Wednesday, December 19, 2012

fun days

My Christmas vacation starts tomorrow. I originally was going to work tomorrow, but I thought "ah screw it". If we get the snow they say we are getting, then I'm going to take Ellie and Jack out to play. We'll put all our winter gear on and head out. Jack will be really, really surprised. I am so excited to have the next 13 days off with my favorites. Not that I don't always love and appreciate my kids, but when tragic, devastating things happen in the world, it always puts life into perspective and makes me realize that little things just aren't worth getting upset about. Cherish every moment, whether it's stressful, annoying, or just plain hard. There might be a lot of these things going on with a 1 year old and a 3 year old because they are just learning and growing. I'm learning to let them get away with a few things, because "really does it matter?"

Some of these examples include:

  • dumping a bucket of water on Mama's back when she's sitting next to them in the tub
  • Jack chewing on his toothbrush until it's bloody (some molars are coming in)
  • Ellie changing her clothes 3 or 4 times a day
  • Ellie getting skid marks in her undies :(
  • Ellie eating cookies and junk food for a week at school (because it's Christmas)
  • Jack playing with the toilet plungers (2 of them at a time)
  • Jack playing with the toilet bowl cleaner and sometimes putting it in his mouth (at least it's not the part that goes directly in the toilet and it's just the stick, since I have the throw away sponge kind)
  • Both of them wanting another serving (3) of yogurt with cereal and then not eating it.
  • Letting both of them eat yogurt after their baths and brushing their teeth.
  • Ellie completely destroying my closet upstairs which holds every kind of hello kitty sticker, bag, wrapping paper, stationary, envelopes, thank you cards and anything cute. (she took all of my neatly organized drawers and dumped them out and then I think danced on all of it - that is what I pictured in my head. It was even too much of a disaster to take a picture of).

Tuesday, December 18, 2012

NYR Organic Skin Care

About a month ago, my new neighbor had a 'spa party' for a beauty line product called, Neal's Yard Remedies. I'm usually not big into these kind of parties, but I was curious because it is 100% organic. My skin is super sensitive and I've been looking for something for years. I ended up buying a few things and also taking home samples of a collection. It's called Rose and is wash, toner and moisturizer. I had about a week's worth and loved it. I also bought some of their powder foundation and bronzer. They also have this make up brush that feels like silk. I love it. I accidentally grabbed my old make up brush and it was like using sandpaper. I am not one to promote things like this, but it truly is really good stuff. One thing that I am addicted to is their baby balm. I originally bought it for Jack, but ended up keeping it by my nightstand and use it every night. The prices are pretty much in the same price range as any department store brand (ie. Clinique, Estee Lauder, etc.) but the main difference is that it's organic. I've been trying to buy more organic, natural products, but I like this stuff because it works for me and makes my skin feel really nice.


I'm sure many of your hearts were heavy with the sad news of those beautiful children at that school. The news was almost overbearing, but I can't even imagine what those families are going through. There was no way to escape the tv and even being at work today it's hard not to look on news sites to see if there are any updates. We'll carry on, like anything, but we'll never forget. I normally don't comment on issues going on in the real world, just because I want this blog to be a happy place, but the sorrow I feel for those affected in Newtown is just unthinkable.  

Ellie and I at lunch. She is such a people watcher,
Wonder where she gets that?
On Friday, I woke up excited to go to my neighbors for a NYR Organic skin care product and then to get a little more shopping done that I didn't finish the day before. Around noon, I was walking home I glanced at my email and saw something about a shooting. I honestly didn't think too much of it and ran in the house to get Ellie to go shopping. As we drove to Steinmart and JoAnn Fabrics in Brookfield I heard what had happened on the radio. Ellie had a meltdown in the parking lot, but I seriously didn't care. I was just glad we were together. After the meltdown we headed to Brookfield Square for some lunch and some more shopping. Ellie was so great and so fun to be around. I think sometimes she just has to get a meltdown out of her system. My heart breaks for those families. I've always hated guns and still believe that easy access to guns is the problem. I believe that there is no reason to have them in our homes. There is a higher percentage that an accident will happen than someone breaking in your house. I know if someone really wants a gun they will get one, but if we make it really difficult maybe they'll give up. I don't know. There are almost no answers. This school had a procedure in place and had high end security measures, but you can't stop a gunman, unless you have a gun. This is how I've been going back and forth with this in my head. I can equally justify both sides and yet neither solution is 100%. Such heartache.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Grinch cookies

I had to bake cookies last night. 6 dozen. That's a lot. I searched and searched online and Pinterest and finally decided on one. It was pretty easy to decide on because I needed 3 basic things:1.easy, 2. not a lot of ingredients, 3. something I would like.

I stumbled upon this recipe on Pinterest and linked to the blog. Mint Chocolate Chip Cookies made with Ande's candies.  I love mint and chocolate, so this seemed basic. I was excited because I thought Ellie would have fun unwrapping the Ande's candies, but when I went to Target, I found that they already have bags of chopped Ande's candies. That's when I decided that she probably wouldn't be too much help anyways and that I should probably just make the cookies after the kids go to bed. My goal to get them both into bed by 7:30 worked. Jack didn't even cry and Ellie didn't flip out. It started out great. Nick had class so the only helper I had was Meeko. He was by my side the whole time. (waiting for me to drop any crump or throw him a whole cookie, which happened a few times)
It took longer than I thought to bake all these cookies, but I learned a lot.
  • Always make sure you have ALL and enough of your ingredients.
  • It helps to have music on. (I used my fancy new iPad and listened to Christmas music on Pandora)
  • For the love of Santa, I need a standing mixer. This mickey mouse mixer is crappy. I'm not a huge baker, but I think as the kids get older, I might become one.

I've decided to rename these cookies, "Grinch" cookies. That's what they remind me of. I made a lot of extra, so Ellie took some Grinch cookies to school with her. She will be excited to see that they are green. The rest I packaged up for my yearly subdivision Cookie Exchange. I'm pretty pumped to catch up with my neighbor girls and I also have off tomorrow!

Love my new iPad.
Meeko is so patient.

mickey mouse mixer.
mmm. can't you just smell that!?

Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Christmas Cards

My Christmas cards are out! I got my act together early this year and sent them last week. I actually had them before Thanksgiving, but procrastinated with the stamps. I was able to get them out early this year because I used photos from the summer. Ellie and Jack look pretty much the same from the summer, so I thought it would be okay to use these :) I ordered them through Shutterfly. They are really basic and I did a non-traditional Christmas color to go with our outfits. I don't love them, but they do what they need to. Next year, I hope to do something different, something creative and spectacular. Haha. We'll see!

Monday, December 10, 2012

Weekend recap

My plan to stay home and clean didn't really work out. Ellie and Jack played on the computer and ate some toast and then my dad came over and we ended up going to Brookfield Square and lunch at the Chocolate Factory. I even got a good nap in at the end of the day. It was my favorite part of the day. Because I slacked Friday and Saturday, I ended up doing some power cleaning on Sunday. I also concluded that parents with 2 kids or more should have a cleaning person or a personal chef. haha.

Friday night, we went to dinner with Nick, Wendi and Silas and then went to see the lights at Country Christmas. It was so cool and Ellie really liked it. I think Jack liked the bears in the houses. He giggled at them.

Here's the really cool light tunnel we went through. It was flashing and moving and made you really dizzy!!

Nick had to do some studying on Saturday, so I went with my parents to Chicago. We made our usual stops at Mitsuwa and Ikea. Here's Ellie pushing Jack. She's so helpful sometimes :)

We let Jack walk around the kids area at Ikea. He loved the little tunnel. It's a little blurry, because he's so fast!


Thursday, December 6, 2012

Another one hits the dust...

So, the Rover is gone. It was time to get something less 'flashy'. Too many pull overs and worrying about having to fix it if something were to happen. It was a 2006, so it was a good car while it lasted. I've been telling Nick that we should get rid if it for months now and last week, out of the blue he agreed. I literally put it on craigslist around 10pm, decided I should also add it to Chicago's craiglist and posted that after 11. We got a call at 12:30am, in the middle of the night from someone that wanted to see the car the next day. Guess what, we sold it! That is definitely a record for me. I have now managed to sell 3 of Nick's cars. Remember last year? We got rid of it so quickly, Nick doesn't even know what kind of car he wants. I definitely want the necessities - heated seats, leather, 3 rows. LOL. Nothing is jumping out at us, but we probably should figure it out soon. In the mean time, he's been driving his brother's extra SUV.

St. Nick

I was actually going to skip St. Nick this year. I don't think Ellie would have noticed and I'm pretty sure the kids at school wouldn't be able to tell her she got screwed over. But then at the last minute I ran out to Kohl's on my lunch and decided to get Jack and Ellie little Christmas trees for their rooms. After work and after picking up Ellie from school, I stop and ran into Target quick to buy some cute ornaments. I surprised Ellie last night with her tree. She LOVED it. She was so excited and kept asking about Santa. I got Jack a cute little blue one with plain ornaments. We kept her tree on all night, but she woke up in the middle of the night crying for me. I'm not sure if she had a bad dream or what happened, but she insisted we keep the tree on. The tree is a little bright, so if she does that again, I may have to turn it off after she falls asleep. Last night  made me super excited for Christmas and watching Ellie and Jack with their presents. Now I just need to go shopping!!

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pictures from our Arizona trip

Waiting at the airport to board our plane.
This was how 90% of our trip went!! lol! Poor Jack.

It's amazing how fun a plastic cup can be!
Waiting to board the train!

Ellie and Mama at the Phoenix Zoo.


I tested the slide before Ellie went. I was a little scared for a minute!

Ellie LOVED the Polar Slide at the Zoo.
Tia Rosa, our favorite 

Daddy, Ellie and Grandma