Monday, September 27, 2010

Favorite Weekend Moment


Kenlie over at All the Weigh hosts Friend Makin' Mondays now and I have been lurking for a few weeks, waiting to join in.  Her question this week, was right up my alley!

What was your favorite moment this weekend?

We had a crazy busy weekend filled with  soccer practice, 2 soccer games, lawn-mowing, running, a facial (ooh- that was nice!), yummy pizza dinner, a hour long sit in traffic (yuck), a wonderful brunch with family, grocery shopping, and Amazing Race.  Yup. That about sums up our weekend - give or take a few other things.

But my favorite moment?  Watching my sweet baby boy do this:

nothing sweeter than watching a sweet baby who can't keep his eyes open!

Friday, September 24, 2010

Friday Funnies

Bubba had a traumatic week- he slipped on his blankie at 6:50 a.m. Tuesday morning right before the kids left for the bus.  He did a face plant and ended up with a mouthful of blood.  Once momma cleaned him up, we noticed that his two front teeth were chipped.  Completely broken the point that he looks like he has fangs.  This momma was upset.
We had the dentist called at 7:30 and he was in by 8:30.  Luckily, he just chipped them- no damage (so it appears) to the tooth itself.  So we went home where he preceded to do not one but TWO more face plants this week resulting in more blood.  AWK!!!  How do I teach this kid to land on his hands???
We had an appointment this morning to have sealants placed on his chipped teeth to avoid any bacteria getting into the tooth and any sensitivity.  We can't do anything about the shape of them until he gets older and his teeth get bigger.  So for now, his teeth appropriately fit his nickname, Bubba, and we have decided he will make an adorable Dracula for Halloween!!
Ignore the mashed potatoes on his cheek and the corn in his mouth and notice the broken right tooth (his right)?  Shaped like a horseshoe? His left is also chipped.  Ugh...those pretty baby teeth.

So, despite the trauma of messing up his teeth and going to the dentist TWICE (I'm talking about me here), he still kept us in stitches this week.  Luckily I caught him on tape for these two incidences:
HE wanted in to play with these balls so bad....

My Bubba likes to dance.  Typically it's to the Wiggles, but if anything is on the tube with a good beat- he stops & dances.

two points if you can name the show....

Someday it will be a funny story and yes, the mis-shapen teeth will give him character.....I hasn't stopped him, why should it stop me?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Why Do I Feel Like My Arm is Missing?

Last month, my camera broke.  My amazing Nikon D40 that is attached to my hip broke. Big time.  It got knocked off the table (let's just say that this momma wasn't thinking about the strap that was hanging down looked mighty tempting to a 15 month old) and the LCD was smashed.  So I could still take pictures with it, but couldn't see to change the settings at all.
So after being sick about it for a month (and needing it for all the back to school stuff), I finally sent it in to get repaired.  Last Friday as I left it at the UPS center, I had a knot in my stomach.  And I couldn't relax about it.
I have come to LOVE my camera.  I love being able to capture moments in our lives so clearly with a good camera.  I fought buying a DSLR for a long time...thinking my little hand-held Sony was just fine.  Until I broke down and actually bought my beloved Nikon, I had no idea how much better of a picture I could take.
I found myself taking multiple pictures of everything to ensure I captured just the right photo.  Seriously, I must have taken over 200 "posed" pictures of the kids for our Christmas card one year.  The more pictures I took, the more I wanted to learn how to use my camera.
There are so many wonderful photographers in the bloggy world.   I am inspired by each and everyone of them.  Tracy over at Work of HEart & Soul takes ah-may-zing pictures.  They are simply breathtaking.  And she sponsors several different photography projects.  One being the 365 project, where Tracy encourages you to take a picture every day.  She provides ideas and prompts of things to take pictures of.  I jumped on board thinking that if I was forced to find a picture-taking moment each and every day, I would get better that way. Uh no.  Nonetheless, I have enjoyed documenting our lives everyday this year.  Have you checked it out? No?  Well click here to see The Darling 365 Project. You'll be glad you did.
Another great thing that Tracy offers is Mommytography, where her goal is to teach women how to take better pictures.  She offers online classes, Meet-n-shoots, and Mentorships.  I signed up for her online class last spring and it was one of the best investments I have made.  Where we are all so very busy, I was able to devote a few hours one evening to myself and with a online conference, lean step-by-step how to take better pictures.  It was a fantastic class and Tracy is extremely motivating.  Bokeh, F-stop, lighting, etc, etc!!  I learned it all.
My ability to take pictures has gotten better, but more importantly my subject matter improved.  No more forced poses from the kids....I want the serious, contemplative looks.  I want to get more of the details.  I look to de-clutter my pictures now.  I see life and try to capture it so differently after learning from Tracy.
Photography is like a foreign language, you less you use it, the more you lose it.  I have found that if I am not actively changing the settings and teaching myself this foreign language, I am not getting any better.  As a part of her class, Tracy offers online curriculum to keep up with this.  I am wanting to do this, but it always gets put on the back burner.
So, I feel like an appendage is missing without my camera. I am trying to capture life with my little Sony and my iPhone, but it is not the same.  The good news is that I received an email from Nikon with my estimate and it was not bad at all to repair it.  It should be back home and in my hands very soon.
But not soon enough.

Friday, September 17, 2010

Just Your Typical Week

You know those weeks where God just smiles down on you?  Everything works out perfectly and you find yourself humming along.  So thankful for the ordinary yet fulfilling life that God has blessed you with?

It was one of those weeks.  And I have to capture it.  To remind myself when I am not having one of those weeks.  

So buckle your seat belt - It's a busy one!
Saturday- Soccer finally started!!  Everyone is excited in our house.  
Even Bubba Boy!
I actually scheduled myself for a facial on Saturday afternoon (gasp!  the spa?  How could you?) and we had an awesome kids-free dinner downtown for Matt's Birthday.

I have missed working with kids at church so much, so I jumped back in this fall and am now working in the Elementary Kids services - it is so much fun!!
This Sunday they did bobbin for marshmallows, a waffle toss, and an air mattress surfing contest.  It was a Back-to-school party complete with worship time and a message.  I don't ever remember church being this fun as a kid!
That afternoon, as Ian napped, I caught up on one of my favorites...Mad Men.  Oh so good!

So your typically Monday, but what was so great is that everything fell into place.  Got a great run in, good naps, lots of time to work on my PTA presentation, grocery store, quick dinner and off to 2 soccer practices.  
And all with a smile from my precious:

Today was my hubby's birthday.  The baby and I took him to lunch at Maggiano's (YUM!).  There is something about getting out and going to lunch with your hubby in the middle of the work week. I used to take advantage of all the "business lunches" I went on.  Now they are so nice!

We had curriculum night at school with our first PTA Meeting (did I tell you I am PTA prez this year? What?!!?)  The meeting went great!  We had some fun and made a movie to kick off our fall fundraiser (click here to see it if you want - go ahead, humor me, it's only 2 mins!) and that went over well.  I sometimes miss my former "work-life" and this position has allowed me to gain some of that back all while working to benefit the kids' school.  It has really been good for me. Oh and then this happened- he just makes me laugh.

Early boot camp (5:30 - that's AM people) and it was so good - I really am sick when I use the words boot camp and so good in the same sentence huh?  Getting up & moving that early gave me so much energy - I cleaned the entire house that morning!  What??!!
And it was Early Release, so I took the kiddos to my new favorite place - the Yogurt shop.  Do you all have these?  You can pick from 10 different flavors and fill it with all the toppings you want. 
which one's momma's??

We got our culture on!  My sweet friend & I took Bubba to a Bodies exhibit on the UT Campus. It was a decent exhibit, but I really had more fun grabbing a coffee and walking the campus a bit.  We ended up walking to the LBJ Presidential Library where the view was this:
See the tower in the background? And the football stadium is to the left there (JennyKate- this pics for YOU!)  It was nice to get out and do something different for a change.

When the kids got home, we ran to the library where I picked up Skinny Italian by Teresa Guidice (RHNJ) and the Pioneer Woman's Cookbook...and a copy of Tori Spelling's new book...shh...I know, it's trash....The kids got piles of books.  I love that they love to read.
Nothing like a trip to the library that makes you want to go home and curl up with a book.  BUT, we missed Survivor on Wednesday.  So after dinner, the kids and I curled up in our bed and watched it on the laptop- love modern technology!!  Um, and Jimmy Johnson is full of himself!

It started with this after our 6 mile run this morning:
 freedom!! just look at that cute blondie in his pjs!
We have a busy but fun weekend ahead of us.  Filled with a visit from my Aunt, a party with friends tonight, Girl Scouts event, Soccer game, a Star Wars Clone Wars Premiere party (did I tell you I won a House Party?  SO fun!), church, and more!

In my downtime this week, I worked on our new PTA Website (here it is), sent about 200+ emails about various stuff in the PTA, worked on finding t-shirts for Sis's Girl Scout troop, got 3 new jobs (making movies), spent a ton of time finding a rehearsal dinner Seattle (ya'll know how hard that is when you live in Texas?) and still found time to love on my baby boy!

Our lives are so full right now - I wouldn't have it any other way.  I think I probably take the busy-ness for granted or sometimes look at it as a burden.  Nope.  I am choosing to revel in it and be thankful for it.  Someday, I know I will miss it!! 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

8? Eight? Ate? Huh?

Don't you just love the relationships you have built through the blogging community?  I have grown to feel that some of these ladies are dear friends.  Like my newly-40-year-old-friend-who-doesn't-even-look-close-to-that, Shawn.....just a few states East of me.  I had the pleasure of meeting Shawn IRL (in real life, duh) last December.  She and I have remained close and a few weeks ago, this arrived in my mailbox:
a few fun books, a notepad, super-cute matching paper plates & napkins (not pictured) and a bottle of her favorite poppy seed dressing!  What fun! Wouldn't you like to get a box full of goodies like this in the mail??

And when she tagged me last week in a fun game, I just had to play along!

This is a fun one.  She was tagged with 8 questions and in turn, she tagged 8 others with 8 questions of her own.  Let's see if I can keep this going.

1. If you could go to one place, all expenses paid, where would you go?
Back to Italy.  Matt & I traveled there in the summer of 2007 and it was amazing.  We were on a Mediterranean Cruise, so we only had 1 day in each location. It had by far, the best food I have ever eaten in my life.   Given the opportunity, I would rent a home in Tuscany for a month, where I would learn to cook, visit wineries, and travel the entire country.  
2. Do you coupon?  If you do, what are your secrets?
Um, what's a coupon? Just kidding. I occasionally clip and then by the time I sort what I need from the store, I have about 3 to use for the week.  I'm convinced that if I use more, I'll end up buying things I don't need and that would be a waste.  Hmm...isn't that what the supermarkets want??

3. If you had one thing to do over, what would it be and why?
I wish I had gone to a larger university ~ Last night we drove past DKR Memorial Stadium in downtown Austin when it was full with students & alumni for the University of Texas/Wyoming game.  It was amazing!!  I have so many friends who went to UT and their lifelong allegiance is enviable.  Not saying I want to bleed burnt orange, but I did miss out on that collegiate experience. 
4. Are you an organized clean freak or a less than tidy, "tomorrow's another day, it can wait" kind of girl? What does your house look like right now?
I never really cared about being neat & tidy until I met my hubby, who is a clean freak-a-zoid.  So, he has rubbed off on me and I typically can't relax until all is clean.  So, I would say that 80% of the time, my house is clean-o-rama.  But that doesn't mean I like it.....

5. Toilet paper...Over or Under? And are you compulsive enough to change it somewhere else?
Over...but isn't that a little TMI Shawn???

6. Your talking to a group of people and someone has something in their teeth or their nose.  Do you tell them, ignore it, or excessively rub your tongue over your teeth or run your finger under your nose until they get the hint?
I'm bad.  I try desperately to ignore - I don't want to embarrass them..... But then I end up staring at it more b/c I'm trying not to stare at it.  Oh so uncomfortable.....

7. You're out and about and you see a friend's husband with another woman.  What do you do?  Address him on the spot, call him the next day and give him an ultimatum or tell your friend?
I DON'T assume the worst.  This could be a business meeting, or his cousin??  So, I make a point to say hello.  If he is guilty of doing something wrong, he will seek me out to explain later.  

8. What is the best piece of advice you've ever gotten?  What was it and who gave it to you?
"Wait 24 hours to respond"  - This was given to me by a mentor of mine.  When you receive an email,  letter, phone call, etc. that really fires you up, sleep on it before respond.  You will be much more cordial and might see things differently in your response once you have given yourself time to "cool down".
And "Before you speak up in a meeting, ask yourself if what you are going to say is beneficial to the whole group or just you?" Don't you hate being in a meeting with that person who asks a question that only benefits them?  Or talks just to hear themselves speak?  Don't be that person!

My 8 Questions?
1. Where were you born?  and your parents?  what is your ancestry?
2. What is your least favorite memory from those awkward high school days?
3. Grab your favorite photo you have ever taken.  Tell us why it's your favorite.
4. What song instantly picks you up and makes your day go even better?
5. How did you & your husband meet?  Tell us the love story!
6. What is your favorite snack?
7. What was your first concert?  Tell us what you remember about it!
8. What makes you the happiest?

And who wants to play?  I'm picking YOU!

Actually, I'd love for all of you to join in the fun.  If you are looking for something fun to blog about, jump in with these 8 easy questions!

Thanks Shawn - it was fun to post!  Have fun my 8!!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

Can He Do What??

Recently, I took the Bubba Boy in for his 15 month check-up.  His weight was great, height is good, he has been so very healthy...we have been so very blessed.  As a momma of 3, I think I probably know how this raising kids thing goes.  I think I know what to expect for the most part....or I thought I did.  Though this visit sure threw me for a loop......

Can Bubba walk yet?
oh yes.
Can Bubba clap yet?
oh yes...want me to show you?
Can he pick up his own food & feed himself?
can he ever!!
Can he say more than 5 words?
uh...let me and Bye.  But he can sign 3 things...does that count?  
Here sweetie, show the nice lady how you want more.  
More Bubba?  More?  (no response from the Bubba Boy) I promise you he can....
Ok.  Can Bubba point to objects in a book when you say them?
Can he point to his body parts?
Can he sing a song to you?
no lady, I think I already told you that the kids doesn't know more than 2 words!!!!!

What are they going to ask me next, if he can do Algebraic Equations???

At this point I'm starting to feel like I am behind the times.  A 15 month old who can sing and point to things?  Am I going to the "advanced pediatrician?" 
"No, I'm sorry, my son can only toddle around, shovel fist-fulls of cheerios in his mouth, and clear out a tupperware cabinet in 10 seconds flat.  I guess he belongs in the remedial class."

So that was just the nurse.  I still had to wait to see the doctor.  Can you guess what this momma did while waiting?  

Bubba, where's your nose?  Here's your nose!  Point to your nose.

All I got was a blank stare.
In walks Dr. XYZ (whom I go to church with and know) and I jokingly comment, "Ok!!  My son can only say 2 words!"  You would have thought I'd just asked him about cancer.   He very seriously replies that if I don't see an improvement in the next 2 months, we might need to consider getting him in to see a speech therapist!!!!  HUH????  Seriously?????

At this point I am looking around for the camera....surely this is a joke.  I tried not to laugh when I told him that as this is my 3rd child and he's a BOY,  I didn't think that would be necessary.  He is going to be talking up a storm before we know it.  
Bubba can communicate with us just fine.  He DID sign for a few weeks.  He told us when we wanted "more" to eat or if he was "all-done".  He was working hard on "thank-you" and of course he had "bye-bye" and "hi" down pat.  But then it stopped.  His more turned into a point and "oh, oh, oh"sound.  His all done became an adamant shake of the head "no".  And sometimes he would just stare at me when I would ask him.  UGH!!!  So now he can't speak or sign??  Are we going backwards?

No, of course not.  This sweet boy has us wrapped around his finger so darn much, that he doesn't have to do much more than point to what he wants.  Or walk over to the pantry and reach up to open the door when he is hungry.  Or bring us his shoes (or ours) when he wants to go outside.  Or fuss VERY LOUDLY when he doesn't get what he wants.  Why should he learn to talk?  We understand him perfectly well.  
And for the record.  After hearing this story, his Daddy has been working with him on several words.  Ma Ma, Pa Pa, shoe, nigh-nigh and Hi!  are all wonderfully tumbling from his mouth.  Now we just need to start working on those body parts!  I want him in Baby Mensa by 18 months!

Saturday, September 4, 2010

Here's the Skinny!

SO who loves them a great margarita??  I do ~ I DO!!!    It ranks up there with coffee and water, that's how much I love them.  Frozen, Sangria Swirled, On the Rocks, Mexican Martini.....I can pretty much drink them any style and love them.  With one exception.....why oh why do they have to have so many darn calories????  The typical frozen margarita has over 180 calories in 4 oz.  um, who drinks 4 oz of margaritas?  That's one sip!!  With the typical glass being 12 oz, that's over 540 calories for one!! Yikes!!

I had to find a better option to enable me to still get my Friday night habit treat.  Enter the Skinny Girl Margarita:
Betheny Frankel of the Real Housewives of New York fame has developed several low-calorie drinks including a margarita.....Unfortunately, no one here in Texas can seem to keep it in stock.  So after months of trying to buy a bottle, a friendly Spec's (our amazing liquor store that is as big as a grocery store know the everything's bigger in Texas spiel....) employee helped me out.

"you don't want that stuff."
me - "uh, I don't?"
"nope- it's filled with perservatives.  Let me just tell you how to make it fresh."

Less than $15 later I am walking out with all the ingredients to make my own SG Margarita (preservative-free) and I was hooked!  Every Friday became SG Margarita day.  I friends try it.  And they loved it too.  And now I can have a margarita for under 150 cals.  Here's how:
Start with a really fun, cute girlfriend.  That's me:
Grab these ingredients:
100% agave tequila
triple sec (or your favorite orange liquor)
fresh squeezed lime juice (you can use limes, but you have to squeeze alot!)
agave nectar
and a really cute martini shaker
I have tried this with different kinds of tequila (our Spec's has a WHOLE aisle full of tequila), but I feel the 100% agave silver was the smoothest...and least likely to make me feel bad the next day in case I choose to have more than one SGM.
Pour in a shaker full of ice:
1 part/shot tequila
1 part/shot lime juice
splash of triple sec (to add some sweetness)
one squeeze (equal to a TBSP) agave nectar
shake shake shake
and pour:
100 cals from tequila
15 cals from the lime juice
20 cals from triple sec (give or take)
15 cals from 1 TBSP agave nectar
150 calories of refreshing goodness!
this makes momma very happy. 
Make Friday night, your SG Margarita night too!

Thursday, September 2, 2010

Feelin' Hot Hot HOT!

It's September 2.  And it's still hot.  No let me say that again for better emphasis.  It's HOT!!!  Ya'll it's over the 100s each afternoon.  So I just wanted to take a few minutes to familiarize you with how you know you are in Texas in August ..... and how you learn to survive.   If you haven't visited yet, this is sure to get you here!!
First off, when you leave the house, always, ALWAYS grab your iced down 32-ouncer of water BEFORE remembering to grab your keys and your purse.
Be careful getting into that car- the door handle can actually burn you.  And that seatbelt makes quite a nice branding iron.  Here in Texas in August, we learn to drive with 2 tips of our fingers on the wheel.  Go ahead.  It's perfectly safe.
Teach the kids that it's ok to sweat...a lot.  Cause the car AC doesn't blow cold air instantaneously.  
And who's bright idea was it to get a black minivan???

water is your friend.  even if it is luke-warm and splashing in your face.
luke-warm hose water is mighty refreshing down here.
When parking in august, you have to weight the pros & cons of parking in a shady spot versus walking half a mile into the store.  What's worse.....the 140 degree car or melting before you get to the one in the shade?
You start to become so delirious from the heat that 110 is "fine" and 98 is a "cool-down".
If you were a kid growing up in Texas, you played all day- every day - out in this heat and it didn't bother you.  So why does it drain you so now??

Ah.  The sweet smell of sunblock.  Blame all us Texans for killin' the Ozone layer with all our spray on sunblock.  We went through at least 5-7 bottles of the stuff.   Until I finally got smart and bought the lotion. I've managed to make it last over a month.  go figure.
And one of the worst things about August in Texas?  School clothes shopping - all we have to choose from is fall clothes!  Cute as it is, why on earth would I send my girl to school in a snazzy sweater and purple cords when it's 101?  Seriously, we don't start wearing these clothes until Thanksgiving.

Which is the main reason I live in Texas.  I can survive this ONE hot & miserable month for the six months of 50 & 60 degree winter!  Take that!

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