Merry Christmas!

Christmas! I LOVE IT! I mean really really love it, and it's not about the gifts either. Christmas REALLY kicked off with cookie baking at my parent's Thursday with the whole crew (Mom, Dad, Manda, Joe, Derrick, Ella, Aunt Becky, Uncle Eddie, Brit, Nic and Riley) which resulted in lots of fun and consumed cookies and hot chocolate :0) That turned into Christmas Eve where the stockings were hung, the reindeer food made and put out and gifts loaded in the car. We traveled to my grandmother's house where we had more fun family time in her warm and cozy kitchen and then on to my parent's house again where her family gathers. We had the BEST secret Santa exchange ever! Everyone really really had a good time and after donning our new Christmas jammies, taking lots of silly pictures, drinking VERY yummy wine and laughing until we cried, we set off back to home around 11 pm just in time to get back and asleep before Santa came!

There was no sleep that night for me or for Derrick we were too excited to see Ella on Christmas morning. And we were not let down! Her very first gift she opened was her "bery OWN CHAPSTICK!!!" and from then on it was all about her making sure her lips were coated in chapstick...as my videos show it was open a gift and then put on the chapstick... It was ALOT ALOT ALOT of fun and I just so enjoyed every minute with my little family. After gifts we again loaded up the car and went to my parent's house to do brunch and gifts with them and my sister and her husband. Brunch was so so so yummy and mimosas were made to order through out the whole visit. Then with no nap for Ella we headed to the Brown's for more family time. Ella fell asleep in the car and woke up a little overwhelmed but wanted to get down eventually and play with her cousins. Which by the way there is not words to describe the excitement of a 3.5 year old and a 2 year old. Cosmos and champagne were flowing and more yummy, seriously yummy food was consumed. And then I lost to my father-in-law playing Dance Dance, which Ella captured in 347 pictures on her new camera.

Now I am sitting here (in my awesome new slippers!) with a competely trashed living room and a sleeping Derrick and Ella on the couch knowing that I am so blessed. I have a wonderful extended family and an amazing little family of 3. Memories were made, laughter was heard and love was felt. Merry Christmas to all, I hope you all feel as blessed this morning!

Conversations of with a 2 year old

My favorite person in the world to talk to is my little chickadee. Lately we have been having some awesome conversations so I will just share some of my favorite ones:

Ella: Mommy I am going to spell you into a horse. You ready?
Me: Oh no not a horse!
Ella: MAGIC! Giddy up horse. (and then follows me around yelling giddy up)

Ella: (After I drove to pick Derrick up for a dinner date at Panera) Daddy.
Derrick: Yes little girl
Ella: Can you drive now?\
Derrick: Why?
Ella: Because Mommy is driving me crazy!

Ella: Daddy come see come see
Derrick: Wow what did you do?
Ella: I put lights and decorations on my tree
Derrick: They are very nice and pretty.
Ella: I did it for Happy Christmas to Santa

Derrick (Knocking on a locked bathroom door) Ella what are you doing?
Ella: I'm peeing by myself
Me: Do you need help?
Ella: No I fine
(a few minutes go by)
Ella: Hey can you bring my ladder? I need to wash my hands.
(Brought the ladder)
Ella: Oh thank you!

Everyday we just talk and it is fantastic! We talk about everything and she really holds conversations like a little pro :0) I LOVE IT!

Happy Birthday Baby Girl!


2 years ago today I got to meet the most preciously sweet, adorable, intelligent little girl. I carried her for nine months tucked up under my ribs and she carved a huge spot in my heart, from the moment I found out that we would finally be able to have the baby we so so so wanted. She was planned, she was dreamed and she was finally here. The nine months of pregnancy were wonderful, the little tiny kicks that were specifically for me to just let me know that yep mom I'm here and I am doing fine. The morning sickness and the throwing up just so I knew that I had a baby in there for real and the 18 pounds of extra weight made my heart so light because I knew it was because of my little miracle bean.

I met my sweet little girl on the morning of December 6, 2008, at 6:56 am to be exact. She came into the world after 56 hours of med free labor that ended with 12 minutes of pushing. She landed right into her daddy's hands and was immediately given to me. In that moment the pain was gone, the time stood still and I was completely in utterly madly in love. The 77 hours of no sleep was forgotten, I felt recharged, excited and ready to take on the world, or maybe climb Mt Katahdin again like I did when I was 6 months pregnant with Ella.

Now that precious little 6 pound bundle has grown into the most wonderfully amazing 2 year old. I can not believe that 2 years has passed. I have watched her just grow and learn and develop the best personality. She is so polite and loving. She loves to smile and laugh and pretend. She talks like she is 3 and is oh so smart! She "reads" and uses the potty. She dances and sings. She sleeps in a big girl bed and loves to snuggle. I love hearing her say "Mommy you snuggle with me, I make room for you too" She takes care of her babies and loves her family. She helps cook dinner and makes her own bed. And shopping...oh yes she is a fashionista to the max! She is always saying she loves us even though *sigh* she has informed me that Daddy is her favorite. Which is fine by me because the two of them together leaves me a big puddle of mush on the floor. It might as well be my birthday today because seriously Ella is the best gift that could EVER have been given. I thank God for her everyday, in every breath I breathe because she truly is my everything.


Happy Birthday my sweet precious baby girl. Mommy loves you to the moon and back and then some. You make me so happy and always bring a smile to my face. May you always know how much you mean to me, how much you fill my heart with light and love and how much your smile lights the world. I LOVE YOU ELLA BEAN!!!

Christmas 2010

Pictures In Snow Christmas 5x7 folded card
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Tis the Season



What a day...

It sure has been quite the day and it's only 1:22. I slept for nothing last night, and Ella wanted to get up at 5:30 this morning BLAH! Found out that some of this weekends photo shoot was lost. The card didn't hold the pictures. (although there is a glimmer of hope it can be recovered and it is not Morgan's fault. I just wont have the tutu and cowboy boot pictures...) Then I tore the house apart trying to find my birth certificate...yes I need to be more organized I know this now. Only to just mess the house and not find it. I drive to Sanford after stopping at the post office, bank, and school district office with an almost asleep little girl. With all my might I kept her awake while I waited for a new official copy of my birth certificate and through the unbelievable long wait at the DMV (yes my license was expired, which means I had been driving around with a bad license and uninspected and unregistered car. All is fixed now) I come home to find the dog had gotten in the trash and the cleaning fairy hadn't miracoulsy cleaned my house while I was gone... Now, now it is silient Ella is sleeping and I am going to curl up with some lunch and a cup of tea and await some sneak peaks of the photos that survived... It can only get better right?

Snap shots and Holiday cards

So I am super excited for this coming Saturday! Morgan is coming up to Maine and has agreed to do a mini photo shoot. I am super super excited and just KNOW that I will get the holiday card shot. Unfortunately Derrick wont be able to make it since he has other plans, that I am NOT happy about but what can I do? So it looks like our card this year may just be Ella, but she is so stinkin cute that no one will even notice the absence of her parents. OK so after the shoot I need to make the cards right? Well this year it will be SUPER easy because I am using Shutterfly! I have used Shutterfly in the past to make some prints and father's day gifts. The site is so user friendly and the products are great quality! What makes it even extra fantastic is that I get to have 50 FREE photo cards through Shutterfly. Want to find out how you can as well? Bloggers click here to get the details on how you can get 50 free cards!!!

I think that I am going to use the Holiday Love Sketch card or the Oh What Fun card. Shutterfly is such a great site for holiday shopping that I may decide to use the photos from the photo shoot to make some gifts for the grandparents as well...hmmm there is SO much to choose from but I think the Canvas Wall Art would make a perfect grandparent gift! A custom mug perfect for an Auntie or Uncle. And of course I will need to make a memory for myself too. Which the new ceramic ornament would work! Easy Peasy and I can't wait to sit down with a mug of hot chocolate (with a splash of pepermint schnops), the fire on and Christmas tunes to write out the cards and send them out! Happy Holidays!

pure bliss

I didn't have to have Calgon take me away after all. Turns out that my hubby is also good for a getaway every now and again. Or I should say for the first time ever Derrick surprised me with a night away! On Sunday he announced that he was taking me to Stonehurst Manor in North Conway, NH. It was an estate built in the 1700's and is goregous!

He took some time off from work Wednesday and after we dropped the potty training diva off with my mom we hit the road. We arrived to a view of stone arches and Mt. Washington covered in snow. We checked in and immediately felt welcome in the cozy lobby with a roaring fire and dark wood accents. He splurged and got the deluxe suit which boasts a jacuzzi AND a fireplace, what more could a girl ask for. We made dinner reservations in their dinning room for 7:15 and headed up to unpack. Arriving at 3 pm gave us four hours before dinner was sereved and the itinerary was left up to me. There was even a suggestion of (GASP) we can go shopping? I looked at my husband in complete shock, since those words have NEVER left his lips before. But shopping is not what I chose. I chose nothing, I mean NOTHING! I chose to curl up in front of the fire and just do NOTHING. I didn't have to put someone on the potty every 15 minutes or be overly enthusiastic about seeing pee in the potty. I didn't have a dog whining to go out, or laundry to do. I just sat and relaxed. I even decided to hot tub it with a glass or two or three of champagne and JUST be! At 6:30 we went down to the library room for cocktails and conversation. We just talked the two of us mostly about our adorable little girl we were both missing like crazy but talk like two grown-ups with no inturuptions.

Then it was dinner time and I have to say that I ate the BEST meal OF. MY. LIFE! We started out with the Lobster Beggar's Purse, and it was to die for. Seriously it was so so so so good, that I can't even do it justice. That was followed by soup, again delicious and my entree of stuffed shrimp and rosotto cakes ended the night as I was too full to even attempt dessert! The whole time it was nice to sit just the two of us and talk about dreams and goals and life and philosophies... We found that dinner without a 23 month old could last for 2 hours without you even realizing how much time had passed.

This morning after a nice 2.5 mile run through the mountain scenery we entered the dinning room yet again where breakfast was just as delicious as the dinner was. We literally soaked up every second of adult conversation and quiet and of course cable TV (since we don't have that at home!). We checked out at the last possible minute and headed to get some shopping in before the drive home.

I seriously had the most wonderful little getaway. I loved every second of it, I can say it was probably the best birthday gift my husband has ever given me. Although I do have to say that as much as I loved dressing up and enjoying all the beauty and relaxation of the Inn I enjoy just as much the night that was waiting for me at home. The potty dance and phone calls when Ella went on the potty by herself (getting out of the tub to do so!) The Annie's mac and cheese and veggie nuggets enjoyed picnic style in our sweat pants in front of the fire in the living room and the conversation of what is silly that I had with my baby girl :0)

Thank you Derrick for being such an amazing guy. I love you Cowboy!!!!!!

LOVE and potty training

Taking a break from campaign potty train to let you all know that The Vintage Pearl is having yet another giveaway!!! Check it out the new chunky love is beautiful :0)

In other news after the Wiggles on Friday I told Ella that there were no more diapers (well because there was not!) and that mommy didn't have money to buy anymore. Well Little Miss Stubborn Pants who knows how to use the potty and in fact was using it pretty well around a year old bought it! And after a chorus of "oh no, oh nuts oh dear bread and beer. No more money no diapers!" She has been wearing just her pants or big girl underpants and is doing GREAT! We stay home and have pj dance parties, craft time and books so we can sit on the potty every 20 minutes but we are having fun!!!!

Ok back to some play dough playing and potty sitting :0)

quiet

The rain is coming down, the temperature has dropped along with the last of the leaves and my little girl is napping. I just finished up making some strawberry cake balls and oreo truffles for a wine and chocolate lovers Lia Sophia party later tonight at Heather's house and I have some time for myself. I made a cup of tea and curled up near the fire with computer at hand. I love just sitting her in the warmth with the smells of chicken roasting and the sounds of the rain coming down. Mostly however, my favorite thing is just across the room. Curled up sound asleep on her "couch bed". She played hard this morning and did a fantastic job sharing and just wore herself out. Normally she naps upstairs in her bed (which by the way is now a big girl bed that she took to like a fish in water. One day she asked for it, I hauled it upstairs and she just climbs in and goes to sleep. And yes I did cry like a baby myself the first night we put her in it for the night. She looked so tiny and small and precious and the crib was my last baby thing. She really is a big girl now and I love that but I do miss my baby. Somedays she pretends she still is my baby and I LOVE it!!! OK wow tangent!). Usually she naps upstairs in her bed but today I put her there and she just said couch bed please mommy with her little adorable kissable lip all stuck out in a pout (thats her new thing when she is sad) so I wrapped her up and layed her on the couch and she is sleeping there. Which is fine by me because I get to sit here and drink my tea and just watch her sleep. My little love all warm and content on the couch.

Tomorrow we get to meet Jenn and Mia in Boston for The Wiggles, which Ella has made me sing "Fruit Salad" to her ALL DAY! I am pretty excited and I think she is too. She keeps saying "we're takin the bus not the train to see the Wiggles!" But as for now I just want to stop time for a little bit to just watch my baby and soak in the quiet...

Live Laugh Blog
Christina

(Live Laugh Blog by the way was a name I came up with for my friend Kellee's blog, but she used Sunshine Wishes and FOrehead Kisses instead. I like the phrase so I may just change my name or keep it as my exit line :0) In anyway Live Laugh Blog just fits for today!)

sensitivity

Before I even started writing today I knew it would be a tough blog to write. I even went into the kitchen and poured myself a large glass of milk and tore open the Oreos to grab a handful only to find just one lonely old Oreo left. My wonderful husband must have been having Oreos for breakfast. I should know better to leave them out in the open. If I do they dissappear faster than my waist would if I could eat them.

Anyway I have been thinking lately about blogging and cenorship. I find myself really checking what I write on here in fear that I would or could offend someone. Offending anyone would be something I would NEVER want to do. However, at the same time I feel that I am holding a lot of things back. I hold a lot of things in. Things bother me, have been bothering me and I NEVER say anything about them. I usually just sit there with a smile on my face and nod to whatever is going on. I then will have a bitch fest with a certain few that I feel like I can trust 100% and most of the time that works and I feel better. But there are some things that just don't seem to be getting better and I seem to just be dwelling on them.

I try not to let things get me down. After all having a positive outlook makes things so much better but I can't help but have my feelings hurt. Really I am a senstive person I KNOW that I really do. I try to work with that and let things roll off my back but every so often I fail miserably at it.

*and with that I have written and rewritten some feelings that I just can't bring myself to throw out there. Although it did feel good to write and then see my feelings being validated right there in black and white since validation of me is what seems to be my problem lately... (sorry those certain few it looks like you will continue to have to listen to me when I feel the need to vent...)

It's the little things...

Really out of everything that I could dream of having: trips around the world, enough money to buy myself a billion Coach bags, a beautiful grand house, my dream car, diamonds and pearls, money for a tummy tuck and a boob lift, seriously out of anything I can think of, the thing I would want the MOST.... is the little things that I already have.

Each and every day I am just so amazed at how lucky I am to listen to my daughter sing in the back seat. Have you heard her rendition of "Twinkle twinkle" yet? Just tonight I was sitting here thinking that I would not trade in any of my little moments for all the gold in the world. I love each and every little thing that I am blessed with. I love that my husband is a complete half in our parenting. In fact he is doing bath time right now so I can get a break and type this. He also finished up dinner tonight so I could go for a run (by the way I ran another 3 miles straight!) I love that my dad came to the rescue for Ella today with a special delivery of two pumpkins to replace the ones that were smashed last night. In fact I loved the light in Ella's eyes as she spotted her Papa's truck out the window and the delight she took in decorating her pumpkin with stickers. I love enjoying a bowl of ice cream on the couch wrapped in a blanket while the fire is on. I love apple picking and hay rides. I love hiking and car rides. I love the fact that I hear Ella asking me to come up to read to her right now....

I love how I just spent 10 minutes reading and rocking with my daughter who knows the words on the page before I say them because we read her favorite books every night. I love how her bed time routine has morphed into family time since she insists that mommy and daddy read to her and hug her and kiss her. I love how I know when I go get her in the morning she is going to smile at me and ask for breakfast.

So I guess I would rather have ice cream on the couch then diamonds and pearls. I would rather have my soul mate who is an amazing father then enough money to buy a billion Coach bags. I would rather have car rides and hay rides then trips around the world. A family that cares so much for Ella that they go out of their way to put a smile on her face then a beautiful grand house and my dream car. My little peanut butter pie who caused the tummy roll (who am I kidding it was there before Ella) and the sagging sisters more then money for a tummy tuck and a boob lift. And yes I have a definite new favorite song in "Twinkle twinkle"!

Dear Ella

Dear Ella,

Mommy loves you like you wouldn't believe! I just love each and everything about you. I love how you will come in all sneak like and say "I'm a gonna get you" I love how you like to give me a big ole smooch just because I ask. I love how smart you are. You really are a very intelligent little girl. I am so proud of you!!!!! I love listening to you count to 10, identify all your colors, sing the ABC's, and recognize some letters. My new favorite though, is listening to you sing songs to your baby. As you were singing "You Are My Sunshine" as you danced around with your baby today I was the happiest mommy EVER!

Speaking of babies, I love how you are such a good lil mama! It makes my heart soar to see you take care of your baby. To feed it, change it, read to it, rock it, wash it.... It makes me glad because it shows me that I am doing a some what good job with you. I would love to freeze time right here and now. You are still small enough to be my cuddly baby as I rock you to sleep or read books to you, but you also are a little person who I can talk to and laugh with. Being your mommy is the BEST job in the entire world and I am so thankful that I get to do that job EVERY. SINGLE. DAY!

So I just wanted to let you know that I love you more than anything and that you make me one proud mama. My wish for you is that you never forget how to dance like you do right now, how to sing out loud even if someone is listening and how to show your mama that she is doing something right :0)

Love, Mommy

GIVEAWAY!!!!

Ok so if I were private I could not get this news out to everyone...

Vintage Pearl is having another giveaway!!! The newest necklace is by far my fav!!! Go see how you can win one!

Confusion....

About a week ago I went and made my blog private, I started thinking about who was viewing it and if I wanted them too. But now I am having second thoughts. I admit I used to HATE when I used to be on a message board and someone would announce "I am going private" or "should I go private" I always used to think well just do it or don't. But now I have realized that it actually is a tough decision, one that I can't make yet...

Fall

Fall is here, the leaves are changing, my favorite beer is out and the pumpkins and apples are calling my name. Fall by far is my absolutely favorite time of year (well the early fall not the late yucky leaves gone dreary ready for snow fall).

As I gear up to start the fall baking and leaf peeping and all the other great stuff that fall brings, I can't help but think that Halloween is right around the corner and this year I have NO IDEA what I want Ella to be. I figure this is my last year to pick out her costume without her fighting my choice and telling ME what SHE wants to be. But as I think about it I just can't decide. Its worse than not deciding though because I don't even have choices to decide between I can't think of anything!!! After all how can I top the cuteness of last year?


Isle Au Haut

After the skunk incident of last Monday night that left the whole house stinking like skunk. Which meant that every article of clothing needed to be washed (some twice) and the threat of Hurricane Earl. We were pretty sure we were going to throw in the towel and not head out to Isle Au Haut like we had planned after we were invited by a good friend and his family.

Late Thursday night we decided to just go for it. We packed what clothes we had washed into 3 bags and headed out at 5am on Friday morning. We stopped halfway up and grabbed some food and breakfast so Ella could stretch her legs. And also get her "coffee". By 11:15 we had made it to the dock with 15 minutes to spare and a sleeping Ella. We loaded the stuff in the boat and listened as the crew was concerned about leaving their boat at the dock when Earl rolled in. We set off anyway with intentions of beating Earl to shore and hankering down to watch the action.

The boat landed and we were met by our good friend's parents who warmly welcomed us and loaded us in their 2 island cars (there was 7 of us on the boat heading back to their house). On the road (which there is only one road on the island, a 13 mile loop road) we took bets on what houses and or structures would weather the storm. Ella happily bounced along next to me thrilled to not have a car seat and beable to finally sit like a big girl.

We reached the house by 1 o'clock and settled in and took a beautiful hike to Thunder Gultch to watch the waves roll in. By 5 is was time for "libations" which was my favorite time of day. We made drinks of our choice and gathered around the living room with pre dinner snacks and just laughed and talked and told stories. The first night lobsters was served straight from the boat to the pot. It was the BEST lobster I have ever eaten and advanced lessons were given for those who had not quite mastered the art of eating every bit of the lobster. I was a pretty happy girl sitting there after 2 drinks while lobster butter was running down my arms and laughter was being had by all.

We woke the next day to rain (all that we ended up getting of Earl) that stopped by the time we had breakfast and turned into BEAUTIFUL weather! However, instead of heading out to hike or sail we headed back to the maineland to get supplies.
We made it back 5 minutes too late to make the boat back so it looked like our stay on the island was over. We then thought well lets get a room and go back in the morning, but no vacancies were found. That was when being in a small town off the coast of Maine paid off. We found a lobster man heading back to the island by slim chance and he agreed to take us over, along with some other guests that were staying. Ella got a huge kick out of riding on the lobster boat and watching the colorful characters on board. From the arguing drinking men to the rather large lady eating raw hotdogs and whoopie pies. Needless to say it was quite the adventure and we were thrilled to arrive back in time for "libations"

The rest of the weekend was spent taking in the views from the beach, to the trails and even some stargazing. We had an absolutely fabulous time and did not want to come home. The house was so quaint and cozy, the scenery was AMAZING, and the company was suberb! I would say that it was a perfect family getaway!

Next up another trip to Storyland on Friday!!!! This summer could not have been better!!!

Skunks...

Last year at this time we noticed that we had a skunk living under our barn. Derrick was livid and I was sympathetic. He wanted to kill it I didn't have the heart. After all there are people who are feeding cats on our street and the skunks come for a meal too. That was before this is now. Now after having our second skunk encounter I say kill the damn thing.

Monday night after putting Ella to bed and finding repreive in my air conditioned bedroom with a good book and my favorite tshirt, I learn that once again our dog was sprayed. This time when I went downstairs to see how I could help the smell was worse than ever. It was a mix of garlic and burning rubber that instantly had me nauseaus.

Derrick had let Ranger out to go to the bathroom and he heard an attack. Assuming that it was the neighbors little dog that likes to antagonize Ranger he called Ranger in. As he was about to come through the door he charged again at something under the window. That attack lead to him being sprayed in the eyes and mouth and of course the spray to also come through the open kitchen window. The poor dog then vomitted in the house since he made his way in.

To say the least we now have a stinky dog and a stinky house. We moved out for a few days and set up the ozone generator. Ranger has had 7 baths with a peroxide, baking soda, dish soap combination (Derrick and I have both have also had to shower with that concotion as well). All my clothes and I do mean ALL, towels and other materials now need to be washed and every surface of the house has been sprinkled with baking soda and vinigar.

Did I mention that I am supposed to be packed and ready to leave at 5 am Friday morning for a long weekend on the Isle Au Haut (an island off the coast of ME)? Oh yeah and Hurrucane Earl is stopping by too... Through it all though I am still remembering my blessings, a little retail thearpy didn't hurt yesterday either :0)

21 months going on 13 not 2


It seems like just yesterday that I was scooping my little peanut out of the bassinet to rock her and nurse her or to just stare at her beautiful little kissable lips. Ok I also would just kiss and kiss her and smell that soft baby smell. And then I blinked, (not even a full blink) and I don't have a teeny tiny little 6 pound infant. I have an almost 21 month old, 22 pound ball of lovable sass. Who yells "Hey come get me" when she is ready to get out of her crib in the morning or barely sits in my lap long enough for me to do her hair, let alone kiss and smell... Although that soft baby smell is now only present on bath nights and usually lasts just a few hours :0)

We are approaching my chickadees second birthday and I thought that I probably should start thinking about how I was going to handle the Terrible Twos and then just this weekend it occurred to me: My daughter thinks she is going to be 13 not 2! I think that we skipped right over the Terrible Twos and the Horrible Threes we have gone straight to Tween years! This really shouldn't surprise me all that much since my lovely little peanut has always chosen to surprise mommy and accomplish things a little early: crawling at 5 months, walking at 8 months, first 3 words at 9.5 months (ball, bear and balloon) sentences at a year and full blown conversations now where she will use words like ridiculous and either or appreciate and hilarious.


Recently I was involved in a conversation where it was stated that boys are easier to raise then girls. It was said that when they are younger little girls are easy but as they get older (the so called dreaded emotionally havoc wrecking teen years) they get harder. In fact there was even talk about me being involved in a study and in 15 years at the BFCO they were going to see if I (who currently has just a girl) or my sister-in-law (who currently has 3 boys) was faring better on the aging front. It was said as a hypothesis that my sister-in-law would indeed age less rapidly. I countered the theory by saying it was not necessarily girls that were harder BUT those sweet little faces (like the one to the left) were used to capture their Daddy's hearts and lead them to get away with everything with their fathers leaving the mother to have to argue and stand firm by herself when it comes to a daughter. Anyway I digress back to skipping straight into the Tweens for us.

This weekend brought it to light on several occasions for me. First when her father came out of her room greatly offended because she told him to "get out of here, I'm busy" then there was the "Ella what are you doing" that brought on the shout of "NOTHING!" while the bathroom door was slammed shut, the outfit she chose for her date night (a dress, cowboy boots and a headband) and REFUSED to let me put on anything else (I tried since the boots are still 2 sizes too big but nope) and then the thing that brought it all home was the fact that she spotted a boy. Not only did she spot a boy but she spotted him coming out of Target where she insisted that she 'NEEDED new glasses". She saw the boy turned her mouth up into a shy smile and then posed on the wall behind him begging me to take her picture. She then spent the next 5 minutes looking back at him and smiling. When we finally got her in the car I asked her if she had been flirting with that boy. The reply a sly look at her father and then a yes followed by the girly giggle. You know the giggle all little girls get when they see a cute boy...
That was when I realized holy cow temper tantrums and refusing to eat or anything else associated with the Terrible Twos are the least of my worries...I have myself a teenager at 21 months!

Domestic Diva

So that mention of change in season I mentioned the other day? Well it turns out it is also applying to my domestic talents as well. I have never been the "domestic" type so to say. Considering cooking in my house used to be 50-50 until a little thing called Ella happened. When I first got pregnant with Ella I couldn't even step foot in the kitchen without throwing up. Which meant my share of cooking and dishes fell 100% on D's shoulders. Meanwhile the little voice of D's grandmother could be heard asking me if I was taking good care of Derrick. (You see she was the type to have a pie baked from scratch as reward for Derrick doing some work for her) Although I don't know all her philosphies on what a wife should be because unfortunately she passed the week that we got engaged. I knew she expected me to take care of him. When we were in college she got very upset that Derrick ended up with "dry sockets" after getting his wisdom teeth out and accused me of not taking care of him...Well after she was born he kept the cooking and I picked up loading the dishwasher. Now that my little ray of sunshine is almost 2 I have picked my share back up. I purchased myself a little gift of a KitchenAId mixer and have not looked back!

This week I have had the house clean, the laundry done and treats baked for when he gets home from work. Last night I managed to add baking a ham dinner, making little individual apple pies (yes with homemade crust!), taking Ella to the playground, picking up my car, crafts, and working out into my schedule on top of the mountain of laundry being folded AND put away.

So am I taking care of him? Hell yes! I can answer that little voice with a very confident answer now when I hear it. Does that mean that I will iron, NOPE. Will I drop everything if Ella and I are in the middle of fort building and play-doh playing to bake if he requested it, NOPE. Does it mean that there wont be days where the laundry has over taken the couch and the floors haven't been washed, NOPE! But it does mean that I am committed to my life 100% and I am going to make the effort to go extra rounds in the house and on the cooking front. I love my husband and truly enjoy doing these things for him. I also plan on adding on some sewing projects to my days (Ella is using the potty and tight season is coming so I figure that since she LOVES to wear her dresses that I better make some babylegs so that she can still use the potty without fussing with the tights)

So just go ahead and call me Domestic Diva... :0)

I Just Won 9 Swag Bucks on www.swagbucks.com

I Just Won 9 Swag Bucks on www.swagbucks.com can get really really annoying when if like me you see it 20 times a day while doing your Facebook stalking. Annoying partly becasue it is taking up all the status update space (along with the also oh so annoying detailed house cleaning reports and meal preperation updates) because that means it takes longer to sort through and find the juicy gossip updates. The who is preggo, who is traveling you know just the everyday stuff that people are doing that you happen to be nosey about. The other part of the annoyance is due to the fact that EVERYONE else seems to be winning more Swagbucks than myself, which leads me in a totally frustrated state (see I am what you would call a competitive person...). So I see how clean everyones house is, the meals they are cooking and the Swagbucks they are racking up...

However, I LOVE seeing it pop up on my computer screen right after I complete a search for some random nonsense through out the day. Why? Well one of my jobs as a SAHM means that I am in charge of finding deals and steals. Ways to cut back but get more. Ways to be able to put a little aside to get the oh so needed date night with just the hubs while the baby plays with a grandparent or two. So Swagbucks has become part of my scheme in the frugality of my life. I use it as a search engine to aquire swagbucks that I then turn around and trade in for amazon.com $$. To date I have earned a total of $65 in REAL money to use at amazon.com to spend on whatever my little heart desires on the site! I have bought Ella shoes, a book, even a gift for a recently new mommy. So if you are looking to get in on racking up some FREE money then click on the link above and sign up under me, that way we both earn :0)

Other sites I frequent as a money saving SAHM:

babycheapskate.com (this is where I learned of the AMAZING diaper steal I got on Monday. And yes thanks to a good friend who gave me another coupon code I was able to get a 116 count box of Pampers for $7.78 and they were delivered today!) Oh and speaking of diapers those Pampers that came today AND the help of some great women who knew some inside information scored me enough GTG points to order a My Pal Scout dog for Ella for FREE!!!

www.babysteals.com (a deal of the day posted at 11am every day)

www.kidsteals.com
(same deal as babysteals but with older kid stuff)

www.greenbabybargains.com

www.babyhalfoff.com

www.mamabargains.com

www.alice.com

What do you all use as good saving money tips?

change

The scent of fall in the air, the cool brisk mornings and the temperature dip at night, not to mention the release of Shipyard Pumpkin Head means that another season is just around the corner. And with it the knowledge that life changes, days go by and you wake up older and at times wiser than you were the day before.

This past season I have spent a lot of time living and learning that the grass is not always greener and getting what you want is not always fun. I have finally finished up my commitment to work and decided that a couple days a week for 6 weeks during the summer is a great comprise for me. The commitment before that was too much and working a straight 14 weeks was also too much. However, I think that once a year for 6 weeks (a total of 15 days) employment in the literal sense becomes me. I get out, I get to do something new and the hours (9-3) are not bad. However, any more than that and I would become a crazy person. I LOVE my full time job as a mom. I love having silly conversations with my almost 21 month old. Who has turned into a person and not a toddler in the past couple of months. We talk, as in conversations that go back and forth for ever. She will tell me what she likes what she doesn't. What she finds funny, what scares her. We play a lot and watching her "pretend" is amazing! The other day I was looking for my charger to my phone but she wanted a story read so she told me that she would help me find it "I will find it mom" Well frustrated that it was nowhere she "picked" it up off the floor and said "oh here it is I found it" I just looked at her and laughed. Instantly forgetting the phone, after all no conversation or voice mail or text that would be waiting was better than what I had in that moment with my daughter.

Ok sorry tangent! Back on track, work... Yes I am going to keep my foot in the door and probably make the 6 week commitment again next year. I mean come on I have some GREAT ideas on how to make next years summer camp better so why not?! I probably will also pick up a few days of subbing here and there especially for my favorite teachers at the Hanson School just because I love being in a classroom. But as the summer season comes to an end my heart will always be home with my daughter and my new hobby of baking with my awesome new mixer :0)

On another note I recently read a blog that touched me in a way that I haven't been touched in a long time. Not only did it touch my heart and emotions but it touched me to the core. After I read the blog I realized that life is SO precious. Obstacles are placed and can be overcome. There are special people out there who will not even see the obstacle for a hindrance but instead as something that is a blessing. The blog inspired to me love EVERYTHING that I have, to aim high and dream big. Nothing but our own thoughts and insecurities will take us down. And with a little humble pie, great friends and family you can take on anything that gets put in the way. So my goals for the fall season are as follows:

Openly embrace opportunities that seem scary (I CAN do it if I want!)

Connect with people on a deeper level (not just the hi how are you but the you are my friend let me help you level)

Make special moments out of daily activites

Enjoy my daughter

Carve some me time into the day (well lets start with week)

Try new things

Be persistent and commited, finish goals!

Expeirment with photo taking and editing

Consider the idea that a sibling for Ella might be a good thing...

Be thankful for what I have, I am truly blessed :0)

BFOC 2010!!!

I have married into a truly great family. A family that welcomes you with open arms and plenty of passed drinks :0) They don't care if you have had some tequila episodes or a run in with a port-o-potty (and yes the port-o-potty won...)

For the last 32 summers the Brown Family has gotten together and held the annual Brown Family Camp Out (BFCO). We have shirts, we have a parade, we have fires, potlucks and FUN! Oh and also a few margaritas, champagne, whiskey, beer, island drinks...you get the idea :0) For the last 9 summers I have been lucky enough to be a part of such a great tradition.

This year we rolled in on Thursday (a day early) and stayed through until Monday. It was PERFECT weather, blue skies and sun with absolute no rain! Ella was a FANTASTIC camper. She was so much fun. Watching her interact with her cousins and extended family was a joy. She laughed and played in the river, helped take care of the babies and slept like a champ! One night her and Grampy even fell asleep by the fire all cuddled up.
I truly am blessed to have such a great set of in-laws who are so fun and welcoming...I am already looking forward to BFCO 2011. (Which I have been told is already in the making!)

Mr & Mrs




My baby sis tied the knot on July 17th after many months of planning the perfect wedding. The planning paid off. IT WAS GORGEOUS! The sky was blue, the sun was out, the hair and make-up was perfect and the bride; she was glowing! After all of the little things that could go wrong went wrong the wedding night was just so special. My sister walked down the aisle in a beautiful gown escorted by my adoring father. My mother was sitting up front holding an absolutely ADORABLE L who walked down the aisle without tears or a fit, in fact a cute little smile played at the corners of her kissable little mouth. (After all she had the promise of M&Ms to look forward to if she would hold mommy's hand and walk).
My sister and the groom were stunning and completely in love as they stood there and exchanged forever afters. The reception room was breathtaking. Everything was in its place. The tables were elegant, the cake was glamorous and the music was flowing. Oh and the food? The food was SUPERB! We drank, we danced, we laughed and I even made it through my speech without tearing up too much, my dad on the other hand...well he is a sensitive soul who loves his daughters and the tears streamed down.
After the wedding we headed out on the town and all our wedding garb and made quite the scene at the local bars. D and I cut out early (1am) and headed back to our room to eat pizza (Hey all the wedding day scurrying left me starving), enjoy our quiet room and lounge in front of a TV without a little voice saying "mommy daddy Derrick Christina" ( Oh yes she calls us by our first names half the time now!)
The next morning was a room service Waffles, fresh strawberries and homemade whip cream delivery, a swim in the pool and then brunch (since our first breakfast was at 7) at 11 with the bride and groom before they headed out to Mexico. It was a perfectweekend and I am so happy and blessed to have been a part of it! Here are a sneak of some pictures that I may have hijacked!

update update update!

Lots and lots has been going from my baby sister's beautiful wedding (Congrats Mr and Mrs Ganley!) to the BFCO, selling a car and finishing up the summer job. I just wanted to stop in and say a quick hello to my blog readers (Hi Mandie, yes you were right I needed an update!) I plan on writing some new blogs within the next couple of days (in between my new hobby of baking!) I have 5 work days left and then I am FREE! Free as I'll ever be....

Anyway stay tuned for some wedding talk, some camping talk, a little work talk, a one car family talk and a possible 6 week stay in Hawaii talk.... As for now I have to still do some cleaning and unpacking from this weekend and pack for work tomorrow! Night :0)

wedding frenzy

So the big day is finally almost here! My baby sis is getting married in less than a week, in fact its 5 days in which we need to cram in all the little things that need to be done to give her the wedding of her dreams.

While my husband went out with the guys last night enjoying the bachelor party, I sat by my sister and some family trying like crazy to get things done. Last night we made all the programs, sent the seating chart off to the printer, finished the aisle runner decor, finished the arbor decor, did up the favors, made the three flower girls and junior bridesmaid jewlery to wear and found out that the junior bridesmaids dress does NOT fit. She had a growth spurt, it fit 4 weeks ago but not now. So now I have 5 days to find her a navy dress that is age appropriate and matches the others some what.

In the middle of all of this I have to find Ella shoes, make nail appointments, pack since we leave Friday and don't return until Sunday, make T'shirt designs we can iron on for the night before the wedding, and of course write my speech. I totally forgot that I had that sitting on the back burner until some very awesome friends asked me about it. Did I mention that I am also working this Monday and Tuesday and Ella has an appointment with the nutritionist on Thursday?

All I can say is that I am so glad that the preggo bug has not even come close to catching me since I will be DRINKING DRINKING DRINKING (oh yeah I am also off dairy and alcohol right now in preperation to try to look a little skinny on the big day) starting Saturday around 6 o'clock, that is if I am still sane enough to know how to bring a glass to my lips by that point....

Wordless Wednesday





Happy 4th!

So ok am I supposed to be on the computer right now....ummmm nope :0) I should be outside helping to plant the new lawn, yes that is right those 10 yards of loam that we had delivered two months ago is finally spread and ready for the grass seed! But I had to take a minute to reflect on the 4th. As I am sitting here, and believe it or not Free by Zach Brown Band is playing on the radio, I can't even begin to describe the feeling that being in America and getting to live my life gives me. I am free! (and yes just like in the song we don't have much money but its not money that matters to me)

I have the most amazing husband and little girl, wonderful family members, and fabulous friends both here and away. I love that I can wake up and talk to anyone of them so easily because I live here and people fight for this country in order for me to do so.

So as I watch the specatcular colors splash in the sky tonight and I listen to my daughter oooo and aww and yell yippee. I will send up a special thanks to all of those men and women who have fought or will yet to fight. Because of you we continue to live in the land of the free! THANK YOU!!!

By the way JR I am especially thinking of you today :0)

VACATION!

We just made it back from our annual North Conway trip. It was AMAZING. D and I had so much fun showing L the fun spots. We did a train ride on Father's Day (what a great way to celebrate some fantastic dads since my dad joined us as well) We also hit up a paint your own pottery store, where L made an adorable coffee mug for D to take to work. Of course the outlets were stopped at and we did a geocache in the heart of North Conway that toured all the little shops. Swimming and dining! By the way if you are ever in North Conway there are 2 little eating places that are a MUST! Stop in at Peaches for a mouthwatering breakfast and then The Moat for a FABULOUS dinner (we actually went there 2 nights since we enjoyed it so! The first night we even walked 3 miles just to get dinner there!)

However the BEST part of our trip was sharing something that I love with both D and L. Growing up my sister and I were always well taken care of and my parents tried to give us anything we wanted. But we had limits and most of our fun activities were spur of the moment free ones that my mom and aunt thought up. (See an earlier blog post about one of these adventures!) But something my parents would save and plan for was a trip to Storyland. I have been there a handful of times and every time the rush of excitement gets me. For me it is like Disney to most (I have never been to Disney.) Every summer from the moment D and I stared dating I have talked non stop about how much fun Storyland is. 5 years ago I was there for my little cousins 5th birthday but D was on travel and couldn't go. This year for her 10th we went back and....D finally made it. Driving into the gates he squeezed my hand and said "I hope I love it as much as you do"

I had my doubts, after all Storyland is aimed at small children. Was he going to love it too? Well the rush got him as well. As we made our way around with an 18 month old who was working on 4 molars and 3 other teeth, which you wouldn't know unless you looked in her mouth since the only sign she showed was chewing on Snuggy's ears a bit more. We were thrown back into our childhood days. We took L on the Alice in Wonderland's Tea Cups and on the Swan Queen, the Whirling Whales and the 100 year old Carousel. We toured the 3 Bear's House and Peter's Pumpkin. As our little one napped and was pushed around my Papa we hit the "big" kid rides, the Polar Coaster (which had a real ice North Pole out front and on an 90 degree day it was really neat to see!), the Bamboo Chutes, Dr. Geysers Remarkable Raft Ride (I ended up so soaked that my top wouldn't stay up and we had to tuck it and twist it to make it stay up), and then took a romantic Hot Air Balloon ride on the Great Balloon Chase where we were the only ones not toting a kid after us :0) When L woke up we did the Farm Tractors twice since L enjoyed it so much and the Antique Cars as well.

The day was absolutely perfect. Our little family was laughing and running and enjoying every minute of it. In fact D ended up loving it so much, we have plans to go again next month since the BFCO will bring us halfway there anyway! I walked away so happy that something I loved so much was also loved my the ones I now love more than anything!

First Kiss

Smells provoke certain memories. Each of us has a smell that takes us back to a certain place with just one whiff. It could be a smell of glue that transfers you back to your kindergarten projects, or the smell of lemons that bring you to a summer picnic or the smell of baby powder that flashes you back to the snuggling of a newborn baby in the middle of the night. For me one of the smells is bug spray. Yep BUG SPRAY!

Bug spray will flash me back to 10 years ago today. A bunch of friends hanging out having a great time. A new couple that had just formed after months of back and forth so called flirting. Everyone could see it coming except that one boy and that one girl (although she was wishing pretty hard that it would happen). It was a summer night of swimming and hot tubbing. A group having fun just being teenagers the summer before the big senior year. S'mores were had and bug spray was put on.

It was that night long after Derrick should have left to go home and sleep since wrestling camp started the next day in Iowa and he had a plane to catch early in the morning. That I walked him to his car to say goodbye and to get away from the group for awhile. It was then with the truck door open, one foot in that Derrick leaned over and kissed me for the first time. For me not only was it the first kiss with my later to be husband but it was my first EVER kiss. It was the sweetest thing in the world. Time stopped and the peepers were peeping and when our lips met it was all bug spray....LOL Derrick had sprayed his whole self with the stuff and when we kissed it was ALL I could taste after. This kiss was short and sweet and amazing and the bug spray...well that added a chance to remember back to a time when just a girl and a boy first started. So summer for me brings fireflies, peepers, hot days and warm nights, fishing, hiking, camping and bug spray! Which brings sweet memories of a sweet kiss that has blossomed into an amazing love story.

I love you Cowboy :0)

a brag post

Ok so as a mom my newest favorite hobby could be bragging. When I am at work and someone asks me how the baby is I automatically say " She is WONDERFUL I am so in love" and then of course I have to tell the most recent cute story of what Ella has said or has done.

Ella amazes me every.single.day! It is amazing how much she has picked up or learned or does or says or just how stinkin cute that little munchkin is! She now talks up a storm. We have multiple conversations about everything during the day. From "mom pup lick my neck gross!" to "potty pee in there, orange M N" and my newest absolute faovrite conversation goes:

Me: (driving home from work after picking Ella up) "Ella I love you"
Ella: "Love you"
Me: "you do"
Ella: "yeah, miss you too"
Me: awww you missed me"
Ella: "yeah love you miss you too"

It melts my heart EVERY TIME!

So we have not yet had her 18 month appointment so I have no idea how much she has grown in height or weight but she has gorwn tremendously in her language skills.

What can Ella do? She can:

Climb furniture
Climb in and out of the bathtub
Run everywhere
Draw and write (she can make one line of an L and we are working on the bottom one)
She recognizes the letters E and L and has started A too
She knows her colors (well pink, blue, orange, green, yellow, black and sometimes purple)
She talks in 3-5 word phrases or sentences
She counts from 1-3 and with help can go to 10
She blames her dad for tooting when it is really her and thinks it is hysterical
She knows a bunch of food names and tells me what she wants or DOES NOT want
She sleeps from 8pm-7am
She loves ice cream (she must be her mother's daughter!)
She can put some shoes on by herself and she tries to put pants and shirts on
She sits on the potty and tells you when she wants to
She knows that during the day she can find the sun and at night the moon
And lastly she ALWAYS needs to be wearing a hat or sunglasses or headband when we leave the house! (I have also started laying out 2 outfits and letting her decide what to wear since she LOVES clothes!)

Thanks for letting me brag :0)

Thoughtful Thursday

So I don't know how I managed to pull it off but I talked Derrick into going to get takeout AND bringing the little sass with him! So that gives me about 15 minutes to "think" or pretend that I am at least :0)

I have been thinking a lot today about how much my life has changed in the past couple of years. This week marks a lot of "milestones" for us. Four years ago today we bought our wonderful 19th century home that we so lovingly work on day after day after day... In all actuality while I hate my house for what it looks like I LOVE it for all the memories that it holds. If I could get over the appearance and the intense urge to run into hiding when someone comes to the door so that I don't have to invite them in, where "GASP" they will see the worn wide pine unleveled floors or the cracked original to the house 1870's windows or the billion other things that I see wrong on a daily basis. (Yes I know that was a run on, my grammar will always be atrocious!) I can say that I honestly love living here. I love the neighborhood and the neighbors (one of which is about to have a new baby and I can't wait to see him!) I love that this is the house that Derrick and I bought together and started piling in the memories when we got married (almost 3.5 years ago!) and brought home our little spitfire (18 months ago Sunday!!!!)

Since they are pulling back into the driveway, darn! I will quickly reflect on the other milestone that will be met this weekend. Derrick and I will be together for 10 years that is right a whole decade on Saturday! As the kids were writing an essay around what they could not live without today at work, I started thinking about how I truly love having Derrick in my life! Who else would put up with my craziness or my humor. Who else would jump in and help me plan and execute a bridal shower. But most of all no one else could have given me my sweet peanut butter pie and for that I love him even more. Happy (almost) 10 years Cowboy!!! I love you!

Yummm the food smells great!

Wordless Wednesday





High Hopes

OK I admit it, when I started this blog I thought I was going to be the most amazing blogger! Well not with what I say or the endless humor that I provide but with the organization of writing a blog post every day or at the very least every other day. Has that happened? Heck no! You see I have this little thing called Ella who takes up every minute of my day when I am not at work, picking up the house after she goes to sleep or sleeping myself.

My days are spent answering the never ending "whys" that my little sassafrass spits out constantly:
Me: "Ella you can not go down the slide"
Ella: "Why" "I slide!"
Me: "Ella the slide is too hot it will give you ouchies"
Ella: "Why"
Me: "Because the slide will burn you"
Ella "Why"
Me: "The sun made the slide hot because it is very hot out"
Ella: "Why"
Me: "Because it is summer and the sun makes things hot"
Ella: "why"

Anyway that was just ONE of the why conversations we had yesterday. If I am not answering the why questions we are playing babies, digging in the dirt pile outside of loam (that still needs me to start moving it to make a nice new lawn area), reading books or laughing together. Oh or engaging in her newest hobby of finding her friend Mia!

So here is my new goal that I am hoping my one reader might hold me too. Do I even have one reader? Anyway, my goal is to write a blog at LEAST once a week!!! I mean after all I must have something to say every now and again. Oh and I know I keep promising pictures so I think I am going to steal and idea that I got off one of my friends blogs and do wordless Wednesdays...hmmmm something to ponder :0)

Journey of a mother

What have I done to deserve the life I live? I live an amazing life and am constantly surrounded my the most amazing and loving people. My husband and my daughter mean the WORLD to me. I am so lucky in love and life, serendipity has found me.

I woke up this morning to the sound of my husband cleaning the house and my daughter happily yelling "mum book" so I went in her room to find her smiling at me with an arm full of books to read. We snuggled in my bed where she read me story after story or more accurately the same story over and over. My husband delivered us breakfast in bed (warm fresh cinnamon rolls and juice) and we sat as a family having a picnic looking at books. Then Ella gave me her gift, a beautiful card that her and Derrick had made and a gorgeous mom necklace engraved with her name. But the best gift the one that I treasure the absolute most: the moment she looked at me and said "I wuv you" and leaned in and gave me a big old smack on the lips. My heart melted, my eyes filled with tears and I was instant mush with how much I was in love with my daughter. The day continued to be absolutely perfect, we went for a 2 mile run to the horse farm and back where the laughs of delight were music to my ears. A visit to my grandmothers with a suprise bird feeder "from" Ella. We stopped in to wish my mom a happy Mother's Day where we had "tea" and Ella suprised me with another gift, a bird house she had painted all by herself and a poem with her hand print in a frame. From there we went to Derrick's mom's house where I was suprised with some beautiful flowers from Derrick's dad and a very nice dinner of chinese food and champange. Now we are home and Ella is upstairs reading and I am looking back on how it was that I got to this point:

My journey to motherhood started back when I was a little girl watching my mom be a mom. I knew from there that I wanted to be just like her. After all I love her more than a billion coach purses ;0) My mom means the world to me and I strive to be half as good as she is on a daily basis. For me though Ella didn't come easily nor fast, Derrick and I wished and prayed for her for what seemed like an eternity. The thoughts of our someday child were constantly in my head and in my dreams and the day that I found out that I would finally become a mother was a day that I will cherish FOREVER. The nine months that I carried that beautiful little girl did nothing to prepare me for the love and happiness that her smile evokes. The 56 hours of labor all done drug free that ended in 12 minutes of pushing is nothing compared to what I would do for that little girl today. (By the way thank you Ella for being such a tiny peanut so that after all that I at least got the good luck of not needing stitches because there was no tearing...tmi prehaps?) The last 17 months of motherhood has made me value love and life to its fullest. I love that little girl to pieces with a love that I never knew could exist, even after all the years of hearing my mom say that to me, that is now something that surrounds me every day.

So I am so thankful for the bundle of joy that has without knowing it took me on the best journey of my life: motherhood. I know that the journey has yet to take some turns and climb some hills (hello teen years...) but I have a great role model to guide me, a wonderful husband to support me and a daughter who I love to the moon and back :0)

Happy Mother's Day to all the beautiful and amazing mother's that I am honored to know and share secrets and tips with. To all the wonderful friends who will someday (some hopefully soon!) be on the motherhood journey with me and to all the women who have hearts of mothers.

Cinco De Mayo :0)

Happy Cinco De Mayo everyone! But for me Cinco de Mayo just means HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOM! I think my mom is not only one of the best people on the planet but she has the coolest birthday. How cool would it be to celebrate your birthday with Cinco De Mayo right?! I mean coming from a mexican food and drink lover (hmmmm I can almost taste a big cold margarita right now!) this would be the best day to have a birthday on, in my humble opinion of course :0)

Seriously though my mom deserves the best day in the world to celebrate her day. She is definately someone anyone would want to aspire to be. She is so full of kindness and love and whit and adventure. I mean I can not tell you how many times growing up we would go on some crazy adventure to only have it end in some other crazy adventure. Example: We once were packed in the van with all the aunts and cousins and headed to I believe a medievel times fair about 2 hours away. Lunches were packed, kids were crammed in and off we went. Well we never reached the fair. Instead we broke down about an hour and a half a way from home and had to wait there until my dad could get out of work and come and get us. So what did we do? Well we explored the little town we were in (which we found NOTHING) we watched an iguana being walked down the sidewalk, we played countless number of "I spy" type games and skipped up and down the sidewalk. When my dad finally showed up all of the 6 or 7 people that were in the van now were crammed into a car built for 5. These are the things though my mom is famous for, creating fun and adventure no matter what the circumstance and for little to no cost.

My mom is truly the best mom in the entire world. I love everything about her and hope that some day I can get Ella to feel the same way about me. I hope that I can be half the person my mom is and pass on some of those traits to Ella.

Mom I love you and I want to thank you for being such an outstanding person to all of those around you. The time you take to make sure everyone has what they need. The love you show in countless ways. The fun you think up and the support you give when ever it is needed. I love you forever. HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

May Day :0)

Ok I know I was supposed to post a picture blog on Thursday but well a tiny little thing called a full time job on top of mommy duties got in the way. In other news on top of the "wow Mrs. Brown you look tired" comments and a couple of little incidents while I was on recess duty my first week ended REALLY REALLY well. Not only did I find the groove of teaching again. But I had the most wonderful news delievered to me at 3pm on Friday.... I was going to get to job share. What does that mean for me? Well the wonderful Mallory who was the ed tech is coming back to share the job with me. That means I get to get out of the house with make-up on and be around women that I love AND stay home some with Ella! It is the BEST of both worlds. The staff at the school is so supportive that they would do anything to make things work. So for the next 7 weeks I am on a alternating 2 day then 3 day a week work schedule! WAHOOO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! That means this weekend just turned into a fabulous 3 day weekend :0) By the way I just want to thank everyone who has supported me this last week. It was really tough but the support from my friends near and far and especially my family was what got me through.

Oh and today I was also going to skip the gym but the thoughts of the lady with the perfect abs who stood in front of me at Kick Boxing last Saturday kept nagging at me until I crawled out of bed and hit the gym. I felt great I worked a full week and managed to get up and go to the gym and the amazing ab lady wasn't there so I didn't have to try to cover up my mommy flub, right? WRONG! As soon as class started perfect boob girl came in late and where did she stand? Yep right in front of me, so looks like next week I need to do something about the sagging sisters on top of the mommy flub...

38 to go

I made it! I made it through the first FULL day with the kiddos. I truly love being back and working with the kids. Including the one who looked at me today and said "hmmm what are you 26?" me: "ummm no but close." him: "27?". Why he felt the need to add instead of take away a year was beyond me but I reluctantly informed him that yes I was 27. Besides being called out on my increasing age and having a splitting headache all day, that would not go away with any amount of ibprohen or a trip to the nurses office, I had a relatively ok day.

However, I realized today around 10 am no matter how much I love and enjoying working with the kiddos, my heart will ALWAYS be home with Ella. I WANT to be the one reading stories and rocking before nap. I want to have random picnic lunches and make drawings and play kitchen games. I even want to be yelled at and told "no I do" 100 times a day. Full time is not for me but that is ok because I now know that and I can make it through until June 18th after all it is just 38 more school days!!!

And so let the count down begin :0)

PS and oh my goal is to find my camera cord and upload some pictures so hold me to a picture blog for Thursday!

The dreaded Monday...

Last night was more difficult than I thought. I did not sleep for thoughts of work and what I would wear were running rapid through my head. I have this amazing problem of being 20 pounds under my pre-pregnancy weight. Therefore, none of my "work clothes" fit. After all I have been wearing jeans and cute casual tops for the last 16 months and have had no need for these clothes thrown in the back of the closet

Clothes aside I was having serious anxiety about missing out on Ella's day. What new thing was she going to discover in her playing. Today it was the color "pink" so now she can identify both pink and blue. She is such a smart little cookie. Drop off was harder than I thought and judging by the way my make-up looked when I arrived at work the tears were more plentiful than I though as well.

However, it was a good start to the week when I arrived to learn the entire third grade was going on a field trip and I would be left behind to plan and get reacquainted with the schedule. It was also wonderful to be greeted back by such a warm staff, who also could not believe that Ella was already 16 months old. I really have missed the ladies I used to work with. Oh and the topper on my day was leaving at noon to go have lunch with Ella and pick her up early. We spent the afternoon playing "babies" and play doh and taking a nice long walk in the sunshine. I have to say that I think I am glad this is only for 8 weeks as of today I think that being a mom is so important to me that I am probably going to choose the good old SAHM gig when all is said and done :0)

In other news, I previously mentioned how my new nieghbors were using our yard. Well the reason is that they are fixing up the dump next door. We are so excited for the overhaul of the house, which probably should have been condemed. I came home today to see that the steps have been taken. The back half of the house has now been torn off and disposed off. Progress!!! It already looks so much better. Who knows maybe with the increase to our property value we can think about selling finally!

What a Saturday

Oh my so where to even begin?

Today started like any other Saturday, up and at em bright and early to hit the gym. The gym where yes we pay a pretty high fee to be members (Derrick and I like to joke about being Brad and Angelina minus the 12 kids and of course for me the awesome body) Anyway the gym has a kick boxing class the likes to kick my butt on Saturday mornings and the sore body is an excellent price to pay to get me out of bed early. We drop Ella of and hit the gym (Thanks Kelly by the way for taking her on Saturdays!) We leave both feeling bruised and battered and GREAT. I am getting closer to my goal which is to be the skinniest I have ever been and totally rock the bride's maids dress in July (a completely different story to blog about on another day).

Anyway so today the sun was shining the weather was a pleasant 70 degrees and our yard needs some major attention. This is where our normal Saturday turns out not so normal. We arrive home after talking the whole way on ways to beautify the yard. We have no clue what to do but we both know that the "hill" needs some major overhauling. we bring out the tools and begin.

Now both of us are mediocre landscapers (because yes Derrick insists we were landscaping NOT gardening) and have no clue what is what and just start hacking things out of the unruly hill that is threatening to overtake the side yard along with the street. It is going well and Derrick decided that an ax is just what we need to get the job done. Well the problem was the ax wasn't on a handle. No problem right? Just put it back on and get to work. Except in the process of that the ax head slips and lands on Derrick's knee causing a shallow yet pretty open (gapping?) cut. As I was chasing Ella around trying to force some sort of food down (an eating strike is again in process) I hear: "You need to take me to the hospital" Ummm what are you serious? No he can't be until I look and yep indeed a trip is in order. This is where the fun starts.

I run in and get a cloth to keep over the cut, load Ella in the car, find Derrick's wallet and my phone and head out to the walk in clinic that is open for only the next 20 minutes. We pull in and make it before they close. We wait 45 minutes only to be told yep in fact you do need stitches (no really?) but I can't do them so you have to go to the ER. Ummm ok now drop Ella off again at Kelly's (thanks!) and head over only to get there and realize that my scattered brain (which also forgot to fill out and hand in the papers needed to start work on Monday and random other important stuff that NEEDED to be done yesterday of course!) had forgot to take either one of our wallets out of the diaper bag which was 25 minutes away with Ella. That's ok the ER lady said I can call later with the insurance info, great I do need to be on the phone for hours tomorrow or better yet Monday my first day back getting this taken care of.

We wait in the ER waiting room where people around us have the worst diseases being spread by their constant hacking and unruly kids who probably do NOT need to be there but there is nothing better for their pajamma wearing mothers to do with them but watch free Nick Jr. Just when I thought I couldn't handle it anymore we are called back by the nurse with the WORST demeaning attitude I have ever encountered. I can barely control my tongue until she finally leaves us for the doctor to come in. The doctor by the way was quite the character. I am not sure why but every staff memeber walking by kept asking "Bob do you have everything ok?" ummmm it made me wonder what "Bob" had done to make everyone feel like they need to check in on him. 5 stiches later Derrick is hassled by the male nurse who informs him that he almost lost a vital organ had the ax slipped any further up and a lady who couldn't keep her thoughts on track trying to discuss Derrick's discharge instructions, we finally make it out only to almost have to go back when Ella feel down the front steps and landed on her face at the bottom...

Oh and did I mention that I am still wearing my gym clothes and have yet to get a chance to shower? And poor Derrick who is also in gym clothes but was told he couldn't shower for 24 hours who at this moment is trying to figure out a way to keep one leg out of the shower...

Oh and by the way 6 hours ago I had way more funny one liners about the ER characters (or at least I think they were) but now all I want is a glass of wine, a shower and a good show to help get my scattered brain back in working order. Afterall I am a working girl again come Monday!

I am WHAT?!?!

OK I am going back to work...There I uttered the words so therefore they must be true. I am in my last week home as a beloved stay at home mom. Why? I have asked myself this a billion times since I said yes to the position a week ago. My dream since college was that my soul career would be mommy to my little peanut since the minute she was born. Derrick and I had talked about it and we both agreed. I was the best one to take care of L. We did not want daycare and I would be in pure bliss watching every little accomplishment and seeing her face light up as she figured things out. Well now my little peanut is approaching 17 months and 22 pounds so she is not so little anymore. She has been walking since 8 months, running since 12, climbing and drawing. Her vocabulary is so large I lost count and its somewhere around 100 words. She uses sentences to communicate with me now. My new favorite one is when she works so hard on a drawing and I tell her it is beautiful (of course anything those precious little hands touches is beautiful) she says "thank you mum" "I draw Dad Dad" Yep all her masterpieces go to her beloved Dad Dad.

Oh sorry I got distracted bragging there for a second, sometimes I just need to because I am so full of love for that little sassafrass that I feel like I might explode. Anyway why? Well I need to rediscover me. I need to feel like I am making a difference and being appreciated. After all the job I am going to is my old job. The one I had before Ella was here. The one where I can walk down the hall and there are screams of "it's Mrs. Brown" "Hi Mrs Brown" It is seriously like having rockstar status. I will be getting up and dressed with make-up on and having lunch for a full 20 minutes instead of bites here and there. I know that the minute I walk in the door I will probably wish I were at home in my sweats sitting on the floor reading with Ella but I need to do this for myself. In order to appreicate the things I have. I know that I am so lucky that my husband takes care of us and I can choose to work or not. I know that I have a special little girl that anyone would want to spend the day with. (who is the lucky one who gets that ball of fire: Grandmama of course) But starting next Monday for the next 8 weeks I will be *gasp* a "working mom"

When it is all said and done I am almost postive it will just reinforce the fact that I have my dream job right now but the grass is always greener right?

Mother's Day giveaway :0)

Ok so I sort of already know what I am getting for Mother's Day... After all I found the Vintage Pearl through a blog and immediately called my husband up from working on saving our flooding basement. (He thought there was an emergency and was a little tiny bit upset to find out no no emergency just an urgency of an online shopper) Well a package came in the mail the other day and I KNOW its from the Vintage Pearl. I do not know which necklace he picked but it doesn't matter I fell in love with all of them. I am pretty excited and as I was procrastinating on laundry and floors today while Ella naps I stumbled across a giveaway from the Vintage Pearl themselves so GO CHECK IT OUT!!!! Here is the link to the blog: http://thevintagepearl.blogspot.com/ I hope I win I would wear their work everyday! Actually I plan on it anyway with my one necklace waiting all the way until May to see which one!