April 30, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: TnT (This n That)

The girls are learning and picking up on things at lightning speed these days.

I've moved the barricade to allow them into the kitchen. The only area we now have blocked off is the dining room (my computer is currently in the dining room and a certain someone likes to take my power cord and put it in her mouth) and we also try to keep the door to the laundry room closed to keep them out of there. It's not really child proofed yet.

Tillie just yesterday started hide n seek. It's so cute! She says, "one, two, ee, uh…rea-ee er I come!" Then she goes and hides. LOL

She's been talking a lot. She'll repeat just about any word you ask her to say…."Mom" is still her favorite word.

Tillie also has a furry friend who she calls "Hop Hop". Every spring we have wild bunnies in our back yard and this year, there's a little baby bunny who comes out from under our back deck and munches on the grass. She gets so excited when she sees "Hop Hop" and immediately comes and finds one of us to show.

Tillie & Hop Hop

Ever since we made chocolate chip cookies (when the girls were still awake) Tillie has been obsessed with cookies. They have some wooden play cookies that she carries around everywhere.

Tensley is still my wild child. She's always climbing and doing "dump & runs" with their toys. And oh boy can that girl throw a fit!

She loves hats and shoes and anytime we leave either of those things out, she puts them on.

Tensley in Ballcap

Tensley's vocabulary is expanding a little bit. I think she's just too busy to talk. Words I've heard her say recently are, "ca-cah" (cracker), "cahkee" (cookie), "Hop Hop" and "oh no". She is starting to learn animal sounds and will now make them on command. She also knows some of her body parts.

Both girls seem to be a little athletic. Obviously, with Tensley's climbing. Tillie has been kicking balls and balloons around around the house. She's really good at it! Last night, Tensley was using the faucet from their kitchen as a golf club & hitting a ball around. There isn't anything wrong with her hand-eye coordination….she never missed the ball!

Both girls can use a fork pretty well. Tensley has pretty much mastered it. Spoons are a different story. They are able to scoop but when they get it to their mouths they have a tendency to turn the spoon upside down so the food goes all down their front.

Cheeeese!

Now that they have access to the kitchen, they love being in there. Tillie has started this game where they run from one side of the kitchen to the other. They squat down and Tillie says, "Rea-ee, et, Goooo!" and they take off running giggling & squealing the whole way.

Ready Set Go

Sometimes, they use a different starting position….. :)

Ready Set Go2

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April 29, 2013

A Clogged & Leaky Faucet

That would be me. My nose has been stopped up and yet dripping. My teeth hurt from the pressure in my sinuses and I've been sleeping sitting up. Oh, and I've been popping Sudafed like it's candy.

Why oh why can't we all be healthy?!

Mother nature is finally coming to her senses and we can't enjoy it because all 4 of us have a stinking head cold!

TnT started it. They both got runny noses last week…Wednesday or Thursday, I think. Saturday night I started getting that scratchy feeling in my throat and I knew I was next.

This is all my fault, really. I was saying last week how I was tired of the stomach bug and why couldn't they just get colds like normal kids. I wasn't asking for them to get a cold!

So if you need me, I'll be the mom laying around high on Sudafed with Kleenex stuffed up her nostrils letting her kids do anything they want.

Oh, and doing these yoga poses for a head cold.

Clogged & Leaky Faucet

Just kidding. Maybe. Hahaha!

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April 26, 2013

Ruffles & Chevron

Since it was winter when I started walking with my friend Rebecca, we walked at the mall. This can be very dangerous if you're not careful. Ideally, we'd get there early and finish before the stores actually open but with three kids in tow between the two of us, it's practically impossible (more so for me than her, I suspect).

So when you are exposed to all the cute clothes on a daily basis you see things you want…A LOT of things. Since both of us have lost some weight (I've lost roughly 12lbs) and I can't seem to keep any of my pants up, we decided to do a little shopping for our Mom's Night Out this week. On our walks before Thursday night, we picked the stores we wanted to shop and even did quick walk throughs and made a mental note of things we wanted to try on.

We tried on many things and walked away with very few things. You see, my problem is that most clothes seem to be made for stick figure girls and I definitely do not have a stick figure. I've got hips….and a little junk in the trunk. From the waist up I'm a little more stick figure*ish. Do you see the problem here?

There is this dress at Forever 21 that I had been eyeing for quite a while. Last night I tried it on despite my fears that those ruffles would make me look way wider than I already am.

I tried on a large because sadly, I'm not really in junior sizes anymore. I was pleasantly surprised when I put the dress on and my hips did not stand out! I really loved this dress. However, the top part was way too big and in my opinion would be too much to alter. I thought about trying on a medium but the waist on the large fit perfectly so I was afraid it would be too tight on a medium. I may end up going back and trying on the medium. I'm thinking if I could lose another half inch, I could wear it.

The one thing I did walk away with was something I never thought I'd like much less be able to pull off. We walked into Charlotte Russe and I spotted a Sheer Black and Cream Chevron blouse. I've seen many mommas on Twitter and Instagram wearing these and thought they looked good…..on them. I decided to try it on and guess what! I loved it!

Black & Cream Chevron Top

Now that I know I can wear these type of blouses I may be adding a couple more to my wardrobe.

I still didn't find any pants/jeans but I also didn't really try any on for some reason. That'll happen on my next shopping trip.

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April 25, 2013

Weather Radio

Weather Radio
Picture Source

 

It's that time of year again. The time of year that brings thunderstorms and tornados. It's nothing new to me…I grew up here and have experienced both my whole life….along with other crazy weather.

After we lost our house to a tornado back in 1999 (James and I had only been married just 3 weeks shy of 2 years), we decided to invest in a storm shelter and a weather radio for the new house (We re-built in the same spot.)

As soon as we got the weather radio, we set it up in our bedroom and programmed it according to the instructions. We decided to program it to where we would get notified of watches and warnings for the surrounding counties so we would know if something was coming (especially in the middle of the night). We live right near the border of our county so this made perfect sense to us.

The first time it went off in the middle of the night I almost had a heart attack. If you have ever owned or been around a weather radio when it's gone off you know what I'm talking about. For those of you who have never been near one when it's gone off, let me explain it to you.

A weather radio alarm is like an emergency vehicle driving right into your room. It has a siren type alarm and even with the volume turned down it will make you jump and your heart rate will increase. When it goes off in the middle of the night, while you are sleeping, the effects of this alarm are amplified. Instead of jumping, you practically fall out of bed and not only does your heart start racing but it feels like it's trying to escape your body.

After having a weather radio for several years, your reaction changes slightly. When the radio alarm sounds, you suddenly sit straight up, reach over and hit your husband…demanding that he get up and turn the dang thing off. You then reach over and grab your phone, open your weather app, look at radar to see if you need to take any action. If no action is needed (this is almost always the case unless you remember something that you've left outside like the beach towels hanging over the patio chairs), you roll over, wait for your heart to slow down so you can fall back to sleep.

Monday night was the second time in a week that we've had severe storms come through our state.  The first time was during the evening hours so we were awake and not in our room so it wasn't bad. Last night the storms started up right before we went to bed. The weather radio started up right after we went to bed. I think the alarm sounded about 6 times before I was able to fall asleep for good.

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April 24, 2013

Wednesday Randoms

I had intended on doing a weekend recap post and never did. These first few randoms are a recap.

  • James went on a fishing trip so I was flying solo this past weekend. It was going ok until I thought Tens was sick. Friday night we went to eat with my sister and then we took the kids to Petco for some free entertainment…for the kids, not us.

  • Saturday morning I woke up bright and early to the sounds of coughing/throwing up. Tens had thrown up in her bed. She threw up one more time after that. Having sick kids while James was away was NOT on my agenda for the weekend. We hung out at home that day. Thankfully, I think maybe something we had the night before didn't agree with her. She never ran fever and hadn't thrown up since about 10 that morning. I'm hoping we're done with sickness.

  • Sunday we had a birthday party to attend. It was at a park and the girls had a blast. Tillie went down the slides a million times. She wanted to go down the giant twisty slide (we're talking at least two stories) but there were too many big kids up there and I didn't want to go up there with her. She went down the small twisty slide a couple of times. Both times she ended up going down sideways and bonking her head. Despite her desire to continue going down that slide, I downgraded her to the straight slides.
    Park Slide Tillie Park Swing Tensley

 

  • I have discovered a couple local restaurants that have quickly become some of my favorites. One is a little Italian place and the other has awesome burgers. We're talking yummy greasy hamburgers with options such as buffalo & turkey for the patties. They also have hand cut French fries, including sweet potato fries, with a variety of dipping sauces. I love discovering new to me local businesses.
    01 24 13_1870

  • I've decided to start trying to work during the girls' nap time. I started last week and so far it hasn't worked out so well. There's been critters in my laundry room, toddlers that won't nap…things that always come up during naptime. I'm going to keep trying because surely it will work out eventually, right?

  • Speaking of work…I went through all my printable parties and made a list of sets that I need to complete and get listed in my shop. I was completely shocked at how many printable parties I have that haven't made it to my shop! If you're looking for anything, let me know because I just might have it!

  • We're taking a little vacation next month and I can't be more excited! We're not going far but it's a vacation non the less. I haven't had a vacation in 2 years! We've planned activities mainly for the girls but I'm looking forward them as well.

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April 23, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Twin (Sisterly) Love

Window Buddies

More often than not, TnT act just like sisters….fighting all the time. However, there are little moments here and there that I catch them getting along.

Many times I have walked in to the room and caught them hugging. It's the sweetest thing. They've also started giving each other kisses before we put them in bed.

Speaking of bed time…another thing the girls do that is too cute is that if one of them wakes up from naptime before the other one and they hear the other waking up through the monitor they get very excited. So I ask if she wants to go get sissy and then we go down the hall to their room…actually they usually run. Once in their room they will run up to the other's crib and say 'hi!' then start squealing. One of these days I'll get it on video. :)

They play together pretty well most of the time….when they really play. They like to chase each other around the living room. Sometimes one is chasing and "roaring" at the other which leads to squeals and giggles. This often happens during naptime and bed time when they're in their beds. Our house can get pretty rowdy but as long as it's giggles & squeals, I'll take it any day over the whining.

I always get a little concerned when it gets quiet. When I go to investigate, 9 times out of 10 I find them sitting side by side….usually reading books or looking outside. Sometimes they'll just sit there and mimic each other. However, it usually doesn't take long before they are loud & rambunctious again.

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April 22, 2013

Dresses & a Discount!

Easter 2013 Tens Easter 2013 Tillie

Remember the girls' Easter dresses I posted about last week? I have had a lot of comments and questions as to where I got them.

Well…my mom purchased them at Kohl's and guess what! They are on sale right now for $17.60 (originally $44!) and you can get them HERE. But wait! Before you click that link, I have also been given an exclusive discount for an extra 10% off (that would make them less than $16!!!)! Use code BLOGS10 for the discount. (Discount can be used for any purchase on Kohl's.com through May 10th and can be stacked with one other code.)

There are also many other adorable toddler dresses on Kohl's.com that are marked down. You can check them out HERE!

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April 19, 2013

Mom's Night Out

This post has been on my heart lately and after talking to some other SAHM's on Twitter, I got the push I needed to write it out.

Before I get into the Mom's night out part of this post, I need to give you a little bit of background…ok, maybe a lot of background info.

For a few months after the girls were born, my mom and I would run errands together. Then she had back surgery and wasn't able to help me as much so I didn't get out as often as I had been. Not long after that was when my MIL had her wreck which ultimately led to her passing a couple months later. During that time, I was at home alone with the girls a lot since James was spending time at the hospital with his mom. It was a hard time.

Eventually, I started leaving the house with the girls by myself. I had to. Tillie had PT once a week so my first experience taking them out on my own was going to her appointment. The more I went out with them in tow, the more confident I got but I still didn't leave the house much if I didn't have to.

I think staying home so much started to get to me. I started getting cranky & irritable…and I think I may have been a little depressed.

There were days where I would be dressed with purse in hand when James got home but I would just go to the store or run a necessary errand. While I was getting out of the house, it didn't seem to be helping my emotional state.

It wasn't until I got together with a local SAHM, Rebecca, this past fall (that I had initially met on Twitter) that my sanity was restored (as much as one's sanity, with 2 toddlers, could be restored).

It started with an invitation to a kid's painting party. I RSVP'd and the day of the party, I almost backed out. Believe it or not, I have trouble putting myself out there and consider myself a wallflower. Usually if I go somewhere with people I don't know, I drag someone with me for moral support. I didn't have any "moral support" to drag with me this time. James is actually the one that talked me down from my anxiety and encouraged me to go…so I went.

Tillie & Tensley Art Party
Photo credit:  Amanda Keener Photography

The party went well. I didn't really get to talk to any of the adults much as I was trying to make sure my then 18 month olds didn't get into anything they weren't supposed to. We stayed for a couple hours and left. It wasn't long after that Rebecca and I started texting.

After a few weeks of texting and making plans to get together, we started going to story time together and that led to us walking at the mall 3 days a week. A couple of months ago we starting going out on Thursday nights.

I look forward to our Thursday night's out. We usually do something simple like dinner and pedicures but it's just us. No kids. No household responsibilities. Just adult conversation and relaxation. Over time I have noticed that I am much more patient with the girls, the house work doesn't seem so daunting, and my stress level in general is much less than what it was.

I want to encourage every mom out there to find something they can have to look forward to. It's too easy for us to get caught up in our families and forget about ourselves. So schedule a night for yourself…your husband can handle the kids for 3-4 hours, I promise…and go to a coffee shop and catch up on blogs or blogging or go get your hair done or a pedicure. Even better, reach out to a fellow mom at story time or at the park. You never know…by reaching out, you could be saving another mom's sanity.

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April 17, 2013

Wordless Wednesday Randoms

Thank you for the compliments on the girls dresses yesterday. Some asked where I got them…my mom found them at Kohl's. The brand is Bonnie Baby.

We had some severe weather with tornado potential this evening which kept me from finishing my Wednesday Randoms so I give you Wordless Wednesday Randoms Weather Edition (Pictures from this week's crazy weather from an ice storm to severe weather & tornados).

Ice Storm….

April-2013-Ice-Storm-Pine-T
April-2013-Ice-Storm-Red-Bu

Thunderstorm…

April-2013-ThunderstormApril-2013-Thunderstorm-CloApril-2013-Thunderstorm-Flu

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April 16, 2013

Toddler Tuesday: Easter Pics

I realized today that I hadn't posted any Easter pics. We had a pretty low key Easter at my parents house. We just had lunch and let the kids play.

I tried to get pictures of the girls but they weren't too cooperative. Here are a few…

Easter 2013 TnT

This is the best I can get of these two together. They don't like to sit still very long and getting both girls to lok at the camera at the same time is pretty much impossible.

Easter 2013 Tens Easter 2013 Tillie

This is the best I could get in their full Easter attire. Those legs you see in the background? They're my sister's…if she's around, her legs are always in the background of my shots. She makes a horrible photography assistant. LOL!

Easter 2013 Tens Close Up

I rarely ever get a chance to get good shots of Tensley. That girl is always on the move. I have several shots like this one but this is one of my faves.

I didn't really get any more of Tillie because she, unlike her sister, took a pretty good nap so she wasn't around when I had my camera out. That's ok though because I have lots more pictures of her than I do Tensley. :)

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April 15, 2013

Menu Plan Monday: April 14-27

It's been a while since I've posted a meal plan. It's been a while since I've actually used a meal plan! Thankfully, I had enough groceries to come up with meals for almost a month! We did eat out a little more than usual and I did end up buying stuff for snacks and then of course the essentials…milk, eggs, etc.

In order to save even more money on groceries, I had been trying to stick to a handful of recipes but I think I'm getting a little bored. My next meal plan will definitely have a new recipe or two.

Bi-Monthly Meal Planning

April Meal Plan Weeks 3 & 4

Sunday:  Chicken Quesadillas / Black Beans
Monday:  Lasagna / Green Beans / Garlic Toast
Tuesday:  Chicken Enchilada Casserole / Corn
Wednesday:  Dirty Rice / Garlic Toast
Thursday:  Stroganoff / Peas
Friday:  Open
Saturday:  Open

Sunday:  Open
Monday:  Beef Enchiladas / Refried Black Beans / Rice / Chips & Queso
Tuesday:  BBQ Chicken Sliders / Sweet Potato Fries
Wednesday:  Taco Ring & all the fixins
ThursdayBacon Ranch Chicken / Peas
Friday:  Grilled Hamburgers / Chips & Dip
Saturday:  Open

James is fishing this weekend so that's why I've left those days open…I don't plan on cooking big meals. We'll probably have something quick and easy like sandwiches or leftovers.

Linking up with this week over at In No Simple Language for Menu Monday.

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Hello Monday!

I hate that I'm even having to say this but we survived yet another round of sickness in our house. It was just Tillie this time and we are hoping it stops there.

It started Thursday night. She laid on me while I was sitting on the couch for about 2 hours. I thought she felt a little feverish but didn't really notice it until after her bath when she was shivering uncontrollably. We dosed her up with some Tylenol and then put both girls in bed. Then at 10pm, Tensley woke up. She finally passed out in the chair in the living room around 1:30am. I set up camp on the couch, already exhausted but couldn't sleep because I kept hearing Tillie making sounds. I'd check on her with the camera monitor but she was still asleep. Finally, around 4am she started whimpering and crying so I went to actually physically check on her and when I touched her, she was burning up. I got her out of bed and we gave her some more Tylenol and I put her on the couch where she fell back to sleep. My couch bed turned into couch cushions on the floor bed. Needless to say I didn't sleep a wink.

Tens Slumber Party Tillie Sick Baby

I called my mom Friday morning practically in tears because I was so tired. At that point, I had gone a little over 24 hours with no sleep. She came over to help and I went to try to get a little nap. Twice I laid down and was only able to fall asleep for about 20 minutes each time. I would wake up when I would hear one of the girls. Finally, I was able to put Tensley down for a nap and Tillie had fallen asleep on my mom so I tried to nap one more time. I slept a whole 45 minutes. It wasn't until 11pm on Friday night that I was able to attempt sleep again. I definitely got some sleep…enough to get me through the next day.

Saturday was pretty much the same. Poor Tillie was just miserable. When her fever spiked she would just cry and say, "Owww!" over and over. We had trouble getting her fever down and we couldn't get her to eat anything or drink very much. There were a couple times that I cried too. I couldn't stand to see her in pain like that. I had James stop and get some Children's Advil because we were out. It did a much better job at getting her fever down.

Saturday night we decided that we would take her to the pediatric urgent care so we got up early Sunday morning, took Tensley to my mom & dad's and headed to urgent care. After hearing her symptoms, they decided to test her for strep. The office test came back negative so they sent it off. We are still waiting on those results.

When we went to get Tensley, Tillie was acting like she was feeling better and she DID NOT want to leave MiMi & Papa's but we had to get her home in time for her next dose of medicine. The rest of the day went pretty well and she slept pretty good.

Today, Tillie is doing much better and is sassy as ever. We're still working on getting her back to eating normal again. She seems to be afraid to eat certain things, however, chips is not one of them. I think that would be the last thing I would want after having a sore throat!

Thankfully, I was pretty much on top of household chores before all this happened so we didn't have to worry about that this weekend and we worked on laundry. However, I haven't been to the grocery store in a couple of weeks so that is on my agenda for tonight.

My poor computer was neglected this weekend. No time for blogging or work stuff. Even though there weren't many chores to be done I am somehow just now sitting down to try to catch up on emails, blogging, etc. I'm also going to be working on my meal plan (I'll have that posted shortly…I've been terrible at meal planning this past month), coupons and bills. Hopefully we are getting back to normal and won't have any more sickness!

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April 10, 2013

Wednesday Randoms

  • I feel like I've had a whirlwind of a week already and it's only Wednesday!

  • I took the girls to the park last Friday when it was still warm*ish outside. I stopped by Sonic and got them their first slushes. They had a blast on the slides….especially Tillie who went down the tall spiral slide a million times. When it was time to go home, I had to take her kicking and screaming. If it ever warms up, we'll definitely be making more trips to the park.
    Tensley Slide Tillie Sprial Slide

  • Monday I spent all day cleaning and doing laundry. We had an out of town funeral yesterday so I wanted to have the house picked up knowing that it would be trashed once we got home & unloaded. I'm working on unpacking today.

  • When we got home yesterday evening, the girls had a chance to play before bed time. They were being cute. This was them sitting on my lap/legs and being silly.
    Silly Lap Sitters

  • As I type this, I'm looking out the window and its raining, sleeting, thundering and lightning. Apparently, it's snowing too. The ice is building up on the trees and the lights have been flickering all morning. What is up with this crazy weather?! I want sunshine and warmth!
    April 2013 Ice Storm

  • I paid off all 3 of our credit cards today! It feels amazing! Now to just get my school loan paid off. Feels like I've been paying on it my whole adult life!

  • The dresses the girls were wearing in the pictures I posted on IG yesterday were from The Children's Place. They were a last minute purchase because we left their dresses for the funeral at home. Big time fail. Thankfully, I only paid $22 total for both dresses! I found them on a clearance rack. They were 50% off the already reduced price and then I had a 20% off coupon. I was pretty excited about getting a great deal since it was a must have last minute purchase.
    Miss Priss Miss Sassy

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April 9, 2013

Toddler Shenanigans: Momma Goes Fishing

 

Momma-Goes-Fishing

Do you remember the Toothbrush story? If you don't, go read it. It's a quick read and relates to what I'm about to post. Go ahead, I'll wait.

::The tune of Jeopardy plays in my head::

Well? Did you laugh as hard as I did when I re-read it? Get ready to continue laughing because the story continues….

The Black Hole has always been an area of interest to TnT. They have continued to put things in that little hole in the entertainment console and I continue to dig them out….when I know they've been putting stuff in there.

Last week when I was picking up toys after the girls had gone to bed, I noticed a couple pieces to this toy and that toy missing. I figured they'd show up eventually and forgot about it.

A few days later I noticed several pieces to various toys and an entire magnetic alphabet missing. With that much stuff missing I new just where to look. I grabbed a flashlight and started my investigation. Sure enough, all those missing pieces where in the black hole. And even worse? They discovered the hole on the other side of the entertainment console. This side is pretty much impossible to get to because the stereo components fill up the entire cabinet on that side and are pretty much impossible to pull out.

I pulled all the toys out of the one side but had to come up with a way to get the toys out of the other side. The only thing I could think of that might work was the grabber hub bought a few weeks ago. We normally use it to retrieve paci's that have fallen been thrown out of cribs and landed between the wall and crib.

I went and grabbed the grabber and got to work. It was not an easy task. I had to squeeze the handle on the grabber just right or it wouldn't fit in the hole. It made me realize just how out of shape my arms are (as evident in the above picture) because I got a little sore trying to hold it just so.

One by one I pulled out toys. There were blocks, play food, magnet letters…I'm pretty sure every toy they own that would fit through that hole was down there.

Catch-of-the-Day

Hubs came in, saw what I was doing, laughed and said, "do you feel like your playing Operation?" Yes! YES! That is EXACTLY what it felt like! Do you have any idea how many times I dropped that banana?

I told hubs that we HAD to figure out a way to close up those holes because I was tired if digging toys out. The next day, the holes were closed up. No more fishing for mommy….at least in that spot.

**I'm not sure if you've noticed but I have basically dedicated my Tuesday posts to Toddlerhood. These posts have been and will be about funny things TnT have done, activities I have tried with them and other toddler related things. I am currently making sure all those posts are tagged with "Toddler Tuesday" and may eventually add a page that will include all the posts.

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