Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Too Cute Tuesday

Mattea Moments

Today - Mattea had a couple humorous things to say. Read along for a good laugh.

At the park, I was pushing the girls on the swings. I did a couple of "underdogs" for them which they absolutely love. I happened to push Mattea quite high and all of a sudden she yells out through her giggles
"That was a big under cat"
Wait - what is she talking about. I couldn't help but laugh.

The second funny moment came this afternoon when her and Paloma came in from playing outside, gardening, and painting the house and patio with water. It was really warm today and both girls were kind of sweaty. While washing their hands for dinner, Mattea says "Look Mom, I'm so sweaty."
I responded "Yes, honey it is warm outside. It's Ok to be sweaty."
She then out of nowhere says "It is so funny when your panties are sweaty" and then proceeds to finish washing her hands and get ready for dinner. Didn't even skip a beat, meanwhile I'm laughing hysterically.

1 Down, 6 To Go

Project # 1 - Complete. Paloma's bedroom has been metamorphosed into a beautiful, bright butterfly room. I finally said enough is enough to my boring monochromatic house which we moved into over a year ago. It was time to add some pizazz. Being the baby, Paloma was up first.
Her room is not fully complete. We still have some trim to paint, but Dave swears he'll finish once he arrives back from yet another travel stint.
I will be starting Mattea's room this evening. She will be getting an ultra cool pink princess room - her choice of course. After that, I hope to jazz up the laundry room, master bedroom, bathrooms, kitchen, living room, and toy room.
So I've been a bit busy lately - and a bit sore!

Monday, September 29, 2008

Not Me Monday

I decided today would be a great day to join in the fun over at Mck Mama's Blog. Every Monday she hosts "Not Me Monday." Check it out if you have a chance. Anyway, I could probably make a list of 100 things to add to my "Not Me" list but decided instead to focus on just one. The above picture is of my little Polly Rae. Cute and adorable - spunky and sassy. Now exhibiting her own independence and flair for life. We started potty training but she doesn't' quite get the concept of underpants going under your pants.

Being the kind of mother that I am, there is NO WAY that I would ever let my child go to the YMCA with me looking like this.

Of course, if I let Paloma leave the house like that, people would surely laugh, stare, and poke fun at my daughter and most likely myself as well. I would instead encourage her to alter her outfit so it is a bit more suitable for public viewing. No way would you find me letting my daughter leave the house dressed like this. Nope - not me!

Thursday, September 25, 2008

See The Resemblance

Waiting For Winter

So how many of you think that my children are anxious for the winter season to begin? Without prompting, this is how my children dressed to play outside today. It is over 70 degrees! I brought the bin of winter clothes out this morning to sort through and wash. The girls thought it would be fun to try it on and play outside. The neighbors probably have a new opinion of me - but I totally let them do it.

Hats & More

Recently, I have had a couple inquiries about the hats that you can most often find both of my girls wearing. We are a huge hat family - for a couple different reasons.

1) Hats are fun
2) Hats are fashionable
3) Hats can hide the hair that you didn't get a chance to brush or style that morning.

Both of my children don't necessarily mind having their hair done, but they don't exactly like it either. I think it was my husband who began the hat phase before he learned how to style Mattea's hair. He still has a bit of a problem putting pig tails in Paloma's hair in the morning so most often he is the first to grab a hat. But that isn't to say that I don't rely on the convenience as well. I also really try to foster independence and allow my children the freedom to think for themselves (within boundaries of course). Hats allow the kids to feel like they are really making a big decision about the finishing touches on the days attire. I have happened to get almost all of my hats at either the consignment shops, Goodwill, or the Dollar Store (believe it or not.)

I have converted my downstairs bathroom into what I like to call our Kid Station. Before leaving in the morning, each child is required to hit the station to pick out shoes, a hat, and a sweatshirt and jacket if needed. When we arrive home they are also required to stop at the station and return all of the articles back to their original place. Of course, this does not make my bathroom a top ten on the Parade of Homes tour, but it is definitely functionable - which is what I'm all about these days.

Thankful Thursday

Once again... Thankful Thursday

1) I am thankful that in these times of economic insecurity and financial woes, my family is doing just fine. If you have watched any news in the last week or so, you will know that times are definitely tough and not getting any easier. Our God is good and will bring us through this valley. We are thankfully in a house, driving two vehicles, have money for food & bills, and have two secure jobs. That is definitely more than some can say right now.

2) I am thankful for the 2 hours I was able to get to myself this evening. I so badly needed a couple hours to myself and received that this evening and graciously spent it at the new Aveda Salon in town.

3) I am thankful for my husband's job - although the travel has increased and our family time has dwindled, at least my husband is working and meeting the needs of our family.

4) I am thankful for my family's health. My children are healthy and that is worthy of praise. As I prepare to do the Light the Night walk I am reminded of all of those families who can not say the same. Right now, we have patients dying - whose families are preparing to feel the burden of a devastating loss. Praise God my kids are healthy.

5) Finally, I am thankful that I live in a country where I am able to stand up and proclaim "My God is good and worthy of praise." Whatever your position on this current war is, there have been many selfless individuals who have fought for the wonderful freedom that we have. It is all to often taken for granted. I know I do. Many lives have been lost so that I may have the freedom to write these words. Praise God for our great nation.

Round 2 - complete. What are you thankful for this evening?

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Polly Rae

What a difference a year makes....

The first photo was taken last year in October - so these photos are roughly 11 months apart - but I couldn't believe the change that has occurred over the last few months.

Too Cute Tuesday

Yup - we are potty training. Wish me luck!

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Before I Go To Bed

Ok - because I work tomorrow and because I will not have the opportunity to blog at all and because my little Paloma is the cutest little thing in the whole wide world right now, I am leaving you with one last image before I go to bed.

Thankful Thursday!

I'm going to start something new - and really hope that you will join with me. I have so much to be thankful for. God is so good and has blessed my family and I with so much. I began reading the book of JOB this morning and have felt compelled to really analyze all the blessings in my life. More on JOB later though. So each week I am going to simply create a list of at least 5 things that I am thankful for. I would encourage you to do the same. Please let me know if you decide to play along. So here goes....

1) I am thankful for my two darling little girls - for their amazing hearts and their amazing personalities. They are so different yet so much alike.

2) I am thankful that my husband should be arriving back into town this evening. He does so much for our family and is greatly missed when he is gone.

3) I am thankful for my job and the amazing people whom I work with. Because of all of Dave's travel I have not been into work as much - and I miss it. I have one particular coworker who has really stepped up to help me out the last couple weeks with schedule changes since Dave's trips came as a bit of a surprise. I am thankful that there are people out there who are willing to help out others even when it inconveniences themselves.

4) I am thankful for the beautiful weather we have been having. It has been so warm - not too hot - but just right! Without the nice weather, I would have been stuck inside with the kids for these last couple of weeks and that would not have made for a pleasant experience.

5) I am thankful for the 35 minutes I was able to have to myself this morning before the children woke up. It is important for me to have a bit of "me" time before starting my day. If I am able to get my quiet time in, drink at least one cup of coffee and brush my teeth before being approached by two tired little faces - I am a happier person. Recently for many different reasons, I haven't' gotten that time. Today was different.

So there it is.....

Thank You, Thank You

I just wanted to take a quick second to send out a huge thank you to all my friends and family who provided encouragement and support during the difficult times with Paloma. For all of you who strongly encouraged me not to donate my child to the circus on the many occasions that I brought it up - thank you!! I received a ton of advice about parenting, parenting a difficult child, sleep deprivation, parenting a naughty two year old while dealing with a cry baby... I could keep going but I'm sure you all know who you are. I just have to take a minute to say that everyone who told me "life will get better" and it is "the challenging ones that end up being the most sweet" I totally get what you were saying. I have seen the light. At the time, I didn't believe you and really wanted to simply strangle you - BUT my little Polly Rae has blossomed into one of the brightest, sweetest, most compassionate little girls around. She sleeps well, snores no more, and loves her momma more than I ever thought she would. I always kind of wondered if she would sense the feelings I had for her in the beginning - feelings of resentment, anger - a lack of bonding. But no my little cutie certainly doesn't act like she does.
Over the past two weeks I have had the pleasure of spending some quality time with my two little pumpkins since Dave is away doing fieldwork in Montana. We have shared tantrums, food fights, spankings, and a whole lot of timeouts. We have also had the pleasure of sharing hugs, kisses, snuggle time, book time, and play time. I have gotten to know Paloma so much these last couple of days. She is in the best stage ever. Just a few months short of 2, she is growing and exploring exponentially each day. She watches and mimics what you say and do. She clings to you for much needed security but runs from you for much needed independence. She is so fun to be around. She smiles and laughs ALL the time. And her heart - at the moment - is pure gold. She rubs my back, open mouth kisses me, says 'miss you' when I leave the room, and even offered me her pillow this morning.
Now - that is not to say she is of saintly status. She managed to pee on the carpet this morning just minutes after being taken to the potty, she is covered head to toe in pink highlighter (which is a long story), she manages to mouth the words "walk away" when you get too close, try and eat her food, mock her for sucking her thumb, or try and take her "mimi" away. She is spunky and sassy but oh so loveable. She has blossomed into an amazing child and I love her dearly.
I guess God provides challenging situations for a reason!

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Mattea Moment

During our weekend away, Dave and I picked up one of those "instant" cookie packets and let the girls make and bake their own cookies. They each were able to "manipulate" the dough to form this (see picture.) They were most proud and watched them bake for the whole 15 minutes. When the timer went off, Mattea ran over to the oven and exclaimed...

OOOHHH - Mama, what lovely cookies for a lovely girl. (She was obviously talking about herself and not her sister.)
Where does she come up with some of this stuff?

A Weekend Getaway

This weekend we decided to pack up the girls, board the dogs and head to the mountains for some much needed relaxation. Of course, an adventure with two young children is nothing short of relaxing, but nonetheless, we decided to spend the weekend together. Dave's company owns a few condos and rents them out for a very reasonable price so we decided to take advantage of the benefit. Our plans didn't include anything too spectacular but it was enough to break up the monotony of everyday life.

On Sunday morning, we woke up to some beautiful weather and asked the girls if they wanted to go hiking. They agreed, not really knowing what they got themselves into. I don't think Mattea knew she would be responsible for hiking her little body up and down the trail. I did hear some complaints along the way but overall they both did really well.

They loved the water and spent a majority of the time tossing rocks into the creek. Who knew something so simple could bring them so much enjoyment.

Dave and I loved being outdoors and loved sharing the adventure with our children. We spent some time together, drank some good coffee, enjoyed some good wine, and drove around a beautiful portion of our state that I had yet to see. Of course, Monday morning rolled around quickly and we packed into the Pilot and headed home. The time together was short lived - Dave is now gone again on yet another business trip. I could definitely use some prayers this week as this single parenting stuff is such a challenge and my patience is definitely being tested. But hey - at least I have the memories of our awesome weekend together!

Sister Act

Making Friends

My child has no problem making friends at the park. This relationship cultivated in about - ummm - 12.5 minutes.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Follow Me

Hey Everyone Out There Reading

Have you stopped by my blog today on accident OR have you been following my blog for awhile - if so - go to the sidebar and click under my new little widget "Follow Me." I'd love to know your there!!! Bring yourselves out of hiding - it's OK.

Mattea Moment

Tonight after a very long evening at the park, I brought the girls home a bit late but began our nightly routine of bath/books/bed. Paloma was on the grouchy side since it was way past her bedtime and she wasn't getting her nightly snack. After her bath she began fussing, whining, and crying about her diaper or her Dora nightgown - to be quite honest, I'm not sure what all the commotion was about. I looked at Mattea and said

Me: "Why is she crying?"
Mattea: "I don't know."

Me: As Paloma continues to carry on. "She is kind of a crybaby huh?"
Mattea: "Let's put her to sleep."

I guess that can be deciphered in multitude of ways, but the way in which she blurted it out was too darn cute not to share. I guess true feelings emerge at the funniest of times.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Bedtime Routine

Mattea has gotten very particular and very precise about her bedtime routine recently. It is almost OCD if you ask me - but I can't imagine where she would have learned that from??? Anyways, before she goes to bed, she must tuck in what seems to be a dozen stuffed animals and dolls. And the kicker is that each one must have their own separate blanket and bottle. I have been trying to minimize this long drawn-out process by sending her to her room while I put Paloma down to give her a head start, but literally she takes at least 20 min laying them just right in her bed and then gently tucking each blanket right on top. The more I rush her the more aggravated and frustrated she becomes, so I have stopped that and realized this is important to her and she won't be able to sleep until this ritual is complete. I must admit she looks so cute when all is said and done. But this would be one of the major reasons we are moving her out of a toddler bed and into a bigger bed!

Do your kids have any favorite bedtime rituals?


Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Pray With Paloma

Paloma is now 20 months and absorbing absolutely everything like a sponge. She is watching and mimicking her big sister - and even me on occasion - ooops. Well, I guess I didn't realize exactly how much she is really taking in until last night. We were sitting around the dinner table and I decided to work on Mattea's Bible verses. We have currently been working on...
Love is patient, Love is kind &
God made the world, and everything in it
I started by saying, "Mattea what are your Bible verses?" Paloma chimes in... "in it" Confused at first, I realized she was trying to recite Mattea's Bible verses. So I helped her out a little

Me: "Paloma, God made the......"
Paloma: "wooooorld"
Me: "and everything"
Paloma: "innnnn it"

Me: "Love is...."
Paloma: "tatient" (my children have a problem with 'p' and 'c & k')
Me: "Love is..."
Paloma: "tind"

I had a total mommy moment. She is getting it - finally getting it! I love this current age/stage.

Monday, September 8, 2008

A Celebration of Love

On September 7, 2002 I married the man of my dreams. God blessed me with a wonderful man, a wonderful relationship, and a wonderful husband to be. Without even an ounce of anxiety or nervousness, I stood before a small crowd of family and friends and said my vows with absolute confidence that I was following God's will for my life. I was 24 at the time, feeling wise but being completely naive to what would lie ahead in the days/months/years following that special ceremony. When the party had ended and the guests had left and I had my "husband" all to myself, I remember looking at him and saying - "I have no idea what I am doing, but give me time and patience and I will learn."

I am still learning. I may have already learned that David is slow to rise in the morning, that he loves to drink coffee, that he has a tendency of letting his laundry pile up on his side of the bed, that although he appears to be staring off into space - he is in fact listening, that he loves to cook, and that he loves me! I may have learned many of his deep dark secrets, sins from the past, accomplishments and failures - but there is still so much I have yet to learn. Six years is nothing. It is only the beginning.

We have come so far but still have such a ways to go. There is not one single soul whom I would rather be with though through it all.

Happy Anniversary Honey - I love you lots and lots and lots and lots!

God wants marriage to be a glorious, passionate, deeply intimate, sacred, and magnificent love relationship. He wants us to connect in communication, to be best friends, to meet each other's real needs, to have fun, and to glorify Him in our love.
David Clarke

Pondering Thought On Marriage

Why did God make men and women so unbelievably different? The main reason is so that we would have to depend on Him. God wants to be at the center of every marriage, so He made the relationship so difficult that w have to keep Him there to make it work.

God wants marriage to be a glorious, passionate, deeply intimate, sacred, and magnificent love relationship. He wants us to connect in communication, to be best friends, to meet each other's real needs, to have fun, and to glorify Him in our love.

A Marriage After God's Own Heart
David Clarke

Put me like a seal over your heart,
Like a seal on your arm.
For love is as strong as death,
Jealousy is as severe as Sheol;
Its flashes are flashes of fire,
The very flame of the Lord.
Many waters cannot quench love,
Nor will rivers overflow it;
If a man were to give all the riches of his house for love,
It would be utterly despised. (Song of Solomon 8:6-7)

What We Did Tonight

Daddy - Can you guess what we did tonight after dinner?

You guessed it! The girls and I packed up after dinner and a tea party and headed out to our new favorite hangout - Yogees! Judge me if you will - but I control the amount of ice cream they have and exactly what toppings go on. Some nights it is fruit loops and strawberry ice cream - other nights it is not. We had a blast, the kids got a whopping dose of sugar, and I got some great memories - who could ask for more?

David - did you really think that we wouldn't go? We missed you - Mattea picked out a seat for you.


You know you have been married long enough when you begin buying the same card for your anniversary. What are the chances?

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

And The Winner Is....

Courtney - you are the official winner of the first ever Living La Vida Loca blog contest. Congratulations. Many of you were close but Courtney hit it dead on. Yes, officer "stick in the mud" clocked me going 80 in a 65. In all fairness though, I was speeding.

Courtney - I'll be sending you out a gift certificate (bare with me though- I work the next two days in a row). I promise I'll be sending it your way. Thanks to all who participated.

And for all of you who really thought that the picture I took was the speed I was going - so silly. I wouldn't be that obvious. David felt it necessary to document the event after the fact. That is what the cruise control was set on the entire rest of the trip to Milwaukee.

Making Salsa

Here is a step by step recipe for making salsa - Idahoan style!

Step 1 - Send your youngest daughter out to the garden to pick fresh onions and jalapenos.

Step 2 - Send your eldest daughter out to the garden to pick fresh tomatoes.

Step 3 - Give your children a bath while you husband cuts up all of the fresh "organic, all natural" vegetables and throws them together in a bowl.

Step 4 - Watch husband blend everything together in the new and most wonderful food processor.

Voila!! D's special salsa in both mild and zesty.

Untitled - Just Stinkin Cute

First Haircut

It was time - Dave has been telling me for weeks that Paloma is in desperate need of a haircut. I was in denial! I broke down over the weekend and finally took her though. It was just a "trim" to help the unmanageable curls in the back. It took all of 2 minutes and she is looking prettier than ever. She did great!