Friday, October 31, 2008

SOOC = straight out of camera

Here's a shot courtesy of Mr. Daddy.

A shadow of things to come!


Check out Melody @ Slurping Life for more SOOC shots!

Update: What do you see in the photo?

A super creative comment had us looking back at the picture and totally seeing where someone could have seen Mr. Daddy with a dog and a cat.

In fact: it's Itty Bit (in his John Deere hat) getting on his little quad!

What do YOU see?

Thursday, October 30, 2008

A reminder to myself

If you'd had the kind of day I had today... you'd understand why I needed this smile so badly.
I am absolutely thankful for the way this kid reminds me daily that life is about LIVING.
It's about experiencing and giggling and loving on your favorite people.
About family.
And doing something each day that no one else would be silly enough to do.

I am blessed.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

The difference a few hours makes...

So we're driving... past a house that normally looks like this:

Can you believe the addition my camera captured that same day?

What? You don't see anything unusual?

Let me give you a bit of zoom.


At the risk of totally offending someone; (allow me to rant - I would love to see your comments, whether if you agree or disagree)... HORSES DESERVE THEIR OWN SPACE, AS SAFE AS YOU CAN MAKE IT.

Preferrably free of the mass of children's toys that aren't visible in the above pictures. There are a million things for this poor horse to trip over get injured on. The yard slopes back and is littered with debris and miscellaneous car parts.

I gotta say, I've seen people in the yard with this horse (and a friend has seen the horse be fed from the front door); it seems friendly and ground manners appear decent. It just simply is a really dangerous place for a four-legged friend.

While I'm ranting, I am also being super-grateful for the opportunity to finally have a horse at home. We have a run-in shelter and trees, multiple pastures and plenty of hay and feed. We are truly blessed.

I realize that not every horse-lover has an ideal space for one. I just believe that you should do all you can to make sure you aren't creating hazards for people or pets.

While the yard bugged me, the idea of scooting past my horse on my porch on my way to work in the morning did earn a grin.

Anything give you a double-take this week?

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Not Me Monday!

Time for NOT ME MONDAY again! Play along and check out McMama's site for more!

It was not me who picked up a toy chainsaw for Itty Bit this week.

Everyone else in Target did NOT adore it.

It was not me who walked around with a bit of a smirk on my face – deflecting the pointed glances with the wicked thought of “hey, at least I can take my hearing aid out!”

(okay, if I can’t laugh about it, then who can?)

It was not me who made a loud remark in Sportsman’s Warehouse about a loose dog and how I felt about people who had the pressing need to bring their pets into public places.

It was not me who wanted to crawl into one of their display gun safes when I realized it was my former horse trainer who’d brought the Yorkie.

(in my defense, I’d been treated for a dog allergy for years and it blows me away how many people think it’s okay to bring them to stores)

It was totally not me who shared my insurance agent’s recent email with my coworkers. It was short and sweet and (kinda) to the point:

“Hey Rachel,
Who are you doing now and are you ready to settle?”

My husband about died when he read it. After insisting that I tell our coworkers what it said, it was not me who got teased ALL.DAY.LONG about “who” I was doing now and did I settle. Goshdarnit those typos are funny!

It was not me who had to tell my kiddo a very serious “NO” and leave the room with a bad case of the giggles when I was changing his diaper and he asked for a bandaid for his you-know-what.
Apparently any appendage is fair game for our neon-colored bandaids.

(Why yes, in case you were wondering… our kid DOES think bandaids are stickers).

It was not me who told my son the name of his new toy car, “Axle”, and watched horrified as he loudly repeated it at a coworker’s birthday party… “AXHOLE! AXHOLE!” Yeah… it wasn’t me who wanted to climb under the table.

It wasn’t me who let Itty Bit “drive” (sans keys) while I fed the horses (again). It wasn’t me who was horrified to find that he had decorated his face with my lipstick.

(ps - please don’t tell Mr. Daddy about this… he would totally not appreciate the lipstick)

It was not me who got totally excited about finding a pair of jeans that would actually fit Itty Bit; tiny waist and long legs. Until I remembered that I was in Baby Gap and said a bit too loud, “OH MY GOSH” at the $49.50 price tag. Yes, that’s right ladies and gents… fifty cents less than I paid for my last TWO pairs of jeans together. For a size 18-24 months pair of jeans. If my *ahem* slightly larger butt requires a bit more denim, then how come it’s half the price of the entire two feet of fabric for the little guy’s pair?

Wouldn’t have been so bad except the sales lady was cracking up at my reaction.
Not that I actually did that or anything. I’m totally cool with plunking down half of a $100 bill for my kiddo’s threads. We’re like so rich, Obama wants to talk to us.

It was not me who put Itty Bit in some new pajamas last night and let him wear the top today. If I had, it would have been just so darn cute…

This is what it might have looked like... if it had actually happened:

What did you not do this week?

Small World

From today:


We ran into the photographer who has taken amazing shots of Itty Bit from before he was born up until last year (yeah... we're overdue and taking care of it!)

She said she saw the stroller come around the corner and knew who the kiddo was. She remembered his eyes.

I was flattered at her compliment - and felt a twinge of validation. After all, are there any moms that don't think their kids are the most amazing thing since Ghiradelli milk chocolate?

Please stop by her website to see her talent in capturing those treasured moments. Tell Anne that Rachel sent you!
Fairies & Frogs Photography.

Here are some oldies for comparison!






Dark foggy mornings, and short cool nights.

Fall's in the making, and what beautiful sights.

Breathing out misty vapor, as they play in the leaves.

Summer has left us, with its warm gentle breeze.

Bundled and snug, in the warm fluffy clothes.

children's giggles and laughter, warms the heart most.

What more could be asked than moments like these.

No riches could buy, nor anything be.

as precious and sweet, as my Fall memories

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Now is When

I stopped for a moment today.

After a soul-wearying day at work with many issues that screamed STRESS to my overworked mind and my knotted stomach...

I stopped.

I had to pee, I was hungry, and I wanted to catch up on emails and blogs. The kid needed a nap.

Normally he would have crawled onto the big bed with his trusty matchbox cars and entertained himself into slumber.

But I was craving a bit of nothingness today. And lying beside him was the perfect place to find it.

He was delighted. Patting the pillow next to his head, he wordlessly welcomed me to his mini fall-asleep world.

He scooted under the covers and pulled my arm around him.

He wriggled frequently; with all the charm of a little boy trying to be good.

He settled into my side and stared wordlessly around the room.

I took in his profile, his perfect profile.
The one I had memorized from the ultrasounds that had thrilled and saddened me.
The same grainy black and white printouts that reminded me that this beautiful boy faced serious kidney problems.

With him in my arms; somehow I was the one who felt safe, instead of the other way around.
Here he was beside me, giving me permission to pause and enjoy our togetherness without any expectations.

He sighed and my soul echoed him.

His long lashes began to slowly blink toward his cheeks.
They framed his innocent sky-blue eyes which were fast losing their doomed struggle toward sleep.

And as my mind filled with thoughts of gratefulness and scattered prayers for him... I was interrupted.

A tiny sound and he quickly turned to face me. His face was utterly serious as he solemnly announced...

"I burped"

At the speed of warp, we were instantly back to real life where the moments ARE what it's all about. Living in them, not waiting for them.

And if I can't take the time to enjoy his smallness and the very thing I am working for... if not now, when?

Now is When.

Friday, October 24, 2008

What"s in Chocolate?

I was reading Melody's blog the other day, and I gotta say that MOST of the time her thoughts are just!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

WELL! thought provoking, and very evocative.

On this particular post there was one statement, that just?????????

O! O! O! what can I say, just left me blank---------

I mean BLANK like in what the H. Just happened??????????(you know that look guy's get when they are in a group of gals and something is said, and they don't get it, and they get that deer in the headlight look???????) GOT IT!!!!!!!!!!! Big time!

Let me try and explain.
  • I love the orange Halloween lights around my door
I get it:o) thought of home, warm and fuzzy feelings, family. (not too hard)
  • The boys made me do the orange lights thing...thanks guys
I get it:o) interaction with Mom, special moments, and memories
  • Plastic mice rawk (thanks again, boys!)
I get it:o) (see above statement)
  • The air smells best in autumn
WOW! I get it:o) A kaliedeoscope of memories and thoughts
  • Love the feel of paint on my hands
I get it:o) not much of a painter, but understand the concept of loving what makes you happy
  • Creativity fuels life
I get it:o) Maybe not the way a mother does. But at least on the basic level.
  • My toes are kind of cute
I get it:o) Not yours.....But Rach has the cutest toes..(don't tell her I told) Please!!!! I mean Yours might be??? I'm just saying?????? How does a guy get himself in these predicaments??????(deer in the headlight look here)

Moving right along!
  • The best is yet to come..always
I get it:o) You betcha it is:o)
  • Being older is freedom, if you take care of yourself
I think I get it!!!LOL having a two year old at my age doesn't feel much like freedom????But is an absolute blessing.........insert thought: (maybe you can take a little too good of care??????)
  • Leaves cushion your path in autumn...take a walk
I get it:o) love the sound of the oak leaves swishing when I walk.......
  • Art is better than sleep
I get it:o) not much of an artist but can grasp the concept.....(grin)
  • Sex is better than art
I get it:o) But after the toe fiasco..........not even gonna touch this one!!!!!!!

  • Sometimes you have to eat the dark chocolate all at once
I DON'T GET IT:o( ??????????? is this a woman is from Venus and a guy is from Mars kinda thing??????????

I mean Melody!!!!!!!!!!!!! You might as well have put me in a round room! and told me to take a leak in the corner?????????????

I have no conceptual imagery, or thoughts or memories for relating??????

Why wouldn't you eat it all at once??????

Is it for hoarding and only bringing out occasionally??????

What is chocolate really for then?????????

MAN! I just don't get this:o(
  • A Self portrait at midnight is fun
I get this:o) haven't tried one at midnight!! But been there done that:o)

  • Smiling makes life better
I get this:o) Love to smile:o)
  • You have a beautiful smile
I get this:o) thanks for the compliment:::::: So do you:o)
  • Go...make your life what you want...
I get this too:o) been working on it.

...and tell me all about it.

Thanks for a great read Melody, overall I give it an A+++

Now if you will excuse me.......... I really gotta find a corner and relieve myself.............

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Punkin Continued

After hearing from another mom about her kiddo gleefully drawing on pumpkins,
I decided to post another picture that really shows how Itty Bit felt about this:

Can you tell he thought he was doing something TOTALLY against the rules?
Coloring on something other than paper?!?! Mommy's lost her mind,
but I sure as heck am gonna enjoy it while it lasts!


(Uh sweetie... it's gonna LAST alright).

(go check out Southwest Memories for some fun!)

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

A Punkin Story

Itty Bit had a great time drawing all over his first "punkin". Can you tell he thought
it was a real no-no by the delighted expression?
Don't you love the intense concentration on Mr. Daddy's face?
I'm tellin ya, never try to carry a conversation with a guy
who's serious about his knife duties...

Happy Fall Y'all

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Not Me Monday!

It was not me who overfilled the Ziploc baggie with ranch dressing and potato slices (who knew 14 lbs was too much?). As soon as I started shaking, it wasn’t me who watched horrified as it popped open and 12 of those pounds flew in all directions around my kitchen.

And it sure wouldn’t have been me who picked up the ones without yucky stuff stuck to them and put them on the pan to bake. That woulda been like, gross – and some kind of violation to the 30-second rule. It also wasn’t me who pulled a hair out of my potatoes tonight.

It was not me who finally got frustrated with the 15 minute wait at Old Navy.

They had ONE lane open at first… with just two people in front of me, one of which was some dude with two kids and some freaky chick in a trench coat and leopard spiky boots who kept kissing all over him. He was obviously not gonna leave until they caved and gave him some price adjustment.

So they opened another lane. Me and another woman headed over there.
They close the lane.
I go back to the other lane. Behind Mr. The Customer Is Always Right Even When My Girlfriend Won’t Leave My Lips Alone Long Enough For Me To Explain It.

Other lane opens again. Only another couple beats me back over there.
I settle in behind them, watching a manager stand idly by chatting with two other employees.
Ringing up the purchases, the chick realizes her jeans are on sale. Her size 12 relaxed fit dark wash jeans.

OMG! I need another pair!
Hon, go get me another pair.

The guy gives her a blank stare that we women all know.
WHAT THE HECK is this woman asking him to do?
You know he’s gonna bring back pair of low rise size 2 skinny leg flare jeans in a light wash. Guys aren’t equipped for these kind of details (sorry hon).

The guy’s deer-in-the-headlights look wins out. She hands him the credit card and says, “I’ll go get ‘em” and shoots me a bright smile.
You know, the kind that says “Oops! I know we cut in line and your kid has been sitting in a wet diaper for 15 minutes, but they’re on sale!

I glance over and the manager is looking disinterestedly at me – watching the whole thing.

That was it.

It was not me who lost it and raised my voice to a volume that surprised myself.

It was not me who ceremoniously dumped both armloads of clothing on a nearby display.


Sudden silence.

It was not me who had everyone’s attention. It was not me who had the sudden urge to flee the scene with my soaked son.

But it most assuredly WAS that stinky size 12’s son who decided to block my non-escape with a cart that he was carelessly racing around.

You’re gonna love this – he smashed it straight into the side of Itty Bit’s stroller as I was heading toward the door.

The lesson I didn’t learn? Maybe a bit more patience is in order?

(and dang… I had the CUTEST plaid winter coat for my niece for Christmas!)

Enough Not Me’s… what are yours?

Saturday, October 18, 2008

SOOC = straight out of camera

It's a bit late today, but here's my attempt at sneaking a shot of Itty Bit through the climbing foliage on the front porch.


Check out Melody's site for more Straight Out Of Camera shots!
Slurping Life

A glimpse

A little taste of what life can be like after a kiddo wakes up from his nap a bit grumpy:

Mommy: Can I have a hug?

Itty Bit: Chocolate Milk.

Mommy: Okay, here's your chocolate milk.

Itty Bit: Tractor Movie.

Mommy: Okay, I'll put your tractor movie on.

Itty Bit: Airplane.

Mommy: You want Jay Jay the Jet Plane?

Itty Bit: Yeah (vigorous head nodding)

Mommy: Okay, let me get Jay Jay the Jet Plane.

getting Jay Jay the Jet Plane and putting it in the dvd player.
the opening credits start to roll and suddenly Itty Bit is crying.

Mommy: What's the matter honey? Look, there's Jay Jay!

an absurdly ridiculous dancing attempt to sing along to the theme song


Mommy: I thought you wanted Jay Jay?

Itty Bit: (tearfully) Yeah.

Mommy: Okay, there's Jay Jay. Let's watch it.

Itty Bit: NOOOOOO!!! TRACTOR!!!!

Mommy: You want the tractor movie?

Itty Bit: JAY JAY!

Mommy sighs and tries the next logical step.
Oh wait, this is a TWO-YEAR-OLD... logic doesn't work

Mommy: Okay, here's the Jay Jay movie, and here's the tractor movie. Which one do you want to watch?

Itty Bit: Tractor Movie!

Mommy: Okay, I'm putting the tractor movie in.


instant hysterical crying

Mommy: You said you wanted the tractor movie???

putting the Jay Jay movie into the poor overworked dvd tray

Itty Bit leans back on the cushions and goes to work on the chocolate milk.

meanwhile, Mommy is mumbling to herself and packing every single toddler movie into the Goodwill box.
(by the way - the super cute shirt above can be purchased
on Etsy from ThreeCsCustomDesigns!)

Friday, October 17, 2008

The Bigger picture

Do you suffer from life's busy schedules?

Are all the small things ganging up on you?

Are you so far up to your buttocks in Alligators, that you can't remember that the main objective was to drain the swamp?


Take a deep cleansing breath........

Find your center......

Just one little happy thought......

Just one!!!!!

That's all it takes......:o)

SEE YOU CAN FLY!!!!!!!!!!!!

P.S. heres mine
P.S.S. It only works if you really try!!!!!!!!!!




Thursday, October 16, 2008

Chance of sun?


Where are the brakes on this thing?

The autumn days are flying by without any consideration for my desire to just PAUSE for awhile.

To get out and kick leaves, walk among pumpkins, enjoy the foggy air around the lake again.

This little bit of outside is disappearing before that season of indoor coziness.

The horses have their thick winter coats already. I see them stamping at the gate in the morning, whinnying and exhaling white clouds.

The frost on our brilliant dahlia summer garden, and the dwindling supply of apples in the backyard remind me.

The chill urges me to scurry inside - to warm myself by the fire. It's time for fleece blankets and fresh baked bread and books.

Though I love it, I'm still fighting it.

Give me one more day warm enough for a t-shirt and jeans and let me ride bareback in the back pasture. Just once more before the cold settles in and indoors seems all the more delicious.

(ps... Stacy at The Land of K.A. gave generous permission to use her gorgeous photo above. Please head over and check out her other beautiful pictures!)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Runs in the family?

I don't get it.

I took like seven pictures of my pretty girl Kona.

And FOUR of them bore striking similarities.

Any guesses?

Why one earth would she feel the need to interject a bit of attitude like that?

Maybe it's a girl thing???
(thank you May-May and Little Jo for joining in the fun!)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Not Me Monday!

It’s Not Me Monday again!

It was not me who picked up a jacket and wondered just how much snot on the shoulder was “too much”… just so I wouldn’t have to wash it again so soon.

It wasn’t me who had three crazy girls over to make truffles. See, that’s not my house, right?
And it sure wasn’t me who entertained them with burps on command…

It was not me who told the kiddo to quit being rough with the dishes… then not follow through until one got smashed. And both of us were of course not barefoot amongst the shards.

It wasn’t me who swapped the ranch mix with the CHIPOTLE ranch mix and pretty much rendered our entire huge batch of roasted potatoes fiery hot and inedible. (Anybody brave enough? We have a rather large bowl left…)

It was not me who was too distracted to see Itty Bit sneak a jar of seasoning off the counter. But I most certainly was the one who noticed the lovely shade of orange that our white carpet is enjoying.

What have YOU not been doing this week?

Saturday, October 11, 2008

I'm just gonna come right out and say it

Dads have it easier when it comes to getting a few uninterrupted moments to accomplish those tasks that make us look and smell better to the rest of the general populace.

For some crazy reason, (and I know I’m not alone here… I’ve read my share of other mommy blogs) within a few seconds of me stepping into a shower, my kiddo finds some urgent task that only mommy can do.

This morning I snuck to the bathroom, eased the water on, tiptoed into the hot spray, silently slid the curtain shut and sighed.

My hair was barely wet when I suddenly felt a crash next to me and something hit my leg.

Stifling an urge to shriek (since these kind of unexpected things happen a bit more often with a 28-month old around), I jumped and looked down.





Until I realized that I was indeed showering with five famous guys… one of whom happened to be a law enforcement official.

Confused yet?

This is how my audience looked after they were thoroughly cleaned and dried:

Itty Bit had the brilliant idea that mommy needed company, or at least some automotive entertainment while showering.
Actually… I think it was more of a subtle hint to get out of the shower already and let him have a bath.

MAN, who runs the show around here anyway???

Thanks to Chicka, Lightning McQueen, Snot Rod, Ramone, and Sheriff for their guest appearance

(and if you're a dad who knows what I'm talking about... set me straight and link up your kid-interrupted story!)

SOOC = straight out of camera (take 6)

I never tire of his expressions - his unbridled wonder at something
he has never seen before. His pure joy at being reunited with someone he adores.
His contagious enthusiasm for something as simple as finding a rock.
His transparency when he is happy and sad - no questions and no pretenses.

He's my Bugsy and I hope he never loses the ability to be amazed.

Go check out some other great Straight Out Of Camera shots!
Slurping Life

Friday, October 10, 2008

Score 5 - Etsy!

Got a really cute shirt from Etsy for Itty Bit a few weeks ago. It's well-made; fused and stitched for extra durability. The seller, Baby Bumpkins was super easy to work with.

Silly me... I actually got the camera out with a goal in mind.
You know: get the kid in the cute shirt and take a cute picture before he gets it all dirty.

Uh-huh. You can guess how that went.

It quickly turned into a game of "chase the camera lady while laughing your head off".

See what I mean?

Thankfully he later managed to quit teleporting for 2.3 seconds for this shot:

Gosh I love this kid.

Thursday, October 09, 2008

It's funny until... well, til it's outrageous

Someone linked me to, where they show what your kids would look like if you exchanged dna with various Hollywood leading men.

I chose instead to insert my leading man's picture and see what Itty Bit should have looked like.

It took a couple minutes, so I switched screens to work for a bit. I returned to find this:

Uh no... it doesn't really look like our kid. Of course I would love me some of those curls, but I thought he looked a bit sleep deprived. He's awful pale, don't you think?

And like a coworker said, looks like someone hit him right between the eyes :)


So I continued on. I left the same picture of me. Why? cause it was BEFORE I had a kid and had time to actually soak up some rays - tan and no glasses. We'd just gotten done with a volleyball game and that was one of my favorite things to do.

Swapped out Mr. Daddy's pic for a different expression.

I had no idea the effect it would have.








How the heck did that happen?

The only thing my friend could say was, "He's gonna wonder whose he is."

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

Mr. Daddy

Have I told you lately that you are a good man?

That one of the first things I heard said about you is:

"He's good people".

By someone we both know and admire much.

What's the hoopla about "good"?

I means you are someone worthy of my respect and love.

Admirable and honest and absolutely willing to stand by your friends when they go through ugly things.

You have watched me struggle physically with handling the stress of our workplace this last week.
You were compassionate and caring at home.
Firm and well-spoken at work.

It is a comfort to know that in the midst of this turmoil - you have remained true to what is most important and reminded me of it again and again: US.

All four of us. You, me, Itty Bit, and the Big Man Upstairs.

We have prayed together more this week than I can remember.
Yes, it's been that hard.
But it has also been that good.
To connect as a family and refuse to let this take over our lives.

"It's a living, not a life".

With my new focus, I remember:
The day we met.
You in your welding coveralls and silly conductors hat, face dirtied with soot.
And through the smudges I saw the bluest eyes twinkling at me and the biggest white smile.
And all the words I wanted to say (including my name) just fell out of my head.

Amazing how far we've come since then?

I just wanted to remind you, in case it's been awhile.

That I think you are amazing.
And it's a precious thing to be your friend.

Monday, October 06, 2008

What qualifies as an emergency around here...

So I'm just chillin'
hanging out on my dad's desk chair
standing up like I'm not supposed to
(why do you think I'm smiling?)
When I spot the beautiful yellow bag of
peanutty chocolate goodness.
Mom said something about a diet.
I'm just doing my part.
Uhh, I'm getting a little concerned here guys.
Leapin' Lizards!
Who managed to put away all those puppies?!?
I think I'm gonna cry.
It's a travesty!
A travesty I say!
Nevermind the milk chocolate evidence on my cheeks in the earlier pictures.
I am in dire need of some of those yummies!

911, what's your emergency?

Daddy ate all the M&Ms!

(ps - he was actually giggling throughout the photo shoot)