Monday, June 27, 2011

The Schwartz's vs My Memories Give Away Winner

Alright, my first give away is over and here's the official results from

So that means the lucky winner is:

Congratulations and enjoy your new digital scrapbooking software!

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

The Schwartz's vs the 18 Month Old

My dear, sweet Sarah...we made it.  You're at the age where you can officially go into nursery at church.  Thank heavens!  Life on Sundays is about to get infinitely better for both of us...that is as soon as you stop screaming bloody murder when I try to peel you off of me to go into the nursery, but we'll get there.  Either that or I'll start running the other direction and leaving this responsibility to your father.  

I had high aspirations of starting potty training with you this month, you know because I said things before we got to this point like "I'm going to start potty training at 18 months so we can be done before we get to the terrible 2s."  Now that we're here I realize that was another BC (before children) delusion.  But there have been a few times when you've told me you've pooped and have willingly headed towards the changing table.  However, that's where your cooperation ends.  You still scream and kick and wail on your changing table.  

You have a wonderful and active imagination.  You love to get the tupperware out and a spoon and feed your baby Belle.  You also offer her drinks from your sippy cup before you down it yourself.  You make her clap her hands and pat her legs if you're watching Little Einsteins together.  You like to push her around in the stroller.  You talk to your Little People and make them have conversations with one another.  When you put one of the Little People to bed in the house you turn to me and put your finger over your mouth and say "shhhh".

Your memory amazes me sometimes.  For example, the other day we were playing in the kitchen and I put an oven mitt on one of your arms.  You thought it was funny so I opened the drawer and got another one out.  We played for a few minutes and then I said, "ok we need to put those away, clean up and get ready to go".  I turned away from you to get something off the counter and when I looked back you and reached up, opened the cabinet, put both of the oven mitts in and were trying to close the drawer.  I was just super impressed that you remembered that's where one of them came from, generalized that the other must go there too, and attempted to do it on your own.  

We've been working on sequence of events recently, partly to reduce meltdowns, but really because I think you truly understand what I'm saying.  So, for example, in the morning when it's time to get ready to go to the Y I'll tell you "first we need to go get dressed, next we need to put shoes and a bow on, then we'll go brush our teeth."  Every now and then you try to head for our bedroom to brush teeth, and I remind you "first we get dressed" and I point to your room and then you begrudgingly walk to your room, and proceed to ask to "brush".  I think going through our order of operations has made nap time easier for you.  We haven't fought about a nap in a while.  I tell you as we drive home from the Y "we're going to go home, have lunch, then go night night" and during lunch I remind you "as soon as you're all done, it's time for night night".  So when I get you out of the high chair you say, "night night", grab whatever random toy catches your eye in the living room and head to your bedroom.  Now, I'm not saying you go straight to sleep, but you don't cry and we don't fight about it.  (You generally take a 1.5 to 2 hour nap everyday.)

Grandma Schwartz taught you who Nemo is.  You apparently watched the whole movie with her last week.  A few days ago you brought me a swim diaper and pointed and said "Nemo".  Then you proceeded to say nemo over and over until I said, "do you want to watch nemo?" and you said "Yes!".  So we watched a little bit together.  I'm not pleased with this development.  But only because we had a couple of tv tantrums this past month so I've been trying to limit how much you get to watch to in the morning 1 Mickey Mouse Clubhouse and 1 Jake and the Neverland pirates only.  

Sometimes though, a mom's gotta do what a mom's gotta do so I let you watch a Little Einsteins after your nap yesterday.  You are one sassy little girl.  I was finished washing the dishes and ran the disposal.  I guess it was too loud and interrupting your show because you came in the kitchen waggled your finger at me while you said "no! no! no!" and then pointed towards the living room and said "show" as in, I can't hear my show woman, keep it down in here.  

You still love to "colcol" (color) and now recognize pens as a way of coloring.  You like to color with the physical therapist at the chiropractor's office while mommy is doing her PT.  

You like to wear daddy's hat.  You'll put your hand on top of your head and say "hat" if he's wearing it because you want it.  Sometimes you'll toddle off and come back with it and proudly announce "hat".

You're big into pointing out everyone's noses right now.  As soon as someone picks you up, you point to it and announce "nose".  Followed by pointing to their ears and saying "eyes".  We're working on that.  

You're very curious and the most common thing I hear you say right now is "what's that?"  You'll even ask it when you know what it is, but if I say "you tell me" you just say "noooo".  

You've tried nutella, and loved it!  I was a little worried because of your peanut allergy, but you had no problems with it.  What can I say, you're my little girl, of course you love nutella.  

You definitely keep your mommy and daddy on their toes and we love for it!

The Schwartz's vs Sophie's Outing

It's early.  I'm up before Sarah.  Why?  Because of Sophie.

You've met Sophie before.  I've posted about her a few times like how she tried to help us pack for the hospital, and when she came back after staying with Cam during flood recovery.  But all in all I don't post much about the cat because really, what do cats do that is entertaining?  For the most part, Sophie sleeps all day and if she isn't sleeping she's complaining about wanting to be fed (she's on a diet).

This morning Chris comes in the room at 6:15 am and starts looking under the bed.  He normally leaves for work at 6:00 am.  I asked him what he was looking for that would bring him back to the house and he says, "last night we left the door open.  Not just unlocked, but open."  (Our house was built by a ridiculously crappy snake of a builder and so if you don't have the deadbolt on a breeze can blow the door open.)  With my crazy paranoia, my first thought is he was checking under all the beds for bad guys, my second thought was oh no what if someone stole Sarah, but the monitor was on and I could hear her breathing so no worries there.  Never did my mind go to what Chris said next "Sophie's missing.  I think she got out."  Our dumb cat is terrified of the outdoors.  She NEVER leaves the house.  If you so much as step out onto the front porch while you're holding her she will practically claw you to death as she climbs up over your shoulder and darts back into the house.

So I get up and start looking in all of her favorite hiding places inside while Chris is looking around the house outside.  By 6:40, Chris needs to leave for work.  So I put on a brave face, prepared myself for the worst, and told him to go to work that she's either dead or she'll come home because really...who would take in out cat.  I said, there's no point in putting up lost cat posters.  Then we both laughed because we remember this joke: Missing Missy the Cat which I guess I could have used if we needed to since Sophie and Missy look so similar.

So Chris left and I went back to my bedroom checking under the bed and in the closets again, starting to tear up.  I really didn't think Sophie was coming back.  I figured I was going to see her dead on the side of the road when I went to the gym later today.  About 5 minutes later I hear Chris again.  He's bringing Sophie back into the house and she sounds grumpy.  Chris caught something moving under our neighbors black truck out of the corner of his eye so he got out of the car to investigate and, sure enough there was our stupid cat trying to get comfortable against the truck's tire.  She's lucky Chris is so observant.  I don't think I would have noticed a black cat under a black truck.  I thought she might come in and cower because of her stupidity.  But no, she marched around the house complaining for the first 10 minutes she was back.  No doubt she's blaming us for her getting out and having to sleep under a truck.  She's also probably not going to like me later today because Chris said she needs a bath.  So after the gym when I shower, guess who's getting a shower too...  I can't tell you the last time one of us bathed her.  I'm not even sure we have pet shampoo anymore.

I'm glad Sophie's safe and back home.  I know others who have met my cat may disagree (Cam who watched her during the flood and Susan who got bit by her for making the mistake of going outside when Chris was grilling) but we think she's a good cat with a sweet disposition.  She graces us with her presence and sometimes even wants to sit with us.  I think Sarah actually enjoys her company though I'm not sure the feeling is mutual, but Sophie tolerates Sarah.

So all in all it was a scary morning with a happy ending.  And I'll have to add pictures later because blogger won't let me add them right now.

Monday, June 20, 2011

The Schwartz's vs My Memories Suite 2 Give away!

I am so excited to host my first ever give away on this blog.  I feel sort of like a rock star.

The lovely ladies over at LeeLou Blogs gave me the opportunity to download My Memories Suite 2 for free and then give away a free digital copy to one lucky reader.

My mom kept a meticulous memories book for me and my siblings.  I love getting out what I lovingly call "my life in a box" and look through my history.  It's even more fun to compare what Sarah looks like to me at those ages.  So before Sarah was born we went to the scrapbook store and I bought an expandable book so I could make something special like that for her.  She's almost 18 months old now.  I think I've made all of 6 pages, from her birthday in the hospital.  Mom fail.  I just get so overwhelmed by picking background papers and mat stacks, and embellishments, and then worrying about what to write and how horrible my handwriting looks.  I even went out and bought a cricut to try to make it better.

I know a lot of people print their blogs as their form of baby books, but I think of this more as my family journal.  Then a little while ago I started thinking digital scrapbooking might be a better way to go to create a personal baby book for Sarah.  I started looking at different scrapbooking software choices but didn't want to cough up the money for something I didn't know if I'd be able to use.  I did a free trial of photoshop once and that was so complicated it made me a little gun shy.

Let me tell you My Memories Suite 2 is nothing like some of those other big bulky complicated software packages.  The set up is intuitive and easy to work with.  I love how there are a ton of premade templates and yet it's really easy to go in there under the blank template and create your own page.  There are a ton papers and embellishments that come in the download that coordinate and mix and match to make your pages look just the way you want.  However there are tons of designer kits you can download for free or a small price.  I think that was the only time I've felt overwhelmed--while trying to pick which designer kits I should download.   =)

Here's a page I made today.  Clearly I'm not a fantastic scrapbooker, but that's not the software's paper pages actually look worse.

So now it's your turn.  My Memories is giving one of you lucky readers a free copy of My Memories Suite 2.  So here's how you can enter:

1) MANDATORY: Visit and leave me a comment telling me which digital scrapbook kit is your favorite.  Yes, I'm using you to help me decide which ones I should download.  =) 
2) Optional extra entry: Become a follower.  (What you are already awesome and a follower of my blog, that's cool.  Just leave a comment saying that you are.)

Happy Entering.  This give away will close Monday June 27th and the winner will be announced on Tuesday, June 28th.  Good luck!

Sunday, June 19, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Father's Day 2011

Remember this?

It has somehow grown into this:
(Yes we had to stage the photo a few days later, Sarah doesn't always feel like cooperating for the camera.)

And just think, next year he'll be having to juggle 2 kids for his father's day photo!  

Chris is such a great dad!  I love watching him play with Sarah and listen to them both giggle.  He's extremely patient with her, especially when I'm losing mine, and always seems to find the joy in every little aspect of Sarah, even when I can't.  Chris has to turn his head sometimes when Sarah puts her hand on her hip and tells me no because he still thinks it's cute.  Chris will let her dump out her crayons and scribble for 2 seconds just to start singing "clean up, clean up" and start putting them away to turn around and dump them out as soon as she's finished and start the process over again for an eternity.  (Mommy makes her put the crayons away for good after the 3rd time.)  Chris will lay on the floor and play Little People long after preggo mommy has had to get up before she gets stuck.  And there is just something about their daddy/daughter bonding time at bath time that I just don't get.  Sarah has refused to get in the bath tub for me before because I told her when daddy got home he was going to give her a bath, then he wound up running late so I needed to get started and she just wouldn't go for it.  The second he walked in the door she grabbed his hand then went to the bathroom and giggles could be heard for miles.  

There's no doubt about it; Sarah loves her daddy.  She squeals with delight the second he walks through the door.  She asks about him from the minute she gets up from her nap until I start singing the "I'm so glad when daddy comes home" song, and bolts straight to the front door when I start because she knows that means he'll be walking in any second.  And heaven's forbid I tell her we're going somewhere to see daddy...she talks about it the whole way there in the car.  

I know there's a special bond between dads and their sons and everyone is so excited for Chris to be getting his boy (it must be a man thing) but I don't think anything is sweeter than seeing Sarah cuddle with Chris on the couch every Saturday morning, or the night night kisses that he always gets even when I get denied for the request.  And while I'm sure we'll have moments of "that's my boy" for Cody, Sarah will always be his little girl.

Sarah made Chris this artwork for Father's Day.  Mommy got it framed for his office.

Monday, June 13, 2011

The Schwartz's vs My Favorite Vacation Spot

The older I've gotten the more I realize my favorite place to vacation is at my parents house.  Yes, you read that right and I'm not embarrassed about it.  I like it because mom makes dinner and does the dishes; Sarah sleeps in, takes naps without a fight, and still goes to bed on time; it's fun to watch Sarah play with the toys I did when I was a kid; Sarah lays still for all diaper changes and doesn't fight me; and mom splurges and buys the good sandwich bread that I'm too cheap to get.  About the only thing I don't like about visiting my parents is the mattress on the guest bed.  And there are two of them!  Neither of them compare to the temper-pedic I get to sleep on at home.

Sarah pretty much is a flurry of activity from the time we get there until it's time to go home.  She pulls out every toy and book about 3 times a day as well as rearranges the tupperware cabinet as often as mom manages to put everything back in there again.  She loves to play with the old Sesame Street house and Little People house.  Plus this time there were some animal magnets that Aunt Elizabeth gave to mom that Sarah just loved.  She'd pull them out and say what noise they made and put them on the fridge.  After she'd get them all up she'd start singing "clean up" and take them back off the fridge and put them away in their box.  This time we went she was finally big enough to get in and out of the little table and chairs all by herself which she loved!

I think the most fun she had though was when she was playing dress up with grandma.
It started with just a simple headband that I was very surprised Sarah was willing to put on her head.  But with much promptings and telling her she looked so pretty she ran to the bathroom to show her best friend (her reflection).  Once grandma realized she was ok with headbands (something she is NEVER ok with at home) grandma decided to try on the fancy headband she bought for a little girl to wear for her baptism.

But I think my favorite picture from her playing dress up is this one:
She just looks like such a big girl in this picture.  I was going to try to save it for her 18 month picture since shots of her actually looking at the camera and smiling a few and hard to get, but I realized we've still got about 10 days before that event which would make this picture about 3 weeks old so that doesn't seem fair.  

This time around Sarah wasn't the only one getting some attention from grandma and grandpa.  Cody also got his first presents!  Mom likes to give us little gifts each month while we're pregnant.  Nothing big and fancy but nice little things like burp cloths or outfits.  When I was pregnant with Sarah it was often things for me for maternity wear and stuff like that.  This time since I've already got that stuff it's all stuff for Cody.  Look at his haul (the little post it notes denote which month the gift is for and sorry Emily if you open your package and see duplicates)!

I especially like the bibs and onesies mom made for Cody:
Please note she does not have an applique machine so she does that with a regular sewing machine zigzag stitching it on her own.  Pretty neat huh!  She made these in response to the awesome ruffle butt onesies she made for Sarah when she was a newborn.  

Lastly, this was hanging up in the guest bedroom during this visit.  She says it's not for Sarah.  I beg to long as Sarah remains the only granddaughter.  Here's hoping to everyone else continuing to produce boys.  =)  (Just kidding.)

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

The Schwartz's vs Memorial Day Weekend 2011

While Memorial Day weekend is the official summer kick off for most people, in the Schwartz household it's our last hurrah before Chris starts the summer session of school and we never see him again until he emerges for a couple weeks in between summer and fall semesters.  So we hit all of our major traditions like the outdoor pool, the Brooks cook out, and then spend the day Monday with the Schwartz's and their homemade ice cream machine which has been the star of many a memorial day gatherings.

Saturday morning we went to the opening of the outdoor water park at our Y.  Sarah loved it last year when all she could really do was sit and crawl near the end of the summer in the outer edges of the pool. This year she was really enjoying walking around in the deeper parts and going through the sprinklers.  She fell a few time and didn't even cry when her face went under water.  She had a really great time until she noticed the water slides and became distraught over why we kept telling her no.  She really wanted to go down the slides.  So we got out and went over to the for her to slide and run around while she dried off.  Then it was promptly home for lunch and to get dressed and ready for the annual Brooks cookout.
It was hot so Chris and I set up in the shade.  I'm sure we seemed antisocial but every time I went to the table to sit and chit chat I burned up.  So I sat back in the shade to supervise the engineer at work.

The Brooks were nice enough to get out their Geotracks collection.  I think it was a bit too old for Sarah, but it was completely age appropriate for Chris who kept building different track configurations for Sarah.  She just kept picking the trains up off the track or putting buildings down on top of them.  I don't think the other kids appreciated having a little girl trying to help them with the trains.
Here's Sarah hard at work unbuilding whatever Chris was trying to put together for her.

Sunday I was back in the kitchen slaving over more cake balls.  Chris is normally not home for the first few steps of the cake ball process.  He usually just helps me dip them.  So he thought it was hilarious that my palms were stained red with perfect red circles from the ball making processes.  He felt the need to snap a picture.  This was my 3rd batch of cake balls for this weekend.  I took Smore and lemon cake balls to the Brooks, and was making red white and blue cake balls for the Schwartz's. 

Monday we had a great time at the Schwartz's.  But here's my mom fail.  This is the only picture I took of Sarah on memorial day.  And yes, I'm that mom that stripped my child down after the first cookout and washed the romper so she could wear it on Monday.  I mean, I bought this outfit for Memorial Day and the 4th of July so you better believe she is going to wear it to all events surrounding those 2 holidays.  The only reason you can tell the difference is I changed the bow out this time.  (Subtle I know but I thought I was going to be taking a ton more pictures and I wanted a way I could quickly tell the difference between them.)  This was also Sarah's first pony tail.  I could NOT figure out how to use those tiny baby rubber bands so I just used one of mine and looped it about 10 times.  I need to take a class about doing little girl's hair.  

We all had a great time at the Schwartz's.  The 4H's are always so great playing with Sarah.  She LOVES her cousins and wants to follow them around and do whatever they do.  So after dinner when they went back outside she was pretty upset that it was time for her to take a bath and get ready for bed.  (She did not have a great nap that day and so her 7 o'clock bedtime was a must.)  

And of course, the cake balls were a hit.  I also made some chocolate colored strawberries in my red, white, and blue theme since.  So those are the cake balls in the middle.  The rest were in a pyrex dish.  If you ever endeavor to make cake balls just know 1 box of cake = 40+ cake balls.  So be prepared to have a lot of cake balls.  

And here's a picture of a cut open cake ball since I thought I was being so cleaver.  Get it, red velvet cake with blue and white icing.  What?  I'm not that creative so this is about as good as it gets.