christmas-y stuff

these two weeks have been a blur.  not a bad sort of blur.... just, well, its all run together. 

we started the christmas vacation {i.e. the children's day school was not in session} with faustino taking a fellowship interview trip.

also known as single parenthood.

but strangely, i was okay with that.  even without all of my shopping done.  {confession:  i did have my mother-in-law swing by one evening once the kids were tucked in so that i could run a couple of places without carting the circus with me}

of course ethan had his yearly doctor's appointment.  and we had the polor express class playdate with boxes as our "train cars" {so cute}.  savannah and ethan also played with a "older" friend while she did some babysitting "training."  they asked me every. single. day. to go back and play with their new friend.  i think i'll be putting her on the schedule as my mother's helper.  for real.  amazing.



we did a lot of playing.  bed jumping.  reading.  puzzles. rain coat wearing {ethan really digs the outer wear}.  with the occasional christmas movie thrown in {might i suggest the curious george very monkey christmas?  quite possibly the one that held their attention best.  has a catchy song too.  that way you can hum christmas monkey all the damn day long... hahahaha.  curse me later.}





i really enjoyed it.  i also released myself of several things.  christmas baking.  christmas crafting.  and christmas friends' gifts.

was that good or bad?  i don't know.  but it was freeing.  and cheaper {think:  fellowship interviews} and waaaaay less stressful.

i remarkably managed to score matching carters pj's for the kids.  in their correct sizes.  after failed attempts to find christmas pj's elsewhere including the store where i found them {nothing like procrastination}  from the looks of all my friends christmas photos on facebook and blogs... it looks like we all bought the same pairs :)  

wilbert gave the kids the christmas pj's.  but i have slipped up so many times and corrected myself that i am certain this will not become a wilbert the elf tradition.  i can't keep up with the elf trickery!  our elf did basic stuff all season.  basic is really better for me.  no crazy pinterest style elf tricks for us.


christmas eve eve we went to a family christmas party {where savannah enjoyed being the center of attention}... spent the night at my parents house.... and woke up and had christmas presents.  after we ate brunch and played we jumped in the car and came back to fort worth where we put the children down for naps and then went to the christmas eve service.

her sussy to open was her little "ears" 

mom, can you send me some of your pictures?  
all two that i took were, uh, not great.  this was the best... and it isn't so fantastic, huh?

ethan was so so so tired for the christmas eve service that he just wanted to lay with his head in my lap.  which caused me to bawl the whole time.  my little boy just doesn't slow down like that anymore.  and he is my christmas baby... oh.  break my heart.  so sweet to hear carols about the silent night with jesus in the manger and hold my baby boy.  makes me cry just thinking about it...

and after a beautiful service we went home, read a night before christmas, and snuggled our babies before last minute wrapping and minor assembly of santa gifts.

in our house, with space and budget issues, santa brings each child one, unwrapped, assembled thing.  when space and budget are no longer an issue, i have no doubt that this rule will still be in place.  wrapped gifts also don't arrive under the tree until christmas eve.  it definitely takes the focus off of the gifts a little bit.  and every little bit helps.

christmas morning, ethan and savannah woke up to a bike and a shopping cart from santa.  faustino cooked us breakfast... and we lounged around all morning.  i got a pair of boots that i am so excited about... i can't even tell you what it is like to live in fort worth and not own boots.  sacrilege.

by the way... ethan's bike has training wheels.  just fyi... 
he may be his father's son, but he is no cycling prodigy... :)

and this melissa and doug shopping cart is amazing.  it really looks like a miniature store buggy.  super sturdy. 

the kids played and destroyed the house all day... we watched episodes of dexter while the kids napped, and then we enjoyed christmas with my nieces over at grammy's house.  i ate enough food for two people to gear up for the wrapping paper ripping fest... whew.  delightfully exhausting.

and do i have photos from that night?  no.  didn't even feel like busting out the camera.  shame on me.  i should have because all 5 kids had a fun time... 

and this week... i have been sick.  monday was the whole, achy body, super sleepy thing.  then i spent a few days on the mend... much better today.  we played with friends this morning and are planning on going to the botanical gardens after i get dinner ready and everyone wakes up from their nap.  a simultaneous nap.  nearly never happens.

i will *almost* be sad when school starts up next week... almost.

and that sums up the comings and goings and mostly staying in the house portion of christmas...

xoxo, s


and for sister...

a hand-smocked dress from nana.  which she loved wearing.  of course, she ate plenty of cake and has played with brother's toys as well.


better dress pictures to follow...


celebrating my sweet ethan

he's four.  oh. my. lord.  he is four.

what a blessing.  four years with the sweetest boy i could imagine.  but how is he four?  the years move too quickly.  sometimes i cry. 

birthday celebration at school.

he simply is such a wonderful son.  inquisitive and creative.  cute.  funny.  witty.


he delighted in "blowing out" the candles.  i held it together and didn't cry. 
it wasn't easy.

he also challenges me.  has already developed the male-selective-hearing thing.  and likes to pretend things are guns and shoots them at things  {i initially was appalled by the violence... but have learned, this is a boy thing}

the orange trash truck.  i've only heard him talk about wanting this everyday for the last 4 months.

you can't make him sit down for very long and craft.  or color.  but he can build a fantastic block house.  or use his little mighty world people for hours-on-end of pretend.

the airport.  
it was same thing as the trash truck.  
on the "wish list."  he wanted this so bad that the day before he was trying to replicate it with his race track, making his cars "take off" and "land"

he probably watches too much t.v {insert mom guilt here} ... but lately he's been really into caillou.  who i personally think is sweet but a tad too whiny.  although, caillou doesn't pick up every blessed stick and pretend it is a gun. and that's nice... and caillou is polite.  and likes being a good big brother.  good lessons from the t.v.   :)

the nano bugs... entertainment from our two bugs, Zank and Zarnarsh.  ethan named them.  with no prompting from us...

he wakes up at 7:15 or so {dry! and has been for a loooong time} and keeps me on my toes all day... we might get lucky and he has a easy time taking a couple hour nap around 2:30... or we might get not-so-lucky, and have a struggle for the nap.  or it might just not happen.  but that is okay... because it's bed time somewhere in the neighborhood of 7:30, although i have been known to push it up or back by a half hour.

he's a decent eater... he has a major sweet tooth.  he says his favorite foods are pizza, french fries and chicken nuggets.  he loves milk.  and thinks juice is a majorly wonderful treat.

my big boy is 37 lbs. and almost 44 inches tall.  that puts him at the 50th and 95th percentiles... so tall.  he is in 4t clothes and has a closet full thanks to generous friends and wears a size 11 shoe.  which just about kills me.  he has boy feet.  not little boy feet.  big boy feet.

my son is sensitive.  he wants to make me happy.  he has taught me about patience, forgiveness, grace, and a child's delight. 

major entertainment for sister.  and the rest of us watched them for quite awhile too. 

he has the most vivid memory.  he gets that from his father.  tonight, while looking through a book he saw a picture of a dragonfly and he said, "remember yesterday a long time ago {i.e. past tense} i saw a dragonfly at the farm and i named him Power??"  folks, yesterday a long time ago must have been back in september.  or perhaps even the summer.

cake.  unbelievably excited.

for his birthday there were additions to his bruder armada:  a crane and a trash truck.  and i do not lie, my mother and i built a shelf to house the aforementioned armada.  pretty much in the thick of all the christmas/birthday hubbub of the end of the week.

word to the wise... homegoods has these ridiculously overpriced trucks for a bargain.  
shop early... i bet they get picked over quickly. 
thanks, jenn, for saving us an arm and a leg.

for his little birthday celebration - just us and grandparents.  easy peasy.  and a store bought cake that ethan decorated.  with an iron man action figure stuck in the frosting.  he couldn't have been any happier.  i think it is just the adults that truly delight in the art of the fondant.  not four year olds.  it was cake.  ice cream.  and a iron man that he has slept with every night since.  we'll save the more elaborate cake for the bigger bash.

we'll have a "friends" birthday party in january.  after this holiday madness.

best moment of the evening.  ethan.  on a stool in the kitchen all alone.  looking at the cake and singing happy birthday to himself.  hardly able to contain his excitement.  

my sweet ethan, it is a privilege to be your mommy.  i am so blessed.


the aftermath of costco


who knew that costco samples could wear her out like that??? 


i'm still alive


i made it.  in all honesty, my feet still hurt.  but i am very pleased with the event!  it went very smoothly.  everyone had fun.

thank you for your support.  your encouragement.  your prayers.

thank you, mom, for spending the day with the kiddos.

and thank you to my husband for letting me spend sunday as a complete slug.  speaking of which, it is his birthday today.  we celebrated with family last night... where we took the above photo. 

i'll post some pictures of the "beatles and boots" bar mitzvah when i get photos from the photographer... i'll do a recap of sorts... the details the family put into this event were phenomenal.  it was a pleasure to be a part of the festivities. 

xoxo, s


quick brain dump

tomorrow is the big day.  my event coordination debut.  the "after-children" version.  

send good vibes my way.  please.  i know it will be an excellent event.  but i always get like this beforehand.  

my ability to multitask on the rest of my life is not all that great.  {you should see my "laundry room."  please, anyone, send your laundress to my house to volunteer.  you think i am kidding.}  my personality is very well suited for event planning.  i've known that.  but if i had too many events, the events would consume me.  i. get. so. focused.  just one has filled my mind this week.  to the paralytic point.  do you know what i am talking about??  f r o z e n.

i've been watching friday night lights on netflix to get my mind off of my nerves about saturday.  how did i miss friday night lights when it was on television??  it is so good.  seriously.  and nice to have something so good when it seems like all my favorite shows take a christmas vacation.  that makes me sound like i watch a bunch of tv.  i don't.  

i mean, if you don't count pbs kids...  but that's another entire debate.  let's not go there right now.  we will.  someday.  i want to... i feel like i could write a novel on the whole, snarky, judgey, we-don't-watch-tv thing.  you know, for the mom's who are perfect.  not. me.   

anywho, i watch maybe 3 tivo'd shows a week.  if they are all new.  this isn't always the case...  

but, yes, friday night lights is excellent.

and now i must fold a load of clothes.  before the laundry wins the war.

xoxo, s 


holiday frame of mind

hi, y'all.  thank you for your sweet words about my leg.  really, i was not trying to get a bunch of sympathy.  but it was nice to have so many encouraging messages on here, facebook, phone calls + text messages, and in person, etc.

the burn is much, much, better.  just trying to minimize the scar now... :)  at least it isn't pool weather.

definitely far from pool weather here.  its been a nice, windy, rainy, drizzly, cold, seasonally appropriate grey here.  and i will take it happily.

don't get me wrong.  i would prefer 75 degrees.  however, there is something fantastic about putting up the tree, eating a roast, and listening to the rain come down while baylor beat the pants off of ut.

it was a good weekend.

and friday was a good start to the weekend with a very unexpected invitation to take the ticket of another friend who sadly could not go to the gingerbread house building extravaganza charity event... i had to pick the little ones up so i could only stay for an hour...

so i did what anybody would do.  hoarded candy and took home a half finished house for my preschooler to work on.  it is no beauty.   but i did get some major "cool-mom" points. 

don't worry, it wasn't nearly done here.  more candy was added... :)

and he worked on some fine motor skills.  and sorting skills.  really, it was quite educational.  and my frame of mind was good.  i didn't have any expectations about what it should look like.  i did not care that it might be considered ugly-ish.

i am sure that most of the houses that came home were beautiful.  i mean.  people came with their own tools and researched their plan.

not being from fort worth, i had no idea that this was such a big deal.  we can add that to a running list of things on which i have been educated.

and that is how i am going into this holiday season.  no to low expectations.  a purposeful laid-back.  hopefully, it will bring me joy to lose the christmas-bitch persona that creeps in every year.  you know, the one that is irritated that the bows got crushed on the packages as someone else loaded the car.  the one that freaks out over minor details.  who gets irritated over thinking about being dropped off a christmas card list or two {perhaps they didn't send out cards, stephanie.  that is what rational stephanie says...}  the one that gets irritated at the children when christmas cookie frosting gets on their christmas clothes... i sound like mom of the year.  grrr.  not proud.

wish me luck.

and on a completely unrelated note,  savannah got the top two teeth she's been working on right before thanksgiving.  and this past weekend, she got the bottom two.  have we turned a corner??  time will tell.

xoxo, s


my epic leg burn

IMG_8457 copy
isn't he cute?  i know, i am biased.  but.  i can't squeeze him hard enough.  he is the sweetest little boy.  not that he has anything to really do with this blog post.  i just couldn't start off with anything gloomy.  so... i'm giving you a picture of ethan. 

****** complaining disclaimer ******

well.  i debated.  do i blog about this, or no??  well.  in the spirit of keeping things real around here, i might as well.  

the week before thanksgiving's week.  i think i was sick.  like, rough scratchy throat and voice.  people would ask... but i would think, "gosh, am i?"

i had something else that was more uncomfortable than whatever chest cold i was fighting.

you see, that wednesday night, i decided to make iced tea... and somehow knocked over the pitcher as i was pouring in the boiling water.  all over my right thigh.  i don't use a tea kettle...i use a pot of boiling water... so, uh, pretty much i poured a small pot of boiling water on my leg.

i was wearing skinny jeans.  my skinny jeans don't exactly slide off.  imagine a blanket of boiling water on your leg.  a blanket that you had to wriggle out of.  holy crap.  

i have no idea what expletives i screamed.  but i know i screamed.  i am just so incredibly thankful that neither of the little ones were hanging on my legs.  they typically are.  oh, how horrible that would have been.

anyway.  it really sucks.  i spent the evening running cold water on my leg and faustino took over dinner.  thank god.  and, after a few days of my pathetic attempts at wound care, i let him fix me up.  it makes a world of difference.  especially when he got some of the "good stuff" for me.  waaaaay better than the gauze from target i was using.

it was the most painful if a blister got inadvertently popped.  oh. my. 

would you like to see pictures??  i mean, i know they are gross, but aren't you curious??   

this was the morning after it happened.  it still had not blistered all the way.  ewww... then i put on JEANS and went to bible study.  wanted to cry.

this was yesterday... healing quite nicely.  i think i will go gauze-free tomorrow.  :)

a combo of 1st and 2nd degree burns.  it looks like a map... with "continents" that are blistered. ewwww.  i thought is would just be a couple of small blisters.  nope.  about a third of it blistered.

it is much better now.  

but all of this is nothing, really.  and so, i don't want to really complain.  it could have been worse.  other people have had much worse.  it also makes me think of sasha... an acquaintance.  a very kind and friendly girl.  her sweet wedding reception was my last event at colonial.  a couple of years ago, she had a tragic accident where 20% of her body - her face, neck, arms - was burned by one of those fire bowl outdoor lighting things...  she had a blog for awhile, and it was one of my favorites.  the summer of the accident i ended up having a couple of run-ins with my oven and had a few small burns on my wrist and arm.  i looked at those scars all. the. time. and they reminded me to pray for sasha.  send good energy her way.

the other day, i was thinking how those scars had faded.  they are so faint, i can hardly see one and the other is gone.  i thought.  well, it's about time for another kitchen mishap.  obviously, i didn't do this on purpose.  and i hope that this scar fades away.  however, it will serve as a good reminder for me to pray for sasha... i hope she is doing well.

sooo... that's the rest of the story here.  my thigh has a giant burn.  :)  be careful in the kitchen!  heed my warning!

xoxo, s


a blessed beginning to thanksgiving week

well.  somehow its the middle of the week.  but i have to tell you how we had a perfect weekend.


friday evening we got a sitter and went out to celebrate our anniversary.  5 years!  it wasn't a fancy date... but it was nice spending time together without social obligations or family obligations! 

i can tell you that marrying the right person is a huge part of life's happiness.  i don't even have the right words for how fortunate i am that i am married to the right man.  he is funny, and smart, and loves me.  he pushes me to be a better person, and he is the hardest working man i've ever known.  he loves our children and is a great dad.  i really am blessed to have him in my life.

i wanted to scan old pictures in... but our scanner is acting up.  i really am dying to get all my old film converted to digital.  have any of y'all done that??  do you send your photos off somewhere?  does that scare the crap out of you like it does me????

King-Kazenske Engagement 029

engagement pictures.  gee i look young.

S&F 598b
right after we were married...

Kristi's Pictures 262
our first year anniversary dinner.  a month before ethan was born!

so that was friday.... and then on saturday, we spent the day together at our friend's farm.  picnic of "chicken and fil-a" and enjoying the 70+ degree weather. 

boots.  pigtails.  perfection.




we put the kids down on saturday night and watched one of the best football games.  ever.  seriously.
i can't wait for the next game because we will be there!  but i really don't need to elaborate on how good the game was because you would have to be living in a cave to not know about baylor's ginormous win.  i'm not even a c r a z y football person, but wow.  its a fun time to be a baylor fan. 

it made me want to wake up little savvy and put her in her baylor cheerleader uniform and dance around.  or at least a little nostalgic for some post-game celebration.

on sunday, ethan and i had the chance to go to a super fun birthday party where i was in awe of how my formerly timid bounce house boy was jumping all over everything with his friends.  my little boy is so grownup now.  bittersweet.

and then on sunday evening, faustino made the best gumbo i have ever had.  every bit as good as a restaurant.  seriously impressive.   mmmm....  it had little pieces of duck in it and the roux was perfect.  'liscious.  {in savvy-speak}  both kids ate it by the way.  spicy and all. {not too spicy.  just right, spicy}  it was starting to rain and was the perfect food to come home to.  and the aroma!  i love coming home to a home-cooked dinner i didn't have to cook!


i would share the recipe... but faustino made it.  and used several recipes.  and he wrote it down... but i think it needs a "round 2" to see if that is indeed the recipe.  we will definitely make it again.  mmmm...

but back to the weekend...

it was full of just a general sprinkling of things that make a weekend wonderful. 

and on monday morning, we went out to see the deer my husband shot, and then we headed to my parent's house where the kids have been spoiled with new toys and tons of attention.  i think it was their most fun visit yet.  savannah was talking up a storm...  telling my dad "i love you" among other adorable little things.  and i was off the hook for all my daily tasks... life was good.  i even braved the longview crowds and did my thanksgiving grocery run so that my parents could watch the kids instead of making it a group trip.  blessing.

so now i need to start cooking for tomorrow!!!  happy thanksgiving, everyone.  i am thankful for the so many blessings we have in our lives.  and now i am going to put two of those blessings to bed.

xoxo, s  


working on a bar mitzvah...

my precious little bugs.  my full time job...

last week i alluded to a new little something i was working on... and i want to tell y'all about it.  a bar mitzvah.  this december... day of coordination.  i am so excited!!

you see, i am a stay at home mom.  {everyone already knows that, right??} and with my husband in training,  {y'all know that, too - right??}  it has always been difficult for me to even fathom working because of his busy schedule.  how could i commit to a job in my previous fields when i need to juggle the kids and not count on him for help with that?  the childcare expenses would make it tricky to even come out ahead.  and the stress...  not that extra money wouldn't be really cool.  but also, i feel very strongly that i want to be the one raising our children.  my season is one of my children.  this has always been my hearts' desire.  my dream.

staying home with my children is not glamorous, but is quite rewarding.  but i have had "glamorous" and it wasn't really all that rewarding.  sometimes fun.  sometimes a boost to the ego.  but not the long-lasting rewards that motherhood has brought me.  snuggles from my children.  teaching them about the world.  if i look past the tantrums, boogers, and the poop, it really is magic to be the first person to show a little one what a popsicle tastes like or plant a flower or a see a bug or a enjoy certain kind of fruit.  to watch my daughter's face as we watch cinderella.  to see my son impressed by a firetruck or a cement mixer.  letters and numbers.  stars and planets.  grass and dirt and leaves and pumpkins.  the mundane things of the world are their magic moments.

but extra money is nice.  and retaining my own sense of self is really very important.  i am a mom, but also, i am stephanie.

so, by the grace of god, at the perfect moment, someone asked me a question.  would i help with an event?  and my answer was YES.  an absolute blessing.

let me just say, i never, ever, EVER, in a million years thought that i wanted to plan events again, especially as my own business.  i have seen others do it.  and thrive in it.  but that season of my life was very demanding.  {do y'all know about that season?  i worked here doing sales and marketing and helping plan the wholesale market, and here as the catering director dealing with the private events and the tournament events, and here as a catering manager with non-wedding large events.  whew!}

it was rough.  busy.  it's nights, weekends, happy hours, get-togethers.  all my invitations skipped.  or postponed.  so that i could be there for other people's events.  and i was always {over} emotionally attached to my events.  leaving colonial to go to the fort worth club was like a bad divorce.  i cried for the events i wouldn't get to do.  leaving the fort worth club to stay at home with ethan, had many bittersweet moments, too.

my point is that it never entered my mind that this could be an option... but it is.  and here i am.  so say prayers that all goes splendidly for the bar mitzvah in december.

and let me just say, that this is going to be an awesome event.  it's an great family... a creative theme... i will hopefully get to post some awesome photos afterwards... insert squeal of excitement here!!! 

...and then, if i were to get referrals and other business, i would be thrilled.  just a few events.  day of coordination and consulting prior to the event.

so, i guess, i am putting it out there... i'm working again.  let me know if you'd like any help with your event ;)

xoxo, stephanie



so... this past week.  i feel like i've been picking up lots of negative energy.  i could feel it.   i kept asking myself why.... well.  to be honest, i was only selecting to tune into the negative stuff.  and it was almost like my receptors were hyper-sensitive, because i don't think that the negativity was all that horrid.  so, can i take a mulligan on this past week?  i mean, i guess i wouldn't really want to... there were some good parts to it.  but still.

we've been busy.  i'll list it out for you.  it's not all bad.  in fact, i'll try not to harp on the bad ;)

:: a week ago.  bible study child care.  ethan got a bad report.  geez.  i HATE that.  however, he has not received a single bad report since last school year... so perhaps his bible study child care teacher is having a hard time differentiating between "bad" and "boy." 

any boy mom's out there that relate?? i've become somewhat passionate about this... i could write an entire post :) but first I have a book or two saved on ibooks I would like to read.

:: i'm kinda gloomy when my kids get in trouble.  i am doomed when they are teenagers.

:: i have taken on a little project.  its literally a godsend... and would take a whole post in and of itself to explain... but friday i had a morning meeting about that... i can't wait to elaborate about it on the blog.  very exciting.  btw, the meeting went super wonderful and i felt very rejuvenated in a professional way that i hadn't realized i had been missing.

:: i made venison chili and wanted to eat the whole pot.  this recipe.  wonderful.

:: friday night, i had a massive craft fail as i tried to make flowers for hair bows. so sad. i wanted to give them as birthday gifts. bwahahahhhhahahaa. i think it looked like savannah attempted to make them.  i should have taken pictures of the failures.  they made me think of this pin on pinterest... {and i can't correctly site the source because there is something wrong with the permalink, so my apologies!}

:: a sweet friend from college mentioned me on her blog. loved that. really, in fact, it made my day.

:: double birthday party fun on saturday. i was whipped. i mean. wow. i think i went to bed at 9. really. and i am a night owl... so that says something. 

the first party was at one of those tumbling gyms with lots of trampolines and a foam block pit.  the kids literally bounced around the whole time and i chased savannah for the duration trying to save her from her fearless little self.  the kids had a blast.  and i jumped on the trampoline, too :)

the second party was a train extravaganza.  again, chasing savannah all over and coaxing her out of the bounce-house-obstacle-course clearly intended for kids and not an 18 month old.  saving fearless savvy from her happy go lucky self.  exhausting.  fun, but exhausting.  they did have wine at the last party, and i felt like had i had a driver, it might have been a truly helpful thing.  :)


this was almost the end... cake number 2...  do you like ethan's take on the conductor hat?  i was too tired to care about correcting it :)

:: i finished savvy's skirt! one super cute sewing project down. eleventy billion to go. and i put the sewing machine back in the chest... i just couldn't handle it next to my bed for another minute. these walls are closing in...


:: i made baba ganoush for the 3rd time... it was pretty good. savannah loves it by the way.   but eggplants under the broiler smell a little like death.  i don't love that.   really.   why does something have to be so stinky to be so great in the recipe??

:: i also made it out for a bit to the jwc softball game.  and when savvy made it clear it would be another game of chase, i opted to leave! no thanks, not two days in a row.

:: while we were there, i did hold a friend's little 3 month old baby.  savannah thought it was pretty cool for about nine seconds, and then she turned into the green eyed monster.  she even started to ask to nurse.  completely out of character for her!  she never wants that.  only in the mornings... so i knew she was thinking, oh no.  that's my mommy.  put down the baby, NOW.  i sort of loved her possessiveness.

::  savannah went to the doctor for her 18 month check up.  33 inches long and 26.2 lbs.  and.... we found out that savannah has had an ear infection.  but after the whole issue with ethan, there is no way we are putting her on antibiotics.  so we will wait and see.  i'm hoping its almost run its course.  she's booger free.  fever free.  and pretty much happy all the time.  just occasionally, she'll act super fussy.  and then i think she's not feeling top notch.  we go back in a month... hopefully she'll have a good "ear check" and i won't have any mom-guilt.

::  sister had a major meltdown yesterday at bible study childcare.  so i needed to pick her up early.  i think she just doesn't like to go, because this is her in the back of the volvo eating her lunch while we waited on brother {who i promised that this week he could eat at school with his friends} the classes are 3x as big as her school... but the ratio is the same.  it makes for more chaos.  i'm not opposed to sending her, because i think there is value in learning how to tolerate a little of what we don't love.  plus, it's good for me to go to the bible study.


she is eating cheese and saying cheese.  :)

but you see, her meltdown totally foiled my plans to sneak away a little early and go to the junior league lunch meeting.  as in, i was in my car, halfway there when they called me.  BUMMER.  they thought she was sick.  i think she might have just been sick and tired of them.  a little cranky with the ear and the time change, but really, sister wasn't feeling it.  after a quick cat nap in the car, she was back to normal.  she was catnapping when i drove through the neighborhood with the buzzards.  and by the way, faustino thought i was crazy for being bewildered at the sight of them.  oh well.


strange birds

okay... so i am desperately trying to piece together a post that makes any sense... and i am failing because i am also trying to pick out a christmas card simultaneously and i am thinking about calling my client {because, YES!! i have a little gig!!! deserves it's own post entirely} and so i am super scattered.

i'll keep working on that post ;)

i wouldn't go so far as to say today was a fail... but let's just say i didn't get to breeze through with my plan.

so i will leave you with this.


strange birds. on a strange day. in a very urban area, i might add, {arlington heights} i saw these two things. they are the size of chickens. i actually stopped the car. reversed and attempted to take a picture out the passenger side window.



i tried my darnedest to adjust the iphone photos so you could see them. sorry, i know the pictures suck.

but, what the heck? are they some totally common thing i am just not realizing? they weren't fazed by the car stopping by them, either.

they looked like they belonged in "raptor canyon" at the zoo.

i can't wait to ask my husband if he knows what they are... but do you?? do y'all think this is weird? the size of chickens?!!! just walking around????!!!!

i sort of felt like it was par for the course with how my week has been. :)

UPDATE: apparently these are super common, no big deal, run of the mill buzzards. Well, okay then. They still creeped me out, especially walking down the street in a neighborhood.


eighteen months old

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my little grub.  she had a half birthday.  and i can not believe how grown up she is.  i know everyone says that, but lately, it has been hitting me that my kids are growing up very quickly.

we go to her check-up next week, where i can get all the stats, so i will come back and update it.  i have no doubt she will be in the top of her age curve... she's in size 24 months/2t.  she breaks my arm when i carry her.  and she wears a size 6 shoe.   we are still in size 4 pampers when we do disposable diapers.

but --- she is showing interest in potty training.  so maybe she won't be in those diapers too much longer.

in fact, we went to eat lunch with ethan and his class on monday, and he told everyone at his table that "sa-nannah toots on the potty"  thanks, buddy.  i'm sure sister would have wanted to share that as well.  :)

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my girl loves to eat.  gotta love a girl who eats!  we are still nursing in the mornings, and occasionally in the late afternoon.  i'll nurse her as long as she's interested... there is so much good stuff in my milk.  i could go on and on about her favorite foods... but just know, right now, she has a thing for the mini pepperonis.  i know.  not the best food choice -- don't judge.  perhaps my breastmilk will make up for the carcinogens?  and she really loves yogurt.  it is helpful that she is talking more because she will voice her cravings at the fridge after her nap.  she typically grabs my hand, pulls me to the kitchen, stands in front of the fridge or pantry and yells, EAT.  then, she gets specific :)     

we are still waiting on her last four teeth to break through the gums.  she has her top and bottom front 4.  and her molars.  its the ones between the molars and the front.  geez, they have been giving her trouble.  motrin.  tylenol.  homeopathic teething tablets.   we are down to the paci only at night.  mostly.  but sometimes she really wants to chew on that thing during the day.

savannah asks for "med-cine."  whenever she cries, ethan says, "i think sa-nannah is getting teeth."  except sometimes it's after he's hit her... and then i have to inform him that teeth probably aren't the issue.

she has quite the vocab... i have been keeping it on my phone in the notes section - fun to see what all she says.  she will certainly be a chatter box.  lately, her big word to scream is "buckle!!" when i get her in and out of the car seat.  :)

i also really enjoyed when she grabbed part of ethan's halloween costume and put it on and looked at faustino and me and said, "ironman."  yes, indeed.

she has so much fun copying her brother.  the things he says, noises he makes, what ever he does, she wants to do too.  and they play really well together.  until he decides that he wants to play rough :) or until she takes whatever the toy of the moment is and runs off with it.

she loves to dance, sing, play peekaboo, play with fake food, and love on stuffed animals and babies.  she is very affectionate to her babies, but guards her kisses tightly from anyone else.  so when she does give a kiss to me, it melts my heart.  completely.

and when she is eating, she wants to give bites to others.  i had no idea that this was a sign of her affection until the other night.  she was eating some smarties and giving some to me and faustino.  then ethan waltz's in and totally zones in on them... and she gets them all in her hand and won't share a bit!  it was so funny!!

she has friends!  her face lights up when she's sees certain people in particular...  i remember the first time that she said "Abby!"  i nearly fell over in disbelief {it was at the beginning of the school year} that she knew and could articulate another child's name.  and it wasn't like we saw the friends every day back in the summer, either.  and at her school, the much loved ms. tracie tells me that savannah is quite the playground flirt.  nice.

she loves books.  i mean, LOVES them.  i could read to her for hours.  she loves to pick out books from her shelf... point to pictures... say the words.  i know i am biased, but i think she will be an early reader.  it's definitely her thing to make letter sounds and name letters.  A E and S are some of our favorites right now.  

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she also loves shoes.  and clothes.  and stealing my makeup brushes.  she loves bracelets.  and will find my ponytail holders and wear them all day long, calling them bracelets.  my poor husband... he has no idea what is down the road.  i think he will have a hard time saying no to her big blue eyes.

she is my sweet, happy-go-lucky, blessing of a baby girl.  i want to sit and snuggle her and kiss her neck all day long, but she is too busy for that.  she is so smart and has a great sense of humor and i could not imagine our family without her.  she is a blessing beyond my wildest dreams and i can't believe i have the honor of being her mother.

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and thanks, sabrina for capturing all these images of savannah.


who knew?

who would have known that my little owl would have understood and delighted in trick or treating.


she held her own bag.  wouldn't put it down or give it to me or her daddy.
she wanted to walk.
she attempted to say both trick or treat and thank you.
she understood the "pick-out-your-candy" concept.


and ethan?  i think he was born to celebrate halloween.


the unexpected hit of the evening?  glowsticks.

and trick or treating with friends made the night even more fun.  i mean, iron man and princesses are a perfect match, right? 


success :) 


Sorry :(

sorry.  savannah says it all the time now... except her's sound more like "sawry."  so cute.  {except when she took off her diaper in the crib and when i came in said "sorry."  that was just gross}

but, i digress.

i'm so sorry, y'all.  i usually am good about responding to comments.  not lately.  gigantic fail.

gigantic fail because i really love comments.  soo... just getting it out there that i am so sorry i didn't respond.  i meant to.  please don't stop commenting.  i will do better. 

and thank you, thank you.  the overwhelming positive energy from you all on facebook and my little comment section about savvy's costume and chloe's return.... makes my heart happy.

ummm... i just threw up in my mouth a little, because one of the most insincere people i have ever personally known always said "thank you, thank you."  i promise -- i was being sincere.

but if you can tell me who said "thank you, thank you" i will figure out a prize and mail it to you!

xoxo, s


halloween costumes... and good news

so, first, the good news.

chloe came home!!!  last night.  praise god.  really.  i prayed for that little cat... "keep her safe and healthy.  if she wants to come home, please help her find a way"  

i prayed that over and over. 

and all i can say is that god is faithful. 

faustino had a journal club meeting after work and didn't get home until 9 or so... we chitchat-ed a bit and then he had to get something out of his car that i am sure pertained to the big presentation this morning.  while he was out there, his phone started ringing {it had to do with the presentation} and i took him the phone.  he then stayed outside and talked on the phone awhile {he is not a soft talker, and he likes to pace... both are no-no's if anyone is trying to sleep in the house} and he was talking and walking all over the front yard.  and then he started to hear a meow.

and then he saw her.  he came in got me {still on the phone!} and i went outside and plucked her off of my neighbors porch.  it looks a lot like our porch... was she confused?

i told you she wasn't very smart.

so thankful for the timing of everything -- that faustino would be outside in our yard for an extended period of time.  so thankful he heard her.  i could go on... but there aren't really coincidences, are there? 

the even more amazing thing?  she isn't hurt.  at all.  she has a rough spot on her ear, but i can't really tell what its from.  a fight?  a scratchy branch?  who knows.  it's not something you would take a cat to the vet over...

de-clawed, stupid, cat.  out in the big bad world of feral alley cats.  and busy streets.  from friday at some point until tuesday night.  incredible.  

the only problem was that she was so gross.  i mean, a long hair cat was NOT made to roam outside.  at all.  i will spare you the details but suffice it to say that i was thoroughly grossed out by all the nastiness on her belly and it was not mud.  she was quarantined to the bathroom and i had to stop what i was doing and groom her.  shave her fur.  bathe her.  so not fun.  wow, folks.  i could never work at glamour paws.  or petsmart.

and really, she was so nasty, it would have been embarrassing to even take her there.  and it needed to be done right away.  it was 911.

and then i had to thoroughly disinfect the bathroom.


but still.  so incredibly thankful that she gets to come back and live her little life in our nest.  and now it looks like she could win worst pet hair cut ever.  EVER.  if you laugh at it, you can pony up the cash for a pro.  its not in the budget around here...

i'll get a picture of her at some point so you can feel bad for her.  i'm sure, that just like people hair, it will grow ;)

and now... halloween costumes.  it's supposed to be cold/wet/more seasonally appropriate later in the week.  so i had them don their costumes and pose for some photos.  i didn't even bother to move the plants that need to be planted from the background.  just keeping it real. 

our owl and red iron man.  i made the owl... inspired by a pin from pinterest that took me to this tutorial for an owl costume... except i ditched the mask and bought a winter hat from target for $12. 

and ethan's costume he originally picked out in costume express... you know?  the junk mail catalog that comes in september?  well... $45 before the gloves and accessories... before tax and shipping... uhhh... no.  so i lucked out and got this costume at JBF.  for $15.  and the quality of the mask is way better than the ones at target... and the accessories are at least $15.  i just had to do a little repair and buy a light for $10.  so... $25 vs. $50+  :)

so these are my two goofsters. 

i don't know what i said... but they reacted the same way.  :)







fun times. 

xoxo, s
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