Wednesday, November 21, 2012

Call Me Crazy

In two days my husband and I are taking the girls on vacation.
Before Lena was even born, we knew we wanted to take a warm weather trip in November or December. People were not shy to tell us that we were crazy, and that it would be stressful, and basically our lives would be ruined forever. But we love vacationing, and when Charlotte was 14 weeks, I flew with her (without Marcus) to Florida and the trip went great.

So after throwing around a few ideas, we decided to go to Disney World. We aren't planning on doing the parks thing every day, and we also plan on going back to the resort for nap time. Maybe a late nap time.

The weather looks good, and the place we're staying has a toddler friendly pool so we can spend some time there too.
I'm ready for the pool!!

Charlotte went through an enormous growth spurt between September and October and so many of her clothes don't fit. Thankfully, I have a friend who loaned me some of her daughters things so Charlotte doesn't need to wear a tiny bathing suit. (although I love her little belly showing)

What do you mean it's too cold? Why must you tease me?

I'm just excited to go on our first big trip as a family of four, and even if schedules do get all cuckoo, it's not like I need to go back to work once we're back home. We'll get it figured out. Lena has chosen not to sleep between the hours of 5pm and 11pm and is not easy to keep entertained, so maybe some laser light shows or fire works will keep her happy while we're gone. 

How old were you on the first vacation that you can remember? 
When I was 7 we went to Washington DC because nothing is more fascinating to a first grader than the Jefferson Memorial.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

My Memories Suite Review AND Giveaway!!

Look at me! Doing a giveaway like a big shot.

When I was contacted to do a review of My Memories Suite digital scrapbooking software I thought it would be pretty cool. I downloaded the software in just a few minutes and got to digi-scrappin. (That's what it's called now. According to me.)

 I used to scrapbook several years ago and I really enjoyed it. The major downside of paper/stickums/scissors/punchouts/embellishments/etc... is exactly that. There is SO much stuff. And it's expensive! On top of that, once you use it, it's gone. So you just spent $7 on little sparkly doodads and you stuck them to a page and there it is. Done. Never to be used again.  Another downside to "real" scrapbooking is needing a space to set out all of your things, and needing to pack it back up, which if you know me, doesn't happen for like 2 weeks.
No glitter all over my dining room rug. Not that that would a real problem.

So back to digi-scrappin. I'm busy. I have a newborn. Is she still a newborn? Whatever. I have a little baby, and a toddler. I don't have a lot of time to mess around. I'm not that creative. That's why this software is perfect for me. I first chose to do a "fast fill" album where they take photos that I've selected and arrange them in a pre-designed album. Talk about easy.

Just a page from a fast fill album
look how little Charlotte was!
Not only can you make scrapbooks, but you can design custom facebook cover photos, blog headers (like mine! what do you think?) and even D.I.Y. party printables if you're creative enough on your own. There are a TON of features to the software, and I've only been using it for less than 2 weeks. Since I am busy, I've just skimmed the surface, but there are some great kits and templates available online too for download. No putting on pants, going to the store, pretending to be nice to's just too much. :)

Now comes the good part for you! My Memories is giving away a FREE download of their software to one lucky winner.
The only thing you need to do is go to and check out some of the digital scrapbook kits they have available and leave a comment here on my blog telling me which one you'd choose for yourself or leave a comment telling me what you'd use the software for (vacation, baby, partying at the bar photo album, etc) That's all it takes to enter. (Comments on my FB page do not count.)
I'll leave it open for a week (or so? I'll be on vacation soon!) so the winner will be chosen Tuesday, November 27. 

What's even better is that I'm not one of those big timer fancy bloggers who has a million readers so your odds of winning are pretty good. :)
**please make sure you have an email address linked to your account when you comment, or just leave it in the comments so I can reach you!**

whoop whoop!

Check out My Memories here:

****************GIVEAWAY CLOSED************************
The winner is Trista!!

Monday, November 12, 2012

Writer's Workshop: Something I Wore

This is the first time I've participated in Mama Kat's Writer's Workshop. I've thought about it in the past since I often run out of things to write about, and her writing prompts are just the ticket!

Mama’s Losin’ It

So without further ado... "something I wore."

Growing up, my brother, sister and I would spend 2 or 3 weeks in the summer visiting our family in Pennsylvania. My grandmother would often buy me clothes, because that's what grandmothers do.
The summer that I was 6 years old, she bought me a couple of shirts. They seemed really similar to each other, but I was 6 and they both had glitter on them, so I guess I didn't really care.
My sister who is 5 years older than me was teasing me about them and I didn't understand why.

This is the exact image that appeared on my shirt(s)
I got two of these shirts. One had pink stripes, the other had peach stripes.
I thought they were great until my sister said:You know what husky means, right?
me: No.
my sister: It means fat. Mommom thinks you're fat.
me: Wahhh

I never wanted to wear the glittery shirts again! And glitter was (okay, still is) my favorite! 
But let me tell you, you can't spend two weeks staying at your grandparent's house without wearing the clothes that were bought for you!
Did I mention she's from Ecuador? Yeah, you don't want to piss that off. 
So I wore the shirts and remember crossing my arms across my body so you couldn't see that I had a shirt that meant I was fat. 

I wonder if Charlotte will some day tease Lena like my sister teased me.

Have you ever received a gift that you were embarrassed to wear but had to anyway?

Sunday, November 11, 2012

A Weekend Away

Over the weekend we spent some time at my in law's condo in Suttons Bay. We haven't been up there as a family since Memorial Day, and I spent that time pretty miserable. I ended up in the ER for a mystery ailment that I'm pretty sure was gallbladder/pregnancy related.
But that's beside the point.

My husband has a building project about 20 minutes from there and he travels up every Thursday for work. So  I loaded up the girls, Darby, and about 20 bags and boxes to come up and meet him. Let me tell you, the packing and planning is so.much.crazier when you have an infant along. I remember we brought Charlotte up when She was about the same age as Lena but I wasn't on my own for packing.
My plan was to leave around 8 am, but we didn't get on the road until after 10:00. There's just so much to think about! But we managed, and we had a perfect trip.

We really haven't spent much time doing "nothing" as a family. There's always something to be done around the house, mounds of laundry, basement crap, general non-relaxation. Going away was exactly what we needed.

We checked out the completed project my husband managed for his job and after that went to the local children's museum.
This place used to house mental patients. Now they just pose on the porch.
Escaping Shawshank


My parents joined us for a couple of nights and even watched the girls so Marcus and I could go on a date!
I had two cocktails which was one too many because suddenly my husband got funny again. Okay, that's not nice, but we had a great time out and need to try to get out on a more frequent basis. Those kids are draining!

We played some life sized Jenga. My mom was very frazzled by it. Every piece was "stuck" and she didn't grasp the idea for several rounds. :)

Marcus lost

I think the trip was a good practice for our upcoming vacation to Disney! We won't have help from my parents when we go, but it gave us an idea how the girls would do on a long car ride and sleeping in a new place. It went really well, and we had a lot of fun, so there's hope. 
It's been a busy November so far, and it's going to stay that way until December, and then it's Christmastime! I bought the Elf on a Shelf book this year. I know Charlotte is young, and I wasn't planning on doing the whole "Santa" thing but I gave in. I love the idea of starting little traditions now.

Do you have any traditions you do with your family, or remember fun ones from growing up?

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Trick Or Treat!

This year Halloween is fun because Charlotte is old enough to sort of understand what's going on. Last year I dressed her up, but she just sat there. I wanted to be sure that she wouldn't get freaked out by the costumes and that she'd wear one herself, so I did a little prep beforehand and showed her pictures online. She seemed to get excited about a Minnie Mouse costume and recognized it as that, so that is what she was!

Pumpkins= "Das" in Charlotte-speak

She absolutely loved wearing her costume, so I took a couple of opportunities to let her wear it. We went to a greenhouse that in the off season does things like hay rides and has bounce houses. We've never done anything like that before and I find myself oddly wondering how many times she's peed her pants out of excitement during the activities.

I'd shove a princess if she bounces in my bounce bubble

Wizardry is one of my many talents

Today when it was actually Halloween, she was just happy to put her costume back on. She's taken to calling the ears "Oh Toodles" because they look like Toodles from Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. She starts squealing OH TOODLES and no one know what the crap she's saying, but I do, and trying to explain it is sort of a waste of time.
I brought her to my old work to trick or treat inside during the day today since the weather was going to be crappy. Once she realized all she had to do was look at people and get candy, she decided that dressing up as Minnie Mouse was the best thing that ever happened to her.

One of my old co-workers happened to be wearing mouse ears, so I got to borrow them!

And even though the weather was miserable, I took her to a few houses in the neighborhood, and even though she was freezing, she had THE BEST TIME OF HER LIFE. She was shouting and pointing and cracking up at all of the kids. She was pretty mad when it was time to call it quits, but her hands were icy cold, her hair was wet, and she needed to have dinner. 

Times are certainly different than the days of this:

Can you guess what my husband is? Here's a hint: he's dressed as a communist. 

But it is so much fun seeing your child having the time of their life. It's priceless, really.

Oh, and don't forget about my little kitty cat!
give me candy, meow!

What do you think is more fun? Dressing yourself up and partying, or dressing up your kid and watching them have the time of their life?