Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloweens Past & Present

Some Halloweens of the past were made up of friends, fraternity parties and probably a few too many adult beverages.

Others were all about crafts, carnivals and a few dozen 5 to 6 year olds.

Halloween this year consisted of office parties, costume contests and acting like a kid again.

Along with enjoying some trick-or-treating with a very Good Witch, a Star Wars bounty hunter,

a sparky little Rocket, a stinkin' cute Robot,

and a squeaky little Monkey.

Add in being swept away by Clark Kent...

And I have had the BEST Halloween yet!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

A Healthy Snack or Toy?

Cracker Jack loves fruit.  He regularly has an apple in one hand while playing with a Matchbox car with the other.  It is not unusual to find him trying to read a book while holding a handful of strawberries.  If he is watching TV, you can usually find him trying to hold onto a mango and peach at the same time.

You are probably thinking…

“Wow, that is so great!  Her kid loves to eat fruit instead of junk food.” 

Oh no.  Don’t let that tiny human fool you!  He would rather have fruit snacks or cookie any day.

He loves to PLAY with fruit.  He has introduced this food group to his cars and dinosaurs, and they are all getting along grand in Jack’s toddler world.  It’s crazy, frustrating and cute too.

Jer and I literally sneak into the refrigerator, and we have hidden the fruit basket.  Jack can just see us walk into the kitchen and he starts his demands of for an “awpull!”, “onage!” or “stawbebe!”  Anyone who witnesses this thinks it is just oh so adorable.  Until they #1-observe him carry them around for hours while maybe taking one tiny bite, or #2-it gets smashed in their lap.  

Like I said…crazy, frustrating and so stinkin’ cute.  Well, stinkin’ cute until I find one of his beloved “toys” under the bed, in the car, or crushed in his crib literally stinking up our house.

Toddlers truly are sweet, infuriating, enchanting beings all rolled up into one.

What nutty things do (or did) your children do when they were toddlers?  Please tell me mine isn’t the only one!

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Cupcake Happiness


When everyone at our house is either sick, grumpy, sleep deprived, or all of the above, there is always one thing that knocks the blues off all the big and little humans in our house.

Cupcakes.  We all L.O.V.E. them!  But who doesn't?

Jack has a terrible case of the croup, and it looks like Jude is heading there too.  So, with both of them sick Prince Jer and I are "all of the above."  I think we needed the sweet treats more than the kids.

Don't be too impressed with the picture above.  I am far from being Martha Stewart.  I love to cook, but baking is not really my thing.

These were made with a cake mix and my super easy, never fail icing.  I take...

a tub of vanilla frosting, 
a small tub of cream cheese, 
and a tub of whipped topping,

Sometimes I buy the light versions trying to convince myself that I am cutting the calories.

I whip them together in my mixer, add a little food coloring of choice, and YUMMY!

Again, I am not Martha.  I don't own any fancy shamcy cake decorating tools; so this Mommy uses a plain ol' Ziploc bag.  I just spoon the icing in, shove it all into a bottom corner, cut a hole about the size of a dime, and pipe the icing on the cupcakes.  For these I sprinkled on some sugar crystals and plopped on a Halloween decoration.  Sometimes I will blend in some berries, but today called for SUGAR-straight up!

Jack loved them and forgot about being sick and whiny for a moment...

Mission accomplished!

That's not green boogies in his nose...

Jer was...


Being Jer...

Jack wasn't pleased.  No worries, he got over it quickly and commenced to demolishing his cupcake.

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Mommy Confessions-Weekend Edition

  1. During Saturday grocery shopping, I went to three different stores just to increase the amount of my "alone time".
  2. I faked a mid-afternoon headache hoping I could sneak in a 20 minute nap.
  3. My kids stayed in their pajamas most of Saturday and half of Sunday.
  4. While picking up the house, I found it easier to throw away some toys vs. putting them away.
  5. In the process of cleaning those nasty, dreaded bath toys, I found at least 3 inches of dirt in the bottom of the kids' tub.
  6. I made the kids eat lunch in the backyard to prevent it from ending up on my freshly mopped floor.
  7. I told Delaney Bug and Cracker Jack that there were huge, creepy, ugly bugs under my bed; so it would be wise of them not to follow me into my room...every time I went in there.
  8. Had a minor meltdown. Hey, a woman can only handle so much poop!
  9. I told Delaney that I would cancel Halloween if she asked me for one more piece of candy, cookie or cupcake.
  10. While changing Jack's sheets I found:  200 pacis, 4 stuffed animals, 3 Happy Meal toys, 2 tubes of toothpaste, 1 toothbrush, 1 orange and 2 smashed cherry tomatoes.  Yes, I said smashed!
I know I am not the only one.
Come on...spill.
What are your own Mommy confessions?

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

The Twirly Whirly Princess Turns 6

Six years ago today, just about this time, my family was blessed with our "first baby" of the family...

Isabella LaRue.

Izzy, Bella, Bell, Izzy Rue...she answers to it the first born to my sister, the first grandchild to my parents and my first niece.

She is the little bit of sunshine that confirmed my desires of someday becoming a Mommy.

Izzy has taught me just how amazing, fun and exhausting small children can be, and allowed me to clock several hours of practice before having my boys.  Izzy and I have shared it all.  From play dates to meltdowns, and fruit snacks to dance parties.

The time I spent with Izzy before my own "pregnant years" are priceless and precious moments.  They have become incredible blessings that helped to mold me into the Mommy I am today.

Happy Birthday Izzy Rue!   I wish you many more years of happiness and dreams come true!

Look at this incredible Princess Party...

It was a fairytale day for all the little ladies to enjoy... complete with fairy dust and twirly whirly dancing!

The ladies from Wishes Upon Wishes were A.M.A.Z.I.N.G.  So much so, that I really wanted to go back in time 15, 20, 25...

Oh, who am I fooling?!? 

It makes me want to go back, cough, 34 years and have a Princess Tea Party of my own!

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Getting Back...

This is me and Beth Chapman.  You know Beth.  She is Dog the Bounty Hunter's wife.  She is the one who will hug you and let you call your momma while she is driving you to jail.

This picture documents my worst.  No! Not because Beth is taking me to the pen.  I met her and the rest of the Chapmans at a book signing earlier this year.

This is my worst, not only because I am 8+ months preggers, but it was also the second time in two years that I was growing one of my precious baby boys.  I was having contractions while waiting 2 1/2 hours in line to get a book signed....I know, I have no idea what I was thinking.  My feet were so swollen I could barely walk, and I this was the only thing I could wear because I had out grown even the largest of my maternity clothes.  I think I burnt that red sweater...yuck!  It was a fairly normal day for a 8+ month pregnant woman.

But for me, I was miserable.  It wasn't the fact that I was about to deliver Sweet Baby Jude in the middle of the bookstore.  I felt miserable about myself.

Two years of pregnancy was hard on me.  I was drained, achy, and just generally grumpy.  Even after the bliss of meeting my new addition wore off...I was drained, achy and again...grumpy.  You get the picture.

I know your world is supposed to change when having children, but my body took me hostage and fought me in my quest to bounce back.  There were times that I literally felt like I was trapped in someone else's skin.  It was just strange...weird, scary.  Almost as if I was losing me...Tracey.

I wasn't suffering from postpartum depression...had that checked out.  I was just struggling balancing it all.  Being a wife, mother and full time employee, while maintaining yourself, is a challenging feat.  Some most days it seems impossible.  But, I wasn't satisfied with just accepting it.  I knew I could meet the challenge...but how?

Since I knew there would be no more surprise blessings, first thing was to lose some weight.  I knew if I felt better about my appearance, the rest would flow.  I did an agonizing, crazy, insane diet, but it worked. I am back down to the weight I was when I met my darling Prince.  I still have a little ways to go, but for now I am pleased.  

I also started back to doing things that I enjoy...reading, decorating, crafting, organizing, etc.  I have carved out time for me.  Not as much as I had "before kids".  Just little bits of time that allow me to be me. Even if it is only five minutes, those minutes are spent recharging my mind and body which only helps me to be a better mother and wife.

I have also discovered that just because I am raising my children, doesn't mean that I have to put my personal growth on hold.  Photography and this blog are new outlets that allow me to explore and grow in my lovely, but insane world.

So, I can really say, with all honesty, that I feel like I am getting back to the ol' a husband and three children.  See...

Back to the me, that thrives on change and being overwhelmed and loves a challenge...bring it!

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