Monday, October 31

Boo for Halloween

Here are the highlights of our Halloween weekend/day:

- I had been planning to take Dylan for over a month to the Vintage Township Fall Festival Carnival as his little Trick-Or-Treat night, but discovered an hour beforehand that it was the night before. We missed it.

- Decided to take him to one at the Tech Campus that night (Saturday) to one we found out about online. It was game time. Bad traffic. The event was horrible and in a small dark room. The college kids scared him with their scary masks. He cried. We left.

- We were told several times that our "little girl is the cutest thing," and "she is so adorable!"

- Took a few pictures of him in his costume since we were certain he would never let us touch him with it again. He hated the feathers in his face.

- Made my favorite Pumpkin cupcakes and even got out all of the garbage to decorate them all nicely, went to change a diaper, came back into the kitchen, and half the batch of cupcakes were missing with a dog licking his lips. He even ate the paper wrappers. Oh, and Dylan's lunch that was on the counter.

- Helped Mark clean the garage on Sunday. Dylan had fun helping and running freely in the garage. He fell. Skinned his nose on the cement and banged his head for the 10th time that day.

- Got a text message on Monday afternoon from Mark to tell me that he was on crutches and did something to his knee. He went to the doctor and they determined a torn Meniscus. He has an MRI on Wednesday evening and we will know more after that. Possible surgery. He is "wounded" and "helpless".

- I made up some cute boxed pumpkin cupcakes with Halloween stickers and a nice big bowl of candy for trick-or-treators. We had one come to the door. Yes, one. Just one.

- Decided that before it got too late since Monkey was in a good mood, to try and put his costume on him and take him a couple of doors down to trick-or-treat. He loved it. He rode in his wagon.

One year ago...


Check out his battle wounds. They are hard to miss. ;)

Friday, October 28

Halloween treats

I had a little time (sort of) to put some little Halloween treat baggies together on behalf of Dylan for his cousins this year. I don't like just giving candy because having so much candy is overwhelming and a lot of it gets thrown out anyway. I got to thinking of other candy alternatives that could be a treat and I found these cute Firefly toothbrushes!

When you push the bottom up on the toothbrush, it lights up and flashes for 1-minutes. It is intended to teach them how long to brush their teeth, while making it fun. You push it 2 times, 1-minute on the bottom teeth, 1-minute for the top teeth. I hope they enjoy them. I kept one for Dylan, too! :)

Friday Favorites

1. Old Navy Rock Star Jeggings - 

I bought these fully prepared to return them once I tried them on. Well, they came in the mail yesterday and I pranced around in them so happy, trying on all of my winter boots over them. I love them! They make me want to buy more and more winter boots (I already have tons)! Now, I'm not saying that jeggings are for everyone, but I am really pleased with how well these fit and how comfortable they are! Right now, you can get 25% off online if you use promo code: ONSAVE25

2. Pumpkin Cupcakes - 

These are my favorite cupcakes to make! I haven't even had a chance to make them yet, but I will! They are so good! Kids gobble them up, too! However, if you are one of those like my mother that try to substitute ingredients, like using Splenda instead of granulated sugar, don't do it. She attempted to make these by doing that and they turned out awful (sorry, Mom!). So, follow the recipe. You will not be disappointed. I bought those cute little pumpkins to go on top of mine, too! :)


  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon coarse salt
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
  • 1 cup packed light-brown sugar
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, melted and cooled
  • 4 large eggs, lightly beaten
  • 1 can (15 ounces) pumpkin puree


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line cupcake pans with paper liners; set aside. In a medium bowl, whisk together flour, baking soda, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, and allspice; set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, whisk together, brown sugar, granulated sugar, butter, and eggs. Add dry ingredients, and whisk until smooth. Whisk in pumpkin puree.
  3. Divide batter evenly among liners, filling each about halfway. Bake until tops spring back when touched, and a cake tester inserted in the center comes out clean, 20 to 25 minutes, rotating pans once if needed. Transfer to a wire rack; let cool completely.

Now for the icing...


  • 8 ounces cream cheese
  • 8 tablespoons (1 stick) unsalted butter, room temperature
  • 2 cups confectioners' sugar, sifted
  • 2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract


  1. Place cream cheese in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Beat on medium speed until smooth. Add butter, and beat until fluffy.
  2. Reduce speed to low; gradually add sugar, and continue beating until light and fluffy. Add vanilla, and mix to combine

Wednesday, October 26

Apple pickin'

We took Dylan to the apple orchard today! He got to ride for the first time in his new big boy car seat, thanks to Nonnie & Duke! He loves facing forward and look at him holding his favorite baby rattle! It's the rattle they gave us at the hospital when he was born and says, "Shake this rattle, not your baby!" Makes me laugh. Not like shaking babies is funny, just... well, nevermind. It's his favorite.

This was a first time to the apple orchard for all three of us. To be honest, we were a bit disappointed. Mark and I both had this vision of a festive apple place (kind of like a Cracker Barrel type setting) with country/old time music playing and fun things all around. Well, it wasn't. It was basically a little hole-in-the-wall building with a restaurant in the back room (I don't know if it could be called a 'restaurant' because I doubt it would pass any food codes.) We did plan on eating there, but soon changed our minds. The apples were also a little disappointing, too. It wasn't anyone's fault, just no rain = bad cotton crops & apples. They were teeny tiny apples this year, but that is O.K. We still went and picked some and Dylan enjoyed it.

He did not want to be carried around or hold our hands to walk. He wanted to be a big boy and walk all by himself. So, we let him. He fell. Ate dirt. Literally.

He didn't cry, though. He just popped right back up, all covered in brown and kept on going. 

We brushed him off a little bit and Mark decided the walk was taking a bit too long due to tiny legs and feet following us. So, since he wouldn't let us carry him, Mark scooped him up and put him in the bucket with the apples we picked. He liked riding in the bucket a lot and just stood there.

Once we got back to the front, we had him pose with a pumpkin and look at the little pond of water they had. He had a good time and that means we all had a good time! :)

Tuesday, October 25

Random Things

I have been meaning to blog about some of these things, but they don't ever seem to fit in with the other posts. So, instead, I decided to be even more unorganized and just blog about all of the random things going on around here all together.
Dylan has been mostly spotted in disposable diapers lately. (gasp!) He actually started to get a diaper rash a couple of weeks ago and I couldn't tell if it was a rash, or some scrapes/cuts from his little fingers when he immeditaely grabs his junk every time I change him. During his birthday weekend, my mom and I noticed it get kind of bad and it was clearly bothering him. We thought about it and think that we came up with a reason. See, in order to keep my cloth diapers sparkling clean, I had been rubbing this all over them after cleaning them.

Well, we think that maybe it wasn't getting fully washed out of the diapers and causing him a rash. I washed the diapers three times this weekend and started him back in them today. He still has signs of a small rash, but I am just going to keep applying his rash cream and keep an eye on it. Hopefully, things down there will get back to normal.

Speaking of "no.2," things were so regular with Dylan and have seem to gone all weird lately. He seems to go every single time I give him any solid food, which can be 3-4 times a day (another reason he might have a rash). I am not sure what's causing it. The only thing I can think of was when I have been trying to introduce whole milk to him. Maybe it is upsetting his tummy? I don't know.

Now on to the milk talk...

He will drink the whole milk. It isn't his favorite, but he will drink it. Not a lot of it, but some. If I give him some in his cup with his lunch, he will take drinks of it. However, if I try to give him whole milk instead of a bottle, he just cries and points that he wants his bottle of formula. I don't know the correct way of transitioning him off of his formula and bottles. I feel like I am starving him and feel so bad when he cries and points that he wants a bottle! If anyone has advice on this, I would love to hear it! Seriously!

Well, I had to give up on my cute little baby sleeping door sign today and go for the ghetto bitch paper I slapped on the door.

I get so irritated with the people that come to the door and just have no shame! They see the sign (assumming that they can read), but they still ring to doorbell, or knock on the door, or every. single. day. the mail lady shoves the mail through the slot, even though she knows and can hear Hurley go crazy and bark in attack mode. It isn't them waking Dylan up, but he wakes up when he hears Hurley go crazy and they are making him do that! That's why there is a sign. Ugh. We'll see if this ghetto sign makes any difference. (Howeve, the UPS man that comes every. single. day. -haha- he knows to just drop the package at the door and scatdaddle on out. He is awesome. Thank you, UPS!)

On to another thing, hs anyone watched The Rosie Show on OWN? I'm not sure what I think of it.

I used to really like the Rosie Show when it was a day time show. Then, she joined The View, got all angry, then got all lesbian angry, and now I am not sure what I think. I have tried to watch it three times, but end up changing it. It's like a mix up of The Oprah Show and her old day time show. One minute, she is sitting down having a deep-conversation with a guest, then she is playing games with audience members. It's weird to me.

Tomorrow we are planning to take Dylan to the apple orchard. I have always wanted to go and never have. It should be fun. They are going to have apples for picking, pumpkin patches, and more. Hopefully, I'll get some cute pictures! 

Sunday, October 23


Saturday evening, we took Dylan to a pumpkin patch. He was very interested and excited to see all of the pumpkins! He explored all over the place by himself and Mark and I were mainly just there to grab him when he would try to steal some one's wagon. He tried several times and we apologized several times.

When he wasn't trying to steal wagons, he was busy trying to pick large pumpkins up, or roll them. He wouldn't make it very far. Actually, he didn't make them move an inch, but it was cute to watch him grunt and try to lift them.

I didn't end up buying any pumpkins. I had originally planned to get a small pumpkin for Dylan, but they were either too small or too big. I will look for the perfect size pumpkin for him when we take him to the Apple Orchard this week! :)

Friday, October 21

Friday favorites

1. Save On Crafts website - visit HERE

I just discovered this website by clicking on a pin on Pinterest. It has all sorts of things for decorating for a wedding, shower, event, party, or even your home. Check out the 'SPECIALS' section and get ready to go insane at how cheap some of the stuff is!

2. Pure ICE 'Free Fall' nail polish -

I went to paint my toe nails the other day and randomly picked up a brand new bottle out of my stash I had never seen before. It was really weird. I don't remember even buying this and haven't purchased any nail polish in a very long time, either. The color looked a little tacky bright to me at first, but I decided to try it out. It looked AWESOME! I love it and have already gotten a ton of compliments on it and have no idea where it came from! I am assuming that someone bought it for me? Maybe a gift from a former student? I honestly can't think of where it came from! If you know, please tell me because it's really bothering me that I can't remember! I ended up googling the name and found that Wal-Mart sells it. Hmmm.

Thursday, October 20

Our "Schedule"

I am not sure if I am the only strange person that does this, but when I meet another stay-at-home-mom, I always ask what they do during the day. It may be the teacher in me that likes to be organized and have a plan or agenda to follow each day, but I really try to stick to a schedule and find new things to do with Dylan. I feel like it must be so boring for him to just stay at home and play with the same toys, see the same person, and watch the same T.V. shows. Having the swing set built now has really helped and I try to take him out there to play at least once a day.

Since the weather has been cooling down some, I am thinking about taking him and Hurley on walks in the morning, but sometimes I get scared that another dog that is loose or roaming will come up to us and do something. I am not scared for me or Dylan, haha, I am scared that something might happen to Hurley if he got in a fight or something. I know, weird. Maybe I should carry some form of protection. Anyway, in case anyone is curious about what we do for a daily "schedule" now, here it is:

8:00 - Wake-up, change diaper, have a morning bottle and watch T.V. (Mickey Mouse Clubhouse)
8:30 - 9:00 - Mommy eats cereal and sometimes gives Dylan a little snack, like toast.
9:00 - 11:00 - Free time/play with toys/ watch T.V. (I think that this would be a good time to go on a walk)
11:00 - Have an afternoon bottle and take a nap (Mommy gets dressed and does stuff)
1:00 - Wake up, eat lunch together
2:00 - Get Dylan dressed
2:30 - Go somewhere, run errands (Target, Grocery store, etc.) or play outside
3:30 - Come home and have a bottle
4:30 - Take a nap
6:30 - Eat dinner
7:00 - Play with toys, play with Daddy since he is home now
8:00 - Take a bath, put jammies on, play with toys
9:00 - 9:30 - Night time bottle and watch T.V.
10:00 - Bed time

* This is all "-ish" times and naps, meaning, it doesn't always happen at that time, and the naps, well, they don't always happen. Sometimes, he is very grumpy and it takes me a good 45 minutes to try and get him to sleep.

I really do need to incorporate more fun stuff in our day. I am glad the birthday party planning is over and I can start something else. Oh, and once again, thank goodness for the swing set that Daddy built him!

(This is Dylan "testing" me. I kept telling him "No, sit down." and he was being very sassy back to me and trying to be a dare devil! I wonder where all of that comes from? O.K., dare devil = Mark, Sassy= me)

Sunday, October 16

Monkey's 1st Birthday Extravaganza!

What you've all been waiting for... Dylan's 1st Birthday Party! We had a great time! Lots of friends and family came to celebrate the big day with us and we felt very loved. I think since there were so many people over at the house and weird things going on (decorating, etc.) it really threw Dylan off of his schedule and we had many fussy times on our hands. He wasn't getting enough naps, and when he did, he wasn't sleeping long enough. That was probably because one of us ended up making too much noise trying to get everything ready and it woke him up, but for the most part, he did great! He was full of life during his party and loved having all of the familiar faces over at his house! I can say that all of the time, effort, work, and stress put into this party paid off. We were literally working our tails off right up until 4:59 (party started at 5:00). We started planning and getting things prepared for the party the first week of August. Here is the outcome...

I will try to point out all of the details in the pictures, however, there are some things not pictured that I will share, as well. Below, you will see the two cakes that I made. The small cake with the number 1 on it was Dylan special smash cake. Everyone else ate the giant monkey cake that I made. The monkey topper was sculpted from fondant and the rest of the cake is decorated with butter cream icing. The two apothecary jars are filled with blue raspberry gummi bears and cherry red and white gummi rings. The bulk candy and colorful paper straws were ordered from Amazon. One of the party favors and activities for the kids (some big kids, too) was to decorate a plain white sock monkey to take home with them. I made all of the sock monkeys and it was a very stressful fun job. OK, yes, it was stressful and not easy. I think one sock monkey is enough work, but I ended up making 20 of them. There were fabric markers available for them to color their monkeys with and they turned out great!

The chandelier was covered with turquoise, light blue, dark blue, and red paper lanterns and balloons. It looked amazing when you turned the lights on and they were all lit up, however, they only were turned on for a few minutes before they started to heat the balloons up too much and they started popping. Dylan's birthday boy outfit was made by me. I also made his matching party hat. The water bottle labels were printed on sticker paper and attached to the bottles for a nice detail. The second party favor was the Monkeys in a Barrel game that came in various colors for each person to take home with them, as well. Guests were also sent home with small cake boxes filled with extra cake labeled with stickers, "Dylan's 1st Birthday Cake To-Go," but somehow, it was one of the many things I did not take a photo of. Also not pictured were the sno cones from Bahama Bucks, which were a huge hit and did a good job at staining every one's mouth blue and red.

Our gift to Dylan was a swing set. We had planned way back when I was in the hospital after having him that I wanted a swing set built for him and it was up to Mark (and my Dad's help) to build him one. Well, they both kept putting it off and then finally gave-in to the idea only 2-months ago. Mark worked his tail off on this swing set and it was a huge, HUGE, project! He would go to work early in the morning and as soon as he came home that evening, he wouldn't even come inside. He would head straight outback and start working on the swing set until it got too dark to see, or when he thought the tools might wake the neighbors up.

At first, we planned on a simple, plain swing set, but really, this was a Mark and Kari project and nothing is simple and plain about our projects. What is really amazing about this swing set, was that Mark had no plans to follow. He based everything off one one small picture on the front of a catalog and made it happen. I am so proud of him and so happy that Dylan (and other children) have something so amazing to play and make memories on. Take a look for yourself and go ahead, be jealous of my husband. You should be. He is awesome. He is handy. He is mine. :)

Dylan got to go outside 3 times today and loved it! (2 out of the 3, he fell asleep in his sweet baby swing from Aunt Kristen!)

We had such a special day that we will never forget! Thank you to anyone that helped to make this day possible and those that came to share the memories with us! If you would like to know about how or where I got something for the party, ask away! I'll be glad to share! :)

Thursday, October 13

A whole year...

 (oh boy! - if you look close enough, you can see his birthday surprise in the back ground that his Daddy is making!)

I cannot believe that Monkey is a whole number 1 today! I could get extremely emotional if I think too much about it! I'm fighting back tears right now (literally). I honestly don't even know that to write. Should I get really mushy and talk about the day he was born? Or, just cut to the chase, post his 12-month pictures, and talk about all he is doing now? Really, I don't know. I honestly cannot believe how much my life has changed within a year. Actually, I cannot believe how much control I have given up and given to this little guy. He is the one in charge now and he has developed quite a little personality! He isn't a baby anymore...

- He doesn't just walk, he can run. (especially when I ask him if I can change his diaper)

- He can say: "Momma," Dadda," "Key-co" (Chiko), "Hu-ee" (Hurley), "ess" (yes), "dee" (drink), "out," "Dayee!" (Dylan - he points to the baby on the Baby Einstein videos that rides the rhino and thinks that it is him!), "Mmmm" (yum), "tee" (tree), "Moo," "Hi," and "Bye"

- Prefers to drink from a big boy cup

- Likes to hold his own bottle

- Has learned to use a spoon (dips it in the bowl and then slowly turns it around, spilling all of the food on it, and puts it in his mouth)

- He understands what things are; If I tell him to go get his ball, he goes and picks up his ball, and if I tell him to put on his shoes, he runs to his red chair and sits down and lets me put his shoes on him.

- He still drinks 4 to 5 bottles a day of formula

- He has tried big boy milk and likes it!

- He eats buttered toast, macaroni, peas, hamburger bits, chocolate chip cookies, chicken nugget bits, grilled cheese sandwiches, and pizza (his favorite!)

- He loves to go outside

- He hates diaper changes and they have become an Olympic sport for his Mommy

- He laughs at things on TV now

- He dances and claps his hands

- He climbs and holds his hand out when he needs help stepping down on something

- He throws the ball for Hurley and gives him his cookies

- He not only loves watching me vacuum, he tries to jump on it now, too!

- He loves Chiko very much and is learning to pet her nicely (mostly pokes her in the eye)

- When Mommy says, "Nuh uh!" He waves his hand back and forth and says, "Nuh! uh! uh! uh! uhh!"

- He can give hugs and kisses

- He tries to blow out candles and blow kisses

- If we point to something, he points

- He picks out books and then brings them to us to read to him

- He throws fits (sits down and bangs his head on the ground between his legs, then cries because his head hurts)

- He loves it when I put ice in his cups

- He goes to bed at 10:00 and wake up at 8:00

- He pushes everything and has started to learn to ride his dinosaur toy

Coming soon...


Friday, October 7

Friday Favorites

1. Tiny Toms

Since Dylan has been walking, he likes to get down outside and I always put shoes on his feet so he doesn't step on something or get bit by the ants. He has a pair of velcro Converse, but they are so heavy and have such a flat bottom, they were difficult for him to walk in. The only other pair that he had (that fits) was a pair of squeaker shoes. He loves these things and just stands and stomps his feet really fast because they squeak, but I would have to tie the shoe laces and then they would come untied immediately. So, I went ahead and decided to order a pair of Tiny TOMS. I was actually hesitant because they are $28 +shipping for a pair of baby shoes! Well, they are worth it! They are the only shoes that I can slip on his moving little legs and let him go. He loves them and walks in them so easily. Plus, they are so stylish. He gets compliments everywhere we go! He has a pair of red, white, and now I was finally able to get some navy blue Bimini's. The Bimini's have been out of stock for months now and really difficult to find, but Nordstrom got them back on their website and in his size! Plus, Nordstrom now offers free shipping on all of their orders! :)

The picture below is of the Tiny TOMS Bimini shoe. You can purchase those here
If you would like to purchase from the TOMS website, I have a $5 off code that you can use on any purchase here. ($5 off promotional code: CC47)

2. EQ Printables Inkjet Fabric Sheets

You just print on these sheet of fabric like normal paper through your printer, wash it, and then sew it on! It's that easy and really works! I have been using them to print Double T's on and then sewing them on clothing because the Double T's are really difficult to make otherwise. It turns out really good and I love it! I have also made some clothing labels on the fabric sheet and cut it out and sew them on the clothing I make, too. You can buy it here.

3. Brother SE400 Computerized Embroidery & Sewing Machine

I've only had it a few days and I love it! I had been sewing on my mom's sewing machine to learn and they bought me this one for my birthday. Once I finally started messing around on it (learned to just sew straight stitches, etc. on scrap fabric) it put her old machine to shame. Really. I am so impressed because there are people that pay 10 times (literally) as much on a machine for it to do the things this one does. It is on sale at Amazon here and also qualifies for free two-day shipping if you are a Prime member like I suggest everyone should be. I purchased a couple of embroidery designs from this website last night to see if they downloaded on the sewing machine easily and worked and they did! I just followed the instructions on the CD that came with the machine and it was really simple. If you are thinking about getting a sewing machine, I strongly suggest this one. It is a great price even for a boring straight-stitch machine, but it also embroiders!

Here is a picture of my machine at work. I was just standing there watching it and get really excited.