Thursday, February 25, 2010

Spring Fever Giveaway!

... but not from me.

For all of you anxiously anticipating the arrival of spring, Heavenly Mama Sarah is holding a giveaway in honor of Spring Fever!

Head on over to her blog, This Heavenly Life, and check out the really cool jewelry she is offering. All of it is hand-crafted by her mother-in-law, with unique designs and eye-catching colors.

Of course, the more people that enter the less of a chance I have of winning... But out of the depths of generosity in my heart, and for the sake of getting someone else as addicted to her blog as I am, I'm telling you anyways! So go on, you know you want to at least take a peek.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Early Mornings

What happens when Mama leaves the box of maternity clothes out in the middle of the floor? Dress-up, of course! Followed closely by a boat ride, immediately followed by a capsize. Luckily, both Anastasia (the unsuspecting passenger) and Bella (the tidal wave) thought this a good game.

This might be the only time I actually want you to look at the mess in the background. I try to start each day with the toys put in their places in order to start the mess fresh. You will notice the doctor's kit, the baby-doll stroller, the boxes, the Fisher Price, the books, stuffed animals... And this was by 8 AM!!!!!!!

The girls both woke up early this morning. No, I mean early. At 7am I can function; I may not be bouncy and enthusiastic, but I can open my eyes and start my day. At 6am I can barely find the coffee pot. Would someone please pass that message along to the Girls???

Monday, February 22, 2010

When we Need a weekend Out of the house

I have been so lazy lately. Oh wait, I'm pregnant and sick. Maybe that has something to do with my non-existent attention span. I sit and try to write only to re-read and delete on the basis of unintelligible babble. That might happen again today. Or maybe you will wish it would have...

Friday night I got to go out without the kids to the Frederick County Right to Life annual banquet, which was featuring a talk by author-mom-of-12 and one of my favorite bloggers, Barbara Curtis. My mom, sister-in-law Angela, and I enjoyed our seafood dinner and finally meeting "our celebrity." Barbara is one of the most down-to-earth people I have ever met. It was delightful to talk to her, not to mention the freedom of getting dressed up and being out until 11pm! Whew, party-animal!

This past weekend was a good, albeit exhausting, one. After all the snow days Patrick was elated at having to leave the house for work. (He did a lousy job of trying to disguise it.) By Tuesday he was prompting me to make plans for the weekend to get out of the house and do something! Well, mission accomplished. Saturday we headed to Baltimore to Port Discovery, an awesome children's museum. Bella LOVED it! We met our good friends there and the kids had the most active, energy-expending, smile-inducing time possible. As an added bonus they were celebrating Chinese New Year there this weekend, with a dragon dance with drums expo, origami and letter-writing for the older kids, and FREE FOOD from P.F. Chang's. YUM!!! The spiced chicken and fried rice were big hits with our girls, and a very special treat for Patrick and I.

Sunday I made a case for getting Bella outside. "The snow has melted a lot" she says, "It will be easier for Bella to walk in" she says, "It will be fun" she says, "We could use the outside time, too" she says. "She" is dumb. The snow has, in fact, compacted and melted a lot making it more possible for us to walk through. The short-legged 2-year-old? Not so much. So we ended up carrying her AND the sled up the hill over and over again. Of course, the pay-off was great. Bella was SO happy to be outside sledding again. In the end we worked hard to bribe her inside with hot chocolate because WE were exhausted! That was too much like work.

Well, although I have been up since 6am with a grumpy little Munchkin I am still lounging around. After a cup of coffee and some ginger cookies for breakfast it is probably time for me to start my day, before the Little Ones start without me.

Happy Monday!

Thursday, February 11, 2010

Quotable Quotes

(from last late summer/early fall)
We were talking about how foods grow, and we were exploring a cantaloupe.
Mama: "Feel the rough skin, kind of bumpy. Does it have a smell? Look, this is where it attaches to the stem from the vine in the ground!
Bella, pointing to the grocery produce sticker: "And this is where the TAG grows!"

When we were in KY in late January for our new Goddaughter's Baptism, Felicity Grace, Bella was really enjoying her time with the twin 3-year-old boys. There was some name confusion, however, due to the fact we were just coming out of the Christmas season.
"Mama! I'm playing with Michael and SAINT Nicholas!" (Michael and Nicholas.)

Robin (my best friend from college and Mama to those boys and baby Felicity) was stepping out of the boys' bedroom and said "Michael is having some quiet time, so it's going to be quiet in here for a little while."
Bella, in pure innocence, looks up at Miss Robin and says, "Actually, it's going to be a little noisy in here!" (the confused look on Bella's face was priceless, looking at Robin like she had no idea what life was really like. Of course, Bella was right... a house with that many kids is never really quiet!)

In the car on the 8-hour ride home we were singing lots of songs, most by Bella's specific requests. We introduced 2 new ones lately, B-I-N-G-O and Old MacDonald.
Bella: "Let's sing someone had a farm!"

During Mass at the Baptism Bella was standing right beside me watching. When I was holding the candle I looked down and saw Bella furtively blowing in the direction of the flame!

In the snow -
Bella, looking outside: "Wow, we have much snow again! There is snow everywhere!" (that might have been a little understatement...)

Wednesday, February 10, 2010


Round #2 is swarming around us, with blizzard-like conditions!!! Bella is having trouble seeing out our window with all the snow blown against it. Outside our back door "I can't see my kitchen under all that snow!"

The winds are fantastic, creating swirling clouds of snow. In between the big gusts I have been showing Bella (lifting her to see) how the breezes makes the snowflakes dance around. She showed me her own rendition of the "Snowflake Dance."

Temperatures are hovering in the low-mid 20s, but the wind and low visibility makes it unwise to venture outside. Well, except for my hard-working hubby, who has been out shoveling thrice today!

Inside is cozy and warm, thankfully, with our electricity intact. I have so many reasons to be enjoying our snow day - Patrick at home cooking dinner, homemade bread, happy playing girls, laundry loads going, and extra time for blogging and picture-taking.

Hot Chocolate and Snow Ice Cream are on the menu for later.

Best online picture of the day: "Snowmageddon From Space", a satellite image of the snowstorm of last week. (click on the link to view the image)

Praying for the safety of those who have to be outside.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Walkin' in a Winter Wonderland

Now this is what I call a winter snowfall! With the second snowiest season on record for our area many people are busy complaining about all the inconveniences, but we are snuggled up with hot chocolate enjoying every minute. Our normal (read: boring) little suburb has transformed into a winter wonderland fit for a Rockwell painting, with neighbors out shoveling together and homes tucked behind beautiful drifts of snow.

Okay, it's a little deeper than that romanticized image. Just ask Bella, who came inside and stated indignantly "Daddy put me in the snow!" Luckily it was compacted enough she couldn't sink the full depth; we would have lost her!

She instead preferred to walk back and forth in the path Daddy was diligently creating, staring at the walls of snow rising up around her!

For more great photos check out the video slideshow by talented photographer and friend Stephanie. She has the gradual progress documented beautifully from our state capitol, Annapolis.

For an unusual glimpse at my political cynicism, enjoy this blog post by Virginia-located Barbara Curtis. Global warming, my foot! The irony is too much not to enjoy.

-----> This is our back deck and what's visible of their play kitchen. Bella says "my kitchen is hiding under the snow!"

Thursday, February 4, 2010

On Our Bookshelf

This is a great blog carnival hosted by one of my most recent favorite blogs, This Heavenly Life. Heavenly Mama Sarah writes reviews on what books they're reading, rising my interest in great new finds for little girl minds. We have a couple of these around here, too. This is my first go at participating, so please be patient. I just HAD to finally share! Disclaimer: We have not actually been to the library in a few weeks. We're still in love with the new ones from Christmas so I'm highlighting the one I could read from memory she loves it so much!

Winter is the Warmest Season, by Lauren Stringer

The title itself grabbed my curiosity! The perspective of the illustrations are non-traditional but enchanting. Mostly, though, the language of the book draws both adult and child in to the cozy imagery of the warmth found when it's cold outside! The book must be read with a little body snuggled up on your lap, and both of you will be glad for it! Bella uses some of the phrases from the book in her everyday discussion of what will "warm the inside of me" or "my snowflake pajamas that grew big feet."

So, since this is my first try at writing a short review of a book I'll stop here. I'm not sure exactly what to write to properly entice you to check this one out! All I can say is I approached it with a raised eyebrow and have since fallen in love right along with my 2 year old. As we sit watching the beginnings of another snowstorm it seems particularly apropos, in fact!

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Climb Ev'ry Mountain

It's Mama's fault, really. I'm the one who offered such wonderful climbing opportunities, after-all.

Silly me.