Monday, November 30, 2009

She is Three



We celebrated Poppy's birthday today!



She wanted strawberry cake so strawberry cake she got. I used the 'best birthday cake' recipe from smitten kitchen for the cake. It was good but I'm still searching for the perfect yellow cake recipe. For the frosting I added mashed strawberries to cream cheese frosting. She liked it:)





Dear Poppy,



You make me happier than I ever thought I could be.



You keep life fun and interesting.



You are very loved!



I hope you had a memorable third birthday.



I think you did because you asked us tonight if we could do it again sometime:)

I love you to the moon and back and then some:)

Mama


p.s. Yes, you may have a piece of cake for breakfast. Just don't tell daddy:)



Friday, November 27, 2009

Listen


Today, the day after Thanksgiving, is the StoryCorps National Day of Listening (thanks NPR). The idea is to record a conversation with someone in your life as a keepsake. I just spent some time on their website listening to a few stories and I thought this was share-worthy:

Judge Joe Pigott and his wife Lorraine

Is it just me or could you sit and talk to that man all day long?

Now go and listen and record:)

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Grateful Thoughts



Grateful to be alive, to live in this country, this city, where we are safe and free.

For our warm house and our family. Our friends. Our health. My husband's job and his ability to provide for us.



For the library, farmer's market, TiVo, the internet, my macbook, my camera, and sweet tea.

For you!



Cheers!



Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Holly meets Ree!


So we took a little road trip to Minnesota. We visited the Mall of America in Bloomington, MN to see Ree Drummond aka Pioneer Woman aka one of my favorite bloggers. She just released a new cookbook and was having a book signing. We decided to make a little family trip out of it.



We spent most of our time at the mall in the amusement park area. We were quite pleased with the number of rides available for Poppy.



I told Chris to take a picture of Poppy in the mirror. I love it:)



Mommy's turn. Shortly after Chris took this picture the nice lady who runs the ride came over to tell me that the camel that Poppy was sitting on was stationary and that it might be more fun for Poppy if we moved her. She was right. I shall pay more attention next time.



Poppy loved this little coaster. It was fast for such a little thing.



We also spent a lot of time in line for Ree. Almost four hours, it was crazy. They were filming for a new TLC show, "Mall Cops". I'll have to make sure it gets TiVo'd.



I could not have done it without Chris. I owe him big time. He helped me keep two little ones entertained and it wasn't easy.



All the ladies standing by us agreed with me that he deserves major brownie points (Ree even noticed he was with me and gave him mad props).





Finally she arrived! I was in the bathroom with Poppy so I missed most of her Q&A but I was able to snap this picture.





She was beautiful and sweet. It was great to finally meet her, although I stuck my foot in my mouth by asking "Do you have many vegetarian fans?" She looked at me like I might be a little crazy, given that she lives on a cattle ranch and wrote a cookbook full of meat-containing recipes. What can I say - I was a little starstruck and didn't know what to say. I really need to work on my small talk skills, but I'll try not to dwell on it too much - I know Ree understands social freaks like me ;)



Marlboro man turned the camera on the crowd.



So I'm not posting the picture of me and P-dub because:
a) it is out of focus much to my disappointment (I set it to aperture priority at 4.5 and set the ISO at 1000???)
and
b) I look like I smell something

But, this is a picture of Poppy not getting the hint that we needed to move along:



Chris had to intervene and pick her up and carry her off (I had Chloe). Ree was very kind about it. Thank goodness we had gotten to know the gal behind us quite well.

If you haven't heard of Pioneer Woman, you must check out her blog. She is funny, clever, and kind and writes about many things, there's a little something for everyone. Reading her blog makes me happy. And that's saying a lot considering her family raises cattle and I'm a vegetarian. Maybe there is hope for world peace after all!



Wednesday, November 18, 2009

You Betcha

We are going to sleep in Bloomington, MN tonight. More about our trip later but for now...

2 nyquil gel caps
+
painfully slow internet connection (I will never again wonder if I really need those extra 5 gb's or whatever they're called)
=

Good Night!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Fight Club


I think my Poppy has inherited my sleep disorder. I don't recall ever having sleep issues until college, during which it was not unusual for me to stay up all night, just not able to sleep. When 5 am rolled around I would get dressed and go to the gym. Boy are those days long gone. This is not to say I don't like to sleep, of that there is no question. My husband and I? We like our sleep. I think our marriage would have some serious issues if we didn't both respect the other's need for sleep.

As I type, this is what I hear from the other room:

Poppy: "Mom......my.....mom.....my.....mom.....my.....mom.....my". She doesn't need anything, besides maybe a shot of Benadryl.

My sleep issues went from bad to worse when I starting working 7p-7a as a nurse. Sure it was only three days a week, but let me tell you I can totally see why working the night shift takes years off of one's life. I swear I read that somewhere. You go from desperately needing to fall asleep even though your body doesn't really feel like it at 10am, to desperately wanting to close your eyes for just five minutes to make it through the night. It ain't fun. So, be kind to your night nurses:)

It doesn't help my sleep situation that I am a night owl. My husband thinks this is all in my head because he is a morning person. He could and would go to bed at 8pm every night if he had his choice. I never can. And he wakes up in a great mood. I never do. In fact, if I'm asleep by 11pm it's because I'm sick and on cold medicine. More often than not I'm up well past midnight. I get a mental second wind and my mind just will not relax.

So, when my precocious daughter refuses to fall asleep at night and insists on singing every song in her repertoire, I can't be upset with her. If she's not tired, she's not tired. It isn't her fault. I'm hoping things will get better once she gives up her nap, but I think she's destined to be a sleep fighter like her mother. I guess if this is the case, the good news is that when she gets older and it's age appropriate, I'll have a late night movie watching partner? Or maybe she's just being a normal almost three year old. It's anybody's guess.

I think she's finally out. Either that or she's temporarily lost her voice due to the strain placed on her vocal cords from the roughly five thousand songs just forced through them. Again, anybody's guess. I'm off to kiss foreheads...please let them be sleeping:)



Friday, November 13, 2009

Quick Pics


Chloe was nine months old on the fourth.




Hard to believe it's been nine months since this:




She had a PT/OT follow up this week and as I suspected she is a few months behind with her gross motor skills. She's behaving more like a six month old. I was told she needs more tummy time, so tummy time she will get. She is more on target socially/emotionally. She's a charmer, what can I say?



Today was her nine month well baby exam. She is indeed well. She weighs fourteen pounds. 50th percentile- adjusted for prematurity. Her hemangioma is starting to decrease in size. It will likely disappear by age five. Not much else to report- and that is a very, very good thing.



Yep...I think we'll keep her:)

Happy Weekend!




Thursday, November 12, 2009

Let's talk Country



Shall we? Did you watch the CMA's last night? My thoughts:

I love that Hootie aka Darius Rucker is country now! Whenever we're having a challenging moment with the kiddos I try to lighten the mood by singing "it won't be like this for long" in my deepest country voice. Chris just rolls his eyes but I know he secretly likes it.

I heart Kellie Pickler. She's a little bit of a dingbat but I think she's just adorable.

I loved hearing 'The Devil went down to Georgia'- that song is dope or sick or whatever the kids are saying these days. It reminds me of my childhood.

I think Brad Paisley and George Strait are class acts. Of course I don't know them personally, but I would venture to guess they are good guys. We need more men like this.

Who is Lady Antebellum?

I need to get some Judds on my shuffle. Grandpa...tell me 'bout the good ol' days. It would be good warm-down music. Not that I'm familiar with that these days.

Good for Taylor Swift! She's such a talented, poised young lady. I'm not big on celebrity role models, I feel that parents and friends and family should be more of an influence on children. But, if my girls are going to be influenced by popular culture I would prefer Taylor over Miley any day of the week.


Speaking of cute kids, have you seen this?




You're welcome:) Off to return some stuff to the store. Note to self: do NOT look around. Chris will kick your ask.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

The Secret

I think I figured out the key to saving money, besides only buying what you truly need and budgeting. Don't ever go into a store to look around. This is not usually an issue for me. I don't enjoy shopping, but I do it out of necessity. Truth be told, if I wouldn't be considered eccentric for doing so, I would wear the same well-fitting, weather-appropriate, comfortable outfit every day. Oh wait, I do that now. Except for the well-fitting part. But I digress.

I went to shopping for a flowergirl dress that was recommended for Poppy. There wasn't one in her size. I would normally leave at that point, but today I made the gigantic mistake of looking around. One coat, one pair of boots, one set of hat-mittens-scarf, two tops, and one sweater later I finally left. Ouch. I really did need a new coat though. Anytime my husband agrees that I need something new, I know I must. What can I say? I aim to please:)

Happy Veterans Day...Hooah!



Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Oops


I'm taking a break from balancing my checkbook (which isn't going well but I'm sure it's because I'm working on it in my bed at night) to post. Better late in the day than never!

Funny story from today. Let me start by saying Poppy brings home a lot of artwork. Wonderful, creative, original, and meaningful artwork. I love emptying her preschool cubby at the end of the day and talking about each masterpiece on our drive home. I don't love the paint stains on her clothing but that's another story for another post.

I do plan on keeping many of her school projects, but obviously some of them have to be- I feel guilty even typing this- thrown away. And some of them were, this morning when Poppy wasn't looking. Guess who found her own precious finger-paintings in the trash this evening? She said something along the lines of "what are these doing in here, these are mine, these are not trash".

She wasn't mad or heartbroken, just concerned. I think she believed my story that they must have fallen in accidentally when I was cleaning. I didn't have the heart to tell her I intended to throw them away. I'll let daddy have that little talk with her:)

I leave you with silly sister pictures. Good night:)







Monday, November 9, 2009

Glorious


That's the kind of weather we had this weekend, appreciated that much more after the cold, rainy October we had here in Wisconsin. Chris was on call and gone both days until close to 7pm so it was just me with the girls, but I was determined to get outside and enjoy what could very well be our last nice weekend until the Spring. This led to my discovery of a new room in our house- the garage! Sure I knew it was a great place to keep our trash cans and recycling bins, lawn and garden supplies, and vehicles, but I'd underestimated it's value as a play area until this weekend.

The doors went up and out we went. Poppy roamed freely as I cleaned my car and then the garage itself. I swept and organized and brought in Poppy's picnic table for the winter, which she then took great pleasure in cleaning so that lunch could be had. I took advantage of the beautiful lighting and practiced with my camera. Chloe watched from her car seat until she fell asleep. It was such a hit we did the same thing on Sunday! I love our garage. It was tops on our 'must-have' list when we were house hunting after having lived without one for so long. We excluded many adorable, charming, old homes because they didn't have a garage. If having a garage is wrong, I don't want to be right:)














I know it's hard to believe that I have something even more exciting to tell you about than the weather and my garage, but I do! Look what my little almost-three-year-old is doing all by herself:







"Daddy is going to be impressed", she said. And she was right.

So long pushbar, see you in a few years!



Friday, November 6, 2009

I got nothin'



It was an uneventful day in my neck of the woods today, but since I'm doing my own version of NaBloPoMo (national blog posting month) which I call MaMyPoSoMoThFr (making myself post something Monday through Friday), I feel compelled to at least post a picture.

I went in to make Poppy's bed one morning recently and found this:




It made my day:)


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Delete

I'm removing the photo. Sad. I guess you have to take the good with the bad when it comes to the internet.

Chloe went to see a pediatric ophthalmologist today to get checked for ROP. She was at risk for developing it due to her prematurity. She's all clear, her eyes are normal! Happy dance:)

Not much else going on today so I'll share some recent poppyisms:

***

Poppy (talking about her former nanny): "I like her. She is happy". And she's right:)


***

Me: "Poppy we can do this the easy way or the hard way"
Poppy: "The hard way"


***

Poppy (having fun): "I am very laughing"


***

Poppy (holding my bra- gosh, now I'm scared to type 'bra' lest I attract more wackadoos): "What are these?"
Me: "Those are hooks. That's how I fasten my bra"
Poppy: "I like hooks"


***

Chris (giving Poppy a smoothie): "It has all kinds of good stuff in it for you...calcium..."
Poppy: "I don't like calcium, it's spicy"

***

I love my little hot mess of a daughter:)



Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Please tell me I should not be worried. Hi Mr. President!


So I use Sitemeter and more recently Google Analytics to monitor traffic to my blog. For the non-blogging readers who might not be familiar, this basically lets me know how many people view my blog on any given day, what search words were used to find my blog, geographic data, and a lot of other stats. I think it's the coolest thing to see a visitor from another country (or really any visitor). I'm easily amused. Anyhoo...I'd say about half of my visitors are via Google Images because of this photo:


(deleted)


It kind of creeps me out. Surely this innocent butt scratching toddler is not inviting the perverts. I would love to know why this photo is so popular. Any ideas bloggers? Do any of you get a lot of hits due to any single photo? Is there a way to extract key words from Google Images? Should I remove the photo or mark it in some way? What search words do you think one might use to find this image? Please, do tell:)


p.s. President Obama is in Madison today! He will be speaking at an elementary school in town and they are keeping everything very hush, hush. Otherwise, I would totally be wherever I needed to be to see him. I'm sure he would be nice enough to let me snap a picture of him with the girls while I gave him my .02 about this healthcare reform stuff:)


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Simple but Special



I wanted to display some of Poppy's artwork and came up with this very simple idea.

Jute rope and clothespins:



I like very simple things. Shaker style all the way baby. I also wanted the artwork to stand out and the ability to easily update the display. This is what I did:




I just tacked some rope to the wall and hung our favorite masterpieces:







I love the way it looks, almost like Poppy did it herself:) I hung it in her play area for all of us to enjoy and it fits right in. I think it's a great way to encourage creativity and make her feel special. "Feel special", can you tell I've been watching a lot of Mister Rogers lately?

I might do something like this as our collection grows (picture found here):


kids drawings as art


But for now this is just perfect:




Sorry for the partial nudity. I can't keep clothes on the girl:) More on that tomorrow!



Monday, November 2, 2009

Trick or Treat



Because we took pictures on the stairs last year:







I thought we'd start a tradition of taking halloween photos in this same spot every year:





We waited until it got dark and set out for Poppy's first trick or treat! I think it's safe to say I was more excited than she was. She was more interested in the moon, her most favorite thing:



We walked across the street and told her what to do.







Halloween must be perplexing for a two year old- you mean I just ring the door bell, say 'trick or treat' and someone gives me candy? And then we do the same thing at another house? And then you let me eat it? Without going potty first? Can we do this again tomorrow?



As I expected, she didn't make a peep at any of the homes we visited. Chris, who carried her to most of them, prompted her over and over to say "trick or treat" and "thank you" but it was all a bit much.

I'm almost ashamed to admit that because it was so cold we drove through our neighborhood instead of walking, hitting up clusters of homes. I know- pathetic. But, that way one of us was able to sit in the car with the baby. This guy happily joined us, too:



Poppy got cold and told us she was ready to go home and hand out candy. Here's her loot. We told her she could pick one treat to eat. She chose a sucker:



As if the night weren't already exciting enough, at Poppy's request we decorated sugar cookies. Someone gave out the bottled water- it was her favorite treat of the night (okay so we gave her two treats-we're rebels like that). She asked for it first thing the next morning.



Chloe was content to sit in her new big girl spot, Poppy's old booster seat on a bar stool:



These were my pumpkin cookies. Not bad for my first time, right?



These were Poppy's:



Also not bad, but she was more concerned with getting the icing in her mouth:




What can I say, she gets it honestly:)

Goodbye October, see you next year!