Monday, August 30, 2010

Weekend Spotlight: August 28-29

It has been awhile since I've done a spotlight post.  This is the type of post where I allow the voices in my head to have a one-sided conversation with you about our weekend.  So with that, I'll go ahead and channel those voices....

Both girls are up at 7:00!  Don't they know it's Saturday?
I know, I'll bake muffins....chocolate chip muffins
Sure, Sweetie, we can play in the driveway just let me get these muffins in the oven
I just know the neighbors love watching me play soccer in the driveway at 7:45 in the morning in my pink Moo-moo.  At least I have my contacts in.  This is a sight to see.
Alright girls, it is starting to get hot out here.  Let's go inside
Chloe is whining to go back outside
Swim?  Sure.  Let me get the suits
Like the ducks Chlo?  Can you say "duck?"

Okay, suits are on.  Camdyn stay in the shallow end.
Come here Kenz.  Lemme take your picture, puppy.
Swim time is over.  It's time for lunch then nap time.  Whew.  I need a nap.
Nap time
You want to go to Walmart?  You know how I feel about Walmart?  To buy bikes?  NOW? Why?  Okay, whatever.  Let's go to Walmart
Oooh.  I like that blue beach cruiser...I'll take that one.  And get Camdyn a new helmet, and can we pick up a red wagon for Chloe?  Chloe needs a wagon....everything else in her life is a hand me down from sissy, including her first tricycle and first bike....she deserves a wagon.
We'll have to come back to buy them....all this won't fit in my truck with the car seats.
Ugh.  It's 3:00.  I need to clean.  I don't feel like cleaning.  Hey!  Let's invite people over to our dirty house? 
I'll post an invite on FB and text all of Cam's friends. 
Wheee!  They'll be here in 2 hours.  I gotta clean this place!
I have the best hubs ever!  He helps me clean.
I don't think you should vacuum that wet rug on the patio with my Dyson.  Really, it's probably not a good idea.
I hope you can get all of that gunk that is stuck in the roller out....Don't say I didn't warn you....
Hi!  Thanks for coming over.  Let's squeeze a swim in before it rains.
Budlight Lime, Shocktop, or Landshark?  I'll take a Shocktop.
Ohhhh.  That's lightening!  Time to get out kids.  Let's dry off and play inside
Thanks for coming over that was a lot of fun!
Let me get these kiddos in bed
Movie?  The Book of Eli?  Okay
Snuggle me
What is going on in this movie?  What war?  What happened?  Are they ever going to explain it?  No.  I wouldn't watch this movie again. 

CRAP!  It's 8:30.  I guess we missed church
Coffee?  Why I'd love to. 
Playtime in the garage/driveway again.  Why do the kids love the garage so much?
Oh least it is cool out this morning....
Hi Miss Marlene!  Huh.  She's wearing her moo-moo too!  See.  I totally fit in here.
Chloe baby.  You look so hot and tired.  Let's go inside.

Swim time.  Where's Cam?  Watching a movie.  Okay, she can come out later.
Hi Cam!  Jump on in.  Take off your jammies but leave your undies on.  Come on, it's okay, you don't have to have your suit on.  Okay....go get your suit. Silly girl
You wanna Skype?  Sure.  I can't wait to see Abby walking...let me boot the laptop.
Chloe look at Abby.  Stop touching the keys, you have banana on your hands.  She is so cute on 2 legs!
Bye Bye Abby
Chloe you practicing putting on your shoes?  Almost baby girl.  Almost.

Let me get Chloe down for a nap
Camdyn I'm sorry I turned your movie off, but you need nap.  Stop crying, honey.  You are crying because you are tired.  Just ignore her babe...she's tired.  She needs a nap.
Did she just pass out inside the tent?  Told ya she was tired.

I have to go to JoAnn's....I need tulle for tutus.  Be back in an hour
I could totally get lost in here.
Man, these ladies aren't in a hurry.
What? the dog peed on the chair?  What is wrong with her?  She never does that.  I hope she isn't getting sick again.  Poor thing.  I'll be home in 10.
Should we wake the kids and take them to McD's to play.  Sure.  I need sweet tea.
Cam, I know you are still angry with Momma for turning off your movie, but you owe me an apology for your behavior. 
Great.  Let's go to McD's....and Walmart?  You want to go to Walmart again?  I haven't seen this much Walmart in one weekend....EVER! 
Umm....sweet tea....french fries.  I can't stick on a diet worth shiz.
Let's get the wagon now, and the helmet, and the bike seat for Chloe and we'll come back for the bikes next weekend since we can't fit all of this in one load.  Good plan.
Fantasy Football draft Party.  How many leagues are you in this year?  3.  Humph.  Okay, I like a party.
Baby Jax is so small....he's so cute. 
Camdyn share the toys
These lemon bars are divine.  Ummm....
It's 6:45, we have to go.  I don't want to blow the schedule on a school night.  See ya, everyone.  Thanks for having us. 
Chlo please stop crying we'll be home soon. 
Cam is she sleeping?  She fell asleep?  We are one minute from home.  Ugh!
Photo editing time, blogging, Fbing...I can't believe she wrote that in her status!  WHAT?  Liz, you crack me up.
I really have to go to bed
Chloe is up already, it's only 12.  Bottle then back to bed.
And here we are at Monday!  I hope it's a good one!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

And I Learn...

On Friday afternoon, I met my friend Bridgette at McDonald's so our girls could romp and we could gab.  I just happened to bring my laptop so I could pick her brain about photo editing.  B is turning out to be my muse.  I love to bounce things off of her, soak up all that she's learned, and pick her brain about all things photography related.  She's awesome.  If I were in to idol worship, I'd bow down...willingly.   

During our conversation she asked me "What is it that you are hoping to accomplish with Photography?  How serious are you?"  Good question.  The answer:  I don't know.  I enjoy it.  I'm new at it.  I want to take fabulous pictures of my kids.  I want other people to want me to take pictures of their kids.  Am I going to want to charge them?  Probably not.  But, I want to be the best I can be at doing something that I enjoy doing. 

So, with that, she leaned over my shoulder and helped me find tools in my editing program that will help me. And I absorbed.  And, I learned.  And I couldn't wait to get home to practice what she showed me.





I bet y'all are so sick of seeing dinosaurs in my pictures.  But, I have one little girl who is infatuated with dinos, and it's our life right now.  Dinosaurs and a Cookie Jar....the best subjects I could get in my photo at the moment.

Thanks, for all of the tips, B, and for meeting us, and friending us, and being so passionate about what you do! 

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Vacation Staycation Pictures

You know how it works when you think you can throw something together really quickly and it should be seamless, and then it never works out that way.  That's this video.  I really wanted to use the "Just the Way You Are" track by Bruno Mars but my itunes wouldn't let me upload it MP3 style, and Picasa won't use MP4 files, so I spent hours dinkering with it only to get so frustrated that I just grabbed the last song I used on one of these slideshows.  Sorry about the audio and burdening you with another country tune, but it's 11:00 and I'm whooped.  Bruno will have to wait for another day.

The trip involved a lot of pool time, coloring books, and beer.

Happy Friday, Y'all!

Thankful Thursday & Paper Mama Photo Challenge - Flowers

The photo challenge theme over at The Paper Mama this week is Flower.  

The Paper Mama

I picked this photo because I love Cam's expression in the background.  When I took the photo the yellow flowers were practically neon in color.  They were so bright it made Cam appear as a distraction in the background. 

So, I darkened it using filters, and created this old world, this was taken with the first camera ever invented, kind of look. Which is appropriate, as the garden where this photo was taken was created in the early 1900's. The quality of this photo matches the atmosphere of the garden.  Now, go visit the Paper Mama and check out all of the fabulous entries, and submit one of your own!

So, it turns out that I have a lot to be Thankful for this week!  Here Goes:

101).  The Positive Discipline webinar that was hosted by Jen at Heligirl last night.  I learned something last night and I can't wait to implement it
102).  The cute little old lady who stopped me in Publix last night and said "You have a beautiful family, you know that don't you?"  Why yes, I do, but I really should be more appreciative of them.  Thank you for taking the time to say that and to remind me of my blessings!
103).  Camdyn's new teacher.  I knew she was "good" but I didn't know she was this good!  She's creative, and a breath of fresh air, and Camdyn is already impressing me with the things she's learned
104).  The Rain.  It's been raining since Sunday, but last night, the girls and I took the time to run through puddles and get completely soaked, and we made a memory
105).  Coffee, specifically, a grande, nonfat, 3 pump white mocha
106).  Realtors that work long hours and have your back
107).  A Friend who took amazing pics of my girlfriend's Newborn Baby Boy.  Pics that evoke emotion and make me want to reproduce again. Shhh, don't tell Hubs.  Check out her work and give her some comment love.
108).  2lbs.  Because that is all I've gained back even though I've gone way off course with the eating healthy thing.
109).  My children, for being the source of my joy.  This morning as they passed Barbies back and forth in the car, I realized just how awesome it is that I have two kids.
110).  The Hubs.  He keeps me grounded, he reminds me not to take myself so seriously, and he loves me no matter what silly things come out of my mouth. 

And, y'all the best part about that Webinar last night, was that I was sitting at the computer for an entire hour, undisturbed.  And I did exactly what most over-extended, multi-tasking, time crunching momma's would do.  I edited vacation pictures while listening and participating!  Wheeee! 

So, tomorrow, coming at you just in time for the weekend, you will see our trip. 

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Wordless Wednesday & Photo Challenges: Trees

I'm singing in the rain, just singing in the rain; What a wonderful feeling, I'm happy again.
~Arthur Freed

Why does it always rain on the 1st day of school?  Chloe Belle had to wear her 
raincoat on Monday, which was okay with me because she looks so sweet in it.  In the morning, as we are headed out the door I usually find myself saying, "Line up by the door.  It's time to go."  So, that's what Chloe did when I snapped this photo.  She's all lined up by the door. 

This weeks theme at the In a Yellow House photo challenge is Trees.  I had several photos to choose from, but chose this one.  Do you remember it?  It's from the day we visited the Enchanted Garden or the Botanical Gardens, what ever you want to call it.  

These trees are so statuesque I couldn't back up far enough to get the whole tree in my photo.  Seriously, they are that big, and the coast is that close, I would need to be standing on a dingy boat in the Gulf in order to capture the entire tree. 

Two Trees
Centuries Old
Have Grown Together Through Time
They share History, Food, the Sunlight and the Earth

Their roots are Entwined and Exposed, like a heart beating
outside of its body

The challenges for the month of August are being hosted by Ashley at Ramblings & Photos.  She has some amazing tree shots, and they make me want to take my camera everywhere I go.  Please visit her beautiful blog and link up a picture of your favorite tree.

I know as thrilled as you are with the pics I've posted of Chloe Belle on the Beach, and my favorite Tree, you are still pining for vacation pics.  Well, I hate to admit that I haven't edited a single one!  Gah.  Where does the time go?  I know, it was gobbled up with a wonderful play date last night, a meeting with our realtor, bath time routines, bedtime stories, and picking out pictures of trees.

The good news is that all of the pics are on my computer, I just have a little editing to do.  I'm hoping to get that done tonight, and then maybe by Friday I'll have something worth while to share, and gab about.


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

I heart Faces - Beach Fun Photo Challenge


I live less than 5 miles from one of the most beautiful beaches in the Continental US. The sand is as soft as flour, the air smells of salt and refreshes the soul. The sound of the waves is therapy for the mind.
It's serene. It's gorgeous.
It's God's way of Reminding us just how Small we Are

Monday, August 23, 2010

Our Vacation Staycation

Is it only called a staycation if you stay home?  Because we didn't exactly stay home, we drove an hour and a half up the freeway to a small little known, back woods town, known as Orlando, but we didn't leave the state, so I'm not sure if that qualifies as a staycation or not?  Anyway, we left on Friday morning and headed to the Reunion Resort in Orlando.  The resort is amazing, 4 star caliber, complete with bell hops, dress codes, plushy bath robes, and soaps that smell so sweet you take 4 bars home with you, along with a roll of toilet paper, and maybe a towel or two.  Can you tell we don't stay in places like this often? 

Anyway, the trip was amazing, stressful at times because traveling with 2 little kids is always a little stressful, but all in all we had a fantastic time.  I'll post about it through-out the week.  The Hubs has "the draft" for one of his many Fantasy Football leagues tonight, so he's called dibs on the computer tonight, so I won't be getting much done in the way of editing pictures or creating posts.  Oh well, I'm exhausted and could use a night of just vegging out.

But, I will share with you the high points and low points of our trip.  Low points first because you should always end a post on a good note, right?

Here goes - Lowpoint - it turns out that I have only one:
We are packing our suitcases and getting ready to head home.  I'm packing shoes in my suitcase and I turn around and WHACK!  Something strikes me square on the shin.  Now, I'm not one to brag, but I have fabulous shins with almost no fat on them, there is nothing to cushion the blow.  Camdyn was swinging her Little Mermaid suitcase filled to the brim with toys around in circles in the middle of the living room.  I caught the hard plastic bottom of the suitcase (you know where the wheels are attached) with full force right on my shin bone.  I go down like Nancy Kerrigan after getting clubbed with a tire iron.  I scream in pain, and writhe around the living room floor trying not to cry.  It hurt.  My foot went numb.  It still hurts.  Thankfully there is no video of this.  The mere spectacle was enough to make Camdyn cry.  She felt horrible, but then told me that I shouldn't have walked in her way.  Oye. 

So, being that was my low point and it only affected me, I guess you could say we had a pretty great trip.

Now the high lights!
1)  Watching Camdyn's eyes light up when we pulled in to Dinosaur World
2)  Riding the shuttle bus at the resort.  Why do kids like buses so much? 
3)  Sharing a beer with the hubs on our patio while the rain fell
4)  Finding out my photo for "ORANGE" was selected as one of the Paper Mama's favorites.  That seriously made my day.  Thanks for telling me Liz.  Go Here to check out the winner, the top 5, the Favs, and the Honorable Mentions.  Thanks for selecting my photo Chelsey!
5)  Watching my kids enjoy the water park and cloudy skies which made it even more enjoyable.
6)  Meeting one of my favorite bloggy mommas IRL.  That's right!  We hooked up with LeeAnn from The Life of Rylie and Bryce Too.  Since LeeAnn has her stuff together on a Monday morning and I do not, please visit her blog and read about what we did.  She's pretty much every bit as awesome as her blog is, and I'm glad that our first "meet up" was a good one!  Plus, our kids just look so cute together.  Oh yeah, and if you don't follow her, you should, cause she is just that awesome.
7)  The Disney Store - because watching Camdyn's eyes light up over Princesses gets me every time
8)  Watching Chloe Belle go down the water slide with her Daddy over and over again, and watching Camdyn go down the adult water slide all by herself.  It turns out my kids are frickin' fearless!
9)  Silence in the car
10)  Getting home and feeling like "Whew.  We did it.  It's good to be home!" 

I can't wait to share more details and pictures with you later!

Happy Monday, Y'all!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Thankful Thursday

Poop Story I have to share:
Tonight we met our realtor at a house we really wanted to see.  She was running a tad bit late, so we were playing on the property with the girls.  And wouldn't you know it, Camdyn says those 5 words that make me cringe...."I Have To Go Potty"  Ugh!  Seriously, we are out in the middle of no where?  There isn't a public bathroom within 2 miles, and we can't get in to the house.  Then, it gets worse, "It's poopy and it has to come out."  This can not wait.  She's dancing and we are about to have a mess.  So, I tell her she'll have to go outside, right over there, by that palm tree.  The child lowers her drawers and is clutching on to my shirt so that she has a lean going on, and she lays them out, right there at the base of the palm tree and right as our Realtor shows up.  EMBARRASSING!  "Hi How are you? My kid just took a dump on the lawn."  The clean up involves one of Chloe's diapers, a baggie, and a lot of baby wipes.  I think I'm going to start carrying a potty kit in my truck; a rubbermaid container (potty) some TP, baby wipes, and some hand sanitzer.  I was very unprepared for what happened tonight.

Well, I'm just barely squeaking this in today. It's been a crazy hectic day that will slide in to a relaxing weekend.

I'm Thankful this week for:

91).  Great friends who lend their listening and tolerate me, usually, mostly, all of the time
92).  Chloe Belle who bonked her head at school today and said "ow-ie" for the 1st time
93).  Wal-Mart - whoa, I am pretty Target loyal, but Wal-Mart bailed me out today.
94).  Camdyn's sudden thirst to learn her letters.  She spent 30 min. on the ipad working on letters this evening and I didn't even have to ask her to
95).  Unconditional Love
96).  Date night with the Hubs
97).  Baby Kisses
98).  My bed, I'm exhausted and it's late
99).  The God Lord for giving me perspective and relieveing me from stress
100).  Impending Vacations - because I need one stat!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Wordless Wednesday and Photo Challenges - Arts & Crafts, Orange, and Favorite Things

"Asante sana Squash banana, Wiwi nugu Mi mi apana."
~ Rafiki - The Lion King
(In reference to my post yesterday, not to the adorable child pictured below, yes, I am a bonified baboon)

I love Wednesdays, and surfing through my pictures to find the perfect, or not so perfect, pictures to submit for photo challenges.

First up, The In a Yellow House challenge that is being hosted by Ashley at Ramblings and Photos. This is my favorite challenge because I receive feedback. Ashley always comments on the photo even if it isn't even that great and I appreciate that and constructive criticism too, how else will I learn the error of my ways? The theme this week is Arts and Crafts. Here is my submission:

Nothing screams childhood more than a paintbrush, a fresh jar of tempera paints,
and a wooden birdhouse waiting for a fresh coat.
Please join in the fun.

The next Photo Challenge:
The Paper Mama
And, the theme over at Paper Mama is Orange. Of all the pretty colors in the world, it probably isn't my favorite, I posted a picture last week of Chloe in a adorable orange outfit, but I decided to go with this one instead:

Yep. That's orange.
Now, go visit Chelsey and her adorable blog and link up a picture. Orange you going to? I know you wanna. Yes, I'm dork.

The final challenge I learned about from my bestie, Liz at Tickled Pink, which reminds me...

Anyway, where was I, oh, Liz is participating in this challenge, and I thought the theme was so sweet, I had to join too. The theme at The Trendy Treehouse is Favorite Things. I have a photo for this challenge.


Here is my entry:

Sweet Chloe Belle is clutching two of her most favorite things in the world, her bottle and her blankie, and the fact that she is sporting bumble bee wings is just added bonus.
My heart melts.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Preschool Drama and a Movie

Date night was awesome last night!  Hubs and I got to spend 5 solid hours together sans kids.  He opened doors for me, said he wished he was more dressed up, and held my hand like we were teen-agers.  We had dinner and saw a movie, but not before we went and visited a brand new squishy pink baby.  To be honest, I felt a twinge in my ute, my ovaries itched a tiny bit, watching Hubs hold that tiny bundle in his hands made my heart flutter.  I was starting to feel fevery, but, then at dinner I gulped a Shocktop and the feeling passed.  I do not have baby fever.  I do not have baby fever.  There.  I convinced myself.

Moving on. 

The orientation for Camdyn's VPK class did not measure up to my expectations and left me feeling underwhelmed.  If you are new here, or suffer from pregnancy brain, or mommy brain, then GO HERE and read the back story on our Pre-School drama.  Okay, maybe it is MY preschool drama.

Orientation started off with all of the parents of the children combined in to one classroom.  Cool.  It appears that it is a good turnout, there are lots of parents here.  Then, a mere 5 minutes in to the orientation they separate the classes, which basically means me, the Hubs, and one other parent stand, walk across the classroom and head down the hall.  In that moment, I felt the way I imagine my kid will feel everyday, as she is pulled from her friends at 8:30 in the morning and brought down the hall to another classroom. 
I felt like the oddball
I felt ostracised
I felt like I was being separated from the popular group. 
I felt like that kid that nobody wanted on their kickball team. 

So, we walk down the hall and we see the room that Camdyn will spend her days in for the next year.  It's smaller than the classroom she is in now.  The bulletin boards are bare (her teacher had a reason for this, but still....not a good start).  And honestly, coming from the giant, bright, fully prepared room that the rest of the parents are still sitting in, this room is down-right depressing.  Ugh.  My heart sank.  I just can't shake the feeling that Camdyn is in the slow group, that this group of kids was hand selected because they need more help, or don't get along well with others. 

Dear Director,
I realize that there has been quite a fallout this year over classroom assignments.  You've dealt with several sets of irritated and irate parents who are upset that their children are being separated from their best friends.  You've dealt with parents like me, who are concerned that their kid is behind or has a behavioral problem and that she has been designated to a classroom with other children that have similar issues.  Although you have assured me that is not the case, I still feel like it is.  Why is that?  Is it because there isn't a good mix of kids in the smaller class?  You claim that you separated by gender since there are fewer boys.  Why does the small class have 4 boys and the larger class only has 3?  That doesn't make much sense if we are talking statistics and percentages.  Seems to me like your theory isn't holding makes me not trust the reasons you gave me.

Here's a piece of unwarranted and unsolicited advice.  In the future, when you are assigning children to classrooms if you don't divide them according to ability and temperament, then why don't you just draw names out of hat.  That seems to me the only fair way to separate the children without alarming their parents, causing them grief and worry, and thereby causing the children grief, and it will save you from this entire scene.  Seriously, this is weighing heavy on my heart, and I don't think I'll rest easy about it the entire year. 

Every day when I march my child right past the big, bright, cheery room with ALL OF HER FRIENDS in it, I will feel this way.  Everyday, I will silently fight my gut feeling that my kid is behind, or isn't capable of functioning in a group with her friends.  And, everyday, I will be thankful that we are one step closer to Kindergarten.  Because at least there, I will feel like she is on even ground with the rest of the children.  When she's there, I will feel, again, like she has a chance at being viewed as the bright, charismatic child that she is.  I will wish the entire year away....everyday.  And, I hate that I have to feel that way each time I walk past room 114.

(please note this has nothing to do with the teachers - love them.  Just the classes, and how the kids are mixed up)

One overly concerned, extremely sensitive, and some-what dramatic parent

And, that's all I have to say about that.

Because I believe in balance, taking the good with the bad, and finding the upside in a situation.  Here's a slideshow of pictures I took last Saturday. Maybe through them you can see just how important this school has been in our lives over the past 4 years.  Maybe you can see just how happy Camdyn is with her friends, and maybe you can understand a little more about why I'm so bothered by the classroom scenario. 

So, here are the kids, enjoying the playground, enjoying cake, enjoying the water.  And, just enjoying being kids!  I love them all, and their parents too!

**I realize that some of the pictures are out-of-focus, but they still show the moments, so I included them.

Monday, August 16, 2010

Beach Bound

What a weekend!  Saturday was pure awesomeness and heavenly and Sunday was pretty much a suck hole for a variety of reasons. 

I'll just go ahead and list the reasons for you: I'm fighting a nasty summer cold/allergies which left me with a headache, stuffy nose, and exhausted.  The bestie jumped on a plane and took my niece with her, and she won't be back for a month, or more.  The girls were fighting - ON PURPOSE, which totally caught me off guard.  I didn't know a 16 month old could annoy and "fight" with her sister on purpose.  But she did and at the end of the whole debacle Chloe (who is apparently team Edward) ended up biting Camdyn.  Cam cried and told her sister that it's not nice to bite your friends, and we had to remind Camdyn that Chloe doesn't have words to tell her when she is getting upset, so she needs to listen to her "squawks" and watch her body language, and then she won't get bit again.  Whew.  That day was a doozy.

But Saturday we decided that we would stay home ALL DAY for the most part!  It was heavenly.  I made blueberry muffins, we sipped our coffee on the patio, and we just took it easy.  Then, I opened my inbox and found that my sweet Amanda at Chasing Twins in Louboutins featured me in her Saturday Spotlight.  Cool!  And, we have some new followers in the house ::waves wildly:: I hope y'all stick around a spell!

So, that pretty much rocked my socks and then we decided that we would splash in the pool awhile, after all, it's 9:00 am and that's not too early to wake up the neighbors, right?  After lunch and nap time I ran Camdyn to the library and Target and then we got ready for her year-end class party at the beach. 

The party was awesome.  The kids had a blast and I got to whip out the camera and take some pictures of the beach...and kids....and the beach.  I didn't get great sunset photos like I had hoped, but we were watching 3 kids that night, and the tide was rougher than normal.  Usually the Gulf is as calm as can be, but there was real current that night, and waves rolling in Daytona Beach style, so I figured it was probably better to put the camera down, turn on my mommy watch dog eyes and keep them glued on the little stinkers.  It was probably a good choice, because they had a blast, and everyone stayed safe. 

I'll post more on the party later in the week, but for now, here are a few of the shots I took at the Beach Party.
This little girl is one of Cam's friends, she has the most amazing eyes, and I can't wait to crop this down and really focus on them.

This pic isn't fab, it's SOOC, but look how Belle loves the water, she was rolling around in it like Zoolander at a model shoot!  She was hilarious, and I enjoyed watching her run in circles around the beach with her little cheeks bouncing up and down on her face.  She slept like a champ on Sat. night too, maybe we need more evenings at the beach?

This little man belongs to one of my best friends.  He's adorable.  I muted the red tones in this edit.  It looks a little dark on the web, and don't know why that is, but he's still cute! 
Tonight, we have Camdyn's orientation for VPK scheduled and ::gasp:: DATE NIGHT! 
And, if I'm really lucky, I'm going to get to hold a new baby tonight and I hope to high heaven that it doesn't cause my ovaries to start itching!   

I hope your Monday is fabulous!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Thankful Thursday - Short & Sweet

It's Thursday evening already and my munchkin spent the entire day at work with me.  She was sent home from school yesterday with a fever and can't return until Friday.

Today, no fever.  So, we brought her cot, DVD player, some toys, and coloring books and she spent the day in the corner office entertaining herself and napping like a champ.  She did surprisingly well, and was even treated to a Chick Fil A lunch with Momma and a trip to Target to break up the day.

This picture of her cracks me up, because it is so "Camdyn."  Dirty hands from playing in the sand and dirt, clutching her favorite dinosaur toys because dinos are so much cooler than barbies.  She's sweaty, and can barely stand still long enough for me to take a picture. 

Love this kid.

Here are a few things I am Thankful for this week:

81).  The hubs.  If you need reasons read this post
82).  My girlfriends, because the long overdue lunch we shared this week was well worth the wait
83).  SYTYCD because it's nice to lose myself in a show for an hour or two
84).  My job, because they let me bring my kid to work so I don't have to squander more vacation time
85).  My kid, who is finally starting to "get it" and now says things like "Yes, Mother" instead of arguing...ding ding ding!
86).  The sweet advice from bloggin' mommas who have battled night terrors.  Now that I'm not picking Belle up in the middle of them they seem easier to handle
87).  My Dyson.  Seriously, love that machine
88).  Home made chicken pot pie
89).  The book "How to Behave so your Pre-schooler will too" because it is teaching me and the hubs how to bring about desired behavior in a positive and productive manner.
90).  A long over-due date night that will happen on Monday.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Wordless Wednesday & Photo Challenges - Water & The Open Road

"The single greatest thing you can do to change your life today would be to start being grateful for what you have right now.
And the more grateful you are,
the more you get."

The photo challenge theme over at the Paper Mama is water.  Oohhhh, water.  I live a mere five miles from the beach and I surprisingly have very few pictures of water!  I guess that is what happens when going to the beach isn't a big event, but part of every day life.  Spoiled?  Yes we are.   

The Paper Mama

But, I did find this shot of a fountain on City Island.  I cropped it, otherwise it is SOOC.  Through the spray you can partially see the yachts in the harbor. 

The In a Yellow House Photo Challenge is being hosted by Ashley at Ramblings and Photos.  The theme - The Open Road.  Gah.  I've got nothing in the way of cute country roads or freeway shots. 

But, I have this.  And I'm pretty sure she thinks she's headed down the open road, with the wind blowing in her barely-there hair.  Life is a highway, my dear....or a sidewalk.

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I Don't Realize How Much You Do - Until I Go It ALONE

Dear Hubs,
I'm probably that wife and momma who is walking around feeling under appreciated in my own mind for all of the stuff that I do on a daily basis.  I'm guilty of throwing myself little pity parties when it takes me an hour and a half to wrestle two kids into their bedtime routine and then safely into their beds.  I am forever running them to doctor and dental appointments, to play dates, and birthday parties, and sometimes I feel like it never stops.  Sometimes I feel like the universe owes me something because I survive and don't complain out loud about the daily grind. 

What I fail to realize is that you are probably walking around feeling equally under appreciated.  You've been away on business for one whole day.  One day.  That's it.  I can handle it.  It's not like when you went to Canada for 6 months in 2006 or when you went to Mexico for 2 months in 2007 and I stayed on the home front with Camdyn. I totally have's JUST ONE DAY.

But in that 24 hour period, I realize that you do so much more than I give you credit for. I realized this last night as I was juggling dinner, Camdyn's TV show needs, Chloe traveling the house with uncapped markers in her hands, and the dog needing to be walked.  I kept thinking, I wish I had one more set of hands and eyes.  And then it was tubby time, and I had let the water run too long as I was hanging clean clothes in closets, and undressing kids.  I ended up with too many bubbles which the kids loved.  But, then Camdyn asked me to go and get her the Mermaid with the "boodies" (boobies, cause one mermaid isn't wearing her swim suit top) and I couldn't because I couldn't leave Chloe in that deep bubbly water.  And, I wished I had one more set of hands.

And, then it was bedtime and I was rocking Chloe behind a locked door because I knew that at some point Camdyn would want to come charging in, and she did.  She tried.  I had to tell her to wait for Momma, and I would play with her in a few minutes.  And, I wished I had one more set of hands.

Then, deep into the night I wake to find a pretty brown head laying next to me on the pillow.  She says there are strangers in her room.  I let her stay in bed with me.  Then it's 4:30 am and Chloe is having a night terror, and then we are all in our bed and awake and I so badly want to put Cam back in her room and Chloe back in her bed.  And I wished I had one more set of hands.

The alarm goes off, and the dog needs walking, and Camdyn needs breakfast, and I have to pack my lunch and get dressed and get make-up on, get two kids dressed and out the door in an hour.  I do it.  Barely.

(Daddy pulls Chloe with a dog leash tied to her Fisher Price Block Sorter
School Bus, she is wearing a helmet for safety's sake)

In your short absence I realize that you match my daily grind.  You do just as much as I do without asking for a pat on the back.  You work long hours, you make 75% of our dinners, you fold laundry, dress and undress kids, play with them, read to them, tubby them, and you make my life easier.  Easier.  I shudder to think how massive the task would be to raise these little girls without you. 

So, this is me appreciating you, out loud, and on the interwebs, because you deserve it.  And, because I realize that my life is a lot simpler, a lot happier, and a lot fuller because of you.

Now. Come Home. 

(this picture is a  OOF, but I love her expression)

Your girls miss you.

Love you Forever and a Day,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Exchanging one Bedtime Battle for Another

This weekend had its share of sweet spots and sour patches.

On the sweet side:
We had dinner every night with our besties.  Friday night we ate at Buffalo Wild Wings, Saturday night we grilled out at the casa, and on Sunday night we had pizza and celebrated Baby Abby's 1st birthday which is rapidly approaching.  We didn't plan it that way, but I guess that's what happens when you have friends that are pretty much your family.  The party was a blast, and I'm so glad that we all had the opportunity to celebrate one blessed little girl.

Also on the sweet side, on our way home from BWW, Hubs pulled up next to us in his truck.  He rolled down the window so that Cam could see him, and she waved.  When he drove ahead of us, I said, "Isn't Daddy the most handsome daddy in the world?"  Her response, "Yes, and I'm going to marry daddy one day."  I had tears in my eyes when I recounted the conversation for Hubs later that evening.  Seriously, the sweetest thing ever!

We also did a little IKEA'ing this weekend and picked up some stuff for the kiddos, and a few rugs for the casa.  Camdyn loved the kids room there, and we got out of dodge for the day. 

On the sour side:
We were supposed to go to Busch Gardens on Saturday, but Chloe had a fever on Friday night and woke up with a fever on Saturday.  Going to theme parks with kids who aren't a 100% is the furthest thing away from fun, so we scrapped that plan and went to IKEA instead.  First, however, I took Chloe to the doctor.  She didn't have a fever according to the nurse, an hour after I determined that she had a fever.  Ugh.  Her ears are good, her throat is good, she's fine.  They must think I'm nuts bringing in kids that are healthy all the time.  FRUSTRATING! 

Also, on the sour side it rained pretty much all weekend....great for sleeping, not so much for shopping, swimming, or doing anything outdoors.  Camdyn kept telling me the rain was boring and that the rain was making her bored.  Me too, sweetie, me too.

On the bedtime front:
I am over the moon ecstatic with Camdyn's progress!  On Friday night we went to Target and she had her little heart set on two little Dinosaur Train toys.  They were cute and inexpensive, so I bought them for her, but made sure that she understood that she could open one tomorrow if she went to bed on time tonight.  On Friday night, she did it, and we didn't even have to shut her door.  I figured the toy really motivated her.

On Saturday night, the same thing, because she wants to open the other Dinosaur toy.  She went to bed on time.  Sweet success, but not really, because we motivated her with a toy.

On Sunday, (all out of toys), she went to bed at 8:22, and never once came out of her bedroom!  I am now ready to declare VICTORY!  ::happy dance happy dance::  So, even if she relapses and has issues in the next few weeks, at least I know what will work, and I'll go back to the drastic door closing measures if I have to.

So, if you are still engaged and coherent after reading all of that, you may be wondering what bedtime battle we exchanged for. 

Bellieboo now has sleep issues.  They come in the form of waking up screaming at approximately 11:30 every night.  I'm talking rolling around her crib, screaming at the top of her lungs like her room is on fire, screaming.  So, I go to her, because it freaks me out.  I pick her up but she pushes against me and doesn't want to be held, doesn't want milk, or a binky either.  Clueless and concerned, I bring her out of her room, and lay her on the living room floor, where she thrashes around, and continues to scream.  Is this a temper tantrum in the middle of the night?  Then, out of no where, she kinda snaps out of it and she says "nigh nigh" and follows me to her bedroom and then sleeps peacefully until daybreak.  What is this about!?!  I've never seen anything like this before.  Her pediatrician believes she is having night terrors.  Really?  At 16 months old?  So, I'll be googling that now to figure out how I can help her.  She's completely inconsolable in this state and sometimes I've even taken her out of the house in the middle of the night to snap her out of it.  It makes me feel powerless, kinda like how you feel when baby is a newborn and you have no idea how to stop the crying and make it all better...yeah, like that, and it sucks.

So, if it's not one then it's the other, but at least I am getting 2 hours of uninterrupted adult time in the evenings.  Ahhh, bliss.

Happy Monday!

Friday, August 6, 2010

Friday Video Awesomeness

Happy Friday y'all!  If all goes according to plan I'll at be work for 3 hours on Friday, and then I'll be on my way to weekend bliss.

{Hey Brent (Bossman) if you are reading this, I often write my posts at night and schedule them to post in the morning.  So, right now while I'm knee deep in all of the work that you are tossing my way on Friday morning, rest assured I didn't take one red cent of time away from the project to post this.}

I thought I'd take it easy and share with you a few videos from last weekend. 

This one was taken in the girls' playroom which is also attached to Camdyn's bedroom.  So, when you are picturing the child locked in her room...this is the room she's confined to.  And please excuse the embarrassing number of stuffies that have taken over the closet in the playroom.  I have no idea what else to do with them!

And here Camdyn takes Chloe on a horsey ride throughout the house. Don't worry, the baby didn't really get whiplash at the end. She actually loves to lean all the way back and then crank herself forward. They are quite cute when they do this, and hey, it saves me from having to push the baby around.  Maybe Cam is really helping out more than I thought. 

I hope you have a wonderful weekend!