Monday, August 30, 2010

The Schwartz's vs a Break in the Heat Wave

To say this summer has been hot would be an understatement.  I laughed a number of times when I passed a local credit union whose sign would flash between 111 and 120 degrees (with the heat index).  It has been CRAZY hot.  So much of what we love to do has been canceled because of the heat.  We have even checked the mail only ONCE per day and sometimes that was from the car with the air running full blast.  

So Sarah and I have been very excited to enjoy some finally cooler weather.  We get a nice bit of shade in the afternoon and go outside and toss a blanket on the grass and enjoy the sporadic breeze.  It's actually nice enough to start back our evening walks, but we'll have to take a few without Chris since he's back to school today.  (Only 4 more years to go hopefully!)

Yeah, so after I took this picture I realized that I have quite a few pictures of me and Sarah and I'm wearing that shirt.  I made me feel bad, so I went and bought some more "nice" tshirts (I have a whole tshirt organization system.  It actually got to the point where I asked Chris to stop putting my tshirts away for me because he was putting them in the wrong stacks in my drawer.)  So hopefully you won't be seeing me in this shirt anymore unless the picture is taken post gym--pre shower.  (Because this tshirt is in the gym/cleaning the house classification.)

Sunday, August 22, 2010

The Schwartz's vs the 8 Month Old

Sarah, you are 8 months old today.  Here's what you've been up to:
* You are a very *busy* girl and you definitely keep us on our toes.
* You LOVE to crawl.  Especially when crawling is directly linked with chasing Sophie.  
* You pull yourself up to stand with the aid of anything you can.
* You are mommy's little work out buddy.  You enjoy the nursery at the gym so much that I feel guilty when I don't go.  You really enjoy crawling around after the different toys and playing with the other kids.  The ladies enjoy having you in there and often tell me about how much you smile and love it when the other kids bring you toys to play with.
* You are getting more vocal.  I can't really say that you are babbling, but you do that from time to time. Mostly you say the syllables "ba", "bo", and "da" and you just string the same one together over and over.  Daddy answers whenever you happen to string "dadada" together.  
* For the most part when we're home together you don't really babble at me, you just make funny noises and screech.  I couldn't figure out why until I noticed yesterday that I make the same noises when we're playing.  Whoops.  
* You've got 4 top teeth, 2 bottom teeth, and a few molar peeks.  
* You're wearing a size 3 diaper, 6 to 9 month onesies, 3 to 6 month footie pjs that we cram you into because we haven't bought you new pjs that fit (sorry), and dresses from sizes 3/6 to 6/9 months.  If you fit the 3 month dresses those are a little better for crawling purposes but you're starting to outgrow them.
* You smile all the time, we LOVE it.  You really are a happy girl.
* You got a busy ball popper and you like it long enough to get 2 of the plastic balls from it and then you crawl away with them.  
* If we thought you liked the outdoor pool before you REALLY like it now that you can crawl with your belly off the ground.  You were splashing all over the place as you crawled around the other night.  Too bad it closes on Labor Day.  
* You are a little bundle of energy and love wrapped up with a beautiful smile and a pretty hair bow.

Friday, August 20, 2010

The Schwartz's vs the Out takes

So multiple people have commented that Sarah smiles all the time and never takes a bad picture.  I must assure you that's simply not true.  But why would I post a picture that's not good?  So here are some behind the scene facts about our pictures.  I never take just one.  I take at least 5 pictures of a particular whatever that I want to capture so that hopefully one of them will turn out.  I sometime turn it on the continuous shooting mode but I try not to do that often because I very quickly wind up with 50+ pictures in a few seconds and then it's a BEAST to try to find the 1 good one (remember the sneak peak of flower butt).  When I do her birthday shots, there are between 30-40 of those (not kidding).

However, I've been working on this post for a couple of days now and every time I sit down to find some examples of "bad" pictures I just can't find any.  So either I've been doing a better job about deleting them when they happen OR Sarah really doesn't take a bad picture.  (Ha ha!)

Anyway, here's a couple of out takes.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

The Schwartz's vs Wishful Wednesday

Please note: This picture was not taken today or else this wouldn't be my wish for Wednesday.

Monday, August 16, 2010

The Schwartz's vs the Tutu

Sarah's 8 month pictures are coming up and I'm scrambling to get outfits put together.  I mean how are we ever going to top flower butt?  Well, after prom I took home the tule they used to decorate the gym with the intent to make Sarah a tutu and today seemed like a good day to give it a try.  I did my google research on no sew tutu's and found one that suggested using an adult elastic headband.  I have plenty of those so I slipped it around her waist.  It seemed a little big, but it should work none the less.  Then I had my genius idea and I stretched it around the back of a kitchen chair and started making the tutu.  Have you already thought that through....yeah, it stretched it out.  So it was too big for Sarah, and too long.
Remember, this was round one so I've got some ideas of what I can do better.  But it was just the right size for...

Oddly enough, we didn't actually get a picture of the person who the tutu actually belongs to:  ET.  But we're thinking about making another one and having the girls wear matching tutus to a Tigers game this fall.

So here's the vote for the pictures.  Should I have Sarah wear a tutu for her 8 month or wait until 12 month pictures.  (Or would it be ok to do it both times as long as the tutus were different colors?)  And if I do a tutu for this round should I do blue or go buy some tule and make a pink one?

Friday, August 13, 2010

The Schwartz's vs the Secret Love Affair

So it's true you can't pick your child's lovie for them.  They will pick it themselves and you have no control over it.  This love affair was kept a secret from us for some time because they only saw each other occasionally.  Not like her other jilted lovies who sleep with her and play with her every day.
(From left to right)  Violet plays Sarah music and even sings songs about her favorite animal, color, and food (bacon) and calls Sarah by name.  Monkey has slept in Sarah's bed with her since she moved into her own crib.  Lion (original name I know) was given to her by Grandma Smith and has been the soft spot that Sarah has laid her head on since she was a newborn.  And Buttercup was the bear Chris gave me for our first Valentines that I saved for our first child.  Yet none of these stole Sarah's heart quite like her current companion.  Sure, she loves to play with these and smiles real big with Violet sings to her.  

But this smile is reserved for her one and only:

I walked in the room with him and she immediately turned around and made a b-line for us.  

Yes, my daughter is in love with a Who.

"Oh Who!  I've missed you!"

It's funny because Who-doll is her car companion.  I  knew she loved him because she immediately stops fussing the moment she gets him in the car and will actually lean forward and try to pick him up off the seat while she's being buckled in.  But we really didn't know the extent of her love for the Who until she stayed at the grandparents and Who got to come in the house.  She would crawl across the room and stand up against the couch to get her Who-doll.  Unfortunately Who-doll only got to come in for a washing and this photo opportunity.  He's heading back out to the car when we go to the Y later today.  

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

The Schwartz's vs Magic Grandparents

So, as previously mentioned Chris and I took a trip without Sarah and she stayed with Grandma and Grandpa Schwartz.  During this short trip they managed to:
1) Get her to babble more
2) Teach her to put herself to sleep (though we're 7 min into this "nap" and I still hear here in there playing, 40 min later after intervention she's finally asleep) Yeah, she woke up 12 min later so that doesn't count as a nap.
3) Cure her of her constipation
4) Teach her to pull up to standing and then sit back down (She had quit pulling herself up for a while because she would get stuck and frustrated.)

I am slightly disappointed though that they didn't potty train her.  I mean come on, they had her for 54 hours and they often brag that Grandpa Schwartz only needs 24 hours to potty train.

By the way, someone's still teething.  Can you tell?

Monday, August 9, 2010

The Schwartz's vs the Indecent Exposure

Entry Warning:  To Much Information Over Share.

So Chris and I had our 6th wedding anniversary August 5th and he wanted to get away and give me a break from Sarah.  So we decided to go to Hot Springs for the putt and pamper package where Chris gets to golf and I get to do a "traditional" bath at the Arlington Bath House.  This was my first time away from Sarah, and it showed, right on my shirt, while I was sitting by the pool.  Yes, that first morning away from her I got the unmistakeable mark of the mom perfectly formed and visible from many feet away.  Great.  At least I had my Nook since I had been reading so I was able to cover it and make my walk of shame back to the room to figure something out.  I didn't plan for this, I didn't have old Bessie, or any nursing pads.  So I'm digging through the suitcase trying to figure something out when I ran across some panty liners I had to McGyver into working for me.  They did, thank goodness, because I had only packed one extra shirt and I was now wearing it.  And so I headed down to the bath house for a nice relaxing whirlpool bath and Swedish massage.

So have you ever been to Hot Springs for a traditional bath package?  I hadn't.  It should come with a warning such as: PUBLIC nudity involved.  Now before you start rolling your eyes at me thinking it's  bath Natalie what else did you expected.  I'll tell you, I expected to be shown to my tub and left alone until some timer went off and then a voice on the other side of the curtain would tell me it was time to get out.  THAT'S NOT HOW THEY DO IT!  

Nope, I was shown to my private curtained tub and then in front of Ms. Glenda told to drop my towel and hop in.  I'm clinging to my towel for dear life looking at her like "are you kidding me" while she's pulling my towel out from behind me!  AHH!  So trying to save as much dignity as possible I quickly get into the tub and tuck into myself trying to cover what little self respect I have left.  Then since this place is old and the whirlpool tubs aren't like the ones you have at home, she turns on what can old be described as a BOAT MOTOR on and leaves me to get the crap beat out of me.  Even when I use the jetted tub at home, I only turn those on for a few min if any.  So while I'm being pulverized by the boat motor I'm trying to figure out a way to lay in the tub without being beaten to death.  At one point I've got my back side crammed up against the tub while pushing with my arms against the other side to keep me there and the boat motor is attacking poor lefty who is already a little sensitive about missing Sarah.  At that point I sit up trying to figure out how to turn the motor off.  I never found it before Ms. Glenda appears unannounced and begins to scrub my with a loofa.  WHO FINDS THAT RELAXING?  I mean people really, who wants another grown person to wash you?  I'm quite capable of doing that myself.  

But anyway, after that I finally get my towel back the next two stages of the traditional bath were nice.  I got to sit in a sauna for as long as I wanted (I think I only made it 10 min before I had to come out).  And then they wrapped me up with warm towel on my back, legs, and arms and put a cool towel over my face.  That was pretty relaxing.  Then I got to take a "needle" shower which I guess was the early version of body sprayers.  It was a pipe with holes punched in it so the water would spray your body.  But did I mention this place was old?  So the water pressure was pretty low and basically the only holes the water could make it out was knee level.  Again, Ms. Glenda arrives unannounced and throws back the curtain, hello person walking by, wraps me in a sheet and sends me to my massage.  I'm ok with massages.  I know there's nudity involved but at Goulds they leave the room while you get under the sheet and you tell them when to come back in.  Nope, not here.  She strips my sheet off me and tells me to lay down then covers me with the sheet she just took from me!  

It was interesting to say the least.  Had I been forewarned I would have worn a swimsuit.  

The other cool thing was Chris and I did something we'd never done before.  (Mind out of the gutter people.)  We ordered room service.  That's always been something I wanted to do!  We got back from the little amusement park after all the restaurants had closed and so we were trying to decide about going town to the lobby bar and eating when we saw that the room service menu was the same menu, and same prices.  So we ordered in.  How fun!  Chris ordered a chicken sandwich and they brought the cutest little bottles of ketchup and mayo.  

It was nice to spend time being able to focus on each other and being away from Sarah for a little bit made me realize how much I miss her!  It was good to see her when we got back, though she didn't seem to care a lick that we were gone or that we came home.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

The Schwartz's vs the Blogging Award

I think this is some sort of blog-esque chain letter.   But the fact that someone reads and enjoys my blog makes me not care.

So here you have it, my first blog award:

So since I have received this award I must 1) thank the blogger who sent it to you, 2) sum up your blogging philosophy in about 10 words, and then 3) honor ten other bloggers you think have real substance (or else I'm sure some ill will be fall me per the rules of all standard chain letters...just kidding).

First I must say in my best Sally Field's voice "You like really really like me."  And then I must thank Bekah who gave me this award and inspires me on a daily basis.  Sometimes I blog just for her because I know Bekah checks on my blog every day.  She is truly one of the most amazing and fantastic people I've ever met.  She is an inspiration in her faith, devotional to family, and ability to average a $1 or less per item when she goes shopping.  I've been blessed to be raised in the LDS church, and yet Bekah, who has only been a member since college, is the type of Morman mom I strive to be.  (So would it also be inappropriate to admit while I was writing that the Bud Light Real Men of Genius song was playing in my head...)

Anyway, step 2 sum up my blogging philosophy in about 10 words. Hmmmmmm.....
My private journal made public for viewers and voyeurs alike. 

There's your 10 words.  And here's the truth.  This blog started because Chris and I were bored near the end of the pregnancy and when he came up with a great name it had to be acted upon.  We thought, hey, since my family has all moved away perhaps we should blog so they can keep in touch.  I called my parents and told them I was starting a blog, they told me "that's nice, we're not going to read it".  I called my sister in law and told her I had a blog, she said "I don't blog".  Thankfully, I found out my other sister in law...WHO LIVES IN TOWN reads my blog, checks it daily, and texts me if I haven't updated in a while.  And my sister reads my blog regularly showing off her niece to her coworkers.  So at least some of my family members are reading this.  However, I must be doing something right because today my MOM added herself to my list of followers.  HI MOM!!!  So my goal is to every January have my blog printed and save these books as our family journals.  If I wind up being a scrapbook slacker they may have to double as baby books too.  But I'm hoping one day after I'm long dead and gone, some distant relative will read this and say two very important things, 1) "Grandma Natalie was HILARIOUS" and 2) "Grandma Natalie is quite the looker isn't she."

Step 3, honor others.  So here's the other blogs that I follow regularly and a tid bit of why:
1)  Jana is one of those professional bloggers.  Who is so awesome at it she has a million bajillion followers.  She makes me laugh so hard I snort sometimes.
2)  Alyson teaches to fund her craft habit.  She is amazing and so very creative!
3)  Katie is another one of those moms that I don't actually know, but I found her blog through someone else's blog and enjoy it so much I check it daily.
4)  Kayleen has 2 blogs her family one which I like to check on since I miss them so much, and then her craft blog.  She is so talented.  Here's a link to her craft blog if you want to check it out it's got lots of great ideas.
5)  Eliza's blog is great and one of the reasons I started blogging.  I was reading her blog one day while the kids were tests and I lost it.  I rarely have those laugh out loud moments but I definitely lost it that day.
6)  Laura is another one of my really talented and crafty friends.  Here's a blog to showcase what she can do.  (Feel free to make a purchase also.)
7)  Sarah moved away a while ago and I was super excited to find her blog.  She is so witty and makes the best photoshop jokes.
8)  Melissa is another one of my good friends who moved, so I enjoy keeping up with her family.
9)  Kelly, yet another professional blogger.
10)  Brown Paper Packages and I'll end with a craft blog.

What no picture of Sarah?  Have no fear, here it is.

She's super excited about the blog award too.  Also, note, she voted today.  Doing her democratic duty that's what I'm talkin' about.

Monday, August 2, 2010

The Schwartz's vs the Reality Check

Well, I knew this day was coming and this post was to go along with it, but in true form I put it off until here it was.  I think it has something to do with my strong sense of denial.  But today all my friends went back to work thus cementing my decision to become gainfully unemployed.  Not that I don't work, I do.  I just don't get paid with monetary rewards.  I get paid with open mouth kisses that seem more like someone is trying to eat my face, hair pulls which I'll construe as hugs, and smiles which melt my heart.

This was always the plan.  Chris and I decided that I would stay home when we had kids before we married, but it doesn't change how hard this decision was.  Those who know me know that I'm an avid goal maker and well, while Sarah has checked off a big to-do, her timing also inhibited another item from being marked off.  I missed getting my professional license and tenure by 1 day!  And while that was hard to learn last year, I think ultimately it made my ability to stick to this decision easier.  I had intended to go back and finish the school year last year to get my license and tenure but when they said I would not get it and I'd have to return and work this school year, well, to summarize I said "forget it".

While I have a lot of opinions/complaints about the education system and plenty of suggestions for how to fix it, I cannot deny that I am going to miss my Pisgah homies.

So here are some of the highlights from the past 2 1/2 years.
Tard Herding, hidden fridges and special packages, Party Pips, "What it do", the General, "See what had happened was....", walking the loop, not planning during planning, sending down money late...everyday, my first year kids, "how far apart were the desks", gateway scores, "cold and off putting", old building seclusion, new building banishment to germantown parkway (it was a conspiracy to get me to do work during planning...instead I converted another to lack of productivity), staying way too late after work to accomplish too few things, stickettes and skank squads, inservice days and even better inservice on the computer, hot chocolate, the Consequence Fairy, giving "too much homework" and not backing down, teaching kids math (but really it was teaching kids work ethic), Reginald, co-teaching (thanks Ms. Auth!), my twin for twin days (I'm tempted to come up that day so we can be twins again, I'll even chaperone the dance), hexagon stencils, band concerts, tennis ball throwing, baked potatoes, ear plugs to survive pep rallies, and anything else I can't think of right now off the top of my head.

But really, if you were me, how could you ever leave this:
Highlights Addendum:
...highlight of C.N's day, making "The List", being referred to as a mini-Bryson (awesome!), Cordova H.S guidance counselor's meeting while I was on maternity leave (Biggest Compliment I ever got), fire marshall visits (thanks Susan),