Sunday, February 27, 2011


Life is totally overwhelming right now and Gianna is growing and changing faster than I can process.

I need to get these things down so I can remember.

  • Gianna is incredibly polite. She says & signs “please”, tells me “no tank you” and “welcome”. She uses “no tank you” all the time like when she doesn’t want to do something she has to – like leave her binky in her crib or eat her dinner.
  • We have conversations. It is so freaking cool.
  • she say “yup” and “yeeees” and “mmhmmm” when agreeing with you.
  • loves yogurt, cheerios and “treats”
  • asks to “snuggle mommy” at least once a day and says “I give you kiss”. cue melting.
  • dancing. all the time.
  • she pretends a lot – pretends to eat, pretends to put her babies to bed, pretends to take a nap!
  • she also started “singing” recently – fan favorites include “twinkle twinkle”, “itsy spider” and “light” (this little light of mine) followed by any disney song you can imagine – particularly “follow the leader” “bibbity bobbity boo" and “MICKEY” which she spells “K-I-M-E-Y. DONALD DUCK!”
  • she counts to 7. “1,2,3,5,6,7” 4 has no place in her life.
  • can “spell” her name out loud. Usually something like “G-I-A-M-O-P” no idea where she got that from
  • her hair is long and gorgeous. and thank GOD she loves to have her hair done!
  • girlfriend loves her shoes and clothes and to shop at target
  • I am sure I have missed some things, she does awesome stuff everyday that shows me I haven’t screwed her up (too much) ((yet))
  • grows more amazing and incredible with each passing moment, more than I could ever imagine.

She is at my sisters right now (she had a sleepover!) and I miss her like crazy when she isn’t here in the mornings.

I never imagined that an almost-two-year-old would be my best friend. But she really is. She is my everything.


Friday, February 25, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers: another freaking snowstorm ed

  • I am over winter. Like totally and completely DONE. The freak ice/snow/thunder snow storm of last night and today has put me over the edge.
  • I feel like it has snowed more this winter than it has in a long time, probably has something to do with the huge snow storms starting in December rather than Jan/Feb. Ick.
  • Loving the comments from yesterdays parenting challenges post – feel free to link up!
  • Speaking of linking! I did a guest post for Lindsay about ebates – check it out!
  • I received Gianna’s birthday invites in the mail today. She saw them and said “ooooo Gianna’s cuuute!”
  • Imaginations are running wild around here, I love to see her playing pretend.
  • This jewelry business is a pretty good gig, I wish I could share it with everyone.
  • Signed up for Amazon Mom so that I could get cheap wipes. Holy crap, I ordered them in the afternoon one day and had them before 10am the next day! Love that!
  • My eyebrows are in desperate need of attention.
  • So is my hair.
  • For some reason I had a lot to say this morning and now, it’s all lost.
  • Have leftovers you need to spill? Join Danifred & co for FNL!


Thursday, February 24, 2011

The OTHER Side of Parenting

It’s Thursday, which means it’s bloghop time again (of course, if no one else links up, there is no “hopping”, so write and link with us!).

This weeks topic is:

What are the most challenging aspects of parenting.

Not everyday with Gianna is sunshine and dancing. Not at all. She is a toddler and she is mischievous and dramatic. Like, REALLY dramatic. Mike and I have talked recently about how we parent and what we need to work on. We are so far from perfect, but it’s a work in progress with challenges still to come.

Ignoring the judgment.

For me, this is the absolute hardest part of parenting. Not letting what others do and how they parent their child or think I should parent mine cloud what I want to do/know is right.

We are all different. Our children are all different. What works for one, might not work for the other. Etc. Etc. Etc.

You know, sometimes people are just mean and they can make you feel like you are doing something wrong as a parent. But – unless your child is starving, hurting or otherwise in danger – you aren’t doing anything wrong you are just doing something different.

We didn’t baby proof except for one baby gate and a few outlet covers. We try not to use the word “no”. Time-outs work in our house. We don’t believe in spanking or any other physical punishment and redirection/explanation is working to teach her boundaries and understanding. Those are things that work for us. With this child. Maybe they won’t work in the future, but maybe they will.

We fit under the “genre” of gentle parenting (which I never knew existed until like last week) by nature. I don’t have to agree with any other “genre’s” of parenting, but that doesn’t give me the right to give my opinion to someone unless they ask for it.

Also, it is fair to say, that a lot of times we FEEL like we are being judged when really people are just asking questions! Or we feel like our kid is the only without that cool shirt/fancy shoes/toy etc when really, no they aren’t!

Remaining open minded is hard in general, but it can be really hard when you feel judged by others. And for some reason, once I became a mom, I was admittedly hard on myself but I felt like EVERYONE was judging me. I have gotten better, but some days are still really hard.

So really, my biggest parenting challenge is not parenting at all – it is remaining strong so that I CAN parent my child how I believe I should.


Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

Outtakes from our birthday party invitation photo-shoot.

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trying to nibble her cupcake wand & fly with Tiana

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Whispering sweet nothings to her favorite princess, or eating hand….

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daddy’s hat!

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fast-forward approximately 8 to 10 years…andreasignature2

Monday, February 21, 2011

Perfect Moment Monday

I have 2 moments to share, visit Lori to read about other perfect moments.

I was joking around with Mike yesterday, telling him about some silly things that Gianna had said/done during the day (she is full of hilarious these days) and he just looked at me with a really sincere look on his face and said “you were made to be a mom”. That was the biggest compliment he has ever given me. I can say one thing for sure, made to be a mom or not, this is the hardest most rewarding challenge I have ever had the pleasure of doing.

Today was full of both frustration and laughter. Gianna was being a normal toddler and ignoring at least half of the things I said to her this morning. But all of a sudden she walks into my office from the living room where she was “reading” (which is one of the cutest things EVAH!) and says “I kiss you mommy”, gave me a big kiss and walked away. Cue melting.

How could a day be bad with her around?

Mike too, he makes most days pretty good!


Friday, February 18, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • It’s friday! I am excited for my weekend, 3 jewelry shows and a husband who will be home on Saturday night!
  • It is also in the FIFTY’S!! This is a YOUGE deal here in NEO for Feb. I mean, sure it will be back to freezing ass cold by Sunday, but we are enjoying the ability to have the door open and wear skirts without tights today!
  • My mom is the greatest bargain finder who ever did live. She bought Gianna a bunch of new shirts (including fleece pullovers!) and new shoes for $0.63! Holy crapola, you can’t get things used from Goodwill for that price! She also got a freaking awesome new coat for next winter for like $4! She is my idol.
  • Operation take pictures for Gianna’s birthday invites occurred this week. Was successful! I just need to get them to my awesome friend Alison so we can finish the invites!
  • I really like Disney Junior.
  • Gianna lost her shit when Mike showed her a PICTURE of “Cinda-le-la”. I almost cried. I can’t freaking wait for May to get here!!
  • Starting to get stuff together for the classes I am going to teach. Starting to get nervous about it, but must.stay.confident!
  • I am doing Project 365 again this year and a) am woefully behind in posting pictures and b)I think I accidently skipped 2 days. Oops.
  • Our taxes might possible be almost finished after 5 days of working on them. Must have my accountant* review them.
  • Have been feeling very “off” lately, like I can’t keep  my head on straight most days. It’s actually starting to piss me off because I am forgetting important things.
  • The sun is out, before my crazy afternoon starts I believe we shall play outside.
Play along with Danifred!! It’s fun. Bullet points rock.

*my accountant = my mom.

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Siblings and such

It’s bloghop time again (is anyone besides me even doing this thing? NO? You should, help a sister out. riiight down there, blog and link. you CAN do it!) – and this week’s topic is one near and dear to my heart.

Sibling relationships.

Yours, theirs, your life without siblings, your children's lives with siblings. However you want to interpret it.

It is not a secret that I have two sisters. But really I have four sisters. One twin sister, three younger sisters (one whole, two step). Sisters rock, we get to borrow clothes and shoes, gossip and laugh, eat and drink etc. etc. etc. I am not nearly as close with my stepsisters, we have pretty great relationships, probably because we were all older when our parents got married, I am not going to talk much about them in this post but I love them just the same.


cori is in the green dress, ashlee is in the black hoodie.

My “real” sisters? They are my best friends. I mean that in every sense of the term. I talk to them a million times a day, I count on them for everything and nothing, I love them a million times more than I could ever explain.

I didn’t always like being a twin, it was annoying. Everyone refers to you as “the twins”. Very frustrating, since you know, we have NAMES and we looked NOTHING alike! But she has always been there for me even when I didn’t want her to be, we are complete and total opposites, but opposites attract, right? She is there for all the big stuff, little stuff and in between stuff. She lives about 40 minutes away and it feels VERY VERY FAR sometimes, we should really live next door to each other.

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me and my twinie

My younger sister, I REALLY was not her biggest fan when we were growing up, she is 6 years younger than me and well, she was the typical annoying little sister. Then I went to college and I missed her. And she grew up. And is an amazing women now. We look a LOT alike, people usually think we are twins. I see her everyday and am usually sad on the days I don’t. She should one day live on the other side of me.

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me and the little “untwinie'”. I look awful, so focus on her.

The relationships we have? I pray every  night that when Gianna (fingers crossed) has a sibling, brother or sister, they experience the same closeness. It’s better than any other friendship I have experienced because it is the best of both worlds – family and friend. Sometimes it can get annoying, but it is fleeting. I always have someone I can count on, go get dinner with, shop with, bitch to, laugh with and just be ME. Who could ask for more?


*I just have to say that I do not want more children just to give her a sibling, I want more children because I feel a void in my family. There is NOTHING wrong with having only one child, or no children, for that fact.

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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Happy Valentine’s Day, Mike!

I got an office chair from him, best present ever!

What can I say, we really know romance around these parts.


Saturday, February 12, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers….on Saturday

  • I got on my computer 54957271 yesterday with the intention of posting a FNL post. And forgot every.single.time.
  • My brain has taken a vacation, clearly it has had enough of the snow and cold.
  • Speaking of vacation… we are taking G to Disney World in May! I am totally pumped about it. Of course, we are still trying to figure out the logistics, but still, we are going!
  • In order to justify this vacation consider it a celebration of G’s birthday, my birthday and my graduation.
  • She is going to FAHREAK OUT when she sees Mickey, Minnie and the princesses. EEP!!!
  • My thesis project? Taking over my life. It is seriously a good thing I lost my job, because otherwise I would not be graduating this semester.
  • I have been marveling in the way my plan for my life has been playing out. As in, not at all like I expected, but not in a bad way. Just MUCH MUCH MUCH different.
  • My giveaway ended yesterday, who can tell me what I did wrong? Only 16 comments? I don’t get it….
  • My child talks in sentences. Full sentences. It blows my mind. She also sings all the time. Such a fun age.
  • Going to see a friend in a musical tonight – pretty excited that the ticket includes a glass of wine!
  • I have saved a good chunk of money using coupons lately, but still I am OVERWHELMED by this process. It is worth the money saved, but OMG there has to be a more organized way to do this…
  • Lacrosse starts the end of this month. I rarely see my husband as it is with our crazy ass schedules, but things are going to be even crazier until we go on vacation in May!
  • Groupon rocks.
  • Join Danifred and all the other FNLers!



Winner of ABC is for Circus by Patrick Hruby is:

You are the winner!!

If you didn't win, ABC is for Circus is available for purchase


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Valentine’s day traditions

It’s thursday, and that means it is ADM bloghop day!
This week’s topic, as suggested by Paige at Baby Dust Diaries is
What Valentine’s day traditions do you have, or have you started with your family?
Growing up, my mom (who rocks!) always made even the most insignificant days special by singing to us, putting candles in twinkies, making snack trays and doing so many things just because.  She also always made the teeny tiniest of holidays a big deal – special treats and little gifts wrapped up waiting for us in secret hiding places.

Before we got married, Mike and I did the typical date nights, over the top gifts and all that for and non-holiday. After we got married? We got each other cards…. (and sex…it is a holiday after all!)

Now that we are parents? I love to start fun traditions and want to carry on my mom’s knack for making every day special and the special days special-er. Last year G was 10 months old for Valentine’s day and Mike and I were on the brink of separation, I have no idea if I even acknowledged the day.

This valentine’s day? We got our craft on!

We made cards (with GLITTER!!) for everyone, G loves to “paint” the glitter. She also made some special crafts when she spent the night at Aunt Jacqui’s that we are going to give the grandparents!

As far as what WE are going to do? Someone had mentioned making the table really fancy for dinner – I LOVE LOVE LOVE this idea!  We don’t have a lot of pink/red/fancy table fixings, but I am going to try and get some this weekend (or after V-day when they go on sale!!) and I think we will do heart shaped pancakes (what? she doesn’t eat anything else) with strawberries and a berry smoothie for dinner!

A great tradition in my opinion – fancy table for a non-fancy dinner and I am sure I will find a little something fun for her – maybe a new tutu or sunglasses or something.  I think as she gets older I will make a scavenger hunt!

Oh! and Mike! I got him a little something too!

Tell me about your valentine’s traditions and join our bloghop! (link open until 2/15!)


*ABC is for Circus giveaway ends 2/11!!!!

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

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just remembering that there won’t always be snow & –20 temps

don’t forget!!: GIVEAWAYandreasignature2

Monday, February 7, 2011

ABC is for Circus: GIVEAWAY


We all love them, especially at our house.

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Sara at AMMO Books gave us the opportunity to review Alternative ABC’s (featured in Parent’s Magazine!) last spring and now ABC is for Circus!


ABC is for Circus by Patrick Hruby is not your typical ABC book – it is SO MUCH  MORE!


This board book is sturdy with great binding to hold up to the hurtin’ little ones can put on a book they love!


And LOOK at these pages! Are this illustrations not fantastic?



I love the bright colors and fun illustrations on every page. So does G!

and, since we don’t like to keep all the good stuff for ourselves, AMMO books has offered to giveaway one of these books to YOU!

Another awesome valentine’s day/snow stinks/cabin fever relief type gift for any little, or big, person!

How to win:

  • Leave a comment telling me your favorite [kids] book!

Extra Entries (separate comment required for each!!):

  • Like “Are You Listening” on facebook!
  • Follow me on Twitter – am very entertaining, promise.
  • LIke AMMO Books on facebook
  • Follow AMMO Books on Twitter

Entries accepted until 11:59pm EST February 11th. Winner will be chosen using Saturday February 12th. Make sure your email is linked to your Google account OR  in your comment!!


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

Saturday, February 5, 2011

And the winner is.....

Who want's the Charlie Harper Nesting Blocks?

VA Blondie does for her winning comment!

Those are really cute! My boy would love them. We are into stacking at this house, too!

But the fun is not over - AMMO Books has been awesome to me and we have another giveaway for next week! Stay tuned.....


Thursday, February 3, 2011

Confessions of a (insert age here) women: ADM bloghop style

It’s my turn to host the small but mighty ADM bloghop this month – I don’t care if you know what ADM stands for or not, feel free to join on in (and contribute topics!)!  Links will be open from Thurs-Sun each week. 
This week’s topic is an easy one:
Confessions of a (insert age here) women
a nod to my confessions of a toddler mom post from the other week, I made some, shall we say interesting, realizations the past few weeks. I thought I would over share with you, my special internet friends.
Confessions of a 20-something women:
  • I used to hate leggings for anyone over the age of 5. Until I bought a pair. Now I am mercilessly searching for something else to wear them with.
  • I will not buy into the jeggings though. Or pajama jeans or whatever. I have boundaries.
  • I literally jumped for joy in the middle of Rite Aid over the amount of money I saved with my coupons. You guys – I saved 2x what I spent, it was epic.
  • Some days I just want my mommy, especially when I don’t feel good.
  • I can no longer live without coffee. And also jumped for joy when I saw that coffeemate has new flavors out.
  • When did I become so damn exciting?
  • In college, I was most productive in the middle of the night. Now? Most productive at nap time. And again between the hours of 10p and 12am. Except I do considerably worse functioning on little sleep.
  • You know what else used to happen in the middle of the night in college (besides studying and alcohol consumption)? Sex.
  • You know what happens at nap time* but not usually between the hours of 10pm and 12 am? Sex. Because I do not have the energy by the time the middle of the night rolls around.
  • Told you I would over share.
  • I have actually gotten WORSE at returning phone calls (sorry, friends).
  • I can’t even REMEMBER that someone called me or emailed me or whatever half the time and it comes to my damn phone. Not real sure what I am busy remembering instead…but I feel all guilty about my forgetfulness.
  • Some days, I don’t even feel like texting (I know, GASP!). I do it anyway, of course, I just don’t always like it.
  • I am very comfortable talking in front of large groups of people I don’t know, but I always get nervous when I have to call someone I don’t know. So weird.
  • I like wine. A lot. Beer? Eh, only if it is hot outside.
  • And, with that, I have officially turned in to my mother. Minus the ability to fall asleep on the couch.
Okay, now who's next?

*please do not be fooled, by naptime I mean only on the days that begin with S.
Don't forget to enter to win the Charlie Harper Nesting Blocks - ends tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday


someone thinks we are going to be leaving the house soon.


I wish kid…

can you find the street?