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)

(same deal as babysteals but with older kid stuff)





What do you all use as good saving money tips?


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)