June 30, 2010

On the Third Day of Giveaways...

Welcome to day 3 of the Sweet Peas & Sassafras "5 Days of Giveaways"! As a Mama, I am always on the prowl for things that make my #1 job as a mom easier.

And, let me tell you, there is no shortage of fabulous products for moms out there. One of my recent Etsy finds was a little shop called PillowSewCute, home of the Ouch Pouch.

Every Mom needs an Ouch Pouch! How many times have you been out and about with your little ones when you find yourself suddenly in need of a band-aid? Me! Me! Me! After a while, I became pretty skilled at making sure to always have them in my purse, and then by the time we needed one, the ones I had were squished, scrunched, and covered in lint. Ick.

The Ouch Pouch is a small little pocket with a clear plastic front, making it easy to see the contents. They come in several sizes, and can even be made for things like an Epi Pen and other special medical needs. I ordered a couple for myself and several for gifts.

And, guess what...

I ordered one for you, too! Up for grabs- an adorable owl print 4x5 Ouch Pouch, which I happened to stock with some Neo to Go, tweezers, gauze, alcohol wipes, and an assortment of kid-friendly band-aids. All you need is a lollipop to melt away those tears, and you're set!

To enter, leave a comment describing your most "memorable" owie...

Want extra entries? Become a follower, tweet, and/or share this giveaway through facebook… be sure to leave me an additional comment for each!

You must leave comments on my BLOG… facebook comments will not be counted, so hop on over. The giveaway will close at 11:59 PM CST on Sunday, July 11th and winners will be announced the following day. Random.org will be utilized for selection of winner!

Good luck!

{I was not compensated by PillowSewCute to host this giveaway.}

June 29, 2010

On the Second Day of Giveaways...

Welcome to Day 2 of “The 5 Days of Giveaways” here at Sweet Peas & Sassafras! Any of you who read my blog regularly know that I ♥ Etsy! Today, I would like to share a shop that I discovered recently…

McKell over at Flapper Fashions has quite the eye for vintage beauty. Her things are divine, and super affordable! Recently, I have become the proud owner of this:

And this:

Aren’t they just adorable?

She also has really cute headbands:

And hair pins:

And rings:

Since I know you all have wonderful taste, I am sure you will all go to town with a $15 gift certificate to Flapper Fashions! Did I mention everything from her shop ships FREE to the US?

To enter, leave a comment telling us what era inspires you…

Would you like extra entries? Become a follower, tweet, and/or share this giveaway through facebook… be sure to leave me an additional comment for each!

You must leave comments on my BLOG… facebook comments will not be counted, so hop on over. The giveaway will close at 11:59 PM CST on Sunday, July 11th and winners will be announced the following day. Random.org will be utilized for selection of winner!

Good luck!

{I was not compensated by Flapper Fashions to host this giveaway.}

June 28, 2010

On the First Day of Giveaways...

Welcome to the Sweet Peas & Sassafras “The 5 Days of Giveaways” celebrating post #500! Not to mention, a little something for your viewing pleasure while the girls and I are painting the town red in Chicago…

So, it’s Monday. The dreaded Monday. And, on Mondays, everyone needs a little pick-me-up. I like to call her Starbucks.

Yes, folks. Who doesn’t love the occasional cup of dreamy, steamy coffee goodness or a tall, refreshing icy treat on a HOT summer’s day? Both could be yours with this $10 Starbucks gift card that is up for grabs!

To enter, leave me a comment stating your favorite drink to order at Starbucks. Want extra entries? Become a follower, tweet, and/or share this giveaway through facebook… be sure to leave me an additional comment for each!

You must leave comments on my BLOG… facebook comments will not be counted, so hop on over. The giveaway will close at 11:59 PM CST on Sunday, July 11th and winners will be announced the following day. Random.org will be utilized for selection of winner!

Good luck!

{I was not compensated by Starbucks to host this giveaway.}

June 25, 2010

You're in the Right Place!

Look who has a new look!

I've been envious experiencing nothing but utmost admiration and regard for all my fellow bloggers' adorable custom designs for a long, long time. Then, back in March, Tyler purchased a blog makeover package for my birthday from The Design Girl. WOOT!

I am so excited to unveil my new look! Oh, and by the way... this just happens to be my 500th post. WOOT WOOT!

So, what do you think?

Oh, and be sure to come back Monday morning for a special treat!!

June 24, 2010

Memory Lane...

Back in May 2008, my laptop malfunctioned. Part of my hard drive crashed, and it went to semi-factory restore. All of my photo files were gone. At the time, I had a Kodak camera, and used their software to upload photos. The strangest part was, when I opened the software, I could still see thumbnails to every single photo, but the links were broken. No access to files.

We paid to have everything recovered. All of my photo files (10,000+) were placed on an external hard drive. Then, at some point after Little A was born (I think I have blocked it from memory), I went to back-up my photos to the external, and it wouldn't turn on. Like, at all. I've had 2 people with computer knowledge look at it and determine it's toast. So, here I sit with a fried external hard drive, a laptop with thumbnails (I'm hopeful they can recover these again... I really need to bring it in!), and a very small amount of pictures from Sassy's first 2 years of life. This breaks my heart...

So, I was cleaning my office the other day, and decided to plug in our digital picture frame that's been collecting dust for months, just waiting to be updated. Like, people might think it strange to see our digital picture frame scrolling with ZERO pictures of our almost TWO-year-old, no?

Long story short, there were a select few photos files from Sassy's first year on there. A few of my favorites, of course. Naturally, those would be the ones that I would have chosen to put on there.

I cried when I saw them. Literally. I can't believe how grown up she is. In some pictures, she looks a lot different, and in some pictures, she has the EXACT same little face and expressions. So, seeing as I am without camera this week, I thought I'd share a few with you!

This was Sassy on her 1-week birthday. We still lived in Ames and my Mom was in town visiting/helping. We all went to Ankeny to Super target and Chili's for lunch. I just adore her little squished face!

This one is of Sassy and Tyler on their first Father's Day together! We had been living in Kansas for about 10 days, and we got Planet Sub for lunch and went to a park for a picnic. We had such a great day!

This was Labor Day weekend, 2006. Our friends Miranda & Jay drove from IL to visit us with their two girls. We were so excited to have out first visitors, and it was so nice to see a friend, since I basically had none yet here! We spent the day at the zoo, and Miranda snapped this picture of Sassy and I. I love this shot!

This is quite possibly my all-time favorite picture of Sassy as a baby. Between the light, those cheeks, and that drool... be still my heart!

This one was from a "photo shoot" I did with Sassy for our annual Christmas card. It's not the picture I ended up choosing, but in retrospect, I just love this one. Her little china doll skin and that profile, those cheeks. Oh, I ♥ this girl!

I can't remember the story behind this one, but it really amazes me how much this photo looks like Sassy now. WOW!

January 2007. Da Bears. Da Superbowl. 'Nuff said. {We won't recap the score...}

This one was from a random trip to the park in early March, 2007. I remember thinking if this is what March is like in Kansas, I'm staying! Love my Sassy girl's smile!

Sassy always had the funniest little facial expressions, which ended up making for some of my favorite photos. My Mom would always questions my taste for the photos that became my favorites... she likes conventional. I like adorable! What a little sweet pea!

Thanks for joining me on a trip down memory lane! I hope someday to have the ability to share some photos from Sassy's second year of life! Have a great Thursday, and stay tuned for some exciting things to come...

June 22, 2010

Stream of Consciousness, ala MckMama...

I am up to my eyeballs in paperwork! Trying to wrap things up before we leave town. The nerves have set in about our 2 week trip- I couldn't sleep well at all last night- kept thinking about the zillion things I have to do prepare, plan for, etc. Sometimes I wish I were more go-with-the-flow...

I did take a break from work this afternoon and went to the pool while the kids were in MDO. Yes, you read that right... while the kids were in MDO. I briefly considered feeling a twinge of guilt as I floated down the lazy river, but thought better of it.

I'm still trying to decide if I should deal with checking a bag at the airport, or if I should mail a big box and just deal with carry-ons. It will be me, myself, and I with 2 kids, 2 car seats, and a handful of carry-ons. Thoughts?

One thing I will not be carrying on is my camera. It is having surgery this week. I am really bummed, especially since I will be meeting my nephew for the first time and had planned on taking 7,432 pictures of him... on day 1. I even bought a little hat for a prop. Trying not to let this little glitch bring me down. Losing the battle.

I can almost taste the Portillo's Chopped Salad and the Lou Malnati's ooey gooey cheesy deep dish. However, I have vowed to not be overly indulgent this trip... maybe just once or twice.

It is HOT outside. Like, H-E-L-L-O summer. Our AC is barely not keeping up. We should probably get someone out here for a clean & check. HVAC people must ♥ people like us.

I'm sure my husband would really appreciate it if I actually made what I said I was going to make for dinner this evening. But, that would require going to the store for a packet of low-sodium taco seasoning. And, turning the oven on. Sorry honey.

Well, it's been a slice. Must jump back into my mountain of paperwork. Peace.

June 21, 2010

Dad's Day Recap...

What a day it was!

Tyler started his day off even earlier than the rest of us. Since he wanted to do the things he loved to do most and maximize his time with the girls, he set off on a quick 18 mile bike ride to Udall and back before the rest of us were awake.

Once we were up and ready to go, we enjoyed a breakfast per Tyler's request- biscuits and gravy. I just don't know that I will ever love that stuff. Yet another reason to become a vegetarian...

As always, we hemmed and hawed for a few moments about how to spend our day. A planner by nature, I had been nagging asking Tyler nicely for days how he would like to spend his Father's Day... and, to no avail. We finally devised a plan, got the girls dressed and ready, gathered all of the necessary supplies- diaper pod, water, the Flip, my crappy back-up camera that doesn't work... you know.

{Beloved camera is having surgery this week. Sob.}

Our first stop was Exploration Place- we hadn't been since the unveiled the traveling Grossology exhibit. My friend Renee had warned us of the revolting nature of the exhibit, so of course we had to go check it out for ourselves!

In typical SPH fashion, it took us 863 minutes to actually make it back to any exhibits. First, Sassy had to go potty. Then, Tyler realized he forgot his glasses in the car. After deciding he'd actually like to see the exhibits, and not with sunglasses, he made the trek out there. Meanwhile, Sassy, Little A and I perused the gift shop. I almost lost Sassy when she saw these...

I've never seen such a disgusted face on a 4-year-old. Ever. Her lack of acceptance of the bug suckers made me a bit nervous to take her back to the Grossology exhibit. She is, after all, the kid who did this. She also threw up once after stepping in some dog drool on the kitchen floor at Grandma's house. Just sayin'...

Once Tyler returned, we headed towards Grossology. We listened to some scary computerized puppet things give us an introduction and talk about snot. Tyler and the girls fired snot balls into a giant nose, and then took a walking tour of the inside of the nose. I played a game where I had to remove the bad stuff from the blood in the kidneys and transfer it to the urine, making sure to leave behind the good stuff.

After a while, we moved on to the part of the exhibit that sent Renee over the edge. There was a giant play structure that mimicked the digestive tract. You enter the mouth, slide down the esophagus slide, crawl through the stomach, and wind your way through the intestines and finally, the rectum. Yes, you crawl out of the rectum... onto a giant, asymmetrically shaped brown mat on the floor. HA!

My girls did not urge me to make the trip, nor did Tyler feel the need to document it. At all.

{This post is hereby named Foolery, Part II. See what EP does to people?}

Sassy enjoyed playing the life size version of the popular board game Operation:

Once we had stomached enough grossness, we explored the Much More Munsch exhibit, celebrating children's author Robert Munsch. Cute! Sassy was in "letter identification" heaven!

We spent a bit of time in the Tot Spot, and Sassy and Little A naturally made a beeline for the water table. I did not catch Sassy with gross, disintegrating water toys in her mouth. Yeah, you read that right. Sassy. You know, my 4-year-old? Grosser than Grossology.

The girls played some more in the Tot Spot. Little A played "food", her favorite game. Sassy climbed into the bitty acorn cradle, and Little A insisted on a turn. Both girls took several rides down the train track. Fun stuff.

We let the girls play for a brief time in the castle part. Little A was growing hungrier and hungrier, more and more tired. Sassy did manage to find the time to tell me some exhilarating stories about the creatures she met in the castle as I sat on my... ahem... throne. We even squeezed in a self-portrait.

We drove over to Playa Azul in Old Town for lunch... Tyler's pick. Sassy kept assuring Tyler that it was his choice where we went to eat because it was Father's Day. It would have been funny to see her reaction if he chose a sushi bar or something. Yum. She kept asking us when it would be Kid's Day, to which we promptly replied that every day is Kid's Day. Are we right, parents???

And, it wouldn't be a proper meal with the SPH clan without a mess. Little A dropped her Styrofoam cup of water, which broke and spilled everywhere. Ah, kids...

We had packed the girls bathing suits to stop by the Old Town fountains, but we were sad to see that they weren't on. Does anyone know what's up with that? Tyler walked over to them and said that it looked as though they hadn't been on yet this season. Weird.

We took the girls to Lincoln Park instead. We probably only played for 15 or 20 minutes, but the girls had a BLAST!

Little A was unphased by the jets AT ALL. She repeatedly stuck her face right in them... it was pretty funny!

We finally got home in time for a very late rest for Little A. Sassy took quiet time in her bedroom while Tyler and I worked on getting our fruit salad and black bean, feta, and mint salad ready for the BBQ at Tom & Lynzee's. We decided to take Sassy over early and let my parents bring Little A over once my Dad returned home from work...

...And, I am SO thankful we did because Little A thought it a great day to take her diaper off during her nap and finger paint her sheets, blanket, and crib brown. Must have been all that Grossology stuff... I am shocked that my Mom and Dad stripped her bed, cleaned her crib, and bathed her rather than calling me home. Can't say I would have done the same...

The kids played outside in the kiddie pool and the sprinklers. I think this collage is just hilarious...

Then, I had the big girls "strike a pose"- equally entertaining...

To add to the drama for the day, we are about to put the meat on the grill (chicken & sirloin steaks) when Tyler comes to the realization that the huge freezer bag of meat he had thawed wasn't sirloin steaks, but rather a giant brisket. Yeah. Unless we wanted to eat at midnight, that was out of the question. So, burgers and chicken it was... Tyler, Tyler, Tyler.

Lynzee made her FABULOUS summer squash casserole, and we even splurged and had Dairy Queen ice cream cake for dessert. Sassy was able to eat the top, so she was thrilled!

We had a jam-packed father's Day, but fun, nonetheless!

June 20, 2010

It's What A Daddy's For...

Happy Father's Day to our FAVORITE Daddy!

June 19, 2010

It's the End of My World As I Know It...

OK, OK....

That's super dramatic. Nonetheless, it's how I feel, just a teeny tiny bit.

Ready for this...

There is something wrong with my camera...


Yeah. I know. Saying it made me a little dizzy.

My main lens will not focus properly, and I am dying a little bit on the inside.

The good news- it is still under super-duper-mega warranty.

The bad news- We leave for Chicago in less than a week.

I am taking it in to be looked at this evening.

Once we receive the lab test results, I will let you all know what the doctor technician says...

weep. weep. weep.

June 17, 2010

What I've Been Up To...

I spent all day today doing this. I will do the same tomorrow. I've also been plugging away at becoming one of these.

Busy, busy...

Sorry for the lack of more exciting posts or pictures of the kiddos.

But just think of all the Infant Massage and Baby Signing Time instruction I will be able to share with you all!

Oh, and just for good measure...

June 16, 2010

Bikini Babe...

Today, Sassy and I were heading out the door to play in Lynzee's backyard with LMB and Lu Lu. They have a small kiddie pool set up in their backyard, and Sassy was excited to play in it. So, as we were walking out the door, this is the conversation that took place:

Sassy: Wait! Do you have my band-ang suit? (She used to call it a band-aid suit, and now it's more of a combination of that and bathing suit... we are headed in the right direction...)
Me: Yep!
Sassy: Is it my bikini?
Me: Sure is.
Sassy: Good. Then everyone can see my bebo. (Reference... and yes, she knows it is actually called a belly button... well, sort of...)
Me: I guess that's true. Is that a good thing?
Sassy: Well, yeah. {Insert NO DUH connotation and heavy eye roll here}
Me: Why is that, then??
Sassy: Because I have a pretty good lookin' bebo, you know...

BAH! MWAH HA HA. Should have known.

June 14, 2010

Lunch Bunch!

Our summer has gotten off to a great start! It's been nice consolidating my hours so that I am not working little bits here, there, and everywhere. It really makes me feel like I have more quality time to spend with the girls. Also, working for Parents As Teachers has proven amazingly flexible... when there are fun playgroups and activities, I am always able to bring the girls along.

There are times when I do not choose to do so; when I know that my focus will need to be more centered on the work task at hand. Many times, Tyler brings the girls along to the evening activities. This way, I can work and not have to worry about tending to them... too much. Occasionally, though, I will find it fit to bring one or both of the girls on my own (usually Sassy- she is past the stage of requiring 110% of my attention at all times).

It's been really neat to have been given the reigns, if you will, as far as planning the summer activities for PAT. We've begun monthly playgroups at Kindermusik and My Gym. We've also held bimonthly parent-child groups called Lunch Bunch, where we meet at a different location each time, play, do an activity, and have a picnic lunch together. So far, we have held two Lunch Bunch meetings.

The first meeting we held was at Great Plains Nature Center. It was during the day, so I brought Sassy along and left Little A with Nana. We toured the museum, checked out the fish tank, made binoculars, walked one of the trails together, scoped out turtles and ducks, and had our picnic.

You can see more photos from our outing here.

This past Saturday, we had our second Lunch Bunch meeting at Island Park Playground. It was a really great idea to hold it on a Saturday, allowing some of our working parents a chance to join in!

There are just all kinds of nooks and crannies to explore!

The kids loved the playground, and we even discovered some built in misting sprinklers that we hadn't seen before.

Sassy made us laugh... for the first time, she pretended she was an animal (a cat) for an extended period of time. She's pretended to make animal sounds before, of course, but this time she really took on the role of a cat. She slunk around on her hands and knees...

...and even caught some sun on a rock! HA!

You can view more pictures from our outing here.

We are looking forward to our Lunch Bunch meetings next month!

June 13, 2010


Preface: It's funny to me that the some of the most entertaining times with my girls come during car rides...

Today on the way to Island Park in Winfield...

{Trying desperately to pass the time as I drive...}

Me: What does a cow say?
Little A: Mooooooooo
Me: Good! What does a cat say?
Little A: Mooooooooo
Me: No, not a cow, sweetie. A cat. CAT.
Little A: Signs "cat"
Me: Yes. Cat. Meow.
Little A: Eeeeow. Eeeeow.
Me: Good. What does a snake say?
Little A: {Vigorously shaking her head back and forth...} Ssssssssss....
Me: Yep. What does a dog say? DOG.
Little A: Signs "dog"
Me: Yes, dog. What does a dog say?
Little A: Mooooooooo
Me: No, silly. A dog says woof woof.
Little A: Oof. Oof.
Me: Good! What does a dinosaur say?
Little A: Rrrraaaawwwwrrrr!
Me: Yeah!
Sassy: Oooh, I've got one Mama. It's gonna be a little tricky...
Me: Shoot.
Sassy: What does a cheetoh say?
Me: {Can't say a word because I am too busy cackling hysterically}
Sassy: What, Mama? A cheetoh is an animal, you know? It's kinda like a leopard.
Me: {Stifling laughter}... a cheetoh, huh? What does a cheetoh say?
Sassy: Grrrrr... Mama, did you know cheetohs are like leopards, but they are a little orange...

I ♥ these girls!

June 11, 2010

Sassy's Aspirations...

A while back, Sassy asked me if she could go to ouderpace to see the milky waves. I told her that to visit outer space, she would need to become an astronaut. She asked what an astronaut was, and I told her an astronaut was someone who traveled to outer space and studied things there.

I told her that to be an astronaut, she would have to go to school for a long, long time and do really well. She would have to practice math extra hard, and maybe her Daddy could help her with that.

So, a couple of days ago, she was riding in the Jeep with Nana and Graycop, and she told them all about how she wanted to be an astronaut when she growed up. She wanted to ride a space ship to ouderspace and see the milky waves and study the moon and the Earth and the planets. She told them how she would have to go to school a long, long time and go to preschool and college and even high school.

But, she told them, she would have to bring her Mommy with. When asked why, she said in case she got scared in ouderspace...

After all, that's what Mommy's are for, aren't they?


Groupon Addict...

There has got to be too much of a good thing, right??

A couple weeks back, Groupon Wichita opened, and I have been slightly addicted ever since. Groupon offers a daily deal on local restaurants, services, attractions, and shops. The catchy part is each daily deal has a tipping point, which means that a certain number of people must opt in each day or no one gets the deal.

So, it's no wonder that guilt takes over me and I feel compelled to buy many Groupons, for fear that someone out there will be missing out on their deal. Even if it has already tipped.

There are Groupons for many places across the country. Right now, I get daily emails from Wichita, Kansas City, and Tulsa (we plan to spend a long weekend there soon).

You really must go sign up now for Groupon in your area: click here to get your Groupon!

And, yes, there is a referral system. So, you lovelies will all be doing me a favor by checking it out. You won't regret it. Or you will. I ♥ you all the same!

June 10, 2010

Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny...

Mind you all, this type of swimwear is reserved for our own backyard frolics, but too cute to pass on sharing...

June 9, 2010

A True Sign of Summer...

...the town "fests" have begun!

It's been a stark contrast from what I am used to, these Kansas festivals. I grew up with the Taste of Chicago and Summerfest at my fingertips each summer.

But, there is something to be said about the local celebrations held in small towns. Some good old-fashioned fun awaits. We likey.

Last weekend was Derby Days, not too far from where we live. We promised the girls we would take them to the parade Friday night. I don't know what it is about parades... they are like toddler crack... pardon my lack of taste in terms. Maybe it's the thrill and exhilaration flying candy every 5 seconds. I don't know.

Sassy was pumped for the parade all.the.livelong.day. I could hardly wait for 5:30 to roll around... truly. Because, if I had to field one more questions regarding said event, I may have just dunked my head in the toilet for the mere satisfaction of the peace and quiet it would bring.

Anyway, I was happy when Tyler arrived home from work, and we were off to the parade...

The girls waited patiently and anxiously for the parade to begin. Sassy was in awe that we were sitting outside the parking lot to her pediatrician's office... just as soon as I reassured here that neither her nor Little A would be making nay trips inside.

The girls enjoyed an early cool treat from one of the first groups that went by. This was our first parade since Sassy's dietary restrictions have been in place. We had to ask the kid handing out the popsicles for a not red or orange one. I hope green was a safe choice! As for the rest of the candy, we allowed Sassy and Little A to collect it, but we chose to "buy" it from them with coins {unspecified} for their piggy banks. We will likely do this with birthday favors and Halloween candy, as well. Sassy was none the worse for wear over it.

The girls grew tired and hungry towards the end, but had a great time all together.

We even stopped for pizza and Blockbuster on the way home!

Saturday morning, we headed up to the high school for the carnival portion of Derby Days. It was a little disappointing. I guess we figured we'd head early and beat the crowds, but we arrived before the rides began, so Sassy was a little bit disappointed. Oops.

We did spend a great deal of time in the kids area- the girls did crafts, dug in the sand for prizes, and enjoyed the petting zoo.

And, the trolley ride to and from the car almost sufficed in the rides department. As for the trolleys, we had a much much better experience this year than last.

We'll have to wait and see what fun we'll have as various town festivals continue throughout the summer!