Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Spoonfest 2010

Seriously, who doesn't love getting in on some cuddling action?

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Sisterly love

One of the best parts of having a sister is being able to share their toys.

But it's even better when you can just take the cool toys for yourself.

Rerun: I'm Reliving My College Years

**This was originally posted back in spring of 2008, right after Samantha was born.  Funny how things change and how half of this stuff happened again last night, two years later!  Enjoy!**

They say everything comes back around, and I thought that only applied to bell bottoms and bad sitcom remakes. But no, it turns out I am also reliving my college years, one night at a time. Let me explain.

So, last night Jay's sister Jill came to visit with two of her daughters, Megan and Allie. Allie slept in Addi's room and when we went to bed, all was well.

Fast forward to 1:30 a.m. I was up with Samantha for a feeding when I heard Addi start screaming. I went to get her and brought her in our room, then fought on and off with her to go to sleep. During this two-hour window of being awake I contemplated exactly how many similarities there are from my college years at Purdue to my life now.
  1. We were all wide awake at 2 a.m. with no sign of sleep to come.
  2. One person was BEGGING for the night to end (me) while everyone else was totally happy with how things were (Sam and Addi).
  3. One person drank so much they puked (Sam).
  4. That same person then insisted they were fine to have one more drink.
  5. One person was whining that they needed another drink (Addi), even though the boss said the bar was closed (me).
  6. The clothing of choice by all was somewhat questionable, and one person kept trying to take theirs off (Addi).
  7. There was an unexplained crying fit (Addi) that no one saw coming or understood how to stop.
  8. One person was complaining that we were being too loud and interrupting their sleep (Jay).
  9. By the time we all fell asleep, the sun was almost up.
Maybe it's just me but there seem to be a lot of similarities from my life eight years ago to now. Granted, the bottles now mainly consist of milk instead of Miller Lite, our furniture is a lot nicer, and as a rule we don't wake up with random people on the couch. But maybe this finally explains why every Sunday I feel like I have a hangover.

Croppin' for Kids

After months of anticipation (by me, anyway) we had our Croppin' for Kids fundraiser this past weekend.  And, not to toot Jenny and I's horn, but TOOT TOOT TOOT!  It was a big success! 

Thanks to everyone who made it out.  We can't wait until our next one!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Little Miss Makeup

There is a very good reason why children do not get to wear makeup every day.
Make that TWO reasons.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Special Person of the Week

Addi has been in Blue Room since last fall.  Last month she got the chance to be the special person of the week and she took that responsibility very, very seriously, insisting I sit down and do the interview portion of the project with her that same night.  However, someone (ahem, Steph) kept forgetting to print off pictures so her week of fame kept getting pushed out.  Ater some prodding and guilty looks, I finally remembered last week and we got to work on her display.

I gave Addi a paper plate to do her self portrait and she insisted on also doing on for her unicorn, Emma.  I don't know who worked harder on these... Addi or her daddy.  Turns out he's some sort of pipe-cleaner art genius.  I have a feeling that skill will come in handy later in life.

The only person who is more proud of Addi and her display than, well, Addi, is her sister Sam.  Every morning and every night, Sam stops by to point at the pictures, then give her daddy's picture a kiss.
In Blue Room, Addi gets to be special for a full week.  But to us, she's special all the time.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Bragging rights

A few months back Jenny and I decided to sign up for Building Steam, a training program for the Steamboat Classic 4-Mile race. I signed Jay up for the race itself as well since he likes to run, thinking it would be fun to do it together. When I told Jay he was officially signed up he said, “Great! I’ll totally beat you without even trying.”

After two months of Jenny, Erin and I diligently working at our 12 minute mile pace and Jay never even once putting on his running shoes, he made the smart choice and decided to sell his entry. A golf outing made much more sense.

Well, our training paid off… Erin, Robert, Jenny and I ran our first 4-mile race yesterday! Erin and Jenny totally rocked it, never even stopping once during the entire race. I walked twice but caught back up and we all finished in under 48 minutes, beating our 12 minute pace. Robert of course beat us all but I totally blame his long legs.

After patting ourselves on the backs – we were all very proud of ourselves, which I think is very understandable – and some snacks, we headed home. Jay and the kids were super excited to see me and after a congratulatory hug, Jay begged me to go take a shower.

After a much needed nap I got online to check my official time. It’s a pretty simple search engine – you type in your last name and your official race time pops right up.  I typed in Ralph and look what I saw...

Turns out, Jay was right.  He didn't have to do ANYTHING and still beat me in the race.  Because he sold his entry at the last minute we couldn't change the name on the bib, so from now until eternity, Jay has the bragging rights (and documentation) to prove he ran faster than me.  AWESOME.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

The good and the bad

The good news... I practically get a cavity every morning when I give Sam the job of waking Addi up.  She climbs in bed with her and within seconds, they are spooning and Sam is back asleep.  Seriously sweet.

The bad news?  This is MY bed.  Sigh.

Monday, June 14, 2010

Where have I been?

Back in the good old days (or, like a few months ago) I would have family and friends ask where I found the time to blog. I’d tell them that really, it doesn’t take all that long –just jot down some thoughts and add a few funny pictures and voila… Enough blackmail on my kids to get me through their high school years. I would joke that I had no life but really, it was kind of true. I had the time to write funny stories and update this on a regular basis.

And now I see the other side. The last few months have seriously kicked my butt. Work, vacation, training at work, training for my first 4 mile race, keeping the kids alive and sort of well fed, more work… I’m ready for bed most nights by 8:15 and when I am awake I’m exhausted. I’ve managed to keep the house in just enough disarray that Jay has requested a new cleaning lady and I’ve snapped at the kids enough times to feel constant guilt. All in all, it’s been a very busy, very stressful few months.

Well, I can see the light at the end of the tunnel. This weekend is the Steamboat Classic, my first ever race. Jenny, Erin and I have been training for it for the last 12 weeks and while it’s great exercise it’s also pretty time consuming. I really do like it but just getting out of the house is darn near impossible with two kids clinging to my legs, screaming.

Next weekend is also another big event… Our Croppin’ for Kids scrapbook fundraiser for Easter Seals! Jenny and I started planning this in March and now that it’s just around the corner, it’s crunch time. It should be a blast and hopefully a major success, and it’s for a great cause. What more could you ask for?

So, while I’m excited for the next few weeks, I am definitely ready to go back to having no life and to be boring old Steph again. I’m tired!

Good friends, good pictures

I've mentioned it before, but my dear friend Jenny is an amazing photographer.  And lucky me, I got another opportunity for her to take the girls' pictures a few weeks ago. 

Check our her photography blog (with a sneak peak of my kiddos).

Thanks, Jenny! 

Two left feet

Knock on wood, but so far Samantha is the polar opposite of Addison at this age. By two, Addi had already learned to completely dig her heals in and fight back, no matter what the request. If it was not her idea, she was not on board. It didn’t matter if it was something fun, like a trip for ice cream, or something not so fun, like a diaper change. If Mommy suggested it, NNNOOOOOOOOOOOO! was the response.

Sam, on the other hand, goes with the flow. She’s a laid back gal who smiles, waves, and agrees to almost anything. Don’t get me wrong, she might not want her diaper changed, but instead of literally holding on to the door frame in rebellion (a la Addi), she’ll whine for a second, then when you say, “Come on Sam! We’ll change you and then play!” and she’ll run right over, grab a diaper, and wait. She’s what dreams and sane parents are made of.

The one thing Sam is pretty particular about is shoes. Not in the mornings or when we are going on a trip… she could care less. But five minutes before bed she freaks out looking for just the right pair. Lucky for her, she has a large tub of hand-me-down shoes in her closet to pick from. Crocs, knock off crocs, flip flops, patent leather dance shoes, snow boots… They have all been tried on and slept in the last few months. The pairs rarely match and most times, she’s got two lefts or two rights, but she’s content and sleeps through the night in her own room.

I’ll take that over non-stop fights any day.

Friday, June 11, 2010


Why I am giving serious consideration to buying a muzzle…

Addi:  Mom, your cheeks are a lot bigger than mine.
Me:    Yeah, I’m a grown up. My face is a lot bigger than yours.
Addi:  I was talking about your butt. It’s HUGE!

Addi:  I tried to listen, but I got distracted.

Me:  OK just please try to listen.  Mommy needs you to.
Addi:  I shook my head and a bunch of bugs came out. I can listen to you now!

Addi:  [uncontrollable sobbing]
Me:    Addi, please lay down and go to bed. I am not tucking you in again.
Addi:  [more sobbing, with a side of dry heaving]
Me:    Fine. I’m coming up. [walk, walk, walk] What is wrong? Why are you so upset?
Addi:  [sniff, sniff] I am soooooooooooooooooo sad! You hurt my fee-ee-eelings.[gag, gag]
Me:    Addi, please calm down and tell me what’s wrong.
Addi:  [sniff] I too-too-tooted and you didn’t laugh.

Addi:  I have GREAT news!
Me:    Wow! What!
Addi:  I see a tree!

Addi:  I have GREAT news!
Me:    Again? What?
Addi:  I have a huge booger!

Addi:  I have GREAT GREAT news! Really, Mommy!
Me:    What?
Addi:  I didn’t eat my booger. I wiped it on the wall.

Addi:  I have bad news.
Me:    Oh really? What happened?
Addi:  I miss you.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Another (gulp) Milestone

After almost a year and a half of potty training Addison, I haven't been looking forward to doing this with Samantha.  The advice that has stuck with me the longest is "When you think they are ready, wait six months."  And with Addi, that was totally the case.

A few weeks ago someone asked me when I was going to start potty training Sam.  I laughed and said, "We are SO far from that.  She's not showing any signs at all."

Famous last words!

The next day Sam woke up from a nap and called to me.  I took my time getting upstairs but when I opened the door, my pace quickened.  In fact, I pretty much ran straight to the poopy diaper she had so delicately tossed from the bed, then got to work cleaning up the mess.

I hoped the discarded diaper was a bit of a fluke, but a few hours later I walked into the hall and saw this:
Turns out, the one sign of readiness that Addi never showed, Sam already has. She doesn't like to be wet or dirty.  And the second she wets or dirties her diaper, off it must go.

Here goes nothing.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Babies on the brain

I swear, before the stretch marks even had time to fade, people started asking if/when we are having another baby.  And the answer is pretty much always the same.  "Are you INSANE!" followed by my best Beevis and Butthead impersonation... "Um, heh heh... Um, not anytime soon, heh heh."

Well, it's official.  We have babies on the brain. 
The day after we got back from California, Addi was playing on her swingset and came running back to the house.  She found a bird next and inside, eggs!  I quickly followed her and confirmed said eggs, then we started waiting for the five newest additions to our yard to hatch.

Yes. There are only four eggs in that nest.  But Addi found a fifth egg and has taken to keeping this one in the house.  She even took care to put oven mitts on before handling the precious cargo... You know, to keep her scent off the egg.
Addi and Sam were elated to watch this feathery miracle form before their eyes.  Jay, however, had plans to powerwash and stain the swingset so he was a tad less excited.  However, an early father's day gift of a giant meat smoker gave his weekend purpose after all. 

Sunday morning we checked in on the birds and viola... they had hatched! 
And for the record, I'm totally fine with these being the only fertilized eggs in this house for QUITE a while.

Addi is still waiting on her special egg to hatch.  I sure hope she isn't disappointed.

Addi Picasso

In the past few months, Addison has totally been developing as an artist. I am thrilled with this latest development, mostly because she’s using paper now to color on instead of her arms, legs or my furniture.
The other day Addi came home with a beautiful drawing. After looking it over I praised her on the great self portrait. I asked her, “Is that you playing on the swingset?”
She said, “No mommy! That’s a little girl and she’s peeing in the yard.”
All class… That’s what she is.

Two times the fun

After the big bash that is the standard first birthday party, we haven’t made as big of deals about the girls’ birthdays. I guess we kind of figure that once they are old enough to really have friends they will totally hose us when it comes to blowouts, so we should keep it simple during these early years.

We were in California on Samantha’s second birthday, so we took advantage of the scenery and planned an afternoon picnic by the pool. Sadly on that Saturday it was a balmy 60 degrees so while we were by the pool we were wearing sweatshirts.
It didn’t matter. We still cooked out, opened presents, and hung out with our family. My cousin Shannon also happened to be in town so it was great to catch up with her as well!
When it was time for cake we headed inside and dove into an amazing one Roxy and Lee brought. So darn good!
At the end of the night, Addison and Jay went downstairs for one last dip in the hot tub and within minutes, Sam passed out.
Today was Sam’s two year check up at the doctor. According to the doctor she is very bright, right on target for milestones, and has the biggest blue eyes she has seen. She also needs to ditch the paci – yeah, right.
Here are her measurements:

Weight: 26 lbs 4 ounces (45%)
Height: 33.75 inches (45%)
Head Circumference: 19.5 inches (90%)

Aside from the statistics, Sam has also started exceling in other ways, namely blaming others for her misdeeds.  Today at the doctor, she tooted.  When I said, Sam, was that you? She said, No, it Addi.  Addi was of course at school, miles away.
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