Tuesday, August 25, 2009


There is some kind of monster that I am not really fond of called the Purple Toddler Eater that seems to swallow up every little girl ages 2.5-4years old. I don't know what it is that intrigues toddlers about this color, but I swear, it is a real phenomenon. Grace is has been fully swallowed and partly digested by this beast.

All the poor girl wants for her 3rd birthday is purple crocs and a purple dress. I took her to toys-r-us and basically let her have the run of the place, and nothing seemed to intrigue her, except the sight of purple shoes. We've been to Target, same deal. She walked through the toy aisle aimlessly and as I told her to show me some things she might want for her birthday, she looked at me and said in a tone of voice that inadvertently called me dumb: "Mooooommmmm, I want a purple 'ress' and purple shoes for my birfdaaaay.'

So, in order to fulfill my girl's only wish, I have been all over God's green earth and the Internet to find these silly shoes. NO ONE, I mean, NO ONE has her size....(again, here we go again with the monster... only a little girl ages 2-4 years old would wear an 8/9!) Everyone is completely sold out, even crocs.com!

My dad went to Rivergate and scoured every store that sells shoes with no luck. We went to Opry-mills, I've called Hickory Hollow Mall, Green Hills, Cool Springs along with every other shoe store in Nashville and the surrounding area. NO LUCK. I have considered the possibility of spray paint, acrylic paint, applique, and every other type of dye, that may transform a pair of crocs into this hideous color.

Well, today I had a breakthrough. I searched Dillards.com and found one pair of 'grape' crocs in a size 8/9. Ummm, wait for it...... wait for it.... yes, they were over $40 dollars. Can you freaking believe that? I have never paid over $40 dollars for any pair of shoes or clothing item that I own, and I was strongly considering buying these at that ridiculous price. I entered all the necessary information and all I had to do was hit 'place order' and I couldn't do it... I couldn't pull the trigger. I tried with all my might to press that silly button, but everything in me said 'no'! So I closed the page.

I said a little prayer and went to ebay. What do you know, a seller had just posted 2 pair of size 8/9 toddler crocs in 'grape.' The 'buy it now' option was only $14.99. YES...!! the Lord giveth! with shipping these were less than $18.oo and I do not have a permanent twitch from sticker shock! If I am truly honest, I still think $18 is a little high.... but hey, it's her birthday.

So, for her 3rd birthday, Grace will have crocs in the most nauseating shade of purple and all will be well in our world.

Friday, August 21, 2009

This and that

Grace asked me the other day: "Mom, can you take a picture of me on the potty and put it on the 'puter'? So, here you go, Grace.

And here is my 2 cents on potty training: DON'T DO IT!
Grace was potty trained in one day, and it had nothing to do with me. One day, she was completely opposed, and literally, the next day she decided it was time. And since that day, she has only had ONE accident. She knew exactly what to do, when to do it, but she had to decide that she wanted to. So, if you are getting close to potty training your child, just don't do it!!! It takes the pressure off you, explain what has to happen and talk about it, but just let them do it when they are ready. I say this now, but, ask anyone, I was a little nervous that we would go to Kindergarten in diapers. I think we avoided months of frustration and cleaning up messes by just leaving the diapers on until she was ready to take them off. Trust me, I didn't do this willingly, but looking back I think it was the best thing!

In other news, we have had fun over the last week with our cousins in from DC. You can tell from this picture that bath time was a hit. Grace had a great time with Ellie, Karina and Caleb and asks if they can come over and play almost once a day! Too bad they live 12 hours away!
Harper and her little friend Ford had a playdate this week. (Ford's first, I might add). Above, Harper is giving him a little advice on life, probably about pooping, eating and how to sleep through the night. Ford is taking it all in.
And lately, Harps has been a little brown-noser. For good reason, she has been an absolute terror for approximately 80% of the day (waking and sleeping). I am not sure what has gotten into her, I keep thinking she is teething, but she doesn't have any other signs.... Anywhoo, the other night she cried for 3, count them, 3 hours...because there was nothing I could do to get her to stop. This crying has gone on for about 2 weeks. Her ears look OK, so it's not that, but I almost can not take it any longer! As I type, she is screaming through her nap. Needless to say, for that 20% of the day where she is happy, she tries to act super cute, says 'da-da' a lot and tries to win our affection once again. (She's pretty good at it!) Not sure what happened to my easy going, sweet and calm baby. Any ideas???

Friday, August 14, 2009

Note to self:

Never let your kid try to breastfeed a mechanical dog, while trying to hold your hand, wearing crocs, walking through the parking lot at Target.

It will result in disaster: bloodied knees, hands and a dirty nose, not to mention the piercing screams (from both children) that may well burst your eardrums, wear thin your patience, make you want to run far, far away (alone) and continue for roughly 1 hour.

For the love of all that is good and holy, please, never let your child do this.

Ok, I feel the need to explain: We made a trip to target today and Grace is really into this little toy dog she has that barks, wiggles, etc. Well, she had brought it with her. As we were walking out to the parking lot, Grace decided her doggy was hungry. So she pulled up her shirt, laid the dog on her bare belly and started feeding it.

I was in a hurry and didn't really care what she was doing, as long as she was holding my hand... well, she tripped on her crocs and face planted into the concrete; skinned her knees, hands, and thus the screaming ensued.

Enter: Note to self (above) -make more sense now??? :)

Thursday, August 13, 2009


Well, everyone knows that I have a love affair with Anthropologie. I love to study their catalogs and website. I study how the dresses are made, what they are made out of, the color schemes etc... I am a dork. It's OK, I admit it. I was inspired my this dress. So, after several trips to the goodwill outlet, I found the materials I could work with. A brown tank top that was a little short in the torso, a hideous shirt with a cute applique, and a vintage gold crinkle skirt size XXL. PERFECT.

Here is the result. I apologize for the crappy picture. It is hard to take a picture of yourself, thank goodness for the self timer.

I am also proud to say that I actually wore the dress 'out on the town' last night for some margaritas~! Loved it... My friends seemed to love it too...(or maybe they were just being nice because they are my friends... ) But, whatever... I love it and it is so comfortable, and I am so pleased with how it turned out. Yea for me. I've made 3 other dresses for myself, but haven't actually worn them out yet. This was the first. So, here's to sewing and learning to sew and making a fab dress for less than 2 dollars and to fruity margaritas, just because I like them.

In other news, Grace Ann is still using the potty with no problem. This little stubborn girl has just decided that now is the time she will start using the potty. Not that she couldn't have done it 6 months ago, but she just plain didn't want to do it 6 months ago. She kind of lives life by her own little schedule, doesn't really care what other people want her to do or think of what she is doing... she just has a mind of her own. That's good. (And according to my hilarious friend Em, that is what makes you 'cool' in high school, if that's true, Grace may be the coolest of the cool.)

Here is a little cute picture of another recent development in our house... bathing them together is much easier, I might add... not to mention, they both love it. (Why did we wait so long?)

Friday, August 7, 2009

Pee Pee Potty Party

Yes, that's right folks... we have success! When I picked up Grace from school yesterday, her teacher informed me that she had asked to sit on the potty! (nothing had actually happened, but that's OK) This is HUGE! Since she had pooped in the potty on Wednesday (albeit, kicking and screaming) we took off to Wally World to get a new movie. (Oh, did I mention that when we came out of Walmart our car was completely DEAD in the parking lot...? No? Well, we won't talk about it)
Let me just confess that potty training has been the thing that I most dreaded about parenting. It is just plain disgusting. For several months, the world will totally revolve around stinky brown logs, nasty warm yellow liquid... and putting it all in the right place...YUCK. Let me just say, for the record, I refuse to wash poo out of any panties... if even so much as a little tire track appears.... it's the end of the line for those knickers...

This has been a long road for Grace, after a pretty traumatic experience at the doctor, I seriously thought we'd be in diapers until high school. Finally, we are starting to see some progress!

If there is anything good about this experience it is the fact that I know the girl can hold it. This week, in effort NOT to use the potty, she has held it for over 7 hours at a time. CRAZY! Maybe I am wishful thinking... but I am hoping that we will have fewer accidents because she's fully aware of when she has to go and how to hold it. We'll see.

Last night, on her own accord, Grace actually peed in the potty at least 4 times!!! Amy was here, so maybe she was trying to impress her... hey, I'll take it...
I was screaming and jumping around, dancing and singing... Harper was scared out of her mind because of all the ruckus, so she starts wailing... and Grace looks at me and says: "Mom, is I'm 3 now? Is it my burf-day?" Maybe she's getting confused because in the last week we've spent $60 dollars on potty presents....

Last night when she called Papa and Izze to tell them the good news, my dad goes, ' So Grace, is mommy going to buy you a Porsche now?" Grace replied: "Nope, Izze is."

Grace knows who butters her bread... don't you think?

PS. If anyone can find these awesome Nemo panties for me, I would be eternally grateful! This website says that they are discontinued....but we NEED them!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

7 months

Harps is 7 months old! Can't believe it... She is sitting nicely now, and I am thinking that it is quite possible that she will be a back scooter rather than a crawler. (I scooted on my back also) Ever since she learned to roll over, tummy time doesn't exist anymore. She rolls almost immediately, and tends to roll and scoot around rather than make any sort of crawling motion. She can get from her stomach to her knees and make some small forward movements on her stomach, but would prefer not to.

She is wearing 3-6 month clothes and wears size 2 diapers...(not information that you all really care about, I just want to remember.)

Still a happy easy going baby for the most part. She is just beginning the 'mommy' phase, and would be thrilled if I was the only person in her world right now. I tend to have a hard time with this phase, but this too shall pass.

Happy 7 month birthday Harper! (better late, than never!)

Saturday, August 1, 2009

Vacation: May I have the definition, please?

*** WARNING: this post could be really long, so pace yourself, you may need a snack break***
***Pictures at the bottom***

Chicago, 2009:
What brought us to the decision to make our way up north to Chicago for our family summer vacation, one might ask? Well, I am not totally sure, but the lure of a little bit cooler weather, an aquarium that housed 8 Beluga whales, and a chance to do something different may be my answer. Did I mention that we drove to Chicago? This may have been our first mistake.

Both Chris and I have been to Chicago a few times and absolutely love the shopping...I mean, the city. We've flown up and taken the El in the past, but never dreamed it would be a big deal to have a car up there. WRONG....First of all, our GPS went haywire as soon as we got into the city, all the buildings and trains flying above our heads were just too much for it to handle.... "Recalculating... Recalculating...." The only time you actually need a damn GPS is when you get into the city, and that's when it loses it's marbles...!!! Luckily we had some written directions also.

Secondly, we've never actually stayed on Michigan Ave before, always a block off in one direction or another, and I've never really seen the beauty in that until now.
Picture this: 1 screaming toddler, 1 screaming baby, 2 suitcases, pack and play, toddler bed rails, bag of toys, bag of food, 25 million lovies, 1 double stroller, 1 single stroller, a quilt, a pillow and a few other various and sundry items, in a car pulled over on the curb a block away from our hotel because this apparently was the closest place to unload and cart all our crap into the hotel. Got it?? Well, here's the kicker... you couldn't leave the car.
Exxxxcccccuuuusssseeee Me? How in the H-E-double hockey sticks are we supposed to do this? So, the sole bellman/front desk guy brought a cart with SUV type wheels down the street to help us. He and I unloaded, I took screaming Harper and followed the bellman, Chris kept screaming Grace and drove off to the garage...another few blocks away. At this point we hadn't even unloaded either stroller.

As we get to the hotel, I notice that there is one turn-style door, and a pretty narrow regular door (you know, the handle on the right, swings open-kind) and when I see the guy having a semi-hard time pulling the cart through the regular door, I start to panic. (double stroller, people...)

I am keeping my calm as we get on the elevator to head up to our room. Get there, everything is fine. A few minutes later, Chris and Grace arrive, Chris is looking like someone just kicked him in the shin and called him stupid. Not happy, people. I'm like, 'Honey, what's the matter?'

'Well, I just hope I parked in the right place, that is the most confusing garage I've ever seen, not to mention it is 26$ to park when you stay more than 2 hours.' Everyone is on the verge of a break down. We decide that food would be the best option: let's reset the blood sugar levels and then go from there.

We've got to go back to the horrible garage to retrieve at least one stroller so we can walk our behinds who-knows-how-many blocks to find something to eat. We make our way back to the car when we notice some signs... "Pressure washing, car may be blocked in for up to 24 hours." Not to mention the fact that all the doors leading to the car were tiny, and there were about 75 stairs, no elevators in sight. Here we go again: How in the H-E-double hockey sticks are we supposed to get the double stroller out of the garage? Frustration mounts. For this excursion, we stick with the single and pray for at least one cooperative child. (side note: if you or anyone you know is in a wheelchair, or can not go up and down stairs easily, STAY FAR AWAY from Chicago.)

I call mom; at this point, we are debating getting in the car and driving the 7 hours back to Nashville. Tired, frustrated, hungry, screaming kids... NOT FUN. We walk to Millennium Park and find some fun activities for kids going on, and Grace starts to warm up to the idea of Chicago. There is a huge, football field-sized tent filled with millions of blocks, the ceiling is decorated with Chinese lanterns, butterflies etc. It was really beautiful. Of course, I had forgotten my camera back in the room.... but we won't talk about it. We saw 'the bean' which Grace had a fit over, so in her mind, the trip was redeemed.

I think we ate something, I can't really remember, and then headed back to the hotel for family nap time. I set up Harper's pack-n-play in our room, so I took her out of the stroller, sound asleep, and laid her in the crib. Grace was all situated on the couch, and was almost asleep. Within minutes little H is screaming bloody murder... then we notice her nose had become completely stopped up with nasty boogers. In a matter of minutes! I tried to settle her to no avail. Chris is dead tired from driving, so I packed Harper up in the stroller and we headed out to walk around Chicago for a few hours so she wouldn't wake up Grace. Keep in mind, I also woke up at 3am that morning after keeping the kids up late so they would sleep in the car, but we won't go there.

Almost 3 hours later I come back to the hotel to find Chris and Grace still asleep. At which point I think I threw something at Chris and told him to figure out what to do with Harper because I needed to rest. About that time, Grace woke up. Sweet. After being in the hotel room for 10 seconds, Harper is screaming at the top of her lungs.

While Harper and I were out, I noticed a street-level parking lot right behind our hotel. Perfect place to move the car... So after paying $26 dollars, we moved out of the bloody garage and into the street-lot. OH, did I mention that we paid $96 dollars for 4 days of parking there... Yes, that's right. Anyways, at this point, if we can get the double stroller out of the car, I don't care how much we have to freaking pay.

Both girls seemed pretty happy in the stroller, so we just walked, and walked, ate some Chicago-style pizza and came back to the hotel in hopes of turning in early.

Holy Harper....! She had other plans. Grace was snuggled into her bed (in a different room that H) and Chris and I can't wait to hit the hay. Harper is asleep when I lay her down... she slept for maybe 1 hour............................ALL NIGHT. The kid is up screaming because she can not breathe, her nose is caked full of God-knows-what, she can't eat, and she is just plain miserable. So. are. we. (Grace slept fine, thankfully)

Needless to say, we got no sleep that night either.
By 2am Monday morning, I am contemplating booking a flight and taking Harper home. I've never seen her so sick.

We decide to go to the aquarium bright and early Monday morning. We gather all our stuff, prop our eyes open with toothpicks, and head out towards the car. Just to make sure we were all-good with the parking attendant, we confirmed that we'd paid for 4 days of parking, and that our space would be here when we returned...because after all, we bought it, right? ...... Apparently NOT in Chicago. He informed us in very broken English that if we drive out of that space, he would re-sell it and could not guarantee that it would be here when we returned. HUH???? WHAT??? Come Again?

To avoid another parking disaster, we piled everything on the BOB and walked our tails 4 miles to and from the aquarium. Aren't you tired just reading this???? I thought so.

From here, the trip started to look up. I just prayed harder than I've ever prayed that I would muster up some kind of energy, that our attitudes would improve and that we would have a good time. For the rest of the trip Chris and Grace snuggled on the pull out couch, leaving me with screaming Harps in the bedroom. At least one of us was getting sleep...

I think Harper was a little bit sick, but we concluded that it must have been something in the hotel room that she was allergic to. When we were outside, she was so much better. The second and third nights, I opened our windows as much as I could, just to get some 'fresh' air circulating, and surprisingly I think it helped, she may have slept 2-3 hours without screaming. I'll take it.

The Lincoln Park Zoo was a let down, thank goodness it was free. Grace still had a good time watching the animals. The Children's Museum was incredible. I think Grace could have stayed in there 20 hours, I wish ours was 1/2 as nice.

We had some good time with my cousin who lives in the city, ate some good food, and I am glad to report that on the way home we were really trying to remember all the things that went wrong because we'd almost forgotten. So, in the end, I am very glad we went. I know that Grace had the time of her life, and we have some good memories of the trip.

This is the first vacation Chris has been on with us in quite a while, I kept telling him that vacations were not relaxing at all with kids. (He didn't believe me.) He learned his lesson. It was definitely one of the most stressful 4 days of my life, but I guess I can say that it was worth it. I almost cried when we pulled into our driveway because I was so happy to be home.

Note to self: NEVER, I mean NEVER again go on vacation without grandparents or a nanny. (Especially in a big city)

The bean

The bean makes everyone happy

Throughout the trip, when we were about to go crazy because of Harper, Grace would say: " I just love my baby, I love her."
Getting ready for the Aquarium

Checking out the Gorillas at the zoo

Playing soccer/volleyball in the park

The coolest water room at the Children's museum

The museum even had things for Harper to explore. They had several baby areas, I was very impressed. She loved it.
Another baby area

Our only family picture, and no, that's not a bird flying out of my head, I am just trying a new hairstyle.