Ice Ice Baby!

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Shew! It's been a busy couple of weeks, filled with a long weekend with just The Mama and The Babies and lots of late nights and weekend working for The Mama as well (ergo, no posting for a while)! Things haven't quite calmed down yet but I did have a chance to download a couple of pictures from when Wes went out for a quick trip to visit his family, and wouldn't you know, that was the same weekend that we got our first snow of the year.

Emma was so excited, she could barely wait to go out. Unfortunately, it was only about 2 inches and mostly ice, so our plans to "build a Frosty" as Emma said, didn't go over so well.

But, she looked adorable all ready for the 'snow' anyway.

While The Squishy was taking his morning nap, Emma and Mommy ventured outside. While I attempted to shovel the snow ice, Emma was happy as a clam. Because the kids are growing like weeds, and its been an unusually warm winter, I hadn't purchased Emma any kind of snow suit. But wouldn't you know, she fit perfectly into a pair of her little brother's pants. One of the many benefits of having a tiny 2.5 year old and a ginormous 10 month old.

And if you are wondering, yes, Emma still needs to wear a hat during story time at night. :)

The Great Decontamination of 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

This has been a busy week (ergo the very short blog posts) and I hope to catch up soon but my usual blog time in the evenings after the babies are in bed has been filled with work. Ugh. Last weekend though, we had quite the incident that is too funny to not post about.

A little background first...because of Emma's VUR, there are a couple of things that are going on now, one of which is her daily dose of Miralax. Yup. We really tried to avoid this but we were told by her pediatric urologist that this is the age range that the VUR will heal itself (if its going to). Constipation however, will stop the healing process so its very important that Emma "keeps things moving".

Now, if you are a mom that has been through the toddler stage, you know that their eating patterns are Emma will go three days acting like an endless pit, then will barely eat for a week, which obviously doesn't mean good things for her digestive system. We have tried a lot of different things to help, dried fruit, lots of liquid, adding more fat into her diet, etc. But the toddler-ness that is Emma Kathryn wins.

So, we had to put her on a daily dose of Miralax which does the trick. It's Emma's "Special Juice".

Now, remember that The Squishy is now ten months old and into e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

Yeah, I bet you can see where this is going.

One day last weekend, Emma was drinking her "Special Juice" and got distracted by a shiny object something very intellectually stimulating. Well wouldn't you know, that Speedy Gonzales The Squishy crawled himself right over to her sippy cup and before Wes and I could do anything, had downed some of the special juice.


This happened right about when I came across the new Crappy Pictures blog. So I was inspired to try my hand at my own Crappy Picture to document the scene with Mommy and Squishy just a few hours after The Great Special Juice Incident of 2012.

That's right. All you moms out there know the walk. Where you immediately activate the eyes in the back of your head so that you can see where you are going while you are walking in one direction, while facing the other - all while holding the poop-covered child as far away from you as possible, in order to avoid the smell as much as possible.

I still have nightmares about the mess that ensued. ::: shutter :::

You wouldn't have even been able to tell that the massive blowout had even occurred with Squishy's behavior because he was just as happy as a clam. I think the smell and the sight of the poop that was soaking through his onsie half way up his back hit us at the exact same time. Activate Code Squishy.

And so began The Great Decontamination of 2012. Needless to say, Squishy now has one less onsie then he did last week.

PS: This is also why we haven't attempted to potty train Emma yet. Because potty training + miralax = a disaster waiting to happen.

The Naughty

My Emma Kathryn

My Emma Kathryn is two and a half now, and I wish I could carry around a video camera all day because I don't want to forget one minute of the big personality, thats jam packed into this one tiny package.

Every night before bedtime, we go upstairs to brush our teeth and read a few books in bed. Lately, Emma has decided that she wants to wear a hat while we read books. 

She is such a girly girl. She LOVES shopping and is starting to love to put "outfits" together. This is usually what happens when she comes upstairs with Mommy to clean her room or put laundry away. Everything she sees, she wants to wear.

What you can't see, is the polka-dot, size 12 month shorts that she is sporting under her skirt.

My love. My Emma Kathryn.

The Uppers & Downers of Parenting

Friday, January 13, 2012

So my Dad forwarded me this email the other day, with a link to an article posted by my new favorite person, Amber Dusick. She has here own blog, Parenting, Illustrated with Crappy Pictures, which you have to check out. Warning though, she uses some profanity here and there so be prepared. :)

I almost died laughing when I read the article that she posted in The Huffington Post, so I wondered over to her blog and it got even better. The article/blog post she wrote, was about The Uppers & Downers of Parenting. Check out her blog for the whole thing, but here is a little snap-shot...


Kids wake-up with energy. Kids wake-up with loudness.

Kids wake-up early.

No I will not play with you. Go away. I need coffee. After coffee:

And then there is the evening. Sometimes, after an especially rough day, I'm stressed out at night.
Everything sets me on edge. I'm a bundle of nervous thoughts.
But then my husband hands me a glass of wine. After wine:

Coffee and wine. My unsung parenting tools.


It's like she lives in our house.

If you liked that, you have to check out her post about Maximum Cuteness, oh, and Elephant Poop. That one had me laughing outloud.

2012 Goals (Part 2): Getting Started

Thursday, January 12, 2012

So being the over-achieving, perfection-seeking, crazy, to-do list loving, person that I am, I went a little bonkers and created way too many 2012 Goals. Doh! After I did that, I sat back and wondered A) why in the world I did that to myself, B) how in the world was I going to keep track of it all and C) why in the world I did that to myself. The answers to A and C were pretty easy, because I'm nuts and have this need for perceived perfectionism. But we've been there and done that, so I started to think more about B.

At work, I LIVE by Microsoft Outlook. Whether it's from requests coming into my Inbox, or telling those little meeting reminders popping up to tell me where I need to be and when. Take today for example. I had a meeting from 9 - 10, which conflicted with my 9:30 meeting, a 10 - 11 meeting, and 11:30 to 12:30 meeting, which conflicted with my 12 - 1 meeting, a 1 - 2 meeting, and ended with a whopper, 2 - 4 meeting. Without those little reminders, I would not only be late for pretty much everything, I would also miss stuff completely.

::: reminder bings to get back to the point of this post :::

So, what better way to start off my 2012 Goals Extravaganza then with a new calendar dedicated to just that! I whipped up a little calendar using an online template and started breaking down each of my goals little by little. For the longer term goals, I added a few reminders sprinkled in throughout the year because lets not kid ourselves, I'm going to lose track.

Here's a little snap-shot of what's supposed to happen in January. I colored the first week's activities green because I actually did them! Woo hoo! 2 down, 4,587 to go!

I tried to be as smart about it as I could, and factored in the two crazy little monsters babies at home. For example, I only included Project Simplify activities for the weekends, and added those in the middle of the month to allow for some extra time in case I don't get to finish in a weekend.

We will see how it goes, but I think this is a good start!! Tomorrow's the start to my 2012 Brain Dump and another budget update, then is Project Simplify Hot Spot #1 this weekend!!

Things I Don't Want to Forget...

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

The way Squishy lays on his belly and taps his little manly feet in the bathtub while he plays.

How you know when Emma is going #2 because she runs out of the room and yells "I'M OKAY!"

The way that Squishy randomly tucks his head into your neck when you are holding him to get a little five second snuggle, as if to say, Mama, I love you, and then go on about his business.

The sound of both my babies laughter when it's bath time and when all they want to do is crawl around and chase each other in their Birthday Suits. :)

The little things that Emma says everyday that make us laugh. Like when she drops something and then says "Whoa, that's weird." or "I want my Pink Bear babe!" or "Mama! Squishy's trying to get my pancakes! That's ridiculous!"

The little things that Emma says everyday that makes your heart melt, like when she says bless you after you sneeze, or your welcome, or if you give her a bite of your sandwich and she runs away yelling "Thank You Mommy!! I love you!!" Or when you are standing right next to her and she looks up and you and says "Mama, I miss you too much." even if you have been with her all day.

The amount of personality that is jam-packed into these two tiny packages. :)

The fact that no one can make Jackson laugh, like his big sister can.

How incredibly smart my baby girl is.

How Emma loves to sing, but doesn't know all the words to the songs so she makes them up as she goes.

How incredibly manly "The Squishy" is.

The nights like this one, where we decorated the Christmas tree and made "Gingies" (Gingerbread cookies). Or the nights where the dinner dishes stay dirty in the sink, the laundry remains piled up on the floor, the work laptops stay off and we do nothing but try to keep balloons from falling and touching the ground with our feet.

Picture People = Fail

Monday, January 9, 2012

I have been attempting to get good pictures of the babies for family members for a while now and have had a heck of a time myself. In order to do a little photo-shoot with the both of them, I need some help and things have just been a little too crazy in our house lately. Plus, I don't have a true backdrop stand and with The Squishy (or Category 5 as we also call him), setting it up my seamless paper on the fireplace mantle is just asking for a diaster. So, I finally gave up and scheduled an appointment with The Picture People at the local mall since they have a pretty good coupon going on now. I took Emma there once when she was a baby and wasn't so impressed, but I figured we would try it again with the coupon and finally be able to give the grandparents pictures that they have been asking for.


I normally not one to bad-mouth a business but I'll just say that I won't be heading back to The Picture People again. We had a 10:20AM appointment (keep in mind the mall opens at 10:00AM) and after waiting 45 minutes with a two and a half year old and a 9 month old we were FINALLY ready for our turn. The "photographer" was very nice but that's pretty much where the positives end. I will be the first to say that its a tough job for anyone to get a good picture of our two little ones together, especially since Emma wasn't exactly cooperative. However, having said that, out of the probably 20 pictures we got (we purchased the high resolution CD), we probably got about 5 decent pictures. Most of the remaining pictures were either just flat out bad pictures because of composition, or out of focus.

Wes and I were the ones running around trying to get the babies to cooperate (which I can expect so the photographer can be ready to snap the second they are ready), but they were less than helpfull with coming up with ideas on how to get them to cooperate. It was up to us to go through all the "stuff" they had, try to come up with ways to get Squishy to stand, etc. So after an exhausting and frustrating session, which we were hurried out of, we got a whopping five pictures for $80.

I called and provided my feedback as well as sent an email and went back to the store on Sunday to see what they could do. After "sharepening" the pictures, I was sent home with another CD (after about an hour of waiting around) and although some pictures were better, we still only have a handfull of images.

So here are the "good" ones, we received.

The Squishy

The Babies
At least Jackson is in focus...ugh. It gets worse the bigger the picture gets...

(The Squishy looks GINORMOUS in the tiny wagon.)

The only way Emma would let us take her picture is if she held the "bitar". Ugh. 

This is what happens when you try to let the Squishy stand up by holding on to his big sister...

And this is what happens when you try to get a good picture of Emma by herself with no guitar...

This is what happens when you get hurried out of a photo-session and mommy is busy trying to wrangle The Squishy with a hurt neck. She doesn't realized that his hair is out of control and there is mass quantites of drool on his chin. Then you get pictures like this which are cropped WAY too tight and cut half the picture off.

We tried Mimi and Gigi!

When Squishy Gets To Try New Food....

Friday, January 6, 2012

...Squishy gets happy.

This is the scene after Squishy got to try some of his Mimi's Lentil Soup (which we eat every New Year's Day for good luck). I took out some ham, carrots, potatoes and lentils for him to try and I'm pretty sure it was a hit.

Top Ten of 2011

Thursday, January 5, 2012

One of the reasons why I love blogging so much, is that its the perfect reminder of everything that has happened in our lives. I almost forgot what an amazing year 2011 really was because when I look back on it, I tend to focus on all the tough times that we had. But after going through some of our pictures, I was reminded about all of the amazing days we had too.

I thought it might be fun to post my favorite pictures from 2011! I had a really hard time narrowing it down to just ten, but I did it! There were some really close runner-ups, but here they are!! 

The Squishy

Our Little Green Thumb

All Smiles

Handsome Man




Full and Happy


The Lion King

New Year's Weekend

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

We had a great New Year's weekend, and got to get ourselves (mostly) back together after the holiday. Emma LOVES to shop so she and Mama headed to the local mall for some special alone time while Daddy and Squishy chilled at home. The day was perfect, at least until Emma spotted that dreaded Giant Cow again! DOH! There was this really sweet couple walking in front of us when we were heading to the food court and Emma was set on some chicken and french fries for lunch, that was until we got closer to Chick-fil-a and saw the infamous cow. The man in the couple in front of us was really nice and could tell Emma was getting scared, so he offered to protect her. He ran up to "Giant Cow" and then gave him a big hug to show Emma that he was nice! Well, that plan backfired and Emma thought she was going to have to give him a big hug and then it was all downhill from there.

Emma freaked out. Keep in mind we were still standing about thirty feet away from the Giant Cow. Emma was frozen solid in fear, and she even started shaking. I scooped her up and we ran passed the Giant Cow and needless to say, Emma had a turkey wrap and some fruit for lunch, instead of her chicken and french fries. :) She didn't stop scanning the food court for the rest of the time we were there and would only talk about how she "...was a little bit scared to snuggle the Giant Cow. Just like at the movies." Later that weekend we headed off to an even more special girls-only shopping trip with Mimi in Annapolis and the whole drive there, Emma talked about how "there are no Giant Cows in Annapolis." Well, other than when she was pointing out whether it was a man or a lady driving in the cars next to us.

The day before The Great Giant Cow Incident of 2012, I stopped at Michael's on my way home from work to take advantage of their 40% off frame sale. I had been wanting to do something on the walls of the kids playroom but couldn't decide what I wanted to do. I finally came across some cool inspiration pictures so I decided to make a little picture wall for the babies! Granted, most of the pictures are old, and our family picture was from when Emma turned one, but for now, it's a good placeholder until we get a new one.

I had a couple of pictures printed at Costco and then created a couple other signs to frame (which I got printed at Fedex) and it turned out great! I created slides in PowerPoint from an inspiration picture I found online and updated them to make it a little personal (i.e. added some of Emma's sayings, added a line from our wedding song, etc). Here is a close up of one of them....

While I was at it, I printed a little something for The Squishy's room too. Emma had made him a couple of pictures before he was born and I still have those hanging, just took one of his existing frames down and hung this. It actually looks awesome framed and hanging on his wall. He is definitely my little sunshine.

2012 Goals (Part 1)

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Okay, so this is my third fourth attempt at a New Year's Resolution post, and the third fourth time is the charm right?

My first attempt was a post about how I was going to make New Year's "Objectives" and not "Resolutions" for multiple reasons, but I stopped myself, deleted the post, and started over.

My second attempt was then to write a post about my 2011 New Year's Resolution of Simplifying and how although I made progress last year, I still have a long way to go, so that was going to be my one resolution again for 2012.

Delete. Rinse. Repeat.

My third attempt was then to talk about how I was making this way too complicated (which was ironic considering I was trying to post about simplifying), and I was trying to have all these profound resolutions but I couldn't seem to boil them down like I wanted to.

But now I'm back to square one where I'm not making resolutions, but goals for next year. Resolutions get a bad rep, because no one ever keeps them. At least not the majority that's for sure. I'm a goal-oriented person, so this year, its all about 2012 Goals!

Instead of trying to make something all profound, I'm throwing in the towel and just posting everything that I want to achieve in 2012 (subject to change by the minute apparently). I'm going to try make things a little more specific this year. In no particular order...

Actually Budget
  • Update budget spreadsheet for 2012 financial goals/anticipated expenses.
  • Update budget spreadsheet weekly with actual expenses.
  • Once a month, review, update spreadsheet, and add new budget goal for the following month.
  • Reduce total credit card balances by 75% by December 31st, 2012.
  • Start Emma & Jackson's college funds by March 31st.

Home Resolutions - Become a Better Do-It-Yourselfer
  • Update DIY Home Improvement list and plan by January 31st.
  • Complete six home improvement projects before December 31st.
  • Start the great basement clean-out of 2012!!
  • Set up a regular cleaning schedule to free up our weekend time for more fun with the babies!

Continue to Simplify
  • Do a 2012 Brain Dump and re-evaluate it monthly.
  • Complete Project Simplify by May 31st.
  • De-clutter one "thing" a month. Whether that's a whole room, or just a closet.

Health - Take Better care of Me
  • Get into a routine where working out three times a week is the norm.
  • Set one smaller "healthy" goal to focus on each month.
  • Get back into pre-Jackson shape (i.e. lose 13 pounds total)
    • Lose 5 lbs by my 32nd Birthday (February 19th)
    • Lose 10 lbs (total) by May 31st
    • Lose 13 lbs (total) by the 4th of July
  • Wean myself off of my daily coffee!
  • Continue Photography as my hobby!
    • Learn to actually use my speedlite as opposed to just turning it on and hoping for the best.
    • Master my camera!

Keep on Blogging
Life passes us by way too fast. I have really enjoyed blogging and it's been almost like therapy for me. I can't believe that its been three years already! It's kind of amazing too about which posts get the most hits (the ones you wouldn't expect). So I really want to keep it up and maybe even try something new!

Since there are only about 5,435 goals that I want to accomplish next year, and most of them probably have multiple parts, I decided to create a 2012 Goals page! One of the things I love about blogging is that it is a great reminder for me on a lot of different things. This is the perfect way for me to keep track of my goals for next year and share any tips or tricks that I may find along the way!

So here goes nothing!

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