Sunday, January 31, 2010

Birthday Season

Tonight we celebrated W and M's birthdays with the family!
They may share a birthday but they refuse to share cakes!!
This year it was Belle. Don't look too close. It's not my best work but M was thrilled (and apparently Ev was ready to sing opera!) and that's all that matters!
Could they be any more excited to eat cake???

Happy early Birthday to my boy and my oldest girl. I love them!

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Portrait of a Contract Therapist

I carry three big, overloaded bags around to my sites.
The bags spill all over my trunk so there are always toys, cards and coloring books rolling around.
I'm always looking for good cards in the dollar bins that I can turn into speech tools.
I raid my girls' toys and coloring books and anything I can wash down and return to them later.
I travel to a daycare in my police man brother's side of town....
I eat lunch at the Sonic that gives previously mentioned brother the "creeps". The Sonic gives my police man brother the creeps? Then he explains that there was a shooting during a drug deal there last week. Okay, glad it's noon and not dark!
I lock all my belongings and anything that looks tempting from the windows in the trunk.
I sit on the carpet that I watch them mop, yes, mop the carpet, each afternoon.
I break out my worn, fraying Webber Artic Drill book that I'm so glad I took home that one day when Park Nicollet was throwing it out. It has saved me a ton of money!
I listen to the provider tell me that my kiddo is doing better-she sang along to "Shake the Devil off" last week-whatever happened to twinkle twinkle little star?
I get my next kiddo as her classmates yell out, "[kiddo], yo mama's here!"
I listen as the classroom next to ours starts blaring Michael Jackson because it's forty degrees, way too cold for Arkansans to have recess outside!
I watch as my kiddo breaks into dance yelling "bee-ya! bee-ya nie!" as "Thriller" comes on in the next room.

And I love my least one of them!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

the best cupboard in the house!

is the soap cupboard!!

At least at Grandma's house it is!

Do you have a soap cupboard? You should! It's where you keep your small hotel sample soaps. Don't think it can fill an entire cupboard?

Oh yes it can!

...and if you're seventeen months old and it's at your eye level, it is the best! You can mess up Grandma's pretty piles, unwrap them, move them all over the bathroom while your Mom is showering....

sounds like fun, eh?
LG thinks so :)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

LG shakes her thang!

We tried to upload this a month ago but our internets are too slow. Here's to hoping it works better on Mom's speedy computer!
This is our infamous snowman that makes my girls want to dance like it's 1999!

Monday, January 25, 2010


See that little piggie?
And it's cute little curl?
See both of them? The teeny piggies in the back?
Aren't they so cute?
Don't you just want to eat her??

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Froggy Diaper Bag

A friend from church asked me to make her a diaper bag. She is having a boy. I fell in love with this fabric. So I hope she does too!
And just to toot my own horn a bit, I lined the inside over the quilted batting I always use so that I could add pockets!! I love it and it's much more functional that way for all the "stuff" that moms carry!

Saturday, January 23, 2010


Here's what I love about this picture.
The boys are having fun.
They're wearing earrings and bracelets and fully embracing the fact that the point of the game is to get dolled up and move your sleeping beauty marker around the board until you're the prettiest princess, I mean, pirate.
And then there's my girl.
See her? The one on the right? The one who is obviously winning but still whining and crying?

My sister in law told me she heard a talk on Oprah or something about raising the dramatic child. I was mildly insulted at first. Not that I didn't know she was a drama queen, but that I hadn't fully embraced it as more than embarrassing to be raising a drama queen, but, well, embraceable.

Here are a few things I've learned in almost four years of parenting this dramatic child.

1. Pressure doesn't work.
It didn't work with potty training and "riding bikes" at the park ended in two grumpy parents and one whiny girl sitting on her bike begging for us to take off her helmet!

2. Enjoy the quirks, I mean perks!
It is totally okay to leave the house in one silver shoe and one black. In fact, be proud if one is a left shoe and one is a right. (but still ignore if they're on the wrong feet, that will come later!)
Also, the more layers (skirts) the merrier!

3. It IS worth crying over a movie, sucker, chocolate, temping princess, barbie or dress!
I might as well accept it and move on that we will break down and lose it over toys and treats. And that I will NEVER be fair. Oh well. She told me today that at her birthday party I should dress up as the stepmother. Well, that's me!

4. It is okay to lie to your child.
If you're telling your child that yes, all the other cousins are going home now when you have to go to bed. No, there is no more ice cream or chocolate in the house. Yes, Mommy and Daddy are going right to bed after you do.
It's just easier.

5. Always remember to ask what her imaginary husband wants to watch during quiet time.
I've tried telling her he doesn't exist. But he does in her world. So I've backed off to only jumping in when she tells me "he's kissing me too much" and talking about what's appropriate. I'm so doomed when she's a teenager!!

I'm sure I have many more lessons to learn. When I figure out how to be patient with her and help her to not lose it over, well everything, I'll let you know!

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

a box with a bow

I have a very cute friend.
She makes very cute things.
She's having a giveaway of her cute things.

We both used to live in Minnesota.
We both moved to the South.
I miss her and our girl's dinners.
In fact, I think I need a trip to Dallas.
Because that's where she and the Cheesecake Factory reside!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

A funny from one of my funnies

We were in the middle of a speech session.
We were writing sentences using adjectives.

Then my kiddo (fourteen year old with Autism and a major lisp) turns to me, puts a comforting hand on my shoulder, and says:
between you and me, don't go to Africa.
me: okay?
kiddo:it's because of the hippos (with the I-feel-sorry-that-you-don't-already-know-this look on his face)
me: the hippos?
kiddo: hippos eat people. and hippos run 30 miles per hour!


and then we went back to writing sentences.
so, take our advice.
never go to Africa.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Following in big sister's glass slippers...

this made my morning.
LG crawled out of her room, wearing an angel costume over her jammies.
she and big sis had been playing in their room happily all morning.
love, love, love it! especially from my jealous big sis!
i see crowns and sparkles in her future!

Friday, January 15, 2010

Celebrity Lullabies

This one is even funnier!

African Alphabet

I love Kermit!

Story Time

My girls love story time.
It's their special time with Dad. LG goes nuts and M goes nuts if she thinks she's missing it! :)

I'm pretty sure I posted a similar picture of M when she was this age.
It was just as cute.
gee, do you think she's related to her Dad??? :)

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Princess M

M has adored Hazel's Cinderella costume for months. Whenever we'd go over there, she would ask me if I thought Hazel would let her wear her Cinderella dress.

Thank heaven for after-Halloween clearance!

I think she likes it!

Monday, January 11, 2010

MBA Widow

School starts again tonight for my hubby.

He's such a trooper. He says he's nervous but I know he's going to do great! He was nervous last semester too and then he went and got straight A's!!!

Truth is, I'm nervous!

Both classes are live this semester (one was online last semester) so he will be physically gone two nights a week, every week. Plus he goes out with the missionaries every week, so that's three nights going solo for me and the girls.

I have checked out two seasons of Gilmore Girls from the library and I plan to do a lot of crafting and organizing after 7pm when the girls go down but I'll also need a lot of motivation!

We set goals to work out more but the options just shrank drastically with W being gone 3 nights out of seven. Plus, I have discovered that it's not very motivating to cook for two toddlers and yourself. chicken nuggets are just so much easier and crowd-pleasing!

Wish us luck! And you know where to find us on Mondays and Tuesdays! :)

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Mostly... M

M is still recovering from the fact that Grace left...again
she doesn't quite understand why Grace insists on going to college! she reminds me of Beth in "Little Women". "Why can't things just stay as they are?"
yes, she is this dramatic.
yes, all the time.
right now, she's also very emotional. if she's in trouble or upset, IT IS THE END OF THE WORLD!!! trust me
she loves to dress herself and comes up with some pretty crazy outfits.
the other day she stayed in her jammies all day. i didn't really care.
except her jammies consisted of long john-too short-flood jammies with a too-small-nightgown on top. nice!
today, she's wearing two skirts over leggings. multiple skirts are a must this season!
she climbs into bed with us every morning to "sleep" which usually ends up meaning wiggling while we're still trying to sleep, but i love my morning M snuggle.

she has completely given up naps and we're still trying to manage "quiet time". she will stay resting or watching a movie for a while but inevitably ends up just following me around! :)
she seems to be threatened by LG which I still haven't figured out how to solve. if she sees that LG is climbing all over me, she has to as well. if she sees me cuddling with LG, she immediately wants some too!
and her brown eyes make me melt!

Thursday, January 7, 2010

2 and 4, then 3, then turn

I was in my workout clothes when my husband came home from work.

I was so proud of myself. Dinner on the table, ready to work out as soon as the kids went down, I was going to install some of that self-love by making the trek to the embarrassingly close club house to use the treadmill.

Then the kids were crazy at dinner.
So I delayed my plan to help him get the girls down to bed.
And braving the frigid (for Arkansas and for being in workout clothes, remember) weather, I walked around the back of my building and across the parking lot (I told you it was close, and embarrassing how little we've been there for how long we've lived here!)
The code didn't work.
I tried and tried and talked myself through it in the cold and dark, crying that it was so hard to do this for myself. Why couldn't it be easy when I was actually making a move toward doing this. Exercising!
I came home, flopped on the bed in a puddle of tears.
So W went out and found our neighbor who shed some light on the subject that the code had been changed.
He explained it was 2-1-4 at the same time, then three, then turn to the right. He dragged me off the bed and encouraged me to try again.
It didn't work. I called him, crying, frustrated, ready to give up, and had him repeat the directions again.
2 and 4, not 2-1-4. I tried to not get even more frustrated, but it still didn't work until the fifth try.
I got my nerves together in the lobby and went in and worked out for a surprisingly short half hour.
And now that I know how to get in, my hopes are that I will repeat the experience...but only the last try!

Lately... LG

my little miss just turned 16 months. i can't believe she's that old!

she's a funny bug who is mostly content with life but has had a nasty cold and a new sassy side came out! if she doesn't want something, she will shove it away and say "uh" like she's yelling no!

she nods her head and shakes her head quite appropriately. it's funny to me, you can ask her pretty much anything and she'll tell you how she feels about it!

she is not walking yet. our hometeacher has nicknamed her "scooter" which does sound better than "gimpy", i must admit!

she squeezes her eyes shut when she smiles. admit it, you want to kiss those cheeks!
she signs "more" for everything!!! "more" basically means: more, please, want, do it again, now, up, need, food, pacifier, you name it!
she does also say a few things when she's not busy grunting or growling at you! :)

she says: baby, ball, up, ma, more, "mam" which means pacifier and Sam, shoes, socks, sis, book
she put up with these jeans for the photo shoot but she complains about anything that squeezes her buddha belly and spends most days in yoga pants and robeez. she has destroyed the robeez that were her sister's. she better start walking or she's going shoeless soon!

her hair still curls when it's humid and i hope it keeps going but it has been so much straighter during the dry winter!
she loves to dance! she loves anything with music! if she hears any music, she immediately starts shakin' her butt!

she loves listening to music in the car and will complain (aka scream) until we turn some music on or I start singing to her.
her big blue eyes melt me!

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Christmas Love: Santa Came!

Have I mentioned how much I love creating Christmas for my kids? This was our first Christmas morning on our own and it was a wonderful, special morning! M was up early as usual and we actually had to wake up sleepyhead LG to join us!
The girls love the pop up princess-castle-tent and Cinderella has made it her new home. She wants to have sleepovers in it. hmm....
It wasn't my craftiest year. I did, however, manage to finally make some stockings. I'm hoping more are to come, coordinating with these. I may spruce these up more in the future too.
These are LG's angels. I copied the shape and size of the stockings that we had as kids. And then I made them like my bags, with quilted batting inside.
And these are M's gingerbread men.
I also made a cuter than cute apron for my sister in law. It was supposed to be from W, but he said he hired his seamstress to help him. I will get a picture because it is darling, if I do say so myself!
I did make some purses for W's sisters and I have some half made bags that haven't quite made it to Colorado yet...hopefully soon!
But I'm very proud of this creation. I had the girls paint handprints on scraps of fabric, then pieced together with light yellow sashing, quilted, and voila! A quilt of hugs for a grandma far away!
I'm even prouder of these creations. My girls are wonderful and wild and crazy but I love them!
Merry Christmas!

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

January Love

While I may not make yearly goals, I feel that I need some monthly goals to accomplish my "word of the year" or "word of my street".

1. Read from the Book of Mormon EVERY DAY!
This is easy for some of you.
This is unfamiliar for others of you.

And while I believe it's a necessary part of daily life, like water and air, I obviously have forgotten that of late. I've challenged my hubby to race me to the end in the hopes that a little competition will help us along in reforming these habits.

2. Make my bed a sacred place.
I don't mean this in a cheesy or dirty way, although a bit of that might not hurt either!
I mean, no more toys, no more kids making it their play ground. They have beds of their own!
I mean, more making my bed every day.
I mean, no more dumping of piles and junk to sit there only to be discarded elsewhere when we're too tired to take care of it at night.
It's a beautiful bed and it deserves more respect!

3. Re-organize the kids' room and my crafts.
This is a biggie. This is gonna bring me some love from the husband, big time! Whenever we clean out the girls room, something magical happens.
They play in it!!
Not in my living room!
And I have some ideas to make the most of our little rooms that need to happen.

4. Make something new with my brand-spankin-new serger!!!!!!!!!
Yes, yes, you heard that right!
I told my sweet hubby that he could combine my birthday, Christmas and anniversary into one and he did! And he totally hid it from me.
Can I tell you, I'm just a little bit excited????

5. Cook more than we have been.
I won't admit to you how little we've been cooking.
It sounds really disgusting to admit that I only made dinner once last week, until I remember that in the past seven days, we have eaten at my parents' house for six of them. Then I feel less guilty.
But there have been plenty of meals out too. And that has got to stop!

So, I know this isn't a grand list by any means. But it's a start. And now that you know about it, you can hold me accountable.

Monday, January 4, 2010

Jesus Wants M for a Sunbeam!

to shine for Him each day!
In every way try to please Him,
at home, at school, at play.
A Sunbeam!
A Sunbeam!
Jesus wants me for a Sunbeam!
A Sunbeam!
A Sunbeam!
I'll be a Sunbeam for Him!

Can she really be a Sunbeam already?
Yes!!! I cried. Is that sad? I'm so doomed when she goes to school!
She was so good!

She has a wonderful teacher who was sweet and kind to her and had a cute sun on her chair with her name on it. M wasn't so sure at first until sweet Sister Pierson told her that she had sugar cookies with sprinkles for a treat for later. And she had M hook, line and sinker!

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Happy New Year!

I'm still here!

We've been busy, sick, cold, and trying to enjoy a crazy holiday here! I promise pictures are coming soon. If I can just get the camera, my computer and the camera cord in same room then we'd be set!

I've never been much of a resolution girl. I used to work hard on them, I think goals are good, but I usually ended up quite disappointed. Sad, but true.

My sweet friend wrote that she is going to have a word of the year: Enjoy.

I love it. I would like to enjoy things more.

In the part of "Eat, Pray, Love" that I enjoyed (the middle part :)

"Don't you know that the secret to understanding a city and its people is to learn-what is the word of the street?" -Elizabeth Gilbert from "Eat, Pray, Love"

The word of my street might not be enjoy. I would like it to be tranquility. We've had too much tumult these past two years. But that might be too much to hope for. I wrote on Facebook that I wanted normalcy but got mocked for wanting things to be normal.

So, as cheesy as it is, I'm going to say LOVE.

I want more love.
I want to love myself more. There is a lot entailed in this part of my plan.
I want to love my husband more and remember all the wonderful things I married him for six years ago.
I want to love my kids more and show that with a lot more patience and kindness.
I want to love my friends more and let them know.
I want to love my job and I want to love every inch of my thousand square foot apartment.

which of course means getting it organized, so wish me luck! :)