  Wonder why there is dog kibble in my couch…

 10:28 Abby finishes bottle.

10:30 Give Abby a bath.

 10:45 Change kids to go to lunch.

 10:52 Change my clothes to go to lunch, run a brush through my hair…

 10:59  Grab the diaper bag…darn near biff it slipping on sand in dining room floor…

 11:02  Pull out of the garage.

 And that was only half of my day…

Sunday, June 21, 2009

SuMmEr: Continuous Cause For Celebration

The hustle and bustle of June and July around our house could rival the Holidays...

June 2nd: my birthday
June 6th: Andy's birthday
June 18th: our wedding anniversary (5 years...wow)
June 19th: decided to reschedule family pictures (What were we thinking attempting these this week?!)
June 20th: hosted Prayer Group
June 21st: Father's Day
June 23rd: last day of school (594 grades entered with comments, many celebrations before, during, & after...not to mention the kids are spastically hyper right now)
July 1st: Inservice for new school year (already?!)
July 4th: duh...
July 6th: classroom orientation for parents (always a basket case preparing for this one...)
July 7th: first day of school (still don't sleep the night before...just like a kid...first day of school excitement never wanes)
July 16th: AJ's birthday (3 this year!  How did that happen?!...crap...need to start planning a Thomas party...)
July 30th: Uncle Matt's birthday

(When am I ever going to craft again?)

& thus...the blog neglect...

A bit late...

Last weekend, we ventured to the Farmer's Market (Saturday...only realize it was on Sunday, but returned with success Sunday)

Here are Andy & AJ enjoying our $17 lunch from a little stand...we only left with one tomato & a small bag of kettle corn after being robbed for a couple sandwiches, a hot dog, & some lemonade...but the memories are priceless...right?
For our 5th year wedding anniversary Andy surprised me with a dozen red & yellow long stem roses at school and The Melting Pot.  Don't worry...I ate until I thought I was going to throw up & enjoyed every second of it!
(I remember the weight of that bouquet darn near pulled my shoulder out of socket...I bet that thing weighed 20 pounds...& look at me...a good wind could have blown me right over that bluff...ha!  We will refer to those days as BK...before kids...when I could still shop in the Juniors section, & my life didn't center around coaxing a child to potty in the potty...not his pants while he is sitting in his sandbox...you get the idea...sand stuck to his Thomas shorts...dropping in clumps through the house as he goes to retrieve yet his fifth pair of shorts for the day...lovely.)

Who would have thought that five years later we would be blessed with a perfect little princess and a hyperactive little pre-schooler?
I think I have to accept that since he will be three next month and is technically enrolled in pre-school that he is no longer a toddler...tear...sniffle.

And here is our numéro uno daddy with Girlfriend today for Father's Day.
Andy made homemade funnel cakes 
(did you catch that?...
for Prayer Group yesterday...and again today...just because...

And to think, I thought he was crazy for wanting that Fry Daddy?!
And as with our Father's Day tradition, AJ & Abby each got daddy a new daddy book to read together.

Peace Out Friends! 

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Blessed Is The Swaddle

Since Abby was born she has l.o.v.e.d. her swaddle.
A good, snug "bambino burrito" swaddle, and she just couldn't overcome the overpowering desire to sleep.
As the last flap was tucked in, her eyes would drop closed.
Long naps and sleeping through the night are largely credited to the said sacred swaddle.

And just like that, I thought it was all over.
I thought my glorious days of the tranquilizing swaddle had come to an end...

Since Abby discovered her new ability to roll over, 
she wants the freedom and flexibility to move around.
The swaddle was suddenly frustrating her, as it was hindering her ability to, well, use her arms.

I wasn't about to give up that easily...
I can roll with the punches...
I introduce you to the 
 "modified swaddle".
Just as effective as the original "bambino burrito" swaddle.


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Our Day

AJ found the life vest in the basement & insisted on wearing it as he helped daddy fill up the pool this morning...
you know...just in case he fell in...
He got a little thirsty in the mean time...

After our failed attempt at going to the farmer's market(apparently it is on Sundays...oops), we decided to treat ourselves.
Oreo Blizzard for dad, Orange Julius for mom, & a sprinkle covered cone for AJ...everyone was happy!

Until AJ decided he was finished and bolted from Dairy Queen...where mom had to leave behind her Orange Julius & chase after AJ, sprinting down the sidewalk with Abby bouncing around in the sling...
apparently he IS strong enough to open the door by himself... 
I should know to never underestimate the strength or speed of my little escapee...

Here is the little man on an afternoon bike ride.  
(Notice the blocks on the pedals.)

Girlfriend in my favorite color!
Today I bought coordinating shirts for our family pictures we are getting at the end of next week.  I can't wait!!! I am SO excited!  It will be our first professional photo shoot!  I have lists of picture ideas!  I already have frames for our pictures...that are yet to be taken...
Our color scheme is inspired by one of my favorite Abby dresses I received as a gift from a student...it is pink & yellow!  YELLOW!  Can you believe I am getting our pictures done with yellow as our coordinating color?!  It is a daring color to center our pictures around...I know...but it is SO me!

I have to admit that I got a little distracted on my shopping trip
(imagine that?) 

Abby ended up with her first pair of jellies...they even have glitter infused in them!  
I'm sure you couldn't have passed them up either...

I won't mention the 4th of July outfits I got for the kids...or the Father's Day outfit I got Abby...& I'll never admit how much I spent on my new shirt...


Here is Girlfriend sporting a bracelet that one of my students made her.
I might talk about my kids a little at school...just maybe...

Peace out friends!  Have a great weekend!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Andy's Birthday & Pics As Promised

Today was Andy's 28th birthday.  Happy Birthday Honey!  We love you!

We celebrated with a fun summer dinner out on the deck.  
I made fresh squeezed lemonade.  Yum!
Here is the Birthday Boy himself...
For dessert Andy grilled fresh pineapple & topped it with ice cream & an orange glaze.  
& finally I bring you pictures of Girlfriend's first experience with rice cereal...

She looked a little concerned at first...
Then just ticked off...
But to sum up her overall opinion on her new culinary experience she said this:

Thursday, June 4, 2009

29 On Tuesday

I turned 29 on Tuesday & in honor of my birthday I am going to gift you with 29 random but oh so truthful things about me.  Enjoy!  & I promise rice cereal pictures are to come...one day... 

  1. The preferred volume level on my car radio is 32…and that is only because it won’t go any louder…I like it when you can see the windows vibrate.
  2. I eat all of one kind of food on my plate before I start another…for example I eat all of my green beans, then move on to eat all of my rice, then move on to eat all of my chicken…
  3. As a child I was deathly afraid of cats…to tell the truth…they still kind-a creep me out…a little.
  4. My favorite number is 4…seriously.
  5. If you haven’t noticed yet, my favorite form of punctuation is the ellipsis…
  6. I have an addiction to Dr. Pepper…& blogging.
  7. I pick my cars out based on appearance, but the deal breaker is the cup holders.
  8. If I were filthy rich, I would own a car to fit different moods.  A black Hummer for when I felt cranky & aggressive, a cream convertible Bug for when I felt whimsical, a solar yellow Extera for when I felt young…
  9. I can’t sleep in socks unless I’m suffering from hypothermia.
  10. I laugh when people fall down…no matter how inappropriate it is…I just can’t help myself.
  11. I love the smell of suntan lotion.
  12. I can’t watch a movie or read a book more than once.
  13. Ear wax really freaks me out…I once broke up with a boyfriend in high school purely because he had ear wax…I shutter just thinking about it…gross.
  14. I’m a Mac & Andy’s a PC, but I love him regardless.
  15. I always have to fold the tag on the inside of the washcloth, towel, or dishtowel…always.
  16. People that only drive the speed limit annoy me…sorry…but it is true.
  17. I don’t know my own cell phone number…
  18. I absolutely loathe the phrases “all in all” and “what not”…in fact in my mind your intelligence level goes down a notch when you use such gut wrenching language.
  19. I appreciate when people can make fun of themselves.
  20. Smiley faces instantly agitate me…not sure what that is rooted from…
  21. I like to dance when no one is looking…
  22. I love the smell of watermelon bubble gum, but not so much the taste.
  23. If I didn’t have to work, I would still work at least part time as the drive thru lady at Starbucks.
  24. I think President Obama is good looking.
  25. I hate to put gas in my car…dust…and iron.
  26. My favorite subject to teach is writing.
  27. I live for telling a good story.
  28. I can’t watch TV with any lights on or go to the movies during the daytime.
  29. I hate the new car smell.  (& to this my sister said she didn’t know if we could be friends anymore…)


Monday, June 1, 2009

Operation: Photo Recovery

I so eagerly anticipated Abby's 4 month wellness check-up today, knowing that our pediatrician would give us the go ahead to don the adorable pink monkey bib & pink spoon to feed her rice cereal for the first time!  I'm not going to lie, it was good to know that she was healthy...BUT I was really just interested in getting the green light to pull out the high chair & gourmet Gerber rice cereal & take lots of pictures!   

Not so sure Abby enjoyed this milestone as much as I did...

I would show you all the fabulous, funny pictures...
oh...the files were corrupt...C.O.R.R.U.P.T!  
Want to rain on my parade?...Want to really tick me off?...
just take away my ability to document a first with pictures.

I flipped out.
I nearly threw my SD card out the back door in the rain just to show it who was boss.
I was on the brink of a serious meltdown when I tearfully went downstairs to tell Andy of our loss.

To which he replied, "You didn't destroy the card did you?"
(My husband knows me all too well...of course I didn't destroy the card.  I just thought about destroying it...really hard.)  

So here is the picture I have to share with you tonight:
This is Andy's computer on the left with the recovery software doing whatever it does to save my pictures (apparently the software only works on a PC), 
my computer on the right...just so it doesn't feel left out or inferior, 
& my comfort food after such a nearly fatal photo catastrophe.  Nothing like drowning your sorrows, disappointment, & frustration in Dr. Pepper & Junior Mints smashed into mini pretzels.  Such a treat helped repress my urge to shove the SD card down the garbage disposal. 

Needless to say, the recovery efforts are only 61% complete.

Hopefully tomorrow I will be able to celebrate rice cereal pictures with you.