My Emma Kathryn

Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Now, I know that I am biased here, because I'm a mama. And a mama will NEVER think that any other baby is cuter than their baby. But I can't help but think that my Emma Kathryn is the most beautiful baby girl in the world.

I just want her to stay this age for forever.

I can say that now because she is potty trained. :)

More to come on what we like to call Emma's "bedtime hoarding" too.
I need to get some good pictures of all the "stuff" that she sleeps with every night.

If there is one picture....

Thursday, February 23, 2012

Sometimes on the weekend, when nothing special is happening, I'll grab my camera and start snapping away, just for the fun of it. The other day, The Squishy and Shamie were snuggling looking out the front door so I ran upstairs to grab my camera. But by the time I got back downstairs, the scene had changed (like normal).

As I downloaded this picture, all I could think to myself was that if I had to pick only one picture that would capture the full essence of The would be this one.

Let's take one more look, and point out some of the usual "markers" of The Squishy...

There were no dogs harmed in the taking of this picture. Barely. But no dogs were harmed. :)

Oh, and this picture was taken after The Squishy was reprimanded for constantly banging (and I mean BANGING) his metal space shuttle against the front door. Yeah. He pretty much laughed at me and batted those baby blues and I melted.

This picture is completely unedited. His eyes are that blue.

And yes. I fully do realize that the title of the post is only about one picture and I posted three. But two are the same and the last one is just too cute to not include. That's my disclaimer. :)

Board & Batten & Birthdays

Tuesday, February 21, 2012

This past weekend, I celebrated my 27th Birthday. And by 27th, I really mean 32nd. Ack. There were lots of little signs that I was getting older, but the biggest one was probably that all I wanted for my Birthday was to spend the weekend potty training and starting on our next big home project! Yeah I know. We are w.i.l.d.

I'll get to the potty training later, but for now, here's an update on our hallway project. We decided to do some Board and Batten and followed mostly what Centsational Girl did with a few changes here and there. I'll try to keep it brief, but here's how we did it...

Step 1: Measure, measure, make a very detailed and scaled drawing on your toddler's yellow construction paper and then measure again. When you are done measuring, bring your detailed plans to your local home improvement store, wonder around for approximately two hours, ask really stupid questions, and come out with a bunch of random stuff that you hope will eventually fit together and look professionally done. Oh, and don't forget to take note of all the measurements that you SHOULD have taken before going to the store.

I headed to home depot with my super detailed drawing during nap time and came home with the following:
  1. MDF Boards (I found large 2' x 4' pieces for most of the MDF boards and just had them cut at the store)
    1. 2 1/4" x 4' x 1/4" thick for the vertical pieces
    2. 4" x 4x 1/2" thick for the horizontal pieces
    3. 1" x 3.5" x 8' for door casing molding
  2. Dremel (to remove small piece of baseboards)
  3. White Primer
Step 2: Take "before" pictures so you can show the contractor what your hallway USED to look like before just in case you aren't the professional DIYer that you dream of being and things go wrong. :)

Step 3: Prep - I spent most of the week before prepping the walls and MDF boards so that we would be ready for the weekend. I did a quick sanding of the MDF boards, gave them two coats of primer (we bought the non-primed boards mostly because I couldn't find the primed ones, panicked, and left the store). I also removed the shelf on the wall, patched the giant holes that we made, and taped off the area where the horizontal pieces would be (so we could prime underneath). I think primed the bottom half of the wall.

The height of our horizontal boards were pretty much determined for us because we had a piece of molding that we needed to meet up with from under our steps (more to come on that later). So, that made that decision for us.

Step 4: After the walls were primed, the first thing we did was to add our tall vertical piece of MDF by our dining room door. Our next home project is to add door casings around our two big doorways, so this was in preparation for that. I broke out our new Dremel, and cut away. Umm yeah. I was nervous.

Step 5: Make sure to lay your long MDF board in the hallway so that your no-pants-wearing toddler can practice gymnastics.

Step 6: Once we figured out how to use our nail gun and compressor (ugh...that's a long story), we nailed up our tall MDF board that will eventually be part of our door casing. Oh, and write this down. Don't forget to nail it over top of your painters tape and realize it later. Doh! ::: sigh :::

Step 7: Most of the tutorials I found online all said to start with the top/horizontal pieces first. So we threw those babies up using our handy dandy level and by Saturday night, we had only gotten this far. We had underestimated the kids interest in our little DIY project so we retired all the power tools when the Squishy no longer wanted to hang out in his jumpy chair thingy ma-bob.

Step 8: The one thing we could do during nap time was use our new electric saw and at least get as ready as we could be for the next chance we got to use the nail gun. We had to meet up with our existing baseboard which are rounded at the top. Seeing that we didn't want to mess up our house too bad, we decided to just angle the bottom of the vertical MDF boards to better meet the baseboards. Once we did that, we marked the top cuts (it really helps if you number both the boards and the wall because SOMETHING was not level in our house so each board was a little bit different).

Step 9: Breath a sigh of relief because you have made some good progress. Then curse because you realize you have the entire other side of the hallway to do and THAT's the tricky side. Ugh.

You know how I mentioned the piece of molding we had to meet up with that pretty much determined the height of our board and batten? Yeah, here's that baby. The right side of this picture shows the railing and molding that leads up our steps. Of course we realize AFTER we have purchased, primed and cut the horizontal pieces that they are a different thickness then your original molding. Well, we tried our best to match it up, so we cut an angle on the horizontal piece and figured we would just caulk any gaps. Not great, but not terrible.

Step 10: After putting up the vertical pieces on that side of the wall (we were trying to move at a faster pace because the kids were actually cooperating so no pictures for that step), I patched up the nail holes and broke out the caulk gun and that made a huge difference.

Step 11: Celebrate because your first big home project involving power tools has resulted in zero trips to the emergency room, and one sweet new hallway. Keep in mind we still have to add two more pieces of molding (to finish the look) and actually paint since everything is still only primed.









I'm sure there is a bunch that I am forgetting, but overall I am really happy with how far we made it. Not too bad for potty training all weekend as well. More to come when we are all finished!

Oh yeah, the last step is the most important...

Step 12: Smother your baby Squishy with hugs and kisses because you had a great Birthday weekend.

When its too warm to play in the snow...

Friday, February 17, 2012

... you just have to play pretend snow inside.

And sometimes, you just have to look past the mess, and have some fun.

Valentine's Day Booty!

Thursday, February 16, 2012

No, it's not what you think. Get your mind out of the gutters people! I'm talking about Emma and Jackson's Booty that they got at the end of their Valentine's Day Treasure Hunt!


This was the first time we have ever done anything like this and it was mostly  so we could give the kids (aka Emma because Squishy is so little) something fun to do on "Balentine's Day" which also wasn't going to break the bank.

The whole treasure hunt took a whopping two minutes, so my first lesson learned was to make it a little bit harder because Ms. Smarty Pants blew right through the clues. I wasn't sure if she was going to "get it" or not, so they were pretty simple.

And of course we had to have a little pirate booty waiting for the babies at the end. I don't know what it is about that monkey, but its slightly creepy. :) I think its the button eyes. It's like he follows you wherever you go.

::: shudder :::

I had all of the clues spread out and ready to go the night before, with the exception of one or two that needed to be strategically placed (by pink bear) the next morning. Lesson Learned #2: Expect the unexpected. Normally when Emma wakes up, she runs into our room and watching some cartoons while mommy and daddy attempt to wake up, get The Squishy and bring him and his bottle into our room. Nine times out of ten, Emma chills out in our bed with her milk and blanket while we go get Squishy. Of course, on treasure hunt day, she decided to come with Mommy and saw one of her clues that I had put in Jackson's room the night before. Doh!

After almost destroying the clue, I convinced her to put it back because we had to start at the beginning. After Squishy inhaled his bottle, we were off!

I tried to take some pictures as we went along, but she was moving too fast, so I eventually threw in the towel and broke out the Flip Video.

And yes, my bedroom is THAT messy.

And you know how to tell if your room is too messy? When you give your toddler a clue that says "Don’t forget to look where Mommy keeps her shoes, to hopefully find, your next clues!" and she looks all over your bedroom floor, and everywhere else, except in Mommy's closet. ::: sigh :::

As Emma was sprinting around the house, Squishy was hanging out probably causing destruction somewhere. But once Emma found their Valentine's treasure, he got to reap the rewards.

At least The Squishy wasn't creeped out by rainbow monkey.

God love that giant, rainbow monkey lovin', nose scrunching, crazy haired baby.

Of course the video camera stopped itself because I hadn't downloaded any videos and its memory was full. Doh. What you didn't see, was Emma run over the table with her box of chocolates, open it up and begin her breakfast of chocolate candy, before Mommy and Daddy could intervene.

If you can't beat em', join em right!

Oh, and you know how I said we weren't the flower and candy kind of Valentine's Day couple. Yeah...I got flowers at work that day. Love.

The Differences Between Boys & Girls

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

I don't know whether its the difference between boys and girls, or just the difference in personalities between my babies, or maybe even a combination of the two. But boy are my babies different.

We always knew that Emma would be laid back. From day one we could tell. She was sleeping through the night at a month old. She would nap for 3/4 of the day. We barely even had to baby proof because she just wasn't interested in messing with things. She couldn't have cared less about the steps, or the fireplace, and after one "No" from Mommy or Daddy, she got the message.

Category 7 The Squishy on the other hand, is a different story. Even while pregnant, he gave us a run for our money. He was crawling three months before Emma was. He.has.a.temper. He is very physical. He couldn't care less about TV shows because he is too busy trying to climb up the steps or break the fireplace. After thirty seven "No"s from Mommy or Daddy, he continues to simply laugh at us, and go on about his business.

As I was moving some videos from our Flip to the computer, I noticed that we have pretty good proof of their personality differences. These two videos are of my babies at the exact same age, ten months old.
Check out how Emma gets interested in Shamie's water bowl, how we tell her "No", and then she laughs, tells us "No" almost like if she was saying "Okay Mommy, I tell myself No!" and then applauds herself for doing such a good job. She then goes on about her business.

Now, check out The Squishy. Not just the physical differences, but more importantly, his reaction when Wes picks him up and tries to stand him up. This is just a glimpse into The Squishy's temper.

Yeah. We are in big trouble. BIG trouble.

My Funny Valentines...

Monday, February 13, 2012

Wes and I have never been really big Valentine's Day people. We don't do the whole flowers and candy thing, but we will usually make a good dinner, have some wine, and call it a night. This year though, I decided to do a little Valentine's Day Treasure Hunt for Emma! Since its on a Tuesday, and Mommy and Daddy will be at work, our special activities will be limited to bright and early in the morning, and dinner time to bedtime.

Emma is really into holidays at this age. She is always asking where the Easter Bunny is (and apparently he is at the "North Hole" with Santa) and she has been asking about Valentine's Day for about two weeks now.

So to start our day off right, I created a little Treasure Hunt that Emma can start in the morning. It's not long, and it's not complicated, but I tried to pick some of her favorite places and things, so hopefully she will have fun and find her prize that will be awaiting her at the end!!

These boots are made for walkin' ...

Friday, February 10, 2012

...and that's just what Squishy will do. He'll walk all over you.

Yup, we officially have a walker!

The Squishy took his first unassisted steps for Mama and Daddy on Tuesday night, at 10 months old. So, I expect him to have a job by COB next Friday. :)

Whoa. My baby needs to stop getting bigger. Mama's heart can't handle it.

All the Single Squishys!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Squishy learned a new word last week (his third word so far, after Mama and Dada), and his favorite time to repeat it 1000 times say it is in his crib in the mornings before Mommy or Daddy comes to get him.

We can't help but laugh because he sounds like a little manly Beyonce.

 "Uh oh Uh oh Uh oh Uh oh"

So almost everyday now I head to work with Beyonce stuck in my head, but with a little twist...

"If you liked it then you should've put a Squshy on it.

If you liked it then you should've put a Squshy on it.

All the single Squishy's!

All the single Squishy's!"

Story Time with Emma

Friday, February 3, 2012

Over the past couple of weeks, Emma's bedtime routine has changed a couple of times. For about two weeks, we went through a phase of telling stories, rather then reading them, where Mommy or Daddy would make up a story about Princess Emma, or Prince Squishy.

Then it was Emma's turn to tell Mommy and Daddy a story.

Almost every one of Emma's stories started with "One day...", had a Giant Cow as the main character, always involved somebody eating somebody else, or a walk through the scary forest.


Here is a little snapshot of some of Emma's stories. :) 

Yup. Life's Still Crazy.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Despite having a rough week with having to say goodbye to my buddy, we are still managing to have some fun too. I don't know what I would do without these babies. It's hard to imagine what life was like without them.

The fun in our house starts bright and early in the mornings. Most often than not, before the sun is shining.

I've mentioned a couple of times before about Emma's love for all things girly. She has always loved shopping, painting her fingernails, wearing dresses, etc, but lately she has kicked it up a notch and now loves to get ready in the mornings with Mommy. More specifically, use "makeups".

And no, I'm not a Toddlers and Tiara kind of mom where I send my kid to the library with makeup at the age of two. It's fun. It's part of our special Mommy-Emma time that we get to have everyday, no matter how crazy life and work gets.

Emma likes to keep putting all her "makeups" on one cheek. Oh, and yes, her hair has mouse in it, which she also does everyday after "makeups".

Although The Squishy does not take part in the morning hair and makeup routine, he is usually found cruising the bathroom with Mommy's pink brush. Which he normally just uses to bang against the side of the tub so Mommy and Daddy are sure to be awake.

The kids usually have their baths when home during the day throughout the week, but after a particularly messy dinner, or just an all around good night, we will do bath time at night as well.

What's bath time without a little crazy hair?

The Squishy was front and center showing off his crazy hair...

But Emma was being camera shy. You think she already knows that I fully intend to embarrass her later in life with bath time pictures?!?!

Oh, and for all you moms out there with little ones...notice the color of the bath water? Yeah. Elmo colors. Big fun. Highly recommended. Emma can't take bubble baths very often because of her VUR, so this is an awesome change for bath time, and it doesn't stain anything (big win for the moms). Check them out.

Said Goodbye to My Buddy

I know there are a lot of folks out there that aren't "pet people" or "cat people" and growing up, I wouldn't really say that I was a "pet person" but I did have a love for cats. I've had two cats in my life, one of which I said goodbye too a LONG time ago, and one that I just had to say goodbye to on Tuesday.

This was my Arby. He was with me for seventeen and a half years. Yup. This guy had WAY more than nine lives.

We got Arby the summer before I went into high school, in 1994. Yikes. He was the runt of a litter that one of my friends found in the woods behind her house. He was my buddy from the minute we brought him home.

Arby was with my through my high school sports tryouts. He was with me through my first homecoming dance. He was with me for my first kiss. He was with me through my senior prom. He was with me through my first heart break. He was with me every weekend when I came home from college. He was with me when I moved 1500 miles away from home alone for my first full time job. (Poor guy was never the same after THAT plane ride). Arby was with me when I met Wes. Arby was with me when we moved 3000 miles away. Arby was with me when we had our first baby. Arby was with me when we had our second baby. Arby was with me through Postpartum Depression. He was my buddy.

Arby had developed renal failure over the past year or so which was progressively getting worse. But he was a trooper. Over the past couple of weeks, he had gotten sicker and fell down our basement steps. When I say that he had way more than nine lives, I mean it. After laying still for a few minutes after falling. He got up, limped around for a minute, then went on about his business. I couldn't bare to see him like this though, and we had been putting this day off for a long time but it was finally here. After many trips to the vet over the past couple of months, lots of tests, we decided to let Arby rest.

Some people probably think that its crazy to be upset over loosing an animal. But my buddy was with me for seventeen and a half years. It was one of the hardest things that I have had to do.

After a very miserable few days, I am starting to feel better knowing that he is comfortable and happy in "kitty heaven", which is what we tell Emma. She is still too young to understand about Arby, but here is a little snapshot of how that conversation went.

Emma: "Mommy, are you sad?"

Mommy: "Yes baby, Mommy is sad. Mommy misses kitty."

Emma: "Umm, where kitty go Mommy?"

Mommy: "Arby went to kitty heaven baby."

Emma: "Ummm, where is kitty heaven?"

Mommy: "It's up in the sky, where God lives. Right next to fishy heaven." (She just had two goldfish that died and went to fishy heaven)

Emma: "Umm, kitty take an airplane to go to kitty heaven?"

Mommy: " baby, kitty didn't take an airplane."

Emma: "Umm...kitty's in the sky?"

::: Emma looks up in the sky to look for kitty :::

Mommy: "Yup, but he is so high up in the sky, that we can't see him."

Emma: "Mommy? I'm sad."

Mommy: "I know honey. Me too. It's okay to be sad sometimes when we lose something that we love."

::: Emma gives Mommy an unprompted hug and slobbery kiss :::

Emma: "Mommy? You happy now?"

Mommy: "Yes baby. I'm happy now."
Emma then woke up from her nap the other day crying. When asked why she was crying, she said that she was sad, because Mommy was sad.
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