Saturday, November 16, 2013

Getting Ready (I Need Your Help!)

In an effort to not fall prey to the "It's almost Christmas and I'm not ready and OH MY GOD, what about all the MAGIC my children were supposed to be enjoying?? I FORGOT TO PLAN ALL THE MAGIC!!!!!" syndrome that happened last year (and the year before if I'm being honest), I've started listing and planning and brainstorming.

Of course, Jeremy is against this, as he feels there should be no mention of Christmas until December 1st at the earliest, and I agree. I mourn the loss of Thanksgiving when everyone is putting up their trees November 1st, but this is different. I'm just planning. Plus, I've been pinning Thanksgiving crafts ... although they're pretty much all turkeys, so if you have a Thanksgiving craft that is easy and doesn't involve turkeys, I'd love to hear it.

This year I'm going to do a Christmas countdown calendar with a planned activity for each day. I've got little projects and coloring sheets and whatnot to pepper throughout the month, but I wanted at least one great activity per day. I've started a list, and I was hoping for some feedback from you guys. Here's what I have so far (in no particular order):

1. Get out the Christmas books (I'm thinking of wrapping them up in a big box and letting them open it on December 1st -- cool or meh?)
2. Make snowflake window clings
3. Write a letter to Santa (not a list, just a letter I think)
4. Make ornaments (I'd like to try cinnamon applesauce this year and at least one other)
5. Get tree
6. Decorate tree and house
7. Hang lights with Daddy
8. Make Christmas cookies 
9. Decorate a gingerbread house
10. Have a cocoa taste test (lots of cocoas, vote for favorite)
11. Pick a present to donate to Toys for Tots
12. Have a dinner picnic in the living room while watching a Christmas movie (I think I'd like to do this every Friday night)
13. Go to the Festival of Trees (If you are local, Josephine will be performing with her dance class at 4 PM on Saturday the 7th. It should be ... interesting.)
14. Go to our town's parade
15. Pick out some hats, gloves, and scarfs to donate to the bin at the library
16. Go see Santa
17. "Wrap" presents (we'll see how well that works)
18. Go sledding at the "mountain" (sledding hill in the park)
19. Make a snowman
20. Drive around and look at lights

And all the Christmas Eve activities, naturally. Jeremy would also like to take Josephine ice skating, but I'm afraid she still lacks the coordination. We'll see if we add it to the list.

So, what other great ideas do you have? What can I add to this list? Is there anything you do with your kids or did as a kid that you think is just essential for the holiday season?

Also, while I'm thinking about it, do you have a favorite cookie recipe that I could try in our baking extravaganza? I'm not a big baker, but I'm hoping to make some magic in the kitchen with Josephine this year (while Genevieve steals the vegan butter and gnaws on it, of course. So so gross.).

Please help a girl out! This is our biggest Christmas yet. Josephine started "getting it" last year, so this year is huge. Magic time, people.

Thursday, November 14, 2013

A Tale of An Ankle; A Tale of Woe

I had this sudden epiphany. It involved moving bookcases from my room to the basement, along with the new toy box, then taking the storage cubes and shelves from the basement to the girls' rooms which would TOTALLY REVOLUTIONIZE the storage in their closets, NAY, their entire ROOMS!

I had this epiphany roughly twenty minutes after I stepped off our stoop funny and twisted my ankle so badly I eventually had to call Jeremy in tears and tell him I couldn't walk and what on earth were we going to do? Horrible memories of bedrest during my pregnancy with Genevieve plagued me and I may have had a slight breakdown.


Yes, I usually do have major epiphanies when I am most useless to carry them out. It's one of my best qualities.


I'm not gonna sugar coat it. My ankles, and my right ankle in particular, are unaware that they are, in fact ankles. WHY YOU NO KNOW HOW ANKLES WORK, ANKLE? I shout, which, oddly enough, never helps.

It all began in the year 2000 (scene fades into squiggly lines and we reappear in Ann Arbor, Michigan). I was getting ready to go to a party -- tee hee, I mean a small gathering of my study group, mom -- my freshman year, and emboldened by being a freshman hanging out with my much older friend from back home and all his older friends, bragged that I was so strong that I could carry one of the housemates (Ben) from their house to the party next door (Why? Who knows.). I heaved him onto my back and walked across the yard. If only I had known there was a small hole in the yard. Not seeing it up ahead in the dark, I stepped in it and rolled my ankle, the combined weight of my own frame and Ben's crashing me to the ground. 

My friend Tom picked me up and carried me back to his house, where I was set up on the couch with my ankle plopped into the ice on top of the empty keg that had been dragged over from the party I didn't get a chance to attend. Woe. WOE.

In the meantime, one of the neighbors/party hosts came to see how I was and ended up staying the whole night talking with me. Tres romantique, no? Well I thought it was a plot line straight from a bestselling rom com, and then we began dating.

University Health Services said it was a terrible sprain and I should put an Ace bandage on it and try to keep off of it for a few weeks. Have you BEEN to the University of Michigan's campus? That did not happen. My ankle never healed properly and a few years later a podiatrist said I had so much scar tissue and damage there was not much point of surgery to repair it because so many areas would need work that there would be just as much scar tissue when they were done.

And I went on two dates with that guy and after the second one, I walked into my dorm room and my roommate asked, "So?" with raised eyebrows, to which I replied "Meh," and that was it for him.

John. I think his name was John. 


We next found my ankle collapsing for no good reason on my honeymoon. That's right, my g-d HONEYMOON. We had gotten all fancy to go to one of the three restaurants in our all-inclusive resort, and as I walked all poised and pleased and flushed with love for my new husband, I stepped forward and BLAMMO. On the ground. 

This feels familiar, I thought, as I watched in horror as my ankle started to swell before my very eyes. I refused to let the night be ruined, so I hobbled down to the restaurant, biting my knuckles from time to time to avoid screaming, as I was, of course wearing heels. After dinner Jeremy went down to the front desk to see if they had an Ace bandage. They asked "bandage?" over and over, but then nervously asking "ACE bandage?" Apparently there were many hushed conversations in Spanish and a bandaid was procured. When Jeremy switched tactics and asked for medical tape, the same nervous questioning and hushed conversations in Spanish ended with them proudly offering Jeremy a roll of scotch tape. 

About an hour later Jeremy came back with masking tape and I wrapped my ankle in toilet paper then topped it with masking tape. We spent the next nine days with me hobbling around with masking tape on my ankle. It was magical, I tell you. 

At least since we were on vacation in a warm paradise, I was planning in sitting around a lot anyway. I just got a bunch of towels to prop up my foot and sat by the pool or the ocean and read my book and talked and napped. The only issue was the fact that we had lovely people dedicated to bringing us any food or drinks we desired all the time, 24 hours a day, and this necessitated many hobbling trips to the bathroom. 


A few months later we had left the best little hole-in-the-wall place in all of Lansing, The Green Door, which was only a few blocks from our first home. We had walked down on a beautiful spring evening to enjoy some delicious pizza and were about to enjoy a nice walk home (after leaving through the back door -- which is how you know you're a regular, according to Jeremy), when SPLAT. No reason. Walking on a flat surface. Ankle sprained. Jeremy actually had to run home, get the car, and come get me. 

This is when I really started to wonder if my body was turning against me. 

For months after that, I would have forgotten about this flaw in my system when I would be running upstairs and suddenly be brought to my knees as I felt a TEAR in that godforsaken ankle. It hasn't been the same ever since.


This time I was sitting upstairs, listening to Netflix as I tried to get a few work hours in while the girls napped and I heard a gentle scratch scratch scratch. I tried to ignore it, then went to the window to see if a tree branch was scraping the house, then slowly realized the scratching and rustling was coming from my CEILING. A varmit. In my house. Oh, hell no. 

I called Jeremy, who responded with a long sigh and the clicking of his keyboard to look up a pest service. He found a place called Can Catch Varmit Control, which I deemed unacceptable based on the name alone and offered to call my dad to see if he had any ideas.

My dad said to run out and make sure there wasn't a squirrel at the vent trying to get in because I could shoo him away. I slipped on a pair of flats, ran out the door, calling for my dog to join me, and ... stepped wrong, twisted my ankle with a horrifying POP and knew I was in trouble.


It's ridiculous, is what it is. Thirteen years of the ligaments and tendons that help me STAND and WALK not working correctly. It's better than say, my heart deciding it doesn't want to work anymore, but still.

And that, my friends, might be the longest story any idiot has ever written about her ankle.

A tale of woe. A tale of woe indeed. 

Monday, November 4, 2013

Like a Rockstar (in Sweatpants)

I was already doing pretty well today -- the usual tidying, laundry, getting hours in on my part-time job, procuring and serving roughly six meals before 12:30 PM (don't even get me started -- they literally NEVER stop eating), and general mothering, but for some reason I walked into the kitchen and thought You know, I should finally put away all the pump, bottle, and puree supplies since Genevieve hasn't used any of them in months ... and if I do that, I can move my coffee and tea supplies to the cupboard above the coffeemaker! Oh happy day! And I'll have a HUGE cupboard to fill and can shift and organize everything and have happier cupboards! HUZZAH!

Two hours later I had cleaned SEVEN of my biggest problem cupboards. Completely revolutionized my freaking kitchen. I even had room for this:

Sure, it might look like a total waste of space to some of you, but my biggest problem in my kitchen are those damn measuring cups. My (genius) mother taught me to have multiple sets so you don't have to stop and wash in the middle of a frenzied cooking or baking session, and I always seem to need at least half of them at the same time, but I never had a PLACE for them. They were always falling out of cupboards or jamming drawers so I couldn't pull them open. NO MORE. I have a feeling I'll be pulling that door open often today so I can smile at it.

On top of that, I also tried on a shirt that hasn't fit in YEARS, and ... drumroll ... it fits! This is a pre-weight-gain-BEFORE-Josephine shirt! 

Granted, I'm wearing it with my comfy "house pants" that have little holes and a few bleach splashes here and there (but are the best pants on the planet), but I'm wearing a shirt I only fit into before I gained weight from the sadness of trying unsuccessfully to get pregnant the first time. What's better than huzzah? HOT DAMN.

That's when I said it to myself: I feel like a rockstar ... and it immediately hit me. ...huh. A rockstar who isn't wearing pants that are suitable for the outside world, whose hair is a wreck, and who wants nothing more than a nap. I feel like a rockstar because I have a cupboard dedicated to measuring cups. MEASURING CUPS.

Times have changed. Times. Have. Changed.

Friday, November 1, 2013

A Tale of Halloween

Josie: Mama and Daddy, do you like booze?

Me: What? Do we like ... what?

Josie: Booze. Do you like booze?

Me: I ... we ... well ...

Jeremy: We ... umm ... what?

Josie: Do. You. Like. BOOOOZE?

Jeremy and I: ....

Josie: I'm gonna give you some booze.

Jeremy and I: *panicked eyes*

Josie: BOOOO! BOOOOO! BOOOOOOOOOOOO! Did you like my boos?

Jeremy and I: OH! BOOS!

Josie: ... ? ...


I hope your Halloween was delightful and filled with either boos or booze or both, depending on your preferences.

We had some (a lot) of trouble getting pictures of the girls both standing still AND smiling wearing any of their many costumes at the Halloween parties the three days leading up to Halloween and the big trick-or-treating event, but they had a blast.

Party 1: Josephine as a dinosaur
Party 1 was a Josephine-only party

Party 2: Genevieve as Minnie

Party 2: Josephine as a Lions cheerleader

Party 3: Genevieve as a monster

Party 3: Josephine as Doc McStuffins

Trick-or-treating: Genevieve as a monster and Josephine as an ice cream cone

Thank goodness for an extensive dress-up collection so Josephine could have four different looks, which was very important to her.

Now I need a nap. And maybe some booze.

Friday, October 25, 2013

Book Review: Backlash by Lynda LaPlante

I was lucky enough to have TLC Book Tours send me a copy of Lynda La Plante's newest crime thriller, Backlash. 

Award-winning and international bestselling author Lynda La Plante returns with the eighth installment in her acclaimed series featuring London’s Detective Chief Inspector Anna Travis.
Late night on a notorious high-rise estate in the borough of Hackney. A woman on the street never makes it home after a long night of drinking. A white van is being driven erratically. The driver is pulled over by the police and questioned. A suspect . . . an arrest . . . a confession. Case closed?
Five years earlier, a thirteen-year-old girl disappeared in broad daylight on a busy London street. Detective Chief Superintendent James Langton headed the investigation; the case was never solved. It has haunted him ever since. And now comes another confession, to this murder, and to one more besides. But is it too good to be true? After being pulled into the fray, Anna Travis isn’t so sure that they have their man.
Then the suspect changes his story. . . .

I liked Backlash for the same reason that I liked Prime Suspect. Prime Suspect is a Jane Tennison novel and Backlash is a Anna Travis novel; if you followed the Prime Suspect series, you should love this series as well. Just like Prime Suspect, it is fast-paced, keeps you on your toes, keeps you guessing, and is full of fun British lexicons. The characters are fully-developed, dynamic, and realistic. Again, I didn't fall in love with any of the characters, but that makes it more realistic, because I don't love everyone I meet.

It was interesting to read a crime novel this long, as it is a bit long compared to other books in the genre, but like Prime Suspect, it was not extemporaneous details; instead, it was all adding to the story, and definitely not just fluff. All in all, it was a great read, and makes me wish more of La Plante's books were available in my library.

This book was provided to me free by TLC Book Tours, but I was not compensated for this review. All opinions are my own.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

So It Begins

You know what you don't think of when you view a potential house on a very temperate day? That the upstairs attic-turned-master bedroom will be brutally hot in the summer (even with central air) and freezing cold in the winter (even if the heat is cranked so high you're sweltering on the first level).

This means you'll have to deal with your perpetually-hot husband who thinks the heat should never be on anyway even more than usual.

It's only October and it's already begun:

P.S. Jeremy said I could only post this if I "made it explicitly clear" he was joking. Soooo ... I think I've done my best with this little P.S. in which I tell you he told me to tell you he was joking. Nailed it .

Monday, October 14, 2013

Josie Says, Vol. 3

Genevieve: (coughing)

Me: Oh, you poor little coffee cake*. Why are you coughing?

Josie: I think she ate a cold.

*Jeremy calls the girls "coffee cake" whenever they cough. It must have rubbed off on me.


Josie: (Looking in the mirror and dancing) I am myself! I am myself! I am myyyyyysellllllllllf!


Jeremy, making a sandwich to take to work, came around the corner to tell me something, still holding the bottle of mustard.

Josie: (bolting toward him, panic in her voice) Don't take the mustard to work with ya!!!!!

Jeremy: Don't worry, I won't. I know how much you love mustard.

Josie: Whew! (wiping forehead)


Aunt Kayla: Wow, your hair is getting really long, Josie.

Josie: Yeah, Jeremy said it's almost to my butt.


Me: Please quit putting your hair in your bowl of macaroni and cheese.

Josie: Why did you say that to me?

Me: Because I want you to stop putting your hair in your food.

Josie: OHHHHHHHHH. THAT'S why you said that!

Friday, October 11, 2013

Photo Friday*

*Aren't you glad I didn't call it "Foto Friday?"

This week in photos, because words are over-rated.

Free date-night dessert (for Jeremy, anyway)

Sunday drive

Washing hands in Grandma's sink

Toddler art project/sensory activity!

... that only lasted 15 seconds.

Back-up activity: Free stickers

Josie projects

Getting a big girl desk in her room (Thanks, Aunt Tracy!)

A long walk at the nature center with great friends

Finding a "rainbow tree"

Genevieve: Hates everyone and everything because she's teething, but will happily stop and say "cheese" when a camera appears

Roller skating 

Painting. Always painting.

Dance class!

And we still have all day Friday. Hope you all had a lovely week.


P.S. Posts up at Sean Purcell Photography. Last week: Prove your superiority by seeing color better than your spouse. This week: Awesome no-carve pumpkins.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


Bedtime is strict in these here parts. At 7 PM SHARP, we head to the bathtub, usually using the whole race format to convince Josephine to get to the tub before her sister. No later than 7:30, lotion and diapers and jammies are procured, books chosen, and little girls retire to their individual rooms where I convince Genevieve to sleep and Jeremy reads Josephine two books, sings the special song twice, convinces her she doesn't need fifty more stuffed animals in her bed or a bandaid or another song, then inevitably has to take her to the bathroom again (the night diapers are just because I am scared and even though she's 95% overnight trained I hate washing sheets). Then BAM, by 8 PM, bedroom doors are closed and usually both girls are asleep.

So bedtime is the same EVERY SINGLE NIGHT and has been for forever.

Tonight dinner was a little late and therefore playtime with daddy was cut a bit short, and since he gets home at 6 and bedtime starts at 7, I always feel terribly guilty if dinnertime bleeds into playtime, so at 7 I asked Josephine if she wanted to take a bath or if she wanted to skip bath and play with daddy for an extra half an hour.

She chose skip bath and play with daddy and told him he was a horsey and she was off to get her "wee-ha" hat (As is yee-haw, as in one a cowboy would wear while riding a horse and saying yee-haw. Obviously.)

A half an hour later, when it was time to get jammies and head to bed, Josephine had a complete meltdown. She was crying and begging for a bath. When I gently tried to remind her that she chose to skip her bath (while feeling like a complete ass -- she loves her schedule. When her schedule changes she has issues. I KNOW this.), she said, "I know. I said I wanted to SKIP my bath! SKIP IT!"

It took me a couple times to realize that she had no idea what it meant to skip her bath. Perhaps the only time we have used the word skip is in reference to the physical activity?

I felt like a total maroon. 

Here is a kid who is rapidly mastering the American Sign Language alphabet, who tells me "I'm afraid you do this all the time, mama" when I say I can't stop kissing her, the kid who will tell me "Not quite yet. May I have another moment, please?" when I ask her if she is ready for lunch.

And she didn't know what it meant when I asked her to skip her bath and I never even considered it and she probably thought it meant she got to do something extra cool at bathtime and ... I suck.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Genevieve at Twelve Months (A little late)

I put off the 12-month post I wanted to write for Genevieve for so long that it's practically a 14-month post by now. This is because the thought is overwhelming -- I want to think of every little thing to write down so I can come back and read this years from now and be transported back. Oh yes, that is what she was like! 

On top of that, I ... well ... I've been feeling a bit guilty because in order to paint an accurate picture I would need to include some not-so-nice things about this little girl of mine. Wouldn't it be better to write one of those "Dear Daughter" letters filled with a list of all the magical things about her? Sure, I suppose, but ... why bother if I have to leave a bunch of stuff out, right?

Sigh. Here we go.

Genevieve is bright and amazing and beautiful and hilarious and sweet and shockingly brilliant. Here's the thing: When she's wonderful, she's the most charming child on the entire planet. Her smile! Her laugh! Her sweet little hugs and kisses and pats on the back! A ray of friggin' sunshine, I tell you. An angel right here on earth.

But when she's not -- she's, how shall I put it? The EXACT opposite. When she is not being the best baby on the planet, she is kicking and screaming and wailing and gnashing her teeth and stomping her feet and shaking her finger at you while she yells in jibberish. On a good day it is exhausting. On a bad day it is shocking and overwhelming.  

The best way I can describe it is that she is a two-year-old trapped in a one-year-old's body. Her temper tantrums rival any Josephine has ever had, but seem so much worse because she is also desperate to speak but has no words to explain herself, and the frustration is so evident it's painful. 

This is all coming right on the heels of an epic mama-only phase. For a few months before her first birthday, Genevieve could ONLY be in my arms. It was so bad that if I managed to sneak away long enough for her to get distracted and playing happily, if she would catch sight of me, she would break down into a complete mess. Tears, snot, the whole shebang. It was a very difficult time, because even if she was crying at the sight of me because she wanted me to be holding her, she was still CRYING AT THE SIGHT OF ME. If you happened to witness a baby begin sobbing at the sight of her mother, you would be at least a little confused, wouldn't you? 

Anyway, she got better, was happy as a clam for a while, and now she's stuck trying desperately to communicate needs she has no words for and she literally gets to the point where she's banging her head on the highchair tray. It is devastating. 

But, like I said, when she is happy, she is so very happy. She loves to give hugs and kisses, she loves her sister, her dog, books, food, and her whole family. She nuzzles my face and neck, murmuring "Mama mama mama" while kissing me. She runs to the door shouting "DADA DADA DADA!!!" when Jeremy gets home from work. She runs to Josephine when she cries and rubs her back and murmurs quietly.

She is also smart as a whip. You only have to show her something once and she can master it. I love watching her experiment and learn new things and get that curious look on her face when she is so focused.

Her fine motor skills are insane. She might only have a few words at this point (mama, dada, hiya, cheese, yay, and G), but she can pick up a single grain of rice and put it into a tiny hole with the steady hand of a surgeon. Her gross motor skills are great as well. She's been walking since ten months and can run and dance and go up stairs with alternating feet. She's become quite the wild child, like her sister was from day one. She now loves to dive and jump and throw herself from high places. 

For the time being she only has her top four teeth and her bottom four teeth. Her stupid one-year molars have been swelling up, coming to the surface, even breaking through the gums and then the next day they're gone, and it happens over and over and over. Josephine's were like this too, and took a good six months, so technically I was prepared for this, but I am NOT. This teething thing is a nightmare. She will sit and sob and chew her fingers and I feel that little corner of bone poke through and get all excited and then the next day it's gone and I know we have to start all over. This cannot be normal, can it?

Oh, Genevieve. What else can I tell you about her? She makes a cheese face for the camera. She's obsessed with the bathroom (grossssss). She rubs her hands together as soon as she sees me pump some hand sanitizer on my own hands. She LOVES the songs and games at playgroup and story hour. She even knows the movements to many songs, which blows my mind. She claps and says "Yay, G!" to celebrate herself. She brings me books and sits in my lap and laughs and laughs and laughs as I read them to her. She takes baby gates as a personal challenge. Her new favorite activity while I make dinner is to take every condiment out of the door of the fridge, put them in the bottom drawer, then back in the door, then back in the drawer, over and over, one condiment at a time. She does this thing where she lowers her chin and looks up at you from under her eyelashes. She ROLLS HER EYES AT YOU. We call her Baby G, Little G, GiGi, Geeg, and Skunk (because that's how big of a stinker she is).

She's beautiful. She's wonderful. She's amazing. She's turning into a little person. We love our little one-year-old.

Thursday, September 12, 2013

And That's How We're Different

I should go through my drafts folder more often. This baby comes to you from October of last year, and it's a doozy, my friends. Please, do enjoy.

Me: Jeremy, I think I might cut off the collar of this shirt and use it under Josephine's Minnie costume instead of going out and buying a new long sleeve black t-shirt. What do you think?

Jeremy: Why are you going to cut up a perfectly good shirt?

Me: Ummm ... what? Here, look at it again.

Jeremy: ....

Me: It's ruined.

Jeremy: How?

Me: Look at it.

Jeremy: Uh huh.

Me: Look CLOSER.

Jeremy: Okay ...

Me: You seriously, SERIOUSLY don't see that huge bleach mark? SERIOUSLY?

Jeremy: Oh, yeah. So it's ruined, huh?

Monday, September 9, 2013

Funny Stuff My Husband Says, Vol. XXIV: Reputation Edition

This one is from back in the day before there was also a Genevieve, but it's not Jeremy's fault that if I actually *remember* to write down the hilarious things he says, I leave them in my drafts folder for a year and a half from time to time.


Jeremy and I often do this thing where we will meet up after getting ready in the morning and notice we are wearing the same color. Jeremy always just turns around without a word to go change, because he's "not that person." One day, he, Josephine, and I were driving to a family gathering when I looked around and then said:

Veronica: I hate to tell you this, but all three of us are wearing blue and white stripes.

Jeremy: You know, you spend thirty years trying to be cool, and then BAM, it's ruined in one day.


Jeremy said something utterly sweet about Josephine, and then turned to me and said:

Jeremy: DON'T put that on the Internet! I have a reputation to maintain!

Veronica: You got it.

Jeremy: And don't put THAT on the Internet either. 

Veronica: Sure thing.

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Gullible Texter

Ever since I started my new job and have to retire to a separate room to work for a few hours every night after the girls go to bed, Jeremy and I have become the type of people who text each other from across our (very VERY small) house. Last night this happened.


Nerd love. What can I say?


On an unrelated note, if you love drive-ins and want to help save a few from closing, check out my post on Sean Purcell Photography from this week and read about Project Drive-In. 

I just love drive-ins. Don't you? One of my first dates with Jeremy was at a drive-in, and I thought it was so awesome and romantic and Grease-esque. Plus, you can take your babies and let them fall asleep in their carseats in the back and pretend you're alone at the movies. Sigh.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Josie Says, Vol. 2

Talking to the photographer at our family portrait session, who has just asked her to walk toward him:

Josie: I'm gonna say "La-dee-la-dee-da! I'm walking down the sidewalk" while I walk!

Sean: That is awesome! What a great thing to say! Can I use that and tell my other clients to say that when they're walking?

Josie: Ummmm ... NO.


Josie: Daddy, I sneezed into my arm!

Jeremy: Good job, Josie!

Josie: Cleo sneezed, too!

Jeremy: Oh, she did?

Josie: Yep, and she sneezed into her paw!


Jeremy: Okay kiddo, time for your overnight diaper.

Josie: Noooo!

Jeremy: Why?

Josie: Because my butt's scared!

Jeremy: Of the diaper?

Josie: Well, yeah!

Friday, August 30, 2013

Plus, He's Really Really Good-Looking

This past week has been very trying. The other night Jeremy and I were snuggling in bed for five minutes after we got the girls to bed and the house clean while I got up my gumption to get on the computer and get a few billable hours in for work and Jeremy was getting up his gumption to go work on the car, and I sighed and said, "I don't think I was a very good mom today."

Without missing a beat, Jeremy just said, "I don't believe that for a second."

And that's why he's the best.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Josephine is Three and Genevieve is One!

I'm feeling very overwhelmed at the prospect of writing a one-year post for Genevieve and a three-year post for Josephine. There's so much to say and no time to organize my thoughts. I especially feel guilty about my lack of recording details about Genevieve's life (here and otherwise). I swear I will get on track soon. After I finish the birthday thank you notes. How I get slower and slower about those every year is a mystery. 

Anyway, what I CAN do is offer you a birthday photo dump. If you're new here or someone managed to tune me out whenever I worried about it, the girls share a birthday. That means we had a giant 1st/3rd birthday party a few weeks ago. At the same time, we were trying to squeeze about three years worth of DIY home improvements into a 6-week time frame so everyone could see our house on our one year house-a-versary. It was intense. But it was also great. We got a lot done and then had a great party. The girls had a ball, and we had leftovers for a week. Win, win, win.

So, enough rambling. Here's the birthday and birthday party.

Jeremy decorated their doors so they would see it first thing in the morning. When I opened Josephine's door, she said, "Ohhhhh! I'm THREE!!" (she also calls decorations "graduations," which I LOVE).

Next up was birthday pancakes on a silver platter with candles. It's something I'm making a tradition. We missed last year (ahem) because I was in the hospital and in labor and all, but hopefully we don't have to miss another year for something dramatic like that (fingers crossed).

Here's Josephine two years ago with her first birthday pancake. 

After breakfast, we headed to the park, a favorite for both the girls. For Josie, it's because of the play structures; for GiGi, it's because of the abundance of dirt, sand, and wood chips she can try to eat.


Next up, we gave Josephine a few options for lunch, and she chose Big Boy, probably because the other two times we went, she got Jeremy to draw Big Boy over and over until her food came. Today was no exception.

We came here for that? Sheesh.

After nap I attempted a photo shoot ... with varied success.


Then, finally, it was present time. 

Then cake time! The night before I had spent FOUR HOURS making this damn dairy-free cake from scratch so poor Genevieve could have some, and ... it wouldn't come out of the pans. Whatever. They still tasted pretty good. Not as fancy as I would have liked, but it worked.

 (Yes, we scooped some out so we could try it.)

Then we headed to Dairy Boy for ... dessert? ... after cake. There wasn't anything there that Genevieve and I could have, but Josephine enjoyed it enough for all of us. 

Genevieve settled for eating a napkin.

Whew. Then the next day was a party at our house.

This is Josephine and my niece watching ... the BOUNCE HOUSE go up! (Apparently my sister owns one. It's good to know the right people)

When my cousin's daughter arrived, Josie ran right to her, then her good friend ran over to join them, and they were immediately all best friends. I love little girls.

Kids love the stoop.

We used the front, side, and back yards so we had room for everyone to spread out.

And, presents.



These next two gems are when Josie pulled up her skirt in front of everyone and got angry when I tried to pull it down. Classic.

Then we made up.


Then cake. 

You should have heard the gasps when I handed Josephine a spoon and told her to dig in (she only ended up taking about three bites).

I tried a whole new dairy-free cake recipe for the party after the failure of the original, and this one was MUCH better.

Then everyone gave Josephine the rings that came on top of the cupcakes and she cleaned them off in her mouth and put them all on at the same time. As you do.

(biggest. photo dump. ever.)
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