Friday, March 28


So she had pony pics done. Yea, you read it right PONY (small horse) PICS (photos). Daisy's preschool has regular school pictures and then pony pics every year. When I saw the flyer and reminders for them I was like, "huh?" I mean we already had the school pictures done, what are these? And it was exactly as they said. When we arrived that day (of course I had forgotten it was this day cause I had brushed off the entire idea) there the pony the front yard of the church with a line of children waiting to have their pics taken. Honestly, I think I thought it would be a fake horse. I really did. But no! And that day Daisy had pics taken. When I went to pick her up that day I saw the man loading up the the back of a conversion van. Like the big vans, but smaller than a 15 passenger. HA. He (the pony, not the man) just hopped right in there and the man closed the double doors in the back. Why does that (and this whole scenario) crack me up??? Crazy. I am smiling as I type!

Anywho, Tuesday the proofs were back. I saw them. And they were cute. But, I didn't realize they dressed up the children as COWKIDS. HA! So lil' Daisy was all decked out in the pics with cowgirl poses and everything! I thought, "We will not be buying these at 6 bucks a pop/20 bucks for all 4! We are too cheap for that." And I fully intended on returning them. But then Daniel saw them. And loved them. And used his "fun money" to buy them. And now that I look at them they are pretty stinkin' cute. And I am glad we are keeping them too. So I had to share with you! :) (I am just glad they didn't have her posing with a GATOR! You never know around here!)

Please enjoy!


I teh you whut, it's been a long day here in the ol' saddle. Whoo-weee. I'm go-na sit riiight here and jus ponder with my hand a restin' on my forearm.

Tuesday, March 25

A Friend In Need.... a friend indeed. Is that how that goes? :) Hahaha. Anywho, I have some friends that have really been struggling with a problem. I am not sure what to tell them. PLEASE give some feed back for this blog. It's a weird place to be and hard to know what to do. Any thoughts would be great even if you have never commented before. (And "let my yes be yes..." it is NOT secretly me.)

So they have close friends with a little child the same age as theirs (3 1/2 years). They hang out a lot. But quite often the friends child is violent and hurts their child. This child hits with sticks, bats and other weapons. The violent kid gets a "time out" and that is it. This is obviously not working. The hitting continues. (My friends have noticed that their kid has been more aggressive when with the violent kid but seems to be fine with other children.) The mother of the violent kid was abused as a child and does not want to spank her children. My friends are having to limit hang out time with this family to protect their child! And they want their child to not to hit...but not be a wimp/sissy and be able to protect themselves from the violent kid. But how can you get that point across to a 3 yr old??? They are concerned and are frustrated with this on going problem. So what do they do now???

ANY thoughts would be greatly appreciated! Thanks!

(and I repeat: "let my yes be yes..." it is NOT secretly me. JeJe, get Papa out of the car, Julie don't cry and Scott put down the BB gun! No one is hitting Daisy!).

Monday, March 24

Busy Bunnies!!

We were busy! Here is a run through of our Easter festivities. :)

We decorated our home with all our Easter decor. Now that Daisy is older she loves to help me decorate. We also ventured into dying eggs this year. It was fun. The smell of vinegar and color tabs reminded me of when I dyed eggs when I was little. So we colored the eggs and I was thinking, "Can you eat these?" But I waited too late to find out and they sat on my counter on display for 6 days. I mean I wouldn't eat a regular egg I had left out so what crack was I smokin' thinking I could now? Don't worry. I didn't poison my family with rotten egg salad or anything. :)

"Word." Daisy waiting on the eggs to dry...bustin' a move. The girl loves to dance. And, yes she dressed herself.

We had a very busy Easter weekend! Saturday we went to the Easter Party at Tanglewood. Daisy and Isaac saw the Easter Bunny (or the "Eas-tah Bunn-neh" as Daisy says). We made bunny ears, hunted for eggs (we were too slow so she actually only found 2 eggs...bummer), ate snacks, and got a gift from the Bunny. We had fun! (The Easter Bunny told me while we were hunting eggs he was about lose 20 lbs he was so hot in that suit! I am sure being an Easter Bunny in FL is no fun! HA.) All our Tanglewood friends

Isaac not so happy to be a bunny.

Then later that afternoon we went to Caleb's 2nd Birthday party! It was fun too...Daisy was worn out! Later that evening Daniel and I put the kids down and took the monitor a few doors down to a neighbors house for a "Successful Thesis Defense Party!" Congrats Paula!! That was fun and made us realize even more how much we will miss Tanglewood. :(

Sunday I had the toddler nursery. So I didn't really get to focus on the "meaning of Easter." But someone had to work in there, right? It was nuts. We had tons of kids and my friend, Rachel, who was in there with me is due in a few weeks. Poor thing! We had people in and out helping us. It wound up being ok. :)
We had an egg hunt right after church and a brunch. Daisy made up for what she was jipped of the day before...and cleaned house in the easter egg hunt! I was actually not there when it all happened. I imagine a little purple plaid blaze zooming around the playground from egg to egg. I was still in the nursery so I couldn't police the egg snagging. Oh well.

We took this before church when we arrived. It was the best chance we had of not looking completely wallered on for a picture.

(Sonya, does Isaac's outfit look familiar?)

Then that afternoon we headed to the Duncan's clubhouse for an Easter party! They throw a fun party! We hunted eggs the fair way (Each kid goes and finds 8 eggs, one of each color. That way it's not "the fastest/oldest kids cash in, tough luck little ones."). Here are some of our friends at the party:

Luke, Zander and Connor Chilson



Nate and Naph with Isaac.

Isaac on his egg hunt (puffs inside).

Then on egg number two (below) it was just too much. We had pushed too far. We wore the baby out. "No MORE! I can't take it."


Thursday, March 20

Isaac's 6 mo pics and blog book

We went to get Isaac's 6 month pictures taken at the end of February. I have always taken my kids to JCPenneys to get their milestone pics. We are in school and poor. And you can get a coupon off the website for $3.99 per sheet of pics you order (all different sizes) and no sitting fee. I usually get outta there having spent about $25. And the purpose of documenting growth by way of "professional photography" is done. BUT after my mom and I left last time, she made an oh-so-wise statement. I had just made several points about the ridiculousness of how they do things at their studio. And she said, "You get what you pay for." And in this could not have been MORE TRUE. I like several of these pics. After all its my sweet chunky baby, how could I not? But...

--posed studio pics are old news. I would much rather have my family pic at the beach or outside somewhere than with our hands on each others shoulders, turned slightly on a metal stool, feet on a wooden box and all with fake smiles.

--Using a camera the size of a microwave, connected to the wall, that sounds like a garage door opening with each repositioning, that has a wire attached to the side that the "photographer" uses to capture the out.
--Only being able to snap one picture every minute is no longer how you photograph children (cause it doesn't work well!).
--Having fake backgrounds is over.
--Using computers that look like a DOS (the first computers ever) to show you your pics is in the past.
--Placing my 6 month old child on a large foam pedestal is dangerous and a lawsuit waiting to happen all for the sake of a cute picture. :) How many stories have you heard of the kid launching off the back of those? A billion. Then the kid is really ready to cheese it up for the dinosaur camera...ticked off, crying with a goose egg on his head!

Since photography has gone digital the bar is raised. Now you meet your professional photographer at a park/cool studio and they snap a billion pics and you choose from the 50 that you LOVE of your child in their natural state. Not the 11 that are ok of them posed with their heads cocked slightly to the side. I have MUCH better pics of Isaac than any I have from JCPenneys. But there is still something official about going to have pics taken. And since it's so cheap, I will keep it up. :) Even if it is torture for my children! :)

(I realize some of you make take offense...but really this is only against the store I went to...not anywhere else. And hey, some of you may have had MUCH better luck than me!)

We didn't get these...but I wanted you to see his "moobs" (man boobs).
I think the flowers were too he kept wanting to eat them. I think this is the ONLY time he was looking up while on the flower blanket.
we did order this one.
and this one
I didn't get this one (above) cause you can't really see his face well and my nose made it in the thanks.

I liked this one of my little man too.


And as for my blog book...I used and more specifically this link
to make my blog (actually just the first 3 months) into a book. can "slurp" your blog into its software and you can have it pre-fill a book or you can decide what page layouts, colors, fonts, pics and so on that you want (this is what I did). It was about $40 once it was all said and done (shipping/handling). I did a hardback book with a printed slip cover. I had only the first 3-ish months in my book as a guinea pig book. It was 32 pages. I wanted to see how it would come out. I have learned a few things I would like to pass on...

1. When you post pics to the blog I think they are a smaller size than how they are saved on your computer. (This may be a "DUH" to some of you but I didn't know!) So the pics that the website "slurps" are not the highest quality. I would try to put a picture in the book that was "full bleed" meaning a huge pic covering most of the page. It would give me a little "warning" note that I needed to change the size (shrink it) of my pic or it would not print clearly. I didn't know what to do in my initial experimenting so I just chose to use lots of thumbnail pics. When I got the book they were all small (although normal thumbnail size!) and kinda dark. SO...I found out that if you download the pics (that you want LARGE) straight from your computer to the blurb software then you are able to use bigger picture options. This option is on the blurb software on the toolbar on the upper right.

2. I still recommend the "slurp" so you can have the exact post and pics. Then you can see what pics you posted, what ones you want in the book and which ones you want to go get from your computer and made bigger. :)

3. Don't forget to read all the small print in the blog book. It is a preset book template that you are filling in. There are places on the unimportant pages (non blog pages) like the copyright page that say "(enter your name here)" and I forgot some of those...oops.

4. When you see your posts on the left column click on the post title you want and then drag it to the first photo box on the page (assuming you have photos included). At first I don't think I was doing that. And when I just took the text to the text box then it would leave off the oh-so-important date and time the post was written!

5. Don't forget that your photo captions will still be in the text. You can leave them or copy and paste them on the photos caption box there. It's kinda hard to do this sometimes especially if you have tons of pics. And some pic layouts don't have places for captions. But you can choose what you want. But just remember your text may not makes sense if you are narrating a story with only pics. Choosing a layout to accommodate lots of pics has been challenging. A few times I have had to surrender some pics OR get them from my computer so that they would show up well.

6. The mega pixel thing does make a difference here. I have a 4.0 mega pixel camera and most of mine are ok. But when I use Daniels work camera (Digital Canon Rebel) they all are ok and never need to be made smaller for clarity.

7. And I recommend making your book in volumes for those of you who have a LONG season of blogging. I am currently working on my second book. It takes some getting used to when you first start. And it probably took me 15-20 total hours to make it. Obviously it was an hour here and there. But it was not quick. :) With the second book I am much faster. Also, (and this just may be my old computer) I felt that my computer would run a little slower when I had that software open. But it may be fine for you.

I am so thrilled that this can be printed. All our hard work and memories poured into blogging can be passed down and not just out there somewhere in cyberspace! :) Hope this helps! Ask any questions you want!

Sunday, March 16

As a mom...

I have to share some of my thoughts lately. They are random as usual. But yet somehow you all seem to relate and I enjoy that. :)

1. At any moment I could cry. It has blindsided me several times.
Watch a commercial:
get choked up; Watch a rerun of a super cool moment in sports history: misty eyed; Someone who is less fortunate is on Ellen and she gives them something SO awesome and they are so surprised and thankful: a river on my face; Hear a crowd cheer loudly for someone: water works; Hear the song Danced with Cinderella (by Steven Curtis Chapman?): a basket case (that one more so cause we have a little "Cinderella" at our house)...WHAT IS MY DEAL???? This morning in church I was on the verge of tears just thinking about possibly having to move away from this church family and Eric Brown (our preacher) when Daniel graduates. All these tears are not a sadness-based reaction (like this is a bad time in my life) but more I think I am just a mushy sleep deprived mom now (emotionally and physically...the mushy part). And there ain't no hidin' it. I can remember my mom crying (not often though) and me not being able to fathom why she would be crying! I am that person now.

2. I hear things. This has exaggerated since I had Isaac. When he was a newborn, I would lay in my bed and think I heard him crying hard. Now, remember he slept about 15 ft from me in our hallway through a hollow door that has about 2 inches of space between the bottom of the door and the nasty carpet. I was not hearing him! In reality I could hear the boys' diaper crinkle when he kicked his NO I was not hearing his loud cry. But I am telling you it was so real I would get up and check! :)
It gets worse...when I am blow drying my hair, vacuuming, in the shower, the dishwasher is on or I am listening to my iPod...I hear things. I am just sure I hear Daisy calling me, a knock at the door or mostly the phone ringing. I turn my hair dryer off like 3 times in the 7-10 mins it takes to dry my hair. When I run with my iPod, I think a car is behind me all the time. I look back all the time. Like in my mind there is a car following me as I jog! I guess I just don't wanna miss out or be in someones way! HA! HILARIOUS...or crazy.
Here is what is craziest
...when it's quiet I think I hear my cell phone ring. I "hear" it and freeze whatever I am doing to turn an ear toward it. I also think I hear it a lot when it's on vibrate...that I hear the vibrate noise. HA. Several times I have had to change my ring so I would stop thinking I heard it.
And while we are on hearing crazy stuff
...are you all familiar with the sound an alarm clock makes BEFORE the alarm actually goes off? It's subtle almost like the oven when it's reached its temperature...but less obvious. I used to turn off my radio alarm in the am before the dj had completed a word due to this small noise. Anyone relate?

3. I am contemplating a big change in our lives for the sake of my children (and us). Daniel and I have recently realized with a 3 year old that she is a constant tape recorder of all her senses take in. And we feel like someone said, "YOU'RE ON!" and Daniel and I have been shoved out on the stage of Parenthood in the spotlight not ready at all! We have no show planned...heck, half the time we don't know what we are doing. We start tag team tap dancing hoping the crowd (Daisy...and sort of Isaac) is buying it! We make it up as we go along! ("Daisy, I mean it! Now go to time out."....she cries, I turn the corner and see Dan and whisper, "That seemed like the right thing to do, was it? Was I too harsh? too easy?"). Turns out my parents were the same way...would have never known! But now seeing my little girl soak up everything her little eyes see and her little ears hear...I am freaking out.

We gotta get a plan. We have to protect this little one as much as we can, while we can. I know we can't forever...but at least for a while! Part of me wants to move our family to a deserted island shelter them forever or shove her in a bubble. But that's not the way to do it. I want my children to know God. I want them to see HIM and recognize the lies of Satan in this world. There are SO many ways we are fed lies that seems to be reality. I want Daisy to be aware of all of them! :)

I was thinking about what I can control and what I cannot. And one thing keeps coming up. MEDIA...mostly TV. It is a really tough one for me. And I am thinking about doing something just NUTS with the TV. Not sure I can totally toss it...I mean Alabama football, hello! But I mean I think really we could all benefit from the lack of it. (The writers strike has helped...but it's over now.) The shows that she watches now are not harmful to her...actually educational. But the messages sent by the world are so undercover that I think even we, as adults, are fooled. And without knowing it we slip into measuring ourselves to the standard of the world and not of God. I think it can be an escape, an waste of time and even if it's not a terrible show it's certainly (usually) not something that leads us toward God. PLEASE know I am kinda addicted and this is a thought that has taken me a while to arrive at...even just to entertain the thought. "Hello, I'm Melanie and I am a TV addict." "Hiiii Melllanieee." :) I am not saying I am doing this yet. I just wanted some feedback.

4. I can't remember if I posted this or not...but this site is hilarious.
It's SO funny.

Saturday, March 15

Midway through March

Isaac is 7 months yesterday! He is such a sweet baby boy. He is not the super sleeper we had in Daisy (actually Daisy turned to super sleeper about 7 months). So, maybe he will magically turn one of these days. He only wakes up once in the night. He sleeps thru the night about 3 nights week. And the naps are as regular as our schedule allows. :( That is a bummer for Isaac. He is eating baby food like a champ except about every 3 bites he wants to suck his fingers. We have to hold them down so we can feed him. And as for baby cereal...what is the deal? Is it like when you make mashed potatoes from a box? I mean what is this "cereal"? Kinda looks like fish food. Then I make it to the perfect consistency for him and while I am feeding him it all turns to liquid! What's with that? I make sure not to add his drool to the cereal so what? I hit my time limit? It can only be that thick for 1 min 15 seconds? Sheesh. :) And he LOVES to do a raspberry noise and spew green beans (or the veggie of the meal) all over us! is my little bumble bee:

Daisy's hair is getting super long. I will have to cut it soon. :( I will wait till it a little longer though cause I am pretty sure I will be losing her beautiful curls when I do. She doesn't like her hair up. She prefers a "little ponytail" which my family used to call "half up" which is not all of it in a pony tail...just the top half by your ears and back. :) She likes best to have it down so she can do the diva hair brush away from her face. :) If you have ever met Daisy, you know what I mean. Below are pics of what others have called her "mermaid hair" and the "Hannah Montana" hair. It's just her usual hair. This is her in her pj's first thing in the morning...
how fair is that?
I used to spend quite a while to get my hair to do that!

These car pics are of one day was POURING rain. I took Isaac inside. Dan let Daisy out of her seat but said for her to stay in the car while he took a load in. The plan was for one of us to come back and carry her inside (much faster than her doing it!). WELL...she loves to hop in the front seat and play with every button and thing that is sticking out. :) We look this time and she is having a ball and waving at us. I had to take this pic cause this happens often. And as a side note...that night I went out and when I turned the car on everything was going NUTS (wipers, hazards, volume, blinkers...thankfully it was still in park!) and my steering wheel was all sticky. Niiiiiice. I was swerving all over the roads like a drunk driver as I cleaned it with a wipe. :) One day I know I will look back and say I miss sticky steering wheels. :)

Thursday, March 6

Cow and Clarification

So I went to pick up Daisy from school today. Her teacher, Mrs. Maria, suggested we take home her art today (since the other full time kids would be taking theirs home Friday or Monday...and Daisy isn't back till Tuesday). So I go in, Isaac on my hip seeking Daisy's fine art. I see the adorable turtle that she made with glitter. I go to the next set of pictures. They are cows the kids colored with crayons. They each NAMED their cows and the teachers wrote the names at the top. Look what name Daisy chose...

if you can't read the black print at the top its says "Melanie the Cow." FAB-ulous. I am not sure whether I feel insulted or flattered. Sheesh Dais...I am TRYING to lose the baby weight. Hahahaha....
----and to clarify about the calendar in my head...I can't remember all dates on my calendar...just the big ones. Usually I just have a feeling something is there but I am not sure what! :)

Wednesday, March 5

calendar in my head

So, I have calendar in my head. We all sort of do. But some of you may not actually visualize it. I thought every one had a version of what I had in my head. But after asking several of don't. Bummer. I realized this oddity one day when my mom and my aunts (her sisters) we talking about this. They all have a calendar in their head too. Is the suspense killing you to know what the heck I am talking about? :) When someone asks me, "What are you doing next Tuesday?" I go to this place in mind. It's a floating circular walking path. The path resembles the Candy Land game. The days are each their own square (maybe 3 ft by 3 ft). I move a square a day. Sometimes I get more specific. Like if there is a busy day, I see it in hours and walk those. (I have been at Lock-ins with my youth group or school and when I know it's midnight I actually picture myself stepping to the next day. I don't consciously do it otherwise. I am just there the next day). My calendar path is color coded by seasons. There are darker, bolder lines at the end of the weeks and also the end of the year (even though I continue on the same circle each year). January and February are purple I guess kind of like winter. Then as March and April comes it fades into green. The summer (starting to fade in May) is yellow and as fall approaches it is orange and some browns toward November. I stand on this path and walk it each day. I can see the whole thing from where ever I am standing on it. I walk counter clockwise. If you ask me about the fall or someone tells me their babies due date...I look across to my left to see where that would be on my calendar. If they ask about next week I look ahead to that week. When I have events coming up (that I have remembered...that being my biggest problem these days!) that day has "something" there that marks it. More like a feeling than a flag or writing. And when I get busy or am on vacation and don't think about my calendar at large...then I will one day realise I have moved several squares and not known/acknowledged it and genuinely think, "Wow! It's already Friday" or whatever.
Is this the weirdest thing to you?? You probably think this lack of sleep has gone to my head!!! Hahaha. I know this sounds so crazy but it's true. And it's always been this way.(btw...My moms is not as colorful but still odd. Hers are calendar pages but in a funky order/layout in her head. I can't remember my aunts calendars). But I wanted to write this down so that if my kids one day have a calendar in their heads...they will know where it came from. And I would love to know if you have one too!!!

Saturday, March 1

Sofia's Party and Updates

One of Daisy's favorite people in the whole world is Sofia Vergara. Sofia just had her 3rd birthday party at Tanglewood. The theme was Camp Sofia. It was so creative! There were tents, a campfire, leaf prints, fishing in the river, camp songs and so on. It was great fun.

Why can't my hair cooperate just once??

I sacrifice my double-chinned-nasty-haired-baggy-eyed self to show you all what Isaac does MOST of the time when I hold him. I like to call them kisses. But really I think my mandible is great for teething. Look at those rolly arms!

Campfire fun!

Claudia and I at "Camp Sofia." She is such a wonderful neighbor. (For those of you who have not been reading this blog long...she has made us beautiful blankets, dolls, bags, pencil pouches and so well as kept my kids when I was vomitting so much I could not stand up! Everyone needs a good friend and neighbor like her!)
Isaac loves Claudia too...he was making his move....
Daisy and Sofia waiting for cake.
(yes, Daisy is lots taller than Sofia)

So here is what is going on with us....

Hooray! Isaac can sit up in the cart now! So we are going to be in the "car cart" every time we are in Publix with both kids. :)

So Isaac is so big, size wise. If people hold him and I say, "Do you want me to take him? He can get heavy."....they usually take me up on the offer! I mean he is solid. Even the men that hold him make comments. We call him a "the lug." (We also call him "the bug" "buggie" or "bugguh"). I wish I had the "guns" to prove I hold him all day. :) He is sleeping pretty good now. And I think he is almost weaned. Makes me sad, but he seems ok with it. So then so am I. :) We are eating baby food now. After 2 weeks of offering it to him and him making the WORST faces ever and then gagging...he is now taking it quite well. Yea! So now his spit-up is multi-colored! He is sitting up well and is getting up on all fours by himself. He somehow scoots across the room...with no arms. Odd.

Daisy is cracking us up regularly. I ask her sometimes what Isaac is doing in the car. She told me once, "He's just chillin' mom." Or she will say he looks like this and try to mimic his facial expression. --- Another thing....she is constantly stepping on my toes (she has done this since she could walk). And this hurts cause she is 41 lbs! Its like a magnet from her shoes to my bare feet. Unreal. Recently she did it and then said, "oh, sar." Sar? Like short for "sorry." Really Dais? Is "sorry" too long of a word for you?? ---- I recently told her I had a "song stuck in my head" to which she replied, "no, there is nothing in your mouth mom." ---- She knows a song from My Friends Tigger and Pooh that goes "if you've got a problem think, think, think." Daisy sings it, "if you gotta problem sink, sink, sink!" :) ---- and my personal favorite is her new way of saying things that end with the long e sound. She replaces it with an "eh" sound and a little 'tude (attitude). For some reason this cracks me up! Like: Dais-eh, Dad-eh, East-ah Bunn-eh (easter bunny)...I can't think of more example right now.

Dan and I got to go out compliments of Naphy. It was so great to have some conversation...alone. :) Don't you love black shirts? They hide things so well. And this particular pic of me is a great example of how I look a little like the Cowardly Lion on the Wizard of Oz in the face. Fabulous...what every woman aspires to be......roar.