Hippity Hop

Another holiday has come and gone. There’s always so much build-up and sometimes the day ends up being a disappointment if it doesn’t live up to the hype.

But not this one!

Our Easter weekend was just lovely. A lot of people were predicting the baby might make an appearance during the holiday but I was hoping it wouldn’t. I wanted this one last holiday with just our little threesome.

I had Friday off of work so Isabella and I had a Girl’s Day. She reminded CJ and Samson of that over and over too!

First we colored eggs.

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Yes, she’s wearing Christmas jammies to color Easter eggs. Hey, why not!

I told her that we were going to “dye eggs for Easter” and her response was, “Mommy! I don’t want to kill any eggs!”

Die vs. dye…good time for a lesson in homophones!

She did 10 of the eggs the traditional way, with a dye kit bought from the store.

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And I taught her how to marbleize them.

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She resisted at first but eventually got really in to it.

The last 2 eggs she colored with finger paints!

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I forgot to take a pic of the final painted eggs but let’s just say they were both brown all over. Another good lesson – mixing all the colors together makes brown!

A few of the eggs then got stickers added to them, once dry.

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Once all the “real egg” stuff was done, we got dressed and headed outside to hang plastic eggs in the tree! This was her idea, though I had seen it done by someone in our old neighborhood and thought it would make a fun project. Plus, it was gorgeous out so might as well enjoy some sunshine!

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Isabella ended up not being much help. She thought it was too windy and darted back inside while I finished hanging all the eggs. Figures.

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But I was able to coax her back out when I suggested we go for a walk and pick up “treasures” (aka trash) along the way. She thought that was a great idea!

The plan was to only walk by a couple houses and then turn around and come back. I wasn’t sure how far I’d be able to go. Well, we ended up at the park, which is about 2 long blocks up the hill. Surprisingly, I wasn’t as tired as I thought I would be and Munchkin had a ton of fun playing on the swings and such, after having not visited the playground in months.

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We ended the day by going out for ice cream cones and getting the car washed.

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She wasn’t thrilled at the idea of a car wash (she hates the loud noise) but the ice cream made it better.

Then came Easter Sunday!

We let her do the Easter egg hunt right away and sort through the eggs while I made breakfast.

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Jackpot!

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After a breakfast of hard-boiled eggs and cinnamon rolls, we had her hunt for her Easter basket.

It was hidden in the laundry room so I thought I was being all clever and vague by saying “a room with soap.” Could be any number of rooms with soap in the house! 1 of 3 bathrooms, kitchen, nursery….but oh no, she went right to the laundry room! So much for trying to outsmart her!

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We then got dressed and ready and headed to my parent’s house for the family event! Again, we did the egg hunt first so that we wouldn’t have the kids asking about it over and over during lunch.

It was nice enough to be outside and Isabella loved her “princess dress”.

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The kids played and played outside most of the day and only came in to chill in front of the TV long enough to eat some snacks.

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It was a fun-filled weekend and a nice holiday all around.

Now that we’re through it, the baby can come anytime! Let’s get this show on the road!

Other holiday pages!

Our Christmas Story | NYE | Easter 2012 |

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Out with the old, In with the new!

Happy New Year! Here’s to lucky number 13!

We rang in the new year in a pretty low key manner. Just the 4 of us at home, playing games, eating and being silly.

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We did our official toast to the new year at 9 pm so that Isabella could participate. We mixed orange juice and Squirt and drank out of wine glasses (champagne flutes are still in storage…) to make it fancy. Then we took some more silly pictures and called it a night!

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Now, let’s talk resolutions…

I started out 2012 with a long list of resolutions (30 of them! Eek!). I acknowledged at the time that it was ambitious and tried to break it down in to manageable chunks. I actually stuck with it for a good 6 months too and can say I crossed off about 50% of the items (I say “about” because some of the goals were in multiple parts or I did a resolution for the first half of the year but not the last, etc.).

I could site many excuses for not doing more (laziness, being pregnant, changing priorities, etc.) but the fact of the matter is that I’m human and can only do so much. I’m not perfect (are you shocked?) and so I think getting through half of my list is pretty darn good.

That being said, this year I’m going to come at it a bit differently. I have 2 goals (you know, other than the Big One of having a baby) and they pretty much go hand in hand:

1. Get our finances in order and pay down our debts

2. Establish and maintain organization in the household

The first one is a carry over from last year. I learned a valuable lesson in the last couple of months – no matter how much money you make, it’s all about how you manage it. To that end, you have to have a budget and a plan, neither of which we really had. I really struggled in December with our money situation and how I let us get here (I’m the CFO of the house). But “shoulds” will not solve anything and all we can do is fix it going forward.

So I took some time over the last couple weeks to come up with a budget, formulate a plan for how we’ll pay down the debt and save money and put it in to action. It’s a work in progress and I’m sure we’ll have to adjust as we go but it feels good to at least do something. Admittedly, we are not nearly as bad off as many others in America and I am truly grateful for what we do have. But it could be better and I’m determined to make it so.

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In my mind, #2 will help us with #1. The more organized we are around the house, the more money we’ll save. Case in point: the other week I bought new toothpaste for Isabella because she ran out, only to discover a couple days later when rifling through the closet that we already had some for her. Also, the more diligent we are about cleaning, maintenance and upkeep of the house, the fewer ’emergencies’ we’ll have down the line with things breaking or wearing out due to improper upkeep.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not like we’re slobs or don’t take care of things, it’s just that with the daily hustle and bustle, things tend to get dropped by the wayside, forgotten or overlooked and the next thing you know, you’re taking your car to the mechanic for a $200 job that could have been avoided had you remembered to change the oil 3 months ago (not that I’m speaking from personal experience or anything…).

So I’ve put together a Household Management Binder that will hopefully keep us on the straight and narrow. In it there are sheets for:

1. Weekly meal planning (this will save us money on groceries and help avoid eating out plus take away the daily stress of “what’s for dinner?”)

2. Weekly Cleaning Checklist – I’m using #2 (breaks up cleaning tasks out by day of the week so that we have a few small things to do each day rather than a huge list on the weekend)

3. Monthly Cleaning Zones (lists out items that need to be done on a monthly basis so they aren’t overlooked)

4. Budget (visible reminder of our budget that will help us see how we’re doing and stay on track)

5. 52 Weeks of Organization (a weekly guide to organizing so that by year end, the whole house will be organized and de-cluttered)

6. Play date Calendar (monthly look at all the play groups, story times and open gym times around town for CJ and Isabella to use)

7. Emergency Contact Information (list of emergency numbers for easy reference for us or baby-sitters)

8. Household projects (list of all the big projects / to do’s that need to be done around the house so that CJ and I can sync up and track them together)

We’ve been using it since Sunday and so far, so good. Crossing items off the weekly cleaning list feels good because it means we’ve accomplished something and that we’re doing good things for our house! And the meal planner has made the week so much easier when it comes to lunches and dinners.

We also got one item checked off the household projects list – putting the storage cabinet together and organizing it!

In our old house, we had this cabinet in Samson’s Room and used it for storing gift wrapping supplies, games, scrapbooking stuff, and miscellaneous small décor items (like candles). We had to take it apart when we moved and it never got reassembled – until this weekend!

The basement went from this:

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To this!

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Pretty awesome, huh? I was able to unpack and toss about 7 big boxes, freeing up so much more space.

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Here’s what the inside looks like:

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On the left is the gift wrapping station (ribbons and accessories on top, bags and tissue on the hangers, and wrapping paper and boxes on the bottom). On the right we have games, memory boxes, extra baskets/art supplies and candles (in the top drawer). Bottom drawer is empty which means there’s room for more!

Feels so good to have that done and I smile every time I go in the basement and see that area!

Cheers to a good year!

Our Christmas Story

I hope you all had a great Christmas (if you celebrate) with family and friends! We sure did! It was extra fun this year because Isabella was SOOOO in to it and is old enough to understand and vocalize everything.

Here’s a recap of our Christmas weekend in pictures!

SNOW!

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This was on Saturday. We had gotten about 9″ of snow Thursday but hadn’t yet made it outside to play. Isabella had fun for about 10 minutes and then was ready to go back inside.

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She takes after her mama when it comes to winter weather sports or outdoor activities of any kind…

Then it was time for getting cozy and reading with Daddy by the tree.

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On Sunday, we gave Samson a bath.

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Poor innocent, unsuspecting Samson…he had no idea what was coming.

He hadn’t had a bath since his surgery and it was time.

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He was a good boy though and patiently stood there letting us poor water over him while he ate treat after treat. He’s now super soft and extra cuddly!

On Christmas Eve, I worked in the morning then we spent the afternoon doing family stuff.

Samson opened some birthday presents…(the Big Guy turned 7 this year!)

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And then we had cake!

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Or rather Little Debbie Christmas Tree cakes arranged to look fancy. Hey, Samson doesn’t know the difference…

Isabella was disappointed that the cake didn’t have Mary Poppins on it but she got over it once I told her she could eat a whole “tree” by herself.

Samson got his own tree too.

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Then we took our annual Santa Hat photos! It’s a Christmas Eve tradition for us.

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In previous years it was hard just to get one good one because Isabella wasn’t all that keen to pose for the camera. But this year she did great and we were able to do some goofy ones too!

Tongues out….

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Crazy Clock faces…

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We were all saying something here and now I forget what it was…Dude maybe?

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And finally more smiles!

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Then we each got to open one present (our ornaments) before it was time to get ready for bed!

But first we made up a plate for Santa and his reindeer.

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(Don’t ask me why but at some point in the evening she stripped out of her clothes and insisted on running around naked. We made her at least keep underwear on. Silly girl…)

The plate contains cookies for Santa (sugar ones that Isabella decorated herself), milk and some carrots for the reindeer (with peanut butter because Isabella likes to dip her carrots in PB…ok I do too. Don’t knock it ’til you try it!).

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Christmas morning came and we were up and at ’em by 7:00 am. We had a quick breakfast of donuts (it’s a family tradition!) and then opened presents.

We let Samson go first.

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Experience has taught us that he is a pain when it comes to opening gifts. He likes to get in everybody’s business and help them tear off paper and such. It was cute when he was a puppy and before we had children. But Isabella wants to do it herself and Samson just gets in the way. So we give him a big bone first thing and then he goes off and works on that while we open presents in peace!

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Isabella’s turn!

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Then we moved on to the stockings!

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Then we all got dressed and ready to go to Grandma and Grandpa’s!

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She’s holding her new planets book that she was very excited about. The only way I could get an outfit shot was with the book!

Once everyone arrived (including us, my Father-in-law, and my sis, her hubs and 3 kids), we sat down for the big meal of the day. After that it was time for more presents!

Isabella’s favorites were her pillow from Grandpa:

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Batman mask:

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And LeapPad2

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The baby even scored a few gifts from Grandma, including some awesome additions to the nursery!

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Now we’re enjoying a quiet week as we head in to the New Year.

Happy Holidays!

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If you liked this, check out some other posts you might enjoy!

2012 Christmas Card | Merry Christmas to all! |Pregnancy Secrets

Happy Holidays from the Traders!

xmas card 2012

A Trader Silent Night

Silent night, quiet night,

All is calm, until April alights.

We’ve been blessed as Sarah’s with child,

Soon our lives will be even more wild.

Sleep while there is still peace…

Sleep while there is still peace.

 

Silent night, growing night,

Isabella, our shining light.

Putting joy in our heart and a smile on our face

(By the way, she loves outer space)!

Merry Christmas to you!

Merry Christmas to you!

Greetings from seasons past:

Merry Christmas 2011 | 2010

Summertime One Liners

I have never picked fresh flowers from a garden.

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Boy was I missing out.

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I think I pulled a muscle swatting at a spider that was hanging down from my belt.

I’m so glad kids don’t inherit the fears of their parents.

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I do wish she had inherited my ability to lay down and go to sleep right away without getting up 800 times or crying.

It’s amazing what a difference 10 degrees can make. 90 feels a lot better than 100.

80 would feel a lot better than 90.

Samson broke out of the backyard tonight and then 30 minutes later, after I got him home, he stole one of Munchkins’ toys.

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The old boy’s got some spunk in him yet!

I still feel like that spider is still on me. Is it on me?

Magic beans do not work.

Magic Mike, on the other hand, will work quite nicely for me tomorrow night.

I’ve started adding mid-day walks back in to my work schedule.

I like it when I stumble across things like this on my walks.

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The nasty blisters I developed on the back of my foot from wearing the wrong shoes I could do without.

Now that the 4th of July has come and gone, the end of Summer will be here before we know it.

Better enjoy every minute of it while it lasts.

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If you liked this, you might also like:

Damage | From the Mouths of Babes: Rhyme Time | Long Holiday Weekends