Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: Christmas Card Preview

Merry Little Stripes Christmas Card
Customize your Christmas cards this season at
View the entire collection of cards.
A preview of one of our Christmas cards.  I can't wait for them to get here so I can mail them out!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

She Said: I lost track of the numbers

:: Brings me a jacket she got off the clean clothes basket ::

G: I’m so sorry, Mommy.  I know you weren’t gunna take this from me!”

Me: Um… no…. it’s clean Gianna – why don’t you put it in your room?

G: Ok…I’m so sorry. don’t freak out, ok? walks away with jacket

Me: What the hell just happened…


Have I ever mentioned how Gianna is kind of a hoarder? I am sure I have.

Anyway, she still carries around like 30 things at once, all the time:

G has about  5 things, including said jacket from above, a flower candle holder, purse and I think some other kind of stuffed animal

Me: Can you help me and take this blanket to my bed?

G: looks down at all her shit packages: “looks like I have to many packages, Mommy. I better put some down.”

Me: “Ya… you better….”

G: puts down everything but the flower candle holder “ok, I just need my magical flowler and I can hewp you”

Me: “Thanks Gianna….”

G drags huge blanket from laundry room to my bed


She made a “bed” on our floor – brought in all of her blankets, animals and pillows from her bed. covered up and then said “Daddy won’t walk on my blanket while I’m snorin’, Mommy” And proceeded to fake snore “wif her mouf”.   She made herself belly laugh with that one, it was priceless!


Monday, November 28, 2011

The beginning of holiday hilarious

This weekend, and particularly on Sunday, Gianna has been pretty hysterical.  Like I wanted to bottle up her hilarious because she has also been equally hysterical in the OMGSTOPWHINING sense lately too.

Life during the holidays with an almost 3 (holy shit….) year old is going to be pretty awesome, I think.  Kind of like rediscovering the magic again – even more so than years past because she is totally digging it!

But, on with the funny:

  • Every time someone told Gianna Happy Thanksgiving, she would say “Happy Thanksgivin’ Gobble Gobble” complete with sign language turkey motion.  HILARIOUS! (also, OMG she remembered that from last year!)
  • A little holiday information for you: Socks = stockings, Rudolph has a sparkly nose, elf’s fly, baby Jesus was a little girl (I really can’t get her to understand that He is in fact NOT a little girl!) and glitter is awesome!
  • When she discovered Krista, her magical elf:

G:”OOOOH look what Mommy bought for me. 

Me: Mommy didn’t buy that, I think it might be from the North Pole.  what do you think that is?”

Gianna: “IT’S AN ANCIENT ROMAN!” (she was seriously SO excited). 

Me: That’s actually an elf…from the North Pole. 

Gianna: Oh, AN ELF! I LOVE elfs!

  • Waiting in line to see Santa and it’s almost our turn*:

G: “Oh look at Santa, he is so cute”

Me: “What are you going to ask him for?”

G: “a horsie”. 

We get up there….she buries her head in my shoulder and says nothing.   We give santa a high five and leave, Gianna then says “I love Santa”….


*Note: Gianna is scared to death of any man with a beard, I knew Santa had disaster written all over it. Parenthood is awesome.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Cawfee Talk

My buddy Rebecca always knows how to make me laugh. And when I am running out of ideas/have ridiculous writers block/am feeling lazy – she has some great ideas for me to blabber on and on about.

Here are the questions:

1.How did you meet your husband?

2.  What is the one thing in this world that calms you down instantly?

3.  What makes you feel more "put together?"  A manicure?  Pedicure?  Great outfit?

4.  If there was one thing you could have for Christmas, what would it be?

5.  Do you wear contacts or glasses?  Would you get Lasik if you could?

6.  If you wake up in the middle of the night, do you lay in your bed trying to go back to sleep?  Or do you get up and try to accomplish something?

7.  What is the most annoying thing in your house that you would totally get rid of if you wouldn't get caught?

And here are my answers:

1.How did you meet your husband? I met him when I was in high school.  My sister was dating (I don’t even know if you can call it that..) his friend. they came over and he threw a pillow at my head. no really, he did. then he came over again and kissed me on my birthday. And here we are, 11 years later.

2.  What is the one thing in this world that calms you down instantly? the beach. But on a regular day? Quiet. Literally sitting on my couch or in my bed with no other sounds. Or standing in the shower so it just SEEMS like it is quiet.

3.  What makes you feel more "put together?"  A manicure?  Pedicure?  Great outfit? Shoes.  The shoes make the outfit people.  Lately though, I have really enjoyed having my nails painted..

4.  If there was one thing you could have for Christmas, what would it be? I don’t want anything that can be bought – bet you can’t guess the one thing that I would do pretty much anything to have. But if someone really wants to drop a huge chunk of cash on me, I want a new camera lens and a 360 flash.

5.  Do you wear contacts or glasses?  Would you get Lasik if you could? I have worn glasses since I was 3. I will never get Lasik because LASER on my EYE does not sound like a risk I want to take.  Besides, I honestly don’t even notice my glasses anymore, Gianna HATES when I don’t wear them! (which, is only when I am sleeping or bathing because I can’t see!)

6.  If you wake up in the middle of the night, do you lay in your bed trying to go back to sleep?  Or do you get up and try to accomplish something? I lay there thinking I should get up and accomplish something. But I never actually do it.

7.  What is the most annoying thing in your house that you would totally get rid of if you wouldn't get caught? Hmmmmm a ton of toys…. I can’t think of much else – we don’t have a lot of things in our house that I didn’t pick out!

Play along*, Sunday morning is the perfect time for chatting over cawfee, no?


i.e. let me know that you played or just leave a super long comment…or I may never discover your most annoying possession.

Saturday, November 26, 2011


The holidays always bring up the idea of tradition.  And we had a great conversation on Twitter the other day on this very same topic.

We do Santa here – Santa in our house brings the majority of the gifts and the stocking.  It’s just how it was when I grew up (and Mike too) and I can’t imagine it any other way.  I had NO Idea that people didn’t start Santa until their kids showed interest in it, or that parents of toddlers were worried about “pulling off” Santa or just not doing it at all. 

It is so interesting and enlightening to me to hear about how others celebrate and what is important in their families.

We talk about WHY we celebrate Christmas – this year that will probably stick a little more – but we are REALLY trying to emphasize how great it is to GIVE gifts.  that is a hard lesson to teach a 2.5 yr old. Like, really very ridiculously hard since she thinks everything that is wrapped belongs to her 365 days a year.

We always visit a local christmas tree festival, which is one of my most favorite ways to get in the holiday spirit.

This year we are going to introduce elf on the shelf which I am really excited about.  We ended up getting one from elf magic which is totally adorable.

We have been making ornaments for family members each year, which is fun.  And also reminds me that I need to come up with a plan for that.

this year is full of a lot of new traditions – a gift exchange, which we have never done before in our family and a gag gift exchange which I am really pumped about!

What are some of your favorite holiday traditions? 


Friday, November 25, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers: thankful edition

  • I am thankful to Danifred for letting me spill out some of the random thoughts that I want to write down in bullet point form.
  • It is the end of November in Ohio. and the weather has been fantastic.
  • So fantastic that I raked the leaves today. Without a jacket.
  • Also, I hate raking leaves. HOW do people get them all?
  • What I hate raking more than leaves is picking up dog poop. BECAUSE I DO NOT HAVE A DOG. Our neighbors let them fucking obnoxious ass dogs poop in our yard. daily. And then act all “oh, we were going to get that” whenever we see them outside.
  • Related: I will probably not be able to brush my hair tomorrow thanks to the old raking skills. And general out of shapeness.
  • Charting is surprisingly easier and a lot less annoying, so far, than I expected it to be.
  • I am going to a baby shower tomorrow, if it weren’t for such a good friend, I would so not be going. Mentally, it is going to be a little tough on me but I know I should be there for my friend.
  • Did a little bit of shopping today, honestly my best deal was the free toothpaste I got at Walgreens, but I did get some other good deals and finished Gianna’s gifts.
  • Thanks for all the christmas card picture votes from earlier this week – I’ll be sure to show off the final version!
  • Three out of the last four nights, my daughter has slept at someone else’s house – it was SO WEIRD! 
  • But due to her extremely busy week, our plans for tonight kind of fizzled out when she kept saying “I am tired. I wanna go to bed” She was snoring before we got out of the parking lot!
  • The best part about this week? MY BABY SISTER GOT ENGAGED!! Holy shit, my BABY sister is going to get married. I am totally excited for her.
  • I hope you ALL had a great day/weekend with your family. And ate some good food.


Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Wordless Wednesday: The Christmas Card Dilemma

It's that time again to start thinking about the old christmas cards.
We didn't do professional pictures this fall because, you know, big family vacation and all.

I would like to have 1 main picture for our cards but I can't decide which one.

Help? Which one do you like best?

Option #1:

Option #2

Option #3

Option #4

Option #5

Posted by Picasa

Friday, November 18, 2011

Friday Night Leftovers

  • I have had 1 night each week without plans after work. I am tired.
  • Also, have a long list of blog posts piling up in my head.  Hoping to get some of the thoughts onto the screen this weekend.
  • Vacation posts are on that list – I am sure you are all on the edge of your seats waiting to hear about Italia! Okay, I am sure you are not, but I’m going to share a little bit anyway. Eventually.
  • Leggings and boots are on my shopping list.  I have a lot of dresses that need winterized….
  • Which means I need ideas for boots.
  • A new purse is also in order.  But I hate shopping for purses, any ideas?
  • We are doing a Christmas gift exchange this year and I also need ideas to put on that list.
  • Clearly, am very needy lately.
  • Also on this weekends agenda is to figure out christmas card ideas.
  • And a dinner party at my house.
  • And a jewelry show.
  • And it’s another busy weekend!
  • We have an IKEA trip in the works for lots of storage stuff, a bed for G and who knows what other goodies we end up with.  Now, just need to find a weekend to get there.
  • Pinterest got surf controlled at work. I am devastated.
  • I think I caved and am going to start Elf on the Shelf next week.  But the elf that comes with the book is so damn creepy I can’t pull the trigger and buy it.  Any ideas on more, uh, less creepy elves? Or where I can buy the book alone – I am thinking a Christmas Tink or princess would be a huge hit in our house!
  • Thanks so much for all the sweetness on my last blog, I was having a really terrible day – you all know how to make me feel better and a lot less lonely. 


Sunday, November 13, 2011

It’s a Mental Journey

It has been 6 months since we actively started TTC for a second child. 

It has been about a year since I was mentally and emotionally ready to add to our family.  But life a year ago, was not at all ideal for TTC, so we did the mature thing and waited and I mentally planned.

So for that reason, it feels like this journey has been a lot longer than it actually has so far. 

I see friends with kids G’s age and I see those kids as big brothers/sisters (many 1, 2 or 3 times over by now) - I want to cry. I see and watch Gianna talk about babies, take care of “her” babies and the other night when she was reading a book and mentioned that the little girls in the book were “me and that’s my sista” – I almost lost my shit right there on the bedroom floor.  I want that so badly for her, for us.

Our first journey into TTC left us broken hearted for 8 months and on the 9th month – there was no fear when that positive test showed up on my bathroom counter. No question that the prize at the end would be in our arms 9 months later. And thankfully, that was the way it worked.

This time? I started out thinking that it could be a quick journey, but prepared for the long haul. Never ever imagining that a positive test would end with anything but a baby 9 months later.  There is no question that the 2 {early} miscarriages have left me thoroughly pissed the hell off jaded . It’s the slowest, most painful form of torture I have ever experienced.

Having to buy tampons every month makes me want to scream.  The neurotic thoughts that go through my head during the TWT [two weeks of torture] annoy me. Pregnancy announcements piss me off.  I hate feeling this way. 

TTC is a total mental game – stay positive, stay hopeful, don’t be angry – I think I need to give myself a break from the positive thoughts – allow myself to be mad for a minute.  Obviously, that’s not going to do any good in the end, but it might make me feel better for a second.

This is the second month of 25 day cycles with ovulation occurring somewhere between CD12 and 14.  I have tossed around the idea of temping for awhile, tomorrow I will start. Something seems a little off and it will at least be proactive.

Most days, it feels like no one understands where I am in this journey.  I get a lot of comments about how “it hasn’t been that long”, “just relax”, “it’ll happen eventually”, “at least you already have a child” – right, whatever, shut the hell up is kind of how I want to respond.  Usually I just kinda smile and nod with clinched teeth.  The mental journey has been longer than the physical one, making it all feel that much more difficult and unfair.

And yes, I thank God every single day for the blue-eyed, blonde haired beauty he has brought into my life and I pray so hard every single day that we can do it all again someday soon. I am trying so hard to hand it all over to Him, but that’s another mental journey.


Friday, November 11, 2011

friday night leftovers

  • since coming back from vacation, I can not get caught up on life.
  • probably has something to do with the little jewelry business that’s busy busy busy and you know, life and shit. but I’m not complaining, just busy.
  • I have been trying to catch up on reading blogs, I swear I have – but for some incredibly frustrating reason whenever I open my google reader it goes to youtube. I have no idea why and it is cramping my style.
  • my fall/winter wardrobe needs some serious attention – help?
  • we have a serious case of the Defiant Toddler at our house. It is loads of fun.
  • we also have a serious case of the Hilarious Toddler too.  It really IS loads of fun!
  • I had a regular coffee with 3 pumps of peppermint + cream at starbucks the other day – SO MUCH BETTER than my usual sugary latte.  (I mean that for real!)
  • DST and the whole pitch black darkness before I even get home from work? Ya, I forgot (and actually, forget every year) how much I hate that. And how tired it makes me!  I feel like I could be sleeping by 6:30 pretty much every night!
  • My husband has been rocking my world lately – but that deserves a post of it’s own. I promise it won’t be anything dirty.
  • We are looking for 5 yr anniversary trip ideas – name your favorite place to visit, that involves a beach and sunshine.andreasignature2

as always – check out the other leftover’s at Danifred’s place!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

10.24 - at sea  (19)

just a bunch of smiling faces on a big boatandreasignature2

Saturday, November 5, 2011

International Air Travel and a Toddler

I was (as you well know) FREAKED out about flying with a 2.5 year old for 10+ hours.

Turns out, I worried for no reason.

Things I brought for entertainment and general child care:

  • color wonder markers/paper
  • crayons/my little pony coloring book
  • my little ponies x2038272
  • iPad
  • mini magnadoodle
  • finger puppets
  • wooden dress-up bear puzzle
  • gummies, granola bars, applesauce pouches, peanut butter crackers
  • diapers/wipes/boogie wipes/cold medicine/Tylenol
  • 2 lovies, binky, blanket and jammies

Gianna was sick when we left, so the boogie wipes, cold medicine and tylenol probably got the most use out anything!

Security checks were a non-issue, I was able to walk with her or behind her every time.  Except on the way home in Amsterdam – she stayed in her stroller and I got a pat down….but whatever.

On the way to Italy – we had a lot of flight issues [delays, missed connections, missing tickets – you name it, it happened to all 13 of us]. the two year old? took it all in stride while the adults fretted and got nervous about the fate of our trip.

She was pretty easily entertained, even if that meant allowing her to walk around the delta terminal at JFK with no shoes on looking like a hot mess.

By the time we got on our international flight – she was asleep in no time.

She earned herself a “real Rapunzel Barbie” in the Amsterdam airport from her Aunt Jacqui.  Headed on to another airplane destined for Venice, finger puppets that I picked up last minute from Target’s $1 section were the BIGGEST HIT EVER.  We told stories with our puppets and when she got tired of my ridiculousness – she played on the iPad with Daddy before she fell asleep.

10.21 - almost there! (14)

The way home? She was totally ready and prepared for what to do.  She sat in her seat. Buckled her own seatbelt and waited for the airplane to go higher.  The long flight required some creative my little pony antics and a lot of magnadoodle coloring – just a little iPad entertainment.  She slept a good chunk of the 9 1/2 hours though.

The moral of the story? Kids are totally awesome travel companions – much better than some adults!  Also – airplane pillows make a great little airplane bed for small people.

10.21 - almost there! (7)

Gianna fell asleep on literally, every single plane we were on.  Probably because it was really late on the way and out of sheer exhaustion from the week on the way home – but still!

airport 2

A few random tips:

  • Bring toys when you fly, but only take them out one at a time – the element of surprise is a big factor in entertainment value.
  • Gummies are great for take off/landing – much less sticky than suckers.
  • Plane food is pretty gross. Pack a few snacks.
  • Drinking lots of water on transatlantic flights is a game changer. Dehydration is for suckers.
  • We did NOT have a car seat or any other sort of child harness – she still did awesome. And slept on our laps/between us in her own seat. No issues.

I never ever ever imagined it would be such a smooth experience, just goes to show that those little people are even more awesome than they appear!


more vacation excitement on deck, but for now, jet lag is kicking my big butt so I’m going to sleep!

Thursday, November 3, 2011

The Difference

I am taking a break from the vacation posts I have yet to write because something is on my mind.

A dear friend of mine pointed out in an email while I was gone that this time last year, I was in a very different place. I had just lost my job and was getting started with Premier. And I had no idea what was going to happen next in my life.

It’s pretty crazy how fast and how slow things can change at the same time.

Losing my job only allowed me to gain so much more in my life. It really was no lose at all.

It allowed me to have time as a stay at home mom, to start a business that has been a bigger blessing in my life than I ever could have imagined, to finish my masters degree and eventually to find a job that has been a pretty big blessing in itself.

There’s a reason I take the glass half full approach to life – because without that outlook – I would never have been able to see the good things – the GREAT things going on around me.

Crazy to think how different things are today then they were a year ago. Crazy and amazing and wonderful.

A year isn’t all that long in the grand scheme of things, but it’s been a pretty good year despite all the challenges.  It wouldn’t have been nearly as good with out all of the support I have in my life, so thanks for hanging in there with me.


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Wordless Wednesday

10.20 - on our way (11)10.21 - almost there! (7)

Loved the airplanes. And snuggled up for the long ride.

10.21 - Venice (15)10.21 - Venice (27)

the girls ready for dinner in Venice!  And dessert.

10.22 - Venice (291)10.22 - Venice (302)

Hanging out in St. Mark’s Square.

10.22 - Venice (457)

And that was just the beginning of the first day……