Saturday, May 31

Q & A #5


Here is one that really does require deep thought. I probably won't have as many responses because of it, but that's okay too.

What one event/decision (if you HAD to choose) do you think most influenced where you are in your life today? How has it affected you? Here is my story:

I was born in Louisiana. My parents divorced when I was 2. My mom remarried when I was 4. I saw my dad every other weekend for many years. Once I hit 4th grade, I moved around a lot with my mom, step-dad, and sisters. I did not get to see my dad as often.

Once I hit the pre-teen years, my home life deteriorated fast. It was more than just a teenager's angst. There was not a lot of harmony in my daily life. I spent a lot of time in fear (not physically) of going home.

When I was 15, we were living in Tennessee. I had a great group of friends and all I could ask for as far as drama in my social life. I was as happy as I could be under the circumstances. My step-dad decided it would be best for our family to move to FL.

To say I hated him and was miserable was an understatement. Not only did I lose my friends at 15, I also hated being at home. It was the worst summer of my life. So when my dad asked me to come visit for a month, I jumped at the chance.

It was such a different life with my dad. Of course, I was his little baby and he did not see me often, so I was a bit spoiled. BUT. There was so much harmony in his house. No one lived in fear to come home. I was so at peace there. If I was going to start over, I might as well do it with my dad where I was comfortable instead of in FL where there was non-stop tension. So I called my mom and told her I was moving to Louisiana with my dad.

And she lost it. My mom was devastated. She begged me to come home and talk about it, but I was firm. No need to come home, I was set. So my mom threw in that if I came home to talk, we could go up to TN to visit my friends. Well, that was the deal-breaker. I was so desperate to see my friends, I would have done almost anything to go back there. So I flew home with the understanding that I was going back to my dad's in something like 2 weeks. I didn't.

I remained in FL for the rest of high school and college. I met my husband in college and made some friends there that we were so close to, we moved to NC with them. I believe my life today is the way it is in a large part due to the fact that I decided not to move to Louisiana.

I know I have probably made a lot of decisions in my life that have led me to this point. But I truly believe in my heart that my entire being would be different had I moved to LA.

So there you have it. Anyone out there have anything to share?

Friday, May 30

Q & A #4


here's one for ya. How many kids did you/do you want to have (if any)? And why? And if you've had one or more already, has the total number you want to have changed? Why?

I have always wanted 4 kids. There were 3 of us growing up and I think odd numbers are tough. Someone is always left out either because of gender or the other two are closer (usually in age). It took Mike a bit to warm up to that idea, but by the time we were talking about actually having them, I noticed he was saying 4 also. Just after we had Leah, Mike said he wasn't sure he wanted anymore. Newborns are tough, as most of you know. :) By the time Leah was 18 months and grown out for the baby stage, Mike was ready for another.

Neither of us are saying 4 for sure anymore. We have decided to reevaluate after each child and see how we feel. It probably does make a difference that we have 2 girls and no boys. We would be more likely to stop now if we had one of each (not definitely, but more likely). We feel like we need to try for at least one boy. Also, just like Leah, as Erin gets older it becomes easier to say that we might want another one. I just don't know if we are going all the way to 4 still. i like the IDEA of it, just not sure about the details.

Funny story, I took my girls and Ian and Chase to Chick-fil-a by myself for dinner last night (I was babysitting). I decided that it's not having 4 kids that is tough, it is more than one baby. I do not want multiples. As long as I stair-step the kids' ages, I should be okay. :)

Thursday, May 29

Thanks for the overwhelming response


I really love this Q & A series. I have gotten so many ideas on how to make my life more enjoyable along with some practical advice. I have not decided about the boot camp yet, but I will take Chelsi's advice on the one night a week yoga. I looked at my schedule and my night will be Mondays. Mike wakeboards every Thursday, weather permitting, and I do dinner and bed for the girls by myself. He can take a night to do it by himself too.

You guys are the best! I am enjoying this. Look for a new Q & A tomorrow!

Q & A #3


How do those of you with kids find the time to work out? I am struggling with the idea of hauling 2 kids everywhere. It is such a huge amount of work to get two kids ready for the gym daycare (everyone need a snack and drink). I really like doing yoga and would do videos at home (which is not as fun as a class with other participants, but still), but I can't get enough quiet time in my day. I make Leah have rest time in her room everyday for 45 minutes. I can't squeeze another minute out of that. Trust me I have tried. But once I leave her, I usually have one or two things to do before I can do yoga. Quieting my mind at that point is hard and then I don't have the time to do a whole series.

I am considering registering for the Charlotte Adventure Boot Camp for the 5:30am session 3 days a week. I have never been a morning person, but Mike will still be here and I won't have to even think about the kids. i just want to see results!

Wednesday, May 28

Q & A #2


Here's my newest deep thought. I wanna know what everyone out there is eating for breakfast. I am so bored of cereal and oatmeal. Any other good ideas?

Tuesday, May 27

Q & A series


Lately when I have been doing something lately, whether it is with the kids or by myself, I find myself thinking about the other women I know and how they would be doing the same thing.

For example, I have been able to scrapbook off and on lately. So I wonder how you ladies, if and when you get free time, like to spend it.

Another example is that we are deciding about dental insurance for Leah. And I wonder what you guys with kids think about dental insurance for kids and when you will/have taken your kids to the dentist.

So this is my first post in a series I will call Q & A. You can answer the above questions in your own blog (link me to it) or in my comments.

Whenever I think of something like that, I will post it under Q & A. All bloggers welcome. I would love to pick your brains. Isn't diversity fascinating?

Bike riding for babies


Okay, so I just read this article on riding bikes with your baby. I am kinda concerned. They don't even make helmets that size for a reason. Erin's head circumference is 16.5 inches and they really don't come smaller than 18 in. I don't know if we should continue to ride with her. Keri, does Corgan wear a helmet? Where did you get it? We do have a bike trailer that has NEVER tipped while riding with us. Maybe we should just keep her in there until she is big enough to wear a helmet.

Monday, May 26

Memorial Day weekend in review


Our weekend was exhausting but lots of fun. It began Saturday morning. Leah and I went to Kenna & Andy's dance recital. The theme was Under the Big Top and all the acts were circus-related. The girls did a GREAT job. I got so giddy thinking about Leah possibly being in a recital next year. The kids were SO adorable! In the lobby they had carnival-like games. Leah & Ian loved the popcorn and lollipops.

Saturday night I made black bean, corn, and avocado salsa and pepper jack and spinach quesadillas that were all freaking delicious! Arielle (who took Leah's bday pics) and her boyfriend John were staying the night so Bryan and Laurie brought the kids to sleep over so we could play games. Ian & Leah proceeded to play in Leah's room until at least 9pm. So much for the sleeping part. We drank chocolate martinis (thanks, L) and played a very rowdy game of Loaded Questions. Fun was had by all.

Leah woke up Sunday morning to Ian in her trundle bed. She was super excited to see him there. They got up and Mike made them waffles, which they ate in the playroom dressed as princesses. We played outside a LOT in the AM and went to the water park for the first time this season that afternoon. The water was pretty freezing, I did not get in more than sitting in the very shallow end to let Erin splash.

She sat on my lap and put her feet in because I did not want her rash in the water. I don't know how chlorine would affect it but I didn't want to take any chances. Leah had a ball!

She went down the slide with Daddy and jumped in MANY times. Once she went completely under for a few seconds and she cried. But within minutes she was right back to jumping. She has come SO far! I am so proud of her.

Today we headed to McAlpine Creek Park for a picnic and bike-riding. On the way there we stopped at Wal-Mart to buy child carriers for the back of our bikes. They took FOREVER to assemble but the girls were really good. We got them loaded up and took off on the trails.

It was lots of fun and we will be bike-riding much more often now that we have these carriers. (Mike's pic was taken later at home. I could not sit with Erin and take pictures.)

We headed for home and the girls fell asleep. Just as we were passing the Dollar Ice Cream Cone place they both woke up. SO we stopped and ate some ice cream. Then Mike said, "Well, now that everyone is awake, let's go the the skate park." So we did.

Waxhaw has a tiny skate park next to a playground. Leah ran around for a while, then put on her skates to ride with Daddy. Check this out!
I could not believe that she was brave enough to drop in on the half-pipe. She had a blast skating with Daddy. Maybe we do have a future X Games participant on our hands. Mike is already talking about upgrading her to real roller blades when her feet are big enough and taking her to skate camp in Pennsylvania. Seriously!

So that is our weekend recap. Now back to our regularly scheduled programming.

PS I just uploaded the pics Arielle took at Leah's party and more pics from this weekend to our website. Many thanks to Arielle for a wonderful job!

Friday, May 23

Out of the mouths of babes


I overheard Leah in the playroom just now saying something that sounded inappropriate. I poked my head in and asked, "What did you say?"

Leah said, "I said Zam it."

Well, Zam it!

Thursday, May 22



For those who have RSS feeds, I updated Leah's birthday post with some pictures.

My big 9 month old!


Inspired by Keri, I need to post about Erin.

I think she was signing "more" water here.

Erin is finally starting to roll a bit more. Often when I go to pick her up from a nap, she is on her belly looking up at me. If I give her my fingers, she will pull herself up to standing. The peed is not worried, she said Erin is probably just content doing what she is doing (AKA lazy).

Now, this kid can EAT! She eats so much more than Leah did at this age. She weighed in at 19lbs 15 and a quarter ounces (90%) but was only 26 1/2 in (10%). Leah weighed 8 ounces less at this age, but then she didn't gain ANY weight between 9 and 12 months. She practically stopped eating. I don't see Erin doing that any time soon. Today for lunch she downed a quarter of a turkey and cheese sandwich and a carton of Yo-Baby yogurt and still snacked on some goldfish.

Yesterday we were eating lunch and Erin's unfinished bottle was on the table. She looked at it and signed "milk!" It was the first time she made a sign completely on her own in context. That was very cool.

Erin LOVES her big sister. Nothing makes her laugh quite like Leah talking gibberish. They crack each other up in the car. Leah is always shouting, "Mom, Erin is smiling at me!" I love how close they are even though Erin is still a baby. Leah always wants to be the one to get Erin up from a nap. She climbs into the crib and helps Erin sit up. Then they wait for me to come get them out.

When Erin lays down to sleep, I give her her blankie. She always immediately pulls it across her face. She likes to fall asleep with a blanket over her face (I know, safe, right?).

Things Erin hates: getting her face wiped, seeing a bottle but not drinking it, having a diaper rash

Things Erin loves: taking a bath, her sister, eating, reading books before nap or bedtime, swinging

She lights up my life!!!

Sunday, May 18

My big 3 year old!


Leah's birthday was an exhausting but fun-filled day. We woke up and came downstairs to the pile of presents on the fireplace.

Leah got her big girl bike! And beginner skates! And a V Smile video game system! (just to name a few) We immediately got dressed and went outside to ride bikes. The ENTIRE family had to be on bikes. It was fun. Eventually the cul-de-sac turned out to ride bikes too.

Leah tried the skates and definitely needs to HOLD on to someone all the time.

Finally it was time to get ready for Leah's party. I don't have very many pictures because Arielle took them for me! Yes, I had a professional photographer at my kid's party. :) She will be back here next Saturday to give me the disc and I will post them then. We had tiki torches tied to the deck, a treasure hunt for green stones (Leah's birthstone) in the new sandbox and all kinds of blow-up toys in the pool (thanks to Ronni).

The cake, which I did not make, was a volcano and tasted delicious. Everyone snacked on Chick-fil-a chicken nuggets and Polynesian sauce, meatballs and pineapple, fruit kebobs, exotic chips, and pineapple sherbert punch.

I had to add that picture because it cracks me up. Tiff and Laurie are cheering for themselves. :)

The kids had a blast hunting for treasure. I didn't know it would be so popular. All the kids got a bucket/shovel combo with their name on it to put their stones in and they put their candy from the tiki pinata in it. They got a treat bag with stickers, a squirt seahorse, and candy to put in the bucket at the end. All in all fun day...

Leah is so smart, logical, helpful, and particular. It is a joy watching her learn new things and correct me when I don't adhere to her logic. As much as I complain about Leah, you all know I am so fascinated by her and adore her to no end. Most of the time, she is a lovebug and wants to cuddle. Happy Birthday to my big girl!

PS Leah's 3 yr checkup was great. She weighs 30 lbs 6 oz (50%) and is 36 1/4 in (50%) tall.

Thursday, May 15



If you are at all interested in doing yoga at home, I highly recommend Adrienne Reed's Power Yoga. I have done it twice now at home from my DVR and I love her style. The ones my TV are 25 minutes and when you are done, it feels like you just ran for 25 minutes.

Ahhhh, exercise!

Is she 2 already?


So Erin has a pretty bad diaper rash. Starting today, I am going to give her 3 baking soda baths a day and coat her with Desitin and Lotrimin (for possible yeast) often. Today in the bath, I handed Erin a cup of water. I thought she was going to maybe pour it out. She put it to her mouth and DRANK SOME. The first sip choked her a bit because I think the water was unexpected. The second sip was right on.

Leah would not drink from a cup until she was 2.

I have never given Erin a cup before. How did she know what to do?

I called Mike right away to tell him and he said, "Oh she's been doing that for a couple of weeks. I didn't think it was any big deal."

Well, then...

Wednesday, May 14

Stiff... leg?


Not to leave my Er-bear out. :)

That child LOVES to stand now. She will grab my fingers and hold on while I pull her to standing. She likes it when I do that in her crib and she can hold on to the rail. But she WILL NOT BEND HER KNEES. I keep trying to get her to take steps while I am holding her hands, but she will fall over forwards before bending her legs. Even in the Johnny Jump-Up (the thing that hangs from the door frame and kids can bounce in it), she will stay almost stiff-legged and and just kinda spin around on one toe (future ballerina? no, those silly plies will get in the way).

What's up with that?

PS She is waving hi now and laughing a whole lot more, especially at Leah.

You know I love her...


Time for a confession...

Leah is driving me absolutely insane. No, it's not because she is being bad or anything. She just WILL NOT LEAVE ME ALONE!!! When she is home, unless she is watching TV (and sometimes even then) she has to be ON me or talking to me ALL THE TIME!!! I am about to lose it with her. And I feel bad about it because most of the time she is so sweet and lovey and she tells me she loves me all the time. But I am dreading the last day of her school (May 22nd). It is only two days a week, but it gives me 6 Leah-free hours a week. And that is WONDERFUL! Erin naps for part of that time, and the rest of it she and I can play and cuddle uninterrupted. I really treasure that time she and I get alone. I am NOT looking forward to this summer having Leah around all the time. With her not napping anymore, it is so hard. I am trying to institute that "rest time in your room" but she is out every few minutes asking if her time is up yet. I need to put that door guard on again at rest times just to get some peace.

Thank goodness school next year is 3 days a week. I can't wait!!!

A dinner quote


I was going to make hamburgers for dinner. I had a 2 lb tube of ground beef that I used a little bit of earlier in the week. I thought I had put in back in the fridge to use tonight. When I got out all of the ingredients, I realized that I had in fact put the meat in the freezer. I could have defrosted it in the microwave, but hamburgers do not form well with bits of cooked beef in them. So I was frustrated things were not going according to my plan.

Leah says: You know who has hamburgers that are not frozen? (pause) McDonald's.

And that's where Mike met us for dinner.

Dead asleep


Mike & I fell asleep right after we put the kids to bed last night at 7:30 in our clothes.

Maybe we haven't been getting enough sleep...

Monday, May 12

In the bathroom


Leah said:
My poop looks like a bridge. With an alligator on it. A poop alligator.

And you know what? It did.

Sunday, May 11

Mother's Day post #2


Today was fabulous! After my 1st Mother's Day post, we went to New South Kitchen for brunch. They were serving Crab Cake Eggs Benedict, Buttermilk Fried Chicken Tenders, and Peach Cobbler! It could not get any better for me. After that, we walked around the Arboretum. Mike and I both bought new shoes and Mike let me stroll around Michael's and buy a few new scrapbook things. Then we headed home and I rearranged my craft area so that I have more space now that I have my Cricut. I scrapbooked until Erin woke up and then we played outside together. It was so windy that one of the swings hit poor Leah in the mouth! :( Then Mike put the kids to bed while I went to pick up sushi. Now we are watching Desperate Housewives while eating brownies (yes, I am multi-tasking).

Thank you, honey for such a relaxing and yummy day. I love you!

My Three Mothers


Today I would like to thank the three women who are responsible for the kind of mother I am today. Each of them has taught me something invaluable that I carry with me every day.

Mom - You have taught me about unconditional love. I feel it from you ALL the time and I see it when you look at Lauren and Carly. I am able to share that unconditional love with my daughters because you shared it with me always.

Myrn - You have taught me about patience. I hear it when you talk about the kids you work with and I have seen it when you have spoken about Zac and Brittany. I try to emulate that patience with my girls. I feel a serenity in you that I would like to have in my own life. I hope that I can learn more about how you achieve that as time goes on.

Ronni - You have taught me about thoughtfulness. I see it whenever you call to tell me you listened to something I said and found the perfect "thing" to go with it. You are always thinking of your loved ones and trying to help with whatever they need. I would like to always be thoughtful of others and be considerate of their desires.

My three moms, I salute you today. These are only a VERY few of the things I have learned from you. I look forward to many more years of sharing and learning.

Mother's Day post #1


I have had a WONDERFUL Mother's Day so far. I got to sleep in until 8am and when I got up Mike had fed the girls, did the dishes, and was vacuuming up all the styrofoam that came from Leah's bed boxes. I rolled around with Erin, played Bingo with Leah (Thank you, Grammy!) while Mike put Erin down, then watched Dog Whisperer while Mike made me a mushroom and tomato omelet. Now we are just chillin' for a little while, then we are heading out for a Mother's Day brunch. I will let you know how the rest of my day goes. :)

Strawberry Fields Forever


I had to steal Tiffany's blog title because it was so appropriate.

We went strawberry picking with the Maddexes and the Larsens yesterday morning and the kids had a blast.

Mike wore Erin around and she did a great job.

Leah did pretty well picking out the ripe ones.

Chase did a great job in the backpack.

The crew

I made homemade strawberry ice cream for our Diez do Mayo celebration along with Erica's cinnamon tortilla chips. Then I cut up the rest of strawberries and put them in the freezer for future milkshakes/smoothies. YUM!

Thursday, May 8

Big Girl Bed!


Leah's big bed finally arrived after 2 1/2 months! I put it together this morning and I LOVE IT! Here are some pictures for you:

Tuesday, May 6

Building a volcano


I am thinking of making Leah's birthday cake myself. The theme for the party is luau and I had a brainstorm today. I could bake the cake in one of those flat bundt pans and make it into a volcano! So now I need decorating ideas. What color would you frost it? How would you use edible items to decorate the top/sides/platform of the cake to make it look volcano-like?

All you creative types, let me hear from you!

Monday, May 5

A great book


If you haven't already read The Time Traveler's Wife by Audrey Niffenegger, you need to. It is such an interesting mix of science fiction and love story with a bit of philosophy thrown in. I have heard from many people prior to reading that this was a good book and they were right. Two thumbs up!

PS I just read that the movie comes out this Christmas. Eric Bana and Rachel McAdams are the main characters. I am psyched to see it!



I am still trying to catch up with my scrapbooks. It gets better for a while, then I fall behind again. Right now I am finished through Halloween 2007. So I am 6 months behind again. Anyway I wanted to share a few of my very favorite pages I have done in the last few months.

HA HA HA HA! Erica just pointed out to me that I put the wrong year on the Pumpkin Patch page. It should be 2007, duh! I will have to go back and change it. That is SO funny.

Sunday, May 4

Leah's a jumper!


I am excited to report that Leah was jumping in the pool today! We went to the gym to their indoor pool. For the first time since she was very little, Leah wore her floaty swimsuit. When we were walking into the pool she did her usual routine of clinging to my leg and claiming she was done swimming. She held on for dear life for the first 20 minutes or so. Then I convinced her that it would be okay to try to float on her back. She used to be okay with doing that when she took swim lessons almost 2 yrs ago, but not since then. She successfully floated on her back with me holding her head and back. I kept trying to slowly take the hand on her back away. She was mostly floating on her own! She really liked it and kept asking to turn over when we practiced kicking.

Mike got her to jump to him when he was right next to the side. I think the floaty swimsuit gave her a little confidence. After quite few jumps, I had her "swim" while I held her tummy. Then I held onto the back of her suit. I was able to almost let her go when we were close to the side. She was jumping to me at the end. I was probably about 4 feet from the side. When I told her it was the last jump I let her go under a bit and I thought she would freak out. i figured we were leaving anyway so if she freaked it would be okay. SHE LOVED IT! She actually jumped that way a few more times before we left. Right after the last jump, she stood at the side of the pool and said "I have to pee pee," right before she went. And on that note we left. :)

PS My contacts are blurry and I am super tired so I apologize for any typos and the incoherency of this post.

Saturday, May 3

Eating like a girl


This is what Erin has eaten so far today:

one pancake with syrup
stage 2 jar of peaches

one quarter of a grilled cheese sandwich
one-third of a pear, from a can

plus her usual 2 bottles.

This kid is becoming a less and less like a baby every day. I would have given her real peaches instead of baby food this morning if I had had them.

Thursday, May 1

No means No


For the first time Erin responded to the word "no." We were all playing puzzles together and she started trying to chew on a piece of it. The first time I just said "No" firmly and pushed her hand away from her face. When I did it the second time, her face crumpled and her lower lip stuck out. Waaaahhhhhh! It was so cute I started cracking up.

In other news, when Mike's mom came to visit, she brought some old issues of Mailbox magazine. I LOVED that magazine when I was teaching. It always had such great ideas. It comes in different age levels and they have a preschool one. So I was looking at the April/May issue and there were bulletin board ideas. I haven't made a bulletin board in YEARS! So I got all excited. I bought a cork board and put it up in the playroom. Today I had the kids over and we made sombreros in celebration of Cinco de Mayo. I cut out "Celebrate Cinco de Mayo" on my Cricut. Tonight I put everything up on the board and it looks so cute!

PS I just remembered that today I found a hard-boiled egg from Easter in Erin's toy box in the living room. It was DISGUSTING!