Thursday, December 31, 2009

2010 here we come

2009 was a great year.
I've read some great blogs recapping the last year. I decided I should do the same, at least for my own reflections. I didn't blog often until later in the year, so my recap isn't going to be as thorough as some others'. Here goes...

January- I had one post that summed up the whole month. Last year, we rang in the new year on the San Antonio Rivewalk, just me and my wonderful husband. This year, we're celebrating with a quet evening at home while our 2 babies sleep soundly in their rooms.

Febraury- I was getting adjusted to life with a toddler.

March- I was 8 months pregnant, therefore not too comfortable.

In April, I was 9 months pregnant and just wanted to sit on the couch or sleep. On April 30, my precious little boy was born. We went from parents to one little baby girls to a family of four. I never imagined how much adding one more child would make a difference. The act of juggling your time and energy between two babies is not an easy one. I don't know how parents of multiples do it. So, I didn't blog during April, May even though it was only my 2nd Mother's Day and I had 2 kids, or June even though I celebrated my 6th wedding anniversary and my 30th birthday.

July- I finally posted the first pics of my son. We went to Albuquerque for 2 family reunions during July 4th weekend.

August- I finally wrote about my 30th birthday (which was in June). And I posted more pics of my cute kids.

September- This is when I got serious about blogging. I found SITS and started reading other blogs. I started posting Wordless Wednesday pics of kids...the first of my little girl's portraits in her PJs. I also made the tough decision of pulling my daighter out of daycare because she was repeatedly being bitten. MiMi (my mother-in-law) started watching her instead.

October- I went on a business trip to San Diego, CA, and I missed my kids like crazy. We visited the pumpkin patch. Now I know not to wait til the last day because all the pumpkins are gone and you just get pics of your kids next to empty crates and rotten pumpkins. My mom was in and out of the hospital and we were relieved when she was finally able to go home and we knew she was gonna make it. *L* started a new "school" (aka Mommy's Day Out). She looked so grown up wearing her backpack and carrying a lunchbox. I almost lost my mind on her first day. *L* dressed up as a fairy for Halloween after mommy decided to make her costume. At 10pm on Oct 30th, I took of to Walmart for tulle, ribbon, and glitter spray to make a cute fairy tutu. Mommy didn't get much sleep that night. Good thing *S* already had a pirate onsie and goes to bed early or I'd have had to make 2 outfits! oh, and I got an iPhone!

Novemeber- My dad turned 70. My grandma turned 90 and we made a quick trip to Salt Lake City for her party. Right before we left, it started snowing. We tried the 3-day method and failed at potty training. Well, I only tried for a week and decided she just wasn't ready.

December- We got cute portraits taken for *S*'s 7 month pic and *LS's 2 year old pic. And we had lots of fun with all the holiday festivities.

2009 was all about the transition to a mom of 2. It was tough, but I survived and learned A LOT about myself and about raising kids. So, 2010...whatever you got...bring it on!
Best wishes to everyone for a year filled with love and laughter!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Holiday Memories

I've been gone so long

Things just got really busy during the holidays both at work and at home. I didn't have time to turn on the laptop in the evenings. So, I haven't been able to post in a while. Next week, I'll try to get caught up while the kids nap 'cause I'll be home for vacation!

Friday, December 11, 2009

Fun Foto Friday

I was trying to get pics of *L* in front of the Christmas tree, but since it was cold outside we let Duke come in. He was ruining our photo shoot, so *L* bumped his head to try to get him to go away. Made me laugh!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Tuesday Tips: Decorating

Today's stress-free holiday tips are just a few ideas to help you decorate your home without feeling overwhelmed.

1. Get creative so you don’t have to spend a lot of money. Use candy canes on your tree. Use natural décor. For example, grap some twigs from your backyard, tie them together with festive ribbon and add a couple sprigs of holly or mini ornaments. Place on a mantle or bookshelf. Have your kids create some holiday art work. Frame it and hang for seasonal art. Store it with your Christmas decorations and you’ll have keepsake art that can be reused for years.
2. Stay organized. Keep ornament boxes or buy an ornament container with dividers for breakable pieces. If you take down any everyday décor, store it in the containers where you keep your holiday décor. When you take your Christmas decorations down, you can put the usual stuff right back up.
3. Choose a color. Pick one holiday color to use throughout your home. Decorate the tree with red ball ornaments. Fill a glass vase with the same ornaments. Buy everyday red towels instead of splurging on holiday towels. Use red ribbon on glass candleholders to make them look more festive.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Me on Monday

I finished most of my Christmas shopping two nights ago from the warmth and comfort of my couch. We decided to do as much online shopping as we could. I’m so glad I didn’t have to fight the crowds. I still have to head to Toys R Us to buy gifts for L and S, but my plan is to go during the week before or after work so it will be less crowded. I also need to go with a list since I won’t have much time to browse. This will help me stick to a budget anyway. I also still need to put together some homemade gifts. But having the bulk of the shopping done is such a relief. Now if I could just get caught up on the rest of my Holiday To Do’s…take a Christmas pic, make Christmas cards, make keepsake ornaments, print gift tags…got a lot to do this week. Oh ya, and plan L’s birthday party!

Friday, December 4, 2009

Family Foto Friday

Here are a few recent pics of the kiddos from Thanksgiving Day.

I was trying to take a picture of *S* sitting up on his own with no hands (yeah!!) and *L* wanted to make sure she was in it, too. She came and sat right in front of my camera. I had to get her to scoot back some so I could make it look like she just wanted to be next to her baby brother.

My nephew put his hat on *L* and she looked so cute walking around my brother's house wearing it!
My neices decided to dress up as superheroes and they even let *L* join them.
My little girl enjoyed Thanksgiving with the family!

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

*S*'s First Christmas Tree
Photo taken Friday, Nov 27th

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Tuesday Tips: Stress Free Holidays

I decided to make Tuesday Tips a series for the month of December. I know you don't have time to read long blogs. Well, I don't have time write long blogs, either. So, every Tuesday will be just a few tips to help make the holidays less stressful.
Today’s Tips are about Shopping:
1. Try to go on weekdays when there are less crowds. Parking will be easier to find. Salespeople will be friendlier. New inventory usually comes in during the week, not on the weekends.
2. Look for coupons or discounts. Especially if you have a list, you can search for coupons or online discounts for products you want to buy.
3. Stick to your budget. It may seem easy to pull out your credit card to pay for gifts, but this will only create a very stressful January and maybe even February. It’s just not worth it.
4. If shopping online, look for free shipping or shop on websites where you can buy several gifts for one shipping cost.
Have a safe and stress-free shopping experience.

Sunday, November 29, 2009

MEme Monday

Today's MEme prompt is to write an excuse of why you can't do MEme Monday today. So, here goes...I'm tired. I had a busy but fun weekend. We put the tree up on Friday. On Saturday, we did an outreach with the youth from our church. We gave out coats, socks, and hygience products to people living on the streets. Yesterday was church, which is a work day for me. I'm tired and don't feel like writing much. I think blogging during the holidays is gonna be tough!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Family Foto Friday

With Great Grandma Margie
Salt Lake City, Utah

Thursday, November 26, 2009

Happy Thanksgiving!

I hope you are enjoying today with your family and those that you love. Be thankful for what you have been blessed with and pray for others to receive the blessing you've been given. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Photo taken in Salt Lake City, UT, Nov 14

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Tuesday Tips: Stress Free Holidays

I decided to make Tuesday Tips a series for the month of December. I know you don't have time to read long blogs. Well, I don't have time write long blogs, either. So, every Tuesday will be just a few tips to help make the holidays less stressful.

With only 30 days til Christmas, now is the time to start thinking about your holiday activities, gifts, and traditions. Today's tips are all about what you can do now in November.
1. Plan ahead. This sounds obvious, but how many times do we actually take the time to plan the little things that need to get done? Write a list of all the things you want to do for the holidays: bake, make cards, have a party, take family pictures, make/buy gifts for your kids' teachers, shop for Christmas outfit, pick up stocking stuffers...the list goes on. Grab your calendar or print out a December calendar and start writing in dates to get those things done. Post it somewhere you'll look often so you can keep organized and know ahead of time what supplies you need or when you'll need a babysitter.
2. Bake ahead. If you're planning on giving gifts of cookies or other baked good, consider baking ahead of time and freezing your cookies. This way, you can bake up your baking list over different days rather than trying to devote an entire day or weekend to just baking. I know this is something I have to do this year. There's no way I can spend an entire day or 2 baking and still take care of 2 babies, all while trying to keep L away from the oven!
3. Make a photo list.
So many different holiday memories will be made and you'll want to remember those moments with pictures. Whether you've got the newest DSLR camera or a disposable plastic camera, you can capture special photos if you think ahead and anticipate when you'll need your camera. Include in your list any festivities like parties, school performances, church events, and other special or tradional events. Then add activities you might do like driving through neighborhoods to see lights, baking cookies with your kids, decorating the tree, wrapping and openning presents, etc. Now, add special items or moments that are unique or special to you and your family. Maybe you have a star for the tree or ornament you've had since you got married...plan to take a picture of someone placing it on the tree. Capture your child's excitement when they wake up Christmas morning. Take a picture of your child reading a Christmas storybook or eating a candy cane. If you plan ahead, you'll have your camera ready when those special moments happen.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Day 4 of the 3 Day Potty Method

I didn't post last night (Day 3) 'cause I was very tired and there wasn't much to tell. Day 3 was better, but she still had accidents all day. Never went in the potty. And, mommy broke the rules. One of the major no-no's is using pull-ups. I've hear this from lots of people that have been there...everyone says don't use pull-ups. And I totally agree, but...I had to. We went to lunch with my family and couldn't risk her peeing in the middle of Outback! And then later we went to church and again she wore a pull-up. I knew I had messed up because at church she did both #'s in her pull-up.
This morning, her bed was wet but that was expected. She right away wanted to get out of her crib and headed to the potty. And guess what? SHE PEED IN THE POTTY! I was ecstatic. And after breakfast, SHE POOPED IN THE POTTY! I was thinking...finally, she got it. Then, about 15 minutes later, an accident. And while I was at work and she stayed with MiMi, accidents all day. Once mommy got home from work, accident after accident. However, she looked very unhappy about wet undies, so I think that part she's getting.
Although I'm disappointed that she isn't fully potty trained within 3 days, I realize now that I set my goals wrong. I was expecting too much too soon. I'm happy with my results. On day 2, she pooped once in the potty and on day 4, she did both in the potty once. Now, let's move ahead...and make it quick, please. (A mother can dream.)

MEme Monday: Thankful Four

Today's MEme Monday prompt is to name the top 4 things you're thankful for.
1. My amazing husband.
With both my children, Aaron has been the best labor coach!! And once we were home, he helped me recover quickly and helped me get adjusted to 2 little ones. Aaron is so supportive and encouraging. And he makes me laugh all the time! Every day, I am so thankful that I married such a wonderful man that makes me so happy.
2. My beautiful children.
I'm so blessed to have adorable kids. *L* is just too cute. I love watching her learn how to do new things and hearing her say new words. I love the way she walks with confidence, swinging her arms and exploring her world. *S* is the sweetest and happiest baby ever. He's so chilled out and loves to smile to everyone. I never imagined motherhood could be so rewarding with just the little things.
3. Health & Hope.
I'm thankful that both my kids were born healthy. I'm glad that despite the colds, ear aches, upset tummies, and other baby stuff, we have been blessed with strong children. I'm beyond thankful for the healing my mom has experienced rcently. It was tough mentally and emotionally while she was in the hospital. I'm so thankful to still have my best friend, and I'm hopeful for the continued healing I know she will have.
4. Moments
There are those moments that you just want to freeze and hold on to in a special place. Like holding your little girl's hand as she walks into a new place and sees new friends and feeling her grasp get just a little bit tighter to let you know she still needs you. The moment of holding your newborn son for the first time and realizing not only can you love someone else just as much you love your first baby, but it just comes naturally, like it was meant to be. Or the moment where your toddler stops playing, runs over to you, and puckers up for a just cuz kiss! Right now, I'm loving all the little moments of my life!

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Day 2 of Potty Training

Potty training went a little better today, but it was still a tough day for mommy. L had lots of accidents. She realizes it a little quicker now, but still doesn't tell us until she's started going. So, lots of wet undies and cleaning up today. She didn't ever pee in the potty, but she did poop in the potty! yeah! I never thought I'd be so excited about that, but after yesterday, this gives me hope.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Day 1 of Potty training

I've decided to try the 3 day potty method which is basically all about dressing them in undies (no pull-ups) and using positive reinforcement. Day 1 was rough! Things didn't go as smoothly as I had hoped. It just didn't click yet. I know, it's 3 day not 1 day, but I just hoped she'd get the idea at least. It was accident after accident and tantrums to put undies on...exhausting.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Family Foto Friday

I decided to change Friday's to also include Family Foto Friday because well, I have a lot of family photos (fotos en espanol) and not enough time to come up with creative activities or crafts for every Family Fun Friday.

Today's Family Pic is of my two little ones when they matched for church this last Sunday. *S* cried when I sat him on the couch until I sat *L* with him. She didn't want to sit down because she was busy playing. So this is the best shot I got. I love that he's holding on to her. He does this everytime I take pics of them sitting cute!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Thursday Thoughts: Toddler Party Help

Today’s thoughts are actually a request for my creative SITSas. I’ve visited many of your blogs and have seen some cute party pics. So, now that I’ve got a party to plan, I need your help.

Next month, my baby girl turns 2. I’m looking for ideas for her 2nd birthday party. Her guests will mostly be family, but will include a few friends ranging from age 6 months to preschool. She doesn’t have a favorite show or character, so I’m looking for a unique and creative theme. If you have ideas for party activities for infants/toddlers, please pass them along. Thanks so much ladies!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Happy Birthday to my Dad who turned 70 last Friday! He’s the best “Pop-Pop”!

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Tuesday Tips: Looking Slimmer

  • Pull your hair up and away from your shoulders. Try sweeping your hair into a high ponytail and you'll be surprised at how much slimmer your face looks.
  • Wear the right size. Oversized clothing doesn't hide problem areas. Excess fabric only makes you look bulkier. And wearing clothing that’s too tight …well that’s obvious.
  • Choose fabrics very carefully. Avoid clingy or shiny textures. Avoid large patterned prints.
  • Balance. Accentuate your best parts and don’t draw attention to your problem areas. Accessorize to create balance and bring focus to areas that are slimmer.
  • Elongate your body. Wear pants that make your legs look longer. Avoid wide cuffs. Try boot cut or flare jeans to balance out curvy hips.

Monday, November 9, 2009

Blog: Meme Monday Shop til You Drop

The Meme prompt for today is to go shopping for 5 wearable items with a virtual credit card. I had so much fun shopping with imaginary money! Here’s what I picked.
1. Diane von Furstenberg Cashmere Turtleneck $345.00
2. Jimmy Choo Bag $995
3. Jimmy Choo Flats $425
4. Betsey Johnson black dress $428
5. Manolo Blahnik black pumps $575

2. 3.
4. 5.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I've had really bad "Mommy Brain" for the last couple of weeks. Before this, I had heard of "pregnancy brain" but it's now been 6 months since I was pregnant. Now, I'm forgetting things and just doing dumb things because I just can't get my brain to focus. My mind is going in so many directions...I'll get it together soon. But until then, I apologize for my scatter brained behavior. Did I mention I have 2 kids under 2?!


Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Tuesday Tips: iPhone

Sharin' some iPhone tips for those of you who have recently gotten one.
1. When using the calculator, turn in sideways to make it a scientific calculator.
2. When reading a text message, touch the status bar to scroll up to the top (to call the person).
3. When recording a video, use the camera in landscape (sideways) to make it look better when uploading to youtube.
4. If you mess up what you're typing, shake your iPhone and it will give you the option to undo typing.
5. To take a screenshot, press the home button and the lock/power button at the same time. Your iPhone will take a picture of whatever you are viewing and save it in the camera roll.

Enjoy your iPhone!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Friday, October 30, 2009

Family Fun Friday: Footprint Ghosties

Footprint Ghosties
This is something fun to do and another great way to make a keepsake. I’m not THAT into Halloween and have never made a Halloween card, but I can’t wait to try this for a scrapbook page. This is from ToddlerBrain. Read her blog post to see how she did it.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Thursday Thoughts: mom-isms

Lately, I’ve been thinking about motherhood. It’s tiring, rewarding, fun, adventurous, scary … and no one understands those “mom” feelings except for another mom. My mom is my best friend. The past few weeks have been rough because her health has not been too great. Thankfully, through prayers and faith and great doctors, she is getting better. So, in honor of my mom…here are some mom-isms. Some of these, my mom said to me. Some of these, I hope I never say. Some of these, I KNOW I’ll end up saying. It’s like once you become a mom, these words just get placed in your head and before you know it, you hear yourself say them!

"As long as you live under my roof, you'll do as I say."
"Call me when you get there, just so I know you're okay."
"Do you think I'm made of money?"
"Don't EVER let me catch you doing that again!"
"Don't make me get up!"
"How do you know you don't like it if you haven't tasted it?"
"If you're too sick to go to school, you're too sick to play outside."
"It's not that I don't trust you, it's that I don't trust everyone else."
"Life isn't fair."
"Look at me when I'm talking to you."
"Now, say you're sorry...and MEAN it!"
"Were you born in a barn? Close the door -- and DON'T slam it!"
"When you have your own house then you can make the rules!"
"You will ALWAYS be my baby."

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Tuesday Tips: Alternative Trick-or-Treat Ideas for Little Ones

Today’s Tips aren’t really tips, but more like ideas. My kids are really young. *L* isn’t 2 yet and *S* is only 6 months. So, traditional Trick-or-Treating won’t really work for us. However, I love the idea of dressing up my kids and taking tons of pictures. So, here are some ideas for others with little kids like mine.
1. Find a church event or Fall Festival where you can take your kids in costume. Most of my childhood and actually most of life since I still go…our church has had an alternative to Halloween. I don’t dress up anymore, but I love seeing all the little kids dressed up. You'll get a chance to dress up your kids and yet be in a safe and fun environment.
2. If you live in a neighborhood with lots of little kids, take them on a parade. Let them walk through the neighborhood in costume.
3. Have a party at home. Invite a few of your/their friends over and celebrate at home.
4. Dress up your toddler and let them help you pass out candy to trick-or-treaters stopping at your house.
5. Go trick-or-treating to special houses. Visit grandparents, aunts & uncles, and close friends just to show off your kids in their cute costumes and let everyone take pictures. Last year, we took L to both grandparents’ houses and then she went trick-or-treating to a few houses with her cousin. We had fun showing her off and MiMi and Granny took lots of pictures!

Whatever you decide to do, have a safe and fun Halloween.

Monday, October 26, 2009

MEme Monday: Tales from the Darkside

Today’s MEme prompt (from mommybrain) is about discovering your fears or fears as a child. So, what was I afraid of as a child? Scary movies. Why? Because I wasn’t allowed to watch them. As a kid, my parents were pretty strict about what movies and tv shows I could watch. I was not allowed to watch any kind of scary movies. So, of course, fear of the unknown made them scary. When I was old enough to spend the night at friend’s houses, I started figuring out that’s where I could get my fix of stuff I wasn’t allowed to watch. I remember one time spending the night at a friend’s house. She had HBO, which was a really big deal since we didn’t. So, of course, we watched “Tales from the Crypt.” At another friend’s house, I watched “Children of the Corn.” I think we actually rented that one. In middle school, this became my quest. I would always try to convince my friends to rent scary movies. Of course, I still missed out on a lot of scary movies including all the Friday the 13th’s, Nightmare on Elm Street’s, and Halloween’s.
When I started dating Aaron…I was suddenly aware at how many movies I had missed out on. He had seen every movie I wasn’t allowed to watch, including The Exorcist. So, we rented it. It wasn’t scary at all! I’m sure it was much scarier in the theatre. I heard stories of adults that couldn’t sleep for days after seeing that movie in the theatre. But, really, it didn’t scare me at all. So, then Aaron decided I needed to see the Halloween movies. We watched them all…one night after another. And every night, I screamed my head off. My dad kept asking me, “Why are you watching these if they make you scream?” My reply,”I like them.” I can honestly say Michael Meyers scares the heck out of me!! Especially when he tilts his head before he starts chasing Jamie Lee Curtis or the way he sits up after you think he’s dead. But of course, I had my boyfriend to hold me when I was scared…I realize now this was Aaron’s plan all along.
Later that year, at our church’s Halloween Event (called Hallelujah Night), a man in our church came dressed as Michael Meyers. I seriously avoided him. I was not happy about seeing Michael Meyers slowly walk around our church parking lot. Later, Aaron told me that he was gonna ask him to sneak up on me when I went into the building by myself, but he realized I would be furious with him. I’m so glad he knew better. There’s a house not too far from ours that every Halloween puts Michael Meyers staring out their upstairs window. I have to drive by it to get to my house. It’s creepy. So, as much as I love watching scary movies…Michael Meyers is just creepy.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

This is *L* getting ready to go to her new "school" yesterday. Really, it's just a mom's day out 2 times a week. She was so excited to wear her backpack and carry her lunch.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Tuesday Tips

Okay, so today isn't really about practical tips. It's more of a reminder that we can't always be super-mom and sometimes we just gotta take a break and laugh at ourselves. (inspired by the hilarious Helene! All moms need to read her blog.)

Tips to Losing Your Mind:
1. Wake up late despite having 2 alarm clocks and a baby that wakes up crying at 4:50am for you to give him his pacifier every 30 minutes for the next 2 hours.
2. Walk out of the room while your toddler feeds herself yogurt. Yes, she will enjoy it. And you will clean up the mess.
3. Give your 1 year old a cup with a straw and expect her to drink it like a big kid while you pay no attention. She will do fine while you watch her. Once you turn away, she will dump the cup upside down and will clean up the mess.
4. While packing your child's lunch, rip packaging you didn't mean to rip. Then, just when you think you're getting things together, spill peaches all over the floor. What's one more mess to clean up?
5. Grab all your bags and everything you need for the day and wait for your toddler to poop. Put everything down and change her so she doesn't start her first day of pre-school as the stinky kid.
6. Leave the house at 9:05am when you're supposed to be at your child's new school at 8:50am.
7. And if you really want to lose your mind...the day before doing tips #1-6, crash into a post and wreck your brand new 2009 minivan.

As you can see, I've had a rough couple of days. But life is good. My kids are happy and someday I will laugh at how crazy I was with 2 little ones! I might as well start laughing now cuz I have a feeling this is how the next few years will be.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Me on Monday

I decided to try the All About MEme Monday prompt from Mommybrain.
Today's prompt is "I've never..." So, here goes.

I've never...
1. I've never gone skydiving. I know this doesn't distinguish me from the crowd since lots of people haven't done it. But it's something that I really want to do and just haven't gone. Several years back my Uncle David did it and I got to see the video. It looked awesome. Recently, my best friends from middle school did it and showed the pics on facebook. I was so jealous and so happy for them. Someday, I'll do it and cross it off my "I've never" list.
2. I've never failed a class. For the most part, I always made A's and B's in school. I was in the 10th grade when I made my first C on a report card and to make it worse...I got 2 C's. And the icing on the cake was that those teachers were dating!! Uh! But I pulled up my grades and made B's for the semester. I never made another C until my sophomore year of college. I had already changed my major from pre-med chemistry to science education and then to business management by the end of the semester. So, I realized that my Anatomy class was going to do me no good. That made it really hard to study for. So, I made a C. I made a D in the lab, but that was mainly because there was a guy in my class whom I dated briefly and then he became a stalker. I didn't go very often to the lab. So, anyway, I came close to failing that semester, but I didn't.
3. I've never been able to water ski. Everyone in my family can water ski. I tried and couldn't hold on to the handle. That seems so dumb! It was frustrating. I finally gave up. Someday, I'll do it. Add to that, I don't know how to surf and I leave by the beach! Aaron has a board. I want to learn. I went boogie-boarding. I wasn't very good. I hope that doesn't mean I won't be good at surfing. I want to learn so I can go surfing in Hawaii someday and also so I can teach my kids how to surf. It would be so cool to go surfing as a family.
4. I've never been to Vegas. This is another one of those ones that I'd like to do someday. I want to go when there's a UFC fight to cross 2 "I'd like to" events off the list. Maybe I should do skydiving in LV, too! Anyway, I want to go when we have enough money saved to stay at a really nice hotel in a really nice room and eat at some famous chefs' restaurants. Oh, and I want to go without the kids!
5. I've never spent Christmas away from family. I've always been able to spend the holidays with my family and Aaron's family. We are so blessed to have our parents live here in CC. I'm looking forward to this Christmas now that we have 2 kids and L is talking just adds to the excitement!

So, now you know a little more about me!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Today I've been thinking about how fast my kiddos have been growing. *L* will be 2 in December! She is starting to talk a lot more now. Today I found out that not only can she point to her elbow, but she can also say "elbow"! How did I miss that?!

I also pulled out my flip (video recorder) and looked at some videos from over a year ago, when she first said "papa," which was her 3rd word after "mama" and "dada". She was so tiny! And now she runs and talks and plays pretend cooking...she's just so much fun.

The pumpkin patch is here again. Last year, we waited til the last week to go. She was sick and not in the mood for the pumpkin patch. Daddy had to hold her the entire time, so daddy had to be in my pictures. Look at how little hair she has! Not that she has a lot of hair now, either. She was so little.
This past weekend, she sat in her chair that MiMi and PaPa gave her for Christmas. Her feet were touching the ground. I told Aaron, "Remember how tiny she was when she first sat in it?"

I just can't get over how so many things can change in a year! *S* is already 5 1/2 months old. He's getting big, starting to sit up, grabbing things...he'll be pointing to his elbow and telling me "elbow" soon, too! And before I know it, they'll be waving goodbye as they walk into the front door of their kindergarten class. Oh my!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

I Heart Faces: "Excited" (Wordless Wednesday)

I love this picture of *L* all ready for church. She was so excited to have her purse on her arm!

Dressed for Church

I decided to enter it into the I ♥ faces contest ( Because the contest ends on Tuesday, I'm having to post this before Wednesday.

Tuesday Tips: Grocery Shopping

I’m not an expert on saving money at all. I go through stages where I’m somewhat frugal with grocery shopping and then I go through stages where I just buy whatever without trying to save money. So, here are some ideas that I need to take with me when I go shopping.

-Don’t go grocery shopping when you’re hungry. Everything looks delicious on an empty stomach.
-Don’t buy more than you can eat before it goes bad. I have this problem when it comes to fruit. I’ll buy 6 plums and only eat 2 before the rest go bad. That’s a waste of money.
-Use coupons. Cut coupons out of the paper, print e-coupons, check product websites for printable coupons.
-Read your coupon. Don’t just look at the picture. Many times, a manufacturer’s higher priced item will be pictured on the coupon when the coupon can really be used for any product. I’ve noticed this a lot with diapers.
-Check the “per ounce” price. Our grocery store (HEB) shows the per ounce price. Bigger isn’t always better, so this helps me figure out if the bigger package is a better deal. Of course, don’t use this as a reason to buy more than you need!
-Watch out for “2 for” deals. Even if the price reads “2/$3” you don’t always have to buy 2 items. Many times, you’ll get the special price ($1.50) even just for 1 item.
-Don’t be a sucker for sales. Just because it’s on sale doesn’t mean you need to buy it. If it wasn’t something you planned on buying before you saw the sale sign, you don’t need it.
-Plan ahead. I’ve been telling myself I’m gonna meal plan for the longest time. I still haven’t started. This is why I don’t cook much. I buy random things that don’t make a complete meal or forget to thaw out chicken…I just don’t prepare. So this is one of my new goals!

I hope this helps you save a little bit the next time you go grocery shopping!

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Monday, October 12, 2009

Me on Monday

I haven't been able to post anything lately. My mom is in the hospital. Today was Aaron's birthday. Just lots of stuff going on. Pray for us, thanks!
posted by Joy

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

Today has been a long day. I had to travel out of town for a meeting. I got home late with a headache. So, I'm ready to relax and go to bed. Be back tomorrow for Family Fun Friday.
posted by Joy

Wednesday, October 7, 2009

Wordless Wednesday

Here is my daughter enjoying a huge loaf of bread that my brother-in-law handed her. She got bread stuck between her teeth! It was hilarious. You probably can't tell because the picture is so tiny. I love this picture because I have tried for so long to get a picture of my daughter with her crisp and clear and the background blurred. Now that I got my new camera, it was so easy!!! I am so excited about all the great pics I'm gonna get now.

posted by Joy

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Tuesday Tips:

Since I still have lots of laundry to do now that I'm back home, I thought I'd share laundry tips I've found learned from my mom or from personal experience.
1. Check your husband's pockets.
Of course, this applies to your kids' pockets and yours, too. In my case, it's always my husband who leaves receipts and gum wrappers in his pockets. Now that I'm having to wipe runny noses, I find tissues in my pockets more often. So, to be sure you don't have a tissue that gets all over every piece of clothing or lipstick that spots red on your husbands khaki's, check the pockets before adding clothes to the machine.
2. Always empty the lint trap.
Leaving a buildup of lint causes your dryer to work less efficiently. It will take longer and use more energy to dry your load of clothes.
3. Don't use dryer sheets.
Dryer sheets can cause a film to build up on the lint trap screen and it won't effectively collect your lint. Also, it causes towels to be less efficient in absorbing liquid.
4. Use tennis balls to fluff a down comforter.
When drying a comforter, throw in a couple clean tennis balls to fluff up your comforter and avoid clumps. You can also use this trick with regular laundry instead of a dryer sheet.
5. Sort your clothes.
I think this is obvious to most moms. Separate delicate items. Wash new red/pink items together. Too many heavy items (jeans, sweats, etc) will take longer to dry.
6. Use cold water.
To save energy (and therefore money), use the cold water setting. Most of the energy your washing machine uses is spent on heating the water. Also, use the appropriate level of water for your load.
7. Don't overload.
Your clothes won't get clean, won't rinse well, and probably won't dry evenly if you stuff too much into one load.
8. Don't let a diaper fall in your washing machine.
Okay, this one's for me. I recently washed *S*'s wet diaper with my clothes...unintentionally of course. And he does NOT use cloth diapers! Major oversight on my part!

I hope these tips help. I don't find doing laundry enjoyable at all, but the more you do to make it easier...the quicker it's over!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Me on Monday

It's taking me a while to get back into the groove of things since I got back from San Diego. I still have to unpack, do laundry, and get the kids' rooms reorganized. So, nothing really to say today. Tuesday Tips coming tomorrow.
posted by Joy

Sunday, October 4, 2009

San Diego Zoo Live Cam

Since I just came back from San Diego and didn't get to make it to the famous zoo, I thought it was perfect that I came across this post by Helene. If you haven't read her blog, go now! She's hilarious. Her blog is "I'm Living Proof that God Has a Sense of Humor." She recently wrote a post about the San Diego Zoo live cam. Totally cool! You can watch some of the animals live.
posted by Joy

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Ready for Home

I've had a great time in San Diego, but I'm ready to go home and see my family. Yesterday, I finally had a chance to visit the beach. We went to Coronado Island. Coronado is my maiden name, so I've course I bought t-shirts with Coronado plastered across the front. Coronado Hotel is beautiful! The view of San Diego bay is gorgeous. But my kids are even more beautiful. I'm so anxious to get home and hug them like crazy!!

posted by Joy

Friday, October 2, 2009

Family Fun Friday

Today's post will be quick. I'm in San Diego for a conference and running a little late.

Here's something fun you can do with toddlers or older kids, too. Get out some large paper, washable paints, paint brushes, sponges, and any other craft stuff you like. Let your little ones go to town on the paper. Cover the spnge with paint. Let your little one press their hand down on the sponge and then on the paper. (like a human stamp) You can also trace their hand for them with marker or a thin paint brush. Let them be creative. Then, once dry, mat it with a piece of construction paper. You can frame it or laminate it to make it a placemat. You can also scan it and print it out on cards. If they're old enough to write, they can write thank you or happy birthday. Your little one will love seeing their artwork displayed and you'll have a special memory with your child.
posted by Joy

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Thursday Thoughts

I am currently in San Diego for the Hearts Revolution Conference at Cornerstone Church. Pastor Sergio De La Mora spoke yesterday and he interviewed my dad and brother about family & ministry. My sister and I also were invited on stage to share what our dad did to make us want to be involved in church ministry as well. I briefly talked about how my dad was passionate about people and how I learned from his example. My sister talked about my dad being an encourager. My brother talked about how our dad was a friend, a mentor, an encourger, he was real with us, and an example to us. I was so glad we got to "praise" my dad like that in front of so many people. He deserves it. This year, he is celebrating 50 years in ministry. And all along, he has been a wonderful dad! It really made me realize how much responsibility I have as a parent in shaping my children's future. They are going to learn so much about life and character simply by watching what I do. Wow! Something to really think about.

posted by Joy

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