Friday, January 30, 2009

Valentine Ornaments

I'm not exactly the 'crafty' one in the family. I love new ideas of stuff to do with the kids, but rarely come up with those ideas on my own. That's a shame because I grew up in a house where my Mom was always making stuff by hand and coming up with great ideas for making 'something out of nothing'.
She gave me the recipe and idea for this craft project which she found in her local newspaper.
It's been so much fun, I thought I'd post it here.

1C flour
1/2 C salt
1/2 C water
mix the ingredients well and form a a dough ball.

We rolled out the dough and used cookie cutters to cut out the shapes.

Tia wanted to do all the rolling.
It was a long time before I could actually cut out any shapes!

You then have to use a straw to make a hole for the string in order to hang the ornament.
Bake at 250 degrees for 2 hours. Allow to cool before painting.

Here's the resident artist hard at work.

The finished product. Don't they look good enough to eat?

This project took all day. We had planned to stay in anyway due to frigid temperatures. I'm so glad it didn't turn into a day full of television. This is much better than TV!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Does she even know how funny she is?

Tia likes to get into pajamas for her naps. Quite often I just let her stay in those pajamas for the rest of the day. The other evening I announced that dinner was almost ready. Tia yelled "Daddy, get me out!". He said "Get you out of what?". She said "Get me out of my jammies, it's almost dinner time and I'm not dressed!".
She's such a lady.

There's a great new show on called "Sid the Science Kid". Tia likes when Sid sings his signature song. It goes like this...I love my Mom, my Mom is cool, but now it's time for having fun at school. It's catchy. While on our way to Kmart, to see if we could find some good clearance items, I hear Tia in the back seat singing "I love my Mom, my Mom is cool, but now it's time for having fun at Kmart".
This kid is a riot.

While at Target today (another clearance adventure) I got the kids a donut and let them split it. Of course Gia had the glaze from hers all over her face. Tia asked me for a wet wipe to clean her hands. Next thing I know Gia fussing and saying "No, no". I look over to see Tia trying to use the wet wipe to clean her sister's face. I explained to Tia that her sister didn't seem to like having her face wiped, and she should leave her alone. Tia's response to me was "But Mom, she's a mess, I have to clean her up!". She stopped for a little while and then a few minutes later was at it again and I could hear her mumbling under hear breath, "You're such a mess Ju Ju, I really need to clean you up. Look at this face".
She is a mother at heart.

I'm sure she has no idea how funny she really is. She cracks me up every day.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

A curl in the middle of her forehead!

Tia woke up from her nap yesterday and had this big fat curl hanging down in her face. She was very proud of it and kept saying "boing boing, look at it bounce!". So, of course being the Mom that I am, I had to grab the camera.
It reminded me of that song about a little girl with a curl in the middle of her forehead. I know my Dad used to sing it to me but can't remember the words now. Maybe someone will remember it for me and send me a note.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

The Soup Monster

Here is my little Giuliana eating home made chicken soup. Complete with carrots, onions, rice, and lots of big chunks of chicken. She loved it. The reason I'm so excited about this is that her sister Tia refuses to eat any meat products, and has for just about her whole life. I don't fight it, I accept it as part of who she is. However it can be a bit difficult to make sure she has good, well rounded meals every day.
I just don't get it. Two kids raised by the same parents who have the same eating habits. How can they be so different?
I'm so happy I have at least one kid who eats everything we eat (and more). I don't have to make anything special for her.
I sure hope this isn't a phase!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Pay it Forward for Bloggers

My friend, and fellow Blogger Amy Jo got me into this, so now it's my turn.
Here's what "Pay it Forward" is and how you can participate...
If you are a blogger, and want to receive a home made gift from me, you must be one of the first 3 people to leave a comment on this post. Within one year, you will receive some sort of home made thing. Keep in mind that I am not exactly the most creative or crafty person, so I have no idea what I'll be making and sending! This should be interesting.
Here's the catch. If you are one of those who comment, and want to receive the gift, you also have to post about Pay it Forward on your own blog, and in turn send out 3 home made gifts. You have one full year to make and send the 3 gifts, so don't worry, there's plenty of time to find the creativity.

Email me your mailing address to: so I know where to send your gift.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

A Prize for Tia

I took this picture of Tia last week and then forgot about it. I was just looking at the pictures I had saved on my computer and remembered why I took it.
We had gone to Target, just to look around. Tia thinks it's a big deal to pick out a prize for herself there. The last couple of times her 'prize' has been one of those "Kid Cuisine" lunches from the frozen food section. Go figure!
This time, it was a head band from the $1 bin. She just loved it and wore it all day.

I know there will come a day very soon when the prizes will no longer be $1, but thankfully for now she's perfectly content.

Saturday, January 24, 2009

Look who's talking

Today Giuliana said something astounding. I almost didn't realize what she was saying, so lets' see if you can figure it out.

"wan, two, free, fo, fie, shix, shebba, eat, nie, ten"

This was totally unprompted and not guided. I think she's pretty amazing.

Friday, January 23, 2009

Gloves Galore, and more!

Anyone who knows me knows I'm really into clearance shopping. I am always on the look out for a good bargain. Every once in a while I am so proud of my findings, I just have to share with all you blog readers.
Here's what I found...

I think I got enough gloves/mittens for both girls for the next 3 years.
The gloves were $1 each, the hats were $1.50.

I couldn't resist this silly T-shirt for Gia, at a mere .24 cents. Do I care that it says "Thanksgiving 2008"? Nope, I don't care if she rolls around in the mud in it for that price. I got one for myself too, but it was a whopping .75 cents. Maybe we'll roll around together.

I even got a couple pants for myself, including these that Tia wanted to model for me. She told me they were just a little too big right now.
I paid $1.98 for this pair, and $1.24 for a khaki pair.
The most expensive thing on my receipt was a pair of gloves I bought for myself that cost $1.99. I figure I'm worth it!

I have a clearance rack smile on my face tonight.

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

A beautiful day

I was wondering today, on the inauguration of our 44th President, how much Tia would understand if I tried to tell her what was happening. We never really watch 'regular' TV, so she knew something was going on since I had news on all morning. I tried to explain to her that we had a new President. She asked what a President was. I tried to explain that too, to no avail.

We missed the actual swearing in and speech because I promised the girls we would go to the Parent-Tot Center today. I was sad to miss it but knew I could catch it later on the internet. Upon arriving at the school, Tia looked up and said with a big smile "Look Mom, that's the 'merican flag". I said "Yes you're right, isn't it beautiful?". Her response was "Yes Mommy, I really love it". I said "Me too, I love it because when you see that flag, it means you're in America, that's where we live and that's a good thing". She said "Me too Mom, I love 'merica".

I think my job here is done.

Monday, January 19, 2009

A Life List

I'm just about finished reading "No Opportunity Wasted, 8 Ways to Create a List for The Life You Want", written by Phil Keoghan. He's the host of The Amazing Race, one of my favorite shows.

The life list isn't a new idea. Some people call this a 'Bucket List' or a 'Things to do Before I Die' list. I like the idea of calling it a life list because it focuses on enhancing your life now, and not hurrying to do something before you die. In fact there was a part of Andy Rooney's book that focused on the list as well.

I've had lists for life before. I write them down, lose the paper, and forget what's on the list. D.R. suggested that I keep the list here on my blog so that doesn't happen this time. He also thought readers of my blog may be inspired to start a list of their own.

So, in the right column of this blog I will keep a running list of things I really want to do in life. We'll see how big the list gets, and how many I get to check off. This could be fun!

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Sweet Saturday

We have been snow bound, stuck in the house due to sub zero temperatures, for about 3 days this week. Tia has been begging every day to bake something in the oven. She kept talking about making a chocolate cake. Unfortunately, I had absolutely nothing in the house to bake. So, last night I braved the cold and wind to run to Wal Mart and buy a cake mix. Tia was so happy that she would finally be able to bake something. She really enjoys the kitchen.
Here are a couple pictures of our very sweet adventure today.

Pink is our favorite color.

Always a good idea to taste the frosting, just to be sure it's good enough.

Really, who needs a fork when hands work just fine.

Mmmm, good finished product.

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Better Days Ahead

Lately I've been having a really tough time with Giuliana. First, it's an adjustment for all of us that she is so extremely different from Tia. I know parents aren't supposed to compare their children, but these two couldn't be more opposite. I've had to accept that Gia will have temper tantrums, loves to get into things, and likes to make messes.
But, for some reason, this week has been particularly difficult for everyone. I don't exactly know why, but I've been at my wits end. It's embarrassing to admit, but I actually called D.R. at work yesterday and asked him to come home. I found myself losing my patience, and I was feeling bad for Tia who was quietly getting left in the shadow of her sister.
How can this sweet angel face cause so much pain and frustration? She's my baby and I'm supposed to be enjoying this time while she's little. Instead, I've been exhausted and frustrated, and not looking at her with the adoring eyes of a mother.
I decided a couple of things just have to change. Here's what I started today, on day 1 of my journey to a better relationship with my daughter.

First of all, I got a good nights sleep. I have to make sure I am taking good care of myself, so I can take care of my children. That means, plenty of sleep, making sure I eat good meals, and staying generally healthy.
Also, I gave her lots and lots of Mommy time. We played A LOT. I was keenly aware of keeping her engaged. That means not cleaning up while the kids are eating lunch. I sat at the table with them, even though I really wanted to vacuum! I even had her at the stove with me while I was making dinner. As you can see from the picture, she was apparently making potato surprise.

It worked. We had an incredible day with no tantrums or screaming. Yes, it was tiring to be constantly playing with the kids and entertaining, but not nearly as exhausting as the long days of tears and break downs.
It's so nice to see her smiling face again. I hope the steady stream of tough days are behind us now.
Here's how the girls ended the day. No fighting. Just togetherness.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009


Today is my brother John's birthday. He was born on Friday the 13th, which is notoriously a bad luck day. My mom says that she was terrified to go see her new baby for fear that he was disfigured in some way simply because of his birth date! We all laughed at how silly that seemed. He of course was a normal, healthy baby, despite being born on such a bad luck day.
I should mention that years later he sure gave our parents a run for their money and quite a few gray hairs, but I still don't think it has anything to do with the date of his birth.

Fast forward the clock 47 years to when I was preparing for the birth of our second daughter. Giuliana's due date was April 20 but I was to have a scheduled C-section. The doctor naturally picked one week before my due date, and came up with April 13. Not a problem until I looked at a calendar and discovered it fell on a Friday that year. Oh no! For some reason, I suddenly became superstitious. I know that believing in bad luck and superstitions is just silly nonsense. So why I was so concerned about our daughter being born on that day is still a mystery to me. I was embarrassed to tell the doctor of my concerns, but he had no problem changing the date to the 12th. Phew.
Now I'm not so sure the date change was such a good idea. Particularly because I can't imagine Gia being any more naughty than she is now! Should we make "Thursday the 12th" the new bad luck day? Oh, of course I love her endlessly and wouldn't trade her for the world. It just goes to show you that superstitions and bad luck are all a bunch of hooey!

So, Happy Birthday to my dear, MUCH OLDER, not so bad luck brother.
I hope it's a great one.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Hair Cut Day

Tia's hair has been growing so fast and unfortunately, when it's long, it gets weighted down and doesn't look very curly. I like long hair but I like her curls more. We all went for haircuts today and I was able to convince D.R. and the hairdresser to go ahead and 'cut' Tia's hair as opposed to a little trim.
WOW, what a difference! Her hair was bouncy and curly even before she got out of the chair. I'm very pleased with the result.

I didn't take a 'before' picture but her is one from last week that really shows the big difference. Try to look past the Mr. Potato Head glasses!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Six Years Gone By

My husband called me on his way to work this morning to remind me that we met 6 years ago today, January 8, 2003. I have to give him credit, he is always the one who remembers these things. I feel like we have been together forever, and don't remember much of what life was like without him or our girls.
I do remember that when we met, I was not in a great place in my life. Although I was self sufficient and already owned my own home, I was also severely overweight and had a low self esteem. I had just finished up school and was trying to find full time employment. I still can't believe he ever asked me out on a second date! He says he could see the real me, and knew we were going somewhere, even on that first meeting.
I guess he has good insight because here we are 6 years and 2 kids later!

In honor of this special occasion I decided we should have dinner in the formal dining room. We usually do that on days we want to celebrate. Unfortunately our kids are too little to sit through a nice dinner. They ate and that alone is an accomplishment. They didn't sit very long though. I know they won't be little for long so I can't complain.
At least we were all together as a family, sharing a meal, and celebrating a special occasion.

Here are just a couple reasons why I'm still crazy about this guy 6 years later.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

I had to take Giuliana to the doctor today because she has a really yucky, itchy rash on her belly. When we arrived, I checked in as normal, and then the less than pleasant receptionist informed me that we had to wait in the "sick area" because of the rash. I just sort of looked at her because there wasn't one person in the "well" area, so there was no risk of us 'infecting' anyone with the rash that was totally covered up by her clothes!
So, me being me, I just had to ask. "So, I have to go in that area with all the sick kids and expose my healthy kids to things like bronchitis, ear infections, and so on?". Of course she didn't budge and said they have to protect the infants who come into the building. I guess I could totally understand that if there was in fact an infant, or any child for that matter, in the waiting room!
Needless to say, I chose to wait in the vestibule with the girls instead of exposing them to unnecessary illness.

When the nurse called us back, she wanted to weigh Gia, who didn't want any part of it. She started screaming in fear. Big sister Tia kept saying "It be OK Ju Ju, it be OK". She was so brave and tried to be so comforting.
When the doctor came into the room, Gia started screaming even more than before. Tia sat quietly in the guest chair next to me while the doctor examined Gia's rash. She really put up a good fight, not wanting the doctor to touch her. At the end of it all, I looked over at Tia and she had a little tear streaming down her face, and was trying to wipe it away before anyone noticed. I didn't draw any attention to her but later asked her if she cried at the doctors office because Gia was crying. She said "Yeah Mommy, but just a real little bit".

I can't get over what a sweet sister she is. She has a genuine caring and love for her baby sister. It's touching that she was that affected by Gia's pain. I thanked her for being such a good big sister and told her I was proud of her. I hope they always stay this way.

Monday, January 5, 2009

Happy Birthday to my Sister

Today is my favorite sister's birthday. Well, she's my only sister but even if I had more than one, I'm pretty sure she would still be my favorite. She's a wonderful person. Best of all, she adores my kids, and they adore her.
I'm not allowed to tell how old she is today, or she might beat me up like she did when we were kids!
Actually, I'm bigger than her now, but I still won't risk it.

Here are some pictures of the birthday girl:

Married 20 years.

A fine ladies tea party. No boys allowed.

Tia loves her Aunt Kimmie!

A very Happy Birthday to our very special Aunt Kimmie. We hope it's as wonderful as you are.

Saturday, January 3, 2009

Totally Un-cool

The other day I was reading an article in our local newspaper about the "Top 10's of 2008" which included the top 10 albums, movies, musical groups, concerts, etc. I sat there looking at the list, trying to find a name I might recognize. I quickly realized I don't know any of these people. This made me think of why it is that most teenagers believe their parents to be extremely out of touch, and well, just plain old.
When I was a kid, of course I thought my parents were old and that they didn't know anything about being cool. As most teenagers do, I thought I would be different. I was going to be the cool mom. I imagined I would always be up on the latest music and fashion fads. Yeah, right!

I am admitting right here, right now, that I am WAY out of touch and can almost guarantee that in 10 years my daughters will NOT think I'm cool. I have a theory on why that is.

First of all, I never get to watch any TV unless it's Sesame Street, Super Why, Word World, or Curious George. That's about it these days. I can't watch 'regular' TV with the girls around. I don't want them to hear or see things that may wrongly influence them. If it's not on PBS, it's not on our TV. I honestly can't remember the last time I watched Oprah, or the View. I used to enjoy those shows, along with the evening news and various other shows. Now I get my news from quickly reading the newspaper headlines, or a brief article on the internet.

The other reason I'm out of touch with cool is the radio. In my car we usually listen to the soundtrack from the Curious George movie, or other tunes by Jack Johnson. They're kid friendly, Mom approved. If we listen to the radio, it's a station that dubs itself "The Lite" or "Soft Rock from the 70's, 80's and more". I can't listen to the popular music of today with my girls in the car! I don't think I even have to explain why. James Taylor and Frank Sinatra will do just fine for now.

So, in my theory parents are forced to be out of touch for many years while we cater to our children. Then, by the time the kids get to school and start hanging out with their 'cool' friends, we're already too far gone.

I'm a little disappointed that I won't be one of the few cool Moms out there. Maybe by some miracle one of our girls will still think I'm cool, but I won't count on it. I'll just understand the reasons why it happened, and leave it at that. Being the Mom is more than enough for me, adding 'cool' to that title really isn't necessary.

Thursday, January 1, 2009

Something to make you laugh

Yesterday D.R. and Tia were looking at pictures from our trip to Seattle last year. He said to her "Tia, that's when we all went to Seattle, do you remember that?". And she said "Who's Attle?".

Today D.R. went upstairs for something. As soon as Giuliana realized he was gone, she started running around the house calling out "Honey, are you? Honey!". That's all I ever call him so she must think that's his name!

Tia was doing something she shouldn't, and D.R. caught her. He simply told her not to do it but she took particular offense to it. She turned to him and said "Why are you Daddying me?!".

That's all for today. Tomorrow is another day!