Thursday, November 27, 2008


It's Thanksgiving so I thought I would tell you what I am thankful for. These are in no specific order.

Allen, warm slippers, my babies, my snuggly bed, pacifiers, Diet Coke, my family-who loves me so much, my friends- who love me for me, chicken enchiladas, water, Curious George, my camera, Date nights, a babysitter who makes date night possible, the sacrifice of Jesus Christ, Honeycrisp apples, People magazine, being able to stay home and raise my boys, my monogrammed clogs, a college education, warm showers, swaddles, Lightning McQueen, friendly people, my scrapbooking/laundry/giftwraping area, Costco, corn on the cob, SC peaches, my phone ringing at 3:15 everyday, freedom, green grass in the spring, peach yogurt, catnaps, Jackson's smile, Miller's giggle, Hank's docile nature, Allen's patience, morning sunlight, a cozy house, my new rug that I got for only $50 at Lowe's, my Tahoe, our Phil+Ted's stroller, my sister who is super generous, going to Atlantis last spring with my big sis, Play-Doh, baby wipes, my iPod, snow, the opportunity to teach children, seeing Jackson learn, an easy delivery with Miller, my washing machine, my computer, free long distance, this little turkey butt!

Monday, November 24, 2008

Making friends

About this time last year I decided I was ready to take on a little something. I've always loved making things, and I've also always loved things that are personalized. So, I bought a sewing and embroidery machine. It took me a while to get to know my new machine. It is very high tech and somewhat intimidating. Over the next few months I practiced and proceeded to make some things with varying degrees of success. I got better at it, but it is frustrating when something happens and you have no idea how to fix your mistakes. After all if I knew, I wouldn't have made the mistake in the first place, right!

So here we are a year later and my machine and I are beginning to make friends. In order to be able to do more intricate monograms I bought some kickin' new software. Recently I have bought some new fonts. Last weekend I played with one of my new fonts and got ready to make some Christmas gifts. I've had a couple of orders from my business, The Pink Dogwood, and they came out well. If you want to see them they are at

Finally I feel like I can make something that looks nice and is good quality. Here is what I made last week.

The rest of it is a surprise because some of the people who read this blog might be getting them for Christmas!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Lighting the Queen

Sorry I have been M.I.A. but this has been a really busy week!

Last summer Jackson showed some interest in potty training. He did OK, but he wasn't ready. Then Miller came along and we didn't have the time to be as consistent as we needed to be. So about once a day he would use the potty. I bought some training pants to use after Christmas. The long cold days inside will be perfect for potty training, I thought. He, of course, had his own agenda!

Last Sunday Jackson's friend Izzy and her mom came over for a movie date. He had only seen one movie before, Curious George, and we heard about it for weeks afterward. Izzy brought over the movie Cars and it was a huge hit! That movie is definitely on his Christmas list.

So Monday afternoon Jackson says he wants one of the stickers that have been on the shelf waiting for real potty training to begin. I explain he has to go potty to get the stickers, so he does. Within a couple of hours we were out of stickers--and we were off to Target! Guess what kind of stickers they had a Target? Cars stickers. He was pretty pumped about getting them. He stayed dry the rest of the day. So far so good!

Tuesday he went every 30 minutes or so and stayed mostly dry. He doesn't have any idea about wanting to stay dry, he just wants the reward. So I made up a race track with 12 squares and every time he goes potty he gets a square filled in and when he makes it all the way around he gets a car. Not just any car, though, he gets a Cars car. They are like Matchbox cars but are the characters from the movie. As it turns out there are millions of things with the Cars characters on them. Everything from Crocs to blankets...even Pull ups! We are trying to limit it to the little cars, stickers and pull ups (that's a lot of Cars stuff) because our house could be overtaken by all the stuff they make.

We have stayed pretty close to home this week so we can remind him to go every 30 -45 minutes. That is a lot of work! On Wednesday he got his first car. He was calling the main character "red race car" and I told him his name was Lightning McQueen, which he pronounces "Lighting the queen". Yesterday he got Doc, which he pronounces "Doc"! I've got to go get some more Cars cars! I was not prepared for all this success! Lighting the queen has quickly become a fmaily member. He has eaten every meal with us, gone to the bathroom with us umpteen times and basically has not left Jackson's hand since he got him.

While we were doing all this Miller made some amazing progress of his own. He has learned to grab at toys. Yesterday I went to get him from his crib and he was holding the toy mirror that's in his crib. He also started babbling with consonants. He will say WAWAWA. Is this important? You bet! I wish I had gotten a picture of it, but he a quick little guy and moves before I can get the camera. Soon, though!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


I'm not going to lie, this week has been tough. Allen has been working nights, which means he is home even less than usual. To top off the hard week, Allen was *asked* to work this weekend. There is this new invention that allows Allen to plug a little dohicky into our computer and it turns into Allen's work computer. Really? Yes! Whoever invented this must be one of those people who is book smart and has no common sense. He obviously was not thinking about my happiness--at all!
As if that was not enough, there is a 2 year old boy who knows his daddy is downstairs and can't understand why he can't play. Every time he hears Allen on the phone he screams "DAAAAAAAAADDDDDDDEEEEEEE" as loud as he can down the stairs. I'm sure it sounds professional!
So as I was grumpily happily doing my chores this morning I realized I had better change my attitude. After all there is nothing I can do about this; except change the way I handle it.
So, let's talk about blessings!
*We have 2 healthy boys*
*At this moment I have a sleeping baby*
*Our house is warm on this cold windy day*
*All this extra work will make for a fat paycheck~I'm thinking summer vacation!*
*I have a loving family that gets along*
*My friends are the best*
*We have a fridge full of food*
*We have a playdate this afternoon*

And here is what you really want to see. Pictures of those boys!
Jackson ate a bagel with cream cheese and had a white mustache {or "nus-nash" as he calls it}

These socks are too cute, thanks Alice and Kate!

Miller sitting up in the Bumbo. Can he really be old enough for this?

Is it just me, or does he look like an angel?

Jackson really loves his brother. He calls him "Butterbean", which is apparently easier to say than Miller

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Thursday, November 13, 2008

Camera Suggestions

We're in the market for a new camera. When trying to capture moments with 2 active little ones, I am usually frustrated by how slow my camera is in between shots. It would be great to get an SLR that has the capabilty of shooting at a high speed. Most of my close ups end up blurry. I love close ups because of the details, but it takes me forever to get the correct setting. I know that I have the ability to take much better pictures if I had the right equipment. But what equipment do I get? How much do I need and what about lenses? Those are confusing! Kelly got a pretty nifty one. Will I use all that? Nikon? Cannon?
Tell me what you think? I know you have an opinion!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Leaf Duty

It's that time of year! Because we enjoy the shade our neighbor's big trees give us, we also get to enjoy leaf duty. There are usually about 4 weekend days where we have to blow leaves and move them out front for collection. This year Jackson is old enough to help. Jackson loves helping. He is really good at it too. As long as we have boys, we should get free yard care out of them, right? And you have to start these things early. Here are some pictures of Jackson helping. I wish I had some pictures of Miller helping. He was bundled up in his bouncy seat dozing off in the sunshine.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Miller Makes Me Smile

Miller turned 12 weeks old yesterday. He is an infant--no longer a newborn. That is bittersweet for me. To honor this special time in his life, here are twelve things I love about Miller 12. He has cute little chubby cheeks. 11. Miller loves having his diaper changed and giggles and smiles the whole time. 10. He wants to sit up on his own and tries all the time you are holding him-I sense another independent spirit! 9. Miller is great adaptable. No nap all day, no problem! 8. Allen and I made him! 7. He has us wrapped around his finger. 6. His coos are very engaging. 5.He eats really well (and has the rolls to prove it)! 4.He doesn't express his opinions yet. 3.Miller flirts with us. I tell him it's all for nothing because I am already in love with him. 2.His laugh is infectious. 1.He sleeps 6-8 hours a night! AHHHHH! And now for a picture of the cutie patootie! And a video to make YOU coo!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Fix it up, Wear it out, Make do, Do without!

This is an idea that I totally stole from scrapbooking goddess Heidi Swapp and we have adopted it as our new family motto.

We are making a real effort to cut back our spending by changing some of our wasteful ways. My biggest effort is eating leftovers. This doesn't sound big, but trust me, it is! Allen has been riding the scooter to the Metro. At the moment he is riding home IN THE RAIN! He has always been thriftier than me.
I have continued to keep spray paint manufacturers in business as I make over things in our house with paint. Nothing is safe! We have even sold a few things on EBay. Sadly my feet grew again with this baby and I had some shoes that were practically new. They now have a new home! I also had a few small purses that were very nice, but not at all practical for a mom of two. I'm giving someone else the opportunity to wear them out.
What do you think Jackson and Miller are doing? Jackson is switching to a new brand of diapers, and Miller continues to wear all of Jackson's hand me downs. Hank is even pitching in by eating dog food from Costco!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Nothing Runs Like a Deere

So the saying goes,"Nothing Runs Like A Deere". What the last part should be is "except Jackson getting his picture taken on Halloween"!

I expected that it would be difficult to get a good picture of Miller because he is still floppy. I didn't consider that Jackson loves to pose for pictures...on his terms. So we chased, bribed and generally begged for him to stand still and pose for one decent shot with his brother. In terms of getting that one perfect shot, it just didn't happen. But we have lots of documentation of the *fun* time we had trying to get that perfect shot.
Alas, though we didn't get the perfect shot, we had so much fun. Tuesday we had a Halloween party for Jackson's playgroup. Then Tuesday afternoon we went to the senior center where the children from the Mom's group were in a costume parade. Then on Friday we went to a Halloween festival in the afternoon and to the Gaithersburg Fun Fest at the park near our house. We got lots of use out of the adorable costumes.
You know I love a theme, so I knew that Jackson was going to be a farmer, and when I saw the adorable cow costume at the outlets, I knew it was meant to be. If you look carefully, Jackson has little freckles on his nose, seeds in his bib pocket and a handkerchief in his back pocket. Miller has "MOO" embroidered on each foot. So cute I could eat them up!
What's unbelieveable to me is that this is Jackson's 3rd Halloween! He really enjoyed seeing all the decorations and costumes. Christmas is going to be a ball!