Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Christmas humor part 2

I should really be doing a post about the New Year or pictures of Christmas, but I'll finish this debacle.

My dad, bless his heart, agreed to come rescue the girls and I. Just in time too, I almost burst into tears on the phone when he asked if he really needed to come. Yes, dad, you need to come. He brought chains, which we couldn't find anywhere and only needed to get out of our neighborhood, and then took us back up north so Dave could finish out work.

(the ball in NY just dropped...Happy New Year!)

Okay, so on our way home, about 30 minutes out, I hear this small, familiar noise coming from Eloise followed by crying and then another familiar noise. Yep, she was throwing up. It traveled.
We got her home, cleaned up and thought that was the end.

We spent a fabulous Christmas Eve together with family and then another bomb hit. From Christmas morning to the day after Christmas 16 people, yes, 16, got this stomach flu. Our time was spent watching movies, taking turns to the bathroom, and eating toast and apples. Thankfully not all 16 were there at the house.

It was definitely a Christmas to remember.

Apparently our family has strong germs. We now know that it's best to stay away from anyone for at least 3 days after the last person has gotten sick.

I've never been so happy to be home and to not see snow falling. I'm sure alot of my feelings have to do with being pregnant and stuck in a house, but still, we enjoyed time with family and the girls had a great time with cousins. Pictures will come soon.

Monday, December 29, 2008

Christmas humor part 1

It all started two weeks ago Sunday. The snow was coming down and the news was blazing with special reports of Arctic Blast 08'. I'm sure every mid-westerner would have been laughing hysterically with the hype we put into snow around here. My pessimism began and I was sure only a few inches would fall, if that. Regardless, the day home was welcomed and the time with family enjoyable.

As the week went on, the snow and ice did as well. My patience thinned and the walls seemed to move closer in. Friends were gracious enough to come have dinner with me and keep me from turning into the wicked witch of the west on my children.

Thursday we managed to escape the abode and have dinner with friends. However, the ride home proved to be a little tedious and unnerving. When the road sparkles and kids are using it as an ice-rink--it's best to get home fast and carefully.

At 4 a.m. Friday I awoke to the sound of my husband vomiting. It could possibly be the worst sound a newly pregnant woman hears. I immediately started praying for mercy and banished myself to Lily's room. Only to be awoke every 30 minutes by the sound Dave's heaving body in the bathroom.

I disinfected the entire house, wouldn't let Dave come out of his room and whisked the girl's out of the house as quick as I could. I needed to get some shopping done and for the day, the weather decided to hold off. I was not going to come home until Dave stopped showing any signs of this dreaded stomach flu. He stopped at noon, so I figured 7 pm might be a good time to return.

Arctic Blast was apparently rearing it's ugly head the next day again. UGHHH. I was already done with snow and we hadn't even seen the half of it yet. Saturday arrived and so did the snow and extreme temperatures and wind. My pessimism was being beat with a stick as the snow fell and fell and fell and fell some more. Could it really snow more? Please oh please make it stop.

Sunday night arrived and Lily began her barf-capades. Dave was kind enough to deal with it even though it breaks his heart and he can't stand it. I'm doomed. I'm for sure getting the stomach flu.

To be continued...

Sunday, December 28, 2008

I'm back

It has been a horrendous two weeks. Not all of it bad, but I'm working really hard to see the good.

I have lots of fabulous pictures of the girls and lots of tales of the stomach flu and a stir-crazy pregnant mama stuck at home in the snow. It was a Christmas to remember for the family, extended and all.

I'm updating pictures and forming a (hopefully) cheerful post about the past two weeks. Instead of good, I'll look for the humor. Laughter is the best medicine, right?

Sunday, December 21, 2008

Bloggy Break

With all this snow you would think I would be living to blog as a means of something to do. However, with prego sickness, cabin fever, and the potential of not getting home for Christmas I'm a bit of a downer. So I'm taking a bloggy break until after Christmas.

Hope you all are well, safe, warm, and enjoying the days (and snow) until Christmas. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 19, 2008

Favorite Link Friday

Much to my dismay, Friday did not have much room left in it for FLF. My husband started vomiting at 4 a.m. and I quickly disinfected everything myself or the girls would touch and immediately bolted out of the house. I arrived back home just in time for bedtime and a frantic scour of the entire house. Dave says he feels like a leper. But if it means I won't get sick, he can go ahead and feel that way.

FLF will return next Friday.

If no posts before then, Merry Christmas. Enjoy it! Those in the NW, be safe with all the snow and travel.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Merry Christmas

It's our virtual Christmas card to all. Have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 14, 2008

baby #3

I'm fairly early in my pregnancy, 8 weeks. I know this is a bit early to announce but it's way too hard for me to keep a secret. I know there are risks in telling people early and I've experience miscarriage before, my first pregnancy (*). My feelings of loss during that time were not compounded by the fact that I had told people. In fact, I was glad people knew. It was just the support I needed during a difficult time.

Baby #3 is not the same surprise Lily was. We, especially Dave, had been thinking about the idea of a 3rd. I admit, I was a bit more reserved. After we had Lily, I was done. I got rid of everything; baby seat, clothes, a few apparatus's, etc. I knew that if I had another one, I could borrow from the many friends who were still having babies. So, after Dave's incessant begging, [:)] I caved.

I get excited when I think about 'life' with 3, but I don't get excited about newborns or the first 6 months. That is such a painfully out of control time for me that I am not looking forward to. But now that my girls are older and I see how short that phase is, I can power through.

We did not find out the sex of the first two babies, but I made Dave agree to find out with the 3rd. He's desperate for a boy and I'm pushing for a girl. So our surprise will come early this time and I can't wait.

I've been experiencing lots of crazy symptoms, the same as with the girls, and thankfully, no vomiting. Lots of tired afternoons and a slightly impatient temper. I know it will pass so that gives me hope.

Thanks for all the congrats. It makes me get excited for this little babe.

*I found out that I had miscarried at 13 weeks, but my body miscarried somewhere around 7 or 8 weeks. It is believed that I had a blighted ovum and carried a very long time. I miscarried naturally at home the next week.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Favorite Link Friday

Thanks for all your kind comments about the impending arrival. I'll post more about that in a few days, but first, onto Favorite Link Friday.

*I love Good things Catered. This is a great gift idea and fairly easy. You could forgo the alcohol for the kids :)

*This is one of my favorite sites to read. I love her Friday posts.

*I love this post about parenting. I especially like the middle about how easily it is to believe that our life is what we write in our blog. It was an encouragement to me.

*Cute snowman cookies.

*And if you needed one more baking idea, here are some cute pretzel Christmas trees

*I remember making these ornaments in school. I picture Lily trying to eat these like candy, so I think I may wait another year.

Have a great weekend! Hopefully we'll get a bit of snow here, but I'm being pessimistic so I don't get disappointed.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

'3 because I'm 3'

It's a frequent phrase coming from our little Eloise these days. It goes a little something like this:

*I get 3 books at bedtime because I'm 3

*I should get 3 yum, yum's (M&M's) because I'm 3

*I only have to take 3 bites because I'm 3

*I want to play for 3 more minutes because I'm 3

*I'm going to do 3 jumps because I'm 3

*I want to stay in the bath for 3 more minutes because I'm 3

*I'll do 3 more slides in the bathtub because I'm 3

*I want 3 more bites of your dessert because I'm 3

*I want 3 pretty-pretty's (hair ties) because I'm 3

Well Eloise, it's a good thing you'll still be 3 when mama has baby #3 in July.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Kid - tivity

'Kid-tivity': kid friendly activity.

Tonight I had the best brainstorm. It had been a long day and my excitement for bedtime was great. However, the process to get to bedtime was not. I've mentioned before that I fly solo for bedtime, which to be honest, I love. Bedtime happens when and how I want it to. But there are still some nights where it's just a bit much.

Christmas lends itself well to late night drives. Coupled with the low gas prices and lots of twinkle lights, you have yourself an easy way out of books every now and then.

I piled them in, jammies and blankies and we drove around looking for sparkle lights listening to Christmas music. I also happened to stop by McD's for a $1 sundae and did not feel one bit guilty keeping it all to myself.

By 7:25 they were out! I really do love all the people who hang Christmas lights up. You really make my children happy.

Searching for sparkle lights
Lily: "Sparkle lights, wheres ares you?"

Friday, December 5, 2008

Favorite Link Friday - Christmas

Most of these are Christmas Links but I had to add a few for laughs.

*Snow Globes - was our craft of the week. It was a fun project. It might be a bit better to do it with plastic jars for little ones b/c the glass ones are a little heavy. But if you have baby food jars, those would be perfect.

*I have this same fear. I do not like opening these cans at all and there is a good chance someone will have to open one this holiday season.

*Oh My! Really?!?

*Fruity Christmas Garland - we are stocked with cereal so I think we may attempt this at snack time.

*Recipe booklet - hit all those after-Christmas sales to find all the materials for this one.

*This would be fun to do with Christmas colors and stamps. If only I had the space this house does and the cute decor.

Hope Christmas is going smooth for you all. Enjoy the weekend and don't be one of those crazy frenzied shoppers.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

The advent calendar

Some of you noticed it behind the Christmas tree. Here it is. I have finally finished my advent calendar. Not quite Pottery Barn, but it works. It took many hours and alot of stitching, but I'm hoping it will pay off with years of use.
It's not complete yet, but it will do for this season. We put small cards listing either a verse, activity, or reminder for the day. We try to do it before Dave leaves for work in the afternoon. Eloise is getting pretty excited about it and connecting some of the verses with the people in her nativity. Lily just likes to swing the ornaments on the tree.

Only 21 more days until Christmas!

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend part 2

My parents own a tree farm. Think small trees, not big Christmas trees. They sell the small ones to companies for promotional events, as wedding giveaways, and for reforestation purposes. They started the business the year before I was born. I've spent many a winter and spring in planting and harvest. It's not my favorite and I'm certainly not standing in line to inherit the family business. I can think of about a thousand more occupations I would rather do with my life. does have it's perks, like Christmas trees!

I must note here that these small trees, if not sold get planted on the back of my parents property for Christmas time. The search is not really for the perfect tree, it's for which tree has 2/3 of it 'acceptable' for decoration. My brother has been known to drill holes and glue in branches. My mom, for strategically placing ornaments to hide a hole. That said, I found a true gem.

The girls piled into the wagon and my dad headed out with the chainsaw (no manual saws here).
We found our little 5 ft tree and posed for that perfect family pic. (remember the family skills at picture taking - not good)

We loaded it up and brought it home. (that's why it's only 5ft tall). That is my parents tree on top of ours. They had to lob off the top of a 20 foot that was funny.
And here's the final product.
And my favorite ornament...the blueberry fairy.
It's been a fun Christmas season so far. I look forward to the coming weeks.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanksgiving Weekend part 1

We had a great weekend away with my family. It was fun to celebrate Thanksgiving and prepare for Christmas. I was able to spend some time with my high school bff's and their kids, make wreaths, and pick out our Christmas tree. I did my best to document the event, but with the lack of a good camera (which i just purchased in July) and my inept picture-taking family, a few have come out blurry. However, they still capture the moment.

Part one of the weekend:

Lily found this small doll cradle and decided it had to be her new crib. She even pretended to sleep at one point. Crazy kid.

The day after Thanksgiving we traveled down to my parents farm for wreath and advent logs. My bff's from high school came to make wreath's. My mom supplied all the greens.

our final product. (we had trouble getting everyone to look at the camera)
The the kids made advent logs. You light a candle each Sunday counting down the weeks before Christmas. It was fun to see them spray the snow and drizzle on the glitter.

The kids also got tractor lessons from papa, cow petting, and horse 'sits'. My brother made a huge fire and my mom, of course, supplied the food. We had so much fun catching up and watching the kids play.

Part two: Christmas tree

Friday, November 28, 2008

Favorite Link Friday - Christmas Edition

Christmas is my favorite time of the year, so of course, all month long I'm doing Favorite Link Friday Christmas style. Crafts, pictures, and projects galore. I am so excited it's finally here. I promise I won't be depressed when it's over.

*Martha Stewart has done this project in previous years, but I may just try a few with my kids. I have alot of leftover felt and I think these might be fun for them to give to their friends.

*Here is another great and easy advent project if you haven't done one already.

*Christmas cookies from around the world

*For the reader in the family. This looks fun

*Great Christmas ornaments for cheap!

*My new favorite Christmas Jammie's for the girls

*Our nativity. The girls love playing with this.

Have a great Thanksgiving weekend getting ready for Christmas. It's coming up quick.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008


It's the week of Thanksgiving and I always love to remind myself of those things/people that I am thankful for. Here are the top 10 in no particular order.

  1. My girls. I love having two girls. It is truly a delight and a joy to be with them, watch them grow, and listen to their silly little antics.
  2. For health. We are all healthy. No major illness or disease. I feel very fortunate to, at this moment, be free from any physical pain in my family.
  3. A home. Whenever it rains I always stop to give thanks to the Lord for a roof over our heads. I am thankful our heat works and my family is warm.
  4. My husband. He is a support, help, and encourager. He knows all my crazy quirks and works right along with them. He is patient with me and kind in his words.
  5. My friends. I have no idea where I would be without my friends. They are my sounding board, my encouragement, and they spur me on to be a better person and friend. I am so blessed to have so many in all sorts of places.
  6. A small job that I love. I love cooking for the family I currently cook for. We are a great fit. It is truly a joy for me to go into their home every other week and cook for them. I enjoy the time I take to prepare, plan, shop, and of course, cook. The extra cash is a bonus as well :)
  7. My extended family. (mom, dad, sister, brother, etc...) They have helped to shape me, teach me, guide me, and are always a welcome site when we return home for the holiday's.
  8. That Christmas is coming. It's my favorite time of the year and we are going to enjoy some decorating before head to Nana's.
  9. Creativity. I feel like the Lord has blessed me with a creative spirit. This comes out not only in crafts but discipline, decorating, deals, and everyday situations.
  10. My relationship with the Lord. I am learning about what it means to serve God and be in a relationship as the daughter of the one true God. I know that without Him all the above would not be possible. All thanks and glory be to God.

Happy Thanksgiving week! Enjoy your families, friends, and the spirit of the season.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Go pizza guy!

It's time to set out the Christmas decor. I know Thanksgiving hasn't even arrived, but we leave for a couple days and I want to come back to a house with a few Christmas trimmings.

Tonight we broke out the girls nativity set. While putting it together we were listening to a Christmas hymn. (I cannot remember the name of this song right now, but I know I know it). The chorus is, "Glory to God, Glory to God, Glory to God in the highest".

Eloise was singing softly to herself and I thought she had picked up on the words. I asked her what she thought the song was saying. She replied, "Go pizza guy, go pizza guy, go pizza guy in the highest". I can see how she might have been confused.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Favorite Link Friday

The tradition has been started. It's Friday and it's time to have a lookey-loo around the internet. Here's my favorite's of the week.

**My friend Jodi made these and she says they weren't too time consuming. What a fun project with kids?

**I am loving these clothes. I have yet to purchase them b/c I'm a little too scared to buy clothes online, but there are a few coats that I think would make a great addition to the winter wardrobe.

**10 most popular casseroles. I have never had any of these, but I've heard those Southerner's like their casseroles - and I mean no disrespect.

**If you are taking your family Christmas photo, here are some good tips.

**Activity ideas. I'm looking forward to doing the pudding paint soon. Eloise picked out Pistachio.

**Great Thanksgiving Activity that would be pretty easy to put together and incorporate a trip to the park. I think I might look for a place that has leaves pre-cut.


Wednesday, November 19, 2008

the mermaid...finally!!

Eloise has been BEGGING me to make her into a mermaid. Literally falling on the floor begging me.

Sometime around Halloween she saw someone in a mermaid costume. A few weeks later after we had arrived home from errands she took off all her clothes and said, "mama, make me into a mermaid". Dumbfounded, I told her I couldn't but I would search for a costume. To which her response has been to ask everyday if we can go to Target and find a mermaid costume.

The unfortunate part is that it was the week after Halloween and all the costumes had been picked over. The only ones left were the regular priced costumes at $20. I'm not spending $20 for an obsession that may go away in 3 days.

Three days came and went and the obsession still lives. I mustered up some creativity and headed to the fabric store. I was determined to make a mermaid skirt.

After several hours, patterns, stuck fingers, a very small sewing machine, and several, "when can I be a mermaid?" questions later, I have arrived with a mermaid.

Here are the things I know about this mermaid:

  • There's a very good chance it will fall apart after 5 or so wears
  • It was intended to be a skirt, but it is now a dress
  • It is not nearly as cute and crafty as Cutzi's costumes for Halloween
  • She will not be wearing this out of the house b/c she looks a little sketchy and see-thru
  • She is one happy 3 yr old that can finally become a mermaid and now the question is, "When can I go swim at Mrs. Davis's pool?"
Introducing our sweet little mermaid (with mermaid puppet)
If she ever comes to me and either tells me I don't love her or that I never do anything for her, I will cite this. I get huge parenting points for this one.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Our new favorite outing


Who knew Costco had it all for kids. Samples, carts that sit kids side-by-side, and lots of bright twinkling Christmas decorations. It's fabulous!

The best part...I only walked out with a yogurt and a Diet Coke. No $100 bill for 5 things in my cart. No over-sized box of trash bags (although this will be coming soon), no Odwalla Superfood (my favorite), and no secret little treats like hummus and pita chips. I sauntered past all the other over-sized, filled-to-the-brim carts in the check out line with nothing but two little girls dressed in leotard's and tu-tu's.

Thank you Costco.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Favorite Link Friday

Welcome to the first Favorite Link Friday. I'm always e-mailing my friend's link's throughout the week, so why not post it for all to see. Here are my favorite links of the week. Enjoy!

**Easy-peesy pumpkin cake. These would be great as muffins. The frosting looks delicious.

**I absolutely LOVE this idea. I would give anything for someone to whip this up at my house.

**My friend Katie and I have been praying together every Monday evening. She is 30 and single. I appreciated this article so much. I don't much label or lump single adults together, but I don't think I'm always that attentive.

**Crafty Idea of the week: being Thankful

**Isn't this the cutest little website you've ever seen? And what a great name, Shabby Apple.

**Um, yes. I was thinking the same thing yesterday.

If you have a favorite of the week, please share. It's always fun to get ideas online.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008


I'm attempting to make my own Advent calendar this year. Pottery barn has been a big inspiration with these two options. With that said, I thought I had the perfect plan until I came across this.
Isn't that the sweetest looking advent calendar ever? I'm fairly certain it would cost more to buy cute little baby socks rather than the felt I got for free from my mom, but nonetheless, it's adorable. I'm resisting the urge to run to Old Navy by searching online for other cute homemade ideas.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Conspiracy Theory

For two weeks I've been complaining to Dave that there is something wrong with our coffee. I made a switch to Dunkin' Donuts b/c I kept hearing how great it was. For the record, not my favorite. I'll stick with Starbucks.

After this coffee switch I was feeling exhausted. I was certain they had switched Regular with Decaf. There had to be a mistake here. I was dragging all day long and I had headaches. You would think that this would tell someone they have a problem with their dependency on coffee, but I wasn't going to go down without a fight. I love my coffee.

What did I do? Drank more coffee, tried other brands, and took naps. Nothing worked.

Last Wednesday I was at a friend's house and I was so tired I couldn't even think. I had a horrible migraine and I could barely drive. This was much more than coffee.

Conversation when I arrived home:
me: I'm so tired. I just don't know what's going on.
Dave: Maybe you're pregnant
me: I'm not pregnant

1/2 hour later:
me: this is weird, I'm calling Ellie (my midwife)
Dave: maybe you're pregnant
me: I'm not pregnant

After phone call with Ellie:
me: My Iron is low. Makes complete sense. I've been tired, had headaches, and exhausted. This is the way I felt during both my pregnancies and post birth.
Dave: So you're pregnant

I'm really not pregnant and I feel 100 times better now that I'm taking my iron pills.
Apparently Dave is ready for a 3rd baby.

Friday, November 7, 2008

favorite quote of the week

Dave was resting on the couch. Eloise crawled up, gave him a hug and said, "Oh. I need to get some snuggles from my little boy".

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Deals gone bad

Frugal was a motto my mother lived by. We only shopped sales and she always spent cash for everything. That all changed when she got a Macy's credit card to get better deals on the sales when she used her card. Don't worry, they still pay it off every month and despite her Macy's credit love, she is still motivated by a good sale.

I inherited this frugal gene. And now I've taken it to a whole new level. Couponing and Walgreen deals. You should know that I was forced into it by these two ladies. They came over, forced me to cut coupons and took me to Walgreen's. There my eyes were opened. I could get household goods for FREE!

Despite the success, there has been a HUGE failure. Maybe failure isn't the word. Screwed might be more appropriate, albeit slightly offensive. None the less, it describes perfectly my deal breaking event.

Dreams of catalina's** danced in my head. I would have load's to spend at Fred Meyer. The family and I spent a Saturday afternoon running to 5 different Fred Meyer's purchasing horrible smelling Glade Plug-In warmers. The girls were following Dave looking for the "Glibulmumble" at every Fred Meyer. They tip-toed, rode in 'beep-beep' cars and helped me accumulate my many Catalina's. It was a family day to remember.

With a few coupons left in my wallet I anticipated the final loot I would take home. There at Fred Meyer they had 10 Glade Plug-In's left. I had hit the mother-load.

My confident coupon hands loaded up the cart and checked out. After the cashier took some of my Catalina's to pay for these horrific, repulsive, money making trinkets, one Catalina printed. ONE! What? There was supposed to be 10! My heart started to beat, my palms got sweaty and my kids started melting down. What? My money, my family Saturday, my extra groceries. I couldn't think, I had to get out of there. Where was Angela? Was there a way? Could those Catalina's possibly grace my hands again. No. I had been utterly screwed.

You see, Glade, being the smart company that they are, caught onto our money making scheme (scheme is not a good word, nothing here was illegal or wrong, we just figured out a way to make money off their product). They had revised the deal to print only ONE Catalina. Had I gone home to read my blogs I would have noted this.

My pride is a lot bruised. I just don't know if I can clip another coupon. These ladies here may have some inspiration for me. They've just started this new site to help ladies like me. I'm hoping I can find a flicker of hope there to jump back on the horse and start saving some more money.

**Edit: The short of it. I used Catalina's (a coupon off towards your next purchase) to purchase the 'motherload'. I lost the ones I had built up AND the ones I thought would generate out of the last purchase. So I would have had a total of $48! I came away with $8.

Monday, November 3, 2008

the look

The girls and I were at Target (of course) today. I was picking up a few items for a woman who just had a baby at our church. In the baby section there were discounted blankets. I have this weird obsession about getting Lily hooked on another blanket. Her current 'love' is a nasty green blanket I got out of a formula backpack from my pediatrician. The blankets were almost the same weight and only $2.75. I can handle fueling my freakish blanket anxiety for $2.75.

I gave Lily the blanket and she immediately got the 'death grip'--the one where you have pry the item out of their hands bringing forth an instant rage of angry emotion. Those are fun.

We were standing in the checkout line and it was time to put Lily's blanket on the belt. I was thinking more rational about my blanket anxiety and figured it was okay that she keep the nasty green blanket. My plan was to give the blanket to the cashier.

The death grip began. At this point I caved. We were going home with the blanket, but how was I to get it to the cashier without the rage beginning? It didn't matter at this point, the rage had started and was about to hit top volume.

At that same moment a woman walked by me with her oh-so-patient 1 yr old sitting in the cart. I got the 'look'. You know, the 'look'. It says, "Why can't you control your child?"

She didn't. Yes, she did!

I'm sorry my child is upset about a blanket and affecting your peaceful trip to Target. Just wait, you'll have a day when your kid acts like this too.

I followed her out to her car which happened to be next to mine. Then I followed her out of the parking lot. Should the girls and I follow her home and throw dirty diapers on her lawn? No, I'm too non-confrontational for that.

Who does she think she is in her cute outfit and with her obedient child? So I've got my sweats on and my hair isn't done. You've got a brand new Jetta, well I've got the mini. Minivan that is and it ROCKS!

I may not have perfectly obedient kids all the time but I think their pretty compliant most of the time. So the next time you want to give the look, think twice, you never know the day, situation, child, or extra circumstances in that moms life. I can handle old ladies giving me the look, but fellow moms? Come on now.

Friday, October 31, 2008

the monkey fairy and the dragon

Happy Halloween!

This year was the first year Dave was able to join us for the Annual Halloween Bash at the Davis house. He usually works nights so he took off work just so he could join in on the kid food, dancing, pictures, and trick-or-treating.

Eloise: the monkey. This almost didn't happen. For some reason she was a little cold towards the monkey. She spotted one of the moms dressed up with fairy wings and decided this was her key to wearing the costume. She would only wear it if she could have fairy wings over the top. Done.

Lily: the dragon. She was easy. Put her in a costume and go. She did take a few breaks in the stroller. It was just an excuse to get in and look at all her candy.

We wrapped up the night hitting a few more houses in our neighborhood and watching Mickey's Treat. It was a great Halloween.

As a treat for you all, a look back on the last 4 years. We just keep having babies. Started with 5 now we have 13!




Thursday, October 30, 2008

the good thing about towing

Our super fabulous friend Rebecca was gracious enough to let us use one of her AAA tows. I love AAA. It's so easy and painless.

Thankfully Dave had the foresight to park next to the Trader Joe's parking lot. What a great husband. So when Rebecca and I made our way down there to meet the tow truck driver I remembered what I loved last fall. TJ's pumpkin butter. Pumpkin really is the best ingredient in fall, but to top off all that deliciousness with pumpkin butter? It really doesn't get better than that.

So after an intense month, week and day, the girls and I did what we know how to do best. Bake! Pumpkin bread and muffins. After dinner we enjoyed our little creations. Unfortunately they don't share my love of pumpkin butter. Oh well, just means more for me.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

one more on the blog perfect day

I know that last post was long. I always get annoyed reading long posts, sorry. But that day had to be documented so that my children would see what a typical rough day looked like.

But let's add one more to that blog perfect day....a double ear infection. Lovely.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

the blog perfect day (long)

I would love to write the blog perfect day. You know the one where I get to write how I want you to believe today turned out. Where I get to write in fancy words to convey to all what a wonderful perfect life I lived today. I think it would look something like this:

The kids slept until 8 a.m. Woke happy, dry, and ready to be obedient and helpful. They ate their entire breakfast, helped with chores and even asked what else they could do. They dressed themselves and waited patiently without videos until I was ready to leave the house.

We headed off to Bible study where both girls danced into their rooms without a whimper. I learned an abundance about Revelation and took to heart every word Jody spoke (okay this part is true - it was amazing!).

Then home to have lunch with the family, naps at the same time, errands in the afternoon and a beautiful Black Bean Lasagna in the oven.

Bedtime at 7:30 and mama time for the rest of the evening with no interruptions. perfect

Now do you want the real, unrefined, not-so-blog-perfect day?

It all started in the middle of the night when Dave decided that I would make the perfect body pillow. Why didn't I push him off? I don't know b/c at 5:30 a.m. when Lily decided to have a coughing fit and needed a breathing treatment, the body pillow experience hit me with full force with a kink in my back. Bonding right?

Lily thankfully went back to bed until 7:30 when I discovered her cold was still in full swing and she sounded like a smoker. I decided to spare the moms at bible study.

Bible study was a refuge and a place to set my heart straight. I'm glad it was at the beginning of the day b/c I needed the focus to prepare for the latter part of my day.

I took Eloise to the grocery store with me. Yay me! We actually went to 3 of them. We had lunch, she did great and I thought I was a super star mom getting all my errands done before 1 p.m.

At 3 it all started to turn upside-down. I had planned to finish the rest of my errands and hopefully get Eloise to take a small car nap. Just as we were about to walk into the store I get a frantic call from Dave. His car is freaking out and he's on the freeway.

Sidenote: Dave's honda is old. It has 250,000 miles on it. I actually predicted it would die at 225,000 and he guessed 250,000. Looks like he may be right. Anyway, we were planning to take my car in tomorrow which has transmission issues and will likely cost $2000. Yes, $2000! Kinda makes me want to vomit. Needless to say, we've canceled that appointment.

I drive downtown to pick him up and take him to work.
Problem #1. Who is going to pick Dave up at 12 a.m.? Hmmmm.....Rebecca (check)
Problem #2 How are we going to get the car to the mechanic? Hmmmm....Rebecca's AAA (check)
Problem #3 What is Dave going to drive for the next 3 days? Hmmmm...Will's car (check)

Praise God! Almost all problems solved, except our savings account. That could be padded just a bit more. But God is good and I'm always certain he'll provide.

Oh but wait, the day isn't over yet.

Next my gas light comes on after we leave Dave's work. No problem, stop at Costco. They have cheap gas. Apparently I'm not the only one who knows this today b/c every lane was 6 cars deep.

Should I go into Costco and hope the line goes down? I don't have dinner, so it looks like it's pizza night. I look back and both girls are asleep. Crap! Lily already had a nap and I don't know how long they have both been sleeping. And it's 4:30.

I pick Eloise up to put her in the cart and I'm instantly drenched. She peed her pants while sleeping. More pee? I put a towel underneath her and we forge ahead into Costco hoping for a good sample day. We ended up with overdone pizza and a wet towel.

I gave up at this point. I no longer cared. I gave into the whining, let them eat pizza in the car and listen to whatever music they wanted too. No yelling was involved, but the will to parent was gone.

Lily still needed a prescription at Target and it was time to start over. We headed home, cleaned up and put on our jammies. Target always provides a little stability for me when things are out of whack. And I didn't buy anything!

On the way there Eloise asked, "So. What was your favorite part about today?"

After laughing hysterically, this is what I came up with. That God gave me the grace to get through today. That when I had absolutely nothing left in me, I managed to push down my frustration and tears and walk through today without losing it. That God gave me mercy at just the right time. That my children went to bed without a fight and my husband and I managed to work together. That I listened to him instead of taking control, and that was not on my own strength. That I was able to laugh at a pee stained sweatshirt and enjoy sitting in a line of 6 cars waiting for gas talking with my kids. And the gas was $2.29! Those were my favorite parts about today.

Oh and this:
Lily in the car after dinner
Lily: "Toes hungry. Toes need dinner"
Me: "Your toes are hungry?"
Lily: "Uh huh"

Monday, October 27, 2008

Nothing like friends

I am blessed to have as many great friendships as I do. They are all so uniquely important. Each one of my friends brings perspective, support, and love into my life. Without them, I would have a hard time staying grounded.

This weekend I had the privilege of enjoying a few of my friends that have been around the longest. I met Michelle in preschool, Stephanie F. in 1st grade, and the other Stephanie N. in 7th. The bond wasn't there immediately, but it grew over time. High school was great but we had some rough times. College life brought us back together. We lived together our sophomore through senior years and then Michelle and I lived 1 more year together before she got married.

We have done so many things together. Sports, parties and other stuff associated with that (not proud), cried over boyfriends, fought, stood up for one another on our wedding days (except Stephanie N., she was smart and got married in Jamaica), pigged out on junk food, celebrated new babies, grieved over the passing of parents, and laughed until our belly's hurt.

We don't have very many chances to see each other. We've all moved about 2 hours apart and it's rare that we can sneak away from family to get together. So we made a plan. A plan for a night away with no children or spouse's. Just 4 ladies shopping, celebrating another new baby, and eating and shopping until we no longer could.

We enjoy high tea in the morning. For 2 hours we sat, ate, and drank delicious tea. We then headed over to Bellevue for shopping and wandering. We managed to get free hand massages from Aveda and our makeup done at Bare Mineral's. We checked into our hotel and then down to dinner. We sat, ate, drank, and laughed until we were crying...for 2 1/2 hours! We talked about being moms, wives, and how we have changed so much from those college days. We offered advice to the first-time mom, hopefully not bringing with it too much fear, but hey, we had to be honest. It truly was a carefree day.

The plan after dinner was to hang out, paint toe nails, and watch TV. I think someone was quoted as saying, "you're not going to bed at 8:30!". She was asleep at 9:30. We all vowed to sleep in and then two early riser's woke at 6:30. Darn kids, they really have changed our clocks. Off to coffee and breakfast and sad goodbye's.

I can't wait for the next weekend.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Family Photos

I am so excited to share our new family photos. I have yet to pick my favorites so I need your help. I don't know if they are numbered, but if there is one you think would be a great Christmas card, let me know. You can also see a few here.

And yes, I let Dave wear a black sweatshirt. It is because every time I buy him something to wear in a picture he hates it and I find it buried in his closet unable to be returned. So I compromised. Isn't that what marriage is all about? Huh, I thought it was cute family pictures. Apparently Dave thinks differently.


We made it through the night. My friend gave me some fantastic instructions to get her airways open quickly. I never would have thought to do it but it worked. I had to administer her inhaler in her sleep a few times and managed to do it without waking her.

So this morning, she is breathing good, just lots of coughing and normal cold symptoms. Thanks for your prayers and hugs.

I'm headed out for a girls night in Seattle with my childhood friends so I'm hoping that she will stay clear for my parents. I've been looking forward to this weekend for 2 months and hoping that kids stay healthy. But isn't that way motherhood is - always unpredictable and never concerned about the plans we've already made.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Never easier

I am currently in the midst of Lily's 5th asthma attack since June. I have to say, it doesn't get any easier. We've been on medicine, increased doses, worked on action plans to head this off before it starts and without fail, we are still at the same place we were in June.

My doctor is great and I have a wonderful pediatrician friend who has adopted us and is more than happy to help a fellow mom in need. But it doesn't take away my mom fears. I'm still freaked out she's going to stop breathing at any moment and feel stressed just watching her breathe.

I know this will pass and soon she will grow out of it, but it doesn't make any cold easier. And I can't stop my life this winter. I want to go to church, attend my bible study and go over to play dates. In times where things are okay, I am hopeful that the next cold will be minor or that we can make it longer than 4 weeks between colds.

This is not anywhere near catastrophic. It's just 48 hours of anxiety and waiting to see if the medicine is going to work or if we need to go to urgent care. I'm hoping 48 hours from now, she'll be bouncing off the walls again, and that it's not from the steroids she's on.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

'No soup for you'

I really hope you all got that. My favorite episode.

Anyway, here's a great one. Of course from this month's Healthy Cooking. I seriously love this magazine and my mom is getting me a subscription for Christmas. Yay!!

Rustic Italian Tortellini Soup
modified slightly :)

3 Italian turkey sausage links, casings removed
1 onion chopped
6 garlic cloves, minced
2 cans (14.5 oz) chicken broth
1 3/4 cups water
1 can (14.5 oz) petite diced tomatoes
1 9 oz. package of refrigerated cheese tortellini
1 pkg. frozen spinach, thawed and drained (you could also use fresh - 6 oz coarsely chopped)
3/4 tsp. basil
1/4 tsp. pepper
Shredded Parmesan Cheese (optional)

crumble sausage, onion and garlic in dutch oven over medium heat and cook until meat is no longer pink.
Add broth, water, and tomatoes and bring to boil.
Add tortellini and return to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 5-8 minutes or until tortellini are tender.
Add spinach, basil and pepper, cook 2-3 minutes longer or until spinach is wilted (if using fresh)
top with cheese.
4 pts for 1 1/3 cup (Add the extra point if you pile on the cheese)

This is great with a good peace of soft bread.

Lily eats this up and Eloise has to be convinced it's princess soup. She won't eat the tomatoes, but she'll eat the 'leaves'. Silly kid.

Happy Fall-Soup-Dinner to you all!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

sought after lady

This is Themina. I found her hanging out on Dave's nightstand.

This is the only doll my girls have. They have lots of babies, but no dolls. Themina made her way into the house last Christmas via her cousin Tristan and has been well loved ever since

She's a Snap-N-Go girl. Her outfits snap on and off for easy changes. The clothes have found there way into the bottom of some toy basket in the house never to be found again. Thankfully, her makers decided not to leave her naked and exposed for all the world to see.

Her popularity is based solely on who has her at the moment. If Eloise is washing her hair (which she often does at bath time) than Lily for sure wants to play with her. If Lily is trying to snap on her hard-to-find clothes, than Eloise snatches her out of Lily's hand bringing forth a blood curdling scream and lots of broad swipes from Lily. And we all know what follows...meltdowns.

Today she stands alone. Traded in for Mickey hands, puzzles, and princess dresses. She's currently staring at me as I write this. I'm half wondering if she's going to make her way to the bottom of a toy box or if the girls will renew their interest in her again. Should I move her or wait to see who grabs her first?

I think I'll wait. The house is much quieter that way.

Saturday, October 18, 2008


We are surviving the great binki fairy.

It's been a rough week in some sense, but a great relief on the other. She seems to have returned to her normal sleeping self. There have been a few bumps in the road, but for the most part, she handled it well. Eloise was cranky for the first few days, but snapped out of it pretty quick after day 3.

Now Lily, she may be an entirely different creature. Today she was asking for her binki all day. Ughh....I'm not looking forward to that one.

More posts on our week to come. We had a great time with our friend La La.

Monday, October 13, 2008

the great binki fairy

The binki fairy made my job so easy. I completely stole this idea off SuperNanny, so I really can't take any credit. Here's the timeline of events.

Walking out to the mailbox to get her special gift from the Binki Fairy

Getting it out of the mailbox

Heading to put all her binki's in the envelope. (it's 7 p.m. - of course we need shades)

Putting the binki's back in the mailbox

The next morning! We made it! Her special gift from the binki fairy.

The suspense is building, what did she bring.

It's a...

...Princess dress (She loves to dress up, so it's a big pretty dress to twirl in)

Tips and Tricks:
*Every kid is different and their love of binki's are too. Eloise used it only at naptime and nighttime. We weaned her early on of using it during the day (probably 9 months or so). But she did love to hold them. She always had 4 in her bed and made sure they were in her hands. This was what worried me the most. We made sure she had a sippy cup and a few other favorite comfort items close by.

*We talked about the binki fairy ALOT. So much that she started talking about when the binki fairy was going to come. We knew we had to jump on it or we would pass our window.

*I had to set my mindset to the fact that this was not only the breaking of a habit but a grieving process for her. That sounds TOTALLY cheesy, but it made me have ALOT of compassion for her when she was crying. She had this for 3 years! If I had something that long everytime I went to sleep, I would be sad too.

*Following the above, tenderness. When she cried, I made sure to say, "I know it's hard, but remember where the binki fairy took them, to all the babies". I kept reminding her that the binki fairy was coming in the morning with a special gift. We also did LOTS of cuddles.

*I knew it was going to take a LONG time for her to fall asleep the first night and I had to be okay with that. We tried to skip her nap that day, but she fell asleep. I would recommend skipping the nap. It made tonight, so much easier.

*the middle of the night was hard, but I let Dave deal with that ;)

*Prepare for the worst and hope for the best. It will only last a few days and then you will be back on track.

*She did ask for it at naptime, but we reminded her again where they went and she snapped out of it really quick. She didn't take a nap, just a rest so I'm eager to see when she'll nap again.

*remember: what works for some, may not work for the rest.

Good luck all you binki fairy's.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

binki fairy

The Binki Fairy came to visit Eloise tonight.

So far, she is still awake and it's 10 p.m., but she's fading fast.

Her envelope arrived in the mail this evening. We put all the binki's in the envelope and walked it out to the mailbox. We then asked her who the binki fairy should give her binki's too. "All the babies".

She is eagerly awaiting a special gift in a big box upon waking.

Wish us luck.

Friday, October 10, 2008

why pee?

My girls have an obsession with water. Eloise would drink it by the gallon and Lily insists on it at every turn.

I believe that water is a great drink for kids. I never had juice growing up and I don't think it adds any nutritional value anyway. But I do understand that some kids would rather go into dehydration than drink a drop of water, so in that case, juice might be your next best option.

Eloise is potty trained, except for nighttime. Lily, well, I have no goal for potty training her, she will just do it. But this nighttime diaper thing is really starting to break me down.

This morning I go in to get Lily at 7 a.m. After cuddling her for a moment, I notice that the front of my bathrobe is wet. That's weird.

I walk over to her bed and feel around. She has peed through her jammies. Okay, I know the drill, let's just take off the sheets, jammies, and all the other pee items. Of course, as I'm trying to pry Lily's jammies off her, she's yelling, "Jammies On. Jammies On!". At this point Eloise isn't up, so I'm trying my best to keep her from screaming.

I change out of my pee drenched bathrobe and into my sweats. Lily is watching the Wiggles and I turn the coffee pot on. I figure I have another 1/2 hour before Eloise gets up.

Nope. She's awake.

When Eloise wakes up it goes something like this, (yelling) "MOM. CAN YOU GET ME SOME MILKY PLEASE?" This is the first thing this child says every morning.

I get her some milk and pull back the blankets. And what do my mommy eyes behold...PEE stained sheets and jammies. Are you kidding me? Again?

I get her out of bed, jammies and diaper off. Of course the entire time, she can't break her mouth away from the sippy cup making this process all that much more tedious.

I tear off the sheets and send her out to the couch. As I'm walking back out of the room I step on something wet and soak my feet. Gross. I left the diaper on the floor and I've just soaked my sweats and my foot.

It's not even 8 a.m. and I'm covered in pee.

One would think that I took a shower right away. No. This is normal. Doesn't phase me anymore. It happens about 2 times a week on average. I cleaned myself off best I could and headed straight for my coffee.

There really is nothing like motherhood to teach you humility and grace.

*note: I try hard not to give them water before bed and I need to buy the 'good' diapers to solve this problem.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

the pumpkin patch

I've been blogging and helping out so much over here, I've forgotten to blog here.

A few weeks ago we made that run to my parents for my Grandmother's b-day.

One of the wonderful things I love about my parents is that they are creators and workers with their hands. They are frugal, innovative, and creative. I would call them organic, but they think that's just for hippies.

They have a farm where they raise cows and pigs, grow small trees and have a small garden and orchard on the side. My mom decided that she would put in small pumpkins this year.

Learning my frugality from her, I swooped up all her little pumpkins for kid projects and fall decorations.

My brother also inherited this 'create with your hands' philosophy from my parents. He grew the big pumpkins, so we stole some from him too. Viola! Free pumpkins.
The girls picked out their pumpkins while chasing the kitty's. Then my mom and I discovered an apple tree in the horse pasture. We quickly snagged up my 6 ft,5 nephew and made him climb the ladder. After fending off the horses we managed to come away with a healthy crop of apples for pies and applesauce. Of course Lily had to jump in on the action and eat. Eloise got to help my mom peel the apples with her fancy hand-crank machine.

(Eloise in her big girl panties, her usual attire)

I am so thankful that my parents taught me to create and make something out of nothing. They taught me to see value in the small things and it will help to create surplus when you need it. I appreciate that my girls can share in that too.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Tomatoes? Really?

I have tomatoes coming out my ears and apparently everyone I try to give them to, has the same problem.

So what am I to do with all of them?

I don't like tomatoes raw. I like them in Salsa or Spaghetti sauce, raw...NO WAY. I can't stand the smell and looking at all those juicy seeds...makes me queasy just thinking about it.

That is why I believe Lily may not be my child. I know I carried her for 9 months and gave birth to her, but she eats nothing like me (or her sister). She clears out entire bushes of blueberries, eats peas straight from the pod, and now, eats tomatoes like apples.

It makes me want to start vomiting when I watch her do it. She pulled one off a bush the other day and took a bite. She loved it, she kept eating.

Tonight, she caught site of them on the counter and practically flew out of my arms to get them. The whole time she is yelling, "Mato, Mato". I've never been more okay with my child spoiling her dinner. Which she didn't b/c she ate an entire bowl of mexican beans and rice with ground turkey. Where does she put it?

To prove her love for tomatoes, I took a picture.
What a cooky kid? And look at that grin.