Monday, January 31, 2011

Charlie Harper Nesting Blocks: GIVEAWAY!!

STACKING has become a big deal in our house. Gianna wants to stack (and knock down) everything lately.

Which made the offer from Sara @ AMMObooks awesome!

She sent over their new Nesting Blocks by Charlie Harper for us to try out. 


They are fully illustrated, colorful, educational and durable. (Gianna keeps trying to stand on them, so I know they at least withstand 24 pounds…)

And best of all, they are a huge hit with the toddler!

DSC_0440 look how tall and COLORFUL they are!

1.26  (3)Good for pretending with.

1.26  (5)Stacking up.1.26  (6)And knocking down.

1.26  (10) Or for snowmen to play with.

The top of each block has a number, the sides have letters with corresponding illustrations.

But here in my corner of the internet, we like to share.

These would make a perfect valentine’s day gift, “go away snow” gift or just an “I love you” gift for any little person in your life.

How to win:

  • Leave me a comment! Period. That is all.

Extra Entries (separate comment required for each):


Entries accepted until 11:59pm EST February 4th. Winner will be chosen using Saturday February 5th.  Make sure you leave an email address or have one connected to your google account so I can tell you that you won!


Products provided by AMMO books for review & giveaway. Pictures and comments are my own.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

I did it. Again!

This is the second time I have completed the NaBloPoMo monthly blogging. (I can say this today because I have something that will autopost tomorrow)

I don’t know that I necessarily stayed on topic with the “friends” theme – but I know I got a few out there.


I made some new blogging friends – so that’s a win in my book.

I have also reconnected with some friends and have made reaching out to friends a priority this month – not always successful, but hey, I do what I can.

It’s a fun challenge and I am glad I did.

Up on next months agenda:

  • I am hosting the ADM bloghop. Get ready!
  • Birthday planning ideas and such
  • bitching about all the work I have to do for my thesis
  • more pictures and general silly, I am certain.


Saturday, January 29, 2011

DJ’s Got Us Falling in Love

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Skullcandy cover girl.

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Playing the music with her daddy.

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She’s got this.


Friday, January 28, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • Another Friday where I am thankful for Danifred and the leftovers. Lots of random going on in my head lately.
  • Today I set up a timeline to complete my thesis. I will be presenting it on April 27th. Holy shit batman, it is going to be a crazy ride.
  • I am glad, however, to have everything on the calendar. Deadlines set. Etc. Etc. It honestly makes my head hurt a little less knowing what is coming next.
  • Disney “sin-aaaa-longs'” have taken over. Cute, but not. At least she dances to them.
  • Speaking of dancing, we are going to do a dance party “theme” for her birthday! Need to figure out what that means exactly aside from there being music and balloons.
  • Some sort of sickness has been going through our house, G and I are both sick enough to be slightly miserable yet still functional. I would prefer one extreme or the other.
  • I have really enjoyed reading your comments from yesterdays post. Keep ‘um coming.
  • This weekend going into next week is going to be crazy. But I am ready for it.
  • I must start our taxes soon. They are going to be a bitch do do this year and I should really stop putting it off.
  • I know I promised there was exciting news and such coming the other day – it is probably only exciting to me, but I am building my own little team of jewelry lady’s and it is very fun! That’s all. Not hit the lottery exciting, but a small step.
  • The freelance company I work for has had shit to write. It sort of pisses me off, but not, because I have enough work (although non-paying work) to keep me busy at the moment. But still, frustrating.
  • My shoe rack, the one that holds over 50 pairs of shoes, broke today. Not sure what I am going to do (besides buy a new shoe rack that is more durable) about it, but Gianna is in HEAVEN. HEAVEN I tell you – the way her face lit up when she saw all of those shoes on the floor you would have thought Cinderella herself was standing in front her her. She spent a good 15 minutes (until I drug her upstairs) trying on different shoes saying “ta da”. Hilarious for sure.
  • Please keep my friend JJ (and her hubs Mook!) in your thoughts – their little man, O, is in the hospital with RSV and a bacterial blood infection. All thoughts and prayers are appreciated.
  • I am going to be drinking some wine tonight, I hear it helps sore throats. Or at least lets you forget you have a sore throat….


Thursday, January 27, 2011

ADvice or ASSvice?

Our ADM bloghop topic this week is
What is the best advice you received but never thought you’d use?
How’s that for deep?

As I was thinking about this I thought about all the random things people have told me over the years. Most of it I have classified as ASSvice – as in, the giver of the advice was just being an asshole. Example: You look good for just having had a baby, but maybe don’t eat those oreos? Example #2: Why don’t you just become a nurse, girls shouldn’t be doctors*. 

Some things people have said though, go in the ADvice column. As in, they have added to how I look at life, a situation, a cookie, whatever.

The biggest piece of ADvice I received without knowing was during out pre-cana classes. They told us to make your spouse your number one priority.

And at the time, we were almost married, madly in love and how silly of them to be telling us this? Married bliss – we got that. Forever and ever. The end. No ADvice necessary, because we got this.

Except, then life goes on and you move from newlyweds on their honeymoon to newlyweds in real life and on and on.

What happens when you do not put your spouse as your number one priority? Nothing good. That’s what.  I can speak from (unfotunate) experience on this – because we went through periods of school being more important to me, going out with friends being more important to him, getting pregnant being more important than US, new baby ruling the world etc etc etc.

What happens to a marriage when this is the case? Again, nothing good. You might talk about divorce, make bad choices, ignore each other and stop kissing goodnight.

Thankfully, we both have gone back to that ADvice we received more than 4 years ago and are in a pretty great place.  Will we be here forever? Doubtful. But we have learned how to work through the changes in life that lead to a distraction of priority.  Some days, school work or taking care of the toddler ARE very important, just not the MOST important.

I try (not always successfully, as my husband will point out) to spend 5 minutes every day with just him. No tv, no toddler, no phone. Sometimes it is only 1.5 minutes until I fall asleep, but I do my best. And so does he.  And I can say, without question, whether it appears that way or not, that my husband is my number one priority. And I can say with confidence, that I am his.

And we always kiss goodnight.

Join our host for the month, Sara & play along with us! andreasignature2

*yes someone told me this while in medical school.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Last week I had some requests for Gianna in action.

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And by action, they meant doing something besides being really adorable like crying or throwing her self on the floor.

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Because it does happen here. At least once a day.

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and you are met with the above blur of motion paired with screaming and crying. Also known as a temper tantrum a la Gianna.


Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Clean house?

I was doing some internet reading (i.e. blogs and message boards) and I discovered something.

I need a maid.

Or to hire one of the mom’s out there who deep cleans their house on the regular.

You guys, I am going to admit something here.  I hate cleaning almost as much as I hate doing laundry. Although I do laundry about 600x more often than I clean….can’t go around with dirty underwear.  The last time I deep cleaned my house? When we moved into it. In MAY!

Sure, I have mopped the floors since then, but washing walls, baseboards and really scrubbing things down? No. Hasn’t really even crossed my mind, if I am being honest.

My house is pretty much always surface clean. You know, things picked up and in order, counters/toilets/sinks wiped down. I try not to go to bed with the the house cluttered because it puts me in a bad mood when I wake up.

You are pretty much guaranteed to find dust in places, crumbs on the floor and other such nonsense though.  For goodness sakes, today I vacuumed the floors in our bedrooms for the first time in far too long.

I realize that things need to be kept tidy and sometimes beyond just tidy, but WHEN? It seems pointless to clean during naptime and after the little one goes to bed there is usually a list 20 feet long that still needs tackled.  Again, if I am being honest – I would rather sit on my butt eating oreos and/or drinking wine than wash the walls at 9pm. And the thought of washing walls does not ever even enter my mind, literally. Never. Unless I see something spilled on it.

How clean is YOUR house? Do you have a routine – like wash bathroom on Sunday, laundry on Monday? (Monday is my laundry day, no real reason, it just is).

Or are you awesome and have a maid to do all the dirty work like cleaning tile grout, washing windows and polishing silverware?


Monday, January 24, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday

The point of Perfect Moment’s are that they just appear, they are not created.

Today after dinner and after Mike got home from work we heard the typical “UM ON” from Gianna and “Gib a hand. PAWEEEZ” as she tugged us up from the couch and into the playroom.

And we played.

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And laughed.

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And dressed as Minnie Mouse so we could dance.

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And I just fell more in love with my silly girl and my handsome husband.

Because you guys, sometimes the simplest things make me the happiest person in the entire world.


Sunday, January 23, 2011

Sunday Senses

Rebecca always posts her Sunday senses and because I can’t friggin even think straight long enough to come up with a decent post right now,that’s all I have for you. 

Hopefully I don’t miss any.

Sight: The adorable backdrop of my adorable little girl on my laptop screen. (for real, it is one of my most favorite pictures ever)

Sound: My computer and furnace running. No TV for me today, I am over it.

Feel: I have a sore throat and a headache. Why the hell am I still awake? Also on the feeling side – hopeful, excited and totally overwhelmed. All for different reasons, will get to them all soon enough because I can tell already you are DYING to know what is going on! (or not, act alive people!)

Taste: Ramen. Klassy, I know.

Smell: Nothing really because I also have a bit of a stuffy nose. Seriously body, no time for sickness right no.


Saturday, January 22, 2011

Cute Baby Saturday

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HEY! Sissy gave me pretties to wear….

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But I don’t know where they went?

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AHH HA! Found ‘um!

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I know, I’m cute. And accessorized.


Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • FNL brought to us by Danifred is just what the doctor ordered for me today.
  • I fell on the ice this week. Busted my ass and my elbow. They both hurt.
  • Lately, I have been waking up feeling TERRIBLE – like I literally got in a fight in my sleep.  It has been established by my Tweeps that I am too tense when I sleep. Apparently all the stress monsters come out to get me during the night, last night I literally could.not.relax the muscles in my neck – it was so ridiculous.
  • My darling daughter did not sleep well last night either. She woke up all stuffy, in a fine mood, just stuffed. She also didn’t nap. And it is now 6:49pm, and she is in bed. It was a long day, for all of us.
  • I made baked potato soup for dinner. It was yummy. Basically glorified mashed potatoes, which, seriously how could that be bad?
  • Aside from falling on my butt and a few other random stressors, this week wasn’t so bad, Especially considering that I got an adjunct teaching position!
  • As I was driving home today from doing research thinking about all the million things I still have left to do today, I wondered how the hell I thought I was going to accomplish all of these things and work full time.  I also wondered (not in a mean or bitchy way) what do stay at home mom’s who aren’t in graduate school/working on a capstone project/working 2 jobs from home DO all day long?!
  • One of the things on my list, other than start our taxes (hold me…) is to get health insurance for the family. We have the shittiest coverage ever through Mike’s work and we just need to get on a better major medical plan. Any advice out there on this one? I know that the maternity rider’s suck and usually don’t kick in for 9 months – SUCK, but anything else I need to know, good places/people to call? I am pretty knowledgeable about insurance in general, just have never had to go this route and not sure where to start.
  • Why do all the lights burn out at the same time? So annoying.
  • Right now the only thing making nose is the dishwasher, and that totally rocks.


Thursday, January 20, 2011

What’s a lovie?

I talk about Gianna’s lovie (which, in this house is a small blanket) a lot.
Because she loves it. A LOT.
When Sara asked us to write on this topic:
Share how your child, or you, or someone you know, found and adopted his/her lovey and the importance of it in his/her life.  As a bonus, feel free to add cute pictures of your little ones with their loveys.
I could NOT turn it down.

I had a lovie growing up. I still have it. As heartbreaking (and possibly disturbing to some) as that is, it’s literally held together by a thread.  I did take it out of my pillowcase about a year ago and stored it safely in a box. (you’re welcome, Mike). My favorite part about that lovie? The silk edge. I would just run my hands around and around and around it until I fell asleep.

Gianna got her lovie from my mom when she was born. It was the most perfect size for a baby, not a huge honking blanket that would get dragged in the mud. It was SO soft and had that perfect silk edge.
I gave it to her from day one, she caught on that this was HERS around month 2 or 3 and has never let it go since.
Being the highly intelligent beings that Mike and I are, we RAN to the store my mom bought it at to get backup. Because, holy crap if we left it at sea world* one day in the future THE WORLD WOULD END. DOOM. FOR SURE. They had 3 left, in the clearance aisle. We bought 2 of them. Bringing our total lovie count to 3.
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2 lovies are on constant rotation so they are both equally “broken in”. 1 is untouched. When I look at that “fresh” one, I am AMAZED at just how soft and cuddly that sucker is! Sometimes G will catch a glimpse of lovie #2 in the laundry basket, grab it and become the happiest little person EVER. Because TWO WUBEEEEEZZZ!
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Then I have to take the TWO WUBEEEZZZ and smell them both to figure out which one is clean and which is not…. I usually do not need to get both up to my nose before I know for sure….

At least that 1 fresh lovie was untouched until this morning. When both lovies ended up in the laundry and THE WORLD ENDED. PERIOD. I tried to tough it out, tell her lovie was getting a bath, no dice. Fresh lovie was unvailed. There were tears of joy, thank yous and claims of FLUFFY WUBEEE.

Another place the WUBEEEE must be at all times? In the car. Before she is even in her carseat she is saying “WUBEE” WUBEE?" “WUBEE!!!!!” followed by BINK.EEEEEEEEEEEEE. I tell you, she brings the opening night performance every day of the week.
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Homegirl takes her lovie everywhere, she gives it hugs and kisses.  She tries to feed it snacks and give it drinks. We play peek-a-boo with it. Her babies get wrapped up in it. She holds on to it tight. She rubs her fingers across the silky edges.

Clearly, the lovie and binkie go hand in hand in this house. And as I said before, we DO need a binkie intervention.  I am just a leetle afraid that will also mean a lovie intervention, because really, I don’t know if *I* want her to give that up. Her lovie is her best friend, her comforter and her security.
Maybe one day, against her husband’s wishes, she will sleep with her lovie (or both!) in her pillowcase too.


*my little sister had a bunnie** lovie. and lost it at sea world. it was doom. for sure. until my cousin had a spare. peace was then restored to the world.
**I like to end things in –ie because I think it is cute. deal with it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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A year ago, she was just chilling in a shopping cart for the first time.


Now? She’s chilling in the house dressed as tinkerbell. Too cute for her own good.

My how time flies when you’re having fun.


Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Family AND friends

I am totally lucky.

My best friends (besides my husband) are my twin sister,  my younger sister and my mom. No question about it. I talk to each of them several times a day, see at least one of them every day and I love it.

Do I get frustrated and annoyed with them? DUH!

Do I actually enjoy all the closeness? YUP

Will I be sad to see my twin sister move to Florida soon? DEVESTATED.

I know that this opportunity for her is AMAZING and if it were me, I would be jumping at the chance as well. But I am comforted by a few things.

I know we will still talk everyday, because why would that change? I know that OH to FL flights go on sale and I am always up for a mini-vacay to somewhere sunny. SKYPE!

You guys, how did people do this just a few years ago? How did they even handle being away from their families and only seeing them once every who knows how long? If skype and video chatting did not exist, I would probably forbid her from moving. Seriously, I would.

I know that not everyone is as close to their family as I am to mine. And a lot of people think we are some kind of strange breed of human because of it. But I wouldn’t trade them for anything. I can’t imagine NOT being close to them and I pray that my daughter and future children experience the same closeness with Mike and I as well as each other. 

Friends come and go, but family? That’s the rock. They become an even bigger, stronger rock when family doubles as friends.


Monday, January 17, 2011


Do you ever hear someone’s story or read something that really makes you say “Holy Shit! That person is amazing!”

That happened to me approximately 193747x this weekend.

Some of you know that I recently started selling Premier Designs jewelry, and to say it has changed my life in the few short months I have been involved would be true.  The money is great of course, so that is always a change for the better! But the people? The awesome women I have met and learn from? THAT is the that is where the true change comes in. 

I have been able to see the “I came from here and now I am AWESOME” stories.  It has really made me view my life, how I serve and touch others and so much more in a new light. A refreshing light.  It’s not really about the business, it’s about the service and the compassion for others that I love.  The offer of hope, new beginnings, security and recognition.

There is no question in my mind as to how I got to this place in life and I am truly inspired and excited to see what happens next. 

I am thankful to have been brought to this point of clarity and peace, whatever comes next WILL be awesome, because of me, not in spite of me.



*the hilarity and sarcasm you are used to will be back soon.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Confessions from a toddler mom

I was thinking the other day as I was going about my day that I have eaten many words uttered before/during my pregnancy.
I would like to make a few confessions:
  • I don’t use the word never anymore. Because, well, never say never.
  • I have changed my kids diaper on the living room floor, the couch, a table, a bed, the backseat of my car and on the floor of a public restroom – YOU GUYS, THEREWASNOWHEREELSETOGO!  I then purelled her entire ass, so there. 
  • When she drops an entire bowl of cheerios on the floor? I pick them back up and put them in the bowl. And give it back to her. WHAT? We are on a budget! Every cheerio counts!
  • I sometimes just give her crackers with peanut butter on them for lunch because she won’t eat anything else.
  • I have possible forgotten to feed her dinner before.
  • The next day she ate the whole kitchen’s worth of breakfast foods.
  • When she throws herself on the floor and screams like a banshee over whothehellknowswhat, I usually laugh.
  • I have wished for bedtime to come.
  • Sometimes I bring her into bed with me because I REALLY like snuggles.
  • Sometimes I try to not hear her whining in her bed to get up because I REALLY like my bed.  Then I hear “MOOMYYY. MOOOMMYYYY. MOOOOOOM”, so I go get her.
  • More times than not, we end up in public and she has some kind of dirt/food/mysterious substance on her face. The sunlight really brings that out in her, I guess….
  • We have gone to the store in jammies. In tutus and in mismatched shoes.
  • I let her run down the aisles of Target because she tried to climb out of the cart. I was right there, nothing was broken/stolen/damaged in the processes.
  • Some days, I just sit with her while she plays/talks/runs amuck because it REALLY IS the most important thing I have to do all day.
  • She knows that mommy needs coffee. She may or may not also refer to wine glasses as coffee holders….
  • We have days filled with timeouts and temper tantrums. And non-stop whining.
  • I laugh until I cry. Because she is funny. And adorable. And really you guys, I had NO idea being a mom to a toddler would be this amazing. I pray that everyone who wants it, gets to experience this kind of love/fun/amazingness.
Share your confessions with me! I tried to make this a linky, but am clearly not good at that.


Saturday, January 15, 2011

Cute Baby Saturday

We got Gianna a feather boa for Christmas.

Which has been fun.

Because we can play FED-ERS!!

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Gama’s are the best at playing FED-ERS, in case you couldn’t tell!

Friday, January 14, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • Does the snow and cold bring out the worst in kids?  It has been a long few days here.  Not all bad, just TRYING!
  • In C-bus for the night at a Premier Designs jewelry RALLY! Excited to hang with some inspiring women and see the NEW SPRING LINE!
  • Wanna book a show or see a catalog? I’ll hook you up ; )
  • toddlers are such fickle creatures. they want up, then down. A cracker, NO! a banana, I mean OGRIT!! (yogurt, for those who don’t speak Gianna). Silly silly kids.
  • I found out that my former employer is struggling with out me. That makes me smile inside, but it makes me really sad for the patients there. The disorganization and moronic ideas only effect the people they serve negatively and I know they don’t see that.
  • Gianna has been going through another HUUGE language explosion.  We are talking in sentences people. Clear, coherent sentences. 4,5 and 6 words long. WOAH!
  • She also uses pronouns appropriately. It’s pretty sweet.
  • We have been dealing with SERIOUS diaper rash lately. (by we, I mean Gianna) This is new to us - I literally just finished the same tube of Desitin we opened when she was BORN! I have moved on to butt paste, but it doesn't seem to be making much of a difference. Any ideas?  She has some blisters on her bum and it looks like it hurts. Poor girl.
  • Speaking of diapers - if one more person asks about potty training I am going to scream! I am in NO hurry for this adventure. And neither is G, since it is obvious it does not bother her one bit to have a dirty diaper. She doesn't even notice!
  • Also? I haven't been able to go to the bathroom alone in a very long time.  She ALWAYS has to come in with me. It is even to the point in the mornings that she HAS to sit on my lap. OHEMMGEE is it one of the wierdest things I have ever done....
  • My head is still spinning in a million directions, but it seems to be slowing down some. Or I am getting used to the crazy.