Long Time No Blog!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Shew! It's been a crazy few weeks filled with holiday fun, a toddler who is getting bored, a fast and furious Squishy who came down with a virus two days before Thanksgiving, Christmas decorating, magic elves named "Santa" that fly home to the REAL Santa everynight, first words from the tyranical todfant, Christmas card photo-shoots, and soon to be swim class. So needless to say, I have about ten different blog posts started, and obviously not finished, on lots of things like a list of everything I don't want to forget about my babies while they are young, how I'm doing with the PPD/PPA, new years resolutions for 2012 and more. But all of that was put on the back burner for a bit so I could enjoy some holiday time with my family.

Here is a quick update though with some recent pictures of the little monsters babies.

I don't know what it is about the Christmas Card pictures that stress me out so much (part of it I thin is the anxiety) but I tried (and FAILED) to get some good pictures of the babies for our card this year. I came to find out very quickly that getting a good picture of Squishy is near impossible so I'll have to try again this weekend when I can call in some reinforcements. After bath time, and getting in a cute outfit and having the little guy do nothing but move and crawl and climb and knock stuff over, I gave up. I put him in some comfy clothes and let him play with a bow. This is what happened...

I know. Adorable.

I tried something a little more involved with Emma Kathryn and out of about fifty pictures, I got one usable one. Doh! Clearly I need to work on the photography skills. There are still several parts of this picture that bug me, but at least I got ONE semi-decent picture out of a weekend full of photography frustration.

Here is what the set up looked like before the picture. This was my first shot at taking a "Twinkle Light" picture so I have several lessons learned for next time. I'm not even going to try this with little Squishy seeing that in no time flat he will be ripping down the lights and chomping on them. Pooh Bear was a great subject. Maybe I'll put him on our Christmas card this year. This was actually in Emma's room along the wall where her crib normally is. I bought some super cheap lights, taped them to the wall (next time NOT using blue painters tape...photoshop nightmare). The light was coming in from the left side where Emma's windows are so that wasn't the best, but I tried to help with my speedlite which I don't really know how to use properly yet.

And if you are wondering...yes...Emma is dressed in her Christmas dress from last year because she is tiny and her size 12 month dress still fits. :)

And just because the naughty little one wouldn't sit for any type of set-up picture, I snapped a few more later during play time and still had to post this one. We are incredibly blessed with two happy babies.

This is what happens...

Monday, November 28, 2011

This is what happens when you tell a toddler that you signed her up for swim class again but that it doesn't start for two weeks.

After bath time, you spend the rest of the night prancing around in your bathing suits...all at once. That would be my Emma Kathryn, fashionista extraordinaire, with four bathing suits on and striking one mean pose.

Fashion week....here.we.come.

An Open Letter to My Babies

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

To My Babies...

After the craziness of the day is done, after dinner is over, after bath time and bottles are done for the night and as you are playing for that last half hour before bedtime, I can't help but think about what life will be like for you as you grow up. I start to wonder what you will be like as you get older and if I am going to be the great Mommy that you need and deserve. Am I going to be able to instill in you, the values that my parents have instilled in me? Am I going to be able to provide the unconditional love and support that you need? Am I going to be enough for you? Only time will tell.

The other night, I started to think about what I want for you in your future. Even though I came up with a lot of different things, most of all, I want you to be happy.

I want you to be happy with yourselves. I want you to be happy with the life that you are living. I want you to be happy with whatever decisions that you have made in your lifetime. I want you to feel fulfilled, just like I do because God chose you two to be my babies. There are millions of people out there, trudging through life without feeling successful or fulfilled, and living their lives well below their potential. Although your definition of success may change for you from year to year, wherever you end up, I hope and pray that you live up to your potential, because I can already see what you two are capable of. I hope that you have the courage to follow your heart and intuition in whatever you do.

Emma Kathryn, you have a light inside of you, something of which I have never seen before. You have an incredible ability to light up the room, the minute you walk in. You are beautiful, both inside and out. Don't ever let anyone tell you anything different.

Jackson Douglas, you have such an incredible level of determination in one little package, and your strength is amazing. I have absolutely no doubt, that you can tackle any challenge that comes your way. You have an extreme passion, for everything that you do. Don't ever lose that.

You two changed Mommy's life the minute you came into this world. There was a piece of me missing, until God sent you to me.

As your Mommy, I have the opportunity to shape your future and its not something that I take lightly. Although there are values that I want to instill in you from my upbringing, I don't want you to just what I do. I don't want you to tell me what you think I want to hear. I can only hope that I can teach you to consider others with your choices, impress upon you that there are consequences to your actions, and teach you exactly how important it is to care, in everything that you do.

I want to be able to teach you, although I may not have always done it well myself, to handle detours on the road to success. To accept and embrace that when a setback occurs, it simply means that there is another opportunity just waiting for you around the next corner. You are going to experience detours in life, and a lot of what I think about while watching you play is how, if I could, I would want to shield you from those detours and hurt. But there are going to be times where you need to have those experiences. To build your character, to teach you how to handle tough situations, and all I want is for you to be able to relay on what you are taught throughout your life to do so. The way you choose to act or react to the circumstances in your life will define the results you get.

Along with caring, I hope that I can show you how to be thankful for what you have, and show that gratitude to others. Its easy to lose sight of exactly what you have, and its certainly something that may come and go, but I hope that you will always come back to it in your life. I will never be able to express the gratitude that I have for God for all of the blessings that he has given me. He sent me your Daddy. He sent me you. When I was pregnant with both of you, we had a couple of scares. Although I didn't realize it at the time, when I look back now, I think it was God's way of reminding me to be grateful for what I have. Daddy and I are incredibly blessed that you were sent to us. Happy and healthy babies. I will never forget that.

So as you grow in life and have ups and downs, I want you to be thankful for what you’ve already accomplished and all your strengths. I want you to take a breath, and acknowledge all the good things in your lives, even on the days where things get tough. I count my blessings every single day that you are in my life.
Success is something that is hard to define, and when I think about what to tell you about success I find it hard to put into words. My definition of success has certainly changed over the years, from getting good grades in school, to being chosen as team captain on sports teams, to making as much money as I could, to building a family. My only definition of success now, is to raise to happy, healthy, caring, gracious babies. So no matter what your definition of success turns out to be, I hope that you reach it.

At the time of this letter, I am only thirty one years old, so I am no expert in life. I have had ups and downs, and met very interesting people along the way so I can only offer you some of the things that I have learned through that journey. There are a lot of people in the world that don't value others. Always remember that everyone has something to offer or to teach you. Sometimes you just might have to slow down to see it.
Don't shy away from the hard things in life. Most often, the right thing to do is the most difficult. So face it head on.

Whenever I see you two playing together, it makes me hope and pray that you will always remember your bond as brother and sister. There are going to be times when you fight. There are going to be times when you aren't speaking to each other. You aren't always going to agree on what the other is doing. You aren't always going to think that what your brother or sister is doing is the right thing. All I can hope is that you always remember that you are family. No matter what. Nothing can break that tie. Nothing.

I am sure that there are many things that I am leaving out, and many other things that I want to say to you. I just want you to know, that I wish you all the happiness in the world, because that is what you have given me.

For eternity,

Master Bathroom Reveal

Sunday, November 13, 2011

It only took us two months to "finish", but we got there. :) We still have a couple of things that we would still like to do in our master bathroom (new light fixtures and faucets, molding around the window) but with the toddler and todfant running rampant, we put those things on the back burner. Overall, I love the improvement, and with starting with what we did, it would be hard to NOT make it look better. We kept the cost pretty low and pretty much stuck with paint, caulk, cabinet restoration kit, cabinet hardware, mirrors ($27 each) and some new accessories. We actually have a ton of the cabinet restoration kit left, so we might just do the same in the kid's bathroom!

We headed to Lowe's to buy two separate mirrors and low and behold, the ones we loved that were the perfect size and color were on clearance! :: does happy dance ::: They only had one left, so we scooped up that baby and ended up buying the one on display after a close inspection. A couple of days later we finally got a chance to hang them and wouldn't you know, the one that was boxed up had a giant crack in the mirror! Argh. Luckily, we ended up buying the exact same mirrors that we bought a while ago for over our fireplace! Replacement mirror complete! So after a little swap-a-roo, we had our mirrors, took the broken one back to Lowe's and came home with an awesome clock for above our fireplace.

You can see more about how we did it (details about colors, using the restoration kit, etc) in Part One and Part Two. So here we go!

Reminder: Our before pictures are from the day we moved in six years ago. Although we had some accessories, not much had changed (no paint, same cabinets, etc). I'll be sure to take better before pictures for our next project!





Note: I was still deciding on if I liked the dark purple for accents so that's why the tags are still on.

And just because...two pictures of the babies. I couldn't resist snapping this one of my Emma Kathryn fast asleep. She sleeps just like her Mommy. :) Love. My baby is beautiful. Both inside and out.

And of course, the Squishy. He has been pulling himself up now for almost a month but does it constantly. He is on.the.move. He just figured out how to use the cabinets in the kitchen to pull up. Ack. He also knows how to stand up holding onto one of the kitchen table chairs, grab on the one next to him, and shimmy over. Squishy is getting more daring by the minute which just about gives me a heart attack on a daily basis. His new favorite thing to do is stand up, hold on with one hand, and lean back. Crikey. Manly. To the core.

Dream Bookshelves

Friday, November 11, 2011

You seriously can't tell me that Centsational Girl isn't totally amazing. She made this amazing set of bookshelves from the Ikea Billy collection. LOVE!

She went from this....

To this...

To this....

I think I just found my new inspiration for the babies playroom. :) Here is how Centsational Girl did it.

It's been a very long couple of weeks.....more to come later.

You Know You're A Mama When...

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

You clean out your giant purse, and among the other 1,284 things in there you find...

  1. A light-up snowman
  2. Seven pretezl goldfish
  3. Receipts from Patient First
  4. Receipts from Costco that have nothing but formula, diapers and wipes on them. 
  5. Tylenol. Lots of Tylenol.
  6. Three girly hair-bows
  7. Two pacifiers
  8. Two diapers
  9. Pack of wipes
  10. Hand sanitizer. Lots of hand sanitizer.
  11. A Tigger and Pooh toothbrush
  12. Puffs

Six Years Ago Today...

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Six years ago today...I walked down the aisle and married my best friend.

Six years ago today...my husband held my hands....

"These are the hands of your best friend, young and strong and vibrant with love, that are holding yours on your wedding day, as he promises to love you and cherish you through the years for a lifetime of happiness.

These are the hands that will work alongside yours, as together you build your future.

These are the hands that will love you passionately, and, with the slightest touch, comfort you like no other.

These are the hands that will countless times wipe the tears from your eyes- tears of sorrow, and tears of joy.

These are the hands that will hold you when fear or grief engulfs your heart.

These are the hands that will give you strength and support when you can't do it alone.

These are the hands that, when wrinkled and aged, will still be reaching for yours, still giving you the same unspoken tenderness with just a touch."

Six years ago today...I formally joined my life, with his.

Six years ago today, I was part of the most fun wedding ceremony of my life.
(I'm probably a little biased...)

(Our Pastor was late and had to change in his car....
but he forgot to change his shoes). :)

(I never expected to laugh so much at my own wedding ceremony. It was perfect. It was us.)

(I'll never forget when our best man dropped the rings and how loud it was on the marble floor.) :)

(You would think that we were whispering something romantic. Nope.
We were asking each other how long we were supposed to stand there and stare at the statue because it was a REALLY long song.) :)

Six years ago today...we had our first kiss, as husband and wife.

Six years ago today...I danced my first dance with my husband. At last...my love had come along.

Six years ago today...I began the start to the rest of my life.

Six years ago today...I married my husband.

I love you. You are an amazing husband, but an even more amazing father.

Dorothy & Her Lion

Friday, November 4, 2011

You will have to excuse my lack of enthusiasm today as it has been a pretty tough week filled with late nights of Mama heading back to work after the babies are in bed and more late nights of the Squishy waking up at all hours. Ack. After heading to bed about 7:45 last night, he was up at 8:30, 10:00, 12:30, 3:00 and up for good at 5:00.

::: refills coffee cup for the 57th time this morning :::

However, I did finally have a minute to download some of our pictures from Emma's Dorothy's first night of Trick-or-Treating! The night started out pretty chaotic despite me getting home from work early, but after lots of chaos and wrestling toddlers and infants into their costumes we were off!!

Emma's costume was pretty big on her, but luckily her Mimi was able to do some modifications which made it much better. The bow lasted until we got to the end of the street and after that it was a lost cause.

Is this not the cutest little Dorothy that you have ever seen? She was so excited she couldn't even stand it.

Squishy on the other hand wasn't so excited. :) He was pretty cranky but once we got outside in the stroller he did pretty good. What.a.lion. Adorable.

One of our first stops was at a house that we stop at often when taking Shamie on walks. They have a couple of little girls and a new puppy named Percy. Emma is in love with Percy. She talks about him non-stop and gets so excited when she sees him that she squeals with joy! I was trying to get a cute picture of Dorothy with her Toto, but they were bouncing all around and I was trying not to let Jackson roll away in the stroller. :)

Emma wanted one of the adults to go with her to each house but she did amazing.

Our little Lion just hung out in the stroller as quiet as can be. Half the time, his lion hat would fall down on his face but he was so quiet that we didn't even notice! This is what he looked like for most of the night. :)

My Dorothy. My Everything. Love.

I am pretty sure that if you look up the definition of "Chill-axin" in the dictionary, you will find this guy.

I couldn't help but snap a picture of Dorothy's Ruby Red Slippers.

I'm sure that there is more, but my brain isn't functioning today so that's all I got.

Dining Room Decisions...

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Since we are closing in on finishing up our Master Bath updates, I've started to think more about what we want to do in the Dining Room since that is our next project. We already have a dark color painted (which we still like), but I really want to brighten the room up by adding chair-rail molding and something else. I know below the molding will be bright white, but I can't decide whether I want picture frame molding...or something a little more modern.

Choice #1: This is actually pretty close to the color that we have painted...

Choice #2: From Jenna Sue's Blog (which I am LOVING right now).

Right now I am leaning towards a combination of the two...which means the boards like in Choice #2, but lower on the wall, about the height of the molding in Choice #1.

"A lil' bit scared of da mask"

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

That was the phrase that Emma is continuing to say after her first night of Trick or Treating. :) We heard that no less than fifty times last night. :)

We had a great Halloween with the babies. Jackson was pretty cranky so stuffing him into his lion costume wasn't exactly easy but once we were outside in the stroller he was good to go. Emma on the other hand was ready for some candy! She did an awesome job! We had to avoid some of the house with some scary decorations but she actually went up to the house (with either Daddy, Gigi or myself), rang the doorbell herself, whispered "Trick or Treat" and then yelled "HAPPY HALLOWEEN" after getting her candy.

There was a little power ranger at one of the first houses we went to that we kept bumping into throughout the night. He was so cute, may 5 or 6, but Emma was not a fan of the mask. She kept running away crying but the little boy felt so bad, he would lift up his mask and wave. He was really sweet but poor Emma was "a lil' bit scared of da mask."

After each house that we went to, on the way back down the steps she kept saying "Oh! I like that house!'" or "Oh! I like that door." Give a toddler a piece of candy and they are yours for life. :)

Emma wasn't much of a fan of handing out candy since anyone in a mask was pretty scary to her. So for the remainder of the night, Dorothy sat quietly in her chair watching Halloween shows coveting the pink pumpkin full of candy. I took a couple of pictures throughout the night but wasn't able to get one of both Dorothy and the Lion together because of Cranky McCranky Pants, so we will have to pick another day to get them dressed up for a little photo-shoot. Emma didn't want to take off her costume last night, so that shouldn't be too hard for her. :)

For now...here is a quick phone picture of the Squishy Lion, once we were back at home eating dinner...

He is such a flirt.
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