12/31/12

Hello? Is This Thing On?

Tap, Tap, Tap... Hello?

Picture me blowing dust off of my keyboard... cracking my knuckles, and my neck... ready for action.

I'm back.

Is anyone still out there??

I usually blog between 5 and 9 times a week... and then there was last week; when I posted twice.

Whomp, Whomp.

Did anyone even notice I was gone??

In my dreams you were all like:


Or maybe... you were just sitting around enjoying the Holidays with your families.

I hope that's what was going on in your neck of the woods... sometimes the Internet is so overrated.

Like at Christmas... and when stuff like this is going on:


I didn't take too many pictures of our Christmas morning, because I was right there in the thick of it... helping the kids rip shit open and joining them in their over the moon-ness.

Like I should have been... ya know?

Priorities people, priorities.

Husband had the week off and we spent it relaxing, visiting with family and friends... and eating.

I hope you were doing that too.

Thanks for sticking around in my absence... and reading even though I failed at almost all of my New Year's Resolutions from 2012.

Spoiler Alert: I will probably fail again this year... at least I'm honest.

But....failed resolutions aside, I promise to keep this place alive and entertaining if you promise to keep reading.

Deal??

12/25/12

Merry Christmas (Card)

We had 4 different photo shoots, and took more than 400 pictures...

After all that, we still didn't have one acceptable picture of both kids looking at the camera... smiling, and not strangling one another.

Seriously... all they had to do was sit next to each other, show some teeth, and not try to choke the other one out...

WAS THAT SO MUCH TO ASK?!

As a matter of fact, it was.

So after all that... I decided to do individual pictures of the Bugs, and I have to say... I think it came out just as cute.

Maybe I am biased, but when I look at their little smiling faces looking so freaking adorable...

I feel like all of the chaos, the singing, the dancing, the clapping, the color drops, the bubbles, the shaving cream, the boxes, and the trains...... was totally worth it.

Merry Christmas, from Our Tiny Place to yours.


Thank you for taking the time to visit us... as always, we're happy you're here.

12/24/12

We Remember...

Like so many others in our state, we put candles on our doorstep on Christmas Eve.

My plan was to put out as many as I could find, off the top of my head I knew we had eight or nine... it wasn't the number really, just the act of lighting the candle that mattered.

But when Husband saw me climbing on the counters, and digging in the cabinets hunting for more... he surprised me by starting to search along with me.

It took awhile to come up with twenty-six candles... and it occurred to me again, sadly... just how many twenty-six really is.

Eventually, with the help of our every-day glasses, a diffuser, and even a citronella candle... we came up with one candle for every angel lost at Sandy Hook Elementary.

I have to admit, it looked a little crazy...

All the different heights and sizes...

Not to mention our front yard smelled like a Perfume Kiosk at the mall.

But there was beauty in the imperfection... something I couldn't have imagined when we were putting together our mish-mash of candles.

Healing comes in many shapes and sizes... it is not one size fits all....

Which is good, because our healing apparently comes in size, "Crazy Looking,"....

Our make shift memorial was pulled from all corners of our home... making it that much more special.

The more candles we lit, the more therapeutic the entire event became to Husband and I... we didn't speak much, really...

We just kept counting quietly to ourselves... and then calling out to the other...

"We need five more... four more..."

Twenty-six is such a big number... such. a. big. number.

Husband is a man of few words, but seeing him dig for candles let me know that this was helping his grief too.

As I write this, I have just finished snacking on Santa's cookies, and the reindeer's hot dogs (Lovebug and his hot dogs strike again)...

My mind is going to those families with extra presents stashed in closets; and lonely Christmas stockings by the fireplace.....

It is Christmas, but no matter how hard I try, my sadness still lingers.

I can't fathom the loss that these families have experienced... I can't believe their strength.

I am still sick to my stomach when I think about it for too long... and I know this; I am not alone.

In the great state of Connecticut; shock, sadness, and despair linger in the air of every conversation...
Newtown is in every room, in every home, at every Christmas party.

Lighting these candles was the very first step for me... and knowing that they are flickering in the wind on our front steps right this very minute, eases my heart and mind.

May we never forget how very fortunate we are...

May we appreciate our families, not just in the wake of a tragedy, but always.

May we pray for others to find strength, and peace, through memories of happier times.

May we be grateful, and respectful of our lives.

We reflect, we support, we pray...




12/23/12

Even More Fails...

I mean at this point, you can tell that we tried pretty much everything to get a good shot of our hooligans together...

But in every shot, someone looks like a deer in headlights... or a Buddha carrying a Thor Pez eating a candy cane....


We tried trains... we tried food... we tried ornaments... we even tried a freaking fire truck.


Admittedly, this next one stole my heart... 

It is very us... but, I wanted people to see how cute our kids are too... not just that they have huge mouths, and tend to only wear one shoe.


You have got to be tired of looking at weird pictures of my children... so I'll stop there.

But by the time you see our real Christmas Card, you'll realize how freaking how we worked to get it!

12/22/12

12-21-12


"It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine." - R.E.M.


((I promised Husband that I would schedule this post for the day AFTER the "End of the world,".... at the off chance that the Mayans prediction had anything to do with my blog,and I accidentally made the world blow up by making fun of them.))

12/21/12

Rub A Dub Dub

Would ya just look at our tub?!


Are we late to the Cool Train?

Did you guys know about these?!


Crayola Color Drops are the kids new bath time obsession.

I picked these up at Target in the Body Wash aisle in the Health & Beauty Section, when I was trying to figure out how to get my children to take a good picture for a Christmas card.

(The relationship between the Color Drops and the Christmas Card only makes sense to people that have to bribe their kids to do stuff.)

Four bucks for forty color tablets is not too shabby...

Just toss one into the tub,  and water changes color.... awesommmme.


Plus, though I don't know why, the kids don't turn colors, so... bonus.

Me thinks your kids would love these in their Christmas Stockings!

12/20/12

Let's Lose Count

The Internet is buzzing with stories of random acts of kindness; of people doing things for others in memory of the 26 angels that lost their lives in Newtown.

It is so wonderful to see the entire country... and WORLD... come together in support of others.

The best part is that people are going out of their way just to make others happy... which is something we should do all the time, anyway, you know??

The Bugs and I were lucky enough to receive a package full of love and kindness last week.

It was sent before anything ever happened in Newtown...

...Which means, that person was honestly just doing something nice, because they really wanted to do something nice....

She had no idea that random acts of kindness would start sweeping the nation immediately after she sent it, or that I would post about it on my blog... but she did it anyway... just because she wanted to.

We can all learn something from my reader Alexis, and her family, who went out of their way to send the Bugs new slippers, and cute shoes...


She also threw in some beautiful homemade cookies, and her own family's Christmas card.


The card was my favorite part.

I often hear from readers that they feel like they are a part of our family... which is awesome;

But sometimes I wonder about you guys too;

Your family, your life; the weird shit that your kids do.

So seeing Alexis, her BEAUTIFUL son, and her husband on our fridge everyday is really something special for me... it is a daily reminder that someone went out of their way just for us.


Everywhere you look right now, people are talking about doing 26 Acts of Kindness, of Paying It Forward...

But let's do more.

I encourage you to remember Alexis when you are doing your Random Acts... and don't stop at 26.

Remember Alexis; who did something nice before it was something that everyone else was doing... she just did it to do it.

Let's try to live that way... you, me, all of us.

Let's do for others... validate others... not just in the wake of a tragedy, but always.

Let's be nicer... and when we finish our 26 acts, let's keep going.

Let's not even keep track of how many nice things we can do....

Let's do so much, for so many, that we lose count.

Yeh... let's lose count.
 





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This Is Real Life....

A couple weeks ago, Husband and I were watching TV before bed... when a commercial came on for Trojan Bare Skin Condoms.

Okay, so here's the thing... I can't find the commercial online, so that I can give you a link to watch ...

But it's not about actually seeing the commercial, it's about the products name, "Bare Skin Condoms."

So when I heard "Bare Skin..."

I was immediately like... "Well that sounds disgusting."

Husband's eyes grew wide as he slowly turned his head in my direction...

His mouth dropped open, and he just stared at me...

"You're kidding, right?"

He could tell by the blank look on my face that I had no idea what he meant... so he continued...

"Not bear.. like RAWR... bare... like...skin...." He said, as he touched my arm.

Oohhhhh.

We sat there quietly for a minute when out of the corner of my eye I see him suddenly roll over and grab his phone...

He was laughing to himself and ignoring me when he posted this on Facebook:


Which got way too many "likes" if you ask me.

So apparently, bare skin does not mean the animal skin, it means BARE skin, like it's supposed to feel like actual bare skin... 

I bet that is a very common mistake! It probably happens all the time!!

If they were more specific I bet they would sell so many more condoms!

Because I was picturing a bear skin rug, miniature, (but not that miniature), furry, and clumpy post doin' the deed.

Okay, this is getting graphic.

The End.




12/19/12

I Christmas Craft Instead Of Folding Laundry

Because I will do anything to avoid putting away laundry, I decided to make Christmas plates with my dolls... for us and the Grandmas.

I got the idea because my Mom and my Mother in Law are always begging Lovebug for some artwork from school.

But for whatever reason, he just refuses to paint me a damn picture... and so I'm like:

"Women, get in line... I get the first picture that comes into this house."

Three months into school and I've gotten one piece of artwork... ONE... some Moms walk out with PILES of papers!!

So I thought, why not make something for the Grandmas at home, so they can back up off my Pre-School Painted Pictures.

I came up with this:


This project cost exactly $4.50 per plate, because I had the paint and paint marker on hand.

I bought plate stand for $3.50 and cheap-o (for decorative use only) plates from Wal-Mart for $1.00.

I know, big spender.

Then I had the Bugs make hand prints on the plate.

Lovebug took about 5 tries to get a normal, non-alien looking hand.

By that point I had gotten tired of wiping the plate off, and some of the finish was actually fading ( it cost a buck, you get what you pay for), so I only gave my Girlfriend 2 chances...

Which is why my Mom got a plate with one tree and one mistletoe ball, wreath, alien hand.


After the hands dried, my friends and I added garland and ornaments, before writing the words in white paint marker ( that made things go 100 times faster ).


I am in love with the cute finished product, and know it is something I will put out every year, just like I do with old Christmas Cards.


This project was so cheap and easy to do, and I know the Grandmas are thrilled that we thought of them, and gave them their own Christmas Keepsakes.

Plus... it totally got me out of folding laundry. Again.

More Fails...

If I posted just one Christmas Card fail a day, everyday, until I ran out of pictures...

It would be like... AUGUST by the time I got through them all.

Not kidding... there are that many that we can't use.

Our kids are wiggle worms.


We had three cameras going at once... and Husband's job was to keep putting Girlfriend back in the picture.

It was that serious.

No matter how hard we tried, how much I sang, or danced, or jumped around... we just couldn't get a good picture of the two of them together.


So far you've seen our wrestle mania picture... our beer belly picture... our shaving cream picture... and now the wrapped box picture...

Next up.. trains!

12/18/12

Momula Giveaway!!

I am struggling a little these days, as I try to find the happy medium between being a good parent that disciplines when necessary, and one that smothers my children with love and affection every single minute.

I think we are all thinking... God Forbid something happen to my child, and the last time I see them I am yelling.

It is a morbid thought, but one that we have all had in the past few days.

Now more than ever, I am picking my battles, and working on my patience.

Because the truth is... no matter how much we tell them we love them, and kiss them and hug them... they are still going to be kids, and sometimes, kids need guidance and discipline, too.

Last week was one of those days for Lovebug, he is 3 after all, and 3 year old boys are known to push their parents, to say the least.

At the end of a long hard day I happened to find a package on our front porch from our Sponsor, and friends at Momula.

Momula is a Developmental Toy Store, with tons of open-ended learning toys; translation: stuff that helps kids use their imagination!

Momula is divided into what works best for each particular age and stage (fine motor skills, gross motor skills, etc)... making it easy for parents to find the right toy for their child's needs.

I know, more websites should do that, don't you think??

Anyway..... I knew that there was a toy coming for Lovebug and I to review, but I didn't really know much about it.

I decided that since Husband was traveling and Ladybug was already asleep, I'd take this opportunity to turn the day around, and have some one on one time... just us, and whatever was in the big box.

I can honestly say, without any hesitation, or exaggeration, this is the best product that I have reviewed, ever.

It came in two boxes, one for blocks, one for trucks (it comes with 4 kinds of trucks)...




My first thought was: This is too old for him.

But Lovebug proved me wrong, and then some.


The Block Mates Construction Vehicles are the perfect gift for Christmas morning, because Lovebug not only played quietly with these toys, not just for a half hour for the first night (bedtime came calling)... but EVERY. DAY. SINCE.

He LOVES them!

Every time he pulls out his trucks you can tell he is really thinking about his decision as he builds and re-builds the trucks... he never just haphazardly throws them around (like he does with LOTS of other toys),

I left the box propped up and showed him how to do one.

At first the trucks looked like this....


Not quite built, but close.

After a few minutes he had figured out how hard to push the blocks down to get a good fit... and was shooing me away so he could do it by himself.

Lovebug referred back to the box a lot that first night, showing me how the other "yittle boy," made his trucks.


We have been kind of wondering if Lovebug is color blind lately... but he put that worry to rest when he easily put the trucks together, the blue with the blue, the red with the red... and so on.

I have no idea why it took a box of parts and blocks for him to decide to show us that he knows his colors, but it did.

Though you can mix and match the different pieces, Lovebug is very strict about NOT mixing and matching... you know when a three year old boy gets an idea in his head about his trucks, it's just best to follow the rules.


I loved sitting back and watching him play with his new toy.

I could see him really concentrating (which apparently he does with his tongue out), and trying to figure things out...

 And watched as his confidence grew when he became more comfortable with how to work them.

It's been about a week since these showed up at our door, and Lovebug is a pro now.


I think these trucks are perfect for ages 3 and up.

They might be a little difficult and frustrating for a 2 year old... but by 3 they are old enough to figure out what goes where, and pull them apart and put them back together.

I really can't say enough good things about these trucks.

Maybe it's because most of our toys are plastic, and make noise, and are annoying...

Or because they are old school, and remind me of the toys that Lovebug gravitates towards at Pre-School.

I don't know for sure, but these toys won us over big time.


And... because Momula is awesome, they are offering a 10% off of anything on their site when you use coupon code OURTINYPLACE at checkout.

Wait... there's more.

They are also giving a way a$50 gift card to one lucky reader!

You don't want to miss out on this one, their site has tons of awesome, open-ended learning toys!

Good Luck!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


**Momula provided us with these trucks, and we are so thankful. They didn't ask for a positive review, only an honest one. The fact that I love them as much as Double Stuf Oreo's is just a bonus.

My Very Own Super Hero

I have been squeezing my kids even more than usual (and that is actually really hard to do), and Lovebug was finally like:

"Mom... these hugs are getting harder and harder, did you know that?"

I'm trying to lay off them a little, and not kiss them every second, or rub their cheeks, or just randomly squeeze their little baby thighs when they walk by....

It's hard, but I'm giving myself an A for effort for NOT biting their faces while they eat their hot dogs.

We went out to a public place last night for the first time since the massacre, and I have to admit, I was looking over my shoulder every second... just waiting to throw my body on top of my babies.

Like the rest of us, my faith in humanity needs some time to heal...

So until it does... I plan to bother my children will too much love and affection in the way only a Mother knows how....

And maybe be a little more lenient than I usually would be... like letting my child out of the house like this... because really, who cares?

In the grand scheme of things, if he wants to go to the store in hand me down pajama pants, and rain boots, and Ninja turtle mask... then I'm all for it.

If for no other reason than he is obviously a super hero... or a fire fighter... or....

I'm actually not sure what the Hell he is, but I like it...

And I am just so proud of my imaginative, sweet, happy little man.





Don't forget to enter this Giveaway!

12/14/12

Sadness & Gratitude



Our home state is grieving today; in the wake of 26 senseless deaths, at the hand of a sick, sick man.

Of the 26 victims, a horrifying 20, were children.

We are fortunate not to be directly affected by this unthinkable crime on humanity...

But, like everyone else... our hearts are heavy with shock and sadness.

Every part of me aches with sorrow for all that was lost today in Newtown, CT.

My stomach is in knots for the families that were torn apart...

For the parents; who packed lunches, tied shoes, gave kisses and hugs goodbye...

For the children; who spent the last moments of their lives in fear.

And for those courageous teachers, who gave their lives to children, up until their very last breathe.

Today should have been a day like any other for the staff and students at Sandy Hook Elementary...

And now the news is crawling with stories of heroes, and she-roes... stories that, although amazing... should never have had to happen.

I am fearful of this world that we are raising our children in; where we must question our every move.

A world where we must suspect first, and trust second.

The truth is; I think I lost a part of myself today... and maybe you feel that way too.

I will forever be a little more cautious at every turn; because as we learned at Sandy Hook... sadly, nothing is often limits, not even the sanctity of our babies.

How is it possible that even doing the right thing for our children... ends up hurting them, and being wrong?

When school isn't safe... where is??

My soul is shattered for the harmless children that were the target of such horrendous hate, in an environment that they know, love, and trust.

As a Mother, I ache for the parents that dropped their babies off at school this morning, and will go home to empty beds tonight....

I am heart broken and devastated that something so unthinkable could happen anywhere... let alone so very close to home.

Newtown is less than 15 minutes from where Husband and I grew up.

Just one mile down the road from Sandy Hook Elementary, is the Church that we were married in...

...Which at this very minute, is hosting a Candle Light Vigil for hundreds and hundreds of grieving citizens.

Each and every time I look at my children, I am brought to tears..

I am eternally grateful for their warm little bodies... their smiles.. their... everything.

And you know what else...

I'm thankful that they are here to pester me, and terrorize each other...

Because there are so many families out there, that would give anything to have that time back... to hear the bickering amongst siblings.

It is times like these that we remember just how fragile life really is; and we hug a little tighter, smell their hair, and tickle their bellies...

We are the lucky ones... you on your side of the computer; with your kids and chaos... and me on my side with mine.

Our babies are tucked into bed, with their feetie pajamas, and their innocence... and for that I am thankful.

Tonight, I ask you to please, keep the people of Newtown, CT, and children all over the world that are dying senselessly everyday, close to your heart...

Look around your house, at your glowing Christmas Tree, or your lit menorah... and breathe in the love that you and your family have created...

These moments are precious, let's make the most of them... just like our children do.








We Were Having A Moment...

Last week Girlfriend was sitting on my belly first thing in the morning, when she started semi-singing, "You are My Sunshine," with me.

It was such a MOMENT.


I died on the spot.

It was adorable, and so scrumptious with her bed head and rosey cheeks... I was instantly squeaky and over excited about it.

I poke Husband, "Hey... wake up! She is singing with me! Listen! We are having a moment!"

Of course he didn't move, and instead she farted, so the moment was brief to say the least.

She kept singing as I realized that it definitely wasn't a fart; it was actually a huge load... the Mother Load in fact.

I started pulling her jammies off while she rocked back and forth, laughing and squealing....

At this point we were still having a moment, but it was very smelly... and the air around us would have probably photographed foggy and brownish-green.

I was smiling at her and the quietness of the morning... of these rare times that I get her all to myself, with no outside forces around... it is times like this that she is actually calm, and not crazy.

No matter how bad she smelled, it was just us singing and playing, and it was perfect in it's own way.

I was mentally bubble wrapping this moment to put on my shelf of fragile memories in my brain, when she reached behind her into her diaper... which was within reach because her jammies were undone down to her waist.

And that is when... in typical Our Tiny Place fashion.. it all went to shit.

Girlfriend pulled her hand out of her diaper and wiped her cheek... leaving a line of shit from her nose to her ear.

I didn't even have a chance to jump, or scream, or wipe her face (notice that was the last idea to pop into my head), because she instantly took that dirty little paw and wiped it on my arm.

Awesome.

Now I'm gagging, and she is smearing the shit all over her face trying to get it off.

She was shrieking: "Mama! Mama!"

And I was shrieking back: "I can't look at you! I am going to barf if I look at you!"

I ran to the bathroom and stripped her down...

She instantly pulled more poop out of her pants and then grabbed hold of my calf to steady herself...

And now the poop is on my leg.

I am full blown gagging that I have shit on my legs, and my arms, and she's got it on her face...

So I just put her directly into the tub, where the poop starts to go down the drain, and she is squatting over it... pointing... and then...

She picks some up and I am shrieking at the top of my lungs swatting the crap out of her hand as she is bringing it to her nose to smell it... or her mouth to eat it...

It was definitely spaghetti squash that she apparently swallowed whole.

I know this because it looked exactly the same coming out as it did when I fed it to her the night before.

I can't take it...

I have lost all sense of responsible adult-ness.

"No! (gag) Do not eat that! (gag, gag) It is NOT spaghetti! (gag, gag, sweating, deep breaths, gag) It was inside your body!"

 Eventually I get the poop down the drain and the two of us clean...

I am aggravated now, annoyed that Husband is still sleeping, Girlfriend just wiped shit all over me, and I have to add "bleach every inch of the bathroom," to my To-Do list for the day.

I decide that this moment can best be used as a pity party for one...

I am debating putting that shitty diaper right on Husband's pillow, when Girlfriend climbs into my lap and starts singing again...

And just like that...the chaos is gone... and my moment is back.


Children have a way of bringing out the absolute best in every situation... if you'll let them.



**If this made you laugh, please consider sharing with a friend... I think we could all use a good laugh right about now.





Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star Giveaway!

Fun Fact:

Lovebug's middle name is "James," after James Taylor, who sings our wedding song...

So when I heard from Twinkle Twinkle Little Rock Star about their lullabye versions of popular songs, it was pretty much a no brainer...

We immediately chose the James Taylor album.


Actually, that's a lie.

TTLRS has so many freaking good albums... I couldn't handle it!

My first choice was def good ol' JT... but with 100 titles, my ADD brain was all:

"Bob Marley! John Mayer! Mumford & Sons! Dave! Jack Johnson! Journey! Christmas Music!"

I was on soothing music overload... so Husband reeled me in and made the choice for me (he's good like that).

I love TTLRS and this Giveaway for 2 reasons:

Number One; the music isn't overload babyish- it's just really calming, and quiet... perfect for not just naptime, but yoga or meditating too.

(Side Note: If your house is quiet enough for those types of activities, I'd like to take this moment to give you the finger.)

And Number Two... Hello, it's Christmas time, and everyone I know is knocked up right now... this would make a perfect gift!

Want to win a CD of your own??

TTLRS literally has something for everyone, so no worries to you James Taylor haters out there (you know who you are), you get to pick your own title!

Fill out the Rafflecopter below, good luck!



a Rafflecopter giveaway

12/13/12

More Christmas Card Fails

Someone suggested I try giving the kid's shaving cream Santa beards to make them smile for their Christmas picture....


That went well.

I have no idea what the problem was with Lovebug and the shaving cream, but he was not. happy.

So I snapped a picture to capture the moment, because lucky for us... he doesn't cry often.

A memory is a memory, right?

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