Monday, December 21, 2009

Jolly old Saint Nicholas, lean your ear this way! Don't you tell a single soul what I'm going to say:

Christmas Eve is coming soon;
now, you dear old man
Whisper what you'll bring to me;
tell me if you can.

When the clock is striking twelve,
when I'm fast asleep
Down the chimney, broad and black,
with your pack you'll creep
All the stockings you will find
hanging in a row
Mine will be the shortest one,
you'll be sure to know

Taylor likes it when I sing this song to her.  She is very excited about her stocking.  As she should be, Santa informed me that she is getting some good stuff this year!  I, on the other hand, are not getting a stocking.  We didn't even hang any for grown-ups this year.  I am just fine with this, it means I can focus on celebrating my kids, I love that!

First off, Happy Winter everyone!  Second, I apologize, but this will be a short post.  You see, in a few minutes I have to get ready to go decorate cookies.  And as you know, cookies must take precedence over...well pretty much everything!

I think I have everything gottened (yes, I am claiming that word today) Except green beans, I need those.  So a trip to the grocery store might be in order today just for green beans.  Two kids bundled and hustled, a lot of trouble for forgetting green beans.  But what can be done, I promised I would be in charge of green beans, so green beans must be gottened!

It has been a good couple weeks.  We are settling into "normal," boxes are slowing being emptied and our garage sale pile is growing.  This is a good thing!  Although I am very aware that there is little time for a garage sale at the moment, and it has been pretty cold and rainy, and we are at a terrible location for it now.  So I have to decide if I want to go through with the garage sale, or just make a sizable donation to a thrift store.   Hmmm, a garage sale would mean a little more money in our new TV fund, but is it worth the work?  I will make that decision later, at the moment I want to focus on Christmas!

I attempted to wrap presents last night, some good friends were staying the night and we were watching a movie together, perfect chance right?  After all the organizing work (and making sure everything marked "stocking" would actually fit) I only managed to get about 25% of it wrapped.  Now, I have plans for all the evenings between now and Christmas Eve.  When exactly am I going to finish this?  Ah well, it will happen somehow!

I apologize, I have no pictures this week - I promise to make it up by writing a delicious Christmas post next week full of pictures and re-caps. including what my children have taught me about Christmas.  I have been terrible at writing down their witty remarks lately, I will remedy that! 

Another thing I am excited about?  I have decided to brave Target the day after Christmas.  I plan on getting there pretty early and taking full advantage of after Christmas sales.  I want to get wrapping paper and some generic Christmas tree bulbs for next year's tree.   Oh, and for those who are interested, kitchen gadgets and patio furniture are on clearance at the moment there.  Some patio stuff is already at 75% off.  I am watching a wooden bench, would love to have a nice place to sit in the back yard!  I am expecting home repairs/accessories to go on clearance soon - as well as the quarterly home decor.  It is also almost the time of year for baby clearance.  Hit it up mid-January.  Wow, weird that I will have no use for baby clearance items.  I will be shopping for my sister though!  Lorien, remind me and I will get a list of things from you that you could use and then I will keep an eye on everything for you. 

Ah me, Ayla just found and emptied the wipes container.  You would think eventually I would learn not to leave it in her reach! 

Sounds like our house-guests are awake.  And we need to start getting ready for cookie decorating! 

Merry Christmas to all, and to all a good night!

Monday, December 7, 2009

There's no place like HOME!

"The rain rain rain came down down down in rushing rising rivlets. Till the river crept out of its bed and crept right into Piglet's"

 I love the word "rivelets" it just fits it's meaning.  Don't you love words like that?  The ones that sound like what they are?  Like "balloon" or "mischievous" or "gargantuous."

Oh it is a rainy day today!  The kind where all you have to do is look outside and it makes you shiver all the way down to the toes.  I just looked up the exact temp outside.  "39 degrees, feels like 29." And windy and POURING.   Do we get snow if the "feels like" number is below freezing?   I would just so love to wake Taylor from a cozy rest time to peek out the window at the snow falling.  Not sure the last time we had snow here, but I imagine it was at least 10-20 years ago.  It happens, but VERY rarely.  Well, if it does manage a flurry or two, her and I may have to cuddle under a blanket with some hot cider to watch.  Too bad our fireplace is not accessible at the moment.
Today feels like our first real day in our new house.  We had our morning routine in a real living room, not just a pile of boxes that we hope and pray has a living room somewhere inside of it! 

Oh and it is a lovely house!  I become more and more amazed every time I stand and look around my living room, or take a lovely bath in my wonderful bathtub - or cook in my amazing kitchen, or sit at my dining room table, or...oh I could go on!  I am so very thankful for the blessing of this house.  I have a bit more organizing to do this afternoon, but it sounds as if children went down for rest times well so I will take a moment to write, and a moment to relax before I work to get my house ready for visitors tonight.  We are hosting our life-group here so everyone can see the result of all our requests for prayer in the last few months.  And it gives me wonderful motivation to make this house presentable!  I wondered if I would have the urge to name this house.  I typically feel the urge to name 'things' that I really truly enjoy.  I wanted to name both my last places of residence.  The first because it was the "first" place.  The second because it was so much better then the first!  But I feel as if this house already has a name, I may someday learn it.  I believe I must live in it for some time first, learn all the quirks and corners.  Then I may come to learn its name.  I do believe this house is female though, so I am looking for a lady name.  I wonder how long it will take to learn it?

I promise I will take some pictures soon for those that live far away.  I want to get decorations up, and clear the hall of the giant pile of laundry.  (Toddlers, moving and four days without a washer and dryer do not go well together!) So as soon as that is done I will get some and post them so you can all tell me what a lovely house I have! 

I need to go get the mail - but it is wet out there and I have to go all the way across the street.  But I have such insatiable curiosity that I believe I shall brave it! right back.  Oh my goodness it is COLD out there!!!  Soo windy and very very wet.  And for all that?  No mail!  That is what I get I suppose.   Now, if only I could stop shivering. 

I am torn, perhaps you all could help me out.  Should I have a housewarming party?  I mean, I want to.  I would love to, but we are getting so close to Christmas.  I fear all weekends from here on out will be booked on everyone's calendars.  I know no one from LA would likely be able to come up in the next couple weeks.  but it seems so sad no to have any at all, and it seems even sadder to wait until Jan. when technically the house no longer needs warming as it has already been lived in for a month.  Any ideas?  Should I choose a random Thuersday night and promise cookies and hot drinks for all who are brave enough?  Or should I try for a weekend?  I am torn....

As I am asking advice, I will also be-moan my nights to you all.  After all, I get to write and you must read and cannot interrupt!  Ok...I guess you don't have to read...thank you, for all who read by the way!  Don't think I don't love that you enjoy my ramblings (errr...I hope you enjoy them ...oh dear, now I am feeling rather small and piglet-ish).  Anyhow!  My lovely, sweet, beautiful one year old STILL is not sleeping well at night.  Still wakes between 2 and 4am every morning and is awake anywhere from 1-4 hours.  Yes, you read that right.  She has been known to be awake that long.  She is more stubborn then any child I have met and will simply stand next to me, not saying a word, refusing to lie on the floor (and screaming if I suggest it) for well over an hour.  Just standing!  Eventually she will try to climb the bed and if I stop her the screaming starts.  If we try to return her to bed we are looking at several hours of playing chase that never gets better no matter how consistent we may be.  Exhausted and at the end, we let her get in bed with us last night and it was a disaster due to her constantly moving, coming to me, then to daddy, then kicking one of us in the head, then getting down, then crying to get back up again.  This is NOT going well.     I really, truly don't know what to do at this point.  It has been over two months now and nothing we have tried has worked for more then a day or two at most.  I'm tired!  And to make matters worse, she is only napping now about 50% of the time.  So some days we don't get any sleep at night, and no break in the afternoon either.  Hoping and praying this "stage" ends soon!

Today however, I will try to keep my complaining to a minimum.  For by the sounds of things, BOTH children are sleeping this afternoon!  This happens once in a blue moon.  It means Taylor will be awake until 10-11 tonight and Ayla will scream for an hour before going to sleep no matter when bedtime is.  But for now, I will enjoy my peace and quiet. 

Alright - so a moment of rest is in order, then on to completion of the living room.  We WILL be ready for tonight!  Ah, a small funny tid-bit. The biggest change since we moved?  We have switched sides of the bed.  For all you grown-ups out there you probably can imagine how strange this must feel!  For years I have slept on the right side, and now I am on the left to be closest to the wall.  Confused Ayla the first night we tried it!  It is still confusing me.  So strange to think that the edge is on one side and a person on the other only to discover you are wrong.  It made me wonder, are there any couples out there that don't have a "side of the bed" that just take whichever one they happen to get that night?  Or are there couples out there that change regularly just to keep things interesting?  Funny us humans and our habits.  I'm not sure which side I prefer, all honesty if I had my way, we would own two king size beds and put them side by side so we could each have our own (while we are sleeping, we could share one sometimes).  And we would both sleep in the very center of each bed.  Yes, I am fully capable of using up an entire king side bed all on my own (well, me and my pillows) just ask my wonderful amazing husband that has to battle me for a corner of the bed every night!  I really don't know how you couples with queen or full size beds do it and get any sleep at all.

Oh goodness now, my post has gotten longer then expected, and my hands are aching for a hot drink to hold.  So I will take my leave of you for today,  May your feet stay warm and your hearts be merry. Cheers!

Monday, November 30, 2009

Déjà vu

Haven't we been here before?  If I remember correctly, I excitedly mused last Monday about experiencing my last day in this house....I was wrong - so very wrong!  Here we sit, still here.  But just like last Monday, we are supposed to fund today and thereby close could it be that TODAY is my last day in this house?  Please please please?

On a complete change of subject (because I am sick of all the house stuff and I am sure you are too) I love Trader Joe's black mango tea.  Love it!  With a little milk and a little sugar it is delicious and just the ticket to make a slow morning more enjoyable.  Oh dear, now I am sounding like a commercial: 

"The day getting you down?  Do you need a lift of body, soul and mind?  Try new Trader Joe's Black Mango Tea.  Guaranteed to turn even the grayest day a delightful shade of delicious!" 

Heehee, ok - I'll stop now.  I know you are all out there shaking your heads and thinking she has gone a little loopy.  But hey, loopy is good!  What better way to maintain sanity then to purposely give a little up to the cause and accept the loopy in it's place?  Ah, another drink.  Simply lovely!

Ok - time for bragging on my kids:

Taylor made a flower!   See it? See? See?  She was so proud, she made it all by herself with no help at all.  We were very proud of her too, and since we can't keep play-dough, the picture is helping us remember her first real great work of modeled art. 

And guess what else she made?  Can you see it?  I know it is hard with the picture made little-er.  You have to look close - she did all but the 'R' all by herself, she needed a little help on the R, so I made it lightly and she traced it.

Funny how when it comes to our kids, even a chalk drawing can bring a tear to our eyes and make us want to show it to everyone we meet. 

She got all the letters 100% right, just got them out of order.  We are working harder on it now and I bet she will be writing it perfectly before long.  I was very proud. 

Ah, just turned around and Ayla was on top of daddy's desk taking apart a mechanical pencil.  Lovely!  At least she didn't try to eat it...that I know of...

I have learned from my kids this week that Taylor considered underwear an appropriate conversation for the dunner table.  Twice in the last few days it has been brought up while we are eating with extended family.  I will spare you the details, but let us just say it produced much laughter from the adults present.  Of course, I need to make sure and write these down before I forget them so I can bring them up in front of her boyfriend when she is 16.  Gotta have that!

Ayla is saying more words together now.  I love the birth of language stage.  It makes me feel so un-worthy as a parent.  This little one that came from me is all of a sudden speaking, being understood and becoming a real person.  That feels so beyond anything I am capable of nurturing!  Luckily it is one of those God nurtured gifts that I get to just do my job the same as always, and watch Him create this masterpiece of a person.  One of the many blessings of parenting, watching the God nurtured abilities like walking, talking and growing.   Her attention span is also getting bigger.  This morning we spent about 45 minutes before Taylor woke up and we read 13 books together.  Yes, I counted the pile afterward.  And that is just one 45 minute span today - there will be many more!    Every time we would finish one, she would go get another and sit back down next to me in the exact same place and pull the blanket up over us. It was nice, I don't always feel I get enough one on one time with her and the quiet of the morning with a fire in the fireplace is just so cozy and lovely.  These are the memories I relish.

We are trying to save right now to get the girls bunk-beds for Christmas.  I have bought all the stocking stuff and the little gifts (got most of them in July/August when Target toys went 75% off) But Ayla needs a big girl bed - and it would be nice to have real beds to put them in.  Not just a mattress on the floor which is what Taylor's is now.  The bunk beds come apart so we can wait until they are a little bigger before we actually put them together - esp. with my dare devil of a 1 year old.  She would waste no time at all climbing to the top and jumping down - and would probably attempt it in the middle of the night if she knew her sister was up there and she wanted to play. I hope we can manage it.  And then we could get rid of the crib altogether!  Always good to get rid of a piece of furniture we no longer need.  We will trash it, with all the recalls of adjustable side cribs I doubt a thrift-store would even take it.  Many memories with that crib, but so exciting to move on to the next stage. 

Ok - so my list for the day....oh! oh! Just got an email saying they are set to fund the loan today...hasn't actually happened yet but they are planning it!  And if they fund it today we will get our keys tomorrow.  Oh thank you God!   This is good news, will update when it is funded for 100% sure.  Yay!

A walk is in order next.  Need to get rid of this nervous energy.  Taylor gets a story everyday on our walk.  Today I believe it will be about a little boy who cries wolf.  We have been dealing with this subject lately.  Funny how her stories everyday always involve kids learning lessons related to things we are dealing with at home.  How long do you think it will take her to figure it out?  Ah well, at the moment she LOVES her walk stories and several times they have really helped with the behavior (like the little girl who wouldn't pick up her toys and so they all went into time-out until she proved to her mom she could be responsible and keep them clean)  So for now the stories stay. 

I love you all - will keep you all up-dated via facebook.  Many blessings on you and your homes today.  And may you have a week filled with much adventure and even more chocolate.


Monday, November 23, 2009

In the ebb and flow of living, as we wander through the years....

Could it be that this is our last day at this house?  I daren't believe it to be perfectly honest.  And yes, I just checked and "daren't" is a real word.  See:


  1. Contraction of dare not, with a connotation of fear.
    c1865, 1998, Leo N. Tolstoy, War and Peace, page 161 - "The bigwigs here think so too, but they daren't say so."

 So exciting to discover a word I am using is actually a real one!  Ok - now my font is all messed up.......hold on..............

 There, that's better.  

My wonderful friend Kristin came over this weekend and helped pack up the kitchen.  Sooo nice!  We got a ton done (even if Ryan is sad he can no longer use the toaster).  So today I am working on getting laundry done so we can un-hook the washer and dryer and get them ready to be moved.  Tomorrow night after Ryan gets off work we are doing a marathon move.  We will have a truck and get all the big things that we absolutely need (like the beds, the couches, the frig.) and then we will sleep at the new house, and use the next week to get all the smaller things a little at a time.  Of course, we planned this badly er...for a bad week that is.  We are moving Tuesday, having thanksgiving number 1 on Wednesday night (so no moving then) and Thanksgiving number 2 on Thursday in LA (leaving at an ungodly hour in the morning and returning home at an even un-godlier hour that evening) and then using Friday, Saturday and Sunday to finish moving and get our old house all cleaned up.  I"ll admit, a little stressed thinking of it all!!  

Speaking of...anyone who is free to help move tomorrow night?  We would love your help!  

I have been thanking God this week my babies are healthy!  Ayla has recovered nicely - aside from a HORRIBLE diaper rash from the antibiotics.  She has been downing a ton of yogurt, but if this doesn't get better I will try some chewable acidophiles and see if it helps.    

For those of you on Facebook, you saw Ayla's new friend - but just in case: 

Isn't she so cute and sweet looking when she sleeps?  This is Nini.  He has quickly become a part of the family and we are hoping his size will discourage any children from asking for a dog...or maybe even a pony.  I think Ayla needs a big-girl bed now just to hold him!

I was pleasantly surprised when we got this for Ayla (since it was a last minute, for free thing) that Taylor was just excited for her sister and did not seem to mind that she was not getting anything.  It has been very clear that the tiger is Ayla's - though Taylor has said that Ayla shares it with her.  She has not made any move to take possession or even play with it.  Maybe giant white tigers are just not her thing, but regardless I have been proud of her!  At three (or three and a half!) what is and is not fair is a big deal.  And so far she has not even mentioned the fact that Ayla got a rather large present and she got none.  She has just been happy for her sister!  Now, if this can continue on through the holiday season we will be good!

Taylor has been so very very good these last few weeks.  And aside from a melt-down last night, she has kept her cool and been very obedient.  I think God has been helping her, He knows mom cannot handle it right now!  I am learning more and more about my daughter though, one thing is she DOES NOT like change.  So moving concerns me a bit.  At first we were moving on a Saturday, and she almost started crying when we told her we were moving on a Tuesday instead.  "But no mama, we are moving on Saturday, not Tuesday, on Saturday!"  I fear she may battle her ocd tendencies her whole life!  For instance, one day after school I opened the car door for her instead of letting her open it.  "Oh no mama!" She says "I needed to open the door!  Now I have to do it all over again!" Oh poor Taylor.  Her mother has no patience with these things.  Daddy has more pity when something NEEDS to be done a certain way.  At least she has him!  But me?  Nope, we don't close an already open door so that the itch can be scratched.  We get in the car and do what we need to do - next time you can open the door.  My poor child!

OK - Who came up with the idea of the 'Dinosaur Train' show on pbs?  Learning about dinosaurs I am very ok with, but they get on a train and are all rather friendly with one another regardless of specie.  Wouldn't the baby T-rex eat the baby pterodactyls?  Forget that....wouldn't the baby T-rex eat the mom pterodactyl?  Wouldn't he technically  be bigger then she?  Sorry - I have a tendency to over-analyze kids shows, it is a failing of mine.

So my next post I promise to include pictures of our new house.   We WILL be moving tomorrow night, I have faith!  Thank you God for everything going through perfectly and us closing in record time - I speak it!  And may the transition go smoothly for all of us.  Anyone have tips on helping toddlers move houses smoothly?  

Dinosaur train is over.  So now it is time to get ready for our day, go on a walk and do more packing!  Say a prayer for us if you think of it.  Pray we will not be too stressed, that the house stuff goes 100% smoothly from here on out and that the kids have an extra dose of obedience and I have an extra dose of patience through the week ahead.   

I'm so excited!!!!







Monday, November 16, 2009

I am truly thankful

I am thankful for the sun outside and the chance of rain this coming weekend.  That my husband has a job, that I am healthy and my girls are on the mend.   I am thankful that we have a house to live in (and one on the way) and a kitchen full of food (oooh, I can't forget to go get eggs today).  I am thankful for children's motrin and warm blankets.   I am thankful for supportive family that risks exposure to swine flue to help out a tired mom.  I am thankful for microwaves to warm my coffee after life prevents me being able to drink it while it is hot.  I am thankful for double strollers so we can go on walks. (Hmmm, maybe later we will walk to rite-aid and see if they have eggs.) I am thankful for God's strength and support at 2am when a little one wont go to sleep.  And for his patience beyond reason that he occasionally loans me - and always shows me.  I am thankful for doctors that can help make my babies better (did you know all of Hanford is out of the Therma-flu stuff?) and for thermometers that tell me whether or not we need to go see the doctor...again.  I am thankful for fly traps and dishwashers.  I am thankful for music, for laughter, for my children, for my amazing supportive husband (and I'll say it, I am thankful for God's gift of sex!) I am thankful I can be thankful for whatever I want, and the freedom to tell anyone I wish the things I am thankful for...did that make sense?  I am thankful God helps me to discover a thousand times a day the ways to keep my little one alive - where she got that small piece of plastic just now I have no idea.  But it is out of her mouth now.  I am thankful that despite the odds she seems to create for herself a thousand times a youngest is still alive!  I am thankful for my big one's soft heart, even if it means we have tears all days some days ("why are you crying Taylor?"  "I don't know, I just can't stop!").  I am thankful for one car that works, and a husband that is willing to share that one car so we can save money right now. I am thankful for fresh bread, for apples in my frig. that are in danger of becoming a pie today.  For blogs, so I can share with those I love the crazy things that go through my head.

I am thankful for grace, for forgiveness.  I am thankful I am loved, and that everyday I am learning to be the person I was designed to be. 

I have learned much from my children lately.  I have learned that Taylor is better at being sick then Ayla is.  Oh goodness the whining!  And she wont let me put her down, at all.  And if I DARE to hold Taylor, or give daddy a hug, or even LOOK like I may want a moment without touching anyone at all?  Oh the tears, the it is one thing when she is well.  It is a quick reprimand and a trip to her room and a moment alone and she gets a little better (or at least gets the idea).  But when she is sick?  Well, for one, I feel bad punishing her for wanting to be held.  But I get to the point where I am in tears because I really really can't take it anymore!  If I put her down she is immediately glued to my legs.  Have you ever tried to cook, do laundry...or really tried to do anything while dragging along a sick toddler?  I have thought I should get out my baby carrier again and see if she would allow herself to be put into that.  If this does not improve today I may.  Though knowing her escape expertize she may try to get out of it just so she is not contained (and if she wants out, she will figure out a way even if she has to use her teeth).  She wants to be held, but she wants to be held on her terms. 

Taylor is very patient.  I am very proud of my big girl.  She has a fever of 100.7 today and has had one about like that for a while now.  You really would never know.  She just kinda hangs on, and she has been so good at obeying lately!   She has made these past few weeks easier.  She will come out of her room and proudly announce "Mama!  My coughing is all gone now!"  and then a second later cough and say "Oh, I guess I just had one more...NOW my coughing is all gone!"

Ayla has taught me lately that I really don't feel any different during the day whether I get 4 or 8 hours of sleep...of course it has been so long since I got a full night now that maybe 4 is just the new 8 and I have gotten used to it.  I DO feel different in the morning.  Oh so hard to wake up at 6 when I was just up 4 hours ago trying to get a little one to go back to sleep!

Well, we sign more papers tonight.  If all goes well, then we are set to close on the 23rd.  Yes, that is one week from today.  And no, we have not started packing.  I am still scared!  We will start this week if it looks like all is going well.  Thanksgiving week will be a whirlwind - pray we will not be to stressed.  We are going out of town right in the midst of it all.  Anyone want to help us move/clean the weekend of the 28th?  Come on, you know you want to!!

Let me see, 9:33am.  I think bbq chicken pizza for lunch which means I need to put the dough in the bread machine in the next 30 minutes.  Oooh, that is if I have bbq sauce...hold on, let me check........................ .......................................................yup, just enough.  k, good to get the decided.

I will close today with a prayer for all.  May God be with you all - through the joys and sorrows of this day and the week ahead.  Funny how this time of year thankfulness becomes almost a fad.  I am not saying it is a bad thing mind you...and I could be cliche and chastise us all for not being this way all year.  But I wont, I"ll just jump on the wagon and spend some extra time each day counting my blessings and wishing joy on those around me.    May you be filled with the ah-inspiring thankfulness this time of year helps us remember. 

And may I remember to buy eggs....

Monday, November 9, 2009

My coffee is getting cold... I think I will go warm it up again.  Ok - written a couple emails I owed:  Check.  Made Ryan's doctor appointment: Check.  Eaten and served breakfast to everyone who is home: Ch...oh Ayla must you dump the blocks there!  Oh....oh....ok, who cares.  We will clean them up later.  Ayla why are you eating the blocks?  I have a little T-rex on my hands.  All our toys are proof of this.

Ahhh!   Hot coffee, lovely!

Can you tell I am having trouble focusing today?  I have lately had trouble.  I have a confession, it saddens me to make it.  But it is true...I have become a un-reliable person.  I hate hate hate it, but I am not sure how to remedy it.  I will have the best of intentions, I will make myself notes, remember at the wrong times (such as in the shower), even start it!  But when it comes down to it, I don't always remember to follow through and I hate it!  It makes me want to not make any commitments...but that is not right.  I just need to get better at this, perhaps I need more sleep?   Regardless, I WONT be that person, I WONT!  Even if at the moment I am...but I wont stay this way!!  I need a system...just not sure what that system is. 

I need a new book - I know that.  I have been enjoying my current series...but it is getting depressing and I don't do well when I am reading depressing books.  So I think I need a new one.  Any recommendations?   Something that will keep my interest even if I can only read it for 20 minutes a day...I have enjoyed more grown up books lately (after spending so many years enjoying ones written for kids/teens) I think it is an attempt to break free of the dr suess, sesame street and amelia badelia I read every day to my children...not that I don't enjoy the kids books.  But I need a break every so often and a chance to be a grown up!

Ok, enough rambling. 

I know, I know - but better late then never right?  We enjoyed pumpkin carving, Taylor had a Pirate pumpkin and Ayla's was about the cutest little jack-lantern I have ever made if I do say so myself!  Will post pictures of them completed and lighted as soon as I get them.    

They were both Ballerina's on the 31st this year:

All together now...Awwww!!!   So cute!  Oh goodness, I am a slow writer today.  The kids show is over and we need to get dressed for our day and go for a walk.  So I will try to come back later (we all know how well that always works!) So enjoy your day...and hope you enjoyed my babies!

Monday, October 26, 2009

a foggy Monday

It actually is not foggy outside, though the fog has started early this year.  I will admit that my title of a foggy day is not literal, but figurative.  I have a foggy brain, things are not as clear as I feel they should be.

So instead of trying to make sense while typing, I will post a couple pictures.  Ayla looked so cute yesterday with her boots that I simply had to take a picture:

I love it!  I think this might be one of my very favorite pictures of her so far.  It can go next to Taylor's school picture.  Did everyone get to see that?  Yes?  Oh but you want to see it again?  Of course!  

They are getting so big.  

My kids make me happy.  I just can't help but smile when I see such cute pictures!   Of course they are pretty cute right now too, as they sit together in their PJ's watching Super Why so mama can have a cup of coffee and write on her blog, fuzzy as her brain might be. 

I hate the feeling of living only to wait.  But I am not sure how to break out of it.  At the moment it feels like everything is on hold until we can move.  I still have not let myself get emotionally attached to our house, I am scared to.  There have already been too many glitches and I worry for more to come.  Last we heard they were still shooting for ending escrow on November 20th - but that the seller said he is "still pretty sure we can close by November 30th" which is driving us insane.    Does that mean there is a chance we wont?  Do we need to change our move out day AGAIN?  Will we have time to once we know for sure when closing will actually take place?  When do we start packing?  A week before the 20th?  Two weeks?  That day since we have been hearing all of this last minute?  We were set for moving on the 7th and had tons of help to do, with moving the week of Thanksgiving (or after) it looks like we may be doing a lot of this on our own.  But honestly, I would rather try to do it alone then wait (and pay for) another couple weeks here. 

That, coupled with a little one who is still not sleeping well (and her attitude reflects her lack of sleep) is why I am living in a perpetual fog.  No amount of coffee will lift it.  The gym helps a lot, but I don't have a car most days since we are down to one now.  And saying "let's go to the gym" sparks a huge tantrum from Taylor on getting there ("I don't want to go to the gym!!!") and on coming home ("I"m not done playing yet!!")  Ah well, God give me strength to make it through this season. 

Perhaps I need a list, that always helps with the fog.  First thing I need to accomplish today is laundry.  I discovered yesterday that the bags of extra clothes I was storing out on the patio got soaked in the rain a couple weeks ago...and never dried.  I think I might have gotten one bag fully cleaned, but at least 1/3 of the clothes in it are ruined due to stains.  And even after several full washes with tons of oxy-clean and half a bottle of vinegar they still smell a little mildewy.

Second on my list is to go room to room and try to get things a little better Ayla proofed.  I feel like every other word out of my mouth lately is "Ayla, don't touch that!" It is not fair to her, or to I and it is certainly not good for our relationship.  The house is in such dis-array since we were a week and a half away from moving when it got pushed foreword a month.  So I somehow need to figure out how to organize and put things away before I take it all apart again. 

I apologize everyone, this is by far the most boring and depressing blog I have ever written.  Say a prayer the house will go through faster then anyone could have hoped, and that Ayla gives mom and dad a break and some sleep. 

This too will pass...

Monday, October 19, 2009

Everything I need to know about life, I learned from an Elephant

For those of you who have never been to my house - the elephant I am speaking of is a actually a jungle gym.  It followed my Wonderful Husband home one day, and of course he promptly asked "Can I keep him?!?"  One look at that steel trunk and how could I say no? 

The kids love him - oh his name is "Racky" for those of you whom I know will ask.  Taylor named him.  But enough explanation - on to what he has taught me in his time at my house:

When you climb the Elephant there is a rule.  No one helps you unless your life is in danger.  You must climb alone.  Mom and dad are close in case you need help (look carefully in the picture and you will see dad hiding behind Taylor) but you MUST climb without help.  Ayla actually just really started climbing this last weekend. She went from barely being able to get past the bottom rung to making it all the way to the top all on her own. (Could we expect anything less from her?) Taylor had trouble following the first rule of the elephant when it came to her sister.  She wanted to hold her hand, help her to learn to climb - but we as the adults knew that if a three year old weighing in at barely 30 lbs (if that) helps her one year old sister (coming in at close to 25lbs) then most likely both will fall.  It felt to be a spiritual lesson.  Don't we want to hold the hand of those around us?  Be it a "seasoned" mother giving parenting advice to one just starting out, an experienced home-owner telling one who is looking what they "HAVE" to do/say/find; a Christian guiding one they believe to be following the wrong path, I could go on and I am sure you could too.  But no matter how well intentioned the "help" may be, without a parent (or God) close by, the chance of hurt can actually increase.  


Now please understand, I know it is not always this way.  For instance, Ayla does not want help on the Elephant at all.  From a sister, from a parent, from anyone!  She thinks she can do it all herself, she is wrong.  Yes, she is pretty good at climbing up - but she is incapable of getting down safely on her own.  Just as important a lesson as doing things ourselves when we need too, and maybe even harder to accept, is taking help when we truly need it.  We all have been there.  Be it help from God, from a parent, from a friend or trusted spiritual leader, we all need it on a pretty regular basis and we must learn to swallow our pride (or the urge to kick and scream "I want to do it ALL BY MYSELF") and take the hand that is offered.  Trust me, it hurts a lot more if we refuse the hand, fall and have to be caught (hitting one or two bars on the way down) and we will most likely come out of that will bumps and bruises.  

Now, Taylor is very good at climbing the elephant.  We don't even have to be close by anymore.  She still falls every so often, but from the beginning Daddy would remind her to always keep three points of contact and she is very good at that.  So if she falls, she catches herself pretty quick and has not gotten hurt in a long time.   From this I have learned that in life we need to be holding on tight - to God, to family and friends, to our our "lives" and to our unique selves...but there is one other thing.  One very important thing.  You see, I listed four things.  We have two hands, two feet.  Those are our points of contact.  If all four are in constant contact - we will not ever go anywhere.  We may be safe, we may feel secure and sturdy...but we wont ever move and because of that, I will argue that God cannot use us.  I will look at the four things again; God must remain steady.  Without Him there is nothing at all.  But the three other things, friends and family, self, the things we consider "our lives" - sometimes we have to let go for a moment.  It is hard, sometimes physically painful to give up that security, that control.  But in order to move, to ultimately be where God wants us to be, we have to be willing to let go.  When we need him, the hand will be there waiting for us to hold onto. 


Climbing the elephant is fun, it is dangerous, it takes skill and energy.  Because of these rules my kids have gotten balance, security, self-control and strength.  I love the elephant as a backyard toy (and not just because they are tired when they are done!) but because it also gives me peace as a parent.  I have seen them climb, stood next to them to make sure they are steady.  This means when we are at the park I can give them a little more freedom knowing they will catch themselves if they fall.  Knowing that they have the skills they need for safety, for fun and for life (as a toddler that is).  Once we show these skills in life (balance, security, self-control, strength) then we are also ready for a little more freedom.  But funny this freedom - we now know the risks we don't need to take.  The fear is gone for that which we are supposed to do, but we also recognize when something is beyond our skill and is meant for another.  We can set our own boundaries, we can lead and others can safely follow because we have the strength to catch those that follow us if they fall - as long as we still are holding on with our God hand.   

Oooh I smell a poopy one.  Dirty diaper here I come to destroy you!!  Come on, I have to find adventure somewhere right?  If I have a chance I may write more later - never got beyond my theological rambling today.  So until next time, heed the lessons of the elephant - after all, elephants never forget!

Monday, October 12, 2009

October 12th and counting...

How long does it take to pack up a house?  A week? Two weeks?  A month? More?  Should I have started already?  Technically we have yet to send in our 30 day notice so technically, even if we get keys to our new house in two weeks we still have 30 days until we have to be entirely out of this one.  So why do I have zero motivation?  I think it is a believing/trusting thing - until I have the keys in my hand and have signed all the paperwork, I still can't entirely believe that we have a house and the whole "house shopping" ordeal is over.  Too many times we were disappointed.  But that is not a good excuse to not do anything period! 

I think I need a list - that usually helps. what needs doing? 

It seems pointless to write "1. pack up living room 2. pack up bedroom, etc."  So where do I start?  I could start by cleaning.  But as those of you who have or have had toddlers know, something cleaned rarely stays that way longer then 1/2 hour at most.  I could work to organize and purge un-needed items.  But most of the un-needed items in this house have my husbands name applied to them and I don't dare touch those things.  After all - if I throw anything away, that is inviting Murphy to come along and ask specifically for that item within the week.  I don't want to be responsible for angering Murphy, he has too much power!  Organizing is also a difficult task while toddlers are in tow.  Inevitably blocks, baby dolls and perhaps a bra or two Ayla has stolen from a drawer will get packed along with whatever I am attempting to organize. Then we are back at square one where there are tears for lost toys and I am looking unusually deflated.  You can't successfully organize while deflated, it isn't possible.  It's true, look it up.

So my list has fallen flat.  Perhaps I need to come at this from another angle.  As the book I am currently reading often states "you must think on the solution and not on the problem if you wish to come up with a answer"  or something to that effect.  Alright - the solution is to have everything unpacked, and for us to be moved entirely into our new house...or is that the end goal?  I am confused!

I think I need another cup of coffee, hang on one moment............................................................................
................................................Ah!  Much better.

Ok!  Now I am ready to take on my day.  First off?  Breakfast for kids and dressed for the day.  Next?  A walk, I always feel better after going for a walk.  Then I will make my list.  I may go room by room and see if I can make a prioritized packing list based on what I can do now, what I can do a week or so ahead of time and what needs to wait until the few days before.   Is this bad?  I need a list before I can make a list?  I think I have a problem!  Then we will have lunch...what should we eat for lunch?  I should put some bread on so we have that in case I need it.  Ok - mind just went blank.  And I was doing so good!  Perhaps that means I need to focus on what I have so far and the rest will fall into place.  This might take all day anyhow. 

On to my children!  What have I learned from Taylor this week?  That cleaning, especially cleaning on her own, is a medieval torture method.  We have tried making it into a pretend game, we have tried rewards, we have tried punishments.  Am I missing something?  It is an out and out battle each and every time.  Anyone have any ideas?  What has worked for your toddlers?  I know that some of it will come in time.  But I am sorry - when there are 4 blocks on the ground YOU DO NOT NEED HELP!  Not getting help results in hysterics and tears and eventually leading to losing toys that are not cleaned up or being isolated until she chooses to do as she is asked.  I know it is a power struggle, and I am proud to state that she has ended up cleaning each and every time regardless of the tactics she chooses to use to get out of it.   But it is usually a very long ordeal and we are both exhausted after.  This needs to change, I just have to find a way....we tend to go through stages.  For a few weeks she will be pretty compliant.  Obeying the majority of the time and rarely needing any sort of punishment.  Then the testing stage starts.  We get about a week or so of multiple tantrums a day...sometimes an hour.  She is hard to live with and the two of us are at odds almost constantly.  Then, I guess once she has learned I am not to be manipulated we go back to another peaceful spell.  Well, we are on day three of a testing period.  I wonder how long it will last this time?

On to a nicer subject, Pumpkins!

We went with Taylor's pre-school to the pumpkin patch last Monday! Her friends were there which she LOVED.  Both girls were in heaven and I could not have asked for a better morning.  Lots of space to run around, friends and of course, lots and lots of PUMPKINS!

The corn box was amazing.  It made me want to create one - though I was thinking that dried beans might be easier to get and would work just as well.  Perhaps we will create one someday, doesn't seem too complicated.  We would just need LOTS of beans and a way to make sure they stay water/bug proof. 


Taylor chose a pumpkin pretty quickly.  A very cute one with lots of promise for a nice jack-lantern in a few weeks!  On the way home, holding back tears she clutched her beloved pumpkin and shared with me her fears of it "getting decayed"   I promised her that it would not get decayed until we could make it into a face.  And after that we could bury it in the ground so it could turn back to dirt, just like her pumpkin last year.  She was ok with this - perhaps we will have a pumpkin graveyard/growing patch in the new house so "decayed" pumpkins always have a nice home. 

Ayla enjoyed the pumkins.  But also loved the fact that she was able to eat as much dirt as she wanted.   Taylor LOVED the hay ride.  Her face was a picture of sheer joy the whole time.  Sadly I couldn't get a picture of that since I was holding an Ayla who was clinging on for dear life!  She was not so sure of this thing moving under her.

Goodness!  Almost 9:30.  My poor patient children have had nothing but milk so far this morning!  Off to create a masterful breakfast of yogurt and banana's.  Love you all and say a quick prayer our house process will continue to move along smoothly.  So far so good - I feel so blessed and can't wait to move!

Monday, September 28, 2009

A little known fact: It IS cheaper to eat healthy!

I apologize in advance to all.  The following is a rant that has been driving me crazy for a long time.  I also apologize to any who may have said these words - I am not blaming you in particular, just the idea out there I consider completely naive and entirely wrong!

I am a part of several online communities - some of you reading this are probably my wonderful online friends I am never met but love dearly.  Something I have run into several times recently has been driving me absolutely insane.    The words "I want to eat healthy, but it is too expensive.  It is just so much cheaper to eat junk!" I read/hear this and it makes my blood boil.  Okay, maybe I am over-reacting.  But it just screams ignorant and lazy to me!  No, it is not cheaper to eat junk.  Ah!  But you say, soda is 99cents.  Juice can be as much as $5 a bottle!  Well guess what my friend...water is free! And eat an apple or banana to get your fruit intake - again, cheap!   Mac and Cheese is $1 a box if you get it on sale.  But you know what?  So is three times that amount of macaroni in dried form. And cheese, milk and butter in bulk would probably come out to less then that box of processed junk when you are speaking percentages.   

I apologize - I am all for the occasional box of mac and cheese.  In no way am I saying you are evil for eating it.  Everything in moderation is my philosophy.  But please don't tell me it is cheaper!   

Beans, rice, flour, oil and local fruits and veggies.  You can live off these things.  And they are cheap and sooo good for you.   So I digress - healthy CONVENIENCE food is more expensive then junk convenience food.  And I do understand that when you work, it is hard to make a meal from scratch every time.  Hey - it is hard to make a meal period when you are that tired! 

So I am calling for a revolution!  I vow to think ahead.  I vow to stop using finance as an excuse to not eat what I should.  Is anyone with me?  I want my kids to grow up with healthy ideals when it comes to food.  To eat their veggies and ask for more!  To grow strong, healthy bodies and know how to keep them that way.  To know how to teach their own kids when the times comes.  And I want to be around to know my grandkids - so I will work to keep my own body strong and healthy. 

Ok - I know.  I am an extremist at times.  And as I said, I am not against the occasional junk at all.  But why shouldn't we strive to be the best?  If we do everything we can to be healthy in our meals then we can enjoy a cookie or chocolate dessert without guilt!  Well, I do anyhow.  I always eat my chocolate without guilt!  Of course I also believe there are healing powers in chocolate that we have only just began to discover.

Alright - end rant. 

On to more interesting matters - my children!    Taylor has grown up this week.  You know how sometimes they wake up one morning and it is as if their brains grew in the night and they are just a little older then they were the day before?  Let me see - what did I learn from Taylor this week?  Ah!  Yes!  I learned how you make PB&J.   According to Taylor:  "Peanut butter is just squished peanuts and Jelly is squished jellyfish!  No, jelly is dead, squished, baby jellyfish!"  Huh!?!  We couldn't stop laughing.  In the words of parents everywhere (say it with me now) "Where on earth did she get that!?!?" So everyone, think the next time you bite into that delicious sandwich.  Think how many jellyfish had to die for that bite.  Baby jellyfish no less!

The daycare at my gym learned about Ayla this week.  I went to pick her up on Saturday after working-out and she had gotten the battery section of a pretend phone open.  Somehow had opened the screw and everything.  This child!  Speaking of ayla - just went and checked on her.  She has been watching a show for the last 30 minutes....yet somehow her face is purple. smell.  No evidence of a purple something anywhere around her.  Yet there is evidence all around her mouth.  A crayon perhaps? A marker? What is purple that this child could have eaten?  Oh well, I give up!  

Oh, and Ayla is in a big girl bed now!  So proud of her.  She is doing so good.  Ryan took the side off the crib just so the girls could play in it when I had my Friday night out and put her to bed that way.  She has done wonderfully every since!   My baby is growing up was bound to happen!  Now the next step?  Thinking of potty training.

Ah - time is getting short.   I will however ask for prayer on one matter.  Ryan and I have discussed me looking into a part-time job evenings and/or weekends.  It would help us get out of debt faster, and take some of the financial pressure off him.  Pray for clarity on if this is the right choice, and speed at finding something if it is.  The idea of working again actually makes me excited. 

Until next week my friends - be well.  Ha!  It was a purple crayon!  Thank God, I don't want to get a reputation with poison control!


Monday, September 7, 2009

A Monday Off

Ah - holiday weekends.  Beautiful, are they not?  Especially when they arrive on the heals of a wonderful weekend away. 

All that to say:  I have decided I will do my best to update this blog every Monday - holiday or no. I am, at the moment, sitting and enjoying the smell of freshly baking bread while my little ones have just gone down for a nap.  Isn't the beginning of nap time such a delicious feeling?  Knowing that at least for the next hour, I can breath.  Today, since my wonderful husband is home on a day off we will be watching an episode of HERO's together before we go our separate ways and have some alone time.  I am trying to decide if I should attempt an escape to target for an hour.  Hold on one moment, let me check my target schedule.....markdowns are as follows:

-Mon. -- Electronics, Kids Clothing, and Stationary (Cards, GiftWrap, etc.)
-Tues. -- Domestics, Women's Clothing, Pets and Market (food items)
-Wed. -- Men's Clothing, Toys, Health and Beauty, Lawn & Garden items
-Thur. -- House Wares, Lingerie, Shoes, Sporting Goods, Movies, Music, Books, Decor and Luggage
-Fri. -- Auto, Cosmetics, Hardware, & Jewelry

Though I happen to know that my Target marks down toys on Thursdays and House ware's on Fridays.   My husband tells me I have a problem.  I just consider it being a savy shopper!  Hmmm....Wednesdays are lawn and garden and so the window box I am watching is most likely still at the 50% off.  I would like it to plant my baby herb garden in now that they are big enough to ask so nicely to be taken out of their tiny pots.  And it will be a wonderful project for Taylor and I.  Is it bad I want to name my tiny herbs?  I always know I have affection for something when I have the urge to name it.  I shall ask Taylor if it needs a name and will update you all with her answer. 

My list does not include kitchen....Hmmmm.  Will have to search for a more complete list.   I am watching a few items there - and for those interested, the electronics will most likely be clearance in the next 2 weeks...alright.  I admit it.  My name is Sarah - and I am a TargetClearanceHolic.

Had a lovely weekend away with my wonderful husband, but I will not speak of that.  For one thing it would bore half of you and disgust the rest.    And for another...when something is truly so wonderful it is almost dreamlike...I don't like talking about it in case it turns out not to be real after all.  That is also the reason I hate taking pictures on trips like that.  Who really wants to see pictures of us without the kids anyway?

I have decided to post here on my blog-thingy once a week. While posting, I intend on enlightening the general public on several things - #1:  What I learned from my children in the past 7 days.  #2: What new recipes I have decided to try #3:  I vow to include at least one new picture of my ever changing little ones and #4: I will begin and end with whatever I jolly well please.

So that means I have some catching up to do.  Firstly (is that a word?) I have learned from Taylor that according to God she no longer has to go potty.  Now, her and I have had a disagreement about this but she remains adamant and OH MY BREAD IS DONE!  er...sorry...I just love fresh bread so much!  Anyhow, I informed my little one that God does in fact want her to go potty - she was, however, not convinced.  I then changed my approach.  You see, if God did not want us to go potty - Elmo would not sing a song about it.  Too true I say!  Do you know that on the Sesame Street web page, on the "Elmo Potty Time" game that is all about listening to your body and stopping whatever you are doing to go potty; there is no pause button?  I cannot stop it, so that my child can "stop whatever she is doing and go" and start it again when she returns.  I am thinking of complaining to the management.  Think they will listen?

Secondly, I announced to my wonderful husband yesterday that I will be cooking more soup this winter.  For one, I love it.  And for is cheap!  So I need a good cookbook.  What did he do?  Did he support me by telling me it was a wonderful idea and gasp at the brilliance of his wonderful wife?  No, he laughed.  He said I say it every winter and never do.  Well!  I will show him!  Now I need to find a good cookbook so I can be true to my word.  I will not be proved wrong! (Yes, yes I know - my stubbornness is predictable and possible even laughable.  But it is me and it is true!) My conditions?  This cookbook must have pictures next to the recipes.  I want to be able to see what it should look like.  It must have a good verity without being too exotic (I want chili to be included, but could care less about "Asian inspired black bean, corn and prawn chowder with sweet and sour curry sauce") And lastly I do not want the word "canned" to be included in any of the ingredients of  bean or vegetable soups.  I want to use real beans and real veggies.  Why is this so hard to find?  Ah well, the search begins. 

And lastly (did I miss anything?  Goodness, I promise all my posts will not be so lengthy) I will include some pictures of my very favorite people.  Oh, and while we had tons and tons of fun - I am still finding dried beans in corners of my living room as well as corners of my one-years-old's mouth.  Enjoy!
A Bean Angel!! 

Until next week - be well my friends!!

Monday, August 31, 2009

The Bottom Rail

“Sometimes, if you stand on the bottom rail of a bridge and lean over to watch the river slipping slowly away beneath you, you will suddenly know everything there is to be known.”
- Winnie The Pooh

Clarity in life is often found where we least expect it. For instance, when life is overwhelming. Beyond anything I believe I can survive - a moment will come where instead of crying I am laughing and then it is all better again. How do we so easily move past the un-movable? Well, perhaps I am going insane, I do have the attention span of a three-year-old after all. Perhaps the monotony of the day just got old and so I moved on to something else. Perhaps it is what I call a "stage moment" where I all of a sudden step out of myself and become an audience member watching my own life as a play. You must admit, poop explosions in the middle of the night, children screaming in harmony and financial tetris do have a certain comedic appeal. Perhaps...but I prefer to think that I just took a step onto the bottom rail. It is clearer there, my mini mountain top. From there I can watch all of this "life" that really doesn't matter float away and realize just how fast it all goes. I can become a kid again. Together we fight dragons, make friends with pirates and play pooh sticks until we all get grumpy and it is time for hot chocolate and bed.

This blog is mostly for my own benefit. So I can take a moment every so often to step onto the rail. It puts things into perspective. I will also use it to proclaim to my world my victories in child rearing, living "green" on a dime, fitness, eating well and whatever else I see lazily floating by.

I hope and pray that by taking this moment when I can I God's my own little space I call home and life "know everything there is to be known."