Friday, December 31, 2010

A New Year's Eve Reminder

Drive carefully! You never know who might be out on the roads:

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Sleep in Heavenly Peace

See this perfect sleeping angel with the rosy cheeks doing her Christmas dreaming? This picture should be the equivalent of getting a group shot of Big Foot, the Lockness Monster and Santa Claus. Because sleep is not something that happens in this house. Sure you've seen pictures of Maddie sleeping before. That's because whenever it does happen we're so shocked we tale a picture so that we will actually believe that it happened later on when our sleep addled brains are doubtful.

Here's an example: last night Maddie woke up FIVE times between 12 and 3:30z the last time she decided it was pointless to go back to bed so she just stayed up by propping her eyelids open with toothpicks until 5:30. And then she decided to go for broke and form a naptime resistance movement too.

I've decided to write Santa. Here's my letter:

Dear Santa,

I know you just got back to the North Pole, but there's something you need to know. Don't bother coming here next year. Maddie will be awake and watching for you since she's decided never to sleep again. Your secret would be out, so best to stay away and visit all the children who do sleep. If anything changes I'll keep you abreast of the situation.



Sunday, December 26, 2010

Christmas 2010 - Part I

I really didn't take that many pictures with my camera -- I think Rob took a lot more. (Perhaps not the 2000 pictures we took last year, but more.) So here my small little recall of an amazing Christmas:

Come on, Maddie! I know where the presents are.


"Ok, here's the plan. You distract them, I'll open the presents under the tree."

The best part of our day: 'GG' finally got to come home for Christmas.

Maddie got lots of attention and love, especially from Aunt Dode (please notice Maddie is sleeveless because she shrugged off her shrug.)

After the table has been cleared, Maddie plays with the centerpiece.

It was a busy day! This little one fell asleep on the ride home and settled in for a long winter's nap.

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Wonder and Joy

May you have joy in your heart and wonder in your mind. Merry Christmas!

Friday, December 24, 2010

Family Tree

Ok, here's the big family tradition (also known as the tradition that I force the family to continue and know that someday our grandkids will love): every year we hang ornaments with each of our names on them on the family tree. The ornaments are a little craft-- as in I made them with a bunch of glitter, glue and paint-- but they're just something fun.

Here's the one I made for my aunt this year to replace the one that got broken last year (oops!). My aunt is a quilted, so her's shows patched red work:

And here's the truth, because I know there are readers who will call me on this, I stole this idea from Days of Our Lives. And I have no shame about it!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Mommy's Little Helper

Maddie and I made Peanut Butter Kiss cookies today. Look how much she helped Mommy:

Then she disappeared with the bowl of unwrapped kisses, lined them all up on the coffee table and started eating them one at a time. The fun stopped there.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

It's beginning to look a lot like Christmas

Really it's been pretty Christmasy around here for a while but this is the first chance I've gotten to share it with you. We don't really have any kind of decorating scheme, but we put out whatever we have. There's a reindeer perched in a chair, some votive candles by our sink, a nutcracker here and some snowglobes there. Our biggest problem is baby proofing. And cat proofing. So all decorations must be limited to unreachable/unclimbable surfaces. Of which there are not many.

I also like to add a little craftiness, particularly this year where decoration making also serves as entertainment. And I like bright bold colors which add a little fun.

A baby-proofed Christmas tree...

A few ornaments to play with...

Maddie helped with the lights. She loved them!

A homemade sign for our front door.

And snowflakes for all of our doors (which totally scare me in the middle of the night for some reason, like "What is on this door??" scared, not "they're coming to get me" scared.)


Of frankincense, apparently.

I have bad news, folks. The wise men hit a tree and took out some sheep. Christmas celebrations are now questionable.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Uncomfortable and Less Joyous

Poor Maddie is very uncomfortable right now because she has a runny nose. She's napping right now and snoring like, well like her Grandpa Fuzzy.

And that brings me to the less joyous part. Rob's Dad Fuzzy kind of looked like Santa - a very round belly, white beard and even a twinkle in his eye. He used to wear a red sweatsuit to Walmart and little kids would come up to him and exclaim, "Santa!" To which Fuzzy would reply, "Shut up, you little bastard." And this compares to our experience with Santa this year.

We took Maddie to see Santa at the Boulevard Mall last weekend. After waiting in line only about 20 minutes, we got to Santa who neither smiled nor spoke. No "Ho, ho, ho!"; no "Merry Christmas;" not even a "hi." he didn't reach out a hand to take Maddie or even look at her. (Now that I think of it, could he have been a mannequin?) and we had to pay $20 for this priveleged -- which came with the souvenir of 2 picture prints and a Shutterfly gift certificate.

Gone are the days of sitting on Santas lap and telling him you've been a good little girl or boy. I felt bad for the family behind us who had three kids, all talking about what they were going to ask Santa for. He probably didn't even ask.

Rob and I decided perhaps we just didn't do our due diligence work. But we've been thinking our options are kind of limited to mall Santas, after all the days of department stores are gone around here. But then ... Hope like the promise of the Christmas Star...

Someone told us that Kelly's Country Store has an awesome Santa. And of course they have chocolate. So hooray, despair not! While there is goodness (and chocolate) in this world, there will be Christmas cheer!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

Comfort and Joy

Our Christmas decorating is usually pretty simple around here, but this year I decided to make one little change that just popped into my head and I love it. We've traditionally just thrown some lights and decorations on our tree and topped it with our angel, but the past few year's I've been feeling like it's just a bit boring. I was planning on going out to buy a garland and then I realized I had the perfect materials to make one right here. I used the tons of leftover ribbons from our wedding, tying them together in varying lengths and viola: the perfect, bright and cheerful and meaningful garland has been born.

(Pictured above are Maddie and I about to hang our great grandma's mercury glass ornament.)

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


Maddie has inherited her Mama's hair. See?

It's what we call "sticky uppy hair." For many weeks I have been attempting to add a little barrette to her do in order to keep her bangs out of her eyes and of course, because it's cute. The attempts did not go well. She would instantly remove the barrette, just knowing that something was in her hair that God did not put there.

It doesn't help that I did things like this:

But I wore her down. Sometimes I put the barrette in while she slept, hoping that she wouldn't notice when she woke up.

But now she will wear a barrette for whole hours at a time. And look how gorgeous she is!:

Saturday, November 27, 2010


I'm in the thanksgiving mood a little bit late this year. It seems that time just goes by too fast far too often. When it's a holiday and I'm working at Maddie's pace it seems that I rarely have a moment to really absorb what is going on around me. So now that I have a minute of quiet and peace, I'd like to say that I am thankful for these things:

My beautiful daughter Maddie -- who despite constantly reminding Rob and I of ourselves, is nothing less than her own distinctive self, and what a wonderful self that is.

My husband, a loving, patient, generous and thankfully funny man who daily reminds me of the person that I would like to be.

My Mom, who gives of her time and her energy every day to help me and to help Maddie, and most of all is just the best Mom that the ever was.

My family, every single one of them who make every holiday not just a fun day but a day that I look forward to all year.

That both Rob and I have jobs that we love going to every day. And that after years of feeling something lacking, I can say that the job I do makes a difference.

That we have a roof over our head, warm clothes on our backs, food on our table, and love in our lives.

Saturday, November 20, 2010


Maddie may be a little obsessive compulsive. Her favorite game at the moment is to pick out like objects and line them up one at a time in a particular place, like:

Plastic shapes on the coffeetable;

crayons under the couch cushion (please note this was a secret spot. I lifted the couch cushion to reveal this. And is it just me or are these color organized?)

Letters on a window sill...

Not that it disturbs her view!

at GaMa's house, she goes through over 100 legos and pulls out only singles to line up on the window sill...

or on top of the toilet seat:)

Hmmm, I wonder where she gets it from?

Monday, November 15, 2010


It's not just a tv show, it's a real honest to goodness emotion and if you ever doubted what it looks like, here you go:

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I feel a Shift of the winds in the air...

On a completely un-baby related note, I want to give a shout out to a new store called Shift. my friend Julie is an awesome designer and has an amazing collection. Though her store is in Chicago, she takes mail orders! I'm trying to pick which dress to get for myself...

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

A Six-Pack and A Bike

I was going through my pictures from this summer and thought a few reminders were appropriate:

Remember, don't drink and drive.

And check under the hood every once in a while.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Fragrant Colors

Some people choose to use candles to spread delightful aromas-- we've chosen to go with a different perfumed wax. Yesterday Maddie was running her crayons over the grate of our heater (you know like a jailbird does with his metal tin over the bars) when oops, the crayon fell through. We have very nice strong heat and our radiators are hidden behind wall registers. Despite my efforts with two metal skewers (which are now red) I couldn't quite pinch the crayon out of the ducts. It seems like it's going to be a crayola scented winter for us!

The felon (stripes and all) plotting her next crime.

Her partner in crime who hides the weapons of destruction by eating them.

Maddie at work on a rehabilitation project.

Maddie explains the theory behind her work.

This does of course bode of other future problems. I have caught Maddie walking down the hall running a crayon against our lovely white walls. And yesterday she got a hold of a sharpie and "scribbled" (cap on luckily!) all over a window. I think this may be the child that destroys our deposit. Thank God they now make Markers that only color on special paper!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

The Help

Today as Maddie and were walking in our neighborhood, I saw an appliance boxout on someone's curb. It read "Dryer"... And my heart did a little potter-patter as I thought "ooooo... A new dryer!" Mind you I don't even have a washer or dryer, but I can imagine the excitment of the people in that house. The first load of laundry, their smiling faces, the sigh of contentment as the first load spins (until they pay their credit card of course). It made me wonder, at what point of our lives do we begin to get excited about cleaning?

Today is my housework day. As I sat back and watched Maddie clean the floors, I actually felt a tingle of happiness -- or perhaps just satisfaction-- in having good help and a clean house. Ok, ok, so maybe I do actually have to clean -- but Maddie does like to "help." she loves brooms and swifters. She also loves to help pick up now. She indulges her secret OCD side by picking up all her blocks or letters one at a time (and then moving them one at a time to someplace else. Yesterday she put away every card in a 104 deck, one at a time into a card box. Wow, what a tangent! The point is Maddie and I enjoy cleaning because we enjoy the results.

This year my Christmas wishlist is almost all organizational things. Honestly and truly, I would love to receive crates and photo boxes and things to make my house cleaner! I have so many projects that I have just been dreaming of. Guess I'm a little odd!

Speaking of projects, my cousin now has an awesome design blog. I love reading this and truthfully I learn a little something new about her everytime I read. This blog is a wonderful display of her talents and style -- and since Kate is a reader I'm going to shamelessly request a blog topic. Kate, what are your cleaning secrets? Share with us because you certainly have one of the most pristine abodes I've ever seen!

Sunday, October 31, 2010


Maddie was a kitty cat for Halloween, seeing as how she thinks she is one on any other day of the week. This proved to be the best photo of the day because as it turns out, kitties do a lot of running, jumping, spinning and moving around. Even as we were on our way to all the relatives Maddie Kitty couldn't resist dancing in her car seat to some Kermit Ruffins music.

All week long I kept trying to get her to try out her ears and she would rip them off as though she hated this costume. Then today, I put it on her and she was anxious to see herself in the mirror. And actually excited to get her ears on. She wore it all day without ever showing signs of fuss. Here she is running to her Daddy and playing with the kitties (of course, with duck-duck).

A couple of kitties out for a night on the town.

Halloween is not exactly my favorite holiday. I actually hate to dress up, but I do sort of like the fall aspect of it all. I think I will like the whole young kids phase because I enjoy seeing Maddie dress up. Rob and I were just saying tonight that we miss having trick-or-treaters -- in all the apartments that I have lived in we have never had a single one! (Though I do buy candy just in case every year.) Tonight I have had 5 trick-or-treaters: their names have been Rob the Saints Fan, Bob the Saints Fan, Bob the Pajamma wearing guy, Rob the Pirate, and Bob the Daddy.

I do enjoy most of the Halloweenish customs (minus the freight side). My favorite part is carving a pumpkin which of course results in delicious pumpkin seeds. So this part of the holiday was my favorite. Here are a few pictures of our pumpkin selection and carving. Maddie loved this part too!

Maddie picks out her pumpkin. "See this one, Mama-Dadda?" she says with ringing positivity. "It's the biggest." And doesn't it look perfect? We got it home, set it on our table and it tipped over. The most crooked pumpkin I ever say. It took some serious leveling to get it to work as our Jack-o-lantern.

Maddie helped me by picking out shapes to use as Jack's face, and drawing on the pumpkin. She actually also really liked cleaning out the pumpkin too and spent most of the night playing with the goopey seeds.

She liked the finished product.

Maddie loved her pumpkin so much, she had to hug it:

And kiss it:

We went to G-Ma's house for dinner and Maddie got the best treat ever: Boo-berries!

The Truth about this Blog

Here's the truth: This is how this blog is written:

Sometime's we have to really think about what we're going to write:

Despite the long hiatus, we'll be back soon with all new posts.