30 July 2010

where i tell you just a few quick things

One good thing that did come out of getting a computer back (even if just for the night) was to learn that I placed 10th in the iheartfaces challenge from the last week!


The theme was Over My Head and the guest judge was Jonathan Dear from Vibrant Photography in Australia.

Woot!!

Ps. I saw this secret from this past Sunday on Post Secret and I have to admit, I mentally filed it under genius ideas in my brain.

PPs.  I plan to get through all the comments left on my blog soon.  Thank you all so much for the love while I was gone!

29 July 2010

in which i have been away

My Granny celebrated her 90th birthday this week by hosting a weekend long family reunion on her farm in Pennsylvania.  Mabry and I have been traveling fools for the last week and only got home late last night.

So I apologize for the lack of posting, visiting other blogs and general doing anything on the Internet.

Also, my barely even 5 month old iMac has decided to be totally crazy and act up in numerous ways.  Which means that while I was gone for the week, so was the computer.  Only when I picked up the computer from the repair shop tonight, they informed me that they hadn't repaired a thing.  Apparently the computer "healed itself."  Seriously, they pay these computer geeks the big bucks for things like that?

Well miracle healing or not, the computer still is running VERY slow.  Oh and did I mention the finger prints under the glass screen and the dirt smeared under there too?  I noticed that about an hour ago when I finally got the chance to set it up after forcing Mabry to go to sleep.

I have to admit, I sat down on the office floor and cried.  I am just so frustrated and angry right now.  It will be ok I keep telling myself.  I have already scheduled appointments for Apple to call me in the morning and for me to even take the computer into a store in the afternoon if need be.  I have been a very loyal Apple customer for a long time.  I love the product and recommend it to people all the time.  I am really hoping that I can remain on good terms with them by the time all is said and done.

Not to mention I really want a working computer so that I can edit the photos of the beautiful babies and children I photographed this weekend.

More on the reunion later.  For now, bed.

27 July 2010

where we do nothing for my waistline

I don't know about you, but I am ready for the fall.  There I said it.  It is only July and I am ready for the cool breezes, pumpkin patches, corn mazes and changing leaves.  

No, I am not wishing my life away.  Rather I am wishing that I didn't have to brave 90 degree weather at 7 in the morning.  I am wishing I could take long walks with my daughter without having all energy zapped from my body in less than 10 minutes.  

Plus I miss sweatshirts, and hot chocolate, and baking.  Nothing says uncomfortable like the idea of slaving in front of a hot stove when it is over 100 outside.  Know what I mean?  Of course that uncomfortable feeling didn't stop us from making chocolate chip oatmeal cookies last week.  

I didn't gain these 10 pounds just sitting around people.  

Speaking of the 10 pounds, I am now waging war on my waistline.  I am sick of feeling like I do and sick of worrying about what to wear because nothing fits right anymore every morning.  So I am looking into on post exercise classes, reading You on a Diet and making a plan to 30 Day Shred with Jillian Michaels every single day.  

I will say that loosing 10 pounds seems to be a lot harder than the 30 pounds I did a few years ago.  

Has anyone else had that problem?  How about any tips on what worked for you?

26 July 2010

where i show you several blasts from the past

Mabry and I have literally spent hours sitting at the computer doing one of her favorite things.  Watching old videos saved on my hard drive.

Dan has two girls on his hands that are into cheap and easy entertainment.  Lucky him.

This video makes Mabry laugh and laugh when she watches it and is one that is in constant playback mode when we go through the videos:



I laugh watching this video.  It seems that her go to sleep/take a nap/wake up routine has hardly strayed in the last two+ years.  I believe we caught her doing this very thing at nap time just last week:



I am posting the next video for Dan's benefit.  Not surprising I had my camera on hand when we purchased our dear Sheebus.  I just wanted him to see that she didn't need the sheep so badly as he claims she did.  Someone just happens to live life wrapped around the little finger of a tiny girl.  I'm just sayin':



This last one gets a funny reaction out of Mabry when we watch it.  She usually gets really panicky and says, "Oh Mama!  That poor baby.  Look at her cry.  Oh Mama!  I can't watch me like a baby so upset." Priceless.  I wish I could say that these fits were a thing of the past.  I want to say that this one was over a  peanut butter cookie.  Good times.



Hope you all had a fantastic weekend!

23 July 2010

mabry the first two years

Mabry First 2 years


Mabry's third birthday is rapidly approaching.  Which means I really ought to get my bottom up from this desk chair and start planning her party for this year.  I am thinking about going with some sort of Peter Pan/Fairy/Pirate theme this year.  No real reason, I just think it would be cute.  Plus I have found some really interesting inspiration out there in on the web.  Hopefully I can pull it off.  Especially because we will hopefully also be celebrating the graduation (finally!!) of Dan from the course he has been going through for over a year now around the same time.  A party to celebrate everyone!  Hooray!!

Anyone have a good suggestion on how to celebrate a Peter Pan/Fairy/Pirate birthday?

I'm going to take a break for the weekend.  See you all on Monday!

21 July 2010

where dan agrees that my fears are totally justified by sending me an article

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Poor Ralph Mothes and Paloma Werner.

While sailing near Cape Town, South Africa a whale jumped out of the water and LANDED ON THEIR SAILBOAT.

There are pictures.

Thankfully Mr. Mothes and Ms. Werner made it back to shore safely.

So for all of you who mock and laugh at me when I tell you I won't be caught dead on a whale watching boat for this very reason, it can happen.

They are called killer whales for a reason.  Killer.  Not hug, kiss and cuddle whales.  Just sayin'.

*******

This blog block is really starting to mess with my mind.  I think it is because this week has somehow turned into the most boring week ever on record while also being crazy hectic simultaneously.  Only I doubt anyone wants to hear about the massive amount of chores I am trying to dig myself out of.  I haven't really stopped to even touch the camera let alone do anything interesting to tell you all about.

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Hence the reason for today's photos that have nothing to do with anything.  (Mabry calls these her noisy sheets because of all the patterns on them.)

I did manage to waste some time making a few new hair bows for Mabry.  Isn't this daisy just the cutest little thing?  I almost want to make some for myself.

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Have a good Thursday. The weekend is almost here!!

where i show you the joys of the oatmeal



Many of you have probably heard of the website The Oatmeal before.  If not, and you have time to kill, I invite you to check it out.  While a little...ok a lot...crass many of the comics hold some serious truths.

Some of the best Oatmeal comics (in my opinion) are:

What Your Email Address Says About You

Why I Believe Printers Were Sent from Hell

10 Words You Need to Stop Misspelling

and my personal favorite 15 Things Worth Knowing About Coffee

20 July 2010

over my head photo challenge



This week's challenge at iheartfaces is "Over My Head."  Which got me to thinking about Mabry and all the things that are over her head because she is barely two feet tall.  Then I started thinking about how she is only two-years-old and so there is a lot more out there that is over her head than just the physical world.  This is what the two of us ended up coming up with for this week's entry (Mabry's contribution was to insist that her sheep be in the photo too):

Over Her Head 7.20.2010

To see many more amazing photos head over to iheartfaces and check out the other entries.

where i ramble and ramble

Bathtime 7.19.2010


Sigh.  This is turning out to be a long week.  Not a good sign when it is only Monday.

It just seems that the amount of things I want to accomplished compared to the amount of time in the day isn't adding up.  But then, does it ever?  On the plus side, I did manage to finally clean out my closet.  I even tried on the prom dress I wore back when I was a junior in high school.  I could still zip it up and feel comfortable in it.  A huge plus to the ego.  Even if I know beyond a shadow of a doubt (for the bathroom scale and the super snug every day clothes tell me so) that I have 10 pounds that have been gained that must be lost.

Mabry has been demanding a lot of attention the last few days.  There is no happy 30 minutes of quite time while she quietly reads or plays in her playroom.  It is just the constant poking and "Mama?  Mama?  MAMA!" with no sign of letting up.  I am thinking about locking myself into the now roomy and clean closet of our master bedroom.  Shh!  Don't tell Mabry where to find me.

While we are talking about Mabry, I do have a few questions for you wise parents out there.  First of all, how do you get a child to eat with silverware and not their hands?  This is a daily struggle in our house.  Mabry knows how to use both a spoon and a fork.  She will even put food on both utensils.  This is followed by using her other hand to remove the food from the fork/spoon and shove it into her face/lap/table/floor/hair.  We have asked nicely, set examples, yelled, threatened, spanked, and taken food away.  Please, tell me what are we doing wrong?

Second, how do you teach a child not to go potty during nap and bed times?  Mabry has the whole potty training thing down pat during the day time.  She knows when she has to go and isn't afraid to tell me, Dan or anyone else.  She can even hold it for short periods of time if we are in the middle of something (like driving) and can't take her immediately.  I figured the best place to start will be nap time.  She already uses the rest room before she lays down, so I would think that she would be OK for an hour or two of sleeping.  It is 50/50 on if she wakes up dry.  The few times I have tried to put her in her big girl pants to nap she has had accidents.  The plastic panty covers don't work at all.  So how do I tackle this?  Am I doomed to daily laundry loads of pink twin sheets?  Would it be wrong to be the parents who send our kid off to college with a box of Pampers for night time?

Talk about both a boring and random post.  Can you tell I am going through a bit of blogging block?  Or maybe a better definition would be a whole lot of just don't care anymore attitude.  Hopefully tomorrow will be a better day.

17 July 2010

where i blinked and everything changed

My sister sent me an email two days ago with a link to the following video.  She said that she had been browsing through my Flickr account and came across this.  It was exactly one year ago today that I made this video...



I was stunned when I played it.  My baby is really growing up and I don't think until just now did I realize how much.  Gone are the days of that little squeaky voice.  Those super chubby cheeks and arms.  The little girl just learning to talk.

In some ways I am so happy with how much she has learned and developed and grown.  In other ways it just makes me sad.  They say don't wish your life away and don't wish for your kids to grow up too fast. Especially because you blink and years have gone by and those babies and kids aren't babies and kids at all.

16 July 2010

where i introduce your taste buds to something fantastic

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Last weekend was Amber's birthday and we hosted a little birthday BBQ/game night at our house to celebrate.

I'm not writing this post to tell you all about the party.

I am writing to tell you about the most delicious of delicious desserts that was made for the special occasion.  Amber hates cake.  (I know, who would have thought that such a person existed?!)  Which made making a birthday cake not a possibility.  I started to research online and I came across this recipe for Brownie Bottomed Ice Cream Cupcakes from Joy the Baker.

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Oh. My. Word.

Each bite was the equivalent to licking a sugarcoated rainbow.

I swear.

You can find all of the step by step directions by clicking on this link right here.  A few things I wanted to note:

1.  I didn't measure out the brownie mix but rather used a spoon that I just dipped into the batter and then the bottom of the cupcake liner.  It seemed to work well that way.

2.  There was still a bunch of batter left over, which I used as a layer on another dessert but could have easily used to make a small tray of brownies.

3.  There is no way that baking the brownies for 6-8 minutes was enough.  I had mine in there for at least 15 minutes and I just kept checking on them every two minutes or so with a toothpick.

4.  Homemade ganache is really simple and quick to make.

5.  Don't set the ice cream out on the counter and then walk away without first setting a timer.  Otherwise it will get too soft because you will forget all about it and then when you come back you will have to stick it back in the freezer to freeze up again some.

Your tastebuds can thank me, your waistline can hate me.  It will be worth it, I promise.
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15 July 2010

you got a friend in me

We have something of a demanding toddler on our hands these days.  For instance this was a conversation just the other day:

Mabry:  Mama I want to watch Tinkerbell Rescue.

Me:  Well honey that doesn't come out until this fall.  Also, we say please in this house.

Mabry:  Please Mama, please now.

Me:  Honey, it doesn't come out until the fall.  I can't do anything about it.  

Mabry:  Please Mama.  PLEASE.  PLEASE.

Me:  What do you want me to do?  Buy the production company and force them to release it early just for you?

Mabry:  Yes and I want popcorn too. 

Sigh.   

Sometimes when she remembers to say please and doesn't beg or whine, we do reward her with a special treat.  As you recall from yesterday's post Mabry is a cowboy princess right now.  I believe that part of the cowboy mentality stems from seeing Toy Story 3 and her love for all things Jessie.  Last night Dan and I bought her a Jessie of her very own.  

I am positive there has never been a toy that has made her this excited before.  It is so cute to watch her play with both Jessie and Bullseye, after all a cowgirl needs her horse (and they came as a pair).    

You Got a Friend In Me Montage

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She even asks that they both sit by her bed when she sleeps.  (Thankfully Sheebus is the only one she ever wants in the bed with her.)

You have a friend in me 7.13.2010

14 July 2010

where imagination runs wild

Mabry's imagination has been running wild lately.  From the blanket in the living room that suddenly turns into a car for her to drive me around in to the silly songs and stories she makes up and shares with everyone, it is just a nonstop surprise from the moment she wakes up until she goes to bed at night.  We can't get enough!

Here she is walking her dog:

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She would work as hard as possible at balancing Sheebus on the belt so that she could drag him all over the house going, "come on puppy, come on."

Of course there is also the farm that she runs which consists of one sheep and one puppy.  Who on this particular day were getting married I found out:

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Lucky for me I was there to capture the ceremony for the happy couple.

Yesterday morning while picking out her clothes for the day she informed me that she was a cowboy princess.  When I asked her what that was she pulled out her little denim outfit and tutu and informed me that it meant she had to wear this all day.

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Talk about a cute cowboy princess.  Oh and in case you were wondering, I saw this photo:


and was inspired to do something similar in my office on the blank wall.  So I enlisted in the help of Amber (who is a much better doodler than I) and some of the free tester paint I was sent by Glidden to create these little masterpieces.
_________________________________________
Ps.  Dear Katy,

The other day Mabes and I were watching some of the videos of her I have posted on here.  She especially loved the one found here of you and her laughing.  When I told her she was going to get to see you in a few weeks at Granny's 90th birthday she became very excited.  I bet I hear a hundred times a day now about how Mabry is "going to see Katy" and about all the fun she is planning on having with you.  So get your beauty rest now girlie, Mabry can't wait to see you and play, play, play!

Love,
Jessica

10 July 2010

where mabes sings and makes everyone cheer up

Here are the two videos I had mentioned the other day.  Mabry has really taken to singing lately and does it all the time.  Unless she is busy whining, or begging me to read her another book or telling us she doesn't want to do something.  I like the singing best.

I am constantly surprised by the songs she picks up on.  With this being the current favorite:


I could kick myself for cutting the next video about 3 second short.  Aunt B complimented Mabes on her singing and just as I shut the camera off Mabry thanked her and then took a bow.  Seriously, who is this kid and where does she pick this stuff up?

09 July 2010

a post from a very heavy heart

The plan for today was to post two really cute videos of Mabry singing.

Instead, just a few minutes ago I found out that a really good friend of ours when we lived out in Washington was killed a few days ago.  So rather than do some cutesy videos, I thought that today would be much better served as a reminder of what we all must sacrifice for this freedom we so recently celebrated.



The Dennis family is in our prayers today.  His wife mentioned that the article failed to mention he only had 14 days left until he was due to come home.

07 July 2010

the 4th...a miracle we made it out alive

Our Fourth of July was both totally uneventful and yet full of surprises.  

We spent the majority of the day at home where Mabry alternated between being cranky and being a total delight.  After naps we picked up A and L and headed on to post.  Every year the military puts on an amazing celebration for the 4th.  Last year we opted to stay home and light our own fireworks and while fun, I was looking forward to being at this celebration this year.  

I just wish that we had been a little better prepared.  From total lack of entertainment for the kids, to not bringing a cooler and having to shell out $5 per lemonade things spiraled downhill pretty fast.  

A good bit of the afternoon was spent sitting on blankets in the hot sun not sure what to do next.  It seemed as though the majority of things cost an insane amount of money and we had limited resources (i.e. gummies and raisins) to keep the kids happy.

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We did get to see the Golden Knights jump in and land not far from where we were sitting.  This was thrilling to both Mabry and L.  

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Dan finally found us a nice shaded spot to move to, which improved the morale of our crew just a bit.

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Oh did I mention the new spot was right near the canons?  The big ones.  The ones that shoot off once for each and every state and then for all the other countries (Providences?  outlying areas?  other places?) that the US owns.  The ones that cause you to have to keep your ears covered at all times in preparation for the blast that will shake every bone in your body.  

Yeah, those canons.

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(I am not trying to be rude in this next picture.  This woman just wouldn't sit down and her shirt wasn't exactly flattering.  I figured if I were her, the last thing I would want would be to find this photo plastered on the Internet.  So random lady, you are welcome.)

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On the way to the new shaded area we passed the Golden Knights who were kindly standing out in the heat letting people take their pictures with them.  We couldn't let the kids pass this chance up. 

 While waiting in line a woman with a Rosie O haircut pushed in front of us with her two children.  Maybe it was the heat, maybe it was the breaking point of dealing with people like this all of the time, whatever it was, A and I loudly protested that we were waiting in line and she needed to wait her turn.  This of course made Rosie very mad.  A few unpleasantries were exchanged as we tried to point out that we had small children who weren't exactly in a let-this-rude-lady/dude-cut-in-front-of-us-with-her-tweens kind of mood.  

The topper was when she turned to leave after getting her photos and she rammed her shoulder into mine and then called me an incredibly unsavory name.  In front of my child.  My child who I had to remind myself was in my arms.  thus resisting the urge to throw said child down and just attack this woman in a way that could only end with her eating concrete and me being hauled off by the MPs.  Thanks for the temper, Dad.  

We did see one happy face in the crowd.  Gotta love our cousin, Lindsay!

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I'm really glad we ended up there, because by the time the canons were done it was getting pretty late and there was still a huge ceremony and speech to be made before fireworks.  The kids were hot, tired, and ready for their beds.  Beds they should have been in almost two hours earlier.  So with heavy hearts we packed up and walked back to the car.  We got to see a few of the fireworks from the window, which means it wasn't a total loss.  Not to mention the canons were entertaining.  At least they were the first 30 or so times they were fired.  Plus next year you probably will be hard pressed to find two families more prepared than we will be.  I already have a shopping list started for a small cooler and some sort of tent/umbrella/shade.

06 July 2010

the many moods of mabry

I am working on a post all about our 4th.  In the meantime Mabry and I thought we would entertain you with a few videos...

The other morning she woke me up by proclaiming, "Look Mama, a happy face" and then smiling inches from my nose.  This was quickly followed by "Look Mama, a sad face" and "Look Mama, a mad face."  Up until this point I was positive that she thought a mad face (mainly mine) meant, "Keep it up Mabry---you are doing a great job at driving me up the wall!"

This video has an extra expression around the 14 second mark.  That would be the look of, "Is my Mama crazy?  What is this woman talking about?"



You will have to excuse the lull at one point in this video.  It was still early in the morning and I was trying to make myself wake up.  (Bonus points to me for at least getting Mabry dressed before I turned the camera on her.)

02 July 2010

mr. pookieschmitz

We are a family who loves us some America's Got Talent.  The acts are always entertaining, the judges and host are awesome (loving you this year Howie!), it is just a fun show.

Period,  end of story.

Well....except for the parts when people start crying on stage, or backstage, or from across the street as they stand in line hoping to ever make it on stage.  All of those people with their sob stories of why they are there in the first place make me want to scream into my couch pillow.   Don't get me wrong, some of the stories are touching.

Most, however, border on the insanely ridiculous.

Tonight as we watched Dan and I started talking about what our sob stories would be and concluded neither of us really had one.

Which is unfortunate, because a sob story is exactly what you need if you lack talent but want to go on to the next round.  If you don't believe me there are tons of critics out there that will back me up on this.  Google it.

This means if I ever audition I am going to have to come prepared and my story will go something like this:

"I am here today for my dog, Mr. Pookieschmitz.  He was my constant companion.  Once he saved me from my burning house in the middle of a hurricane while the neighborhood around me was being ravaged by oil contaminated waters.  He doggy paddled me to safety using only his little teacup chihuahua teeth to hold onto me.

Of course the real reason I love Mr. Pookieschmitz so much is because one night while my husband was off fighting the war, Mr. Pookieschmitz  left our house and ran across seven states, swam across the Atlantic Ocean, crossed numerous countries and managed to jump in front of a sniper bullet meant for my husband's best friend.  He just had the kind of instincts to know when we needed him most.

Mr. Pookieschmitz didn't make it.  But my husband's best friend did.  Which is why I am here today.

I dedicate this air guitar solo of Everybody's Got Something to Hide (Except Me and My Monkey) by the Beatles to you, Mr. Pookieschmitz.  I know you are looking down on me from doggy heaven right now."

Surely that story alone would get me to the next round if my smokin' air guitar skills weren't enough.  Right?  Right??

01 July 2010

spreading the love a little late, but better than never

I haven't done a Link Love list in a good long while.  So to celebrate the fact that we have all survived the week thus far I present to you a random list of links:

Meet the Average American Family: I found a lot of these stats interesting.

ABC's of CDs:  We were talking with some friends about CDs not too long ago and then I came across this and bookmarked it.  Only to forget all about it.

Mini Root beer Cupcakes: Cute, cute, cute.

Dropbox:  Have any of you ever used this program?  Do you find it useful?  What do you use it for?  I have had numerous invites in my INBOX to sign up, I just don't know what I would use it for.

C25k:  Speaking of seeing who has done/used what, has anyone else participated in this program?  Did it work?  Are you seeing any weight loss/health benefits?  Right now I have photos of skinny people posted on both the pantry door and fridge as my current weight loss program.  I am happy to report that I am down a pound.

Ruffle Shower Curtain #1:  Who wouldn't want a pretty shower curtain like this?  I currently have two IKEA curtains on a rod for my shower curtain.  While it certainly works it isn't nearly as pretty.

Ruffle Shower Curtain #2:  Or maybe you want something with a little more flair??

Knock Off Wood:  A friend of mine told me about this site.  It is awesome and that's all I am going to say about it.

Tulle Ruffle Skirt:  I don't care one bit that this is meant for children.  I want one of these for myself.  Maybe an excuse can be the big birthday party I am going to for my grandmother at the end of the month??  Mabry and I could go in matching skirts.

BHFO Books:  A great place to find all kinds of used books for a reasonable price.

Butterfly Trick: When I did a post not too long ago I incorporated a rollover photo option.  Several people asked me about it and I thought I would share the tutorial I used.  So simple!

Last, but certainly not least the link I am most proud to share with you all....

Ridgemeade Photo:  I have a new photography site.  Check it out and let me know what you think.
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