January 30, 2009

The "Puter"

Sassy has a new obsession. It's her "puter". She loves her puter. If you were to see her play with it the last few days, you would never guess that she has actually owned the thing for about two years now. It sat collecting dust in the basement for quite some time. It's awesome when the re-discover toys!!

Sassy tells me, matter-of-factly, that she has to "do her puter", like it's some kind of official business. If only I had such important matters to attend to all day. Maybe it's a sign of the times, or maybe mommy spends *a little* too much time on her puter. Ah, well...

In other news, it's Friday (in case you didn't already know). Ty has a half day today, and I will be hitting the gym at some point this afternoon. No super exciting plans this weekend- we plan to do some cleaning and laundry... the usual. I do need to start tagging some clothes for a consignment sale I will be participating in. Sunday, we plan to watch the Super Bowl over at Tom and Lynzee's. And cheat on our diet. There, I said it...

I feel like I never talk about Little A here. She is doing great. She is sitting in her BebePod often, and we are working on her balance for actual sitting. She hasn't rolled from her back to her front yet, but she is very close. She is a big time smiler, just like Sassy was. Oh, and her bottom right tooth feels like it is seriously about to cut. She is drooling like it's her job and her poor little gums are so swollen. This is quite a shock to me because Sassy did not cut her first tooth until the week of her first birthday!

Oh, and while I'm on a roll bragging on my kids, Sassy did something pretty awesome last night. She has this Little People A-Z Learning Zoo that Kelli bought her for Christmas a year ago. She has always loved the animals, but never really had much interest in the board.

Each animal has a letter on its chest correlating to its name, and the board has a path with letters and spaces for each animal. So, we were in the basement and Sassy was lining up all the animals. Neither Tyler or I thought much of this- she lines things up all the time. After a while, we took a closer look, and each animal was in its correct spot! She matched the letters! From alligator...bear...camel...dolphin to walrus...x-ray fish...yak...zebra- all of them spot on. I thought that was pretty awesome. Yeah, Sassy!

January 29, 2009

Breathe

***UPDATE***
For those of you concerned, it looks like we will be okay for today. It may not be the end of the lay-offs, but for now, it's looking positive for us. Thanks for all your support!
*****************************
We are a little stressed out here in Kansas. This is a news story in reference to the email Tyler received this morning. Please pray that we will maintain enough to sustain our family, lay-off or not. We knew this was coming, and the outlook is a little more bleak today.

This picture made me smile today. I know they are what really matter.

January 27, 2009

This post brought to you by...

...the letter "H"! I stumbled upon a fun little word game and decided it would be fun to play along. Faith gave me the letter "H", so here are ten things I love that begin with "H" (in no particular order)!

1. Hot Showers

I begin here because this is just how I like to start my day- with a nice, hot shower. It's a strange dichotomy- so relaxing yet so energizing, all at once. I actually like my shower crazy hot. It's no good unless my skin is pink when I'm finished!

2. Highlights

I've said it before- something about having your hair freshly cut and highlighted just lifts your spirits. I ♥ highlights! I think I was meant to have highlights in my hair at all times. I feel so drab otherwise!

3. Handmade Things

Darn you, CSPIA. I do not have the money in my bank account to buy out Etsy before February 10th. What is a girl to do? This butterfly apron dress is just one of 32,627 things I would like to buy for the girls. It is made by pishposhgirls. If anyone wants to buy one for Sassy, I am totally game!

4. Harvest

I have always been a fall kind of girl. What time of year is better than fall? Having lived in Iowa, and now Kansas, I have come to realize the innate beauty of the harvest. These rolled-up bales of hay and the clouds and the skies... just breathtaking!

5. Hedgehogs

I am a firm believer in things being so ugly, they are cute. Exhibit #1- the hedgehog. I mean, c'mon... this picture says it all. That is the cutest ugly little wrinkled thing I have ever seen. I almost want to squeeze it... but that might hurt (him and me...)

6. Harry Potter
...and Hogwarts, Hufflepuffs, Hogsmeade, Hagrid, Hedwig, Horcruxes, even He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. My mom sure had to twist my arm to start reading these books, and now I am die-hard. Team Gryffindor!

7. HuHot

...and any other fun food establishment where you can build your own stir-fry. Yum! I can almost taste the yummy pad thai sauce covering those delicious sprouts now.

8. Holidays

Really, I love them all. There is so much to do, fun family activities, great opportunities to spend quality time with my family- both immediate and extended.

9. Home

I am a go-getter and I love to do new things. Having said that, sometimes it is the BEST just to be a homebody! I love our house, and I can't believe we have been homeowners for a year already! We are still working hard to make very part feel like "ours". Can you believe that this is the most inclusive picture I could find of the front of the house? For shame...

10. Harper

Last, but not least, of course! Remember when I told you all about little Harper in my 100th blog post?? Well, you all have got to visit Harper's mommy's blog to see what fantastic strides she has made in her 11 days here in this world. She is so precious and beautiful, and I am overjoyed that she is progressing in the right direction!

So, there you have it... my top 10 "H" things! If anyone wants to play, leave me a comment, and I will give you a letter!

January 26, 2009

Bear Feels Sick, and other musings

Oh, Sassy has been on point the last few days! It's really fun to see her creativity and imagination flourish, but she is making me tired!

Yesterday, we were cleaning Little A's nursery, and Sassy found a ginormous teddy bear that was sitting in there. Of course, she had to play with it on the spot. So, she took bear to her room, and we continued to clean. A little while later, Tyler told me that I had to peek in her room and see what she was up to. She had bear lying on the floor, covered in blankets, and she was reading him... none other than Bear Feels Sick.

I asked her what was wrong with bear, and she told me, "his tummies hurt". I love the way she says that instead of 'his tummy hurts'. I will be so sad when she stops saying her quirky little backwards phrases.

Then, all of a sudden, she jumps up with bear and exclaims, "He has to frow up"! I giggled and couldn't wait to see what was to follow. Sassy takes him across the bedroom to the dollhouse, pulls the dollhouse bathtub onto the floor, and positions bear so that he will throw up in the bathtub. It was SO funny. Yes, because we always throw up in the bathtub around here! I am guessing this stems from the last time Sassy was sick. I told her that if she felt like she needed to throw up, we should run to the bathroom.

Another thing we have been doing lots of is "going shoppin". She has a grocery cart and a Cherry Blossom Marketplace in the basement, but she would much rather shop upstairs and "just pweetend". We go to one corner of the room, which is the "Gwocewy store". She instructs me to put imaginary chicken in the imaginary cart. Then she pushes it a few feet and tells me to get some eggs. This goes on for a while...

Then, we go across the bedroom to "Target". She informs me that clothes are on the list to buy. We need to pick out a dress for her, but Little A gets, "pants... and a shirt". So, I play along and point out a pretty dress on the wall, and she grabs it. Well, when it comes time to get Daddy "somefin", I show her a green shirt on the wall that he would just love. She agrees. I suggest that she put it into the cart, but she says, "It's too high. I can't weach". Seriously?!? Well, allow me to retrieve the imaginary article of clothing... by all means!

Lastly, she said something really funny this morning. We were getting ready to go to Sam's Club, and I was getting her to put on her coat. She has several coats, and each one has a different name- winter coat, kitty coat, princess coat, etc. Well, she has a little plaid pea coat, and that is what Tyler and I refer to it as. I was helping her get the pea coat on this morning, and she says to me, "This is my winter coat, mama. This is NOT my peacock coat"! Oh, it was good.

January 25, 2009

Raisin Soup

video

January 24, 2009

Potty Tales

Sassy may be potty-trained, but that doesn't mean that we are free from bathroom moments! It is just always something, I tell you.

Her latest thing is that she likes to take 392 minutes to sit on the potty. She thinks it's a leisurely activity. F.I.N.E. Sit there all day if you want. Oh, but here's the kicker... she flips out if I try to leave the bathroom. She wants me to "stay in heaw". So, I stand around while she sings little songs, swings her legs, makes silly faces...

Well, I figure I might as well do something if I am going to be in there, so I attempt to organize her "hair pretties". But, then, it's "don't put that there" and "don't touch that" and eventually, I give up. After a while, my legs start to get tired, so I try to sit. First, I sit on the edge of the bathtub, but Sassy tells me, "No, you gonna fall in the baftub like Daddy"! Hmm... I'll have to ask him about that one later.

Then, I ask her if I can sit on her step stool, and she says, "No, my feet is sittin' on it", as she rolls her eyes. Oh, of course. Your feet. What was I thinking? So, I resign myself to standing.

So, here I am, (insert sarcasm here)- relishing in my humdrum existence, mentally tapping my fingernails on the sink top, yet displaying a sweet smile as to say, "Way to go, Sassy"! Such is life with a two year old.

January 23, 2009

Almost the Weekend!

I, for one, am very glad it is Friday. Although we don't have anything too terribly exciting going on this weekend, I'll still take it. Let's see... what's happened since we left off?

Sassy and Little A had a play date yesterday afternoon at a friends house. It was pretty awesome because said friend's husband and older son were home and kept the older kids entertained with play-doh upstairs while the moms and little ones hung out in the basement and chit-chatted. Bliss.

Last night, we had a very successful grocery trip. I am continuing on my quest to learn to be a smarter shopper, use coupons, etc. I think I did really well last night. Our local grocery store is featuring a mega sale where you get $5 off if your purchase 10 qualifying items. When I added my coupons to this deal, I ended up with 2 boxes of Quaker oatmeal, 2 boxes of Orville Redenbocher Smart Pop popcorn, 4 bags of Kraft 2% shredded cheese, and 2 boxes of Reduced Fat Wheat Thins for $10.50! In total, I spent about $80, but saved 55% off of my original bill. That's a huge accomplishment for me!

This morning, Lynzee and I went to the gym at 6 a.m. Yeah, I know. Major. Hey, I am on a serious mission, folks. I upped my time on the elliptical to 22 minutes and then did the treadmill afterwards. I plan to go again tomorrow.

This morning, the girls and I hosted a play date at our house. I feel fortunate that I have friends that are willing to drive all the way down here every once in a while. Both girls are now asleep, and I am being a big, huge procrastinator and doing this entry instead of reading my book club books for Sunday. This month, we are reading Night (which I have read before) and The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas (which I have not).

We have a few more errands to run this evening, and tomorrow we are hosting another play date while Tyler does a painting job. Fun times. Hope everyone has a great weekend. Here are a couple pictures to peruse. Notice Sassy's hair- I honestly thought the day would never come for a braid!


January 22, 2009

...Oh, and...

I'm playing around with some different names for the blog. The old one just didn't feel right. Feel free to weigh in as much as you would like!

"Our Man"

Sassy loves to sing. Since she was a wee one, she has enjoyed singing and clapping along with mommy and daddy. For a while there, it was all about "Whees onda Bus"... on demand, of course. When Little A came along, it became Sassy's mission in 2-year-old life to sing her songs. It is seriously the cutest stinkin' thing to hear her sing "Twinkew Wittle Star" to her baby sister.

For Christmas, a gift was bestowed upon Little A from the big guy- Santa. She received a Neurosmith Together Tunes Too, a giant musical cube that plays different songs depending on what side faces up. (Don't get frightened by the price if you happen to have checked the link... I bought it at TJ Maxx for exactly 38% of that!) Although it is Little A's toy, Sassy has spent her time well as of late "sharing" it until Little A "gets big".

She insists that the cube be in her room. We battle over this, as the cube inevitably provides way too much distraction around nap time and bedtime. She has mastered Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star (besides her insistence that there is only one "twinkle"). She knows almost every word to Ants Go Marching and the Pufferbelly song (her recent 'fav'). She's really quite good for 2 1/2... if I do say so, myself.

Well, over the past week or so, she has been singing a new song- one that is unfamiliar to me. After a day or so, I gathered that she had learned it at preschool. I would ask her to teach me, and she wouldn't. She is a little shy about her singing... she sings her little heart out when she is in the backseat of the car or in her room by herself, but not so much in front of us when we ask.

I have been listening keenly and trying to decipher the words. I keep hearing her say "thank him" and "our man, our man". Having put the pieces together, I realized that this was a praise song. I enjoyed listening to her for days, thinking how progressive and modern his praise song was, referring to Jesus as "our man".

Then, this morning, as we sat and ate an early lunch, Sassy broke into song. As she's singing the mystery hymn, it dawns on me...

She's trying to say "Amen, Amen" at the conclusion of the song. I about died laughing. I couldn't decide which was funnier- the fact that I thought the worship song she was singing referred to Jesus as a 'homeboy', or the fact that Miss Sassy is ingenuous enough to know no better. Oh, my girl...

January 21, 2009

I did it!!

There you have it folks. I did it. Tonight was the night. I got my butt dressed and ready and joined the local gym! Hooray!

So much for a New Years resolution (...21 days later). Ah, I never keep those things anyway. It was a small start for me- 1 mile on the elliptical and 1/2 mile on the treadmill. Yeah, I was pretty spent. (Thai lettuce wraps and mahi-mahi 30 minutes prior didn't do me any favors). Baby steps, right?

Don't believe me- here's the ugly, sweaty, red-faced picture to prove it. Day one is behind me. YES!!

January 20, 2009

The Concrete Tunnels

There is a little park near our house that Sassy just loves to play at. It's not a fancy park, nor is it modern by any stretch of the imagination. It has a small area with a few swings and a simple slide, plus an old metal merry-go-round. The thing Sassy loves most, though, are a group of concrete pipes that have been painted and set up for the kids to climb through.

Yesterday, since Ty had the day off, we took a walk to this park. Charlie & Bumper joined us, and of course we attracted two stray dogs on the way there. They were lab mixes, and they seemed friendly enough, but I am a freak about unleashed dogs, and the last thing I wanted were these dogs stalking us and trying to go by the girls. I mean, you never know what any dog will do, let alone a strange dog. Ugh...

Anyway, we weren't able to stay at the park for long because Little A was not enjoying herself much- it was fairly chilly and very windy, so I can't really blame her. Here are a few pictures to take a look at:


January 19, 2009

Cute Shoes... and Nothing to Do!

God, I love 4-day-weekends! Tyler's, that is. I love my kids SO much, but it is truly a breath of fresh air to have him home and helping out. I would be a completely different person is he had a 4-day-weekend each week, I swear!

We've had a pretty busy weekend so far. Friday night, we went to a family fun night at the local primary school and spent some time with the girls. Saturday, we ran several errands during the day and took the girls swimming at the employees club. It was Little A's first time in the pool, and she loved it. Sassy spent the entire (short) time shivering from the core and saying she was cold. She is so sensitive to cool water! Then, Saturday night, my mom's group had a MNO game night at my friend Laura's house, so Lynzee and I got read to head to that.

The times that I get dressed up, put make-up on, and actually "do" my hair are so few and far between that I usually take advantage of these MNO's to do so. Even if we aren't really doing anything fancy. Anyway, last time my mom was in town, we went shopping and I found these really cute shoes that I just had to have. My mom agreed that they were adorable but questioned how often I would wear them. I bought them anyway. When Tyler saw them, he about flipped. He swore up and down that I would never wear those shoes and they would just sit in my closet and (blah, blah, blah)...

So, as I got ready for MNO, I decided that I was going to wear my shoes. The funny part is that I probably wore them for a total of 5 minutes. I drove, so I wore flip-flops to do so. Then, we take our shoes off at Laura's, so I basically wore them from the car to the front door. HA! Still counts, right? Anyway, I had Ty take a picture of me and my cute shoes before I left the house, and I thought I'd share. Forgive my pose... I must have been channeling my college days or something!
On Sunday, we decided that we were going to take Sassy and Little A to do "somefin fun". We wanted it to be about the girls and just forget about all our grown-up responsibilities momentarily. So, we decided to take them to Chuck E. Cheese. We drove up, and the place was packed. We took the girls our of the car and went in, but there was a huge wait. Attempt #1- unsuccessful.

Next, we decided to see if we could find a movie theater that was playing a good kids movie. We drove to the first theater- they were indeed showing Bolt, but the parking lot was deserted. It was after noon on a Sunday- when to matinees start these days? So, we drove to another theater. Parking lot- packed! Kids movie- not so much. Attempts #2 and #3- unsuccessful.

Right next to said theater is a bowling alley, so we thought it might be fun to do that. Sassy had never been bowling. Once again, we unloaded everyone from the car and went inside. Well, we told them what we wanted, and it was going to be almost $40 for the three of us to bowl for 30 minutes. I just couldn't bring myself to do it. What happened to paying by the game and taking your time? I felt really bad telling Sassy that we were going to leave, but I thought that was a bit much. Man, I must be getting old! Attempt #4- unsuccessful.

I was feeling a bit defeated, and we decided to grab a light lunch and run into Gymboree and Baby Gap to use our Gymbuck and do an exchange. There is a fountain in the shopping center that Sassy likes to visit and toss in pennies to make a wish. I suggested doing that so at least she felt like we did something. Yeah, it was pretty much a huge hit! Nothing like some free entertainment. She probably threw in 25 pennies, and then literally ran circles around the fountain until she was "tired" (self-proclaimed). Success!


January 18, 2009

5 Months...

Happy Birthday to you, Happy Birthday to you...


Little A is 5 months old today! I can hardly believe it, but it's true.

January 17, 2009

The One with the 100th!- Little Harper

Hey, look... it's my 100th post. So, I thought about all the fun things I could write about for the special occasion. 100 random facts about me, 100 things I would like to accomplish, 100 things I love most about being a mom...

Well, if I did any of that, you guys would be convinced that I have way too much time on my hands! So, instead, I urge you to consider this...

I love to read new blogs. I find new blogs to follow daily. Yesterday morning, I stumbled upon a really great blog, Kelly's Korner. I thought it was so neat that I just happened upon her blog the very day that she was in the middle of labor with her precious daughter, Harper.

As the day went on, I learned that Harper Brown Stamps was welcomed into the world, and also that she was experiencing some health complications and was being airlifted to Tulsa. According to the updates, she is faring better today, but is still in a fragile state.

So, please, in honor of my 100th blog post, send 100 prayers and more, as well as positive thoughts and great wishes for this little girl, and her parents, Kelly & Scott! Thanks!

January 16, 2009

Sassy Says, Part II

She's had a couple of good ones over the past few days... let's see if I can remember them all!

Sassy woke up from her rest yesterday in her yellow Tinkerbell nightgown. She almost always requests jammies for her rest (which is kind of a pain in the butt because it's another 2 wardrobe changes for the day, but, whatever...). When she woke up yesterday, she exclaimed, "Look, Mama, my jammies match my movie"! She was astonished!

She went into a complete explanation on the reasons she wanted to wear socks to bed. In one, long, run-on sentence she told me, "I need to wear my socks because my feet feel cold and my socks will make my feet warm and I haf to wear them so that my feet stay warm in my big girl bed under my Tinkerbell blanket and my pink blanket but my Spongebob blanket is in the car". Got it?

Tyler was laying on his back on the bedroom floor and he started to lift Sassy up and throw her around in a playful way. Sassy said, "Daddy, no. I could get hurt. That's not a vewy good idea". HA!

We were at our Marriage For Keeps meeting yesterday, and Angie had a bowl of hershey's kisses on her desk. I hadn't even noticed them, really. Sassy spent the whole visit coloring and minding her own business. When we were getting our coats on to leave, Sassy kept asking for a snack. Tyler and I told her multiple times that we would get one in the car and that we would work on it, etc. I could not figure out why she kept asking. Then, right as we were leaving, she looks over to the bowl and very innocently asks, "What are those, mommy"? We all started cracking up... I mean, come on... It was so funny. In the end, as you can probably guess, she got her hershey's kiss!

Sassy proclaimed, "I have lips, mama". I replied, "Yep. We all have lips". Then she says, "Lips are for kissin. Charlie (the dog) don't haf lips. Charlie has a tongue".

More to come in future installments! ♥

January 15, 2009

Foolery, aka Your Daily Dose of Laughter

Why is it that toddlers think it is HILARIOUS when adults make absolute fools of themselves? I could entertain Sassy all day long by making silly faces, creating crazy sounds, and dancing like...well, me. She will just laugh and laugh and laugh... I can really get her going if she's in the right mood.

Then, it's like the odds are against you when you have small kids. There are boundless opportunities to make yourself look stupid- at play dates, at parties, while trying to unload your grocery cart and get your kids in the car at the same time as the rain is pouring down... I could go on forever.

Now, I'm all for having a little fun and being silly now and then. The trick is to not let anyone, especially your husband, capture photographic evidence to substantiate these claims. We were at the local science center recently, and they had a great exhibit on Jane Goodall's work with the primates. It had a lot of interactive exhibits to explore- a chimp nest (yes, apparently they build nests) that Sassy could crawl up into, various machines that made primate sounds, videos to watch, and so on.
One of the *clever* things they had was an apparatus similar to a crutch that forced your posture to mimic that of a Great Ape so that you could experience their gait firsthand. We put the crutches on Sassy, and she looked so cute trying to walk with them.

Then, Sassy wanted Mommy to do it... so, I did. And, Tyler took a picture. So now, I share with you the very reason you cannot let this happen. If you suspect you are in danger of future ridicule and mockery, tackle the one with the camera. Do it. You will thank yourself later!

January 14, 2009

Define Snack

I **think** I have been in the throws of a parenting power struggle here recently. I let things slide (maybe a bit too much) when Sassy was sick, and now I need to figure out how to take back the reigns, people!

So, Sassy has aways been a picky eater. She doesn't like to try a lot of new things, and most of the time she attempts to refuse dinner. We have the one-bite rule, and she knows that if she doesn't give dinner a good try, then there will be no other options later (besides dinner... again).

Combine this typical behavior with a week-long hunger strike due to that nasty virus, and I am convinced that the SRS will be knocking on my door and accusing me of starving my child. After 3 days straight of not allowing a morsel of food to pass her lips, I was giving her whatever she wanted, Dr.'s orders.

Now that we have entered back into health, the battles have begun in hopes of resuming some sort of normal eating pattern. Sassy will not sit down and eat breakfast. She will not sit down and eat lunch. She wants a "snack". That's all. She insists. S-N-A-C-K.

At first, her idea of a snack was strictly literal- we're talking goldfish, teddy grahams, fruit snacks, etc. Well, obviously, these are not suitable meal replacements. After many tantrums and time-outs, she began to realize that I wasn't (quite) giving in. I kept offering healthy alternatives- string cheese, a banana, an oatmeal square. These are all things I can feed her for breakfast and still manage to sleep at night. But, they are still "snacks", according to Sassy.

Issue two arises due to the fact that she thinks she can sustain on goldfish alone. She has a fit when I tell her no more goldfish for the day. I mean, a FIT. How do I sleep at night- by purchasing the whole wheat goldfish, of course. Yes, because that makes them a total health food, right??

As for our third issue... every time I put her dinner plate in front of her, she whines and wants "somefin else". It never fails. Now, she has been pulling this for quite some time, and it has definitely gotten worse since "sick week". The one-bite rule has pretty much gone to the wayside and most times she gets down without eating a single bite (...or I give in and get her a yogurt or some turkey so that I might sleep at night).

I am at my wit's end. What's a mama to do? I better learn quickly... Little A is only weeks away from rice cereal.

And then there are two...

January 13, 2009

Rat's Nest...

This is what I had to look forward to brushing through yesterday... man, that girl can toss and turn in her sleep. Admittedly, I got Sassy dressed, brushed her teeth, and left the hair to be dealt with later... well... because I didn't want to deal with it. Needless to say, when the time came, a battle ensued. Eventually, I won, but not without a few bumps and bruises (to the eardrums, as least)...

January 12, 2009

Chutes & Ladders

Sometimes, I think that providing educational experiences for your children is overrated. OK, I don't really mean that. But, seriously, playing a board game with a 2-year-old who thinks she 'knows it all' is kind of like being forced to sit through a condescension-filled lecture from a stuffy professor. Who knew a 2-year-olds could be patronizing?

It all starts with a sweet little question. "Mommy, can you play wif me"? How can I say no to that? "Sure, sweetie, what would you like to do", I ask. Sassy says, "Let's play Chutes and Laddews. Can we, Mommy"? After I concede, Sassy begins to "set up" the board. Not there is really much set-up involved, rather, a clear understanding that only Sassy may touch the pieces until she grants me permission to do so.

Now, there are 4 playing pieces- 2 boys and 2 girls. Sassy is, of course, the little blond girl. Mommy is always relegated to be one of the little boy pieces. Once, I asked, "Can Mommy be the other girl"? "No, Mommy," says Sassy, "You a boy"! OK, then. Once the game begins, Sassy goes first. No problems here. I try to get her to practice counting the spaces, but I am not a board game Nazi. She is two, after all. It's supposed to be fun. Well, for her at least.

Once it is 'my turn', Sassy spins for me. I tried to spin once for myself, and will never go there again for fear of losing a finger or two. It's funny, too. Mommy always magically lands on chutes, while Sassy seems to hit every ladder to aid in her ascension. Weird.

The funniest part is that each chute and ladder has a little illustration depicting the reason for the climb or fall. Each has to do with a behavior. For instance, if you help a cat out of a tree, you get to go up a ladder. If you break a dish, down a chute you go. I made the mistake of explaining this to Sassy once. Now, whenever I land on a chute, it's a lecture from little missy. "You were naughty, Mommy. You ate a cookie and you isn't supposed to." Now, if that doesn't stir-up deep-rooted emotional issues, I don't know what does.

So, Sassy, I do it because I love you. Yes, I will play Chutes & Ladders with you... for the 38th time today. Yes, I will smile and (try) to enjoy myself. I always remind myself that, all too soon, you will not want to play board games with me.. you will think it's lame and have way better things to do. I'd better bask in the glory of these (painstakingly humbling) moments while I still can.

Taking Off...

This blogging thing is really taking off! I really look forward to posting, sharing pics of the kiddos, etc. Today, I was even introduced by Mrs. Stilettos to her readers. I love getting new visitors and comments, so thanks!

Also, I think I have successfully changed my settings so that you do not have to have a Google account to comment... SO... comment away!

I am still figuring out how to balance giving family updates, sharing pictures, and writing the comical "mommy stuff". I did start this blog for the fam to read, but I have really enjoyed the writing part so far.

Anyway, keep on reading!

January 11, 2009

Sweet Little A

Amidst all the travel craze and sickness over the past few weeks, I have found it easy to focus my blogger attention on these pressing issues. Today, I would like to offer a breath of fresh air and focus on my sweet little one.

Little A is getting to be such a big girl. I CANNOT believe she is going to be five months old shortly. Those were the quickest five months of my life, by far! She is a very sweet girl, gentle-natured and content most of the time.

She loves her papasan swing, she loves to have little conversations filled with coos and giggles, and she loves her big sister, Sassy! She has recently started to enjoy sitting up in her BebePod. She is starting to hold toys more and more, and she is still loving on her middle two fingers! No "bippies" for this girlie.

The one way she really keeps us on our toes is with those diapers. Man, she is a powerful pooper... and she likes to keep it exciting by pooping whenever we are out. She has had many a bath in a sink at a restaurant or store or airport. No kidding.

Enjoy some recent pictures of Little A:

January 10, 2009

Band-Aid Wars

If you've never tested the will of a 2-year-old who's under the weather, then you are truly missing out on some fun, let me tell you. So, you all heard about our blood-drawing fiasco yesterday. Well, now Sassy is treating her draw sites as if the are gaping wounds that are rapidly exuding blood by the pint. She truly believes it will be the bane of her existence if one of these band-aids comes off. Ever.

So, today was day 3 with no bath for Miss Sassy. Hey, we're sick here. Anyway, I decided that the filth had gone on long enough and insisted that it must be bath day. Now, on any normal occasion, Sassy is all about the bath. In fact, in her bathroom sat a brand new bottle of My Little Pony bubbles, seeing as we just ran out of the Strawberry Shortcake ones. So, this would usually be the perfect set-up for 2-year-old bliss.

Yeah, in a perfect world, maybe...

Sassy refused her bath. She screamed. She cried. She pleaded. She gagged. She had her arms entrenched to her sides to make it impossible to lift off her nightgown. I tried to reason with her, I did. I gave her choices. I did whatever I could think of, and she just became more and more hysterical. As I expected, the reason behind this debacle was that Sassy did NOT want her band-aid to be removed. Or fall off. Or get wet. I assured her that we could put on a new band-aid after her bath, but that was not good enough. Apparently, her arm "stills hurt" and the band-aid prevents her from feeling any pain. Man, I need to market these magic band-aids and make them available to the masses. I could be rich!

Well, she finally settled on taking a bath in "mommy's baftub" as long as I promised (to try) not to get her band-aids wet. I Basically had to give her a sponge bath and had her hold her arms to the sides as I rinsed her hair to protect their dryness. Whew- after all that, I was exhausted! Hopefully, they will "fall off" in her sleep so that we don't have to do this over again tomorrow!

January 9, 2009

Still Sick...

Sassy in her "sickbed", i.e. the corner of mommy's bed, watching her shows...

When will it end?!? Saying that this week has been trying is probably the understatement of the century. I know I'm fairly new at this mom thing, but I swear, if I had to name one parenting issue that tests your strength, resolve, patience, and selflessness, it is dealing with a sick child.

Since Monday, Sassy has been running very high fevers (103-104.5 range) and complaining of a constant tummy ache along with spurts of chills, headaches, cough, and just general malaise. She has forgotten how to speak the English language... her new tongue can be refereed to as 'Whinese'. She has been in a constant state of wanting to be held. Or, as she says, "Hold you, Mommy". When she is too busy with something else (most likely watching the Tinkerbell movie for the 87th time or rotating through countless Sprout and Noggin shoes on the DVR), she resorts to subconsciously moaning and groaning at a level just audible enough to rub your nerves. It's pathetic, really.

She will wake up from a dead sleep and pull her knees to her chest and scream that her "tummy's hurt". The only thing that makes it feel better is "fresh ice cold water" sips and gentle rubbing by... you guessed it. Oh, and when I say fresh, ice cold water, that means fresh water with ice... each time... even at 3 a.m.

I really have been concerned with her sickness this time. She has literally eaten maybe 3 snacks since Monday- no meals at all. She is just miserable and very lethargic and unlike her Sassy self. So, we made it into the Dr's office again today. Of course, they had to do blood work. Of course, they stuck her twice. Of course, they blew her vein. Of course, they did not collect one drop of blood...poor girl. I was SO mad, too. One of ladies that was drawing her actually took a step back from Sassy on stick #2- with a needle suspended from her arm- and put her hands over her ears because Sassy screamed so loud. Are you kidding me? Really? I'm sorry it was so hard for you to withstand my child's screaming as you proceed to jack up her arm in a futile attempt to do your job. I know kids can be a hard stick... I've done them. Misses are inevitable, but that kind of action is inappropriate! I about lost it.

So it was off to the lab for round 2. Luckily, since it is on site for testing, a finger stick was within reason, and that was (somewhat) more tolerable. Anyway, Dr. got back to us right away and said that it was definitely looking viral and we would have to bring her back tomorrow if she had a rough night or Monday if she was still symptomatic to make sure it's not EBV. Or to make sure it is... however you want to look at it. I mean, there's not much they will do, but at least we will know why the symptoms are prolonged like that. So, we will just have to wait and see. Hopefully she will improve a whole bunch over the weekend- she has already been through the ringer enough!

Wish us luck!

January 8, 2009

Send $1 her way...

This post was brought to my attention, and I thought I would do my part to spread the word to my (small but mighty) following. Check it out and consider, please! I will be sending my donation tomorrow!

The Holiday Letdown

Fourteen posts filled with Christmas? Seriously?!? No wonder we are all experiencing a bit of the post-holiday blues. I am still getting used to the fact that our upcoming calendar is relatively empty. I can't tell you how many weeks straight we went with our weekend calendar packed along with several things to do during the week... it just feels weird.

It's no help that we have all been sick. Yes, it's a good thing that I had so much catching up to do because there hasn't been much going around this house. Ty came down with some flu-like sickness right as he returned from the cruise, and Little A and I have had some mild fevers and body aches. Sassy is a mess, though. She has been running high temps since Monday night. Her fever reached a whopping 104.5 axillary, which is pretty insane. I cannot even imagine how she feels. She has a tummy ache, and her "eyebwow" hurts, which after extrapolation, means she has a headache (I think)...

We have spent the entire week going stir crazy. I know it's bad when I can sing the words to the theme song of Backyardigans and the closer to Dora, the Explorer- Spanish and all. I made the mistake of showing Sassy that we could do things together on the computer, and now she is obsessed! We found a Disney website where you can create your own fairy- choose her skin, her hair, her clothes, her wings, the position her arms and legs, etc. Oh, and you choose her name from an extensive list of first names, as well as equally extensive lists of words you can put together for last names. The possibilities seem endless, especially when you have to read them out loud 100 times for your 2-year-old. Almost worth it when you hear the names they choose! So, in closing, I introduce you to Sassy's 3... yes, 3... fairy creations:

Apricot Copperplume

Lark Parsleystem

Ginger Sugarblossom

January 7, 2009

The Holiday Finale/Christmas Part XIV

Our little family had one more taste of Christmas on New Years Eve when we rolled back inside. We came in through the garage, as to avoid the front room, and laid Sassy and Little A straight down for naps. I felt SO guilty because we had turned our heat way down while we were gone, and we forgot to ask our dog-sitters to readjust the thermostat for when we arrived home. I think it was set at 50 degrees or so. It was a bit chilly, and we didn't even have any firewood to start a fire. Oops.

We strategically arranged Santa gifts under the tree and ensured Santa and the reindeer had left a visible trail, which they did (Thanks, Santa). When the girls woke up, Sassy ran to see if Santa had really known to come to our house even though we were out of town for Christmas. She was truly impressed that this occurred, and we kept reminding her it was because she was such a good girl. That may have backfired on us, because now she goes around bragging that Santa "bwought me pwesents cuz I is such a good girl"...

The girls loved everything! Sassy got her Rose Petal Cottage and Cherry Blossom Market, plus a dollhouse. Little A got a drum set, a ball game, a tickle me cookie monster and a musical cube. Both girls got the Scholastic Storybook DVD collection to share, as well as a ride-on dinosaur. Or, "dinowars", as Sassy likes to call it. That girl has a ♥ for dinosaurs, and she has always said the word funny. Maybe she is trying to say dino-horse, I am not really sure, but it's funny either way.

So, that about wraps up our first Christmas as a family of four. We had a great season, filed with lots of fun family activities. I can't wait until next year... well, maybe I can wait a little!

January 6, 2009

Fun with family & friends/Chicago Part V

Our Chicago trip was coming to a close. Christmas was over, the hoopla was (almost) over, and things were finally starting to settle down. Well, not exactly. Sunday, we decided to add a little more excitement into our lives. We drove back down to Aunt Kathy and Uncle Joe's to spend the day. Miranda, Jay, and the girls decided to take a trip in since it was the only time we were able to see them this trip. Plus, none of my family had met the twins yet, so it was the perfect opportunity! The Bears game was set for noon, so we made it a football shindig like we are famous for!

Sassy had so much fun playing dress-up with Miranda's two oldest girls. I'm going have to come up with some nicknames for them- TBA. I think the twins will be, in dearest terms, Thing 1 and Thing 2 (I do ♥ me some Dr. Seuss). Anyway, Sassy & the elders had a swinging good time. We even got all 6 girls together for some pictures. Here's the closest I could find to any feeling of semblance:

Sunday night, we attempted to watch Mama Mia and crashed pretty early. Well, ok, I crashed about 22 minutes into the movie. Unfortunately, Little A did NOT sleep well while her daddy was gone- I think she could tell. So, needless to say, I was exhausted. Monday, Kait, the girls, & I met Kelli for lunch at another Chicago fav- Flat Top Grill. It's similar to BD's Mongolian BBQ or HuHot with the addition of something spectacular- roti bread. It is honestly a blessing that I could never come close to making it at home because I would definitely weigh an additional 100 pounds. Yum! Something about those grill places really appeals to me.

Anyway, after lunch, Kait and I took Sassy and Little A to see The Tale of Despereaux. I found it to be really cute. Sassy liked it a lot. All she could tell anybody afterwards was that she "saw mouses" and "ate popcown, too"! We had some Christmas leftovers for dinner, and I was off to pick up Ty at O'Hare. His flight got in on time, and we had no travel problems... what a concept!

Tuesday morning, we played a few rousing rounds of Wii Fit and headed to Evanston so that my dad could show the girls off to his co-workers. Sassy kept asking when we were going to go see Graycop at work, so she was super excited to finally go. Everyone at Lemoi thought they were the best things since sliced bread, so I was glad, for my dad's sake, that we made the trip. Bonus- Gigio's Pizza. Nothing like looking forward to supposed "New York Style" pizza in the Chicago metro, but hey... something about those big, cheesy slices (God, am I a foodie, or what?? Only when I'm home, I swear!)...
Our trip wrapped up with my inescapable trip to see Nikki at NUTS for a haircut and highlights, some of Uncle rick's world-famous chili, a decent night's sleep, and a smooth flight home Wednesday (Happy New Years Eve)!