Wednesday, November 30, 2011

santa 2011

While in Cali, we did a lot.  We did our favorite restaurants.  We did the beach.  We did Super Target (I mean, DUH.)  But best of all (if you're one of my kids) and most horrible of all (if you're the other one of my kids) .... we did Santa Claus.

But first, we waited.  All bright blue eyes and curious peeks and surprising patience.
And waited.  Adorably.

And waited.  And made a frienemy in line.  A sparkle shoe showdown ensued.
And then, it was our turn.  Show time.  SANTA time.
And it went like so.
Poor Santy.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


turkey baby.
due 11/27/07.
forever in my heart. are precious in my sight, and honored, and i love you.  (isaiah 43:4)

Saturday, November 26, 2011

iphone photo week in review: twenty seven

11 weeks.  the sweetest sibs.  because i was all hey i should take another baby to wally.  wah wah waaaah.  pet sitters.  goodbye cold.  airporting.  happy traveler.  sleepy traveler. 
pajamarama thanksgiving morning stroll.  losing his britches.  tail wagged.  you say fireplace he says sandbox.  sunshine peeking.  holidays.  silly.  happy.  silly happy.

black friday 7am.  black friday round two 10am.  wear the fox hat.  ocean view.  just us girls.  buggy.  princesses love target too.  oh so cali.  animal boy.

Friday, November 25, 2011

that's how we rolled

Double stroller, car seat on a GoGo Kidz, huge carry on, two medium carry ons, three year old, almost two year old, a teddy, and a baby doll ..... and it was no big thing.  For real.  The three hour drive to the Minneapolis airport flew by with not a single whiny moment or icy patch.  Everyone at the airport was helpful, the kids were obedient and upbeat, I managed to manuever the whole rig AND sip a Caribou Coffee vanilla white chocolate mocha.  And I actually spent a decent amount of in-flight time reading my Kindle while V snoozed or stared out the window and A played with his myPad!  I don't know if it's their ages or my accumulated traveling experience or a total blessed fluke that made the journey such a smooth one.  Probably some combination of the three.  But whatever it was, I liked it.

And the little mama?  She liked doing what little mamas do best.  Packing (and unpacking and packing)  the baby bag, and making sure baby's tummy was good and full before boarding.  Good mama.

And Bug?  He liked take-off, minus a split-second a moment of apprehension when a coffee pot bit it up at the attendant's station.  Then right back to excitment, a la Little Einsteins, with a boisterous "TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP TAP ......... BLASTOFF!"  Which I thought was plenty funny, as did the mom of four young boys (including an Anderson!) sitting near us.  The old ladies to our right?  Not so thrilled.

Success.  Here's hoping for a repeat performance on the return trip!  Hope you and yours had a fabulous Thanksgiving.  xoxo

Tuesday, November 22, 2011


Not like there's ever a good time to have your double stroller annihilated.  But the night before you leave on a cross-(half)-country trip by yourself with two toddlers, when you 100% absolutely for SURE need a double stroller to get those toddlers and all their stuff and some of your stuff into the airport and all the way down to your gate without losing anyone or anything or oh idk, your MIND?  TOTALLY NOT A GOOD TIME.  Let's just say this: J was trying to be helpful, and instead, in a split second he turned my beautiful trusty four wheel stroller into a big brokeass one with three wheels and one sad, useless stump.  It wasn't pretty, people.  I NEEDED THAT STROLLER.  No double stroller in the airport with a 3 and almost-2 year old?  Is not an option.  Not.  An.  Option.  So maybe I spazzed.  Rightfully!

And then, I drove 200mph to Shopko, which is totally not a place I enjoy going to because it's like a sad, soulless Target.  But I was DESPERATE here.  It's not like I have a Buy Buy Baby down the road with eleven hundred strollers in stock.  No.  Nada.  This was my only hope, because I already knew Wally carried a handful of strollers and none were made for two.  And praise JESUS, Shopko had a double in stock.  And after a little, erm, discussion (some might call it a spat) with an uptight manager who wouldn't sell me the floor model because it's illegal, which the rational side of me absolutely understands but the spazzy panicky time pressed mom with two whiny toddlers side of me?  NOT UNDERSTANDING.  Anyway.  We have a double stroller now, and I was pleased to come home and see that we got it for about $10 less than the Amazon price and that the reviews are decent.  Not like it matters, it could be the worst double stroller in all of history and be covered in cartoon characters and camo and it would still be better than having no double stroller at all.  I was envisioning lugging Vivi around in the Bjorn, which is pretty much hilarious because she's about two inches shy of being as tall as I am (which is not very).
his penance.  assemblage.

oh, i'm going to miss that mug.

With that, off to Thanksgiving.  Thankful for new (crappy plastic) wheels and husbands who don't take spazz-outs personally.  And fabulous family waiting on the west coast, of course.

Monday, November 21, 2011

deja vu

I watched homegirl climb out of her crib this morning.  NO NO NO PLEASE GOD NO!  Please let it be a fluke, please let it be a fluke, please let it be a fluke.

Sit, Vivi.  Stay, Vivi.  Good Vivi.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

iphone photo week in review: twenty six

It's the weekend, again?  The week went where?  Not that I'm complaining.  Ohhhhh, no.  J's off, and today included a road trip where nobody cried or barfed, a quick but fulfilling hour of shopping, a stockpiling of crafty goods for Pinterest projects, and an art fair.  (Oh FINE it was  a craft fair, I just didn't want to use the word "craft" twice in one sentence.  Crafty Crafter McCraftsalot, reporting for duty.)  The day also meant saying goodbye to Mimi and Papaw at the Wausau airport, which wasn't as much fun (or fun at all, really), but we can't complain when we had a week as fun and memorable as we did.  Thanks for coming, yall!  Go thaw your Texan blood now.  Speaking of thawing, guess who found some last minute plane tickets and will be thawing HERSELF next week under the SoCal sun?  Me!  And the little people!  Don't you cry a single tear for poor worker bee J, he's none too sad about being left home (in non-working hours) with his dog and his remote control.

And now, I'm off to pack away the fall leaves and gourds.  I typically leave the autumnal goodness up until Thanksgiving weekend, but since I won't be around then, now's time to bid adieu.  Plus, it's snowing and looks all Christmassy outside.  Plus, the XM Holly station I was listening to driving to the art ((craft)) fair has Santa on my brain.  Plus, this girl's got some new wintery goods from that art ((craft)) fair that must be put into place.  Plus, I had an extra coffee this afternoon and need to do SOMETHING.

The week, compliments of iPhone photos.
10 weeks.  movie date.  making pretties.  favorite activity of late is cruising with babies.  bubbita and her bubbitas.  pillow top dog.  getting ready.  so parklee.  caution i'm hot. 

 road trip 3rd row view.  3rd row co passenger.  bug and his mypad.  qdoba wasn't sad to see her go.  silly.  nap what nap?  i gave in.  ah winter.  i'm 89 years old now.  

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

the ten dollar boots

Based on the comments, texts, and an email I received in response to my last post, I think you were more interested in Vivi's new pink sparkly boots than you were about my tragic near-death coffee overdose.  (I made it home alive, but just barely.  Thanks for caring.)  So a few of you might also want to get your hands on a pair of $10 pink sparkly Ugg-type boots for your little princess sparklepantses, I'm gathering?  Vivi would definitely approve of you buying these.  She's got her brother's hand me down chocolate Uggs, and while they're cushier and obviously higher quality (and therefore hand me downable) than the knock-off version, there are two problems with said hand me down chocolate Uggs: a) a certain dearly departed dog chewed a tiny portion of the trim last winter and b) they're NOT PINK.  OR SPARKLY.  So when Miss V woke up Saturday morning and laid eyes on the pink sparkly non-nibbled pair I'd picked up for her the night before?  Oh, happy day.  She wanted them on over her footie pajamas immediately, and I had to fight them off of her at nap time.  And this morning, when I tried to coerce her into the brown pair (they matched her tights better!) there were tears.  "Pink parkleeeee odder ones!  Pink parkleeeeee boots, mama!"  I gave in, obvi.

Anyway, ready?  Walmart!  (I know, I know, hardy har har, laugh away college BFFs who remember a day when yours truly wouldn't step FOOT inside a Wally except that one time when Britney's new album came out at midnight and Gervs and I were there with bells on to get our CD the minute it was available.)  (This was before iTunes made the youth of America lazy.)  (Gawd, we're old.)  Anywho, I found Vivi's size 7s in the store, but I see sizes 8 - 11 are available online.  Right HERE.  Run!  I just ordered the size 8s, because the way my girl's feet are growing, she'll need to size up by next month.  And also because I knew all you crazies were going to go buy them all up if I didn't jump on it.  So there you go!  Sparkle away, sparkly ones!

Monday, November 14, 2011

THREESHOTS!!!!!! and iphone photos week in review: twenty five


Guess what?  Are you guessing?  Are you?  ARE YOU ARE YOU ARE YOU?  So this morning, when I left my kids home with the visiting Mimi and took my laptop to a coffee shop to work and the barista was like "3 shots okay?" I might have kinda sorta been distracted by FB on my iPhone so I was all "uh huh, 3, okay, good" and then I drank my coffee real fast like and now I CAN'T EVEN SEE STRAIGHT and my hands they are SHAKING.  What does that even MEAN, 3 shots?  Of what?  What did she put in this thing?  I'm so AWAKE!  I'm so ALIVE!  I'm so GLAD the kids aren't with me because I don't even think I could drive them around in good conscience because WOO HOOOOO COFFEE OMG WOW!

Back to work.  I'm a MACHINE.

I think I'll be staying at this coffee shop until I sober up.  Tomorrow afternoonish.  Good luck to you, Mimi.

Here.  iPhone photos whateverthehell.

chessypoo.  moon.  sleeping off the anesthesia.  hi pretty.  he loves that boot.  fetch.  sleepy.  finger painting is a mess.  pink and sparkly and ten dollars.  he loves snow.  scenic.  you call this fun.  maybe fun.  my sweet boys.  postcard perfect.  jello powder is the devil.  date night.  the rgmt gang and the cheesedag.  

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

it no-ing!

I'm not a snow enthusiast.  You won't see me on skis (deathtraps), you couldn't pay me enough to snowmobile (ew) (and also omgbrrrrr), and you're more than a little crazy if you think I'll pick up a shovel without a gun to my head.  I don't have snowpants, because seriously, who wants their butt looking that much puffier?  Not I, said me.  It's not that I don't like the snow (I probably wouldn't have willingly moved to northern Wisconsin if that were true), it's pretty and cozy and Christmas cheery and I'll take it gladly over 100 degrees and 100% humidity ....  but I'm just not one who counts the days to that first snowfall and cheers along the weatherman as he ups the watch to a warning and leaps from my bed on the very first snow day of the season.

Until now.  Until today.  We woke this morning to the first snowfall of the season.

Today, you might say I love the snow like I'd love .... glittery coffee making cats.  Because in the small hours of this morning, one by one my littles came to life, and each time I watched them rub their eyes adjust to the light outside their windows, then watched those little eyes grow big and bright and heard them sigh "oooohhhhhhh!  Snooooooow!"  Or in Anderson's case, "MOMMY!  It no-ing!  It no-ing!"  Oh, the innocent excitement of littles, who don't think of shoveling or botched travel plans or seasonal affective disorder, but just embrace the magic of fluffy white puffs swirling down from the sky, of Santa and sleds and making a snowman when "daddy get home way-ter?"  It all made me a believer in the snow.

maybe notsomuch a believer.  you want me to pee WHERE?

If you need me come nap time, I'll be in the basement doing a winter decor inventory, or breaking out the glitter spray paint to sparklefy my pile of twigs (a la Pinterest, which I'd link you to if it weren't being a total DB and 404ing and 505ing every time I touch it) (AGAIN).  Or I'll be by my mixer, stirring together a batch of cookies with the snuggly puppy at my feet.  Or with a cup of coffee in hand (goodbye, Diet Dew, it was nice knowing you) staring out the window and seeing it all in a brand new way.  There might be Christmas music involved, people.  Don't tell the turkey, okay?

Monday, November 7, 2011

bug's big(ger) boy room

Um, yall?  Last week?  I DIED.  Or I was pretty sure I was going to at some point.  There were three things that got me by.  Number One: I discovered I like coffee after all (or coffee-like drinks) after the very persuasive barista at my favorite local coffee place peer pressured me into upgrading my occasional hot chocolate treat to a cafe mocha.  And now if I don't have one every day or every other day at least, THE WORLD ENDS.  Or I'm pretty sure it will.  I haven't tested that theory.  So there were many coffee-like drinks being drank.  Number Two: Auntie Megan, who I guilted into doing things like picking up my kitten from the vet and watching my kids at 9am on a Saturday with a mild tequila hangover so I could go drink coffee and buy groceries.  Number Three: wine and Bravo (likeduh).  Why, you ask, was last week so particularly formidable?  Because, my friends, J was out of town.  Off in the wild wild west shooting things with manly men who do man things.  Which left me.  And a three year old and a one and a half year old and an infant dog and three cats, one of whom was freshly neutered and none too happy about that. And my job and my house which started to look like a landfill by the fifth day.  And the twice-nightly pee breaks out in the yard with that puppy, where he spent 10 minutes sniffing and spinning and I stood there shivering and shining my flashlight every which way because I was VERY SURE we were about to be eaten by coyotes and my kids would wake up and nobody would be here to take care of them for DAYS and it would be SO TRAGIC.  And then there was that $%&*#@% stupid daylight savings time business.  (WHYYYY?!?)  It was rough, all in all.  I'm not saying we didn't have fun, too - we SO did.  We ate pizza and snuggled in my bed with the pup and crashed friends' houses for rowdy playdates.  But still.  Challenging.  I will say this - I appreciate my super helpful husband more than ever before because if I had to do all the work by myself all the time?  Um, no.

So anyway, I didn't have much to talk about last week, because I couldn't hardly come on my public interwebs blog and be all "hey, everyone!  I'm all alone out here in the dark dark woods with only a steak knife and a puppy for protection!"  You know?

Anyramblingnonsense, it's a new week.  And yesterday, in a caramel mocha fueled Pinterest binge, inspiration struck.  I got my craft on.  Bug's big boy room had been slow going.  He got the bunk beds, you may remember, for his birthday.  And they are all he I hoped they would be.  Cute, sturdy, certainly cozy enough for a parent to pass out on after a 3am monster check.  And the bedding didn't disappoint, either.  First of all, ADORBS and hits that perfect mark where it's not too babyish but also not too all grown up.  Second of all, washes up well.  Which is a non-negotiable when a newly pee-trained 3 year old is sleeping on it, you know?  So, we had beds and bedding.

And then, we had a stupidcute framed car picture, thanks to our friends Anne & Co.  Which perfectly filled the wall space in the tiny little "reading corner."  Which, of course, is a fancy way of saying I shoved an old Target bookshelf in an awkward corner space and deemed it "the reading corner".  Which Bug took to mean "the corner where I dump all my books all over the floor when I'm supposed to be napping corner."

But then, there was this big huge wall on the other side of the room.  I had vague ideas - I wanted something bright, something somehow transportation related without being like "hi here are some more pictures of cars and trucks", and something not ugly.  And yesterday, I was finally ready to commit and craft.  So I got out the felt and the glue gun and an hour and a half later, I had this!

I love it.  I thought it had kind of a race track feel to it, but Bug saw it and clapped his hands and said "like swimming lessons!"  Apparently, it reminds him of the flags around the pool at the Y.  But whatever, he likes it.  And I do, too.  And it was SO easy to make.  I printed off lower case letters using a font I liked in Word (Stone Sans ITC), cut them out to make stencils to make the felt letters, used a piece of cardboard for the triangle stencils, then used hot glue to stick it all together and onto a piece of double fold bias tape.

I'm not quite done yet.  I still have to make the map-covered letter A and I'd really prefer to have some sort of a book sling instead of the beat up bookshelf ... but it's good for now.  (I tried to show you my Pins for both of those items, but Pinterest is in a mood, it seems.  404 YO'SELF, Pinterest!)

Here's hoping for a good week.  Despite the weatherman saying we might need a SHOVEL by Wednesday night.  A freaking SHOVEL!?!?  Hold me.

*Please excuse the random formatting issues.  I don't even have the energy to try to figure it out.  Andplusalso, there's probably nobody still reading at this point anyway, so BLALALASLBAKBJNKAJBSFDKJBAWKERGH≥/.

Thursday, November 3, 2011

the best mac and cheese in the world

You're either going to love me or hate me for what I'm about to share.  Probably a little bit of both.  You're about to taste the best mac and cheese EVAH .... but you're also about to gain eleventy hundred pounds eating it again and again and again until there's nothing left to do but lick the cheese off the side of the casserole dish.  I'm not saying it's healthy, I'm not saying it won't put you into cardiac arrest.  But I am saying it's my favorite comfort dish recipe, and obviously, because I just polished off a large bowl and then scooped a couple more spoonfuls right out of the casserole dish but ate those standing up in front of the fridge, because calories consumed standing up don't even count as calories.  (True story!)

I like to put this together while the kids are napping, skipping only the panko/butter topping (I think it would get soggy), and then put it in the fridge until 30ish minutes before dinner.  Then pull it out, do the panko/butter thing, bake and die of goodness.  You're welcome!

this is not my mac and cheese.  i've never let my mac and cheese sit around long enough to photograph it.  but it looks just like my mac and cheese, promise.

what you need:
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni
1/4 cup butter, cubed
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
2 cups 2% milk
1 tub (8oz) Philly chive and onion cream cheese
4oz Velveeta, cut into cubes
1 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese
5 bacon strips, crumbled
1/4 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp butter, melted

what you do:
cook macaroni according to package directions.  in a large saucepan, melt butter.  stir in flour until smooth; gradually add milk.  bring to a boil; cook and stir for 1-2 minutes or until thickened.  stir in the cream cheese, velveeta, cheddar cheese, bacon, salt and pepper.

drain macaroni, stir in cheese sauce.  transfer to a greased 8 inch square baking dish.  combine bread crumbs and melted butter; sprinkle over casserole.  bake at 350 for 25-30 minutes or until bubbly.

iphone photo week(s) in review: twenty three & twenty four

We've been busy.

watch your ankles.  so homey.  play-doh.  weekly scrambled egg feed.  snuggles.  chasing bubbles.  adios amiga.  local coffee is good.  hi.
 megantober's birthday.  in retrospect my cupcakes look a little nipply.  birthday.  birthday.  oops too tired to fix that.  cookie cake.  free babysitter.  cows need fuel too.  cow & cowgirl.
 tweet.  road trip.  chipotle with my girl.  hi chester.  late night pit stop.  nugget boy.  love chester.  spooky.  the crew.
 rough life.  take your dog nephew to work day.  cars with boo boos.  chicken baby food ends the food strike.  chester drives.  chester sleeps.

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

escape artist

I'm pretty sure this is the sweetest puppy that ever did live.  He's potty training like a champ, sleeping all through the night, not chewing on a thing that doesn't belong to him, and not making a peep.  Like, ever.  He loves everyone and everything and everycat.  And as I write this, he's snuggled up beside my leg, mostly snoozing but occasionally stealing a glance up at me with his sweet little puppy eyes to make sure I haven't gone left his side.  The only time he ever makes a fuss?  And by fuss I mean FUH-REAK-OUT?  When put into ..... DUN DUN DUN ..... the Kennel Of Doom.  Then?  Spaz time.  Whining, chewing, yelping, and jumping.  Probably the saddest sight that I ever did see.  But we're working on it.  Yesterday I gave it about twenty minutes (while I scrubbed pee out of the carpet, NOT DOG PEE mind you), then set him free.  I tried again today when I took the kids upstairs to get dressed, brush their teeth, and make them pick up the eleventy billion Little People pieces that SOMEHOW ended up from one end of the upstairs to the other.  (Nobody did it.  I asked.)

Anyway, so I put Chester in the kennel.  And there was the immediate whining/chewing/yelping/jumping reflex, and it made me very sad, but the kids were in yogurt covered pajamas.  With yogurt sugar sinking into their tiny impressionable teeth RIGHT THAT SECOND.  It had to happen.  But then, after a few minutes upstairs .... there was quiet from below!  Ah ha!  He'd realized his humans were just right upstairs, and snuggled in.  That's my perfect, genius puppy boy.

Except then I went downstairs to take a peek at this perfection.  And found the kennel like so:
clearly, this kennel is puppyless

And after a few frantic seconds where I was very sure he'd either a) been puppynapped or b) eaten by the cats or c) found a pair of Uggs and ate them ..... I found baby Chester.  Like so:

Chester for the win!