Thursday, April 29, 2010

Sound the sirens...

Peek-a...
...boo!
Guess what I got to do?

Since you know mom loves a good deal, she couldn't pass up 31 cent ice cream scoops at Baskin Robbins. And it just so happened that the proceeds were benefitting a group of my favorite guys. The local firefighters. {Note reflection in window.}
It was my dream come true.

I didn't even eat the ice cream because I was so excited to check out the big truck.

Being a little boy is so fun. And so is being the mom of a little boy :)

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

On/Off

Over the weekend, on Sunday precisely, a switch was flipped. That switch was labeled Terrible Twos, and for the longest time I was pretty sure that flip would never switch to the "on" position for my sweet little boy. I thought he'd always be well-mannered and laid-back, the easy-going-est of the bunch.

That's what I get for thinking.

Little did I know that once that switch flipped, I would be exchanging compliance for a tyrannical slew of No! No! No! followed by physical defiance of the kicking, hitting, back-arching kind. He also decided that he would only eat when he wanted to, and would serenade us with Get Down now! Get down now! Hold you! set to the tune of whining during dinner. Dinnertime is henceforth extremely pleasant. {Sidenote: he does say our nightly dinner prayer now which slightly compensates for being downright un-cute as he kicks himself away from the dinner table.}

I've always heard "pick your battles" from every parenting guru I've ever looked up to (hi, mom!), and unfortunately battling out your two-year-old when it comes to right and wrong is one of the small wars you have to wage as a parent. I, personally, see this as a foundational stage, wherein Becks will learn the ground rules for acceptable behavior and where we set standards and expectations we expect him to abide by. However, this is also the age where children want to assert their independence and take ownership for the few things in life that they can.

Choosing applesauce over pears or wanting to wear rainboots to church? No big deal. But kicking your mommy when she's changing your diaper just ain't happening, and Becks has found himself in his crib paci-less and G-less for the duration of 1-2 minutes at a time. He doesn't enjoy it. We talk about it when I'm carrying him back downstairs, and how it's not nice to kick mommy because it hurts (and also makes diaper changing seem more like pig wrasslin' than anything else). I also tell him to say sorry and I tell him that I love him :)

Is this the best way? I haven't a clue. But I do want him to know that there are repercussions for being disobedient. It's kind of cute to hear him repeat good listener too.


What are your parenting strategies for getting through the terrible twos? Or have you been blessed with a terrific two-year-old instead?

A New Season Begins

My Thoughts on The Hills...

  • Love the suspense surrounding Heidi's big reveal by not showing her face in her opening scene. Like we all haven't googled it and seen it in People by now. Srsly.
  • I do want to look like Barbie. She's going to turn into the Cat Lady if she's not careful.
  • Good for Heidi's mom for being honest. I would be. I thought Heidi was pretty before.
  • Heidi, elective pain is the key here. You chose this pain. You paid for this pain. And you will continue paying for it as people comment on your very public life. I don't believe you got DD boobs just for your own benefit or for that creepy husband of your's.
  • KCav looked a little rough the morning after the Super Bowl.
  • Awkward turtle was totally swimming at Heidi's family dinner.
  • I honestly think Heidi has regrets about what she's done to herself. That's what all the tears are about. If she felt as confident about her new look as she says she does, I don't think she'd feel like she had to defend her actions to anyone.
  • Is the bra-showing look the latest trend? {Noted it in The City too...} Mine are certainly not trend-worthy...

My Thoughts on The City...

  • I just can't tell you how much I love Kelly Cutrone.
  • And she cried! In the show! Kelly Cutrone cried. And now I love her even more.
  • Whit's show was great.
  • I will miss the drama between Erin and Olivia.
  • But the newly forming drama betwen Olivia and Whitney, now that I look forward to!

I loved scripted reality TV. It's my weakness.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

A Full Plate

My word, I am a blog slacker. I have been so stinkin' busy lately though.
Here's the gist of the past few days...

Friday: We find out B's car is not totalled, much to my dismay. $3800 worth of damage. Oy. It should be ready for pick-up in a couple of weeks. Until then, he is driving a new Chevy HHR, which is the modern day equivalent of a Bonnie-n-Clyde mobile and looks a lot like a PT Cruiser. If you drive one personally, you are a rockstar, but seeing my husband in one is rather hilarious. I just tell him to imagine that he's Michael (from The Office).

Also, filled out two different FAFSA forms for grad school. Which starts in 14 days. Gulp.

Saturday: I had been secretly planning a surprise engagement party for my BFF, Allison, who got engaged right before Christmas. I am the Matron of Honor in her wedding in October. Since she reads this blog, I obviously couldn't talk about it nor give away any details of our weekend leading up to Saturday night. We all met at a restaraunt in Lex (she thought she was going out to eat with her fiance's boss), and seriously surprised the heck out of her. It. Was. Awesome. Probably one of the best surprised reactions I have ever seen. Of course, we both were crying. It was wonderful time for all. {And for those interested, I wore the skinny jeans.} I would love to post a picture of me with my wonderfully funny husband, but he is doing something inappropriate in every picture I took with him (unbeknownst to me at the time). So typical.
Sunday: Breakfast with the fam bright and early, church, lesson planning, and an extremely disappointing Red Wings game. Cross your fingers and toes for a win tonight.

Monday: School, state-testing meeting after school, dinner with my boys, and new carseat shopping. {FYI: If you're in a car accident and there is a carseat in the car, your insurance company will likely want you to replace it. Even if a child wasn't in seat (he wasn't), and it appears to be damage-free. Internet research tells me there can be hairline fractures/cracks in the carseat base which could compromise its safety.} We, again, purchased a Britax Roundabout (that they now make in Cowmooflage - yay!), but this one will go up until Beck is 50 lbs to accommodate a recent change in laws governing carseats. I forgot how much fun it is to adjust carseat straps and install a seat into the car with the latch/tether system. Like 45 minutes worth of knuckle-bleeding fun.

I also registered for classes, and will be taking NINE hours this summer and another SIX this fall. I will be halfway done with this program (and another $7000 in debt - yippee!) by December. I will eventually have an Masters of Education with a concentration in school leadership. My lofty goal be a principal someday. Someday = 20 years.

Today: School, picked up Beck from his Nana's and presented him with a hand-me-down kitchen from someone I work with. He LOVES it. So much that I couldn't get him to eat lunch. Little does he know there is a whole box of food that goes with the kitchen that I'm waiting to give him when he wakes up!


Also called university to talk student loans. Always a fun conversation.

There are a mere 27 days left in this school year and it is going to take every ounce of my being to get through them. Did I mention that I'm getting a sub for FOUR DAYS next week so that I can assist with testing? Oh, yeah, that too. Writing lesson plans never ranks high on my list, so writing lesson plans for a sub is pretty much torture.

Lastly, I am so excited about The Hills and The City tonight I can hardly wait for tomorrow so that I can watch them online! I need a little Speidi in my life.
And we get to start #ATFT again next month too - and Ali will be The Bachelorette!

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Siiiiiiiiiiigh.

{I'm going to complain. Be prepared. It's just been that kind of week. And while I'm fully aware of the MANY MANY MANY blessings in my life, it's nice to able to verbalize it all by blogging my stressors. Sorry in advance!}

It's always something...
I can't even begin to describe the reality in that statement.

I always feel like right when I cross one thing off my to-do list, another -usually larger- to-do is there to replace it. Car drama. House drama. Medical drama. School drama. Money drama. The list goes on and on.

Today, it's car drama.

B was in an accident this morning on the infamous cut-in-the-hill (a well known part of I-75 where we live). B is fine (praise GOD), but the car was not. The front is busted up, and the radiator was leaking everywhere. The car's been towed to the autobody shop, so we're waiting to hear the extent of the damage.

Lovely, right?

And could the timing be anymore impeccable? Without going into detail, I'll just tell you it's not. Not at all. It never is.

I am bummed. Majorly. And I wish I had the answers for why this happened right now. I feel bad for questioning God's timing, though I'm positive that this somehow fits into his master plan of making me a better budgeter and a better preparer for life's little bumps and bruises. Because, honestly, my budget was completely not ready for the $500 deductible that awaits us. And I'm sure God's plan is much more detailed than making me more budget-savvy, but that's the only thing I can come up with right now.

Again, we truly are blessed and are fortunate that the car was the only thing physically hurt in the accident.

Drive safe today and always!

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Beck Bakes: Pizza Edition

I think I'm going to have to make our cooking endeavors a weekly installment, as we are very much so into cooking together lately. Actually, it's impossible to bake without him dragging his chair up to the sink demanding - in his words - makin' somepin.' And how can I resist a request like that? I can't. Bottom line.

So, while he still thinks its cool to be in the kitchen with mom, I'm not going to discourage his efforts. I might have the future Naked Chef on my hands. I mean, the kid would totally cook without clothes if I let him, as going diaperless is all the rage in our house right now. Anyway, here's chef Becks at work...

Anticipating the sauce spreading.


Working his magic with spaghetti sauce, a perfect substitute when you don't have pizza sauce, per se, on hand.

Blowing on the sauce to cool it down. Very hygenic, I know.

Professional cheese sprinkler.

Also, a professional cheese eater. He gets it from his mama.

He could not grasp that the pepperonis were actually for putting on the pizza and not just for eating. I would imagine he snuck 4-5. Stinker.

Voila! Homemade, toddlerific pizza. Mmmmmm.

Monday, April 19, 2010

Weekend Wedding Extravaganza!

This weekend was super busy. We left on Saturday for Lexington and brought Becks with us to Keeneland for the last Saturday races of the spring. He was totally into the horses but was a little overwhelmed by "lots of people," as he put it. And, of course, he had a hotdog - a must when you're at the track. We ran into Mama Suz and her sweetie pie, Jackson. Of course, we had to pose for the complimentary blog pic :)
Then we went to a wedding and Becks stayed with my sister at the ADPi House, no less. Do I not have some gorgeous sistas? And, yes, you might recognize the famous Dotor Bwomer and Rachie from Babywebbsite. (L to R: Dotor Bwomer, Mer Mer, Allison, me, Rach, and Katie) We are quite the crew when we get together, and only feel a smidge bad for the guys as they have to listen to us reminisce and retell the same stories for the 102nd time.

This is Laurann and Gonz, the bride and groom. They were stunning. It was like watching a real, live Barbie gliding down the aisle.

Wedding weekend didn't stop there. We made it home around midnight, and then it was off to Crestwood for a bridal in honor of Amy, one of my BFFs. (Allison and I are both in her wedding in June. And then Amy and I are both in Allison's wedding in October. Amy and Allison were both in my wedding *gasp* FOUR years ago! Crazy!) (L to R: Allison, cutie preggo, Lins, Amy, me)

It was a great weekend!

Friday, April 16, 2010

Listy loo hoo

  1. I made a completely spectacular list of things I wanted to accomplish during spring break, and made it through almost the entire thing. I have no desire to complete the last three things, though, one of them being lesson plans. Our spring break was so late this year that I think I am already in summer mode. Seven more Mondays...

  2. So, it's a tie right now as to if I should keep the jeans - Jillian wants to buy them and Gina suggested a bloggy auction. Hmmmmmm. Not really helping my cause ;)

  3. Big plans this weekend involving horses and weddings. Two cute dresses to wear!

  4. I think I just woke Beck up using the blender to make a frozen coffee. Arrrrgh. Desperately needed a caffeine fix though. Out of Diet Coke. (ETA: must've fallen back asleep! yay!)

  5. Went to a yardsale this morning. Seller gave me a BCBG dress FOR FREE. {I nannied their kiddos *gasp* TEN years ago!} Um, so lovin' me a deal.

  6. Thank you for the nice comments on the room redesign. It should be noted that my fabulous husband picked out the chairs, which pretty much dictated the color scheme for the room. You can buy them at Pier One, if you're interested. Our's were clearanced, so check soon!

  7. Can I just tell you that my days were made this week when The Nester commented on one of my blog posts and The Youngsters responded to an email I sent them? They're kind of a big deal, and I'm kind of an even bigger nerd ;)
  8. If I show you a yellow rug, do you promise not to go and buy it before I can? I just don't want it to sell out like every other rug I've liked so far. Promise? Okay. Here it is:

Isn't it totally perfect for the living room? (And don't go and tell me it'll show dirt and not be kid-friendly and I won't be able to do art projects on it like I can with the current one. I vow to vacuum religiously and never let Beckham squish cracker crumbs into it. Kidding. The cracker crumbs are unavoidable.)

9. Why is convenience food so expensive? I do not feel like cooking dinner tonight and a pizza just sounds so easy and delicious. But $15 for deliver plus tip sounds absolutely absurd. Might be making a homemade one instead.

10. Yay for new Wildcat additions! And with a killer combo of names, Brandon Knight is just destined for greatness (IRL friends know why!). Already can't wait for basketball season - we'll have to take Becks to a game this year. Though, he'll be disappointed he can't cheer for any of the roster that we taught him to say this year!

Happy Weekend!

Thursday, April 15, 2010

Room Redo

I have spent a lot of time refinishing, redoing, remaking, and reinventing this week. I have tried to channel my inner Nester, imagining if The Youngsters would approve. And also my decor real-life BFF, Allison. {This post is partially for her since she requested pics when I talked to her on the phone tonight.}


I finally gained enough confidence to put holes in the walls, and have spun that couch in more positions than I thought possible. I finally developed pictures that have been on my computer for the past two years, and filled frames which have sat pictureless for even longer. I have shifted frames and accessories all over the place. I have developed a bad case of spray paint finger *ouch* and have black fingernails that will likely be black for eternity. I have found thrify pieces for a steal, and shopped the house for free. And for now, I am happy with the result.

I still have a gorgeous new rug to order, but it's pricy and out of the budget for now. And I'd love to add Roman shades to replace those horrid metal blinds, but I'll have to budget for that too.

To refresh you memory, here's the living room this time last year...




And here's the redesigned room.


Do you like?

PS. I might be so obsessed with the green/yellow/purple combo, that I may have dressed to match it today ;) He he...

Live. Laugh. Lovehandles.

At the risk of you sitting in front of your computer screen and thinking Oh, no she didn't! I'm totally going to follow the lead of other bloggers who've gone before me and be bold today. If Gina has the confidence to discuss pinworms and healthcare, then, by golly, I'm going to talk about a common physical ailment plaguing most of the population. And if you don't have them yourself, then you surely know someone that does.

I'm talking about the side skin spillage that results from a little extra jiggle in the middle combined with too-tight, low ride jeans. Yup, you got it...

Lovehandles. Muffintops. Spare tire.

But here's the deal. Here's where I'm going with this. Because I truly need an opinion. Or several. Here's the backstory...

This weekend, while I was waiting for them to process my clothes at Plato's Closet (I know, I'm a glutton for punishment, but you'll be glad to know they didn't tell me my clothes were too old this time...), I browsed through the racks and came across a barely used pair of STOP THE WORLD, Citizens of Humanity jeans. I about died. They were marked at $22 and retail for well over $100 brand new. I didn't even try them on. I just made myself a mental deal that if the clothes they took sold for over $22, I would buy the jeans. And, darnit if they didn't take exactly $22 worth of clothes from me. So I paid the tax and left. I knew that if they didn't fit I could always resell them on eBay for a lot more than $22. But, oh how I prayed they would fit. Not because they were designer, but because they were adorable and *long* and perfect.
Please note, these jeans were one size smaller than what I normally wear. So, getting them on required the pants dance, laying flat on my back sucking in, and the manuevering of my skin up and over the side of the jeans, result in *gasp* lovehandles.
So, I love these jeans. I really do. But I can't love them completely with the muffinish overhang.
And here's where I need your opinion: Do I keep them and try to tone my muffin top down a little? OR Do I sell them on eBay for profit?
I should let you know that I am not overweight, do not have any desire to lose weight, and would never wear these jeans in public unless I did NOT sport the spare tire. I'm looking at the jeans as motivation, right?
My mother says sell them. But again, I reeeeeeeally looooove them.

Please tell me there's other women out there who buy things they want to fit into someday. Or am I completely ridiculous?????


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

It's all about the process...

I am knee-deep in home improvement projects this week, and when my newly revamped living space needed a punch of color, I decided to recruit my favorite local artist to create something unique.

Meet my favorite local artist:
Yeah, he's pretty cute. And cheap.

Before he returned from his nap sabbatical, I gathered my supplies and prepped his workspace.


Then, I let the master get to work, while I documented the whole experience.


We should insure these hands ;)



After a final swipe of the brush, he perfected his work.

Then I whooshed him off to the tub. And hung his masterpiece in our living room. The perfect punch of color and kiddo artistry, if I do say so myself. And how cute is that little half-handprint in the middle? Love it.

PS. As a parent and teacher, I have some words of wisdom to offer you: It's all about the PROCESS. Not the PRODUCT. This means, let your child enjoy art without the pressure of creating something beautiful/recognizable - because, often, it is beautiful/recognizable to your child. Children can be easily discouraged and frustrated when they're not achieving perceived "perfection" in their artwork (and in many other areas of life too!). Just let them enjoy being kids, and make the experience of art mean more than creating the next Mona Lisa :)

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Nom Nom Nom

Another step-by-step for the day, babystyle...

1. Ask mommy for muffins.

2. Mommy realizes that we are out of store-bought mufffins mixes, so from scratch it will be.

3. Let mommy mix all the main ingredients together. Then, involve yourself by taste-testing. Everything.

4. Add blueberries. Taste those too.
5. While mommy insists on taking more pictures, taste batter again.

6. While first batch bakes, demand spoon to lick. Again, it's all about the tasting.
7. Lastly, taste finished product. Nom nom nom :)
8. *Optional* Have your favorite dentist stop by for a visit and perform your first dental exam post-blueberry muffins. Swoon her into leaving you a new toothbrush by repeating her name Dotor Bwomer over and over and over again. No cavities, but it's confirmed that you will likely have to have a frenectomy and braces in the distant future. Flash a couple of $$$$ at mommy. Pose for blog-worthy picture.

DIY Floor Lamp

1. Put on Ugg boots and enter basement in search of old floor lamp that has been out of commission for years. Try to avoid mice compound by running up and downstairs at lightening speed.

2. Take before picture of old, bead-fringed lamp.

3. Spray paint base white. Forget to also spray paint finial (which I end up doing a shoddy job at later because I want to see finished project).

4. Gather materials for recovering shade. Fabric was purchased at Hobby Lobby with a 40% off coupon :)5. Clip off bead-fringe. Make mental note to vacuum before Becks wakes up from nap. Anything small and shiny is always appetizing when you are almost-two.6. Cut and rip off old shade fabric. Much trickier than it looks. 7. Take picture of bare-bones shade.8. Devise plan for recovering shade. Reread YHL's how-to post, and realize they recovered a drum shade. Much easier. Hmmmmmm.

9. Begin chanting The Nester's mantra: It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful. It doesn't have to be perfect to be beautiful...

10. Eyeball measurements and cut rectangular shape of fabric. Start hot-gluing with little clue how the end product will turn out.

11. Change method to cutting out pieces of fabric that look like this instead of rectangular:

12. Continue hot gluing with no rhyme or reason, unable to match the pattern or seams up perfectly. Think Who cares?

13. Finish covering.

14. Snip and glue excess fabric.

15. Cover seams with black ribbon.

16. Take cock-eyed picture of finished product. Happy with result. Took less than an hour from start to finish, with still a good hour or two of Beck's nap remaining. Cost = less than $5. 17. Will post placement at later date, as it has yet to be determined :)