Friday, November 30

New comparison


Check out Erin's 3 month photo at right. She and Leah are really starting to look alike. They have the same nose and ears and the mouths are similar. Where they really differ (besides obviously the hair) is the eyes. Erin's eyes are so much bigger and more expressive. It is so neat to have two girls and be able to look at them as they grow and see what each has gotten from us.

Tomorrow we have a birthday party for Leah's little school friend to attend. It was her first party invitation from someone that wasn't a friend of the family. That was kind of exciting, that she is making her own friends and having her own life that I don't direct. Not that extreme, but you know what I mean. :) Anyway the party is at Gymboree which I have never been to. I can't wait to see what they can do there.

After the party we have our CDS Cookie Exchange. I made my traditional Butter Balls, but they did not come out exactly right. I kept baking and baking them, but they never seemed to get golden on top. Later on I thought maybe I didn't have the oven on and it was just still warm from the muffins I baked, so I stuck them back in several hours later for 5 more minutes (bake time was supposed to be 15-18 min, they ended up baking a total of 25 min). They still taste good but they are rather crumbly, many fell apart in the powdered sugar bag (you are supposed to shake them). I think I have enough still whole for the exchange...

And last but not least, tomorrow night is the Annual Downtown Monroe Christmas Tree Lighting. I don't know if our girls will make it, it depends on the kind of day they have. I hope everyone naps well and we get to see the tree, but you never know around here.

Wednesday, November 28

PMS for toddlers?


Is there such a thing? Leah slept fine last night, got up at 6:30 as usual. By 12:15 she was having fits about every little a thing and yawning so big it practically split her face in half. So I brought her upstairs and we got ready for "rest time" (so called because she has a tantrum if she thinks I am making her sleep). She did great until I left the room.

Then the crying began.

It continued for 25 minutes.

I went back in and rocked her, held her, threatened her, let her switch to my bed, switched back, called Daddy, and finally just left her alone.

I have never seen her like that in my life.

I think she may be out for the rest of the day.

Update: Leah only slept for 25 minutes then woke up hyperventilating/crying again. I brought her downstairs and she sat with me for a bit, then started crying again for no reason. Then Erin woke up crying and Leah didn't want me to go get her. She was clinging to me and saying "Hug me." Eventually I was able to get Erin by promising Leah I would put her right in the bouncy seat. They both cried for about 10 minutes. Leah would not let me pick Erin up. Finally I got Leah to watch a movie and the afternoon went smoothly after that.

Tuesday, November 27

House Survey c/o Erica


1.) When you walk in your front door, which room do you enter?
2 story foyer

2.)Do you have a dishwasher?


3.) Is your living room carpeted or does it have hardwood floors?

disgusting builder's grade carpet

4.) Do you keep your kitchen knives on the counter or in a drawer?
On the counter in a block

5.) House, apartment, duplex or trailer?


6.) How many bedrooms is it?

4 bedrooms, a playroom and a bonus room

7.) Gas stove or electric?
Electric, I forgot to get a gas line installed in the kitchen when we built

8.) Do you have a yard?
yes, in a pie shape

9.) What size TV is in the living room?

50″ plasma

10.) Are your plates in the same cupboard as your cups?


11.) Is there a coffee maker sitting on your kitchen counter?

no, in the pantry, and only used when parents come to visit

13.) What room is your computer in?
what room is there not a computer? we have desktops in the music room and craft/guest room and a laptop that goes everywhere

14.) Are there pictures hanging in your living room?

a Thomas Kinkade print, a Gator pennant and various family photos

15.) Are there any themes found in your home?
a poker room-ish theme in the game room and a Parisian theme in the kitchen

16.) What kind of laundry detergent do you use?

whatever's cheap

17.) Do you use dryer sheets?

18.) Do you have any curtains in your home?

in the kids' rooms and the game room

19.) What color is your fridge?

20.) Is your house clean?
it is straightened and partly clean

21.) What room is the most neglected?

Dining room and game room are equally neglected

22.) Are the dishes in your sink/dishwasher clean or dirty?
dirty, with the top rack full and the bottom rack mostly empty (I hate that)

23.) How long have you lived in your home?
16 months

24.) Where did you live before?
a 4 BR house in New Port Richey, FL

25.) Do you have one of those fluffy toilet lid covers on your toilet?

Uh, no.

26.) Do you have a scale anywhere in your house?
Yes, in my bathroom

27.) How many mirrors are in your house?
including bathrooms, 5

28.) Look up. What do you see?
ceiling fan in family room

29.) Do you have a garage?

yes, 2 car

30.) Do you own or rent?

Monday, November 26

Taking a break...


from housecleaning to veg on the computer for a few minutes. I decided this year not to clean the house before people came. I straightened and wiped things down. But really there is no point in deep cleaning before you have visitors. Everything just gets dirty again and you get frustrated because you just cleaned.

So I waited until today and then I:
mopped the kitchen
swept the hardwood
did laundry
weeded toys out of the playroom

Leah has gotten/will be getting so many things for Christmas/Channukah that I had to make room. I put a bunch of things in a tub to rotate back in after a few months. This child is spoiled, let me tell you.

Update on my goals:
1. Stick to Weight Watchers and show consistent weight loss - not on Thanksgiving week, thanks :)
2. Run a 5K once a week - I ran one Tuesday
3. Improve my time from 45 minutes (no set time goal) - improved time of 42:00
4. Get to the gym twice a week minimum - only one gym appearance last week, again due to Thanksgiving

I plan to head to the gym tomorrow for either yoga or to run a 5K, depending on what time I make it. I have started this week well on WW. I am ready to start fresh!

Friday, November 23

Thanksgiving Recap


Yesterday went fairly smoothly. The turkey came out of the brine and went into the oven at 9am. My mom and I decided we didn't have enough yams and ran to the store to get more. Then she helped me put together the green beans and the yam casserole and peel the potatoes.

Then everything came to a screeching halt because the turkey would. not. finish. cooking.

All the other dishes were waiting for the turkey to come out before going into the oven. I had made a guesstimate of 4 hours but in reality it took 5. So dinner wasn't until 3pm, but I think Laurie was glad about it because she wasn't quite ready yet either. Then we all sat down and gave thanks.

It was really nice to see Todd and LeShayne and their kids. (Todd is Bryan's younger brother.) I knew LeShayne in high school. She and I were in color guard at East Lake High School together. I met Todd through my ex-boyfriend and kinda lost him in the "divorce." But before that happened, I met Laurie and Bryan through Todd. I got to keep them. :) Anyway, I had not seen either Todd or LeShayne since maybe their wedding in 2000? Wow, I wonder if that is really right.

So we had a great Thanksgiving meal with them, the Maddexes, my mom and my in-laws. I loved having all the help with the kids. In the evening, our neighbors Kim and Dan had their annual Christmas lights reveal. We all walked down and oohed and aahed as the lights went on.

And off.
And back on again.
And then off again.

The sheer amount of lights kept tripping their circuit breakers. But it was still fun. Someone was passing around cookies and brownies, which I did not partake in due to the 2 desserts I had already consumed. Then we bundled the girls into bed and I caught up on my TV.

All in all a lovely day. Thanksgiving is still my favorite holiday. *sigh*

PS I ran another 5K at the gym this past Tuesday. My time improved from 45 minutes to 42 minutes!

Thursday, November 22

Happy Thanksgiving!


I like Brittany's idea of listing people I am thankful for. So I am stealing it and making my own list.

1. I am thankful for Mike. He is a total partner in my life, with running our household and raising our children.

2. I am thankful for my mom. She is one of my closest friends even though she lives so far away.

3. I am thankful for my dad and all my HUGE family in New Orleans. I have such fond memories of family gatherings and holidays with them. I can't wait to see them at Christmas.

4. I am thankful for my in-laws. I am so lucky to have in-laws that I get along with and that respect the way my home works.

5. I am thankful for the Maddexes. One of the best decisions for our family was to move here to NC with them. I love that our children get to grow up together.

6. I am thankful for the CDS crew. My life has been enriched for knowing each and every one of you.

7. I am thankful for Leah. She has the maturity of a much older child and we have come to the point where we can have conversations. I would like to keep her this age for a while. :)

8. I am thankful for Erin. She is the smiliest (?) baby and every night when I rock her before bedtime, I think about how I can hardly remember life without her in it.

9. All of my friends who are mothers. They teach me things ALL the time.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it highlights a top few.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 19



After reading LeShayne's post today, I decided to get you guys involved in my new journey so I can be held accountable for my actions here.

I have decided to rejoin Weight Watchers. I still have 27 pounds of baby weight to lose plus the 13 I still had to be at an ideal weight for me. I am trying to increase going to the gym too. The classes I like to take are during Erin's naptime. So I am in the same dilemma I was in when Leah was still taking two naps. But Mike and I have decided to run a 5K sometime in the spring, so we have set an additional goal of practicing once a week. I ran mine Saturday at the gym with a time of 45 minutes. So I would like to improve that time.

My goals in summary:
1. Stick to Weight Watchers and show consistent weight loss
2. Run a 5K once a week
3. Improve my time from 45 minutes (no set time goal)
4. Get to the gym twice a week minimum

There, now it's out there. Be sure to check in and see my progress toward those goals.

Wednesday, November 14

Same ole, same ole


We don't have a lot going on over here. Everyone is eating, sleeping and growing properly. No one has been ill (except for a little Leah stuffiness and cough in the AMs).

We are doing B at my house for "preschool" this week. Yesterday we used blue food coloring and dish soap in water. The kids used straws to blow bubbles in the water, then they touched their paper B's to the bubbles to make blue bubble prints. It worked pretty well. Today I baked blueberry-banana bread for the kids to snack on. We are going to glue yarn and precut balloons onto construction paper. This preschool thing is pretty fun.

I got a fair amount of Christmas shopping done yesterday while Leah was at school. Erin had a portrait appt at 9:40 at the mall, so I just shopped around after that. Santa is now done with Leah. I am really stuck on what to get Erin besides clothes. I have everything still from Leah, so there is not much she needs or even can use at this age. I think we may get her an infant swing for our swing set. She likes Chase's. We will see...

I am fully into Thanksgiving mode right now. I am making two turkeys, one roasted and one fried. Mike is going to be in charge of the actual frying. I am also making: mashed potatoes and gravy, yam casserole, and green bean casserole. We are eating with the Maddexes, so Laurie is making: stuffing, bread, possibly turkey gravy, apple and pumpkin pies, and cheesecake. Think that's enough food? :) I REALLY want to have nice dishes and a table that seats everyone one day. That is my goal. We'll keep working on it.

That is about it. Hope it was semi-interesting.

Saturday, November 10

On my own


Mike is in South Carolina as we speak (as I blog?). He was going with some people from work to try to scalp tickets to the SC/FL game. I assume he got them because I haven't heard from him. They probably won't be back until morning because the game wasn't until 7:45.

I got the girls to bed fine tonight and was able to watch Grey's Anatomy which I have been saving since Thursday just for tonight.

So Mike went with a girl from work and her friends. He told me the friends are one guy and one girl. Obviously I trust him and that part is not an issue. But anyone else think it is weird that they may get a hotel room tonight? I don't know what the situation will be, how they will allocate sleeping space, how many rooms they will get, etc. I think it is a little strange though...

Update: They left SC at 11pm and Mike walked in at 2am. So no big deal. I knew it was nothing, but the situation was kinda strange, that's all.

Thursday, November 8

Blogspot Confessional


Thanks a lot, Christine! :)

A. The rules of the game are posted at the beginning.

B. Each player lists 6 facts/habits about themselves.

C. At the end of the post, the player then tags 6 people and posts their names, then goes to their blogs and leaves them a comment, letting them know that they have been tagged and asking them to read your blog.


1. I was going to marry my ex-boyfriend. Seriously. We had bought a ring together at Easter time in 1999. All that summer I waited for the proposal. At Halloween, I got dumped. Looking back, it was the best thing to ever happen to me. I met Mike in January of 2000 and we started dating in February. The rest is history.

2. I thought I was getting a divorce the summer of 2004. We worked it out, but it was a very rough patch. I still think about it sometimes and get sad. But I just have to remember that it made us closer in the long run.

3. I was a horrible bridesmaid in Laurie's wedding. I didn't make it to the bridal shower OR the rehearsal. I did however buy a car on her wedding day. I'm surprised she still talks to me. :)

4. I threw up in a wheelchair on my shoes at Universal Studios' City Walk. I had a fishbowl drink at TGIFriday's before we went, then I had one and a half Hurricanes at Pat O'Brien's. All the sugar and liquor combined to make me VERY sick. I could not even pick up my head from between my knees, so my friends called security to get a wheelchair so we could get to the car. Even in my drunken stupor, I was embarrassed.

5. I was always such a goody-goody at school. On the one day I tried to skip, I actually went to school in the morning and turned in an excuse note to leave early. The administration called to verify it with my parents and of course I was caught. I spent a day in ISS, which was actually kinda fun because I met all kinds of people who were not in my classes. I made some new friends that day...

6. For my bachelorette party, we went to Pleasure Island in Downtown Disney. My friends had pinned individually wrapped Lifesavers all over my shirt. They then asked guys at the clubs to remove said Lifesavers with their teeth FOR MONEY! I earned over $200 that night, enough to treat myself to a spa day before my wedding. Special thanks to my saleswomen, Rana and Kelly. They did a bang up job raking in the dough!

I tag Laurie, Keri, Megan, Mandi, Stacy, and Nikki. Let's hear some little known facts/stories!

Tuesday, November 6

Tagged by Erica


What’s the first thing you do when waking up in the morning?
Get a kid out of bed, one or the other is always the reason I have to get up

Do you prefer a shower or bath?
Shower because it's quick

How many times a day do you brush your teeth?

Once or twice if I’m not too tired when I go to bed (Ditto with Erica)

How often do you find yourself thinking about your ex?

I dream about him sometimes but rarely think about him otherwise.

What kind of cell phone do you have?
Dunno, something generic but Bluetooth enabled

What would you do with a 10 bill you found on the ground?

Depends on where I found it

What would you do with your significant other if you knew today was your last day with them?
I can't even think about it, it would be too horrible

Have you said “I love you” today?
Yes, at least three times :)

What’s one thing you actually remember about kindergarten?

Reciting a poem at graduation

Are you closer with your mom or dad?

My mom is one of my closest friends

Do you prefer the tanning bed or the sun?

The sun .. never been in a tanning bed, never plan to

Is chocolate really better than sex?

Maybe not better, but faster and less messy :) (I am stealing Erica's response on this one)

What’s 2 of your favorite movies?
Can't Hardly Wait and Night at the Roxbury

What’s the last thing you think about before going to sleep at night?
How long will I get to sleep before Erin wakes up to eat?

What would you do if your best friend jumped on your ex the day after you two split?

At this point in my life, I don't foresee that ever happening.

Does your life seem to revolve around drama?

I think I am past the drama stage.

How do you calm down when your extremely angry?

The last time I was angry, I got very quiet and shouted mean things in my head.

Do long distance relationships actually work out?

Is a 2 hour drive considered long distance? If so, then yes.

Ever thought you met “The One”?

I am now married to "The One"

What are 2 of your favorite places to eat?

Maggiano's and Miro's Spanish Grille

3 of your favorite places to shop?
Target, Old Navy, Children's Place

Do you currently have a job?

Stay-at-home mom, it doesn't get much more full-time than that

Which would you prefer…be rich and miserable, or poor and extremely happy?
Poor and happy, duh

What’s one of your favorite TV shows?

How I Met Your Mother

What did you want to be when you “grow up”?

A teacher

Do you know who lives in a pineapple under the sea?


Would you want a house at the beach or in the mountains?
Mountains as long as it's not isolated

Which would you rather have…a huge walk in shower or a jacuzzi bath tub?

Huge shower with multiple jets

Do you look up or at your feet when you walk?


What’s your favorite ice cream?

I love most ice creams from Bruster's

Do you like Starbucks…or are they just overpriced?
I like Pumpkin Spice Lattes

Are you a prep or a jeans-and-t-shirt type of person?
Jeans and t-shirt

What color are your eyes?


Do you have glasses or contacts?
Both now

Is it love at first sight or lust?

Usually lust

Which do you want…a big extravagant wedding or a quiet intimate ceremony?
I had a medium size wedding

What’s the most expensive thing you own?


What’s the most you’ve ever spent on a pair of jeans?

What color are your bedroom walls?

Builder's white

Do you ever actually make your bed?


How many pillows do you have to sleep with?

Just the one

Do you prefer to sleep alone or with someone?
With someone, as long as they are not a super squirmy sleeper

5am wake-up call


This morning both girls were up at 5am. What is up with that? I guess they are still adjusting to the time change and it is throwing them all off. Leah tossed and turned in our bed until 6:30, then we put the TV on for her. Erin ate and I laid her back down. She talked until 5:45, then started to cry, so I brought her in our bed too. When she kept being loud, I brought her downstairs until 6:30, then I put her back to bed when she started rubbing her eyes. She is still sleeping as of 8am. I will have to get her up soon though. We have to bring Leah to school at 8:30.

So Laurie and I decided to start "Letter of the Week" activities with the kids. She bought these cool preschool activity books. This one has snacks that begin with each letter. This one has art projects that we can do for each letter. We will do an activity 3 afternoons a week on non-school days. Laurie choose to do the first week. So she printed out a picture of the sign for A (sign language) and filled a bag with things that begin with A. She also played an alphabet song and had the kids jumping when they saw an A on the flashcards. They made apple prints on a big letter A and ate apples for a snack. All of that took about 15 minutes. We both said at the end of it How do people teach preschool?

I have B week next. Any suggestions for fun B activities?

Monday, November 5

Revised Sleep Struggles


After yesterday's post, we had a setback AND a step forward. Erin slept from 10:15am until 12:45pm. She woke up happy, not crying, which hasn't happened in a while. She started rubbing her eyes a little before 1:30 and I thought Surely she can't be tired yet. So I didn't put her down. When she started getting fussy at 2pm, I put her to bed and it was a struggle. AND she only slept 30 minutes. So I though I had ruined the good sleeping that had been developing. I was so ticked at myself for not listening to her signs. I need to not second guess them and just go with it.

We ran out to Target to do the ONE errand I had to do that day. By the end of that short trip, she was screaming with tiredness. I tried to keep her awake on the car ride home, but of course she snoozed 2 minutes from home. I went upstairs with her and she screamed herself into a frenzy. Finally I tried nursing and the second it touched her mouth, she was out. She woke when I put her in the crib and cried some, but not too hard. At 4:45pm she fell sleep and was OUT FOR THE NIGHT. Granted she did wake up at 10:45, 12:45 and 4:45 to eat. The last 2 times, she talked to herself in her bed for a while before falling back to sleep. But at 7:30am, I think I am just hearing from her. So again, hopefully after that fabulous night's sleep, we will have a good nap day.

If I listen to the signs...

Sunday, November 4

Sleep Struggles


After my last sleep post, Erin made a liar out of me. She continued to sleep well at night, going to bed between 7 and 8pm and only waking once or twice just to eat, then sleeping through until about 7am. But all of a sudden, she stopped napping during the day. I read all the books again. I tried putting her down sooner, putting her down later, nursing before nap, not nursing before nap, covering the curtains so that it was darker in her room, etc. Not a thing worked. Erin was so cranky! Most of each day was spent trying to get Erin to sleep, during which I used the TV as a babysitter for Leah, which I HATE doing. In addition to the madness, Leah has also recently mostly turned her back on naps. So to have no napping in my house with a cranky infant was driving me crazy! I can only imagine what I would have been like had Erin not been a good night sleeper.

On top of all that, Mike decided to take on another lawn project. We got a truckload of topsoil dumped in our backyard so that he could spread it over some seed to hopefully grow us some grass in the backyard. But a truckload of topsoil is a crapload of dirt. It meant that he spent a lot of yesterday morning hauling dirt while I had another fun-filled no-nap day with the girls. At about 4:30, I came out crying with a crying Erin and said "This is not okay!" I told him I needed his help with the kids on the weekends, especially with both of them not sleeping, and I was upset that he had decided to spend his weekend digging dirt. He quit for the afternoon to spend time with us. He said he hadn't realized how I was feeling and how hard it was. So that was better.

On a funny note, last night Mike said to me, "I tell you when you do stupid stuff, right? Why didn't you tell me that spreading a truckload of dirt was one of the stupidest ideas I ever had, right after trying to sod my own yard?" Apparently it was lot more work than either of us had anticipated. We are about 1/3 of the way through the pile as of noon on Sunday.

So to end on a happy note... Last night, we put a cranky Erin down at 7:45. She woke up to eat at 2:30, then again at 6am (old time). After the second feeding, she talked to herself in the crib for like 20 min or so, then proceeded to sleep until 9am (new time)! She was back in her crib by 10:15 and is currently still sleeping in there! We just might have broken that nasty sleep cycle with a new wonderful one! That was 3 exclamation points in a row. Can you tell I am excited?!?!?!?!