Thursday, February 26, 2009

It's a piece of cake to bake a pretty cake...

When you've got three kids, you're supposed to at least pretend to be an adult. Which means that bright pink hair is out. This is unfortunate, since this clip from Lazy Town really makes me want to dye my hair P-I-N-K. And for those of you who have been fooled into thinking I'm somewhat conservative, I have had just about every color of hair under the sun. Including purple. But never pink. And now I want it!

I've also had this song stuck in my head all day, since Katie and Paul wanted to watch it about a million times last night. How did I grow up without You Tube?

On the Catwalk...

Katie LOVES to have pictures taken of her. So when I suggested we go outside to take pictures of her new outfit (from Target, and less than $20 for jeans and a shirt!), she was all over it. I had her play on the slide, and I got some adorable pictures. The lighting was a bit harsh since it was noon, but it gave me an excuse to play around in Lightroom (hence the very post-processed look in the last picture). This was one of the few times when Katie didn't insist on having an extremely fake smile in every picture. Paul even cooperated a bit so I could get some of them together. I love how these turned out!

Saturday, February 21, 2009


I love LOLCats. Aaron laughs at me, but I find them ridiculously funny sometimes. Maybe you just have to be in the mood...dunno.

Baby Essentials

So I've been given the go-ahead to make a big announcement....
Ready for this???
going to be an AUNT!!! (And you thought I was going to say I was pregnant! HA!)

My sister Heather is expecting October 5th, and this will be the first niece/nephew for Aaron and me. Which means our kids will finally have cousins! So in order to celebrate, I thought I would do what I do best...go shopping! But virtually. Sorry Heather.

So here are our MUST HAVES:

We have not one, but two, of the original Diaper Genie. I think I would die without one. Making a trip out to the big garbage can is not feasible every time you have a poopy diaper, and these really do keep the smell out.

The Boppy has to be one of the most wonderful things in the entire world. They have so many uses: you can sit on them post-baby (and trust me, Heather, you'll need it), they're ideal for nursing, great for propping the baby up on, and it's perfect for older siblings who want to play house. Plus you can get all sorts of fab (and washable!) covers! Tell me that this isn't completely adorable:

Next item on our list:

You definitely need a really great carrier. I much prefer the wrap to the Baby Bjorn type of carrier. It's much more comfortable for me, and it holds the baby closer, so you're not spilling the baby when you lean down to unload the dishwasher. And loveyduds on Etsy has a million darling fabrics you can choose from!

In a similar vein, you'll definitely want a nursing cover. You can buy them all over the place, but make sure it has boning in the neckline and an adjustable strap. Also be sure to get a lightweight one. You're body temperature is naturally high when you're nursing, and you'll be boiling with a baby and a blanket. You can order a nursing cover to match your wrap at loveyduds (if you're into that thing, and you know that I am).

And for our last non-obvious essential:

Get a really nice Pack and Play. Really, don't skimp on this one. Ours have slept in this instead of a crib until they were quite old (at least 9 months), and I have loved it. It's much smaller than a full-size crib, so you can fit it in a lot more places. In addition, when you go on trips, they're already in their own bed, so you don't have a real adjustment period. And we use all the additional features, including the music and vibrations. It just makes life that much easier.

So now I have an assignment for everyone who reads my blog: what are your baby essentials? Link us up! And stay tuned for part II: Really, really really cute stuff that is not essential, but it becomes so once you see how adorable it is.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Corsage

I've had a request for pictures of the extremely sassy corsage Aaron made for me. It was a scarf/boa with flower bunches in the end, enabling me to swing them around seductively (not!) and toss them over my shoulders.
Here's Aaron putting it together:

And the only picture of me with the "corsage" where I don't have a massive double chin:

Monday, February 16, 2009

Party Animals

Our friend Rachael throws the best parties of anyone I've ever met. Not only are they always amazingly decorated with delicious food, but everyone always has fun. And Friday night was no exception. Rachael and Clint hosted a couples-only Valentine's Day party, and it was a riot. I don't think I've laughed that hard in a long time.

Each of the guys had to make a corsage for their wives; ours won for "Most Sassy." Well deserved, Aaron. He's the artistic one in the family. Sprechen sie sassy!

Here's a sampling of the other corsages:

The highlight of the evening was definitely the Truth or Dare game. Jessica was extremely excited that we were going to play this; she suggested that "15 Minutes in Heaven" be one of the dares. Apparently the time has more than doubled since I was in middle school (not that I ever did that, Mom and Dad!!). The truth questions were done in the style of The Newlywed Game and were very fun. The crowd favorite, though, was definitely the dares. Rachael, ever the planner, had come up with some fantastic dares.

Here are the Picketts and the McMurtreys catching marshmallows:

The Rhineers reenacting their first kiss:

Jess putting lipstick on Jessica while blindfolded:

The end result:

Lorilynn and Sarah had to identify which legs were their husbands'. Poor Sarah was so embarrassed. But both of them guessed right!

Dave and Muffin performing a Valentine's cheer. Totally impressive moves, guys!

At the end of the evening, we used points we had earned from the games to bid on Valentine's-themed gifts that everyone had brought. Our gracious hostess/auctioneer:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

A stimulus by any other name...

I've become very tired of hearing soundbites of President Obama trying to "promote" (read "strong-arm and bully") passage of the stimulus package. He sounds like a petulant child who is unused to not getting his way. Although his election was hardly the mandate the Democratic Party spins it as (less than 53% of the popular vote), Obama confidently strode into the White House, anticipating easy passage of all of his pet projects. Now that his so-called stimulus package has met resistance in both the House and Senate, he's throwing a tantrum. When accused that his stimulus bill is actually merely a spending spree, he responded, "What do you think a stimulus is? That's the whole point!", Mr. Obama. That's not what a stimulus is.

In the most basic sense, a stimulus is targeted spending by the federal government designed to promote economic growth and aid in recovery. It's not an engine to pass every Democratic pet program they've been trying to get through Congress in the last 40 years. $335 million set aside for condoms and sexually explicit "STD prevention" programs is not "stimulus." There's $50 million for the National Endowment of the Arts to help "the arts community throughout the United States;" the NEA has never been what one would consider an engine of economic growth. Head Start receives $2.8 billion--let's get those toddlers to work!

An astounding $20 billion (!!!!) is going to the food stamp program, not to mention billions upon billions of dollars going to other welfare programs. This is the direct opposite of a stimulus. As any econ 101 student can tell you, the more attractive you make unemployment (in this case, by increasing welfare benefits), the more people will choose to be unemployed. Not stimulating.

Obama, Biden and their minions have been tirelessly promoting a quick passage of this bill. I can tell you why they want quick passage: that way, no one truly has a chance to examine the contents. The United States Congress was deliberately designed to work slowly. As annoying as it may be when a critical piece of legislation is held up on one floor or the other, it is far worse to have a shoddy piece of legislation hastily passed through without proper vetting. I can think of three examples (without even trying hard) of poor legislation that was rushed through Congress: the PATRIOT Act, No Child Left Behind, and, most recently, the Consumer Products Safety Improvement Act (another blogpost entirely). In each example, these massive acts of legislation had unintended and very serious negative consequences. When lawmakers are encouraged to bypass the standard vetting procedures, the results are disastrous.

I'm not denying that something needs to happen. But gigantic spending sprees with little or no thought given to the outcome will do nothing more than bring stunning deficits and tighter chains by the federal government. Kudos to those Republicans who voted no on this bill. And shame on those in the Senate who are said to support the revised (but still lacking in stimulus) bill. While I have not been a particularly proud member of the Republican party in the last few years, at least I can say that they made the right decision in this instance. When responding to criticism, Nancy Pelosi famously said, "We won the election; we wrote the bill." That's not change, Nancy. That's more of the same.

Friday, February 6, 2009


Here are some of my latest layouts. I know they seem a little Averi-heavy, but the kits my designers have been putting out lately really lend themselves to baby pictures. Don't worry; I still love my other kids just as much!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

I'm going to kill my kids!

They are in destruct-o mode today. First Katie emptied the entire bottle of handsoap (which is PURPLE--never buying that again) all over the bathroom sink and the handtowels. This was done deliberately. Then she peed on the floor (not deliberately, but still frustrating), including her pants and socks, necessitating yet another load of laundry. And just now I found the 2 of them in their bathroom, squirting their toothpaste all over the floor AND LICKING IT OFF!! Gross! And that toddler toothpaste is so expensive!!! I'm going to go nuts!

ETA: Funny how I can go from completely in love (see previous post) to fuming in a matter of minutes. Kids will do that to you.

I'm totally in love...

with this girl. Do they come any cuter than this? And she's such a sweetheart. She is ALWAYS smiling. Even when she's sad, she tries so hard to smile and be happy. She could melt even the coldest heart--even mine when she decides to wake up at 6:30 in the morning!