Sunday, October 23, 2011

Now I'm just bragging

Can I brag about my husband for a minute?  Ok, good.

He is good at many things.  He won't tell you that, but I will.  Without him I would be technologically illiterate instead of just mildly dumbfounded.  If he wasn't around I'd never know where my keys, phone, slippers, camera, sanity or children* are.  Not to mention his ability to make me smile even when I just. don't. want. to.

Before we married I knew he was handy.  He could rip down walls and ceilings (without my knowledge) and change furnace filters without searching for where it goes for 15 minutes first and he knew the difference between a reciprocating and circular saw.  (I do now too but I wouldn't if it wasn't for him.)

Our previous house was so small that we just didn't need a ton of furniture and what he and I had before we moved in together filled most of the house.  The one room, a family room in the basement, that we finished/redecorated we purchased inexpensive matching furniture for.

Now that we are in larger home and we intend to stay in for a much (if not indefinite) longer time we want to furnish rooms the way we want them instead of (what Kevin lovingly refers to our former style) dorm-room-shabby-chic.

The budget hasn't changed though.

In the last year, however, he has really impressed me with his woodworking. First there was the frame for our bed.

And now I give you, Madeline's book shelf.

Isn't it lovely?

Ooo, even better with her books on it, ey?

The bead board backing was my only contribution to this piece.  I thought it would add some interest in dimension.  I love the clean lines, the solid frame and he was able to build it so that even her tallest book, Madeline by Ludwig Bemelmans would fit without a fuss.

See it there on the bottom left?  A perfect fit.

It is solid as a rock.  Painted beautifuly AND it cost us less than half of what an almost identical book shelf at a upscale retailer would have charged.

So yeah.  I'm bragging.

*Just kidding about that children part.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Three things

I found this in my drafts folder from way back in the spring some time.

I can't recall what we were making.  I can however assure you of three things:
  1. It probably involved chocolate.
  2. They probably ate a lot of it.
  3. They totally made a mess of my kitchen.

Three things I love about this photo you may not have noticed:
  1. Lydia and Madeline are standing on the same chair.
  2. Madeline's chef's hat is down over one of her eyes because that is the only way it will stay on her head.
  3. Madeline is wearing a ballet leotard and skirt over her clothes but under her apron.

Three things you can't see but I know because I was there:
  1. Madeline and Lydia's aprons are from my childhood.
  2. One says "This sure beats the hell out of reality" but I always tell them it says "It sure is a good day to make (insert name of item we are baking that day)"
  3. The other says "Eat, Drink and Be Quiet".  That one speaks for itself.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Om nom nom nom

One of Lydia's favorite things to do these days is talk about eating.  She like to talk about eating just about as much as she loves to eat.  I took this video on Lydia's birthday.

I have no idea where she picked up that hand gesture while saying "nom nom nom" but I am going to guess it is from me.  Even if it is just genetically ingrained for her to hand talk and use nonsense words to get her point across!

When did she get so big?

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Happy Birthday Lydia! Love, Your Sister

Madeline was more excited about Lydia's birthday than she was.  She sang Lydia Happy Birthday 20 times today.

I wish I could say that is why her voice is horse, but that would be the cough/fever combo she's been fighting. :(

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Happy Birthday Lydia!

Today my baby turns two.  Two.  Yep.  Two.

I love this photo.  She is my funny guy, my face mugger and my little trouble maker.  You can see all of that in this one photo.  I tried at least three different times during the day to get a photo of her.  Can you believe that THIS is the best I could get from her.  You ask her to smile, she frowns.  You ask her to stand still, she runs away.  You ask her to frown and run away, she does.  She spunky and lovely.  Cuddly and vicious.  Hot and cold.  I love every inch of her. 

Today wasn't a typical birthday celebration for us. Madeline is sick and has been home from school for the last two days.  (And will be home at least one more day.)  So we stuck around the house and tried to make the day as much about Lydia as we could.  It is freezing and raining outside anyway so why leave?!?   I am really just saying that to make myself feel better.  I like to make a big deal out of birthdays.  I had plans to spend a fun morning with her while Madeline was as school and then a yummy lunch, naps and a party for cake tonight with her grandparents, aunts and uncles and her cousins.

 Instead she got a full day of play with her sister.  (Who, although feeling crumby, did an amazing job of playing with her sister and acknowledging her sister's birthday.  This is NO EASY TASK for a 4 1/2 year old.)  A yummy lunch and cake with just her grandparents.  All that to say she was none the wiser.  I am more disappointed that she was!

I always forget how resilient kids are because I am not.

I have more to share from today but for now I leave you with a photo I took a few days ago.

If that photo* doesn't sum up Lydia I don't know that any photo ever will.

I love that girl.

PS.  All the photos in this post were taken with this:

My new birthday present from Kev and the girls. Although I still love my DSLR I am excited to play with this little gal and the convenience of just slipping it in my pocket is going to be awesome. Maybe this means more blogging?  Who knows! 


 *Why yes, she IS licking the table.

Saturday, October 01, 2011

Did ya miss me?

Did ya miss me?

Aww. That's sweet!  I missed you too!

So I have heard you.  (I'm talking specifically to Aint B, Sue, Deb and Jenny!)  I have started to blog too many times to count just to get interrupted or not knowing what to say.  I look at that last photo of Lydia I posted and I am shocked by how quickly she is growing up even just since early July. 

I started this blog as a way to keep a running journal of our life.  Which in the begining was super boring.  That is until Mads showed up!

Mom, my audience deserves better than this!

I love being able to look back on those early days of parenthood and see how much our life has changed.  But maybe the neglecting of the blog is just as much a representation of how our life has changed.  I have said it before: I want to keep up with recording our life.  I want a record of our daily life, not just the milestones the girls reach.  I want that. 

Whether or not that will happen, that is another story. :) 

Sunday, July 10, 2011

Need a smile?

One of the many photos I have that she will hate me for when she is 15. For now, it is just bligityblog gold!

Monday, July 04, 2011

Happy Fourth of July

Madeline + heat + two hours in a bounce house - a nap + crowds + mud - close toed shoes + two hours past her bed time = massive freak out on side of the road

I guess we will try fireworks again next year.

Third time is the charm, right?

Read about FoJ 2010 here.

Thursday, June 30, 2011

A world full of awesome

I am currently blogging while sitting at the pool. Madeline is taking the last class of four weeks of lessons (she's the blur with the orange noodle in the above photo) and I am roasting on the pool deck.

I am so excited this mobile blogging thing worked. I mean now I can blog about how the pool deck social structure reminds me of an sixth grade lunch table WHILE sitting at a table ALONE. Honestly. Why have social situations gotten no less awkward as I age? And I am super extroverted and will talk to ANYONE! Just ask my husband, I drive him nuts sometimes with my ability to go to the super market for cheese and come home with a new BFF.

Ok, I exaggerate... A little.

Why is it that the pool deck, or playdates or play grounds can magically transport me back to junior high?

See?!?! This phone blogging thing is going to be legen...wait for it...dary!!!


I may have figured out how to post with photos from my phone. This could be awesome!

Lydia at MoBot, June 24

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Madeline is 4, part 1

So over a month ago Madeline turned four. Yeah, I'm behind. Like very very very behind. Don't remind me.

So although I never intended it this way it seems we have a tradition of going to the zoo to celebrate Madeline's birthday! This is the third year in a row we've spend her birthday at the zoo with friends. (Read about her second and third birthdays by clicking on the links.)

We started the day on the carousel. I should have cropped these photos better than I did, but click on it to see her HUGE smile a little better.

And did you see Lydia's terrified expression? I'll wait while you go back to look.

Totally worth a second look huh? Comedy gold I tell ya!

And because I am posting this way after the fact but just a few days after father's day I wanted to post this photo because if that expression isn't the look of love I don't know what is.

Good God I love that man!

Back to the zoo....

As soon as I snapped this photo I remembered a similar photo I took almost three years earlier. This girl needs to stop growing up so fast. Stop it I tell ya!

Although Madeline loved the zoo animals there was one person who really made her day:

This is Scott, Kevin's best friend and Madeline's birthday buddy. He and his wife and brand new baby girl (eep!) just happen to be in town for Madeline's birthday (which also happens to be Scott's birthday). This might just be one of my favorite photos of Madeline ever. She and Scott have a very special bond and the love and admiration is mutual.

A huge thank you to Anna, Madeline and Cullen and Scott, Becky and Eliza for joining us in celebration of Madeline's 4th birthday! It was a great day and I am so glad she got to share part of it with you!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Well hello there!

You ARE still there, right?

I've had conversations with a few of you (my mother and mother-in-law, auntie B, Michelle, Adrienne, etc...) and heard through the grapevine (am looking at you Deb!) that there are still a few of you out there looking in on our little bligity blog.

Life is crazy but I am here to give you what you really want:

I like to think I am witty and clever*, but I know the reason y'all are here is for those little smileys.

With faces like this

and this

I simply can't blame you.

I have the pleasure of seeing these lovely faces each and every day. Why wouldn't I share?

I also know that I should be blogging the ridiculous stories of my life. Like how Madeline is enjoying swimming lessons while I stand on the side of the pool deck with the other mothers feeling like I am back in Jr.High as one of the uncool kids. Or regaling you will all of the hilarious stuff that comes out of Madeline's mouth on a DAILY BASIS! Instead I am going to bed at 10pm and silently kicking myself for leaving my laptop cord out where the cat could chew on it and (yet again) short it out.**

Oh, and just to show how on top of things I am today (yeah me!) today is the summer solstice and the official start to summer. In celebration! I give you, A BRAND SPANKIN' NEW HEADER! (Click here if you are using a reader!)

So until we meet again, which I hope won't be so very long!

*Why is it that I can't type clever without first typing cleaver. I should cut that out. {insert cheesy rim shot here} Cleaver, cut that out, get it? Yeah, I didn't think so.
** I won't use that as an excuse because I wasn't blogging before she got her pointy little teeth on it but I soooo want to!

Monday, May 09, 2011

25 questions: Madeline, age 4

I started this tradition last year and I love seeing how her answers change (or don't change).

1. What is your Name? Madeline Lastname

2. What is your favorite color? Purple

3. What is your favorite book? Curious George Goes to the Hospital

4. What is your favorite movie? Harold and the Purple Crayon (Which was her answer last year and probably haven't watched it since about this time last year. We don't watch many movies and I guess it shows.)

5. What is your favorite food? Shrimp and Bratwurst

6. What is your favorite TV show? Fresh Beat Band, but also Olivia and Wonder Pets

7. What is your favorite song? ABCD...

8. What will you do when you grow up? A zoo keeper, and when I am not at work I'll be an artist.

9. What is your least favorite food? brussel sprouts

10. Now that you are 3 what do you think you'll do? (what is your goal) Bake!

11. What is your favorite thing to do with mom? Making projects and baking

12. What is your favorite thing to do with dad? Playing Mario Kart

13. What is your favorite store? The one with the little carts (Trader Joes)

14. Who are your best friends? Sara* but not Stanley* (those are two kiddos in her preschool class)

15. What does Mommy say? No. (hmmm...)

16. What does Daddy say? No and Yes.

17. Where is your favorite place to go? The Magic House

18. What is your favorite restaurant? Bread Company

19. What makes you laugh? Jokes

20. What is your nickname? Maddy

21. What is your favorite toy? The Caterpillar that sings. (which I think is her favorite because it is her sisters favorite right now...)

22. What is your favorite thing to do with your sister? Play with the Elmo toy.

23. What makes you sad? Pulling and pushing.

24. What is your favorite thing to drink? Lemonade

25. What is your favorite thing about school? singing with Mrs. A


*Names have been changed to protect the innocent!

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

4 Years

Today my big girl turned 4 years old. Her Golden Birthday*! It was an amazing day spent with wonderful friends. Four years seems like a long time but trust me when I say it has passed in a flash.

Dear Madeline,

Happiest of birthdays to you my little Loula Belle. You are amazing and I love you more each day.

Love Forever and Always,
Your Momma

*Turning 4 on the 4th**!
** Which reminds me, May the 4th be with you***)
***That goes out especially to my loving (yet geeky) husband and my awesome(ly geekier) brother Elliot.

Saturday, April 30, 2011

Madeline's very big day

I skipped the Tuesday Ten this week for a very important reason.

Madeline had her spring concert.

Now if you have never been to a preschool concert you have never fully lived. Why you ask? Because the 40+ kiddos in Madeline's school invite their 200+ family members and we all crowd into the sanctuary of church to watch our little darlings sing songs and fidget with their clothing.

And they there are the mama and paparazzi, aka. the swarm of parents trying to get the money shot of their child. You know the one. Where they are smiling adorably and don't have a finger up their nose. Yep, that's the one.

Then the 40+ preschoolers and their 200+ family members crowd into the fellowship hall where these hyped up 2-5 year olds are then presented with a table full of sweets just minutes from bed time. (or after bedtime in the case of my little sleepy darlings!)

OH and the PUNCH!! It isn't a church function without punch! Red punch which ends up mostly on the carpet or clothing. I don't know if I've ever ACTUALLY tasted church punch... Hmmmm...

It is truly a cultural experience.

But I digress... This post is about Madeline right? Right.

To say that Madeline was excited about her concert was an understatement. Kevin and I have learned when it comes to events it is best to give Madeline very few details and general time frames.

For example: Her birthday is coming up so we keep telling her it is next week but give her no more details than that.

But this concert was the talk of the classroom and she was amped up to the max for it. She started asking the previous week when her concert was and if we could go now and who was going to be there and what she was going to wear and what treats we were going to bring and if there were other parents and if they were all there to watch her and if she could wear tights and what the temperature was going to be and if all her friends would be there and what color the carpet was and how long we would all stay and and and

Catch my drift?

By 2pm the day of the concert Madeline was already in full on crazy mode. Jumping up and down, talking non stop and asking the above questions just at the rate of the micro machines guy.

By 3pm she took it upon herself to get dressed in her "fancies." Even after I explained that she had to STOP JUMPING UP AND DOWN if she was going to be wearing fancy clothes. (This kinda worked.)

By 4pm she was pacing the floors and asking every 20 to 30 seconds when we were going to be leaving.

At 5pm we were having dinner and she temporarily forgot about the excitement to come but by 6pm she was back in full out BRING IT! mode. (It is imporant to note that during dinner Madeline went the the bathroom three times.)

At 6:30pm (after visiting the rest room one more time) we left her in her classroom with her teacher who afterwards told Kevin that she was literally bouncing off of the furniture. (The teacher made note of this because this unusual behavior for Madeline at school... at home all bets are off.)

At 7pm the program started.

skidamarinky dinky dink, skidamarinky do

I love you!

I don't know if you can tell from her flailing hands, but Lydia was impressed and very entertained!

It is at this point, a little more than half way through her program that Madeline runs out the side door with her teacher. Why? So she can go to the bathroom! Ugh.

But she returned to finish the show with flair!

Madeline was fantastic.

By 7:10pm it was all over.

We stayed just long enough to eat a cookie and thank her teachers and then we were out of there. Madeline was so proud of herself but not as proud as we were. It is amazing to see how fearless she is. She knows no stranger and loves to perform with her class mates. What an amazing love for life this girl has. She teaches me more about living each and every day. Amazing.

Oh and what did 8pm look like?

Monday, April 25, 2011

Lydia is 18 months old!

28# 8oz
33 3/8"
Both weight and height are in the 90th percentile. She is looking good and large and in charge! She has 12 teeth, 6 on top and 6 on bottom, including four molars but none of her canine (or eye) teeth.

Gross Motor
Lydia loves to climb. She's been able to navigate up the stairs for some time now and just in the last month or so she has really been working on going down stairs. I honestly think it is because she wants out into the yard! There are four stairs to get down into the yard and to the play set and that is totally her motivation! She scoots down on her bottom, which isn't my preferred method of descending stairs at this age, but she has a mind of her own.

In just the last few days she has mastered climbing up on to the dining room chairs. She has now begun pushing chairs up to the table, the windows, the kitchen counter.... this opens up a whole new world of trouble.

She loves to run and is getting much better at navigating uneven ground, like the promise land that is our back yard. In an effort to be just like her big sister she does her best to skip and jump. It is truly one of the most adorable things I have ever seen.

Fine Motor
Unlike her older sister Lydia eats most of her meals with her fork or spoon. While Madeline has to be reminded that her utensils are RIGHT THERE Lydia uses them consistently. She is relatively neat too which is an added bonus. It is when she puts them down and throws the food off her tray that we have the real mess!

Lydia likes to color, but only because she finds crayons delicious. We are working on it though!


Elmo (and let it be known she has watched Sesame Street twice in her life... that little red guy has made a huge impression on her!)
mo (more)
pees (please)
um-nums (m&ms)

and I KNOW there are more. She has a language explosion a couple of weeks ago and I know she has more words, I just can't think of them at the moment.

Social Development
Lydia loves her family and friends. When we are around those she is familiar with, she warms up quickly and is a happy little bits. But in public, she is my shy guy. I think she is used to having her sister as a buffer when we are out in public so when someone she doesn't know talks to her or she feels I am too far away she expresses her concern.

Although she has a little more stranger danger she is still a very social girl. She loves singing songs and doing finger plays (like if your happy and you know it and itsy bitsy spider, etc.) and initiates these songs and games.

When we were sick last month she got into a pattern of being whiny and clingy that hasn't really stopped even though she is feeling better. She can be a challenge and has learned exactly what buttons to push to get the full attention of each family member.
  • She likes to bite me or walk off with items from the kitchen
  • to get Madeline's goat she takes her toys and pulls her hair
  • and to get Kevin's full attention she sticks her sticky little fingers on the televison or computer screens.
At least we know she is smart, right?

She loves her big sister and wants to be just like her and do everything she does. That relationship is amazing to watch. As a parent there something unique and amazing about watching the love between siblings grow!

That is our 18 month old. Time is going so quickly. Somedays I just want to yell slow down!
Lydia at 1 year, 9 months, 6 months, 4 months, 3 months, 2 months.

All photos taken with my iPhone and processed with the instagram app.

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter

Happy Easter everyone!

Today we:
  • let Madeline climb into bed with us so we could squeeze a little more sleep out of our morning (it didn't work)
  • hunted eggs filled with 'um-nums' (Lydia's word for M&Ms) left by the Easter bunny
  • ate bacon and eggs for breakfast
  • had a "lazy" morning around the house with sugared up squirrels running from room to room
  • spent lunch with Kevin's family and had a truly lovely time as the girls were spoiled and sugared up
  • ate ham
  • went straight to dinner with my family where the girls were spoiled some more and given more sugar
  • ate more ham
  • AND I got a photo of the four of us! This is HUGE. (for me at least...)
I'd say it was a pretty awesome day.

How did you celebrate this wonderful day?

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Adios Sugar Maple

Note: I have no idea why but I can't get the captions to format near the pictures so I apologize in advance.

Way back in the day, otherwise known as early March, our house was caught in a pretty strong wind storm that took out a large portion of a large maple tree in our back yard. After consulting with a few tree guys it was determined that it would be best if the tree was removed. We hated to see it go, but without yearly maintenance it was unsafe to leave up. It fell on the play set in March and the parts left were the ones that would have fallen on either the house/deck, or our cars. We got lucky the first time and we didn't want to tempt fate. The tree removal was a multi-day process and kept the girlies more entertained than I would have imagined.

We knew the tree was big but it wasn't until the stump was exposed that we realized just HOW large it was.

Once the tree came down Madeline asked me how old it was. When I told her I didn't know she told me we needed to go out side and count its annual rings. I had no idea she even knew about the rings on a tree so I was impressed. Kids really are sponges and take in way more information that we give them credit for. Poppy was kind enough to help us count them. Our estimation was about 85 years old!

We are sad to see it go. It provided way more shade and wind protection than we realized. We have plans to plant another tree but in a different spot. Any suggestions? I want it big, Kevin isn't so sure... any thoughts?

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

The Tuesday Ten, vol. XVI

I have recently discovered Pinterest and I am *kinda* addicted. (and by kinda I mean very) So to honor my new found love of this combination of social media and blogging this week's Tuesday Ten is Ten of my favorite finds from Pinterest this week!


I couldn't find these exact zinnia at our local garden center, but they inspired me to plant two different varieties in our garden this year. I think zinnias are lovely!

I love these wall butterflies! I want to whip up a few (dozen) and hang them in Madeline's bed room ASAP!

Fun Food Fridays? Yes, Please!

This post makes me want to head to the fabric store to purchase yards of satin to turn into the gorgeous bouquet.

And from the same blog as the flowers above I found this tutorial. I need these.

I believe this to be true with ever taste bud I have. Dr. Pepper is the key to world domination.

As soon as we have a storm door and I feel like it is safe to put wreaths on our front door again I am totally making one of these. Genius!

I am planning a rainbow birthday party for Madeline and this is on the top of my list of things to make!!!

Pinterest as also introduced me to a menagerie of sweets that I can not wait to try. Like this owl cup cake that is almost too cute to eat. And homemade Girl Scout Samoa Cookie bars? Oh Yeah. And who is going to make these for me? Anyone?

Ok, now I'm hungry.

So you want to know more about Pinterest? Check our their information page here. Right now they are still in the Beta phase so you have to request and invitation, but if you know someone who is a Pinterest user (like me!) you can ask them to invite you to join the pinning. Why do I love it so much? I read a million blogs with google reader and although you can star specific posts there is no way to organize them by subject. For someone as visual as I am Pinterest is a perfect way for me to organize all the cool stuff I have found on the web in a way my brain can process it! I LOVE IT!!! Will you?

Thursday, April 14, 2011

The Tuesday Ten (on Thursday), vol. XV

I am late again with my Tuesday commitment. Ah life.

I have kid birthday parties on the brain. I am way more excited about this kind of stuff than I should be. Especially since there are all of three other kids coming to Madeline's birthday party in a few weeks.

Lydia is a challenge lately. She spends a lot of time following me around the house requireing my full attention. I feel loved and smothered. I can't be pleased.

The weather here has been divine the last two days! In the 70s and sunny. We've spent quite a bit of time outside taking it all in. The rain sets in tomorrow. Ugh.

I was the mommy helper at Madeline's preschool today. I am exhausted and have come to the hard conclusion that I really don't like kids. That is unless they are mine, or very well behaved.

Of course I am kidding.


I feel like I have a ton on my plate right now when in reality I've been a heck of a lot busier in the (even recent) past. I just hating feeling this disorganized and out of control. I could do something about that. I could.

I recently discovered Pinterest and I am hooked. A way to visually capture and organize everything I find on the internet? Yes, please and THANK YOU!!

I painted my toes this week and it makes me feel more like a human being. They are a lovely shade of hot pink.