Thursday, July 29, 2010

my first baby- Maximillian

He's little and boxy.
He's stinky but patient.
He's wrinkly.
He snores and snorts and breathes real loud.
He's always under my feet.
He steals cookies right from your hands.
He is really loud when the doorbell rings.
He poops on the floor if he gets too excited.
He is loyal and the first to come sit by me if I am crying as if to say,
"what's the matter momma?"
He climbed into my lap when he was six weeks old and fell asleep and we have been together ever since.
His doctor bills are out of this world expensive.
He once at a whole bag of chocolate chips and almost died, it was definitely as scary as a trip to the hospital with one of the other kids.
He hops into your lap as soon as you sit down because he knows he isn't supposed to sit on the couch or furniture.
He is cute.
He is my pug, Max.
He is nine years old today.
Happy Birthday buddy.
I can't believe he is getting gray, makes me so sad, my guy is getting old
you can always find him here when Tanner is eating, just waiting for a crumb or a nibble
This poor guy was the top dog until Zoe was born (of course) but he handles it really well, he know his place and he accepts it. We got him the day after 9/11, I was hell bent on having a normal life after that tragedy and a dog was the surefire way to do it. He is the best dog, except for the pooping on the floor and barking at the door bell, I love him dearly and I would totally get another pug in a heartbeat.
Right now he is sitting on my feet and snoring, except when I move then he looks up at me and waits for me to move so he can follow me around. :)

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

watchin' my weight Wednesday

This was enough to make me "go all Kate Gosselin" on my kids last week...
I found this ABC (already been chewed- for those of you who forgot 8th grade lingo)
gum on my stairway railing... yuck!

When I was pregnant with Zoe for some reason, I could not chew gum. Too much saliva, too many hormones, whatever, it just plain made me sick. So I quit. I did not chew gum until Tanner was born and I started Weight Watchers. I saw on "The Biggest Loser" that chewing gum can help you maintain your weight because it satisfies that urge to chew something. That urge usually leads me to pretzels or some other carb-laden snack. So now I chew gum again. I kind of don't like it because people look gross doing it. All that chomping and smacking and not eating, it's kind of weird isn't it? I chew the various sugar free kinds that are minty and strong, that really makes me not want to eat when I chew it! Funny thing, when I was first chewing gum again, Parker cried when he saw me blowing a bubble because it scared him to death.

OK, I got side-tracked. Since I never chewed gum, my kids hadn't either. Well, Halloween came around last year and that Hubba Bubba was in their loot and after one piece, they were hooked. We don't have gum for them very often. They know "the rules" which basically means you put it in the trash when you are done and you throw the wrappers away, not tossing them on the carpet for the imaginary maid to pick up. From the photo, you can tell, they broke one of the rules by putting the gum on the stairway railing.

I was pretty mad. Hence, me going "all Kate Gosselin" on them. (You remember when she still had her real hair and sweat pants and she called Aunt Jody and reamed her out because Aunt Jody had given the kids gum and it was everywhere and now Kate was going to have to clean it out.... blah blah, you get the picture.)** So I threw out all the kid gum immediately. Don't mess with me when I am mad people! And I hid my gum. Yes, I hid it. Can you believe what a mean mommy I am? Seriously, they don't like my minty gum so strong it can wake me up on the way to spinning class, they only like the huge pink sugary kind they shouldn't be chewing anyway. My kids have forgiven me for my Kate-tyraid but they are still looking for their gum stash. Shh, don't tell them the truth.

**Just for the record, I am not a Kate-hater. In fact, I think she is pretty amazing, grumpy and kind of snarly, but amazing none the less. I mean, the woman gave birth to six babies at once. She cared for those babies (I know neurotically and with help) but she raised them with huge cameras and microphones in her face. Lots of people in her house producing the show and she still managed to feed them, clothe them, write some books and take them all on some fun adventures. I know if I had six babies and two preschoolers at home, I'd be a bit grumpy and snippy too, regardless of how much help I had. By golly, she's the mom, the CEO of that crew and it would be very frustrating to take care of that many individuals all the time. I do hate it that her and Jon got divorced, that makes me sad. I am jealous she got to dance on "Dancing With the Stars" and she does seem a little diva-ish lately but I seriously think she is like most of us moms, trying to do the best for her kids, and boy does she have a lot of them. I just referred to me going all "Kate" because that gum episode could be any of us, all of us are stressed and stretched to the limit at any given time, and it really sticks in my mind (no pun intended) as a true mommy moment.

Sorry for the whole getting off topic thing... moral of this story, chewing gum helps me maintain my weight loss. ;)

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

cooped in

Since everyone has been sick, I am home bound. I am SO NOT complaining. I love to be home and I am never bored. I can always find something to do. I have been doing a lot of not much but I sure haven't been sitting on my keister either. Now, if I was home alone with no sick people to tend to, just imagine how much I could do!

In between Popsicle runs...
I decided to clean out my stamps. I have been wanting to do this for a loooooong time. I even found a home for the ones I no longer want/need. (Zoe's first grade teacher has gladly accepted them.) Can you see how Tanner "helped me"?
I am still working on the categories but labels will follow soon.

I made some "sprinkle" cards. (Cards using the scraps/supplies laying on my desk.)

I made first day of school notepads for Zoe and Parker's teachers.

That's it for now, but I am good with all this. I have a mile long list of stuff I want to do, like I said, I never get bored.

Monday, July 26, 2010

hiding from the paparazzi

Isn't this how you would ride a scooter?
(yes those are 3D glasses and winter accessories and an Iron Man
necklace thingy from Burger King)

(she did this whole turban thing herself)

It is deathly hot here, just like everywhere. I am not complaining. I'd take hot and humid over snow any day but my kids have been sick with the hand, foot, and mouth virus, we have been home bound for a week. We're starting to get a little edgy and grumpy with each other. We've been quarantined for about a week per our doctor's orders. Hand, foot and mouth is highly contagious so stay far away from anyone who has it. I am told it is spread like most viruses, through human contact. I guess you can get it pretty much anywhere.

This is our first time with this bug and it is kind of a pain, like any sickness. The kids get rashy bumps on their hands and feet and sores on their tongues and throats. They get a fever and feel really yucky. (I'm only sharing because I had honestly never really heard of it before we got it and apparently this is the time of year it "goes around" according to our doctor... just in case your kids get it.) If adults get the bug, it is like a really bad case of strep throat. I was also told once you've been exposed you can't get it as bad the next time so you might get it again and then just feel like you have a really bad cold.

So in between does of Tylenol the kids would get that boost of energy only kids get when they are sick (me, I want to lay on the couch and watch talk shows all day) and they would want to do something. I made them go outside and play for a few minutes anyway. They decided to go scooting and these disguises are what they came up with to make scooting more fun. They told me they had to hide from the paparazzi who was taking their pictures. About five minutes later, they were moaning and groaning and requesting Popsicles for their sore throats.

Friday, July 23, 2010

house nonsense

OK, so the lady who came through our house yesterday was older, retired age. She didn't say it, but Paul seems to think she wants a first floor master bedroom. Why do people waste our (and their) time? This info is on our flyers and website. Grr.

But we had a realtor bring her own family here to see the house. We ended up having two showings back to back. So weird because we haven't had one for a month. They were here for a long time looking. No feedback yet. For the record, we're still here.

cookies part two

Seems like everyone loves cookies.

Forgive me as I indulge... in just a few more cookie related photos.

He is saying "googie" in case you couldn't tell
eating cookies is serious business

Like I said, the good old fashioned Toll House recipe is tops for everyone in my house. Here's the recipe in case you don't have it.

Me personally, I like just about any cookie (although I do not like nuts in my chocolate chip cookies, weird). Here is my favorite recipe.

Is it wrong that my mouth just watered looking at the website for these? These are the ones I tell my family makes a small amount, really I just hide a stash for myself. Hey, don't hate the playa' hate the game!

Now, go bake some cookies girls (and save yourself a stash!) ;)

Thursday, July 22, 2010


House showing moved to today (Thursday), just an update for those wondering...

AND Tanner has "hand foot and mouth" virus. Weird. This is our first time with this one. I thought we'd had it all by now. Oh well, it's always somethin'.

Cookies are essential for happiness

The Waller Bakery Staff
Sous Chef Zoe
expert at getting things ready and measuring
Our Resident Naked Chef Parker
prefers being naked while stirring ingredients and breaking eggs
Our Certified Taste Tester Tanner
declares "mmm" or "ick" for each sample tasted
instantly rating each cookie's taste

Cookies are pretty important, don't you think?

Tanner can say "cookie" better than any other word in his vocabulary. My husband checks the cookie jar as soon as he walks in the door from work. We make cookies about once a week around here. As soon as the kids see me pull out the mixer, they come running. I mean, full-on sprint to see who can get closest to the ingredients. Brown sugar is their favorite, they'd eat it by the spoonful if I'd allow it.

The preferred recipe for my family is the good old fashioned Toll House chocolate chip cookies. I like to try new things, my family, not so much. I try to switch it up, every couple of batches we make a new cookie. Sometimes, it's just a slight variation of the Toll House recipe but it makes it more fun for me.

This last time we made cookies I was a teeny weeny bit irritated, it had something to do with who got to stand on the big stool (probably to be closer to the brown sugar) and I was ready to knock someone out with my rubber spatula. Anyway, instead of putting the vanilla extract in the cookie dough, I accidentally put in orange extract. Holy yum! Those cookies had just the slightest organey flavor, a hint of it. Kind of like an orange chocolate truffle. The kids didn't say anything. Hubby didn't say anything. I'm guessing they didn't notice, I did, I'm such a foodie (ha ha- I wish!). This week we made banana oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, woo hoo, yummy. After two weeks of experimental cookies, I'll be making Toll House, kind of boring, but at least I don't have to check the recipe!

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

house showing

Keep us in your thoughts today as we have a house showing. The first one in a month. This person is a buyer with no real estate person so this could be a good or bad thing...


sorry for my crappy phone picture, I forgot my camera
Sting did not disappoint.
Here he is singing "Roxanne" notice the red lights...

Wow, that man is so freakin' awesome. This is my fourth time seeing him (I think, might be fifth) and I just love him. He sang so many great songs and did some storytelling about a lot of them. At 57 (!) he is still so sexy, my hubby was getting so annoyed at my hootin' and hollerin'. The best part of all had to be a lighting/thunder boom during "Moon Over Bourbon St." which is so creepy because that song is about a vampire. It actually poured rain during the show but we were under cover so it was kind of romantic, all misty and cool. Actually, I lied, the best part of all was his final encore, he sang "I Was Brought to my Senses", the song we danced to at our wedding, not one of his hits but a lovely song about love, nature, all that good stuff. I cried like a big sap. I highly recommend finding a way to see a concert at least once or twice a year. Seeing the real artist sing songs you love is an experience that can't be forgotten. It definitely stretches the budget but it is so worth it. (Are you laughing at all the balding heads in this picture? I think the average age of the crowd was about 50, maybe all those aging Police fans reliving their youth?)

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

watchin' my weight Wednesday

the Bubble Room in Captiva, Florida, probably one of my favorite places on Earth (besides the Sauerkraut festival in Waynesville, Ohio and the Longaberger homestead)
nine years ago we stood in this same spot the day before our wedding, ironically, I was wearing a red dress that night too, my hair was longer and Paul's wasn't so gray but otherwise, it looks pretty much the same
we can never get a "normal" picture
see what I mean?

After a vacation of indulging in lots of food and drink, I am trying to get myself back on track to a healthy, happy body. You know that song "Always on my Mind?" I swear I sing it in my head when I am confronted with choosing food or deciding whether or not to exercise. I say to myself, "Weight Watchers is always on my mind..." you get the idea. It wasn't a conscious decision, just happens. I ran almost every day of our vacation (it was so easy under palm trees with the ocean right next to me!) and on the days I didn't run, I took long beach walks. Since being home, I am returning to my exercise regime which is kind of random right now. I just make sure I do some activity every day: Sunday I ran outside, Monday I did a DVD, today I was spinning at 5:30AM, tomorrow, we'll see. So I guess I have to just accept the fact that being conscious of my weight, exercising, making good food choices will always be on my mind.

For now I am going to try to give up pretzels. I know, kind of random. I realized I gave up chips and other junk food, but pretzels call my name all the time, even in my sleep. I could eat them all day, I think I do sometimes. I am challenging myself to give them up. All those refined carbs are so not good for me.

Other random stuff I am thinking about today:
Who decided to end "The Hills" that way?! I am so P.O.ed! Urgh. If you love "The Hills" you will get what I am sayin'.

Going to a MLB game should not cost hundreds of dollars for a family. We went Sunday and it was ridiculous. $5.50 for a soda! Seriously!

My baby has a random fever. Poor boy.

I am going to see Sting tonight with my hubby!!!!!!!! EEEEEEEEE!!! Can you tell I am excited? I haven't seen him in almost 10 years. I love him from his Police days and his CDs are always in my rotation. So excited. He'd better sing "Fragile" and "Don't Stand so Close to Me."

My kids and I cleaned our basement yesterday. We are tackling the bathrooms today. Wish me luck.

We haven't had a house showing in almost a month. The "market" sucks.

I bought all Zoe's school supplies last night at Walgreens, I only spent about $6. This does not include a new backpack, only the basics, crayons, glue, etc. They have a great sale right now.

I am totally itching to buy stuff on the L.L. Bean and Lands End websites. I have to MAKE myself stop looking. I love the L.L. Bean signature stuff. So awesome!

I am contemplating/planning a design for my living room. Hope to share progress soon.

The kids and I made oatmeal banana chocolate chip cookies yesterday, good thing I went spinning this morning, I think I ate about 6 so far.

I went to the fabric store a couple days ago. I got a few things but while I was there I was so stimulated visually and so excited of the possibilities of all that material, I found myself talking, to myself! People probably thought I was crazy.

Mad Men and Jersey Shore start next week. Hallelujah! I cannot wait.

Have a great day everyone.

Monday, July 19, 2010

vacation memories

Here are a few photos from our trip. I haven't posted them yet because I got this bright idea to make a Snapfish album of our trip instead of my usual traditional scrapbook. Now, let me say, I love Snapfish. It is really easy and pretty quick. I don't do anything fancy with it, just the basics. BUT it is taking me forever to finish. Normally I pour over our pictures after a trip, weeping, sighing, reminiscing, wishing I could live there forever. Not this year. I am kind of sick of them. All that dragging, editing, blah, blah, blah. I guess I won't be converting to a digital scrapbook anytime soon. Oh well, at least it is done, right? Now I'll be able to enjoy the book as soon as it arrives.

Tanner is such my boy! Look at all those yummy desserts! Can you believe no one would get one to share with me after our dinner at the Bubble Room! I was pretty mad about that, still kind of am. I love cheesecake by golly, look at it!
Parker, my forever dude, not a fan of the beach but he enjoyed himself nonetheless.
Zoe, always representing the divas of the world perfectly.
Yep, that's me. Aren't I so cute? Just kidding. This was during one of our shopping trips that we did in the POURING RAIN! Not kidding about the pouring rain part.
One big happy family. (One of these days I'll get us all to smile at the same time.)

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

flower frogs

In honor of my friend Sarah's, designer/crafter/decorator extraordinaire, visit today, I am sharing my flower frogs.

I have had these vintage postcards forever. I had originally planned to use them on altered journals or cards but I couldn't bear to cut them. Some of them have handwritten messages on the back, they are so sweet. It just didn't seem right to cut them. They just sat in my desk, looking at me every time I opened the drawer.

Then lo and behold, Sarah, had a postcard and some trinkets in a vignette on her blog (will get you the link later) and her postcard was in one of these flower frogs.

Guess what I immediately went out to get, yep some frogs. Now I have three and I am craving more but I force myself to not buy them, yet.
My foyer table, I have postcards for every season/holiday and you betcha I am buying more as I find them, I am such a dweeb.

This is just a cute tag I made for the heck of it, I was probably supposed to be folding laundry or something but I did this instead. It sits by my sink and I stare at it as I scrub pots and pans...

This one is on my desk, I luuuuuuuv Napoleon and this card I bought just so I can remember his dance at the end of the movie. What bravery! What chutzpah! (how do you spell that anyway?!) What kahunas! If only I could channel some of that stuff.
So Sarah is the most effortless, inspirational blog friend I have. She makes it all seem so easy. I always think, "man, she is so freakin' good." I am so excited to see her today for a brief playgroup reunion. I might take her keys so she can't leave and go back to her new home in Tennessee. I need some help decorating my living room. I promise to add a link to her blog later, you'll love it.

Here is a link to Sarah:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

home from Florida

I'm ba-ack...

just catching up on a lot of this...

talk to you all soon.