Yesterday, we loaded Little One and Big One into the van and headed to Omaha. Destination: Henry Doorly Zoo. We have a season pass to our local zoo but it's lacking in animal variety. The day trip to Omaha was our solution for a little mini vacation.

Blogging has sent my mind into overdrive. No longer do I fall asleep the minute my head hits the pillow. My mind preys on the silence of the moment. Writing ideas bounce around, fending off the sleep I so desperately need. When we venture outside our home, I look at everything as potential writing material. Our trip to the zoo was no different. Here are a few things that made me think yesterday.

  • Rhinos are HUGE... like Mommy and Daddy. At least that's what Big One says. Let me tell you, it feels GREAT to be compared to a rhino.
  • Elephant butts are really wrinkly. I haven't seen a lot of elephant booties in my life. Fortunately, Big One did not draw a comparison between me and the elephant.
  • Don't mess with a granny in pink plaid pants. The bubble gum pink may lure you into thinking she's a gentle-hearted woman. It's an act. She'll chew you up and spit you out. Especially if you're 7 and you sit in your little brother's stroller. Not only did she rip into her grandson, she was ready to leave him behind near the jaguar display. Don't cross granny!
  • Some styles never die. Tie dye shirts. Shirts that double as maps of Missouri. Mullets.
  • Common courtesy does not come naturally to everyone. You may want to stop and stare at the Burmese Python for 10 minutes. I don't. Please don't block the entire path. Move aside so I can get my screaming 4 month old and nap deprived 3 year old out of the Desert Dome. If my subtle throat clearing doesn't do the trick, I'll resort to making snarky comments loud enough for you to overhear. It's nothing personal. Just move to the side, people. Move to the side.
  • It may be beneficial to get more than 4 hours of sleep the night before a trip to the zoo. Previously mentioned snarky comments may have been avoided.
  • Regardless of how cranky Mommy may get, Big One will still have a good time at the zoo.
All negativity aside, it was a great day at the zoo. I wish I had suppressed my crankiness a little better. But it was still fun. Except for the last 45 minutes of the ride home. Little One caught my crankiness. I hope everyone is having a great weekend!

Hot for the Holiday Week 3

Wow! I'm actually a bit surprised I've stuck with this weight loss challenge for so long. Yes, 3 weeks is a long time for me and weight loss. We usually get sick of each other about midway through week 1.

This week I actually displayed... willpower. It was very strange. Almost like an out of body experience. I'm usually quick to jump on the nearest Mountain Dew, chocolate, or opportunity to eat fried food. I'm happy to report I resisted many of those this week. I also drank lots of water.

My weight loss for this week is 1 pound. I had hoped for more but a pound is a pound. The scale is still moving in the right direction. If I actually start doing regular work outs and harness this new found willpower, the scale will continue to be my friend.

This week, Christie challenged us to a photo essay. Without further ado, here we go!

Someone or something that inspires me:

No, I don't have some weird foot fetish. These feet are very special feet belonging to Big One and Little One. Not to be all mushy, but the kiddos are my inspiration for this whole weight loss/getting healthy movement. A few years ago, our friend's dad passed away. It scared me to think we could leave our kids way too early if we didn't get our act together. This time I'm actually going to stick with it so we can be a healthy family!

Something that I love to do

It's tough to tell, but Big One is actually dancing with his beloved duck blankie in this picture. One of my favorite things to do is dance with the kiddos. It's my sneaky way of getting in at least a little exercise. We really get moving and Big One loves me to hold him while I dance which adds 36 pounds of resistance!

Something that makes me crazy:

My son's room! This is a typical scene from his pit. The barn toy box is usually in the middle of the room surrounded by nearly every single toy he owns. I feel a mass cleaning and thinning of the toys coming on!

Something healthy in my life:

My trusty glass of ice water! Not the prettiest picture but you get the point!

Happy Friday!


First smile. First tooth. First steps. Tiny moments in time, etched into a mother's heart forever.

Motherhood is the only aspiration I've always held, from the time I was a little girl until I became pregnant for the first time. My career goals changed constantly. Marine biologist (I can't swim, go figure). Nurse. Teacher (I actually have a degree for this little aspiration). Writer. Cake decorator. Through it all, being a mother was the one constant.

Nearly three years ago, this dream became a reality. My son was the sweetest surprise I've ever received. The first time I gave birth, I had no idea how my life would change. Bringing Big One home from the hospital sent my world into a tail spin. I remember sobbing as I stared at the computer wallpaper. A picture of Hubs and myself 7 months earlier on our trip to Puerto Vallarta. Two smiling adults, enjoying paradise. Blissfully unaware of the stark transformation our lives would soon undergo. A couple soon to become a family.

I cried for the end of our couplehood. Never again would it be just the two of us. I loved Big One from the beginning. I couldn't (and didn't want to) imagine life without him. But with any change, no matter how happy, there is a mourning of times gone by. The chapter of Hubs and Wifey was done. Written. Signed, sealed, delivered.

Our first steps into parenthood were full of sweat, tears, arguments, laughs, sleepless nights, hormones, questions, doubt, guilt, love. We found ourselves at the grocery store on Friday nights, not to pick up alcohol for a night of revelry, but for... groceries. Life as we knew it was no longer a reliable indicator of how to move forward. Big One paved the way, teaching us that parenting isn't an exact science.

Little One's grand debut introduced a new set of firsts. First trip to the grocery store with 2 small children (something I swore I'd never do but now we do it all the time). First time cloth diapering. First time sharing my love, time, attention with two kids (3 if you count Hubs). And of course all of the usual baby firsts.

The big firsts are exciting, but I want to relish all of the firsts. The first smiles, coos, conversations, laughs, hugs, kisses of each day. The first scraped knees of the summer. The first dances, stories, songs of the day. Too soon these firsts will make way for new firsts. The first day of school, first time tying shoes, first time behind the wheel of a car (please, no!), first date (again I say NO!). I want to sear all of these memories into my being. I always want to remember the feel of soft baby skin against my cheek. I want to hear the sound of Big One's laughter always. I want to relish the amazement of learning new things.

I will tuck all of these firsts away in my heart. I pen some of them in the journals I started for each child the day I saw the positive on the pregnancy test. These memories will wait silently to be recalled. Perhaps a flash of Big One's grown up smile will jar me back to these early days. Little One's grown up laughter may conjure up memories of years gone by. A song, a smell, a child running at the park. Whatever the reminder, these memories will wait patiently, ready to comfort me when I realize time has passed too quickly.

Check out A Frog in my Soup for more Firsts posts today. This post was based on a writing prompt from Writing Motherhood by Lisa Garrigues. I can't wait to get my hands on a copy of this book!

Holding Hands

Hubs and I have been married for 8 years, together for 11. In the beginning, we held hands, cuddled, giggled, all of those sugary displays of affection. Not so much anymore. The mundane, everyday things filled our lives. Bills had to be paid. We had kids. Eventually, it didn't feel necessary to hold hands or cuddle or give each other long hugs after being apart.

Tonight, as I maneuvered the van through an obstacle course, otherwise known as the Walmart parking lot, I saw an elderly couple holding hands. They were easily in their 70s. Probably married for several decades. Yet they were still holding hands. What a sweet sight it was.

Hubs and I need to hold hands more. I know the decreased displays of affection mostly fall on my shoulders. I get caught up in the kids and all of the things on my "to do" list. I forget that Hubs should make the "to do" list too.

{Hubs... if you're reading this, it does NOT mean you'll get more "play time" in the bedroom. "Holding hands" is not code word for anything else. Sorry to dash your hopes!}

What the Cake?!?!?!?

If you read my list of 100 things about me, you may remember one of my dreams is to own a bakery some day. It would be a cute brick building with lots of character. Very inviting. A place where people love to hang out. The problem? Lack of money. Lack of experience. Lack of clientele. Lack of business skills. At this point it's just a dream. The thing about dreams is you have to actually take steps to achieve them.

My stepping stone to ever making this dream possible is to start a cake decorating business from my home (totally legal in Iowa, not so in all states though). I'm actually making a cake next week for my friend's son. I usually send my practice cakes to work with my hubby. I love decorating cakes but that is actually one of the few sweets I can pass up.

Have you noticed yet that it takes me a while to get to my point? Perhaps I should work on that. I like us to all be on the same page. Back to the story at hand.

That brings us to today. We had a lovely time at the parade for our local fall festival. On the way home, Hubs struck up a little conversation.

Hubs: Oh, T {Hubs' coworker} wanted me to ask you if you would be interested in making a wedding cake.
Me: {Blank stare, mouth gaping open} A wedding cake?
Hubs: Yeah.
Me: Do they want it to look nice?
Hubs: Yeah.
Me: But it's their wedding cake. What if I drop it or it falls over?
Hubs: Aren't you worried about that for birthday cakes?
Me: But this is a WEDDING. That's a lot bigger than a birthday.
Hubs: Ok, I'll tell him you're not interested.
Me: Well, I am interested. It's just, it's their wedding!

What do I do? I have the chance to make a WEDDING CAKE! You know. That thing that's the centerpiece of the reception? Yeah. That. No big deal. If I drop it during delivery I've just ruined the bride's entire day.

Recently, I've tried to look at life differently. Seize the opportunities that present themselves to me. Take a chance. Not live the safe life. What if this opportunity was strategically placed on the table by something bigger than me? What if I pass it up? Why do I automatically worry about the cake crashing to the floor? What if it turns out to be a beautiful wedding cake and results in more potential clients? I don't think I can say no. I think I want to take this opportunity. I think I want to prove to myself that I can do this.

Bye Bye Hair (and Social Skills)

It seems that spending all day every day with 2 small children has dulled my wit and sucked the social skills right out of me. Socially inept or not, I am now a little less hairy! Last night I stepped inside a salon (Does Fantastic Sams qualify as a salon?) for the first time in at least 6 months. I know, right? Six months? It's sad but true.

The death of an shred of style in the hair department started a few months before my daughter's birth. I simply didn't care if I looked like a hairy wild woman with no style. I wore clothes with belly panels for goodness sake. Why tap into my energy reserves for stylish hair? Of course giving birth didn't give me any spare time. Or energy. I relied on ponytails to get me through the summer. My hair could no longer be ignored!

Desperately needing some style but not wanting to spend much money (I'm cheap like that), I took Hubs' advice and went to his "stylist" at Fantastic Sams (think Cost Cutters, Great Clips, etc). He raved about her mad hair cutting skills. But let's be honest. Hubs doesn't have much of a style to his hair. They snap on his preferred blade guard and buzz away. Would she butcher my hair? Would I be embarrassed to step outside the house? On second thought, it would take a lot to make it any worse. Why not?

I honestly wasn't very nervous. I'm not emotionally attached to my hair. She cut off a good 3 inches and thinned it fairly well. I have yet to find a stylist who thins my hair enough. I'm happy to report when I put my hair in a pony tail after the cut (old habits die hard), I could twist the holder around my hair 3 times as opposed to the usual 2. Hooray for less hair! I am very happy with my new style and Hubs is happy I still have some length left. It was very tempting to go really short again but Hubs likes long hair.

I have to admit, my social skills need a little dusting. There's always that awkward getting-to-know-you phase when you visit a new stylist. Neither of you really want to carry on a conversation but how can you not? So you take turns awkwardly asking the usual questions, attempting to create somewhat of a natural conversation. How was work today? Are you married? Where are you from? It took me a while to form a coherent sentence appropriate for a target audience above the age of 3.

Seeing myself without make up, several pounds heavier than I'd like, and hearing the rubbish that spewed from my mouth...let's just say it made me think about things. When did I let myself go so far downhill physically? I don't need to be the sleek, stylish woman with all the latest accessories (although I do love cute purses). But these days, I'd be afraid to answer the door if someone knocked without giving me advance warning.

Something as insignificant as a hair cut can make a huge impact. (Check out The Gift: A Year of Writing Dangerously for another take on that idea.) Now that I have something that vaguely resembles a stylish hair cut, I want the rest of my body to match. I don't want to see my reflection in the grocery store door and be embarrassed by the sight. And seriously? Bags under the eyes? I'm only 30. Those have to go to. Looks aren't everything but when you love how you look, it's a big confidence boost. It's time to give myself a little attention!

Today's ramble is drawing to an end. There's pumping to be done (I love waking up with a leaking boob), showers to be taken (2 days in a row if you're keeping track), and kids who need to play. Have a happy weekend!

Hot for the Holidays Week 2

I love my scale this morning! I didn't have high hopes for my weight loss this week so I was excited to see I was down 1.5 pounds. Woo hoo! Hopefully the weight loss will help me stay on track, especially over the weekend. Last weekend I gained 1.5 pounds. Eek! So actually I've lost 3 pounds since Sunday. But I'm only down 1.5 pounds from last week's weigh in. Does that makes sense? Am I rambling? It's Friday. Rambling is bound to happen when the only outside contact I've had all week was the cranky librarian on Tuesday.

I can't say that I feel that I earned my weight loss. I made better choices in the food department but not great ones. I made homemade bread last night (hello carbs!) and I ate a lot. The kiddos have been sick this week so we missed out on our family walks. I did cut back on Mountain Dew and chocolate which obviously helped a lot. Going into next week I have a few goals.
  • Eat breakfast every day
  • Remember to take my thyroid medicine to give my metabolism a kick in the pants
  • Drink lots of water
  • Get moving!
Happy weekend to everyone!

Public Apology to Hubs

I've heard some complaints from Hubs about some of my previous entries. Yes, he reads my blog so I must be careful with what I say! Apparently, he's a bit offended by my remarks about his cold. And how it stopped the world. Even though I would have to be on death's doorstep to get a day off, I would like to apologize to Hubs for insinuating that he was weak. Or that the entire day he spent in bed was unnecessary.

To make it up to him, I've composed a list of things I love about Hubs. Here it goes!

  • I can be myself around him. He gets to see all my goofiness that few people get to see. Lucky him!
  • He gave me two beautiful children.
  • He only complains a little when I go weeks without shaving my legs.
  • He knows how to make me laugh. Especially when I'm really down. Even when I want to wallow in my sadness, he won't let me. Darn him!
  • He shares my love of reality shows.
  • He runs to the store to get me Mountain Dew, ice cream, whatever I'm craving. (I'm trying to keep these cravings to a minimum, Christie! WWBD! WWBD!)
  • He's excellent at doing laundry.
  • He's my own personal Mr. Fix It.
  • He makes me feel safe.
  • We've been through tough times and made it out the other side. We're stronger for it.
  • He looks out for me even if I don't always realize it.
  • He always tells me I'm a good mom even if I lose my patience with the kids. When I'm critical of myself, he talks me down.
  • His scrambled eggs are excellent.
  • He tolerates my messiness even if it drives him crazy.
  • He is an excellent dad even if I don't always tell him.
  • We have fun together.
  • He's supportive of all my little hobbies and whims, even if he doesn't agree with them.
  • He's my love!
It's midnight so my mind isn't fully functioning. I'm sure I could come up with many more things I love about Hubs, but at least this is a start. I love you, Hubs. Despite what I say behind your back. :)

Tackle It Tuesday

I am one hairy lady these days. Wow, that's not a confession you would want to make on a first date. Luckily, I'm happily married (maybe not lucky for Hubs!). I have thick, long hair that hasn't been cut in months. I've got some major shedding issues right now. I'm fairly certain I could have sculpted a small dog from the hair in my brush today. A Bichon Frise. Or a miniature Schnauzer maybe. My hair is everywhere. My legs haven't seen a razor in weeks. No really. Weeks. My eyebrows don't meet in the middle. Yet.

Every Tuesday over at 5 Minutes for Mom is Tackle it Tuesday. The point is to tackle something you've been putting off. My tackle today was my hairy legs. Usually, the Tackle it Tuesday entries contain before and after photos. Don't turn away from the screen. Fortunately for everyone involved, I did not take before or after pictures of my legs. Rest assured, they look 10 times better than they did yesterday. I can't say the same for the razor. I do feel a sense of accomplishment, even if it was a small task.

On Tap Tonight

Tonight's specialties on tap at O'Shelley's Pub include Airborne, orange juice, and herbal tea. Pull up a chair, won't you?

Remember the earth shattering cold suffered by Hubs last week? The kids have now fallen victim. Big One started showing signs on Saturday. He complained of a scratchy throat. I thought he was once again reciting a line from his beloved Caillou (don't get me started on that little bald-headed kid). Sunday morning he again made mention of something being wrong with his mouth. I chose to ignore it. Isn't that the advice we always give our kids? Ignore your sister and she'll stop bugging you. Ignore the bully on the playground and he won't steal your lunch money. Guess what? It doesn't work on colds. The watery, puffy eyes and runny nose this morning could not be ignored.

Not to be outdone, Little One started showing signs of puffy eyes and a snotty nose this afternoon. At least she actually napped today. Silver lining.

I will not get sick. I refuse. I won't get sick. No way am I going to battle a cold while trying to wrangle the kiddos all day long. So it's Airborne, oj, and herbal tea for me this week. Send healthy thoughts my way!

Hot for the Holidays Week 1

Today is the first Fat Ticker Friday for the Hot for the Holidays challenge. Are there mulligans in this challenge? I could use one this week. Oops! I didn't quite stick with the plan. The scale reflected my lack of discipline. It did go in the right direction but only by half a pound.

The whole healthy eating/exercise thing went well until about Wednesday. I ate veggies and went for walks with the family in the beginning of the week. WWBD (What would bloggers do?) has been a common theme so far in this challenge. On Tuesday, WWBD helped me avoid sending my hubby to Dairy Queen for a hot fudge and caramel sundae. After a stressful bedtime routine, you don't know how much I wanted that soft serve! But my fellow HFH bloggers motivated me to stay the course.

Then Wednesday happened. Hubby had a cold. A cold that made the world stop. At least his world. He stayed home from work and slept. All day long. I could go on about this but I'll just leave it at that! My 3 year old was wild since Daddy was home during the week. It wasn't a good day.

Do you know who was there for me? A box of brownies. Brownies were there for me. I asked myself WWBD. Apparently I channeled a sect of rogue bloggers set on ruining my diet. I caved. I baked the brownies and I ate them. A lot of them. So it's really no surprise that the scale didn't take the downward dive I had hoped. But there's always next week!

As part of the challenge, the question of the week is: "What would you like your legacy to be?" Good question. Here it goes.

I'm really only concerned with what my family and close friends think of me, now and after I'm gone. If I really drill down to the heart of it, it's mainly my kids that I'm talking about. I want to be Supermom to them. Not the Supermom that is always on the go with perfect hair and make up, proving just how supreme she is to all the other lowly mothers. (Let's be honest, I haven't put on make up in months. I don't think I'd recognize myself if I put it on. Hairstyles? How does a ponytail sound?) The kind of Supermom who is always there for the kids to love them and hopefully guide them in their lives.

I want my kids to have a childhood they relish. When they're adults, I want them to say, "Remember the time mom..." and I want it to be a happy memory. I want them to remember spending time with me doing fun things. Not going to Disney World fun things, just the everyday things. Baking cookies. Playing in the backyard. Decorating for holidays. I work from home to pay the bills (for some reason the mortgage company is picky about getting paid every month). It's a tough balance. Do I work a few extra hours so we can buy groceries this week or do I cuddle with the kids? I hope that my kids know just how much I love and cherish everything they do. I want them to think of their mom and smile.

I hope you all have a truly wonderful weekend! I have a couple little monkeys who need some attention.

"Cock" Hudson is Missing!

I've finally accepted that the baby weight is no longer going to melt off on its own. The first 20 pounds or so disappeared with little help from me. Very little help. Unless you count sitting around the house, eating the occasional candy bar, and ordering pizza for dinner as help. It's the last 10 pounds that always gets me. That and the fact that I had a good 30 pounds to lose even before getting pregnant.

Enter Christie O. at Baby Tea Leaves. I happened upon her adorable and entertaining blog to discover her Hot for the Holidays contest. A little motivation could be just what I need.

But wait. What in the world does the title have to do with weight loss? Let me explain. Last night we took a family walk, which isn't uncommon. Generally we stick within a few blocks of our house. Last night we decided to venture way down the hill. Not just a hill. A HILL. Add a 15 pound 3 month old in a sling and that's quite a work out for me.

Everything went smoothly until we returned home. My son is a bit of a Cars addict. Thanks to Daddy, he has nearly every one of the little Cars toys. He can tell you exactly which ones he owns. There are probably 10 different versions of Lightning McQueen and if he can't find the exact one he wants, stand back and watch the drama unfold! Any time we leave the house, at least one of them must accompany him. Last night it was "Queenie" (Lightning McQueen) and "Cock" Hudson (Doc Hudson). We walked into the door and tragedy struck. Cock Hudson was missing.

Please, no. Anything but a missing car. I will hear over and over again how Cock Hudson is missing and he's so sad and we have to find him. So I did what any mom would do. I attempted to distract him with promises (bribes) of a new Doc Hudson car the next day.

Nice try, mama. Cock Hudson is cold and alone somewhere out there. He must be rescued!

My son and I put our sweatshirts on and once again embarked upon the great climb on the neighborhood hill. Initially, I held onto hope that we would find the missing toy. With each step, hope quickly slipped away.

Wait, what's that? It's blue. Bubble gum wrapper. Darn! Hold on. I see something shiny. No, just a candy bar wrapper. Hmmm, a candy car sounds good right now. Focus, Shell! Something else caught my eye. I willed it to be that little blue car. But, alas, it was an orange Gatorade bottle. The house that smells of all things fried marked the halfway mark and deflated all hope of finding that little blue guy. We found lots of trash, even half of a coconut. Really. Half of a coconut. Who would have thought? But no blue car.

We finally made it home, Cock Hudson-less. But at least I got in a decent work out. Daddy's mission on his lunch break today is to find a new one. Please let him be successful! I can't listen to the Cock Hudson saga all week! I miss the days when we could distract him with another toy. Or a sucker.

Toddler Quote of the Day

"Where the heck my toothbrush is, Mommy?"


Inspired by Pocketfuls of Sunshine, I decided to compose a list of 100 things about myself. I don't often think about myself this much. It was beneficial. And fun for a list writer like myself.
Let me know if you make your own list.
  1. I cloth diaper my daughter and love it. Even the poop part isn't as bad as I thought.
  2. I feel guilty for not cloth diapering my son. I need to get over it.
  3. I have a love/hate relationship with breastfeeding. Bonding...love. Engorged boobs...hate. Benefits for the kiddos...love. Sore nipples...hate. Always having a hot meal for the little one...love. Nearly getting nipples ripped off when LuLu gets feisty...hate.
  4. I live in nursing tank tops. In addition to being very functional for nursing, they provide a nice catch all for the crumbs produced by my messy eating. I know. Yum.
  5. I make up goofy songs all the time. They usually rhyme. They rarely make sense.
  6. I wear contacts. I secretly long for lasik surgery. The fear of a botched surgery resulting in blindness prevents me from pursuing it. That and we're broke.
  7. Fall is my favorite season. Sweaters. Pumpkin spice cappachino. Vividly colored leaves. Chilly nights. I love it all.
  8. October could quite possibly be my favorite month.
  9. I love to bake. I hate to clean the mess. A maid isn't in the budget so I do what I can.
  10. My secret dream is to own a bakery. It would be in a beautiful, old brick building with lots of character.
  11. Weight Watchers worked for me. For a month. Until I got pregnant with my first child. Then all bets were off. Chocolate covered donuts, ice cream, crab rangoon. Nothing was off limits.
  12. I still love me a greasy crab rangoon and bowl of egg drop soup.
  13. I still haven't lost all the baby weight. Hmmmm...
  14. The Young and the Restless is the one soap I watch faithfully (if you count skipping over half the storylines on all of the tivo'ed episodes as faithful). My mom watched it when we were kids and I was hooked. When my son was a baby, the Y&R theme song was one sure fire thing that would stop him from crying. Yes I'm embarrassed.
  15. The other "soothing" song for my son was "Cold" by Crossfade. I know. Mother of the Year right here.
  16. Tivo is one of my favorite inventions. Sorry, big time advertisers. I can do without your million dollar advertising campaigns.
  17. I'm not a bubble bath girl. I could stand under a hot shower for a long time. Don't worry, green mamas. I only shower 3 or 4 times in a good week. My average time in the shower is 5 minutes. Just enough time to lather, rinse, repeat. Scratch that. I had to cut out "repeat" a long time ago.
  18. I'm not sure the last time time I shaved my legs.
  19. Armpits are another story. I shave those puppies a few times a week.
  20. I'm addicted to Mountain Dew. I try to refrain since I'm breastfeeding. Some days just call for a Mountain Dew. And chocolate. In no particular order.
  21. My sewing machine has collected dust in the basement for over a year. I used it once. I can't sew a straight line to save my life.
  22. I give up if something doesn't come naturally to me. (see #21)
  23. I'm extremely uncoordinated.
  24. I'm a list person. I make lists for everything.
  25. I've lived in Iowa my whole life.
  26. My idea of the perfect vacation would be spending a week at a tropical resort.
  27. I went to Europe at 19.
  28. We went to Mexico when I was 3 months pregnant with my son. All that free alcohol. What a shame I couldn't partake.
  29. I hate spiders. I'm not a girly-girl but I HATE spiders.
  30. Snakes too. They give me the willies.
  31. I love flying. Take off is the best part. I love the feeling.
  32. I have a teaching degree. Sometimes I wish I was still in the profession.
  33. Snoring drives me insane. My husband snores. I shake the bed, "accidentally" kick him, elbow him, cough loudly, clear my throat, get out of bed, readjust myself. Whatever it takes to make him stop snoring. I hate it when he falls asleep first.
  34. My husband breathing on me is another annoyance. He can hold his breath if he wants to cuddle that much.
  35. Friday is pizza night at our house.
  36. I drive a mini van. I like it. I couldn't live without automatic sliding doors. Well, I could. But I wouldn't like it.
  37. My views on many subjects have changed since becoming a mom.
  38. Ignorance and narrow viewpoints drive me insane.
  39. I use the computer all the time but I prefer writing with a pencil. On real paper.
  40. I'm addicted to cookbooks although I rarely try new recipes. I'm married to quite possibly the pickiest eater. Ever.
  41. When I was a kid I played outside. I used my imagination. I spent the entire summer from morning to night running around town. I loved it. I have so many great memories from my childhood.
  42. I hope my kids have the same great memories.
  43. My two greatest worries while pregnant with my first child were potty training and teaching him to drive. We've made it through potty training (mostly). Daddy will have to handle the driving lessons.
  44. I played the saxophone in junior high.
  45. I can't carry a tune to save my life. It doesn't stop me from singing. In the car anyway. And to my kids, of course.
  46. I bake homemade bread. I love the smell.
  47. Music is powerful. Music definitely affects my mood. It inspires me. It makes me happy on a blue day.
  48. I don't know how to swim. I wanted to be a marine biologist when I was a kid. Go figure.
  49. While snorkling in Mexico, I was stuck with an orange life vest around my waist with a bunch of kids in the "non swimmer" group while the rest of my friends went off in the "swimmer" group. I felt cool.
  50. Some day I will visit Alaska and drink in its beauty in person.
  51. I'm sad that I may be done having children.
  52. I love yoga pants. I don't practice yoga. I don't have the patience. Or perhaps it would give me more patience? But I love the pants. Flattering? No. Comfy? Oh yeah!
  53. I cry at the drop of a hat. I'm a crier. Sometimes I wish I could be less emotional.
  54. The thought of dying when my kids are young terrifies me. It's selfish but I want them to know and remember their mom.
  55. I started a journal to my son the day I found out I was pregnant. I don't write in it as often as I'd like. But I try to document milestones and what is going on at different stages in his life. I did the same for my daughter. I hope they cherish them someday.
  56. I enjoy entertaining yet we rarely do it.
  57. I hate sleeping alone. I hate being alone at night period.
  58. Santa thought I was a boy when I was 7 or 8. It was the hair. I've never really gotten over it.
  59. I hate scribbles on my paper. If I make a mistake with a pen and have to cross it out, it drives me nuts. I've been known to rewrite the entire page due to one little scribble.
  60. Sleeping children, especially my own, are beautiful. I could watch them all night.
  61. Every night before I go to bed, I tiptoe into both of my kids' rooms to make sure they're still breathing. The risk of waking them up is worth my peace of mind. If I can't see their little chests rising and falling I put my hand on them to make sure.
  62. I don't know if I could ever recover from losing one of my children. They are my life. I cry at the thought.
  63. The year my in laws came to our house for Christmas, I got so drunk on wine I couldn't cook dinner. My husband wouldn't even let me use the potato peeler for fear I would injure myself. I was at the dinner table for only a few minutes before I went to bed and passed out. We've never hosted Christmas again.
  64. I'm very reserved until I have a few drinks. Especially wine. Unless I have a few too many glasses (see #63).
  65. I hate shopping for jeans. I have a very large rear and a smaller waist (although the gap is closing after 2 children... not necessarily a good thing). Jeans that fit my rear usually gap out at the waist. Seriously. How difficult is it to design a pair of jeans that fits a real woman?
  66. I'm not a clean freak but I can't stand a mess, especially now that I'm home to see it all the time.
  67. I say I want a new house but honestly I would miss the one we're in if we moved. It's our first house. Our babies have come home to this house. As much as I complain I love our little house.
  68. My daughter was in the NICU for 5 days after she was born. Being torn between my son at home and my daughter in the NICU was a difficult thing. I don't know how mamas with "real" NICU babies (ones that spend several weeks or months there) do it. Fortunately my little girl was ok after a brief stay.
  69. I don't like people touching my back. Not sure why. My back is just very sensitive. I've never had a massage because I don't know if I could handle it. I'll take a manicure any day though.
  70. My feet are gross. I neglect them. They're not smooth and pretty. I wish I had nice feet.
  71. Nap time is not negotiable in my house. You may not be asleep but you will be in your room during nap time. Mama needs it just as much as the kiddos!
  72. I anticipate my children's birthdays with much more excitement than my own. I love planning their parties and usually start several months in advance. Except this year. Hey, I had a baby. Give me a break! I'll pull off the Cars birthday of my son's dreams in just a few weeks.
  73. I'm a Neil Diamond fan. My sister and I listened to Mom's cassette tape over and over as kids. I'm not embarrassed to admit I know all the words to Cracklin' Rosie, Sweet Caroline, and a number of other Neil Diamond hits.
  74. I also love hip hop. I know, right? I have no rhythm. I can't clap a beat to save my life. But there's something about hip hop that appeals to me.
  75. I'm a reality TV fan. I watch very little TV but I get sucked in to Big Brother and Survivor. I. can't. turn. away.
  76. I'm a homebody. The kids and I go several days without leaving the house and it doesn't bother me at all.
  77. I find fish to be a bit creepy. I can't explain it. They just are. My son wants a fish tank. No thanks!
  78. I was a software tester before becoming a SAHM. Stop laughing. I was good at my job. Unless my computer wouldn't turn on in the morning. Then I was screwed.
  79. Bargain shopping excites me. It's my addiction. Target clearance initially hooked me on bargain shopping. I'm also big on Walgreens. My husband laughs at me yet deep down I think he's impressed with my mad skills. I have 2 totes full of gifts, all of which were purchased on clearance.
  80. I put too much pressure on myself. It doesn't matter what we're talking about. I expect a lot from myself.
  81. Pineapple Express was the last movie I saw in the theater. It was a hilarious movie, although at this very moment I can't remember much about it. Other than I laughed. A lot. I love Seth Rogen. He's hot in a boy-next-door kind of way. Tell me you haven't thought he would be the perfect boyfriend.
  82. I'm not big on breakfast food. I can eat the occasional pancake or scrambled egg. But I prefer lunch or dinner food. I can eat chips, salsa and guacamole any time, even 7 in the morning.
  83. I hate the movie Cars. I have no idea how many times I've seen the movie. I've put a lot of effort into convincing my son to pick a different theme for his birthday. He's not budging. I'm hoping after his big Cars birthday bash he'll move on to something else. My husband tells me they're making Cars 2. Please, no!
  84. My Kitchenaid is my best friend. It was the perfect gift. Thanks honey!
  85. My husband and I have been close to divorce on more than one occasion. I'm very glad we stuck it out. He may drive me nuts but he's my love.
  86. Power tools scare me. I prefer my limbs attached, thanks.
  87. I'm rarely early. I can generally get myself and my family somewhere on time. Just never early.
  88. We're not big on clocks. The clock in the living room says 9:45. The bathroom... 7:00. Kitchen... 2:40. Maybe I should pick up some batteries.
  89. I get some of my best ideas while driving.
  90. I'm in desperate need of a haircut.
  91. I've never been pulled over. It's not that I don't speed. I've just never been caught.
  92. I don't have a favorite celeb, band, etc. There are some I prefer over others. But I'm not a die hard fan of any.
  93. I should drink more water.
  94. I always ate breakfast when I worked outside the home. Now that I'm home every day I never eat breakfast.
  95. I have an underactive thyroid. I remember to take my medicine most days. Or at least a few times a week. I'm not convinced it helps.
  96. My husband and I renovated nearly everything in our house. Hardwoods. Tile floors. More painting than anyone should endure. Lighting fixtures. Our next home will be brand new with no renovations necessary.
  97. I love conversations with my daughter. Yes she's 3 months. She's quite the conversationalist these days. My 3 year old provides for lots of comical conversations too.
  98. Spelling errors drive me crazy yet I didn't proofread this post.
  99. Rumor has it Kohl's is having big time sales on summer stuff. Can you guess where I'm heading after I post this?
  100. This little project gave me something to think about other than dirty diapers and play dates.

Lighten up!

My original dark layout was depressing so I decided it was time for a change. I found this oh-so-cute layout and couldn't resist. Who doesn't love a cupcake? Since I dabble in baking sweet treats it felt relevant. And that bird is just too cute.

I'll leave you today with yet another cute story about my 3 year old. Brown Bear, Brown Bear, What Do You See has always been one of his favorite books. He has it memorized because we've read it so many times. He also has Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What Do You Hear, although it's not quite as popular.

Yesterday when he got up from his nap he started reciting it. I'm notorious for changing lyrics of songs/plots of stories to make it funny or more relevant to our family. Here is the conversation that ensued:

B: Polar Bear, Polar Bear, What do you see?
Me: Big One, Big One, what do you see? I see Mommy looking at me. Mommy, Mommy, what do you see?
B: NO! NO!
Me: I see Little One looking at me. Little One, Little One, what do you see? I see...
B: NO! NO! {crossing arms across chest and getting very upset at my modification of the story} It's POLAR BEAR POLAR BEAR WHAT DOES HE SEES! THAT'S WHAT IT IS MOMMY! He sees ANIMALS.
Me: Isn't it brown bear?
B: Yeah, it's brown bear. He's not white. He's not gray. He's not yellow. Like ducks. Or Duck Blankie.

Glad we got that straightened out.

No More?

During my last pregnancy, my husband and I decided we would be done having kids. Two would be enough for us. Several times during the pregnancy (particularly during the all day long "morning sickness"), I told him if I ever talked about having a third child to remind me of all the times brushing my teeth made me gag or the sheer exhaustion I experienced or the number of other complaints I had. Yet here I am, 3 months postpartum, incredibly saddened by the fact that I may never have another child.

I'm a thinker. If I'm not actively engaged in an activity, my mind is working overtime. It frequently gets me into trouble. Rocking my daughter to sleep at night gives me plenty of time to mull the complexities of life. It is then that I often mourn the end of my child bearing experience. Will I never again carry a baby in my womb? Will I never feel those first little flutters? Will I never be kicked and punched in my vital organs from the inside? Will I never wake up 20 times a night to readjust my growing abdomen or go to the bathroom (at least before I'm 80)?

Logically I know we're at a good stopping point. We have two beautiful, healthy children who are full of life and personality. We are truly blessed. As enamored as I am with my family and my life, I am saddened to think that I am done having children. I'm 30. I should be ok with it. But I'm not. I feel too young to be done.

My husband is 100% ok with being done having children. He shuts me down before I can even mention having a third child. Threats of him getting a vasectomy are usually involved. I don't feel there is anything missing in our family. I honestly can't explain these feelings that I'm having. Perhaps they will slowly fade as my children grow. Perhaps I would feel this way after having 10 kids if I knew it was my last. Perhaps it's a touch of post partum depression. I do know I hate this feeling. Please tell me I'm not alone!

I think a little snuggle time with my 2 blessings is in order!

Adventures in Baking

A little culinary experimentation last night yielded a nearly perfect sugary delight. Malted Milk Buttercream icing. Let me explain. While pregnant with my 3 year old, I literally ate gallons of vanilla ice cream with malt powder. Nearly every meal (except breakfast...I did have a tiny shred of self control) was followed by a bowl of my favorite treat for a good month or two of the pregnancy. For the record, there were no pickles involved. Although I did have a separate pickle phase earlier in the pregnancy. I digress.

Last week one of my favorite cake cookbooks arrived, Cupcakes by the Cake Mix Doctor. Of course I had to taste the Malted Milk Buttercream before topping the cupcakes. Quality control is very important in the kitchen. One taste of the sugary icing and I was hooked. I'm usually not big on icing but this is perfect. It tastes just like my vanilla ice cream with malt mix which I haven't had in quite some time. It will become a regular in my cake decorating adventures!

One more laugh

Just a moment ago, my son gave me one more good laugh. We had shared a bag of Cheetos (healthy I know!). I was trying to get some work in on my laptop and he kept swinging his stuffed dolphin at it. After telling him many times to stop, I snapped and said "Stop swinging that stupid dolphin!" (I felt bad instantly). His response was "Mom, it's an ORANGE dolphin. Just like those little old crackers." Silly me.

And then he said...

The things that come out of the mouth of my 3 year old make me laugh. Here are a few of my favorite moments...

"Hey maybe we can get Lady and the Tramper. I told you we need to get the movie with Tramper and the Lady"...a conversation about which movie we would borrow from the library

"How's your 'puter thing holding Mommy?"...asking about my new laptop stand I got for my birthday

"So how do I look?"...after he gets finished with his bath or gets dressed.

"I promise it will not hurt"...as he's trying to pull off my toe nail. He picks at his own nails so if I have any length to mine he tries to pick them off. Even if I'm screaming in pain he promises it will not hurt!

"Can we do some crap today?"...he's actually trying to say "crafts" but it comes out "crap"

Daddy: "Big One, are you bipolar?" (asked one of the many times our son goes from one extreme to the other in a matter of seconds)
Big One: "No! I not a polar bear!"

Since we're potty training, my son is obsessed with underwear. Our neighbor came over the other day to chat with my hubby. My son went outside and said, "I'm wearing underwear. Where's your underwear, Tom? Do you wear underwear or a diaper?"

Lately I've been making up stories at bed time. I always try to encourage my son to make up a story with me. His response..."No, I not good at telling stories. I don't know all the pages."

My Life in Numbers

2...kids that call me mommy

3...months since giving birth to my daughter AND years since giving birth to my son

5...average number of minutes I get to shower... on a good day!

8...years I've been married to my husband. Boy, it seems like a lot longer!

26...birthday on which I nearly had a nervous breakdown. Apparently it was the idea that I was closer to 30 than to 20?

27...age I gave birth to my son

29...age I gave birth to my daughter

30...years I've been alive...I've officially said good bye to my 20s. Can't say that it really feels much different than 29. :-) For some reason this birthday was much easier than my 26th! It helps that I was surrounded by my beautiful family... and we were able to avoid any major temper tantrums!