Thursday, December 30, 2010

What’s Next?

I am sure there are going to be a million and two I’m-so-thankful-for-this-year and/or twentyten-can-bite-my-ass posts in the blog-world this week.

2010 wasn’t the most awesome year in the entire world, but it certainly wasn’t the worst year I have ever had.  I mean shit, I lost my job and health insurance so that sucked.  My husband and I had a tough year, but we’re good now.  I took my family on an awesome beach vacation, am one semester away from having my Master’s degree and have started my own business. And bought my first house.  Not to mention the everyday fun stuff that happened. So overall, I suppose the year was a success.

I am most concerned with what comes  next, though.  I am in a very uncertain place right now.  Sure, I have my family and house and a few things going at least marginally my way, but I feel unsettled.  Like there is so much I don’t know, can’t control and am just generally unsure about.

What will 2011 (twenty-eleven, in my book) bring?

How will we grow as a family?

How will I grow professionally? When will I get a job? What kind of job will it be?

What awesome things will Gianna teach me?

What kind of excitement/disappointment/unexpected surprises will come our way?

We have one super awesome thing to look forward too in 2011 – a big fat italian family vacation!  In October my whole family, all 11 people, are going to Italy, on a Mediterranean cruise. 


Sometime this spring/summer we are going to seriously visit the idea of  TTC for baby 2.0, which is an awesomely scary idea. 

I am certain 2011 will be a-okay.  There are at least a few things to look forward to.

I just can’t wait to find out what comes next…..



Right after I wrote this post, I found out that my dear friend Jen lost one of her twin girls at 32 weeks. Please pray for her, Mark, Olivia, sweet Evelyn watching from heaven and for Ainsley as she gets strong enough to come home to her family.  Jen, we are wrapping you all in huge hugs, prayers, strength and whatever else you need, for as long as you need it. xoxo

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

wordless Wednesday

Mommy and her leetle zebra
Published with Blogger-droid v1.6.5

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Hang-over: The Big Day

Santa has arrived.

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And G has no clue what is going on.

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But she did find a wand!

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And a tutu.

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And thinks the wand will help her to open stuff!

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PJ picture.

Then over to Grandma and Papa’s!

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G played Papa’s helper and checked passed out all the loot.

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She was observant. And got new boots. (among a zillion other things)

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And really liked the parade.

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And looking at GIANNA! in the mirror on her new brush.

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But most of all, she loves her new horse.

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And had a long day.

A long, amazingly awesome day with people who love her, spoil her and buy her things she doesn’t even know she likes yet!


Sunday, December 26, 2010

Holiday Hang-over: the eve’s

Because I have over 500 pictures from this holiday, we are going to break it up a bit.

Christmas eve-eve:

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the beloved Anywhere Chair from Aunt Jacqui & Uncle Josh

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And a place to put her babies.

Bringing us to Christmas Eve.

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Helping Mommy & Aunt Sissy eat cook at Grandma’s

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daddy kisses.

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presents from the Grandparent’s Dixon.

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A sleepy family photo.

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And a story for everyone from Grandma.

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Followed up by some handy-work from Santa.


Friday, December 24, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers: Happy Christmas Eve Edition

  • Merry Christmas Eve, my beautiful friends!
  • Every time you ask G if Santa is coming to her house she says “no no nonononono NOOOOO”. She is a wee bit scared of the big guy.
  • All the presents are wrapped. Cookies are baked. Outfits are chosen. Camera is charged. Let’s do this holiday thang!
  • Speaking of camera’s – how do you capture life’s memories? Still or video?  Obviously I use a still camera 99.9% of the time, but we DO have a video camera (and a cameraman for a husband…).  Hopefully we remember to use it this weekend.
  • My FIL said “we put a lot of thought into everyone’s gifts this year”. Which is scary. Because the IL’s are not the world’s best gift-givers.  Who knows what we will end up with… but it’s the thought and gift receipts that count, right?
  • They are also serving fried chicken (bought from a restaurant) for dinner tonight. MIL is also not the even a remotely good best cook, so uh, maybe this will be okay? I am missing homemade lasagna at my mom’s though.
  • I love the Grinch Who Stole Christmas – Jim Carey version. LOVE. 
  • I also love french toast casserole and may eat the entire pan myself on Christmas am.
  • I got my hair cut! And I love it a lot. I also wish I had my own personal stylist, because it just never looks as good when I do it.
  • Enjoy your time with friends and family this weekend!DSC_0123


Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Wordless Wednesday: happy holidays edition

Because I am not wealthy enough to actually mail Christmas cards to all of my favorite internet friends, I wanted to share with you anyway.

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yes, I had both printed. I only mailed one to each person. Not THAT crazy.


Saturday, December 18, 2010

Binky Intervention

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Gianna has used her binky since, well, forever.  When she was reflux-e for all those months, it helped soothe her. And now? she just really likes it.


Which has been fine. Except I hate when she tries to talk with it in her mouth. So I try to extract the binky, and she bites it. And freaks out. GIMME MY BINK!!!!!!

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I am weak, you guys.  She is so cute and I cave in every.single.time.

Reasons for caving in lately: she was sick. You can’t deny a sick girl her binkie.  Mike has been working midnights and sleeping during the day.  Gotta keep the toddler as quiet as possible for as long as possible.  Right or wrong, the bink is the best way to get her to calm down.  I just can’t say no.

And she NEEDS it in the car. Like she screams BINKIE PWEEEZE. LOVIE PWEEEZE.

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So now, I have created a binkie monster.

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We need an intervention.

How did you start to wean your kid from the binkie?  Did you do it all at once, let them only have it during nap/bed time? We are NOT going cold turkey until she is 2, but we can’t have this binky-in-the-mouth-all-the-live-long-day shit going on much longer.


Why does the confining upgrade grade the disorder?

Friday, December 17, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I have watched Princess and the Frog no less than 8753245767564x.  Gianna knows the words and starts singing before the movie….
  • Mike has been working a lot lately, including overnight shifts.  It is really freaking hard to keep a 20 month old quiet during the day.  He is doing great and his hard work is appreciated so much.
  • Patiently waiting the arrival of several more packages from UPS. HURRY!!! A few gift cards to get today, and we are done shopping!
  • One of the places Mike works is – he has a bad habit of bringing home MORE stuff for the tiny girl who lives here.  It’s kinda cute. But I am running out of her special santa paper….
  • I love getting Christmas cards.
  • This week has been a cooking fail.  Oops.
  • From my post the other day – G also says PWEEEZEE (complete with sign!) whenever she wants something (yay manners!), but she usually says “pweeezee. Okay!" followed by whatever it is she wants to do.  Obviously I say “okay” a lot when she asks for stuff. It’s hysterical.
  • Any tips on how to work on patience/waiting your turn with your toddler?  She wants us to do everything 10 seconds ago and gets so mad when she has to wait for us to do something.  Just a little frustrating.
  • Starbucks coffee is so good.  I don’t know if I can go back to Folgers…
  • Excited for a girls day tomorrow – going to a tuba christmas program, making cookies, having lots of snacks and a sleep over at my Mom’s with my sisters, grandma, aunts and G too! 


As always join Danifred & Co to share in the leftovers

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

On the 14th day of Christmas my true love gave to me

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an awesome little girl

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to help make sugar cooook-eeeeees


Tuesday, December 14, 2010


JJ at Reproductive Jeans gave me this award last week, and I finally got my acceptance post ready!  We connected through twitter and the blog-o-verse this year, and she has become one of the greatest friends.  I am truly thankful for this awesome and inspirational lady!!

So here's rules for the award:
~Thank and link back to the person who gave you the award.
~Share 7 things about yourself.
~Pass the award along to 7 other bloggers who you recently discovered and think are fabulous.

  1. I want to be a photographer in my next life. I think I take pretty good pictures for a novice, but I have TONS to learn still. I spend a lot of time behind the camera capturing everything from blue eyes to still life.
  2. I can’t go to bed unless the house is picked up. It doesn’t have to be clean, but it can’t be cluttered.
  3. My closet is organized by color and shirt/pant length. Like all the white shirts are together and they go (L-R) long sleeve, short sleeve, tank top.  It makes me happy.
  4. There are over 50 pairs of shoes on my shoe rack and counting.
  5. I could literally live on potatoes – any form, I’ll take ‘um.
  6. I do not like condiments of any kind, except for honey to dip my chicken nuggets in.  I also don’t like sandwiches unless it is a chicken breast, cheese and spinach sub w/ raspberry vinaigrette from subway.
  7. I am pretty sure I want to work in the non-profit sector (or in grant writing) when I grow up.  Know of any jobs in this area? Pass them along please!!
  8. *bonus* I will be done with my Masters in Public Health in May.  I am already trying to figure out what I will do next – MBA? PhD? I know I am not done forever…..

I am passing this award on to the following 7 beautiful bloggers because I want to hear (even) more about your life!!

Rebecca @ Unexplained x2

Danifred @ Sippy Cups are Not for Starbucks

Kate @ Circus Acts

Jen @ I Blog Because of Peer Pressure

Seussgirl @ One Day Two Day

Esperanza @ Stumbling Gracefully

Mel @ Where’s my Belly


Monday, December 13, 2010

Perfect Moment Monday

I am participating in this for the first time – so HI!!

We are snowed in.

Blizzarding in Ohio for the 2nd week in a row.

I can not watch Princess and the Frog one more time (and I am sure I will have to watch it 2958271 more times) and Gianna and I have lots of Christmas elf work that needs completed.

We started working on our project of the day, while listening to Christmas music, at the kitchen table this morning. The snow was flying outside. I had a cup of coffee in my hand (and my camera in the other). The song “Santa clause is Coming to Town” came on. Which is the song my Grandma would always sing to me.

I felt the tears well up (am a sap) as my girl worked away on her craft project there with me and I just felt Grandma sitting across from us, her red polished finger nails tapping on the table to the beat of the song with a big smile on her face. 

And there it was. My perfect moment.

Me, Gianna and Grandma.

More Perfect Moment Monday stories here


Sunday, December 12, 2010

Watch Your Mouth

You know what happens when you have a toddler who doubles as a parrot?

You QUICKLY learn the words/phrases you say most often.

I apparently say: Shoot. How About. Hold On. Where is. Damn it. No. Oops. Uh Oh. and Love you a lot.

Because G says these things. Some of them more than others.

She talks in sentences. For real – 3 to 5 words. All together. To mean one thing.  It is totally crazy. Her favorite sentence – “where mommy go?” or “where binkie go?”.  She is typically very concerned as to the whereabouts of her prized possession's.

Also what happens when you have a chatty-kathy for a toddler – she speaks in her own language.  I refer to it as “gianna-ese”.

She usually uses the proper word for things, but not always.  It’s like she speaks in code sometimes.  Or maybe I just have a knack for understanding gibberish.  Either way, it is kind of interesting to realize that sometimes when I feel she is being perfectly clear in what she says, that probably is not the case for the rest of the public!  Like when she kept saying “poot” to my mom during a diaper change.  My mom thought we had given her vag a nickname, but really she was pointing out Winnie the POOH on her diaper. 

It is really fun to hear her parrot a word, and then use it correctly. Except when she said damn it, that was not good.

This toddler thing isn’t so bad.

Until she starts the drama and throws her self on the floor.again. but that’s a story for another day.


Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Wordless Wednesday


Merry Christmas from me, Gianna, Santa and the Goodyear Blimp


Monday, December 6, 2010

We have spirit, yes we do, we have spirit how about you?


The holidays.

They are known as a special time of year.  And they ARE a special time of year.  YAY Holiday Spirit!

But why?

If you ask me why the holidays are awesome – it’s because we get to spend time with our families, enjoy each other’s company and revisit the birth of Jesus.

If you ask my husband why the holidays are awesome – it’s because you get presents.

I am going to admit, I LOVE to buy for people (and, you know, get stuff) and get them something really special – wrap it up all pretty and see their face when they open it.  I love to decorate and see everyone else’s pretty decorations.

But I KNOW there is MUCH MUCH more to CHRISTMAS than presents and pretty trees.  If I am being honest, however, that part has been lost on me for some time now as we get wrapped up in the commercial holiday.  And, I don’t know how to translate the true MEANING behind Christmas to my daughter.

I want her to know WHY we celebrate Christmas, who we are celebrating and really get the purpose behind it rather than seeing it as a time to just get stuff or a threat to be good so that Santa will visit her.  We do not normally go to church, but I am a religious person.  I just don’t know how to explain the bible or anything to her, I don’t know enough about it myself to explain it. 

How do you help your kids, and even yourself, to really grasp the concept behind Christmas (or whatever holiday you celebrate)? 

Isn’t the idea of “holiday spirit” to appreciate the reason for the holiday and not the cool gifts you might give/get?  Especially right now, when money is tight, there is so much more to the holidays than THINGS, I need to remember that and I would love for that to translate through my family as well.


Friday, December 3, 2010

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I am late on this today, but turns out it gave me more things to say.
  • G is still sick. She plays and acts fine, but she gets worn out easily. And holy shit does she get cranky.  Her poor nose/face is all red and chapped from incessant nose wiping.
  • Honestly, where DOES all that snot/mucous come from? Her head is only so big….
  • I know I am not “working” per say right now, but good LORD am I busy.  Turns out my master’s work is much more time consuming than originally anticipated.
  • It has been snowing, literally, all week. ick.
  • Peppermint mocha coffee creamer = heaven.
  • Why do people insist on actually BAKING cookies? Cookie dough is totally good enough for me…..
  • I need new tires on my car.
  • Our house is christmas-ified, but it turns out that a) we don’t have all that much christmas d├ęcor and b) I wish we had bright colored decorations like these:  to go with our turqoise walls! Come on after-christmas sales.
  • Gianna says “ooo woook, CHRISTMAS” whenever she sees the tree. It’s freaking adorable.
  • Gianna also told me “you’re gorg-us” today.
  • She said “say shrimp boat” yesterday, thanks to her Aunt Krissy and the silly things she tells the girl to say.
  • Why do I always feel like I need a nap around 2p (I never actually TAKE one) but yet I stay up until at least 11 every night?  I will never learn....
  • Turns out my dad is in the ICU.  I have already expressed my feelings on this person, I won’t be visiting.  I would never wish harm on anyone, not even him, but that doesn’t mean I feel any tugs on my heartstrings over it.
  • I can’t wait for my christmas cards to come!!
Join Danifred and Co. to see what everyone else has leftover this week!

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Wordless Wednesday

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High-fives for Santa.


Happy 12th month of the year