Saturday, June 28, 2008

If You Give a Mom a Cookie...

If you give a mom a cookie,

She's going to want a latte to go with it.

But before she gets a latte, she has to find her toddler's pink ladybug boots.

To find the ladybug boots, she has to venture into the playroom.

When she tries to straighten up the playroom, she finds Daddy's left shoe, the salad bowl, and an open package of graham crackers. She also finds her cell phone.

So she'll yell at her toddler about the cell phone and wake up the baby from his morning nap.

But if she goes in to pick up the baby, the cell phone will ring.

When she answers, it'll be the doctor's office reminding her that she had an appointment this morning and would she like to reschedule, say, sometime in November?

While she's trying to mentally re-create her calendar, the baby will start to cry.

Then her toddler will run to see what's the matter and find the graham crackers.

When she finds the graham crackers, there'll be crumbs all over the playroom.

So the mom will get the broom from the hall closet and notice that Daddy forgot to buy diapers last night, as she asked.

But she will find her toddler's pink ladybug boots.

And when she finds the pink ladybug boots, she'll remember her emergency stash of diapers in the car.

So she'll wrestle her toddler and her baby into their car seats and drive to the store to buy more diapers and more milk.

While she's buying the milk, she'll remember that she wanted that latte.

And if she manages to order her latte without a tantrum or poop episode from either of her kids...

Then she's going to need another cookie.

~Julie Tilsner... our of an old Parenting magazine.

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

outside play-

We've been pretty sick the last couple of days with a bad cold/flu.. and poor Val has an ear infection. Her first one! poor thing. Who gets sick in the summer? Anyway- we spent the morning outside to get some vitamin D and cheery sunshine in our system!!

Sunday, June 22, 2008

here are the rest---

This is my favorite picture ever and so accurately describes the dynamic in this house. Notice how Valerie is glaring at Ellie, who is crying because she can't reach the cake.

Getting my birthday kisses from Val-Val

Sadly I forgot to make a wish this year before blowing out my candle. See below for cake explanation.
So you might be wondering why I have a #1 candle on my cake. That's because I AM #1 ;) No really.. I forgot to buy a candle and that's all we had from Ellie's bday. Oh well. What are you gonna do. I'll just tell my kids later it's because I'm the #1 Mom and they better remember that.
Kylan and Lovie- Kylan and Ellie both decided to rub frosting all over their heads. Somehow I didn't get a picture of that. Lovie has become such a great friend to me as we have so much in common (her hubby is in Iraq!) and can really lean on each other for support.

Linds and Lovie at Cavaliere's- It's a restaurant in Motta (the tiny town up on the hill with the castle) where you eat outdoors on a patio .. nice atmosphere and inexpensive. I wish I had taken pics before it got dark but the three of us like to talk and somehow sat there until 12:30 before realizing we were waaaayy passed our mama bed times! Jannelle and Lindsay- Jannelle has been coaching me on learning new photography skills and dealing with my silly rookie questions all the time. She's so wonderfully talented and a great friend to me-

On a very side note. I was wearing a sundress although you can usually see about 2" of it in each photo. Not a fantastic choice to wear for taking pictures but I assure you it doesn't look as hideous in real life. ;)

Ciao bellas!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Happy Birthday to me...

happy birthday to me.. happy birthday dear lindsay.. happy birthday to me ;) The big 26!!

I had a fantastic birthday today.. thanks to my cutie pie girls and wonderful friends. I told Valerie yesterday that my birthday was today and that she could be in charge of the cake. Of course that is the best part to her so she said, "My make mommy cake. My like PINK! strawberry cake. ooooh with princess sprinkles. princess party?" So we bought some princess sugar decorations and she did it all by herself. I was so impressed that she placed them pretty evenly spaced around the cake .. I think a few months ago even she would have bunched them all together on one side. Just the little things you notice as they mature.. awe. ;)

Lovie brought her little boy Kylan over and they joined us in eating birthday cake so the kiddos felt part of the fun. Then our sitter came over to watch them and I went to dinner out in town with Lovie and Jannelle. I feel so blessed to have such amazing friendships here. I was sad to have Derrick gone today but am honestly only just focusing on the fact that he is going to be home in a few short weeks and we can celebrate then! Here are a few pics for now.. will shoot some more up tmrw. I'm finally winding down and ready for bed! G'nite!

She thinks she's the next food network chef.. could be... ay? We actually just ordered her a toy kitchen for her birthday because she loves to cook so much.

it's my party and i'll cry if i want to.. someone was mad that she couldn't stick her fingers in the cake before our friends arrived
lately they have been playing so well together.. a rare moment of quiet captured on camera!

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Ellie's first beach day!

Yesterday we went with a group of friends to one of the beaches in Catania. Ellie went twice as a baby last summer but obviously didn't do much swimming. I think she slept on a blanket. This year was super exciting to have both kids playing in the sand and surf! (..and quite honestly a lot easier to not be worrying about a newborn in the heat and sun!) It was over 100 yesterday, according to my car and so I was glad to be there enjoying it! Ellie ate a TON of sand but you can't really keep them away from it.. so I just gave in and let her go for it. Luckily she hasn't gotten sick. Just like her sister, she loves to splash and swim in the water and get as messy as possible in the sand. It was a fantastic day! I left my camera at home so luckily my friend Lovie sent me a few pics today- thanks Lovie!!!!!

Monday, June 16, 2008

Cleaning Frenzy

Happy belated Father's day to all those Dad's out there!

I've been cleaning like mad the last day or so. For some reason us wives have this obession with making everything spotless before our husbands come home.. we all do it. why?? Today the girls helped me do some yardwork and vacuum out the van. It is always a nice treat to find melted m&m's and month-old chicken nuggets under the carseat! mmmm

Ellie is really getting into books right now. She constantly has a book in her hand and wants to bring one in the car, in the stroller,etc. Valerie was very much the same at that age. A whole new world seems to open up after you turn one! Val has been climbing on the pbk chairs and making forts while I scrubbed down the kitchen. Here are a few pics of our 'normal life.'

P.S. I will also throw down there a couple pics from yesterday--- I was chatting with D online when Ellie woke up from her nap. I was just sitting here typing while Ellie was playing behind me on the patio with sidewalk chalk (it's literally 2 feet from my chair here). I turned around to watch her full out run and jump into her wading pool with her church dress on!! Silly girl. I snapped a couple pictures for the memory -

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Friday, June 13, 2008

1900 people?!?!?

I can't believe that there are only 3 people out there who read this blog since it's been hit almost 2000 times... but it makes me SO curious as to who you are that never post comments!!! I feel so loved. ;)

We are doing so much better today. Derrick, being the wonderful listener and support to me that he always is, listened to me just talk it out last night and he got to chat with Valerie which made the night so much easier. She slept in her bed again, hooray! She frequently these days has nightmares and comes to sleep with me in the middle of the night, which I am *totally* fine with. I just like her to start out in her own bed. I have no issues with sitting in her room for awhile or cosleeping (heck.. that kid slept with me for like 4 months of her life .. however she now will jump up and down on the bed and refuse to sleep if you're with her. She even had to have her own bed in the hotel a few weeks ago!!! ((her choice!))). I think she isn't truly afraid or anything, just wants daddy to come home. We do lie in bed and read stories, say prayers, and listen to her jack johnson cd.. and so far, so good.

We had a swimming play date with some buddies today and did lots of shopping. Yay for pay days. I splurged and bought myself the ice cream maker attachment for my k.aid mixer. woot woot! I can't wait to make some homemade ice cream with real berries in it!!! I'm sure Derrick will be thrilled that I did this considering we have a vacation coming up.

I'm off to go watch my Entourage dvds.. current netflix obsession. Oh.. I did the Tae Bo 'Full Throttle' workout today (dvd) .. and it totally kicked my ass. highly recommended and a better work out than the first few they came out with when I was in like 8th grade.


Thursday, June 12, 2008

ha. a laugh

My cousin Jen left this on my myspace awhile ago and I just saw it again tonight and cracked up. Had to share- ;)

Care for a drink?

OHhhh I would. I haven't posted in a couple days because things haven't been so great around here lately. I figured I'd post today though, because this blog is about our *real* life, not just the good parts right? That'd be one sided and false.

So Valerie, as I've written about numerous times, has had serious issues going to bed since D left. It has gotten progressively worse as each month goes by and Daddy doesn't show up at night. She outright goes like the energizer bunny at this point until she just passes out wherever she's at. Last night, she was upstairs jumping on the bed, banging her feet against the wall, reading books, singing songs, turning the light on and off, jumping in her sister's crib (Which btw.. is now down the hall so she has SOME peace) and so forth until about 11:30pm. I passed out on the couch waiting for her to wind down up there and I woke up around 11:30/12 to find her crumped in a ball in her pottery barn chair in the living room next to me. I just left her there. She woke up this morning before me; however, and proceeded to push a kitchen chair to the front door, take off the safety chain AND the deadbolt (what other options do I have, people??) and walked down the street with both dogs. The clicker is, she was butt naked other than a tutu. I started *screaming* and she came running down the street -thank god- but we did have to drive around for awhile to get the stupid dogs back. Always fun to see your neighbors with just-slept-in hair, pj's/no bra and mascara under your eyes.

I went to call a friend to vent only to find out that we had no phone. OHHh yes. Guess who forgot to pay the phone bill before I left for vaca so being months late, it was shut off. On the way into the gate at NAS 2 to go pay it, the security guy tells me that I have a flat tire. I sure do. Maybe I'll just leave it in the driveway for a few weeks and refuse to leave. I'm done. pardon the typing. spell check and grammar are for sane people.

care to join me for a margarita?

Monday, June 9, 2008

Park day with our friend

It was pretty hot today. My friend Lovie called and asked us to meet her at one of the parks near our house to wear them out before nap time. She is in the same, "I'm ready for this deployment to be over and just killing time" mind set as I am so we have been hanging out a lot these days. true life saver!!! Her son, Kylan, is absolutely adorable and has a good time keeping my girls on their toes.

Sunday, June 8, 2008

Trip to the store..

It's started to hit me that we could very well have less than a year here and I'm starting to randomly take photos of the common things around here. In 10 years, when the girls are older, I want to be able to show them things like street signs, the restaurant we always ate at, and so forth. I realize now I usually only take photos of our big trips so I am starting to practice and make it a habit. Obviously there is nothing artistic or special about these photos but I thought I'd share what 'real' Sicily looks like. These were taken on my drive up the hill to Castorama to buy a few flowers for my flower boxes this afternoon.

This is the closest town to us, Motta. It's about 20 mins up- It sits high on a hill and has an old castle, which I believe you can't go in. As you can see the fields of green flowers are now dead, dry grasses and weeds. Such a difference a month makes.
Cacti everywhere. Sort of like our old home in good old Texas.

This is Motta Hill. Or atleast that's what all of the American's call it.. it's the steep hill in Motta that if you're in a manual car is very scary for the passengers.

My favorite store- Castorama. It's basically like a Home Depot or Lowes in the US. I go there for flowers, paint, and any time I'm extremely bored. It's in the country basically but randomly next to a huge mall that is very modern (will have to show you pics of that place too soon.) It opened just shortly before we moved here.

Saturday, June 7, 2008

sad, warming, inspiring story- new blog to check out

This blog is written by a new daddy, Matt, to a 9 week old baby girl, Madeline. He lives in LA (I believe) and writes daily about learning to be a new father after his wife died in the hospital, a day or so after giving birth. If you haven't checked this blog out before- do so.. but click on the links on the right that explain the original story/post. (I think it says something like, "If you haven't been here before.. read this.")
His blog has become famous after some write ups in famous papers and he gets gifts from all over the country, and posts pictures of every single one. It's so touching. My heart breaks for this guy and I cry all the time reading it but it's something worth taking a look at--

Last one.. Brookfield Zoo

I only took a few pics as it was a day or two before we left and after several zoos, I just wanted to relax. We went on Memorial Day weekend and let me tell you, that is not the time to go to Brookfield Zoo. It was crazy busy but it's very open and sprawled out so we ended up not noticing the crowds too much, aside from the parking lot! FYI Military gets in free!

Right next to the elephant habitat, there's a large elephant sprinkler that my water girlie loved.

BTW.. see a resemblance? We all think Eleanor looks exactly like D (which she does) however I think Grandma is in there a bit too. There is a photo of my mom around age 2 in her family room and Ellie was holding on to it. We realized they looked SO much alike!!!

Friday, June 6, 2008

Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore

It was a freezing day, yet so crystal clear you could see the entire Chicago skyline. The girls loved running in the sand though and Valerie has been asking to go 'back to beach' ever since. The wind was so nuts that it was hard to get any shots without hair in front of Val's and Grandma's faces so we did the best we could. I just wanted one great picture of the four of them.. but I think I got a few! We went for a decent hike in the woods afterwords and stopped at Coldstone on the way home. Can't tell a two year old that ice cream when it's cold out isn't fun, right? (or me) :)

haha.. look at mom's face