Monday, January 31, 2011


Last week baby sister got her very first set of shots. As traumatic mommy days go, I would have to say this doctor's visit ranked pretty high on that scale. I know what you're thinking, it's just some silly shots! Well, my son had his thirty month check-up just prior to his sister's two month. At the end of the appointment, the nurse came in with her equipment - at this point, Daycen didn't realize what was going on. JabJab. "ALL DONE!" His wails could surely be heard from the waiting room. "ALL DONE!!!!"

As my mother got Daycen's dressed all the while telling him that they were going home. Aripsemae was laid down onto the table. Jab.Jab.Jab. A moment of silence. Her eyes started to shine, & that intake of breathe. WAAAAAAAH!


Yes, we heard that ALL the way home.


Yes, we heard that EVERY time we touched her.


At least, her brother decided it wasn't that big of a deal.

Sunday, January 30, 2011


Waking up next to my daughter is the most amazing pleasure. She is never in a terrible mood (even when she wakes up hungry! - she'll just sqwak & pout until you realize she wants something.) I wish I could take from her the simple joy in every morning, to wake up refreshed to start the day. However, unfortunately for me, I feel as if my day can't start without a warm cup of coffee.

I'm not going to lie, a bad start of a day can easily be turned around with just one smile from her. It's a good thing she enjoys her brothers company, because each day is started off with her wide smiles as he runs around the living room. I wish each morning would never end, it's my favorite part of everyday.

Friday, January 28, 2011


Having a Baby Sister born in the middle of winter can be quite a damper to a two-year-old boy who loves to enjoy the outdoors. Due to scheduling issues, there is no way the little guy can catch a break & play out in the mountains of snow in our backyard. He has recently been gazing out the windows for the past few days & it's starting to get to me. However, Baby sister is too small to go outside for a long period of time so I needed to come up with a way to please both of them.

The best way to cure severe cabin fever (without going outside, of course!) is to bring the outdoors inside! I snuck outside for a second to scoop some of the snow that was on our front porch railing into a large mixing bowl. The best way to avoid a messy clean up is just plopping it into the bathtub. That way, as it melts, it goes down the drain instead of making a puddle on the floor. (although, don't get me wrong, splashing in a puddle in the middle of the living room would be a fantastic.)

Our experience consisted of making the snow "fall" as he pulled it out of the bowl & released it over his head. As well as a lot of those handfuls went straight for the mouth! (Thank goodness I got the cleanest snow I could find! Yikes!) After about twenty minutes of this, Daycen exited the bathroom - snow inside his shoes, both legs of his pants drenched, & enough snow in his hair it looked like he'd been standing in a blizzard. He wasn't freezing cold, but there was a smile the has froze to his face & it stayed there the rest of the afternoon.

Today we are supposed to get four to five more inches of snow. We plan to stay inside with a warm bowl of soup all afternoon. If you plan to do the same, I have another awesome inside activity you can do with your children. Our Kleenex Box Cars were featured over at Simple As That yesterday. Head on over there & check them out!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

HELLO OHDEEDOH ! {we've been featured!}

We are featured on ohdeedoh today!

Daycen's second birthday this year was a blast! All the energy that was put into making it memorable was well worth it. (I promise you, we didn't rent elephants or spend $1000's of dollars!) We had our theme picked out in advance, took a little extra time finding the pieces to pull it together, & used as much creativity as we could! Here are some extra details that weren't posted on Ohdeedoh, please visit over there for the tips on how to create a party like ours!

I honestly CAN'T wait for the BIG THREE! Is is July, yet?!

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

"BABY?" {in the words of Naomi}

My niece absolutely loves my daughter.

It's like an instant reaction. You hear the simple word, "Baby?" & the next thing you know, Naomi is standing right there - eyes wide, staring at Ripsi. "Baby?"

She is even trying to interest Daycen into getting to know his baby sister. Which would be a wonderful thing for everyone. One shouldn't scream & run from another family member. Especially such a innocent family member.

I look forward to watching these two grow together. I just hope they continue to like & care for each other over the years. I know I shouldn't worry about this now, just take it how it is. Yet, in the back of mind I remember how some of my cousins treated each other - I just hope we raise them both to love more than anything.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

TACO DIP {recipe}

The past few days all I've heard was, "THE PACKERS ARE GOING TO THE SUPERBOWL!" Yes, the joys of living in the state where their football team is one of the two going to the Super Bowl. Twitter literally exploded that day with "Go PACK Go!", & I got play by play tweets from 75% of the people I follow.

I'll be honest with you, I'm not that big of a football fan. If it were hockey, it would be a different story. However, I love the excuse to make my favorite finger food - Taco Dip. I figure with all the Super Bowl parties that'll be going on, you might be able to use it as an excuse to try this dish. (I know, I'm using it as an excuse to make this dish multiple times!)

8 ounces of cream cheese
8 ounces of sour cream (we went with light, to save on calories. You are welcome to use full flavor, it tastes slightly richer if you do.)
8 ounce bag of mexican or taco cheese
One small tomato, or 1/2 of a large one
One small can of sliced black olives (or slice the large pitted olives)
1/4 of a head of lettuce
One packet of taco seasoning (we found the Old El Paso brand is what our family likes the best.)
One bag of tortilla chips.

In a large bowl; mix your cream cheese, sour cream, & taco seasoning together. We normally only use HALF the taco seasoning. I recommend mixing in a few, tasting it, & adding more to liking. If you pour the whole packet in, it may be too overwhelming. Make sure that the final mixture is a smooth consistency.

Take your mixture & spread it across the bottom of 13 x 9 cake pan. You can also use a cookie sheet, or other similar dish. The size of the dish will determine how thick your dip will be. I found the 13 x 9 is the perfect dip thickness/topping ratio. (I've perfected it to my taste liking over the years. It's an easy recipe & fun to be creative with.)

Next, chop up your lettuce into small pieces & sprinkle it over dip mixture. You can add more or less depending on coverage & taste.

After you have your lettuce down, sprinkle your cheese across the top. We are cheese lovers in my family, so we use the WHOLE 8 ounce package. However, when my mother makes this recipe, she only uses half the bag. It all depends on your families liking.

Next slice up your tomato (& olives if you choose to go that route instead of using sliced ones. We always buy whole & chop them since you get a bigger bang for your buck. That & we use olives often in our meals.) Add both these vegetables to the top of your pan.

You can sprinkle some taco seasoning over the top of your vegetables, or leave it as is. (I normally just leave it because of the seasoning on the cheese & what's in the dip is enough for my family!) Either serve immediately or refrigerate until serving. I recommend eating it within three days due to the waters from the vegetables will dampen your dip after sitting for awhile. Your guests can either put a small scoop on their plate & eat with tortilla chips that way, or just allow them to scoop right out of the dish on the tortilla chip.

If you decide to make this lovely dish, you should snap a picture & link me to it or e-mail it to me. I'd love to see everyone else's versions of my favorite dish! I'm planning on devouring this pan full within the next few days so I can make more for Super Bowl Sunday!

Monday, January 24, 2011

THE BIG TWO! {months that is}

I'm almost reluctant to write this post because it only proves my baby girl is getting bigger. Time is just slipping between my fingers & I can't seem to adjust the speed. Things just seem to go so much faster with the second child (including pregnancy! Yes, those nine months came & went too quickly!) I just can't believe it's already been two months, that's 8 weeks, or 61 days.

I'm in awe at how advanced she is compared to her brother at the same age. He sort of just laid there & flailed his arms all day long. He was your typical conception of a new baby. Ripsi however, she acts like she is much older than she actually is. She's been steadily holding her head up for quite sometime now, has been able to focus & follow objects for as long as I can remember, & coos back at you when you talk to her. She's just nailing every milestone - which could be why it seems like time is flying by. I have a feeling she is going to be an early walker compared to her brother - which means, the baby stage isn't going to visit us for very long.

Miss Aripsemae Ann, you sure are a gift from above.
We are blessed to have you apart of our family.

Friday, January 21, 2011


We have a high of 2 degrees today - which I don't believe will happen because it's been lingering around three below zero for the past few hours. I am almost positive it will drop even more once the sun sets in a few hours. (BRRR! I'm still trying to figure out why we haven't fixed the seal under our front door, or HOW the previous owners survived without icicle toes. I'm guessing they cranked the heat. Perhaps that's why they couldn't afford their mortgage?! Their loss, my gain?)

It doesn't matter how cold it will get the next few hours, or days. We have found simple ways to warm a frozen heart. Those which include; wet kisses, dance parties (that usually break out into singing. I got a pocket, got a pocketful of sunshine. I got a love and I know that it's all mine), baking sweet treats, snuggling on the couch, & most of all brother & sisterly bonding.

Yes! You heard me - BONDING.

He even asked for her "HAND". My husband believes it was to lead her off the couch, but in my simple mind - it was much more than that!

I know the picture quality is crappy & I did a terrible job with the lighting. However, I am completely in love with them. I didn't have time to run upstairs to cover the windows or I would have completely missed this moment. Sometimes, just snapping the pictures regardless of perfection is the best way to do it.

I hope everyone stays warm this weekend! It's supposed to be a chilly one!

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Every Thursday morning Daycen gets a visit from a speech therapist. (Don't get me wrong! The kid can TALK! He just isn't putting his words together quite like their "typical" child does.)He is enrolled in a state funded program called birth to three where their mission is to make sure children under three are reaching all their milestones. At first, I was skeptical about this program - but honestly, I'm not the one to question something if it may help my child advance in the future. Do I think she is helping him speak? Maybe a little, but nothing compared to the hours our family puts in daily. Sometimes, he just doesn't care what Mommy wants - so, it's nice having an outside source come in to reinforce the behavior.

If it wasn't free to us, would he be enrolled? Definitely not. I don't see it as a necessity because Daycen IS talking, & he IS getting his needs across to everyone. He just ISN'T saying sentences without being prompted. (or the "p" sound in front of words, but that's by choice. Since he can say "APPLE" perfectly.) I see it more as a play date, and it would be one EXPENSIVE play date at that. However, since it is a free service, & I'm not one to stand in the way of helping him excel.

Plus, one on one learning lessons between Mommy & Daycen are quite amazing!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011


I believe that Daycen has been spending way too much time visiting BAKERELLA with me. It seems he's gotten the itch to bake again - it could have been caused by this cold weather that's hit us the past couple days. We are planning to get crafty and recreate THESE adorable cupcake shakes for Baby Sister's birthday. (I am already planning her first birthday & she's only 8 weeks old. A little crazy, right?) Until then, we've decided to stick to a simple boxed mix of cranberry bread muffins.

Ever since he was little, (not that he isn't STILL little...) he's always had an extreme interest in baking. More or less, mixing the batter with the whisk. (He wasn't so thrilled that I got pre-made cookie dough for our Christmas cookies.) I've always let him attempt it for the most part. We almost always ended up with 8 muffins instead of 12 but that was okay. He had fun. This past birthday he made his own birthday cake. Which I made the mistake of letting our guests know & we had too much left over. I guess knowing a two-year-old made it could have been a turn off - They don't know what they missed because it was delish!

Trust me, these were delicious too! I even convinced my father (who hates baked goods) to try one & he agreed. Daycen is a fabulous boxed muffin maker! I can't wait til we graduate to from scratch goodies so he can get really crafty.

Don't worry! Baking must be in our genes because Ripsi is already practicing her whisk grip!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011


Remember how I mentioned that Daycen wants absolutely NOTHING to do with baby sister?

Well, that hasn't changed too much. He finally acknowledges that she exisits (yes, you'd ask him how his baby sister was & he'd look at you like you were CRAZY. He's even responded with "Nu-uhh?" a handful of times.) Infact, he'll even tell you her name now. He says "ipsi", we aren't even going to attempt to teach him her full name! That crazy look would return to his face & I've had just about enough of it!

He's become a big help when it comes to taking care of her as well. When she is crying he'll bring her random things; her blanket, her pacifier, some diapers & wipes. To be honest, I don't know if he is trying to make her feel better, or just get her to shut up! Either way, it's a big improvement than just blocking her out. I've even noticed that Daycen has memorized Ripsi's favorite swing settings, he'll even switch them for me if I try different music or speed. Trust me, repetition is good but can get rather annoying listening to sounds of the womb consistently.

He'll do all this and more - he just won't touch her. There seems to be this invisible line that he won't cross. Almost as if she is encased in a plexi glass case that only Daycen can see. I'm just thrilled there has been some progress over the past couple weeks.

I think they'll be the best of friends.
It just might take some time... or a lot of time.

Monday, January 17, 2011

DOUBLE THE LOVE. {Liam & Tatum}

I'm not a professional photographer by any means, but I absolutely LOVE taking pictures. I've never ran into anyone or anything thing that I was afraid to photograph until the other day. My friend brought over her beautiful almost one month old twin babies. I was thrilled! I anticipated a million different poses for the two of them, that is - until I saw them. They are only 5 pounds. (Which is siginificantly smaller than any baby I've ever met. I'd have to say the closest thing to their size that I've held is our Chihuahua. Infact, I think he is even heavier than them!) I'm not going to lie to you, these two sent a wave of fear through me! - I lifted them from where they were sleeping in the pack & play & set them of the blankets the EXACT way they were laying in there. I was afraid to move them, to pose them, I didn't know exactly what to do with them! I had no idea what little bodies born seven weeks early could take.

I walked away with a few pictures that I liked, but nothing spectacular. I wasn't going to push my limits, or theirs. I'm thankful for the opportunity to meet these two while they were so young, & hopefully will have a million chances in the future to photograph them again. I am absolutely not a professional, I maybe someday, but for today - I'll just learn & grow.

Here is the size comparison to my not so itzy bitzy almost two month old daughter.

I give all props to their lovely mother. I know as a child I thought it would be AMAZING to have twin babies - oh how naive I was at seven! I can't imagine how much life would flip upside down having two hungry, needy newborns around every second of the day. I'm so thankful I was only blessed with one miracle at a time. (because she sure is a handful by herself!)

Sunday, January 16, 2011


Some mornings Daycen wakes up on the WRONG side of the toddler bed. I'm talking total melt down here; kicking, screaming, crying, throwing things for absolutely no good reason. Normally, there is nothing (and I mean NOTHING!) that can change this mood around, it's like the entire afternoon is destined to be a headache. This past week a cure for the morning blues was discovered...

That's right! Hot Cinnamon rolls!

Why hadn't I thought of this before? The smell alone will bring a smile to anyone's face. Who couldn't enjoy warm cinnamon and glaze in every single bite? My son certainly thought these were the greatest inventions in the world. So, instead of being the worst mother; I instantly was crowned the best! All it costed me was $1.50 for the rolls & twenty minutes of my time to bake them. Not too bad of a sacrifice!

I think the next time we are at the store I'll pick up a handful of these rolls. I've got the antidote to beat the crank monster, & I'm going to use it! Every single time until it doesn't work any longer.