Wednesday, April 30, 2014

game playing

brette and leia decided to play a game.
brette eats all her puffs and leia doesn't get any.
she thinks it is hilarious.
we'd never seen her play and giggle
without a person interacting with her,
so i grabbed the camera and shot
an unusually long video of my kid laughing.
you're welcome.
i totally don't normally give b food
while she's bouncing around.
seems like a good way to choke,
but for some reason - - that i can't remember - -
she was having some puffs in her bouncer.
i was probably distracted by all the cuteness that i didn't even notice.

Monday, April 28, 2014

the down low on hair

i've written about my hair several times.
remember this?
oh geez.

but i got the sweetest message on facebook
from a friend of a friend, caroline, who reads this ol' blog
and was crushing on my hair.
um, thanks!
because it was just a couple weeks ago
i was telling dana how much my hair was bothering me.
during my pregnancy and after i had brette
my hair was awesome.
i don't want to brag, but seriously,
it was so thick. and long. and healthy.
i thought pantene was going to call for a hair commercial any minute.
all those pregnancy hormones did w o n d e r s.
but then it started falling out.
and it went from wonderful to ehh.
and now that it's growing back in
it feels so limp.
and the fly aways around my face are killer.
so when i got this message,
i was totally surprised considering its recent condition.
caroline has really thick hair with natural wave.
just like mine.
she was asking for some tips or product suggestions.
so here it goes.
you will not be surprised to learn that i am way
too cheap to go to the salon and get my hair done.
those crazy broads want to charge me $150 or more for a cut and a color.
um thanks, but i'll pass.
luckily for me my aunt was a beautician back in the day.
every september and march i schedule a little afternoon with her.
i never let her cut more than a couple inches off because i am
a crazy-train about my length.
i want long-ass hair,
that's why i only cut it twice a year.
then i always buy revolon's highlighting kit (medium blonde)
and she foils my hair.
so basically i get a cut and color for $12.
oh wait, i guess i spend more like $24 dollars because i
always buy two highlighting kits.
the second kit is for my ombre.
i do that myself
and i totally think anyone can do it.
it's really super easy.
i blogged about it a couple years ago,
so you can read here for more on that.
as for styling it...
i basically only have three options.
naturally wavy.
or curled with a curling iron.
straight is obvious.
i blow dry my hair
and bust out my chi.
no product used.
wah la. done.
naturally wavy is even easier.
when my hair is wet i add
mousse and get and start scrunching.
i use hair spray (but not aerosol) too when it starts getting dryer.
you need a hair spray that will still allow your hair movement.
and when its about half way dry,
i use a blow dryer on the roots to help with the volume.
i tease the roots and straighten the very ends to make sure
most of the volume is at the top.
that's basically it.
as for products i just buy all my stuff from wal-mart.
no aveda products for this girl.
right now here is what is in my bathroom:

but here's a little tip for those of you that
don't have any natural wave/curl in your hair:
gel and mousse won't cut it and
your hair will fall flat.
however, if you take egg whites and whisk them until foamy
and use that instead of gel or mousse,
your hair WILL wave.
my roommate in college tried it and she has
 straight, super thick hair and it still worked.
as for curling it,
i actually blogged about that too
so you can read more tips and tricks here.
i actually write out a step by step process
so its pretty helpful.
pay close attention to step 6.
it's the most important or your hair will fall flat.

i hope this helps caroline..
or anyone else needing a few insider notes on hair.


Friday, April 25, 2014

chicken alfredo pizza

are you tired of hearing about my pizza adventures?
too bad.
i made pizza on wednesday,
but i did it the super fast and super easy way.
and i mixed it up a little bit by doing
a chicken alfredo version.
lots of short cuts and hardly any actually cooking.
i bet this took me around 10 minutes to put together.

instead of making my own pizza dough,
i bought a tube.
instead of making my own alfredo sauce,
i bought a jar. 
then i diced up some onion and garlic and
cooked it in a little bit of oil and butter.
i removed the onion and garlic and threw in
some chicken strips.
i browned them on each side for 3 minutes in the
garlicky remains and then cubed the pieces.
i spread out the dough on my pizza pan and
added a little alfredo sauce.
don't add too much because alfredo is runnier than
marinara and i feel like it can make pizza soggy. 
then i sprinkled on my onion and garlic,
(you could totally add mushrooms too,
but ronnie would have killed me.)
and added some seasonings.
[italian seasoning, garlic salt and red pepper]
then i diced up some fresh spinach,
(you could leave it whole,
but ronnie and i don't roll that way.)
added my chicken cubes and
(here's the best part)
sliced up some fresh mozzarella.
waaaaaay better than the stuff shredded in a bag.
and here's a little tip i learned from watching the pioneer woman:
put your fresh mozzarella in the freezer before you start
so by the time you're ready to slice it up,
it's has a solid consistency that makes it easier to cut.
totally worked.
then i threw it in the oven at 425 for about 15 mins.
easy easy easy
and ronnie dominated it.
like for real,
we hardly have any left.
*** this is also really good as an appetizer too. see here for more details. ***


Thursday, April 24, 2014

is it summer yet?

i am super excited for summer.
i'm sure you're confused because,
as ronnie pointed out,
everyday is my day off.
but in the summer i actually have friends that have days off too.
jaime, shannon, kassie and jana are available allllllll summer
and dana has off mondays and fridays.
hello playgroup!
ronnie says i'm basically going to have the best summer of my life.
yep, probably.
he's just jealous.
last friday was a good indication of how amazing this summer might be.  
jaime, dana and i took our kiddos to deanna rose farms.
if you're in the kc area with kids, this is a good place to check out.
first of all, it's free during the week.
now that's my kind of pricing.
they have an amazing petting zoo
where you can bottle feed baby goats,
ride horses,
go fishing,
race tractors,
and see all kinds of animals.
they also have slides, jungle gyms and wooden animals to play on.
this is seriously a kid's dream.
and look how cute it is.

we packed our kids and a lunch
and spent a couple hours in the sun.
i'm basically going to be rotating my time
between here, the pool and the zoo.
summertime and the livings easy.


Monday, April 21, 2014

easter weekend - part 2

i didn't realize that easter has
so many photo ops.
- - -
pics with the easter bunny.
pics with their easter basket.
pics after church in their easter dress.
pics in bunny ears.
pics in easter jammies.
pics with family.
pics in the pram.
apparently, easter is really about the cute photo moments.
so here are ours:



and then i re-dressed her back up for
some photos in her easter dress this morning.

we had a great easter!
lots of little girls made it that much better.

Friday, April 18, 2014

easter weekend

i hope everyone has their eggs dyed,
their baskets ready
and their dresses pressed.
i personally can't wait for the age
when brette gets to wear little white gloves, a hat
and is running around searching for hidden eggs.
but this year she is going to rock a bonnet
and watch madeline and eden find their treasures.
adorbs, of course.
we're going to church with
mimi, papa, brian, jaime, madeline and eden.
should be... interesting.
and busy.
then back to mimi and papa's for a huge lamb dinner
with the rest of the family.
and since i gave up facebook for lent,
i will also be spending a few minutes hours catching up.
[note to self: do not give up social media when you are
a stay-at-home mom and it is your only way of
interacting with the outside world.]
i found this (easter) version of one of my favorite songs,
perfect for the holiday.
want to see my favorite version?
go here.
hoppy easter!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

party on

there are two ways to celebrate your kiddo's first birthday.
you can either have a quiet intimate party with just family.
or you can have a huge bash and invite everyone
to celebrate THAT YOU MADE IT A YEAR
... and so did your kid.
we are choosing the latter of the two.
a big ol' birthday party for my little girl.
especially since my friends and i made a deal a long time ago 
that we would only subject each other to our kids' first birthday
and then we were off the hook.
so this is my one and only year to invite all our friends,
and after that, just family.
(sorry family, you're stuck with us.)
i like it because i get to throw one huge party,
but i don't have to do it every year.
in fact, jaime and i already decided that after
this year we are going to have
madeline and brette's parties together.
their bdays are only 10 days apart so
it makes it easier on our family to combine them.
score. that will be fun.
i have a couple months before the big day,
but i've already started planning.
i was trying to decide between
a watermelon theme (hot pink, light pink and mint green) 
or hot air balloons (coral, mint green, light blue)
i went with hot air balloons.
they are so darn cute and since i'm
obviously going to try hard not to
spend a ton on the party this one was also
the cheaper option since i already have some items
leftover from my hot air balloon baby shower
and couple things from brette's room.
my artistic aunt is busy working on the invites and
my cool cousin offered up all the party decorations
from her daughter's bday a couple weeks ago.
um yes, thank you!
this changed my color pallet a bit, but it is so budget-friendly
and her decorations were so cute that i didn't care.
the new color pallet is aqua, yellow and coral.
so fun and fresh.
i can't wait.
here are a few of the ideas i'm working on.

if you have any money-saving party tips
or any great hot air balloon ideas
send them my way!
56 days left...

Monday, April 14, 2014

brette: ten months

we're in double digits over here!
it's spring and her first birthday is right around the corner.
and yes, i've already started planning.
but first, a little update on our ten month old.
we were at the vet on friday
so i took the opportunity to weigh brette on their high-tech scale.
she weighed 19lbs 7oz.
according to ronnie's measuring tape she is around 30 inches in length.
she's still sporting size 3 diapers and
has upgraded to 9-12 month clothing
and even some of the 12 month clothing fits.
she currently has FOUR teeth coming in.
yes, its as bad as it sounds.
none of them are actually in yet,
but by next month she'll have four new teeth across the top.
pray for me.
her hair has gotten longer and started to curl.
i'm pretty sure i could put little baby pigtails in the back,
but she won't sit still long enough to let me try.
it would be the cutest thing ever,
so i'm going to keep trying.
 crawling is still a no-go,
but it has gotten better.
she can push herself backwards,
but it think that is more frustrating for her
because she gets further away from what she is trying to get.
but her rolling skills are on point.
she rolls around all over the place.

she sleeps from 8 to 7 every night
and falls right to sleep during her bottle
so we have no problems keeping her asleep anymore.
she also gets a blanket now since
she's not swaddled.
still no pillow, but i plan on giving her one
once she is able to crawl or get herself up on her own.
naps are going well.
the new routine has been working really well for us.
every once in awhile we still have a rough go,
but for the most part,
its been a pretty easy transition.
brette is still eating with us.
just tonight, she had lasagna.
but she mostly lives off fruits, veggies, meat and cheerios.
i always have cheerios or puffs on hand, just in case.
we got the green light from our pediatrician to give her eggs
so she's been chowing down on those as of late too.
she isn't a fan of green beans,
but that's really the only thing i've found that she sticks her nose up at.
my girl is an eater.
as for nursing,
we cut out another session yesterday
so we are officially down to just one.
this is going great and
 i'm really happy with how easy its been for both of us.
i plan on nursing her once a day for a month
so we should be done done by her 11 month bday.
i also started a new thing today.
instead of giving her a bottle around 5pm where i used to nurse,
i just gave her an afternoon snack.
i figured a 10 month old doesn't still need five bottles a day,
especially since i'm eventually supposed to stop giving her any.
so her new schedule is:
7:00 - nurse
8:30 - breakfast
10:00 - bottle (nap)
12:30 - lunch
2:00 - bottle (nap)
4:00 - snack
6:30 - dinner
8:00 - bottle (night night)
when she hits 11 months and i take away her last nursing session
i don't plan on adding a bottle there either.
i'll just head straight into breakfast.
my goal is to get her to take a bottle only when she sleeps.
and then eventually, i'll have to break that too.

she's got dadadada down.
she relates it to ronnie and beer bottles.
go figure.
her new trick is waving.
she waves all the time and
ronnie and i get a huge kick out of it.
now we're just trying to teach her what it actually means.
right now she just waves at everything,
but its so darn cute.
even though she can't speak,
i know she is understanding language.
she knows drink, daddy, tater and punky (our dogs' nicknames),
 and i think she's finally picking up on her name too.
i try to use it a lot, but not sure if she gets it all the way.
she can "sign" for drink
but its not consistent.
and she grunts for more food,
but i'm still trying to teach her the sign for more and all done.

we've been going on a lot of stroller walks
when the weather permits and
we have a swing that we're going to hang in our backyard.
i'm basically trying to be outside as much as possible.
i sit her on the deck in her bumbo and let her play
or watch the dogs run.
i bought some markers, but
i haven't busted them out yet.
i'd like to see if she's ready to draw,
but i'm going to have to keep careful watch
because everything still goes straight to her mouth.
i also bought her a tambourine...
she's into anything that makes noise.
not that i love it, but at least she's happy.
i'm super ready for pool time
if summer would just hurry up.
had her first popsicle.
started waving.
started eating 3 meals a day.
sits in a highchair instead of bumbo.
went to the store with just daddy.
(i didn't realize that this had never happened,
but ronnie told me a couple weeks ago that it was his first time.
apparently, i am always dying to get out of the house
so i don't let him leave without me. whoops.)

go baby go.  see you in a month.




Thursday, April 10, 2014

pastaless salad

i've been trying to eat healthy since,
well, forever,
but i got more serious about it in december.
since then i've been trying to cut bad carbs.
you know the ones.  they're my favorite.
but one of my and ronaldo's staple meals in the summer
is to grill some sort of meat with pasta salad, corn on the cob and fruit.
we could both eat it every night.
since it was in the 70's yesterday
and since i made such a crappy dinner the night before
i thought it would be a good night to grill out and have
our go-to summer meal.
unfortunately, pasta salad would be one of those bad carbs.
so i came up with my very own pastaless salad.
normally i would make this:
 so i took that as a jumping off point and created my own thing.
i had frozen peas,
cherry tomatoes,
green pepper,
cheese sticks
and bacon.
then i just made the same dressing you normally would
out of mayo and a ranch packet.
i cut up all my veggies and cheese
and put the whole pack of bacon in the oven.
(i didn't use the whole pack on this salad,
but i like to have it all cooked so i can grab a piece for breakfast
or have it ready for a blt or broccoli salad.)
then i put it all together
leaving the bacon and the avocado out
until right before dinner.
i didn't want my avocado to turn or
my bacon to get soggy.
and guess what - -
it was delicious.
a definite keeper.
and still heathly.

** i also made a 1/2 cup of elbow pasta for ronnie that he could stir into his own bowl and have real pasta salad. he doesn't have to watch his weight.  bitch. **

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

this and that

my blog has been lacking this week.
it's because i'm sick.
the week started off so good.
dana and i took our kids to the zoo on monday.
no one was there and we basically had the whole place to ourselves.
um, awesome.
but tuesday morning i woke up with a stuffy nose.
i'm blaming the zebras.
they looked suspect.
by tuesday night i hit a wall.
ronnie got home in time for me to hand off brette
and spend my remaining hours on the couch.
i don't think he was impressed.
i know he was especially unimpressed when it was dinner
time and i offered him a hotdog rolled in bread.
sorry, i wasn't eating and i didn't care.
make yourself dinner.
i did manage to help put brette to bed and
i stole some children's dimetapp from her room.
by that time my head was pounding,
my nose was clogged so i walked around like an idiot mouth-breather,
(you know the kind)
and i was so achy that it actually hurt to dry off with a towel.
yes, i tried showering.
it's overrated.
if my mom wasn't working at the tax office this month,
i probably would have called her to come up and watch brette
while i laid in bed and slowly died.
but the show must go on
and i actually feel a bit better.
no headache
and one of my nostrils is useable.
so instead of sitting around watching tv and blogging,
 i'm doing a little something
extra after my complete shut down the night before.
i mowed the yard,
vacuumed the house,
did a load of laundry
and made an actual meal.
which is why i have been way too sick and
then way too busy to share much of anything here.
i'm almost back to 100%.
in the meantime, you can read this.
it will pass the time until i return
and it is still my favorite blog post. ever.

Friday, April 4, 2014


spring has sprung, ya'll.
march definitely came in like a lion
and out like a lamb.
by the end of the month we had out our deck furniture and
spent a couple evenings basking in the sun.
but now, april is totally living up to its hype.
april showers bring may flowers.
so right now we're wearing raincoats
and trying to avoid what the weatherman is
describing as vivid lightning.
fortunately for us, brette sleeps through
thunderstorms like a baby.
i don't know how because it was seriously super loud.
i also decorated for the season and easter.
i bought some new easter eggs to spread across my mantle
and put out these cheery flowers (from mr. mason).

i also put together brette's easter basket.
it's nice that i can leave it out right now
since she is still too little.
next year, i have a feeling we'll be celebrating the easter bunny
and i'll have to keep her things in hiding.
(since this picture i decided i didn't like this basket
because it doesn't have a handle and she'll need one for
the thousands of easter egg hunts we have in our future.)
so i bought her this one instead.
cute, right?
also, since she's too little for candy,
i filled her basket with bubbles, little rubber chicks,
a book, a wooden toy, a bunny tail and colorful bandanas.
fun. fun. fun.
i'd like to add a colorful banner around our doorway
so during brette's naps next week,
i'll be working on a version of this:
and i'd like to find a way to start displaying
all the fun free printables i've found.
like this one:
easter is around the corner!
i'm excited.