Monday, February 28, 2011

February Recap

A short month, but a fun one. Man, we were busy around here.

We started the month with 2 snow days for all of us! We spent most of that time holed up inside staying warm, however we did venture out a few times for fun in the snow. The kiddos loved sledding this year.

In those 2 days of relaxing bliss, I thought I could pull off a month long online photography class. Wow, epic failure! I managed to post 2-3 of the assignments, but that was all. I think the extra days away from work gave me the false sense that I could do it all . . . Snow Days, I love ya, but that was just cruel!

We went to 2 birthday parties this month - one at an indoor kids play area and the other at a pony ranch. I know it's only a matter of time before my littles are asking to have true parties and not just the pizza, cake and ice-cream that we do here at home with family.


Dirck and I had a date night this month. We even got a baby sitter (so rare)! It was great. We went downtown and had a nice dinner and then bellied up to the bar for some after-dinner beer. OK, maybe I should rephrase . . . does "went for cocktails after dinner" sound better? OK, the reality is that I had one measly beer, but it was good and I had time to actually enjoy. It was nice to be with Dirck away from home and the kiddos - reminded me of when we were dating, and goodness knows, that seems like forever ago.

We took the kiddos to an indoor arcade/ video game/ kid play area place earlier this month. Yep, they were a little young for most of the games, but Dirck had a good time showing the kids all the different games. There was a kids-only play area complete with train that my two munchkins really enjoyed. I'm sure we will go back again.


The weather this month has been crazy. CRAZY. We've had 75 degree weather and then had 35 degree weather the next day. We were part of the great 2011 "Snowpacolypse" earlier in the month, and just last night we had a crazy thunderstorm come through - just so darn unpredictable.

And, to wrap-up, we made it back to one of our favorite early morning breakfast joints - the doughnut shop. The kids get hats and chocolate milk and sugar frosted doughnuts while watching the doughnuts cook. What more could a kid ask for?


All-in-all, a great month. Now, wonder what March has in store for us?

Saturday, February 26, 2011

Random Thoughts on Sanity and Soured Milk

I'm amazed at how calm my friends can be.

We went to a birthday party today for a 2 year old, and everything was so organized and calm. The parents were there smiling and socializing. The newly-turned-2-year-old was running around and happy. I look around and see these amazingly calm people in a stressful (throwing a b-day party for a toddler and 25 or so of their friends, is indeed stressful to me) situation, and I wonder what's wrong with me? My time is spent running between my two kiddos. . . one's yelling that she's hungry. . . one's yelling that he wants to ride the big metal horse. One is trying to ride a pony and the other is yelling that they want to feed the goats. One is running this way and the other is running that way . . . In the midst of juggling my purse, my camera, the diaper bag, sippy cups, two heavy kid coats, my heavy winter coat, two new cowboy hats that the kids say they want but refuse to wear, all the while trying to keep my hair out of my face and look like I'm not 3-ticks away from a complete mommy melt down. How in the world? Of course I want my kids to be able to go places and do things, but seriously it stresses me when I'm by myself.

I hope no one could tell that I was about to explode - all Mommy Dearest style at my kids. . . "Why can't you sit still?" "No, you can NOT eat another cookie." "No, you've already had 2 bags of Cheetos." "Go to the bathroom right now." "No, no, no. . . don't put that in your mouth." "Seriously? I just lifted you on that horse, and you want back on again?" All said only in my head, I promise . . . except for the Cheetos comment . . . really, that's all they would eat if given a chance.

I know, I know . . . stop my belly-aching. I truly love my children and love hanging out with them. They are amazing little creatures. If it comes down to a day of shopping alone or spending time with my kiddos, I'd much rather be with them . . . but there are times that I just feel completely stressed out. Like I'm juggling each kid and despite my best efforts to keep them going smoothly in the air, I just keep dropping them. I feel like I should be able to control their every move and emotion and it just doesn't work that way. Ever.

While we are at the party I stand behind some other parents while the kids are playing a game (OK, really, while my son is watching the game, and my daughter is hanging on my pant leg), and I smell the most amazing scent. It smells like soap - fresh, clean soap. And I begin to think that I don't I ever smell like soap. How do these parents have time to shower before a party while getting their kids ready at the same time? Oh, man . . . what it must feel like to smell like clean soap. And again I wonder how do these amazing, calm parents who smell of fresh, clean soap do it? And then, I wonder what do I smell like? So maybe it's not a good idea that I know . . . about the smell. I'd still like to know how they (the calm parents) do it (not become a screaming, yelling monster in public with their children)?

We came home. My boy fell asleep in the car, and my little lady is convinced that she doesn't need a nap. I put him in bed and then chase her around the house until I catch her so I can put her down as well. Once the kids are down I start cleaning the house. I find an old sippy cup - one that I'm guessing was discarded months ago. I discover our own little science project growing in that cup. The good new is, I think I can clean it with bleach and maybe some lemon juice. The bad news is, I think I found the reason as to why I never smell like fresh, clean soap. *sigh*

Seriously, all you calm parents out there . . . . how do you do it? What keeps you calm when really, you just want to throw up your hands and yell . . . or am I the only one that feels that way?

Sorry for the lack of pictures today - and all the run-on sentences. I'll post some pretty pics soon. I promise.

Here's to keeping my sanity . . . hopefully. :)

Sunday, February 20, 2011

I Heart Faces: Cell Phone Challenge

There are times when I don't have my "real" camera around - times when I just want to take a quick picture and not even think about f-stops or metering - times when I'm in the moment and stopping to get my "real" camera would quickly make the moment end.

Sometimes it's just fun to be able to capture a moment without much technical thought.

This was one of those moments.

She gets her first manicure. . .

And although I love my "real" camera, it's nice to have access to my camera phone when I want to preserve a sweet memory.

Like giving my little lady her first manicure. :)

I can't wait to see all the crazy creative images that will be over at iheartfaces this week. To see some wonderful camera phone images, head on over!

And if you're interested: Camera Phone is Android for Motorola MotoBlur & edited with PhotoWonder (gray).

Saturday, February 19, 2011


Well, he's not ALWAYS cooperative for the camera.

Actually, it's darn-near a miracle that I ever get him to look at me when I have the camera in my hand . . . I'm not sure how he's developed this aversion? ;)


That's OK though because I like to take pictures of him when he's not posing for me. And honestly, my kids rarely pose. Oh yeah, they may, every-once-in-a-while, stomach the courage to sit with their arm around each other for a picture - and I may get lucky.


But they don't always turn out exactly as I dreamed in my head when setting up the shot.

But again, that's OK because they are just being themselves, and really, I can't wish for anything more than that.

Not waiting for the perfect moment for my little man to look at me has allowed me to get - in my personal mommy opinion - some great shots of him.

Like this one. I love his eyelashes and the way he was just laying on the bed here. Normally, I wouldn't have taken a picture like this, but I'm so glad I did.


And this one. I really wanted him to look at me for this picture, but he was too preoccupied looking out the window, and again, I love how this image turned out . . . and this is him. Really him. And I love that.


Of course, this is really him too. And, he's actually looking at me in this image. And I love it . . . and him.


I guess the whole point of my rambling post is to say that even when he or she or anyone isn't cooperating, I'm OK with that. I enjoy observing and documenting them just as they are. I think we should all encourage each other as well as our children to be ourselves (themselves) and be OK with being less than perfect.

Because imperfect is often the most perfect way to be. . .

Monday, February 14, 2011

Her Song . . . Illustrated

The itsy-bitsy spider went up the water spout


Down came the rain


And washed the spider out


Out came the sun


And dried up all the rain


And the itsy-bitsy spider went up the spout again




Saturday, February 12, 2011

Computer Games

We sometimes like to "play letters" on the computer.

Ever heard of
Starfall? My kiddos love it. Mainly they love the alphabet section, but occasionally they will sit for the stories.

My son is now able to navigate the mouse so he can "play letters" by himself. So far, my daughter is content to just watch (and maybe tell him which letter to play next).


We love this time right before bedtime.

If you have little ones and you haven't checked out
Starfall, I highly recommend that you do soon! It's been wonderful for my little ones - even before they were 2 years old, they loved it - and still do!

Monday, February 7, 2011

I Heart Faces Challenge: Hearts

How I love the dollar aisle at Target. We scored these sunglasses last week, and oh, how she loved them. Unfortunately, the dollar-sunglasses were just as advertised . . . they broke shortly after this photo was taken. Boo for breaking, but Yay for the fun we had with them!


To see more pictures with faces and hearts, head on over to

Friday, February 4, 2011

Then & Now / What She Wears

I'm combining day 3 and day 4 assignments for Kelly Willette's Joy Of Love class today.

My daughter will be 3 in May. She just now has enough hair to pull back with cute little barrettes and clippies. I remember the first time I put a tiny little clip in her hair and it stayed . . . I was giddy. You see, my son didn't even need a haircut until he was almost 3 years old, so having a little girl and NOT having her be a baldy (as beautiful as she is with or without hair) makes me happy in a selfish, girly kind of way.

So here she is sporting her tiniest hair clip on the first day that it stayed in all day and didn't slip off. This was taken about 1 year ago.


And here she is this morning. Wearing her cute little flower clippie that we purchased today at the drugstore, and loving her "long" flowing locks.


She loves wearing her barrettes now - either or bow, or a barrette with a little animal on it, or this flower (which I suspect will soon become her new favorite).

To see other's takes "Then & Now" and "What They Wear," or if you'd like to play along with me, just visit
Kelly's site for the fun details.


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Fun In The Snow

What to do on a snow-day when we are all at home?

Well, we find a hill and do a little sledding. (and we don't stop to wipe noses while sledding if you were wondering . . . )


We stop and take a much-needed family picture.


And we finish up by warming our little chapped faces with some hot chocolate before nap time.


What a treat (for all of us) to get a few snow-days. I loved having a few extra family days this week!

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

How He Looks

We enjoyed a snow day today - all of us - and it was wonderful.

We spent some time shopping - had to get another snow shovel and Dirck needed a warm hat (since he wore my son's old one yesterday in the snow) and some gloves.

We also spent some time sledding in this powdery wonderland. It was wonderful, and I'll post some pictures of that on another post.

After sledding we came home and put the kids down for their naps. I went outside and shoveled our entire driveway.


Actually, I only shoveled about half of it.

OK, OK, I really only shoveled about a fourth of it. I just can't keep up with my husband.

So here he is right after we finished. He's sporting his new hat and gloves - maybe a little tired from shoveling the entire driveway (um, I mean 3/4's of the driveway) and maybe just a teensy bit annoyed at me and my camera.


This is how he looks . . . and I couldn't be more happy about that.

Today's challenge on
Kelly Willette's Joy Of Love was "How They Look." The goal was to photograph someone you love - just the way they are. If you'd like to play along with me, go visit her site and join in the fun.


Tuesday, February 1, 2011

What He Does

I'm taking a little challenge this month as part of Kelly Willette's "Joy Of Love" series. The challenge is to find joy and love around you every day in the month of February. That seems appropriate, right? February is the month of love and also the shortest month of the year, so hopefully I'll be able to complete each day's assignment . . . maybe.

Each day will be a different challenge or topic. Today, the challenge is "What They Do," and my focus was my husband. I'm always trying to document the little things that my kiddos do that make me smile, and I rarely take the time to focus on my husband. There are many, many reasons why he makes me smile, and here's my attempt to document just a few of them.


1. He is a total gourmet chef. Seriously, he's good. He started making the majority of our dinners when I was pregnant with our first child. He did this to help make my life a little easier, and even after 2 kiddos, he still does the majority of the cooking. I don't tell him enough how much I appreciate and love this about him. Here he is making tonight's dinner - Beef Bourguignon (one of our favorites). You can find the recipe
here (we make the "poor-man's version" by substituting chuck roast for the fillet of beef).

2. He is an amazing father. He plays with our kids . . . really PLAYS with them. They adore him, and I adore that they adore him. Oh, and I adore him too! Here he is today pulling a combined 75 pounds of kiddos on the sled in the middle of some crazy snow and winds simply because they wanted to go out and play in the snow. And I know you can't really see this, but he's wearing my son's OLD hat because it is so cold, and he doesn't own a hat - the size on this hat is 18months - it just BARELY covered his ears and was the silliest thing. Wish I had a better picture of him in that hat!

3. Did I already say he's an amazing father? My husband will get a little play list together on his computer and play my son's requested songs while my daughter dances to the music (one of her favorite things). It's fun to watch. Here he is today going over their play list. My son crawled into his lap and wanted to see his Daddy's cd's that were sitting on the desk. Which reminds me of YET another reason I love him so . . . he's using those cd's to back up all my photos on the computer. How great is he?

No seriously, how great is he?

Now, don't you want to play along? There's still time to join. Just head on over to Kelly's site and sign up for all the fun!


Snowed In

Everything in this town is shutting down . . . and by everything, I mean EVERYTHING - my son's daycare, my office - even Dirck is on his way home. We are gearing up for a large snowstorm - "The biggest in 50 years," as some of the weather forecasters are saying. The prediction is anywhere from 5 to 25 inches of snow ("5-25," way to narrow that down, forecasters) and blizzard like conditions.

So, when Daddy gets home, I think we will all go out and play in the snow. Until then, we are watching movies and playing inside to stay warm.

Here's my boy with his newest toy. He picked this out in the clearance aisle at WalMart. It's a bit out of his age-range, and he gets frustrated when it breaks apart (as do I because I have to get the manual out to rebuild the darn thing). Anything Toy Story though, and he's in love - so we endure it.


Hope you are staying warm wherever you are!