i also also really love....

These really cool state-specific :) glasses, pillows, etc by CatStudio!
Although we are now in California, the midwest will always be nearest and dearest to us ;)  (enjoy the cheesiness?)
I'm thinking it would be way fun to get IA, MN and CA drinking glasses...
how fun are these?

You can also get some fun throw pillows (although kinda spendy)....and BONUS! They also do counries, so if you forgot to get a souvenir on the amazing trip to Paris, well...there ya go :)



I also really love....

The Babystmart cooshee classic booster seat.

So my mom has a million four of these suckers at home for daycare kids and grandkids and let us use one for a while before we moved out here.
I love this thing. It's basically a self-sticking booster chair. It doesn't slide around and it works for any chair! No straps or buckles required. I love it. Adelyn sits in it just fine and we haven't had to worry about her trying to slip or crawl out.
I did go out and buy one for Adelyn today because she pitches a fit about sitting in her high chair anymore and she does just fine at the table...so it was time anyway :)
I love it and while it's a bit spendy ($39.99-$49.99 depending on where you get it)...it's totally worth it in my book.



my daughter's "mantra"

Both of these are my darling daughter to a "T".
Today, the second one rang loud and clear :)
Oh the joys...

Toddler's Creed I
If it is on, I must turn it off.

If it is off, I must turn it on.
If it is folded, I must unfold it.
If it is a liquid, it must be shaken, then spilled.
If it a solid, it must be crumbled, chewed or smeared.
If it is high, it must be reached.
If it is shelved, it must be unshelved.
If it is pointed, it must be run with at top speed.
If it has leaves, they must be picked.
If it is plugged, it must be unplugged.
If it is not trash, it must be thrown away.
If it is in the trash, it must be removed, inspected, and thrown on the floor.
If it is closed, it must be opened.
If it does not open, it must be screamed at.
If it has drawers, they must be rifled.
If it is a pencil, it must write on the refrigerator, monitor, or table.
If it is full, it will be more interesting emptied.
If it is empty, it will be more interesting full.
If it is a pile of dirt, it must be laid upon.
If it is stroller, it must under no circumstances be ridden in without protest.
It must be pushed by me instead.
If it has a flat surface, it must be banged upon.
If Mommy's hands are full, I must be carried.
If Mommy is in a hurry and wants to carry me, I must walk alone.
If it is paper, it must be torn.
If it has buttons, they must be pressed.
If the volume is low, it must go high.
If it is toilet paper, it must be unrolled on the floor.
If it is a drawer, it must be pulled upon.
If it is a toothbrush, it must be inserted into my mouth.
If it has a faucet, it must be turned on at full force.
If it is a phone, I must talk to it.
If it is a bug, it must be swallowed.
If it doesn't stay on my spoon, it must be dropped on the floor.
If it is not food, it must be tasted.
If it IS food, it must not be tasted.
If it is dry, it must be made wet with drool, milk, or toilet water.
If it is a carseat, it must be protested with arched back.
If it is Mommy, it must be hugged.
I am toddler!

Toddler's Creed II (more so Adelyn's Creed)

If I want it, it’s mine.

If I give it to you and change my
mind later, it’s mine.
If I can take it away from you,
it’s mine.
If I had it a little while ago,
it’s mine.
If it’s mine, it will never belong to
anyone else, no matter what.
If we are building something together,
all the pieces are mine.
If it looks just like mine,
it is mine.



I REALLY love my....

...Bissell Steam and Sweep.

Okay, people. I am. in. love.
I cannot stand when I walk into my kitchen barefoot (or even with socks) and I'm stepping on crumbs. I was sweeping AND swiffering my kitchen just about everyday...
Our house was uninhabited for about 5 months before we moved in, so everything had a layer of grime...the floors were just gross. I have swiffered and mopped and scrubbed, but the bottoms of our socks have been perpetually gray.
Enter my early birthday present from hubby and kiddos :)
No cleaners or chemicals required. Just an outlet and water :)
It comes with 2 washable pads. It has a little vaccum to suck up the crumbies...and steam cleans my floor.
I still bust out the broom and will probably do a hard core scrub down once a month....because I'm a clean freak like that....but this sucker has been a life saver. :)

  • vaccums and mops at the same time
  • you don't have to wait for the water to "heat" or "steam" up. You just press the trigger button when you want steam. When you first fill the water and start it, you give it about 10-15 seconds and off you go.
  •  washable/reusable scrub pads for "greenness"
  •  not loud at all
  • gets my floors clean in a jiffy!
  • no water mess...this one doesn't randomly leave puddles of water while I'm using it
  • it does require an outlet (the cord is pretty long), so you can get tangled in the cord if you aren't paying attention :)
  • not as quick and easy as the swiffer....but it's gotten my floors alot cleaner, so I don't care so much
That, my friends, is my two cents on my new favorite toy :)
*bonus! Bissell is giving a $20 rebate for Bissell Steam and Sweeps bought in a store (Target, Best Buy, etc) before the end of March.
Here's the link if you are interested.



first california day trip

This last Saturday we went to the Sequoia National Park and drove in the mountains. It was amazing. We couldn't believe how much like Colorado it felt :)
It took about 30 minutes to reach the mountains, then another 2 hours to reach 5000 feet :)
We stopped off at Hospital Rock to  let Adelyn run around a bit and so Mason could eat.
Of course exploring with a toddler is interesting :) She insisted on finding the largest sticks and waving them around. In the bottom right hand, there were some little white butterfly things that she kept chasing :)
In the top left, she's jumping. She has a jumping fetish right now :)

Mason got to check things out too :)

It was then time to hop back in the car and keep going. I wanted to see the General Sherman Sequoia which was another 3000 feet up at least.
Of course, easier said than done. Adelyn did not want to get back in the car, so we were like this by the time all was said and done:
After ALOT of winding and twisting and hairpin turns (and finding out that our daughter is like her mother and does in fact get car sick...) We reach 5000 feet...and snow! Seeing the snow, it was like "aaaah, hello old friend". The trees in the Giant Forest are (surprise) huge! So pretty! The Sequoias are pretty impressive and ginormous!
This is a fallen Sequoia....

They hollowed out a walkway through it....it was pretty neat...
by the way, the pictures do not do this experience justice.

Nick and Adelyn in front of General Sherman...it does NOT do this huge tree justice...
...Mason wanted in on the action too.
aaah...snow..."hello, old friend, good to see you"

Oh, I'm sorry...did you want a mountain view?
It was a long day...
...but we survived our first day trip in California.



the power of prayer and a day of fasting

Here's an udate on Nate and Natalie:


Check it out. Keep praying! Pray for Mariah, that her mind will become clear and she'll realize what's best for Caleb. Pray for Nate, Natalie, Elyse and Caleb...that each day the Lord will give them strength and a peace for each day!

Tomorrow we are going to spend the day fasting and in prayer for Mariah and the Klausers.
Please be on your knees for them!
 *pregnant and nursing mamas....obviously we hafta eat! :) Go for fresh foods only, like fruits and veggies... and some sort of natural whole grain...we still need our nutrition, but we can still participate :)



please pray

So the details are not my business, but please please pray for the Klauser family.
They adopted a sweet baby boy born at the beginning of December. Having issues with the birth mother and things aren't looking the best right now. I guess she's been dragging her feet.
They went through something similar this fall where a birth mother who selected them to adopt her newborn son, changed her mind after he was born.
My heart is breaking for them. I don't even know what to ask you to pray for, but they could really use your prayers!



post nap conversation with mason

I took this on Nick's iphone, and it's originally 4 minutes long :) What can I say? He was being so much fun! I had to cut it, though, to send it to my email so I could upload it here, that's why it abruptly cuts off.
ps...the plunger that Addy has is brand new and never been used....you'll see what I mean :)



post-nap time conversation and Adelyn's first crush?

The first video I took when Adelyn was getting up from her nap. She was talking and playing in her crib and I wanted to try and get it on video.....
The second one I took the same day. I have a current love for the High School Musical movies :) and was watching the second one while getting some laundry done. Addy had just finished her snack and we were getting ready to go outside. This song comes on that Zac Effron does....Adelyn was transfixed with it! She got right up to the tv and started mimicking his dancing and just stared at him! I replayed it and she did it again! I realized I had to catch it on video, so this was take #3...she didn't stare at him or dance as long in the video because she caught me and got distracted :)
Anyway...I think they are fun.



toilet training SOS

Adelyn isn't even remotely interested in toilet training. But I am. :)
I called my mom today for some help/ideas...she trained 4 of us PLUS countless daycare kids for the last 20 years...so I'd say she has a bit of experience :)
She said let her pick out a potty/small toilet seat, make a habit of practicing sitting on the potty at regular times...even read while she's on the potty...the longer she's on there, the more there is of a chance that she'll pee at some point :) Once you're training, the diapers are gone. I'm totally with her on this. I think once Addy pees the bed a couple of times, she'll realize how annoying it is to be wet and woken up...so she'll stop :)
Anyway, today we went potty seat shopping. I didn't want a little pot for her because I've dealt with enough cleaning poo/pee at the hospital to last me a lifetime. I gave her the choice between Dora, Cars or Princess toilet seat. To my chagrin, she picked Princess. She held it the whole way home. I tried to get her all excited about trying her new potty seat.
We stripped down for a bath after supper and I kept saying "we need to sit on the potty before you take a bath". "Okay", she'd say. I set her on the seat. Holy tantrum. She HATED it. My daughter is terrified of the toilet.
This isn't the first time she's done this. A few weeks back, she was acting like she needed to do a #2 in her diaper. I depantsed her and stuck her on the toilet seat and she FREAKED out. I was hoping time would heal that experience wound, but apparently not.
While my mom has more experience potty training than Michelle Duggar (for reference, check out 19 Kids and Counting)....okay, maybe not that much? But pretty close :)....I need more mama advice :)
I know alot of you out there are preparing to train or have recently trained your kiddos.
How did it go? How did you prepare? Was your kid terrified of the toilet too??
Help me out here! :)



mason's birth story

I was not planning on sharing this....no particular reason....just wasn't planning on it.
I've had quite a few people ask me about Mason's birth, though, and I like a good birth story as much as the next mama...so here ya go. :)
I had decided early on, that castor oil would be at the top of the list for getting this kiddo out if it got to be too late :) It worked like a charm with Adelyn, so why wouldn't it again? I had it planned out because my brother was home from the Navy until the Saturday after Thanksgiving, so I decided that if all was going okay and I wasn't measuring small or anything, then I would take the castor oil sometime before Thanksgiving. Nick was out of town up until the Saturday before Thanksgiving, so I was going to wait until he was home.
Mason had dropped quite a bit 2 weeks before he was born...to the point where I was pretty darn sure he would come while Nick was out of town.
He didn't.
The Sunday before Thanksgiving, I was so uncomfortable and just ready for him to come out, that around 4pm, I finally took the castor oil...in a chocolate milkshake. WAY better than the OJ method I had done with Addy.
After that, I just did laundry and was cleaning and organizing...you know...typical burst of nesting energy. Around 7:30pm, I started noticing that my braxton hicks contractions were getting "tighter". Around 8pm, I was still debating whether they were braxton hicks. They weren't a few minutes apart...they were about every 30-60 seconds, but  I wasn't uncomfortable...finally around 10:30pm, I called my mom as an FYI, something is going on and we may have to bring Adelyn over.
I debated for a while whether to go in...then around 10:45pm, they started to hurt...they were still 30-60 seconds apart...we decided eventually to take Addy to Mom's and then go to the hospital. I think we got to the hospital around midnight.
By that point, they were HURTING. I was having back labor again (it sucks), and the contractions were still really close together...they monitored me for a while to see if I was in "true labor". I walked the halls (that didn't last long) and then sat in the jacuzzi tub (can I have one for my bedroom, please??) for almost a good hour. The contractions were still almost one on top of the other...I hadn't had more than a minute or so of a reprieve since 8pm. I was tired and basically bawling by the time they checked my cervix around 3am. They "confirmed" I was in true labor ( I coulda told you that!). I was begging for an epidural at this point. I think I finally got it around 5am. After that, everything was fine :)  I think I was able to get a little cat nap in...Nick got a little shut eye too....not much, though :)
Honestly, I don't remember what time I started pushing (maybe around 9:30am?), but his head was turned the wrong way, so we had to do some "maneuvering" to get him to turn :)
Mason had the wimpiest cry I had ever heard! During my OB rotations, I got to be in a few births and those kids had lungs! Adelyn had swallowed a bunch of fluid when she came out, so her cry wasn't the loudest...Mason's wasn't either....he still has a pretty wimpy cry even now :) Adelyn, on the other hand, is the master of loud.
Anyway...Mom brought Adelyn to the hospital around 1:30 pm to meet Mason. She kissed on him and wanted to hold him :) Then she was grumpy because it was after her nap time...
I didn't even think about getting a picture of them together at the hospital. Oops. :)
So that's about it. Nothing too exciting :) Below is a video of the wimpy cry I was telling you about :)

Holy puffy, batman. This is right before we woke up Addy to load her in the car.
sweet little man :)



bathtime with tweedle dee and tweedle dum :)

This one is really for the grandparents...

I would like to confess that I am THAT mom who throws her two year old in the bathtub just to stave off evening tantrums :)
Tonight she was in for 45 minutes just playing. Nick was gone late because of the Farm Progress Show and Adelyn was especially tantrum-y today....by 6pm, I was done...so into the tub she went :)
It works swimmingly, I must say...



birthday wishes

ha...okay, so my birthday isn't for a few weeks, but a few people have asked if I have a wish list. The answer is, why yes I do. So here it is if you are interested :)

So I am not a professional photographer by any means....but I hate carrying around my ugly obvious camera bag. My sis in law first introduced me to these fun camera purses when she blogged about the Epinphanie bag. I found this less expensive version, the Jo Tote, that I l-o-v-e...and the yellow color is quite fun, I must say :)

I assume that everyone has heard of the Kindle by now? :) If you know me, you know I LOVE to read...and I fly through books pretty quick. So libraries are my friends ;)
For the longest time I was thinking I would never get anything like this. I like paper books....then my mom got one for Christmas and I got to play with it a little bit. I love it. I also like the idea of not having to store and shelve all my books....because we don't have the space :)
 A cover would be a good idea because we do have a toddler tornado in the house...
My 3rd most important and final wish is for family and friends to get their hineys out here to visit us! It's sunny, it's warm, the mountains are 40 minutes away. Sequoia national park is 45 minutes away....did I mention it's warm? :)
Steph and Nora are coming at the end of the month (I am SUPER excited!), my mom is coming in the beginning of March, and Nick's mom is coming at the beginning of April....I can't wait to see them!!!!

*I have to say, that I don't expect or require any gifts for my birthday, but I have learned that when people ask....they usually really want to know....so I've learned to give ideas to make it easier for everyone :)
A simple birthday card in the mail always makes my day! ;)



strawberry goodness....you know you want one...

One of the neat things about Nick's new position is that some of the growers that are clients of the dealerships that he is working with grow really yummy things :) Yesterday he was out working on a machine of Driscoll's (as in Driscoll strawberries)....However, the flat of strawberries (as in 8 clamshells!) he brought home last night are from this grower:

I have never heard of them, but holy goodness, Batman! These are the most amazing strawberries I have ever eaten. We have already gone through 2 of the clamshells!
I did have to make chocolate covered strawberries last night...they are delicious.

Someone else likes them too.

Ooh, I bought these candle sticks at Marshall's yesterday. I LOVE them. The only this is that they are too turquoisy for the living room, so they are now living on the dining table....but I'm considering painting them a yellow to match the kitchen area....but I love this blue....I can't decide. If you have an opinion, please share!

Oh, and this is for the grandparents:
Mason's "I'm bored with this" face

Mason's "I'm slightly more interested" face

Isn't he huge?!



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