Sunday, December 2, 2012

Meet Gaspar

This year we decided to introduce the Elf on the Shelf tradition to our Christmas festivities.

We read the story to the kids on November 30th so that we could officially introduce our Elf on December 1st.  I have decided to blog about his journey here on the blog so that we could look back at his little shenanigans every year :-)

It was up to the kids to give our Elf a name. It started with "Flame" and went on to include some pretty bizzare and random names like "Finarfin."

Day 1: Perched in the Christmas tree

During their nap, our Elf went to comedy school... (thank you Pinterest for the awesome Elf on the Shelf ideas). The kids love jokes and got a real kick out of this.

After dinner on our first night with our elf, we decided to give the naming process another try. I explained to the kids that Santa gave them the job of naming the Elf so it had to be up to them. In the end they decided on "Gaspar." The name of course comes from the Disney show, Gaspard and Lisa.

Day 2: Up on a shelf. (He was sitting on top of the fish tank but fell off at some point during the night. Thankfully I noticed that he was on the floor before the kids woke up and quickly set him on a high shelf.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

On my own

What a wild few weeks! Let me just say that hubby and I had so much fun in Dallas!! Pics to come soon.  I missed the kids like crazy, but we left them in good hands so we know they had a good time.  Here's a video of me at the convention in Dallas on their Casino night... don't blink. You might miss it!

The sad thing is that I could have sworn I had the greatest grip. Thanks for the free adult beverages :-o

On to other news... last week was my last week at work. I resigned from my position as a Vocational Consultant for a small agency I have been working for and opened up my own company where I can do the same exact work I've done for the last 8 (almost 9) years without any drama. There was a lot of tension in our office and a lot of back story that left me feeling like I was already on my own anyway. I'm only into day 3 of being my own boss and the work is already flowing in :-) I will be contracting with 2 of my older employers in the Private sector of rehab and contracting with the State of Michigan's rehab services department. I've put in some long hours getting myself prepared and will start meeting with clients at the end of the week.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Y3W: Heading to Dallas!

This coming Wednesday, the old man and I are heading to Dallas for 4 days WITHOUT the kids! Ahhhh!! I'm super excited but super sad that we're leaving the kids. We had a choice to bring them, but that would have added $1000 to our trip because of airfare. A huge thank you to our family and friends who have rallied together to help take care of the kids in our absence. We know they will be safe and will have loads of fun. I'm sure we I will miss them way more :-)

So why are we going to Dallas? My husband is a HUGE aquarium hobbyist and each year the Marine Aquarium Conference of North America (MACNA) hosts a weekend long conference at a different host state. Last year it was held in Des Moines. We took the kids with us last year and only my husband attended the conference. I just hung around the hotel and took the kids to the museum and the zoo. There is going to be so much to do there so we're heading down 2 days before the conference to get a little sight seeing in!

Friday, September 14, 2012

Y3W: Random Costume Day

This was at 7:30AM this morning... they wanted to play in last years' Halloween costumes. Every now and then Brock will pull his out and wear it. They were hilarious!

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

She's only 2 1/2

My little baby. Sometimes I have to remind myself that she is only 2 1/2. She has been 100% potty trained since just after her 2nd birthday. She speaks so well, its frightening! She can carry a conversation, asks appropriate questions, tells us stories with a lot of "and then's," she loves brushing (and flossing) her teeth, she is a good pretend "mommy" and caters to her baby dolls. She is an animal whisperer. For real. Our cat is her BFF.

At today's well-visit, the doctor and the medical student that examined her first were completely blown away by her cognitive development. The medical student thought she was 4! The doctor has been telling me since her 2 year visit that Lilly was going to be really smart. I remember her telling me back in February, "I can just tell when kids are going to be really smart. You'll see." Fast forward 7 months and our Pediatrician can't stop saying how amazing she is. She told me to make sure I put her in a good school and to make sure she has a good teacher, because if I don't, she is going to get bored quickly. She pointed out how "advanced" she is for her age and to not forget that she still has 3 years at home before Kindergarten... can you imagine the about of learning that is going to take place in that little brain!? Lilly can count to 13 and can recite her ABC's completely unassisted. Its incredible. Truly. An interesting tidbit of information on development from my doctor today; when I told her Lilly was already drawing circles she said, "Wow. That's usually done at 3. 4 year old's can draw a cross, 5 year old's a square, and 6 year old's a triangle."

My little baby.

Earlier this week, she wandered into the kitchen bright and early as I was changing out the garbage. She came in with her pacifier in her hand and said, "Mamma? I'm ready to throw my 'facifier' into the garbage." I didn't question her decision since its something we have been talking to her about lately (that when she was ready to be done with it, she could throw it away; but we weren't going to buy any new ones). She's been pacifier free for a couple of days and every nap time and bed time is getting easier. Yesterday's bedtime was the worst. She was up until abut 8:30pm fussing and stalling until finally I set up an iPod in her room with some lullabies. The hardest part was Monday's bedtime when she said (through tearful eyes and scratch voice), "Mamma? I'm not ready. I need my 'facifier.'" UGH! Heartbreaking to say the least. I reminded her how proud of her I was for being such a big girl and not needing her pacifier. I also had to remind her that she threw it away and we didn't have anymore. I'm not sure I'm ready for her to give up her blankie... even if it is raggedy as all get-up! I'd rather buy her replacements over the years. Ha!

Here are her stats from today's visit:

Length: 37 inches (75 percentile)
Weight 32 pounds (75 percentile)

Monday, September 10, 2012

Let's catch up

So... originally I had intended on creating a separate post for everything that has happened since April, but... I think I'll just do one big post and get ya caught up as quickly as possible.


What would any holiday be without the collective awesomeness that is Pinterest? Like, seriously? I found this cute tradition for the kids and it was a big hit this year. Unfortunately I cannot find the original pinner now, so I apologize. We had the kids dig little holes in the front garden and bury some jelly beans. We told them that the Easter Bunny sent us these "magic beans" and that they would grow into something really cool in the morning. Take a look at how excited they were:

  We took some time to dye Easter eggs after we buried the jelly beans.

Easter morning... Ta-Da!!!!!

Lilly's "episodes"
So earlier this year, Lilly started having some weird "episodes." They are hard to describe and we still don't have any answers. As of now, the neurologist says it could be nothing, or it could either be some sort of epilepsy that is presenting itself in a weird way (because she isn't convulsing or anything), or it could be dystonia. She hasn't had an episode since June, but I believe it was a 3-month span between the first one and the one in June. She gets this weird muscle spasm in her left arm that we assume is shooting a painful sensation up to her neck and down to her fingers. The first time it happened, she was asleep and woke up screaming thinking that the dog was biting her. The most recent episodes, she thought a bug was biting her. She's never lost consciousness or anything. We'll keep you posted.

Bathroom renovation - this one deserves its own special post, so stay tuned...

Summer statistics
Lilly is 2 1/2 - as of August 6th
Brock will be 4 in 1 month - OMG!
We celebrated our 6 year wedding anniversary

Our beautiful new fish tank (with custom stand built by my old man) - this one also deserves its own special post :-)

My reading list - Check it out up at the top right side under the "about me" section.

My Christmas knitting project
My mom and I are planning on making these cute little gingerbread toys!!

Menu planning
I used to be one of those moms that had to sit and think about dinner at the end of every work day... ugh! Not anymore. I now plan a menu for 2 weeks worth of meals; 10 actual recipes, 2 meals the kids get to pick, and 2 "mystery" meals. Those two meals are for one each week. With them I either use to shuffle meals around as the week progresses (lets face it; sometimes I don't want to cook) or we have a quick, few ingredient meal (fried bologna sandwiches, buttered noodles, spaghetti). I plan to start posting our menu on Sunday's after I go grocery shopping.

OK! There  ya have it. Stay tuned for posts on our bathroom renovation and fish tank!

Sunday, August 19, 2012

4 months...

Gulp! I cannot believe I haven't posted anything on here in 4 months.  This makes me sad for many reasons, but mostly because so many things have happened and I haven't kept a record of any of them.  I was just sitting down relaxing while dinner was simmering on the stove and started making a mental list of everything that has happened since my last post in April. I am determined to get back to blogging as it was an enjoyable "escape" for me.  So... I'm making my list of things to update here and will get myself active again in the blog hops I had so much fun taking part in; Your 3 Words, and Wordless Wednesday.

My list:

Lilly's "episodes"
Bathroom renovation
Sister moving in for 6 weeks
Lilly is 2 1/2
Brock will be 4 in 2 months
Our 6 year anniversary
Our beautiful new fish stank (with custom stand built by my old man)
My reading list
My Christmas knitting project
Menu planning
Upcoming trips
Our future plans...

Monday, April 9, 2012

My 1st knitting project!

My mom taught me how to knit before Christmas. I never finished anything and maybe did about 20 rows on a scarf I was going to make for Lilly.

My mom and I have been working really hard to get these cute knitted bunnies done for the kids. We weren't able to get them done in time for Easter morning, but I finished them last night!! They were a lot of work and there is no way I would have been close to getting them done without my mom's help!!! I love them!!

Monday, April 2, 2012

Operation Skinny Update!

YESSSSSSSSSSSSSS!!!!!!! It feels so good to lose weight! I am down another pound!!! I was really surprised when I got on the scale this morning because my husband and I were in a wedding together this weekend... talk about LOTS of adult beverages and JUNK food!!

I am so excited to add a second Zumba class to my routine this week and next week. I had to miss the last 3 RIPPED classes so this is a quick way to do make-up classes and not lose out on money I already paid :-)

Starting weight: 183 lbs (As of August 2011)
Current Weight: 165 lbs
Difference:  -18lbs
Pounds to lose to goal: 15 lbs

Sunday, April 1, 2012

The potty training dilema

If anyone can provide some insight, it would be greatly appreciated.

Our 3-year-old has been potty trained since he was about 2.  He showed interest early so we started training him just before he was 2 1/2.  Now he is one month shy of being 3 1/2 and we're having issues with him pooping in his underwear daily. He used to go just fine on the toilet. Now he is obviously choosing to poop in his pants. At first, we just thought he was caught up in his play time or watching a show/movie that he wouldn't even think about going to the bathroom.  Now, he will run to his room and poop in his pants without mentioning that he has to poop.  This has been happening for the last few months and I am so over it. We have tried rewarding him with candy whenever he goes on the toilet, but it has been so inconsistent I just don't know what to do. I have tried taking toys away, throwing away his soiled underwear, and nothing is changing!

To add to that, our 2-year-old is training too. She will tell us every once in a while when she has to go potty. She's in pull ups already and a few times she has actually woken up after 12 or 13 hours with a dry diaper. She has pooped in the toilet once! I am not rushing it with her because I know it will take time and she only turned 2 in February.

Any help/ideas to get him to start pooping on the toilet again would be appreciated!

Operation Skinny Update

Man! Its been a while since I posted an Operation Skinny Update! Don't worry. I haven't fallen off the wagon. I'm still working on it ;-) I plateaued once I hit 167 lbs and stayed there for a little more than 7 weeks. While it was discouraging, I knew I would eventually get past it. I also knew that I was gaining muscle because I have continued my workout routine.  At the beginning of the new session 4 weeks ago, I increased my Kettle Bell to 10#'s and my dumbbells to 5#'s. Hopefully I can get my measurements up here soon. I have definitely lost inches because despite only losing 1 pound over the last 7 weeks, I can fit into my size 10 "skinny" jeans and they are actually LOOSE on me!!

I am HAPPY to report that I finally broke through my plateau last week. I am down one more pound putting me at 166 lbs/ down 17 pounds total!

Starting weight: 183 lbs (As of August 2011)
Current Weight: 166 lbs
Difference:  -17lbs
Pounds to lose to goal: 16 lbs

Friday, March 2, 2012

A food post!? Say whaaaat??

Crescent Cristo Sandwiches

A little Pillsbury twist to the Monte Cristo Sandwich. This pops up on our menu every so often. So goooood!!!

I make mine without the sesame seeds, but it is still a really good sandwich.


2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® refrigerated crescent dinner rolls or 2 cans (8 oz each) Pillsbury® Crescent Recipe Creations™ flaky dough sheet
2 tablespoons LAND O LAKES® Butter, melted
2 tablespoons honey
6 oz thinly sliced smoked cooked turkey breast
6 oz medium sliced muenster cheese
6 oz thinly sliced cooked ham
1/3 to 1/2 cup SMUCKER'S® Red Raspberry Preserves
2 tablespoons honey
1 tablespoon sesame seed


1 - Heat oven to 375°F. Separate or cut dough into 4 long rectangles. Place rectangles crosswise on 1 large or 2 small ungreased cookie sheets (rectangles should not touch); if using crescent dough, firmly press perforations to seal.

2 - In small bowl, mix butter and 2 tablespoons honey. Brush over dough. 

3 - Bake 8 to 12 minutes or until light golden brown; cool 15 minutes.  

4 - Grease 15x10x1-inch pan. Carefully place 1 crust on pan. Top evenly with turkey. Place second crust over turkey; top with cheese and ham. Place third crust over ham; spread evenly with preserves. Top with fourth crust; brush top with 2 tablespoons honey. Sprinkle honey with sesame seed.  

5 - Bake 10 to 15 minutes or until crust is deep golden brown and loaf is hot. Let stand 5 minutes. Cut into 8 slices.

Saturday, February 25, 2012

Happy Saturday!

This morning we took the kids to our local Target for their story time event. Today's theme was Dr. Seuss's The Lorax book. They read a few Dr. Seuss favorites including: Green Eggs and Ham, Hop on Pop, and Go Dog, Go. Each child received a goodie bag with cheese crackers, fruit snacks, juice boxes, stickers, a bookmark, and a $2 off coupon for Dr. Seuss books.  The kids enjoyed it! We only lasted about 45 minutes... it was a 2-hour event.

When we got home we made an Easter craft that I found on Pinterest!

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Impromptu photo shoot

Here are some new pictures I took the other day. I was hoping to do an outdoor shoot with the kids, but the weather has been so unpredictable here. We ended up staying inside and got these:

That's not an owl!

I have watched this about 10 times and laugh hysterically each time. My kids are something else!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Operation Skinny update {With comparisson pictures!}

So this is what I look like MINUS 16 pounds as of this weekend. I feel so good and get excited knowing I'm headed in the right direction. I've hit a few plateaus, but its mostly been behavior-induced. Meaning, knowingly overeating during the holidays, etc. I need to be real with myself because I love food. I know that there will be days I eat more food than others. But I'm working out and taking classes that I LOVE. So... whatever. I need to be realistic. Going on a diet doesn't work for me. Watching what I eat and how much of it I eat, does.

BEFORE (183lbs):           CURRENTLY: 2/14/12 (167lbs)

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

It stinks in there...

The other day, the kids and I were driving home from my sister-in-law's house. I happened to be on my cell phone talking to my mother-in-law and went on to tell Brock that I was talking to daddy's mommy. He asked me how she was his mommy, so I tried to explain that he was her baby once and he grew in her belly the same way that he had in mine. Without a beat, he says to me, "No I didn't grow in yours belly. It stinks in there!" Ha! Talk about laughing so hard that I almost peed my pants! From the back seat he kept saying, "Mom, what are you laughing at?" So funny!!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Happy 2nd Birthday Lilly!!!

Our little princess is 2 years old today! I can't believe it! We celebrated her birthday this weekend with our family. Lilly now has a beautiful assortment of new clothes!! I cannot wait until we can share clothes!

Being that her birthday is soon after Christmas, we requested that people get her clothes for gifts instead of toys. Both kids still have unopened toys in their closets from Christmas!

Happy birthday Lilly. We love you so much! Always remember that you are a strong and beautiful little girl. Your heart dances to its own tune. You sing like an angel.