Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Looking for February Sponsors

Hey everyone.  It's been awhile since I've done a sponsor post.  I will be removing the badges that are currently on the side bar, since it's been a while since we've started that.  The new sizes will be 125x125.  At this point, all sponsors are at no charge, but rather on a swap basis.  If you are interested in doing the blog swap, please leave a comment or reach me at talesoftwogirls@gmail.com

Toddle Along Tuesdays - My Advice for Mothers to Be

One of the best things about parenting in this day and age, is all of the wealth of knowledge, literally at your fingertips.  You are able to reach out and talk to mothers going through the same things as you, at the same times as you.  Be it Facebook, blogging, or mommy message boards.  There is a lot of support, wisdom and advice you can find.

The downside of that is the comparing.  You will see one baby speaking in sentences, while your baby just started saying a few words.  You will find one baby walking at 9 months, while another is struggling at 14 months.  Everybody knows that every baby is different and you shouldn't compare, but that is much easier said than done.

It's also human nature to think that whatever you have decided to do, or whatever has worked out well for you, is the right way to do things.  I don't know if it's the need for validation in choices or an insecurity that someone has made the wrong decision.  Or maybe it can just be exhausted, overly emotional women getting easily worked up. :)

One thing that I have found is that, especially with my second child, I don't get quite as worried about these things anymore.  I know that everything will happen in due time, so it does no good stressing out about it.  Yes, my child is 19 months and still has a Nuk for bed, naps, and sometimes if her teeth are bothering her.  Do many say it should be gone by now? Of course.  I know in the long run of things it won't be a big deal.  I haven't seen too many college freshman going to Psych 101 with a paci in their mouths.  Some things are just easier on the parent and child (In my opinion) to just relax a little and take their lead.

Kendall was 2.5 when we finally pulled her nuk away.  I probably would have done it sooner, but we were dealing with a newborn, and as any mother with 2 under 2 will tell you, you are just in survival mode and are not wanting to jump to anything that will make life harder on you.  I was building up this traumatic experience of Kendall screaming herself to sleep for nights, or God forbid weeks, over the loss of her beloved nukey.  We  talked about it all week, and that Friday there was no turning back.  She excitedly packed all of her nuks into a bag that we left on the front porch for the Nuk Fairy.

And then, I held my breath and waited.  Waited for the screams, waited for the change of heart, waited for the devastation.  As I waited, I realized it wasn't coming.  The kid did amazing.  The next morning we went to Target to get her big girl gift, and she was so damn proud of herself.
After that, there was no looking back.  If I had listened to everyone else, instead of my own gut, the situation may have been a lot harder on everyone involved.  

I try to remember that my children's lives are not lived on a timeline.  They don't need to accomplish certain feats by a predetermined age.  I will love them and rejoice in their achievements when they do happen.  On their time.

Click the button above to check out more Toddle Along Tuesday posts hosted by Growing Up Geeky.  

Monday, January 30, 2012

Let Them Eat Cake.

Seriously, cake about sums up our weekend. lol  My brother and his family came up from Iowa on Friday.  We went to my parent's on Friday night to celebrate my nephew's second birthday.  Seeing him turn two, is just another reminder for this weepy mama on how soon that'll be Sydney.  It was so fun to get to see them all, and Kendall especially loved playing with all of her cousins.  She had been talking about it all week.
Kendall was so happy to get lots of story time in. 
Sydney was raiding the chip bowl before dinner.
More story time!
Happy Birthday!
Saturday we got ready for my parents 40th anniversary party.  
We had a lot of pictures!
There was a banner with numbers 1-40 where we had a fact or event representing each number.  This was not as easy to come up with as you'd think!
the dress
OMG, this cake was soooooo good
Sydney got ahold of a sugar flower.  Think she likes it? lol
A family pic!
We finally got a picture of the four of us.  We're terrible for getting these.
Kendall had a lot of fun dancing with her cousins.

And now, for your viewing pleasure, Kendall doing the cha cha slide. lol

Friday, January 27, 2012

Y3W | Forty Blissful Years

Tomorrow we will be having a wedding anniversary party for these two lovebirds.
Aren't they the cutest?  Sunday will mark their 40th wedding anniversary.  40 years!  Wowzas.  Eric and I just hit 4 years and it feels like foreverrrrrrrr (in a good way!).  In days like today, 40 years is a major accomplishment.  Especially when you hear of people (often celebrities) divorcing left and right.
Their marriage lasted a whopping 6 years.
72 days.  It must be true love if you're over it less than three months later.  
And how can we forget about this 55 hour joke?  

My parents have been amazing examples of what a marriage is and what it should be.  While it may not always be easy, they have been a shining example of faith and commitment.  Through their guidance, I think this became possible.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Can I whine for a minute?

In a couple short weeks, Sydney will be the exact age that Kendall was when Sydney was born.  That's just insane to me on how much time has flown by.  It seems like just yesterday I was pregnant with Sydney, and waddling around that big belly.

I've said it before, but I loved being pregnant.  Of course there was the uncomfortable periods, the exhaustion, the reflux, etc.  But, that feeling of carrying your child inside of you is beyond words.  To know that they are relying, solely on you, for their being.  I loved that for those 9 glorious month, by baby was always with me; was a part of me.  I miss laying in bed and watching my belly jump around.  To watch the little gymnast(s) in action.

Being a mother to 2 kids that are less than 2 years apart can definitely be tiring.  However, these two little beauties are amazing.  My love for Kendall grew more than I knew possible when I saw her love for her little sister.  She turned into such a kind, amazing little person.  To hear her call her little sister, "you little cutie pie, you" instantly brings a smile to my face.  To see her instantly trying to find what Sydney wants to make her happy makes me proud beyond measure.

That love is far from one sided.  Kendall will be upset and Sydney will go and try to kiss her or rub her back.  Whatever Kendall asks for or does, Sydney is right there next to her, trying to emulate her big sister.  Being 19 months apart, those two are going to have a bond that is priceless.  Of course there have been and will be hard times.  Of course they will fight, and be annoyed with each other.  That's all part of it.  At the end of the day, I think the greatest gifts that we could give each of them we did.  We gave them a sister.  A best friend.  A lifelong companion.

As happy and content as it makes me that they have each other, I'm also feeling a sense of guilt.  I would love another child.  I feel like there is still another little person out there, just waiting to come into our home and into our arms.  However, as ready as I am to grow and meet this little baby, the timing just isn't quite right.  I think of all of the practicalities and logistics.  The girls are already sharing the second bedroom next to our room.  Would I put a baby downstairs in the third bedroom?  Where would we put all of the stuff in that room?  Our house really isn't big enough for another child.  How do we try to sell a house in this market?  It's better to wait it out a few years, and get a better return on our sale.  I just started a new job this summer.  I need to wait to build up my vacation time for the maternity leave.  Kendall will still be in daycare for 3 years. How would we afford three in daycare?  Etc., etc., etc.

That's where the guilt comes in.  While I can think of thousands of reasons why it'd be better to wait to have a baby, it doesn't make it feel any better.  Even if we were to try this fall, which is what I had always hoped, Sydney would still be 3 by the time the baby was born.  And, in all reality, I don't think it'll be this fall.

As I've said, the close age gap between the girls is so perfect to me.  I hate that if we do have another child, that they will not experience that.  I hate that we may have to wait until we are more financially ready, which will leave #3 to be the odd man out from the beginning.

I hate the balancing act between my heart and my head.  I feel like I know what the right answer is.  It really doesn't make it feel any better, though.

Monday, January 23, 2012

The things I do to save a dollar.

With the start of 2012, I made a list of resolutions.  One of those was to try to cut costs where we can, and to grow our savings.  One way I did this was to drop our cable package.  This was a really tough day for me, as I lost my most beloved Bravo.  I didn't realize that I would also be losing all of Eric's sports channels.  This did not lead to a very happy husband.  After weeks of whining, we finally got it back.  I will admit though, I was a little too happy to catch up on the Real Housewives I've been missing.

Well, since the cable didn't seem to work out so well, I looked elsewhere.  One thing I couldn't help but see, looked back at me every time I looked in the mirror.  My lovely roots.  Oh, but not just roots.  No, my friends, I'm also going grey.  I spotted my first hair around 25.  I immediately plucked it out and told myself it was just a different color of one of my highlights.  Since then, those little bastards have kept sprouting up, taunting me of the big 3-0 quickly approaching.

Since I decided to dye my hair darker and one color the last time I went in, I figured now would be the easiest time to give it a whirl myself.  I had dyed my hair from a box as a teenager...and it was interesting, to say the least.  I went to Target and stood in the aisle, completely perplexed.  Do you know how many shades of hair dye there are?  I wanted brown.  There were about 1518943 shades of brown to choose from.  Ok, this maybe wasn't going to be as easy as I thought.

I grabbed a box, and was getting ready to set up an appointment with my stylist for the following week to fix what was sure to be a disaster.  It took me about a week to work up the nerve to do it.
As I started, I figured it'd just be the same as shampooing my hair.  I realized that with long hair, it's kind of a pain in the you know what.  I was so paranoid that I wasn't actually getting all of the hair.  What if there was a few dry strands in there that I missed?  What if it was going to come out with stripes?  My hair is long enough, why is there so much of the bottle left?
After the waiting for 25 minutes, I hopped in the shower to rinse it out.  I totally forgot that it'd come out colored, until my shower turned almost purple!  At this point, it was getting late and I was too lazy to dry it to see the finished product, so I went to bed.  It ended up coming out a little bit darker than I thought, but otherwise ok (I think?)
All in all, I think I can say Mission: Accomplished.  I figured I just saved about $100 there.  Not too shabby. :)  Now I don't have to feel quite so guilty thinking about the cable bill while watching a little Bravo.

Also, I have a guest post today over at ELF: A Family Blog for a post on her weekly How I Rock My Marriage Mondays.  Stop over and check out her blog!

Friday, January 13, 2012

Y3W | Talk To Me

I've been noticing an increase in new followers, which is awesome!  So, step out of the woodworks and tell me about yourselves!

Who are you?  How'd you stumble across my blog?  What's your story?  I'd love to get to know you all a little better! :)

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Thinking Back Thursdays, Vol. 11

Who didn't have a pillow person?  I loved these!! I couldn't find a picture of the one I had though.  I'm glad it wasn't this one.  I don't know that I'd want to rest my sleepy head on this sour puss face.  I think she'd invade my dreams and take out all the fun and color - kind of like that Murky dude from Rainbow Brite.

This show was on of my favorites!  I thought she was the coolest girl around.  I mean, who else do you know that had a pet elephant or a boy crawl up a ladder into her room every day?  Her clothes were always amaze balls, too.  I've heard a little rumor that this is on reruns at Nick Jr.  I'm totally checking that out and adding another show to my DVR if that's the case

JEM!  Wowow...Jem!  (are you singing the theme song in your head? I am!)   I dreamed of growing up to be a rock star, just like her.  Instead, I became an auditor.  Pretty close, no?  I even had the toy keyboard that the dolls would dance on, and that you could stick a cassette tape into the side.  So cool.

Nothing starts your day out right, like being able to play with your food.  I'd love drawing little shapes or designs into my oatmeal.

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Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Wordless Wednesdays

Best friends.  <3

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Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Paint me a pretty picture.

I haven't posted for a few days.  The weekend was a little busy.  Kendall and I spent Saturday at my parents digging through all of their old pictures for their upcoming 40th anniversary party.  OMG, they were hilarious!!  Sunday, I had hoped to update and ran into some computer problems.  Now, you may be thinking, "Wasn't she going shopping on Black Friday to get a new computer?  Problems already??"  Oh, yes.  I bought my shiny new MacBook Pro, and I think I got a lemon.

Everyone and their brother told me to get a Mac and you won't get viruses or have it lock up.  Only me.  Once and a while a program I'm in would shut down and I would get an error message.  Ok, whatever.  Then, I started getting a message that I needed to restart my computer.  That message was in about 7 different languages, just to drive the point home.  Ok, annoying.  It had started acting up more and more, and then Sunday we reached our breaking point.  For Christmas I got a new wireless copier/scanner/printer.  I was trying to install it, so I could get to scanning the million pictures we brought home from my parents.  The stupid thing kept shutting down on me.  I called Apple and was on the phone for an hour or so, when we decided to just reinstall the hard drive.  That was supposed to take an hour.  It took me 6 because I'd get less than 1 minute from the end, and it'd restart or shut down.  As you can imagine, at this point I'm none to happy.  By 9pm it finally works, but after logging into the internet, I get the same error messages.  I called Apple again, but by this time the representatives where probably home in bed...where I should've been ready to go.

I brought it into Best Buy yesterday, and they have to send it out.  Now we're back to our crappy old one for about 2 weeks. :(  The bright spot in my Sunday, though, was hanging out with my two little buddies.  We dug out some of Kendall's paint and decided to do a little artwork.

These are all straight from my camera, so I didn't get any editing done on them.

What a surprise that Kendall chose to start with green!
Can you see the concentration on her face? lol

Ok, how about now??  ha ha

Sydney learned it was more fun to just paint her fingers.


It's dangerous to get a scratch on your ear when you're busy painting!

Kendall is still hard at it.

I can't remember if this was a yawn, or Sydney trying to taste it.  Both happened...more often trying to lick her fingers.

Suddenly realizing what a mess she was
Bath time came a little early that day!

Time for some cuddles and Dora while mama got lunch ready.