Friday, April 29, 2011

Saturday Morning Scene

Saturday Morning Scene

Today I'm linking up with Katie at Loves of Life for the Saturday Morning Scene. Here's what is going on this morning.

Check out my girl. Today she begins her swimming lessons at the YMCA (you can start singing, I won't tell). She has no idea what swimming lessons are, but she sure is excited about them. All she knows is that she is going to be in the water with Mommy, Daddy, and her best bud, Matthew.

And really, with that plan of action, what else do you need to know?

She has been telling Sophia and the cat that she's going to go to the "big water" all morning.

My little peanut is getting so big. Today it's swimming lessons, tomorrow it's driving lessons. Please slow down, baby girl. You're growing far too fast for your mama.

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Riding it Out

Yesterday was a scary day for those of us in the South. We were pounded with storm after storm; storms that brought rain, thunder, lightening, hail and tornadoes. As we come out of hiding this morning, we are thinking of the people of Tuscaloosa, AL, and all that they have lost.

Thankfully, although we had our fair share of warnings, hail, and rain, we are safe and sound this morning with no damage to speak of. We are of the lucky few. So many of our friends, and even our neighbors, did not escape extensive property damage. However, they are all safe. Nothing was lost that cannot be replaced, and for that I am thankful.

The girls and I spent the day yesterday preparing for the storm by cleaning out the closet under the stairs; our storm haven. I knew that it was inevitable that we would be in there at some point, and I needed to be prepared. I kept a watchful eye on the news and the sky. When the clouds started rolling in, I began to pray that my babies would be safe and that Andy would come home safely. My prayers were answered to both.

The night was long, with constant trips in and out of the small, hot closet, but the girls were troopers. Sophia cried a little, but for the most part, was happy. Emma was content with her toys and the captive audience. We sang songs, played with flashlights, and ate snacks. We heard the hail pummel our house, but the girls never flinched. I'm so glad that they know that we will do anything and everything to keep them safe. After the tornado warnings had passed, we let Emma stay up until most of the storms were gone, fearful of the wind that continued (there were reports of 70 mph wind gusts!). She was happy to stay up and continued to play in the closet--it had become her own little hideout.

Here are a few pictures I couldn't help taking during our Storm Adventure.
I hope that you and your loved ones are safe this morning, ready to greet the sunshine of today.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Wordless Wednesday (Kind Of)- Easter Outtakes

Emma's "big smile." She thinks that the tighter closed her eyes are, the bigger her smile will be.

An attempted Easter hug was thwarted by a sudden sneeze.

We don't believe in perfect family photos. THIS is how we roll.

Monday, April 25, 2011


We began the Easter festivities on Saturday by dying eggs. Emma was so excited to get her hands on the eggs and drop them in the dye. We pretty much let her do it all on her own, which made this mama a little scared when she began dropping them in the dye cups with a mighty splash. I helped her take the eggs out, but she did the rest. She did a great job and we had beautiful eggs.

Easter morning began very early, with both girls getting up at 6:30 in the morning. The Easter Bunny hid the baskets and Emma had to hunt around the house to to find hers. Thankfully, the Easter Bunny took it easy on Sophia and put hers into her swing so it was easy to find. Emma was a great hunter and looked all over the house before she finally spotted it behind the TV.

Emma wasted no time tearing into her basket. Sophia took her time and checked things out nice and slow.
Both girls took a time out from their baskets to have a little story time. Daddy read them the story of Easter, which they loved.
In the afternoon, we went to my mom and dad's for Easter dinner and an egg hunt. Emma and Sophia got more baskets full of lots of toys, clothes, and treats.

One of Emma's favorite gifts was a pair of binoculars from Nana and Papa. She loves the Sesame Street episode where Elmo and Abby become birdwatchers looking for a Blue Bar Pigeon. She always pretends to look through her binoculars with an attachment from my hairdryer (she has a great imagination). Now she has her very own pair!
The Easter Bunny made it out to my mom and dad's and hid all of the eggs that Emma had made. Once she got started, there was no stopping her! My parents have a pretty big yard, so Emma had to look really hard and was worn out by the end.

I wish I could post a beautiful picture of our family, but between Sophia not liking the sun in her eyes and Emma not getting a nap and coming off a sugar high, you can probably guess what the attempts looked like. So I will just leave you with the images of happy, smiling children.

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Five Question Friday 4/22/11

Happy (Good) Friday everyone! I hope that you have fabulous Easter plans ahead and will be able to enjoy the holiday with those that you love. We'll be dying Easter eggs tonight so please say a prayer for us and our kitchen floors. The Easter Bunny will be working hard this weekend preparing for Sophia's first Easter.

This will be our first holiday with two children and boy, I am excited!!! I have been waiting to start these memories my whole life.

It's hard to believe that this will be Emma's third Easter. She celebrated her first when she was just 3 days old. Here's a little trip down memory lane:

Easter 2009

Easter 2010

Now onto 5?F! If you would like to participate in Five Question Friday (5?F), please head on over to Mama M's and link up. If you are new to our blog, I'd love to hear from you! If you're not new but are a lurker (i.e. Mom!), I'd love to hear from you too!

1. What is your favorite Easter tradition?

We don't have too many Easter traditions, but now that we have kids, our new favorites are coloring eggs and having Easter egg hunts. My husband's family has a tradition of hiding the Easter baskets and having the kids find them Easter morning which he is excited to do.

2. Are you a "shower" or a "long, hot bath" kind of person?

As of right now, I'm a shower-as-fast-as-you-can-before-the-baby-freaks-out type of person. But normally, I am a regular shower person. Baths are great, and I enjoy them occasionally, but I honestly get a little bored after 5 minutes. I wish I could sit in them for hours; listening to relaxing music, sipping wine, all by candlelight...nope. No time.

3. Can you parallel park and if so when is the last time you did it?

After relentless hours of practice in a parking lot with my dad, you bet your butt I can. I haven't done it since college, but I'm sure I could still do it if I had too.

4. What is your favorite Easter candy?

For the family members that are reading this, they are most likely thinking "chocolate bunnies" and having a good laugh (it's an inside joke; I am known as the Chocolate Bandit. And the Bacon Bandit. But that's another story.) Chocolate bunnies aside, I would have to say that my favorites are marshmallow eggs and Reese's Peanut Butter Eggs. Mmmm...

5. Easter: do you go all out with the Easter Bunny or focus on the religious part of the holiday?

A little bit of both; our kids are 2 years and 2 months. At Christmas we tried teaching Emma about Jesus' birthday. She looked at us very seriously, with wide eyes, and then proceeded to drop the baby Jesus from her manger set into her Busy Ball Popper.

We'll continue trying but it's still a little over their heads.

Easter will be just like Christmas in this house; we will be sure to teach them the importance of the day and let them go crazy with candy and eggs.

Happy Easter everyone!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Playing With Play Dough

Emma loves to help me in the kitchen, but there isn't much she can I am willing to let her do. Messes, potential boo-boos, messes, and messes. No thanks.

So today I whipped up a batch of play dough (doh?). I guess I could buy her some, but why buy when you can make something this easily?

The play dough could have been colored, but I'm pretty sure that my budding engineer would have a problem with the colors mixing. She likes things to be "just so." So I kept it simple (if you would like the recipe, keep reading!).

After we had the "Do not eat this because it's gross" talk, I handed her a few kitchen gadgets and let her loose.

I put everything into a Ziploc bag and, presto! A ready made activity. I hand her the bag and she's ready to go!
There are tons of recipes out there. Some are edible, which could be fun, but a two-year old can't distinguish between which she can eat and which she can not. I didn't want to makes things complicated when she got the store bought stuff. This particular dough will last for a very long time, which is why I like it. It is smooth (smoother than the "real" stuff), soft, and easy for little hands to squish and mold.

I halved the recipe and it was plenty for Emma and filled up the container shown above.

Play Dough- Makes 3 1/2 cups of dough
2 cups flour

1 cup salt

1 tablespoon vegetable oil
2 1/2 teaspoons cream of tartar

1. In a medium saucepan, mix together the flour, salt, vegetable oil, cream of tartar, and water.

2. Cook uncovered over medium heat, about 5 minutes. Stir constantly until the dough is the consistency of mashed potatoes.

If you want to add coloring:

3. Divide the dough into four equal portions.

4. Add approximately 6 to 8 drops of food coloring to each portion and knead the color into the dough to distribute it evenly. Kneading the color into the dough is the fun part -- kids will love it.

5. Store in an air tight container.

Have Fun!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Operation No Paci- Night #2

I think I was more worried about the second no paci night than I was the first. Maybe Emma's willingness was due to the novelty of the Paci Fairy (read about that here) and would be short lived.


Last night at bedtime, she shouted "No paci!" and crawled into bed. Once again, I picked my jaw up off the floor, gave her a kiss, and left. No crying. No asking for her paci. Nothing.

This is a kid that would scream bloody murder when we took her paci away in the morning. The same girl that would "sneak" a quick suck on Sophia's paci.

We only had one slight hitch this morning. Emma popped up out of bed, looked around, and upon not seeing a Paci Fairy gift, said "Uh oh!" Then she got up and forgot about it.

I keep waiting for the second shoe to drop. Stay tuned...hopefully this really is goodbye forever.

Friday, April 15, 2011

The Paci Fairy Cometh

The Paci Fairy made a stop by our house last night. She gathered up all the pacis and took them to give to all the new babies being born. In exchange for the pacis, she left a token of appreciation for the big girl that gave them up.

That big girl would be Emma. We've been talking about the Paci Fairy for a while now, and each time, Emma looked at me like I was nuts.

"What is this crazy lady talking about now? I'm not letting that fairy anywhere near my pacis."

So I thought that we were going to have a major fight on our hands when the time came. I anticipated hours of screaming, crying, and other acts of carrying on. Once again, Emma surprised me. After we said our prayers, I asked her if she was ready to put her pacis out for the P.F.

"Ok. Night Mommy! Miss you! Bye!"

Um, I didn't even get to give the big speech that I had prepared. I gave her a kiss and left the room.

Through the monitor, I could hear her normal bedtime babble. She was telling her sleeping pals (Puppy and Ernie) all about her day. Then I heard a little uncertainty slip into her voice.

"Paci? Where could paci be?"

30 minutes later, she was up and starting to get upset. I went into her room to talk to her and reminded her that the P.F. took all the pacis and that big girls didn't need them, yada, yada, yada.

She laid back down, said good-night and tried again. After 5 minutes of talking to herself ("It's ok. Paci Fairy give babies."), she was out like a light.

All I have to say is, this kid definitely inherited her daddy's sense of calm and reason. Thank goodness!

This morning, she woke up full of smiles, ready to see if the P.F. did what was promised.

I'm pretty nervous about couldn't be over this easily!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Today was the big doctor visit. Emma had her two-year checkup and Sophia had her two-month. We were dreading this day because both girls were scheduled for two shots each. Ouch! At first they were pretty happy to play in the room and be fawned over by the nurses. Here are the stats for each girl:

Weight: 22 pounds 6 ounces
Height: 32 1/4 inches
She is likely to:
  • speak in short sentences (yup)
  • point and/or label common things in picture books (sure does)
  • know first name when asked (she can, but only when she feels like it)
  • kick a ball (check)
  • respond to simple requests (um...)
  • have temper tantrums at times (HELLO?!?)
I guess she's perfectly normal, the skinny little thing.

Weight: 11 pounds even
Height: 22 3/8 inches
She is likely to:
  • coo and smile (YES!)
  • hold a rattle (yup)
  • Show pleasure interacting with parents and caregivers (yes, until they poke her with needles)
My girls are getting big and are right on track! Always good to hear!

I'll spare you the after pictures (I wasn't cruel enough to take any anyway) but I'll share a few taken during our wait.

Emma kept herself occupied by opening cabinets, drawers and drumming on the stool. We brought toys but they weren't nearly as fun!

Sophia exercised to keep herself busy.

Her she is in all her 11 pound glory!

Emma was given a gown to wear for the first time. The novelty wore off quickly and she stripped it within 10 minutes.

Emma was a great big sister as always: she told Sophia lots of stories to keep her happy.

Thankfully the tears are over and we're resting at home. Emma is cuddled on the couch and as a special treat, she gets to watch however much TV she wants. Thank goodness for Disney On Demand. Sophia's special treat is that she gets to nap while being held by Mommy instead of in her crib.

My girls have simple requests and on shot days, I'm happy to oblige.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Emma's Birthday

What a great day we had yesterday. It may have been Emma's birthday, but we all enjoyed the day, which turned out to be perfect. It was a warm, gorgeous day and even though there was a chance of rain, it stayed nice and sunny all day long.

The day started with a special birthday breakfast for Emma--chocolate chip pancakes. She called it a "breakfast cookie" and we let her think whatever she wanted! :)
Her "big" birthday gift from us was a tricycle. She loves riding the display trikes at the store and so we knew she'd love it. She was so excited to open it and immediately took her doll for a ride.

She and Daddy went for a ride later in the afternoon. She can't quite push the pedals on her own, but she'll get the hang of it soon!
Emma's birthday party was at Little Gym and WOW! It was fantastic. The staff took care of everything for us--set up, clean up, and everything in between. It was a great place for all the kids to run around, jump, and do all the things toddlers love to do in a safe place where they can't break anything!

Six of Emma's friends came to her party and Emma loved playing with them at the gym and showing off the skills she's learned there.

For the past two weeks we have heard about cake and nothing else. When she finally got some, she didn't waste any time digging in!
From the looks of things, she had a great time!
After the party and a nap, she spent the evening playing with her new toys and retelling us about her day. One of her gifts was this tent, which she used to hide from us and her crying sister. She took all of her toys and a snack inside and was all set!

Happy birthday sweetie! I'm so happy that you enjoyed your special day!

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Two Too Soon

Two years ago, we were blessed with our beautiful daughter Emma. We are so lucky to have such a sweet, caring daughter who fills our lives with joy and laughter each and every day. These past two years have been the happiest of our lives and we couldn't love her more. Happy Birthday baby girl!

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Two Months Old and 5QF

Sophia turned two months old yesterday! It's hard to believe that two months have flown by so quickly. Our lives have been a whirlwind as we continue to adjust to life as a "two under two" family, but we love it!

Sophia has started her new medication and so No change. Honestly, she seems worse, but evidently that's common. We're still hoping for a miracle so our little one can be comfortable and happy.

Here is Sophia on her two month birthday with her appropriately named Sophia doll; a gift from Aunt Nicole. I missed the first month (I plead leftover pregnancy brain) but from here on out, she will take a picture with her doll each month to show her growth.

In other news, we are busily preparing for Emma's big birthday bash. She is so excited about tomorrow that it's all she can talk about.

My baby is turning two. That's all I have to say about that.

On to 5QF! If you want to play, head on over to Mama M's!

1. If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
I would love to be a much more patient person. I'm pretty sure my hubby wishes the same thing.

2. Write about a time when you got lost.
Before we were married, Andy and I took a trip to NYC to attend the US Open. Apparently, Andy was given the wrong address to our hotel and we spent about two hours attempting to navigate the New Jersey Turnpike in the middle of the night.

Please read the answer to question one for an explanation on how I handled this.

My favorite part of that experience? When we found what we thought was our hotel, we were told that ours was actually a few miles away. Andy begged for a room. "Please...I don't want to have to go out there and tell her that this isn't it." Sadly, they were all booked up and Andy returned to the car in fear.

Obviously, he survived. And so did I.

3. Camping or 5 star hotel?
It really depends. I love them both. Scratch that...I've never been to a 5 star hotel. I'd like to do that sometime (Andy? Are you reading this?), but it's not something I'd always like to do. I love camping. The smell of the firewood, the sounds of nature. We're looking forward to going again when the kids are older.

4. Have you donated blood?
Hahahahahahaha! Oh, this isn't a joke.

Let's just say that I almost declined a necessary medical procedure because I had to give a blood sample. I sat in the parking lot for TWO HOURS telling Andy, "Is it really necessary to remove potentially cancerous cells? I'm pretty sure I'm fine."

I'm not rational in the presence (mental or physical) of sharp, pointy objects headed toward my veins. It's taken me 30 minutes to finish this answer for all the squirming and cringing.

I know it's important to do so, and be a good citizen and all that, but no. NO. No needles.

And that whole business about getting over that fear when you have a baby? No such luck. And I have two of 'em!

5. D
o you have a budget or do you 'fly by' most months?
Technically, we have a budget. We have to with two kids, a mortgage, and bills. But I have been known to stray from that budget from time to time. Sometimes kids just have to have another cute pair of shoes to match their new outfit, right? That's the fun of having girls!

Have a fantastic Friday everyone!

Monday, April 4, 2011

Weekend Recap

We had beautiful weather here in Knoxville this weekend. For the first time in a while, we both felt rested enough to take advantage of it and get out of the house.

On Saturday we took the kids to the park for a picnic. This was Emma's first picnic and she seemed extremely confused about what she should be doing.

Should I eat? Should I play? Should I do both at the same time?

After lunch, she took off for the playground and managed to run off every calorie she'd consumed. While Sophia snoozed in the Moby wrap, Emma tired herself out.

I love taking pictures of her at this park; we've been taking her here for a while and I love seeing how much she's grown.