Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Lots of stuff to win!

MomDot is having another contest, so I'm pimping my blog in the hopes of winning!

Donated from Little Ladybug Designs: Mommy Calling card design! Hand out your contact information for babysitters or playdates in style with our stylish mommy calling cards! No more looking through your diaper bag for a piece of paper to jot your phone number down on. Cards can be customized in anyway you like. This is only for the custom DESIGN, which will be sent to you and you can print on Vistaprint. They have so many beautiful designs, it would be so very hard to choose one!

Prize #2: BabyBoudoir: A personalized Diaper Wipes Case
Now I could absolutely get lost on this site! They have such beautiful stuff! I really like the swarovski crystal pacifier clips with an initial on them. Unfortunately, my kids are (and have always been) thumbsuckers. It must be a really strong gene or something.

Prize #3 My Embroidered Gifts: Satineesnugs Duck WITH embroidery: The extra soft personalized satineesnugs duck blanket features a cute duck face, a plush side and a “satinee” side. They also have some really cute stuff. I like the charm bracelet, personalized with Christian's initials. She'd love it!

Prize #4 One Posh Kid: A burp cloth set with a Princess on it. They have some really cute clothes, too. Among other things!

These items together are worth over $100, so if you're interested, check them out!

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

My very first award!

I can*not* believe I won an award!

Michelle awarded me the Arte y Pico award, which is given to creative bloggers (cough!) who contribute to the overall blogging community.

Don't ask what I contribute... because I haven't quite figured that out, yet.

I actually think it's more of a benevolent award, especially when you compare my creativity (cough! ahem.) with people like Michelle. So thank you, Michelle. I am honored.

But I'm really excited to have been chosen. I'd like to thank everyone who reads my pointless ramblings, and yet returns anyway. I'd also like to thank all of you who compliment me on the cakes I post here. It really makes my day to read your comments. As many bloggers before me have said, comments are like crack to us.

This award recognizes a blog’s creativity and overall contribution to the blogger community. According to the originator of the award, the words "Arte y pico" will never find its counterpart in English, but if it HAD to, it would be something like, "Wow. The Best Art. Over the top."

Once you’ve been selected, please follow these guidelines and pay it forward:

1) Choose 5 blogs that you consider deserving of this award based on creativity, design, interesting material, and overall contribution to the blogger community, regardless of the language.

2) Post the name of the author and a link to his or her blog so everyone can view it.

3) Each award-winner has to show the award and put the name and link to the blog that has given her or him the award.

4) The award-winner and the presenter should post the link of the “Arte y pico“blog , so everyone will know the origin of this award.

5) Please post these rules.

I really, really hate this part. It's just too dadgum hard... but here's my best effort:

1. Hazel at Just Add Dots

2. Kristin at Grace Violet

3. Lisa at Cakes and Cupboards

4. Melody at Kids, Cakes, Dishes, and Laundry... in that order

5. Crystal at Crystal wants to share

There are so, so many blogs I read daily. I feel they all contribute something, or I wouldn't read them! But these ladies are all so creative and talented, as well. They are all awesome at what they do!


Monday, August 25, 2008

I hope she's no Billy Joe McGuffrey

Bonus points if you knowuddamean with my oh-so-catchy title up there. It's been in my head for days.

Today my baby entered first grade. Don't get me started on the injustice of that. I never, and I mean never, gave her permission to grow up. But she's fiesty like that.
She insisted on wearing the frilliest outfit in her closet today, and also on wearing her backpack while I took the annual "First Day Of School" picture.

Shannon over at Rocks In My Dryer hosted a back-to-school haiku contest this morning. Never being one to back down from a challenge (or at least a writing challenge), here's my contribution:

This day took so long.
It couldn't come fast enough.
It's here. She's gone. Peace.

Eyes hot with my tears,
Thinking about her return.
Needing one more hug.

When did this happen?
She shouldn’t be in school, yet.
They grow up too fast.

The school bell rings-yay!
Coming home so excited!
Has to tell me all.

Chocolate chip cookies
Still warm from the oven--yum.
The smell. Oh! The smell.

Melting in our mouths
While we talk about her day.
There’s nothing better.

Forgive the melancholiness, but that was my mood after I stood outside her classroom door for a good fifteen minutes, just to make sure she was okay. The principal was all, "Uh... Can I help you?" And I was all, "Get the heck outta my face, lady!"

But I kid.

I didn't call her lady.

Each year, we send Christian to school with an apple for her teacher. But this year I thought, "If some kid brought me an apple, holding it in their grubby little hand, I doubt I'd eat it."

So I put it in a plastic bag. But it looked so lonely in there.

So I added a Hershey bar. But then it just looked like a random little wannabe gift, so I added two packs of peanut butter crackers, some Lays potato chips, and some homemade chocolate chip cookies. Then I tied it with cute black & white polka dotted ribbon, and attached a really cute card I made on the computer. I told her teacher it was to ward off any stress-induced cravings for the first day. I think we covered them all: salty, sweet, crunchy, healthy, and, of course, chocolate. I wrote that we hope she has a great year (sidenote: she was Christian's teacher last year. She's team-taught kindergarten with the same teacher for 22 years, but they moved her up this year to try to strengthen the first grade) and how happy we are that Christian has her again.

Anyway, I'll leave you with this gem... which is how I found her last week as I attempted getting her back into a morning routine:

I don't think I've ever slept that soundly.

100 Things About Me

I never really thought I'd make it this far blogging, but I'm at my 100th post. As is tradition in this world, you have to list 100 facts about yourself. So here goes.

1. I am a Christian.

2. I have been saved by grace, through faith.

3. I will see my Saviour face-to-face in Heaven some day. You can, too. E-mail me if you want to know how.

4. I have been married for... ummm... 11 years, as of January '08.

5. I have found the person who is my perfect mate. He balances me well. I think, anyway.

6. Somehow, he makes me so mad, I can't help but laugh. I try to tell him how mad I am at him, but it doesn't hold much weight when I'm laughing and smiling.

7. I love that about him... when the moment has passed.

8. In the moment, I want to slug him.

9. Sometimes, I do.

10. I have two children.

11. I love them more than I ever thought I could love.

12. I would have been pregnant with the third, but I miscarried in March 08. It was the day before my daughter's birthday.

13. That hurt more than I thought it would.

14. It still does.

15. I've never been to New York.

16. I'd like to go.

17. Without the kids.

18. At least the first time.

19. I miss my mom.

20. She lives in Nashville.

21. I live in South Texas.

22. I am... ummm... 32.

23. I always have to subtract my birth year from the current year to figure that out.

24. I have a ferociously horrible memory.

25. I'll be 33 in about three weeks. :(

26. I'm not really excited about that.

27. But it's better than the alternative.

28. I've never been out of the country.

29. Not even to Mexico.

30. I'd like to go to Europe.

31. Again, without the kids!

32. I love being creative.

33. I don't get to very often.

34. Life gets in the way.

35. I'm okay with that.

36. My life is pretty full.

37. I like it that way.

38. I don't remember what I used to waste all my time on before I had babies.

39. It had to be pretty lonely.

40. Or fun, however you choose to look at it!

41. I stay up too late.

42. And have a hard time getting up in the morning.

43. I am reading the Bible cover-to-cover in 90 days.

44. I just finished Deuteronomy.

45. I'm really proud of that.

46. I'll be even more proud when I finish!

47. I've never read the entire Bible before.

48. That's something I am very ashamed of.

49. But I'm working on that. Soon I won't be ashamed anymore.

50. God doesn't want me to feel ashamed. He loves me.

51. I love Him. With all my heart, with all my soul, with all my strength, and with all my mind.

52. I try to love my neighbor as myself.

53. I don't very often, though.

54. I knew this would be hard for me to write.

55. It is.

56. I love to sing.

57. I think I'm good at it.

58. But I really don't like to sound like a braggart.

59. Other people must agree, because I was in three musicals in college.

60. I played Glinda in The Wiz.

61. I also played Polly Baker (THE LEAD ROLE!) in Gershwin's "Crazy for You."

62. I've got Rhythm.

63. I've got Music.

64. I've got My Man, Who could ask for anything more?

65. That was my favorite song in Crazy for You.

66. I had to sing "Ahhhhhhh..." while the entire choir sang the chorus.

67. I drowned them out.

68. I lost my voice the week before opening night.

69. I almost didn't get to sing that song.

70. But I DID!

71. Opening night I forgot the words to one of my songs.

72. I actually sang, "Blah, blah, blah" onstage.

73. In front of people.

74. It was an interesting (albeit humiliating) arrangement.

75. I didn't know I could make cakes.

76. Hubs pushed me to try it.

77. I scoffed.

78. But tried anyway.

79. I'm glad I did.

80. I've never taken a class.

81. But that will soon change. Yippee!

82. I quit my teaching job to stay home after Cullen was born.

83. I'm glad I did.

84. I wanted to when Christian was born.

85. But we couldn't afford it.

86. I have been blessed.

87. With so much more than I deserve.

88. I thank God for all I've been given... oops. Sorry.

89. That song always comes to my mind when I think about my blessings.

90. My favorite part of church is praise and worship.

91. But I'm usually late to church and miss it.

92. I am very sensitive.

93. And selfish.

94. And critical.

95. And impatient.

96. I hate those things about myself.

97. But God's not finished with me, yet.

98. I'm having writer's block.

99. I care about the person reading this right now, and if you ever need me to pray for you, about anything, I will. Just e-mail me.

100. I believe prayer works.


If you have never commented on here, or if you rarely comment, please comment on this post. Let me know something about you. Tell me what you think. Whatever. Just let me know you were here visiting.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Happy Birthday UBD!

Unique Blog Designs is having a very special first birthday celebration.

Here's what they're giving away:

Grand Prize - Brand New 8GB iPod Touch ($299 value) and One (1) Copy of the New UBD Citrus WordPress Theme.

Three (3) runner-up prizes include copies of the new UBD Citrus WordPress Theme.

Here's how you can enter:

For one (1) contest entry - just reply to this post with a comment. Only one comment per person will be counted.
For five (5) contest entries - write a blog post about the UBD 1-Year Anniversary Contest and link back to this post. If your blog post does not appear under the “Pingbacks,” leave a comment with a URL to the post.

The winner will be randomly chosen Monday, September 1st, 2008.

My Story From A-Z

Mzzterry tagged me to do my story from A-Z... so here it is:

A. Attached or Single? attached

B. Best Friend? Hubs (although he's been getting on. my. nerves. the last few days)

C. Cake or Pie? duh.

D. Day of Choice? Saturday

E. Essential Item? a few minutes of quiet alone time each day

F. Flavor of Ice Cream? Dulce de leche

G. Gummy Bears or Worms? neither

H. Hometown? Somewhere in South Texas

I. Indulgences? Coffee with lots of cream and sugar

J. January or July? January, because I love cold weather

K. Kids? two

L. Last Movie I Saw In A Theater? Mamma Mia!

M. Middle Name? Elizabeth

N. Number of Siblings? 1

O. Oranges or Apples? apples (I've read they're better at waking you up than coffee. Never tried it, though.)

P. Phobia or Fear? my children dying

Q. Quote? Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.

R. Reason to Smile? I know a secret.

S. Season? My favorite season is winter. I love cold, gray, overcast days. LOVE THEM!

T. Tag Four More? Don't think so. I'm kind of lazy today. But if you read this, consider yourself tagged!

U. Unknown Fact About Me? I've never broken a bone.

V. Vegetarian or Oppressor of Animals? Definitely an oppressor of animals. Many, many animals.

W. Worst Habit? procrastinating

X. X-Rays or Ultra-Sounds? ultra-sounds

Y. Your Favorite Food? my father-in-law's pork ribs

Z. Zodiac? Never

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Just a little sum'em-sum'em

Hubs has a friend who raises chickens.

Hubs is a country boy from way back.

Using deductive reasoning, I'm sure you know where I'm going with this.

I will say, though, seeing your six year-old girl in a fancy dress and rubber galoshes chasing chickens is the funniest sight you will ever see. I just about fainted from lack of oxygen, I was laughing so hard.

They gave us this:

It's a dozen eggs in four days. Which is what they're averaging. Apparently, two of them lay one egg every two days, and four of them lay one egg on the off day of the previous two. So we get six eggs every two days. It's like Christmas every time Christian goes out to check. She gets so excited to "get" an egg. Which means Christmas this year will be fairly easy on us! ;)

With my eggs, I baked these:

Which, to the casual observer (a.k.a. Hubs) would seem to be quite ordinary homemade blueberry muffins. Unfortunately for the casual observer, these were anything but ordinary. This recipe came from Jessica Seinfeld's Deceptively Delicious Cookbook (thanks, Kelsey! I LOVE IT!) and contained pureed yellow squash. The casual observer didn't care for them. Christian, however, LOVES them, and thinks she's really getting away with something when I give them to her for dessert! I think they're pretty good, too, but I wish I hadn't doubled the blueberries. They just didn't look blueberry-ie enough, but I'm guessing they would have been.

I was really in a baking mood.

I also baked a loaf of whole wheat bread (which was quite ordinary, and delicious!) and two loaves of banana bread, also from Deceptively Delicious. Those contained cauliflower. Which, when warm, you couldn't really taste, but after they cooled down, you could tell something was amiss. Still, it was pretty good for breakfast.

The baking mood, it has passed.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Mimi's Visit... and more cake pictures

We got a call last Saturday, around 9 am, from my mom. She and her husband were flying down, spur-of-the-moment, and would be at our house around four. So I jumped out of bed (a good two hours early) and began working on her birthday cake. It was chocolate with chopped-up caramel-filled Hershey's kisses inside.

Anyway, they sneaked up behind Christian and stood over her shoulder while she finished decorating it.

We drove to a beach town about an hour away and had dinner. Here's my sis-in-law with sweet nephew #1, Colton. He's very busy with the drum Christian got at Sea World.

Here's sis-in-law with sweet nephew #2, Cayden (whom the whole fam calls Day-day, but I call my Marshmallow, 'cause he's so squishy and cuddly and soft and sweet):

Here's Mimi with Christian and my sweet niece, Caylee.

And here's my brother's idea of embarrassing my mom by getting the waistaff to get a Minnie Pearl hat from the gift shop and sing to her:

And here's Mimi and Popo. I'm not sure why my mom looks so, um, surprised.

And then back to my brother's house for cake. She turned, um, 57. But we didn't have a seven. But we did have a three. But we only had three singles. So we used a match.

Gotta say, the visit was definitely a short one! They left the next morning. :(

Happy Birthday, Mom!

Thursday, August 21, 2008

And Then There Was Sea World

Sea World isn't really my favorite place to be, but Christian really likes it, so we went.

It's that whole "need to feel clean" thing I'm hung up on.

You just can't feel that when you walk 84 miles in 392 degree heat and 167 percent humidity.
Anyway, it was way too much effort to dig for the camera through the luggage we strapped to the stroller. So we only have a few pictures.
Here's one I absolutely couldn't pass up. Notice anything special about this horse? He's one of the Anheuser-Busch Clydesdales.

Looks like he was really happy to see us. I know it's tacky, but I have NEVER seen anything like that in my life up to this point, and just had to share.

Then one of Christian at the top of the waterslide. We spent the second half of the day at Sea World's water park... along with 249 million other people.

Look at that! Amidst the sliding and the nose-holding she bravely waves at her daddy!

Here's the four of us riding our first ride together! Christian's face is priceless! Cullen whined/cried/got on my nerves the whole time. Hubs kept saying, "Look Mama, no hands!" I kept threatening to throw him off the ride if he let go of my baby. I really can't believe they let him ride it! He just looks too little to me. Sniff...

We actually had a good time... but we were all sooooo glad when we pulled up in our driveway that night.

And believe it or not, nobody got sunburned!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

The Beach at Corpus. At Night. When Sharks Eat.

Yeah. That's when we decided to go.

Not really our moment of intellectual brilliance, but hey, we weren't driving back to Corpus again, just for the beach.

It was actually nice.

If, you know, you like being sweaty and sticky and covered in sand.

Which I do not.

So I guess maybe it wasn't nice.


The kids had fun.

And I guess I did, too. Maybe just a little.

Click to play the beach
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Tuesday, August 19, 2008

The Annual Trip to the Aquarium

So we went to the Texas State Aquarium, in Corpus. It was hot. Miserably hot. The marine life were mocking us.

We watched a dolphin show, and touched stingrays (which is when I almost fell into the water, because I wasn't expecting the thing to have ridges on its back) and watched the various sea life they have on display.

We were in the underwater dolphin tank theater, when I thought I noticed an odd smell. There were several dozen people in there, so really it could have been any one of them. Unfortunately, it was an oddly familiar smell. It just kept wafting over me, until it stopped wafting, and started beating against my nostrils. I looked around, and there was Cullen. Yep. He was the source of the foul odor. So I grabbed him up and went to the nearest bathroom, which happened to be an open air (which is a fancy-shmancy word for no air-conditioning) facility.

I laid him on the Koala Bear changing table, and slowly, cautiously, removed his shoes and shorts. I had a bad feeling about this one. As I peeled his (new) shorts down his legs, I noticed rings along the inside of his shorts. Great. So, I cleaned him off as best I could (which was nowhere near good enough) then took off the rest of his clothes, and plopped his naked butt in a sink and ran soap and cold water over him. I proceeded to wash his shorts in the next sink. Thank God we were the only ones in there. Of course, given the smell that kid produced, I'm sure the odds of anyone actually deciding to investigate were pretty slim.

So after several minutes of washing his shorts, I was faced with a new dilemma. Do I take him back to the dophin tank where his diaper bag and extra clothes are (I only brought the wipes and a diaper with me. Duh.), or do I try to dry his shorts at the hand dryer?

I opted for the hand dryer.

Which meant I had to stand there and hold his shorts in front of 193 degree air blowing more at me than at the shorts, and try to convince him to stay seated in the sink.

Once his shorts were dry, and he was cleaned and fully clothed, I realized "The Smell" was still with us. So I started frantically trying to figure out why. Joy of joys, there was a little smudge on my shirt (!) from where I held him on my hip on the trip to the bathroom.

So yes, I had to wash my shirt in the sink, and then stand there (again, the open air facility) while 347 degree air blew against me to dry it. I was a beautiful, dewy, yummy-smelling delight after that, let me tell you.

And can I just say, not once in the half-hour we were gone, did Hubs come looking to see if something were wrong? He knew.

He knew.

Click to play Texas State Aquarium
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It kind of reminded me of this:

Monday, August 18, 2008

Our Day at the (local) Beach

We have been quite the little busy bees, lately.

I'll start where I left off, which is that my sister-in-law and I took the kids to the local beach. We had a great time. It wasn't too hot (shocker!) and it wasn't crowded at all.

I'm not a beach-goer (hence the pasty skin) but even I enjoyed myself.

Speaking of pasty skin, I think my brother and I have the five whitest children in America. It's like our whiteness genetically cancels out my husband's and my sister-in-law's color genes. Hopefully it weakens with subsequent generations.

Click to play Cousins @ the Beach
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Wednesday, August 13, 2008

You could win something!

A really cool stroller!

Strollermama and MomDot are partnering to give away the Cadillac of all strollers.

So click on the MomDot link above to enter!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Wardrobe malfunction; and some cute clothes!

Cullen was having some issues with his jammies this morning.

If only I had realized before I took his pants off that his diaper was filled with poo...

A package from Mimi came today. It contained clothes for both kids, and some money for Christian for being such a good sport about trying on (and being photographed in) her back-to-school clothes.

We finished shopping this weekend. All the school supplies, clothes, socks, shoes and underwear a kid could need... and THE. CUTEST. BACKPACK. EVER.

Hallelujah, we're finished. And only two weeks to go!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

What I've Been Doing... A Pictorial Tour

Okay. First, the birthday cake. My mil's birthday was last week, so we did the cake. Christian, cough, decorated it. Here's the before:

Aaaaaand here's the after:

We didn't have enough candles, so the seven was added as a multiplier, to get the correct age on there. ;)

Here are some onesies I've been working on... for three months. Actually, I did the white ones three months ago. The yellow ones have been patiently waiting for their dye. They got it yesterday, I finished them, and wrapped and delivered them today.

What's that line from Rocky? Something about eating lightning and crapping thunder? Or is it vice-versa?

Anyway, the baby daddy likes John Deere memorabilia, and gave up his John Deere room for the nursery, so I did this:

I am happy to report that my neighbor brought his baby over a short time ago wearing the John Deere onesie. Right before he spit up on it. So maybe the middle one would have been more appropriate.
Then there was the day Christian and I walked in to find Cullen can now reach up on the bar. Where Christian put her new package of gum.

EVERY. SINGLE. PIECE. had either been licked, sucked (shut up John!), or chewed on... and then left on the floor to see if the next piece maybe tasted better.

Christian was so upset... but, man was it hi-lar-ee-us!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Another birthday cake (minus the pictures!)

I haven't posted in a while... so sorry about that.

Yesterday was my mil's birthday. I baked a cake (I haven't downloaded the pictures, yet, but will soon!) that Christian decorated herself. It was really... um... festive.

My mil is one of the sweetest people I know. She would give you anything she had to give if you needed it. Or just wanted it, for that matter.

She was invaluable to me when Hubs was gone. She came over just about every day to check on us. She'd play with the kids so I could have a minute to myself or do laundry or pay bills or whatever. Many evenings she'd come pick them up and take them with her to (gasp!) Chuck-E-Cheese or McDonald's for a few hours. The difference in her taking them to Mickey D's and me taking them is that she actually gets out and lets them play; I just go to the drive-thru.

She plays with them. And I mean really plays. When she's with them, she's 100% with them. She listens to them, responds to them, and cares about what they want.

When we told her (seven years ago!) that we were expecting our first baby, she went right out and bought herself a keychain that reads, "World's Best Grandma." Her cell phone message says, "You've reached Christian's Grandma..."

She absolutely loves those kids. And they know it. And I know it. And she makes darn sure everyone she comes into contact with knows it.

She is, as Dr. Phil says, "their soft place to land." I had a Gramma like that. Just typing that brings tears to my eyes, because after all these years, I still miss her so much.

And I am so glad that God gave me the mil that He did. She's perfect for us. Every one of us. And we all love her so very much, because of the person she is.

Happy Birthday!

Monday, August 4, 2008

I won! I won! I won!

Okay. So maybe I'm a little luckier than I thought. Hillary contacted me... to let me know I won a $25 gift card!

It must be my birthday!!!

I never win anything. I don't mean to sound whiny and annoying, but it just doesn't happen.

So I got an e-mail today, telling me I won something!

I won four luggage tags, from My Charmed Life. Jo-Jo picked me!

And now I have to choose which design I want. These are the ones I've narrowed it down to:

I am so horrible at decision-making. What's your favorite?