Thursday, September 30, 2010

Preschool Mornings

Can someone please tell me I'm not the only one?!

This morning was hell a little crazy around our house.  Seriously.  Quick summary....

I woke up a half hour late (thank you Boo for crying all night, poor things gums are killing him).  Gator thought it would be fun to not listen to a word I said.  After being forced to listen, Gator thought doing things as slow as possible was a great idea.  Boo wouldn't wake up... refused... changed his diaper and had him fully dressed and he was still snoring.  Dante the doggie refused to go out in the rain.  Gator refused to sit still for me to put her hair up...

It was just one of those days. 

I strive to send Gator out the door every day with a smile.  I started this long ago when we would have Monkey (my *extra* child) to get off to school.  I can't see sending my Little's off to school knowing that they are already having a bad day... how could school go well then?

So this morning, as I pulled Gator from room to room in a desperate attempt to get her teeth brushed and her shoes tied and her put up, I cringed when I heard my own voice sounding... so... mean.  Was that me??  I'm not a yeller.  I'm not usually even a mean voice mommy.  But this morning I was at my breaking point... and there was no walking away to calm down... there was only a "get your backpack and get in the car right this second!  Stop poking your brother!  We're late!  Why did you take your lunch box out of your back pack?  Get in the car now, now, now!"

I almost cried after the kids were strapped in their carseats (and I had run back inside to retrieve my forgotten lifeline cell phone). 

As I pulled out of the driveway I looked over my shoulder at Gators miserable little face.  "Hey Gator, I love you." "I love you too, Momma."  "I'm sorry this morning was so crazy, and I'm sorry I had to get on to you."  Silence... "I wish I didn't have to get one to you... we'll have to try harder to help each other tomorrow morning, ok?"  Silence...

I let it go.  I turned up the music, I sang along, and I watched her little face.  A few minutes later, out of no where, a voice from the backseat began to sing along to the music as well.  When the song ended, she started to tell me about her day.  I heard about her new partner at school, and which centers she hoped to go to.  I heard about how excited she was to turn in her scarecrow project (which needs its own post).  And by the time we pulled into the school parking lot (and parked in the muddy grass because there were no spots left), she was her chatty self again. 

She skipped down the sidewalk, bounced into her classroom, and made her way to her seat with a smile.  We were late.  She didn't even care.  As I kissed and hugged her by SHE told ME to have a good day, and I laughed.  Oh how we are two different people!  At her age, this morning would have left me wounded all day long.  My Gator though, sometimes I think she's invincible.  And she always makes me smile. 

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Craft Time! - Taggie Blankets and Toys

I love these, and best of all, so does my Boo!  Which is important since they were made special just for him!

I didn't  take pictures during the creativity process (Opps!!) and I pretty much was just winging it... but I think they turned out cute.  I have seen various "taggie" items all over the web.  They are pretty simple (and quick) to make, and I think I may have just found my new favortie go-to baby gift! 

What you'll need:

Material (size will vary depending on what you are wanting to make)
Matching thread
Ribbon (can match or not, can vary or all be the same)
Pins to hold it all together
Cotton filler (if making the toy version)
Large bells (if making the toy version)

What I did (just remember, I was winging it!):

1) Cut your material to the size you like.  You will need matching pieces. 

2) Line these two pieces up with the right sides facing in...  you will be sewing this inside out... just like a simple pillow.

3) Cut your ribbons to size (I found the 2 inch ribbon sections work well).  Fold these ribbon pieces in half and decide where you want these placed on your material.  I placed the ribbons so that about 1/2 in remained on the inside and 1/2 inch on the outside.  (Remember, they're folded in half.)

4)  Pin the ribbons in place and the material together.

5)  Sew.  Remember to leave a small section to turn the material right side out. 

6)  Flip the material right side out.  The handle of a long wooden spoon is great for pushing out your corners.

7) If you are making a blanket, turn the unsewn section in and stictch.  I choose to run a stitch around the outside of my blanket (you can see it in the above picture).  I felt like it help secure the ribbon a little more and just looked pretty. :)

8) If you are making the pillow toys, stuff the toys and then fold the fabric in and stitch. 

Easy Peasy!  :)

Linking up on:


Wordless Wednesday

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Ten Things to Smile About from September

1. My baby boy turned one, and wore his cake perfectly!

2)  We found our new home in Texas (just a matter of getting us to it now)!

3) Beautiful weather and beautiful places to enjoy it in.

4) Time with family that loves us and who we love dearly.

5) A wonderful pre-school teacher who Gator can't wait to see every morning. 

6)This hair.

7) Starting my very last class in my degree program!

8) Thoughts about this man, oh how I miss him and can't wait to be in his arms again!

9) Boo's first hair cut.

10) Gator's dance classes starting up again, and she's loving it. 

Join in on the monthly smiles. 


Hoo Are You? Link Party

Every Tuesday Leslie over at Night Owl Crafting host a link party with a few questions to help us all get to know one another.... 

This Tuesdays Hooo Are You's...

1. List 3 words that remind you of fall.

Falling Leaves, Courderoy, and Pumpkins

2. Do you wear jewelry often?

I have certain pieces I wear daily, but most of what I have is worn for special occasions. 

3. Do you like your toe nails painted or natural?

Painted. Always.

4. Do you ever wear a hat?

Not in recent history.

5. Do you have someone that you talk to everyday on the phone?

My husband, can't wait until we don't need phone calls every day though!

Head over,link up, and join the party!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

My Greatest Joy

Lately the sense of heaviness has settled on my shoulders.  Life has been so crazy lately, and everything just keeps flying by.  My baby girl, my tiny dancer, my Gator... she's a preschooler now.  When did that happen?  I drop her off at class every morning and while I'm trying to hold on for an extra second she's trying to push me out the door.  She doesn't always hold my hand anymore, but runs ahead, ready to take on life and everything it throughs at her.  I'm still trying to protect her from it all.  She wants to go off with Papa every Saturday morning.  I still want to cuddle in front of the cartoons.  She wants me to wait in the waiting room at dance class, because only babies need their moms.  I still peek through the door, unable to take my eyes off of her.  She's growing up so fast.  How did I never notice this before?  How did I miss the changes?  It seems like over night the baby girl turned into a little woman.
I'm seeing these same changes in my baby boy.  I think it's harder this time because I know we plan for him to be our last.  He is my baby, and every milestone he passes by is one less thing I'll get to experience again.  I feel a little silly looking at it all this way.  I want my babies to grow and thrive and live life to the fullest.  But watching their little lives fly by is all but breaking my heart.  My littles are my everything. 

So now I have a preschooler who is off to take one the world, and a toddler who is wobbling around with a cool new haircut.  And I smile, because i adore them, but inside a fight back a tear every once in a while, because I know I can't hold on forever.  They will always be my babies, but they just aren't really babies anymore.

On a side note - Oops!  I missed Share a Post Saturday completely!  My Gator has been so sick and yesterday was devoted to her and to school work.  Hopefully I'll be back into the swing of things next week! 

Friday, September 24, 2010

Craft Time! - Bottle Cap Push Pins

Yes, I know bottle caps have pretty much been done to death... but I'm still in love with them!  I have used them to make adorable necklaces, hairbows, and now push pins!

This assortment in particular I made for my teenage brother, so they aren't so sweet, more punk, but I will love them!  :)

They are super simple to make too.  I just painted the bottle caps (I bought a large bag of unused, plain silver bottle caps) black.  You could probably even spray paint them if you wanted too, make it even easier. 

The printed the pictures on regular computer paper, and just used pictures I found on-line.  I used a 1 inch circle punch to cute out the section of the picture I wanted, glued the picture onto the dried bottle caps with crafting glue (I've used spray adhesive as well).  I then let them dried and sprayed them with several coats of spray sealent, letting each coat dry in between.  Another glob of crafting glue attached the push pin to the back and there you have it.

I am looking for a better glue... I've used a hot glue gun, crafters glue, even Elmers... still looking for the best... any input on that???  Please and thank you!! 

As we get closer to the holiday season (yay, it's Fall!) I'll probably be posting more and more craft type post... between the holidays and moving into our new place soon, I'm seeing many new projects ahead!!  :)

And the painter/decorator/organizer/crafter in me smiles...

Hope everyone has a wonderful weekend!!

What to get those who aren't meant to be together forever... Really?

Divorce Insurance?  This is a real thing?  What is this world coming to? 

So the new concept out there now is to purchase insurance when you get married... not insurance that pays out uopn the death of the one you love, but insurance that pays out *when* you get married!  Isn't this sending the wrong message?  Isn't this starting off a marriage with a ready made out?  How can two people stand together and vow to stick together through thick and thin, rich and poor, and all the while be paying for their break up option on a monthly basis? 
This article explains it a little better, so go check it out for a more detailed explanation of how it all works...

I'm still baffled by it.  I've personally always been a bit against prenups, so this is really out there.  Why get married of you have doubts large enough to warrent this type of protection?  This is why our divorce rates are so high... because people don't work at their marriage anymore.  When marriage gets tough, you just fall back on your divorce insurance and move on with life.

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Tales from behind the man with the badge...

Last weekend all hell broke loose in a little town in Texas, and my husband was one of many law enforcement officers who had to battle the bad guys in order to restore a sense of peace.  You may have heard about it all... it made national news... but that's not the point of this post...

You see, during the course of this event, two officers and one civilian were shot.  Thankfully, they were not killed.  And from the moment I heard the news my heart stopped beating.  I thought back to three years ago when three officers were shot and killed in this same little town... it was the week my husband started the police academy, and I faced many realities that day. 

Being the wife of a police officer is one of those jobs (yes, it is a job in and of itself) that you never get a weekend off from.  Police officers are always working, whether in uniform or street clothes, therefore, police families are always on alert as well.  I learned that early. 

The idea of losing my husband is terrifying, but I have had to accept that it is a possibility.  Losing those that we love can happen at any time, but it is something we never really consider.  I've had to though.  I've had to think about what life would be like, what it would do to our babies, and what it would do to me...

I am crazy in love with my husband.  He is my best friend, my lover, my shoulder to cry on, the daddy to my greatest gifts... his voice is one of my favorite sounds, I still get butterflys when he sends me a text, and his breath on my neck still gives me chills... he is my everything.  And every day he straps on his bullet proof vest (complete with a small monkey sticker that Gator placed on it long ago, a sticker that always brings a smile to my face, because what would the big tough bad guys think if they only knew...) and his gun and he goes out to face down the demons while I pray I get to hug him one more time. 

It took me a full year to stop crying every time he walked out the door to work... I've never decided if that makes me crazy or crazy in love.

Last weekend brought it all back for me though.  Anything can happen, at anytime.  You can never hug enough, kiss enough, love enough, or hold on tight enough.  But you still have to love.

I'm starting to ramble, so I'll end it here... because the truth is, I could talk about my husband all day. 

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Good Morning Fall! Oh how I've missed you...

I'm forgoing Wordless Wednesday this week, because something worth talking about is happening today!  It's the first day of FALL!  I don't normally get this excited about the first day of a new season... that may be a lie... I do get excited easily... but I digress...

I love Fall.  It is my favorite season by far.  I love the colors, the changing weather, pumpkin patches, pumpkin carving, and pumpkin flavored goodies.  My adoration has rubbed off on my little girl as well, she shares my love of all things Fall.... not to mention... Fall brings about our favorite holiday, Halloween!! 

So as a way of welcoming in our new season, I'm going to say goodbye to the Summer by sharing some of my favorite photos from the last few months...

Goodbye Summer!  See you next year!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

The perfect day for a stroll...

I was quite overwhelmed last Sunday.  Finals were due for my psych class on Monday, ALLLL of the clothing and baby items I hoped to drop of this week for the children's consignment sale still needed to be ironed, hung, labled, and entered on the computer (I didn't get that done, by the way), both kids + my teenage brother were running around the house like crazy people, the house needed cleaned, the clothes needed washed, you see where I'm going here...

As I stood looking out the front windows I noticed the trees swaying in the wind, and the leaves drifting to the ground... and I realized what a beautiful day we were missing out on.  It was 11:30, and we were all still in pajamas, what was I thinking?  So we quickly changed clothes and the four of us, Gator, Boo, the little bro, and I, headed out the door for a stroll.  We are so blessed to have property that backs up to this....

And that looks out onto a beautiful field where we wondered around and took these....

And when we finally made it back home we were loving being outside so much that we played in the yard for a while....

And all I can say is we really needed that!  We're beginning to just barely get a taste of the Fall weather here in Florida.  It's still hot, but it's not HOT, and the breeze is always a welcome change.  By the afternoon I just couldn't help myself, and I dug a couple containers out and started to put out the fall decor. 

My favorite season is right around the corner! 

Monday, September 20, 2010

If you ask you will receive...

My aunt turned 56 last week, and she jokingly asked my dad the week before that for a three tier cake. She told him she had never had a fancy cake before, and (thinking that he would never really make it) even specified what type of cake she was wanting for each tier.  He of course wanted to make this happen, and soooo....

The cake was finally all put together at my aunt's house and I think it turned out pretty good considering I've never done this before!  :)  I kept it super simple, and (shhhhh!) used all boxed cake mixes and icings!  But it was still delish!  Layer one was a four layer marble cake with chocolate butter cream icing...

Layer two was a 4 layer coconut cake with white coconut icing...

And layer three was a three layer Funfetti cake for the kiddos...

Over all I think it went over well... and my aunt's surprised reaction was more then worth the work! 

Sunday, September 19, 2010

But I just want to say I love you...

I tucked my Gator into bed last night, snuggled her up, kissed her forehead, and told her I loved her.  She laid there quietly while I was walking away, and then I heard a little voice call out, "Mommy?"  I knew if I went back in the room I might not get away without tears running down her little face, so I called back from where I was and asked what she needed. 

The little voice responded with, "I need another hug". 

I almost told her she was fine and to go to sleep.  I almost said not right now, I can't come.  I almost just said no.  But instead I had a thought.  I thought about how blessed I am to have that little voice calling out to me.  I thought about how absolutely perfect the little owner of that voice makes my life.  I thought about what it would be like to not have the chance for that hug she was asking for.  And so I climbed up from my chair and walked back to her.  She looped her arms around my neck in what could only be called a bear hug, and left a slobbery mark on my cheek with her kisses.  I once again tucked her in, kissed her, and walked away.  Moments later, the same little voice called out once again.  I again asked what it is that she needed, and reminded her that she needed to go to sleep or she would be too sleepy to get up for school in the morning.

The little voice responded with, "But I just wanted to say I love you". 

There have been too many times when my child's wants have gone unrecognized, because I'm too exhausted, too busy, too overwhelmed.  She calls for glasses of water when she is trying not to fall asleep.  She begs for another book when she wants someone to sit with her.  She complains of itchy sheets when she wants an excuse to get up.  And I always say no, say go to sleep, say not right now. 

But how could a mommy say no to that little voice, when they just want to tell you they love you?  I am so blessed to have this little girl in my life.  She makes every single day a challenge, sometimes she makes me crazy, she is stubborn and feisty and a little bit chaotic.  But she makes my days worth waking up to, and my nights worth making that extra trip to her bedside. 

Because really, I just wanted to say I love you one more time too. 

Saturday, September 18, 2010

Go on, try not to cry!

I'm going to call this one a Must Read for Parents.  I was lucky enough to chance across this post, and it brought tears to my eyes.  Maybe it's just me and I'm just at one of those points in my life where these words truly spoke to me.  But whether that is true or not, the words that Fonda has written here are true and touching.

So go read
Holding On and Letting Go over at tweenstoteens.  :)

A small exert:

"But you only get this part...this holding letting go.
And it's scary because you are never sure that if you let go, they will come back to you.  There is a moment of free choice where they could choose to run far and fast.
But you hold your breath and take the risk.  And their turning to you is so much sweeter than your holding on."

On a side note - I think Saturdays are from this point on going to be "Share-a-post Saturdays".  There are so many great bloggers out there, and I'm always finding posts I want to share with others!  So thanks Fonda for inspiring something new! :)

Friday, September 17, 2010

The Family Tree Project...

It was due today... We've had all week... we did it last night.  Can someone say slacker mommy??  In my defence, I did have a plan in my head for it by Tuesday!  This is my preschoolers 2nd project so far this year...  we were given a tree cut out, and had to make a family tree, being as creative as possible.  Now, I've got creativity.  Extra time is all I'm a little short on at the moment. 

Anyway, I think it turned out cute... the kiddos are the bugs crawling up the tree and everyone else are leaves on the tree.  We kept it pretty simple, considering how huge are family is and all.  I was nice (trust me, I was Nice with a capital N) and included my mother-in-law.  We have had our issues over the years [I swear I don't hold grudges ;)] but at the moment she seems to be playing nice... may be the whole we don't talk and are living half the country away thing though, who knows.  I did not choose to include my brother-in-law... some in-law behavior is simply not to be forgiven.  My brilliant husband never even questioned my decisions about who to include though.. love him! 

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Piaget, self-actualization, and how I love my babies...

So Jean Piaget has been dead for how long?  Not the point though I guess... what matters are the physiological theories that he has left behind...

Self Actualization.

It's an interesting thing really, and relates a great deal to the way I've been feeling lately.  Well, not the concept itself but the way that it relates to parenting really.  You see, I've decided that it is impossible (almost) for a parent to strive for any type of self awareness while having young children.  At least not when we consider good parents.  I'm sure the parents who choose to put themselves before their children are able to think of themselves and move themselves forward in the world...

As for those of us who adore our children, and (whether intentionally or not) always put them first, we often loose ourselves after our babies are born.  I patiently (and boredly) sit in the waiting room of the dance academy every week while my little girl twirls and taps her way to happiness.  I sit quietly holding my son while he nurses to sleep, ignoring my thirst or need to use the bathroom at times.  The closest I've come to a mani/pedi since my daughter was born was given to me by said daughter.  I used to schedule my bi-monthly nail appointments weeks in advance, now I find myself far too aware of the waisted money and waisted time that the appointments will cost me.  I used to write, and read, for pleasure. Now I color and read children's books six at a time.  I use to stay out all night... now I'm just up all night.. at home... cuddling a teething baby or soothing a sick child. 

I'm a completely different person now.  I can't say that I'm striving to find myself and achieve self-actualization... at the moment, my only true calling is to be Mommy, and those of my children late at night when they awake, scared, in the dark.  I may not be achieving monumental success at the moment... and I may not achieve self-actualization in this life (I doubt I will!)... but I do

 know that I would rather love every minute of raising my babies then find the real me in the mix. 

Maybe one day, after my kids are old enough to wipe their own noses and buckle their own seat belts, I'll find a little time to think about just me...

But as much as I try to carve out a little time to write here or a little time for a manicure there, I will never again be the self-absorbed individual of my high school days.  And I don't mind that at all.  My purpose in this world is no longer what it once was.  I am not here to achieve only my goals, I'm here to help my children achieve theirs.  I'm still working toward mine, I'm just working down a different path these days.  I'm still getting a degree, just a couple of years after my friends.  I'm still going to make a lot of money one day, but right now my only personal income comes in the form of hugs and kisses. 

So Piaget, I don't need your theories... I'll choose my babies over fully understanding myself and achieving my full potential any day.

Monday, September 13, 2010

Just upping the cuteness ratio in the bloggasphere...

First of all, I should apologize, because the closer we get to the holidays the more this blog will probably be taken over with recipes, fun food ideas, and crafts.  I love this time of year!  Halloween is the favorite holiday in our house (at least for the kids and I) and we go all out... I'm not the only one already planning for Halloween am I? lol. 

Back to the post subject.  Are these not the cutest cupcakes?  I fell in love.  I instantly knew that these had to be the cupcakes I made for my little guys first birthday.  We had his party before his actual birthday and it was Curious George themed with an awesome monkey cake made by the awesome pastry chef over at  But he of course needed something to celebrate his actual birthday with!  And this cupcakes did the trick!

What you'll need:

Chocolate Icing
Star tip for icing
M & M's
NutterButter Cookies
Nilla Wafers
Red or Orange gel icing
Black get icing

What to do:

1. Cut NutterButters in half and separate sides
2. Cut approximately 1/4 of Nilla Wafers off to form mouth area
3. Ice cupcakes (don't ice to far ahead, if the icing begins to harden things won't stick!)
4. Place cookies and M & M's on cupcake as shown above
5. Draw on mouth and eyes with gel icing as shown
6.  Pipe on hair with star tip

Super easy and oh so worth the time!  I recommend putting the faces on shortly before serving, because the cookies soften quite a bit as the sit due to the moisture content in the icing.