November 30, 2010

Brown paper packages tied up with strings...

And so it begins.

What, you ask?

Why the Sweet Peas & Sassafras 12 Days of Christmas giveaway spectacular!

I have hand-picked a few of my favorite things to share with you all. Over the next three weeks, I will be featuring items for the little ones, as well as items for, ahem, us mamas... so be on the lookout.

There will be many chances to win!

Want a leg up?- "like" the new Sweet Peas & Sassafras facebook fan page for instant feed!

And so it begins... tomorrow!

Cleaning and Climbing and Cold Medicine... Oh, My!

I'm not going to lie... I spent the majority of last week {and all weekend and as I type...} in a fog. A cold-medicine-y, cough suppressant-y, Mentholatum haze. It's not a pretty picture, folks.

I've pretty much been sick for two weeks and counting. Mostly the kind of sick where you wish you felt better. And nightly, the kind of sick where you are sleeping but not really because you are coughing so bad you couldn't possibly be sleeping well, but you're sleeping enough that when your husband or mother or child moves about in the room to shower in the morning or give you hot honey-lemon water in the middle of the night or climb into your bed to sleep with you, you startle, so you must have been sleeping a little. And occasionally, where you lay in bed, unable to move, rendered completely useless in daily activity, so you just take some more cold medicine and roll over in hopes that a nap will cure everything. Yeah, that kind of sick.

So, sometime between returning from burger king and the arrival of Tyler's Mom, Dad, and Grandma Wednesday evening, I did the following:

Grocery shop for Thanksgiving dinner.
Clock a whopping 22 minutes of work before deciding it was utterly useless.
Take the girls to My Gym with Lynzee and her girls.
Eat sushi.
Start a crock pot of delicious chili.

You get the picture...

And, speaking of pictures, I have a few to share...


...and playing...

...and playing...

Details of the giveaway surprise to come shortly! ♥

November 29, 2010

Zoo Fail.

Welcome to our week-in-review! Between Mom's surgery, the wonderful holiday we spent with a big chunk of our family, and the Christmas season coming at us in full swing, I guess I took a bit of an impromptu blogging break. Coming this week- details from our awesome l-o-n-g Thanksgiving weekend, as well as some very exciting giveaway news... stay tuned!

Last week, my sweet friend hosted family for baby girl's birthday and the Thanksgiving holiday. We decided to get together and spend some time, all of us, while her family was in town. Monday was forecasted to be sunny and near 70, so we decided that the zoo sounded like the perfect location! The fact that we came in tow with kiddoes 4, 3, 2, 1, 6 months, and 6 months may or may not have had something to do with that decision...

Monday morning rolled around, and the girls and I headed out to the zoo. We left before 9:00 AM, and while it was a bit nippy at the time, the day seemed promising as far as weather was concerned. By the time we reached the zoo in northwest Wichita, it was windy and much colder than when we had left our house. Instantly regretting the clothing choices I had made for Miss Sassy, we packed up our things and trekked inside.

We had a while to wait before our friends arrived, so I thought the best idea was to head to the gift shop, allowing us to get our fill of "warm" before spending too much time outside. Anyway, Nana had given Sassy and Tink a little money, so they wanted to choose a treasure. Sassy found hers quickly:

After we grew bored of the gift shop, we meandered over to the flamingos, where the girls had a wonderful time gazing at them, asking 1,672 questions about all things flamingo, and waiting patiently for their friends singing at the top of their lungs and dancing around like crazy people...

I love, love, LOVE seeing the wonder in their faces whenever we visit the zoo. Worth the price of admission any day...

Tink spotted the peacock up ahead, and I spent a good deal of time chasing after her, trying to plead with her not to pet the peacock. He was thrilled, let me tell you...

The girls had no problem entertaining themselves during our wait. While the amount of time that lapsed was in reality not very long, it felt like forever. Bottom line- it was COLD! I felt so guilty for Sassy's lack of long pants and socks! Poor thing stood shivering in her little coat...

Tink even started to get chilly, which I scarcely thought was possible, considering the amount of jumping around she was doing...

Finally, our friends arrived. We met them at the front gate before they paid admission. After a little meeting of the elders, we decided that it was probably not in our best interest to spend the morning at the zoo. It was much colder than we had anticipated, and no one was truly properly dressed to make a very lengthy go of it. Plus, those sweet baby boys looked cold already.

It was my brilliant idea to hit up Exploration Place, a nice indoor alternative. Only when we {read: caravan of three vehicles} were downtown and a block away from our destination did it dawn on me that Exploration Place was closed on Mondays. We drove there, and I hopped out to check, just in case. No bones.

By this time, the crowds grew weary. And hungry. After brief consideration to the mall play place, we decided to resort to good ole' Burger King for lunch and play. The kids had a ball, and I squeezed in some delightful adult conversation with three very special ladies. I will admit, however, that the wind had left my sails enough to not bring my camera into BK. Sorry, peeps... you'll just have to take my word for it...

November 25, 2010

We Have Much to be Thankful For...

Gratitude unlocks the fullness of life. It turns what we have into enough, and more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos to order, confusion to clarity. It can turn a meal into a feast, a house into a home, a stranger into a friend. Gratitude makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. ~Melody Beattie

November 24, 2010

A Tale of Two Dogs.

There is nothing I hate more than seeing dogs running aimlessly near busy streets. It makes me queasy.

I always want to jump out and corral them to safety and be the hero. Usually, logic gets the best of me. Are they meant to be outdoor dogs? Are they friendly? Are my children with me and will they remain safe? Do I have the time and energy to get involved? It sounds shallow for me to even admit to pondering these things, but I do.

Well, yesterday, Sassy was at preschool and Tink was napping with Nana at home. I decided to run up to Target to buy my nephew's Christmas gift while it was on special, and pick Sassy up from school on my way home. I got about a stone's throw away from our house and past the first major intersection when I saw them...

Two adorable little white dogs running amok across K-15, which is quite a busy highway. My mind started to race. These were NOT meant to be outdoor dogs. I was the only one in the car, therefore only putting myself at risk if I were to try to help. They were dodging traffic, people were swerving, it was awful. Clearly not dogs with street smarts {just like my own at home}...

I pulled to the left as close to the concrete divide as I could, threw the car into park, and hopped out of my car. I called to them in a sing-song-y voice while patting my knee. The one ran straight to me and I scooped it up and placed it in the car.

At this point, a woman coming from the other direction stopped and got out, too, trying to corral the last dog. Then, another woman stopped behind me and got out, as well. We had K-15 blocked. The second dog was evidently spooked, as he should have been. He bolted towards Taco Bell, where I yelled to a guy in the parking lot, "GET HIM!". He did, and passed him to the woman, who passed him to me. I thanked everyone, and stated that they were not mine, but I would find out where they belonged.

As I walked back to the car and tried to usher the second dog in without letting the first dog out, dog #2 snarled at me. Oh great, I thought... please don't don't maim me as I try to find your home!

Both dogs had collars and tags {happy face} but upon closer inspection, they only had rabies tags and no ID tags {sad face}. I was unsure of whether to take them to the police station or the animal clinic, so I began to drive around with these two white dogs as I called Ty at work. I explained my situation and waited for his return call. Both dogs sat in my passenger seat content and panting away, seemingly thrilled to be riding in the car.

Tyler called back and said that I could take them to the animal clinic so long as the rabies tag was from them. One was, and one was not, but I figured it was close enough. We headed that way, and I left them in the car as I went inside to get temporary leashes, praying they didn't destroy the contents of my car. I waited in line behind three people...

Once I put the leashes on them, they put the skids on, realizing just where they were. I had to carry them in, one under each arm. They looked up the rabies tag #, proclaimed, "Oh, yeah... these are Jane Doe's dogs", and looked at me as if I was supposed to know who that was and just where she lived. HA!

Once they realized I didn't {what is this, Mayberry?} she said that they could stay in a kennel until she could be reached. Gee, thanks. I felt like I needed to apologize for being a pain in the, well... that was a bit disappointing.

Anyway, I had obviously missed my window to get to Target. In fact, I was running behind in getting Sassy picked up from school on time. But, it all worked out OK.

Later, I called the clinic to see if they were able to reach the owner. She nonchalantly stated that they had been picked up 30 minutes ago, and was there anything else I needed?

Uh, no. Just wanted to make sure they were home safe.

Sometimes doing the right thing is a thankless job.

But, sometimes it feels really good to get involved.

November 23, 2010

Gingerbread Village.

We spent a silly Saturday with Graycop, welcoming the holiday season with open arms!

While Tyler painted and my Mom continue to recover at home from her surgery, Graycop spent the day with us, as we took the girls to the annual Assistance League of Wichita fundraiser known as Gingerbread Village. We had visited once before when Tink was teeny-tiny, and I thought the time was right to give it another go!

Sassy picked out her own outfit for the day, and practically begged me to take pictures out front before we left. I have created a monster.

My two little pretties:

What a silly Tink! Don;t you love when you don;t even notice that your child has a bruise in the middle of their forehead until you are editing photographs? That doesn't happen to you? Oh. Me neither.

I am totally digging Sassy's style lately! Which, in reality, should come as no surprise seeing as I purchase her wardrobe. HA! But, she pulls it off well.

Two words:

Right before we left the house, I shooed the girls inside so that I could gather the rest of my belongings. Tink {sweet little soul that she is} slammed the door in my face and just laughed and laughed. Of course my first instinct was to photograph her, so I did. Here is is: Tink through etched glass door. Coming soon to a gallery near you...

Oh, right... this post was supposed to be about Gingerbread Village.

For a small fee, you gain entrance to a display of several gingerbread creations submitted for judging. Then, each person gets a gingerbread kit to make their own edible treat.

The girls enjoyed viewing the houses. There were some really impressive ones!

With the help of a young volunteer, Sassy constructed her entire house by herself. I was super impressed. My Dad fumbled through his construction, and I plugged away at Tink's base while she ate all the candy. No, seriously. When it came time to decorating her house, I think she put on one decoration. And, that's just because I forced her to. She was much happier eating the colorful adornments...

She did, however, make the important discovery that she is not a fan of Red Hots.

When we were finished building, we walked through the silent auction across the hall for a bird sanctuary, where we got to meet this adorable little fellow:

And, we wrapped up our fun day with a display of our gingerbread houses in front of the gingerbread boy. How fitting.

The girls had a blast, and it's definitely worth the money not to have to mess with this at home to go towards such a great cause! Plus, now we have mantle decorations as a kick-start to our holiday decorating. Yipee!

November 20, 2010

Quick Update...

My Mom had surgery yesterday. She is doing well... on her way to recovery!

We all have miserable colds, runny noses, and little voices. Yuck!

Tyler is working ALL weekend.

I am cleaning the house and getting ready to host Thanksgiving here. YIKES!

Tyler and I are going to see Harry Potter tonight with some friends... BEYOND excited.

Busy, busy week ahead. Thankful for the nice weather today.

The end.

November 18, 2010

Hair Pretties.







Funky. Affordable. Fabulous. LOVE ♥ them.

Headbands by JillyBean Designs.

I highly suggest getting yours now! I have a grown-up version coming my way very soon...

Oh, and props to supporting locally and supporting fellow Mamas!

November 17, 2010

The one where I celebrate my sweet peas and all the warm fuzzies they conjure...

{You've been forewarned.}

November brings the impending sense of doom; the inevitable reality that my days of outdoor photo shoots with my girls are numbered. Well, I mean, we will take pictures here and there throughout cold-weather season, but it becomes less and less enjoyable... for all parties involved.

So, taking this into consideration, we have spent some time outside capturing some memories as of late. I only wish I could bottle up some of their jovial spirit, their special sweetness, and their silly giggles- preserving them for years to come so that I could sample these sounds and tastes and smells at my leisure- then, I would surely be a rich woman.





Sweet, sweet smiles.


Baby Blues.

Mine, all mine.

November 16, 2010

Where Fun Abounds...

We did some pretty fun things this weekend here in the SPH!

Friday night, Tyler and I took the girls to see a production of The Wizard of Oz at the Wichita Children's Theatre & Dance Center. What a great place! We used to frequent shows often when Sassy was little, but hadn't been to one in quite some time. Both girls were thoroughly mesmerized and enjoyed themselves very much!

We enjoyed pizza & pj's...

...and yellow brick roads...

...and Dorothy, herself...

There is just something more magical about The Wizard of Oz when you live in Kansas.

The girls really soaked up the Daddy time. Tyler has been working overtime at Cessna and painting and other side jobs the last few weekends, so he's been a bit of a stranger around here. We are very thankful for the work, though. But, the girls miss him still...

Saturday, Miss Sassy had two birthday party invites, so we partied it up while Tink spent some one-on-one time at home with Nana (Daddy was painting). First, it was a birthday party at Raeann's Fancy Footwork.

Next, it was up to North Wichita for a birthday party at Newspring (where Sassy had her 4th birthday party)...

Sassy and her buddy Bubs:

Sassy and I may have discovered a new favorite hair accessory manufacturer, as well... more on that to come...

November 15, 2010

Sugar Booger.

Well, we had quite the experience last night.

Remember when I learned the hard way about leaving Sassy briefly unattended in my bedroom?

Well, we got slapped with another little lesson last night.

Tyler was unable to view our awesome family picture previews from Unruh Photography at work. He's been so busy with work, overtime, and side-work that I felt as though I literally needed to nail him to my office chair and force him to look at our photos so that I could order them before next year.

While we were in my office, Sassy and Tink were playing adjacent to us in the basement, but we did not have the gate closed to the upstairs like we normally would have. And, since we were focused on viewing the pictures on the screen, suffice it to say we weren't paying 100% 10% attention to what the girls were up to...

After a few minutes, Sassy barrels into the office and yells, "{Tink} is in my bedroom eating the pooper candy!!"

Let me back up a minute. My mother, bless her strange, strange soul, had the gumption to buy Sassy a version of this. Then, when she quickly ran out of disgusting poop candy, my Mom purchased her a giant 3 lb. package of white nerds to go into the dispenser. Joy. It's a very rare occasion that the girls even get candy period, let alone at their disposal. NOT!

So, we took reign over said candy and had it secretly housed on the open counter top in the kitchen...

Back to the basement scene...

So, we jumped up and ran upstairs to find Tink shoveling handfuls of nerds into her mouth. God knows how much she had already eaten. What are you going to do? We told her that she always has to ask Mommy or Daddy before she eats any candy, and we proceeded with our evening...

We put Tink to bed at bedtime and took Sassy with us to grocery shop for the week. We returned home at about 9:30, and walked in the house to find my Mom with an evil look on her face and Tink running in circles around the front room.

Apparently, the sugar got the best of her.

She's always been a bit sensitive to the effects of sugar, but I never...

Girl was crazy. For hours. Through Sassy's bedtime routine. Through putting groceries away. For ever and ever and ever. {Or so it seemed}...

Needless to say, last night was not a very restful one. And, guess what? Tink was still up bright and early this morning.

Let it be a lesson to you all.


November 12, 2010

Tidbits From Tink...

This video was from last month, but too cute NOT to share... Enjoy!

Anything sound familiar??

November 11, 2010


Tink has a new favorite breakfast.

She asks for it every morning, and I'm not going to lie... when she does, it sure puts a smile on my face!

OP-a-meet-al {or, oatmeal, for all you who do not speak Tink}.

Isn't it the best when kids say things in a funny way? Or, when they just say really funny things? Now, don't get me wrong... I understand the importance of proper language. In fact, it's my job to make sure that kids are meeting their developmental milestones, and expressive language is a huge component of that. But, it's completely normal for little ones to say things wrong when they first begin to speak. N-O-R-M-A-L.

Beyond that, there may be an instance or two where I, as Mama, lead them astray. I mean, opameetal sounds so much cuter than oatmeal, doesn't it? So I may or may not ask her to say it over and over. And I may or may not praise her for being so stinkin' cute {don't tell on me}. So, if she goes to college calling oatmeal opameetal, there will be no one but myself to blame. I'm only human.

Um, case in point... how they heck do you think the name Graycop came to be? Yeah, he's no retired law enforcement officer, I'll tell ya that much...

Some of the other cute things Tink is saying:

♥MY DO IT! {Instead of I do it}...
♥A-mee-ya {her name, especially when she sees pictures of herself}
♥{Loud Gasp} Wook! {...Look...}
♥My first! {about anything and everything... she always wants to be first or have a turn first}
♥Baby seepin'. Seepy nigh-nigh. Shhh...

Tink, you are my bowl of opameetal with brown sugar on top!

November 10, 2010

A Beautiful Day For...

Finally, the glorious fall weather has arrived! Sunday, my Dad and I took advantage of the gorgeous weather and spent some time with the girls outside. We drive to one of our favorite parks, which we had nearly to ourselves, and we played, played, PLAYED!

The girls rocked it with their sunglasses:

They are such little hams!

Tink played hard. She swung. She slid. She skipped. She did it all...

Sassy took on the large rock as her challenge. She worked hard to get to the top, and was very proud of her accomplishments!

She made me a bit of a nervous wreck up there, but she was confident in her abilities. I even turned away as she leapt off with reckless abandon, but I didn't stop her. See, I'm getting better...

Then, the cutest thing happened. My Dad and I stood on the other side of the playground, allowing the girls to have their independence while keeping them in sight through one of the center structures. It's so funny to watch how they play when they think no one is watching... Sassy spent a considerable amount of time teaching Tink how to do cartwheels. SO cute...

They truly are my little sweet peas:

On the way to Winfield, my Dad taught the girls a "GO BEARS!" chant, so they were all geared up to cheer on their team from afar. However, at the park, they were with their team, both in spirit and... er... representationally?

We had to stop playing a little earlier than anticipated. Sassy slid through a rope climber and had a decent rope burn on the front of her foot and ankle, which was {of course} devastating to her. She insisted upon removing her shoe at once, sitting on the bench until Tink was rounded up, and carried for the rest of the day. Ah, my girl...

Graycop did carry her over to a little cross-bridge, where she agreed to walk to the end and back. The fall foliage was beautiful, and I just had to share that with you, too...

Graycop and his girls...

We had a yummy lunch at Neives Mexican restaurant {really good... stop there if you're ever in Winfield} and then headed home for a restful afternoon!