Monday, June 29, 2009

Dinner Out With A Toddler

For fun this weekend, we went out to dinner as a family. On a chance, we asked Little Dude where he might like to go-and apparently Red Lobster is his favorite place ever. Marketing gurus-your ads are working on my 2 year old.

Anyways, we decided Red Lobster was, in fact, a great dinner place for us to try out as a family, so off we went.

Dinner was great, our waiter was amazing, and we had a ton of fun! Little Dude even ate most of his meal, proving that it must really be his favorite place ever.

The only thing that can through a kink into a nice family dinner? Well, it went something like this:

Us: eating and talking
Us: Looking at JR, knowing what he's doing.
Little Dude: giggling
Us: smiling
Us: SHUUUSH! It's OK....
Little Dude: (Sorta Loud Voice) Will his poop be green?

Oh my.

Friday, June 26, 2009

New Reviews At Miche Reviews

I have some new reviews to share on my review blog, Miche Reviews! You can see what new online kid-safe virtual world has captured my toddler's heart, giving him a "Jump Start" on learning.

You can see what preschool system has captured my heart because of their great Balanced Learning approach to preschool activities and check out all the amazing resources they have to offer your munchkin.

And for my little JR? Nothing could be better than an organic lovey that is made right here in the USA out of all natural materials. So when he is sucking on Waverly's leg, I don't have to worry what dyes he might be ingesting! And Little Dude loved learning about Waverly's friends, too!

Remember how I got to talk to Suze Orman? Well if you love makeup, I have a great giveaway from Avon and Suze for you, so be sure to check it out!

I was lucky enough to try out the new Diane Birch CD, which hit stores June 2-trust me, if you love Tori and Ani, you will really enjoy Diane's Bible Belt!

To enter giveaways either leave a comment here or on the giveaway post telling me you want to be entered! Take care and have a great weekend!

Thursday, June 25, 2009

Fingers Up My Nose

Yesterday I was working, and doing my best to catch up on the huge pile of "to dos" I had, er, still have, while the kids played on the floor around my office. Now that JR is bigger and starting to walk, he and Little Dude play so very well and entertain each other a lot, which is super great for my work hours.

Until one or the other takes a toy from the other. Or JR goes for the train tracks. Or the blocks. Or the race get the idea.

So, Little Dude came running over, eager to tell me what ever it was that JR had done to him, and distracted me from work.

And so, I took a moment, scooped him in my arms, and started listening to his sordid tail of destroyed train tracks, thrown cars, chewed on blocks and oh heavens no the knocked down complex he had built.

Like a good little parent, I listened, knowing that these were all issues the boys would work out themselves, and by simply letting Little Dude vent all would be well. So I really focused on each word, and each gesture Little Dude used to explain his annoyance at having the train tracks disrupted, because, you know, they have very important work to do!

And then it happened.

Little Dude stuck a finger UP MY NOSE. It took me a second to process what he was doing, and how to react, so for a few seconds, we just sat there looking at each other. Well, me looking, Little Dude still explaining the demise of his trains.

So, I did what anyone with a toddler's fingers up their nose would do, I asked him why his thought it was a good idea to stick his fingers up there. While pulling his hands off my face.

His answer?

Because yes.

Oh geeze.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Fourth Of July Kid Safe Activity

I LOVE the 4th of July, and back when I taught preschool on of my fellow teachers shared this activity with me. I don't know who came up with it or where it is from, but it is SO FUN and great I just had to share it. Little Dude is amazed every time we do it. And you can do it any time of the year with different colors, like red and green at Christmas, or red and purple at Valentine's-you get the idea. I really enjoy watching it, too, because the experiment is just so very fun! It actually looks like magic.

So, without further ado, here is what you need:

* Large, tall clear jar filled with water, the more the better!
* Blue, red and yellow liquid food coloring
* 2 or 3 tablespoons cooking oil
* Smaller jar
* Spoon or stir stick for mixing
* Clear Pyrex measuring cup

What you and your kids do:

1. Fill the jar with tap water. Place it on a table where your child can watch it from several angles. If your child is older, they could even do this step.

2. Invite your child to pour 2 tablespoons of oil into a clear Pyrex measuring cup-your kids will have a blast, and honestly, they can't put too much in. Just make sure you have at least 2 tablespoons, less and it won't work with that much water.

3. Next have your child put in drops of each food coloring into the oil, about 5 drops of each color.

4. Have your child pour the oil into the jar all at once. At first, the oil will be spread around in globules, but keep watching: right before your eyes, the oil and food coloring will first float to the top, and then the globs will “find” one another and come together. SO COOL!

5. Now the “fireworks” begin! The food coloring will begin to separate from the oil and move back into the water, in long streams of each of the three colors. The colors will separate from one another as if they never mixed in the first place, and stream through the water in the three original colors that you began with; it is REALLY amazing!

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Jon and Kate

I have watched the "Jon and Kate Plus Eight" show since it started, and just fell in love with the family, the kids, and the amazing way they handled that many kids. It was just fascinating and motivating to see how two 6 year olds and 6 two year olds could, in fact, go to Disney, have fun, and not get lost. Each time I watched it, I'd come away like, "Yes, I can handle my two toddlers!" Or I'd steal an organization idea. I loved it.

But last night, as I watched Jon and Kate announce they were divorcing, I felt so much sorrow for them and for the marriage that isn't being saved.

So many times each of them said the kids came first and were their priority-Kate even mentioned that the whole reason she breathes is for the kids. And that is all fine and dandy, but I wonder if perhaps that is the root of their problems. For years Jon seemingly took whatever C**P Kate seemed to throw at him, and all in all she never did treat him with respect when the cameras where around. And Jon never seemed to care, he just simply ignored it. At least when the cameras were around.

So perhaps instead of doing everything for the kids, they really should have (and maybe still could) start to focus on each other. And put each other first, treating each other with dignity and respect. And perhaps a smart idea would be to stop the show, or cut back the show, so they could focus more on being a family, rather than putting on a show for the tv audience.

Cause I'm pretty sure all the kids would really rather have their parents lovingly together, than to get some amazing play houses.

So I am torn as to whether I will watch anymore, simply because I feel like the show and the fame really took its toll on Jon and Kate, and escalated the issues that tore them apart. And the millions from the show made it an easier option to just go get a divorce and buy an apartment at Trump Towers, rather than to go through years of counseling to help mend the cracks.

So I don't know, but I am very sad for the Gosselins and their children.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Just Another Monday

It's Monday, a day that, in my opinion, is the most blah day of the week. Monday's should be half days just so they aren't such a shock from the weekend.

I set out early this morning to finally discover what was broken in my blog-for some reason it was not loading properly in IE (Internet Explorer) but since I use the much more awesome Mozilla Firefox, I had not noticed the IE issue until I got on our laptop-which until yesterday only had IE on it. That problem is at least fixed.

Anyways, I spent a lot of time yesterday playing around trying to understand why IE hated my blog, and after getting some great tips from on line friends (and slowly plotting to take my domain to a real web host so I could actually call someone for help the next time an issue like this happened, Blogger, though free beyond domain registration, has the most horrible support help) I jumped on this morning refreshed with new ideas to try and ready to get to work on reviving my blog.

Only now, it seems to be loading just fine. And I can't figure out why. Oh Blogger, you mock me.

So, if anyone finds that my blog suddenly isn't working in IE, give me a shout at

Now, I have to get some work for my real job done before the kids get up.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Happy Birthday to JR!!

I blinked and a year went by! JR is a year old now, starting to walk, got 4 teeth in on the day of his birthday (that explains some crankiness the week before, eh!) and he is a bundle of joy with true Gemini attitude. He is either crazy happy or throwing a fit. Lucky for us, the majority of his days are crazy happy.

Birthday cake was a huge hit; and we got the cute ones at pictured at Wal-mart, with the writing decoration done by yours truly! We had a ton of fun at the beach celebrating with Grandma and Grandpa B, taking the boys bowling, and swimming.

It has been such a joy the past year for my sweet hubby and me to parent our boys, and we feel so blessed to have JR as a part of our family. Happy Birthday, JR!

This hat was so great, even though JR protested having to wear it.
Trying to walk and wearing his FUN TO BE ONE shirt!!
Do you think he liked the cake? Oh yea!!
Here was the cake before it was destroyed and enjoyed by JR!
And here is the cake the rest of us ate-it too was chocolate and oh so yummy!

Happy Birthday, JR, my new little Toddler!

Thursday, June 18, 2009

You Capture: Emotion

So, I finally got pictures off my camera, though they are on my laptop instead of on my computer, because, well, I have left my camera cord in Raleigh, and I'm in Mobile, and only my laptop takes the SD card.

Anyways, this week's You Capture was one that was hard to get a picture for; we had to capture Emotion. And, regardless of how many times I tried to capture emotion in my kids (which promptly caused them to turn away and hide their faces-not terribly conducive to showing off emotion)I just couldn't get anything.

And then yesterday I was watching Oprah. Yea, I got EMOTIONAL because her show was all about brave kids with disabilities or who over came huge medical issues. And those that didn't, like little Elliot. Did you guys hear the letters the father wrote to his son? OH My GOD the floodgates opened. Oh dang, I cried. So, frankly, as my kids napped, I was a ball of sloppy, sniveling tears on the couch.

And then it hit me during commercial break-with upbeat commercials that got the floodgates to slowdown a little-crying is an emotion! Aha!

So I took a bunch of pictures, trying to capture the tears in my eyes and that had been running down my face for the past hour, this was the best attempt:

But, as you can see, the tears didn't show up well with my photo skills.

I tried everything I could think of to get the camera to focus on my tears and the tear steaks all over my face. I even tried to show how my shirt was spotted with tears, but that didn't show up either. Photographer I am not.

And the more I focused, the less I was teary eyed because another emotion was taking over. Frustration.

So I took this picture of me trying to adjust my camera yet again-the frustrated face:

And after writing this post and going through the photos, I found myself laughing, so I took this photo of another emotion-joy:

There is my attempt to take some photos of emotion; go check out better attempts atI Should Be Folding Laundry! I'm sure there will be some fun ones!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Somehow They Know

So we are finally back in Mobile, Al. I'm glad to meet up with friends I have made down here again, but I am already hating the humid, hot weather (it got up to 100 degrees yesterday).

I got up early this morning to try and catch up on work, but it never fails-whenever I do set the alarm to get up super early and work, somehow my kids KNOW I AM UP.

And they quickly let me know they wanted to see I was up to.

So, it is 8:30am, the kids and I have already been up for 3 hours, but I haven't made much progress on the writing and other "to dos" I have for my job.

I think it will be a day for watching Sesame Street and just plugging away at my huge pile of work, and praying that by this afternoon it is cool enough to take the guys outside for a walk.

So what is everyone else up to today? I swear I am going to get birthday pictures for JR posted as soon as I find the cord for the camera.....yea, that is the down fall of moving around so much. I already can't ever remember where I put things, but moving back and forth makes it even harder-I have two homes stuff could be hiding from me in!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Finally Here

We are finally back in Alabama, after an all day drive with the kids. Whew, it feels so good to be here, even though I am still sad that I'm not there in Raleigh.

In an update, the house we were hoping to invest in (read below post) ended up already being sold at an auction from the previous week, but its status had not been updated on the HUD/MLS listing. In fact, none of us knew it had already been sold until our Realtor went to put our bid in, and we found the bid couldn't be accepted. Oh well. We are pretty disapointed, but like I said, it would've just been one more thing adding to the chaos we already have!

And, now we can do a bit more research into how to set up rental documents and agreements, since we will eventually get into investment property. I'm hoping we are back in Raleigh by the middle of August, so I will be on the look out for a potential rental property starting then. It would be awesome if another HUD home came along!

Well, now I am off to work, but keep checking back this week, as I have some really nifty giveaways to offer AND I have tons of cute pictures from JR's first birthday to share!

Somehow, I became the parent of a one year old and a soon to be three year in the world did that happen?

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Investment Property

Well, I don't work in Real Estate, but since working for Dakno Marketing and doing a lot of marketing/writing/creation for Real Estate Agents, I have picked up a good bit of knowledge. That and my hubby and I have been ready real estate books like crazy ever since we started thinking about it.

Yes, we are going to buy and investment property and rent it out. We are hoping to find something that has been foreclosed on, is listed well below tax value, located in an area where we would want to live, and close to our house.

We have been playing with the idea, but had not really done anything with it yet, because as you all know, we have been in Alabama. Not really a great way to do your first rental property, I think.

But last week we stumbled across not one, not two, but 4 different homes that fit our "items". One in particular seems to be a gold mine. It is in great condition, with only some minor maintenance (from what we can tell so far, nothing we can't do ourselves) and major cleaning (which might be why it has sat for so long) needing to be done. It is going for 90,000, (with a mortgage we qualified for that I can handle from my paycheck) but the tax value is 135,000 AND the neighborhood it is in is very cute, clean, well kept, has established shade trees, and has a ton of families. Yea, it is a neighborhood I would raise my family in.

So, today, we are looking at all the homes on our list, and REALLY excited to see that one.

But what does this mean? It means that IF we do jump on the buying process, the kids and I MIGHT be staying here. Because I'll be needing to clean up the home AND find renters. While I keep working and taking care of the kids and Bill is in AL alone.

I'll keep you posted on what happens. And who knows, we have never bought a foreclosure before, so we aren't sure what the time line is-we might not get to take possession of the home for another number of months, even if we did start the paper work today. I suppose we will find out from our awesome Realtor, Jose Serrano.

Adding more into the chaos we already have is just how we roll.

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Just Another Manic Monday, er Tuesday

Today is ridiculously busy; we are getting ready for JR's birthday party tomorrow, we have friends getting married Friday, I have tons of work to complete before Sunday, and Today is the last full day we have in Raleigh.

Tomorrow morning, Bill and I start our quest for a rental property to purchase (which we are crazy excited about!). Then tomorrow afternoon (or whenever we are done looking at properties) we are driving down to Wilmington to celebrate JR's birthday (a few day's early) with the grandparents, then Thursday we have rehearsal for our friend's wedding, then Friday is the wedding!! And the kids are getting watched by the grandparents (whoo hoo!). THEN Saturday we are driving back to Raleigh for the sole purpose of packing the already packed items (that I am hoping to pack today!) into the van. THEN we are falling asleep so we can wake up at the crack of dawn on SUNDAY to start the crazy 18 hour drive with two kids back to Mobile, AL.

Sigh, my head hurts already. And I am sad the time here went by so quickly; there were so many people I wanted to catch up with and spend some time with, but it just didn't work out. Don't worry though, we will be back for sure in the fall for a little time and HOPEFULLY then we will be back for good. Either that or we will be transferred somewhere, one day at a time, right?

But gosh, those days go by fast!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me

Today is my Birthday, whoo hoo! I got lunch at the Cheesecake Factory and some surprised coming later tonight, along with a cheesecake birthday cake-oh my! The best part of my day? Waking up to "Happy Birthday Mommy!" from Little Dude (with encouragement from my amazing hubby, Bill)!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Pictures From Thomas

Here are some pictures from our Adventure with Thomas the Train On Stage!

Best friends, Cole and Little Dude, on the way to the show:

The boys with their tickets (JR didn't need one):
Sharing popcorn and watching Thomas:
This is how close we were; I'm not zoomed in, we were super close to the front:
The boys entranced by the "pre-show" of circus acts and train drivers walking around the audience:

We also learned that three car seats fit quite nicely in the truck, and that having three little guys was pretty fun!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

Fun at the Pool

My Brother in Law, John,had a pool party at his place last week, so we had tons of fun with the kids in the water! Little Dude is a seasoned pro at pools, but this was only JR's second time getting into the water and it was a huge hit with him, as well.

The pool party was perfect with all our friends and made it pretty easy to catch up with everyone. Even though I have been back for a few weeks, since everyone works and the kids fall asleep early, it has been hard trying to fit in everyone I want to see-so if I haven't been able to catch up with you yet, it is not because I don't want too, it is just because time flies by so quickly with two little kids to chase around!

Here are Andrea and Karen, with JR. Andrea (and Alan) are due in Sept. with their first Little Guy!
Bill and his buddy, JR.
My boys, Little Dude, Bill and JR.

It is always a great day when it is shared with friends!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Busy Busy

I have to apologize to everyone that reads this; I have been horrible at keeping up to date on everything since getting back to NC! Though being back at our home is wonderful; the time just FLIES by, and nights are especially hard since Bill is still in Alabama. Our night time routine takes forever with just me trying to bath, dress, nurse (JR), read to , and tuck in two kids all by myself. Even though I am not super excited about going back to AL, I AM super excited to be back with Bill!

Anyways, between taking care of the boys alone and work being swamped -which is GREAT, but takes every free moment I have-I just haven't been able to blog about the boys as much as I'd like for all of you.

On the 13th JR turns one year, and that just blows my mind. Gosh, the year went by way too quickly!

Posting will probably be a little sporadic, whenever I have an extra moment or take a short break from work. And, starting the 15th we will be back in AL, so I'll be able to give everyone more updates on the boys. And bath time will go so much more quickly, yay!

Monday, June 1, 2009

He's Smarter Than Me

My first baby is rapidly becoming a boy. Each and everyday I see leaps and bounds in his language, motor skills, and knowledge. Oh yea, he is already smarter than me.

Today I droped Bill off at the airport and prepared for another week alone with the boys. I found myself remembering how difficult getting the two ready for bed by myself actually is, since I was spoiled with a weekend of sleeping in and having my sweet hubby around to help with everything. As I struggled to get pj pants on JR (who likes to wiggle!) and pick up/kick toys back to where they should be, I asked Little Dude to please put his dump truck away. The rest followed like this:

Me: Please.
Little Dude: silence
Little Dude: silence
Me: Do it now.
Little Dude: looks at me
Right NOW.
Little Dude: looks around bedroom, as though he can't see the giant dump truck toy blocking the doorway

Little Dude looked at me, looked at his dump truck and said:

"Oh that? Mommy, that not dump truck, that a front end loader!"

He must have realized his short life was in jepordy, because he did then promptly put it away.

Oh my, this is not good. He is already smarter than me.