Wednesday, March 28, 2012

something to be proud of.

Devin's proud moments...

Devin got a couple of new pairs of shoes. He has been showing everyone. We went to Paradise Bakery, and he started flirting with the girl behind the counter...and showing her his new shoes.  He earned himself free food. Score.

Devin was proud when he cleaned the dirty toilet with his brand new tooth brush. Of course, he even used it after he cleaned. {You can gag, I did.}
Savannah's proud moments...

Savannah has been really working on those monkey bars, and she finally can get about 5 bars in.  It is a big deal, and something she is really excited about.

Savannah also received a 100% on her Mexico test. She was so nervous about it, and obviously had nothing to worry about.
{this was a couple of weeks ago. large and in charge!}

Evonne's proud moments...

I have been keeping a really clean house. {Definitely more on this later!}

I asked for help.
{this is our car guy, Wayneyou might remember him from our last car purchase. we love him, and think he is the bestest!}

What Paul's wife thinks are his proud moments...

Paul bought us another car, and got us a sweet deal...after much negotiating. He is really good at buying new cars, if only we had to do it more often. :)

Paul is really good at running his business, and has a real passion for what he does. When things get really screwed up, he manages to still be able to fix it...even when it looks terribly hopeless.

What are you proud of?

Tuesday, March 27, 2012

hey 3rd trimester.

I was telling Paul that this is the best I have physically felt in the 3rd trimester EVER. Yes, that is always subject to change, but right here and now...I feel good. This is also the first pregnancy that I wasn't just itchin' for it to be done.

Savannah was our first, and with your first comes that impatience of just wanting to be a Mommy right this second. So, yeah I probably washed things too early, and packed that hospital bag way too far in advance.

I don't think I felt good one whole day in my pregnancy with Devin. So, yes...I was just about dying for him to get out of me as soon as possible.

With Sabrina, we all know it hasn't been perfect, but I am content to have her right where she is at. She is a feisty little thing, has her days and her nights mixed up, and oh my heartburn better gift her with loads of hair...but where she is at...she is protected, she is with me all of the time, and we are bonding. I am happy to have her stay until her due date {I won't wish to be overdue}.

You know what has surprised me the most about round 3 of this Mommy business...I am just as excited for her as I was for our first. I stay awake at night wondering what she will look like, how big she will be, and if she will be able to handle her crazy older brother. We all talk to her, poke her, and have a list of spectacular nicknames lined up. We have enjoyed setting up a crib, buying her a cute pink car seat, and spending way too much money on clothes. She is definitely a loved little girl.

Maybe it is true...the last is the best. :)

{if you didn't know I was the baby of my family too!}

Monday, March 26, 2012

a xia-xia easter + giveaway

We are trying to make every holiday a little more fun in our house.  When most families are getting together, and having big celebrations we are usually trying to figure out what we can do as a family of 4 and a half. Not anymore. Things are changing.

This is why we had an Easter party for Savannah to invite friends over to play and have some Xia-Xia fun!
Never heard of Xia-Xia Pets? Neither had I, but guess who had? Savannah. I guess I lost some cool Mom points, because I didn't even say the name right. Savannah quickly schooled me in all things Xia-Xia so I didn't look like a nerd in front of anyone. Phew.

We got a fun box of Xia-Xia shtuff to plan the bestest Easter scavenger hunt ever for Savannah and a few of her girlfriends. You know those cool Mom points I lost, they were quickly gained back for letting her have a party.

Xia-Xia Pets are adorable, affordable, and easily addicting. So beware.

What I noticed the kiddies liked about these little hermit crabs...
Although they are battery operated and can move on hard surfaces, it wasn't what they were crazy over...it was those darn little trinkets you store in the shell of the crab that were just so cool. Every shell came with two different and random things, and it was almost better than what the shell looked like. Of course, it was fun for the girls to compare shells, and change up the look of their hermit crab.
What made this toy get extra bonus points from me for Easter is that if you took the hermit crabs and shells out of the packaging, it fits nicely in a large plastic egg.  You could really go crazy with Xia-Xia!! We already know how I try to avoid as much candy as possible. We didn't do this for the party, but it would be a fun idea.
{I made little tags on each Xia-Xia pet with the initial of the person tied to it...worked out perfectly!}

After an exciting scavenger hunt, and comparing loot...our party ended with egg salad sandwiches, chips, and a drinks.  Oh, and a happy bunch of girls!

Here is the "egg"stra special part!

You can win a Xia-Xia Easter basket...just in time for the holiday!

Just comment on this post.

Giveaway will run until Wednesday, March 28th at Midnight...in hopes we can get this shipped to you asap.

Disclosure: This post was sponsored by my Xia-Xia Pet friends, and MomSelect. Savannah's love for parties and Xia-Xia was not swayed by anyone.

Friday, March 23, 2012

a tradition kept.

Growing up my family had loads of traditions, and naturally when the grand kids came along my parents were quick to make traditions with them too.
{this was one of many trips with my Dad...look at how tiny Van is}

I was pregnant with Savannah when my Dad started the Build-A-Bear tradition. It was his thing. For those first few years that my Dad was apart of Savannah's life there were many o' trips to that place. We haven't necessarily kept the tradition like my Dad would. We have added to her already large collection in the past years, but we are sporadic about going.

Devin has obviously never been around my parents to start any traditions like Savannah did. When Devin's birthday rolled around this year, my Sista did our Dad's tradition proud...she sent Devin a gift card to go and build his first animal at Build-A-Bear.
That nameless stuffed dog has slept in his bed with him every. single. night. since making him. He calls it his baby, and most of the time Devin has him wrapped in a blanket in a car seat toting "baby" around during the day.
Thank you Auntie for keeping a tradition alive in our family...I didn't realize how much I loved it.

Thursday, March 22, 2012

snail mail + giveaway

We started Operation Snail Mail close to a year ago now. It started off as a simple complaint from Savannah wanting more fun mail, and grew to be one of our biggest, most fun, ongoing projects! Believe it or not, we still have not made it through all the people from our original Facebook list.

We have gotten a lot more organized, and creative since the beginning. It has made me want to send all the original recipients more mail now that we have more experience under our belt.

Here is some of the things we do to make our letters and packages cute, more special, and hopefully make the person feel like we really thought it out.

We ordered some of these from Tiny Prints awhile ago, along with that I bought one of those huge sticker books with like 1,000+ stickers in it, I let Savannah go to town decorating the outside of the package/envelope. Sometimes it is just one simple sticker, and sometimes that girl does a million. I like to think people feel extra special when the package/envelope is all dolled up.

This year we went against tradition, and did Valentine cards instead of Christmas. Who doesn't love unexpected snail mail. Which leads me to tell you about this...

I am never on time with birthdays, Christmas, etc. I always say I am going to be better, but it just doesn't happen. I am starting to think I like my personality flaw. I love that when my Alice in Wonderland gets her Christmas present, it is at the end of January...and it is way more exciting because it is out of the blue.

This idea is just one our Sell quirks...we have always done this...we ask the post office if they have cute stamps. None of those boring love stamps.  They look at you kinda crazy, but I love looking through the huge book of unique stamps to put on my snail mail.

Okay, so those are just a few of my ideas. What do you do to make snail mail fun or do you even send any out anymore? 

Tiny Prints would like to offer one of my lucky readers 4 sets of 24 address labels {plus free shipping} to make your snail mail more fun!

Just comment and you are entered.

Winner will be contacted via email...so make sure I have that information so that I can do so. Giveaway will end March 26th at Midnight.

You can find Tiny Prints...
On Twitter
On Pinterest
On Facebook

Disclosure: Tiny Prints is sponsoring the giveaway, and will be giving the winner and I address labels. Operation Snail Mail is all me.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

seeing positive in all things...

Let's start in December just for fun...

A couple weeks before Christmas someone decided to plow into the back of our car while Paul was driving, with kids in tow. Scary yes, but the positive my cute family was not hurt.

While that car was in the shop {so within the next week of the first wreck} someone hit into our rental while Paul was out and about. Uh, it was a poopy situation. The positive, the person that hit in to Paul was a gem. She helped us a ton, and we ended up paying zero to the rental car company.

The entire month of December I was sick. I went to the Dr to figure things out, and found out I had a cyst that is over 5 inches in diameter growing on my ovary. It was determined I will have surgery on this, and may lose my ovary.  The positive, I found out I was pregnant too! Yeah for baby girl!!

About the same time we found out we were having a baby, we also found out we don't have maternity insurance. Not cool. The positive, we were able to sell one of Paul's expensive arcade games and the monthly payments from the buyer help pay for my medical expenses.

I had plans of returning back to work after the baby was born after 12 weeks of FMLA. After further research, I don't qualify for FMLA because I am short on the hour requirements. The positive, I will stay home with my 3 kiddies and be a Mom, a Wife, and the best darn housekeeper ever. ;)

At 20 weeks pregnant I started having what I thought were braxton hicks...but I felt they were a little stronger than they should be. I ran it by my Dr, and she quickly checked me to make sure they were not actually doing anything.  Oh yeah, I was starting to dilate. Bummer. The positive, I actually thought to ask instead of dismissing it, and I am being way more careful.

Yesterday while Paul and I were on our way to pick up our brand new car, someone plowed in to the back of our other car. The positive, we didn't have the kids with us AND it wasn't my brand new car.

We had a business deal go bad. Hey Evonne, try not to stress out too much. The positive, I don't see much positive in this yet...ask me after I am done being really mad.

Although I can see the positive in most situations, I am ready for our bad luck to move on to someone else. I don't want to see how much more I can handle, because Paul and I feel like we are already at capacity. My days are slurring together, my emotions are a mess, but guess what?  Paul and I are holding strong together, just like we always do.

If you wanna send us some good vibes, we will gladly take them.

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

preparing for baptism

Savannah turning 8 has kind of snuck up on us. Wasn't she just born!? She was invited to a baptism preview a couple of weeks ago, and I almost couldn't believe she was old enough to go.

Savannah wants to be a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, but she just doesn't want to do the baptizing part. That poor girl hates water, and has pretty much worried about everything.  The baptism preview ended up being so awesome for her to attend {kudos to the Primary Presidency}. She was able to see the font, hear how to prepare herself, and her favorite part was listening to the leader talk about Activity Days!

Even with my really awful memory, my baptism day is a day that is burned into my soul. It was such a special day for me...from my wrist corsage that my Dad gave me, to the really pretty dress my Mom made me to wear. I couldn't help but feel emotional as I talked to the Primary President about witnesses, who will watch my other two kids while I help Savannah, and making this day extra special for my Savannah. I am hoping it is a day that she will never forget, just like my baptism day.

Monday, March 19, 2012

2 years.


{I love that Savannah is trying to help him blow out his candle. AND clothes are optional around here.}

Happy Birthday Dev-a-rooni.
You make every day an adventure, and I don't think there is ever a dull moment with you around.

We sure do love you!

Mom-eeeeeeeee, Dada, Nana, and Bina

PS We probably should discuss how amazing Nothing Bundt Cakes are!  We each got our own individual cake for Devin's birthday. Huge success. Those things were perfection, and left us wondering what we were going to celebrate next...just so we can go back and get more.

Friday, March 16, 2012

when all else fails.

After the 3rd time on that Friday of Devin deciding that taking off his clothes and diaper was fun during nap time...I got serious. I went to his overflowing pajama drawer with a pair of scissors, and cut all the cute footies off. I just couldn't take cleaning up bodily stuff one more time.
All I have to say, SUCCESS! Totally worth cutting up every single one of those pajamas. The only down side is that we end up changing him in and out of pajamas all day long...it is a lot of extra work. Anything is better than poo though.

Just after we got that problem solved, Devin decided to mix it up yet again. I mean, who likes boring and routine anyway!? Paul calls me about 8:30ish one night {well after Devin's bedtime} to inform me that he can now climb out of his crib. Swell, just what we need. That first night he didn't get to bed until 11:00 PM!  What can I say, that kid doesn't do well with change in his life. He did sleep in late the next morning...once he got to sleep, but I knew the next day was going to be a challenge. Oh, and it was! No naps in his new toddler bed, and only a few short car naps when we were picking up lunch and Savannah from school. It about did me in. The next night went better getting him to sleep {Paul said}. I was feeling pretty lucky, and then he decided to wake up all night long. My thoughts the next day...It can only get better!

By the 3rd night we had complete success. I was as excited that he slept through the night as the first time he did it in his life!

I would have never chosen to potty train and switch him to a toddler bed all in one week...but it appears Dev likes a challenge! I say better now than with a brand new baby...

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

the big cheese.

We braved Chuck E Cheese for Devin's birthday.

When we were walking out, I think we decided we either needed to go during the week AND during the day...or never return. 

That place was packed with a bunch of crazy, unsupervised children.

Okay, that is the end of my complaining.

***

We did have a good time. It is nice that all the games are only 1 token, and they do have a really good arcade. Double bonus.
Devin didn't even cry when the BIG Cheese came to our table. We are definitely making progress on those big dressed up characters {I see Disneyland in our near future!}. He even was able to relax enough to get his groove going to all that loud music.
Savannah and Devin didn't mind the below average pizza, and managed to polish off LOTS of it.
It is always wonderful to watch your kids have fun, even if it is an activity Paul and I don't love doing. We considered it a successful trip when Devin fell asleep 3.2 seconds after getting in his car seat.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

crayola + giveaway = awesome

Since a certain little boy is turning 2 in a week, and then Easter is followed close behind we are on the hunt for fun gifts for both kids.

I don't know about you, but Easter is always a little challenging for me. I don't like to waste loads of money on candy, and I never know whether Easter should be one of those holidays you should go all out on or what. We don't have much tradition when it comes down to it, so we end up winging it every year. One year we bought a bike, and a few little gifts. One year we just did a hunt around the yard, and the past two years we have done a scavenger type hunt with clues to small gifts {which has been fun}.

I pretty much have to buy my kids the same presents, or they end up both wanting what the other one has. You wouldn't think I would have this problem, oh...but I do. I think their entire Easter basket last year was the same, but it makes for not such an easy task in picking. Ya know, because Savannah is almost 8, and Devin is 2.

Insert Crayola saving the day here! Literally. I use to think of Crayola as just crayons and markers, but it is so much more.
Devin is always wanting Savannah's school supplies, and has colored on himself and other things a few times with the non-washable stuff. No more will he want those when he can color with these cute animals and they are washable!  I am pretty sure he will be getting loads of that Crayola Color Wonder line too...anything that says "mess free"...I am down.
Savannah can never have enough sidewalk chalk, and not only are we heading in to that time of year we are looking for loads of stuff to do outside...Crayola carries more than just your regular ol' chalk. How fun that this chalk is 3D!? Everything is better in 3D. :) This is also something Devin can do, and it is totally age appropriate for both kids!  On those few warm days we have already had this year, they have spent time chalkin' up the driveway together!

These are just a few of the things that will be filling up the Easter baskets this year! I am excited to watch their imagination take off, instead of being wild and crazy from the sugar high!

What is your favorite Crayola product?  What kind of presents do you put in the Easter baskets?

Enter to win a bunch of fun Crayola products just by commenting. Giveaway will end Friday March 16th, 11:59 PM. I will contact winner via email.

Disclosure: Thank you Crayola and MyBlogSpark for sending me really cool products to try, and fall in love with.  All opinions in this post are my own yo!

Monday, March 12, 2012

vangs is what the cool kids call 'em.

Have we already discussed how Savannah has been begging for "vangs" or what the rest of us call bangs!? It has easily been years this has been going on.

Bangs scare me, I will be honest.  It was probably 1993-ish when I last had bangs, and it wasn't pretty.  Those things make my round face look awful. I would find photo evidence, but I don't know if the world wide web is ready for that much ugly. True story.

It has been almost 2 years since Savannah last had her hair cut. I know, crazy.  It isn't a priority around these parts, unless you are Paul and Devin.
We went to get her hair cut, and the next thing I know she is telling the lady she wants her long beautiful hair chopped to her chin. I really don't care that she wanted it short, even though it was just getting super fun to style {if she let me}. Cute Casey was almost done with cutting her hair, and it was as if my brain shut off for a minute and you know what came out of my mouth!?

Cut some bangs for her!
{you can't really see them in this picture, because of the way the wind is blowing.}

Still can't believe I said it. I even got a little sick watching Casey cut them. Savannah sat in shock that she was actually getting those "vangs" she had always wanted.

So far they are okay. Truth is, the "vangs" will be really easy to grow out if I can't stand them, because she did cut her hair so short. {Gotta look at the positive!}
Savannah is growing up, and I know sometimes I am gonna have to give a little. Baby steps for Mom in that direction. AND let's be honest, Savannah can pull off any look, she is just that cute.

Friday, March 9, 2012

tomorrow will be better.

I have never wanted a weekend more than today.

Devin has decided to test my patience, and I didn't have much to begin with. We always joke that it is a good thing he is so cute, or it wouldn't be so easy to forgive him.

I went to get him this morning from his crib...he had used his poop to finger paint. It wasn't pretty. I used lots of choice words. He was sure proud of himself though.

A few hours later it was nap time.  I could hear him talking to himself about his "pee pee".  I should have really went to make sure he wasn't causing trouble, because when I went in there he was nude and everything was wet from his "pee pee".

Twice in one day is enough to send me to the looney bin.

Paul and I sat at lunch and couldn't help but laugh at our morning. I think Paul was secretly excited he got to leave from lunch to go work. It was about all the excitement we could both handle for a day.
Bring on the weekend people, and the icecream.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

snow day.

It is always lovely when Mother Nature decides to cooperate and give us snow on a day that Savannah had off of school. That means not only do I not have to wake up and drive in it, I also let them go outside and play in it before bath time. :)
We weren't really prepared with snow gear for Devin...so, we improvised with a pair of Savannah's old pink boots, 3 pairs of pants on bottom, and socks for gloves.  The boots may have also been way too big for him, making it so he couldn't walk...or it could have been that he couldn't bend his knees with all the extra layers. Good thing Savannah didn't mind helping him, and Devin still had fun even if he kept falling face first in the snow.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

the mother's room.

For you Non-Mormon folk, this rant probably won't make sense.

For those who don't use the mother's room at church, this rant will either be all the reasons you don't...or the reason you will never want to.

AND just to preface this, I am a moody pregnant woman...and I don't mean to offend ladies in my ward, just inform.

***

I had always been excited to use the mother's room. It felt like a really cool club you belonged to when you were nursing a baby.  Since I didn't nurse Savannah, I never felt like I could go in that "special" room. I know it sounds stupid, but true. I could make bottles in sacrament meeting without ever leaving my seat, and if I am being totally honest...Paul was way better at getting Savannah to sleep, so I would have never been the one to take her out anyway.

I was so excited to finally use the mother's room with Devin, until I figured out what really happens in there.

Don't get me wrong, it can been a slice of heaven when you have a bunch of respectful ladies using it. But just like always, it only takes one person to ruin it.

On Sunday Devin was struggling during sacrament.  Normally I would just walk the halls, rocking him, and hope he falls asleep.  It has become way to complicated with pregnancy to do what seems so simple...so I thought I will go rock him in one of those semi-comfy chairs in the mother's room.

No one was in there. I turned the volume down on the speaker so it was just audible, and we rocked. I thought we had a good thing goin'.

Well, then I lost count after the 5th person came in to change their child's poopy diaper, leaving said poopy diaper in the pail, and leaving the room. They didn't come to nurse, and then maybe needed to change a diaper...it was for the purpose of changing a nasty. Not only that, most of them were not babies...they were toddlers or older.

You know who is left in the room to smell that nasty poopy you changed...while you went back to your business? ME, people...or other poor woman in the middle of nursing a baby. 

Who likes to smell poop...!? Am I the only one that finds this completely disrespectful? Why would you use the mother's room to change a poopy diaper when there is a perfectly good changing station in the BATHROOM!! I mean people going into the bathroom are expecting it to not smell great.  When I go in a room to nurse my baby, rock my baby to sleep, and listen to the meeting...I don't want to smell poop for 30 minutes.

Is there no unwritten code or etiquette for using this room?  Please tell me this is not normal.  If it is, I am going to be the woman in sacrament meeting whipping out my goods without going in the mother's room, because honestly I can't handle all that stank...

End Rant.

PS I know I sound dramatic over poop, but seriously.

Monday, March 5, 2012

keeping us entertained.

Devin is a funny little boy. Even when he is being really naughty, you can't help but laugh.
A few days ago Devin begged to have his toe nails painted. I didn't know a little boy could be so intrigued by black toe nails, but he was. He still hasn't been able to keep his footie pj's on, because he is too busy admiring his painted toes. It could be slightly annoying that every morning he is completely undressed in his crib...but he is just so darn proud of those toes...it makes me smile.

We are still struggling with nursery. Gosh darn, I thought we were making improvements. Last week he did make it most of the time, but not by himself. During snack time, he raised his water glass and in his baby voice asked for "more Coke." Um, I didn't stop laughing. I love that kid.
Paul bought a new office mat for our chair. When he moved it, Devin instantly thought the old one was the perfect spot to learn how to break dance.  We both looked over at him busting a move with no music. We decided we aren't going to be spending any money on toys anymore, because it is the silly things that keep him entertained.

Everything is a touch screen, even if it's not. You can find Devin trying to use the Nintendo DS without using the buttons.
Even though his new favorite toy is the baby doll, and he loves to accessorize with a bracelet most days...he loves the boy things like bodily functions, sports, and play fighting with whoever wants to take a punch.

Friday, March 2, 2012

parent teacher conferences.

{I love that she changed the name of the bird when she gave it to me!}

Since I am a newbie at this school business, I get nervous going to parent teacher conferences still. Savannah always comes home with high marks on her homework, and she seems to be excelling...but you never really know.

On the way to the school Savannah tells me, "Mom, my teacher might tell you I am too chatty. Are you mad?"

It is always hard to get mad at your child for a trait that I clearly passed on to her.

Savannah was right, the teacher told me that she is a social butterfly, and would probably be able to participate in class more if she wasn't already busy having conversations. That's my girl. But then she went on to say that Savannah is reading above a 1st grade reading level. Savannah has improved on her penmanship. Savannah always gets high scores on everything, and that she is ready for 2nd grade.

We celebrated her mostly good review by going to the book fair, and buying her some fun goodies.

I really should stop worrying so much...Savannah has this school stuff in the bag.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

embracing me.

After I was done being pregnant with Savannah, I was disappointed that I didn't have more tummy pictures. Ya know when you realize you don't ever get that moment back, and darn it, you didn't take advantage!?

So, when I was pregnant with Devin, I did better at taking those tummy pictures. Like loads better. I didn't feel awesome, and I got my signature pregnant face...but, but, BUT I still like looking at the pictures. So glad I did it. No regrets.

This pregnancy is obviously much different. Since 6 weeks of it I didn't even know I was still pregnant, we didn't find out right away, and I lost a bunch of weight...there really hasn't been much to see. The only time I have really taken a tummy shot is when my sister bugs me, and I quickly do a "MySpace pic" in my mirror. I even have said, I am okay with not taking any tummy shots this time around. 

A few weeks ago...I finally popped out. In this same time period someone asked me how much longer do you have left?, someone told me I already waddle, and someone else told me WHOA, YOU LOOK PREGNANT {I sure hope so, because I am}. So I decided I better take a few pictures for our Sabrina to see how big, and awesome her Mommy got while pregnant with her.

For your viewing pleasure 22ish weeks pregnant...with a happy Dev in tow...
Although I am not one of those really cute pregnant Mommy's...this is who I am, this is what I look like, and this is just another step in getting back to embracing me.