April 30, 2012


So, how do you keep a super active 8 month old occupied in one spot long enough to gobble down some food in 2.8 seconds after church?

I am not ashamed. She loved it.

I know it's blurry but Big Sister refuses to let me take 1 picture without her being in the next one. 

I pick and choose my battles people. That ain't a battle I want to fight.

I chose to not fight Monday mornings either. UGH. They are rough at our house.  Especially when we are trying to be quiet so Daddy can sleep in the next room.  People are tired, hungry, and just plain loud and grumpy on Mondays.

Honestly? Some Mondays I am glad to come to work. For a little peace and quiet. And no battles no chose to fight or not. Well, usually.

Keeping it real this Monday morning.

More keeping it real later this week: Commitment. Or the lack thereof.

April 25, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Enjoying some fun in the new playhouse while Daddy was inside sleeping.

Big Sister, Age 5
Baby Sister, Age 7 months

April 24, 2012

Tip Tuesday

Pre-pack some snacks that you can easily grab and go. That will keep you from munching on junk or having to stop by the fast food place.

Invest in some snack bags.  You know, like sandwich bags but much smaller.  Or you can use the sandwich bags.  Check the labels on the foods you have at home and see what the serving size is, then measure that amount out and put in the bag.  So, when you are headed out the door and your stomach is rumbling, you can just grab a bag of pretzels or whatever.  This will help your (and your kids) with portion control.  I like to keep a few bags of goldfish or pretzels in my car for the ride home from school when Big Sister swears she's starving.

That way, *I* control how much she eats, not her.

April 23, 2012

I spy a 5 year old!

Yesterday was my sweet nephew's 5th birthday!  Happy birthday sweet Hayes!

My sis in law has to be the MOST creative person I have ever met.  Hayes wanted a spy themed birthday party since they have been learning about spy kids at church with 'Mrs. Starla'.

She had them a couple of special missions.  One was to complete an obstacle course where each kid had to crawl through the 'lasers' (red yarn), detonate a 'bomb' (black balloon with a red string tied on it), next was to walk to 'plank' (a 2x4), then up and down the slide, then to shoot (with a water gun) the 'bad guys' (balloons with face painted on them), and then run around the cones (which is where my clutz busted her behind), then through the 'tunnel' (a washing machine box), and lastly upstairs to the tree house to retrieve their 'special package'.

Getting lined up and ready
The 'lasers'
The 'bombs'
 The special package each had some letters in them and they had to figure out what it spelled, "HAPPY BIRTHDAY HAYES."

Their next mission was to find the missing birthday cake!  They placed clue pictures in envelopes around the house. The kids had a blast searching for the missing birthday cake!  It was discovered in the 'treasure chest' (aka, trunk) beside the food and gift table.

Mission accomplished!
There was also a table set up for finger printing and decoding to get your 'spy name'.

A good time was had by all. The goodie bags contained a certificated showing that each 'agent' had completed the 'Loper Spy School' and had some spy glasses and notepads in there too!  By far, one of the best kid birthday parties we have ever been to!  Good job Holly. You make us all look bad. You should go into business.

So to my special agent, Hayes, happy 5th birthday. We are so excited for you and the things ahead - riding your bike on the road, using your new booster seat, and starting BIG school in August. You are all grown up and I swear you and your cousin were just born YESTERDAY.

We love you with all our hearts. You are the sweetest and kindest little boy that knows more about equipment than most of the men I know.  We hope you had a great day and a great party!

Happy whole hand year!!!

April 19, 2012

8 Months

Yesterday, my sweet angel turned 8 months old.  I say this every single month but I cannot believe it.

My laid-back baby has become my busy baby! She is constantly on the go!

We had another big month.  We've had a fun month. We've had a trying month.
We got our first ear infections. Yes, plural. She's on the same track as Big Sister and will probably get tubes this summer or so.  We had our 1st visit to the MEA clinic. Eh, it was just ok. We won't be frequenting that place. But it saved me an ER visit after a high fever. Just note that they charge an extra fee for anyone who checks in after 5 pm!

We can't take a single picture without Big Sister insisting she be in it!
Yep, we are standing!
 Now for the boring stuff:

Diaper - Size 3
We have still YET to buy a single diaper. I am sooooo grateful.  We will more than likely have to start buying some either this month or next. 

Weight -  Around 17-18 pounds.

Clothes - Mostly everything is 6-9 month size, more 9 months than 6-9 now.

Activities - She's now crawling. She still army crawls mostly (or swimming as Big Sister calls it) but she's FAST. There is no more putting her in one spot and her staying there for a while.  She's nosy and wants to be where we are all the time. Oh, and she went for the dog bowl already. Ick. I'm sweeping my floors 2 or 3 times a day now and it still doesn't get all the dog hair and crumbs!

We have a bottom tooth that just popped out over the last few days.  Hallelujah and Amen!

She has learned to clap and is so much fun to watch when she does it.  She can also give high fives, according to her Big Sister!

She's jabbering up a storm now! I mean, she's about as loud as her sister sometimes and if you knew Big Sister, this is not good. HA. We are one loud family.  Well, except Daddy. He's mute most of the time. Not by choice, we just don't let him get in a word!

There are so many other things I know I am missing. She got to meet some extended family over Easter and meet her 'cousin' Crosby!

Eating - She takes a 6 ounce bottle about 3 times a day. She takes an 8 ounce bottle with cereal in it at night. She eats mostly all stage 2 foods. She still does not like the ones with meat or any texture to it.  She loves carrots, squash, green beans, peas, mango, pears, and is now getting into some of the mixed fruits (apricots and apples, etc.) and a few different veggies like sweet corn casserole.   She loves the puffs and yogurt melts.  She has not mastered her sippy cup but we aren't pushing it.  She likes to chew on it and play with it. Hey, if it keeps her occupied while we eat? (This didn't change much from last month.  I seriously changed 1 sentence of it!)

Love my baby blues!

We are very very blessed.  I say this every month but it's so true.  We've only been to see our pediatrician for 3 non well baby visits.  Our girls are so happy and Big Sister has really been doing well lately.  She says yes ma'am and no sir almost without us prompting her now! She absolutely ADORES her baby sister.  She likes being able to 'watch her' aka 'babysit' while I go to the bathroom or fix a bottle. Don't worry, I'm not gone long. She adores her so much that she made me move her booster seat to the middle of the back seat just so she can be closer to her and make her laugh when she's upset. She can make Baby Sister happy when no one else can! It's too sweet.

April 18, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Easter at my in laws. Meme and all her grands plus a hubby and a dog.

April 17, 2012

Tip Tuesday

I just realized that I missed today's Tip Tuesday so I'll leave you with this (and I know all of you (all 5 of you) were anxiously awaiting these):

Make sure you laugh daily.  It helps the soul tremendously!

And for LB and KS - BREATH, then laugh! Then eat a rice krispy treat from my favorite store!

April 15, 2012

Lifestyle Change

Friday, I wore an old pair of jeans to work.  I wore that same pair of jeans when I went to Las Vegas at the end of Oct.  Since I went on that trip, I have lost 16.5 pounds.  I am not sure how I shoved myself in these pants then.  Yeah I do. SPANX. I was determined to wear jeans to Vegas and NOT maternity ones. So I wore this pair around the house for a week to stretch them out! Then put them on with my Spanx to ride on an airplane for 4 hours. NOT the smartest but I was determined.

Today, these pants are too big.  Thank you Lord for helping get to this point.

Since Oct. 1, I have lost 21 pounds. I can't lose sight of that.  I was complaining the other day about only having lost 4 pounds last month. That's 4 that I will never see again. Granted 17 of them were pregnancy pounds.

So see ya later 21 pounds. So glad I will NEVER see you again.
  • 40 pounds - Weight gained with baby #2
  • 23 pounds - Weight lost in Aug. and Sept. (If my math is correct, I didn't count those months, scary!)
  • 21 pounds - Weight lost since Oct. (when I started counting)
  • 4 pounds - Weight lost since getting back to pre-pregnancy weight 
  • 44 pounds - Total weight loss to date (that sounds much better, even thought that included a 7 pound, 7 ounce kid!)
  • 34 pounds - Weight loss goal
Wow, this is the first time I have really looked at it like this.  Guess I should tell people I've lost 44 pounds since August and not mention that I had a baby! HA!
Now, to get rid of the last 34 pounds...

April 13, 2012


This Easter was truly different for us.  Having 2 children instead of 1 now makes everything different.

The Saturday night before Easter, Big Sister asked me if the Easter bunny was real or just someone dressed up.  I was not prepared for this but the more I thought about it, the more I was ok with it.

Exactly what purpose does the Easter bunny serve when it comes to Easter?  I couldn't think of anything. And I've never had to explain that before.

So I asked her if she knew what Easter was all about.

She told me the entire Easter story.  She told me that Jesus died on the cross to 'give' us our sins (mostly right, she knew what it meant).  Then he rose from the grave to go live with his father in Heaven. When the people went to check on him in the tomb, it was empty and there was an angel there.  Then she told me that Jesus lives with his Dad but also in our hearts.


I was so excited. She really gets it.  Now, I don't think she's hold enough to understand that you have to ask him to live in your heart to be saved. That's a bit over her heard. But, I have to give her more credit.  She has some pretty awesome teachers at church and school that teach her about it.  For that, I am thankful I have actually done something right.

Oh, and I told her the Easter bunny just delivers 'happies' for us! Worked for everyone involved.

Granted, she tests me will often but she has the sweetest heart.   I just have to hope and pray she continues her love for the Lord when 'big school' starts and it's not regularly talked about. It will be at home though!

Every single time she sees a cross she says Jesus died on a cross like that.

If I never do anything right in my life, I will know that I am at least raising my children in a Christian home and for that I am thankful.

Another thing I am thankful and humbled by is how she handled a family member on Easter Sunday.  We always go to my parent's house after church and some 'extended' family comes over to hang out, fish, eat, and play.  Some family members rotate each holiday so the only kids there were mine and a 3 month old. We missed the rest of the bunch!  My 'cousin' (who is a cousin by friendship of the parents and possibly by marriage but it's way too complicated to explain) is mentally (and slightly physically) handicapped.  I'm not even sure of the technical terms for it all. He's the sweetest man and we love him just the same.

At one point during the afternoon, Big Sister's notebook she got from the bunny went missing. She told me where she laid it but it was not there. She did not make a huge deal of it which is quite unusual.  Well, the cousin had it and was drawing a picture in it.  She said it was ok if he used it and she could use it when he got done.  Later that afternoon, they watched part of a movie together while we were all eating.  She never said anything about it, until we got in the car to come home.  She asked me what was wrong with him. I just told him he was born different than us but everyone was born different. She said God made us all special in his own way.  WOW, blown away again.  I was overjoyed at how she handled it all. And yes, she's been around him each Easter since she was born. I guess this year there was no Hayes, or Brooke to distract her.  Or she is just older and more observant?  She showed me yet again of her sweet spirit and I told her just how proud I was of her.  I'm always worried how my children will handle things that don't seem 'normal' to them.

So this Easter, I was extra thankful and humbled yet again.

Thank you Jesus for your many many many blessings and your sacrifice.

April 12, 2012

Fits and Laughter

Earlier this week on the way to drop the girls off, we were running a few minutes behind. It seems like we are always late when it's trash pick up day and I have to take an extra minute to walk the garbage down the driveway.

Sometimes when rushed, I catch myself telling Big Sister to 'HURRY UP' about a gazillion times.  I really try not to but she has no understanding of move it along SWIFTLY.  She knows when The Cat and the Hat comes on TV, we must be walking out the door.

This particular morning, she had to go back and get her stuffed animal.  Then her notebook.  Then her fruit roll up (yes for breakfast, that's how we 'roll').  Then her jacket, not because it was cold (which it wasn't) but because her sister had one on.  I think she forgot about 3 other things.

She's totally capable of buckling the seat belt all by herself.  Well, this day she was taking FOREVER.  Usually I wait at the end of the driveway or our road until she gets it done.  Not this time.  I got on the 'big road' as she was still trying to strap in.  I know, I know, mother of the year. That was established long ago.

She BURST into tears telling me that a policeman was going to 'get her' since she wasn't strapped in.  You see, my brother in law is a sheriff's deputy.  Between him and a few others, they have instilled a fear in her.  For that which I am usually thankful for. Except this morning.

For the record, we weren't on the big road but about 30 feet before she got it done.

Well, the next fit happened in about another 30 feet when she realized that she forgot her Easter book the bunny brought her that she was going to take to her class so the teacher could read it.  The true Easter story.  She has a heart for witnessing already.

And yes, I am the mean old mama that did not go back and get it. Hello, some of us have to be at work by 8.  She can witness tomorrow.

She then proceeded to blame me for her forgetting to get it.  What? Yeah, that girl takes NO blame. Ever. For anything. Ever.

So, I did what any MOTY (mom of the year) would do.  I cranked up my Dave Barnes CD and just ignored her.  OH THE DRAMA THAT ENSUED!  

You would have thought I abused her.  Well, I might have at one point.  Kidding. Abuse is a strong word. I gave her a nice little love tap in the back seat.

Then went back to jamming to my buddy Dave.

After a few more minutes, she was still a little weepy. The ENTIRE time she was throwing all her fits, Baby Sister was just as happy as she could be. Laughing, playing, talking.

The next thing I know, Big Sister said to Baby Sister, "It's NOT funny E!"

Believe me, it took ALL I had not to bust out laughing! It was the cutest and saddest thing I've ever seen.

Sorry for the overusage of CAPS but it was all for emphasis.

I love my kiddos.  They stress me out as any kids do but they are good kids.  But geez, sometimes are mornings leave nothing to be desired.

Also for the record, by the time we had dropped Baby Sister off and then at her school, Big Sister was JUST fine.  She ran inside with her best buddy, Dino Ashley.

I think she'll be just fine.

April 10, 2012

Tip Tuesday

Use applesauce instead of oil when baking.  You CANNOT tell a difference and it's way healthier.  The other tip?  When cooking with applesauce instead of oil, bake your item for less than the recommended time because it cooks a lot faster.

I buy a 6 pack of the pre-packaged containers of sugar free applesauce just for baking.  I've used them in brownies and cookies and a few other things.  Even the hubby says he can't tell the difference.

Who knew I would have so many tips that involve cooking?  ME? Right?

Then again, most of them are ways to make MY life easier!

April 9, 2012

Too much time...

Don't mean to offend anyone with this post. It's just how I feel. Just sayin'.

If you feel the need to post to Facebook more than once a day, you have too much time on your hands.  And, you are in danger of being deleted or hidden.

Why do people feel it's necessary to post what they ate for supper?

I'm becoming less and less a fan of it.  The only reason I'm still on there is so family can see pictures of my beautiful children.

Sigh.  For my beautiful children, I will stay. For now.

But I beg of you people, please don't tell me what you are eating or cooking. And PLEASE do not bear your grievances there either.  Soooooo NOT the place.

Oh yeah, and please don't rub it in my face when you are off and I have to work. K, thanks!

And, please don't trash the town you live in. If you don't like it, move away.  Especially my town, which I love.  Or the school you or your kids go to.  You have a choice.

Ok, I feel better.  Go Twitter!

April 8, 2012

He's Alive!

Today is one of my favorite holidays.  No, not because the Easter bunny comes to visit but because of the meaning of the day.

Jesus died on the cross to save us, every one of us, from our sins.  That is such a huge sacrifice that it's always been hard for me to wrap my head around the fact that someone would do that, for me no less.  What did I do to deserve such an amazing gift?

The older I get, the more things are put into perspective for me.  Or maybe I just realize it more?

So Happy Easter my friends.  He is risen! He is risen INDEED!

April 6, 2012

I Will Rise

Here is one of my FAV songs by Chris Tomlin.  I get chills every single time I hear it or sing it. Enjoy!

I Will Rise!

April 5, 2012


This has been a tough week so I have a few confessions to make.

1)   I lost 4 pounds this month. While, that's good and all, I would like it to be more.  It's hard to continually eat 1500-1700 calories a day. I would love to exercise but I don't have time. It's not an excuse, just the truth. I've tried. I'm working on it.  I'm looking for some new foods and recipes to incorporate into my diet.

2)   I've had a bad attitude this week over a few things. Nothing that's in my control. Just super frustrating and it won't change until someone is gone and it's not likely to happen anytime soon.  Just makes me not trust leadership.

3)   So many people I know have a tough marriage and for some reason divorce is the easiest and quickest way to just 'be done' with it. I don't get it. You said I do for better or for worse, til death do you part.  Granted, there are some reasons when divorce is the best answer, say if your spouse is a drunk or abusive.  But, most of the time that's not the case. People just stop communicating and think divorce is the answer. It's not.

4)  I haven't fully cleaned my house since Baby Sister was born. I've spot cleaned and I did a pretty good job when I had bunco in Feb.  But the entire house has not been cleaned at one time. Why? I don't care.  My kids would rather play outside and I'm totally fine with that.  My hubby doesn't care that the house isn't clean. It's somewhat presentable if anyone were to enter my front door.  As long as they don't go very far.  I told the hubby last night was the 1st time it was really starting to bother me.  I just don't have the desire to clean like I used to.  We are too busy.  We have different priorities.  I can't afford a maid.

5)   Just when I was complaining last week about my bad week due to the hubby's 3-11 work schedule, God showed me, yet again, that He knows.  And others do have it worse. Way worse.  Just when I was complaining about being tired of doing things by myself, without my spouse, God showed me that I should be thankful for what I do have.

Sunday night, we saw ambulances and rescue vehicles in our neighborhood around 9 pm.  Not sure what was going on, I went next door to my neighbor's house. Her husband was home and mine was not so I was glad.  Long story short, a 25 year old wife and mother no longer has her husband. He died tragically in their home, just 3 houses down from us. They have 2 beautiful daughters named Cadence and Skyler.  Their daddy is dead. How do you explain that?  Especially when it's an apparent accidental suicide (if you can even have that??)?

This week, I've been humbled. 
Yeah I had needed an attitude adjustment and I got it. Quickly.  Thank you Lord.

If you would, could you please pray for my neighbors? Michelle and Skyler and Cadence could use a ton of prayer over the next few days, weeks, months.  They will be burying their best friend today.  So tragic.

And to think, I didn't even know their names until Sunday.  Now, every time I hear an ambulance, I cringe. It's all too real.

April 4, 2012

Wordless Wednesday

Big Sister's last field trip of the year, to the zoo, last week. Major meltdown occurred when she was 'starving' but trip was ok.  I think mine behaved the worst but it could just be me. She's a wild woman!

April 3, 2012

Tip Tuesday

Take a step back.  Look at your life.

I am a social butterfly.  I am outgoing.  I like to be around people.  My hubby is the total opposite. He's a homebody that would prefer to watch a movie at home instead of ever leaving our house. 

Since I am the social one, I've always been involved in LOTS of things.  During college I was in numerous clubs and activities and it was tons of fun. I would go back to college in a heartbeat (soooo much fun!).  When I started working after college, I continued to stay involved with things.  When we moved back home, I found new things to get involved with.  My jobs at the time were in sales and tourism so it helped to get my face out there.

I love being involved and making a difference.  Even if it's just sitting on a board advising others.

After we had our first child, my hubby begged me to not be as involved in some of these activities.  I think he just said that so he wouldn't have to take care of our kid. But that's neither here nor there.

I continued to keep busy, all the time.

When we surprisingly got pregnant in 2010 (and eventually miscarried), I knew it was time for me to start scaling things back.  Plus, I started a new job in 2007 and I was no longer in the public eye so the need to be involved in the community was not as important.

Don't get me wrong, I think we all should volunteer our time.

So I scaled it back.  Now, I am only involved in a handful of things.  And most of them meet during lunchtime so I don't miss out on any time with my family.  I've gotten more involved with my church, which is where my priority should have been.

So, I will say this one time.  The hubby was right.

I have taken a step back.  I have looked at my life.  I think it's much less stressful for all of us that I am less involved.  I still have a heart for volunteering but at this stage of my life, I have to limit myself. Once my kids are older, I might can get back into more things.

For now, it's the right thing for me and my family.  So take a step back and think about your priorities.  Are all the things that are taking up your time really worth it?  Is your family suffering because you are never home. Mine was and I failed to see it.

Thankfully, my hubby pointed it out to me, numerous times.  But, with 2 kids now, it's not as easy.  I don't have the time that I used to.  Especially with the hubby's horrible work schedule. We don't know normal.  But, we've made a normal.

Sometimes I think my life is boring because it consists of me going to drop kids off, work, Kroger, church and home. 


I'm glad I have time to sit in our new 'playhouse' in the backyard and play with my kids.