Monday, June 29, 2009

Not Me! Monday

It's time for "Not Me! Monday" again! This blog carnival was created by MckMama out of her desire to admit some of her imperfections and reveal a few moments she'd rather forget.

Here are just a few of the many things I absolutely was not doing this past week. . .

I did not, while furniture shopping, whisper quietly to Anna that the sales lady was going to put her in time out if she didn't stop climbing on the couches. I also did not fall in love with THIS cocktail table/storage chest for our living room.

I am not so obsessed with bows that Anna always wears one even with her swimsuits. And I definitely didn't notice this one hanging on for dear life at the splash pad, yet kept it in there anyway.

I did not engage Anna in endless activities this weekend to keep her as stationary as possible so that I could attempt to finally knock out a fun case of strep. I did not lay on the couch for hours as I pretended to play with Play Clay, the AquaDoodle, and Color Wonder markers.

I did not go to the movies this weekend for pretty much the first time since Anna was born. If I had done that, I would have been forced to see My Sister's Keeper, and I might have even had to force myself to mentally go somewhere else several times so that I didn't bawl in front of a theater full of complete strangers. If you enjoy crying, folks, this is the movie for you.

I did not let Anna prune up in the tub last night playing with her toys for about 30 minutes before I even washed her hair because I got carried away with editing some pictures on my laptop in the bathroom. I definitely did not need Derek to point out to me that we had been in there forever and that it was time to get down to business and get ready for bed.

You can head over to MckMama's blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. You may find it therapeutic to join in and do the same thing!

What haven't you been doing lately?

A Few of Our Beautiful Godchildren

Earlier this year, we were blessed to be asked by our friends Cesar & Laura to become the Godparents of the youngest three of their four children.

This gorgeous little guy with the bright blue eyes and blond curls is Santiago. He just had his first birthday party today, where Anna had a complete blast. Happy Birthday, Santi!

This one, my friends, with the beautifully mysterious Mona Lisa smirk, is Emma. She got tired during the party and crawled into my lap and crashed. She does this a lot when she parties too hard. I love that.

And last but not least, this little beauty is Arianna. It was really hot outside today, but you wouldn't know it by looking at Ari. She was sitting on the ground outside, and I just told her to look at me. This is what I got. Anyone else think she might be a natural?

Anna adores Ari and Emma, and followed them around like a little puppy dog all day today wanting to do everything they did (except for the part where Emma took a nap). They are so sweet to her. Here's one of the three of them together, waiting in line to play a party game . . .

Yeah, we're pretty lucky.

Sunday, June 28, 2009


It is completely baffling to me how my child, who still to this day freaks out when I pour water over her head in the bathtub, will run through all of this water at the splash pad and LOVE every drop of it!

Yes, she is starting to lose her bottoms here, but the water was pouring down, she was having fun, and I had a camera to protect. Don't judge.

Anna even let me dunk her head underwater a couple of times tonight for the first time, so we're making lots of progress this summer in the pool. Maybe now it's time to focus on the tub!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Geaux Tigers

In case you're not from Louisiana (or you've been hiding under a rock). . .

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

What a Crock!

Did you know that there is a broken crayon in EVERY box of colors?!

I didn't know this either until Anna came along, but every time she colors, she hands me this and tells me very matter-of-factly, "It's broken."

She's done it so many times, I've stopped trying to explain and just started agreeing with her that it's broken. Besides, "White Crayon" is even in the urban dictionary as a term to describe "someone who is utterly useless" (definitely going to use that), so who can argue?

Wish I could stay and chat, but now that I've educated you, my work here is done. I'm off to start a petition to send to the president of Crayola to stop this madness. Want to sign?

Monday, June 22, 2009

Life's a Beach

Saturday afternoon, we made a trip to Stewart Beach in Galveston with Woss, Cole, Viva & sweet visiting cousin Amaris. I'm really not sure why we've never done it before, but we'll definitely do it again soon because the girls had a blast!

After having dinner at the Rainforest Cafe (where Anna was terrorized by the mascot Cha Cha the frog), we didn't have much time on the beach before the sun set, but I think it was perfect for a first visit. The only thing that suffered a bit were my photos since I don't have the equipment to handle low light. . .yet. (Yes, Derek. That comment was totally for you. Surely I have a birthday coming up or something, right?)

But I digress. . .So no, Galveston is not Florida with its blinding white sand and gorgeous blue water, but this was Anna's first beach experience and she was pretty enamored with everything about it. She loved walking in the surf, playing in the sand, and lugging sand around in her little wagon. Derek took her out to a little sand bar, and she thought she was pretty cool. . .

I was fairly unsuccessful at getting shots of her because I apparently was very uninteresting in comparison to the beach. She wouldn't even look up when I called her name and none of my usual tricks worked, but here are a couple anyway. . .
I don't know if it's the fact that she's younger, happier, or the fact that I'm not her momma, but Olivia, on the other hand, was a lot more willing to flash me some big, beautiful smiles. . .

She also ate some sand, but hey - even that was kind of cute. . .

Does this remind anyone else just a little bit of American Gothic? Haha!

And I had to include one of unbelievably sweet Amaris.
(So glad you're here!)

Can't wait to do it again!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Top Ten Reasons Why We Love Daddy

In honor of Father's Day. . .

Top Ten Reasons Why We Love Daddy

  1. He keeps our yard looking pretty and hardly ever complains about sweating while we play with the hose.
  2. He is our own, personal Bob Vila. We dream it, he builds it. Have you seen my playroom?
  3. He grills a mean steak (and eats it too!).
  4. He's a great pilot on road trips, even when"copilots" are sleeping.
  5. He does floors AND toilets. 'Nuff said.
  6. He obliges us in endless games of hide-and-seek.
  7. He lets me sleep in the bed with he and Mommy from time to time - and I suspect he even enjoys it, even if I do tend to kick him in the head. Multiple times.
  8. He knows that cold milk at bedtime is unacceptable and is always prepared to provide refills on request.
  9. He turns off Fox News and the Discovery Channel so that I can watch Elmo.
  10. He never runs out of hugs or kisses.

We love you Derek! Happy Father's Day!

Love, Jen & Anna

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Bathtime Math

Even if you're not good at math, this one is pretty easy to follow. See if you can keep up. . .


+ Bath Foam

= Bigtime Bathtime Fun!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Something In My Teeth?

I ♥ Faces - Fix It Friday

It's Fix It Friday again over at I Heart Faces! Here's the fixer upper for today called "Pretty in Pink." It was submitted by Becca from The Stanley Clan, and I have to agree that she is indeed a pretty little thing!

I decided to have some fun with actions this week and go for a more nostalgic kind of look, so here is my fix. . .

I didn't write down all of the steps this week, but I used Photoshop CS4, Imagenomic's Noiseware Plugin, MCP Actions & Eye Candy Actions.

If you want to see how other people fixed this photo (or try your own hand at it!), head on over to I Heart Faces and check it out!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Ma Petite Artiste

Anna came home from school today begging to paint. Maybe it was less like begging and more like incessant whining, but either way - same message. She wanted to paint. Real bad. And Mommy had a sinus headache. (Whining + Headache = BAD). So I put her in her Sarah Janes art apron and got her all set up with her water colors while I cooked dinner.

It started off pretty tame, like this. . .

Not too shabby. Last time I checked, that was pretty much the way that water colors were intended to be used.

But then she decided she'd rather fingerpaint, which was messier, but fine too. . .

Then I guess she figured that if having her finger full of paint was so much fun, her whole hand would be a BLAST. . .

And yeah, it pretty much was. I love your ideas (and your art), my sweet angel!

Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Bet you can't guess what Anna had for a snack when she got home from school this afternoon. . .

I'll never tell!

We're just so secretive at our house. Get used to it!

Laundry Schmaundry

Who cares if the laundry is done when this sweet little thing is begging to play hide-and-seek?

I can't say that I do.

And Anna likes to play hide-and-seek a lot!
(This might explain my ever-growing laundry pile - not that I've noticed).

Monday, June 15, 2009

Not Me! Monday

It's time for "Not Me! Monday" again! This blog carnival was created by MckMama out of her desire to admit some of her imperfections and reveal a few moments she'd rather forget.

Here are just a few of the many things I absolutely was not doing this past week. . .

I did not pick my daughter up from daycare on Monday, only to find out that she had attempted to bite not one, but TWO of her friends that day. It definitely did not cross my mind that this was my own fault for not getting her to bed early enough Sunday evening. Mother's know nothing of self-blame or guilt.

I did not let Carl's BBQ do the cooking for me for the bunco that I hosted on Wednesday just because I needed all the spare time I could find to get my house looking presentable. Nope, not me! I'm way too Martha Stewart to do something like that.

I did not change Anna out of her pajamas for the first time at 7:30 last night just so that I could give her a bath and put on a new pair of pajamas. Even if Derek and I weren't feeling well and didn't leave the house all day, surely I would have at least put Anna in some playclothes at some point.

Despite the fact that she's fully capable of getting out of our bed the proper way and has done so many times, Anna did not fall out of our bed this morning after I put her there for all of 5 seconds so that I could gather the things necessary to do her hair for school. She absolutely did not hit her head on the wood frame on the way down and get a big knot on her forehead so that I could be reminded of the whole traumatic incident every time I look at her for at least the next week.

You can head over to MckMama's blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. You may find it therapeutic to join in and do the same thing!

I Heart Faces - Week 23 "Sepia"

The theme this week over at I Heart Faces is "Sepia", so I just had to convert one of Anna's peony pictures.

If you're interested in seeing the other entries and/or entering a photo yourself, head on over to I Heart Faces now!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


I bought a beautiful bouquet of peonies this weekend. They are such full, gorgeous flowers.

Anna was quite taken with them and was constantly asking to smell them. Each time, I would have to take the vase down, then rotate it as she smelled each and every peony. So I'm sure you can imagine it wasn't too hard to get these. . .

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Holy Crap!

From the title, I would think you've probably guessed already, but this one is going to be about our wonderful and amazing adventures in potty training in our quest to never buy another diaper ever. I'm sure no other parents out there can relate to that one!

So, Anna does AMAZING at school with her potty training. Not one accident all day long. Usually not even while she's napping. Wee wee? In the potty every time. Poo poo? In the potty. Every. Single. Time. Without fail. Sometimes she even wears "big girl panties" instead of her pull-up.

Home, on the other hand, is a completely different story. Not to say that she doesn't have her moments where she tells us when she needs to go and uses the potty like a champ. She does. But more often than not, she'll tell us *after* she's already done it or not tell us at all then deny it when we smell it. I'll ask her, "If you didn't do it, then who put the poo poo in your pants?", and she does not hesitate to place the blame elsewhere.

The past 24 hours have not exactly been what I would call forward-steps toward diaper-free living. Last night, after I gave Anna a bath, she was sitting in the drained tub, all squeaky clean, playing (and refusing to get out). She told me, "I go poo poo." So I immediately started scrambling, trying to get her on the potty. She then vehemently denied that she had to go, so I figured I'd let her play a little while longer. I looked away (I'm not even sure why or for how long) but when I looked back, she was laying in the tub on her tummy with a huge turd just perched perfectly on top of her little hind end. I'm sure I don't have to detail what happened next, but all I can say is - so much for that concept of getting out of the tub cleaner than when you went in!

Then, this morning as we were getting ready to leave the house, I sat Anna on the kitchen counter. Then the conversation went something like this:

Anna: "Poo poo hurt me."

Me: "Did you go poo poo in your diaper?"

Anna: "Yeah"

Me: "Well, don't worry. Mommy will change you."

And it was at this point that I stood her up so that I could bring her to her room for a diaper change - only to discover a big pile of poop on my countertop! Apparently, diapers can only hold so much, and this was overflow.

And at that point, I KNEW the day could only improve, because there's some kind of two-poop-incidents-in-a-day law or something. Right? Somebody please assure me. :)

*Note: Please do not let this story scare you away from eating at my house. I can assure you that bleach is my friend. lol.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Rose-Colored Glasses

Main Entry:
rose–colored glasses

: favorably disposed opinions : optimistic eyes

Here is my Anna. In her Princess pajamas. With her Princess blanket. Feeding her Princess Aurora doll a chocolate chip cookie. For emphasis (in case the "pink" or "princess" theme wasn't obvious enough), I even processed the picture with Eye Candy's Vintage Overlay Pink Princess action.

Toddlers see the world through rose-colored glasses. . .

In their world, there are only two times of the day: nap time and play time.
In their world, there are no mortgages, no bills, no worries.
In their world, there is no hurt that Mommy & Daddy's kisses can't heal.
In their world, even dolls can eat dessert. And never gain a pound.

Wouldn't it be nice if we could all have our own adult-sized pair of toddler goggles? The world might just be a little...well, rosier. And that's always a good thing.

Thank you Anna for constantly giving me perspective, and for making the world a rosier place just by letting me be in it with you and see it through your eyes in beautiful rose-colored glimpses. You are such an unbelievable blessing.

Love, Mommy

Monday, June 8, 2009

Not Me! Monday

It's time for "Not Me! Monday" again! This blog carnival was created by MckMama out of her desire to admit some of her imperfections and reveal a few moments she'd rather forget. Here are some of my "Not Me!" moments from this past week. .

I did not dive, fully-clothed, into my daughter's inflatable, $34.99 pool from walmart just because 45 minutes of yardwork in the Texas summer heat was enough to make me light-headed. Had I done that, which I clearly didn't, it would have been glorious. I might have even talked my husband into doing the same.

I definitely did not hear my daughter say "Oh Dammit!" And it certainly was not because I said it first. (I hit my head on the corner of the kitchen cabinet while cleaning. What do you want from me? At least I successfully redirected her to say "Oh man!" instead, which was actually really kind of cute. I'll try to do that myself in the future.)

And because I always save the best for last . . .
I absolutely did not leave a basket full of merchandise at the store yesterday so that I could drag my screaming, kicking, writhing daughter to the car. while she ripped my clothes off and everyone in the store got a front row seat to my own personal freak show/nightmare. Nope. You must be thinking of someone else.

No wonder we never have any groceries!

You can head over to MckMama's blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. You may find it therapeutic to join in and do the same thing!

Note: MckMama actually did not sponsor a Not Me! Monday today even though lots of people participated anyway. She's going through a bit of a rough time, and is tapped dry. Please take a minute to go to her blog and offer your prayers and words of encouragement. Never underestimate the power of kind words and understanding from complete strangers.

Friday, June 5, 2009

I ♥ Faces - Fix It Friday

It's Fix It Friday again over at I Heart Faces! Here's the fixer upper for today called "Sweet Grin." Isn't he a cutie?
And here are my fixes. . .

I used Photoshop CS4, MCP Actions & PW Actions , and here's what I did (roughly):

  1. Basic exposure fixing
  2. Cropped in a little closer
  3. Cleaned up complexion & eyes with the healing brush
  4. MCP Light Fog Fixer
  5. MCP Eye Doctor
  6. MCP Magic Powder (25% Opacity)
  7. PW Soft & Faded (Color Fix Only)
  8. PW B&W Beauty (B&W Fix Only)

If you want to see how other people fixed this photo (or try your own hand at it!), head on over to I Heart Faces and check it out!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Now I Know My ABC's

Here is my first go at converting some video from our camcorder to post on YouTube:

This is Anna singing the alphabet while we are en route to Sea World. She was in her own little world singing it over and over again, and Derek told me to grab the video camera. I'm so glad I did! My favorite parts are the way she says "L M N O" and the way she says "W".

The things she's playing with are the rocks she was completely obsessed with on the trip. And the bright green thing behind her is a towel we had to put down between her and the carseat because there was an incident with a diaper that couldn't handle the long ride...just in case you were wondering. I know you were. It's okay to admit it.

Oh, and I promise that for next time, I'll try to learn how to edit so that I can spare you from hearing us yell "Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!" This time around, you're going to have to endure it.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


So first of all, I want you to look at this sweet little face...

Now, I want you to imagine picking this sweet little thing up from daycare after a long day at work. She's smiling, playing with her friends, and generally having a great time. She sees you, lights up, runs over and excitedly throws her arms around you. You leave the classroom with her waving and blowing kisses to all of her friends and teachers. You walk outside holding hands, stopping to smell every flower you pass on the way to the car. The birds are singing, the sun is shining. Life is good.

And then [cue the twilight zone theme song] . . .

You put her in the car, and she screams bloody murder for 10 minutes straight while you try to wrestle her into the carseat. Other parents are passing with their well-behaved kids and smiling politely because either they've been there before or they're thanking God that they haven't. As you struggle, you wonder how something so small can be so astonishingly strong. You try to explain that Mommy only does it because "she loves you and wants you to be safe", but it's to no avail, because even if she cared, she can't hear you over her screaming. You wonder if anyone thinks you are trying to kidnap her.

You're finally triumphant and begin the mercifully short drive home, turning the Sesame Street CD up in hopes that Elmo may have some magical calming effect. That only makes her madder, so she decides to try a new tactic. "Stuck!" she yells, as she pulls on the carseat straps and writhes around like a wild animal. You ignore her because...well, you don't know what else to do, and you'll be home soon. "I'M STUCK IN HERE!" she screams, with a desperation in her voice that sounds vaguely like something straight out of The Exorcist. You giggle, because...well, you don't know what else to do. Oh yeah, AND because your movie-warped mind can't stop making comparisons to The Exorcist. This continues until you (finally!) pull into the driveway.

You're relieved that you're home because obviously, your sweet little angel wants out of the car. Right? Wrong! Guess again! The second your tires hit the driveway, she starts screaming "Bye-Bye! Bye-Bye! Anna go bye-bye!" Then refuses to get out of the car for another good 15 minutes.

Why didn't I see this coming?

Monday, June 1, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to my very first Not Me! Monday! post. This blog carnival was created by MckMama out of her desire to admit some of her imperfections and reveal a few moments she'd rather forget. I have many imperfections myself, and would very much like to do the same. Think of it as cheap therapy.

Here goes. . .

I did not ignore my long overdue dishes and laundry chores in favor of a trip to San Antonio this weekend. Not me! I am very serious about my housekeeping, and it would be so irresponsible to leave the house with a week-old pile of laundry the size of Mount Everest on my floor.

I did not allow my daughter to eat a Dora yogurt for dinner just because it's the only thing she would agree to eat. While it's not complete junk, it doesn't exactly cover the four food groups. And I'm far too concerned about her nutrition to do something like that.

I did not have to look away while trying to discipline my daughter to hide the fact that I was grinning from ear to ear because she was pointing her finger at me and yelling "No ma'am!" in protest. I also did not, after gaining my composure, put her in time out to stress the importance of not speaking that way to Mommy and Daddy, even though I secretly thought it was hilarious.

I did not let my toddler stay awake until after 11pm just because I was too exhausted to fight to get her to sleep at a decent hour. Nope, not me.

I did not make a trip to the Disney store to buy lots of princess stuff just because I'm an itsy bitsy teensy weensy bit excited about the impending end of the Everything's Elmo Era. (Can I get a hallelujah?)

And my absolute favorite. . .

I did not allow my potty-training two-year old to wash her hands bare-butt after using the potty so that I could have a second (God forbid!) to use the potty myself. And I certainly did not then, from the toilet, watch in horror as she said, "Uh-oh Mommy, poo poo fall down!" as she squished around in a big turd with her new white sandals up on her bathroom stool. That would just be gross.

You can head over to MckMama's blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. You may find it therapeutic to join in and do the same thing!

Shamu-ve Over, Elmo!

Move over Elmo - Anna has a new friend! And although he's not as colorful, he's MUCH bigger!

We took a little road trip this weekend to San Antonio. Derek's cousin has a crawfish boil at his house there this time every year, and we figured if we were making the drive, we might as well make a weekend out of it. And that's how we wound up taking Anna on her first visit to Sea World on Sunday!

The first thing we did when we got there was go to see Shamu's "Believe" show. Maybe that wasn't the wisest choice because it was definitely the highlight, but we all enjoyed it so much. We weren't really into getting wet this time, but we'll definitely go back when Anna is a little older and sit in the splash zone.

I was trying to figure out who was more excited - Anna or Derek. I have to admit, though, that it was so amazing seeing what these animals could be trained to do. (Notice the woman flying in the air that dove off of of Shamu as he jumped in the air!)

There is another show with dolphins, synchronized swimmers and high divers called "Viva!" (no, not "Olivia"!) that Anna enjoyed a lot as well.

In addition to the shows, Anna also got to see the dolphins, sharks, penguins ("pink-juans"), parrots, flamingos and clydesdale horses. We were on our way over to the sea lions when it became obvious that Anna was DONE, so we took that as our cue to get started on our long drive home. Maybe we'll catch the sea lions next time...and there will definitely be a next time! :)

About This Blog

I'm a mother, a wife, and a business systems analyst for a major technology company. Some days I'm good at all three, some days I suck at them all. Between diapers, laundry and late night conference calls, it's all just part of the fun of being a working mom. This blog will share some of my thoughts and adventures in sleep-deprivation. Enjoy, and please do leave comments so I'll know you were here!


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