budding artist  

Sunday, November 21, 2010

"On the paper please" is the phrase I find myself saying over and over again. Monkey seems to have an uncanny ability to locate a stray pen or highlighter within minutes of waking up. Having a husband in sales means never having a shortage of writing utensils. Originally when she would locate one of these treasures she would find the nearest wall and begin to create her masterpiece. This is not something that makes me mad because its just a wall and it can either be magic erased or touched up but we cant have our blooming artist expressing herself on whatever she pleases. So that means mean mommy would come along and take away her newly found toy and tell her no. This would turn into instant tantrum and it seemed like a never ending cycle until finally my montessory training kicked back in. She was genuinely upset that i wasn't praising her for how lovely her newest creation was turning out to be but obviously the wall is not appropriate coloring media. This time instead of prying the pen out of her tight little munchkin grip I simply found some paper and asked her to color on that and showed her the difference between right and wrong. She instantly dried her tears and listened to the lesson as I praised her art on paper and said coloring on the wall is a no no. For the last few days I have reminded her of the rule but have not had a single tantrum or slip up with wall art. Sometimes its hard to remember that two year olds can be reasoned with and not have to be sat in a time out or whatever punishment style you choose with endless heartbreaking tears and some times migraine worthy screams, but it is encouraging and even refreshing when they prove you wrong and show you they can listen and learn without the tears. And rules can be enforced without a battle. Its moments like these that show what a bright and receptive young lady she is turning out to be, and how proud I am of her.
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Really there is no excuse.  

Saturday, November 13, 2010

I've been meaning to post some of these for a while, but it kept slipping my mind.  These are park pictures taken the day after Halloween, which is why monkey's scalp is tinted green.  It was John's day off and it was a beautiful sunny day so we decided it would be fun to take her to the park to play.  Sadly this was probably one of last warm days we will have... maybe not, you never know with Texas weather, and even more sad this is the first time I have taken monkey to the park.  Bad Mommy!  Why have I not taken her before you ask??  I didn't have a car for the longest time, and I guess this summer we kept pretty busy.  I did take her to the pool a lot, but I should have made a bigger effort with the park situation.  I'm not sure why I didn't really think to do that this summer.  Anyway I took her after Halloween and she loved it a lot of course.  She's a big fan of the swings and after she went down the slide with Daddy she became a big fan of the slides as well.  She would say "weeeeeee, weeeee, weeeeeee!!"  all the way down the slide, much cuter than that annoying pig on the commercial... you know the one.  Shortly after we got there, my buddy Holly called and met us there with EEEaaa (monkey's name for him).  She was so surprised that he found her there.  He even showed up with a flower to give her <3 awe.    

was about to take a pic of monkey when...  LOL

she adores him :)

Snapfish was doing a special around Halloween for buy 1 photo book get 2 free!  I was so excited to receive my 3 books today!  I know I take a gazillion pics of my baby, but I really don't have many that are printed.  So you can imagine how happy they make me.

I've been doing a lot of crafts lately to get ready for her 2nd birthday, can't believe it's already here!  We are doing an Olivia themed party.  Who's Olivia?  She's a cute little pig that has her own series of books and a show on Nick Jr.  Monkey loves her, and loves the fact that she has a black cat, and a brother named Ian.  So Olivia is her party theme, and for some reason she's not extremely main stream like Dora and Yo Gabba.  It's very difficult to find pre-made party themed Olivia items unless you go on etsy, which can be spendy, so it's a DIY event I guess.  The good thing is is that her colors are red, white and black and with Christmas around the corner it makes finding the color theme pretty easy with lots of wonderful choices!  Candi is going to make her a custom outfit, and wouldn't you know they are either sold out or discontinued on most Olivia fabrics.  Luckily I scored a FQ on eBay for $7.95, the next day it was selling for over $20... crazy.  Still though $7.95 for a quarter of fabric... robbery I tell ya!  I have decided not to do her party on Thanksgiving this year, even though her actual birthday falls on it.  For one it's too much to try to coordinate in one day, for two I would have to do it early in the morning if I expected anyone to come and it seems too early to chow down on cupcakes and candy and then sit down to a super filling meal.  The date is not totally set yet, but I'm thinking the Sunday after Thanksgiving will work best for everyone involved.  So until then I will be meticulously crafting, cooking, planning, cleaning, decorating, shopping, etc.      

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I tried it, and now I like it!  

Thursday, November 11, 2010

I don't know what it is about Yo Gabba, but they seriously have a song that can apply to almost all aspects of life.  Here I am minding my own business and then something is said or done that pops one of their little tunes into my brain.  Brainwashed I tell ya!  

As a homemaker for the past several years I have been trying to broaden my scope of recipes.  Cooking is not something I fully enjoy doing.  I don't mind doing it, but it seems like a lot of effort.  I think between cooking and cleaning I honestly get more enjoyment out of cleaning.  However, with that being said, I am still pretty good at cooking, I just don't want to do it.  It's one of those things I have forced myself to keep after in hopes of one day truly enjoying it... maybe.  The good thing is my husband likes just about everything I make and has full confidence in my ability to recreate recipes from meals we have tried.  He is also willing to try anything and is not incredibly picky. 

If I choose to cook I usually opt for the easy way out.  A few ingredients, one pot dishes, crock pot options, etc.  Last year my cousin Jennifer turned me on to this blog, A Year of Slow Cooking, and it has shown me many easy options to just throw in the pot and forget about.  A few weeks ago she made a post stating, "stop, look no further.  Hands down best Brussels Sprout recipe in the world!"  Brussels Sprouts?!  Ok, so I've only tried them once as a kid and I thought they tasted the way feet smell.  But to their defense I used to be an incredibly picky eater so despite my previous experience with them and their bad reputation I decided the recipe looked easy enough to give it a try.  

What you'll need:

1 lb brussels sprouts
1 tbs of Dijon Mustard
3 tbs of butter
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp black pepper
1/4 c water

The Directions.

Use a 2-quart slow cooker. Wash and trim the ends off of each Brussels sprout, and cut in half. Toss into the cooker. Add butter, mustard, salt, pepper, and water. Cover and cook on low for 4 to 5 hours, or on high for 2 to 3. Stir well to distribute the sauce before serving. The sprouts on the edge get brown and bit crispy on the outer edge. This is a good, and not something to worry about!

I cooked them, and they are amazing.  In fact, they are going on the Thanksgiving menu!  John loved them too, which this was his first time for trying Brussels sprouts.  I encourage everyone to give them another chance, they could turn out to be a new family favorite!  I had no idea I liked them, and am a little sad that I've been missing out on them my whole life.  

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Wednesday, November 3, 2010

On Halloween Bailey was an Umpa Loompa, thanks to cousin Annie for lending us her costume complete with make up, hair color and shoes from last year :)

Bailey didn't mind me spraying her down with green hairspray, guess she's used to it with the detangler every night.  But when it came to the make up she was more than happy to help.  Once she realized stuff came off when she touched her face she was all about rubbing her eyes and cheeks.  So quickly after it was applied it just started looking like her face was super dirty LOL.  I snapped a couple pics and then we took what was left of it off of her.  

I had a budget costume of a witch.  Originally it was just going to be a witch hat, but then I found cool eyelashes and black light make up when I was picking out a Halloween pale for Bailey yeah.  I never did find a black light to see the overall effect :(  maybe next year?   

Our friend Ian came to trick or treat with us.  He was a cute little hobo, and was totally ready to put on the charm to get some candy.   

John got to fulfill his life long dream of being a ghostbuster.  Looks a lot like Ray with his haircut hehe  maybe I'll be Zuul next year and Bailey can be Slimer.  

This is Bailey's first "real" Halloween.  She got to dress up last year and all, but she was just a tiny so we didn't Trick or Treat or anything.  And last year I never had a single Trick or Treater so I was a little bummed I couldn't show her off.  This year we had a couple little groups of kids come to the door, so their is hope for better future turn outs!  Bailey didn't quite understand what we were up to at first with the bucket and the costume...

But once she realized that she got to ring doorbells, knock on doors, talk to strangers, and get candy, she quickly became a pro.  I tried to teach her in advance to say Trick or Treat, but she just laughed every time I said it to her.  

Even though we only went to a handful of houses... no more than 8 I'd say, our neighbors were more than generous to give us candy by the fistfuls.  Most of them hadn't seen a Trick or Treater all night and were more than happy to unload their candy on us.

That night Bailey and Ian crashed early, so Holly and I carved up our pumpkins.  Better late than never! I did the haunted house, and Holly did a spider in a web... her candle was going out in hers so this was the best pic I could get of it (I liked how the spider's eyes were glowing).  We also watched the movie Paranormal Activity with John, the first one, I hear the second one is WAY more intense.  All three of us are total scaredy cats when it comes to ghosts and scarey movies... so it was interesting haha, we probably couldn't handle the second one.  It took everything I had to resist playing some mean jokes on John later that night when we were going to bed, but I resisted and let him freak out on his own doing.     

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