Happy Halloween!

>> Sunday, October 31, 2010



Halloween Prequel

>> Saturday, October 30, 2010

First the Halloween activities started on Friday with a costume parade at daycare. Just an FYI Lily is suppose to be a pirate for Halloween. Yet this is what she talked me into to letting her wear to school that day.

I introduce Princess Jasmine.

Total cuteness if I wasn't highly irritated that I spent all that money on a pirate costume. Okay not that irritated. Because I tried to talk her into being a princess for weeks yet she was persistent about being a pirate.  Then I buy the pirate costume, beaten and bruised as my dreams of a little princess are crushed, and she wants to be a monkey. A freaking monkey!!!!! Your not being a monkey, your being a pirate and your going to like it. But I got this on sale for our upcoming disney trip and she saw it. And here I am. Being manipulated by a two year old. It worked.

Practicing her belly dancing moves
Then on Saturday we carved (Daddy and Mommy) and painted (Lily) our pumpkins.

Lily was quite inthralled with her project. 

It did keep her occupied long enough for Daddy to prep the pumpkins.

 I helped to. I don't know why guys complain this job is so gross. It personally didn't bother me one bit. This year I was too lazy to make my pumpkin seeds so we just trashed the goods.
Grumpily doing his manly duty. 
While Lily still paints. Ambidextrously I might add. 
I got to work on the large pumpkin. Our original plan was to work together on one. But them I am sure I got bossy about how to do it.
And he started bragging about how he could do a better one. And one thing led to another.....
And he started on his own. By his own I mean Michael couldn't even get the stencil on without my help.
And we had to take a time out when this little monster came for a visit mid carving. 
And then there was mine....
And the lesser cooler....his. 
Now I am not going to say I am the clear winner...but if we were being honest....we would all admit.....

My pumpkin rocked. 

We are excited about tomorrow. The day I have to physically force my child into the a pirate costume if it kills me. The day I steal all the Reeses peanut butter cups and whoopers unbeknown to my two year old. The day that I get to drink pumpkin beer and walk around the neighborhood like the redneck we all know I am. So yeah....we are excited. 

And my pumpkin rocked. 


Ken's Korny Korn Maze!

>> Wednesday, October 27, 2010

We started doing Ken's Korn Maze last year. Yet another attempt to support local farmers. Not always easy for these folks. I can tell business is going down but I have to admit I love this place! Michael had been bugging me for weeks. Not to mention stalking friends to go with us. Eventually we just went by ourselves. I guess everyone isn't as nerdy as us and likes mazes. Let alone creepy corn mazes. 

Last year it took us 2:45 minutes or something crazy like that. In our defense we did it at night. But last year we had four of us. This year it was just us and a crazy toddler. Sans stroller. :Gulp:

But of course Lily had to get her slide fix in.

About to start....will we survive. Lily seems excited. Although this could be because we let her skip her nap. She is excited we are petrified. 

She did great considering no nap, no stroller, and the corn field being six acres. We finished in record time: 47 minutes! Oh yeah! Apparently it not being pitch black is a major advantage. Who knew?!

By then Lily was done. It was about four hours past nap time. But I bribed her over to the pumpkins for a quick picture. 
And she gave me this one. I don't know why this makes me laugh so much. I mean do I even have to say what it looks like she is doing?

She is indeed the cutest pumpkin in the patch. By far. 



Peace. Love. Baby.

>> Tuesday, October 26, 2010

You may remember Nanny Mandy from Tantrum Week. Well she had some feelings about  my Not Ready post. I was actually surprised how many women reached out to me about this post. It really hit home for a lot of people. I got countless emails from people that said they felt the same way on most days. I admit it was a bad day for me and it helped to write about it.

It was wonderful to hear from Mandy and see that she felt the same way as me. Complete. And that she recognized that sometimes plans are out of our control and although we try to plan and plan and plan we sometimes get that extra special surprise.

I hope you enjoy her post below from Peace. Love. Baby. by  Nanny Mandy.

Peace. Love. Baby.

A girlfriend of mine that has a family blog (and basically inspired me to start this one here!) recently wrote about her thoughts on having a second child. And it got me thinking… (Apparently a lot – because this is the longest post yet and I go on off on a few side points. I think it’s a collaboration of three different posts that have been floating around in my head…)

People always want to know about the “Next” thing you’re doing in your life. It’s the polite and at the same time annoying question they ask you. Been dating someone for over a year? – “When are you going to get married?” Been married for 5 seconds? – “When are you starting a family?” Just had a kid pop out of the womb? – “When’s the next one coming along?” All these questions make you want to write ‘NONE of your business’ across your forehead. But it’s not really pretty to decorate your head with a sharpie and people mean well, so you just smile and answer…

The Daddy and I weren’t in a big hurry to get married. We figured we’re in this together thing FOREVER so we might as well make sure we’re good and happy with each other. It wasn’t until after at least 5 weddings we attended together where the couple had been together less time than we had been that I started dropping the hints. A beautiful, intimate beach ceremony took place in 2007 and I’m quite positive we were asked on our honeymoon when we were going to have kids.

We always said we were going to take a big trip summer in ’09 (second year anniversary trip) and make a baby. The fates had a different plan for us and we celebrated our anniversary with a little miracle named Molly instead of a trip to Europe. She entered the world on her precise due date and the day I was proposed to by the Daddy three years prior.

(I think most people that know me IRL know this…) Molly was the farthest thing to being planned. My OB compared my pregnancy to winning the lottery. I think he actually gave me a statistic like less than 1 in 100. To say I was surprised to find out I had a baby growing inside of me is the understatement - well, of my life. Just imagine what D thought…

One makes plans to do these big events of life when you figure the time will be ‘right.’ For us, we planned to have a baby after a few years of marriage, I had settled into a career, and we had saved a chunk of money. I think that’s the big one that we all focus on when we consider kids – Money, because they cost you a big heap of change. Having a child is anything but cheap.

I’ve long given up the idea that we will ever make enough money to fulfill all the plans we’d like to make, because I’m quite sure the balance in the bank will never be enough. I would love to meet the day when I look over at D and say, “Wow babe, we just have too much money. I was going to use TP in the bathroom but I’ll just use these one dollar bills instead.” Maybe if I went back to a full-time job and climbed the corporate ladder or married a guy who didn’t work for the state or actually won the lottery I’d see that day but I’m not holding my breath. Besides, I really like the guy I’m already married to.

Since I decided I wanted to quit my job and spend time with MG while she’s little there’s REALLY not ever extra money around for all the things I wished we could do/buy every single month. Need versus want is very clear.  I’m not sure how it all works out – I actually think it’s fairy magic. Or unicorns. Or creative shopping/meal planning on my part. I’m not sure which. All I know is that being with her makes my heart happy and I don’t care that I haven’t a clue when I’ll get a new something for my wardrobe and we’ll go on a family vacation. It’s a sacrifice I’m willing to make and I don’t regret my decision.

I started sacrificing pieces of myself the minute I found out I was having Molly. (Love of wine anyone…? Ask me about that story sometime!) It carried to giving up a full-night’s sleep, having to pee every 20 minutes, gaining 30 pounds, oh and let’s not forget the whole Pain of child-birth part…Then more not sleeping, sore boobs, buying formula, buying diapers, buying mini-clothes – it never ends. And I know it won’t. We’re her parents and she’s always going to need us.

It’s with that need that she has for us and the obligation that we feel to give her the best of everything that we can (Like Target diapers instead of name brand – unless they’re on sale!) that it’s hard to say if/when we’ll have another child. I want to be with the beautiful child I already have all of the time and I’m certainly not going to take a full-time job to afford to have another nugget that I don’t get to be with. I don’t see how that makes any bit of sense.

I think the biggest reason we feel we’re not ready for a second kiddo is because we feel so complete right now. Our family unit feels good. I also can’t imagine trying to manage two kids at this moment. Maybe I We’ll reconsider when we have a child that can completely take care of herself and we’ll feel less stressed about all this “rearing.” There’s a saying that goes “the first child spoils you so you’ll have another.” It’s true – we hit baby perfection already.

I suppose because of the circumstances of Molly’s coming along I don’t figure in the choice side of having a baby. Maybe one day we will change our minds. Maybe we won’t. Or maybe we’ll go against the odds and be awarded with the suprise similar to hitting the “Powerball.” It has happened once before…



State Fair 2010

>> Monday, October 25, 2010

There are families that are just State Fair kind of folks. No not Carnies. But people that literally look forward to the fair. Yeah we I am totally that person. It is honestly like the beginning of the holiday season for me. It goes Michael's Birthday, Fair, Halloween, Thanksgiving, Christmas, and finally New Years. All in 90 days. I love it!

So needless to say we went to the North Carolina State Fair this year. Twice. With advance tickets and three ride books in hand. Oh yeah. It was awesome. Deep Fried Yummy Goodness. Oh I didn't mention that I only go to eat? What get on roller coasters being held up by wooden blocks? No thank you.

Unless Lily really wants to ride her first roller coaster. Which she did.

And she loved it! I literally saw my life flash before me as I was convinced the sheer weight of my arse was going to derail this sucker. But I lived. And thank god so did she. It was actually her favorite ride all day.

I also love going to support local vendors and see the animals. I try to ignore the big Harris Teeter sold signs hanging above the animals.

Oh wait this is just more pictures of food.

I digress. Back to the rides. A few of Lily's favorites:

Normally I would not show this picture. Mainly because it is me being silly and I like to think of myself as always ladylike in photo ops. Ok no really because my fat roll is hanging out. But I knew no one would believe it without photographic proof that that seat belt almost reopened my csection scar. No joke ya'll look at it. I am sticking out my tongue in pure pain! My gut has swallowed the seat belt. You cannot even see it. Wow I really should be ashamed. Or the carnies should be. Don't they know I just ate a deep fried oreo and that kind of pressure is dangerous!!!

 Properly hiding the disappearing seat belt while being silly. Now that is ladylike photography.
Jet Ski on air baby.
Favorite ride by far....also Mommy's least favorite. So Michael and I had to take turns riding this multiple times. How is it I can be thrust at a bajillion miles per hour on a kick ass roller coaster but the merry go round will get me green and begging for mercy after one run.
But Daddy had to have some fun too....His annual tradition of missing the target completely at the turkey shoot was broken this year.
Because he hit that sucker and was so close to the center! Well at least one pellet was. See....

He unfortunately got beat by our neighbor that we didn't even know was in there. Then the kid took the shirt instead of the Turkey! Who doesn't take the Turkey. It is a TURKEY SHOOT! You can tell he didn't have a family to feed. My mouth was drooling thinking of the deep fried turkey goodness that could result from a win. But there I go back to the food again.

Speaking of food..what is your favorite fair food? Well mine was hard to narrow down. I try something every year. Usually something completely horrible for me. This year Michael and I shared all of the following. Remember we went twice. Please don't judge.

1. Corn
2. Corn Dog
3. Al's Fries
4. Wisconsin Cheese Sticks
5. Deep Fried Oreo
6. Deep Fried Hoho
7. Sweet Potato Fries
8. NC State Ice Cream
9. Ham Biscuits
10. Fair Lemonade...aka straight sugar water.

Wow. That is a lot I know. But this year the winner for my favorite food. Drum Roll please....

Deep Fried HoHo!
Lily agreed. This her trying to steal my hoho. Luckily I love her or I would have had to kill her. I have threatened Michael for less.
 Close Second: NC State Ice Cream. Mainly because I love NC State and it is yummy. You can now buy the ice cream online. So good. Go to howlingcow.com You know you want to.

North Carolina State Fair pretty much rocked this year. It was totally worth the five pounds I gained and the post fair diet I had to start the day after the fair left town. Until next year my love....

Line of night:
Michael: Oh babe I think you face is bleeding! :lovingly goes to wipe it: Oh that is just food. Nevermind.
Stephaine:  What did I eat that was red? Mmmmm.

PS Totally proud of my hubby for actually getting some pictures with me in it! This never happens as I am always the shutterbug. I heart you babe!

PSS. I have gotten several questions about Lily's fair outfit. The whole outfit is from Gymboree except the Target leggings.



McFatty Monday-Pumpkin Muffins/Cupcakes

I don't normally share a whole lot of recipes. Especially here. Because to be honest I am not really that good of a cook. I admit it... I kind of suck. There was this one time I thought that adding ranch dressing to chicken breasts as a gravy would be yummy. I honestly thought I was going to hurl the moment I took a bite. That was like eight years ago and my husband still brings it up to this day. I actually think he teased me about it today.

So on that rare occasion I make something totally yummy (and healthy) I like to toot my little horn. So not only is this YUMMY, it is EASY, and HEALTHY! Can a Mom ask for more? I think not.

Pumpkin Muffins (or cupcakes as I like to think of them)

1 Box Spice Cake Mix
1 Can Pumpkin (I used Libby's 15 oz)
3/4 cup water
1 egg
Cinnamon and nutmeg to taste.

Mix together. Bake 20-25 minutes at 350 degrees. Makes 24 cupcakes.

Weight Watchers Points=2

Oh yeah. Yummy, Easy, Healthy. Loving it.

My husband ate three tonight so they can't be bad. Right? I controlled it to one. But it was tough. Enjoy!



Anti Auto Week Two

>> Sunday, October 24, 2010

Straight out of the camera again. Aperture Mode (2.8). This picture makes me happy. Lily and Paw following the rest of the family. Hand in hand at the Lazy 5 Ranch. Simple. Sweet. Precious. 



Happy Birthday Hottie

>> Thursday, October 14, 2010

So today is Michael's birthday. Yeah he is really old and pissy so don't ask him about it. But I am going to cheer him up with a date night to a fancy BBQ joint. Sounds like an oxymoron eh? But no really it is. The Pit in Raleigh, NC has been featured on the Food Network and several food magazines.

Here is to an adult night on the town and hopefully being in bed by nine!

Happy Birthday Baby! We love you so much and appreciate all your SuperDad ways!



Anti-Auto Project: Week One

Right before sunset in our yard. 

Manual f/1.8f, 1/125, ISO 200
Aperture Mode f/2

I am so proud of myself!! Now I would be lying if I said I didn't get quite a few blurries. But I did get a few adorable shots mixed in there. Practice Practice Practice.