Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Mike's Answers

Maybe I should - not be so negative at times.

I love the smell of - freshly cut grass, blueberry muffins, BBQ

People would say that I- am very opinionated

I don’t understand why - our government constantly contradicts itself.

When I wake up in the morning - actually I wake up late afternoon...I watch Natalie while Sarah works on dinner.

I lost my willpower to - shave my face every day.

I'm glad - I can support my wife and kid on my income so Sarah can do what she loves.

Life is - much more meaningful while raising children.

My past made me - hopeful for what the future will bring.

I get annoyed when - others receive preferential treatment based on seniority or favoritism and not merit.

Parties are not a good time to - discuss religion or politics.

Dogs are - the only decent pet worth having.

Cats are - dog food.

Tomorrow is - my Friday

I have low tolerance for - people with no common sense.

I’m totally terrified of - heights (exception-flying)

I always knew I would - have a family.

Never in my life have I - smoked, done any drugs, broken bones.

High school was - fun while it lasted.

When I’m nervous- I get strange pains in my body until the event is over.

Take my advice - avoid debt as much as possible.

Making my bed- is only done when we have guests and they may end up upstairs.

I'm almost always - wishing I could sleep just a little longer.

I’m addicted to - video games...so I'm told.

I want someone to - magically take away 40lbs off my body.

Mosquitoes!

Right now, we have an area on our front porch that occasionally has standing water = many mosquitoes that flock around our front door. I have found a homemade recipe for a mosquito trap. It works. Check it out.

Monday, May 26, 2008

Detergent and Flowers

It dawned on me the other day how expensive laundry detergent is. We use Tide Free for Natalie's sensitive skin, and that stuff is 15 dollars a gallon! Almost 4 times the cost of fuel! For suds! I kept thinking, there has to be a better way. I did some research online, and found a recipe that other's swore by, costing pennies to use per load. So the homemaker in me took over and I tried it. It worked! The clothes looked nice, smelled nice, felt clean, and I was impressed. I know this isn't going to make a huge difference in our bank, but I'd rather spend a few dollars more/month having fun, than on laundry detergent!

If anyone is interested, here's the recipe I used:

1 Cup Grated Fels Naptha Soap
1/2 Cup Washing Soda
1/2 Cup Borax

For light load, use 1 tablespoon. For heavy or heavily soiled load, use 2 tablespoons.

I substituted Ivory Bar soap instead of Fels Naptha soap. (that was recommended for sensitive skin) I filled an empty 80-load Tide box with all of this, which will last for a long time b/c you only need 1-2 tablespoons, which is enough. If you'd rather have liquid recipes, you can find more of them here.

You can also use 2 of those ingredients for dishwasher detergent.

1 Tablespoon borax
1 Tablespoon washing soda

(substitute rinse aid for distilled white vinegar)

My other project today was hunting for more house plants. Natalie loves to help me water my one and only indoor plant. So we made a trip to pick out 3 more. (lilies and impatients) We potted those today and she was thrilled to get to water all of them.

Park

We spent Saturday evening at Pop and Nani's. They strolled with Natalie up to the park while Mike and I ran a quick errand and joined them later. I think they had fun.

Big Girl Bed

Friday morning, I went in to Natalie's room, and this is how her crib was. This crib is only 2 years old, and has not been abused (she can't even jump yet!) The mattress was sagging down so much, it was below the bottom edge of the side rail. We are so relieved she didn't get hurt in any way. Here are a couple pictures:





I called graco, and once they established that Natalie was not hurt, they were very uncooperative. I found out that they no longer makes cribs with wooden mattress supports, only metal. Although they never notified anyone for these **very important** replacement parts! I had my money refunded, and am in the process of shipping the crib back to them, but will be filling out several complaint forms about this company. What made it worse, was the lady on the phone ignored the fact that Natalie's safety was put in jeopardy by their faulty product, and treated me like I was a burden. I have emailed quite a few friends/family about this, to check and make sure your crib has metal mattress support beams. *not wood*

So needless to say, we were out Friday evening looking for cribs. Her bedroom suite is white, and the only white crib we could find had a wooden mattress support! *not happening* We called and found one we liked at a different store, but the entire time we were working with the sales people, Natalie was crawling on and off the toddler beds, giggling, then pretending to sleep. Mike and I looked at her, then each other, and decided to buy a toddler bed.





It has been an interesting transition! She loves that she can get out of bed, go get her toys, and bring them back in bed with her...which keeps her up, so I take them away and tell her goodnight...again. **yay for video monitors!!** Last night, we saw that she had a book in bed with her, and was starting to get out of bed to get another one. I ran upstairs, and opened the door and found her scrambling back onto the bed, trying to shove the book under her pillow and lay down. LOL. How can anyone not laugh at that?? Mike was downstairs watching on the monitor, laughing as well. Tonight is the 3rd night, and she understands that she doesn't get to play with toys, and must stay in bed. So all-in-all, it's been a very easy transition, she was obviously ready.

This is a pic of the morning after her first night in the bed. We woke up to the music from her toy piggy bank.

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tag

Maybe I should - start using my talents for something other than my own amusement, and discipline myself to go to bed at a decent hour.

I love the smell of - Natalie's breath, and her hair after a bath. New books, leather shoe stores, oranges, and the inside of our "vacation van."

People would say that I- am very frugal with money, and I'm a loving mother.

I don’t understand why - racism still exists.

When I wake up in the morning - (Natalie is my alarm clock) I go get her a cup of milk, let the dog out and feed him, then get her out of bed, and change her diaper. We usually spend the next 1/2 hour watching cartoons on PBS, while snuggling in my bed.

I lost my willpower to - care if the house is messy. I have more important things to do than clean house all the time.

I'm glad - we chose not to have cable TV since we've been married.

Life is - about pleasing God...not ourselves. (a struggle)

My past made me - realize what a great childhood I had.

I get annoyed when - Mike gets up on his soap box about something, reckless drivers, and when my allergies act up.

Parties are not a good time to - show off.

Dogs are - fantastic if well trained and gentle.

Cats are - nice hood ornaments.

Tomorrow is - Tuesday?

I have low tolerance for - negativity.

I’m totally terrified of - the dark, spiders, and losing family.

I always knew I would - be a mother at the age I am. I'm so glad Mike and I didn't wait longer to have a family!!

Never in my life have I - smoked, gone sky diving, or broken a bone.

High school was - a blast! I enjoyed most of it, as well as all the activities I was involved in.

When I’m nervous- I talk too much and my hands shake.

One time at a family gathering - Cory pretended to run into a pole, and an old lady screamed. Good times. Good times.

Take my advice - Don't own credit cards. Who needs an emergency credit card when you have a savings account?

Making my bed- rarely happens because Mike sleeps in it most days. I have to admit, I'm thankful for the excuse not to make it.

I'm almost always - analyzing people.

I’m addicted to - reading books, playing piano, a couple TV shows.

I want someone to - invent cars that run off of air or water.

Now, I tag - Mike (I want him to re-post and see his answers), Jennifer B (you haven't updated in a while!), and Jenn H.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Games

We were able to see my parents twice in one week this week! Here are some pictures of them in action:

Hey Cory, Doug, and Amy!! Do you ever remember us being allowed to play ball in the house when we were kids?:




Natalie pulled Maw-Maw in the tent with her, and Cole claimed Paw-Paw for a pillow:


An addition to the tent!


My favorite girls:


Daddy sharing dessert with Natalie:

Congratulations

to Brad (Mike's brother) who graduated with honors from Auburn last weekend!!

Smiley Grad 1





Checkup

Natalie went in on Wednesday for her 2 year checkup and an immunization. I will also be taking her in this week to have her blood drawn to test for lead exposure (standard procedure) I'm not looking forward to that.

24 MONTH STATS

Length: 34 inches (75th percentile)
Weight: 26lbs 4ozs (50th percentile)

She's a healthy (and happy) girl and we praise God for that!

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Happy Mother's Day!

I didn't get to post yesterday, but to all you mother's out there, I hope you had a wonderful day and were recognized for everything you do!!

I spent the day in 2 places. The first half was at JC, then the trip back home for the evening. Dad was sweet again to buy Mom and I corsages, and even ordered a tiny one for Natalie. (just so she wouldn't be left out) I took pictures in a rush before church b/c I knew it just might get tattered before long.

Apparently, she didn't appreciate the rush:
A little better:
After church and in our play clothes:
Doing tricks to keep miss (no-nap) happy:
To the mother that gave life to my husband: I am so grateful for the wonderful man you and Randy have raised. I can only imagine the pride you must feel to have him as a son. I have been blessed to call him my husband, as well as grow to know you as a mother over the past 5 1/2 years. I always enjoy our talks and appreciate the involvement you have in our lives, the love you express to us, and concerns of ours you take on as your own. We have enjoyed watching you transform from "mom" to "nani" and love sharing our daughter with you. I feel very blessed to have you as my mother-in-law. Happy Mother's Day, Dorie. We love you very much!
To the mother that gave life to me: The day after Natalie was born, I looked at Mike and said, "now I know how much Mom loves me." It was you that kept our family running, your hand that made everything happen. We wanted for nothing growing up in your home. We had all necessities, stability, laughter and love we could ever ask for. You and Dad gave us our roots...and then you let us go grow up and be who we are with a smile on your face and tears in your eyes. You are still my best friend after 25 years...and nothing gives me more joy than to share Natalie with you and watch the delight on your face. Thank you for everything you've always done. Happy Mother's Day! You are loved. **enjoy the music, it's for you**

Birthday Party in JC

We celebrated Natalie's birthday with my side of the family this past weekend. She had a blast, and we were glad most of the family could make it.

Here she is having fun in her new tent from Aunt Amy. She loves this thing and hollers for "mon-ney" or "dad-dee" to come get her:


Being silly:


Taking a big breath:


That Care Bear cake was irresistable! Who could wait?:

***did anyone recognize that bib in the last picture??***

Paw Paw helping her open presents:


This is an annoying habit of Cole's. He loves to get infront of the camera juuust as I'm about to take a picture:


Another favorite new toy of Natalie's:


Are you sorry you showed her how it worked, PawPaw?


Mom wrestling tissue paper away from Cole. Don't let her fool you, she loves that dog:


Helping clean up:


We're all out of birthday parties until next year! Happy Birthday Natalie...we love you!!!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Comparison

Birth



6 months




12 months:







18 months:




24 months:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Happy 2nd Birthday Natalie!!

Well, our little girl turned 2 years old today. I have always felt so bitter-sweet about her growing up. It's neat that we get to watch her everyday, we have so much fun, and enjoyed her from the very first moment. It makes me sad that time marches on, and we can't keep her at this precious age. Although these feelings don't compare to how blessed we feel to just have her in our lives. God chose us to raise her, what did we do to deserve this honor?

...mushy stuff aside...


We had a fun day; it started with us singing happy birthday (with a balloon and candle on a blueberry muffin) when she woke up. **thank you Jeni** She was thrilled, and then got to eat breakfast in our bed while watching her favorite cartoons. We went to build-a-bear, and she had a blast pushing the buttons that make the hearts fly in the air. We didn't buy anything though because the only bear she wanted, was the EXACT same bear she has at home! But we had fun looking.

After her nap, she opened gifts, we had her favorite foods for dinner, then more singing and cake!

Her wake up:

Getting started on the gifts:



This is a book she LOVED when we were at a friends house. I went ahead and bought it for her. She was delighted!


See the delight? :-)


Digging:


Not thrilled that I stopped her to take a picture of her outfit:


This is her "growing up" doll figurine for the 2nd birthday. See how carefully she's holding it?


Bubble wands!


Reading her care bear card to her:

Artist

Natalie enjoyed painting for the first time the other day.

Although she can't stand to have her hands dirty...not sure how we'll ever get through finger painting.


Here is the finished product:

Monday, May 5, 2008

Yes!!!

This month we are paying off a loan and kicking SallieMae to the curb. Ka-chow!!

Party with Nani and Pop!

We celebrated Natalie's Birthday with Nani and Pop yesterday, and we all had a great time. I think Natalie enjoyed the day too. ;-)
Concentration:
Sunglasses and pearls...what more could a girl need?
Holding up her cardinals outfit for the camera:
Digging for presents:
Video:

Her new drawing easel:

Her party cookie, complete with a care bear. See anyone that doesn't belong at the table? I do.
Enjoying the sweets: