Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Product of the week...

The Taylor dish collection from Pottery Barn Kids is my new favorite obsession. I can't get enough of them! I purchased them a while ago, but for some reason they got stuck in some cupboard and I somewhat forgot about them. We had some friends over for dinner, so we had three young girls sitting at the table. So I pull these plates out of the cupboard so the girls would all have matching pink plates, and I fell in love. They have these rubber linings along the bottom which protects them from scratching tables, and makes it so the kids can't move them around. They are also very deep which makes it so Hallie doesn't slop her food over the side as easily. They're fantasic! Try them out!

Daddy-Daughter...


Yet another Daddy-daughter date to report. We bought a treadmill not too long ago, and sweet Steve has been saving this box downstairs so he can "build" a house for Hallie! So Saturday rolled around and I worked in the morning so Steve had Hallie to himself. He pulled up that box from downstairs, cut a door, a few windows, drew a few shutters on it, and a welcome sign above the door! They had a blast together in this house.

Hallie did have one complaint, "Daddy, too dark, no lights." Steve may be able to work his magic with a pair of scissors but wiring a cardboard box was above and beyond his abilities! Hallie put her baby to bed in this "house" and made herself quite comfortable. That is until she tried climbing in through the sunroof, which of course she fell miserably through, landing square on the stool sitting inside the house. The tears were a flowin', but dangle one sticker in front of her and her bruised and possibly shattered cheekbone is suddenly forgotten, and all for a sticker! Oh to have the resilience of a child again!!

Wednesday, April 23, 2008

Smell of summer...

After our long and dreary winter, I'm ecstatic with our 70 degree weather. I told my mom we were in shorts and shirts today and really quite warm- I'm realizing it's all about perception. Compared to our cold winter, 70 degrees was a dream. After our two hour park excursion this morning, I felt the itchy skin. The longer I was inside the more my face and arms beamed bright red. It didn't even cross my mind to put on sunscreen- what kind of mother am I? Has it really been that long?

After Hallie's nap time we ventured back outside to do some gardening, once again forgetting the suncreen! I just don't learn! Within two minutes of being outside, and the sun beating down on my already burned arms, I remembered, finally. I lathered up Hallie and myself. As I was doing so, the smell overwhelmed me. The smell of summer! Oh boy howdy was I excited. I forgot how much I love the smell of sunscreen. (Give it a month or two and it'll wear off!)

Not only does this new season bring back familiar smells, but familiar sounds. I'm not sure what it is about All American Rejects, but they are my summer band. Today was the first time I've played them in months. And as I listen, all I can imagine is riding in a car, with all the windows rolled down, just blasting the songs. Hallie and I had them playing, and the music created an energy in our house, it was amazing what a few songs can do!

Now, I understand, it's only April in Wisconsin, so yes, there is still that possibility that it could snow, and we definitely will have our fair share of rainy days- but by golly, I see that tiny light at the end of the tunnel, and I can feel summer upon us. And for that I will go listen to AAR, "Move Along" I think it's only appropriate!!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Reflections of Christ...

Photograph copyright - Mark MabryClick on the photo to make it larger.
My friend just sent me a link to this website of a photographer out of Mesa, Arizona who has an exhibit at the Mesa Temple Visitor's Center. His exhibit features fine art photography of the Savior's life, new concept I know, but I liked it. Maybe it just touched me because of my love for photography, but it really moved me. There are hundreds and hundreds of paintings that portray similar things, but there is something about a portrait that spoke volumes to me. Let me know your thoughts. Here's the link to the website where you can watch a video they've compiled of many of the photographs.

Tagged...

Okay, So I think I've been tagged 10-20 times, and I've always ignored it. Once again I was tagged, so I'm giving in. I will do this once and never again will I feel the guilt of being tagged.
Here it is, the 5 things you may not know about me, or wish you never did!

1. I have very vivid/realistic dreams, and I always remember them. Every morning I wake up and I can remember a series of events. I know names, places, and can even recall the conversations. Steve will ask me sometimes what I was dreaming about because he heard me talking in my sleep about random things (interest rates, house projects, etc.). And most likely a good portion of you have been in those dreams, but I never tell the dirty details!!

2. I like to argue just for the sake of arguing...Steve knows this all too well. My mom always thought I should be a lawyer for the way I enjoyed a good debate. Now that I'm married, I might agree with Steve 100% on an issue, but what fun is a discussion if you completely agree with the other person?? He'll often call me out and say, "I know that you agree with me, you're just trying to make a point." And to that I will agree!

3. I had 11 teeth (all baby teeth) pulled at one time...the problem was I was in seventh grade, talk about a few awkward years. I had so many teeth pulled I was left with only my four top front, and four top bottom, as well as a molar on each side/top and bottom. Lets just say it took me a lot longer than 16 years old to truly enter the dating scene. Rest assured I don't have any fake teeth at this point, although at one time (6 years old) I did have a cap- but that's a whole different story, just the same related incident!

4. Hallie is of course my favorite child, and I tell her that daily. (Yes, she will have a complex as she grows older, but what can you do?) I enjoy buying her fun things at PBKids as well as a new outfit (or two, or even three) at the one and only Gap! Steve's convinced when baby #2 rolls around, Hallie is going to have a breakdown, a serious breakdown. Expect that breakdown to occur around the first week in October, as we are 16 weeks on our way. That's right- for those who knew Hallie as an infant are probably shocked at the fact we would ever consider another. Our hearts have been softened- and memories erased and we're looking forward to the angel baby we're told we deserve. We're trying to warm Hallie up to the idea, which sounds good in theory. But wait until some angel child is sitting in my arms and not her, it will melt not only her heart but mine. Luckily we've had some great/cherished one-on-one time which really only comes to the first and probably the last child. We'll continue to soak it up for another couple months. I sure do love and adore that girl!

5. I love internet news sites. You'll never catch me watching the news on t.v. or even sitting down to read the newspaper- but I'm always checking CNN, New York Times, and Yahoo News. It's so convenient, as I'm checking my email it'll show the top five stories of the hour, and I at least read one, if not two or three every time its updated. I enjoy it, I find the news interesting, and it's quick access to a lot of information. What I really enjoy about it is being able to converse with other people, and understanding what's going on outside my little bubble. Often times during a day, I don't converse with anyone but Hallie...and as lovely as those conversations are, it doesn't require a whole lot of thinking on my part. I don't feel challenged I guess by our conversations, and why would I, she's two years old and most likely we're discussing the peanut butter she has squished between her fingers. And I love it, I do. But at the same time, I'm an educated person and its easy to see that feeling slip away during a day as I clean up messes, and put shoes on time and time again, and find that blasted sippy cup that she just has to have. Reading the news is my way of staying informed and in a way feeling educated day in and day out. It's just something I enjoy and look forward to!

There you have it- 5 things about me. I'm done, I will blog guiltless from here on out!

Saturday, April 19, 2008

Saturday...

It's Saturday afternoon, decent weather and Hallie's napping. I usually work Saturday afternoons at Pottery Barn Kids but they didn't need me today so I'm just hanging out. I have projects I can do outside, but with Hallie napping, I anticipate her waking up any second. Steve had to go into work this morning at 8:30, it's 2:00 and he's still not home. Something about buying millions of dollars worth of goods or something like that. That Steve, I'm so proud of him. He's just changing the world, one satin trim cami at a time.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

Candy Land...

Hallie and I just completed a grueling game of Candy Land, and although she'd never admit it, I let her win! Besides the fact that she tried cheating a number of times. Playing the "I don't know what color it is" card to try and move a few spaces ahead...she learns that from her father!

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

First Dentist trip...

Hallie has been to the dentist a lot lately not for her own work of course. (Just goes to show how much I've had to be there lately. I'm happy to report most of my work is done...I still have a crown...I'm putting it off until Steve gets his done at the end of April so I can properly prepare myself!!) The last time I was at the dentist Hallie wanted to be in the chair with me. So the nice dentist let me her sit with me and she was content. So I decided since we have dental insurance which covers two cleanings a year per person, I might as well get her used to the idea while she's young so she comes to expect it. So today was the day. She was so excited, all morning she kept talking about the dentist. We get there, she gets comfortable in the chair, (they have plasma tvs that sit above you as you're lying down, genius) turns on Dora and was doing pretty well. The dentist came over and you could start to see the worry in her eyes. Why is this man so close to me and why is he wearing rubber gloves. I had to sit with her just so she wouldn't leap out of the chair. She sat there long enough for him to count her teeth, check out her bite and then she let him brush, for three seconds. I took over and got the full 10 seconds on each side. That was all she was going to have with him. He gave her a little goody bag with a brush and toothpaste, which she thought was so awesome. He then let her pick out a prize from the toy chest. She chose the same item she's chosen the last FOUR times we've been there. No joke, a little beaded bracelet. She searched through the whole chest until she reached the bottom and found the bracelet. She cracks me up.


By this point she was done with him!

Wisconsin Dells...

This how happy a little bit of sunshine will make us in Wisconsin!With my mom in town this last week we took it as an opportunity for some family time at the Dells! Wahoo! We went back to the same resort as we did last time, but this time Hallie wasn't sick so she was much more enjoyable. The kiddie slides were intimidating at first, with water over her head and gushing into her mouth and eyes. But despite deep water, Hallie would courageously go down the slide, hit the 2 ft deep water, where she nearly drown, flailing her arms, eyes wide open under water, grinning from ear to ear, just waiting for her knight in shining armor (her father) to aid her in her rescue. As she spit water out of her mouth, and brushed her hair out of her face she would say in her bright cheery voice. "Tank you, Daddy, Tank you Mommy." After many trips down the slide (and finding a slide with shallower water) she became a pro, only hitting her head causing minor concussions as she came down smiling wide. She would then make it back to the deep water with daddy by her side only to try the drowning bit again. She loved it, it never got old for her, Steve yes, but not Hallie.

With Steve as the guardian of Hallie it gave my mom and I some time to relax and chat it up. Both days the first hour revolved around Hallie and then we ventured out to the big kid rides where we went down slides on tubes in groups. It was great. The lazy river was also a hit partially because it's lazy, requiring no effort. Of course we only wanted to get in the lazy river after we had already completed submerged ourselves in water, after capsizing our raft coming from another ride. Once your soaked it doesn't make a difference it water is splashing in her face around every bend!

I'm glad we didn't give up after our last experience at the Dells. Clearly Hallie was sick last time making it difficult for her to enjoy anything, resulting in us not enjoying it as much. But she showed us this time- she's a water baby through and through, and let me tell you, we will fully enjoy all the water we can in Wisconsin after it all thaws by June!

The Debacle...

While my mom was visiting, we were sitting together in the living room with Hallie watching Gilmore Girls. Loreali spoke of the "great house debacle". Somewhat questioning, Hallie turns to my mom and says, "the house debacle?" In no way should a two year old ever use that word!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Is that sunshine I see...


We have had such a long and miserable winter, I walked out the other day and there was this bright thing shining directly in my eyes that I was not familiar with. I moved my head left and right to try and rid my eyes of this uncomfortable feeling but to no avail. Has it been that long? Could I have possibly forgotten what the sun was? I can't even remember where I put my sunglasses, as I laid them in retirement so long ago.

I am happy to report that sunshine, yes, the same sunshine Arizona/California have selfishly been hoarding for the last couple months, finally found it's lost long friends in Milwaukee, and I couldn't be happier about the whole situation. Don't get me wrong, it's still a little chilly, but we were mid fifties yesterday which felt pretty good. So good that I was outside in a short sleeve shirt and some capris as I worked on projects. We have such a short window for summer clothing I feel like I need to start them as early as possible. Here are the top 5 things I'm looking forward to about the warmth...
1. Being able to pawn Hallie off outside when we get on each other's nerves. She gets to play with her car, wagon and stroller and she's in heaven. Granted I have to be out there the whole time supervising, but it gives us the necessary space we both need sometimes.
2. Lawn care/Landscaping! We spent a lot of time last summer doing some major landscaping, but we focused on the front yard. Now it's on to the back yard and a garden.
3. All the projects I've been completing in the basement, can now be moved outside. Less toxic, less fumes, it's a wonderful combination. I'm in the middle of refinishing a sleigh bed for Hallie so this weather couldn't come at a better time. I can strip/sand it in the driveway as she walks around the circle.
4. Color- it has been so long since my face has seen the light of day. It takes me so long to get color I've got to start early, that way by Halloween people don't mistake me for a ghost again!
5. I can't wait to be able to walk down to the local Chinese restaurant, grab our take out and walk to the park and enjoy our dinner. Chinese food just doesn't taste the same without flecks of sand and grass blades! Bring on the summer weather, we're ready!

A special visitor...

We have a very special visitor at our house. Hallie thinks of special visitors as Santa, the Easter bunny, or even a crazy leprechaun. Although they are visitors in our home, there can only be a couple "special" visitors and grandparents fall into that category. My mom is here visiting...YEAH! I picked her up on Thursday from the airport and we have a full itinerary for the week! Steve left this morning for a market trip to L.A. which gives us four interrupted days of projects and fun. I can hardly contain myself...

Thursday, April 3, 2008

Little People in a Big Sea...

Hallie just brought me this Little People girl complaining that her hair was "yucky". I take the girl from her and sure enough her hair is wet. Hallie likes to use real water in her play kitchen so I figured she probably fell in the pan with the water. So I put my nose up to it to smell it and there wasn't an odor, so I knew it was water. I wiped it off and gave it back to her. Hallie was persistant in telling me her hair was yucky. So I finally ask Hallie to show me where her little girl got wet. She walks me to the bathroom and over to the toilet. "She fell in when she was going potty." Of course she did, because I just put it up to my nose and then wiped in on my shirt... Hallie continues, "She had to go potty, but uh-oh, she fell in." I remind Hallie that only we go on the potty (and who are we kidding, Hallie doesn't even sit on it!!) and assured her if her girl needs to go to the bathroom she can use the bathroom in her own house! What can you do, we've got Little People in a big sea.
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