Friday, February 25, 2011


I am going to a baby shower on Saturday and I have nothing to wear. I also do not have time to shop, but I browsed some online stores anyway. 

My first stop was Anthrolopogie.  Everyone I know is raving about their clothes.  I never buy clothes for myself.  This is the honest truth.  Never.  I think I have purchased MAYBE 5 items of clothing for myself in the last year (maybe the past 2 years).  No time to shop + no $$ = no new clothes.  I know that this is shocking to some of you... but... welcome to my life.  It CAN be done!

Imagine my surprise when I clicked on "dresses" at and saw these numbers.

In case you are wondering.  Those numbers range from $138 to $348.

Are you choking?  Because I certainly was!

After I picked myself up on the floor, I immediately logged on to another website.  I mean... for real people... is this how much you ladies are paying for dresses?  No way!

I breathed a sigh of relief when I saw these prices from Target.  Yes, Target.

Um... the most expensive price among these three dresses is... $24.99!  Thanks goodness.   For a moment there I thought I might never own a new dress again.

For now, I will be wearing my "uniform" to the baby shower tomorrow.  Uniform = black pants, black top, black sweater.

I'm thinking of getting something in a bubble gum pink color.  Is bubble gum pink ONLY for babies?  I'm going to need a little guidance here.  You know, some advice... for the day that I do eventually buy a new article of clothing.

Friday, February 18, 2011


I can't be disturbed right now because I am busy counting birds.  And you should be too!

For the first time ever, I saw bluebirds at my window two weeks ago.  I hope they come back!  {{please come back - please come back - please come back}}

Oh, I'm also working on another little surprise.

Here's a hint:

Photo by stacey.d

What are you doing this weekend?

Monday, February 14, 2011

Happy Valentine's Day

I special ordered Valentine's Day cards for the little ones this year.  I like pre-reader Valentine cards to include a picture of the giver so the receiver knows who gave it to them.  {{That's just me.}}

Not having any spare time this year, I ordered these little cards for the kids.

This one is for baby bee.  See?  It has a little bee on it!

And Bro will be giving out these cards this year.  I proofed the cards ahead of time.  If I had to do it all over again, I would have asked the creator to start Bro's name with an upper-case letter.  He knows almost all of his letters and he knows what the "B" for "Brody" looks like.  Um... I just should have asked for an upper-case letter.  It didn't cross my mind at the time.

Either way, isn't he super cute?  I think he will be so proud of his Valentines. 

Lulu doesn't give out Valentine cards... and her friends can read, so they don't need a picture, but I created this little gem on my own anyways. 

Happy Valentine's Day!

Where to find:  The top Valentine's were purchased from Delight Design on etsy.  The shop owner's name is Char.  She was a delight to work with.  She was speedy, friendly, and rushed out my special order for a tractor Valentine.  The process?  Seamless.  The product?  Adorable! 

Great Backyard Bird Count

Friday, February 11, 2011

Haiku - A Love Poem

Does everyone here remember writing haiku poems in high school? 

Here are the rules of a haiku.

3 lines. 
Line 1 has 5 syllables.
Line 2 has 7 syllables.
Line 3 has 5 syllables.

Got it?

Oh, and I'm pretty sure it isn't supposed to rhyme. Thus... Haikus = the ugliest poems ever.

Nonetheless, I found a contest for a vacation to Florida if you enter a winning haiku poem "that tells your own love story."

For fun, I started a haiku love poem about Dear Husband and me.  Wanna hear it?  Here goes.

{{ahem... as you can tell I am having a hard time coming up with the perfect 3rd line.}}

Met you when I was
a teen.  Now we have three kids.
When can we retire?
Waiting to grow old.
What to do with kids?
Want life - after kids.
Need va-cay from kids.
Can grandparents take kids? my personal favorite
Ok.  Here's a good one. 
Met you when I was
a teen. Now we have three kids.
Needing a FREE trip.  {{emphasis on the FREE part}}
Love. Kiss. Wedding.  House.
3 kids. Laundry. Dishes. Work.
Want. to. get. away.
Maybe I need to think of something romantic? hmmm...

p.s.  For those of you who are flipping out right now -- and you know who you are -- I make these points:
(1) I love my kids.  
(2) Families are a lot of work.
(3) I have never had a kid-free vacation with my husband... ever... so please don't judge. 

Can you sum up your love story in a cute, fun, romantic, WINNING way... in only 17 syllables? 
It's not easy!  Try it!

Monster, Monster, Monster Mash

We took Bro to Monster Jam for his birthday.

I have to admit that I was very nervous about how loud it was going to be.

Thus, Dear Husband ventured out before the show to get ear plugs for us. You can see them sticking out of Bro's ears here.

And one other thing... that little lady up there ^ ... yes... that thing on her head... yes... it is a tiara.  Yes, she wore it during the whole show... in case you were wondering.

The show was a big hit.  We got to see huge trucks and motorcyclists performing trick jumps.

I think Bro liked the motorcycles.

I think Daddy liked them too.

This Monster Truck is named Crustacean and is shaped like a lobster.

The show was pretty boring with the ear plugs in.  Eventually we just took them out and Bro covered up his ears at the loud parts.

Sometimes royal princesses can share with those beneath them.  Apparently, this was one of those times.

Monster Truck Conclusion:
Monster Truck shows are very family friendly. 
Bring ear plugs if you want to.  You might find that you don't need them. 
Most of the people did not have ear plugs in.

Great Backyard Bird Count

Thursday, February 10, 2011

Read Me Before You Go to the Grocery Store!

Monday is Valentine's Day.  You want your Valentine breakfast goodies to be ready, right? No last minute shopping, mkay???

Along with the strawberries and raspberries you pick up to add to oatmeal, cereal, and/or pancakes for breakfast... you will also need a can of cinnamon rolls so that you can make cinnamon hearts for your loved ones.

I know, it's kinda cheating... but your family cares more about the final product... not the process.

Click over to Sugar’s Pink Heart Cinnamon Crescent Rolls for pictures and directions.  Catholic Icing offers a tutorial too.

Oh... and since I mentioned Catholic Icing, you just have to check her out.  She blogs about Catholic-related crafts and food.  Most of her stuff can be used for many Christian-type religions.  For example, I really liked her recent post about tithing banks for kids -- so cute!  However, her nun crafts really had me miffed.  It would never occur to me to do a nun craft.  I don't know why... it just seems crazy.  A Jesus hand puppet?  Fine.  A nun hand puppet?  Um... not so fine.  And, I almost fell off of the couch when I saw the baby nun costume. Nonetheless, if you ever need Christian-related craft ideas... go to Catholic Icing... she has it all.

Are you ready for the Great Backyard Bird Count
It starts on Friday.

Joyful, Joyful

Just when you think life is dragging you along,

you put down the dish rag,

walk past the dog hair,

round the corner and wonder why everyone is being so quiet,

and you see something like this...

Smile, take a sip of coffee... all is well!

Great Backyard Bird Count

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Baby Bee - A reminder to me of what Bri was like as a baby

We call her baby Bee... like a little bumble bee.  Some call her breezy

Life with Bee has been crazy.  She has finally given up spitting up all over the place.  She eats everything in sight.  No kidding.  For at least 6 mnths now she has been eating regular table food.  She recently ate a whole piece of papa john's pizza.  Her favorite food is green beans and she loves blueberries as well.

She laughs and smiles all of the time.  Soooooo unlike her brother did when he was this age.

She is pulling up and standing up and just starting to cruise the furniture.

She is sooooo easy to put to bed.  You just give her a bottle and then put her down after she drinks it.  She never fusses.  She sleeps... like... 12 hours a night.

She's such a joy to be around.

Great Backyard Bird Count

Tuesday, February 8, 2011


Tonight the Capitals play the Sharks at 7:00.  Do you have your hockey gear ready?

Let's Go CAPS!!!!!

Great Backyard Bird Count

Monday, February 7, 2011

Birthday Recap

Someone had a birthday.

So, the night before his big day we made cupcakes for all of his friends at school.  Lulu was never much of a helper in the kitchen.  But, Bro has to be in to everything I do.  So, he helped me put the liners in the cupcake tin.

And then he modeled his new skates that Daddy bought him.

Then, he selected all of the colors for the sprinkles for his cupcakes. 

Lulu's schedule was too hectic on Bro's birthday, so we celebrated with a birthday breakfast the next day.

He insisted on having a butterfly cake like the one in this book.

And Fairy Grandmother delivered.  Look at her awesome cake.  All of the colors are perfect.  The head, the nose, the antlers... all are exactly like the book!  Our birthday boy was delighted!!!

Before we ate breakfast, he wanted to open his gifts... and play in the boxes.

One of the other greatest joys of being a mother... one that I would never understand, since I am an only child... the surprise of my life... is watching my children interact with each other.  It's little unplanned moments like this that just bring tears to my eyes.  {{let me pause while I look at this for a minute}}

Who can resist purple icing?

Happy Birthday Little Man

Great Backyard Bird Count

Sunday, February 6, 2011

Life with Boys

The first movie that we took Bro to see way Toy Story 3.  He has been in love with Buzz and Woods ever since.

You know... one of the joys of being a mom... is the little surprises you find in the house.  {{ahem... some are better than others}}

I just had to take a picture of this little gem I found on the kitchen counter one morning.

It is a replica of the moment in the movie where the toys trap Buzz Lightyear under a see-through rubbermaid bucket.  Awe! 

This makes me happy!

What little joy makes you happy?

Great Backyard Bird Count

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Mirror, mirror on the wall

Our bedroom is on the main level of the house and has these horrible, awful, no good, very bad mirrors on the door.  Picture awful 70s... uh... uh... yuck.  It's just a total eye sore.

Just as I had come to the conclusion that I had to rip them off...

I saw this little wonder...

And I thought that maybe the mirrors aren't so bad right now.

p.s.  but I am going to take them down... and paint the door... and hang something really cute on it.

Friday, February 4, 2011

Great Backyard Bird Count

We interrupt our regularly sceduled programming to remind you...

that the Great Backyard Bird Count is coming soon
- February 18-21 to be exact.

Participation in the bird count is easy:

Step 1.  Watch birds for 15 minutes.   (You can do this at home with your jammies on - it's that simple.)
Step 2.  Write down which birds and how many of each bird you see.
Step 3.  Enter your data on the GBBC website.
Step 4.  Repeat.  This part is optional.

Printable instructions from the GBBC website are here.

You can read all about my Great Backyard Bird Adventures too.  Gee.. I think this will be our third year participating.  Right?

Also, I discovered this great bird book:  it is Lois Ehlert's Feather's for Lunch.

Feather's for Lunch is for toddler to age 8 group. 

It is about a cat who is looking for lunch.  Don't worry, you never really get the feeling that any of the birds are in danger. During his quest for lunch he encounters 12 of the most familiar backyard birds of North America:  Northern Cardinal, Northern Oriole, Red-winged blackbird, Blue Jay, American Robin, Morning Dove, Ruby-throated Humingbird, American Goldfinch, House Sparrow, House Wren, Northern Flicker and Red-headed Woodpecker.  The illustrations are gorgeous as the illustrator hits each and ever major identification point on each bird she depicts.  Bonus: it is available in Spanish as well.  {{wink, wink - this is for you Mrs. Bird.}}.

Also, we spend a fair amount of time chasing away the squirrels.  Thus, I thought I would give them equal status with their own book by the same author. 

I hope you plan to participate in the
Great Backyard Bird Count this year.
It's super easy and super fun!

Great Backyard Bird Count

Lego Backyard

This is what happens when you let Daddy help with the Legos.

You get a backyard complete with a deck, trees for privacy, and your own hockey rink.

Really?  A hockey rink?

Keeping the Legos on the train table is our attempt to keep them away from Bri.  I don't think it's working.

Hahahahaha.  I just noticed that this "dream house" is also a bank (note the sign on the roof). These guys crack me up!

What kind of Lego creations appear in your house
when you aren't looking?

Thursday, February 3, 2011

Rumble, Rumble, Monster Max

Are you reading Trucktown books to your kids boys?  If you are not then you need to be. 

I don't even know how I discovered Trucktown books.  I think my nephew asked for one for Christmas... {{many of my AH-HA boy moments come from my sister-in-law}}. 

For example: 

AH-HA --  GEO Trax are way cool {{dare I even suggest that they might be a tad cooler than Thomas}}. 

AH-HA -- Shake-N-Go cars are fast and fun!

And lastly...

AH-HA -- Jon Szieszka's Trucktown books are... well... almost worth their weight in gold. 

I really fell in love with the Trucktown books when Barnes and Noble offered a free storytime video of Smash Crash online. If you search real hard, you can still find it on the Barnes and Noble website. Or, you can watch the youtube video here. 

Moving on.

So, I borrowed Truckery Rhymes from the library {{and returned it on time... thank you very much}}.

Then, I bought Bro a copy for his birthday and it is THE book he asks for every night. I like Truckery Rhymes because the author turned regular nursery rhymes into truck rhymes. So, we sing our way through the book each and every night. It really is quite lovely.

For example... instead of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star, we are singing Rumble, Rumble Monster Max.

Sing along, won't you?
{ahem... to the tune of Twinkle, Twinkle}

Rumble Rumble Monster Max
Can you jump those junkyard stacks?
Up above the trash so high.
Like a rocket in the sky.
Rumble Rumble Monster Max.
Yes, he jumped those junkyard stacks!

Do you have any little girls or boys in your home? 
If so, this is a great fun read for mom and kids!