Sunday, February 28, 2010

What Have We Been Up To?

Hi everyone! Those of you who check this blog and maybe even my other blogs somewhat regularly have probably noticed I haven't been posting as frequently. Just a quick explanation - I love blogging. I have kept a journal pretty consistently since high school and blogging is sort of a public (and edited) way for me to journal. I love writing about my girls, my family and our sometimes hectic life. I love to read my friends' blogs and even started following and reading blogs by people I don't even know in real life. And here is where the "but" comes in - I often joke that I'm addicted to blogging but it was becoming less and less of a joke and more of a problem. I found myself spending way too much time on the computer, posting to my own blogs, reading other people's blogs and searching the Internet in general. Don't worry - I don't think I need a twelve step program or anything, I just decided I needed to take some time away from the computer. Hopefully I'll be able to figure out how to better balance everything and post a little more often without sacrificing other aspects of my life.

So enough of that business, what have we been up to the past couple of weeks? The past week I've been gearing up for a yard sale for next Saturday. It is a little early in the year for yard sales but I just can't deal with the clutter any longer. Ed's shop is packed full of boxes and stuff we need to get rid of, things we cleared out last year when we were getting Gabrielle's new room ready and the nursery ready for Samantha. In the last year we have of course acquired even more stuff. The walls of the house were starting to close in on me so I decided we had to have a yard sale ASAP! I've just about completed going through the house but now have the task of pricing the stuff in Ed's shop and maybe going through some of the boxes in the attic. I want to be very critical and seriously get rid of stuff we are hanging onto for no good reason.

Other than that we've been up to our usual, nothing too exciting. Gabrielle has really been into her coloring and drawing lately and spends a great deal of time at her little table. We made it back to the library finally after almost 4 months! The library used to be a regular every other week event for us. In August the children story hour at our library began and we were going every week for a while. And then winter hit and it seemed someone always had a cold or the weather was just too miserable to go out in unless it was an absolute necessity. We came home with a bag full of books and Gabrielle has really enjoyed reading some new stuff.

Yesterday we had a nice family outing to the Museum of Natural Science. Gabrielle had seen on "Curious George" a museum with dinosaur bones. She also had seen on the show "Olivia" an art museum. For about a week now she had been asking to go to a museum. Eventually we'll make it to the art museum but I thought we would all get a little more out of the Science museum for now. It was a hit and a really great day. We had a nice lunch at the museum and Gabrielle loved all the exhibits. For some reason though she was being a little skittish of certain ones. She wanted to see them all but the ones she was actually allowed to get really close to and touch she was freaked out about. Not sure why that was. Normally I can't keep her hands off anything!

And that's our week in a nutshell - nothing too exciting, just normal life stuff for the most part. We are all definitely ready for spring and some nice weather. It will be great when we can at least get out in our backyard for an hour a day to burn off some energy and get some fresh air and sunlight!

Monday, February 22, 2010

A Beautiful Day to be Outside

What a beautiful weekend! We are hoping for a lot more days like yesterday!

We spent Sunday afternoon in our backyard or Mattie and Bella's backyard as Gabrielle likes to call it. I don't know why she refers to it as Mattie and Bella's yard but she does. She also refers to the front yard as her backyard!

Samantha loved being outside playing. She just laughed and laughed on the swings. (Excuse the runny nose in the photo!)

Gabrielle has always been an outdoorsy kind of girl. This year I have noticed she is much braver and less cautious when it comes to climbing and going down slides. She also is a lot more creative with her play in general.
The two girls both just love swinging together. Gabrielle is going to have so much fun this summer with her little sister to play.
Samantha is going to skip the cautious stage I'm afraid. She already is jumping and bouncing all over the place. When I put her on the little slide she never hesitated skooting down it herself. I can remember with Gabrielle she was well over a year old and still was a little nervous about going down this itty bitty slide.

From My Little Sunbeams

From My Little Sunbeams

From My Little Sunbeams

From My Little Sunbeams

Maybe the favorite part for both girls was riding in the wagon. Samantha loves anything that involves moving but also loves anything she can do with her big sister. Gabrielle loved she actually now had someone to ride with her in her 2-seater wagon.
From My Little Sunbeams

The wagon is a lot heavier for me to pull around this year though!
From My Little Sunbeams

And the car is a lot heavier for Gabrielle to push around as well!
From My Little Sunbeams

I thought this was so sweet. After pushing her little sister for a bit, Gabrielle stopped to show Samantha how everything works. She turned the key for her, showed her how to beep the horn and turn the steering wheel.
From My Little Sunbeams

From My Little Sunbeams

From My Little Sunbeams

And then of course checked "under the hood" to make sure all was working properly with the car. She had to clean out quite a few leaves and pine cones - things she herself had tucked away in there the last time we had the little car out.
From My Little Sunbeams

After playing in the sand, on the swing set, running around, throwing, kicking and chasing balls we all headed inside and amazingly each and every single one of us took a nap at the same time! Samantha was in her crib, I was in bed with Gabrielle and Ed was on the couch. What a perfect Sunday afternoon!

The next photo is of Gabrielle's creation at dinner last night - the remains of her tomato and the rest of her "salad" she didn't feel like eating with a ziti noodle placed on top. She called it a "cucumber pancake."
From My Little Sunbeams

And now for some extreme close-ups of messy faces!
From My Little Sunbeams

From My Little Sunbeams

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Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February's Past

I love looking back at old photos. I especially love looking at photos from exactly one year ago, two years ago, and so on. I was in one of those moods this morning and this is what I found - boy has our life changed!!

February 2004 - We had been engaged for a couple of months and were in the process of building our house.

From My Little Sunbeams

February 2005 - Still newlyweds we brought home our first "baby" - little tiny adorable Bella!

From My Little Sunbeams

February 4, 2006 - Out to dinner with friends celebrating our birthdays. If you're wondering why the big cheesy grins, we had just found out we were expecting Gabrielle. We had only known for about a week or two and had only told a couple of people. It was so hard not to tell everyone!

From My Little Sunbeams

February 16, 2007 - What a difference a year makes! Gabrielle, our chunky little monkey and the picture below shows the rest of our "zoo." We had two dogs and still the two cats. They didn't leave much room on the couch for anyone else!

From My Little Sunbeams

From My Little Sunbeams

February 16, 2008 - At Daddy's office. I remember this was a Saturday. I was having computer issues at home and really needed to get some work done so we headed to the warehouse. While I worked on Ed's computer he kept Gabrielle occupied, rolling her around in a chair and coloring pictures.

From My Little Sunbeams

February 16, 2009 - Gabrielle loved (and still does) playing dress up. This is an outfit she put together all by herself. I was 7 months pregnant with Samantha and so ready for her to be here. It's funny to look back and not see photos of her and to think of life without her - I feel like she has been with us forever!

From February 2009

I wished I had taken a photo of the girls today before putting Samantha down for her morning nap - I'll have to post one later!

Hope you enjoyed reminiscing as much as I did!

Monday, February 15, 2010

Happy Valentine's Day!

Our Valentine got off to a happy start. Both girls slept fairly late - at least late as far as they are concerned. Gabrielle woke up around 7:00 and was fever-free! Samantha (and me too) slept until almost 8:00.

Unfortunately due to slacking off on dinner dishes last night I had to clean the kitchen first thing before getting started on breakfast. That was a bummer but I knew last night the consequences of my decision to go to bed early as opposed to doing dishes. While I was busy in the kitchen Ed made a quick trip to get a Sunday paper and Gabrielle's heart shaped balloon.

She had asked for a heart shaped balloon every time we went in to Harris Teeter for the past month. I wanted to do something special for my girls for Valentine's Day while keeping it simple at the same time. Gabrielle had consistently asked for a box of chocolates (with a penguin on the front of the box), a heart shaped lollipop, a heart shaped balloon and a stuffed bear. Of course anytime we were in a store and she saw something she liked she would immediately respond with "I want that for Valentine's Day!"

But back to breakfast - I wanted to do something different and special so we had chocolate chip pancakes and peanut butter chip pancakes. For Gabrielle I made a bear shaped pancake and a heart shaped pancake.

From My Little Sunbeams

After I got the girls dressed I gave them their Valentine gifts.

From My Little Sunbeams

Oh, Samantha! She looked so serious while opening her gift. She would study each thing, never once cracking a smile! She has smiled and laughed while holding her toys all throughout the day but when she was first opening them this morning she apparently didn't know what to think!

From My Little Sunbeams

Gabrielle has always had the absolute best reactions to gifts. She always has. Even as a baby she would smile and laugh and just love on whatever you gave her. This morning was no exception. She loved her balloon when Ed walked in with it and she said "Oh, thank you Daddy!" As she opened the rest of her Valentine she exclaimed with such excitement "Ooo a bear! Look I got this and I got a drawing thing..."

From My Little Sunbeams

We gave Ed his Valentines this morning as soon as everyone was up. This is the picture and card Gabrielle made for him...

From My Little Sunbeams

From My Little Sunbeams

And this was the petite Valentine I made for him...

From My Little Sunbeams

Yesterday I was fortunate enough to have both girls take good afternoon naps simultaneously. It was amazing! I spent some of that time getting their Valentine gifts all together.

This was their gifts sitting out in front of the gift bags...
From My Little Sunbeams

And this is a close-up of some of the items. The Cookie Monster and Abby Cadabby are just the right size for Samantha to hold one in each hand. I thought they were so cute! And the bottom pictures are Gabrielle's heart shaped lollipops. I found a free printable on Shabby Blogs to use as cute little covers for the lollipops.

From My Little Sunbeams

And that was our Valentine's Day. Both girls took good afternoon naps again. Unfortunately now Gabrielle doesn't want to go to bed. It's exhausting having to tell her every five minutes to get back in bed. Naps almost aren't even worth it when they cause bedtime to be such a headache. But eventually she has to fall asleep, right? I personally am ready to pass out now!

Saturday, February 13, 2010

More Snow? Great!

Be sure to read the title with a sarcastic tone. We woke up this morning to once again - snow! The first time it was fun. Gabrielle wanted snow so badly I was happy she had the chance to get out and play. But enough already! We live in NC. We are not supposed to have winters like this!

Last night instead of doing dishes from dinner I decided to take it easy, in other words, be lazy! I took a nice bubble bath...

got nice and warm in my fleece pajamas and snowman socks...

got in bed with my furry baby Bella...

and my new tote full of my books, Bible, journal, word searches...

and relaxed, read and went to sleep fairly early.

I'm so glad I did too because Gabrielle woke up several times during the night. Ed got up with her each time but as expected she was awake just a little after 5:00 this morning and isn't feeling too well.

Of course in this picture one would not suspect she isn't feeling well. What can I say, the girl loves to have her photo taken!

She is feeling warm. I just took her temp and sure enough - 101.2 . Ed took my car to work this morning. It is better than his for driving in snow and his truck doesn't have heat. I just gave Gabrielle some Tylenol and hopefully that will help. I guess I will call the pediatrician later this morning to get their opinion on whether I should take Gabrielle to Urgent Care or the Minute Clinic, just to make sure it's not strep or anything like that.

Fortunately, Samantha seems to be fine so far. She still has a runny nose and a slight cough but isn't running a fever at all.

I guess I'll be spending the day trying to keep Gabrielle laying on the couch, resting and trying to keep Samantha and all of her toys away from germs.

Seriously, I am so ready for spring!! I know kids can get sick in the spring too but I'm done with the colds, the cold weather, the snow and being stuck inside. We need to get out, running around, playing, getting some energy burned off! I'm going to side with the Sir Walter Wally (the Raleigh groundhog) and hope winter will be coming to an end soon!

Friday, February 12, 2010

Colds - yuck!

In the past 12-24 hours Gabrielle's hoarse voice has turned into a near constant cough. Samantha has a yucky runny nose and neither one acts like they feel too good. I'm not feeling too great myself at the moment. Gabrielle still has the energy of a very well-feeling child and won't stop scaring her little sister. Ed is working tomorrow...

to say the least I'm not looking forward to the weekend. The only thing that could make it worse - snow and/or ice!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Busy, Busy Birthday Week

It has been quite a busy week for us - but a fun one!

I had lunch out twice this week with a couple of my friends. How awesome is that? Today I had lunch with my friend Caroline. I have so many talented friends starting their own businesses and Caroline is one of them. She makes and sells her own jewelry. Her Etsy shop is and the link to her website is .

I bought these earrings last week with some birthday money:

And today at lunch she brought with her two boxes full of her jewelry and told me I could pick something out for my birthday. Wasn't that sweet? I ended up picking out two things - I really liked so much of it I couldn't decide what to get!! But these are the two pair of earrings I finally decided on:

Thanks, Caroline! I love my new earrings and you can bet I'll be buying more pieces!!

Yesterday Gabrielle had ballet as usual but this particular class was a very special one. Gabrielle's recital costume came in and yesterday she got to not only try it on but the class even gave us a preview of their show! How cute are these little girls?

It will be only Gabrielle and this other little girl doing the recital from her class. I can't wait to see the two of them up on that big stage by themselves.

Gabrielle was thrilled to see and put on her costume. I thought she might be upset about not being able to keep the costume on but she made no big deal out of leaving the costume at the dance studio. The cute little teddy bear with matching costume, however, was a completely different story. Gabrielle cried and cried and I did not think I would ever get the bear from her and get out of the studio. She kept telling me how much she loved her bear and she wanted to take her home. It was a very heartbreaking ride home. She has since gotten over it but I'm sure each Wednesday we go to the studio for ballet class she will be reminded of her little teddy bear. Hopefully she'll be able to handle leaving the bear there a little better with each week or else we are going to be miserable from now until the end of May!

Isn't it nice to go to the mailbox and see colorful envelopes instead of the usual dull white boring ones which seem to be bills more times than not? Last week I had a couple of days like that with receiving birthday cards for myself. Today we hit the jackpot!

Ed had a couple of birthday cards in the mail and then the girls had several Valentine cards. And to make it even better, not a single bill was in the mailbox!

The girls loved opening their cards -

We - and by 'we' I mean 'I' - have procrastinated with making Valentine cards, once again this year. So I apologize to our friends and family now - you probably will not receive a Valentine this year but thank you so much for the cute and sweet ones you sent to us. Maybe I can make it up to at Easter!!

Today is Ed's birthday. Happy Birthday, hubby!! After lunch today the girls and I went shopping for him. We got him a new game and controller for his Wii and bought some groceries to make him a special birthday dinner and some birthday peanut butter cookies. Dinner was delicious and the cookies were even better. And Ed has been playing his game for the past hour and 45 minutes, since the girls were put to bed, so he must be enjoying his gift as well.

Now I must get busy with meal planning and making a grocery list. I really feel like putting it off until tomorrow but I know tomorrow I'll regret it when I'm rushed to getting a list together and later than I would ideally like getting to the store. The whole day will be thrown off. I might as well just do it now and get it over with, right?