where's the beef?

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Friday, October 31


i know most of you have been waiting with baited breath to know the final answer to this question. it all started with this adorable costume we found in the pottery barn kids catalog. but, seriously, $90 . . . $90. who on earth would pay $90 for a costume for a two year old? not me. (apparently someone because the costume is sold out and a link cannot be found.) but it was the perfect costume for miller and he thought so too. well, after all the different things he had wanted to be, i didn't want to be so hasty. so, i asked him daily what he wanted to be and when the answer became consistent, off i went to determine how in the world to make this costume myself, and with some help from my mom. then, josh joked at dinner one night that carter could be wendy, and she said yes?!? what?!? this is the same child who decided she was going to be ariel in august. and, now, she wants to be wendy?!? now, another costume to make. 
here is carter's wendy dress after i finished painting the stripes at almost 2 am the night before she would wear it.
the pieces before they became the final product.
my little cheeseburger
wendy with her cheeseburger
wendy
hand in hand
the chase
i love this portrait of the evening. as you can see, the rest of the evening, carter's braids rode along in my bag (as viewed in the background). i think her hair looks precious like this, but she will not let me do it ever, except this night. miller received lots of attention and he loves, loves, loves his costume. it really is the perfect costume for him and it was relatively easy to make in the manner i chose to make it. as for carter, this was one of three costumes she wore this season. i think the red wig really made her not want to be wendy but once. who can blame her?

take a minute or two

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Thursday, October 30

if you haven't been here in a few days, you NEED to check it out! not only is the work gorgeous, but this particular couple just exude what it means to be in love. you cannot help but be captivated by them!

twinkle toes

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there are some things you understand the fascination of no matter how old you get. even as an adult woman, i understand the fascination of american girl dolls, stickers, and all things with glitter, just to name a few. i think part of it is remembering your childhood and the joy you experienced with similar things and part of it is experiencing the joy it brings your own child now. well, these are one of those things. "my pink sparkly shoes", as they have been deemed, bring pure joy and elation to my 4 year old princess of all things pink and glittery. seriously, i know few who can compete with her girliness. in fact, the only one i can think of introduced us to these shoes.

what about these shoes doesn't make you want to twirl?!?
oh, seriously, too cute for words!

midnight crafting

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Monday, October 27

everyone knows one of the most common side effects of growing another human being inside your body is not being able to remember your own name, where you left your keys or your children, etc. so, it should come to no surprise that most of my crafting ideas have been halted by an absence of supplies. i had been meaning to make miller some pants and appliqued t-shirts when i realized i hadn't washed any of the shirts or fabrics. i know, i know, does that really matter? well, it just ensures a better chance at color safeness and little shrinkage later on. so, i decided since we are headed to the pumpkin patch the next day, i would whip up some pumpkin shirts. but, carter didn't even own a white t-shirt! ugh! so, after preschool, i picked up a t-shirt, came home and washed it and the fabrics and get started at approximately 11 pm. i removed my sewing machine from the case for the first time in a year at approximately midnight. i refused to do anything more than once or refresh myself on how to use the machine at all. i won't say they are my finest work which is exactly why i don't do it very often. i don't know why, but i tend to pull out the sewing machine every fall. i guess i hate to pay a lot for something my children don't get to wear for very long. by the time it gets cool enough here, they might wear it three or four times before it is time to bust out the christmas clothes. 
this is carter, barely 2, in the first pair of pants i made. i fell in love with the fabric and had to make some pants for fall. i pulled out my sewing machine, traced a pair of pants we already owned and starting stitching. i didn't know how to do a ruffle so i just sewed on some ricrac.
the next year, i added all the fabric i had left to the bottom of the hem for a long ruffle, almost too long i realized when i was finished. then, i decided to whip up a pair for miller too since i couldn't find orange gingham pants anywhere. i also got a serger for christmas inbetween so miller's actually look finished on the inside.
here they are this year. luckily carter hasn't gotten any thicker so she is able to wear those same pants again for one more year. and, these are the pumpkin shirts i whipped up at midnight. i think they turned out pretty cute, what do you think?

pumpkin patch 10.18

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armed with a beautiful fall day and a daddy with a day off, we decided to spend the day at cedar hill farm. we had some friends who had enjoyed the farm during fall break, but i was determined the weather would be cooler and i would have another adult in tow before making this venture. obviously the latter being more important since it is basically a nightmare waiting to happen when you mix two small children, a big pregnant belly and a wide open environment like the farm. cedar hill has so much to do so before making the trip ensure you have enough time to do everything. we were very impressed with the festivities.
enjoying the swings
determining how tall she is
a belly shot at the petting zoo
admiring the horse
riding the train
on the tractor to the pumpkin patch
venturing into the pumpkin patch
more impressed with the wild flowers than the pumpkins

she preferred the pumpkins in the barn from the first photo. as carter scouted out the perfect mini pumpkin, miller was trying his best to escape to the food. since we doubted that they would eat what was offered, we hurried carter up and headed to the closest fast food location. (a good idea since some friends of ours waited an hour for the food they ordered.) we literally checked out with one lone mini pumpkin, the girl looked at us and cheerfully said, " these are 3 for $1. would you like to get 2 more?" josh and i looked at each other, " umm, no. just the one." we felt bad, but picking out 2 more could have caused a colossal melt down in any one of us. sometimes it is just best to appear stingy! 

creative disaster #3

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Saturday, October 25

how many of you read jennifer's post not-so-funkins? well, it was not exaggerated! it was our monthly craft club meeting for september. we decided we should plan ahead and make our craft early because we might be busy and forget to carve a funkin in october. so, somehow i was the last to know about craft club in september so i did not buy mine at the appropriate craft store. (we all know i have craft store issues anyway!) mine is not the " funkins" brand and therefore, is a cheap piece of garbage. yeah, you heard me. junk. but, you can't go to craft club and not craft, so i decided to go ahead and carve my junk heap in hopes of learning the ropes before my next foam pumpkin carving extravaganza. oh, and the carving, that is a whole other area of craziness. luckily, i had picked up the official foam carving knife set when i purchased my pumpkin. set meaning three of the exact same miniature knife looking things they use to saw logs on the lumberjack competitions. fyi, these tiny knives make the same amount of foam sawdust as those enormous logs in the competition. i am pretty sure there should be a warning about only using in a well ventilated area and with one of those cute white masks that would have protected myself and my unborn child from any later breathing issues. and, leaves one heck of a mess to clean up. poor jennifer, we always work until we can't work anymore and leave her with the horrendous mess to clean up. this activity should have been done outside. 

back to the pumpkin, my inspiration was this adorable display in home companion magazine (pictured in bottom left). i think it turned out as good as could be expected since it looks like a foam pumpkin. i planned on buying another one, a real funkin, but have had no time since i am insanely pregnant and decided to make my children's costumes this year. seriously, i need help! 

crafty creation dos

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Wednesday, October 22

so for my second project, i used all random items i had laying around. that's right, it was completely free. these are pumpkins made from paper lanterns. i totally stole this idea from the diva of all things crafty. and the only reason i made it from my own personal stash rather than purchasing this cute little kit was the rather not cute, not little price tag. martha, just because you have a great idea and decide to package it, doesn't make the materials used ten times more expensive. maybe it is this skewed math that caused you to spend a little time in the slammer. but, i digress. this is so simple. i had two white paper lanterns left from this fun craft that i water colored a vintage-y orange. after they dried, i attached a paper leaf i free handed from leftover paper from from this project. i glued the leaf to a random green chenille wire or pipe cleaner i had laying around and wrapped it around the wire supporting the lantern. i then curled the wire around my finger several times to create the curly vine. i wish i had brown chenille wire, but i did not and this was supposed to be all from previously owned supplies, so . . . it is what it is. i think the colors are much cuter in person.

as you can see, the pumpkins hang on either end of the banner. and, as well documented, it all hangs in the playroom. at the end, i will show you a full picture of all the decorations.

fairy 10.05

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Tuesday, October 21

here is another random picture from the past month. carter was invited to a fairy party at the memphis botanic gardens where you were asked to dress up. somehow, we have never owned wings so we picked up a pair at walmart and pulled the rest from our stash at home. the party was precious with lots of cute ideas. i love this picture because i really feel like the blurry haze makes it look very fairy-like. see, some times it pays to take a photo poorly, or to have children that never stand still especially when a camera is involved.

okay, see i am catching up so i will be able to post all these crafty ideas i have been working on. look for another one tomorrow!

the kit movie 09.28

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we never made it to the kit movie before we went to atlanta to get our treasured friend, so when i realized it was still playing at the cheap movie theater, i was determined to take carter. it just so happened that josh had that sunday afternoon off so after coming home for lunch and taking a quick nap, carter, ruthie  & i  headed out for a girls night. we were literally the only people in the theater. and, just as becky had mentioned, not only was the movie precious, but i was amazed that even a week later, carter could tell me in detail what happened. she recently spoke with concern about kit's father leaving cincinatti for chicago. then, we headed to mcdonald's (her choice-i was very surprised it wasn't chili's, but they were giving away wizard of oz toys at that point). after a healthy dinner of fries and apple juice, she spent the night with my parents, where of course she gets ridiculous amounts of undivided attention and a home cooked breakfast! we know neither of those things happen regularly at our house. what fun! 

maverick 09.24

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i feel the need, the need for speed.
seriously, how cute is he in this??

thanks, mom! now, miller has more to choose from than the snow white dress and jasmine shoes that he tends to lean towards because they are "bu." although if it didn't have the skirt attached, the neck line makes him look like he needs a white wig to go with it. as for the shoes, which he typically wears with socks, they just make me think old man.

Rr is for Ruthie 09.26

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Monday, October 20

as you may remember, carter 's preschool class focuses on a letter of the alphabet each week. they also have show and tell every friday but the item has to correlate with the letter of the week. when Rr was the letter of the week, there was no hesitation as to what we would be bringing along on friday-our favorite friend, ruthie.
and, to make the day even more special, the matching dresses mommy ordered this summer arrived the same week. fyi mommies, just ducky also offers several different doll styles you can customize so your little girl can match her favorite friend.
the two girls in the classroom-carter was so proud to show her friends ruthie, but more importantly, to show ruthie her classroom. here, she shows ruthie her spot on the carpet. 

13 days til halloween

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Sunday, October 19

craftiness #1: banner
this banner was a successful attempt to escape watching the vice presidential debate with my husband. why? you ask. well, is your husband a political science major who not only watches the debate, but critiques its successes and failures, gives other possible responses, pauses to comment on the ongoing repartee, etc? no, he isn't. well, thank goodness jennifer's is. this means i don't have to endure these painful debates, but can escape to a quieter location and let someone else enjoy the fun. so, after discussing crafty options during the first presidential debate, we decided to be productive during the vice presidential debate. armed with pretty paper, sparkling jewels and letters, adorable ribbons and the like, i headed to jennifer's house to create. when david returned home hours later, we were engrossed in a pile of scraps, hot glue and productivity. while he was on a high from political craziness, we were on a high from crafting a precious banner to celebrate the festive season. 
my banner says trick or treat. it is hanging between the towers in our playroom on a black & white polka dot ribbon that typically displays artwork. this year, i decided to place all the halloween decorations on the toy bins located here. because i wanted the banner to hang on an already hung ribbon, i did not connect my letters, but used craft clothes pins to attach them to the ribbon. this way, i can arrange it differently next year. 
this is from the other end of the banner. materials used include black cardstock, patterned papers, black chipboard letters, ribbon, pompom trim, rhinestones & buttons. other materials needed: glue dots, mono adhesive, hot glue, paper trimmer, circle cutter, scallop punch. if you have any other questions, just ask. happy crafting!

fyi: these two pictures were taken in extreme opposite situations. picture 1 was taken at night with the light on by josh and the camera he typically uses and a wide angle lens. picture 2 was taken during the day with natural lighting by me and his backup camera with a 50mm lens. 

another day with daddy 09.20

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Wednesday, October 15

another saturday with my mom scouring estate sales and another date for the kids with daddy. this time he wanted to take them to the zoo. they had been begging to go but the heat had prevented us from the short trek. this day was supposed to be a little cooler, but their report did not indicate such. it started with doughnuts at gibson's. carter said daddy let them each have two ("daddy's great . . ." our favorite bill cosby himself chant) and that her stomach hurt after eating all that sugar. miller was ecstatic because memphis played that day which meant that gibson's had blue sprinkles on many of their doughnuts, so he chose chocolate and that meant both of his favorite colors-blue & brown. after doughnuts, they were off to the zoo!

throwing change into the fountain-one of josh's favorite pictures!
i love this picture of carter-don't know why, just something about it!
oh my gosh, i could just eat him! maybe this isn't a blog about the zoo with daddy, but a shameless showing of my children's preciousness.
brotherly, sisterly love

on his tiptoes-too cute!
seriously, look at that face! 

sorry about the continued gushing of the adorableness of my family. but, let's be honest, you agree, even without the bow she left the house with, even with both their socks pulled up and even with chocolate on their clothes. hey, at least her shirt is tied correctly this time! (and, yes, i tied it before leaving the house. as josh watched, he had an ah! moment.)

ch-ch-ch-changes!

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Tuesday, October 14

big plans-that's what we have around here! we have started the adjustments that need to be made in order for baby #3 to enter our home. of course, i am a little more laid back than with the first two-umm, maybe a lot more laid back. at this point in both of my first two pregnancies i had completed rooms, tons of baby clothes, strollers, car seats, etc. for this one some of those things will be hand-me-downs, but others still have to be taken care of. for one, we have to kick one child out of her room and the other out of his bed. we planned on doing this after returning from the beach as they were used to staying in the same room, and again after a trip to grammie & papa joe's, but we procrastinated. as many of you know, josh and i are both perpetual procrastinators, our high school and college years are perfect examples. but here we are with less than 3 months to go and this child has no where to sleep other than a pack-n-play squeezed between our bed and the wall. many of you are thinking that is where you sleep your child at the beginning anyway, but not in out tiny house. our children have always gone straight to their crib and it has worked for us. so, as i told josh, things will move faster when she wakes up every three hours to eat feet away from him. 

back to the procrastination-so after an afternoon at isaiah's 2nd birthday party, while our children ate even more food at the table, i looked at josh and said, "want to move carter's bed?" and so we did. that's how we do it around here-shear spontaneity and i remembered we were on fall break so i wouldn't be wrecking the lives of others if my children didn't get any sleep for a few days. it is actually going pretty well. the first night, i got called back by carter several times to ask about her stuff. as i said, we only moved her bed and "her friends". as josh was moving everything in and out, her first question was "what about ruthie, will you move her too?" of course we will! hello! then after moving her favorite beloved items-pinky (blanket she has had since birth originally named nite, nite), mrs. quack (lovey given to me by jennifer when she found out about our first pregnancy, originally named mr.duck by josh and i), gabriella (second doll she ever picked out purchased by grammie and originally named baby debby), and ruthie, we moved a whole slew of random of the moment friends. then, after being tucked in, she called to ask "what about my clothes, will they fit in here?" yes, sweet girl, we will make room for your clothes. then, "what about my panties?" yes, we will not make you go without panties. goodness! but i understand, we are separating her from all she remembers about having a space, so it is important that we make it theirs and not his where she now sleeps. so, we will be painting, getting her a new bed, moving him into hers (made by my great grandfather, was always meant to be his, slept in by my father and brother), change out all wall art, etc. so that she feels this is her room too. bless her heart! and, that is only the beginning because then we have a nursery to paint, decorate, and fill full of itty bitty preciousness! 

a little sneak peak, for me apparently nesting is crafting so i have been creating and making lists of things to create like a mad woman. i have been asked about several halloween crafts so i will post one every few days until halloween. that way, you can do them too, if you wish. and josh is also working on pictures for me because he has a little break before 4 weddings in a row and several photo shoots. so, stay tuned . . .

fun lunch fridays

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Saturday, October 11

that's what we call what we pack in our children's lunch boxes on fridays. see, i only work a friday or two a month and so i occasionally i get to enjoy the day as other mommies who drop their kids off at preschool a couple of days a week. and, with less lunches to make and a refrigerator empty of all but mustard and chocolate sauce, we have gotten a little creative with packing the lunch box. teachers have commented for four years on how healthy our kids eat and how much miller eats. when we started this a few weeks ago, the "fun" consisted of whole wheat goldfish or sugar free jello. seriously, they have no idea. as a teacher, i am well aware of the atrocious offerings found in the adorable princess or transformer lunch box each day. just a little help from a teacher and parent of a preschooler, the following items are not typical nor are they appropriate for your child's lunch:

grab bag size cool ranch doritos
a large chocolate milk from the gas station
oreos & chips ahoy chocolate chip cookies

i could go on and on. and i am sure some of my teacher friends will comment with some other great selections. but, back to my kids, as you can see, they have been sheltered from many lunch box offerings for quite some time. so, fast forward to thursday night at 9:00 pm after a long day for this preggo mama entering her third trimester. josh and i were discussing who would trek out to pick up the much needed essentials. miller was sleeping in the last diaper in our possession-seriously, i had gone through every bag, drawer, and the car that morning when i packed his bag for preschool. we were in dire straights. so, i said i would run to target and pick up diapers and lunch essentials. as josh rattled off his long list (bread, tortillas, mayo, cheese, turkey, fruit, etc.), we realized i would not be able to find most of these items at our favorite original target. hmmm, what to do?? hey, what about a lunchable? they have those at target. we agreed to allow our children to open their mind to the world of sodium packed, preservative drenched, compartmentalized quickies. still being a somewhat health and money conscious mommy, i only purchased the ones with crackers, meat & cheese because we did have juice boxes and something instead of cookies or peanut laced chocolate at home-something, i am sure. 
so, friday morning as we are getting ready miller asks his typical morning question, "wheya we goin' today?" 
"to preschool." i reply.
"yeah!!!!!!! to peschool to pay wif my fiends. (pause) cheese quesadilla in my lunch??"
"no, mommy bought you each a lunchable."
in unison, "a lunchable? what's a lunchable?"
oh my gosh. seriously. they are so deprived. so i told them they could help me pack lunches if they finished getting dressed. seconds later, we are standing in the refrigerator. i give them each the plastic package of pre-made goodness.
"turkey, cheese and crackers!! yeah!" they shout. 
we should be ashamed. but, they are so cute i just smile. we then add a random super ripe banana for miller and the last lone sugar free jello and a spoon for carter. drink boxes, napkins and ice packs and we are out the door. 
when i picked them up, i asked if they ate their lunch. "of course!!" was the reply for miller. and, for carter, "all of it. but she did say, 'i don't know how to do this?' so i opened it for her." bless their hearts! we may have to make this a semi-regular occurrence. we don't want them to go off to college and go all wild and crazy at the cafeteria now, do we??

look who turned 2!

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Thursday, October 9

our friend, avery!
and look who came along with us-bunny!! 
see bunny got all dressed up recently before his last trip to our house, but why?? he was abandoned in our yard while we were on vacation. hmmm, that wasn't very nice of his other parents. if britney had done such a thing, kevin would have taken her to court and had all of her parental rights revoked. but we got home just in time to rescue him before the torrential down pour and kept him safe and dry at our house while staying with us. so, we decided since bunny had had such an difficult trip to the tillman's recently (really, who thinks plastic surgery is appropriate for a bunny? tisk! tisk!), we would surprise him with a little fieldtrip! we knew how disappointed he was after he missed carter's birthday, so we wouldn't dare let him miss avery's too! so, i thought we needed to add a little something to let everyone know how excited he was-a circle happy birthday banner to go with the round and round theme! isn't it cute??
so, we placed bunny in the corner of the playground where jennifer had mentioned the kids would be playing later in the party, but someone ignored him when they saw him sitting along the fence. what mother ignores their own child, i ask?? questionable, i tell you! so josh lovingly moved him to the center of the action. he was so excited to be able to see better until david almost stepped on him! atrocious, this behavior! seriously, someone call dhs! 
look how close he is, yet, so far away from attaining a true position as part of the family. 
miller helping avery open gifts as he did at carter's party. and then, look, what does avery see?
bunny!! oh, bunny! someone in the tillman family loves you! look how excited they both are to be reunited! bunny, we trust avery will make sure you are taken care of until you are returned! thank you, avery, for showing bunny the love and respect he deserves! 

and, happy birthday, avery! i know jennifer will post more pics as soon as she gets them from josh! see now he is delaying their blog, too!


what makes my heart happy

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Wednesday, October 8

abc family is currently showing season 5 of my absolute favorite tv series ever! it is the beginning of my evander holyfield and, one of my favorite episodes ever, but not as cute as pushkin. if you have never watched or if you love it as much as i do, set your dvr. your heart will thank you!

this is . . .

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. . . what happens when josh tries to take pictures of our children. these are the best 3 of at least 50. people comment on pictures of our children, but are they both in the picture? are they standing still or action shots? are they looking at the camera? usually, the answer is no, no, no. occasionally, there is one yes. so, we take what we get and what we get is them being them. and, we love it!
the plastic food in miller's hands are his sacred cheeseburger, french fries and brown cookie or as he says "b-burger, fren fries and bown doodie."
so sweet
too cute

you don't feel so bad now, do you?? i didn't think so. 

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