Monday, January 30, 2012


So I kinda like this photo, even though it's really blown out in (most) places. What do you think? Like or dislike?

How about this one?

Friday, January 27, 2012

“Mama I need ta go potty.” Jackson told me in a calm, but still proud voice. He came to me in the kitchen from the living room to make sure I heard him before he ran off to the bathroom. I realized if I don’t write this post now it will all be forgotten. Where are the days of yelling POTTY!!!! And running through the house to barely make it on time?
Like the times he used to tell me EVERY truck we saw was a ‘fire tuck’. Or last week when he liked to insist he was either a) a horse or b) Pete (from Mickey Mouse). Our days are dragging but our weeks (and months) seem to be flying.
Bennett is a fantastic ‘sitter’ though occasionally he’ll topple over, but usually because he is trying desperately to get something out of his reach (usually the remote control). More than once I have found him happily banging Jackson’s lunchbox full of matchbox cars (hardly a baby-friendly item). His yells and babbles are one of the biggest highlights of my day. With two teeth in and possible finishing off our cold (wishing), he’s finally sleeping better again, and for that I am also thankful. I’ve made an effort to kick soda (while at home, I can’t seem to give it up when eating out yet) and since I haven’t had any caffeine after noon I wonder if this is a huge help to his new sleeping patterns.
I attempted to take some pictures for a day-in-the-life post, but as so much lately, it looks like it’s not going to get finished, and really I didn’t take enough pictures, so I’m throwing them in this post. Right here in the middle, because there just isn't enough time. 


It’s gotten easier lately to get out with both of the boys, but it’s still a tornado of coats, hats, shoes, toys and snacks to get out of the door. My minivan constantly looks like a bomb went off, and I often leave places with one (or both) children crying and looking frazzled. And you know I have to say it, I wouldn’t change it for the world. I remember when I used to yearn for a little friend (or two, or three, or. . .) to take with me to run errands. I had no idea how impossibly hard this would make things. But you want to hear something funny? Even when Andy IS home- I still WANT to take at least one of the kiddos with me- and I love the time (and patience) I have to talk to/dote on them. Or my favorite is to go as a whole family (I know this is NOT my husband’s favorite, but I’m lucky and he often indulges me)!

These little boys are transforming before my eyes and I can’t help but think of the brothers, children, young men, and one day husbands and fathers they will one day become. But equally I cannot imagine them a day older than today. Let’s make it a good one.
Ah! And the winner of the I SPY bottle! I know you've all been anxiously waiting! As chosen by Jackson in a bowl full of cookies numbered one to four-  THREE is our big winner. Christy- I'll be in touch!!

Monday, January 23, 2012


This morning I saw a number on the scale that I haven't seen in at least 9 months, maybe almost a year! This means I have lost a total of a pound, and a half, maybe. I'm kinda poking fun at myself because this baby weight has been sloooow to come off. Mostly because I haven't been trying, but that's ok too.

I have a strong belief that new mamas (especially, but not only, nursing mamas) should just cut themselves some slack. I think the future me visited and told me- this is only a SHORT time- before you know it the boys will be bigger and there will be more time. Maybe not LOTS of time, but more time. More time for worrying about weight, consistently clean styled hair, and a clutter free house. The first year of your baby's life- sure you want to look great in pictures- but focus on looking happy and well rested. The weight WILL come off- just give it time. More time than you may want, but not that long at all, in the scheme of things.

So after all that I'm here to say I am actually starting to watch what I eat. Not dieting per-say, just listening to my body. Instead of stressing out at dinner time because everyone is melting down and I'm shoveling food in as fast as I can because I sincerely have a fear that the crying won't ever stop. I AM stopping. After I have a little something in my stomach I can stop and push through until bedtime and then re-evaluate how hungry I am.

Instead of shoveling doughnut after doughnut (my true weakness) down my pie doughnut hole, I'm stopping, and ENJOYING the doughnut(s). I'm trying to change my way of eating. My sister has recently lost some weight and when I asked her what her secret was, she told me, "I only eat when I'm hungry." Is it silly this was an eye opener for me? I started to realize how often I was eating when I WASN'T hungry.

Ok back to the topic. Success! Down a couple of pounds! Squeezed into an old pair of jeans I didn’t think I'd get up past my thigh! and 3 of you lovely ladies entered my very first BLOG GIVEAWAY! I consider this success! Thanks! And if you haven't entered yet- go HERE- entries close Thursday at midnight!

Sunday, January 22, 2012

My love for Pinterest, and a GIVEAWAY

In case you hadn’t heard. I’m addicted to pinterest. It is fan.tas.tic. By far my two favorite areas to pin are fun ideas for the boys and FOOD.

Last week I followed inspiration from THIS pin and made these sensory bottles for Bennett.

The bottles contain the following:
Beads and water- these make such a fun (nonabrasive) noise!
Glitter, water, and a little corn syrup and soap. I’m not sure why I added the corn syrup. I read somewhere it helps to ‘thicken’ the water? I added the soap because my glitter was all clumpy. The soap reduced the surface tension of the water (I believe) and now the glitter is so pretty!
Stuffed dragon. That’s all. It makes Jackson mad when I tell him it’s in there to stay, but it’s a great size and Bennett likes to watch it fall from one side of the bottle to the other.
Seashells and ‘sand’. We didn’t have sand so I used salt and sidewalk chalk to give it a little color. Honestly probably the least favorite.
Glass beads and corn syrup. It is so fun to watch the pretty beads fall slowly move through the thick corn syrup.
Water, food coloring, soap, and plastic alligator. Makes bubbles AND tornados.

I used 500ml VOSS water bottles (found at the Commissary) and hot glued the lids on when I was done.
But, it gets better. I saw THIS pin and found bigger sized bottles (850ml) to make Jackson some toddler worthy I SPY bottles.

Jackson had a great time ‘helping’ me by dropping objects into the bottles- and then pouring them out- it was a fun activity by itself.

We don’t have lots of ‘little’ items around here, so we spent a while in the dollar section at Walmart and came up with all kinds of great stuff. Though when I got home I realized we did have more items to use than I had thought.

Two notes about these bottles. One- they are a little crowded. Maybe I should have had less items. Two- for some reason my rice was all static-y in the bottle so I shot some Static Guard in there and it solved the problem.
The bottles are great because they can grow with your child. Bennett is interested in them. Loves the shaking noise, and tries to grab at the objects in the bottle. Jackson loves to sit on my lap and look at the bottle with me, pointing out all the different items. I also took a picture of all the items before putting them in the bottle and when Jackson is bigger he can play with this toy independently, looking for, and circling each item as he finds it.

Here is the fun part! It was so easy to make I ended up making an extra I SPY bottle to give away to one of my fantastic readers! I know I’m up to at least 4 or 5 now J. So c’mon thow me a comment telling me YOUR kiddos favorite toy right now-homemade or otherwise- and you’ll be entered to win! Entries close Thursday (1/26/12) at Midnight and I’ll pick a winner and send one of these bottles your way!

Hmmm. Just in case I need to add a disclaimer- both the sensory bottles and I SPY bottles contain small objects that could cause a choking hazard if they got into little hands. I did hot glue the tops on but you may want to add a piece of strong tape around the lid to make sure it stays on, and as a visual that the seal is still intact. Also please never your leave little ones unattended with these- sealed or not. :) 

Friday, January 20, 2012


Guess who is starting to feel better?
This guy!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


We're headed to the doctors this morning. Wish us luck.

Picture from December

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Carpe Diem

I really enjoyed reading this, and no, I don't completely share her point of view, but I don't currently have the energy or mental capacity to share my thoughts on this article, it's just too complicated.

What do YOU think?

Bennett and Jackson are both miserably sick. Both have the yuckiest noses EVER. I won't gross you out with any more details, but I will say that I'm resigned to believe I will never sleep again, or at least not for more than 3 hours at a time. But still? I'm all 'Carpe Diem'.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Just some Youtube

Bennett Today

Bennett 6 Months Ago

Photography Mistake

Last year I set out to do a 365 challenge. Pick up my camera and take a picture every day (on manual mode, none the less). I don't even think I made it to April.

I failed miserably.

But I didn't.

I DID learn to shoot in manual mode, which was the purpose of the project (that and to expand my photography skills).

On one of the sites I read that you should keep your shutter speed above 1/125 for clear pictures of kids. I took this as such a hard and fast rule that I was diappointed when I didn't have enough light for that shutter speed so I often resorted to using my light scoop and my flash.

I've never been a fan of 'flashy' pictures, but I went with it thinking I needed to do it for my shutter speed. Lately I've seen some pictures at speeds around 1/80, and even slower, and you know what? Even with the blur, I prefer them. I love the softness and dimension natural light gives. I took these two pictures today and SAW the difference.

I reminded myself it's ok if my pictures aren't 'prefect'- so I'm giving myself the go ahead to use slower shutter speeds- so if you see a blurry hand, or fast moving foot, know that it's worth it so you can really see the expression, the light in their eye, and the roundness of those chubby cheeks!

Photo friends- what say you? Is there a certain speed you won't shoot below? Does blur bother you?

And the rest of you- which picture do you prefer. First or second? Feel free to be honest :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

My boys!

It never gets old saying that :) 'My boys'

Grocery List

Is there anything worse than going to the store with your two little ones- when you finally get to the end of the store, double check your list(s), and discover you've forgot an item (or three!)?  You know the items were missed because your list was half jotted on the back of a paper towel, written on a sticky note, circled on a recipe you printed out before heading out the door, and of course those last few items you were going to 'just remember'. (This was me today- and really more days than I would like to admit!)

In an attempt to get more organized I found this Grocery Checklist. I love it because I was able to easily edit and adapted it to suit our family- adding items we use and deleting those we don't. (Though I was really disappointed at the size of the 'produce' column- not enough spaces! I guess I could switch it with the 'canned goods' column, but I like the idea of produce being first. )

Anyway. Just wondering if you all use something like this? Or if you have a better idea, I'd love to hear it!

In other food related news- anyone else ready for the Farmer's markets to open back up? I am!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Happy 6 months, Babe!

Today Bennett is 6 months old. Unbelievable. 7.5 months ago we left Germany and 5.5 months from now we will likely be moving again. In the middle of this roller coaster I'm thankful for all I have. This 'little guy' is tipping the scales at somewhere over 20lbs, getting to be a pretty good 'sitter' and just TODAY cut his second tooth- hence the funny tounge in the picture below. I've been waiting to officialy enter the 'can't remember what life was like before B', but I do remember, and while it was pretty fantastic, this guy only makes things better.

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Baby swimming pool+ sand toys+ (2) 50lb bags of whole corn = hours of fun for 25 bucks.

Reasons why this is awesome.
1. Pieces of corn are a lot easier to clean than sand if it ends up out of the tub, or in the house.
2. Using out of season toys = free
3. Thrilled toddler who thinks Mommy is The Coolest

No, I didn't think this idea up all on my own. Credit goes here.

Monday, January 9, 2012


Friday, January 6, 2012


It's hard work, hardly glamorous, and, at times, flat out difficult. But every. single. day I know it's 100% where I want to be.

Thursday, January 5, 2012


Ok I have a question. I've been seriously looking at Kitchenaids since I saw some on sale a few months ago. I look at them intermittenly, and ultimately decide I can't justify the money on something like that at the moment, but I DO have a birthday coming up and I keep coming back to them. I need some input though.

Do you have a Kitchen Aid mixer (or other stand mixer)?
Do you love it?
Use it regularly? Daily? Weekly? Monthly?
Feel like you are missing out by not mixing by hand (my fear, silly I'm sure, but isn't there some satisfaction in stirring up a batch of chocolate chip cookies by hand)?
And most importantly-WHAT COLOR!? I’m torn between black, red, or cobalt blue!

Thanks for any input!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

You know you are a nursing mom when. . .

Today, on Andy’s last day of winter break, I took the luxury of going  to the store by myself at nap time. I had just started out when I heard a dropping noise. As I was juggling my keys, phone, coupons, recipes, grocery list, wallet, and a pen without a purse (because my purse is a diaper bag), I heard a noise like something had fallen from my cart. I turned around to figure out what it was and on the ground I saw two drops of what must have been milk. The irrational part of my brain took over and I could only frantically think- OH NO AM I LEAKING ON THE FLOOR? No regard to the fact of how much I would have had to been leaking for it to end up on the floor- only terror at the thought of my breastmilk on the floor at Wal-Mart.

Sorry for my lack of blogging. I made it halfway to my goal of 30 in 30 at least, right? We had an incredibly busy holiday season! Including tons of family time, two 10+ hour drives, three of our favorite people visiting from far away, New Years at my mom’s, and generally more food (and sugar) than you can imagine!
We are working on getting back on schedule. There are lists to be made, routines to work out, and plans to be put in action (oh, yeah, we are moving in about 6 months)! But the highlight of today? My fears have been tamed. I’m beginning to believe one day we will all get decent sleep again because Bennett cut his first tooth! (Hopefully this was the root of the fact that my once super-sleeper-Benny doesn’t sleep more than 2-4 hours in a stretch at night) I was SO excited I think I scared the boys a bit with my enthusiasm!
How were your holidays? Hoping I get caught up in reading your blogs soon- I'm sure they were fantastic! Best gift? . . .worst one? :)