Friday, December 9, 2011

Turtleneck Refashion

It's been a while! October was a crazy month and I was in a bit of a funk in November. It snowed Halloween night and it has stuck around. I was totally NOT feeling fall this year.

Anyway, I just finished a dress for Annaleigh and had to share! I'm not 100% loving how it turned out. There are a few things I would have changed about it, but it works. Plus, I'm sure no one else can see all the flaws I see.

At the end of last winter our Wal-Mart had turtlenecks clearanced out at $1 and a few days they were doing 50% off all clearance. I ended up grabbing a 5T in the hopes I'd one day be able to do something with it. I'm not a huge fan of turtlenecks so it was a refashion from the beginning. I decided a few days ago to make Annaleigh a new dress with it.

I started out deconstructing it. I took the neck and sleevess off. Obviously, a 5T was going to need to be resized to fit my almost 1 year old (holy heck how did that happen?). Here is what it looked like....

I grabbed a dress in her size to use as a size guide. With the dress laying on top of the turtleneck, I pinned where I needed to sew my new seem.

I wish I hadn't done the next step. I folded the flair of the dress in thinking I wouldn't need the flair once the ruffles were added.

In hindsight, I think this would have helped the dress have a better fit than it does. Oh well, It still turned out decent. While I had the dress laying there I also trimmed down the arm neck and shoulder area of the shirt. Here is what I had at the end.

I didn't take pictures of this step, but I then cut out 3 strips of my skirt fabric. The strips were 4 3/4 in wide (I wish I had made them longer) and the length was long enough to wrap around the shirt twice. I folded the fabric in half and ruffled it. This took a little trial and error. There are tons of tutorials on how to ruffle fabric, but it still took me a while to get the hang of it. My machine doesn't have a straight stitch that doesn't automatically backstitch when you start sewing so I had to start sewing without my fabric under the needle. I should have taken pictures of this, but I got caught up in the moment. I also set my tension to the highest it would go and the stitch length to the longest setting. My machine still didn't really ruffle at that much so I held the thread where it comes off the spool to create a little extra tension. Once the strips were sewn, I pulled the threads to create an even more dramatic ruffle.

To sew on the ruffles, I first pinned and sewed them to the shirt upside down.

Once it is sewn in place you want to fold it down, pin and sew again. This creates a finished look. I definately recommend pinning this and not just trying to wing it. It helps insure you are staying straight and that the ruffle lays nicely. I tried not pinning it and it was a pain. I  repeated this for each layer of ruffle.

I again used a shirt in her size to figure out where to sew a new seem for the sleeves and how long they needed to be. Again, I  got way into it and didn't take pictures. Reattach them to the shirt. I wasn't sure exactly what I wanted to do with the collar. In the end, I opted for a cowl, type look. I cut one side of the original turtleneck, finished the raw edges and reattached the collar to the shirt. And there you have it...

I know, I cut off her head. It is insane trying to get a decent picture of this girl!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Infinity Scarf

Or cowl, or whatever else you want to call it. The second I saw Rachel of Maybe Matilda was doing a crochet along I knew I had to do it! When I saw it was a cowl/infinity scarf I was beyond thrilled. I had been wanting to make one, but just hadn't set aside the time, and I wasn't really sure it was for me. I must admit I'm not the best at figuring out what is going to work with my body type by just looking at it. I have to try it on. Then, I have to stare at myself in the mirror from several different angles for like ten minutes. I finally call my husband in to give me his opinion, or if he isn't there I take a picture and text it to him or my mom or sister. And stare at myself in the mirror some more while I wait for a response. Yeah, I am pretty much terrified of buyer's remorse. You should have seen me in the yarn aisle. I spent like 5 minutes staring at the yarn. I'm sure my poor sister-in-law was bored out of her mind, and I know her kids were! I wanted a neutral color so I could wear it with anything. So I chose a Charcoal. We used the Lion Brand Time Out Cowl pattern. I twisted the cowl before I connected the end so it would have a twist in it. So here is how it turned out....

I love how incredibly versatile this can be!

My husband was the camera man. It was a nasty day so we decided to just take pictures on the back porch. He felt a little awkward taking pictures of an adult on our back porch. Understandably so!

I have naturally wavy/curly hair. I love that when it starts snowing I can just pull this thing over my head and hopefully not have the crazy frizz going on!

The little dude wanted in on the action, too!

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Ruffles + Wreath = Swoon!

Did I mention it only cost $3? That includes the wreath form. Want to make one, too?

I forgot to take a picture before I got started.

What ya' need!
pool noodle (or other wreath form)
duct tape
glue gun
a couple glue sticks

Are you thinking I'm totally crazy for putting a pool noodle in the instructions for making a wreath? I found the idea here. I must admit I was a little skeptical, but when i saw a pool noodle at the dollar store I thought it was worth a try. I didn't follow the directions in the link exactly. I just put the 2 ends together and duct tape 'cause that's how I roll. Duct tape can fix anything! And it totally worked. When your in the store picking up your noodle checking it out to see if it will work, It probably won't form a perfect circle. Once you get the ends secure it makes more of an oval. Just push your sides in and it holds the circle form perfectly!

I wrapped mine in streamer just so my wreath would have a polished look. You can skip this step.

This wreath idea isn't totally my own either and I really feel I should give creative development credit where they are due. I got the idea from Country Living, but again, I didn't follow that exactly. You'll need to cut out a million or so 4 inch strips of streamers. My pack of streamers came with 2 rolls so I cut out 1 completely then cut the other as I needed. Once you have those you're ready to start assembling your wreath.

Country Living used matching straight pins, but I don't have those just laying around so I used hot glue. Let's just admit it. Hot glue is amazing! So I hot glue the strip into loops by gluing the ends like this...

Then folding it over like this...

Please excuse my half painted finger nails. I couldn't wait to get started on this!

Then you add more hot glue and stick it to your wreath like this....

You'll do "rows" of 3 loops and go all the way around. That's it! Country Living left a spot open, but I went all the way around with mine. I added an orange ribbon to make it even more Halloween-esque. I love it, but I think I should have placed the ribbon a little lower on the wreath. Oh well!

The bottom ruffles crinkled a little setting it on the bookshelf, but they straightened right back up!

Go get crafty!

Linking up to:

Friday, September 9, 2011


It's been a bit of a tough week for me. I have made myself work out every day Matt has been at work so if I work out today it will be 4 consecutive days. GO ME! Sorry, I'm a little excited that I've finally made myself do it. So back to the tough week. I have felt like everything is working against me in making these work outs happen. Tuesday Matt called twice in the middle of my workout. The second time he needed me to bring him things at work. Oh and I had kids climbing on me the whole time. I was over half way through so I decided I would finish and then pack up the kids and head over! He was slightly irritated, but when I explained he understood. I knew if I stopped in the middle I would never finish because Phillip needed a nap, Annaleigh needed food, and I needed to shower while Phillip was napping.

Anyway, I have decided I really need to work out while Phillip is napping so I can really focus on what I am doing. It has been hard making myself do it. I have a million things I need to do while Phillip is napping. I feel selfish taking that time to work out instead of doing housework or whatever. My big one yesterday was laundry. I have piles of clean laundry that just need to be put away. I usually put laundry away while Phillip is napping because he finds some sort of sick pleasure in destroying my neatly folded piles of laundry. So in order to avoid me fuming and double the effort in putting clothes away I just do it while he's in bed. I have tried waithing until he goes to bed at night, but I'm so drained I just don't want to do anything. While Phillip was napping yesterday I needed to workout, shower, eat, put away laundry, take care of Annaleigh...I'm sure there is more I could add to that list!

I was having a huge inner battle. I know if I find excuses even one day I will find excuses every day after. So I worked out. The living room was a disaster by the end of the day. The piles of clean laundry are still sitting there. I felt so...blah! So I had a nice chat with my wonderful husband. He made me feel so much better. His exact words, "I could care less if the laundry gets done." Haha, ok so I care if the laundry gets put away. I hate digging through baskets trying to find clothes for the kids. But I love him for this. He understands how hard it can be some days to take care of the kids and get things done. He understands working out is important to me right now, and how hard it is to find the motivation to build that habit. He just gets it!

So today I am grateful for our little family. I am grateful for our cute kids (even though Phillip has been waking me up before Matt is even awake). I am grateful for Matt, and his understanding nature. I am grateful I am able to do things that make him happy, and he can do the same. I am grateful that both of us understand stability takes a lot of hard work. We  know we can't expect to own a home, drive nice cars, have the best furnishings, and be up to date on technology without all the hard work first. I think having this knowledge allows us to be happy despite our circumstances. We have been down so many different paths since we have been married and yet we somehow make it work. It's all of this that helps me to know if we can just hold on to this perspective we can conquer anything that may come our way. And for this I am incredibly grateful!

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Necessity Is The Mother of Invention!

Ok, so I didn't really invent anything, so maybe creation should be substituted for invention.
It has been one of those days. You know the ones where you run into a link with everything you try to do. I was attempting to put the finishing touches on the kitchen I cleaned up yesterday. Phillip was suddenly interested in the kitchen the moment I started sweeping. I finally got it swept. I went down to the basement to get the mop and found the box of mop pads open and dry.
I sent map a text that was a little ridiculous. It went something like this " YOU left the mop pads open now I can't mop the kitchen." Yeah, like I said ridiculous!
Anyway, so I relaxed and remembered seeing a crochet swiffer pad. So I went to
Ravelry, a website of knit/crochet patterns, did a quick search and an hour later had this...

Now we will always have a pad for our swiffer and we can save some money!

Thursday, September 1, 2011

Happy Birthday to me! (well a few days ago)

I am usually fairly excited about my birthday. This year I was not so excited for it. I am now closer to 30 than I am 20. Ugh! I am typically not one to fret about  my age. It's inevitable, but this one hit me a little hard. The day itself was a good day. I still had to be a mommy, which honestly is really the best thing ever! Little miss decided to do this on my birthday!

She has been trying for so long, and finally got it! While the kids were napping I relaxed and played on my sewing machine. I made a keychain for myself. One that slips over my wrist so I don't lose my keys with my arms full of kiddos! It has come in handy. Matt made me dinner! It was so yummy and it was nice not having to worry about dinner.

The Friday before my birthday Matt and I decided to go here..

Yeah, check out that elevation. In order to get there we had to do this

And if you are looking at the map thinking it looks quite easy check out this picture I took standing at one of the switchbacks

Can I just say, I am SO out of shape! The first 1/4 wasn't bad at all. About halfway is when it started getting hard. After that we had to stop so often. I would go a little  way and beg Matt to stop. Ok so I didn't have to beg. There is no railing and the clifs are fairly steep. He was quite concerned if we didn't take it slowly I would get dizzy and fall off the edge, lol! There were times when I wanted to just go back down, but I really wanted to prove to myself I could do it. We kept passing people along the way who would give us encouragement telling us it was worth it. I can't say the caves were incredibily amazing for me. At least not amazing enough to say that hike was worth it. I can say, however, the feeling of accomplishment was worth it. The view from the top was quite amazing.

And it was great quality time with my wonderful husband. I love this man!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

New School Year = New Goals!

Who would have thought I would have children too little for school, but still have my life revolve around the school year? Well, it does and it will for the next year at least. So I guess we'll get a little break before Phillip starts school. We have been so off our schedules for the last month with Matt home all day. Don't get me wrong I LOVE having my hubby 24/7! We have just been trying to make the most of our time together so schedules and normal days are non-existent. Today we have a little taste of what things will be like when he goes back to work. He has a day full of meeting, the rest of the week off and goes back for good Monday. So I decided to make today a day to see how our schedule will work since the kids are getting bigger and their needs have changed slightly. Enter my new goal: working out! Since we don't have a double stroller and Phillip has too much energy to trust him on sidewalks, I have to find ways to work out in the house. So I am doing Jillian Michael's (The Biggest Loser goddess) 30 Day Shred. Can I just say, holy crap! I am SO out of shape. I think I'm in worse shape now than I was when I started it right before I got pregnant with Annaleigh. My legs are currently like jello. I just went up stairs to check on Annaleigh. Surprisingly up was NOT the hard part. I thought my legs were going to collapse coming down. I am seriously considering sliding down the stairs Phillip style when I have to bring Annaleigh back down. Go ahead laugh it up! I know I am! So my new goal is make working out a part of my daily routine AND, ready for the big one? My ultimate long term goal is to lose 43lbs by my anniversary, December 20th! Am I crazy? I might be! Only time will tell! At that point I will probably create another long term goal because really to make it to a "healthy" weight I will still have about 30 MORE lbs to lose.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

Age does not bring grace!

Today was the worst dining experience of my life. We decided to spend our last day of absolute freedom (Matt's classes start Monday) in Riverdale at the splash pad. We haven't been in forever. Phillip loves water. And I am thinking they close it around labor day, but could be wrong. It seemed like the perfect thing for a nice Saturday. We got into town around lunch time so we decided we'd have lunch at Applebee's before the park. We have restaurants we will and will not go to with our kids in tow. Applebee's is on the kid safe list. It is normally a rather noisy environment and has sports and such playing on TVs at all times. It was actually a rather decent day for Phillip. He didn't throw any tantrums. He got a little upset we couldn't just leave to play in the water instead of eating first. He was by a window so he would spot things he like outside and tells all about them excitedly. He was a little loud. He doesn't quite understand the whole inside/outside voice thing yet, but like I said Applebee's isn't a quiet restaurant so I didn't see it as a huge deal. He would get up and jump on the bench. We'd sit him back down and he'd be ok for a while. We waited FOREVER for our food. Matt and I were getting antsy with how long it was taking. I can only imagine how much torture it was for Phillip. We finally got our food. Phillip would eat a few bites then find something to look at or stand up to look at the old ladies behind us.

I was almost finished with my food when he stood up, turned around, and the old self-righteous bat boozing it up at noon got nasty. I don't remember exactly what she said. I was in total shock when I realized she turned around to totally bash my parenting. It was something along the lines of how ridiculous our kid was being and how we should think twice about taking him out to lunch with us. I calmly turned around halfway through her rant. I decided from that point on Phillip could do whatever the heck he wanted for the very short remainder of our lunch. As I finished the rest of my lunch fighting back tears I thought of probably a million different things to say to her. She continued to make comments to her even older lunch buddy AND the people across the aisle from  us. I was so mad and really hurt. We couldn't get out of that place fast enough. Phillip had moved to sitting beside Matt and he can see I'm upset and is asking "what's wrong, mommy." Matt answered for me telling him "old ladies are rude, that's what's wrong." Toddlers are HARD! They have so much energy and are so excited about the world. That translates into an inability to sit still, inappropriate voice levels, and exploration of every kind(translation: they get into everything they shouldn't). I try so hard to keep Phillip in check. Her words were like a sucker punch. Maybe I'm not doing the best. Maybe my son is an insane annoyance to everyone around. Do people look at us and think we are horrible parents? After taking the time to look at this entirely about myself I started thinking about this situation as a whole. This woman knew absolutely nothing about us. What if our situation had been special? A million different scenarios of how she could have really severely hurt someone played out in mind. What if my child were special needs? I can't believe someone could be so rude about lunch at Applebee's. It's not like we took our kids to a nice steakhouse or even Olive Garden. I chose not to say anything at all to the lady. I was wishing after we left that I had said something to make her understand how incredibly rude she was being. After a few hours of thinking, I realized nothing good would have come of anything I said to her. She was too old and shriveled for anything to sink in.

Hours later I am still in shock about what happened. We have gone out to eat several times here in Evanston with Phillip being much worse than he was today, and no one has ever said a word to us. In fact, just yesterday we were grocery shopping and he was throwing an absolute tantrum. Matt had to pick him up and he was kicking and screaming. A sweet lady came up to us. She was shopping with her daughter and told us her daughter had a boy who was exactly like that and is now a perfect gentleman so there is hope. It was such a nice gesture. It is so hard raising a toddler. You spend most of the day at your wits end and the rest realizing how worth it it all is. It was so nice to have someone, especially a complete stranger give you pat on the back. A little encouragement. So if you are out and about and ever see a young mother struggling say a kind word. You cannot imagine how much it will lift her spirits especially if she has a trying little one!

As I put Phillip to bed tonight I took an extra minute to love him. I love the mess out of that little boy no matter how crazy he is. I love his craziness. I love watching him learn and grow. I love watching him get so excited and how he is learning to care for others. Today I vow to try a little harder to let him be a toddler. To not get so worked up over ALL the little things he does throughout the day. I don't want him to ever NOT be excited about life. The manners will come eventually. I think nice little reminders of how to act appropriately for the setting are much more appropriate for a toddler than insisting perfection. You'll only end up overly frustrated. And here's to hoping I do not encounter mean old ladies on a regular basis!

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Matt thinks I spoil Annaleigh. I do make more things for her and I do get really excited about all the girly things I can make. It is so much easier to make cute things for girls. There just aren't a lot of creative things to make for a toddler boy. I might be able to make him a tie. I have made him beanies. Cute things are just simply easy to make. And maybe I do spoil her. I find myself feeling the need to compensate when it comes to her. Other than my mom, sister and brother-in-law who all came in from Texas no one came to see Annaleigh at the hospital despite her birth being scheduled weeks before and actually being in the hospital for like 4 days. When Phillip was born we were met with a group of people when I was finally moved  to my room from recovery. We have never had pictures made of Annaleigh. The only pictures I have of her are the ones I've taken. Then there's the whole being grateful she is even here considering all she has gone through. So maybe I do spoil her a little by making her cute things to wear. It's cheaper than buying her tons of cute stuff like we did with Phillip. I think I'm okay with spoiling her now. She's an independent baby for the most part. She has her moments where she only wants mom, but she sleeps in her own bed, she puts herself to sleep, I can actually clean while she's awake, she can entertain herself, and she developing normally. I think she's a fairly well adjusted baby even with the spoiling!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Nap Time Crafters: Lilypotamus Giveaway & a Winner!

Nap Time Crafters: Lilypotamus Giveaway & a Winner!:

Nap Time Crafters is hosting a Lilypotamus giveaway! Lilypotamus has some adorable girls clothes. While you're there check out Nap Time Crafter's tutorials. She has some adorable stuff!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Some wounds never heal

As I have gotten older (and I'd like to think wiser). I have come to realize there are some things in life we just never recover from completely. The hypothetical wounds heal, but are never completely gone. I still get emotional when I think about the day Annaleigh was admitted to the hospital for RSV. I still get nervous when she gets a cold. When she coughs I instinctively reach for a blanket to prepare for the gagging, entire bottle spit up she had when she had RSV.
Having a c-section was another hard one. I had a few weeks after Phillip was born where I was incredibly sad and mourned what felt like the loss of my womanhood. I think only women who have gone through this can really understand what it feels like. I had resolved to try for a VBAC with our next child. We didn't expect to have another baby so soon. I wasn't sure my body was healed enough to be able to push out a child and if I ended up with another c-section I needed someone there to help me with Phillip. If I had a c-section I wouldn't even be able to get him out of bed. So in order to insure I would have help with Phillip we opted for another c-section. I have learned to accept I will most likely never have a normal birth. Having a scheduled c-section does have it's perks. I know exactly what to expect. We will know ahead of time exactly when our children will be born. I will always have help available. It still hurts, though. When I hear of a women who had a natural birth I always feel a twinge of jealousy. It isn't so bad that I loathe other women, but I just know I will never have that and it hurts.
Then there are other wounds only a few know about. Wounds that we are afraid to share with others and that tend to resurface when we least expect them. They effect those closest to us in the ways they resurface. The hardest part of dealing with these is knowing they will never go away. The resurfacings become farther apart with time, but we know they will always happen. And I think that's what sucks the most about those wounds. They never go away!

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Yo! Happy Birthday, Phillip!

His birthday was actually last Saturday, but we had his party this weekend for various reasons. I will never forget the day that little boy came into my life just 2 short years ago. That little boy will always hold a special place in my heart. There are days when I am absolutely at my wits end with him, but he is growing into such a smart and caring little man. I smile everytime I hear him say, "careful" or "hey, what are you doing." He is one special little man. Shortly before his birthday we discovered a new kids show. Yo Gabba Gabba is the most adorable show for little people. It teaches important lessons while having fun. It wasn't long before we were using the "There's a pary in my tummy" song daily to get him to eat. So we decided to have a Yo Gabba Gabba themed party. I found an awesome website with tons of party ideas, here! Let me just say that all the decorations came from supplies I already had on hand, no out of pocket! Here is Phillip's party.

Happy Birthday, my little guy!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Texas Recap

Well, we are back to reality. It is so nice being back home (until the snow starts). It was a busy 3 weeks leading up to my sister's wedding. I felt like I was constantly going all over the place. I know that's not entirely true. We did have days of nothing, which we filled with letting the kids have some fun. The first week we took a trip to the wedding venue.

(Isn't it gorgeous!)

And got ready for a bridal shower. We made ruffled streamers and tissue paper flowers!

I also made letter blocks as my present to her. I wasn't thrilled with how they turned out, but I only had one morning to do them. Hopefully the next ones I make will turn out better.

The other 2 weeks were full of finishing up the last minute details of the wedding. Like sewing 100 little favor bags, making bows for the flower girls and the bride, and making fan programs since it was an outdoor July wedding in Texas. Our days off went swimming in grandma's backyard...

And went to the park!

I can't express how excited I was to have Matt back. I was literally counting down the days! The day we picked Matt up was a BUSY day! My cousin came over early in the morning to dye my hair. I had dyed it in the past and my roots were growing out. Then I got myself and the kiddos ready. Phillip got a short nap and we went to set up the wedding venue for the wedding. We had to miss the rehearsal because we were on our way to pick up Matt! YAY!

I hated the time Matt and I spent apart, but I realized a lot about myself and how much I depend on Matt. Watching other people with my children made me able to let myself feel like I am good mother. I know this sounds weird. My children are demanding! Annaleigh is a little diva. She lets you know (very loudly) what she wants. Phillip is just a ton of energy. I swear he has the energy of 3 little boys. This translates to "into EVERYTHING." I could tell people were getting fed up with my kids after a day with us. I totally get it. They just aren't used to having little kids around, but it made me feel stronger. I deal with these kids everyday. A large part of that alone. Before this trip I would feel like such a bad mother when at the end of the day I was counting down to bed time, or when my greatest wish was just a few hours away from the kids. Now I see they really are a lot to handle and I am strong because they are still alive, lol!

As for Matt, I realized how awesome of a dad he truly is. Don't get me wrong I always appreciated all he did/does. He works full time, goes to school full time and helps me out with the kids. There are days when I just marvel at how he is able to do it all. I more fully appreciate now how much he keeps Phillip entertained and out of trouble. I know I have said it before, but we work so well as a team. Most days I don't even have to ask him to do things. It is like he reads my mind. He seems to know exactly when to step in and how. I totally get why others wouldn't be as helpful as him. They aren't the parents and don't want to overstep boundaries. It reinforces how amazing he truly is and how good we are together.

The wedding day finally came. It was gorgeous! There was minimal drama, which you always worry about when you have that many people how are related in that close of quarters. Some of which who were married at one point in their lives. I am so happy for my sister, as I am for anyone who marries. Marriage was the best thing that ever happened to me. It (or Matt) has made me the happiest woman in the world. Marriage can be a lot of work, but the benefits far out way the work put in.

So our plans changed. Instead of Matt flying back alone and coming back in August, we decided to go home with him. So we made the best of the time we had in Texas. We went to the Zoo (so HOT!) and shopping. I got the BEST diaper bag for only $12! If you are ever by Sam Moon you HAVE to check it out! They have the best stuff with insanely cheap prices. They have a website if you are curious! We hung out with family and friends. I was a little sad to leave Texas in the end, but I was oh SO happy to be with Matt and to be back in our so comfortable bed! I love our little family and we just work so much better together than we do apart. We have some serious synergy going on!

Saturday, June 18, 2011

We are in TEXAS!

You would think I would be ecstatic to type those words. They are a little bittersweet for me. Matt had to stay behind for a class this summer. It has been hard, but it's been a super busy week. I think the hardest part was the trip. I almost totally lost it. My kids are fairly decent travelers, but honestly 14+ hours in one day is enough to put anyone over the edge. The first part of day 1 on the road went great. The kids slept most of the way. We were making great time and were scheduled to be at our goal stop for the night earlier than we had anticipated. About 3:30 we came into a town with warning signs of construction ahead "expect major delays; alternate route advised." We were seriously in the middle of NOWHERE, there was no way we were going to be able to figure out an alternate route at that point. So we stopped, fed Annaleigh, let Phillip get some energy out, and prepared for the long haul. The construction ahead turned out to be a one lane road with a pilot car leading traffic from either side. We waited there for probably a half hour. Of course just as we are getting ready to break free Annaleigh decides she has had enough, AND on the other side I get stuck behind semis going under the speed limit. This stretch of the drive was a nightmare. I drove for 6 hours and didn't even go 250 miles. I just wanted to cry! I didn't drive another mile of this trip. My mom decided I could better calm down than kiddos. Annaleigh can be quite the mommy's girl. After going through yet another one lane, pilot car construction zone we finally made it to Amarillo. It was such a hard first day. I missed Matt. We are an amazing team, and it is hard having to do these extremely challenging tasks without him.
The second day was better. We didn't have nearly as far to go. We left Amarillo by 8:30 and were at grandma's house by 6. I did end up having to move things from the back to the front seat so I could sit in the back with the kids and keep them from losing it.
Monday was another crazy day. The Tuesday before we left I noticed a painful lump in my armpit. I thought it was getting better, but by Thursday I realized it was getting worse. I haven't seen a Dr other than an OB since we moved from Texas. So I decided I would just go to my old dermatologist when I got to Texas. By Sunday night this stupid thing hurt so bad I couldn't lift my arm above my head. I was miserable! I got SO lucky and the dr actually had cancellations for Monday and he got me in the same day. It turned out I had a cyst rupture in my armpit causing an insane reaction. As soon as he saw it he got me up on the exam table and immediately started working to drain it. He numbed it, but seriously you would not believe how much that stupid little bump hurt! By Tuesday morning it felt SO much better. In between all the lump drama I had to go shopping with my sister to find a dress, be at a birthday party, and have lunch at Casa Ole, YUM!
The entire week was rather crazy. We found a bridesmaid dress for me. We toured the wedding venue with the amazing photographer who will be shooting the wedding, JOHN! And put on a Bridal Shower! Yeah, one crazy week! Did I mention my mom was gone for 2 of those days so I did some of that stuff with my 2 kids in tow.
All in all things are going good. Phillip has developed a weird raspy voice, which I can't figure out. I've been watching for a fever or any other sign he is sick, but nothing. Annaleigh has very quickly gotten used to being held all the time so it has been hard getting things done without an extra set of hands around. You should have seen us today! My mom and I had food to prepare, a present to finish making, and decorations hang. We eventually busted out the baby backpack. We were that desperate.
We do miss Matt, though. I'm sad we can't be there with him for Father's Day, but I'm grateful he understands my need to be here to help my sister out with the final details of her wedding. I can't tell you how awesome of a father my husband is to our kids. Phillip loves that man to death! As do I! And even though Annaleigh is a momma's girl she gets a big smile when she sees her daddy come home from work. I couldn't ask for a better father for my children. He truly is a SUPERDAD!

Friday, May 20, 2011

Week 1

I can't say I did amazing this week, but I'm optimistic. I lost 1.2 lbs! At least it is in the right direction. I don't expect Biggest Loser type results. I don't have the privilege of being able to work out 24/7. In fact, I didn't work out at all this week. I've planned to start small by taking a walk with the kiddos daily. The only day this week the weather was decent was Monday and that didn't happen. Every other day this week it has either been raining or snowing. The forecast for next week doesn't look great either. Maybe I'll get the motivation to use our bike this week.

This week I just tried to cut back on portions. Some days I did ok. Other days were not so great. Like Tuesday when I was at home with the kids all day. Phillip is so used to seeing his daddy in the afternoons he gets cranky on the days Matt has class. I may have overindulged in some yummy chocolate chips cookies after I finally got the kids to bed.

So, that was my week. I'm not quite brave enough to actually report my weight. It's quite depressing. So, until then I'll just report my weight loss. Here's to hoping next week is still in the right direction!

Friday, May 13, 2011

A New Journey

Today, I started a new journey. A journey that terrifies me and excites me all at the same time. A journey that is honestly an embarassing journey to have to take. I decided to share my journey on here to motivate me to complete it this time. I am starting a weight loss journey.

I have struggled with my weight most of my life. The funny thing is most of my life I really wasn't all that overweight. I just let peer pressure and society's view of who I should be let me believe I was "the fat kid." Criticism is a powerful thing. I was young and impressionable enough that after feeling like "the fat kid" for so long I became "the fat kid." I've known I've had this problem for a while. I've tried in the past to lose weight and I have. I did Weight Watchers in college and was down to 170 when I quit. I know for most people that sounds high and is probably still overweight for my height, but for me it was incredible. I felt so much better. I could tell I had lost weight. I felt thinner. Then, the regular semester started back up and I quit after a few weeks of trying to fit it all in. I was going to school full-time and working a day job. I had a really hard time finding foods I could eat on the go that fit into the Weight Watchers plan. Really, I just found an excuse. I'm sure there are deaply rooted psychological reasons for this. Some of them I've figured out and there are probably still some I have not, but I don't think you want to explore my inner self.

So, I slowly gained the weight back. I really can't blame a lot of my actual weight on my pregnancies. They have actually been rather decent for me. I was back down to my weight at my first appt with Phillip only a few short weeks after I had him. I only gained a total of 5 lbs with Annaleigh! WOW! So, with her I was lighter after giving birth than I was before I got pregnant. I can blame my shape on pregnancy. Despite having lost all the weight quickly after Phillip I was never able to get back into my pre-pregnancy pants. About a week before we found out I was pregnant with Annaleigh I was finally able to put on a pair of slacks I had from before Phillip. Pregnancy totally distorted my body.

So, why now, right? I had Annaleigh over 4 mths ago. You would think I would have made this decision earlier. Well, first, I've already gained back some of the weight I lost while pregnant with Annaleigh. That's just downright depressing! I've also been doing a lot of self reflection lately. Not so much about my appearance. I really am at a point in my life where I don't need approval from outside sources. My husband will pretty much love no matter how I look, though I'm sure if I let my body get way out of control he'd have something to say. I've been thinking more about the job I'm doing as a mother and wife. I was pretty depressed as Mother's Day approached. I felt like I wasn't a mom to be celebrated. My house is generally a mess. I pick up almost every day, but I rarely find the time to do a really nice deep clean. I feel like I spend more time saying things like, "no," "get down," "don't hit your sister," and "get out of that" than anything else to Phillip. I am exhausted with him by the end of the day. Of course, it doesn't help that usually he decides to get into things when I've just sat down to feed Annaleigh or when she's beyond sleepy and I have to actually put her to sleep. I would never say Phillip is a bad kid. He generally does try to help even though there are times when you can tell he knows what he is doing is wrong, but does it anyway. I just feel like I'm not focusing enough energy on him. I'm not playing with him enough. I've blamed his endless energy on the weather. He can't get outside to get out his energy so he gets it out by misbehaving. It took some reflection to realize I can help him get the energy out inside. I need to be right there beside him playing. I need to let him chase me through the house. I need to be there for him. Our TV is on almost the entire day. What is this teaching him? I don't want him to grow up thinking it is ok to sit in front of the TV all day every day. SO, I decided I needed to lose some weight, get more energy and take more time to play with my son.

This is not going to be an easy journey. I don't expect to lose weight with jaw dropping speed like the Biggest Loser contestants. I am realistic and know this is going to take some time. I may not even lose any in the beginning. I'm ok with that. I need to be making lifestyle changes. Ones I can teach Phillip and Annaleigh. I realize it will take time to make changes that will stick, but I'm ready!

I can do this!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Today, my incredible, amazing, wonderific (he loves that word) husband turned 25! He's officially an old man. At least that is what he told me when I turned 25! (that I was an old woman, not an old man) We had a nice family weekend. It's funny how priorities change when you are a young family still in school with 2 kiddos. There may not be romantic weekends alone anywhere in our near future. SO, we had an alone lunch. Matt's mom watched our kiddos while we went out to lunch here in town. It was definately nice to have an hour without a kid crying or screaming "hold me," "wadder," or "ogurt" (aka, yogurt). Then, we went to the Ogden/Layton area with the kids for the rest of the day. Phillip stayed awake the entire drive, wow! But he was a good boy!

We went to the mall. Matt looked for a new game. Phillip played for a little bit and I scored some hot deals with my JC Penney coupon!

We had dinner at Five Guys where this handsome little boy chowed down on some french fries and ketchup. (He ate some burger, too!)

And mimicked daddy!

Today, we had a birthday party! With Spiderman cupcakes. (I totally improvised the stand!)

And some knock-off Winger's chicken. YUM!

And this was the carnage.

Hopefully, it was a great birthday weekend for him. He's such a great dad and husband. He works full-time and is only a year away from finishing his Bachelor's! YAY! Needless to say, he needs a break sometimes and hopefully his birthday let him know how much I love him and appreciate all he does for us. He is truly amazing. I would not be able to survive raising these 2 kiddos without him. He's my absolute best friend and I'm excited to celebrate so many more birthdays with him!

Happy Birthday, Matt!

Friday, April 29, 2011

Big Bows For Baby Maddie

One of the blogs I follow is Another Day Stronger. Kellie and James lost their princess Maddie in February at only 4 months to SIDS. Her blog is very hard for me to read sometimes especially since my princess is almost 4 months. We've had a very long road with Annaleigh and I can't imagine losing her now. Today is Spring for SIDS, and Kellie has asked everyone to wear pink and bows in memory of her princess. I had the cutest new fabric so I made Annaleigh a HUGE bow. Matt thinks it is too big. I think it's just right. So here is Annaleigh in her pink (and yellow) and her big new flower. (It's the biggest one she has!)

You can't help smiling, can you?

I just love those pretty eyes!

Enough with the pictures mom!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Wait, what happened to SPRING break!?!

Matt had this week off work for Spring Break. I assume since this is Wyoming it is seriously covered in snow over half the year (You probably think I'm exaggerating. Trust me I'm NOT!) they push spring break back an entire MONTH from everyone else in the country. This week off also coincided with Matt's last week of school. With the exception of a math final he took today, he had everything else turned in on Monday. I thought we were going to have so much fun. Mid-April, no work and no school. We are going to get out. Phillip is going to be able to play outside and get out some of this excess energy. SO wrong! Friday Phillip woke up with a runny nose. It progressively got worse over the weekend. Having a sick baby is the worst, but if they are going to be sick why can't they just be cuddly and sleepy? Phillip has only been that way a couple of times he's sick. His normal sick is full of crankiness, sleep fighting and he still has to be constantly busy. It's the worst! I was still determined we could have a decent spring break. Kids can still play while they are sick. We would of course avoid other kids, but that shouldn't be hard.

Tuesday morning I get up to this....

It actually melted fairly quickly later that day. It wasn't a huge deal. Today Matt was leaving to take his test. I told him the weather was looking nasty and to be careful. He said it was probably just going to rain. It didn't seem cold enough to snow. About  2:30, I look out the window and see this....

Totally snowing! This is where I start laughing like the people in psychiatric hospitals in movies. AHHHHHH! It's days or weeks like this that make me miserable living in this place. I know I should just be happy with wherever I am in my life. I should be grateful I'm here with my little family. There is just only so much snow a Texan can take. My son needs to get out and play so he can stop driving me insane. I need some warmth and sun! Spring break in Wyoming SUCKS!!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Positively Splendid: Epic Letterpress Giveaway!!

Positively Splendid: Epic Letterpress Giveaway!! I am loving this Letterpress. If you haven't checked out Positively Splendid's blog you should....NOW! She has such great ideas. I absolutely love her kid's room. Check it out here:

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Dessert Dilemna and Moral Decisions

My wonderful husband having enormous faith in my ability to create desserts volunteered me to make dessert for his mom's birthday celebration. He said "it's kind of your thing." "It" meaning dessert. Anyway, so I've been looking around to come up with some new ideas. Nothing spoke to me. So this morning at 9:45 I frantically called my mom for some fresh ideas. She was no help, but her friend at work had one that sounded promising. Banana Split Pie! Only not really made as a traditional pie since the original pie recipe needs to be doubled for the masses. Now I have a grocery list for the store, but my kids aren't ready. I quickly get the kiddos ready and head off for the store. I knew I would have to make it quick since Annaleigh would need to eat within the hour. Apparently, I didn't shop fast enough! As I'm grabbing the last thin on my list she starts her Pterodactyl scream she's so famous for. So I race to the front of the store and find the shortest line possible. I check out and quickly head out to the car. I'm too short to see over the car seat if it's sitting in the front of the cart so today I got one of the "fun kids" carts let Phillip sit in the big kid part and put her in the big part of the cart with the groceries in the front. I put a few things in the back around Annaleigh's car seat. As I got her out of the cart to put her into the van I noticed I had missed a bag of powdered sugar in my frenzy to check out. Drats! I already had Phillip in his car seat. Annaleigh was screaming her head off. Really?! I must admit it ran through my head to just get in the car and go home. It's not like this Wal-Mart doesn't rip me off every time I walk through the door. Every single thing is way overpriced. Who would know anyway? I couldn't do it. So I put the rest of the groceries into the van, pulled Phillip back out of his car seat and headed back into the store carrying Annaleigh in her car seat, Phillip and the darn bag of powdered sugar. I head to the closest line, which seemed promising. The only guy in line was almost finished checking out. Did I mention the guy was a little old guy? A sweet, but oh so terribly slow little old guy. He took forever getting his cash out. By this time Phillip has realized the bag of powdered sugar I am holding has cookies on it so he's screaming "cookie, cookie." You try explaining to a 20 mth old that a package with a picture of a cookie does not, in fact, contain cookies. Not so easy. Anyway the nice cashier who realizes how I'm struggling holding a toddler screaming for cookies and a baby crying gives the man his change and promptly rings up my lone bag of powdered sugar. Oh if only life could be rushed so! Little, sweet old man is still putting his money away standing in front of the card swipey machine! Oh good gravy! What a Wal-Mart trip! On a happy note, Annaleigh fell asleep as I was paying AND stayed asleep until I had a bottle ready for her! What luck! So I went home and made my dessert (stopping to feed Annaleigh when she was ready) and had it in the refrigerator to chill all before 1. Yeah, I know, I have no idea where my day went. The dessert looked way cute and everyone seemed to enjoy it so I guess it was all worth it!