Boo Boo and Family Photo

The past few weeks Kara had come down with some sort of virus, where she coughs a lot and has a runny nasty nose and is all congested. She finally stopped coughing then Summer started coughing. Poor kids can’t catch a break. If one of them is sick, we all stay in. Luckily the weather has been gorgeous so they’ve been able to get some fresh air in our yard away from the rest of the population – so as to keep everyone from getting infected (still no clue how the girls even got sick, but – alas)

Yesterday morning Summer woke up with a little bit of redness on her ankle. We watched it throughout the day and it just started swelling more and more and getting more red. She could walk on it fine and it didn’t phase her a bit – but for peace of mind I brought her in to the after hours clinic last night to get it checked out.

Day 1 at the doc.

The doc thinks it’s probably and insect bite. We put on a prescription steroid cream (a bit more potent/strong that hydrocortisone).

After a night of rest and having the cream on for about 12 hours, she woke up looking worse. When I called the pediatric nurse she told me to bring her back in ASAP b/c she could have cellulitis. Grrrreat, nothing like instilling an immense sense of FEAR in a mother, right?!

So in we went …

Day 2, more redness and the swelling spreading across/down her foot.
Day 2, more redness and the swelling spreading across/down her foot.

It looks pretty nasty right?! Like it would hurt or itch or SOMETHING… but no. She is not even phased by this. It doesn’t itch b/c she NEVER scratches it. She can walk fine (was just a little stiff this morning from the swelling) and when the doctor pushes on it or moves it she doesn’t even flinch.

I don’t get it … but the docs today also said they think it’s a bug bite of some sort. We just have to be on the lookout for any pussing, ulcers, etc… in case it’s a brown recluse spider bite. Gaaaaaaaaaaaaah!!!!

Anyway, we’ve had this mother and me photo session booked up with a local photographer and we keep having to postpone it. So I said F-it, and attempted to take one at home once we got back from the doctor.

I don't know what the girls are looking at, but at least their smiling.
I don’t know what the girls are looking at, but at least their smiling.

I’m feeling a bit relieved that the docs think it’s just a bug bite. And I know that Summer has super sensitive skin so maybe she reacts a little stronger to the bites than most.  I hope that’s all it is. Crossing our fingers that the swelling goes down in the next 24hrs and I can stop being so paranoid.

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Learning to Calm the F*ck Down

The twins are 2.5 years old and I’m still learning how to control my behavior around them.

My behavior is most out of hand when they throw tantrums, hit each other, pull hair, steal, whine, cry, yell — which, at this age, is almost all day every day. I find myself yelling at them LOUDLY. These have become the most common phrases lately.

  • “Did you take that from your sister?! I’ll give you 3 seconds and if you don’t give it back you’re going in to time out. ONEEEE, TWOOOOOOOO, THREE!!! THAT’S IT, TIME OUT!!”
  • “STOP THAT, RIGHT – NOW!!”
  • “Did you hit your sister?! You DON’T HIT YOUR SISTER! THAT’S IT, TIME OUT!! You get TWO MINUTES!”
  • “WHAT DID YOU DOOOO!?!”
  • “NOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!”
  • “SIT – DOWN!”
  • “What Happened?!”

I’m sure these are all fairly common in the world of parenting — I have always believed that the louder I say these things, the more impactful they will be. As if the fear my screams produce will prevent them from repeating the offending behavior. Obviously, it doesn’t work. While they do fear me at that moment, it does not prevent future acts completely.

I have to remember they aren’t even 3 years old yet, and they are still testing their boundaries, and there are 2 of them at the same age around each other 24/7. Shit is gonna hit the fan, and often it does.

Not only do I scare the shit outta my kids, but I imagine my neighbors and any random by-standers within a quarter mile from my house thinks I’m the crazy lady and pities my children.

So — how do I prevent this assumed perception?

1. Calm the F*ck Down

I have tried my best to just let things go, unless one of the kids are at risk for getting seriously injured, are seriously injured, are bleeding, unconscious etc… then I need to just chill and calm the f*ck down.  When I feel myself getting ready to yell out at them, I instead call their name (not to freakin’ loud) and give them the eyes. It’s been working.

2. Time-out for Mommy

These are moments when I whip out the Cloud Dough, or other activities that can occupy each of them individually – of course it has to be the same thing for each and not something they have to SHARE, goodness no. Activities like these took trial and error to find out what would keep them occupied for LONG periods of time (at least 45 mins). Click here for recipe.

Playing nicely side-by-side with Cloud Dough (1c baby oil + 8c flour)
Playing nicely side-by-side with Cloud Dough (1c baby oil + 8c flour)

3. Set them free

With the beautiful weather we’ve been having here in central TX, I let them run around outside in the backyard and play. I have windows that line the entire backside of my house so I am able to watch them from inside, while I read or blog or whatever. I leave a window open so I can hear them and they can hear me (even though, trust me, they are loud enough to be heard with the windows shut). Letting them run around without me standing over their shoulders all the time gives them a sense of freedom – it has also made them more independent.

4. Technology

They are going through this ‘phase’ where they are little busy bodies, putting on a movie and having them sit through it completely just doesn’t happen right now. It’s kind of strange but they have been OBSESSED with these Preschool Shapes and Colors DVD’s I snagged on Zulily. OBSESSED. So I can bribe them with these movies — stick them in their playroom and let them just veg out. I am not one of those NO TV, NO TABLET moms. If it works for you, DO IT!

5. If all else fails, feed them.

I have been tempted to bribe my kids with sweets to just STFU and behave, but I’ve resisted! I WILL NOT REWARD BAD BEHAVIOR. But, when I notice them starting to get cranky due to just being a tad hungry or tired, I’ll give them a snack. Since we have a naptime routine that is so perfect I don’t want to mess with it, putting them down for a nap is out of the question. Instead, I’ll pop a bag of popcorn and resort to #4 above and maybe even a little apple juice if I’m really feeling generous. Other snacks I always try to have on hand are goldfish, animal crackers, pretzels, apple chips and dried veggie chips.

At the end of the day, I know it was a good one if I got to capture a moment like this, however fleeting it may be.

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We have our good days and then we have our not-so-good days, but stepping back and thinking and breathing before I act is helping me enjoy even those not-so-good moments. They are growing up so fast I want to be able to soak up every little thing. Good or Bad. They are ultimately good kids, emphasis on kids – b/c they just might act like them sometimes ;-)

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Cloud Dough Recipe and Pics

Oooooh Cloud Dough, how I love you. Let me count the reasons why…

1. – you keep my 2.5 year old twins occupied for hours. HOURS!!!

Oh wait, that’s only one reason … but it’s the best reason!!

I didn’t expect this to be as big of a hit as it was, but I’ve whipped out the cloud dough A LOT the past few weeks and it has never let me down! And it helps that the kids LOVE it too.

The very first day they got to play with it.
The very first day they got to play with it.

I first started out with all of the cloud dough in ONE container – it worked out for a few minutes but soon enough they were fighting for space – so I split the batch up into 2 separate bins and gave them the SAME tools so they didn’t fight over those and they had a blast.

It was a little messy, but so easy to clean (just sweep or vacuum the floor and a wet paper towel to their hands/clothes). It’s worth it, TRUST ME!

Cloud Dough Recipe

  • 1 cup Baby Oil (use cooking oil for a baby/toddler safe alternative)
  • 8 cups of all-purpose flour
  1. put all ingredients into a big bowl or the container you will use for play 
  2. mix by hand until you are able to form things (try to squeeze a ball of it in your hands, if it stays together when you open your fingers, it’s done! – about 3-4 minutes of mixing.)

NOTE – I made this size batch and split it up between the girls. So if you only want a little bit (probably less of a mess in a small play container, just cut the recipe in half. Also, you can reuse the cloud dough, just be sure to store it somewhere that can be sealed tightly. I store ours in a plastic storage container with the vacuum seal button on top (see it here).


Here are some more pics of Cloud Dough (AKA Moon-dough in our house)

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Nifty-Fifty Photo Fun

I’m REALLY enjoying this camera, still trying to get used to shooting in Manual Mode again, it’s been awhile.

I bought the kit lens for the 6D however I’m still loving the nifty-fifty prime lens. (50mm ii 1.8) – talk about getting the most bang for your buck!!

All the photos below were taken with that lens. ENJOY!

My Girls

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Summer

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Kara

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NEW Camera and some not-so-new photos

I’m so so so excited.

By this time tomorrow, this little beauty will be in my hands!

cameraWords cannot describe how excited I am!!

A few months ago I sold my old Canon – it was a T1i. I’m kicking myself now for selling the pro flash though, b/c I sold everything for less than what the flash alone was worth! *kick kick kick*

It’s okay though, I still saved my 430ex ii speedlite, so I’m good, but also this new cam is a FULL FRAME and not a CROP – so that will make a world of a difference, as well as it just being a major upgrade — it will perform decent enough in low light situations if I don’t want to be carrying my flash around ;-)

I’m just excited to be able to take decent shots of my kids again. The phone cam thing is getting a little ridiculous.


Not-so-new Photo Update

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Me and fam at Zilker Gardens
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Me and the girls. Summer (L) and Kara (R)
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Kara & Summer *love*
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Summer was so content just watching the waterfall
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Happy Summer with her Elsa necklace
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The girls checking out the falls
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Kara wanted to carry the massive bag of kettle corn.
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Kara grinning by some de-thorned cacti
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Sweet Kara
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Kara at square in front of the Alamo – San Antonio
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Summer in front of the Alamo – about to jump!
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Choosing paint colors

My ENTIRE house is painted that ‘builder-beige’ color – I’m thankful it’s not stark white but the beige is really really boring. The worst part is that not only are the walls, moldings and doors painted the same color, but so is the ceiling. BLECH! I think it’s a southern thing. Up in NJ the ceilings were always painted white! Down here, I’m noticing people paint their ceiling the same color as their walls, even if their walls are GREEN!

Our family room is a difficult area to figure out. We have 25 foot ceilings, it connects to the eat-in kitchen (open concept) has an ugly brown rug, a floor-to-ceiling limestone fireplace with gold-tones in it, and also hard wood floors.

I’ve currently accented the room with deep red and gold tones. I don’t want to wind up painting the walls gold just b/c it matches the fireplace – ugh, i hate that color and I think it is boring on walls. Just as boring as the builder-beige, but it seems like it’s the only color that truly WORKS.

So, while I suffer with insomnia tonight I started messing around with a recent photo of my fireplace space and I think I’ve come up with a solution for the too-much-g’damn-boring-gold issue.

A peacock blue accent wall -

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Before and after (my crappy photoshop job)

I found the corresponding colors on the Benjamin Moore Color Gallery Page

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Tomorrow, I’m going to have to try and convince Mike that THESE are the colors we should use. *fingers crossed*

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I gots my hair did!

It’s been almost a year since I’ve gotten a hair cut.

After I moved to Texas, I went for a haircut – this is how it turned out (last year)

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Talk about SHORTY-SHORT-SHORT-SHORT.

I don’t think the stylist then did a BAD job per se, but it wasn’t what I wanted. I also chose that salon based on the ‘type’ that it was. I thought it was more like a day-spa, and the day-spas I used to go to in NJ were pretty pricey but you got what you paid for. Never a complaint when I went to my regulars. But this – not so much.

I thought it was time to give a new stylist a chance, and after some Yelp searching I found one with rave reviews. I went there, talked to a stylist and figured I would go for the ‘ombre’ look. I had put box color on my hair a few months ago so I was worried it might turn out kinda funky looking – I was pleasantly surprised by the outcome. Not to mention, after living in the ‘south’ for over a year, I’m naturally a bit tanner! WOO HOO!

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I paid the most I’ve EVER paid for my color and cut, but it was well worth the piece of mind and knowing that I get what I pay for here – the stylist was Senior level, super knowledgeable, friendly etc… I’m so happy I finally found someone, however with the price I paid, I’m not so sure I could afford to go more than once a year anyway! HA!!!!

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I’ve been hacked.

If you’ve visited my page anytime in the past 2-3 weeks, you may have noticed it redirected you to download an updated version of your browser. :-/

Sorry about that, apparently some WordPress Plugin I was using had some sort of weakness in it and hacked my site. So I’ve been uninstalling things here and there, and I’m hoping I didn’t break some random thing in my site (it’s all fixable, of course).

I’ll be updating posts again soon, just want to make sure I solved the problem this go-around.

 

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I’m not sure what day it is

Man oh man,  we’ve been fighting some boogies in these parts the past week or so. Thank goodness the girls learned what germs are via their Pepi Doctor app!!

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Summer has been keeping up with the potty training pretty well,  but once she got this cold she started having accidents.  On the no fever days she’s great so I’m hoping things click again when she is feeling better.

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Playing house

This past week Mike and I have really started noticing some changes in the girls communication.  They’ve been speaking in sentences for awhile now but they’ve just gotten a lot clearer and it doesn’t sound so much like broken English.  Bitter sweet.

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Summer

And, it’s official, we signed the girls up for preschool this fall. They will be going 2 days a week for 4hrs/day.  Kara got to tour the school with me and she really loved it.  She was so upset when we left. I thought that was a good sign :)

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Mike and the girls at art class

They currently go to art class at Gymboree on Mondays and music class on Tuesdays but those we’ll be stopping this summer.

I try my best to do things with them during the week at home but feel like when they get outside the house and are stimulated by a different environment they just seem generally less irritable.

Last weekend Mike had 3 days off so we got to do lots of activities with him. Pics to come.

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