Wednesday, June 30, 2010

An Abundance

of love in my heart.  And awards.  Holy cow, have the awards piled up and I've been behind in accepting and acknowledging them.  So here goes and then you'll find my Wordless Wednesday at the bottom.

I received this from Mama Hen over at Mama's Little Chick.  Her blog is inspirational and sometimes we write on the same things, which makes me feel like we are kindred spirits or something.  I lovie her advice and her blog.  Thanks so much!  Now 3 things that I love about myself.  I love that I am a giving personI love that I am a momma and the most important person in the world to 2 little girls.  And, I love my ankles (truly, they are fabulous)!

And a picture that I love:

So little, with chubby cheeks...miss these days already

I also received this little ditty from Amanda at Chasing Twins in Louboutins.  Um, yeah, I live vicariously through Amanda.  She's hip, and sheek, and filled to the tippy top with fashion know-how, and she had two babies -at the same time.  Hello.  Hero.  Thanks, Amanda for this award.

The rules with this one:
The Rules:

•Thank the blogger who awarded it to you.
•Sum up your blogging philosophy, motivation, and experience using five (5) words
•Pass it on to 10 other blogs which you feel have real substance.

I blog to remember it.

Then, I received these 3...yes, 3! Awards from Britt at Ms. B, The Princess & the Pea.  She's about to have baby girl #2 and she's from the Midwest and is awesome.  Thank you for all of these, my e-hands can barely hold them, but they'll look stunning on the mantel! 

The rule for this one:  Write where you think you'll see yourself in 10 years. 

In 10 years I'll probably be visiting the plastic surgeon because I'll be done having kids, and will need the girls fixed a little bit.  But kidding aside, I hope I'm enjoying the teen-age years with my kids, and traveling, and going to swim meets, and golf lessons, and I hope that life is full and everyone is healthy. 

The rules for these two are similar (well, that's what Britt says) so we are combining them.  10 things that are awesome about me.  Whoa that's a lot.  In my case, this will be things that are RANDOM about me.

1. I can still fit in to the poodle skirt that I wore in a dance recital when I was 12 years old.  And I've worn it recently.
2.  In my 1st pregnancy I lost the ability to chew gum without puking.  It stuck with me.  I can no longer chew gum
3.  I didn't eat pig products for over 10 years because I watched the movie Babe.  Then, I got pregnant and craved bacon.  So, I had some.  But, I still won't touch ham.
4.  The doggy paddle is my best stroke
5.  My dog is named after the Hubs' favorite pitching coach
6.  I haven't painted my fingernails since I 1st gave birth.... 4 1/2 years ago
7.  My big toe is shaped like a spoon.  Hubs calls it "spoon toe."  My college roommate called it "potato toe"  it's weird
8.  We honeymooned in Maui during whale season.  It was awesome. 
9.  I've been a Matron of Honor - twice.
10.  I attempted to read War And Peace when I was 13...I only got 2 chapters in...the Russian names frustrated me. 

One more....stay with me....I know it's crazy, but these all piled up in a week....ONE WEEK!  I received this one, for the 2nd time from Chelsea at Adventures in Vandyland.  Chelsea has 2 girls that are about the same ages as mine and she's rockin' them California style.  If I ever have another girl, I think I'm gonna name her Chelsea, because it's beautiful, we stick to C's, but have too many hard C sounding names already.  Anyway, Chelsea, thank you for the award.  It looks beautiful on this page.
Whew.  Are you exhausted?  I am.  Now, I am supposed to pass all of these on to 5 to 10 people.  But, I think it'd be more special if I just chose a few.  So, here are 3 ladies that I love to read, and think you should too.  Ladies, pick one or two, or all of them, and add them to your collection!

Congrats ladies and take my em when you get em. 

And, finally....

Wordless Wednesday!

Fix it BP...just Fix it!

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Kids. Are. Cruel.

Someone please loan me a spine, a set of balls, or some thicker skin.  I'm going to need it if I am going to survive the rapidly approaching elementary school years. 

Last night we went to Chick Fil A for dinner.  Camdyn finished her dinner before the rest of the family so she scampered off to the play land.  We could see her through the window and we watched as she quickly paired up with two older girls (about 8 years old) and began running around with them.  Up and down the slide they went, hiding from the boys and it looked like they were having a blast.  The Hubs and I chatted about how Cam is extremely social, and how she doesn't have one shy or reserved bone in her body and how awesome that is. 

And, then I finished my meal, Chloe was squawking, so I took her in to the play land so that she could play and watch the bigger kids run around.  We walked in to the room and Camdyn announced to her friends that her baby sister was there and to please watch out for her.  Serious sweetness.  And, then I saw what was really going on.

The older girls weren't playing with Camdyn, they were trying to run from her.  She was like the annoying kid sister that they couldn't shake, and they were irritated with her.  I was kind of stunned because I've never seen her in that position before.  Typically, she is the leader.  She is the one in her class that the others are following, and if they don't follow her, she could care less.  She's strong and independent, so to see her be the odd child, the outcast child, was pretty much a needle to the heart.  So, I sat there and watched.  One of the girls would tell Cam to go and hide in the cow car, which was at the top of the play thing, on the opposite side of the slide.  Cam would climb all the way up there and wait a minute, and then realize that no one was coming to find her and she would climb down, and join the girls again, smiling the whole time.  They were like her new best friends, but she was the only one that felt that way.  At one point, the older girl said under her breath "stop following me. you are so gross." 

At that point, I debated saying something.  I was going to call that little girl over to me and explain to her that Camdyn is only 4 years old, and if she can't include her and play nicely, then she should go back to her table and sit with her mother.  She was probably above the height restriction for the play land anyway.  And, then, I second guessed myself.  Is it my place to discipline or reprimand this child?  After all, she wasn't physically hurting my child, she was just being rude.  Do I step in, or do I see how it plays out?  Although, I want to protect Camdyn from all the hurt and pain in the world, I can't fight every battle for her, right? 

So. I. Did. Nothing.

After a few more minutes of witnessing this behavior which is hurting my feelings, not my child's, but MINE, I tell Cam it's time to go.  As we head to the car, the whole situation begins to eat me alive.  Why?  Because I'm a frickin' sap, and a wet noodle, and I can't stand hurt feelings....I over empathize with people, to the point where it is becoming a personality flaw.  We get in the car, and I begin to enlighten Hubs, who missed the whole situation.  We are spelling out the majority of our conversation so that Cam doesn't understand and he thought without a doubt that I should have done something about it.  He told me to grow some balls, and stand up for our kids, and that I better learn how to do that when they are young, because when they are 14 and I have to do it, it's going to be even tougher.  On one hand I agree, but on the other hand, I am not going to be able to fight all of her battles for her, and I can't protect her 
She's going to have to learn how to stand up for herself.  And, I hope she does.  And that she learns how to stand up for other kids that are picked on and bullied.  I hope she is that kid. 

As tears are welling in my eyes on the drive home, Hubs turns to Camdyn and asks, "Did you have fun at Chick Fil A?"  Between licks of her ice cream cone she says, "Yes Daddy!  I had so much fun with those girls, but not with those boys."  He looks at me, squeezes my leg, and says "That's all that matters."

I still lost sleep over it.  I debated whether or not I did the right thing, and I wished that I could just keep Camdyn at her Christian School forever, in the classroom where she is loved and feels accepted with a teacher that she adores, but I know that can't happen.

Eventually, she's going to run in to cruel kids.  And when she does, I hope that I am better prepared to handle it than I was last night.

I am interested to know what you would have done.  Please share.

Monday, June 28, 2010

You Know You Had a Good Weekend When Monday Hits and You Are Exhausted

I am seriously looking forward to today...yes, Monday.  This weekend done wore me out, and now, I  look forward to a Monday spent at my desk with a cup-o-java and my keyboard.  Six hours, just to sit, and do what I do, with little thought.  Weird, that is what my job is like, but I'll take it, because I AM EXHAUSTED. 

Allow me to breakdown the weekend for you, sans pictures, because I didn't take one single picture this weekend.  That almost never happens, but we were that busy ya'll!

Chloe Belle had her 15 month well visit.  I decided to pick both the girls up from school at the same time.  This means that I'll have Cam in the room with me while Chloe is seeing the Dr.  It's a recipe for chaos, but what the hell. I'm feeling up to the challenge.  The visit goes well, Chloe only cried while she was sitting on the scale, and what female doesn't want to burst in to tears at that moment?  I couldn't fault her that.  She finally weights 20.0 lbs!  Whoo hooo!  This means that legally I can finally turn her car seat around, so that she can ride facing forward.  The Dr. told me that if she is happy backwards then to leave her that way for as long as I can.  Well, she is happy backwards.  She sits there and stares at her sissy, or falls asleep, so I guess we'll let her sit that way for awhile longer.  She is also 31" tall now, so she sits in the 60th percentile for height and finally popped up to the 10% percentile for her weight.  The Dr. commented on how "chill" she is.  REALLY?  I wouldn't ever use that word to describe my "high maintenance little drama queen," but whatever.  He said that the babies that seem the most stressed as infants usually tend to be quite calm kids.  OH GOD I HOPE SO!  I think I'm due for one of those!  We decided to hold off on shots (the MMR) because Chloe had been sick off and on for 10 days...and I'm not quite sure about that shot.  She needs it for school, but should I lose my job then I'd probably skip it.  So, we'll re-evaluate that situation in September.  Right now, her shots are "deferred because of illness."

I also asked him if my precious was ever going to grow any hair.  He said the baldest babies usually end up with the thickest hair, that's just the way mother nature works.  Well, the Hubs and I both have more hair then we know what to do with, so I guess I'll buy that theory.  I would love to make some baby pony tails, though....maybe one day...when she's 4. 

Cam was a total ball of energy, talkativeness (if that is a word) and personality during the trip to the Dr.  Of course, the Dr. loves it, and encouraged it, and remarked that she has enough personality for 2 kids.  Yes, yes, she does...and it is completely exhausting. 

After the visit, since we were downtown, we went and saw daddy at work.  That was a lot of fun.  Since I'm a claustrophobic maniac, I marched all 3 of us up three very long flights of stairs to get to Daddy's office.  Cam counted every single step, well, she got to 30 and then started over...twice.  The girls had a blast and Chris and I decided we'd take the girls for pizza.  Remember we had such an awesome time a few weeks ago, so, we thought, same place, same thing.

Yeah, not so much.  It was a nightmare!  Camdyn spilled her drink, Chloe wouldn't eat anything and was tossing food on the ground.  It was stress fest all over again.  Maybe that is too much to handle on a school day when the kiddos are already exhausted, maybe that should be a weekend only activity.

Finally Saturday:
We went to the splash park, ran some errands, went to the Library, and Target, and then I took Cam to a Family Fun Center with a friend while Daddy stayed home and watched Soccer with Chloe.  It was fun, and we successfully wore the kids out!  Which was perfect since we had date night planned with Liz and JJ to celebrate his birthday.  When the sitter walked through the door at 7 pm, both kids were asleep.  Say what?  Yeah, it was like that.  So, we went out and had a terrific dinner, went to a comedy club and laughed and drank the night away, and had a great time.

6 am came way too quickly.  The Hubs and I alternated napping and watching kids until noon.  The late night really whacked us a good one.  Then, I took Cam grocery shopping, which she loves because I usually swing by the bakery and let her pick out a cookie.  Then this happens:

Camdyn is wearing this dress from Crazy Eights (which is like Gymboree's version of Gap's Old Navy):

the dress is size 5, and it's a little big on her.  She usually wears a white t-shirt under it, but it's 95 degrees outside, so I skipped the shirt.  The result is that the flower in the center hits her just below the sternum and the straps tend to fall off her shoulders.  I asked her if I could pin the straps together in the back, but she refused, it's big, and sloppy, but whatever. 
So, we have all of our groceries and are checking out, and Camdyn is sitting in the cart playing with a few of her little toys.

Bagger Lady:  Hi Sweetie.  I love your dress.  Is pink your favorite color?
Camdyn:  Thanks, but my Boodies (boobies) are hanging out, you know because this dress doesn't fit me right.  ::lowers dress neckline to expose one tiny baby nipple::
Bagger Lady:  ::holds a shopping bag up to her face so Cam can't see her cracking up::  Oh my Gosh she's hysterical.  Did she just say "Boodies?"
Me:  ::shakes head and laughs all the way out to the car::

And, that's pretty much the best thing about raising a 4 year old...they say the funniest things at the funniest times....and it is pretty much the reason that I survive the frustrating parts of raising a 4 year old.

And then we packed everyone up and headed to the beach for the Hubs' company picnic.  It was HOT...and...sandy...and dirty, but the food was good and the company was ever better.  We are so spoiled living here, to ever describe going to the beach as anything other than beautiful, is simply absurd.  But seriously, since we live here year round, I like to go to the beach for sunset, when the crowds are thin, you can find parking, and the sun isn't banging overhead.  It's cooler, and the view is even more spectacular.  Or, I like to go in the winter, in the middle of the day, when I can wear pants and a sweater, and we don't go near the water, but just play in the sand.  I do love the beach...just not in the middle of the summer....that's what the pool is for. 

When we got home we squeezed in some pool time, then bathed the kids, and had them both sleeping  by 7:30.  SWEET. 

So, here we are on Monday morning.  We had a great weekend, but it was non-stop, and I'm really looking forward to taking it down a few notches this week.  My parents come in to town on Thursday, which means I'm finally going to have to clean the house 4 more hands to entertain children with.  Blessings.  Total Blessings!

Happy Monday, Ya'll

Friday, June 25, 2010

....and I Switched to Huggies

Most of you have probably heard of or taken part in the bruhaha over the Pamper's Dry Max diapers.  If you haven't, and don't know that they have been accused of causing severe diaper rashes that resemble chemical burns, then go ahead and read this from Parentdish.  It's kind of worth reading anyway, since it pretty much suggests that if Pampers can get mommy bloggers on their side, then all will be right with them, their world, and their diaper championing.

Okay, back to my story:  I'm on the slow boat or the short bus here, and I didn't really catch wind of this until a few weeks ago.  A few weeks after I had purchased my first and only box of Stage 3 Pamper's Dry Max.  Chloe Belle sparked a rash.  Not just any old rash, but a nasty nasty red peeling rash.  And, it was immediate. 

Now, this child was breastfed until she was 13 months old, she didn't really get ANY diaper rashes at all, not even after the combined weeks and weeks of diarrhea that this child has endured.  I attribute that to breastfeeding, and to the fact that I use a wonderful cream, that is made in my hometown, and WORKS.  It's not your everyday preventative cream, it's the cream that you use when a rash is here.  It's so thick you can't flick it off of your finger, it's used by old people who suffer from bed sores (that's its alternative use) and I love it.  If you wanna get you some Paladin you can order it online, or you can march down to Target and ask the pharmacy to order it for you.  It takes 24 hours for them to receive it and they sell it for $5 a jar.  I buy 2-3 at a time (makes for a good shower gift too).  And, my 4 year old has used it when she gets all red and sore because she forgets to wipe and her girly bits stay wet all day.    

Man, I'm like a runaway train today (sense the transportation theme here...What the Hades?)

So, Chloe got a rash and my first thought was "It's the Diaper!"  And, this is before I knew that other Mommas out there were complaining.  So, we slapped on some Paladin and used it heavily for about a week.  The rash disappeared and we continued working our way through the giant box of diapers.  She never got another rash.  I'm not sure if she built up some sort of tolerance to the adjusted amounts of chemical in the diaper (supposedly it sits closer to the skin since the diapers are thinner) or if the whole thing was just a nasty coincidence. 

But, I switched brands.  I had a package of Seventh Generation diapers that I received at my baby shower (yes, over a year ago - they are stage 3 and it took Chloe that long to get that big).  I tried them and I loved them, but they are pricey and I just don't know if I can pay that, especially because the suckers aren't even biodegradable.  They are simply made without chlorine (in the plant) and they don't dye the filler white like other brands do, they dye it tan.  So, a little earth friendly, but not much. 

Huggies.  Huggies is my answer.  Now, since my 4 year old was in diapers, Huggies has come a long way.  I thought they were leak prone when she was little, but now I think they hold their shit.  Literally. 

If I ever have another one, and really, I'm not planning on it...I think I'll go the cloth route and avoid all of this, but in the meantime...Miss Belle is sporting the Huggies for another 9 months, cause you know I'm hoping to have her potty trained by 2! 

If you can relate good or bad...Please share.

Momma's Night

I'm tired, ya'll.  I had too good of a time last night and now I'm paying for it.  I worked late, then went to a baby shower and ate some great food, indulged in Heavenly Cupcakes, and a few too many tumblers of Pinot Grigot.  When I got home at 10:30, both the kiddos were in bed and Hubs had it all under control.  In fact, he didn't even call me one time with a question, or a complaint.  It might have helped that I told him not to call me unless he is dialing 911 at the same time, but seriously.  He handled it.  All. of. it. 

I think I'm guilty of not giving him enough credit.  I assume that he will be overwhelmed by the stress and energy it takes to handle a rambunctious 4 year old and a needy 1 year old.  I find myself protecting him from that by always taking at least 1 kid with me where ever I go.  Divide and conquer is the way we usually roll.  And last night I was this close ::one inch between thumb and pointer:: to taking Cam with me to the baby shower, but Hubs stepped up and said, "No.  You go.  Have fun."  So, that's what I did....that's exactly what I did!  I lovie him.  I love that he protected my "me" time and let me just enjoy a night with the girls, and a glass (or 3) of wine.  What he doesn't realize is that now that I know he has it all under control, I just might be taking more nights to myself more often....Shhhh.  Don't tell daddy.

And then when I got home.  I had to peep in on my lovie because looking at her through the monitor just wouldn't cut it, and this is what I saw:

I love sleeping baby pictures.  So quiet, and peaceful, and sooo unlike how she is when she is awake. 

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Gratzi Jueves

Well, for those of you that don't speak a combination of Italian and Spanish the title is "Thank You Thursday." Clever huh?  I thought I would spice up the title a bit. So, allow me to offer a big busty
"Thank You"
to the people, places and things that make-a-me happy this week.

31).  The Mall.  And, not for the shopping and the endless array of merchandise, but for the A/C and the indoor play land and the wide selection of food opportunities.  It now provides a host for mommy gatherings and sweat-free play dates.  And to that I offer a happy hallelujah!

32).  Dry Skivvies.  Not mine, silly.  My 4 1/2 year old has finally ditched the Underjams and stays dry all night!  Whoo hoo!  We were so lazy with taking those things away, and now that we have, she is happily and comfortably dry all night long. 

33).  Baby Showers.  Not only to they involve celebrating a terrific Momma and a new life entering the world.  But, they involve cake, and an evening spent without tending to children.  It's a win/win all the way around.

34).  Trusted Babysitters.  Because it means that Hubs and I are about to enjoy a long overdue night out this weekend. 

35).  Seat belts that function.  For the past 24 hours my seat belt was stuck in the retracted position and I couldn't pull it free to put it on.  I was completely annoyed by it and felt like I could literally fall out of my seat at any moment.  I just do not understand how people can drive and not wear them.  Anyway, by the grace of God, I tinkered with it, and actually fixed it.  So, now it works and I feel safe, and have spared myself a trip to the dealership (for now). 

36).  Binky Kisses.  This morning, Chloe leaned in to give me a kiss whilst the binky was still in her mouth.  So, I kissed the binky.  Cuteness overload.

37).  Hubs' job.  Because it makes him feel successful, and challenged, and it provides for our family.  And, it's just an added bonus that it's our social network too.

38).  Lady Gaga's stupid antics.  Because every time I read about her weirdness and supposedly shocking behavior, I become thankful for the normalcy of my life and feel just a twinge of thankfulness that I am not looking for happiness/acceptance/security in all of the wrong places.

39).  Golf.  Yes, you read that right.  Golfing that gets the whole family out on the green, playing, and interacting.  And it gives Cam an opportunity to do what her daddy does.  He swears he will turn her into a pro.  I think buying her a golf set is on the to-do list this weekend.  And not the plastic kind featured in my last post...but a real one...the metal kind.   

Has anyone noticed that I am getting really good at taking pictures
that do not have heads in them...strange, but it works.  no?

The baby top left belongs to Liz but I'll claim her and all of her cuteness. 
Abby and Chloe have the same shirt on
so I just had to include her in this spread taken on Father's Day.

40). Teachers.  Because every day I leave my lovies in the hands of wonderful women who care for them, teach them, and influence their lives in my absence.  And, working and being away from them would be hella traumatic for me if it weren't for them.  A Thank You just isn't enough for what teachers do every day!

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

I Simply Smile

“While we try to teach our children all about life,
our children teach us what life is all about.”
~Richard L. Evans~

And it is a moment as pure and unprofound as this. 
A moment spent playing in our front yard, chasing balls, playing with the watering can, and coloring with chalk, and I realize.  I realize that I have everything I need.  I am right where God intended me to be
and that my blessings far out number my worries.
And when I look at her chubby knees and starfish hands, I smile. 
I simply smile.


Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Good Morning Beautiful

One of the most beautiful parts about having children is passing tradition down to them.  Or, realizing that there is a piece of your own childhood that you are subconsciously passing down.  I realized that this past week.

When I was a child my Momma would often wake me with a song.  It was a peppy tune and went something like this:
Get up Get up in the morning
It's time to rise and shine
Get up Get up in the morning
I hope you're feeling fine
The sun is up get out of bed
Hurry up you sleepy head

When Cam was a baby I started singing her a little country ditty that's been covered by just about everybody and anybody who has ever sung a country lick.  I would walk in to her bedroom in the morning, and she would be standing there in her crib grinning and I would sing in the most horrendous, out-of-tune, pitchy way possible:

Good morning beautiful
How was your night
Mine was wonderful
With you by my side
And when I open my eyes
And see your sweet face
It's a good morning beautiful day

She would smile, and I would lift her out of her crib and we would begin our day. 

Last Wednesday, when I picked Cam up from school, her teacher told me that she woke up from nap time and sang the entire class a song.  Wanna know what she sang them?  She sang them OUR SONG.  She sang them the same song that I'd been singing to her for years.  She remembered the lyrics (to the chorus) and she probably sang it better than I did.  Her teacher said it was the sweetest thing she'd ever seen.

It brought tears to my eyes.  The fact that this is a piece of me, of us, of our story.  A piece of life that she is remembering, and that she will hold on to, touched me.  It made me realize how easily snippets of my childhood were passed down to my own children without much thought or effort.  And, it made me realize how big my impact is on her childhood and on her life.

Here is Camdyn doing her own rendition of our wake up song.  I only asked her to sing it for the computer.  Her little arm motions were her own doing.  I wonder in 25 years if she'll choose this song, or something new to sing to her own children. 

Regardless, I hope she inadvertently passes down the wake up song...any...wake up song.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Father's Day 100

The title suggests that you might find 100 things about Father's Day or 100 things about the Hubs in the post.  Well, you ain't gonna find that, but what you will find are some cute pics that I took for Father's Day, a brief run down of our day and...drum roll 100th post!

We woke up early on Father's Day and hit up McD's for some free breakfast and some much needed coffee, after a night with the Johnson's that involved too much food, beer, and wii antics and a bedtime that crossed over in to tomorrow.  We discovered that Liz sucks at basketball, and I suck at bowling, and that dick-in-a-box is just as funny the 12th time around. 

Anyway, after breakfast, it was home for playtime, nap time, and then we headed to the driving range to spoil daddy with a-little-bit-o-golf.  I took some pictures, but will have to share those another day.  We ate pizza, the kids played in the arcade, and then we ordered ice cream and headed home.

I made dinner - um, yeah, you read that right.  And, we gave Daddy his gift.  A collage made with pictures I took a few weeks ago.  Notice their shirts....CUTE!  I tell ya, Gymboree can do no wrong.

This was the first picture I took.  When I framed it, cropped it down, so it looked prettier.

I love that you can't tell she's missin' teeth in this picture!

This is her "ewww" face, and she makes that sound all the time!

So, there you have it.  It was a good day, and I'm officially over 100 posts, you'd think my writing skills would improve or something?  Maybe by the time I get to 200. 

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Day Late

Punctuality is usually never my problem...unless I'm going to work.   I'm  always late to work, but can't be late to a "social" event to save my life....not even if I try.  Weird.  Good thing my company doesn't care when I come and when I go.  So, I'm a day late with my Thankful on Thursday post, and I blame life and its craziness, while still taking responsibility for the fact that sometimes I am not as organized as I wish I was.

Regardless, here's my list of things that I am thankful for yesterday...and today...and always:

21).  The Hubs and his ability to say the right thing, comfort, and protect at just the right time

22).  The notion that "everythings gonna be all right."

23).  Motrin (or a generic version of) because it is kickin' Chloe's fever

24).  Beautiful friendswho inspire me with their artistic talents and who are willing to share their knowledge and support a novice.  Check out Bridgette's wicked photog skills....she amazes and inspires me!  And, is the "know how" behind my pictures that turn out like this SOOC (straight out of camera)  And, that is a real bird...not one of those flamingo-y bird on a stick things:

25).  My job.  Because I actually love it and know that there is no promise of a tomorrow (damn economy).

26).  My Momma - cause today is her birthday and I adore her.  She's amazing and should be celebrated every day

27).  The Laker's kickin' some Boston A-S-S....cause I've always been a Laker fan even though Kobe fell from grace and ruined my ability to cheer for him for several years.

28).  A little girl who says the cutest things, gives the greatest hugs, and even though she tests me to the limits, she reminds me that Motherhood is a gift and I am special.

29).  Luck in two different forms.  Lucky Brand denim diaper covers (that are huge) but still cute as sin and Luck in general, because today I am feeling very fortunate

30).  For Fridays, spent at home with a baby even if she is sickly.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Beautiful Blogger & Cute Convo

I received this award, from TWO wonderful Mommas in the past 24 hours.  Mama Hen at Mama's Little Chick was the first to pass this award to me.  If you haven't seen her blog, you should.  Every post contains an inspirational or thought provoking quote...and it's well, inspiring and uplifting, and it also helps that she's the go-to lady for keeping kids safe from toxins and chemicals, and all the other crap we pollute our world and our bodies with.  Thanks, Mama Hen!  I really appreciate it.
Then, much to my wonder and amazement, and before I could even draft this post, Amanda at Chasing Twins in Louboutins bestowed the same award upon me.  Wheee!  I live vicariously through Amanda, she has some serious fashion sense, fabulous taste in handbags and cutesy etsy things, and have ya'll seen her bathroom?  I could live in there!  She's all cute twinies and fabulous shoes, and I love the combination.  Thanks, Amanda for passing this on to me.

Now, this award has a few rules 1).  Thank those who gave it to you - I just did that ;) 2). Shout out 7 things that people may not know about me.  Here goes:

1).  Scratching a back on bare skin seriously grosses me out.  All that dead skin that could slough off and accumulate under my nails by dragging them down hubs' bare back, makes me wanna hurl.  Ewww.  I only scratch on top of a shirt. 

2).  I like to put Sweet N Low in my salsa.  I have an aversion to anything spicy and Ketchup is spicy to me.  Sugar in the salsa tames it down....and it just tastes good to my sweet palate.

3).   I always touch the top of the airplane door when boarding....I think it's good luck and if I forget to do it, or can't do it because my hands are full of kids then I secretly fear the plane will go down.

4).  I can tap dance.

5).  I once got pooped on my a cow - yeah, that really happened to me and to this day, I have trouble walking through a barn (not that I walk through many barns) and the tunnel of cow asses all lined up and ready to fire.

6).  I love drink a half gallon a day, LOVE MILK - odd considering #5.

7).  When I was 8 years old, I may or may not have convinced my 6 year old brother to repel out of a 2nd story bedroom window on bedsheets tied together. (he was not harmed in this stunt).

And the third rule is that I have to pass this on to 12 beautiful bloggers.  I'm going to go with 8, cause that is my favorite number and I'm feeling a little bit lazy.  If you aren't reading these, please do, and comment, and show some bloggy love - they are all worthy, I promise you.

And, because I can't leave you today without sharing something that is interesting, personal, or a combination of none of those.  I give you this conversation that happened between me and my nearly 4 1/2 year old.

One Random Night at 7 PM:
Cam:  Momma look what I did?  ::shuts eyes really tight::
Me:  Cam, what is that on your eyes?  ::Feels her eyelids::  It's sticky.
Cam:  It's my hello kitty eye stuff.
Me:  I thought that was for your lips?  That doesn't go on your eyes silly.  It will hurt your eyes.
Cam:  I didn't know.
Me:  Camdyn you have to always ask Momma when ever you want to use your make-up so that we can make sure we put it on in the right places (secretly, I'm cursing China and all the crap they make for kids, because I really don't know what is in kiddie "make-up" and I really don't like her using it.  I imagine it is full of lead and toxins, because hey, it's cheaper to make it that way).
Cam:  OOOOOO - Kay ::scampers off::

The Same Random Night, only now it's the morning because it is 4 am:
Me:  ::stirs while sleeping - jolts awake - WTF!!  Who is looking at me???:: CAM!  You startled me!
Cam:  Momma I want to put on my Hello Kitty Make-up.
Me:  ::grabs glasses because I can't see a damn thing::  CAM!  It's 4 am!  It's not time for make-up, it's the middle of the night.
Cam:  BUT MOMMMMMAAA!  You said that I needed to tell you if I want to use my make-up.  AND, I WANNA USE IT.
Me:  ::gets out of bed.  Walks Cam back to her bedroom.  Applies the Hello Kitty Lip Gloss::  Thanks for following directions, Cam.  Now your lips are pretty and you can go back to sleep.

Every time I think she isn't really listening, she actually is listening.  And then, she makes me pay for it in the most adorable way.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

This Day....

I gave the Hubs a super big squeeze this morning before he walked out the door.  Today is going to be a tough one.  Today marks the one year anniversary of the day that I returned to work from my maternity leave after Chloe was born and the same day that my MIL sprouted angel wings.  Obviously, one of those events was way more traumatic than the other.  Her death was unexpected, the wound is still there, but the memories are alive. 

Dear Momma D,
What's it like up there, on the other side of the pearly gates?  I imagine that you and Grandpa Earl spend your days playing Texas Hold Em and drinking tea.  I imagine that you are no longer in pain, that your soul feels alive, and that you finally get to see your grandbabies any time you like. 

We miss you - daily.  There are often moments when I wish I could pick up the phone and ask you a question.  A question about your son and why he does what he does.  A question about his childhood.  A question about pictures and memories of your lifetime.  I wish that I had sucked you dry of that information while you were here.  I wish I hadn't taken for granted your existence.  I wish I had called more often.

We are keeping your memory alive.  We speak of you often, and Camdyn knows she has an angel Gramma in heaven.  We sift through the boxes and boxes of pictures that came out of your house and we remember.  We remember.   A hand drawn sketch of you hangs in our living room, a daily reminder of you, of your life, and our family's future.

The sweet part about death is that we'll meet again.  We'll all be together and there will be rejoicing.  For now, while we're apart, I hope you smile at what you see down here.  I hope you look at your grand daughters and laugh, and I hope you know just how much you are loved.

Save a spot at the table for me.


PS:  A few nights ago, when Chloe woke up at 2 am crying and I walked in her bedroom to find her light on, was that you? Because it felt like you. And, I thought of you. And, I missed you.


And, because today doesn't have to be all about sad things....Camdyn, Chloe and I did "THE DITTY" in the car on the way to school this morning.  We turned up the music, Chloe clapped, big straight arm, forehead high claps, and Camdyn learned how to "Raise the Roof."  Because, you are just never too young to learn Old School Hip Hop and how to dance like your mother. 

Today we celebrate.  We celebrate a life that was worthy, a woman who was extraordinary, and another day - like any day - that should not be taken for granted.  

Monday, June 14, 2010

Slammin' Sunday

Saturday was aiiight, but Sunday...Sunday ruled.  We started our Sunday out by playing hooky from church, cause it's summer and sometimes you just gotta break the routine.  We decided to meet some of Camdyn's classmates at the park.  It was HOT as balls (hokay, so I don't really know what that means, but Hubs says it, and apparently, it means that it was really hot), but the kids ran around in the bangin' sun and had a blast.  And, we got to chat in the shade while the kids exhausted themselves (save for the 10 minutes I spent in the sun pushing them on the tire swing). 

When we got home it was lunchtime and then Chloe went down for a nap and Cam and I enjoyed swim time while Daddy washed his truck.  The pool was cool and relaxing and we spent over an hour paddling around. 

The Hubs and I tossed around ideas about what to do after Chloe's nap.  I needed a few things at Target and we decided to order pizza and bring it home.  On the drive to Target Cam said that she wanted to eat at the restaurant.  Well, Hubs didn't think that was a good idea because somehow it always ends up being stress-fest when we go out to eat.  Cam doesn't sit in her chair, she forgets to use her inside voice and it becomes a less than pleasurable experience.  Usually, it is more "work" than it is fun.  I reminded Hubs that she is getting older and that we can't stop dining out forever (even though we did stop from the time Cam was 18 month to 3 1/2 because she just couldn't handle it - cue screaming toddler, running around a restaurant and throwing food...okay, she never threw food, but she did break a salt shaker or two).

Target was Target.  Went in needing 4 or 5 things and walked out with 20.  Love that place.  Then, we get to the restaurant.  We have no food for Chloe, no sippy cups, or toys on hand, as this was an unplanned stop. I can't remember the last time we went to a restaurant without a barrage of toys, DVD player, crayons, etc.  Surprisingly, the children....BEHAVED.  Like, we pretty much almost could have forgotten they were there - behaved!  Camdyn decided she wanted garlic cheesy bread for dinner and ordered two servings of it.  Chloe ate pasta off of the menu and drank water from a cup with a straw, she even had some pizza too.  It was ::gasp:: ENJOYABLE!  After we were done and in the car, I said to Hubs, "Do you see what is happening here?  Cam is getting to the age where she is going to be able to entertain herself and behave at a restaurant, and Chloe isn't going to be that crazy toddler who we can't take out, and we are going to be home free!"  At least I hope that is what is happening. 

**I have a girlfriend that has a little girl Cam's age and she is the sweetest and tamest (can you use that word to describe a child, or only animals?) little girl I've ever seen.  Well, her momma had a little boy about a year older than Chloe and now they are paying their dues.  He's the child that throws food in restaurants.  She swears that they are raising and disciplining them the same way, some kids are just wired differently and react differently in different environments.  They are now having a hard time eating out.  So, I'm hoping that is true, because no matter what I tried with Cam, we just couldn't get her to stay in her chair and behave in a restaurant, and I used to blame my parenting skills.  Now, with Chloe, I'm seeing that she is already handling it better than Cam did, so maybe it really isn't the parents as much as it is the child, or a wicked combination of the two ::checks judgemental comments at the door::

And, then when we got home, the storm clouds were looming and I was thrilled.  We need rain so badly.  I know those of you in Tenn. hate to read that, but we've been thirsty down here.  So, as the sprinkles started to fall, we got out our "La-Lum-Brell-As" as Camdyn would say, and played in the rain.  We danced, we pranced, we swung our umbrellas around, and only knocked the baby down once.  And, we enjoyed ourselves. 

Whoa.  Me in a picture!  Thanks Hubs. 
I wish you could see the look on Chloe's face. 
Obviously, she is happy, because I am repeating the look on my face.

Camdyn playing with her new red ball

And sometimes you just have to soak up all the little moments of sunshine (or rain in this case) and enjoy them.  Because at a certain point you realize that it's these little moments that are the 
BIG moments.

Friday, June 11, 2010

The Motherload of Tantrums

It is hard to believe that something that looks as sweet as this, can create pure mayhem.  I am referring to my four-year old.  Camdyn has always been a strong-willed little girl.  She knows what she wants, she'll negotiate her best to get it, and she surely isn't afraid to tell momma what "the rules" are.  She's fiery, quick as a whip, and is often pretending not to listen even though she is listening.  She tests my patience daily.  Lord give me strength.  But, in the same breath she is sweet, and funny, and this child has a tolerance for pain like no other.  There have been countless times out in public where she has biffed it hard, like stumbled over a concrete stop bar in a parking lot, and then fell on to the concrete, and passers-by gasp with horror, and she pops up and says, "That was a neat trick!"  Yeah, I kid you not.  The child does not cry unless she is bleeding and even then, sometimes not.  She's Ford tough. 

I've also been basking in the 4 plus years that have been relatively tantrum free.  I thought it wasn't her style, she communicated better than tantrum-ing and I was so grateful for that.  BUT, I paid my dues yesterday. 

After finishing up dinner at the mall yesterday, Cam asked if she could look at the Silly Bandz on the way out.  Sure, honey, no problem.  Well, wouldn't you know it, we walked right by the kiosk and were 50 feet from the door when Cam realized that we forgot to look at the Silly Bandz.  CRAP.  Instead, of communicating that to us in a level headed, respectable manner, she went into demon possessed mode.  She began kicking and screaming and flailing around.  I was 10 feet in front of her and her daddy was walking by her.  Hubs stopped.  "Should we take her?"  Um, No!  We can't teach her that throwing a tantrum gets results.  So, No Silly Bandz.  Cue louder tantrum, right past all of the lovely folks who were enjoying their dinner at Ruby Tuesdays in the open air section of the mall.  "Howdy!  Let me introduce to you my demon possessed kid!" (Not, that I give two shits about those people, but half of them were smiling anyway). 

Now, I have to admit.  I was stifling a smile too because she was that DRAMATIC and so OVER THE TOP and all of this over some rubber bands.  GEESH.  So, we held our ground, and when we got outside in to the open air, I got down on her level and explained to her, that her behavior was unacceptable, that's not how you get your way, and that because she acted like that, I was unable to take her to see the Silly Bandz.  She sobbed big tears, asked me told her, and then in the car talked to me about the dragon that took over her body and shot fire out of her nose, and made her behave like she had 3 heads.  Seriously, she came up will all of that.

I can no longer say that my kid does not throw tantrums, I just hope that this was a one and done episode, because I already have seen the depths of Lovie #2's tantrums and she's only 14 months old.  Lord, grant me strength.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Two Simple Things That Make Me Smile

I crept into the bedroom with the camera.  The room was completely dark and all I could hear was the faint sound of her baby breath.  I took one picture.  She didn't stir.  I took another. 
One soft sweet baby leg hanging out of the crib.  Dangling in the air in all its cuteness.  I wanted to kiss her toes.  I wanted to tickle the bottom of her foot. 
I resisted and closed the door smiling.

So girly and so sweet.  Even cuter now that she is standing and walking.  Rufflebutts make me smile,
make me appreciative that I am blessed with a baby girl. 
Who is girly, loves her shoes, and loves her daddy.
(She's not really playing with the outlet, and it is covered, so don't go calling DCFS on me...and odd how this baby has muscle tone....seriously, you can practically see her hammies and quad muscles.)

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Things Change

I found a blog last week that is unlike any other blog that I am reading, it is absolutely raw and the hilarity is out of control.  Where I tend to be a sentimental and sappy writer, Ericka's word choice is straight comedy  We might be polar opposites in how we express ourselves, but we have mommahood and life experience, and the ability to write in fragmented sentences in common. 

Last Friday she wrote a piece about putting your husband first. It struck a chord with me.  Wait.  Shouldn't I be doing that?  Do I do that?  So, I emailed her.  I had to thank her for making me think twice about how much energy and focus I currently devote to good ole Hubs.  You can read snippets of our emails in her post here.

Four and half years ago when I was a brand new momma I had the exact same intentions as my new friend, Ericka.  I swore up and down I wouldn't ever let a baby/child take the focus off of my marriage and my relationship with my husband.  I knew that aside from the Good Lord, our marriage was what holds the family together, breeds happiness for our girls, and is the lifeline of our family.  But, somehow, through the trying toddler years and into the obstinate pre-school years the focus slowly shifted from "us" to "them" - the kids.  We began to take for granted the strength of our marriage, and were almost forced to divert the bulk of our energy to the kids.... Essentially, we are in survival mode with little time left to devote to the couple that existed pre-kids. 

Things change.  People change.  A marriage is evolving. 

When we signed up for this deal, together, we knew the road would not always be easy.  We knew that we had to be teammates in this thing, and luckily that provided us a good base for the hurdles that parenthood provides.  So, I thought long and hard about what Ericka said, and how I've taken for granted that which matters most and I put that in to perspective. 

For as strong as our marriage is, a little extra TLC, and a little more attention can only help. 

A big thank you to Ericka for the breath of fresh air, the reality check, and for allowing me to share a piece of my story with her.  And, my Hubs thanks her too for the extra horizontal communication that came out of my new found clarity.

Visit THE COW and enjoy some laughs and maybe, just maybe, some truly useful Intel.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Sometimes No plan is the best plan

Don't you just hate it when you get all gussied up for a night out and plan on having a great time and then it doesn't turn out that way? Yeah, me too. Well, that didn't happen to us this weekend because for once we had NO plans. Yeah, nothing on the docket at all.

We went to a friend’s house to swim on Saturday morning and their pool was cool and refreshing and the kiddos had a great time. Somehow our pool is hot as sin, and Hubs finally lowered the temp on it from 105 (hello hot tub temp) down to 90, so by Sunday night it felt a lot cooler.

Then, we had a play date with baby Abby that somehow turned in to a sleepover. I had been craving Pasta Weezie from Carraba’s, and the Hubs’ craving finally matched up with mine, so we decided on ordering out. We ordered dinner for 4 and decided that Abby would do bedtime at our house. The girls got their first tubby time together and that was….interesting. Chloe is attached to her bath seat. I think it makes her feel safe or something, but Abby can’t sit and not slide all over the tub even with a tub mat, so when we switched them and gave Abby the seat, then Chloe just stood there and cried for her chair. Bath time didn’t last very long on account of that, but I did get one picture of them entranced by their own feet and a rubber duck!

As luck would have it, the kids were exhausted and they all passed out by 8:00 (including my 4 year old and that almost never happens). We enjoyed our dinner on the lanai along with good conversation, several/multiple beers and then after the sun had set decided it was time for an Adult Swim. It’s the first time that the Hubs and I had been in the pool without kids and it was WONDERFUL!

The night ended about 10:30 because we are responsible losers, but we had a fantastic time and now we know that we can do that again since Abby easily sleeps wherever she lays her head.

On Sunday we were invited to the beach! We hadn’t been to the beach since Chloe turned 1 back in March and it was COLD then, so we packed up our beach cart with chairs, towels, buckets, shovels, mermaids, the sun tent, a cooler, tubes and tubes of sunscreen, floppy hats, and headed to the beach. It turns out that Cam’s teacher was there too with her 2 kids (yeah, you can totally hate on her because she is thin and beautiful, and totally shoots down my excuse that kids are the reason that I look the way I do) and Cam was so stoked to see her at the beach. They looked for shells and fish and had a great time.
And, at one point I could actually smell oil, which sucked, and reminded me in an up close and all too personal way how much this oil crisis sucks.  But, the baby looked cute, and she ate a crap ton of sand and didn't seem to mind it at all.  She never did get her suit on, just her jammie top and a swim diaper. 

And the absolute BEST thing about going to the beach is that it does this to the kids:

I just love the fact that we enjoyed our weekend without feeling planned or scheduled and had an unexpected awesome good time with two different sets of wonderful people.  I'm spoiled, really, I am.