Monday, January 31, 2011

Peek a Boo

The other day I was doing Lil's hair in Charlotte's room. We looked up...and who did we see peeking over her crib?

Yep, Charlotte!!

Guess it's time to lower her bed!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Seven Years a Mommy

Today I've been a Mommy for 7 years.
Time flies!

I remember praying and praying and praying for a baby like it was yesterday. It is so very hard to believe that it has been 7 years. 7 crazy, fun, busy, scary, and exciting years.

Boy oh boy does Brady know it's his birthday. He's been counting down the days. He gets so mad that Lily's birthday comes first in the calendar year. He badly wanted a party this year - but, we decided to allow only a sleepover with 3 of his cousins. It will still pretty much be a party. They'll be heading over Friday evening for pizza, fun, and a movie and Saturday morning will be celebrating at Makutu's Island. So...although there were no invites or friends involved - it's still party-ish.

He is begging for a skateboard. He wanted one from Christmas...and then the Nintendo DS made the top of the list and the skateboard got pushed off to his birthday. We went back and forth deciding if we should get him one.

We did.

Don't worry - we hooked him up with pads and a high-tech helmet. He'll be good to go. Ashley asked if we purchased him bubble wrap. She was joking - but, I thought it was a good idea. I do have fears of start praying for his skateboarding safety!

This is how we would describe you at 7 years old:
1. You eat, sleep, and live baseball.
2. You are my biggest helper.
3. You are absolutely hilarious. least your cousins think so. And us!
4. You make your bed everyday and are getting quite good at it.
5. You still love to color and are pretty OCD about making sure you stay in the lines.
6. You love your Nintendo DS - you especially love playing it in the car.
7. You are my little model with the camera. You always have time for a pose and really get into it!
8. You are becoming quite the reader. I really cannot take any credit for that - you did it on your own.
9. You love legos. You love for Dad to put together your lego sets and then you display them in your room.
10. You have night terrors and although they can be frightening (for us, too) they are sometimes comical. But, Aunt Ashley thinks they're scary.
11. You like to have piggy back rides to bed. You are generally the first one asleep in our family.
12. You are all boy...but, you have no problem playing dress up or barbies with Lily if she asks. I love that.
13. You also love my new phone...and are addicted to Angry Birds even more than I am.
14. You are at the stage where you copy things that dad and I say (so you can sound like us)...and think we won't notice.
15. You have lost 2 teeth and have 2 more about ready for the tooth fairy.
16. You have a wallet full of money. We don't know if you'll be a really good saver...or if we just never make you pay for anything. So...we just started an allowance system.
17. You don't have a girlfriend. We think you're beginning to be in the girl "cootie" phase.
18. You always want to buy the school lunch. (that makes it easier on great!)
19. You love, love, love iCarly. You always talk about them like it's totally real-life. So...basically you're like me with TV.
20. I know you're only 7 - but, you are going to be a very good babysitter. I can't wait.
21. Your dad says you have a baseball swing like a natural.
22. You are the world's worst liar. We can tell withing 1/2 second if you're lying.
23. You love to dance...but, only when no one is watching.
24. You are a bit of a perfectionist. And, when things don't come out exactly get VERY mad.
25. And, last you are such a snuggler. I'll take it. I'm not looking forward to the phase (that I'm sure you'll go through) when you don't want anything to do with us.

Brades - we prayed for you for so very long. The last 7 years have been so much fun. You have taught us how to be parents and we cannot believe how grown-up you are becoming. You are so honest and silly and loving. We love you so very, very much.

Happy Birthday!
Love, Mommy and Daddy

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Where Did You Go When You Were Sick?

Just like the cuties, I came from a dual working household. Don't get me wrong - stay at home moms (or dads) have a job, alright - a tough, tough, tough job. One, I'm not sure I would be cut out for. But, that job does allow the flexibility of keeping your kids at home and eliminating day care.

Anyway...growing up, both my parents worked. For pieces of my life, my parents were able to arrange their hours to so that someone was always home with us. But, for many pieces of my life (just like the cuties' lives) that was just not possible. Luckily, I was and am a pretty healthy girl. So - being sick and staying home was generally NOT an issue. Thinking back, I do remember a time that I was sick. Sick enough that I couldn't go to school, nor to a sitter. My parents both worked. So...where did I go? My Nan and Pop's house. They were my maternal grandparents. They lived 3 blocks away. The funny thing is - on this one particular occasion I remember showing up and seeing 2 other cousins there at my grandparents for the exact same reason. We were all sick. Kind of funny!

Right now - the two female cuties are sick. RSV. Breathing troubles. Runny noses. Congestion. High fevers. Lots of medicine. Even more breathing treatments. They look sick. It is so very sad.

This week is a super hard week at work. Our annual meeting. Breakout sessions. Project planning. And, a well-needed training class. The Hottie had a similarly busy week, as well. Luckily, my mom jumped in and took over my mommy duties. She watched the girls in our RSV-infested home. She even did my laundry and cooked us dinner. Isn't she the best? And, throughout it all...I can't stop thinking about my sick visit long ago with my Nanny. Nanny's are certainly special.

Where did you go when you were sick?

Sunday, January 23, 2011

My Smart Phone Makes Me Feel Stupid

I am SOOOO not smart phone intelligent.
Yesterday, the Hottie showed me how to move around my apps.
And delete pages.
And explain the difference between the home pages and the list of apps.
It took me 6 calls to learn how to answer the phone.
I linked my phone to FB (by some miracle) and now I don't know how to link new people.
I didn't realize until yesterday that I had a Google bar on my home page.
I've been going to the Web app and punching in
I don't know how to check my messages, so don't leave one for me yet.
But, I'm really good now at checking my Yahoo email!
Oh, and I've mastered Angry Birds...but, that deserves its own post.

The Hottie says it's called a smart phone because it's supposed to allow quick access to anything. It should allow you to set up your phone how you want it, to personalize it to fit you. There are gazillions of apps to make your life easier and for just plain entertainment. There is visual voice mail so that you don't even have to listen to your message. There is voice text and dial and who knows what else. I don't know how to use any of that. I'm not sure I'll ever know.

But, at least I can get to FB now with one click (as of this weekend).

There should be smart phone lessons.

At least I was able to get this cute pirate picture of Brady using the postcard camera app.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Do You Think My Kids Play Hard?

Shoes - hand me downs in PERFECT, TIP-TOP shape. Lily wore them one time with her Christmas dress and tore them to pieces. There are literally holes in the shoes.

Pants - UGH!! Little boys and their pants. There are 5 other pairs of pants just like this one. Holes in every left knee!

Seriously...there is no sense in spending good money on clothes with little boys and girls!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Working From Home

I'm not quite sure how I ended up in this job.

A long time ago, I was a student at ASU. Majoring in elementary education. Majoring in business. Majoring in communications. Majoring in ESL education. Majoring in Social Work.

In the mean time, I picked up a job at Progressive to help pay the bills while I finished my last year. I was preparing to marry the hottie. I interned. I graduated. For awhile after I graduated, I worked 2 at an adoption agency (part-time) and one at Progressive. Then, the adoption agency did not need me any longer as a part-time worker. At the same time, I moved into another job within Progressive. I planned to return to adoptions.

That was over 10 years ago.

About 6 years ago, I became a corporate trainer. And, last year (while out on maternity leave) I became an instructional designer. My new role gives me such flexibility to work from home. However, I do typically work in the office on Wednesdays.

When I came back from maternity was a big adjustment. A new job. A new home office. I secretly planned to work in the office every day. Everyone laughed and said that soon I would realize how productive people are at home and how coming into the office actually makes working more difficult.

I laughed. No way. How could I get more work done at home? Aren't there so many distractions? Bed? Couch? TV? Radio?

Well, I've come full circle. I now agree. Although I do love coming into the office for the "social" aspect - working at home is so much more productive. I find that I work MORE at home.

That doesn't sound right, does it!!??

Well, I've found that I start my work day at the same time. I work until lunch. Instead of "socializing" a few minutes here and there with co-workers, my "socializing" consists of throwing in a load of laundry or making a bed. I make a quick lunch and shower - then work through the rest of my lunch. I text or email questions back and forth to my mentors and co-workers (because I am still lost on a lot of things!!) and I end my day picking up the kids from the sitters. I can actually work a little later because the sitter is literally one minute away and I don't have to fight any traffic to get there. Then, this is the part people don't realize - when you work from home...your computer stays on late into the night. I make dinner, feed the kids and eat, get the kids ready for bed, read stories, and say goodnight. second "shift" begins. I continue working.

I like it this way. Working from home means that most of the time I put in more hours...but, it also allows me to:

  • wake up later (I literally roll out of bed, brush my teeth, and turn on the computer).
  • take lunch on my own schedule (I can take it at 10 or 11 or 12 or 1) I've even been able to help out for a class party during my lunch because Brady's school is around the block!
  • work later (my commute is non-existent, so picking up the kids from the sitter is a 5 minute task).
  • work in my jammies and shower at lunch. (thank goodness I don't have video conferencing at home!) I recently picked up Wii Zumba and this has been a great lunch time activity.
  • take breaks and instead of chatting - throw in laundry.
  • save money on eating out at lunch (this should be easy at work, too...but - for me it's not!).
  • work outside on the back patio (I haven't done that yet...but, doesn't that sound wonderful!).
  • save on gas and car maintenance (I've gone from filling up every 5 days to about every 10-14 days). Hmmm...I think my van might be confused because I have replaced the brakes, timing belt, and power steering pump since beginning the WFH schedule. Weird!
  • be more productive (I am now a firm believer that if you are happy and comfortable - you will be more efficient and productive.) Did you know that I had a class in 8th grade that had that same philosophy and we had bean bags instead of desks? Efficiency and productivity didn't work the same with bean bags and 13 year olds.
What do I miss? I miss my co-workers. We've all worked together for so long they're like my family. I kind of feel like I miss out.

But...I feel happier, more organized, and more productive (and still a little confused on some software that I use).

I really feel lucky. know what's funny - so many jobs and companies are switching to WFH options. what a change from the past! It's smart, too.

Monday, January 17, 2011

Hand Me Downs

We do a lot of hand-me-downs over here. Charlotte has about a gazillion outfits to choose from. Each outfit tells a lot of stories. I love it.

Brady doesn't really get any hand-me-downs. After all, he's our only boy and the oldest local cousin.

But, this weekend...he did get a pretty special hand-me-down from Bryan.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

No More Motivation

On Saturdays, we clean. It's a given. It used to be I cleaned the house as the hottie did the yard. In our new place, we have a yard guy. So...the hottie helps me clean. It's awesome. So, yesterday we cleaned. But...we didn't finish. We still had loads and loads of laundry and mopping.

Both things I hate.

Today, the hottie cleaned out the garage and I whipped up some oreo cookie balls (my new FB recipe find) to bring over to Julie's to watch the game. Suddenly, we realized the game started earlier than we thought...we were late. So, we rushed around, dressed the kids, loaded up the van, and headed out.

Leaving the house a disgrace.

When we returned, we fixed our mess. We relaxed. We fed Charlie. We wrote a bit in Charlie's baby book (yep, it's a miracle!!) The cuties played and we worked a bit.

It's now 9:00pm. I just turned on Desperate Housewives. I'm thinking of all the work that I need to do tomorrow and should really start on tonight. The hottie is putting in his vacation request. Charlie is laying next to me on the couch drinking her nighttime bottle. Lily and Brady are sound asleep in their rooms. And...

the house is a mess. We still have loads and loads of laundry. And, we still need to mop.

But, we're done. We've got no more motivation.

Here's a small look at our mess.

don't you love bryan's thumbs up!!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Pinkalicious Party

Lily loves Pinkalicious. Really, she loves anything pink. ANYTHING! So, for her 4th birthday I planned a girls-only Pinkalicious party. We invited her closest "little girl" cousins and friends and created a pinkalicious paradise.

The invites. I found some online and was able to create some similar. I printed them off as a 5x7 photo at Costco and ta-daaaaaa!!! Cheapy, but super cute invites for less than $5. I did have to buy a pack of 12 envelopes...but, I found them at Hobby Lobby for $2.99. And, in what else...PINK!

The game. Pin the cherry on the cupcake. I made it. I even made cute little red cherries for the girls to use. Everyone was a winner and got Pinkalicious books that I wrapped with a pink ribbon and added one of the party thank you tags. I don't have any pictures of the girls actually playing the game. But, check out my sister's blog - she has a few!!

The craft. We really had two: foam tiaras and cupcake decorating. The girls loved it. Well, at least they seemed to. I'm still finding stickers around the house!! We had several tiaras left over ready to be we donated them to our sitter. Gotta love Oriental trading!

The favors. When the girls arrived at the Pinkalicious Party, we had gold wands for them to carry around and Pinkalicious bottle cap necklaces. The gold wands were such a great deal through Oriental trading...I just jazzed them up with some pink tulle and they were done. The bottle cap Stellar Trends Digital on Etsy of several 1 inch Pinkalicious designs for $1.99, printed them out at Kinkos and put them together. Such a cute favor. Brady even gave one to his friend at school! I also found some paperback Pinkalicious books at Walmart (and Amazon) for a smoking deal. We added those as the game prize as a great take away item. Lastly...we had lots of pink candy and treats to take home...cupcakes, pink giant pixie sticks (Party City), princess lollipops (Oriental Trading), marshmallow pops (homemade), pink bubblegum (Target), and even some cupcake lip gloss (Dollar Tree).

The girls. The girls were all decked out in pink. The donned their tiaras and ran around with their wands. So girlie - loved it!


Charlie slept for pretty much the entire party. She woke up to say goodbye to everyone!!
We tried and tried for a picture of all the girls...this is the best we could get.
The party.

I love this picture. The girls decorated Brady's baseball net with balloons and tulle. What a fun, pink surprise for Brady!!

The party was definitely a success. A PINK success.

Because I loved some of Ashley's pictures so are a couple more from her blog:

Thursday, January 13, 2011


Today I took Charlie to the doctor for a well visit. I think they used to call them check-ups. I guess that term is old school. Now...they're called well visits. As opposed to sick visits. They even have separate entrances for sick visits. And, separate waiting rooms. And, separate check-outs. And...for the REALLY entirely separate area with a buzzer entrance. So much different than when I was a kid.

Anyway...I digress.

So, I took her to the doctor. It was her 6 month well visit. She's 7.5 months old. We're way behind. I guess that is what happens on the third baby. You see with Brady I counted down the days until his well visits. I couldn't wait to see his progress. With Lily...well, she was ALWAYS at the doctor, so I always knew her progress. And, now Charlotte. Sheesh. I forgot about her 2 month visit and so now...well, we'll be indefinitely behind. Oh well.

At the doctor, she put on a show. Babbling and flirting and laughing. They love her. They take her temp, pulse, listen to her lungs, check her over, get her weight and length and ask about her progress. We finish the trip with 4 shots. Here's her stats:

Weight - 17 pounds 4 ounces (25-50%)
Height - 25.75 inches (10-25%)
Head circumference - 45cm (75-90%)

After we get the percentages, I laugh. We love our chubbers, I say. Dr. Ciminello comments on how she definitely loves her food. Then I say, Awww...and look, she's my little shorty.

Then Dr. Ciminello laughs and says, Well...some things she can't control. You know...genetics. How tall are you now? 5' 1??"

I laugh and say...No like 5'3." He laughs and just about makes me get on the kids scale to measure me.

He says his goodbye and leaves. As we wait for the nurse to come in and administer the immunizations, I start talking to Charlotte. I tell her, Dr. Ciminello called momma out on her height. He then opens the door, laughs and says - No disrespect. We laugh.
Sheesh - but, I am short. is Charlie.

The good news is this - Dr. Ciminello says that with the Hottie's height of 6 feet, she maybe has a shot at 5'4" and even 5'6"...but, only if I'm really 5'3."

Hee Hee

Friday, January 7, 2011

2 Teeth

Bad Mommy.
Charlotte has a baby book.
I've never written in it.
That's not entirely true.
I wrote her name.
Bad Mommy.
On 12/27/10 her first tooth cut through.
It was rough on her.
I forgot to post the big news on the blog.
Or, in her baby book.
And then yesterday...
She got another tooth.
Bad Mommy.
I'm way behind.
Maybe one day...
I'll print out a copy of my blog for each Cutie.
That's kind of like a baby book...right?
(so, i just realized you can barely...barely see the teeth in this photo. Just pretend you see two bottom teeth. Her right lower one came in first. Pretend.)