Look Ma - NO HANDS!

>> Monday, December 31, 2007

So Violet is 1 year old today and we JUST got done with her party. While her and Piper are sleeping I thought that I would quick post this photo I took of Violet from Saturday - I think that walking will come quickly now but I hope not b/c I love having my little baby still be a little baby (sure all 22 little pounds of her *wink*). I am also submitting this as my Best Shot Monday b/c I NEVER have my camera around when she does this so it is a miracle shot for me. You may see that dress again b/c I was trying it on her to make sure it fit for her party.



Best Shot Mondays has moved to a new home for now until it arrives at it's final destination hopefully Jan. 21st.

Happy New Year Everyone!!

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I want Daddy to...

>> Thursday, December 27, 2007

EVERYTHING! Matt has been home for the past week on vacation and Piper has turned into a TOTAL Daddy's girl. "I want Daddy to change my diaper", "I want Daddy to put my clothes on me", "I want Daddy to give me my medicine". Ah well, I guess that I should be happy that I am able to do some of the things I am not normally able to do on a daily basis like shower, shave, my hair - you know crazy things like that *wink*

We took Piper on Christmas Eve BACK to the doctor's office b/c she complained again of her ear hurting her and she was on her final day of meds so I figured better safe than sorry - ear infection still there! We are on our last kind of medicine and then off to an ENT - I hope that this medicine takes care of it b/c I would hate for her to have to go and get tubes. Although common, you never want your baby to go through something like this you know?

I asked Piper what she wanted to leave for Santa (b/c he needs a snack too) and she decided on a family favorite - M&M's. We left out 1 M&M for the big guy (my kid is stingy) and off to bed went our babes. Watching Piper's face when she woke up and came into the living room was so cool - Santa ended up getting her a glittery pair of princess shoes and a wand made of ribbon and tulle - lucky girl! Violet has been banging the drum since she laid eyes on it - she has been so much fun this Christmas. Side note on her - she WANTS to walk SO BAD! She tries to pick herself up but falls after a few steps - but she is TRYING which at this age Piper had no interest in, they are such different kids.

We decided to brave the zoo on Wednesday with the girls - they had so much fun there. Matt fed the lorikeets and both him and Piper fed lettuce to the beautiful giraffe that greeted us when we came into his area (I think he was hungry). There are great shots of both in the montage that I put together. We saw the penguins eat and also big male gorilla smiled for the camera and then took a dump for us - class :) The pictures run a little long for any family that wants to see our holiday but if you have about 1 1/2 minutes check it out - some neat shots of Piper playing and from Christmas.

We are getting ready for Violet's birthday and things have been crazy around the house lately - I am hoping to start blogging regularly again after the New Year - happy Thursday!

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To return or not to return

>> Friday, December 21, 2007

I feel like my husband and I have gone completely crazy with presents for our children. When we first started out shopping Piper was ONLY getting a Waldorf baby in a crib and Violet was getting a Dora chair like her big sister's and some instruments. SINCE then I have been picking stuff up, not really realizing how much I was accumulating until I sat down and looked at it all - OMG! I want to teach my daughter's to be thankful for what they get and not to expect too much and then I go WAY overboard. Honestly, it isn't THAT much but more than a doll and chair KWIM? Again today in an effort to get a Christmas photo with Santa I asked Piper what she would ask Santa for - princess shoes. Huh? I waited and asked again in an hour (or so) - princess shoes. Seriously, can I NOT get her the 1 thing that she would have asked Santa for had she decided to actually talk to him? Is 2 years old too early to grant a wish like this? For fun I bought her a pair of those cheap plastic heels that the little ones look like they will break their necks when walking in - totally thrown away after just 1 day. What to do, what to do! Should I return the Mega Block Dora set that we got for her (b/c YESTERDAY she LOVED Dora) and get princess shoes instead? UGH!!

In a fun note I played around with my Photoshop last night and even though I am a TOTAL beginner I think that the little project that I created for the girl's Grandma turned out rather nice. I included names so that she would never feel at a loss when she didn't remember which kid was which- if she doesn't no one will be the wiser when she is showing them off.



Oh, and I got half of my cards finally sent out today, I forgot the other half at home - don't ask! I guess 1 or 2 friends/family might actually get a card from us before Christmas. The thing about when you send out cards this late is that people are probably thinking that they got purged from our list but we received their card so we had to hurry up and send them one too - nope, I am seriously just THAT behind this year :)

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Another Long Week

>> Sunday, December 16, 2007

Here is a photo on the way home from our weekly playgroup on Wednesday - call it my Wordless Wednesday b/c I didn't have time to post then. I opened all the windows in the car to try and keep the girls awake and this photo was taken by me just putting the camera behind me and blindly shooting. It was the ONLY 1 that turned out (we were on our road when I took them so I wasn't being unsafe).



My poor Piper STILL has the ear infection that she came home from Thanksgiving with - Friday morning she came out of bed and told me that her ear hurt so after another trip to the doctor we were told she need more medicine. I am not used to this, my girls haven't been sick and I feel really bad for her b/c I am sure that it is hurting. The thought crossed my mind to not go to Matt's Christmas party Friday night but I was leaving the girls with our friend Sherri and her daughter so I knew that they would be ok.

We were actually late to the Christmas party b/c traffic was HORRIBLE for some reason. We were not the only ones though, 3 of the drivers were also late so the ENTIRE party had to wait for them to arrive so that we could eat. I was STARVING! The meal was really great but I have to just comment quickly on how rude many of the employees were at The Speedway Club. One banquet server totally blew me off when I asked where the bathroom was, the lady excusing the tables got on the microphone and yelled at the guests that were upstairs, and the lady that was helping the photographer was extremely rude to both my husband and I (to her I smiled and wished her a Merry Christmas which was met with a blank stare). Anyway, parties that we have been to in the past have been much more fun and I am not sure I will be too excited to go next year.

We all watched Bryce and baby Cole last night - Piper is such a little mama. Matt and Piper were feeding Cole while I nursed Violet and I finished first so I was able to capture my big girl helping out, she makes me so proud!



Hopefully we will have well kiddos and a fun filled next few weeks as Matt is off after Monday. I will be busy getting things ready for Violet's first birthday - I can't believe that my baby is almost 1 *sniff sniff*. Where does the time go?

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How much can you cram into 3 days away from home?

>> Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Well we managed SeaWorld, the ocean, and a quick tour of Savannah and now we are saying "Ah, it's good to be home". The zoo made it there and back and it was a lot of fun but always nice to be home, the mounds of laundry that we seem to acquire from getaways like this never cease to amaze me. Instead of recapping the entire weekend I have decided to just do a photo show – there are some fun shots so try and make it through. I chose the song from John Ondrasik b/c he was the vocal entertainment at the banquet on Friday night and sang this song. There was also a HILARIOUS comedian that performed, John Pinette, and if you ever have the opportunity to catch one of his shows I highly recommend taking it in.



A big thank you to Paula Dean for just having about the best fried chicken that I have EVER had on her buffet when we swung through Savannah on Sunday and ate at The Lady & Sons for lunch. I put the first bite into my mouth and was in heaven! The meal was finished off with the banana pudding and gooey butter cake, OMG!! I HAD to mention that b/c I am STILL thinking about it!

Because of the amount of photos that I took it was hard to choose my best shot this week but I have decided on this one. Our baby LOVES the beach as you can see by the look of sheer joy on her face. Join in on the picture taking fun and post your Best Shot Monday!


F
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Walgreen's Pharmacy

>> Wednesday, December 5, 2007

I decided instead of cleaning my house (which I need to do before we leave for FL) to sit down and post about what happened to my family today. Even now, hours later, I am still sick to my stomach that something like this happened and it is so very hard for me not to blame myself partly.

Last week I posted about bringing the girls to the doctor's office and that Piper had her first ear infection - very common from what I understand talking with other mamas. The doctor wrote out the prescription and talked to me about it, I can't for the life of me remember now what exactly was said back then as I had 2 really crabby girls that I was dealing with. After leaving the doctor's office I went and dropped off the prescription to Walgreen's and headed to the grocery store while they were filling the medicine. The technician went over the instructions with me and off we went. Yesterday I noticed that I was starting to run out of the medicine and figured that they didn't give me enough so this morning I called my doctor's office to get more b/c we are heading out of town. Well, after talking to the nurse I found out that Walgreen's wrote the WRONG instructions on our medicine therefore I was giving Piper 2x the amount she was supposed to be receiving. The sweet nurse assured me that b/c it was mild antibiotic that Piper was alright but I should bring her in to make sure the infection was gone. The Pharmacist from Walgreen's did contact me and apologize, what else could he say b/c he can't take back what happened, but I did manage to tell him (through my tears) how I was EXTREMELY disappointed in their QC - how did this happen? He blamed the technician for typing wrong, Pharmacist on duty for not double checking, blah blah blah, we'll pay for your co-pay on the doctor visit, free prescription, blah blah blah, so sorry, nothing else I can say (WHICH TOTALLY PISSES ME OFF WHEN ANYONE SAYS THIS). I can't even go in there b/c I am so angry with myself for not checking the prescription without handing it to them and TRUSTING them - never again! As anal as it may seem from now on I will photocopy each prescription for any member of the zoo to make sure that what we are doing is correct.

Please make sure that you all do the same, I wouldn't wish for this to happen to any other family. As it happened Piper just got a pretty bad yeast infection out of it BUT she could have got that from the regular dose too (but right now I doubt it).

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Sick children, a new suit, and a paci

>> Tuesday, December 4, 2007

What do all of these things have in common? It has been my life for the past week and a half. My poor little Piper woke up in the middle of the night screaming - her ear hurt and after a doctor visit it was confirmed that she had an ear infection (her first). Violet still has a yeast infection that I wouldn't wish on my worst enemy that after treating with over the counter cream for a week finally called in for some stronger stuff to *hopefully* get it on its way to healing before our trip to Orlando this weekend.

My husband has gained a little bit of weight around his midsection and after trying on the suits he had at the house we had to go out and get him a new one - last night. He is a procrastinator and PROBABLY should have thought of this a month ago but didn't so off we went to the mall to get him a suit. He tried on a few at the first store, liked one, but continued going to all of the stores looking - guess which suit he got? Yep, at 9:15 PM he got fitted from the first store for a suit. Thank goodness we found a nice one though and it was 60% off with another 20% off on top - normally when we are running out at the last minute the savings is minimal so we were thrilled. I, however, wrecked the pedicure that I got yesterday b/c of the shoes I chose to wear (who knew that I couldn't wear shoes 7 hours after) so today I have to go back and buy some polish from them to try and fix what I destroyed. Not my best Monday night in awhile.

Finally, the paci. Who would have thought that my almost 1 year old would take to something that she has never seen so well. Yesterday I gave her a paci and she loves it. Most people are trying to take it away from their child at this point but not me, she will be enjoying it for the next 2 weeks while Matt and I attend funtions and someone else must make my babe fall asleep without her mama's boobs. We tried a bottle on her last week and she didn't want any part of that so this should be interesting, it is also the first time that I REALLY have ever left her with anyone for more than an hour - that is a post all in itself though.

So life here is still nuts but I have been playing with my Photoshop and it is so.much.fun! I tried making a header but was not happy with the results so I will continue working until I am. Also a big THANK YOU to Drea for answering some questions for me so that I can now get it to post.

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Wordless Wednesday - Princess Jumping Bean

>> Wednesday, November 28, 2007

I NEED to start blogging again but I have 2 sick kiddos that need me more, I will try soon! Piper and her cousin both dressed up like princesses while we were in Ohio. My monkey even mastered jumping in those crazy little princess shoes without breaking her ankle!



For more Wordless Wednesday fun check out 5 Minutes for Mom and join in!

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Swingset = Fun! Fun! Fun!!

>> Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Yesterday the girls and I went to our friends house and Piper played with Kyle running around the yard and playing on his oh so nice swingset! I have been thinking that a 2 year old might be a little bit too young for those monster swingsets but Piper could do so much on them and they grow with the kiddos. Kyle's was from Costco and I am thinking that we may be buying one of those when they have them instock again this spring. Kyle has such a nice big flat yard that is PERFECT for him to play and run around his "barn", I came home and looked at my sloping yard and sighed, thankfully we have friends to visit.



For anyone that cloth diapers or if you don't but want to help a great cause there is a HUGE lottery going on over at Hyena Cart. Amy (Crankypants) and Suzanne (The Good Mama) have teamed up with a bunch of other WAHM's and ALL the proceeds from the lottery will go to Miracle Diapers! Tickets are $5 each and Amy is releasing 150 of them each day at 10 am.
Crankypants + Goodmama = Miracle Diapers Lottery Love!

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Fall Ya'll

>> Thursday, November 15, 2007

Yes it is finally fall down here in the south - for now. My favorite season doesn't last nearly long enough but after the warmer temperatures that we have been experiencing in NOVEMBER I will take whatever little bit of coolness that Mother Nature decides to give us. The girls were taking their afternoon nap and I was eating some celery M&M's and watching the wind blow outside. You just can't help but notice the beautiful blue sky when there isn't a cloud to be seen and the colorful leaves dancing in the breeze makes me want to pull out a sweater or make my family a good old fashioned southern home cooked meal. Since it is 60 and I would still sweat if I wore much more than 3/4 length sleeves I guess it will be the latter that I will do. Suddenly a knock on my door and the UPS driver handed me a...
wonderfully festive box


inside I found a perfectly decorated gift - for me wheeee!!!

and look who came to live with The Zoo - Paula Deen!!


How did I get this lucky? Well, I entered a contest lovers contest a few weeks back (probably 600 contests from a TON of different blogs - hope you played too) and got lucky enough to win 1. I didn't enter everything I saw, just what I KNEW I would use. Cassie, Mockingbird Hill , picked me (yippee) or the random generator did anyway but regardless I feel so blessed. After seeing how much work Cassie put into a GIVEAWAY I think that I want to be her friend :) At the very least I will stalk her blog *wink* - Thank you so much mama I can't wait to pick my first recipe!!!

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Wordless Wednesday - Final Bloom

>> Wednesday, November 14, 2007

We have these bushes that we had put in when we remodeled but I have no idea what they are - we are in NC and they bloom in spring and fall. If you have ANY idea PLEASE leave me a comment - I have done a search but it has been unsuccessful so far. The second picture is of my rose bush that still looks pretty sorry but (whoopee) I haven't killed it. Happy Wordless Wednesday everyone!




For more Wordless Wednesday fun check out 5 Minutes for Mom and join in!

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Dorothy

>> Tuesday, November 13, 2007

We have this little black tie event that we are attending next month and I am not 100% happy with the way that I look these days after having Violet (I know it was 10 months ago). It was very hard for me to try on dresses and find one that I liked enough to buy but I did and it will be fine. To make myself feel a little better I decided to try and find a really cute pair of shoes (to take the eye away from my ankles up). The shoes that I found are FIERCE - they are my 4 1/2" ruby red slippers! To anyone reading this who knows me personally you might ask "Can you walk in those Jessie? Your day to day shoes are Birkenstocks", well as a matter of fact I have been practicing and I don't think I look horrible walking :) Anyway, I was taking some pictures of things I will be listing on eBay and thought I would take a picture of the outfit I will be wearing.



Speaking of Dorothy, there is another Dorothy on my mind these days. The Apronista is having giveaways each week until Christmas and this week they are giving away an apron from Carolyn's Kitchen, talk about some cute (and HOT see the Marilyn) aprons! For myself I would choose the Dorthy Apron probably in pink/black but my mind could change on that. To enter you just have to leave a comment this week and let them know which apron you would pick if you won. Good luck!

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My most memorable birthday

Coming up on 4 years ago I was to be in Ohio for my birthday, my husband (then boyfriend) was out of town anyway so I went up there to do some extra planning on our wedding. My SIL and I were to go and finalize the cake, photographer, location, and DJ. We ate lunch at Wendy's and while we were eating Matt called and wished me a Happy Birthday. Rachael, who might have heard my answers to what he was saying, asked me when I got off the phone if it was my birthday - yep :) So we finished up all the errands that we had to do that day and then headed over to my BIL and SIL's house for a visit. Well, when we went in and then downstairs there was this table set up with food, a cake, and all of Matt's female family members (I didn't notice this at first). Together everyone yelled "Surprise!" and to myself I thought, "OMG, a surprise birthday party for me?". Nope. However just as thoughtful and appreciated, it was a surprise bridal shower :) Such a fun day and it was really cool that they all came for me. I still laugh at that day and will always remember that birthday because thanks to my husband's family.

What is your most memorable birthday? The Crazy Hip Blog Mamas are having a contest with Projector123.com and are giving away a night at the movies (well sort of). Projector123.com rents out projectors and you can have your own "movie night" right at your home! Blog about that birthday, sign up with CHBM's, and sit back and wait to see if you win! Good Luck!

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A Marketer's Dream

That is what my husband has called me since he met me and last night I laughed at my daughter sleeping and realized that it is true and sadly she is one too.



Notice the Blue's Clues pillow, she has only watched that show a few times but she LOVES Blue the dog. I found just the pillowcase at a thrift store for around $1. On the show they have this thing that they do with their hands that sort of reminds me of "jazz hands" when they say "Blue's Clues" and seriously my kid does it. The first time she saw a paw print while we were out she did the jazz hands and said "Blue's Clues" - What??? We do let her watch Dora though and last night when I ran to Target I found that little pillow for $1.98 and I knew that she would use it. She did not go to sleep with her head laying on both pillows she must have woke up and did it on her own which was why I took the picture in the first place. Did you happen to see Mickey? She adores Mickey Mouse and the way that she says it is TOO cute! Mickey was a purchase that I made because she was the best girl at Target one day when I had to shop in the toy department for someone else's birthday present. Mickey comes everywhere with us - I hear her in the living room right now talking to him. Oh, I thought that I would be able to be a parent that keeps their kids away from all the junk out there but it looks like I am getting sucked right in.

Finally, how about that picture??? It was taken with the night option on my camera - so cool! I call it my "night vision" option b/c it looks like it was a lighted room, at least I thought so. I find so many cool options on my camera all the time and I have had it over 2 years - what would happen if I actually read the manual or took a class, I'd be dangerous!!

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*sigh* another week in the books...

>> Friday, November 9, 2007

and what do I have to show for it? It seems like I am rushing around doing things all the time and then at the end of the week when I am looking at my dirty home I wonder what the heck I actually accomplished. There are times that I feel that I am a failure at this whole SAHM thing, maybe not so much the mom part but more of the homemaker part - to be blunt I think I suck at it most of the time. Everyday I either get the girls outside at our home or running around somewhere and then I try and do chores during their naps but lately all I have been feeling like doing while they sleep is sleep myself! I hope that this is just temporary and a stomach bug appears so that I know I haven't totally turned into the slug that I fear I am.

Today was so pretty outside, fall has been here in NC this week FINALLY! The temperature was probably still in the low 70's but it had a coolness to the air that wasn't here last week. I got out in the garage and looked through some of our Christmas decorations to see what we still might need. Lowe's has an inflatable Mickey Mouse that Piper sees all the time when we go there and stands in awe - he is on my day after Christmas sale list (keep your fingers crossed that he will still be there!). Last year Matt caved and got me Piper a blow up snowman for our front yard, seriously she stared at that thing all season and I hope that Violet will do the same this year when she sees it. Here are a few shots of the girls from us hanging out today. I TRY not to bring the camera out with me EVERY time but then they do something cute and I am off running for it. Anyway,





I have limited tricks right now but I *think* that my husband is going to buy me Photoshop (woohoo!!) and then I will be photo ho'ing more than I do now!!

And before I go and see what my online pals have been up to this week I would like to give everyone a heads up on a VERY FUN contest that The Apronista is having to win a FABULOUS apron made by Sommer Designs. Carrie could seriously become a crush of mine - she is that cool (at least from her blog I think so anyway). You know when you look at something out at a store and say "I can do that"? She actually DOES IT and her projects turn out SO NEAT! Check out her blog and site for amazing works of art! Or, get on over to The Apronista and enter the contest to win one of her aprons!

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Is Halloween really over???

>> Monday, November 5, 2007

Well technically, but for The Zoo it ended yesterday after I packed away the costumes that I purchased for our 4 legged family members from Target's 75% Halloween sale. I went online and saw that Target opened at 8am yesterday so off Violet and I went to score some deals (we were there at 8:15am). Violet, as I had thought, woke up at 5AM(!!!) and was ready to go! I am pretty psyched at my finds yesterday because if you shop Target you know that when they finally clearance stuff there are treasures to be found! We brought home some fun leopard floor pillows for us to lounge on and a really pretty pink tapestry to cover up with. I had some coupons and no lie they PAID ME to take some of their Halloween candy! I found this great little website, A Full Cup, and check it out about once a week to see what the folks on there are buying and the deals that I might find on my weekly shopping trip.

Now, to my Best Shot Monday...Mabel is such a crab!!!


Of course Piper had to wear it too - that was also a shot taken not from the hip but more from the boob :) I was just trying to get her in it because she wouldn't sit still because she had to run (Ready, Set, Go Mama!!) I love the look on Violet's face in the background.



Did you take any fun shots lately? Check out Picture This for other's Best Shot Monday and also for some inspiration to get out there and try and get your best shot!

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Woot Woot!!

>> Saturday, November 3, 2007

A big CONGRATULATIONS to everyone involved with Carl Edwards Busch team because they won the Busch Series Championship today in Texas! I have a feeling that rice krispie treats might be making an appearance Monday morning. We are so proud of you all (especially you my darling). Funny, because I was going to come on here and write all of this but then I stumbled upon something on my computer that I must also include - my crazy, fun, big kid himself husband and our daughter being left alone with Photo Booth.



I love you baby!

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Quick photo

>> Friday, November 2, 2007

of Violet in her cutie bow. Her and I played ball while Piper napped this afternoon. My best friend, Trista, says that there always seems to be a dog in my pictures and that is normally true; sometimes I crop them out but not today so there is our big dog hanging out. The rest were sunning themselves by me.

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Vote for my girls!!! (Please)

So I entered the babes in a Halloween contest over at An Island Life and the winner gets a $20 GC to Amazon - imagine the books I could get for them! Now, only vote for them if you think they have the best costumes. Go over to An Island Life Costume Contest and look under children's and then they are The Lucas Zoo.

Have a great Friday!

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It is over for ANOTHER year

>> Thursday, November 1, 2007

So the light up animated scary tree in our front yard will get packed away tonight along with the spooky lighted (dead) spruce next to the door. The pumpkins will be brought to the dump next week with our recycling and the candy will be sent with Megan for her 7th graders to become even more WIRED! Halloween is over once again, it truly is my favorite holiday so I am a bit sad. Winter holidays are coming quickly, the air was cool and crisp this morning but turned to another 75+ day in NC so it doesn't really feel like fall yet. Saturday before bed we will change back the time and soon we all will wake in the morning and eat supper in the dark! My beauties have been getting up around 6:15am - Sunday is going to be hard if they get up at 5:15am!! We've done it before though and it just takes a little bit of tweaks during our day and we will be back to being somewhat normal (us normal ha ha!) in about a week.

The girls and I went out on the deck to play catch after their naps/baths this afternoon. I actually put SPF on them b/c I feared for burns! Check out the fun bow that Piper has in her hair - it is her fav, ducks! My multi-talented mama friend, Dinah, makes them and gave both Piper and Violet duckie bows - lucky girls! Piper is showing me the troll doll that she got a few weeks back at The Children's Schoolhouse's kiddie carnival - she is all set for BINGO huh?



Have a great day and don't forget about the Rockin Baby Ring Sling Giveaway over at Mamanista and also the Pink Dyson Giveaway at the Domestic Diva! Take care!

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FABULOUS CONTEST!!

OMGosh, when I saw this contest I just knew that I had to enter it for my girls. How fun would it be for them to have this awesome car sitting under the tree this year?



5 Minutes for Mom is hosting a contest GIVING away this prize!! Well, actually you could choose anything that you wanted from Pedal Cars and Retro Collectables if you won valued at $179! Wowzers! Please, please, please go and check out this contest and get yourself entered because it ends November 30, 2007 and Christmas is JUST around the corner! There are so many neat things on the Pedal Cars and Retro Collectables website it would be hard for anyone to choose just 1 prize!

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Squeal!!!

I think that I am in LOVE! I had originally asked my husband for a few pieces of antique china for Christmas (to be chosen at random when the mood struck) but I think I have changed my mind! The Heavenly Hostess sells the MOST BEAUTIFUL aprons I think I have ever seen! Now, want to hear the best part? The Apronista is GIVING ONE AWAY! Interested? Get on over and sign up before midnight November 2 - good luck!

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Wordless Wednesday - My Heron

>> Wednesday, October 31, 2007

First,

Happy Halloween!!!


Now on to WW. This guy hangs out in the coves around our home, look at how he is just hanging out on our (dirty) boat checking stuff out. I see him more around this time of year but each time I get so excited, like I am being blessed with his presence - my hubby probably wishes he was the heron sometimes :).



For more Wordless Wednesday fun check out 5 Minutes for Mom and join in!

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FINALLY....

>> Monday, October 29, 2007

I am done - took working on them all weekend but the girls are ready for their Halloween playgroups on Tuesday and Wednesday and to head around the neighborhood on Wednesday night. Why oh why do I wait until the last minute to do stuff like this? Piper's has been a pain b/c I made it too big (that is what I get for always sewing with no pattern) so I have had to redo it a few times.



I am also going to call this my Best Shot Monday b/c I didn't take many good shots last week. Check out other mama's photos and join the fun...

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Friday babblings...

>> Friday, October 26, 2007

So Halloween is RIGHT around the corner, is everyone ready? We don't have trick or treaters at our house but we will probably bring the girls to a few of our neighbors homes. Their costumes aren't done yet, I have no treats, and the house is barely decorated - see what happens when the entire family gets sick? Actually I have turned into a HUGE procrastinator since having the kids. I think that I will be able to do things during their naps but instead I spend my time quickly cleaning up the house so that I can get online for a few minutes or just skippng the house altogether and surfing or blogging. Every few weeks I won't go online at all for a few days just to try and catch up - thank goodness I am not also addicted to the TV!

My poor husband had to go to the doctor on Wednesday and they think that he has bursitis, look at his elbow - it is crazy how swollen it was. By Thursday night though it had gone down a little bit so the meds are at least working and he doesn't have to get it drained - gross, gross, gross!



We had a rare treat and our dear friend Earl actually came over for supper the other night. The girls had a blast playing with him and it was nice for Matt and I to get to catch up with him again. He aces us all the time so I had to post that for once he made it *wink*!



Oh, and thank you Mother Nature - we are loving the rain the past 3 days here in the Southeast! I can just hear the trees and grass soaking it up! Nothing like a good drink after a long 3 months in the sun huh? Keep it coming!

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Wordless Wednesday - Friends

>> Wednesday, October 24, 2007

My girlfriend took this picture and I just love it! It was just yesterday that her and I both had babes and now I have 2 and her 2nd is due next month! Look how big Violet looks sitting all by herself!! Ok, back to Wordless :)



For more Wordless Wednesday fun check out 5 Minutes for Mom and join in!

Don't forget about the Rockin Baby Ring Sling Giveaway over at Mamanista and also the Pink Dyson Giveaway at the Domestic Diva! Good Luck!

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Is there a car alarm going off somewhere?

>> Monday, October 22, 2007

Nope, just me tooting my own horn :) Yesterday we spent a leisurely day around the house and while the girls and Matt napped I started on a skirt project that I have been meaning to do for about 2 months now. It took me until last night (working off and on) but IT IS DONE! I also made a handkerchief and put pockets on the skirt b/c what 2 year old doesn't love to put her treasures in either her pockets or purse? I think that it turned out pretty darn cute - of course it gets paired with the boots (what doesn't these days). I have finally given up on trying to get Piper to wear any of the cute shoes that I bought for her this fall and found another pair of those rainboots on eBay in the next size up. They have butterflies on them and little antennas sticking out - how long until those get pulled off who knows but she now has boots for the winter too. Without further ado here is my creation...


and to not let the baby get left in the cold. I know, I know how could she get cold when it is still 80+ here EVERYDAY but...

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Rockin Baby Ring Sling Giveaway!!

This is my ALL TIME FAVORITE ring sling and Mamanista is giving away a beautiful "Suffragette City" to one lucky reader (please oh please let it be me). I don't really own many girlie slings so this would be our first. Perhaps if I was wearing Violet in a gorgeous sage and pink butterfly sling they might stop asking me what my BOY'S name was. If you have not seen a Rockin Baby Sling check out their yummy fabrics - they are so vibrant in real life. This contest ends on November 13 so why wait - enter now!

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Dyson Contest - Think Pink

The Domestic Diva is having a contest GIVING away a Dyson "Pink" Vaccuum. I was just telling Matt the other day that we NEEDED a new one b/c after 5 years with 5 animals, 2 kids, and the hubby ours is getting ready to die. If I don't get picked for this prize (valued at $400!!!) then I hope that you will. Either follow the link in this post or click on the Dyson in my sidebar and make sure to enter before October 31, 2007. Good luck!

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Sesame Street Live and Trader Joes - all in 1 day!

>> Sunday, October 21, 2007

Too much excitement around the house when that is the highlight of our day huh? While trying to decide what to do with the familia on Saturday (Matt had a RARE Saturday off) we tossed around a few ideas and Sesame Street Live won. Some friends had gone on Friday and talked about how much fun their kiddos had so we said let's do it! We weren't sure that we were going to make it on time because of the ever present backed up traffic on Hwy 77 that we didn't think would be there on a Saturday morning but was. We got there (barely) on time and I had to quick nurse Violet so that she would make it through the show so we walked in, found our seats, and an announcement said the show would begin in 3 minutes - perfect! I had asked to bring a camera to the show but Matt said they weren't allowed, seriously we were the only family without one there. Now, I guess that I am glad that he will teach the girls to listen to the rules but I really wanted a picture! Piper had a ball dancing with the characters and even Violet was enjoying herself. I had her in our Rockin Baby ring sling because I wasn't sure what she would think of dancing furry creatures. By intermission though both girls had enough. We got them up and walked around a bit, then decided to look for the cool Elmo lightchaser that all of the kiddos were playing with during the show and they were $15 - needless to say that didn't come home with us. We stayed until the final number but left while it was still being sung. Piper had taken to standing on the chairs, trying to suck on the rails, eating snacks, drinking water - you know everything BUT watching the show. I can't say that we were alone though, some kids were at this time having complete meltdowns so boredom was ok with me. Will I try again? Maybe next year if The Wiggles come because even Mommy likes them :)

After we left there we grabbed some lunch and headed to Trader Joes. It just opened in our area (actually almost an hour from our house but we were in the area so...) and I hadn't been to one since we lived in SoCal. I used to shop there quite a bit for normal groceries and still would if I were closer but after going through the entire (packed with people) store I can't really remember why I thought it was so awesome back in CA. I, of course, picked up some wine and got the girls some bars but will I travel the hour back there soon - probably not unless after drinking this wine I find that I love it more than my Barefoot that I have been getting at BJ's. If you remember the draw and decide to comment PLEASE refresh my memory as it has been over 8 years since I last stepped foot in one. It was SOOO crowded and Piper was REALLY ready for a nap so I didn't get to browse so maybe I am missing something.

No pictures today (hee hee LOVE YOU BABY) but maybe I will later as I think today is the day we are going to pick up our pumpkins - woohoo PUMPKIN SEEDS tonight!

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Baby Violet - Leftovers

>> Thursday, October 18, 2007

Aren't the pictures of kiddies eating messy foods like spaghetti the best?

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Mary

There was a knock at the door and my Great Grandmother got up to answer, it was my Grandfather and he had bad news; that evening my Mother was killed in an accident. She was the passenger of a truck that went off the road and she was thrown from the vehicle and died. The family all started arriving shortly after that, there were many tears shed that night but not from me. If my memory is correct I walked around telling everyone that it would be ok but that is trying to remember back 32 years and I am not sure if they are my own memories or those that have been told to me over the years. I unfortunately did not know my mother to grieve for her that night, she was mother by name only.

It used to make me so angry that she left me as a baby, never intending to come back and care for me as a mother should. As I grew older though and went through my own highs and lows I understand that she might not have been in a very good place in her life to care for 2 girls. However, after having babies I can't imagine how a mother would ever just drop her daughter off and not come back and get her. I don't know if she ever visited because I have no memories of them if she did. There is 1 surviving photo of her and I and as far as I know it is the only one EVER taken.

When tragedy strkes a family like this there are many children who don't get as lucky as I did. My Great-Grandparents kept me with them, as it had always been, and I had a wonderful home to be raised in that was filled with love. Many times there isn't a person in the family able to care for the children and they are sent into foster care, my heart breaks for those kids.

I did not even know until this year the actual day that she died, it just didn't seem to matter to me. Who knows how life would have been different had she survived the accident as the driver did, maybe she would have come back for me and my sister I would like to think so anyway. Today on the anniversary of her death I would just like to thank her for choosing life for a daughter that was a huge mistake at the time. I would also like to thank her so much for choosing to leave me with my Great-Grandparents, a more loving home couldn't be found.

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Wordless Wednesday - Halloween Torture

>> Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Every year the dogs get to dress up for Halloween too - whether they like it or not :) Obviously the Chihuahua does not! Anyway, our resident vampire dog...



For more Wordless Wednesday fun check out 5 Minutes for Mom and join in!

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Cooking with the kiddos

>> Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Lately Piper has decided that she enjoys helping me do various things around the house. She has been known to grab the wipes in my bag and clean walls or tables, who the heck knows where she got that from. Anyway, I have been letting her help me cook and it has been so much fun. This past Sunday I was making a meal for a friend that just had a baby and I had Piper help me make the no bake cookies that I was bringing her for dessert. All the ingredients were either a 1/2 cup or a full cup so we used the 1/2 cup and practiced our counting. Piper has started counting a little in Spanish so we counted to 6 in Spanish while adding the oats. Everyone in the house loves chocolate and as you can see Piper had to taste test before it was done. Look at her corny "cheese" face - crazy girlie.



I have found a little music class that both girls can participate in together in our area, we were SUPPOSED to have gone today but all 3 of us are sick. Piper woke up the past 2 nights coughing and unable to sleep, I don't like medicating her but the girl has to sleep you know? A teaspoon of Benedryl later she was a little better - at least she fell back to sleep. Still not herself today but hopefully this won't last! Remember when I said that our Violet came home from the beach with an extra tooth? Well, the other 2 bottoms came over the past 4 days. My baby has 8 teeth! Whew, maybe we are done now for awhile huh?

Here is my words of advice for the day. DON'T SIGN UP FOR ANY FREE SAMPLES ON THE INTERNET!! I innocently tried to get a free sample of some cleaning product and after I filled out the form (no REAL personal info) it brought me to ANOTHER page where it wanted me to fill out more stuff. I closed out of it but now I am getting about 100 spam emails A DAY! Could I be any more disappointed in myself? I know better than this. You know what my husband said when I told him? "Why didn't you just spend the $3 to try it and if you didn't like it throw it away" Nice - but right!


Last picture of the day - the way that Piper says "Cookie Monster" is so.darn.cute! When I found this velvety purple Cookie Monster pullover at the consignment sale (for $1.00!!) I snatched it up, it is her FAVORITE shirt at the moment. This shot was from Saturday after we went to the Etsy sale and farmer's market. She was running from one end of the deck to the other, ahh the energy of the young - wish it could be bottled. I love how you can see her monster booty in the window - have a great Tuesday!

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What.A.Week

>> Saturday, October 13, 2007

It has been pretty crazy around here this past week. I swear we were really busy each and every day, next week we will try and not let it get so hectic. Well, after taking Piper to preschool again on Tuesday I decided to pull her out. There is a good little story time at the library on Thursdays and I will find something else for her to do, I just couldn't deal with her crying whenever we mentioned that she had to go to school. Finally got the laundry done from the vacation *blush*, I have gotten so bad at laundry - my poor family. Today Megan and I went to an Etsy craft show at Independence Park in Charlotte. It was pretty cool, I met Amy the Crankymama IRL and bought Piper one of her monster bags. After getting it home I think we will hold off on giving it to her until her birthday and then maybe we will fill it with fun little girlie gifts and maybe a new book or 2. I also found a really cool mama Lori of LORiOLA that made glass necklaces - did I get one for a certain mama expecting...hmm will have to wait and see. Afterwards we headed to the Charlotte Farmer's Market and I got a great deal on 2 HUGE mums for my front pots. While Violet slept this afternoon Piper and I planted them and then also got out some of the Halloween decorations. She saw so many pumpkins today that I will have to put that on our list of places to go next week that will be fun for her. Life around here is pretty boring so I am going to end this post with a montage of our beach trip since I just got to downloading the pictures tonight. Am I the only mama that loves that her daughter digs Dan Zanes, Piper loves him! Here are the beach photos (make sure to turn up your volume), this got a little long but painless I think...


Photo and video editing at www.OneTrueMedia.com

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Vacation - By the Numbers

>> Monday, October 8, 2007

Well we are home from our week at the beach - oh the fun the family had!

1 - cozy cottage set on top of a dune on the ocean. The house we stayed at was perfect for the kiddos, we don't have to worry about them breaking fancy items and the view...what can you say about waking up and seeing the beautiful sun rise every morning and set every night. Sitting on the back porch lazily swaying back and forth on the swing watching the porpoises swimming in the surf. I LOVE the beach!

2 - little girls who played like crazy on the beach. Piper helped us pick up shells and had to have her own treasure bag by the end of the week. I plan on planting a paperwhite in a hurricane vase and having our collection on display inside for the holidays. Everytime a wave would wash up on Violet she would giggle and splash - so darn cute! We didn't do many sand castles though because Piper lost interest too quickly. Just before low tide there was a wade pool near the house that Piper enjoyed "swimming" in. She also wanted to take a bath immediately upon returning to the house and "swim" in there too.

3 - fun filled hours that our family played like crazy at the Children's Museum of Wilmington. We had never gone to one before and although we had to lead Piper a bit she had a ball! We spent an entire hour just in the campfire room reading books and putting on puppet shows. Piper made a bunch of sandwiches for us at the diner and both girls crawled and climbed in the matted toddler room. If you are ever in the area you should check this place out. After we were done we ate supper at The Reel Cafe with our friends that moved to the area, Lisa and Barry. A walk on the Wilmington boardwalk to see the sights followed and there was some snacking on ice cream and fudge. Such a fabulous day!

4 - cockroaches that we found at the house (eewww!!) - R.I.P. One of them was like 2 inches long - yuck, yuck, yuck!!! We have dogs and cats that kill all sorts of things but something about a cockroach makes me want to crawl out of my skin.

5 - pairs of shoes (excessive I know) that I brought to the beach for Piper and she only wore 1, that is right - her rain boots. I have given up trying to get her to wear anything else, to her relief I am sure. This morning when I went to find a site that sells them for when the day comes that they are outgrown I found that there is highway robbery out there when it comes to a 2 YEAR OLDS rain boots, they are asking $24 a pair. Maybe I am cheap, ok I am cheap, but I got these boots at a consignment sale for $4. Hopefully Mother Nature might see Piper sporting her boots and give us some MUCH needed rain then our oldest will be able to splash around in them 1 time before they are too small.

6 - teeth in the mouth of our baby. Violet left with 5 but now has another one poking through. She is also working on 2 more bottom teeth that should be here anytime now. Thankfully she learned very quickly not to bite Mommy with those toothers, it only has happened twice and I am knocking on wood like crazy over here that it doesn't happen again - OUCH!

7AM - that would be the glorious time that the girls slept in until. Some mornings it was even 7:30! They were both so worn out that they went to bed each night between 7 and 7:30 and slept until morning, well except for Violet who has yet to sleep through the night but that is another story. If only we could keep them as busy and worn out when not on vacation when our days are filled with fun and excitement.

8 - diaper changes (at least) per baby per day using gDiapers. We only had 6 covers for both girls and I would strongly suggest if diapering with this system full time to have at least 6 per child. I would wash the cover and the liner each morning because they were in them for so long and I didn't want stinky dipes so then I was left with only 4 covers to diaper with the entire day. The refills do bunch up a little bit between the legs but with frequent changes doesn't present a problem, at least to us it didn't. The covers do take a very long time to dry and I didn't want to risk putting them in the dryer and having them shrink on us because we had nothing else to fall back on. I won't use them on a daily basis because I love my stash of cloth diapers but will use them again when we go to Ohio for the holidays. All in all - g diapers are really great and it makes me feel better to use a *sposie* like them that will decompose in less than 150 days than clog our landfills with regular disposibles.

9 - times per hour some days that Piper would ask "What's this?". "Oh Oh" has been replaced with an even more fun "What's this?". I am guessing this is a prelude to "Why?". To say the least our daughter is very informed about her surroundings after this past week.

10 - well it is actually over 10 feet (15 feet) of Didy yumminess that came to the beach with us. Tobi was the perfect wrap in our stash to bring to the beach with his beautiful blues and yellows. Violet slept most of her morning naps in a rucksack while Piper ran along the water splashing and Matt and I combed the beach for sharks teeth.

That is our vacaton in a conch shell (hee hee), pictures will filter in as the week goes on- off to work on my mounds of laundry, Happy Monday!

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Vacation

>> Thursday, September 27, 2007

It is all I can think about today - and I guess stress over. The Zoo is going to the beach for a glorious week away from normal life. Actually it is a great time to go to the beach because there isn't really anyone else there besides the locals. The weather here has been so hot and dry it will be so nice to have the wonderful ocean breeze. We stayed at a little house right on the ocean last year and decided we liked it so much that we are going back. Last week and then this week again I have been scouring Target's clearance racks for deals on sand toys for the girls to play with. I even got us a tent to set up so that we will have some shade to escape too when the sun gets too much to handle. While coming up with the list of things to get before we head out I came across a question - what am I going to use for diapering? I wasn't sure if we should bring our dipes with us or get disposibles but ended up talking to a friend of mine and she was thinking about giving g Diapers a chance - she is a disposible user too! Could I have changed someones mind? Hmmm, verdict is still out but anyway I decided to head to our local health food store and grab a starter pack. Put the girls in them overnight as a test and they work awesome! Hubby was in Asheville today so I had him stop at Earth Fare and pick us up another starter pack and some inserts that we will need for the week - I will definately give a review when I come back!

Seriously thinking about pulling my daughter out of her preschool. She has been having complete meltdowns at the mention of school. Initially I just wanted her to play with other kiddos and do messy projects but I never wanted or expected her to react to school this way. We will be gone next week so I think that I am going to give her 2 more weeks and if I don't see any improvement we will be done with it for this year.

Went to the Lazy 5 AGAIN this week with the mommie group that I belong to, I don't ever get sick of that place. It was nice to meet some mamas that I normally wouldn't in real life and not on the board. I should do more with them but mostly I am a loner so I don't. That is all for now, thanks for letting me ramble if you read this.

I also saw a fun thing for my family to do while on vacation when I was reading Crunchy Domestic Goddess's blog. She is celebrating World Vegetarian Day and asking us to join her! I am a meat and potatoes girl myself but in an effort to try and be more healthy have started eating more poultry and fish rather than red meat, it's a start right? Anyway - wanna do it too? My fav isn't really a recipe as it is a sandwich but I will take a pita, spread hummus, slice onion, chopped green or red pepper, and sprouts - YUM! Now, what's yours - post away!

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Baby Cole - Best Shot

>> Tuesday, September 25, 2007

I decided to go and take some photos of my friend's newborn the other day, I am quite pleased with how the shots turned out. Congratulations again mama on a beautiful little angel!! Here is one of my best shots...



If you are interested in checking out other's Best Shot Monday pictures head over to Picture This.

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Contests that I have found (while I should be cleaning)...

>> Monday, September 24, 2007

Alright, here are some great contests that I have found while going through my list of favorite blogs to visit.

Andrea and Elizabeth have joined forces to start a new review site, DE Reviews. They are giving away one of these ADORABLE shirts from SAtees - love, love, love, them! A friend is having a babe in November that I might shop for if I win or perhaps I would just keep the prize at The Zoo and get Piper the pulchritudinous tee - my oldest beauty could wear it now and then my youngest next season. Thanks girls for a great contest, this one ends on Friday!

So A Blonde Walks Into A Review - I crack up everytime I see the name of this blog - anyway, this fab mama is having a contest with Skimbaco (I drool literally at the stuff from this site) and giving away a $100 gift certificate to shop - WOWZERS!!! All you have to do to get in on this is blog about the contest and link to Skimbaco. While you are waiting for the contest to end on Sunday night you can start your Christmas shopping early!

Mama, there's a monster in my closet!
Yes baby, that is b/c we won the FABULOUS contest at Mums the Wurd!
OK, so maybe I am jinxing the Zoo but how awesome would it be to win one of these one of a kind tees by artist Sarah May? Send the Mums an email and tell them when Monster In My Closet officially became a business. Good luck, contest ends Friday.

Classy Mommy had the opportunity to review these straplettes and think they are a super idea. Straplettes are a classy and chic accessory to help the nursing mom easily remember where the last feeding began. The Simply Posh collection is fabulous. Design your own as you can select both the ribbon and charm. Easily velcro this strapplette to your bra and you'll have one less thing to remember in your sleep deprived state! Just send an email to enter this wonderful contest. Another contest that I would have the option to keep the prize here and use it at The Zoo - what to do, what to do!

Last one for the week...
I have a plain jane freebie template that came with my Blogger account. I love the simplicity of it but yearn for a template that might incorporate more of my personality. Well, Splat Designs is having a contest to win a blog makeover! Click on the button over on my sidebar for all the details - maybe you will see a new look at The Zoo in a few weeks!

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A Dream House??

>> Thursday, September 20, 2007

I wish that people were more honest when selling a home. This is a huge investment for anyone (almost anyway) and when the realtor is misleading it is so disappointing. The "remodeled" home that we went and looked at was, I guess, remodeled but it was like at least 10 or so years ago and needed to be gone through again. There was wallpaper coming off walls, leaks in the ceiling, and let me tell you this was by far the dirtiest home that I have gone through in a long time! Wouldn't you TRY to keep your home looking at least somewhat presentable if you were trying to sell? We found out that family owns the land around it but it is a nephew not immediate family so I worry again that he might get an itch to sell to the highest bidder and then we will be right where we are now, in the middle of homes. We might still be interested in it but would ask MUCH less than what it is listed for and that might make the owner angry so I don't know.

The girls and I went to a birthday party yesterday for Piper's friend Kyle. She was even sporting her new FAVORITE accessory - pink rain boots.


The mama made the most fabulous cupcakes for our dessert, it was the frosting that was on them that was so good. Here it is...

Cream Cheese Frosting

1/2 cup butter softened
8oz cream cheese
1 tsp vanilla
1 box of powdered sugar

Cream butter, cream cheese, and vanilla together. Add powdered sugar slowly until blended. That's all she wrote - FABULOUS! Maybe everyone knows this recipe and I am the only mama who doesn't but boy could I just eat the whole bowl!

Finally, I haven't done any contests lately but there is a great one at 5 Minutes for Mom. The gals are giving away a Pink Dyson! The contest ends on October 1st.

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Wordless Wednesday - Hungry??

>> Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A few more pictures from our wagon ride on Saturday to The Lazy 5 Ranch. I was nervous after thinking about what that giraffe could have done to my baby, she was RIGHT under it feeding it. Very fun day though and like I said in the original post the weather couldn't have been better or the company on the wagon for that matter.



For more Wordless Wednesday fun check out 5 Minutes for Mom and join in!

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The face behind my blog - Take 2!!

>> Tuesday, September 18, 2007

I was tagged by Elizabeth back in August to do a face behind my blog. In my defense though our scanner isn't working so I had to send all the photos with my husband to work so that he could do it there - thanks babe! So anyway, here it isn't too long to sit through. I decided to include a picture of my mother and I since today was her birthday, she passed away 32 years ago.

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I am 45 years old and married to my best friend Matthew. We are the parents of 3 girls, 2 dogs, and a cat. This is the story of us, try to stay awake.

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