Friday, March 30, 2012

through the eyes of a first grader

on wednesday morning i picked them up from line. a little one swooped under my arm. hugged me tight. i walked the rest of the way with her attached to me. it made me smile. i believe it made her day too.

a girl said, 'you look so beautiful today.' 
naturally i said thank you. 
another said, 'really... you do.'
i found this conversation comical. 

we planted flowers this afternoon. from seeds. they picked from five little packets. i loved hearing them say things like:
my mom is going to be so happy. 
my mom loves pink. purple. red.
where's the soil? {the HUGE bag sat right next to all the supplies. on the table.}

we read a story this week called the butterfly. one kiddo brought in a dead butterfly. she shared it. as she held up its little dead, crushed body {parts}, the kids looked horrified. i almost laughed. out loud. i reminded them that things do die in nature. even butterflies. 

this afternoon i read pirates don't change diapers. i did my best pirate accent. i was surprised they didn't compliment that skill. i also prayed nobody walked it.

and finally... and perhaps my favorite. one arrived late after lunch. 
'where were you?'
'ummmm.... i got lost.'
'reeeeeeally... we have been in school for 128 days. you might want to come up with a better lie next time.'
'i mean i didn't hear the bell. i'm SORRY!' {as in she screamed the 'sorry' part. not in a mean or bratty way. but when she says sorry it's always 300 decibels louder than her normal tone. it's sweet actually}
i started laughing. hysterically. 

i love them. most days ;)

Tuesday, March 27, 2012


i absolutely adore:

my lazy mornings. listening to sesame street jingles. cat and the hat songs. moo pointing and yelling out things she recognizes. 'cow!', 'cat!', 'ELMO!' 'more ga ga' {food}.

her morning hair.
my mac. babysteals. gilt. ruelala. stride rite shoe sales.

i adore my cup of coffee.

mr. niz and his screech owl abilities. his morning cheer. his big smile. those big brown eyes.
when ryan calls to check on us. when he's delivering customers. running to the bank.

the fruitless plum outside the dining room window. the green that is currently surrounding our house.

i adore that i feel comfortable at this stage in my life. that babies are sleeping. we are currently okay.
 i have come out of the infant stage... unscathed. {oh... besides a few new stretch marks. thank you 9 pound boy}

Thursday, March 22, 2012

i am excited

because i just ordered this

and this 

for the moo girl. 

i will live vicariously through her this summer. because nothing, i repeat nothing, is cuter than chubby 2 year old legs. however, i do wish chubby curvy 28 year old legs were all the rage. but they're not. so i will stick to showing off hers.  

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

mom tips and tricks

i really doubt i have anything new to offer. mind boggling wise. even creative... but these are a few of my tips and tricks with two kids... so far.

when buying for baby number one, go neutral on reusables. the swing, stroller, jumperoo, infant car seat. these are the more pricey items and you want to be able to use on multiple babies. unless you are fortunate enough to buy new for each baby.
register for an infant car seat and the next stage car seat. you will be shocked {well... if you have big babies like me} how soon you pop them out of that infant car seat and into the next one. i much appreciated both those gifts.

shop around for deals. use the babies r us 20% coupons. read reviews on amazon. i adore amazon for their reviews. and moms love to rate things.

amazon mom... magical. it's a subscribe and save program. we get diapers delivered to our doorstep {worth a million dollars in connivence alone} and save around 30%. we also get our diaper genie refills sent automatically. plus, amazon gives you a little heads up email so you can cancel the next shipment if you don't need the item yet.

or go costco. big boxes of diapers are tricky when babies start growing and sizing starts changing. otherwise it's just so handy to have 4,000 diapers on hand. and oddly you use them all... quicker than imagined. luckily my two monster babies are BOTH in size 4. very helpful for my tired brain.

the 97 cent bottle of suave shampoo works great for bubble bath. and the suave 'no more tangles' spray is one third of the price of johnson's and johnson's and works just as well. plus i am a sucker for anything that smells like green apple. moo gets sick of me sniffing her head.
check out buy the ergo when it goes on sale. it soothed my colicky girl for those first few months. there is also kidsteals and scrapbooksteals.
i believe in sound makers and baby monitors. i prefer to buy large ticket items at costco because of their incredible return policy. since ryan is a car industry guy, and does not believe in extended warranties, we don't buy them for other things either. costco's return policy is my warranty. i appreciate companies that stand behind their products.

be weary of the baby food aisle. just because the box says 'organic' toddler food doesn't mean it's healthy. i grabbed the fruit bars. i believe it was gerber. gerber screams 'baby' right? well, it was loaded with ingredients and hydrogenated oils AND high fructose corn syrup. {insert huge sad face here}. not to mention you get 10 for three times the price because it's in the baby aisle. i love me some trader joe's. so much of their food is kid friendly. they even make the applesauce food pouches which are magical on the go. or you could stick to the basic jar.
on that same note... we just made moo eat what we were eating. modified for safety and spiciness/saltiness of course. but i didn't want this 'two meals' per night nonsense. i'm just too lazy. and lucky for me, she gobbles up everything. we got lucky.

that's what i have for now. when i think of more, i will add it.

p.s. she's eating some trader joe's dried fruit as we speak.  


i watched moneyball with brad pitt the other day. oddly is resonated with me. probably for the wrong reasons. it actually reminded me of work. teaching.

baseball teams have money to spend on players and all compete for the most wins. and the world series.
teaching is similar. the district has money to spend and we all compete for high test scores. the cst. both baseball and classrooms have their 'players' and some teams/schools have the advantage. you just have to work with what you have. try your very best.

the big wigs don't want a list of excuses at the end of the season. nor the state at the end of a school year.

on a lighter note, i found myself really liking brad pitt in this movie. i think it was his father role that won me over.

Monday, March 19, 2012

the crown room

yesterday we went to the hotel del. for sunday brunch. because, and only because, we had a coupon. and even with that i could barely justify spending that amount. not to mention... i really shouldn't be stuffing myself in hopes of getting 'my monies worth' anywhere. swimsuit season is literally weeks away. 

despite those concerns... it was magical. really. like teary eyed, over the top, royalty special. just being inside the hotel del feels special.  

my goal was to eat things i never make at home. and i refuse to admit to how many plates i made myself total. here are a few. 

crab legs, shrimp, prime rib, potatoes au gratin. 

and the coffee... hands down best coffee i have EVER had in my entire life. don't ask me how they do it... but they do. i tried to get the trade secret out of our server... but he just smiled a big 'this is our secret' smile. believe the yelp reviews when they mention this. went home and googled it. nothing. i would be willing to work here. learn the secret. then quit. yes. it was that fabulous.  

and... let's just skip to the point. the dessert table. red velvet cupcake {i may or may not even like this flavor cupcake. but look at it!}. whipped cream with berries, and candy. yes... i am 6 years old at heart.

ryan's dessert plate.

the chocolate fountain. head and shoulders above any fountain i have ever met. quality rich dark chocolate. dipped strawberries, marshmallows, and cookie sticks. and the kicker was the bailey's chocolate shot glass with a strawberry. had two. wish i brought tupperware in my purse. 

the room itself was grand. i imagined the years gone by and the people of the past who stepped foot in this very room. 

and felt sad that they didn't have the pleasure of a chocolate fountain years ago.

then we browsed. snooped around the gift shops. admired the chandelier. fascinated by the old elevator. 

mmm hmmm... stormy san diego day.

it was a memorable day. full of good food and dessert and laughter. can't think of a better way to spend a day in san diego.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

6 months ago...

six months ago today... he was one day old. he weighed 9 pounds. he was tiny and warm and cuddly. he could barely keep his eyes open. only long enough to feed and perhaps notice a sister whiz by.

six months ago today... we were a brand new family of four. we were figuring things out. we were exhausted. newly in love with a tiny human. wondering with great curiosity how other families did this.

today... D is her world. he is my little buddy. he weighs 19 pounds. he is bright eyed and bushy tailed. he grabs and reaches and screeches and coos. he is awake and alert and sweet. he has a serious set of lungs. ryan calls him 'mariah carey'. moo and i call him 'nizzy'.

today... we are comfortable in our skin as a family of four {most days}. we are surely {and most likely always will be} figuring things out. we are semi skilled at juggling two babies. finding ways to sooth two at once. adjusting, compromising, changing.

six months ago i couldn't imagine my life today. today i couldn't imagine it any other way.

i am blessed.

Sunday, March 11, 2012

23 months

i have 25 days left to use the term 'two under two'. she will be a big girl. i am amazed. she knows all the letters of the alphabet. she can count to 15. she sings songs and uses the words. she says 'thank you, you're welcome, ready?, bless you, excuse me'.

she will let you know if she approves of her food with 'yummy'. she still tosses food and bowls overboard. she uses her fork. then her hands. 

she can put up one darn good fight while getting stitches removed. 

her little eyes light up when she sees daddy. sometimes she calls him 'dad'. that just feels too grown up for me. she plays hard to get. she doesn't want to give him kisses... but always seems to give in. she loves to lay with him. read with him. snuggle in his nook. 

she loves her brother. she still smiles and talks and kisses him. she gives him things to hold. let's him in on story time. i'm hoping this never changes.  

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

my war story ~ the baby D edition

baby D was due september 16, 2011. he was always right on tract at every appointment. he wiggled and squirmed and kicked... up until the very end. i never did kick counts. i didn't let my mind worry incessantly. i was too busy... with moo. and his constant movement eased my mind.

on wednesday september 13 i thought i was in labor. i was having contractions and some other fun stuff. we lined up auntie m to watch moo. headed down to the hospital. got checked and nope... not in labor. she stripped my cervix, sent me on a walk, and told us to return in two hours. ryan and i walked the neighborhoods. i swore my water was going to break every step i took. nope. we ate at rubios. i swore it would be my last 'pre baby D' meal. nope. we went back into the hospital. she checked again. nope... not in labor. she sent us home.

so the big question was... how did i get it right on baby number one and wrong on number two?

friday the 15th rolled around. my mom and i took a long walk around lake murray. we fed ducks. moo played at her house. it was pretty uneventful. i felt good. that evening we ate dinner. moo and ryan were playing outside. i started having contractions. i got in the bath. it eased the pain. i called kaiser. they said contractions needed to be closer. i was NOT going to be sent home. nope... not doing that again.

i was in bed. on the floor. in the shower. i downloaded the contraction app. i recorded my evening. they were getting closer together. we called the twins. they were to watch moo this time. it got pretty real when i was rocking on all fours in the corner of our room. ryan asked me to get in bed. i asked why. he was worried about spiders. he saw one the week before. i still find this amusing. i stayed on the floor.

when contractions were three minutes apart we loaded moo. dropped her at the twins. checked into the hospital. i walked up and asked to be checked in. it was around 1 am. i did not want to be sent home. i was so worried i was going to be sent home... again.

the nurse checked me. i was 8 cm. i cried through the next contraction out of relief, excitement, pain. she was shocked. i was shocked. i was in transition and nowhere near the pain i had with moo. we got all comfy in the delivery room. my parents arrived. my dad stayed behind the curtain.

the cnm broke my water. a few pushes. at 4:01 am sweet baby D arrived. he was 9.2 pounds. he was perfect. he was a boy. he completed our family.

he latched and loved me. he latched and i loved him.

i knew this was different. not better, just different.

funny facts:

ryan almost passed out during both deliveries.

ryan was snoring 5 minutes after being transferred into recovery. i looked at the nurse and said, 'you would have thought HE just delivered'... she laughed and said most husbands do that. 

our high school buddy smuggled in home brewed beer to celebrate. he brought me yogurt mill. 

we saw our pediatrician on the way out. we notified him that we had a new patient for him.  

i'm in stitches

i never had stitches... until i had one sunny side up baby and one 9.2 pound baby. ryan would say... 'i'm in stitches' to make me laugh, which then hurt.

stitches aren't really funny. especially when your {almost} two year old gets them. in her tiny chin. 

she was freshly scrubbed and slippery and as she turned to go get dressed, she fell. and split her tiny chin open. she got four stitches. it was my first trip to the ER. hers too. 

the doctor was amazing. he worked wonders on our 'moving target' as he called her. 

brave little soul.

Monday, March 5, 2012


cotton twill labels to be exact.

i have a problem... well, probably a few. i have a slight addiction to pinterest. i see things. i pin things. then i want things.

somehow these 'wants' turn into 'needs' and... my day of chores turns into a day of crafts.

since i have {nearly} two quilts completed, i need labels.

quilt labels.  so i thought... what kind of labels do i want? well, i like rustic things. i like homemade looking things. i am drawn to fonts and colors and textures. and i don't like my handwriting.

i was browsing around on etsy. i found cotton twill labels. i wanted them. all of them. but then i realized i don't have a company name. or brand. and each of my quilts is different. and i want my quilt labels to reflect the date and the person and the significance. i really didn't need 300 labels that have a corny 'hand made with love' design... not me, and never will be.

i searched 'twill labels' on pinterest and to my surprise found two tutes {tutorials}... i guess this is the new age term and i kinda love it. so... here is my tute.

go to joann's. grab candy. bribe the {almost} 2 year old.

buy twill. in the ribbon section. grab two sizes. one yard of each. it will run you about $6.

go to stamp section. grab a set of letters. grab a stamp pad. i bought the StazOn brand, solvent ink.  it's meant to stamp things like ceramic, leather, and crazy/non-paper stuff.

i made my labels two different ways.

{stamp version}
cut twill. stamp your design. done! the StazOn ink worked like a champ. after washing it, this is how it looked...

{printer version}
find fabulous fonts. i use this website. in pages or word type up your label name or brand or picture. i used different fonts and different versions. print it. cut out your twill. tape twill on top of the original document. send it through the printer again. cross your fingers and toes. luckily my printer didn't jam. but i was expecting it to. it did get a bit smeary on the wider, thicker twill.  

{i saved the document. i can pull it up and print more when i need to without recreating it. unless you want to}

remove twill from paper. iron to set in ink. done.

i have not washed the printer versions yet. i will before i sew anything to my quilts. i'll get back to you on the results. 

p.s. font 'MTF Itty Bitty Baby' has that little boat that kinda got cut off on the bottom label. i love it. all of baby d's labels need a little boat. 

i am also loving the 'typical typewriter' font. very rustic on the twill. exactly what i was going for. and honestly, i am considering adding a few labels to his quilt. would that be weird?