Saturday, June 26, 2010


Sure, the big purple dinosaur can be pretty annoying. And there is no doubt that I would rather watch the Today Show in the morning than Barney Goes to School for the one billionth time.

But all of that goes away when this little two year old sings the "I love you" song to her little sister.





Do you want to play???

Elyse could spend hours and hours in her playroom lately, creating stories and scenarios for her people and her animals (if she has her choice, either Dennis or I are playing with her of course).

The venues include the Little People farm or house...

Here are three of the players, from left the Zookeeper, Delilah and Dude.
The people and animals stay very busy. They have lots of birthday parties, go to school, take naps, go potty, and play Ring Around the Rosie. Sometimes the little people get stuck in the windows and the fireman has to get them out.

And every once in awhile this cute little monster enters town and tries to eat whoever she can get her hands on.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010


One of my favorite things about moving is having a whole new house to decorate!!!

If only I had unlimited time and unlimited money!

I've been checking out the blogosphere and here are some of the projects I want to do. Hopefully I'll post some of my finished projects sometime before we move out of this house!

-A practical way to display some cute fabric on a dry erase board
-I have a table that's all nasty from being outside. I want to repaint it and put it on the front porch. This blog has some great steps for making it look great.
-I have started keeping all the girls' books in baskets on the floor. I like it better than on the shelf because they are a lot easier to see and for Elyse to get. I might try this method too. I like that you can see the fronts of all the books.
-I have a spot in the playroom to set up a little art area. It won't be nearly as elaborate as this one, but I do plan to buy some of the same storage stuff they have...I'm pretty sure it came from Ikea (we're saving up a bit before I'm allowed to head there!)
-Might give these a try. I'm not sure where yet.
-I've been looking at the vinyl decal trees all over the internet and they are super expensive! I ran across this blog where she made it herself with a sheet. I might give it a try in Madelyn's room!

Friday, June 18, 2010

A Visit and Frogmore Stew

We had a great visit today with our great friends from 29 Palms, Shirley and Jeff. Super excited to be back on the same side of the country with them again.

Madelyn was super excited to meet Shirley!!

And Shirley and Elyse read Henry and Mudge books about one billion times.

We made Frogmore Stew for dinner (thanks to the idea from Erica!) It's a super fun and easy meal.

Here's Madelyn showing just how big the pot is!

And Dennis pouring the food out onto the table (you just spread newspaper onto the table and dig in!)

And here's the recipe, Shirley (and anyone else who wants it!)

Can't wait to see you all again soon.

Frogmore Stew


  • 6 quarts water
  • 3/4 cup Old Bay Seasoning TM
  • 2 pounds new red potatoes
  • 2 pounds hot smoked sausage links, cut into 2 inch pieces
  • 12 ears corn - husked, cleaned and quartered
  • 4 pounds large fresh shrimp, unpeeled


  1. Bring water and Old Bay Seasoning to boil in a large stockpot.
  2. Add potatoes and cook for 15 minutes. Add sausage and cook for 5 minutes more. Add corn and cook for another 5 minutes. Stir in the shrimp and cook until shrimp are pink, about 5 minutes. Drain immediately and serve.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

The Grand Tour....

We were SO LUCKY to get a house right away in our move to CA. The great thing is that this house is brand spankin' new! We are the first tenants.

So come on in!!...

We walk into a carpeted front room. We made it the playroom. Dennis and I already painted the walls last weekend (probably should put all the clothes in my dresser first but this was more fun). I have some plans for decorating, a chair on order and curtains ready to hang. I'll share pics of the transformation soon.

Here's the living room/dining room.

The Kitchen

The garage, soon to be fully converted in to a mancave.

We're going to paint the walls and put a curtain up to hide the storage. The mancave will have a little room for me...I'm going to set up my sewing machine and craft area behind the couch so I will actually use it!

Our room

Madelyn's room. Not the best shot because I just put her down for the night and I didn't want to disturb her. It's really big. There is a twin bed in the corner.

Align LeftAnd Elyse's room!

This house is perfect for us! Just the right size, plenty of storage, nice and open. Dennis and I are both really motivated to unpack everything (we're going to be here for such a long time...a whole three years or so!) and I've been watching all the decorating shows trying to get ideas. It's actually really fun.

One weird thing about our house...we don't have any air conditioning. I guess it is because whoever built it figured we don't need it. We certainly haven't needed it so far. The high since we've been here has been in the 60's! But, we haven't gotten to see the stereotypical "sunny CA!" It's been overcast since we've been here. Apparently it's all because of "June Gloom" and everyone assures us the sun will be shining again soon.

We're a short walk from the Oceanside harbor and a three minute drive to a great beach. It's a great place to visit. We'd love to have you!

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Madelyn at 8 Months

We have a talker and a mover now...

Well, sort of.

Madelyn has started to babble like crazy. She started with "ba, ba, ba" and has added an occasional "ma, ma" and "da, da" into her repertoire.

She can scoot around on her tummy, even if it is just backwards and on a slippery floor.

She can sit up like a champ now, enough that I feel comfortable leaving her on the (carpeted) floor to walk into the next room.

She loves her toys and has started sleeping with a baby the past few nights. It keeps her entertained until she is ready to fall asleep.

She loves to clap, and times it perfectly like as soon as Elyse finishes singing her 323rd rendition of the Barney song.

Madelyn smiles a lot and her smile is so cute, just straight across. It's still a toothless grin.

She loves seeing new people and made some friends playing peek-a-boo on our plane trips.

She is back to sleeping through the night again after just a night of training.

She loves books, especially ones with pictures of other babies and will grin like crazy as soon as we crack one open.

She is the perfect little size to carry around on my hip as we get stuff done around the house together or walk to get the mail.

Madelyn kicks and grins and squeals when we go to get her out of bed.

Her eyes are super dark, not sure on the color yet. It was kind of cute...a little Marine at the commissary (by little I mean probably just 18) looked at her and commented on how dark and pretty Madelyn's eyes are. He concluded they are olive colored.

She is eating more and more foods, cereals, bananas, applesauce and some veggies.

She needs a clippie to hold the hair out of her eyes.

As I say every month, this baby is truly a joy in our lives and we are so lucky she is part of our family!

Monday, June 14, 2010


We made it...2669 miles all the way across the US. Above you will see our collection of boxes. I'm not sure that the picture clearly conveys how many there are. And we already got rid of a bunch. And there are more to go.

The trip went as smoothly as possible. There is a lot I am thankful for. Here is just a short list:

-The moving company. They packed loaded and trucked all our stuff all the way across the US. Can you imagine if we had to do that on our own?

-My iPhone. For so many reasons, but mostly because I could download Barney videos to keep Elyse entertained on our plane rides.

-Strollers, ergo carrier and all the other baby gear that made carrying a baby a little easier.

-Two super well behaved girls that did great traveling (and only one required us to make a diaper change in the plane seat...luckily it was the littlest one!)

-My parents for letting us come stay at their house for several weeks while everything was being transferred and settled.

-WonderPet dolls purchased at an airport giftshop

-A brand new beautiful house on base in California that we were able to move right into (pictures coming soon!)

-Suitcases with wheels (how did people cope before these were invented)

-The geography of St. Louis. It worked out so well that it is in the middle of the country. My parents were willing to let the girls and I take over their house for a few weeks and we spent time with some great friends.

And the two things I am most thankful for are:
-Dennis, who let the girls and I duck out of town before the movers came and took care of them in Virginia, drove across the ENTIRE country all by himself, got us a house, dealt with the movers on this end and unpacked practically our entire house. It really is AMAZING all the work he did here. A little decorating needs to be done but our house was ready for us when we arrived.

-My mom. She flew from STL to Virginia so I wouldn't have to fly alone with the girls and then flew from STL out to California for the same reason. I'm sure I would have survived (well I think I would have) the trip alone but I am certainly thankful I did not have to find out.

And so here we are in California. Dennis starts work today. We've already painted a room (pictures of that soon I'm sure). I'm ready to figure out a new routine here for the girls and me. We are really excited about what is to come!

Friday, June 4, 2010

The Pinwheel Princess

Check out this magazine cover!! You see the beautiful pink/blue/yellow quilt on the cover???? Well, my mom designed (and made it) it especially for our little Madelyn!

Here's the original. It's hanging (well, will be hanging again) on the wall in Madelyn's room. Isn't it great?! My mom submitted the picture to a quilting magazine and they loved it so much, they picked it as one of the quilt designs to be included in this month's magazine!

She had to remake it with new fabric, mostly because this little girl wasn't willing to give it up. Here she is laying on the original when we did our photo shoot with Nicole.

And here Madelyn having fun on the version for the magazine.

Looks like she likes it, and so do we! We are so proud of our Nana, a cover girl!

Thursday, June 3, 2010

A Leftie?????

I've always kind of liked being left-handed. Not sure why. I guess it was just a way to be a little different without being too different.

And so I want a left handed kid too. Not sure why about that either. Elyse is definitely a rightie but I think there's hope with Madelyn.

Her little tongue is always moving around and often sticking out. I started noticing that she always sticks it out to the left. Hmm...I thought...maybe her tongue moving to the left indicates something about her handedness.

My mom and I both experimented and our tongue-side-preference (a technical term) matches our handedness.

So here's a survey for all of you. Please stick your tongue out and see what side is more natural to you. Does it match your handedness?

Thank you for your time. :P