Tuesday, August 31, 2010


Well, I posted about our shopping trip, but it didn't have any Abby pictures - so, y'know, it doesn't count as a *real* posting (right, mom?) :)

So, here's a little video of Abby counting.

We have 2 sets of stairs in our house, and they both have 15 steps, as is standard. We count the steps every time we go up and down. So, Abby can count to 15 - but she has no idea there are numbers beyond it. I guess that will be a project for next week.

I think the video starts with "3" Anything after twelve sounds the same - they're all "Eh-teen" You'll see, once she gets to 15, she starts over again. Funny.


savings and compromises

Today was a good day for coupon savings at our local grocery store. I decided to try out several deals I'd seen posted around the internet. I spent yesterday afternoon printing and organizing my coupons and making a list for today.

My store supposedly doubles coupons under $1. But, that's never worked for me before. So, I made sure it was posted in the store (and it was) and decided I would argue the point if need be. So, Abs and I gathered our things and headed to the checkout. I picked the wide eyed young skinny high school kid cashier - I figured he'd help me out. And he did. We were BFFs by the end of everything. ;)

Now, before I show you my silly pictures of our spoils, I have to put in a disclaimer. I bought a lot of things this week that we NEVER buy. Honestly, a lot of it is kinda junky or processed foods. There are 2 reasons for this. 1) I got them for ridiculously cheap and if I'm gonna have junky food around, I'd rather not have paid (much) for it and 2) Kyle and I are trying to really curb our eating out to only a few times a month if at all. With work starting back next week and school starting back for him - I foresee some nights when I don't FEEL like cooking. That's what the boxed meals are for. They're a backup plan. And well, at least they were cheap.

Our store had a buy 10 (certain) items- get $5 off deal, so I used that with coupons to get this:
I paid $2.44, saved $21.96!

Here's the second 10 item deal:
I think I paid $7 (no coupons for the veggies)

these were free
(and I'm going back tomorrow to get more pickles)

Here's all of it (minus the first picture)
The pizza was an impulse buy. There were 6 items I didn't have a coupon for, but they were all on sale to some extent in store.
Spent: 59.23, saved 41.46

So, my grand totals.
Total Bill: 125.09
Total Saved: 63.42
Total Spent: 61.67

I'm not a coupon queen yet (like Bethany!) But, I'm slowly getting there...I'm like a coupon apprentice. But, any trip where I save more than I spend is a win for me.

Friday, August 27, 2010

potty time

Well, tonight was a first that I suppose I should document, no? :)

After her bath tonight, Abby was stalling. She didn't want to go to bed yet and she certainly didn't want to go get dressed. So, she knows that if she goes to sit on her little pink potty, that I'll let her. After a little bit, she'll get bored and stand up and I'll say , "ok, good try, let's go get a diaper on" and, without fail, she'll say "No! Potty? Potty peas?" and she'll sit back down.

It's a stalling tactic. She knows it. I know it. But, I don't really care. I figure it's good practice anyway.

Well, tonight, after several rounds of stand up, sit down - she actually used the potty. I jumped up and praised her and smiled and clapped. But - she thought she was in trouble. She stood up and said, "oh no! uh-oh!"

I looked at her and her bottom lip was quivering and she was looking at me as if she were just waiting to be yelled at for peeing on something she shouldn't have. Tears were in her eyes and I could tell she was mistaking my enthusiasm for something else. So, I panicked and grabbed an M&M (I stashed a bag of M&Ms in the bathroom just for this type of occasion a month ago - but since decided to try to do it without candy props) and offered it to her with more praise. She seemed pleased, yet confused, as to why she was suddenly getting a treat. I mean, we had just brushed our teeth and everything.

I'm pretty sure she still has no idea what happened.

But, it's a start. We all gotta start somewhere.


Well, this week has been a lot of the same for us: parks, coloring, playing, napping. So, I'm just gonna let the pictures do most of the talking.

After it got done raining for 3 days, Abby was very much ready to go outside. I took her to a new park close to where we used to live and she was pretty excited. I don't know if that's because of the new equipment or if she was just happy to be out of the house for a change.

Abby wasted no time and showed no fear going down her biggest slide to date.

this picture just makes me laugh.

When we're not at the park - we're coloring, or playing with stickers, or painting or playing chase or dancing (or maybe watching a little Mickey Mouse) - but mostly Abs just wants to color.
I showed Abs that you make an "A" by going "up, down, then across" So now, when she scribbles, she says "up, down, coss!" over and over.

can you see the concentration here? Also - you can kinda see where she's been practicing circles. They're getting pretty good.

Look at this hair - it's getting longer and it now flips out at the end. I can't decide if it makes her look like a ragmuffin or just from the 70s.

we spent a little time before bed tonight playing with chalk - I thought these pictures were kinda sweet.

:) I love my family. :)

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

funny husband

I have a funny husband.

Several months ago, it was brought to our attention that this 100 year old house we live in has the occasional mouse. Shocker, I know. We'd lived here for nearly a year and never seen one, but as it turns out they sometimes stick their noses out when all is dark and quiet. So, we plugged up any holes we could find (really, a futile effort, but it made us feel better) and hadn't seen one since.

But, the other night when we were watching a movie, I heard a noise and turned to see one. In the kitchen. Ugh. Yes, I wanted to go put on high heels and stand on a chair and scream - but I didn't have time. The little bugger was gone before I could even stand up. I'm *really* good with out of sight, out of mind - but then when I see one, I want to do the spider web dance for a good bit and possibly torch the walls. I refrained from the latter.

Anyway. The next night, Kyle says "I put out a mouse trap" And this is what I see.

So, helpful honey. ;o)

Of course, as Kyle pointed out, we didn't see any mice today. (this is me rolling my eyes)

I dunno, it made me laugh. And yes, I'm considering keeping him there. Just in case.

In other news, Abs woke up this morning and she was using her arm fine. she only winced a tiny bit when putting her arm through her sleeve. We nearly canceled her appointment, but decided to go anyway. Doc said she was fine, said she had pulled elbow and showed us how to reset it should it happen again (since it's more likely to happen now that it's happened once). Abs is not a fan of the doctor's office. She wouldn't stand on the scale, wouldn't even look at the nurse, and wouldn't let the doctor touch her. Sigh. It's like she has bad memories from that place or something. Imagine that.

But, she's fine. She's actually been in a really chipper mood all day, which has been fun. :)

I made a roast tonight. It was kinda dry. Fail. I mean, it was edible, but I missed something in that process. I told Kyle I'd make it up to him and we did a quick grocery store run for ice cream after dinner. So, I'm gonna go have a (tiny) bit now. Have a good night. :)

Monday, August 23, 2010

parks and elbows

It's been raining all day so we didn't do a ton. We did go to the library for a few hours this morning. We love our library. And Abby is getting better about sitting...although, she'd still rather play than sit and read an entire book. But, we're getting there. I haven't taken many pictures this weekend, but here are a few pictures from a few days ago.

smelling flowers while we wait on daddy to finish work

tree sittin'

who's in the tree?

our playground has these raised stepping stones that Abby has recently decided she's brave enough to try...as long as she has help of course. There's no better help than daddy.

she's saying "biiig step!"

In other news, Abs hurt her elbow today. We're not sure if it's slightly popped out of place or just tender, but she hasn't wanted to use it all day and doesn't want it to be touched. If you do touch it too hard she says "uh-oh, ouch, boo-boo, uh-oh" which, at this age, is about as clear as you can get. So, we have a doctor's appointment for tomorrow and we'll see if they can pop it back into place or tell us that its fine. However, as long as you're not touching it and she doesn't have to use it - she's been in good spirits the rest of the day. I'll let ya know how it goes. It's times like this I'm really thankful for our awesome insurance and thankful that we don't have to make a decision on whether we should get her checked out or not based on affordability. Anyway, that's a topic for another day. Point is - she's fine, but we're gonna go get an official opinion on the matter anyway.

That pretty much sums up our today. Kinda ho-hum. I did try a new recipe for dinner that came out yummy. It was all mushrooms and chicken and mozzerella and other goodness - and it took me far longer to prepare than I'm usually willing to spend. But, it was yummy and I like to try new things every so often.

Perhaps we'll have more exciting things to write about later on. Until then, I'll try to take more pictures. :)

Saturday, August 21, 2010

easy peasy mexican chicken

I'm entering the world of crock-pot cooking in an attempt to make life easier once I start back to work in a few weeks.

We tried this last night and we both enjoyed it. I thought I'd share because it is the EASIEST thing ever.

Mexican Chicken

4-5 boneless chicken breasts
1 can of corn
1 can of black beans
1 jar of salsa
8oz cream cheese.

Put the chicken in the crock-pot (I put mine in frozen)
Add corn, beans, and salsa. (Drained - Thanks leah)
Cook on high for 4-5 hours (I did 4)
Add cream cheese - just set it on top - and cook another 30 mins. Stir.

The chicken comes out shredded. We served it over brown rice. Try it with a side of sour cream (and/or guacamole) Yummy! Also makes great leftovers.

The only note I'd add is I'd recommend using a spicy salsa. I used a Medium cause I don't like spicy foods a ton, but thought it could have used a bit more kick.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Dear Abigail

Dear Abby,

I can't believe how quickly you're growing now.

I think you do new things every day and sometimes I feel like I just can't keep up. You are constantly surprising me with the things you know and understand. You catch me off guard several times a day with the connections you make between things, with the new words you say, and the ease with which we communicate.

I should probably just keep a daily log of the little bitty new things you do everyday so that I don't forget them, but for now, I'll try to remember to mention things here as I find time to blog. So, here are a few things.

This one is from today. I pulled the sheets for the guest bed from the dryer and we went upstairs to sort laundry. After the clothes were done, I started making the guest bed. I put on the fitted sheet, then the top sheet, then the comforter and you just stood there and watched me. As I was turning down the covers you suddenly turned and ran out of the room. Ten seconds later and you come back with an arm full of pillow cases. You ran up to me and offered them up to me and said "Thank You!" Which is kind of your way of telling ME to tell You "thank you" And I did.

I mean, I know it's not a big thing, but I was so impressed. I don't know that you've ever seen me put pillow cases on a pillow before. I didn't even know you knew what they were, let alone that you would make the connection that those pillow cases were the right one for that bed set and that I was about to need them.

In that same train of thought, you're becoming rather helpful around the house. For a while now, you've been a pro and throwing things away for me when I ask. You always throw away the wipes we use to clean you after meals. Lately, your new favorite thing is to help me unload the dishwasher. You especially like to bring me all the silverware, and then anything else you can grab. And you know where most of it goes. You can put away your own plates and the mixing bowls and lots of other things. Don't worry, I make sure all the dangerous stuff is out before you have a chance to find them. Point is, I actually appreciate your help. :)

You dad will probably not like me mentioning this next one, but that's ok. I want to remember it. On occasion, your daddy has a habit that drives me a little crazy. He will actually lick his plate clean. Now, I know there are worse offenses out there, and I should be glad that this is the biggest problem I've got, but still, I get on to him every time.

Well, tonight, when you were done with your meal, you sighed, looked at your plate, picked it up and licked it from bottom to top. You licked every last spot. I think I said something to your daddy like "Look! Look what you've done!!" Oh goodness. It's a good reminder that you're always watching.

I could go on and on with these little stories. You say so many words now and you're starting to put them together to form primitive sentences "Thank you, mama" "Outside please" "go to car? shoes?" You sing all the time and I'm always impressed with your detail to the tune and inflections of the songs. You've started singing songs while you're playing an instrument. Like, you'll sing Old McDonald while you beat on the drums, or you'll sing the ABCs while playing (banging) on the xylophone. Maybe you'll be a singer/songwriter. :) All these little things, they're not big things, but they're the things that impact my day everyday. And, as we know, lives are made up of days and days of moments. Moments like these. I'm so lucky. :)

You are the light of my everyday,

Love you,

Monday, August 16, 2010

my artist

Abby loves to color. She wants to color before she eats breakfast in the morning. It's the first thing she asks for everyday. As soon as we come downstairs, she runs over to her table and picks up her art caddy that houses her crayons, markers, and other supplies and holds it up as high as she can and says "Cuwer peas?"

blurry, but you get the idea.
Unfortunately, for Abby, coloring has to wait until after our morning routine. But we do it everyday at some point. If she's coloring with crayons, I can let her be semi independent. If she's using markers, I sit next to her and monitor every move. We did a little bit of both today, and she had a really great time.

can you see how content she is?

...so serious

our final product

Well, that was fun and Abby was pleased with her artwork. She kept saying "so pretty!".....which comes out more like "soo pre-ee" We packed up the crayons and markers and I went about cleaning out some closets and other chores that needed to be done. It didn't take long before Abby came and got me and was excitedly saying "A! Oh, an A!" My first reaction was to parrot a response back like "yes, I see, very good, and A, nice" but then it dawned on me that this is what she says after she's colored on something. So, I jumped up and Abby proudly led me to a box I had pulled out of a closet and showed me where she had scribbled (ie: colored the letter "A") She was very proud of herself.

I told her that coloring was for paper and redirected her. I didn't really care if she colored on the box, but I figured it was good to redirect to paper anyhow. I went back to work and a few minutes later, here she comes again. I figured she was going to lead me back to the box. But this time, she showed me where she had colored an "A" on one of our shelves. Sigh. Redirect, confiscate crayons (which I thought I had put them all away earlier) and get to cleaning the shelf.

As I finished the shelf, she came up to me again , "A, mama! A!" Sigh. This time it was on her doll, a diaper pad, and a leather ottoman. All were cleaned easily.

I couldn't figure out where she was getting the crayons. My best guess is that she was stashing them in secret for just this occasion. Each time she came up to me to show me her latest artwork, I explained coloring was for paper, redirected her and went about cleaning it up.

pantry door artwork

I know what you're thinking. You're thinking - why didn't you just watch her? Well, I was watching her. I was watching her while I was doing other things. This means I was making sure she didn't fall down stairs, hurt herself, leave the house, or do anything else dangerous. But it means she spent a lot of time playing by herself while I cleaned. Most of the time, she was stacking blocks or taking care of her babies. But, then, every once in a while, she would find a crayon and go test it out. I guess it just wasn't important enough to me for me to lock her up or to quit what I was working on. I mean, they're just crayons, right?

And, truth be told, I actually found it endearing how excited she was to show me each new scribble. Little did she know she was telling on herself.

Well, anyway, life goes on. I put up this old frame today - I rescued it from somewhere a long time ago and have never done anything with it. I decided I would just hang it and decide what to do with it later.

It didn't take me long; however, to figure a good use for it.

as my sister pointed out - this signed original is priceless.

I'm happy Abs enjoys coloring. I know most kids do - I mean, what's not fun about coloring? I still like to do it. Perhaps she's a budding artist, maybe not. Either way, I'm happy to see her expressing her creativity - on my pantry doors or otherwise.

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I thought I posted this video a while back, but apparently, I didn't. We tried to get Abby singing her ABC's on camera one afternoon. Well, getting her to perform on cue is impossible so you make due with what you can get with spur of the moment/hidden camera shots. This is why I always have my camera at my side...or try to.

So, here's a little snippet. She's a bit distracted in the video, but you get the general idea. I'll try to get a better one in the next day or two - it's shocking how big of a difference a week or two makes. Enjoy!

Friday, August 13, 2010


Hey there folks. How's it going?

Abs and I have been in full summer swing this week. I feel like every second of every day has been full of something. We've done a lot of stuff this week and kept busy. Which, is great. Except that it makes it hard to blog because when I finally sit down at the end of the day, I usually end up watching my eyelids give out.

So, here are a few shots and tidbits from our week. I apologize for the randomness.

I should preface this by saying our house is being re-painted. It was in dire need of a new paint job, so this is pretty exciting. Except that for the past few weeks, we have had crews outside power washing, sanding, taping, painting, etc. It's not the world's quietest activity and as much as I'm looking forward to having things look nicer - I'm very much ready to have things a little cleaner and quieter again too.

Anyway, on to the other stuff. The other day I was cleaning and I noticed things had gotten quiet...too quiet. I peered around the corner to see this:
She was totally about to dig in with her spoon. She jumped when I said her name, then just pretended to eat it while laughing. ;)

She puts everything she eats in her hair now. It's a phase, right?

On Wednesday, we went to a pool party with several of my co-workers to celebrate the addition of a few new babies in the department. We had a great time, swimming, eating, playing, and chatting with a group of some of my favorite people I work with. Abby loved the pool of course...and the attention from others. We didn't get home till about 9:30 and were both exhausted from all the activity, but had a really nice time.

So far, I've worked out in some fashion 6 out of the last 7 days. This is good. Most days, I've been able to make it to the gym either in the morning, or after Abs goes to bed. On the days that I can't make it to the gym, I make sure that I take Abs out jogging/walking. We are loving our new jogging stroller, and I'm so pleased that I'm actually using it. I'm not a marathon runner or anything, but we have a 3 mile loop that we jog/trot/walk fairly regularly. Lucky for Abby, that loop just happens to stop at the local park.

The other day on our jog, we noticed this sign and thought it was a nice gesture

Speaking of the park, Abs made a new friend the other day. A little 2 year old girl. They got along pretty well and were sharing snacks and giving hugs by the end of our visit. The mom just moved to the area in April and we got along pretty well too. She lives close to us and I'm hopeful that we can set up some future play dates, so that will be fun.

Last night we were fortunate enough to have some friends come over for a BBQ. We very much enjoyed hosting and cooking some yummy food and basking in their good company. It's always fun to have people over. :)

Today my friend Ashley from Conway (who now lives in MS) was in town for a conference. She had some free time so Abs and I joined her for a quick freedom trail walk. We rode the swan boats for the first time, and Abby really enjoyed it. I mean, there are ducks everywhere - she was excited.
first swan boat ride

part way through the trail, we let Abby stop and play in a little green space where the city had provided a bunch of toys for kids to play with. Abby loved the hula-hoops.

She also loved this little fountain. She kept bending over, washing her hands in the water, then she would stand up and rub her hands together...
...and wash her face. Then repeat.

It's not a freedom trail day without a visit to Mike's. So, I introduced Ashley to her first cannoli and Abby scored an M&M cookie. I love this picture - she has more crumbs on her than she probably got in her mouth, but she is so happy.
She also kept asking me to pick off the M&Ms for her. She wanted to eat them like candy, not in the cookie. She was, eventually, convinced that the cookie was worth her time as well.

In between the gym, taking walks, playing at the park, and visiting with friends, we have filled our days with coloring, reading, playing, running, dancing, coloring some more, playing with bubbles and play-doh and side walk chalk. Then Abby naps and I clean and cook and clean (and nap) and then we run errands, get groceries, pick up Kyle and come home to cook dinner. We've been keeping busy. Not with anything especially extraordinary, but with the day-to-day things that fill our time. And really, we're having a blast.

Yesterday, Abby turned 20 months old. She's no longer a teen-toddler. ;) Just 4 short months until she's the big 2. It's so odd. This year has really flown by. Much much faster than the first year. Much.

She's such a little person and I just love watching her grow and learn and blossom. We're having a really really great summer. :)

Ok. I gotta go. I see that she's been redecorating - I think our ottoman and a bookshelf have some new crayon marks. :-/ Do those magic erasers work?
(As a sidenote, she just came up to me saying "an A! Mama, A! Oh my! A!" In other words - she thinks she just wrote the letter A and is wanting me to come see. Sigh. She's very excited.)

Have a great weekend.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

playing dress up

We were inspired by my friend Jen's blog when she posted pictures of her little one running around in a tutu the other day. It reminded me that we bought Abby a tutu not too long ago that we haven't really broken in yet. So, I got it out.

Abby had fun in the tutu, but she had more fun playing with her beads, hats, and bows and dressing up Little Baby.

I probably took 60 pictures, but the child moves so much that it was nearly impossible to get any that weren't complete blurs. Here are the few that weren't as bad.

this is her silly face

Got a busy day again, sorry for the short post - but I'll post again tonight or tomorrow. :)

Saturday, August 7, 2010


I just wanted to write some things down before I forget. Things that Abby does and says that make me laugh.

* Milk is still "Doh" and diapers are still "Dit-Die" The other day I said "Abby, do you want some milk?" and I swear she said, "milk." I spun around and said, "did you just say MILK??" and she smiled all sidewise like and softly said "doh." Stinker.

* The other day she made up her own words to the tune of Twinkle Twinkle. It went like this:
"Abby, Abby, yes yes Yay!
Abby Abby, yes yes Yay!
Mama, Dada, Papa, Yay!
no no no no no no Yay!"

* She's actually getting pretty good at singing twinkle twinkle, but about a week ago, since she couldn't quite say "twinkle" She would sing "pickle pickle wittle sar"

* She copies everything I do. It cracks me up when she'll work hard at something (pulling out a drawer or picking up something heavy) and then stands up and says "Ey yie yie" as I've been known to do.

* the other day she put on all her beads, put a shopping bag on her shoulder, grabbed my keys and then came and gave me a kiss. She then said "bye bye mama" headed to the door and started jamming the keys into the door.

* She says "Oh My -----" all the time. The blank could be anything. "Oh my diaper!" "Oh my book" "Oh my keys!"

* when she sings the alphabet, W is "daba-bobo"

*The other night at dinner, she pointed to Kyle and very clearly demanded "EIEIO!" So Kyle did what any good father would do and sang a verse of Old McDonalds. Then she pointed to me and demanded the same thing. Then back to Kyle. When he was done she looked at me again, paused, shook her head and said, "No, no no" as if to say "No mom, you just don't do this as well as dad, sorry" She then pointed at Kyle and demanded another verse.

* She still calls most animals by their name. Her stuffed cat is "meow" her Duckie is now "quack" and all monkeys are "ooh-aahs" the only one she says consistently is Dog...and bird, which comes out more like "brrr"

*She loves the hot-dog song from mickey mouse club.

*She likes Fergie, a lot. Especially "Clumsy"

*She's totally into coloring. Markers, crayons, pen - whatever. The other day she was scribbling with a bunch of different crayons. She suddenly starts saying "A! A! A!" I go over to look, and sure enough, some of the scribbles formed a pretty clear A. Total accident of course, but I was proud she recognized it.

* She love letters, but can only pick out a few consistently. A, B, and Y of course. She can usually get C, O and Z and the others are hit or miss.

* I've heard her count to 5 a few times, but most of the time she counts to three and goes "Wheee!" afterwards. She does this for lots of things. She does this when we're walking with her because she wants us to swing her in the air. She says it when she sees her stroller because Kyle says it before he picks her up to put her in. And she says it when she wants me to toss food in the air and catch it in my mouth (I'm uncannily accurate at this). When I catch food she laughs and laughs and claps. But, when I miss it, she all out splits her side laughing. I'm just a performing monkey, really.

* I love watching her play with her dolls. It's fascinating to see her treat them how we treat her and to see what things she enjoys. She constantly changes their diaper. I'll hear her say, "Uh-oh, baby. Uh-oh Dit-die. Dit-die, wipes, dit-die" And the whole time she's pulling out the changing pad and putting the baby down to change it's diaper. She also pushes them around in chairs ("strollers") and plays 1-2-3-Wheeee with them a lot. She feeds them, and reads to them, puts them night-night, kisses them, hugs them, shares her crayons...just everything.

* At every diaper change she says "Desitin?" and if I get it out to put on her she claps and says "Desitin! Yay!" lol

Ok, that's probably good for now. I could go on forever, but she's needing my attention at the moment. Have good Saturdays. :)

Friday, August 6, 2010

the essentials


gotta start somewhere. :)

Thursday, August 5, 2010

You Capture - Summer

You Capture this week is "Summer"

I wondered about what to post - could be anything. But these pictures are of a little project that has taken me most of the summer. Not that I really did that much work. But also, there's something about the green, the growing, and the earthiness of it that does make me feel summery.

Make sure you go check out everybody else's pictures at Beth's!

from the roots

to the sprout

to the stem

and the leaves

this little avocado seed has amazed me all summer. :)

Have a great week!