Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Good morning, Sunshine...(not)

Good morning, to you too, son.
He was NOT happy.
Notice how he threw the sound machine lamb hard enough that it landed under the bed?
The bed rails (which are pointless anyway) are ripped off?
And then I show up with my camera....not such a good idea.
*Note, no babies were harmed in the taking of this photo. He recovers quickly. Just say "pancake?"

Tippi Toes Dance (Lolabee)

Last night was Lolabee's first day at dance class. It's called Tippi Toes and it's a combination of ballet/jazz/tap. I admit, I have been hesitant to let her join a dance class bc I had this fear that their dancing style would be a little too risque for my three-year-old. Mini Vegas showgirls kept coming to mind. Maybe I've watched "Toddlers & Tiaras" on TLC one too many times...As a kid, I took dance but only for a few years. I liked the costumes more than anything, I think.

However, I found this flyer at church and, after a little research, I decided it'd be okay to enroll her. She loves to dance. She likes to dance in the car, at home, out in public -- just recently we were at the mall for the first time this year and while passing Abercrombie, she heard their blaring music and had to stop and dance a little. It was so funny. We like to be silly. These days, even Cal dances. Granted, he looks more like Forest Gump, but that's just his style. Ha!

The class started off with each little girl getting sparkles dusted on their arms and ended with a ballerina sticker. Lolabee loved it. I was so proud of her bc she listened very well to the teacher and followed the directions given. It's my hope that she's always like that when we're not around. She had a lot of fun. Plus, she looked so stinkin' cute in her little dance outfit.

More toes...

I apologize for so many feet/toe pics. I just love them!
There's a giant canvas hanging in our church's preschool area that was the inspiration for this shot. I've always loved that picture and finally remembered to try it with my munchkins.
It's not perfect, but Cal kept trying to escape, so this was as good as it gets.
I'm sorry, Dad, that the kids' heads are cut off. That was on purpose.

Monday, August 30, 2010

A New Project

I have some huge plans underway with this big stack of old records. I love Bing Crosby (that's him on top) and he's going to help me take these dusty, smelly old records and make them into something much cooler. Curious? Let's just say that over the past 2 weeks, I've bought roughly 35 old records. Hahahahaha! I'm so serious.

Paint & Bug

Bee and her paints -- all lined up neatly
Brother, after just walking on top of her project; feeling kinda tough...

...until I showed him this giant, dead bug I found on the floor. Then things got a little tense. "Mr. Tough Guy" was a little disturbed.
He wanted nothing to do with the bug.
Then he was curious.
Then he didn't want it near him.
Then he was curious again.
He'd swat at it and say "uck!" and then walk quickly away.
Then he'd turn around and point at it and want to see it up close again.
Then Daddy got home from work and he had to tell him about the bug.

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Lil Mama (Beezy)

Went in to check on Beezy during her naptime. It looked like she fell asleep reading her Jesus Storybook Bible (which is a great book for littles) after she tucked in "Boofa" and "Coco." She always has to get her babies just right at bedtime too. So cute.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Pina Colada Cake (my version)

The whole time I was pregnant with Cal Rocco I craved pina coladas. The funny thing is, I think I've sipped on one once in my entire life. I am not a drinker. Not even socially -- ever. We thought it was so bizarre that I was craving them while I was pregnant! Obviously, I never got one while I was pregnant, but while in Playa del Carmen this summer, I broke down and ordered one while relaxing on the beach. It was nonalcoholic. The waitress looked at me like I was crazy when I asked for it that way. I just wanted to get a taste of it to see why it seemed so appealing a year earlier. After a few sips, I decided it was definitely tasty -- but if it was in dessert form, like a cake -- not just a slush. I love my sweets.

Tonight we're going to some friends' house for supper and I'm bringing the dessert. Since summer's coming to an end, I thought I'd try to drag it out a tad bit longer. This dessert just doesn't "fit" in, say, January. So, here's my idea of a pina colada. I mixed a church friend's recipe with another cake recipe of my mom's to get this. It's super easy.

Pina Colada Cake
1 white cake mix
8 oz. coconut flakes
1 can sweetened condensed milk
1 can cream of coconut
1 small container of Cool Whip
1 small box of vanilla pudding
1 small can of crushed pineapple, drained
A dash of powdered sugar
Prepare the cake mix according to the instructions on the box, but add about half of the coconut to the batter. Bake. Remove from oven and poke holes all over the top with the end of a wooden spoon. In a small bowl, mix together the sweetened condensed milk and the cream of coconut. Pour over the cake. Let the cake cool. In a medium-sized bowl, mix together the box of pudding and the pineapple; stir well. Fold in the Cool Whip. Spread over the top of the cooled cake. Sprinkle remaining coconut over the top.

Lola (crazy hair)

Bee wakes up with hair like this almost every morning.
She calls it crazy hair.
I think she's right.

Friday, August 27, 2010

A Big Pizza Pie

It's not often that we have a Saturday at home with just us 4 with nowhere to go. KJ has always enjoyed making homemade pizza, so that's what he did. Cal snuck bites of cheese while Lolabee added the toppings. She really enjoys helping out in the kitchen and I/we want to nurture that. I've promised her that when she gets older, she'll be allowed to cook supper each week all by herself. This thrills her! She likes to come up with her menu while we're in the car driving somewhere. Out of the blue, she'll start talking about, "Someday, when I'm big, I'm going to cook you some chip tacos," or whatever. (FYI: "Chip tacos" is her idea of crunchy tacos.)
The pizza was delicious.

Thursday, August 26, 2010


That's how you write "steno machine" in steno. Crazy, I know. I recently took some pics for a friend of her steno machine. Since I have given up my career for the time being, it's been a few months since I've seen my steno machine. This little, expensive gadget was my life for 13 years. From 1996 when I started college to learn how to use the crazy thing, until 2009 when I semi-retired, the steno machine was how I made my living. I loved my job. It was hard work. It was the perfect job for me bc it was so detail-oriented and let me use all of my Type A tendencies. I'm a good listener and prefer to blend into the background; that's what this job required. I remember in college, my instructor telling us, "You're nothing more than a piece of furniture in the room. However, your job is to get every, single word that's spoken during your hearing or deposition. Every word. You don't decide what's important. You just write it all down. But remember, you're just a piece of furniture." That was so encouraging. Not.
I heard lots of crazy, sad, freaky, hilarious, heartbreaking things in those professional years. I also met my fair share of great, friendly attorneys and, also, plenty of which were obnoxious and scared me to death. I do not miss the late nights spent preparing the verbatim written transcript. I don't miss the next-day trial dates either. My everyday life revolved around my schedule of depositions and getting those transcripts prepared. I especially thrived on this as a single adult. I was never into partying and going out, so my weekends were often spent just at home proofreading transcripts and then spending the money that I earned. Foolish. I was so materialistic then.
Then I became a mom. It quickly became obvious after Cal's birth that there wasn't really room in my life for the steno machine anymore. At least not on a regular basis. (This was the best choice for us; I have no judgments for the moms who can juggle both. I just couldn't. They are really supermoms; I don't know how they do it!) Lola's first few years were spent being hauled to a sitter (thanks, Mom, for all you did -- you have no idea...) and shuffled here and there all for the sake of my job. I wasn't doing a great job at either one. We knew we didn't want that to be her life anymore and now that Cal was here, he deserved better too. We'd cut back everywhere necessary to make that happen. December was the last time I did a depo. There are moments where I miss aspects of it, a few of the people I worked for, but nothing compares to the satisfaction I get from being here daily with my kids. I'm on a new journey now and I'm loving it.

I'll continue to maintain my license and certification. I just don't have a plan for when I'll break out my machine again full-time. If ever. Homeschooling is something I'm learning about and that may be how I spend a chunk of my time for the next decade. Who knows.

The Flying Blanket

Almost exactly two years ago (9-1-08)

Present day

KJ's always making these flying blankets. Bee's always loved them. This was Cal's first go at it. He's almost exactly the age she was when KJ first introduced "the flying blanket." Crazy. Despite what it looks like, Cal enjoyed it. I think the thing that bothered him was bc I was cooking supper and he knew it. Getting wrapped up in a blanket and getting swung was interfering with his usual routine of sitting at my feet and having me sneak him tiny nibbles of whatever I was cooking. Bee liked trying to grab him while he was flying by and he thought it was pretty funny too.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Cal (cheap toys)

Cal found my wooden yardstick the other afternoon and it became his favorite toy. He'd just walk around dragging it, poking things, hitting things, tapping it, on and on. He was so happy.

I was a little nervous -- not because he was hurting anything/anyone -- but that thing cost me $7 at Hobby Lobby! Not a little cheapy one.

I try to tell the grandparents that the kids don't need toys. They (the g-parents) are relentless. I'm going to start taking pics of the fun my pumpkins have using everyday objects as their toys, and then post them here as proof. I love it bc they're using their imaginations. I love it almost as much bc it's free.

Below, he just wanted to stab me while I was trying to take some pics. Lola never did things like that. Maybe it's a boy thing?

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Cherry Berry

Friday night, I took Lola to Cherry Berry. She LUVS Cherry Berry. She knows how to get there from our house. We don't go there super often, but just enough to make it a special treat when we do. Since she had such a great first week at her new school and had also been a very good helper all week, she deserved a treat. We had a girls' night. After supper, we loaded up and away we went. She gets soooo excited! It makes me happy that we can do these little things for her.
It was a busy night but we were able to get a kid-sized table and here she is enjoying her reward. She got her usual: chocolate, strawberry, and birthday cake with sprinkles, gummy bears, and a gummy worm. It sounds like a lot, but she really gets just a couple good squirts of the fro-yo and the toppings are very minimal. By the end of her dessert, she had goosebumps and told me her teeth were cold.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Ummm, okay...??

I think these pics speak for themselves. Obviously, Cal wasn't as impressed by the "new" Barbies as Beezy was. Sheesh. He was pretty proud of himself after each attack. Boys...

Saturday, August 21, 2010


Pieces of a project I'm going to try to complete tonight, now that everyone's in bed.

Summer's Ending

I'm feeling so bummed about summer coming to an end. I should have made that a sad face on the "2010" above.

Our neighborhood pool is okay, but our favorite pool down the street closed last week without me realizing it. I had planned to take the kids one more time, but it closed too soon. I thought for sure they'd stay open until Labor Day. Now every time I drive past it, I just get sad. The kids really loved that place.

I'm going to miss seeing these little chubby toes in flipflops. His feet barely fit in these flips. The strap on top gets a little tight. His other sandals have to be buckled on the last hole just to fit his foot inside. No other shoes fit his feet. I think we've even tried 3 different sizes of Toms. We thought they might fit with the velcro straps. Nope. His feet are just too fat for shoes. Soon, these little pie feet will be covered in socks. No fun. It's hard to imagine that someday these little feet will be all grown and stinky and, as my favorite blogger mentioned once about her sons, maybe even hairy! Ewww.

However, the plus side in summer ending is that it makes it a little nicer to play outside without getting totally sticky and sweaty. The other night was a tad cooler than our usual 100+ weather, so we played outside and it was actually very pleasant. I forgot what that was like. Normally we all go in extra grimy and the kids' sweaty clothes go straight to the washer instead of their hampers. This night, that wasn't necessary. That was also kinda nice.

Beezy (chalk girl)

Bee loves to write with chalk. It's been too hot here lately for her to stretch out and draw on the sidewalk without frying. The other evening was cool enough that she was able to break out her new box of chalk and draw.

She can write her name.
We're still working on the "tail" on the letter A. She forgets to attach it sometimes.

And this was her self-portrait. She always gives herself plenty of eyelashes.
She draws faces all the time. I think they're cute. They remind me of fried eggs.

Friday, August 20, 2010

Meet Rainbow Sparkle

This past spring, my dad got Lola her very own horse: Rainbow Sparkle. Dad had looked for about a year for a sweet, gentle little horse when he found this one. Lola knew her grandpa was on the search for a horse for her and she always told us she was going to name it Sparkle.

This horse came from a family who had kids who had outgrown her. Her name was Rainbow.

Around this time, Lola was really interested in the story of Noah's ark and she was all about rainbows. In fact, her birthday party was rainbow-themed. It was so "ironic" that Dad finally brought home this sweet little pony whose name was Rainbow. So, rather than give her a new name, Lola just named her Rainbow Sparkle. It's a rather long name for such a little horse, but I think it fits her just perfectly.

This was, I think, the very first time she got to ride her. My brother led her around my parents' yard. Shorts and flipflops are not the typical horseback riding attire, but it was a little impromptu so we made do.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vintage Barbies

I recently started thinking up a new project involving vintage Barbie clothes. Then I realized that Lola doesn't have any Barbie dolls. I don't think she's ever even played with them. If she has, it hasn't been under my roof. I was going to hold off introducing them to her bc it was something I just wasn't jazzed about getting into. To me, modern day Barbies are kind of tacky and they have way too many little pieces. I'm also trying to raise my daughter to respect herself enough to dress modestly. It's been a while since I've gone down the Barbie aisle, but I'm doubting much has changed since I was a kid so I'm sure Barbie's still showing off her belly and wearing lots of hot shorts and low-cut tops. I'm old-fashioned. So sue me. Check out 1 Timothy 2:9 and 1 Peter 3:3-4 in your Bible before you get too hard on me. Influences are everywhere and I don't want to put anything in her hands that might encourage her to try want to imitate it.

I digress.

Then, after scouring a couple of antique stores while searching for vintage Barbie clothes for my project, it occurred to me that I should just get out all of my old Barbies. And these aren't just "old" from the '80s, but they were my mom's Barbies from the '60s! I played with these Barbies as a kid and they were old then! That old green suitcase was all I needed to burn a few hours of playtime. In fact, I know I had my own Barbies, but frankly, these are the only ones I really have a memory of. Except for "Peaches N Cream" Barbie. Haha! I thought her puffy dress was awesome.

Nowadays, I especially like that all of these dolls' clothes are handmade and super cute and much more conservative than what I could buy these days. I've been so anti-Barbie since having a daughter, but these I'm totally okay with. Lola's been having a blast with them. I washed all of their clothes and everything is Downey fresh now! It's also my plan to let her play with these for as long as possible not only bc they're cute, but there's so much history in them. I think it's fun to imagine all the adventures these little cuties have been on.

**And on a side note, I was so pumped about vintage clothes I went on eBay and got into a bidding war over a couple of bags of clothes. I couldn't believe anybody else would be as interested as I was. These weren't even Barbie's brand of clothes, they were homemade! Since I'm not real familiar with eBay bidding, I kept texting my brother to get his opinion on what I should do, should I keep bidding? let it go? what if I lose!? what would you do? His response was essentially that he couldn't believe anybody would want old homemade Barbie clothes and, frankly, he's not exactly familiar with what they're selling for these days. LOL I don't know why I thought he could help me.

Below, just to point out a few things I've always loved about these Barbies: Several of them have factory-painted cherry red fingernails! The two girls in the very last pic were always my favorite. I thought the brunette was so pretty (and she has real eyelashes!) and, Midge, has freckles! I always thought that made her more spunky. And, for some reason, my mom chewed on a few of their feet so I don't know what that was about. She doesn't either. LOL There's another brunette that would be cute but someone gave her a bob with some dull scissors, I think. Got her all messed up. (Not me, again.) The crazy platinum blonde girl has a tiara attached to her head and that always bothered me. I'm thinking that me and Lola are going to play Barbie beauty shop soon and try to help some of these girls. I'm thinking of mini headbands....

So, that's my Barbie post. It's been so fun to see these guys after about 20+ years. I NEVER imagined that someday I'd have a little girl to play with them too. I'm sure Gramby (my mom) never thought that either or else maybe she wouldn't have chopped off that one's hair and chewed up some of their feet. :) (I kid, I kid, Mom!) So, I think I've discovered a new hobby/craft to look into: homemade Barbie clothes with a modern, conservative twist. Hmmm...

Girls (Cousins)

Easter 2010
Lola, Teagan, & Payton
Little girl cousins.
Going for a cruise around the pond.
I'm so glad Lola has cousins close to her age, and especially since they're girls. As a kid, I always thought it'd been fun to have that. All of my cousins were boys and they were all just enough older than me that there wasn't much interest in hanging out together. Poor Cal, he's now the only boy in this newest generation. I never really noticed that...

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

I'm Done! (Lolabee)

(About 2 seconds before she'd swiftly get him off her lap and disappear.)

My Munchkins

It looks like they might have been posing for these pics, but really, they were just lining up against the fence bc they were going to "race." My job was to do the "On your mark, get set, GO!" part. However, it's very rare that they're both in a spot that they can't easily escape me, so I ran in and grabbed my camera to take a picture. I like how it shows how little Cal is compared to Lola.

Below, I like how Cal's looking at her like, "Do you mind?!? We're here to race, not smile and look pretty! Let's go!!!"

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Favorite Memories (May 2009)

The day after Cal was born. Lola loved to hold him. We'd prop him up on the Boppy and place him on her lap. I think this was her very first time to hold him. She was a little hesitant at first, but decided he was pretty funny. She showed up at the hospital wearing her pink plastic high heels. She's so goofy like that. I remember sitting on my hospital bed and hearing this clonking sound and immediately thinking, "Here comes Bee," and, sure enough, there she was.

Most of the time, though, after holding him about 2 seconds, she'd proclaim, "I'm done!" And, if you didn't quickly get him off of her, she'd just dump him herself.

Lolabee (Preschool)

2008: 15 months old
2009: 2 years old
2010: 3 years old

First Day of Preschool

This morning was the kids' first day of preschool. This was actually Cal's first-ever day at school. They're attending preschool at a nearby church and I'm so excited for them! Cal's only going one day a week and Lola's going three days a week. They're only there for three hours each morning. Their school's program comes highly recommended from friends as well as total strangers I've met at the park and pool, etc. I'm still learning about possibly homeschooling them as they get a bit older, but until then, this program will be great.
Lola loves having a "packpack." She knows they're called backpacks, but still prefers to call them packpacks. She's so silly.