>> 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!


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.


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!


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.


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!


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.


Weekend Recap - Best Shot Monday

>> Monday, September 17, 2007

I posted early on Saturday but never said the fun that we would be having later that morning at The Lazy 5 Ranch. We had some much welcome cooler weather these past few mornings and the Zoo had a reservation to take a wagon ride out at the ranch at 9 am. The girls and I had been there 2 other times this year but it was with mom groups and never was it on a Saturday - so much more busy that on a Wednesday! Thankfully we were the first wagon to go out! I held Violet on my lap sitting on the middle bench with Megan beside me (not a fan of the animals pecking her I guess) and Matt had Piper on the outer bench so she could feed/see everything that came along. She had a ball! I am not sure which was her favorite animal but I think that the giraffe and water buffalo were pretty darn neat. The giraffe had a baby 3 weeks ago so we got to see that and the zebra will be having baby/babies any time now. It is definately on my list of places to go back to before winter. When you get done with the wagon ride there is a petting zoo that you can walk through - very fun morning!

Congratulations to my friend Michele, her husband, and son Bryce! Baby Cole was born on Friday evening and the family is home and doing well! Woo hoo - can't wait to get to know this little guy!

So you know how we never know where we want to live? Well...we drove by a house yesterday that is a combination of what my husband wants and what I want. I love the feel of an old home. My home in WI was built in the 40's so not THAT old but still not new either. My husband wants some land - we found a 107 year old home on 5 acres that I am hoping we can go and look at it sometime today. I will save any details until we see the inside of it because I don't want to get too excited when we might not even like the place (yeah right huh?).

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



>> Saturday, September 15, 2007

Hi, my name is Jessie and I am a consignment sale junkie.

I bought Piper so many things at that first consignment sale that I went to before she was even born. I had no idea what we were having so I had a ton of yellow and white. Not only did I go in late to work so that I could go on opening morning but I also went back on Saturday for the 50% off sale. You want to know how much my girl actually wore of that? Barely anything because I kept her in side snapped tees and diaper most of the time because she was born in the middle of the summer in the south! But, I still have a lot of those sleepers and outfits tucked away for the possiblility of a 3rd. I weeded through and what I knew would never get love from us I gave to a friend whose husband was serving in Afganistan and he gave them to a local orphanage there. It was an opportunity that arose at a time that I was purging but I normally donate locally rather than sell because I am lazy.

Fall/winter 2007 was the first season that I had not bought ahead the season before. I emailed the mama who has the big/huge consignment sale in our town and asked her if she needed any volunteers - she said yes! OMG, I was in with the volunteers who get to shop early (earlier than even the consignors!!). I had to come up with a plan of attack because if you have ever been to a consignment sale you know that these ladies are fierce. They come in and in one big swoop gather all the Gymbo, Hanna, and Baby Gap and worry about leisurely going through it later. Normally there is a nice selection of Little Tikes large toys outside which you have to pay for immediately outside so you have to have priorities and a plan. Mine was to get Piper a table for her newly made playroom (got it), a sit-n-spin for a friend's little boy (got it) and as many jeans as I could find for Piper (yippee got them). My list was pretty well complete! There were a few items that a friend asked me to look for but they didn't have but otherwise presale was a success! I managed to stay away from the sale each morning that I passed it but then when I went in to volunteer the call of the 2T racks was too strong and I am weak when it comes to my girls so I bought some more (just a little though). To not let this get too wordy (as if it isn't already) I helped that sale mama out a little bit more and she rewarded me with allowing me to go to the early 50% off sale with the consignors which I took full advantage of buying Piper the shirts she would need for winter, new books for our library, wood puzzles that she loves to put together, and (my favorite) fuzzy purse with fabric jewelry and makeup inside. She adores jewelry but at 2 breaks most of it and how much more safe can you get than fabric.

Fall/Winter Consignment sale 2007 is done, my kids will have a huge selection of clothes for the coming months and I spent probably a 1/4 of what it would have cost retail. I am fine with my addiction and so is our bank account!


Babywearing Daddy

>> Friday, September 14, 2007

Last night we took the girls to go and walk 2 22 acre tracts of land in the county next to ours. We still don't know if we want to stay on the lake or get some land so that the girls can have room to roam. There are pros and cons of each but until we finally decide we are always looking at different things. Well, after my last experience walking land and all of the ticks that I got on me from doing it there was no way I was going to let out oldest walk. She has only been worn a few times since the baby was born just about 9 months ago and that is because she wants to walk. I had to help Matt get her on his back but look how comfy she looks in Tobi, she kept putting her arms in and snuggling with Daddy.

While checking out the 2nd 22 acres we came across this...

poor cow. One tract was all pasture and the other all wooded but they sat next to each other with a pretty big stream running between them. Of course with the drought that us in the Southeast are experiencing there wasn't much water in that stream but it has the potential. Good news for us today though, WE GOT RAIN!! It isn't going to cure our drought but it rained nice and steady last night and it is supposed to continue off and on today. With good sometimes comes bad and I hate what Humberto did to those in Texas, my thoughts and prayers are with those families. If we get some chores done around the house today we may head to the Auto Fair at the speedway this afternoon. Fun day for the Zoo girls huh?? Got to give Daddy a little bit of fun once in awhile since he does so much for the family and he seldom gets a day off.
Have a great Friday everyone!


Wordless Wednesday

>> Wednesday, September 12, 2007

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


>> Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I woke up today with a heavy heart thinking back to 6 years ago and a morning that has forever changed our country. My thoughts and prayers go out to the families who lost their loved ones on that tragic day. How all of our lives have changed because of the evil that harbors inside the hearts of people, it makes me very sad.

I hope that my friend Elizabeth doesn't mind that I grabbed an image from her blog - thanks mama!

A super sweet mama made my day today. Renee, When 2 became 3 nominated me for a Nice Matters Award. Awww, this couldn't have come at a better time - thank you so much! I look forward to getting to know you better by reading your thoughts and your blog.


Weekend Recap

>> Monday, September 10, 2007

Well the weekend wasn't a total loss, although we had a rough time up in Asheville Saturday, Matt and I took the girls to the park early Sunday morning for awhile. It was beautiful outside and there was only 1 other person at the park with his son and it was funny because I knew him (well his son that is). His mama used to come to our playgroup, not sure why she quit because we weren't ever REALLY close but I liked her and will probably shoot her an email today to say "Hi!". It was Violet's first time on the swings, normally Sleeping Beauty doesn't wake up from her spot on my back but today she did and she LOVED (!!) it! Quick little set of pictures to watch - painless I promise :) Piper found her pockets and walked around most of the time with her hands in them and check out the shot of Violet's teeth. YES!! We are finally sleeping more than 1-2 hours!

So I will be having BIG HUGE fun tonight. It is my favorite time of year - consignment sale shopping time!! We really want need a lot of things and since I am volunteering on Thursday I get to go to one of the largest sale's presale. Woohoo! Seriously, now with Piper in school she does need a few things and we seldom buy new at the Zoo so these sales are perfect for us.

Just wanted to also post a quick picture of the costume my daughter was supposed to wear for the bug parade at the OrganicFest we went to on Saturday - we did not put her in the parade because the day was going that bad (for her father and I not the girls). Anyway,

Last thing before I go, don't forget about the contest that Adventures in Babywearing is having where Steph is giving away a Rocking Baby Sling. It ends tonight so get yourself signed up because they are such great slings - you won't be sorry!


Very, Very Cool Contest

>> Saturday, September 8, 2007

Steph over at Adventures in Babywearing is having a fabulous contest giving away a Rocking Baby Sling. OH MY, this is truly one of my favorite slings so we would LOVE to win! They have such great color combos and being a ring sling lover find that the shoulder is very comfortable even for longer trips. Funny story, last May or June (2006) I saw one sell on TBW and was so bummed out that I missed buying it that I emailed the mama that sold it and told her to send my info to the buyer and to tell her if she ever wanted to sell to please let me know. Less than a month later that beautiful sling was in my home getting a ton of love and compliments from everyone that saw it (still is). Check out Stepanie's contest before September 10th!


I'd like to introduce...

Princess Lola Crankypants

We got our Crankypants last week and, this is so funny, when I opened the package and took out our new fluff Piper says "Ohhh Mommy" - she loves them! Wish I could have got a better picture but here is one of her modeling them. I came up with the name Lola as I was thanking the creator of our Monster Princess and wrote Love Our Longies Amy, so now she has a name!


Wordless Wednesday - Super Girl

>> Wednesday, September 5, 2007

My oldest daughter is starting to love dress up and pretend play so I got her a few scarves to use - I helped her to put her "cape" on and now asks all the time for it.

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


First day at preschool

>> Tuesday, September 4, 2007

We decided to enroll our oldest in preschool for the 2007 school year. I get her to playgroups and she enjoys other kiddies so much that we thought she would really only benefit from being with 6 other children her age a few times a week. There is actually 7 other kids besides her but one is her friend Bryce. This past week we have been talking about school but since she has never been before she really had no clue besides us saying "You're going to be going to school with Bryce", so this morning when I told her we were going she said "School with Bryce?" and I said "Yes baby, you are going to school with Bryce". So we were off and picked up Daddy b/c I wasn't 100% sure that I wouldn't completely fall apart at the thought of leaving my baby girl, he laughed at me as tears ran down my face but once we got there I had it together. We brought her into the class and she immediately went for the water table that they had filled with different types of beans, it looked like she was having a blast already and was oblivious that we were even still there. Michele, Bryce's mama, decided to make a break for it and after a minute Bryce started looking for her and got sad and cried which made me teary eyed. It was time for me to leave or else I wouldn't be able to leave her, sad huh, so I took off with Matt right behind me. Michele and I met at Panera for coffee both of us half expecting a call saying "Come get your kid" but that call never came. We both needed a few things from the store and then went back to pick up the kids because their big day was almost done. Now for the best part of this story, while picking up the kiddos the teachers said that Piper hadn't cried AT ALL - yeah Piper! Bryce cried for about 10 minutes and then he was fine - yeah Bryce! Piper's other good friend Elizabeth who is not going to the same school as her had a fabulous time at preschool today too - yeah Elizabeth! I guess we will see how glad they are to go back on Thursday but I feel so good about today, my baby is growing up! Here she is the morning of her first big day...


Labor Day Weekend

>> Monday, September 3, 2007

While most everyone I know is cooking out and relaxing on their Labor Day Weekend the Zoo is busy working. We have so much stuff we need to do and this extra Monday is a perfect time to do some of it! I have been going through a purging project with the girl's clothes and mine which I am bringing to a women's shelter here in town. Matt's stuff is a whole different ballgame though. He has clothes still from high school - yep serious pack rat! Today he will finish up a project he started in the girl's playroom making them a magnetic chalkboard on one of the walls and hopefully will take some time to go through some of his belongings so I can get them to the AmVets coming tomorrow. Our house is by no means large and by giving the girls a playroom we actually took away their "bedroom" which neither have spent a day in. It was also a storage room for their clothes though and now all of that is going into our closet so our bedroom is very crowded, but if I organize I think it will work and if it does I am going to post a picture b/c it will be something that I am very proud of.

Our town is going on mandatory water restriction tomorrow b/c of the drought that we are experiencing. It is so dry here and the one time that we did get rain last week was only for 10 minutes and came down in buckets so it didn't help us at all. The Zoo's dock is falling apart but aside from that we are getting our own private beach, I should go out there and pick up all the rocks then let the girl's play huh? Anyway, we take water from the lake not the town but in doing our part for the enviroment are only watering our grass 1 time a week and it is holding up so far. Let's all do a rain dance in the Southeast!

Update on my dear little girl Violet - thank goodness that tooth finally came in and the other front is on it's way and should be through any day now. She still wakes at the crack of dawn but is sleeping much better at night and I am getting a 4-5 hour stretch normally - whew mama was getting tired! You should see this little one getting around and pulling herself up on everything, kids this age are so fun to watch aren't they?

Tomorrow will be a rough day for me, I am sending my oldest to preschool a couple of days each week. Matt and I talked about it and decided to get her interacting with some other kiddos without me being there and we landed at a YMCA preschool over at a church near our home. She will go on Tuesdays and Thursdays for 3 hours each day - I think she will do fine but the kid hasn't really ever been away from me like that so who knows. I am going into this with no real expectations but I do hope she will like it but if not we can try again next year and as for this year I will try and find her a tumbling class or something that I can join in on. I am sure that is what I will post about tomorrow so if interested tune in for the continuing saga...

My sweet baby girl

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