December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

I was gonna do a 2011 review of my blog but... it's just gonna take up too much bloody time, frankly. And I just don't think anyone cares that much.

So instead, enjoy a video I made for Lovie's 2nd year:

2011 was another great year for us. My sweet girl grew so much and turned into quite the little girl (sniff, sniff she's definitely not a baby anymore). And I couldn't ask for anything more.

Here's wishing you all a Happy and Healthy 2012!

December 30, 2011

Waking up to balloons

December 29, 2011

I still haven't recapped our Christmas and that makes me sad- because it was AWESOME- but I couldn't really touch on it until after Lovie's birthday.

My girl turned TWO yesterday.

My big girl.

My sunshine. My love. My life.

Originally I wanted to do something special with her but because she loves going to school, we decided to just let her go to school and then celebrate there and after school. So yesterday was damn busy for me.

It actually started on the 28th when I spent nearly 2 hours blowing up balloons to cover the floor of Lovie's bedroom so when she woke she'd see something- a room full of balloons- she hadn't seen before. Something to make her day more special, you know? After the balloons were done, I spent another several hours on the computer trying to finalize her 2nd year video- which still isn't finished.

When we woke on the 29th, Lovie was surprised by the balloons (I do have some pictures just no time to get them off my camera) but pretty much over it as soon as we left. Then it was all about donuts because I told her we would stop to bring in donuts to school- for her birthday. So the entire car ride in to school on slick roads consisted of singing about Donuts! Dough-nuts! Dough-nuts! It's time to get the dough-nuts! Over and over again. We sang about these donuts so much that by the time we were driving home after a busy day at school, she still remembered the song and started singing it! =D

I left work early to pick up the cupcakes I was bringing in to her school for their afternoon snack.

Check out the cupcake toppers I made- by hand- for $1.99 (cost of lollipop sticks):

One side with Ni Hao Kai-Lan character, other side with Lovie's 2

Then I met my mom at her school at 3 where Lovie and some of the others were just waking up or still sleeping. She woke up quickly once she saw us but was a bit whiny (she likes to snuggle after waking from a nap until she's ready to get going) and stuck to me like velcro until everyone woke up and it was time to get the chairs for snack. Then I told her that she needed to help out with the chairs and sit down for her snack so that we could all sing Happy Birthday to her.

At first she was really happy and excited about the cupcakes and the Kai-Lan characters (it's one of her favorite shows- she even says Hello, Bye, and Thank You in Chinese). But then we started singing to her after lighting a little 2 candle and she was like, WTF:

hehe she cracks me up!

Once we got done singing to her, she blew out her candle like she'd done it a hundred times. Then she spent about half an hour sticking her finger in the frosting and then licking her finger.

She's never been much of a sweets person, but I'm glad she at least enjoyed the frosting.

After she was done, we left daycare and went home. Lovie watched a little TV while I tried getting most of the balloons out of her bedroom and into the front of the house and her playroom. I ended up taping a good dozen to the walls just to get them off the floor.

When daddy got home, he brought her a hot dog and fries of which she chowed down on. Then we lit a candle on a small piece of cake I picked up when I got the cupcakes, sang happy birthday to her, and she, once again, blew out her candle like a pro. She opened all her presents and played for a bit then got her PJ's on, drank some milk while watching a little TV before heading to her bedroom for some stories and bed.

She was asleep by 8 (Mama was asleep by 815) and today she's home with daddy while Mama "works."

And there you have it. A run down of Lovie's 2nd birthday. I'll probably post pictures from our little party at home at another time, but until then, just know it went really, really well.

And we still have her kid party coming up next Saturday, January 7th! I'm exhausted just thinking about it.

December 29, 2011

Happy Happy Birthday

Happiest of Birthdays to the sweetest, cutest, most wonderfully awesome little chica I know. My Lovie. The past two years have been nothing shy of amazing and somehow manage to get more and more awesome with each passing day.

Thank you for making all my dreams come true and changing my life two years ago. Thank you for making me complete. Thank you for you.

I cannot wait to see what this next year has in store for us.

I love you more than words could ever say.


December 28, 2011

you're only a day away

1 more day till Lovie's the big TWO.

To celebrate, I'll be posting a favorite photo of Lovie from 2011 every day until the 29th- her 2nd birthday. This was anything but easy to decide on. And I'm sure I'm leaving out so many wonderful (to me) photos but for the sake of sanity, here's my number 1 favorite from the year:

This was taken on the very last day of July in the park about 4 blocks from our house. Lovie was barely 19 months old. It depicts her beautifully I think- her smile, that face, her sweetness... her. And tomorrow she'll be two. It's really crazy to me. She's changed SO much this year, yet she's still my itty bitty girl who quiets when I softly sing to her, who studies my eyes when I change her diaper. I miss the coos and the absolute need for me at all times, but I really REALLY love playing with her, talking to her. I adore watching her grow and learn every single day. And her love of life is so contagious. But still... she's TWO tomorrow. And time just isn't slowing down one iota!

December 27, 2011

2 more days till Lovie's the big TWO.

To celebrate, I'll be posting a favorite photo of Lovie from 2011 every day until the 29th- her 2nd birthday. This was anything but easy to decide on. And I'm sure I'm leaving out so many wonderful (to me) photos but for the sake of sanity, here's my 2nd favorite from the year:

Yes, technically these are two photos in one but so be it. My game, my rules! ;) The top one of Lovie and me was taken by me in April. It's one of my favorites of us together and I make it a point to have a lot of Mommy and Me photos of us. I was so tired, it was probably 8 in the morning, I still had mascara on from the day before, I wasn't showered, our hair was just thrown back... but it's us: Lovie and me. And that's why it's my 2nd favorite. And tied for 2nd is the bottom photo of Lovie and her dad taken just last month in November. She was fussing a bit after napping and daddy went to check on her and after a while of silence, I went to check on them both and this was what I found. It just doesn't get much sweeter than this.

December 26, 2011

3 more days till Lovie's the big TWO.

To celebrate, I'll be posting a favorite photo of Lovie from 2011 every day until the 29th- her 2nd birthday. This was anything but easy to decide on. And I'm sure I'm leaving out so many wonderful (to me) photos but for the sake of sanity, here's my 3rd favorite from the year:

This was taken back in February and I just adore it. I adore her face, those cheeks, those lips, those eyes. I adore her Yeah?! look. I adore the fact that the tippy top of the head of her baby doll she was glued to for a couple months after receiving it is in the photo. I just adore HER! And I cannot believe in three short days, she will be TWO!

December 25, 2011

December Favorite

I can't even say enough about why this is my favorite photo of December. It was just taken yesterday, Christmas Eve, and every time I look at this photo or just think about it, I well up. That there is my dear grandmother whose first name happens to be Lovie's middle name. Oma means the world to me; she's the most amazing woman I know and probably ever will know. She's also been very ill and has pretty much given up on life and claims to be ready to die. I've come to terms with this- as much as it pains me. I have no desire to lose my Oma, but I'd much rather her be in peace than live in misery. And right now, she's pretty miserable. Unless Lovie is around. That smile... that's how I see Oma in my head whenever I think of her. I don't see a women who is rail thin and suffering. I see a woman full of SO much life and SO much love. And that's how Lovie will remember her, too. Because of photos like this. Because of the stories I will share when I tell her why her middle name is what it is. Because that's who Oma is and always will be.

{participating in the Paper Mama photo challenge}

Merry Christmas!

4 more days till Lovie's the big TWO.

To celebrate, I'll be posting a favorite photo of Lovie from 2011 every day until the 29th- her 2nd birthday. This was anything but easy to decide on. And I'm sure I'm leaving out so many wonderful (to me) photos but for the sake of sanity, here's my 5th favorite from the year:

This was taken just last month after we had gotten home from school and work- and after Lovie opened up a present from my BFF cousin. A soft and plus elephant, which Lovie hugged and loved on immediately. She's SUCH a sweetheart, my Lovie.

And since it's Christmas day, here's a sneak peek at what transpired in our home earlier as Lovie discovered her present from Mama and Daddy:

We spent about two hours putting it together, and she played with it for about two hours non-stop after discovering it so we're even. ;D

It's been a very Merry Christmas here- hope it is wherever you are, too!

December 24, 2011

Christmas Eve

5 more days till Lovie's the big TWO.

To celebrate, I'll be posting a favorite photo of Lovie from 2011 every day until the 29th- her 2nd birthday. This was anything but easy to decide on. And I'm sure I'm leaving out so many wonderful (to me) photos but for the sake of sanity, here's my 5thfavorite from the year:

This one was taken on a hot (oxymoron but true) October day at the pumpkin farm. It's a great example of Lovie doing what makes her incredibly happy- getting ready to slide. I love so much about this picture, but especially her.

It's Christmas Eve so you get an added bonus photo of Lovie... from one year ago today:

Merry Christmas!!

December 23, 2011

top 10 till 2 continues

6 more days till Lovie's the big TWO.

To celebrate, I'll be posting a favorite photo of Lovie from 2011 every day until the 29th- her 2nd birthday. This was anything but easy to decide on. And I'm sure I'm leaving out so many wonderful (to me) photos but for the sake of sanity, here's my 6th favorite from the year:

OK so this is really two pictures in one but I couldn't help it because both of these needed to be in the top 10. They just needed to be. They're actually both from April (insane that she's wearing a short sleeve dress in April outside!!). It kills me the way she's looking up at my mom in the left photo, and the one on the right with my dad and her... just so sweet. Both of my parents adore her to pieces and I think it really shows in these photos.

December 22, 2011

top 10 till 2 continues

7 more days till Lovie's the big TWO.

To celebrate, I'll be posting a favorite photo of Lovie from 2011 every day until the 29th- her 2nd birthday. This was anything but easy to decide on. And I'm sure I'm leaving out so many wonderful (to me) photos but for the sake of sanity, here's my 7th favorite from the year:

This was taken back in March while we were trying to get out the door to visit Grandpa. That face. Those eyes. That smile. It's why my heart keeps beating.

December 21, 2011

top 10 till 2 continues

8 more days till Lovie's the big TWO.

To celebrate, I'll be posting a favorite photo of Lovie from 2011 every day until the 29th- her 2nd birthday. This was anything but easy to decide on. And I'm sure I'm leaving out so many wonderful (to me) photos but for the sake of sanity, here's my 8th favorite from the year:

This one was taken in August. It's not the greatest of photos as far as clarity and all that jazz is concerned, but her face- the expression of pure joy and glee- is priceless. I adore the love she has for life and absolutely everything that comes her way.

December 20, 2011

top 10 countdown to 2 continues

9 more days till Lovie's the big TWO.

To celebrate, I'll be posting a favorite photo of Lovie from 2011 every day until the 29th- her 2nd birthday. This was anything but easy to decide on. And I'm sure I'm leaving out so many wonderful (to me) photos but for the sake of sanity, here's my 9th favorite from the year:

This was taken in very early June on vacation to a place we travel to every year to celebrate our wedding anniversary. I think this is around the time when it dawned on me that my baby girl is really growing into a beautiful little kid. Wow.

December 19, 2011

boo lights

I don't remember a lot about stuff we did or didn't do as kids. My parents split when I was 9 and I think it hit me so hard that I've blocked out a lot of my youth. That and the amount of booze I drank and pot smoked back in the day may have impaired my memory. We had traditions, don't get me wrong. Like every Christmas Eve was spent at my maternal grandparents home. Period, end of story. St. Nick visited on St. Nick's day (December 6th) and left an orange, an apple, some walnuts and some chocolates in our stocking. Every year. I do remember attending Christmas mass several times, too. But that's really about it when it comes to traditions around the holidays (or in general, really).

I think it's because of this that I want to have traditions for Lovie. I want her to look back on her youth with very fond memories. I want  her to talk to her children one day about the things she once did with her Mama and Daddy.

I have very little from my youth- very few pictures, no mementos (no report cards, class pictures, little drawings, etc). My mom can't remember how old I was when I (fill in the blank). I was the baby of the family and, well, she didn't want to be married anymore long before they split when I was 9.

I need Lovie's life to be different.

I can't promise anything about the state of our marriage (though I do hope and pray it will remain in tact for always and ever amen), but I can promise her that I will do what I can, when I can to be her Mama (by that, I mean to really involve myself as Mamabear) and to remember. And the only way I can assure that I remember is by taking pictures and writing it down. Must write it down (or blog- same difference in 2011, right?)

So that's why we headed out to the Zoo Saturday night. Stupidly.


We layered our clothes, packed plenty of snacks, loaded the car, drove for 45 minutes, waited in line to enter the parking lot (still in our warm car, still listening to "Santa's Music") for 20 additional minutes, paid $9 to park, found a parking spot, unloaded out of the car, paid $27 to enter the zoo, walked for two hours in the dark smelling.. the zoo... in certain areas. We saw some lights. Some lit trees even turned on and off to the sound of Christmas music. We saw bits of a laser show. Our ankles were rammed by strollers. People bumped into us. We saw some duckies. Lovie cried when they came close and squawked at her. We saw some chicken. Lovie cried when they came and squawked at her. We saw a huge snowman. We saw a lama and a couple cows.
And we saw a reindeer. Which was the coolest thing about the evening.

What wasn't cool was that there was like two coffee stands in the whole friggin zoo... there was a ton of dark, kinda scary gaps between the lighted areas... there wasn't enough animals (it IS the zoo!) to see and Lovie wanted "more animals! animals!!"... the penguin house was ridiculously packed with people... it took us 20 minutes to move our car ONE INCH after getting in our car to leave...

Had we chosen to go to the FREE lights display at the zoo closer to us (how stupid are we? VERY apparently), I wouldn't have been so disappointed. But the fact that this place was SO hyped up and we had to pay near $40 to get in for something we could've done while driving around in our warm car for the price of gas, really kind of pissed me off.

The zoo lights will NOT be a tradition in our family... but we were together and we can say we've been there, done that, and pray that Lovie not ever ask us to do it in the future.

top 10 countdown to 2

10 more days till Lovie's the big TWO.

To celebrate, I'll be posting a favorite photo of Lovie from 2011 every day until the 29th- her 2nd birthday. This was anything but easy to decide on. And I'm sure I'm leaving out so many wonderful (to me) photos but for the sake of sanity, here's my 10th favorite from the year:

This was taken back in March. If this doesn't make the grumpiest of people smile, I'm not sure what would. I hate that the binky is in the photo but she does sleep with it (until the Binky Fairy comes the day after her birthday to take them away to give to babies who need them since she's a Big Girl) and it's just a sweet and funny picture of Lovie during her 2nd year in 2011.

December 16, 2011

Merry Whackadoo to You!

This is going to sound nuts... crazy... insane... whackadoo: I ordered 3 different sets of holiday cards this year.

Nuts... crazy... insane... whackadoo, right?!

But here's the reason: 2 sets were free (thank you Shutterfly and Tiny Prints) and the 3rd set ... I just had to get them printed.

Let's review, shall we?

Set 1 was ordered in November through Shutterfly for free.

Gorgeous, no? It's one of my favorite family photos of us since Lovie's birth. I just adore everything about that photo- the color behind us, my long hair with silver shining through (festive, no??), DH's chocolatey comlexion, and Lovie's adorableness. I just adore that child. We adore her- and I think it shows in that photo which is why I slapped it onto cards that got sent out the 1st of December.

Set 2 was ordered in early December through Tiny Prints for free.

Fun, no? Since we had Merrry Christmas cards made with set 1, we figured why not get New Years cards. I adore everything about this photo, too- same reasons as above, really. And believe it not, neither of these photos are posed. Sure we knew the photog was snapping pictures and our goal was to get some nice family photos, but we didn't sit and say cheese. I'm just not a fan of those photos. Not always, at least.

Set 3 ... Set 3 is my favorite and was just ordered last week through Shutterfly during one of their sales.

I had to make these. I had to. I got the inspiration when I submitted my entry into a holiday photo card challenge and I just had to make these to give to people who I would know would get a kick out of it... like her teachers (they all loved it) and special friends, and of course one for the scrapbooks! ;D

So there you have it, my friends...
Merry Christmas
Happy New Year
Happy Holidays!

(all images are screen shots of the Preview of the card from Shutterfly or Tiny Prints where i used their card images and plugged in a photo and names. the wording on the last card is from me- though the design of the card belongs to Shutterfly.)

December 15, 2011

All I want for Christmas (and never got)

1.) 10 things I Wanted for Christmas as a Kid but Didn’t Get and Still Want. (inspired by Hello Giggles)

Just because I'm the baby in the family, doesn't mean I was spoiled- though I'm sure my brother and sister would argue with me. None of us were ever asked (that I know about) to compile Christmas Wish Lists. Ever. Sure there were always gifts under the tree at Christmas. Sure it was a wonderful time of year for everyone. But, it wasn't really about the quantity of the gifts (good thing as there was never more than a couple for each of us) so much as it was about the quantity of time spent with family. (Cheesy, yes? But very true.)

I guess because it's all I ever really knew, it didn't bother me so much that we never got a lot of toys at Christmas (or at birthdays). I remember visiting with cousins or friends and seeing toy after toy after toy and always enjoying playing with whatever they would let me play with, but I don't think I was ever really jealous of them. I know I liked to go over to other people's houses to play way more than having anyone over at my house, and I remember the reason being because we didn't have a lot of stuff to play with, but I never got angry about it (that I can recall now).

That all said, there are definitely a few toys that I do remember always hankering over, always wanting and never getting no matter how much I'd get my hopes up.

Toys like the Big Wheel.

Man, how I wanted a Big Wheel. I was always so jealous of all the kids I'd see riding their Big Wheel! And when I'd visit one of my cousins, I'd always beg to ride one of theirs around their cul-de-sac and we'd always have races. I never grew tired of my love for a Big Wheel. If they made them in adult sizes, I'd get one today... and you bet your bottom dollar my kid is getting one (probably next year) whether she wants it or not! ;)

Or a Lite Brite

I wanted one of these for years!! I remember going over to one of my mom's friends house and seeing their kids Lite Brite sitting off in another room. I'd just longingly look at it until someone would finally ask if I wanted to play with it. Of course that's when one of the kids would appear and demand that I leave it alone because I would wreck their creation. Spoiled rotten brats!

Oh and then there's the Speak and Spell!

While I was a tomboy and loved playing outside with the boys, I was also pretty nerdy, too. I admit it. I loved going to school, loved writing with pens, loved spelling, etc. So why not want a Speak and Spell? Did I ever get one? No!

Finally, there's the Merlin.

I actually almost forgot about the Merlin till I was looking through Google Images for popular toys in the late 70s and saw this image. From my recollection, Merlin is kind of like Simon- another game I thought was cool but never got. You know- the game plays a sound and a light and you have to mimic it and it gets faster and faster and harder and harder. Yeah, I wanted one and never got one. I mean, really! How much would one have cost back in the day?

I couldn't make a list of 10. I tried, but I just couldn't do it... Just more proof to me that there's no need to give a shitton every single year. But, it's also proof to me that if my girl really wants one or two things that aren't ridiculously expensive or unattainable (LIKE A BIG WHEEL, FFS!), I will get her one. Or Santa will.

Sidenote: Do you know that I always wanted a real Trapper Keeper, too?!? I would beg my mom for one every single year and she would never get me one because they were "too expensive." I wanted one for so long that finally, when my mom got a job at Walgreens WHEN I WAS THIRTY YEARS OLD, she got me one. No lie.

All images courtesy of google images except for Mama Kat's button.

December 14, 2011

Come Play with Me: 4

It's another exciting day today as Melissa from MaMe Musings joins us to embark on episode four of my Come Play With Me Guest Posts series.

Melissa's super duper busy these days with her own blog, life, and I'm thinking her two adorable TWIN toddlers might have something to do with it, too, so I'm really grateful she took the time to play with us. Take note, too, cuz she's got some really great advice about how to approach the new year.


My Birthday List

Thanks so much to Christina for having me over at Finally Mom today!! I am excited to be guest posting at one of the cutest, funniest blogs I know.

On most ordinary days, I can be found at my blog,MaMe Musings, sharing the joys and challenges of raising my 18 month old boy/girl twins, Emily and Andrew.

Originally when I thought about what I could share from my 2011, I envisioned a post about things like my extreme home make-over, my journey to complete (dis)organization, or my middle- of- the- night insecurities. Sort of a retrospective, if you will, highlighting all the, um, parenting experience and wisdom I gained the hard way along the way.

Then I thought about discussing all the fun things I am looking forward to in 2012: toddlers who can talk and argue back, potty-training not one but two kids who currently don’t mind poo, or the real “Terrible Twos” since apparently the tantrums we are now experiencing are just a precursor to the fun that is to come.

But, for some reason, none of these posts came forth. Like my pregnancy that eventually had to be induced, this post likewise seemed destined to be overdue.

What could I share to inspire other moms beyond cute pictures of my babies like this one?

And then it hit me like a sippy cup flying out of the back seat.

So, I hope you will indulge me as I take you back to end of 2010, to my 35th birthday, which I promise will bring us back to 2011 and into 2012:

In the midst of feeling like the weight of my birthday was going to crush me, Marty tried hard to perk me up by planning a birthday surprise that included an afternoon at the art museum sans babies.

As we strolled through the whiteness of the museum, I felt the tension between the peacefulness of the setting and my frenetic mind. Feeling more mixed up than an abstract painting, I had to work to slow down and soak in the serenity. Away from my cell phone, Facebook, and babies, Marty and I walked through the museum at our own pace. I felt keenly aware of the sanctity of life as I looked into the eyes through the ages. As I tried to place myself in the grandness of history, I realized anew that one of our greatest abilities is the ability to think, and for a while, I selfishly reveled in thinking deeply about the art that was before me. I realized much of the beauty was of the ordinary variety—a bowl of fruit, a couple in love, a sunrise, a man standing alone. As a new mom, I was drawn to the pictures of mothers with their children. Regardless of the time that separates us, the connection is the same, and I thanked God again for the opportunity to count myself among those who answer to name of “mommy.” In a time when the world seems to be shrinking, my stroll through the museum reminded me that there is still a big, wide world that awaits my visit. Just as art requires us to slow down and be intentional in our thoughts, I think the art of enjoying life requires some of the same intentionality. Don’t we all need to slow it down and appreciate the art of daily life just a little bit more?

Image Credit

One of my favorite teacher sayings and an art-inspired one at that is, “Attitude is the mind’s paintbrush,” and as I left the museum that day, I tried to color my attitude with a brighter hue.

I resolved to be more intentional about my happiness and about living my life. I resolved to quit using the babies as an excuse for not doing things and instead view them as the motivation for doing them. My babies deserved the best mommy possible.

And that was the start of my birthday list.

The idea was simple: 36 things I wanted to complete in my 36th year. There were big, broad items like (1) Be the best mommy I can be. And small, specific ones like (10) Learn to play poker. There were some serious, adult ones like (11) Re-evaluate my long-term finances. And childish, playful ones like (31) hang-gliding. Of course, there were the perfunctory ones like (24) Lose weight or (25) Eat healthier. I threw in random ones: (33) Watch a meteor shower and (21) learn to make a good mixed drink

(14) Support a charity (Go, Little Pink Houses of Hope!)

My 36th birthday came and went in November 2011, and as I look back on my list, I realize I accomplished probably two-thirds of my list. Some are a work in progress like (3) Take a good picture; some were started and not finished-- (8) reading a book a month; while others never even came close to happening—(5) a 5K. What was I thinking??

I almost typed that I just completed two-thirds, but I think adding just minimizes my effort. Sure I didn’t accomplish everything, but I certainly accomplished way more than I would have without the list.

First, the list made me think about what I wanted, needed, and valued. It made get specific, get motivated.

The list made me intentional.

While being the best mom I could possibly be was rightfully number one, I know that, ironically, this list helped me be a better mom, as I carved out time to feed my spirit, recharge my mommy batteries, and reconnect with the woman who I have grown to be.
Originally, I stated my ultimate goal for the list was “to use each day to the best of my ability, and hopefully arrive at 36, alive and healthy, rejuvenated and ready to find 36 new ways to love my life.” Again, I was pretty close. I am still working on “rejuvenated.” (I think a spa day is in order after putting up Christmas trees with twin toddlers!)

So am I making a “37 things to do before I am 37” list? I am actually contemplating a slight twist, a challenge I am calling 12 in 2012. In short, I will be identifying 12 core values I want to illuminate in 2012. Sound like a challenge you’d be interested in undertaking with me? Stay tuned to MaMe Musings for more details (coming right after I get started on my Christmas shopping and take down what remains of my decorations—ie. Somewhere around the first of January!)

I hope to see you in 2012. Until then, I hope you have a very happy (and intentional) end of 2011!


As if her twins weren't cute enough and keep her busy enough, Melissa's got the brains to come up with what I think is a brilliant idea... 12 in 2012?! Man, I wish I had thought of it! As it is, I've been pondering on doing a 40 before 40 list (since I'll be turning the big 4-0 in September oh dear oh my) but 40 is a big number of things to come up with. 

I'm so grateful to have done this series; I've learned SO much- not only about each participant, but I also learned that it's time to look forward to 2012. It's time to make some plans and live life to the fullest. Yes, it's great to live life every day to the fullest, which I really try to do, but making a plan or two can't hurt, can it?

Anyway, thanks so much for playing Melissa

If anyone out there might be interested in playing, please shoot me an email at

December 13, 2011

When Every Single Year Ends

I'm so excited! :)

A piece I've written about traditions coming to an end is being posted today over at MaMe Musings place! I shed some tears writing this piece, but it was so worth it... kind of made this holiday season more real and doable. Thanks to Melissa for allowing me to open up like this!

Go check it out, please- and let me know what you think. And check out Melissa and her adorable TWIN toddlers (I think my hair just got more gray just thinking about two Lovie's running around!) while you're at it, too!

December 12, 2011

a day in the life of (when we're home): The Listicle

It's Monday Listicles Day!

I'm playing a bit differently than the rest and presenting a day in the life of (when we're home). Today's Listicle is immediately followed by pictures with greater explanation... I hope you enjoy!

1.       Smiles and snuggles in bed
2.       Cheerios (and milk!)
3.       Glue sticks and crafting fun while listening to Christmas music (I'm not even exaggerating one bit when I say that Lovie sat in her chair the entire time we made our wreath! I never knew a glue stick could hold an almost 2 year old's attention even more than Team Umizoomi!)
4.       TV break
5.       Time to make some cookies and eat lunch
6.       Nap time
7.       Snuggles and TV
8.       Daddy’s home
9.       Tuna sandwiches and chips
10.   Bath and bedtime

In greater detail...

Bedtime Saturday night was a tad later than normal so Lovie didn't get up Sunday morning till Daddy got up to go to work at about 8 (this is completely abnormal- neither of us work weekends). He brought her in to me and she was all smiles. What a way to wake up! (Normally I get her up.) We snuggled in bed for about half an hour, watching Chica on Sprout TV. Then we got up, had some cheerios, and started our day as Daddy went to work. 

After daddy got home, we all had tuna sandwiches and chips, watched Team Umizoomi (while I played on the computer) and colored. Then daddy gave Lovie a bath and we got ready for bed (watched an episode of Ni Hao Kai Lan before retiring to Lovie's room and reading for about 15 minutes).

I'm not sure what I would do with myself if every day was as awesome as this.  We could go on walks, to the park, visit the old folks (my dad's retired, his parents are retired, my Oma is ailing). We could go to the library and book stores, out for coffee and hot chocolate. Or we could just stay home like we did this day and do a lot of nothing- yet oh so much!

Thank goodness I have work to snap me back into reality.

Seriously, thank goodness for days like yesterday. I take NONE of it for granted and I very well realize how lucky I do have it- to at least be blessed with such an amazing little girl who calls me Mama.

December 11, 2011

Santa Baby

Taken exactly one year apart, oddly enough. I adore the way she's clutching onto his thumb in this year's photo. My rock star BIG girl.  

linking up with Harper's Happenings and 

December 9, 2011

Come play with me: 3

Today is Friday, Friday, Gotta Get down on Friday... and it's also time to get down with Heather from Life with the Ardies. She's lucky contestant number THREE in my Come Play With Me Guest Posts series.
Heather's gonna talk about what she's learned in 2011- and prove to us all how crazy her life has been. I honestly cannot fathom doing all that she does so yes, I have to agree: girl's life be crazy!

Hey everyone! My name is Heather and I’m a mess.
You see, five years ago my husband and I had the grand idea that both of us were going to go back to school and get our Ph.Ds in psychology. Together. At the same time. Yes, we had an idea what we were getting ourselves into. I knew it wasn’t going to be easy. But damn... I didn’t know it was going to test me like no other.
Now, we made it through each month with our measly student salaries. And we made it through a pregnancy, a birth on the first day of school, and two more years of school. We also made it through the educational budget crisis that left me with an unpaid internship.
That brings me to the present day. I’m a mess because I’m a full-time mother, full-time wife, full-time student, full-time intern, and full-time whatever else I can’t think of at the moment. And because I’m FAR more productive at doing things I shouldn’t be doing compared to things I should (like dissertation, laundry, Pinterest, Facebook, etc), I’m sitting here reflecting on my crazy year and the things I’ve learned this year. For example, I’ve learned:
~ Potential employers are full of it. After applying for internships at the beginning of this year, I got a couple “We regret to inform you...” letters. Oh, come on!! LIARS! You don’t regret anything! This letter does not affect you in any way. I regret to tell you to shut the hell up!
~ Toddlers are much harder work than newborns, infants, and babies put together. Getting sleep in only 2-hr stretches has NOTHING on: Mommy! Mommy! Mom! Look! Look, Mommy! Look! It’s an airplane! Hey! Mommy! Look, a tree! Let’s count them. Mommy! Mom! Momma! Look! I know she’s excited about everything she’s experiencing in the world. I know she’s so happy she can articulate what she’s experienced. But Mommy just wants to play the quiet game right now.
~ Taking time for yourself doesn’t mean spending 3 hours on Pinterest when you should be working on reports. Like I have any time to make a t-shirt scarf or a bracelet out of nuts and bolts! Wait! Is that a pin for cookie dough truffles? Oh yeah, I DEFINITELY have time for that. Move over graduate school. You’ll have to wait a bit.
And if you’ve got anything from my post, I hope you caught the sarcasm and humor. I joke around. A lot. In all seriousness though.... It’s been one crazy year and I bitch about a lot of it on my blog. But I’m truly thankful for all the support I have in my life. I’ve made it this far without a diagnosis of some psychological disorder. And as crazy as my life gets at times, I think I’m ready for the challenge! Bring it, 2012!
Ahhh don't you just adore that picture?! Since Heather told me I could use any pic from her blog, I had to steal it and pimp it out over here. I think it's a great representation for who Heather is- how she's got a great sense of humor, is smitten for her Babygirl and husband, and how all of this helps her maintain her sanity during these crazy busy times in her life.
I feel so very honored that she was able to make some time to play with me!
Thanks for playing, Heather!
(reading and want to play? email me your post: