Monday, May 9, 2011

Pick Me Up Monday: So THAT'S how you do it!

I got this email from my mom a long time ago and thought it would be the perfect laugh for an otherwise dull Monday morning.  When I first opened the email I quickly realized why I never got the hang of the yoga on the Wii Fit.  I've been doing it all wrong!  Next time, I'll be sure to have a few drinks first. J





Wednesday, May 4, 2011

{Almost} Wordless Wednesday: A Picture Update

Obviously, in the past month or so, my blog has not been a top priority of mine.  It hasn't helped that we haven't had Internet for awhile & I really find it annoying to update on my phone.  But I figured, I have some pictures on my phone that I need to stick somewhere so here ya go!  They are completely random but, enjoy!

Waiting with popcorn and a smile for the circus to start.

SPRING!!  I see you!

Easter morning.

Macy's new haircut.

Enjoying a family jam session at G'pa & G'ma Clark's.

Dancing to the music with G'pa Clark.

Sunday, April 10, 2011


I have a lot of nicknames for my daughter: Miss Princess, Miss Sassy Pants, Pop-eye Arms...just to name a few.  She acquired all of them honestly.
I mean, come on, look at those arms!

Her newest nickname came about the same way: she earned it.  Check out My Little Stinker...

I know, I know.  Did I need 10 pictures to get my point across?  No, but it's my blog and I'll do what I WANT!  And also because I couldn't choose. J

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

The Kid Is Smart!

I'm not biased or anything....

Really though he it amazes me what he picks up on and learns so quickly.  Most things good, others not so good, but that's another post!

Cade was playing the Wii (SURPRISE!!) the other night and he actually chose to play a game other than Mario Kart.  He loves math and numbers and puzzles and anything else related.  He was playing my Big Brain Academy Wii Degree game and chose a game where you have to count how many balls of two different colors go into a basket then choose which color had more go in. 

Anyway, I had to take this video and post it to show just how bright my little man can be. J

The last time he played this particular game, we had to help him out to get the right answer and I know we gave him a few tips, but this was the first time he actually counted them like this.  I asked Cory if he told him to do that and he said he hadn't.  Another thing he's done before while playing Mario Kart is exclaim how many cars behind Cory he is, based on their places in the pack (1st, 2nd, 3rd, etc.)  We didn't teach him that either. 

We don't have to wonder where this talent mathematics came from.  Cory's has an engineering degree and me?  Ha.  Let's just say there's a reason I worked with 4 year olds. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Break through? Not so fast!

Guess what happened last night?  Brynlee slept soundly for the first time in probably a month from 7:00 pm until 4:00 am when she woke up to eat. 

A look at her typical night lately: 7:00 pm bedtime, 10:00 pm: pacifier call, 10:00 pm-12:00 am: restlessness and more pacifier calls, 12:00 am: FEEEEEED MEEEE!, 12:00 am-4:00 am: most of the time there's good sleep here, 4:00 am-7:00 am: restlessness and pacifier calls, 7:00 am: GIVE ME BREAKFAST!!!!!  Cade is out of bed and blowing through the house like a bullet at 6:00 am and I would love to be awake before then considering I need a little bit more dark and quiet time to wake up, so I'm usually "up" for the day whenever Brynlee stirs between 4:00 and 7:00.

Last night I couldn't keep my eyes open starting at about 8:00 pm but I couldn't actually get to sleep.  I tried winding down during a few rounds of Angry Birds.  A "few" rounds turned into probably 629 rounds as well as stupid Facebook and email exploration, and before I knew it the clock read 9:54.

"Wonderful," I thought, "I've officially wasted all precious sleepy time that I could have had because Miss Princess will be demanding servants to soothe her anytime now."  But I soon drifted off to sleep...until 4:00 am!

The clouds parted and the angels sang.  I got six consecutive, beautiful hours of sleep.

And that, apparently, was my limit.  Because, by the way, I woke up before she did.  My body said, "Alright enough of this sweet crap.  You've rested long enough."  That's what I heard.  Cory, who was up already getting ready for work, heard, "Ughh ahmanna umph."  And then he told me I looked like Death.

I fed her, came back to bed, intended to go back to sleep, tried to go back to sleep, but there was no such luck.  Seriously, had I just given in at 8:00 I could have gotten eight hours.  EIGHT!  I've imagined how I will feel after the first time I get eight hours of sleep.  I've pictured myself smiling, wearing jeans and makeup and toddling around the house like Martha Stewart.  If I found a magic lamp today my three wishes would definitely be: no more debt, brownies and eight hours of sleep. 


I at least made the time that I was awake before the kids and every other smart individual in our time zone, that didn't have to go to work of course, productive by starting laundry, doing dishes and blogging. 

I may have played a few rounds of Angry Birds in there too.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Meet Our New Friend

I guess I'm not entirely sure I want him to be our new friend. We've had this bird feeder for the two years we've lived here and I have never seen him before until just last week but I'm thinking this isn't his first feast here. It would explain why the food disappears so quickly without very many birds being spotted. 


Aren't they pretty?  This particular day they were all over the place, maybe because it was one of the first warm days we've had. 

Mr. Squirrel made another appearance this week and Cade "scared him off" by banging on the window.  I thought for sure that he would be traumatized enough to never come back again but it didn't take him five minutes to climb right back up there. 

As cute as he is, I'm not happy that he's stealing!

Full of Interesting-ness

No I haven't died or fallen off the face of the Earth, which I guess would probably result in me dying so that was redundant, but anyone keeping track would know that it's been a week since my last post. 

I've been a little bit busy.  Mostly sitting around watching TV and aimlessly toying around with my new, very first smart phone.  In fact, I composed a draft of this in a "Write & Go" app with the very awesome Swype technology.  Yeah, this makes me cool now.  You know, I like to be up on the trends, catching all the newest technology (even if I catch them a few years later than everyone else.)  Next on our list: DVR!

Anyway, I later discovered that it's actually not helpful to use this "Write and Go" app for this type of writing unless you just want to get your thoughts down some place and fast because now I'm copying what I typed on my phone to the computer.  This led me to download a Blogger app and another called "My Writing Spot" so we'll see if I like either one of them better.

Interesting, this post is huh?

Ok so I may or may not have had a few more things, more productive and less pathetic things, on my plate this past week.  I've been meal planning more often for Brynlee as her eating patterns evolve.  She's eating a bigger variety of things as well as more things.  (Lots of things going on around here.)  I spent three hours in the kitchen making all sorts of meals, veggies and fruits for her (she eats better than the rest of us) which was Tons-O-Fun if you consider a cramped thigh, sore feet and a butt load of dishes (and not just plates and bowls and silverware, but all that plus two pots and two pans) fun.  Why do the little people make the big messes and require the most stuff.  Needy.

Now my kitchen was a mess, but that was OK because it matched the rest of the house.  My house had all of a sudden looked like a construction crew came threw, remodeled some secret room that I don't know about and left all the mess (think drywall dust and dirty foot prints all over the carpet) for me to clean up.  Really, I thought I just vacuumed and dusted yesterday.  Someone needs to be punished for this mess because nature can't be this cruel.  And I'm sure it wasn't the baby, so the boys it is.  How young is too young to vacuum?  (And on that note, how old is too old for a time-out?)

Also to mention from last week's To-Do list: I signed up to be a Tupperware seller lady and have my Grand Opening party this coming Saturday which doesn't help the whole house cleaning problem (and BTW hit me up if you want to order something!  And if you live in or around my living area, you're invited to my party!) 

I figured out how to hang eight pairs of soaking wet jeans on our drying rack after our washer ate a baby sock and some other small foreign items that made it in with the laundry, giving it a seemingly good reason to not drain or spin out.  It seems as of now that Husband has fixed the problem so I'm crossing my fingers that I don't need to post about that later. J

And of course, no To-Do list would be complete if it didn't include "pick up random stuff" and I can't believe how many "random stuff" piles still remain.

In other news, Brynlee has stayed true to her reputation of being a turd at nighttime, waking up almost on cue every night at 10:00 for her pacifier, midnight to eat and again at 4:00 for her pacifier.  Then if I'm lucky she will go back to sleep soundly until 7:00.  Cade was back to school last week, which was oddly difficult to get used to.  All I need to manage is to get him dressed (the baby and I, really that's optional), fed and in the truck but apparently I forgot how to do all of that well, at least.  It's incredibly hard to manage simple tasks when chronically sleep deprived.  My daughter will be paying for this in her teenage years.  I'm not above revenge.

Well, I hope you've fully enjoyed this lovely, most interesting post about my life this past week.  It was a joy to write it for you all.  Hopefully now the cobwebs will be cleared and I'll be able to amuse you with less worthless information.  Thank you for reading. J

Monday, March 21, 2011

Pick Me Up Monday: Music Madness

Monday again!  But this Monday is different.  This Monday is the FIRST FULL DAY OF SPRING!  I can barely contain myself!  In a post I did about wanting needing Spring to hurry it's little flower covered booty up, I talked about always playing Jack Johnson to ring in the fabulous weather.  This morning on the way back from dropping Cade off at school, I did nothing but blast Jack Johnson (or play as loudly as I could while still able to hear Brynlee and not bursting her ear drums, which really isn't all that close to "blasting" actually.) 

Regardless, I still fully enjoyed it and now I want to share one of my favoritest most favorite favorite Jack Johnson song!  (Hopefully it plays.  Sometimes YouTube doesn't allow videos to play on blogs.  If not, you should go search it because it's completely enjoyable!)

I did this post as a part of Baby Dickey's Pick Me Up Monday but also my sister-in-law, Jen, does a Music Madness Monday, so I guess this post fits that too!  Thanks for the ideas guys haha!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Making Connections

As a SAHM, I'm always looking for ways to keep in touch with the outside world.  I mean, I love my kids and all but duh, adult interaction, if only through a computer, is mandatory. 

That's one of the reasons I wanted to start this blog.  I've been really into reading the blogs of people I know and people I'll probably never meet.  It's a lot of fun to be able to escape into someone else's life through their blog, if only for a few minutes.  I have quite a few that I check into often (you can find them all on my BlogRoll page) and I've grown to love all of them.  It's interesting to me to "meet" different families, read different writing styles and learn all kinds of new things in the Mommy World.

I discovered a site called Social Moms and it's great for meeting moms, networking or just having a place to vent and discuss in groups that you can join.  I've added their widget in my sidebar that will be displaying the latest posts of other members and will be another way to connect to other blogs of interest.

Through Social Moms, I found another blog called Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies.  Go check her out here:

 Hip Chick Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies

I've also added her button to my BlogRoll page.  She does a Blog Hop called Fab Friends Thursday Blog Hop and I knew I had to link up!  Besides, the button is beyond cute!  If you're interested at all in getting more followers, I would really recommend getting your blog in to a Blog Hop like this!

Click the adorable button below to be taken to the Fab Friends Thursday Blog Hop post at Hip Chick’s Guide to PMS, Pregnancy and Babies to find out how you can join in!  (But hurry, this Blog Hop ends March 22!)

Pregnancy and Baby 411 Fab Friends Thursday Blog Hop

Anyway, I know some of you that read my blog are just friends and family and you'd love whatever I wrote about (or at least you'd lie and tell me you do), but I'd like to say thanks for reading anyway!  And, if you don't have a blog already, start one!  There are countless topics to write about (your life, your business, current events or issues that interest you) and you can bet someone will be interested it whatever you choose!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

What ever will I believe now?!?

I love horoscopes, so much so that I have mine (Libra) and my kids (Cancer) tattooed on my foot among cute swirly lines.  I love reading my daily horoscope in the paper and comparing every aspect of my life to the description of a Libra.  Most times it all rings true...somehow.

I also love BabyCenter.  I frequent the site often, searching for answers to all of my parenting questions.  I excitedly open my weekly emails from them to read up on all of the newest developments in my kids', well, development.  The information I get from BabyCenter never fails to answer all my questions and put any worries I have to rest.

Two things I love.  Two things I like to trust more than coffee and Desperate Housewives.

Let's tie all this together and learn why I'm slightly unimpressed with my latest finding.

I visited BabyCenter recently to look up something about Brynlee's eating or development or something.  On the homepage I found this:

Click to go do it yourself!
Cue the angels and soft lighting: Aaaahhh!!!  I was in heaven.  Of course, I had to do it.  I compared Cory and I to get our "parenting" horoscopes first.  This is what I got: Libra and Scorpio: Good Cop, Bad Cop.  We should avoid taking on extreme roles because our nature will inevitably pull up in those directions and our kids will quickly discover that they can play one parent against the other. 

Let's read on: Libra (me) is the parent that is "gentle and kind, with an aversion to conflict and controversy. You're the parent who says 'yes' unless you have a good reason to say 'no.' Consistent discipline could be a problem too, because you never want to be 'mean.'"  And Scorpio (Cory) "has no problem saying 'no' and may be stuck with the lion's share of the correction when rules are broken."

I stared at the screen while the crickets chirped.

This won't make sense to those who don't know us, but I'm sure those that do laughed a little when they read that.  I was sure I picked the wrong horoscopes.  Or BabyCenter has made a bad mixup mistake with someone else's results.  This was not describing my husband and I.  Unless the time that we went to Hy-Vee and Cade saw a flashlight that he wanted but could only get if he used his manners, which he quickly and severely failed at, so he got his flashlight taken away by Mom, then proceeded to throw a fit up and down every aisle and even showed a rare violent side towards his dad, but Dad decided that Son's fit was breaking his heart enough that he needed to give the flashlight back, stopping all tears instantly, was just a dream.  Because I'm sure it wasn't.  The security camera footage is probably still a go-to for entertainment for Hy-Vee employees during down time. 

It was awful.  I was beyond pissed at Cade's behavior and Cory's reaction and wanted to throw the stupid flashlight out the window of the truck on the way home.

Surely, this horoscope result was just a mistake and I decided to move on to comparing the rest of us.

First off, it kept describing me as a gregarious social butterfly, which maybe 10% of me is.  And my kids (Cancer), are shy?!?  Homebodies?!?  Dependant?!?  HA!  My son thrives on entertaining any guest, stranger or family member that walks through our door and has no problem disappearing into a crowd at our local arcade and bowling alley, against all warnings from his parents.  And my daughter?  Well, she's only 8 months old but I can already picture her on a stage singing her little heart out.

I just had to laugh when it suggested getting your Cancer child a pet or plant to care for.  It said they would "know what to do almost instinctively."  Really?  So the lima bean plant in a plastic Solo cup that Cade brought home in his backpack, spilling dirt everywhere and almost snapping the stem in two was good for the health of the plant?  Huh, no wonder my bushes aren't growing.  I'll be sure to stomp on them this spring.

It did hit the nail on the head when it described Cancer kids as sensitive.  Holy cow are they ever!  Cade carries on as if a limb is being amputated when I'm cleaning a small scrape and Brynlee, well, she already pulls at our heart strings with her (sad) cries. 

Also, Cade does love his stuffed giraffe that he's had since about a year old, which the "Cancer child profile" predicted.  He's had a hard time with our current weaning system where Giraffe has to stay in his bed instead of being dragged around everywhere he goes.  We did this mostly for thumb sucking reasons, but that's a whole other story!

I'll probably be looking up some information on this thumb sucking habit and how to break it (although, I'm not loving the fact that Brynlee is a pacifier baby considering I still have to make regular trips into her bedroom at least once during every sleeping time to pop it back into her mouth.  Cade was a much better sleeper, thumb conveniently attached to mouth.) 

I'm hoping BabyCenter doesn't fall short with advice in that category, because these horribly false horoscope results have almost ruined everything I've ever known to be true about life! 

Without reliable horoscopes and solid BabyCenter stories, where am I to turn?!?

Monday, March 14, 2011

Pick Me Up Monday: Baby Talk

This past weekend was about a 50-50 mix of bad and good moments.  I'll start with the good things.  First off, my mom was here.  She was going to baby sit for us when we went to a party with Cory's work friends, but that got cancelled so instead Cory and I went to a movie.  We saw The Kings Speech which was good, even though we were the youngest in the theater by 15 years or so.  I say it's because it's been out for awhile and all the young bucks who went to see it did so in it's first weeks.  Also, it's spring break and the college kids are out of town anyway.  I love going to the movies though, so it was a good time.  We used gift cards from Christmas, so we went all out with our snacks too!

Some other good things: Lunch after our family pictures Saturday was really yummy!  Red Robin has some good sandwiches...and fries too!  I snuck away with my mom and sister Sunday morning to eat breakfast at Panera, which is always a good time.  Then we went out to the mall where my sister works and spent just a little bit there.  Also, it didn't snow or rain this weekend!  That gets two good points!

The biggest "bad" moment obviously was our family picture experience.  Even though my mom told me plenty of times that I just have to get over it, I'm still annoyed.  I'm a bad grudge holder :/  The other bad moment was the time change.  I love that jumping ahead an hour gets us extra light in the evenings, but I don't like losing time during a day.  (I'm nto complaining about the time change anymore because Brynlee just so happened to wake up "early" Sunday morning, but really it was right on time, so her schedule hasn't changed!) 

Ok, so in writing, the good things really outweigh the bad things.  Call me a scrooge, but I still get bummed when I think about/look at our family pictures, so I need a good pick me up!

My friend Emily at Baby Dickey has a Pick Me Up Monday meme and it's perfect for me this week!  Of course, my kids can always make me laugh.  I just absolutely love this video of Brynlee.  I took this in January right after she got this jumperoo from my cousin.  She hasn't had many quiet moments since. 

Enjoy! J

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Why I Hate Studio Pictures

Well, most of them I guess.  Most of the ones I've ever gotten.  Why do they have to be so...cheesy.  So posed and stiff and unnatural.  I mean no disrespect to anyone who has ever gotten or to any photographer who has ever taken the kind pictures that I'm about to talk about.  I just hate seeing myself in pictures like them.

We just had our family pictures taken at a studio in Des Moines and I knew going into it what I didn't want and what I would probably get anyway.  I hate "now you sit here, and hold her like this and put your hand like this" and "snap" goes the camera.  Repeat.  The smiles look fake, the body positions look, well too positioned and severely lack anything natural.  With kids the age of mine, it's not as bad.  In fact, I loved the pictures we got of them at this very same studio in September.  You just can't perfectly "pose" a child that young, so there's always some hint of genuineness.  But with adults...gag!

I was hopeful that we'd have a better experience than we've had in the past with family pictures...until we walked in the door.  They were super busy and I knew it was just going to be a race from start to finish.  It was nothing less than that.  We were led back to our room, asked how many outfit changes we had, then told how many we were going to get (I had one outfit change for everyone and then I wanted to get a couple shots of Brynlee in some of her BabyLegs which so strenuously involved taking off her dress and putting on the BabyLegs which would have taken up 2.8 seconds longer than what we were allowed.  So we couldn't do that.  Whatever dude.) 

Then down came the white backdrop.  This was fine.  Then came the instructions.  She posed us in exactly what I didn't want.  But did I speak up?  Nooooo, of course not.  We'll just work with it, I thought.  This is what we got first:

Eh.  Whatever.  Yeah, I think we all look okay, and the pose isn't hoooorible I guess.  But I didn't want the whole session to be like this, so I decided to try to convey that to our photographer by adding my own natural twist to it.

Notice what I was trying to "tell" our photographer?  I would like more relaxed, candid pictures.  The first one is pretty cute, but as soon as Cade saw the flash he got confused and thought he should be looking at the camera, so the next two he was trying to figure out what he was supposed to be doing.  In the last one, he understood that he could look at his sister and play with her, etc.  But our photographer was satisfied and moved on.  Ugh.

The next several pictures were of just the two kids and were okay, but I think the biggest issue was with Cade's white shirt on the white background.  We also told her we didn't need any of Cade by himself because he hasn't changed any since September and he has school pictures too but she "had to because corporate says so."  Whatever, let's just waste our precious time.  You won't let me put BabyLegs on my baby for two pictures but you make time to take pictures I don't want.

Brynlee got some by herself too and because she wasn't going to get her BabyLeg picture with the pearl necklace I had, I threw it on her then.  They're okay, but not what I wanted.

Moving on, down came the black backdrop.  I really didn't want this.  I'm just really picky about black backgrounds.  I think they look the least natural of them all.  When the kids were at this studio in September, they took black background pictures and they turned out really well, but I wasn't feeling it this session.  She didn't really get good ones of the kids with this background. 

AND not to mention, she wanted Brynlee to sit high up on a backless stool and have Cade hold her steady there.  Really, woman?  It ended up being fine, but that's not how I would have sat any child under the age of 2.

Next, "corporate" also required Cory and I to have pictures of just the two of us.  Ugh.  They're good pictures of us and all, but NOT what we came here for!

Then we had our outfit change and we changed rooms too.  I'll say now that when I called to schedule these pictures, I told them that I wanted a particular room that I knew had more creative backdrops.  I was told I could request this when we got to our session which wasn't entirely true. 

I loved this backdrop, but not with our second outfit set.  I thought the first outfit set would look okay but Brynlee's BabyLegs would have looked perfect.  I told you that, Miss Photographer, before we even started, but whatever.  I'm just a naive customer that can be pushed through here in 23 minutes and 47 seconds.  No more, but hopefully less.

See that baby doll?  I would like to have seen her face, but I didn't even get a second to move it to reposition her before we were moving on again.  Oh, but let's not forget that Cade got pictures by himself again with this backdrop.  Posed "criss-cross applesauce" just like the other pictures.

The second outfits we had were my favorite.  And this is what I got of the four of us.

HUGE disappointment.  I don't know why I went along with this pose.  I think it's probably my least favorite of all.  I mean, first, don't you like our heads?  That's all you can see, after all.  I hate the open space, the weird proportions and Cade towering above us but Brynlee disappearing below us.  And second, sitting like this is so uncomfortable.  This is seriously all we got in these outfits of all of us.

What's most annoying is that I think we all look really good (good hair, pretty colors, no scratches or other blemishes) and we have mediocre pictures to show it.  This is just another reason I'm petitioning for a nice DSLR camera.  I've wanted one for months but there's this thing called priorities.  They suck.

I'm hoping to get with a friend of mine that does photography and maybe get some that we'll like better.  Any suggestions?  Anyone else have annoying picture session stories?
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