OMG is she smart

sweet cheeks is really interested in writing letters lately. i knew she could do a few letters, mainly the ones in her name, but i really had no clue just how many she could write.

almost all of them.

i loved watching her do it. however, i was a bit sad at how critical she was of herself when she didn't do a "perfect" H on one sheet. then again, i have never doubted that she was an early perfectionist.

sorry for the not so great photo. i took a picture of it, rather than scan it.


i know a lot of moms.

i know a lot of moms to toddlers.

i know a lot of moms to toddlers who have tantrums.

i know a lot of moms, to toddlers who have tantrums, who are struggling with them daily just as the husband and i are!

it can be tough.


you're my blue sky, you're my sunny day

sweet cheeks has been sick with a cough, congestion, and fever. i took her to the pediatrician yesterday to find out that she has a sinus infection. she is now on amoxicillin, zyrtec, and albuterol.hopefully she will feel better soon. during the day, she acts fine with the exception of the constant outpouring from her nose. it is at night that she is at her worst. poor baby!

today the husband and i took sweet cheeks back for her follow up appt on her stye & cyst to the pediatric opthamologist. the bad news is that she does still have them both. the good news is the size has reduced, so we will wait on the hopes that no surgery will be necessary. our next follow up isn't until january. i am glad of that because no parent wants their child to have to go through surgery. although, i do wish there was something else we could do for her eye, as i can tell it sometimes irritates her. she asks, "when will my stye go away?" she is a trooper though. keep the prayers coming! the other good news is that this eye doctor does not seen any signs in sweet cheek's eyes of her being a carrier for the ocular albinism. i am so happy about that for her.

here is my sunshine after her appt this morning!


pretty as a princess

i have spoke often about sweet cheeks and her love for dressing up. she was in total heaven sunday when she got to dress up for her halloween/fall festival at school. in fact, she even did her own dress rehearsal prior to her nap and the party itself. i have to say, she was the absolute epitome of a princess. she was feeling proud and that attitude definitely showed through in her pictures-

here she is coming down the stairs to show her daddy just how beautiful she looked-

what a pose! she loved wearing the dress, earrings, necklace, tiara, sparkly shoes, and glitter on her cheeks.

at her little school festival, they had a train, pony rides, and two bouncy houses. we enjoyed our train ride together.

needless to say, every princess has their breaking point. she was so tired by the end of the afternoon. i am pretty sure i only agitated the situation by taking a picture of her crying. bad mommy.

this was sweet cheeks and i before we left the house for her party. i love taking pictures with her, as i am so proud of her, but am always sadly disappointed when i see my wrinkles only getting worse. who knew 32 would be the age for botox!


i absolutely adore this picture of sweet cheeks in her cute halloweeny outfit. she is a skinny minny and the black only accentuates that. tiny and cute with such an amazing smile.


i like sharing new songs that i am into. (new songs to me) here is a great song being performed by the corrs, featuring bono. my father in law might like it as he is the one who introduced me to the corrs a few years back. i know this song is a ryan adams song. i really like his music as well-


Pumpkin Patchin'

i totally forgot to share pics from our trip to the pumpkin patch. sweet cheeks and i visited a pumpkin patch two weekends ago with her nana, pop, aunt, and cousin. it was actually quite a bit of fun. my experience in the past with pumpkin patches is that there really isn't much to do, other than take like 100 pictures of your child either sitting with, standing with, or holding an orange pumpkin! this patch actually had quite a bit of things for the kids to do: hay ride, cow train ride, corn maze, john deere tricycle track, swings, slides, pig races(yes, you read that correctly), and a cornbox (much like a sandbox only with corn). the girls absolutely had a blast.

(the shots are mostly witness protection approved photos of sweet cheeks since this trip took place the day after our light the night walk, and she still has the face tattoos on. so i posted pics that you couldn't see them too well. the one on the train, i did my best to photoshop it out!)

action shot of sweet cheeks coming down the tube slide-

riding on the john deere trike. she was quite fast-

the cow train- sweet cheeks, her cousin, nana, and aunt-

a tractor just her size-

i love this shot of sweet cheeks and her cousin running to see all of the animals on the farm.


did you guys know that the store american eagle now has a kids shop? i just recently saw this. the line is called 77 kids and they begin at size 2.

i thought they had a few cute things but the prices were a little high for garments that were kind of simple, plus they have a mature look about them. almost a bit too grown up for the toddler size. i think it seems perfect for kids about 6 and up though. let me know what you think.

i thought these few items were cute though:


i'm an indian outlaw

well i am not really an indian, or an outlaw for that matter, but i am a fan of tim mcgraw (indian outlaw is a song of his) and country music. sweet cheeks has borrowed a cd from her cousin. it is taylor swift and she absolutely loves it. i am thankful for the break from miley cyrus. it is cute to see sweet cheeks rock out and sing to country music. not that taylor swift is way country, as they do play her on pop stations too.

we moved to georgia from new jersey when i was 11. i vowed at that age that i would never like country music. i was too wrapped up in amazing artists who would be around forever like debby gibson, richard marx, terence trent darby, and the bangles. i didn't listen to country the entire time i lived in the country. what a rebel i was. it wasn't until i moved to atlanta that i started listening to it. i think i first liked dwight yoakam, faith hill, and the dixie chicks. now, i still really like country music, not so much the dixie chicks anymore. though i listen to a lot of other music as well, like coldplay, snow patrol, and incubus. i am a fan of country singers like tim mcgraw, rascal flatts, carrie underwood, and of course, wynona judd.

i have heard many times about crossover artists. artists who are originally pop and cross over to the country music world, and vice-versa(ie- jessica simpson- poor her- stinks in both realms) well i recently heard another new one that i guess you could call a crossover since he started out pop-like when he was in a band. now he has ditched the band and you'll find him singing country.

i don't like it though.

sorry darius rucker who will always be known to me, and many others, by the name hootie! go back to the blowfish since your music was much better then. i really loved "let her cry" and "only wanna be with you."

what do you think of his new work:


and the hardest part was letting go, not taking part

i have no problem admitting when i am not good at something. in high school, a friend’s father tried to teach me how to play tennis. i was so bad. about 7 years ago, the husband took me skiing for the first time. i was horrible and have had no interest in trying it again. i did however love the snow & the hot chocolate. sweet cheeks has me participate in her concerts quite often and i do it to have fun with her. i openly admit to being one of the absolute worst singers in the world. no talent there.

but having someone critique and criticize you for something that means everything in the world to you and that you genuinely thought you were good at really hurts beyond reason.

i, like every other mother out there, took on the role as a mother without any training or knowledge. it is kind of scary to think about it that way, the fact that i didn’t have to take any classes, pass any tests, or have any sort of license to raise a child. i just did it. jumped right into the unknown waters hoping for the best. it is such a huge responsibility that all parents take on when they decide to have children. but i did it, love it and still think i do everything with sweet cheeks best interest in mind.

i admit that i am not a perfect mother. i have made so many mistakes along the way. so many. i expect to make many more. sweet cheeks cannot go to sleep on her own. either the husband or i lay with her nightly until she falls asleep. probably not the best thing i could have done for her, but certainly not the worst. being a mother is something i honestly love and believe i am really, really good at. which makes it that much harder to hear that others might doubt my judgment, decisions, and capabilities. it hurts to think that the mistakes i have made are what others are using to judge me by. holding me under a microscope to openly expose the things i am doing wrong. as if any of them are or were done intentionally.

it hurts. it really hurts.


a mountain for an apple

before i get to the details of our absolutely fabulous weekend in the mountains, i want to ask a question- do you have a house keeper? i am beginning to think the husband and i are the only ones in the world without one. man how nice it would be to every other week have someone come over to sweep, mop, vacuum, dust, clean toilets, sinks & tubs, windows, etc. all of the things that never happen at our house since the current house keeper we use, me, is quite slack!


so we had the chance to go with 3 other couples, who all have kids, to the mountains of north georgia this past weekend. it was seriously a perfect weekend with the most amazing weather. one of the couple's parents owns a house up there that is already toddler proofed, so it made it so easy to have a relaxing weekend at someone elses place. (thank you so much beth!!!) the other couples we were with all had children as well. sweet cheeks included, there were 6 kids up there. i know sweet cheeks absolutely loved having friends to play with nonstop. she isn't perfect and had a few moments here and there when she just didn't want to share, but for the most part, i was quite happy with her behavior.

the house we stayed at was so beautiful. the porch on the house completely wraps around it and the gates remained locked so no one could escape. so the kids could all just play outside, while the parents remained worry free. it was a big track for them to ride around on bikes, etc. they were quite fast!

just a sample of what they did around the porch track-

a cute pic of all of the kiddos together-

we also went to the apple festival on saturday. due to several issues in a row, we were not able to catch the parade. it was quite the let down since i know all of the kids were really looking forward to it. i think the bouncy houses & face painting semi- made up for the missed parade though! we even got sweet cheeks several pieces of crap that she didn't need like a yoyo balloon (lame water balloon with a rubber band tied to it for $2. she does still use it though) and an umbrella with her name on it! festivals always have the most interesting finds, don't they.

sweet cheeks and her friend-

sweet cheeks was a bit apprehensive at first to get her face painted but in the end, decided to go with a small butterfly on her forehead.

to get to the festival, we parked and rode a school bus down to it. i think the kids really enjoyed the bus ride the most. it was a real highlight for all of them. i love that they can still be so easily amused.

sweet cheeks and her daddy on the bus-


cool wallpaper but yes, it is wallpaper

i started out looking at the brand of clothes kit & lili on line. this search led me to the shop/blog called nonchalant mom. i know i have viewed this site before and found a lot of cool clothes, none of which i could afford for sweet cheeks. i then saw what i thought were these amazing print animal wall decals (picture below), only to find out they are in fact wallpaper. hard to believe with so many removable decals out there that someone would make them in wallpaper, which is so much more permanent and hard to remove.

now i am wondering if any really cool contact paper exists out there. i recently bought some from target in a pretty white & green floral print for recovering sweet cheeks latt ikea table, which sweet cheeks and i also painted white. that being said, seems like you could just buy some really cool print contact paper, draw out the shape you'd like, and create your own wall decal.

i think it is something i will look in to.


shear toddler behavior and some balloons

i am pretty sure that i have heard several of my friends say that their daughters had cut their own hair before. i really never thought that sweet cheeks would do it since yes, i admit, that i am that naive of a mother. i thought wrong. when i arrived at her school to pick her up yesterday, sweet cheek's teacher said, "sweet cheeks, tell mommy what you did today?". i pretty much knew by the teachers tone that she had done something she was not supposed to. i also could tell by sweet cheeks expression and lack of words that she knew she had done something wrong. she had cut her own hair and her friend had cut it too. thankfully they both cut a few pieces on top of sweet cheek's head, so it pretty much looks like a bad layer job. i can't help but think sweet cheeks friend cut sweet cheek's hair first, then she just copied. that is the ignorant mother in me not wanting to admit she would do anything wrong. lame i know but i will be the first to admit it that is how i think sometimes. i asked her if she wanted me to take her for a haircut but she quickly replied "no." hopefully she won't do it again because next time could easily be a lot worse.


so saturday night sweetcheeks, the husband, and i all participated in the light the night walk to benefit the leukemia and lymphoma society. this was the 4th walk i have done in memory of my girlfriend, courtney, who passed away from leukemia at the very young age of 25. this february will be 8 years since she has passed and i can't believe it has been that long. she was an amazing person capable of making anyone laugh hysterically. she is missed so much by all of her friends that she had to leave behind.

on the way down to the walk we stopped to eat some good, greasy food at the varsity. once at the walk, they had so much for the kids to do. sweet cheeks had a blast eating, jumping, playing, and getting tattoos on her face! she did a great job sitting in her stroller as well for the 2 mile walk (thanks to a lollipop and some chexmix). it really was an amazing time and the weather couldn't have been any more beautiful.

sweet cheeks in line to order herself a naked dog!

sweet cheeks, her daddy, and phoebe-

she is really just too cute! i love her hair in pigtails.

just the two of us-

she was completely obsessed with watching all of the balloons that people accidentally let go of. every time she would see another one in the sky, she would loudly call it out to every one's attention-


the little seed

we all know by now that i love online window shopping for baby & kid things. not only do i love to browse, i also love sharing with you what i find.

not that long ago, i posted how i had purchased season 2 of punky brewster for sweet cheeks. she actually really enjoys watching it. now i want to share something that soleil moon frye is doing that is just as great, if not better than, punky brewster. it is her new eco-friendly shop called the little seed. they sell both in a retail store (in CA of course!) as well as online. after browsing, i really wanted to (a) have a baby & (b) be rich. the site has the most adorable things from clothes, to toys, to furniture, to gifts. i love the idea of eco-friendly, green things but i really notice a trend: green=expensive. why do all things that seem friendly for our babies and environment cost so much more?

either way, the site is definitely worth looking at. plus, the two shop owners blog. i love reading other mom blogs and this is a new one that i will add to my list. punky's daughters are absolutely adorable!

off to work i go

so sweet cheeks and her daddy had another saturday morning out on the seas. and as it would turn out, their yard sailing trips are a lot more successful when i am not with them. who would have thought that i would bring bad junk karma to the table. i guess my sour attitude gets them no where. i enjoyed my morning home on the couch catching up on "private practice." in all honesty, i am glad that they have this one on one time together. i think it is great for both of them.

so what kind of great things did the two of them find this time you might ask? well they got sweet cheeks a new desk! i was actually excited about this one. i recently did some searches online for a desk for her but found nothing cheaper than $100 for a wooden one. the husband got this one for sweet cheeks for a whopping $3. now i just need to find her a cute wooden chair to match. i love seeing sweet cheeks play with her new desk. when she sits at it, she is actually "at work" while i am "at school." role reversal play is the greatest thing to watch!

ok, so maybe i am not always bad luck. you can see in the picture below a few weeks ago when i did go out with them, we got a wood backyard patio set for $60, which included 4 pillows and an umbrella stand. we were all so excited about it since we have never had one. so far, i think we have had about 5 or so meals outside on it.

you have to look very closely in the upper left side of this picture to see it though. of course, this picture of sweet cheeks is quite cute as well.

and the answer is YES, if you were asking yourself is sweet cheeks always wears a tiara!


recycle a shoe box

so normally i am a complete bucket addict for sweet cheeks things. i toss pretty much all of her craft supplies, markers, crayons, and even small toys in buckets of various shapes & sizes. i love this as it keeps things organized and neat. while visiting one of my favorite websites, ohdeedoh, i came across this great and handy craft project to do with sweet cheeks. seriously, what a great idea to recycle an old shoe box (kids shoe box would be the perfect size too!) and turn it into a crayon & craft supplies holder.

ohdeedoh gave credit for this cool craft to a website called preschool rock. i visited it and found a lot of other fun things to make with sweet cheeks, as we all know how crafty that one is!


slumber party

since sweet cheeks is an only child, i consider us very lucky that she has so many cousins close by that she can spend so much time with. recently her little cousin, who is just 9 months younger, spent the night with us. the girls had a ball. and quite honestly, it is such a break for me. when her cousin is over, sweet cheeks has no desire to play with me! she absolutely adored the company. the girls played dress up, played with her doll house, and just all around had a good time. i did interact with them long enough for us to do a small craft. we made beautiful butterflies out of froot loops. i am sure they enjoyed snacking on the fruit loops more than making the craft but it was fun.

here are the girls after we had gone out for lunch in celebration of sweet cheek's uncle's new job-

having fun decorating their mr potato heads-

i tried to get them to sit together in the morning before we left for school. i could barely get them to smile at the same time-

of course sweet cheeks wanted to pose for the photo with phoebe-

sweet cheeks stye (seen in the above photo on her left eye) is looking much better. unfortunately, so far the cyst below it isn't improving. the eye doctor told us not to get discouraged though as it could take a few weeks. we go back to the eye doctor for a follow up on the 28th of this month. if no improvement, they will have to surgically remove it. i pray (say your prayers too!) that it doesn't come to that.


i came across an advertisement for personalized stickers from a company called stuck on you while flipping through an international magazine called bambini. luckily the company has a US site. i think these could be quite handy, especially for items that sweet cheeks takes to school like phoebe, blankets, or funtainers.


the girl's gloss

i have mentioned it here before that sweet cheeks has an obsession with lip gloss. i finally decide to snap a picture of the interior of her purse just so you can get a glimpse of the craziness (i counted and she had 12 lip glosses inside)

i bought sweet cheeks this outfit from the gap over the weekend. wasn't sure she would wear it for obvious reasons, it doesn't sparkle. i picked it out for her to wear today, waiting for the ever quick response, "no." amazingly, she actually agreed and wore it. here is the picture to prove that she can have non-sparkly, non-hannah days.

here is a crafty project that i did and thought to share. i took some used fabric from work that was going to be tossed and hung it to display inside these rings purchased from a craft store. i think they turned out pretty cute, so i hung them in sweet cheeks playroom.

sparkle, not blake

i took sweet cheeks to the mall the other day with the intentions of hitting stride rite. they normally carry a few of the morgan & milo shoes, so i was going to see if they had the blake boot. they didn't have it, and it didn't matter anyway because once sweet cheeks saw these shoes, there was no going back!

we tried them on and they fit her foot, as well as her personality, to a T. sweet cheeks looks so freakin cute in them and has gotten so many compliments on her sparkly mary jane sneakers.

here are her feet with her snow white socks & sparkly shoes-

i seriously have no idea where she comes up with these poses sometimes. it cracks me up. this was her "fancy" outfit that she put on just yesterday as soon as she got home from school. she is definitely loving her dress up section of her bedroom, mirror & all.