Thursday, January 31, 2008

The Top Eight (because I couldn't think of ten) Reasons a Mother of Two Might Run

8. Hearing your toddler say, "Do you want a bite of my cookie?" to your 3 month old.

7. An unexplained loud thud, thump, bang, or crash. Take your pick.

6. The noise explained above followed by a loud, piercing cry.

5. A knock on the door when you happen to be walking by it in nothing but a towel that is actually your two year old's since you still need to put the load of towels in the dryer.

4. Hearing your toddler fall from the top of her play kitchen. Don't ask.

3. Anytime you see your toddler headed toward your 3 month old with a blanket, especially if it looks like this when she tucks in her baby dolls.

Do you see a doll there? Me neither.

2. Hearing the water in the bathtub running when you're home alone with your toddler.

1. Hearing the door open while you're getting dressed.

Second Child Syndrome

Today, my sweet baby Claira is 3 months old! I can hardly believe the time has gone by so quickly. She is cooing and smiling like crazy and just adorable, as most mommies think of their babies, I suppose. At the same time, I can't help but compare her every move to Elsie. Elsie was always a little chunky baby with the rolls of legs and a big belly. Claira is a little peanut in comparison. Elsie could roll over by now and had complete head control. Claira hates tummy time and buries her face in the blanket screaming whenever I lay her on her tummy. Needless to say, the buried, screaming face doesn't really help me know whether or not she can lift her head up off the floor to look around...and rolling? Hahahaha! Maybe next month, mommy! Anyway, I know Claira will hit all of those milestones in her own time, but I can't help but compare.

The most glorious difference between my two sweet girls is that I'm actually getting to nurse Claira...yesterday, there was a sweet moment when Claira was done nursing that she unlatched, rested her head on my breast, closed her eyes, and just smiled. That must happen at least once a day, but it's Heaven on Earth to me. I'm so thankful that I get to breastfeed.

Here are some photos of my three month old!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

The Refiner's Fire

Malachi 3:3 says; 'He will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver.'

This verse puzzled some women in a Bible study and they wondered what this statement meant about the character and nature of God. One of the women offered to find out the process of refining silver and get back to the group at their next Bible Study.

That week, the woman called a silversmith and made an appointment to watch him at work work. She didn't mention anything about the reason for her interest beyond her curiosity about the process of refining Silver.

As she watched the silversmith, he held a piece of silver over the fire and let it heat up. He explained that in refining silver, one needed to hold the silver in the middle of the fire where the flames were hottest as to burn away all the impurities. The woman thought about God holding us in such a hot spot; then she thought again about the verse that says: 'He sits as a refiner and purifier of silver.' She asked the silversmith if it was true that he had to sit there in front of the fire the whole time. The man answered that yes, he not only had to sit there holding the silver, but he had to keep his eyes on the silver the entire time it was in the fire. If the silver was left a moment too long in the flames, it would be destroyed. The woman was silent for a moment. Then she asked the silversmith, 'How do you know when the silver is fully refined?' He smiled at her and answered, 'Oh, that's easy -- when I see my image in it.'

If today you are feeling the heat of the fire , remember that God has his eye on you and will keep watching you until He sees His image in you.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

The Bagel Snatcher

Elsie had three (mini) bagels for breakfast this morning. She finished the first one and asked for another, which I gave her. Then, I was checking my email while she ate the second bagel and watched Curious George. When she came in the kitchen to ask for a third bagel, I asked her what happened to hers...since she has a habit of asking for something when she hasn't finished what she already has. She told me it was in her mouth, but I asked her to go get it for me anyway...she runs back into the living room and comes back empty handed. "I think somebody just take it," she tells me. I ask her who took it and she says her mouth while she opens wide for me to look. This explanation, "I think somebody just take it," is gaining popularity at our house. We also have doll snatchers at our house and who knows how many different kinds of snatchers are living here with us. Only time will tell.

Monday, January 28, 2008

Ballerina Babies

I ordered this for the walls in Elsie's room at the new is sooooooooo adorable. Have I mentioned that I love having little girls? I do!

A loving note to my daughters...

If your sister is crying, it's not okay for you to join her!

We met Stef and her girls, L and M, at Party City to shop for party supplies, of course. We decided on Curious George since there will be lots of little boys and girls at the party. Anyway, I took the opportunity to try out my new stroller for the first time. I won't be doing that again anytime soon by myself! Taking a 3 month old out of the sanctuary that is her infant seat when we live in the Windy City is absolutely absurd! At least it is in the winter. Anyway, that trip went really well. We bought all the Curious George necessities, and I also picked up some Strawberry Shortcake plates, napkins, etc. for Elsie's family birthday party at the end of February. When we finished there, we decided to go to McDonald's for lunch and let the girls play. So, we ate while the girls played and all went well as Claira fell asleep soon after we got there. After about an hour, we gathered the girls to actually eat (how dare we!) and Claira woke up about ten minutes later so I told Elsie it was time to go. She promptly throws a nice little hissyfit that continues as I put her shoes and coat on, fasten Claira into her carseat, and we make the walk to the car. As I'm putting them both in the car, Claira joins Elsie, as she's growing more hungry by the second, I'm sure. So, I got to listen to two crying girls the whole 7 minute ride home. That seven minutes seemed like seventy!

Seriously though, Elsie doesn't typically throw temper tantrums at home. If/when she does, we ignore them and she gets over it rather quickly. For example, if she asks for something and I tell her to put her toys away, she might fuss and say she doesn't want to so I'll just ignore her until she's done fussing. When she is, I remind her to pick up her toys and then she'll get whatever it is that she wanted. That seems to work just fine. However, when we're out in public and getting ready to leave (something she really hates) I can't ignore the fact that she needs her shoes, coat, gloves on and needs to hold my hand and walk with me and do all of those things she's throwing the temper tantrum about anyway. Advice welcome!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Mr. Golden Sun

Jason had a meeting after church this morning, so I took both of the girls to the nursing mother's room with me so I could feed Claira. Well, our children's church is called Light Church, and they have a mascot named Blaze who's a big sun. Elsie just calls it, Mr. Sun. Well, when not being used, the costume is stored in the nursing mother's room. We walk in and Elsie gets all excited...she runs over to the sun shouting, "Mr. Sun! Mr. Sun!" She reaches him with her arms open wide and then stops, turns around with her hands on her hips and says, "Hey, Mr. Sun's not hugging me!" It was cute. I told her he must be sleeping, but then she went on to ask where his eyes were, and she tried to talk me into putting his big shoes on...I'm just thrilled that xhe seems to have gotten over her fear of dressed up characters. We took her to meet Bob and Larry from the Veggietales at Family Christian last summer, and she was hanging onto Jason and I for dear life!

Saturday, January 26, 2008

For the record

I drive a 1992 Cadillac Deville, and Jason drives a 1997 Saturn SL1. They're both paid for, seriously.

Jason makes the blog!

It cost him a dozen red roses and some fannie may mint meltaways, but he assures me that his intentions were good. He is excited to make the blog though! LOL! What I haven't told him yet is that since Valentine's Day is only a couple of weeks away, flowers and chocolates just aren't going to make the cut since I just got them for no reason at all! Seriously though, I really do have a wonderful husband, and I was very surprised when he walked in the door from work yesterday with a bouquet of roses and pulled chocolates from his pocket. I love you, honeybear!

My roses

Friday, January 25, 2008

Have you seen my patience?

It's not even lunch time yet, and I seem to have misplaced it. Elsie had a cheese sandwich and yogurt for's just been that kind of morning.

I got a call from Fisher Price this morning. They wanted me to ship the Dora Cuddle n Care dolls along with the American Girl dolls to them. Riiiiggggghhhhtt. They're launching an investigation. That's what the lady on the other end of the phone told me. I told her, as nicely as humanly possible, that it didn't seem right that I supply them with a $100 worth of dolls for their investigation if they won't return the dolls and I may or may not get reimbursed for them. "It's policy," she says. Anyway, I managed to work it out so that I'm keeping the American Girl doll that was not affected and sending all of the other dolls. She has assured me that they will return the American Girl doll to me (and they better!) So even if I get nothing for the damage, I can still replace the head myself and have two dolls again. But, now that I'm thinking about it, they should definitely give me the money to replace the head...they're basically renting my doll! Besides, that's my policy.

I was supposed to get a visit from Exam One yesterday. They come to your house and draw your blood. I got a call yesterday morning from the lady, and her car wouldn't start...after all, it was only -30 here yesterday. So, we rescheduled for this morning. She showed up 45 minutes early! You don't do that to a woman with a toddler and an infant IN THE MORNING! Elsie was still in her pajamas, and I hadn't even combed her hair yet! And, I was nursing when she knocked on the door. She also called to say she was here and asked if it was alright that she was early...did she think I would say no when she's standing on my porch? Anyway, I told her that it was fine but I was nursing so she went back to her car for a couple of minutes while I put my milkers away. When she came in, she asked for my kit which I gave to her and she asked if I would be mailing it. I explained that the instructions I'd received were to refrigerate it until Monday if it's drawn on a Friday. Apparently, her instructions say not to draw on Friday, Saturday, or Sunday! So, she packs her stuff back up to return sometime next week. Hopefully, it works out and we get this done because my freezer is full of frozen breastmilk! I'm not joking...there is at least 500 ounces in there! I need room for food! Also, some of that milk is from November so the time limit is about to run out on it, and I'd like to get it all donated before that. That's right, I'm donating my milk! With Elsie, I pumped exclusively for 14 months and struggled with my supply the whole time. Now, I have so much that I'm sharing it with America! My, how the tables have turned. Praise God!

Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Joys of Customer Service

Before Christmas, there were a LOT of toy recalls, and I read many posts about having a "China Free"'s something that we didn't participate in. That's house is full of toys that were made in China and even though my (almost) 3 year old's toys are made almost entirely of Fisher Price, we somehow managed to skip the recalls entirely. There were items on the list that we had in the house, but the date of manufacture was always off. I didn't mind one bit, and I continued with my Fisher Price indulgence right through Christmas. So did the rest of our families.

Elsie received a set of Dora's Cuddle n Care Twins from her grandparents, which are really quite cute. Anyway, the first day she received them, paint from the boy's hair managed to rub off on the girl's face. I tried to wash it off and was annoyed when it remained, but my daughter is 3 so the chances of something else happening to make the doll look less than perfect was likely to happen anyway so I just let it go. Fast forward to a few days ago when this little boy doll came in contact with the nice, clean face of one of her Bitty Twins (also from Christmas). I'm surprised I didn't have a meltdown because I'll gladly admit that my indulgence in an American Girl doll for my 3 year old is ALL mine. Yes, she was thrilled to run around the store and check out all the cool things...mostly pushing the dolls in the stroller, but in reality, any doll in any stroller would be fine for her. I *had to have* these. When I asked my husband if I could purchase them, he asked if they were for me or for Elsie to which I responded, ME! Still, I bought them anyway.

So, I promptly got on the internet to look up customer service numbers, and of course Fisher Price was closed until Tuesday because of the holiday. I did get through at American Girl though and they gave me some tips for what might take it off. I tried those to no avail. The customer service there was GREAT though! Anyway, I finally remembered to call Fisher Price this morning, and I got to answer fun questions like:

Is the paint supposed to come off? "Um, I would assume not." The girl actually put me on hold to confirm that the paint wasn't intended to come off! LOL!

Then, she asked where I purchased it, and when I told her it was a gift, she asked me how much it cost. Now, I'm sure she was just following a script in front of her, but that doesn't make it any less amusing.

They should be sending me out a voucher for the Dora dolls, and someone else in the company is supposed to call me about the Bitty Twin. That would be awesome if they would pay for the $26.95 plus shipping it's going to cost me to send that baby off to the Doll Hospital for a new head!

Overall, the call really wasn't a bad experience. Actually, I've had favorable responses from customer service lately. Two months in a row, I had to call Sprint to get a $75 casual data usage charge removed from my bill. Apparently, I'm using the internet on my phone without even knowing it. That's right...I've left my bargain hunting skills behind to pay $75 a month for internet services on my phone when I'm at home 90% of the time and already paying $40 a month for internet on my computer. It makes perfect sense that I'd rather use my phone and pay nearly twice as much instead! But, they credited my account so I'm not complaining! Also, when Claira was born, she had trouble nursing so I pumped exclusively for about the first 5 weeks. During that time, I accidentally knocked my pump off the chair and it broke the faceplate where the tubes connect so the tubing was always falling off. I called Medela to order a new faceplate, and they mailed me a new one and new tubing for free!

The Bandits:

The Victim:

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Smuckers vs. My Big Toe

So, I'm sitting here typing one handed, which I do several times a day because I'm usually nursing at the keyboard. However, I'm typing one handed right now because one hand is wrapped around my throbbing big toe!

You see, Elsie had the last mini-bagel for breakfast this morning. I had toast and happened to leave the jelly out on the counter. So, when Elsie asked for another bagel, I talked her into having a cake (frozen waffle) instead. It happens to be the last frozen waffle too so I give the package to Elsie to throw away, and I turn around to put the waffle in the toaster and put the jelly away when I'm hit from behind! My legs buckle, and I end up with a jar of jelly on my big toe! For those of you who don't know, if you put your big toe in the ring up against a jar of jelly, the jar of jelly is going to win! Take my word on it. It will save you much pain! Now, my toe has a big purple dot in the middle of it. I hope it's going to be toe hasn't turned completely black or anything crazy like that. Actually, now that the pain has lessened a bit, I'm wowed by the fact that all of the jelly still remains in the jar and I'm thinking that my toe stopped that jar from shattering into a trazillion pieces! That's modern day heroism if you ask me!

Well, I suppose I should go put that jelly away now! Pray for me!

Oh, here's a picture of my big case you don't know, it's hard to get a good close up in focus on such a small thing! Please excuse the lack of nail polish. I do have an almost three year old and an almost 3 month old, you know...and, it's winter! Anyway, you can kind of see where the purple dot is in the middle. It kind of looks like a shadow, but I assure you it isn't!

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Oooohhhhh Mommy! You got slimed!

I heard this just a few minutes after I finished nursing Claira earlier this morning. She's usually a very good burper, but sometimes she takes awhile and I end up getting "slimed" as Elsie apparently likes to call it. Have you ever noticed how toddlers come up with things out of nowhere? I have no idea when Elsie might have come in contact with the word slime or actual slime. As far as I know, I've never seen an episode of Strawberry Shortcake or the Little Einsteins with slime. It's one of those unanswered questions, I guess.

Last night, I went to the restroom and, as usual, Elsie a.k.a. Tagalong, was at my heels the whole way. When I reached the restroom, she grabs my arm and hollers, "TAG, you're it!" I think that must've come from her friends at church. Actually, I bet it came from a little boy named Sammy, whom Elsie adores. That reminds me of a conversation we had a few weeks ago on the way home from church. Elsie and several of the younger kids at church were playing in the sanctuary when I overhear Sammy telling her, "Elsie, tackle me! Tackle me, again!" Now, talking, dancing, giggling in the sanctuary are all things I find tolerable; however, I'm not sure tackling is appropriate. So, I gather Elsie and once we're all ready, we head to the car. On the way home, Jason and I are trying to explain to her that's it's not okay to tackle boys...or girls. The conversation goes a little something like this.

Mommy: Elsie, you have to remember to be good in the sanctuary. Running, wrestling, and tackling is not okay.

Daddy: Mommy's right. You shouldn't tackle little boys.

Mommy: Or little girls. You just shouldn't tackle.

Elsie: (exasperated) Oooookay.

Mommy: You can give hugs though.

Elsie: and kisses!

Daddy: Well, no kisses for the boys. Save your kisses for Mommy and Daddy.

Mommy: So, you can give hugs or you can shake hands. Shaking hands is good.

Elsie: Okay, then I can throw them on the ground.

LOL! What a little character we have! I hope she feels the same way about boys when she's 16, but somehow I doubt I'll be that lucky. On the plus side, I haven't noticed any tackling since.

My new header

Isn't it lovely? I like it! I was reading Emily's blog, and she explained how she made her header at, and I thought I'd give it a shot. It was really quick and easy so I'm hooked!

Monday, January 21, 2008

Are we there yet? and other pointless questions

While cooking dinner tonight...which consisted all of sticking a frozen pizza in the oven...Elsie's hovering at my feet in the kitchen. It's a favorite pasttime of hers. Anyway, she's asking, "Is dinner ready yet?" to which I respond "No, Nope, or Try Again Later" several times when she finally says, "No? What do you mean, no?" For some reason, that really cracks me up! If you don't have a two year old, you should get one!

Now that's going to drive me something crazy!

So, I added a picture of myself to the "about me" section, and it caused the last letter of my name to drop down to the next silly is that? The whole thing has me downloading digital scrapbooking freebies in hopes that I can come up with some sort of sweet layout that my husband will know how to convert into a blog format...notice I test his skills before my own! I'll let you know how that goes. In the meantime, if you have time (unlike me) and like to scrapbook, check out Shabby Princess.

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Mommy, did you buy this or did Grandma make it?

This phrase is heard at least 10 times a day at our house. When Grandma's in town, she does fun things like buy Elsie new socks and sew cool buttons with snowmen, ladybugs, and penguins onto them. She can sew and quilt. I can not. Obviously, Elsie has taken notice of the fact that Grandma is crafty and Mommy just knows how to shop! So, Elsie now asks that question about far today, I've had inquiries about her medical kit, her shoes, a stuffed unicorn, and a coloring book. Who knows what's in store for tomorrow!

Hip, Hip, Hooray!

On Saturday, my new double stroller arrived! Three cheers for Phil and Ted and their stroller, the E3! This stroller is a dream to push and when you're pushing a 40 pound toddler, that comes in handy. Here's a picture of Miss Elsie trying it out.

As you can see, she's quite happy in it, and we may have to make a trip to the mall for a real test drive sometime this week...

Jason's grandparents came for a visit this weekend to celebrate Aunt A's birthday. Here's Claira meeting her great grandma for the first time. I wish I had taken more pictures, but we were busy visiting and eating cake while they were here. We also got together for lunch after church today, but I'd forgotten my camera. That's not cool at all since we only see them a few times a year.

This coming weekend my friend Stef is celebrating her daughter M's first birthday. I can't believe that she's going to be a year old already! The weekend after that, we're celebrating Elsie's birthday along with her friend L (Stef's other daughter). So, three cake weekends in a row...what's a girl to do? Eat it, of course!

Friday, January 18, 2008

Easter Dresses

I ordered these earlier this week, and I can hardly wait for them to come...Claira will wear the dress, and Elsie will have the matching skirt and top. I love them...they're from the Tea collection, and I've never tried this brand before, so we'll see how I like it.


It's amazing to me how multi-lingual (I doubt that's even a word) toddlers can be. A little while ago, I was sitting in the recliner nursing Claira while Elsie was playing with her Light Sketcher at my feet. She's drawing pictures of our family, which seems to be one of her favorite things to do now...when I have a camera handy, I'll have to capture that on camera before it disappears!

Anyway, Elsie gets up and walks over to me and says, "ROOOAAARRRR!"

Me: Oh, you must be a lion! Please don't eat us!

Elsie: No, I'm not a lion, silly mommy.

Me: Are you a tiger?

Elsie: No

Me: A bear?

Elsie: No.

Me: (thinking what else roars?) A fish?

Elsie: No.

Me: A dog?

Elsie: No.

Me: A cat?

Elsie: No.

Me: A chicken?

Elsie: No.

Me: A giraffe?

Elsie: No.

Me: An elephant?

Elsie: No.

Me: A monkey?

Elsie: No.

Me: I give up...what are you?

Elsie: A wagon!

Silly mommy, indeed! Who knew a wagon roars? Our wagon must be the silent roar type.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Look what I can do!

That's right...I think I can post a photo now thanks to the lovely ladies at Babycenter. So, here's a recent photo of my two sweet girls.

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

My Bright Idea

So, there are a few blogs that I like to read when I have the time...and today I got this bright idea that I should really have one of my own...News Flash: I already have one! So, I found the site in my favorites and looked at that sad lonely post and decided, I'm back! (Holy run-on sentence, Batman!)

Anyway, my timing for beginning a blog was a little off considering I was in and out of the doctor's office for the rest of October and gave birth to Claira on October 31st...please do NOT mention the H-word! I begged my doctor for any other day to no avail. So, I'm overcoming my sadness and trying to focus on the fact that Claira was born during Pumpkin Patch season...and I love fall! It's really my favorite time of year.

Anyway, Claira was born positive for Coombs, which means our blood types were incompatible giving her a *lovely* severe case of jaundice. We were in the hospital for 4 days, went home for 2 days and then went back in the hospital for 3 days. She's now 2 1/2 months old and is doing wonderfully! We had a rough start nursing since the jaundice forced us to supplement with formula. It took us 5 weeks before she stopped screaming at the sight of my breasts, but we've got the hang of it now! Other than that, she's gorgeous! Really, she's smiling now and lets out a little giggle every now and then that just knocks your socks off with cuteness! Her smile is so contagious, and I love waking up to it in the morning.

I remember bonding with Elsie when she was so small, and it's amazing how much turmoil I put myself through while I was pregnant knowing that Elsie wasn't going to be my only child anymore and knowing that Claira would never get the attention to herself like Elsie did. What I didn't expect is how naturally they'd truly love each other. Claira needs to only catch a glimpse of Elsie before she's beaming, and Elsie is Little Miss Helpful whenever she's not being Little Miss Demanding. Elsie had just Jason and I to adore her and Claira gets a bonus!

Right now, the focus is on Miss Elsie's Third Birthday Bash. I can hardly believe how big she's getting! We're having a joint party with her best friend L, who turns 3 a few weeks before her. We've rented a kid's gym, and I'm looking forward to it. We chose Curious George for the theme since it's gender neutral and there will be girls and boys at the party. Mainly, I can't wait for the ice cream cake!

Other than that, I bought the girls' Easter outfits yesterday! They're gorgeous...and if I knew how to post a picture of them, I would! I promise to work on that.