Friday, October 31, 2008

H. A. double L. O. W. double E. N.

Spells Halloween!

Does anyone else remember that song? Kevin and I both have memories of listening to that song on a record (like real vinyl people) when we were in grade school. And we only know the one line... but it is the best one. **update: I found this site with the song and lyrics!!! You have to get to about the minute mark before the words start! Any who,

I wanted to post more photos from our Halloween! What a great day it has been. There are so many things about Halloween that make me happy. First, my 1st muse for Madeline's costume.

Travelocity anyone?

I bought this wreath on clearance two years ago. It makes me happier than anyone will ever know. The next time I have a bad day I might just go pet it b/c that is sure to make me at least 30% happier!

Muse #2- This is my garden gnome. I blogged about him here. He still doesn't have a name. What about Gerard? Or Morton? He sure is happy though isn't he? Although I don't have a photo of this, my third muse is my garden gnome jammies by Nick and Nora. I wore them tonight, but alas no photos! I think I might like gnomes a little more than I thought.

And b/c no self respecting gnome can go with out her satchel, I made this one just for our little gnome. And you thought the costume was adorable!

Just in case you didn't think I was super mom yet, I baked and decorated cup cakes. They are the yummiest pumpkins on the block!

And now for the main event:

The Garden Gnome, in our garden!

Next to our wonderful jack-o-lanterns! Which have only been lit for a few minutes b/c we were not home!

We had a visitor stop in to say hi today.

Wait, where is Waldo?

OH, there's Waldo! (aka, my brother Elliot)

Madeline wasn't fooled. She found him right away. That might be b/c he wasn't at the circus, or on the beach, or the train station, or an amusement park, or a baseball game, or...


Happy Halloween!

You have indulged me all week long. Thank you. There were many wonderful guesses. I won't keep you waiting any longer!

Meet Madeline the Garden Gnome! (or "mome" as Madeline says)

Didn't I tell you it was totally ridiculously adorable?
Look at those eyes, and that smile and what an amazing feat of craftsmanship that felt coat is!

That's right people, I made everything but the pants and shoes. I wish I could explain how proud I am of myself. I have been telling everyone who will listen, (and even some who won't) that I made this costume from scratch. No pattern, just me and my brain and my hands!

As for how Kevin helped make this... think about what is IN that costume. Yep, we made that too and I couldn't have done it without him!

These photos were taken at Madeline's day care by one of the moms (and my friend) Jodie Allen. She has started her own photography company, J. Allen Photography and I love her work. Some day, when I have disposable income again, we'll hire her to shoot the family! Check her out!

I hope everyone has a wonderful Halloween! Enjoy the fun and stay safe!

Thursday, October 30, 2008


Only one more day. Can you stand it?

One more day, so one more clue: It's originally from Germany and is subterranean. (Although I much prefer it above ground!)

I can't wait to for the reveal tomorrow! It's coming! And it's awesome!


Wednesday, October 29, 2008


I made it. From scratch. From top, to bottom. Inside and out. EVERY INCH!

Kevin did help with some of it too!


Tuesday, October 28, 2008


Normally, it is smaller than a bread box.

My surprise however is much bigger.


Monday, October 27, 2008


You can find this surprise in your garden. (or on TV.) But my surprise is way cuter.


Sunday, October 26, 2008


I have a surprise*. You only have 5 more days until the big reveal. Can you stand it?!?!

*No, I am not pregnant. Why do people keep asking me that? I guess that is a sign that I still have some baby weight to loose, huh?


Thursday, October 23, 2008

Thursday night bonding

I haven't talked about it much on the blog but Kevin's last few months at work have been really hectic. He has been moved twice in four months and although frustrating we are just happy he still has a job. Technically he did get a promotion after his first move, a good thing, but the stress and change is hard on all of us.

We really are doing ok. The hardest part about this newest change is his schedule. He has worked fairly "normal" hours for the past three years. Starting three weeks ago he has to close two nights a week. Madeline is none the wiser really. I miss him. I don't like spending my nights without him. But this post is not about my fear of the dark. (which is honestly what it boils down to in the end.)

So tonight I made a plan. Madeline and I had dinner. We visited with my dad who stopped by for a chat. Then it was time for bath and jammies. Instead of heading off to bed I decided to have a movie night with my little bits.

A couple of months ago my sister-in-law to be, Beth, had a birthday. I found what I thought was a pretty cool gift. I hope she liked it. She assured me she did. This week, while browsing the county library, I came across it and couldn't help but borrow it to see if it was as cool as I think it is.

It is.

Case in point.

Remember David? And look at how young Bob, Maria, Luis and Gordon are! And remember when Mr. Hooper died and they talked about it on the show? I love me some Mr. Hooper. I love me some Sesame Street.

As Madeline and I cuddled on the couch I was transported back to my childhood. It was a world without Elmo. Where the segments were twice as long and twice as groovy too. Prairie Dawn ruled the Little Sesame Street Theater. Guy Smiley was the host with the most. Super Grover flew over the streets and most importantly, it was without Elmo. (Did I mention it was without Elmo?) And what ever happened to Herry anyway?

I am all nostalgic. Now I want to find the Electric Company and reminisce some more.

As Madeline and I laid on the couch and watched the show I had a moment of total bliss. Some people knew exactly what they wanted out of school. They new from a young age what they wanted to be when they grew up. I never had that. There is only one thing I knew I would be. I knew I would be a mother. And I can't believe that I am some days.

I have been really stressed out lately and with work and changes in our schedule life just seems crazy. I have to remember to love this little girl for what and who she is right now. Because tomorrow she will be just that much older and wiser. It seems like she changes every single day. I swear she gets smarter in her sleep. (and if you talk to some early childhood development researchers she probably is...)

I am so happy to have those moments with Madeline. Those are the moments that I remember when she is screaming her head off at the grocery store because I won't let her put the cart buckle in her mouth or take her shoes off. I will remember the smell of her freshly bathed skin and the heavy warmth that radiates through my side as I hold her. I miss my baby, but I am loving this toddler too.

I really meant to just post the la de da de dum clip and let you get all nostalgic with me. I guess I had some other stuff to get out there huh?! I hope you enjoyed


Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Wordless Wednesday

I'm trying something new.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008


I have always hated Tuesdays. What is with Tuesdays? I mean who came up with Tuesdays any way?

It is one day after Monday, which in my estimation isn't so bad. You can get away with some much just by saying, "Oh well, that's a Monday for you." You can be slow and even a bit lazy, and blame it on "Monday." It isn't that bad.

Wednesday is hump day. Once you hit lunch your week is half over. That is a good thing.

Thursday is, well, Thursday. You still have enough time to feel like you can get stuff done, but not too much time so that you are hopelessly longing for the weekend.

And Friday. Well TGIF is all I have to say about that.

But Tuesday. It is still early in the week. You can't use "Oh well, that's a Tuesday for you" as an excuse. There isn't anything to look forward to but three more days of work and I never heard anyone EVER say TGIT(uesday).

I'd like to skip this day all together. Then Tuesday would be Wednesday, Wed. would be Thursday, Thurs. would be Friday and we'd all get a three day weekend. What do you think?


Monday, October 20, 2008

Did you know?

Did you know that Madeline has a cold and I am not getting any work done?

Did you know that the American Academy of Pediatrics has removed all cold remedies from the acceptable list for children under three?

Did you know that I can't give her anything but Tylenol to help her sleep?

Did you know that she already doesn't want to nap during the day and this cold is not making my job any easier?

Did you know that as I listen to Madeline cry in her bed (while she should be napping) it is making my heart break a little bit?

Did you know that I am trying not to go in there when she cries b/c I don't want her to think crying is the way to get out of bed?

Did you know that this Mommy stuff would mess with your head so much?

Did you know that I just want an hour to get some school work done so that I have a lesson plan for tonight? (I guess my students will just have to stare at me for four hours... yep, FOUR!)

(So Mom? When are you coming home?)



Saturday, October 18, 2008

da butt

Yesterday, before apple and pumpkin picking we ran some errands. While getting out of the car in a parking lot Madeline and I had this conversation:

Madeline: da butt, da butt, da butt.
Me: What? Where?
Madeline: da butt. (pointing to a small bus in the parking lot) da butt.
Me: Do you mean the bus?
Madeline (with a huge grin on her face and still pointing): DA BUTT!

Fast forward to today (again running errands) as a small airplane was flying overhead:

Madeline (pointing up at the plane): Momma!
Me: Yes Madeline? What is that?
Madeline: air-butt!

I L.O.V.E. these moments.


My First...

Apple picking and pumpkin patching!

Yesterday we spent a lot of the day in Belleville, IL at Eckerts Farm. We went apple picking AND got ourselves two glorious pumpkins! (photos of those to come) I have attempted a photo slideshow and I have no idea how it is going to turn out. So bear with me. You may have to click the stop on the show if it is going to fast and just click through them manually. There were just too many good photos to post on the blog individually! Enjoy!

The last few photos are of Madeline eating the apple crisp I made with the apples we picked. Today I made some home made apple sauce too. Yum, Yummy.


Thursday, October 16, 2008


I got pooped on tonight. But how can you have a bad Birthday when you are hanging out with this sweet face?

October 16


Today is a very special day.

It's my Birthday!!!

So far it has been really exciting

Got up at 7:15am
Took a shower, dried my hair, ate breakfast.
Kevin got Madeline up and dressed.
Took Madeline to Doodlebugs.
Forgot my lunch.
Stopped by home to get said lunch.
Taught my first class. (they sang me Happy Birthday)
Taught my second class.
Now I am eating my lunch (nothing fancy or special) and reading e-mails.
Then I will teach my third class.

It is a totally normal Thursday. (except for the singing of course.) Oh, the joys of being a grown up. Remeber when birthdays were fun? Where is the fun in my birthday?

To top if off, Kev works until 10pm tonight. Bummer for him and for me. He is off all day tomorrow so it isn't too bad. (My dad is taking me out to dinner tonight and I have Ms. Lula Belle (Madeline) so I am not alone.)

So I have to ask, how do you celebrate your birthday? Do you do anything exciting? I need help! Please, send me suggestions on how to make this day awesomer! (Yes, I said awesomer!)


Tuesday, October 14, 2008

I need

a nap.


Saturday, October 11, 2008

Gone away is the blue bird

I am not a scrooge. I promise. I just ask that my husband refrain from listening to Christmas music until after my birthday. (Which is this week if you must know.) It is the one and only restriction I put on his Christmas joy. (I think he would listen to Christmas music year round if I didn't set limits, and I do cave for Christmas in July.)

Have you tuned in to 101.1 FM lately? They are changing formats so instead of continuing with whatever they were playing before, they are playing 24/7 holiday music. I think Kevin might be in on this. He and the radio stations have conspired against me. And it is not the kind you do by the fire.


Friday, October 10, 2008

I'm a winner

Last week I was given my first award. Thank you Tara! I am sorry I didn't jump right up and post it... but I am feeling overwhelmed in my life. Excuses, excuses.

So there it is. My fantastic and very wonderful award. My first one! So thank you Tara. Maybe when I have more time I will nominate others for this award. Until then I am just going to be selfish and keep it all for myself.


Thursday, October 09, 2008

Afternoon snack

Oct. 1


Wednesday, October 08, 2008

Why yes,

I did get dressed in the dark this morning. Why do you ask?

October 6th


Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Super-size me

Madeline and I ran some errands on Friday (Oct. 3). Normally I pack a little snack and her cup just in case. 99% of the time she isn't hungry and could care less about her water. But not on Friday. Friday she was totally parched. Her mouth was a virtual desert with no moisture in sight. She was so hungry she was in pain. (or at least you would think so based on her whines.)

I had forgotten her cup.

Her insistence that she was going to collapse with thirst unless she got water immediately was so bad that I thought about just buying her a new cup at Target, but that would mean an extra stop. So after almost 40 minutes of her asking for her "ah-ta" or water, I caved.

No, that is not a soda or a lemonade or any other one of the high fructose corn syrup laced drinks from the above fast food giant. It was before nap time, do you think I am totally crazy? There is nothing but water and ice in that cup. I felt really silly ordering a cup of ice and a bottle of water. But I really didn't want a Coney, or tater puffys, or deep fried anything. So why this resturant? Well, as crazy as this is going to sound... I love their ice.

I am a little obsessed with ice in my water. I can drink 64 oz. of water a day no problem as long as it is freezing cold with a ton of ice. (I dream of an automatic ice maker some day!) So what makes this particular establishment's ice so good? It is tiny. So there are like a million and a half little pea sized nuggets of frozen goodness in each cup. And because there are so many the water is freezing AND the ice doesn't melt very quickly. It just floats around and is wonderful hours later. It is ice water heaven. I am telling you, it is the little things in life.

This is the image that I got though. Isn't it hilarious. That cup is as big as her head! We sat in the parking lot, with that cup on her lap, just slurping away. I had a few mommies in their fancy mini-vans give me the look. You know, the "oh my goodness, she letting her baby drink that huge Coke?!?!?" look. I finally had to cut her off so we could drive home to avoid stares and the entire ride home, "ah-ta, ah-ta, ah-ta." So at home she drank to her hearts content.

That is until she desperately needed a new dipe.


Monday, October 06, 2008

Its been a big day...*

Before I head to bed I have to post. I. HAVE. TO! If toilet talk bothers you, look away.

Two weeks ago we bought a child sized toilet seat that sits on top of the regular seat. We have been letting Madeline sit on it before or after bath time. I totally know she is only 17 months old and it is pretty early to start all this but my thought is that I have introduced it to her so she can be comfortable with it even before she starts really using it. We have been talking about the toilet and that is where pee and poop go. Just to start, to begin, to sort of, kind of, maybe, get her halfway ready.

But tonight, oh tonight, I sat her on the seat and started her bath. She said, as she has said many times when sitting on the seat, "pee" and pointed to the bowl. This time she said it two more times and kind of looked at me funny and then it happened. She went to the bathroom on the toilet!!!!

I won't bore you with any more nity grity, but there were high fives and fist pumps all around. I know we have years of work ahead of us, but this is just a tiny glimpse into what life could be. A life without diapers will be a wonderful thing.

* alternate post title: My First... pee on the toilet!!!


"more help?"

Madeline and Kevin are playing with Legos in her bedroom. I am trying to complete my school work (see post below) but I am distracted by how awesome my family is and had to post.

Madeline just walked up to Kevin with some Legos (she can take them apart but doesn't have the fine motor skills to put them back together just yet) and asked him very sweetly, "more help?" Oh, my heart just melts. Kevin smiled at her, said "of course I will give you more help", and then gave her a hug. That was her first two words strung together and it couldn't have been sweeter. I just love these moments in our family. I just love my family.


Sunday, October 05, 2008

Moving Day

My brother in law moved today. We are all exhausted. Maybe I'll post more tomorrow... that is if I can squeeze it between my school work. I only have two exams to write, about 75 assignments to grade and two lesson plans to complete. Argh.

Now I feel really tired. How about a comment to make my day brighter?


Friday, October 03, 2008

A day at the Zoo

On Wednesday we took advantage of the glorious weather and spent the entire morning at the St. Louis Zoo with Anna and Maddie. Everyday the zoo is open the children's zoo is free the first hour. So from 9-10am you can get into the children's zoo for free. We had never been in that part of the zoo so we checked it out and it was pretty cool. It will be better when Madeline is a little older I think. The play equipment is really ment for larger kids and there were too many big kids for us to let the girls play on it without worry, but we did get some good photos.

Madeline is as tall as a Koala bear!

Maddy joined in the fun.

The girls giving loves to each other. Although it kinda looks like my Madeline is attacking the other Madeline doesn't it. (Anna, do you have a better photo where it doesn't look like my daughter is mauling yours?)

The Children's zoo has goats that you can go pet. Because they don't let visitors feed them they are non-agressive.

My conversation with the docent went something like this*:
Docent: Because we don't feed the goats in the pen they are non-aggressive.
Me: Like the goats at...
she cuts me off
Docent: We just say they are non aggressive.
Me: Right, unlike the goats at...
she cuts me off again
Docent: YOU might say that.

*If this didn't make sense to you I explained it at the bottom of the post.

She was totally right. They were the most laid back group of goats ever.

Maddie being adventurous! Although I think maybe her mommy wanted her to keep her hands to herself. Goats are kinda icky.

Madeline wanted to sit on the bench as soon as she saw the goat

"So, how is your day going?"

Maddy and Maddie hanging with the Daddy Giraffe. This was near the end of our visit and the girls were a bit restless.

Can you see that Giraffe's tongue? Click on the photo, really. It is quite impressive.

Madeline, being watched by the chimps. Don't tell Granny.

*If you aren't from StL or have never been to Grant's Farm here in StL then this conversation makes no sense to you. They have goats at Grant's Farm that you can pay to feed and because of that, when you walk into the pen they swarm you like a group of bees. They also chew on your clothes and eat your shoe laces. Unless you like that kind of thing, I don't suggest it.


Thursday, October 02, 2008

Thank you Sarah Palin

and Joe Biden too, of course. Because of you all classes at FU were canceled for the next two days. The VP debate is happening tonight at our neighbor WashU's campus and streets will be closed in a ridiculous ratios around the campus.

So Madeline's day care is paid for and I still had my morning class so what does that mean? I got a massive amount of stuff done!!

That is just the front side of my list. If you click on it you can see how many things I have crossed off.

I have
  • cleaned the sheets on our bed and all of the towels in the house
  • put away all the clean dishes and reloaded the dishwasher
  • taken out the recycling and the trash
  • cleaned the kitchen counters
  • cleaned off the dining room table (no small feet)
  • put away all of the laundry (like three weeks worth of clean laundry for me...argh)
  • dusted the entire house
  • reorganized all of Madeline's toys, including moving them around and putting some in the basement
  • cleaned the bathroom
  • swiffered all the hardwood/tile floors (so the whole house)
  • then I got on my hands and knees and cleaned the living/dining room floor!!!!!!!! Oh, my grandmother would be so proud. (according to her it isn't clean unless you are on your hands and knees.)
  • then I mopped the kitchen floor
Now all that is left for today is to make the bed (which I will wait for Kevin to do, b/c it is easier with two people) and hang our fall wreath on the door. Tomorrow I want to tackle the basement or maybe the office. Both are horrifying. Truly. At any moment I might get lost in a paperwork avalanche in the office. Totally not kidding.

I havn't been this productive since before Madeline was born. I am exausted.


Wednesday, October 01, 2008

play-dough, a toilet and a tower

I said that my posts were going to be a bit random. This one is no exception. Actually, I think this is the exemplar. Anywho, enjoy the randomness.


On Monday I made some no cook salt dough (play dough) for Madeline. It is super easy and keeps in the fridge for at least a few weeks.

2c. all purpose flour
1c. salt
2T. veg. oil
2/3 c water
food coloring if desired

Mix wet and dry ingredients separately then mix the two together. This makes a TON of dough so I generally halve (or quarter) the dry ingredients and then add a dash of oil and water. I don't measure the water I just start out with a very small amount and mix in tablespoons at a time until I have the dough to the right consistency. Tip: If you put the food coloring in the water first, you end up with a more consistent color in the dough and much less mess.

September 29- Madeline playing with her dough. I didn't color it this time. (Honestly, the food coloring is down stairs in the basement pantry and I was too lazy to go get it.) I gave her a spoon, a spatula and some cookie cutters. She didn't quite get the cookie cutters, but enjoyed making marks with the spoon.

Although the dough is totally non-toxic and is made of edible products I kept reminding her that we don't eat it. She still didn't listen.

What is funny about this photo is that it looks like she is totally losing it. She was in fact NOT crying. She had ignored my urging her not to eat the dough and she wasn't thrilled with how salty the dough was. She wouldn't take a drink either. She just sat there with this look on her face drooling like a rabid dog. It was totally hilarious. (for me, not so much for her of course...) She didn't eat any more of it after that.

A Toilet

Madeline loves her swiffer. She has taken to carrying it around the house with her. She swiffers evreything; the floor, the cat, her highchair... and on this day she was helping mommy clean the bathroom. So she swiffered the toilet.

September 27
Do you see the beautiful new bathroom floors?!!? Someday I will post the 'finished' bathroom photos. It is almost there!

Madeline got this shirt from her cousins, Mia and Mazlin. It could not be more accurate for the phase Madeline has entered lately. It really is her way or the highway.

A Tower

Kevin was building towers out of blocks last Wednesday and Madeline would wait until he was almost finished before knocking them over, and giggling with glee. For Madeline it was a game. For Kevin it was an exercise in frustration. Eventually Madeline lost interest and Kevin built the most magnificent tower ever.

September 27- It stood for at least two hours, while Madeline napped, then she promptly knocked it down.

I think I am caught up. I hope you enjoyed some randomness!