Friday, December 30, 2011

2012 Goals

A new year starts tomorrow and like many across the world, I have noble aspirations of projects to complete and goals to meet.  I know my list is more than a little over ambitious and certainly all over the place.  And I understand that it might not include some of the really important life-improving-thought-changing goals maybe I should be thinking about.  But it's my list still the same and I thought I'd share it with you!

1.  Go to bed early most nights and get up most mornings to do some exercise.

2.  Run 300 miles on our treadmill.

3.  Learn to decorate cupcakes that look like they do at a bakery.

4.  Do 3 pull-ups.

5.  Complete 50 "projects".

6.  Read 15 books.

7.  In addition, read 5 "life" books, the kind of self-help, grow closer to God and my family kind of books.

8.  Learn how to fix my hair like it was for the ball.

9.  Decorate our bedroom

10.  Decorate Elyse's bedroom too (Madelyn's is pretty much done).

11.  Keep up with this cleaning schedule.

12.  Set the timer to pick up the house for at least 15 mins a day.

13.  Spend some "craft" time with Elyse each week.

14.  Spend some one-on-one time with Madelyn each week too.

15.  Sew more

16.  And organize my mess of sewing and craft supplies

17.  Organize my spice collection

18.  Learn how to embroider

19.  Watch all of Mad Men

20.  Create and be consistent with some kind of chore system for Elyse

21.  Blog more

22.  Take more pictures

23.  Organize and display our pictures from 2011

24.  Save some money

25.  Stick to a budget

26.  Organize my closet and clothes...and find a way to be more stylish

There are more goals in mind that I decided to trash, like cut and actually use coupons, give up sweets, lose 20 pounds, take and edit a picture for everyday of the year, and blog three times a week.  I just know these ones aren't happening.

As for the rest, I'll let you know how I do.

Friday, December 9, 2011


In the past couple of weeks, we've had some totally awesome family time.  Dennis has been on leave and we've done lots of fun stuff together.  Here are some pics of some of it...

Elyse participated in her first ever dance recital.  Her costume is to DIE for!  She looked as cute as could be in her tutu.  But we'll be honest and admit that's where the fun stopped.  The performance was at a Christmas festival outside and the music was so loud that she stood up there and cried for the first 30 seconds or so.  It was kind of awful.  But then she danced and did great.  Dennis and I were both fuming afterwards...that situation was NOT designed for four year olds.  Since she loves dance, I think we'll be shopping for a new place to go.  But in the mean time, I'm so glad we have pictures of her in this cute little outfit!

We won't be in CA for Christmas so we decided to celebrate a little earlier.  Elyse wanted a cash register since she played with one at a friend's house MONTHS ago and luckily I remembered.  All day long she's been letting us know how much she likes it and that she's going to work at Chipolte when she grows up (with the trill of using a cash register on a daily basis!)

Madelyn got a train set but seemed more excited about the "dress-up box" we put together for the girls.  

Madelyn wasn't the only one who got in on the fun.

Elyse has been super creative and crafty.  Often she'll ask for some paper, her scissors and tape and come up with some creation.  In this picture, she made some gloves.  Clever, eh?

Madelyn has been a bit of a nudie lately.  We've resorted to cutting the feet out of her jammies and putting them on backwards.  Otherwise, we'll hear her shout "I'm naked" when she's supposed to be sleeping.  And as any intelligent person knows, we don't want a non-potty trained toddler to be in her birthday suit.

The girls switched rooms and I've been working on updating the decor a bit.  I made two curtains like this for Madelyn's room (super easy...panel of fabric with those clip ring things's not quite the right size but that's OK!)

 And tonight we went to the botanic gardens here for the winter light show.  Luckily we got the member discount and only paid $12 (I thought it would be free but the attendant informed us that this is a "special" event) because the lights were a bit of disappointment.  The lights were pretty but the quantity was less than expected.  Dennis said he's going to pay our neighbor's $12 tomorrow night because they have more lights on their house.  He's right.  But walking around with the girls bundled up in the wagon was arguably the best time we've had in the past two weeks.

 This may be a crazy crew, but there's no one else I'd rather share my life with.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Madelyn at 2!

This girl is a hoot! At two Madelyn joy is  funny, loving, smart little girl. 

She loves Mommy and Me school, attention from her sister, and taking care of baby dolls.

Her language is really taking off.  She can speak in full sentences and just about everything she says makes sense (to me anyway).  She can count to 29 (not kidding...although she mumbled through the middle teens), say her ABCs and knows all her colors.  When she says an "l" sound she sticks her tongue out and moves it from side to side.  She loves to sing songs randomly as we move about our day.  Her favorite songs are Itsy Bitsy Spider, Slippery Fish and Waltzing Matilda (which was randomly in my head one day and then took off...although I was corrected by Madelyn today that it is Waltzing Atilda).

This girl is funny.  At two she already practices comedic timing and knows when she's telling a joke.  She loves to sing "Old MacDonald" and make us each an animal on the farm.  Dennis is a cow, Elyse a chicken, Madelyn a pig and I'm the duck.  And it says consistent every time she sings.  If we call her something like sweetie, she'll respond, "I'm not sweetie...I Maddy!"

She loves having her babies and stuffed animals around.  Most nights she has a whole zoo in bed with her and insists on each animal receiving an individual blanked to be "cover up."  She has to be covered up too (we've recently reduced the number of animals in the bed with her so to shorten our nightly routine!).

She likes to color, especially when Elyse is doing it.  Last night she drew scribbles and said, "Look!  A birdy!"  She can often be heard shouting, "Look, Mama (or Leesy or Pappy)" which comes out as "Yook!". Then we get to see her baby in bed or the bug outside or whatever new picture she drew.

She's a pretty good eater.  Here is a picture of her with broccoli on her head, her veggie of choice (this is a "Yook at me mama" moment).  The teeth are still coming in.  I see the "pointy" ones making their way on the bottom.  Someday this girl will have all her teeth.

Here's a picture of Madelyn sitting on the rug.  That's our time out threat.  It's rare that she ends up there but on this day she didn't want to put something away and decided herself that sitting on the rug was a better option!

She often likes to pretend she's asleep, and can hold an asleep pose for awhile!  Here she slept while eating her food at Chipolte and she'll stay like that for a good two minutes only to pop up and say, "I awake!"

She LOVES going to Mommy and Me school and seeing Miss Chris.  Here she is leading the Pledge of Allegiance.

No terrible twos here!  We love this girl and just can't get enough of her!

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Just in case anyone is wondering, I promise to have an update on Maddy soon!

In the mean time, I just wanted to share my attempt today to recreate a picture I took of the girls together just after Madelyn was born.  

Here's today's attempt, two years later.  They were probably having a little too much fun.

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thanksgiving Tree

Just this morning, I ran across this post and decided to make one right away.

I printed off the tree added a little color on the trunk. I didn't have the right size frame, so I covered the inside of the frame with some fabric, taped the paper on top and stuck it into the frame.  I cut out the leaves from scrapbook paper and Elyse and I tapped them on (on top of the frame).

Everyday this month we'll write down something we're thankful for until Thanksgiving.

I think it makes the perfect addition to my newly painted dresser (along with the downed tree branches I added to the vase!)

Go and make your own!  It was super easy and is the perfect Thanksgiving decoration.

On Halloween

Happy Halloween! Hope you had a great one.

This year, Elyse decided to be a magician and Madelyn agreed to be an Octopus!

Not the best pic of Maddy but you can see her costume.  I bought a hoodie from Wal-Mart, cut three sections in the front and back and sewed tubes to make her tentacles.  Then I added felt for the eyes on her hoodie and for the suctiony things on her tentacles.  Fun!

Elyse decided to be a magician.  Making costumes are fun when the four year old has an opinion about how it should look.  We painted "Elyse the Great" on her shirt and made her a cape (pink and purple of course!)

Madelyn was the helper at Mommy and Me.

Can you guess what Dennis and I are for Halloween??? Stick people!  Easiest costume ever!  Copied the idea from here.  It would have been cooler  with the masks but we didn't want to walk around the neighborhood in a mask.

Sunday, October 30, 2011

Our Life

I have a new camera (hurray!)  In order to get a little practice and figure out how to use it, I'm going to bring it with me everywhere I go this week and share some pictures.  They are imperfect and unedited but so is our life! :)

Morning dance party.  Teaching the girls how to "limbo."

Lunch at Chipolte.

Elyse likes to get food from Panera across the way.

Madelyn pretending to be asleep while she eats.

Pumpkin cookie

Dennis pretends to take a huge bite of the cookie

A stop at Lowes

What's cookin' in the new smoker?

Looking at pictures with Pappy.

Kisses from Pappy (looks like a bird pooped on our chair.  I think it's a toothpaste stain).