Monday, October 31, 2011

Whats in My Bag?!?

Last week - okay a few weeks ago - a family friend blogged about how her life - and purse - has changed since her daughter was born. Things are so different that in looking for her debit card she actually pulled a shoe (full size, not baby sized out of her bag).

Last Monday, I had a similar experience. Dumping bills and half eaten Cheerios out of my purse while looking for my work cell phone. Yes people, I have a separate cell phone for work. One that is supposed to be on all the time and that before having Little Man went everywhere with me.... I digress.

The cell phone had only been missing since Thursday evening, since I was off Thursday and Friday I didn't worry too much.

At any rate, the battery was certainly dead, so the calling the phone to locate it trick was out of the question. And, now that it was Monday morning, well, I really needed to find it.

As a working mom, I carry a purse to the office and diaper bag everywhere else. There is a wallet - glad I remembered it today - keys, personal cell phone, and several pairs of sunglasses (gotta have options!) that meander back and forth. Many days I forget at least one of the back and forth items.

Along with the phone (#9) I found all of this crap that is making my arms sore junk incredibly useful stuff.

1. Purse. Large, silver, I thought it was kinda trendy but still large enough for both my laptop and lunch. I also figured that the straps were on the softer side, so when I put my big-ol - no tablet for me :( - laptop inside my shoulders survive.
2. Grocery list from about three weeks ago. Ummmm. Didn't think I had it that day at the store. :: sigh
3. Pen. Purple. Can never find it when I need it.
4. Paper napkin. Had a cookie in it - gulp - a few days ago. Trash.
5. Cortizone 10. Did I mention that I had poison ivy under my arms. Totally gross. If you are gardening and wearing a long sleeve shirt and take off you gloves. Don't put them under your arm. Somehow that junk goes through the fabric.
6. HSA Debit Card. Needs to go back in the wallet or I will seriously never find it again. Seriously.

7. Shoes. They used to be my favorite heels ever. Now they make my feet hurt. They were in my bag to get resoled. That was probably two months ago. Now they are riding around in there and I pull them out when I need to be a grown up.
8. Sunglasses. Two pairs. I'm not even going to try and explain why there are two..... Well, maybe. One is a dark rim and one is a light rim. I have trouble keeping up with them, so two is better than one. The "expensive" pair was $7.99. Ha!
9. Work cell phone. Hallalujah.
10. Umbrella.
11. Work stuff
12. Family papers. ie. a file of new art work.
13. Badge and office key. Check out the awesome broken clip. Two clips down in two days. What is the deal with these things. All I want is for them to stay put on the side of my purse. Really. Is that too much to ask.
14. Camera card reader for work laptop. For some reason the card reader on the computer was broken when I got it and this is the solution from our IT team.
15. Wallet. See the seems popping? Not from the cash flow. Its more likely from all the receipts (and fantastic small works of art that I "have" to keep according to my daughter).
16. School Photo. 4x6 or something. I need to change it out and replace last year's on my office shelf. The photos were only taken in July. Its been in my purse for about three weeks. Think I'll take care of that today....

17. Halloween cards. Yeah. Cheesey. But if you are getting one you will love my novice art work and the updated pictures of the kids. It will be a few more days before these buggers go out because I gotta go buy stamps.
18. Graphic design idea. If it works out for the first birthday bash I will be sure to share the final version.
19. Dental receipt. Must remember to file. Not so bad on this one. The appointment was only last week.
20. Pencil pouch. Yep. Looks like make-up but its full of pens and a toothbrush and toothpaste. Plus lipstick when it gets back in there.
21. Keys.
22. Bill to call about today. Can I just say I HATE CIGNA. We are still sorting out everything from Little Man's birth last December.
23. Letter to mail to super cuz Alina.
24. Photo wallet. Full of cuteness.
25. Laptop charger. I was so looking for that this weekend.
26. New photos for photo wallet from a girl friend. It really makes me feel better that they are from the end of July and she gave them to me last week. I am so normal. :: sigh - again.
27. Coupons. Printed from dated 9/16. Still in my purse. About half of them have been torn off and used. Plus Shutterfly. Hit me up on comments or email if you want a share with friend code for 10 percent off plus 5 free cards. I have a ton of them!

Yikes. And that is only my work bag. Imagine if I showed you the wallet and or diaper bag. Totally messiness and I'm so not a messy person. I like clean counter tops and laundry put away. I organize suitcases and plan snacks ahead of time - somehow my bag is not in order. (For that matter, neither is my car.)

If you want to read more from Melissa over at Oh My Olivia, here is the link to her blog. Plus then I heard that Roo over at Nice Girl Notes is giving away a hot Elliott Lucca bag away. So, you know I gotta get in on that!

P.S. The strap on this bag is about to fall off. Maybe related to the laptop I lug around. Maybe. Maybe I need a new bag.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Fall Monogram

I love a monogram. Crisp. Clean. For some reason, to me, its a fun little bit of sophistication. (Did I mention that we had our monogram on our wedding invitations, programs, wine bottles, etc? They rocked.)

Okay. Back on track.... Some monograms go over the line. I mean, they work for some people, but not for me. For instance, wearable monograms.

I'm also pretty much over car monograms.

I mean, do you seriously want everyone on the highway knowing that much about you?!

The last few years, I've kind of been getting monogram overload from all of it.

Then I saw this one in Better Homes and Gardens.

The windows and matching doormat are too much for me, but the fall foliage - fabulous. I loved it. So, Big Girl and I decided to make our own. All we had was a diaper box and $0 in our pocket.

Yeah. I know. You are probably saying "how the he!! did she pull that off?" Well, here is the scoop.

- empty pampers box (really any box. make sure its empty)
- pencil
- scissors
- gold/dark yellow paint (optional)
- silk leaves
- glue gun
- ribbon or string

First, unfold the box. Go to your front door and consider what size monogram you want displayed. Better Homes and Gardens went small. We went big.

Draw the letter in pencil. (Lesson learned here - use a pencil. I used blue washable marker and it was not so easy to cover up with paint. If you use a pencil and make the lines thin, you can just use the brown of the cardboard as your background and you won't need to paint.)

It doesn't need to be perfect. Some individual funkiness is awesome.

Next cut out the letter.

If you are going to paint the letter, now is the time to get your crafty kids involved. (If the weather is bad, or they have some cough/cold/virus blues I recommend a very small water color type paintbrush and a large letter. Not that I would ever give my daughter a task that I know will take an hour to keep her occupied. :0 I'm just saying....)

If you're painting yourself, use a 1 in. foam brush and get it done quick.

After the paint dries, get out the hot glue gun and the leaves. Grandma did her poof - I have extra random art supplies because I'm a teacher - thing and we had silk leaves after a drive across town. If you're on a budget and don't have silk leaves (or a mom/grandma that is a teacher), ones from the yard will work fine, but you will probably want to toss your creation in the trash in a few weeks.

Lesson learned alert - we started gluing right off the bat. After a while I had to go back and take some of the leaves off because they weren't spaced out very evenly and my super fantastic assistant (Big Girl) was putting them in evenly straight lines.

Recommendation - put the leaves out across your letter before you start gluing. Once they are in place rock it out with the glue gun.

When all the leaves are on the letter there is another fantastic helper job - pulling all the hot glue strings off.

Before you hang it on the door, add a small piece of ribbon or yarn as a hanger. Or, if you don't have a nail in your door, you can use a wreath hanger and - ta da!

Wanna see closer?

 Okay, so we are waiting on more leaves from Grandma. But, its on display.

Totally looks like my daughter created it on her own. I love it. If I had it to do over, I'd probably go a little smaller. I may also skip the paint if my house was a brighter color and keep the brown of the cardboard to go with the fall theme.

The most fabulous part? The back. Check it out.

May work better for you folks that don't have a window on your door. Oh well. Nothin' a little paper grocery bag can't fix over the weekend.

No matter what, I totally love our monogram.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Questions of the Day

Standing in front of our spices, two important questions.

How are you gonna but hamburgers inside of there? They're too big.

What do we need leaves for?

Okay, that was two. They are seriously fantastic. Gotta love how little brains work.

The State Fair

This post feels like its pretty much outdated by now, but the fair was really just last week. Its hard to believe how fast the fall is going - too fast!

If you live in Raleigh you have to go to the State Fair. If you don't live in Raleigh and you are anywhere else in North Carolina you still hear about it, and really - lots of people from all over the place come to our fair.

Since we didn't make it last year (I was big and huge and pregnant and starting to get really uncomfortable!) this year it was all out required. Weeks ahead of time we picked a day and took off from work so we wouldn't have to fight the weekend crowds. We planned ahead to take Big Girl out of school - parents of the year - that's us!

Then the nasty virus happened. Well, to be honest it started hitting us over a week before fair day, but it wasn't a nice quick virus, it was a long lasting coughing, share it with every family member slowly virus. Yuck.

Then the nasty forecast happened. I looked and looked for a screen shot to share, and couldn't find an old one. But it was basically big fat rain clouds, the little lightening icon. When you read all the details, it said scattered showers at times heavy. Not good for being outside.
Then we went anyway. Yep. In the rain. With a virus. We went to the fair. For sic six hours we went to the fair.

And - guess what - even under dire said conditions it was fun.

We went on rides, we ate, we visited the village of yesteryear we watched the blacksmith, we ate and well, we ate. Did I mention there was a lot of eating?

It was interesting to see the fairgrounds with so few people. When we walked up to rides we got right on. When we went in exhibits we didn't have to fight crowds. It was a great time, and a much needed few hours with just my husband, our wonderful six-year-old and myself.

So, rain and all, I'd do it again. Maybe wear pants instead of shorts, but I'd do it again.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

We Luv A Good Festival

One of my favorite things about Raleigh this time of year is all of the fal festivals. It seems like most every school and even many churches have them. Its really all over the piedmont that this seems to happen, but it doesn't seem to be all over the Country (too bad for the rest of y'all).

Last weekend was the fall festival at the church/preschool that Big Girl attended when she was - well, not quite so big.

For $5 there were games, bounce houses, candy, a scavenger hunt, cake walk, candy, prizes and even a ride. Did I mention there was a cake walk with great baked goods and candy? We paid extra for face painting.

Again, my photography skills are somewhat lacking, but here is a (did I mention I am not good with a camera lately) look at some of the fun.

Scavenger hunt that required crossing back and forth across the church/school property about a dozen times. Big girl and her buddies "had" to do this at top speed.
Bouncin' was awesome. Three inflatables - heck yeah.

Use a water gun thing to knock out some ducks? Yes please. Win cute hair clips from Crocodile Creek. Even better!

Then my favorite. The obligatory face painting photo.

He's only 10 months, but this was his third (don't judge me, cuz we get in on the celebrations) face painting experience. When he looks in the mirror at himself it makes him laugh like crazy, so its all good.  

Another fall festival coming this weekend. Grandma paparazzi will be here, so you should get some better pictures.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


Picture this. Little Man sitting at the bottom of the stairs saying "dada. go dada," and waving his arms.

He knows he isn't really supposed to go up them, but on these steps there is no gate in the way. (There is a door between the steps and the kitchen so we don't need it.)

Then I hear "mama?" Followed by, "mama uh uh." (I think this is 10 month-old for, "Mommy I want to go up.")

So what do I do? What you would do. Go see that sweet little baby. I said, "go-go, you can go-go," and tapped the stairs.

That was all he needed. Within a few moments, this was the view from the foyer.

A few more minutes and my husband was out of the bedroom and quickly joined by Big Girl cheering him on. Such a sweet moment.

And our Little Man? He was so proud. When he got to the top he clapped for himself. My heart beams!

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Fall Garden

It's fall y'all. For real. Cool temperatures, long sleeves. It is for real here and probably going to stay.

A couple weekends ago we took some time (with the help of my Mom) to pull out all the tomato plants from our garden. They were still kickin', but the tomatoes just weren't lookin' so hot. Plus, I'm really not sure when we will have another weekend at home to get them out. (Kinda like not knowing when I would get to writing this post!)

Tomatoes gone also means time for fall crops to go in. Man, am I excited. Spinach, sugar snap peas, broccoli, onions. Plus we still have green peppers, jalapenos and green beans.

But the best part of all? The very best part? The other members of my garden team.

Big Girl: Trying to use all the garden tools she can find to bury the mulch. Yep. Bury it. Never mind that Dad and I were planting seeds and doing fun and useful things, she wanted to make a hole and bury the mulch that we planned to use again (as soon as we were done planting the seeds).

Little Man: Sitting down in the middle of it all. Covered in dirt. Not really that bad, but the dirtiest we've let him get. Pulling out weeds, trying to eat rocks. Not even crawling or cruising the raised beds. Just sitting still and taking it in and getting some nice black dirt under his nails.

Husband: Working hard. I mean really hard, and as fast as he could to finish putting in the sugar snap peas and green beans with their twisty poles before either of the kids interrupted.

Plus there was me, making nice little rows, totally giving up on labeling anything instead just putting little row markers in the ground and telling everyone to remember what is "there" verses "here" (really hoping this plan will work out for us). I totally wish I had labeled everything, but oh well. The garden goes on.... And hopeully the next garden post will include some pics of Big Girl.

Recent Conversations

The last few days and even week or so, we seem to have had a lot of funny little conversations at our house. Here are just a few that had us, or me, rolling.

Big Girl: My cheeseburger is horrible. It has black stuff on it. There is no way I can eat it.

Me: It has marks from the grill. If it didn't it would be raw and then the meat would make you sick.

Big Girl: The grill is making me sick.

Talking about babies and a friend that had her baby via c-section.

"When I have my babies I want to POP them out like Mommy did. I don't want them to get cut out because that will leave a mark."

Cleaning Up
Me: Lets go ahead and put away anything you don't want brother to get into, like the markers and the papers on the floor.

--long pause--

Big Girl: I have a book.

Husband with toy car in hand: I have a car.

Me: erupting laughter

Big Girl: What is so funny?

Me: I asked you to clean up and you knew I was talking to you, but answered the wrong question.

Big Girl: Huh

Me: more laughter

Husband: Please clean up the toys. Now.

Baby Play Time
As I was playing on the floor with Mr. Trouble, I realized that some of the things I was saying to him were actually pretty funny.

- We don't bite.
- Ew. I don't want that in my nose.
- Please don't put that in my ear.
- I love you, but I don't need all your slob.
- Honey, do I have teeth marks on me?

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Man Room...

Not so manly amid laundry... If you have two adults and two kids and don't wash clothes for two weeks your living room may look like this too.

At this point we were only on load four of nine.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

Shopping with Big Girl

Picked Big Girl up from school a little early and stopped at Trader Joe's for her to pick out a snack before heading to an appointment.

She loves this store and knows her way around and where to find all her favorite snacks. I told her that we had $10 to spend. Pushing the little cart around she picked out:

- Dried Raspberry Fruit Snack Thing $1.29
- Very Berry Smoothie $2.59
- Kettle Corn (for Dad) $1.99

When I asked if that was all she wanted for snack, she said yes. Then slowly turned her face around to me and asked, "do they have cookies here?"

So, we ended up with cookies as well. ($3.29)

With tax she made it out pennies under $10.

Only problem when we got in the car she decided that she didn't like the Raspberry dried fruit or the smoothie. Back to square one on filling up the tummy.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

The Very Hungry Caterpillar

My son is the very hungry caterpillar - on the next to last day of the story when he eats through everything.

Last night he started eating at 5 p.m. He started with little fruit snacks. Then he had puffies. Then it was shredded mozzarella, baby food pears, grapes, bread, baby food carrots, mac-n-cheese, smoked chicken, more mac-n-cheese and a bottle.
My pediatrician says his stomach is the size of his fist. She is wrong. There is no way that much fit in his fist and if we stopped feeding/stop feeding him he gets fussy. When he came out of the highchairs - and straight up to the tub because he fed himself most of the food - his belly was hanging over his shorts. 

He also burped a few times and this morning he had gas.... Its no freakin' wonder why. As I left for work I warned the sitter she may have more than one dirty diaper coming.

In Little Man's one defense, he didn't eat much lunch yesterday. He kinda passed on it. Then he napped through snack time. But, it was still a lot of food.

My very hungry caterpillar.

P.S. Does anyone know any secrets for getting Kraft Mac-n-Cheese (sauce and noodles) out of fine little baby hair? It was a bit of a painful process that included me using my fingernails to pull out little tiny pieces of noodle.

P.P.S. Did you know that a Mac-n-Cheese noodle fits perfectly over the top edge of a 10 month-old's ear? Its actually a little tricky to get out. I'm just sayin'

Monday, October 10, 2011

Weekend Conversations

Its was a busy and fun weekend at our house. We worked in the yard, attended a birthday party for a super kid, and had some seriously funny conversations.

"When was the last time you fed the fish?"
"The day before we went to the beach."
'That was in July."
"Did you think he would die?"
"The vacation feeder said it could last up to two months. I figured if no one else remembered to feed him, then we really didn't need him anymore."
"Okay, but now he's at the bottom of the tank growing fuzz."
"Yea. I noticed that he wasn't swimming anymore last week."
"Do you think we should clean the tank out?"
"Probably. I mean, that would be really nice of you."
"What about Big Girl? She's gone...."
"Well, we will tell her when she notices."
Side Note: She's been back almost 24 hours and hasn't missed the fish tank on the kitchen counter.

(This was on attending service at a church we hadn't been to before.)
"What did you think?"
"There wasn't a sermon."
"I don't know if I've ever been to a Sunday service without a sermon before."
"Yeah that was different."
"But it was a good service."
"Really? It was kinding of missing a sermon. Can it be a good service without a sermon?"
"Get in the car."
:: Oh crap people probably just heard us saying stuff about their church in the parking lot.

Downtown Lunch
"So you want to go and sit down somewhere to eat lunch?"
"Yea. That is what I was thinking."
"I mean, I just ran 22 miles and I can smell myself."
"So you don't want to eat? Its almost 1 p.m. and we didn't have breakfast."
"Maybe we should go to Bojangles instead of a good downtown place."
"Oh." - big pause - "Yea, you do smell a little."

Oh. You wanted to know who was saying what? That wouldn't be as much fun. Okay, so here is a clue, I'm not training for a marathon.

Days with Grandma

When I was a kid spending a few days with Grandma was awesome. Stay up late, eat mac-n-cheese and no veggies, buy toys Mom wouldn't ever allow and clothes she wouldn't like. It was my own little slice of heaven.

Now as a parent, I'm realizing that:

Days with Grandma = Parenting Vaca

While Big Girl has been off staying up late watching movies, eating mac-n-cheese, playing play dough with CZ and making fabulous art with her Aunt - Husband and I got to eat out (with Little Man) watch what we want on TV and even sleep in a little.

Its about as good as a break when you have two young children.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Halloween Costume Ideas

Halloween is still a few weeks away, but most of the kids around here (my kids Big Girl includedhave already picked out their costumes and have them ready to go. In Big Girl's world if you don't have a costume yet its "almost too late!"


Me, myself, I would think of almost too late as 4 p.m. on Halloween day. I would think of almost too late for a super fabulous deal as this week or next. Over the last few years it has seemed like the prices on costumes (at least the ones Big Girl and her friends have been interested in) go up the closer you get to the big day. As for e-bay and Craigslist, the really good deals are getting snatched up quickly.

That said, here are some "almost too late" (and not too expensive) costume ideas from Big Girl and me.

1. Fancy Nancy.

We Big Girl adores reading all the Nancy books. The costume is pretty simple and only requires a decent stash of dress up clothes. You need: a tutu, a cute (sparkles help) t-shirt, gloves (ones from last winter are fine), a crown ($1 store if you don't have a half dozen like us), dress up necklaces, dress up bangles, boa or a scarf from Mom, fancy hair clips or sparkle ponytail holders, brightly colored rain boots (from the explorer book) or party shoes. If its cool on Halloween add brightly colored tights.

Practice saying "Bonjour" and you'd even impress author Jane O'Conner.

2. Pinkalicious


Another favorite storybook character. Can you tell we were at the library over fall break?

This one is also pretty easy. Start with either a pink dress or long pink skirt and shirt. Add pink tights, pink shoes, wings if you have them or skip them if you don't because she doesn't have them in every story. To finish off the look a crown, pinktails (pigtails) and a wand with pink streamers (hair ribbons work great).

3. Handy Mandy

Apologies in advance that this is the only one she thought of that was for a boy, but it is an easy one. All you need is jeans, boots or brown shoes, a green shirt, a red baseball hat, yellow pencil over the ear and a tool belt and any pretend/play tools. If you don't have pretend ones, they usually have some at the $1 store. Tool belt may be harder, but I think you can skip it.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Heritage Day/Laura and Mary Day

For quite a while now Big Girl has been all about some Little House on the Prarie. We've listened to all the books on CD twice. We've read many of the books about their friends, so when Wake County's annual Heritage Day came up around we were all in.

We washed clothes by hand.

We helped make soap.

We check out (but were very carefull not to pet because they were scary?!?) the sheep.

We harassed some little goats that were minding their own business (in a playpen that remined us of baby jail) by calling them "og" which is Little Man for dog.

We sampled the cotton candy.

Wait. That cotton candy machine is using electricity. Maybe it wasn't around in Laura and Mary time. Wait. Double checked with Big Girl. "It had to have been or they wouldn't have had it at Heritage Day," she tells me. That is a little suspicious.

So, here are the chickens that the 4-H kids were getting ready to show. One of them eats marshmellos. Also thinking this didn't happen on Little House, but I am not even going to mention that one to Big Girl....

There were also oxen (I'd never seen them up close before), a variety of farm animals, buttermaking, candle making, a blacksmith, hayrides, horse and buggy rides, a cotton field and information about cotton in North Carolina and some fantastic smelling food. There were also lots of other things, many of which we didn't see, because it was both lunch and nap time... We'll be back next year. More on the rest of our exciting weekend tomorrow.