Monday, February 28, 2011

I don't know how they do it

I never wanted kids. Seriously. I did not grow up baby sitting. I did not have a lot of younger cousins to watch over. I am not sure I even played with baby dolls. It is not that I didn't like babies, I mean I am not heartless or anything. I just didn't want kids.

In college, when I got super serious with my now husband, I used to have trouble breathing at the thought of getting married...mainly because I thought that meant kids would come next. And I didn't want kids.

Well, long story short, my heart changed as I got older. Slowly but surely my heart changed to the point of having an actual argument with my husband one night because I was ready to start trying for children and he wasn't. Wow, things had really changed.

Well, obviously, we had kids. Two adorable kids. They are wonderful. I cannot imagine my life without them.

After weeks like last week I also cannot imagine life without my husband. After long days at work, he came home to fussy, sick kids and just went into parenting rockstar mode. Then into the night he would take turns with me as we got up with both sick kids. Over and over again. Not a single complaint. Seriously. Even when I was crabby and fussy too. Not a complaint.

This is what our baby looked like a lot this week. Fever and teething. And now a cough. Boo.

He also cooks and cleans on a daily basis and gives me a day off without the kids every Saturday. I mean my. world.

Enough bragging. This post is not meant to be about my family. It is meant to honor and uplift all the single moms out there. They don't have a rockstar spouse to pull the weight when the weeks are rough. I seriously do not know how you do it. Just the thought of single parenting is both terrifying and inspiring to me. On a good week, single moms have it tough. On a bad week, they have it really rough.

Honestly, think about it. They undoubtably work some sort of full time job and then pick up kids and head home to fix dinner and get them to bed. No playtime. No let-me-stop-and-check-facebook time. No time to un-wind after a day at work. After the child(ren) are in bed single moms are surely doing housework and laundry and making grocery lists. Since there is no time during the week, I am certain the weekend is filled with errands and hopefully a little fun with the child(ren).

Here is our daughter this week. She had a nasty something or other. Fever for 4 days. She felt bad and was super ugly about it. A true pleasure to be around.

Getting a day off without the kids? Nope. Having someone else cook and clean with you or for you? Nope. They do it all.

Now imagine a bad week. One where a child (or mom!) is sick. There are deadlines at work. Bills are overdue. A car needs repair. Imagine all the "normal" week stuff plus this bad stuff. Seriously? How is it even possible? And yet they do it all the time.

I am constantly wishing there were more hours in the day. Can you imagine how single mom's feel? I am in awe of their spirit, determination, work ethic, parenting ability and overall ability to keep things together. You women absolutly inspire me. Honestly, there is not a day that goes by that I do not think of how single moms are dealing with the situations that I am in. I am such a most situations. I am also pretty helpless a lot of the time. I am certain that I would fail miserably as a single mom.

This post is turning into such a downer. It wasn't supposed to. This is supposed to be a rush of praise for single moms. I hope that you get what I am trying to say. To all you single moms out there: You are amazing! I pray that you all have some sort of support system whether it be family or great friends. I pray that you get some sort of respit from your child(ren) whether it be a little time away or just really great behavior. I pray that your money would miraculously go further. Most of all I pray that you would feel encouraged as you continue doing what you are doing.

Are any of you out there single moms? If you are I would love for you to leave me a comment so that I can encourage you personally a little.


Friday, February 25, 2011

In my mailbox

Yesterday was day number three of fever for my daughter. So we stayed home. You can read about it on my family blog here. Prediction: Today is going to be more of the same. Boo.

The highlight of my day was when the UPS man delivered my Amazon order. I got these in the mail.

My ABC Bible Verses- This book was recommended to me by a friend. It is designed to get preschoolers started with scripture memorization. I am really excited about it. After flipping through it I think Emy is really going to love it. We have been reading our bibles together after breakfast and I think this will be something fun to add in. I am terrible at scripture memorization so I am secretely hoping that mommy gets some things memorized too:)

Understanding Exposure-  I have head about this book from lots and lots and lots of different people...some I know and some I don't. Point being, I have been eyeing it forever. I finally just took the plunge and ordered it. I am so pumped about it. Now, I just have to find the time to read it.


Thursday, February 24, 2011

I did it again

Well, with a sick kiddo, we spent most of yesterday at home. We only got out to go to the doctor. I wasn't able to get much of anything done between tending to her and taking care of the baby. There was a small window of about an hour that they were both asleep. Since I have been on an organizing/purging kick lately, I decided to tackle another project that has been weighing on me. (You probably all think I live in filth and I promise I don't)
This is our home office area. It is a built in that is right off the kitchen so it is in plain view all the time. Since I run two businesses from home in addition to all the regular bills and stuff, this area collects a lot of stuff.

 Isn't this just overwhelming to look at?

 My two to-do lists and calendar and ultra dirty cell phone.
 This basket is my catch-all after I pay bills I dump them in here before filing or shredding. They sit in here until it is full and then I start over again. Terrible habit, I know.

Like with the other times, I started by taking most of the stuff out and sorting. Again, I had a big trash bag of stuff to throw out. Side note: Isn't it just ridiculous the amount of stuff we hold on to? I am constantly amazed by this! I truly believe that if we got rid of half the stuff we owned we would A. not miss it and B. feel so much more free.

Anyways, I spent about 40 minutes sorting and organizing. I started putting stuff back together and decided to move our monstrous printer to a different location. It is just too big for this tiny desk. It works out okay because it is a wireless printer that we don't even use everyday or every other day for that matter.

Even though it was a small project the end result gives me such relief. It is still not beautiful to look at but it is so much better. And most importantly, I can find things again!

Has anyone else been organizing?

Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Mystery Illness

Sorry for the absence over here. My daughter is sick and we are trying to prevent the baby from getting it. I know that is a near impossible feat, so here's to hoping for the best.
I took her to the pediatrician this morning because her fever has been creeping up over the past couple days. He tested her for strep, flu and rsv. Thankfully she tested negative for all three but that means that we are just sitting and waiting while we treat it like a mystery virus. I hate not knowing.
I was sure that it was strep. She is complaining of a sore throat, says it hurts to drink oj, has a high fever and slight cough but other than that seems pretty ok. Yesterday we were even out playing in the park and I snapped some pictures. Yesterday she only had a low grade fever but things are headed downhill and the symptoms have started to pile on.
It amazes me that she looked like this yesterday. How quickly things change.
Whatever it is, I just hope it moves through our household quickly. I don't want sick kiddos for spring break. That would truly be no fun.
Anyways, I am trying to get some fun stuff lined up for interesting posts in the next couple weeks. I know you are all sick of hearing about my family "stuff". Speaking of, anyone have a tutorial or article they need a forum to share it? I would love to have you author something if interested. Contact me at

Monday, February 21, 2011

Happy President's Day

Well, I almost missed it (to many of you I will have) but Happy President's Day. I hope that you had the day off from work or school or whatever. My husband did but my daughter still had school. This was unusual. Hubby and I were looking forward to having a relaxing morning with just the baby and then just kind of hanging around. Didn't happen.

Thursday and Friday we experienced our computer crashing. Twice. Luckily it came back to life both times. It did tell us that we need to get a new computer. And fast. So, after a full Saturday of birthday parties and baseball games I went and bought a new computer. It was super easy because my dad did all the research and comparison shopping for me (thanks dad!) and told me where to go and what to get. I walked in, told them what I wanted and walked out within 10 minutes. Easy peasy.

I spent Saturday night and some of Sunday getting software downloaded and files transfered. After a lot of time and effort our new computer was perfect. Almost. You see I spent Sunday night editing photos for a friend. I promised to deliver her CD of images on Monday morning. I went to burn the disc only to find that the CD drive is not operating correctly. Seriously?

I mess with it. And mess with it some more. Nope, not working. At this point it is late and I go to bed. This morning I wake up and it is the same story. Nice. Really nice. I call the store that I bought it from and let them know that my new computer that is less than 72 hours old is not working properly. The manager told me that I could bring it back with the reciept and I could exchange it for another one.

So, I painfully un-do all the work that I poured into it and set it back to factory settings. I put it and all the "stuff" that came with it into a Panera bag (we pitched the box already) and take it back to the store. They exchange it, no problem. So, my relaxing Monday turned into a school drop off, computer drama, store return and new computer set-up kind of a day. Whew. I am tired.

Oh, and I did something else of note today. I started a new business. Again.

I am sure that none of you are surprised by this. I have a true passion for photography and can't help but feel like I am being led in this direction. I have had lots of encouragement from friends and family and decided to take the plunge. Never fear, Noodles & Milk is not going anywhere. The new photography business is meant to be another side thing that helps to pay the diapers and formula fund. And also to keep me involved in something that I love.

Speaking of Noodles & Milk, I finally have a new pattern in mind. If the stars align and I can get the thing created soon, it might just be released before summer:) Trust me, it is a cutie and would make a great addition to any little girls summer wardrobe.

PS: Sabrina Gebhardt Photography is on facebook here. A blog is coming soon:)


Thursday, February 17, 2011

Sweet and Sour Meatballs

Need an idea for dinner? Here is a great recipe that we got from a sweet friend. She brought us this meal right after Ashton was born. It was so yummy that it has become part of our meal rotation. It is also super easy, so I thought I would share!
Ingredients for Meatballs:
1.5 lb ground beef (or turkey)
3/4 cup bread crumbs or stuffing mix
1 cup milk
1 large egg
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup onion (optional)
1 tbsp worchestershire sauce
1 tsp salt
dash of pepper
Ingredients for Sauce:
1/2 cup brown sugar
2 cups tomato sauce
1/4 cup white vineager
1 tbsp soy sauce
 Mix all the meatball ingredients together.
 Put spoonfuls into muffin pans to make meatballs.
 Mix all the sauce ingredients together until brown sugar is dissolved completely.
 Drizzle sauce on top and cook at 350 for 40 to 45 minutes.

 Play with your kitchen helper:)
Pour some remaining sauce on top.
The sauce is also yummy on top of mashed potatoes
(which makes a delicious side as does green beans).

Wednesday, February 16, 2011

What's in my reader

I started blogging over 3 years ago when a good friend of mine encouraged me to share about our family. Back then I had a few blogs that I kept up with but they were mostly personal friends. As time has gone by, my list of blogs that I follow has grown substantially. Many of them are still personal friends, but I have also stumbled across several that are inspiring one way or another. I now follow almost 100 blogs (thank goodness for Google Reader!) but there are a few that I always read first. Just in case you have not heard of these, I thought I would share:)
MomTog- Awesome photography blog with all kinds of good stuff.
Kerianne Brown Photography- Another amazing photographer. She posts daily images of her son that are just stunning and so inspiring.
Blue Cricket Design- Creative goodness. You can get all kinds of great ideas here.
Everyday Beautiful- The Fabric Shoppe blog. Lots of great sewing ideas and inspiration.
Lil Blue Boo- The blog for the famous shop. Owner Ashley shares business tips, photography stuff and sewing tutorials.
Ucreate- A blog filled with amazing tutorials from around the web.
Thrifty Decor Chick- This is a great place to find home ideas on the cheap. This woman has amazing ideas and stories. She and her husband just recently went through Dave Ramsey's Total Money Makeover and became debt free- they paid off $125,000!
Go check out these awesome blogs! Got any good ones to share? Feel free to leave them in a comment.

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

This one took a little longer

I got to cleaning things out again like I did a few days ago. This time the project took a little longer than 30 minutes. The hall closet has been hanging over my head for a long time. I finally tackled it today. And it felt so good. It is like a boulder has been lifted from my shoulders.
Do you see this disaster? Oh my word! Every time I opened this door I would literally hold my breath.
The great thing about this closet is that there are tons of built in shelves. The bad thing is that it is so easy to just dump stuff onto these shelves when you are in a hurry.

I took everything out and organized stuff into piles. Like last time, I just used bins and organizational stuff that I had. It took me about an hour and a half but that is partially because there was a crying baby that needed tending to several times.
 Toys stacked neatly onto a shelf.

This is the pile of stuff that came out of the closet to sell. It is mostly onesies and tshirts that I had stocked from when I did custom work in the shop.
In other news, I started our tax return yesterday. I use Turbo Tax online and have for several years. I really like it. We are still waiting for a couple small documents but overall it is looking like we will get a nice refund (it helps that we had a baby and did some energy efficient upgrading this year)! Too bad the tax return money is already spent before it arrives. Isn't that always the way? I sure wish I could use it for an exotic vacation....

Monday, February 14, 2011

There is a funny story at the end...

First of all, happy Valentine's Day! I hope that you all feel extra loved today!

How was your weekend? Mine was...well...I guess exhausting is the nicest way to put it. You see, our family was supposed to go out of town this weekend to celebrate my grandmother's 80th birthday. Towards the end of last week the baby had several rough nights in a row. He woke up pretty bad on Friday morning so we made the game-time decision that my husband would stay home with the baby.

My first instinct when we decided to make it a girls weekend was that it would be a great experience for Emerson to get some good mommy-only time. No baby brother to steal the show. Then I realized how much easier it was going to be to travel with her and not have to drag all the baby stuff along. Then I realized that it also meant I would get two full nights of sleep! As disappointed as I was that my family would not get to see the baby, I was genuinely excited about the decision and looking forward to some time alone with my girl.

I picked Emerson up from school on Friday and we were on the road. The drive down was uneventful other than the 4 pit stops we made during a normal 3.5 hour drive. I was still up beat because pit stops were no problem with me and the big girl. In and out. Easy peasy. Once we got to my dads house, the downhill descent began.

This weekend was truly one big experiement. You see, Emerson has been acting out lately in her own way. She is definitely not acting out as horribly as some toddlers do but lets keep in mind that she is a very well behaved child who really likes to follow the rules (aka brown noser). So, when she has been blatantly yelling at mommy and daddy and telling us "no", that is some serious acting out for her. I just naturally assumed that it stemmed from being jealous of Ashton. This weekend proved that wrong.

She had mommy all to herself all weekend. And let me just tell you that she was only bearable for half the time and the rest of the time she was down right awful. Just awful. It also didn't help that she was super short of sleep. She won't nap in the car anymore so Friday she had no nap. Saturday we had to leave for the birthday party super early so she only got about 45 minutes and then on the drive home today she missed another nap. So, that is a total of 45 minutes of nap when there should have been 7.5 hours of naps in 3 days. Huge. HUGE. deficit.

Let me give you an example of the fun...When I woke her up from her nap Saturday I told her that we needed to get ready for Mimi's party and we needed to sign her birthday cards. She popped right out of bed and was excited to do this. I had her valentines' day outfit all laid out (appropriate since we were celebrating Mimi's birthday which is on Valentine's day). I started to get her dressed and she flipped out. I mean screaming and crying because she didn't like her shirt. It was too big. and ugly. and she refused to wear it.

Normally I would not even mess with this battle. I truly believe in picking my battles, and clothes in my mind, are generally not worth it. Problem was that her valentines outfit was the only party outfit I packed. The birthday party was at a place with a dress code. All the other clothes I packed her were play clothes. We had no other option.

This long story to say that this was a tough weekend. Mommy is tired. Emy is tired. And we were both super glad to get home to the boys. She went to bed early tonight. And she probably will tomorrow too. She needs her sleep. And so do I.

I am also realizing that I feel like I have been complaining a lot lately. Sorry. I promise that I am normally a very positive person. I guess I have been using this as a place to vent. Oops.

To end on a better note, here is one funny story. This was the highlight of my weekend. Let me set the stage for you...Saturday evening we were celebrating the 80th birthday at my grandmothers retirement community. Our family dinner was being held in the residence dining room. (This is a super fancy place- not your run-of-the-mill retirement community). Anyways, it was still early when we got to the dining room and there were not a lot of other people down there yet. Our party got seated and we went about our business. Emerson was being really well behaved. She was sitting in between me and my mom and was coloring. I was in a conversation with someone across the table when she grabs my arm to get my attention. I turn to look at her and she has tears welled up in her eyes. She is completely frozen. I thought she might have peed in her pants or been embaressed by something. Here is what happens next:

Me: "Emerson, honey, what is wrong?"
Her: silence. just tears.
Me: "Emy, tell me what is wrong. Are you okay?"
Her: leaning in and whispering to me. "Mommy, I don't like all the old people. They really scare me."
Me: really trying to show compassion and not completely laugh in her face

Not kidding. I cannot make this up. I guess she had turned around from coloring to see that the dining room had filled up and was indeed filled with old people. Of course, many of them had eyes on her because she is young and so adorable. It freaked Emy out to say the least. For the rest of the night she sat in my lap and refused to even walk through the dining room without being carried. She was terrified. I hope she does not carry this fear with her throughout her life like people do with a fear of clowns.


Thursday, February 10, 2011

Sweet sisters

This past weekend I got to photograph a sweet friend's little girls. She has 3 adorable ones...ages 3, (almost) 2 and 5 months. We didn't really have an agenda, so while we did some posing stuff, really the girls just played and I followed them around. It was a fun time. Here are some of my favorite shots.

 Playing in the snow!
 Look at these sparkly eyes.
 Smiley baby sister.
 A little dress up. We told her the boa felt like baby chicks and she kept petting it and looking for the chicks. It was so cute!

 An attempt at getting everyone to look at the camera at the same time.

This was totally un-prompted... Big sister loves the baby.


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