Monday, February 28, 2011


The last four days have been a roller coaster of emotional parenting moments. Most of these moments have served as a reminder that I might be a prime candidate for the Worst Mother of the Year Award. We have dealt with the trivial problems of Nash's poor eating habits and his primary antics, a seriously upsetting conference at Atley's school, and a near choking and eating of a LEGO from the baby. (No worries the LEGO was pooped out safely yesterday at church.) To top it all off, I had one of those mornings that required me to lay on the bed and suck it in just to get my pants zipped. Yeah, kids don't just do a number on your heart they also completely destroy the waistline as well. "What's up with that?" I wondered as I went to the fridge for another No-Bake cookie. Don't judge, I am discouraged and I deserve it!
Okay, maybe it is time to take a good long hard look at myself. Don't you hate it when you feel compelled to examine your life and most importantly figure out what you could do better? I can't help but feel overwhelmed sometimes. How are these kiddos ever going to survive in this world that we live in? So, it is in this "down on my parenting skills" funk that I began looking at some of the pictures stored on my camera. There were a bunch of Harley that I never downloaded or posted. She always makes me happy. Although there is also this nagging paranoia when I look at her. I find myself thinking, "What challenges are you going to have to face little girl?" It makes me a little nervous that I might not be up to this daunting task of preparing her or any of my kids for these challenges. Nobody warned me that motherhood was going to get harder than sleepless nights with a new born.
To make a long story a little longer, Harley has inspired me to do a little and be a little better today.
She loves Nash! He is always ready and willing to kiss and love on her. He especially enjoys joining her in her crib in the morning.
Bath time is a daily favorite. I tell her, "Wash the baby!" and she rubs the wash rag all over her chubby tummy. She loves pushing on her own belly's squishiness. I do too.In the true tradition of females all over the world, Harley loves shoes. She is quite the budding fashionista.She is a monster on all fours. We call her the human vacuum. And yes, we hope she meets a boy just like Jimmer someday!

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

The Tooth the Whole Tooth & Nothing but the Tooth

First let me say that Atley is bald in this picture because he took a pair of scissors to his hair at school and cut six-to-the-skin patches off of his head. Now onto the story.
Atley often lamented about the fact that he was the only kid in his class at school or church who had not lost a tooth yet. Well, it finally happened but not quite in the way I imagined. Then again, everything Atley does is unique. I suppose I shouldn't be surprised that his first tooth loss story would be the same. Usually, a tooth starts to wiggle. The kid plays with it, the kid's mom plays with it, the kid's dad threatens to yank it out with his pliers, but it takes days maybe even a week to completely fall out, right? Sometimes it hangs grossly by some nasty little stringy thing and the child it belongs too screams in protest if anyone tries to get near it. All of this gives you time to make a very special Tooth Fairy pillow and checkout all of the Tooth Fairy library books in existence in preparation for the big day. Again none of that happened for us.
Last night after the boys had been tucked snugly in their beds for nearly an hour we hear the elephant feet of our oldest son bouncing down the stairs. He gets to Scott first and says, "I finally lost a tooth!" Scott's reply, "What? Did you even have a loose tooth?" Well, sure enough there he was with a tiny little tooth in his hand and a bloody mouth. Don't you usually lose your top teeth first? Anyway, Atley lost one of his bottom teeth. When prompted to get the whole story he explained how he was lying in bed wishing really hard that he would lose a tooth soon because he could really use the money. At this point, he began to pull really hard on each tooth in his mouth and when he had almost pulled his very hardest on each tooth the last one came right out! The tooth fairy visited and he received some of the cold hard cash he so desperately needed.
Today after school he said, "Mom, I really hope I don't lose anymore teeth because it kinda creeps me out when I rub my tongue on this gummy part in my mouth." Apparently, the moment he had been anxiously waiting for was a big disappointment.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Saturday with Madam Tussuad

The family visited Madam Tussaud's wax museum on Saturday. Honestly, we probably had a bit too much fun posing with the figures. Atley's favorite part was when he stood next to President James Madison. They were almost the same size. He is now officially convinced he is ready to run for office. I hope you enjoy these pictures as much as we enjoyed taking them!
Nash does jumping jacks while we wait in line to get into the museum. Yes, in D.C. even Madam Tussuad's has a line.

Next, Atley
and Nash cross the Delaware with General Washington.

Scott gets an introduction to Thomas Jefferson and Nash sits with Abraham Lincoln at Ford's Theater. Good thing John Wilkes Booth was such a great shot.

My nerves of steel withstand an intense interrogation with J. Edgar Hoover at CIA headquarters.

Atley and Nash sit in Rosa Parks' bus seat. Atley has always had a fascination with Rosa Parks and Teddy Roosevelt. Weird, right?
Scott tells Dr. King about his dreams.
I become yet another woman between Jackie and JFK and the boys walk on the moon.Bob Woodward and I get up close and personal. But my feminine charms were not enough to convince him to leave poor Tricky Dick alone. Sorry, President Nixon. I tried. Scott poses with good ol' President Reagan.
The Butler's and the Obama's or the "No Bomb Ya's" as Nash refers to the first family. Plus, President Butler makes a crucial call from the Oval Office.
Atley helps Tiger size up his next putt and then plays a little piano with Duke Ellington.

Scott and Nash with Britney Spears. Trust me, she is just as trashy as a wax figure.

"Sir, please remove your hand's from J. Lo's ghetto bootie!"

"Tom will you still love me even if I am not a Scientologist?"

Oh, Johnny talk Jack Sparrow to me!

Harley becomes the next fresh face on a $100 dollar bill.

Friday, February 18, 2011

Me Want Cheese Steak

What is not to love about a Philly Cheese Steak? It has steak, loads of cheese, way too much bread, and my most favorite fungus. I seek out this HEALTHY treat at every mall food court. We have even delved into the most frightening parts of the City of Brotherly Love to find the best cheese steak around. We were not disappointed. So, when I found this incredible recipe for cheese steak, I almost cried tears of joy. You have to check out this blog ENVY MY COOKING to find some great ideas to spice up your meals. Here is the cheese steak recipe. ENJOY!!

For 2 sandwiches you will need:
1/2 package of fresh baby bella sliced mushrooms
1 small to medium onion (I like sweet onions but white are fine)
Steak sliced rolls (these look like sub sandwich bread)
4 slices of Swiss cheese
1/2 pound of roast beef sliced from the deli

Heat griddle to 400 degrees (these sandwiches work best with a griddle but you could make one at a time in a frying pan). While griddle is heating up cut up onions into straws no more then about 1 1/2 inch pieces. Spray griddle with cooking spray. Put onions and mushrooms on griddle and use a spatula to move onions and mushrooms so they don't burn. Wait until the onions are almost translucent and add roast beef slices. It is easiest if you pull the roast beef slices apart into chunks before cooking. The roast beef doesn't need to be cooked so just wait until it turns a deeper brown then the pinkish color that it has. Mix it together with the onions and mushrooms and separate it into two equal rows. Place two slices of Swiss cheese on each sandwich and then put the steak roll on top like a tee pee. Hold the top like a hot dog bun and put a spatula under it. Gently turn over sandwich by trying to keep as much as you can inside the sandwich as you turn it. Anything left over scoop up and stuff inside. It doesn't have to be perfect. Then put whatever condiments you like on it. My favorites are Mayonnaise, tomatoes slices, red or green peppers and lettuce.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day-Butler Style

I made about forty LOVE JUICE Valentine's for Atley's classmates and friends. There was only one problem. They wouldn't all fit in his backpack. So, bright and early I loaded all three kids in the van and headed for the school. Of course I couldn't park anywhere near the building because the parent's of 800 other children needed to get there at the same time. Parking three blocks away, I loaded my box of water onto the double stroller and then turned to get Harley unbuckled and loaded into the stroller as well. Somehow, when I turned my back the box of water tumbled to the ground into the muddy melting snow. The bottles rolled into the street, down the sidewalk, and under the van. Most of the painstakingly written Valentine notes fell off the bottles and got muddied in the muck. Muttering under my breath, I set to the task of finding all of the bottles. Harley was crying and Nash was complaining about being cold, and Atley was encouraging me loudly to hurry because he was going to be late for school. Suddenly, he got really quiet. He grabbed me and said, "Mom, hurry! Here comes Lauren. Find her Valentine fast." Lauren is Atley's tutor. (see a previous post) I found Lauren's Valentine and it actually wasn't completely destroyed. He proudly presented his gift. She sweetly thanked him and then gave him a HUGE hug. I watched as he gazed at her walking away down the sidewalk. When she finally turned the corner, he said, "Well, I don't know about you but this has already been the best Valentine's Day of my life."
Maybe I will just let the pictures tell the rest of our Valentine story, with one side note. Today was gorgeous-like 60 degrees. We were able to spend the afternoon at the park. It was incredible, like being liberated after spending months in a tiny cell of sore throats, cold toes, and snotty noses.

Allie Belle Designs

Remember a few weeks ago when I began Make-It Monday's. Let me refresh your memory. I said, I didn't have enough time, ideas, or organization to have my own craft blog so I was just going to stick to Monday postings. Well, scratch that. I managed to convince a friend to start one with me. It is a work in progress but we are both really excited about it. So far we only have a few posts but there will be much more to come. Click below to check out...


Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Make-It Monday on Tuesday Night

I am still catching up after my travels, therefore I am a bit tardy with Make-It Monday. First up, this wreath and topiary made from cupcake holders, a Styrofoam wreath/ball, and a glue gun. The pictures are pretty self explanatory.

Next, onto my fireplace. I made this LOVE bunting and a pair of fun cardboard trees. Check out this BLOG for detailed instructions on how to create the perfect cone trees.

Finally, I embroidered BE MINE onto a small piece of fabric and framed it. Happy Valentine's Day Family and Friends!