Friday, December 30, 2011


I SO love the fact that we can cruise with the windows down in December. I love living in the south! Obviously the kids were loving the breeze, too! :)

LO's face especially cracks me up...

And I love Chase's new hairdo in this one...

Happy December, y'all!

Thursday, December 29, 2011

Our First Visit

Whoa. Yesterday was NOT a pleasant day for me. I don't know what I came down with, but I felt absolutely miserable yesterday! And it was awful because I had so much I wanted/needed to get done around the house but literally didn't have the strength to do much more than yell at LO to stop irritating the crap out of Chase and to make a couple of PB&Js. Ugh. Awful. I finally started feeling better last night after a long, hot shower and a turkey croissant.

Anywho, so I've been stockpiling all the stuff we've seen, done, compiled, selected, discussed, etc. concerning our new house since we started this process back in October, and I can finally let that stuff slowly filter out here on the blog. I'll try not to bore the pants off anybody, but I do want to share the fun stuff!

During one of our first trips to OUR homesite on December 18th, we took bunches of pictures. I thought I'd share a few of those with you guys today.

Here I am standing at our property line.

And here I am at our other property line. I'm such a dork.

My beautiful girl with a pic of our new home!

Here's my sweet family checking out our new yard!

LO's super excited about building a new home -- with stairs and everything! Haha!

My sweet boy. Such a cutie!

Love this crinkle face of his!

After scoping out our lot, we ended up at the playground near the pool that is literally across the street from our lot. We love this!

My girl on the swings! She can really get herself moving! And I love that I only have to push one kiddo on the swings now. :)

I'll be posting some pics of our floor plan, color selections, etc. soon. I get so excited about this stuff! Although I'm guessing you guys aren't too stoked about my upcoming blog posts on building our new home. I kind of caught on to that fact when I received ZERO comments on my big announcement post on Sunday. Haha! So sorry if this stuff isn't interesting to you guys, but I gotta keep it real! :)

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

It's That Time Again!

Guess what time is quickly approaching once again?


That's right! It's time to get Chase to ditch the paci! I searched my blog archives and confirmed that we got rid of LO's paci about 2 weeks before her 2nd birthday. Looks like we're a bit behind schedule with Chase... haha! As if he conforms to any kind of a schedule -- too funny! But now that he's talking more and is so independent with his big boy bed, I think we're gonna give it a go this weekend. He only uses the paci at nap time and at night, so I'm hopeful it won't be too difficult. LO was super easy when we got rid of hers with the awesome "clipping" method my friend H shared with me. Check out the flashback post from 2009 below. :)

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Monday was a fun day. Hubs and I (okay, really it was all me) decided it was time to phase out the pacifier ("paci") with LO now that she'll be TWO a week from Saturday. She's only ever used it at nap time and night time, so I knew it shouldn't be too painful. However, she really does love her paci and her teddy bear when it's time for sleep. I dunno. We thought we'd give it a go anyway and see what happens.

A good friend of mine told me she had read that you can cut off the tip of the paci, causing it to lose it's suction ability. Then you just cut off a little bit every 2 or 3 days until there's not much left of it. Usually by that time the child has already given up on it.

So starting at Monday's nap time, I gave LO two pacis, both of which had been "snipped." I closed the door and before I even got to the living room, she was standing at her door, wailing. It only lasted about 12 minutes before she tired herself out and went to sleep. That night, it was pretty much the same.

She's done very well at both nap time and bed time, although the first several minutes are a struggle. Quite frankly, she's more irritated at her paci than anything else. She doesn't even bother with it, but that doesn't stop her from being mad about the situation (understandably).

We've noticed she's not sleeping as "heavy" or as much as she had been previously, but we figure that's just how it's gonna be from now on. Case in point? This morning, she woke up around 7AM (normally it's not until 8:30-ish) but I refused to get my lazy self out of bed. After all, she has an entire toy box in her room that could occupy her for hours (ha-ha). However, this morning, she apparently found a better use for her time:

Isn't that just lovely? One entire drawer emptied, another half-emptied, clothes taken off hangers in her closet AND "Pat the Bunny?" Another casualty of her boredom. You can see it all ripped up on the glider chair.

Oh, and that toy box FULL of toys?? Not even touched.

Good times.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas 2011 Recap

Yay for Christmas! We FINALLY had a chance to relax and enjoy a little of the holiday festivities last night, and it was wonderful! Today has been even better -- NOTHING on the "To Do" list, nowhere to be, nothing to do... ahhhhhhh, pure bliss!!! We spent the night with hubs' family last night and came back home (to a WRECK of a home... so not like me to leave it such a mess when going out of town but there literally were not enough hours (minutes or seconds!) in the day yesterday!) with only ONE of our TWO littles. LO stayed behind with Gramma & PaPa for a little sleepover while hubs, Chase and I have been enjoying a leisurely (and QUIET!) afternoon/evening. We'll get our girl back tomorrow and all will be right with the world once more! ;)

So our Christmas day was quite honestly the most hectic, stressful and unmerry of any holiday I've ever experienced in my 30-something years. I hope we NEVER repeat the stresses and unjoy of the schedule we had to keep for this holiday season ever again! I'll tell you this much about working retail around the holidays: being forced to spend time AWAY from your family ON Christmas Eve truly truly truly SUCKS!!!!! I missed seeing my kids for over 24 hours due to my work schedule on Friday ('til 12AM!) and Saturday (6:45AM-4PM!) and I hope it NEVER happens again. Literally, I baked ZERO holiday treats and those of you who know me well are GASPING at the very thought, right?! Seriously. LO and I whipped up some "cake mix cookies" for Santa at 9:30pm on Christmas Eve. It's been that kind of holiday season around here. Gaw!

But once we were finally able to be together as a family and push our way through our overcommitted holiday schedule, it was truly wonderful! I am so very blessed to have the amazing husband and kids that I do! Thank you, Jesus!

So how about some pics of my kids? Don't mind if I do! Enjoy!

The Christmas stash.

TWO plates for Santa this year, one from LO and one from Chase. I think there were 9 cookies total plus a cup of chocolate milk (Santa's favorite). Would you believe Santa ate Every. Single. Cookie? Whoa! Hubs and I need to have a little chat before Santa's visit next year!

The stockings hung nowhere near the chimney because we don't have one! Haha! But we will next Christmas! ((WOOT!!)) Notice the ginormous bag of Peanut Butter M&Ms hubs left for me. Sweet!

My favorite Christmas morning pic ever! Both kids were in a slight sleepy stupor when they arrived in the family room to see all of the goodies. Please note LO's huge bouffant.

Time to open the stockings! Chase was very much enamored with a Cars 2 light-up spinning thing.

Seriously. He LOVED it. Great last-minute addition to his stocking! We got one for LO, too, but somehow he had confiscated hers...

Just a cute smiley pic of my precious boy! Love him!!

A new ball? Yes, please! :)

Um, I think LO was excited about this particular gift. Just a tad...

She was excited about The Ladybug Game, too!

Don't ask me why, but both of my kids love to watch Caillou. Seriously. He's a bald-yet-not-sickly-4-year-old boy with by far The. Most. Annoying. voice known to mankind. He's obnoxious. But the kids love him.

Can't wait for the four of us to try this one out! LO seems pretty stoked, too!

Chase got a computer for Christmas. Not that I have any notion that he'll leave my MacBook alone and just play with his new Leap Frog laptop. Especially since it doesn't get But it seemed to hold his attention for at least a couple of minutes!

Such a big, handsome, grown-up little man!

Opening more presents with hubs' family. Both of the kids majorly scored with that clan (as did hubs and I, too).

Case in point about mommy's score? I'm so crazy excited about my new All-Clad measuring cups and spoons from Williams-Sanoma! You just can't imagine!!!

Yay for girlie toys! LO is stocked up on some serious Barbie gear. And yet, after all the gifts were unwrapped, it was Chase who was playing with the Barbie horse and LO playing with Chuck the Tonka truck! Haha!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

A Little (okay, B-I-G!) Announcement...

First of all, I want to wish all of my reader(s) a MERRY CHRISTMAS!! I will have plenty of fun pics and videos to share after our big day of fun today, but I did promise you guys my little announcement, so let's get to that...

Let's start with an easy little version of the game "Spot the Difference" to aid in the deciphering of this announcement of ours...

Can you spot the BIG difference between the two images below?

Image #1:

Image #2:

So, um, not too hard, right? If you happened to notice the big, fat SOLD sticker on the lot sign, then CONGRATULATIONS! You didn't really win anything per se, but you DO get a gold star for being observant! :)

And for those of you who may have missed it,

Hubs and I are building our dream home!!!

As you can imagine, this little project is something that has been taking up a TON of what little free time I have available these days, and unfortunately my little blog here has had to suffer the brunt of said lack of time. So sorry! I plan to do better over the upcoming weeks/months, but I'll warn you now: a LOT of it will be focused on the process of building our home. I thought about starting a separate blog just for the house, but honestly it made the idea of blogging more complicated and time-consuming to me, so just consider this your heads-up that I'll be posting a lot about the house, using using fun and new words like "soffit" and "gable" and including tons of pictures along the way. Because, let's face it: this blog has a dual purpose: 1) it entertains the crap out of you guys (haha!) and 2) it's essentially become my online journal/scrapbook. So I'm using it for the latter purpose and if it happens to entertain along the way, YIPPEE!! If not, my apologies in advance. ;)

So there you have it. We're going to build our new home! And I'm super-excited about it!!


Saturday, December 24, 2011

Merry Christmas Eve!

You know it's an awesome, wonderful, super-merry Christmas when you see this:

Your daughter, wild fly-away hair and all, sporting a ride on her bike...

Meanwhile your son is rocking the yet-to-be-invented sport of golf ball hacking...

YouTube Video

This is shaping up to be a beautiful holiday. I can't wait to get home and share it with my family!!!

Merry Christmas Eve, everyone!!!

Posted from my iPhone

Merry Christmas Eve Eve

This is what 9:40 PM on Christmas Eve Eve looks like for me:

Workin' 'til midnight, then back in tomorrow morning at 6:45 AM on Christmas Eve. Realized earlier when I left for work that it'd be 24 hours before I'd see my kids again. But I'm looking forward to squeezing every ounce of Christmas cheer for the weekend starting tomorrow at 4pm! Woot!

Merry early Christmas! Hug those loved ones of yours extra tight!!!

Posted from my iPhone

Thursday, December 22, 2011

Shots n' Stuff

Today is Chase's 2nd round of Synagis for the season. Poor fella gets a shot in each leg once a month through March to help protect him from a nasty virus called RSV. Typically kids with a special heart like Chase get these injections until they're 2. However, as those of you who know us well may agree, we've never been ones to follow protocol and do things "just because they tell us to." So we inquired about it and got approval from our insurance company to complete another round. So this will be Round 3 for our little guy. His cardiologist basically said IF you can get it, go for it! Haha! I'm not sure there's anything we CAN'T do when it comes to caring for our son. We are his only advocates and we take our job very seriously. Especially since he ended up with RSV back in March of this year and it seriously was just a temp and a yucky cough. It didn't require hospitalization, breathing treatments, or anything more serious than some Tylenol, lots of rest and a very patient mommy to get through it!

My poor boy... he has no idea what he's in for today! ;)

Other than some shots for my boy, I'm hoping to finish up some homemade Christmas gifts and wrap my last few gifts today. All this before working 5p-12a tonight! Sheesh! Same shift tomorrow night, too. I wanna know who's great idea it was to keep the mall open so late the week before Christmas? Are you guys seriously waiting until the very last minute to do your shopping? Are you seriously planning to head to the mall at 11pm to finish buying those last few gifts? Procrastinators always make me smile. :)

Anywho, enough randomness for one morning. I hope all of you are getting things done and are all kinds of prepared for your Christmas festivities with your family and friends!

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


Hey, y'all! I got bored and updated my blog layout. It's nothing exciting or fancy, but I was tired of looking at the old design and gave it a tiny little facelift. Maybe one day I'll bring it up into the 21st century but for now, the current look will have to do.

Other than my little design update, not much is going on here. We're really looking forward to Christmas this weekend! The kids are excited and I'm happy to say I'm 99.9% done with my shopping and wrapping. Woot! This year we'll be spending Christmas Eve with my family after the Christmas Eve communion service at our church. I'm playing one or two piano pieces during the service and MAY even attempt to get LO to sing one of them with me! We'll see if/how that works out... ;) Then Christmas morning it'll be an early day as we'll have to get up and get the kids fed and dressed and ready for our 9:30am church service! It'll be weird not letting them open presents on Christmas morning, but I figure it's all good. After our service we'll head home and let the kiddos rip into their Christmas goodies, eat a yummy late brunch, then head out to spend the rest of the day with hubs' family! It'll be so great getting to see everyone for the holidays! This year will be especially fun because both LO and Chase will be into the presents and excitement of Christmas. I just love those kiddos so much and am so blessed to have the family I do. God has been so very good to us over the past two years especially and we continue to be grateful for His mercies.

I hope and pray all of you have a wonderful holiday season with your loved ones! Be sure to check back here on the blog on Christmas Day... I'll be sharing a special announcement with all of you lovely readers! ((NO! We're NOT expecting!!!)) LOL!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Teacher Gift Ideas

I have a bad habit of coming up with these grand ideas for gifts, etc. literally months in advance, then letting my poor time management get the best of me, leaving me with only hours to put gifts together for special recipients.

That's where I find myself today.

Tomorrow is LO's last day of school until after the holidays, and I need teacher gifts! I don't have time to troll Pinterest all day, but there are a few ideas I'm considering from there. I just don't know if I'll have adequate time to execute any of these, or if I'll just end up with a Yankee Candle sampler from Kohl's to give to them instead.

Anywho, what do you think of these gift ideas for LO's teachers? I need something quick and easy to make... I like these ideas but I'm sure there are lots of other cutesie homemade gifts that don't look cheap. HALP!!

Quick and easy... just pick up some Bath & Body Works hand soap. 

This is cute but maybe a little too time-consuming to put together before tomorrow...

I absolutely LOVE this idea! Cutest. Thing. Ever!

Homemade pillow spray! Cute, but maybe a bit too personal?

Wednesday, December 14, 2011


I was just sitting here, enjoying the peace & quiet of nap time, eating waaaay too many peanut butter M&Ms and thinking about where we were two years ago. The year was 2009 and it was the year our precious son was born. It's so hard to imagine sometimes that we actually lived through that nightmare of handing our son over for life-saving surgery at a mere 7 days old, of spending 5 weeks in the hospital and countless hours praying over his bedside for God's hand of healing and mercy on him.

Wow. God has brought us through so much and not a day goes by that I'm not overwhelmed with gratitude for all He's done.

So I was thinking I'd look back at what I blogged about 2 years ago. Thankfully by this time we were already home from MUSC and settled into life with our sweet boy. And it was just a fun post with a silly picture. I love it!

On a completely unrelated note... someone please get these peanut butter M&Ms away from me!!!


Birth Announcement

I've been trying to get a good picture of Chase to use for his birth announcement...

I don't think this is "the one."

Would you agree??

I think he was all smiled out and ready for me to put the durn camera away already!!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Okay, parents of preschoolers, I need some help here. Last week, while I was putting LO to bed, she mentioned something totally off-the-wall and random to me about having to run at school and getting tired and her teacher forcing her to keep running... It sounded crazy-weird but I thought I'd follow up with her teacher to hear the "real" story.

Turns out the "real" story was the same one as LO told me! So she and a few other friends had to do 2 laps at the beginning of recess.

Is that normal??

I mean, she's 4. She actually loves to run, which is one of my biggest concerns about using running as a form of discipline. I don't want her to grow up thinking running = punishment (like I do). ;)

Ugh. Apparently she had been asked many times to not talk during circle time and to quit playing with her neighbors. Then she had to sit in "time out" at her desk after several verbal warnings, but since the behavior continued, she was given 2 laps outside at the beginning of recess.

I checked the school's handbook and didn't note any mention of using physical activity as a form of punishment. I was very surprised by this, but I guess I'm curious if this is something that a lot of preschools do to aid in discipline?

Thoughts? Comments?

I think what gets me the most frustrated about the situation is that hubs and I received ZERO communication from the teacher about the issue. I had no idea she received several verbal warnings, had to sit in time out and certainly not that she had to run laps. How are we supposed to reinforce her discipline at home if we don't know what's going on at school? Grrrr. I emailed the teacher and mentioned how helpful it would be if we would receive some kind of communication when LO struggles with her listening skills. I guess there's not much more I can do. But I still just don't like the idea of my 4-year-old being forced to run laps. I don't know why, but it gives me horrid junior high flashbacks and I just don't think it's appropriate discipline for her age.

Am I crazy?

Monday, December 12, 2011


Can anyone tell me how in the world it can possibly be mid-December already?? Geez! I don't know where the time has gone! I guess now that I'm working part-time, I've lost all sense of time and honestly never have a clue what day of the week it is. Life is based on days LO is in school and days she is not. Happiness these days is actually finding time for ME to take a nap during the day.

There's a lot going on around here -- plenty of stuff to keep us busy! I'm sure that's the case with most people this time of year, but we've got a little extra added onto our plate that I'm not going to share just yet. In due time (NO, we're NOT expecting)...

LO is almost 4 1/2. How?? My goodness. It's like she's 14 already. She's reading like nobody's business these days. I've found some preschool books that were Level 1s, which are waaaay behind her skill level. So now we're on Level 2 books and she's tearing through 'em. I swear she'll be reading on a 2nd grade level before starting K5 next fall. Weird. But this girl's biggest issue these days is listening, or more accurately, NOT listening. It drives me crazy. I don't get it! Why do we have to repeat ourselves 12 times and even then she doesn't do (or stop doing) what we've asked. Man, does she ever love to irritate the crap out of Chase. I'm guessing that's normal? Being the youngest of 4 girls, I at least can recognize the fact that older siblings pick on younger siblings. I think that's just a part of nature. But I feel like there's an added bonus that Chase is a boy that LO gets a bigger kick out of it. I dunno. It's really annoying, though!

But she can sure look so sweet and innocent sometimes, right?

Chase is a handful of lovey goodness! Hubs and I absolutely LOVE this age. He just turned 2 in October and has started talking up a storm! I knew it was only a matter of time before his speech came around. Honestly I think he's been choosing to hold back to annoy us -- haha! He can say just about anything and will repeat everything he hears. He is the cutest! I'm so hoping he doesn't go from the sweet and lovely 2s into an obnoxious 3 year old like his sister did. I remember she was sweet and lovely... once upon a time. Hubs and I are enjoying every second with Chase and are trying to squeeze the sweetness out since I'm sure he'll be a wild and rambunctious boy within the next year or two... ((sigh))

I pretty much melt when I see this face.

So Christmas shopping went fabulously for me this year (I *heart* Amazon) and I'm about 98% done. The presents are already wrapped and under the tree (minus the ones from the Big Guy himself, which are wrapped and stowed away in a secret hiding spot). We're looking forward to spending time with my family on Christmas Eve and hubs' family on Christmas Day. I'm also looking forward to our Christmas morning service at church because it will be the last time I play the piano. Not that I'm excited about that being over (because I'm NOT), but excited about what God has in store for my family in the months and years ahead.

I've been doing quite a bit of baking lately, but I'm really interested in trying out some new recipes. Anyone have anything special they make during the holidays? I'd love some cookie recipes, but also some yummy meal ideas would be swell. Me and my crockpot are **tight** these days so if you have any to-die-for crockpot recipes, send 'em my way!!

I hope your holiday plans and activities are going well! I'm grateful for those of you who take the time to check in on us every once in a while. I have to say my favorite thing is not having a reason to HAVE to blog (i.e. doctor visit updates, surgeries, etc.). It's such a blessing to have a healthy 2-year-old, and even though I know that Fontan is looming in 2012 (most likely), I can't help but focus on NOW. It's my favorite time of the year! Time with my family during the holidays... the best gift of all!

I'll be back soon -- I promise! ;)