taz + belly: May 2011

Summertime is Here

30 May 2011

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Can I tell you how thrilled I am that summer is here? It's a little bittersweet, since it marks one year since I've been back at work. It is hard to believe that this time last year we were sleeping in and snuggling our newborn baby girl and spending every waking moment soaking up the sun. It was such a blessing to get to spend maternity leave at the pool with my girls and I'm going to have to sneak in lots of sunny weekends if this summer plans to compete.

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I love having a three-day weekend and we took full advantage of our time together. We spent all day Saturday, Sunday and today at my parents' pool. We grilled out, packed picnic lunches, bought floats, applied sunscreen, watched puppy dogs make laps and remembered how to swim. It took Ella all three days to gain a little confidence and begin to swim around the pool again. It took Sophie about three minutes to decide she wasn't afraid of the water at all. She fell in once, went under a lot, scrubbed her knees on the sidewalk several times and didn't cry at all that I can remember.

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Today was the cherry on top of an already lovely weekend. We were surrounded by our favorite people and ate TONS of yummy food. My girls were not ready to leave when the time came and they are both freshly bathed and fast asleep.

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Summer is exhausting

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Peep Eye

27 May 2011

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So, I'm guessing that most of you call it "peek-a-boo", but at our house that game is called "peep eye", otherwise known as "where is Sophie?". I never knew that was such a controversial name, but every time I say it someone asks me what it means. Peep eye is one of Sophie's favorite games and we play it often. See...

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Where is Sophie?

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Peep eye!

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Where did Sophie go?

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Peep eye!

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Where did Sophie go?

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There she is!

iLove it

25 May 2011

Speaking of iPhones... I thought I'd take a little snapshot of my phone case for you. Yes, the pictures are crappy. I had to take the case off of my phone to take the picture because the camera is in the bathroom {tub photos of Sophie from last night} and she's asleep right now which prevents me from walking through her room. It's kind of hard to tell from the pictures, but my case is actually two pieces. A soft rubber piece stretches around the phone to protect it and the hard plastic case snaps on the back to pretty it up! I wasn't sure how I felt about that at first, but I am really enjoying it. Also hard to tell is that the stripes are a light grey with a bit of a purple undertone. The turquoise flag reads pretty true to color.

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So, Rachel asked {hi, Rachel!} this morning if I would share my favorite apps and you know what? I DON'T HAVE ANY. I need help, ladies. So far, we've acquired Angry Birds and Blocks, which everyone in the house is obsessed with. I kind of think Drainworks is pretty funny, too. Chipotle's app to order dinner is a must have {I took advantage of that on the way home this afternoon} since we get take-out almost every Wednesday. I also use Redbox, Fandango & Dish Network to keep up with TV and Movies, but beyond that I am iPhone app illiterate.

That, my friends, is where you come in. Please, please share your favorites with me in the comments. I hope some of them are free, but I'm not completely opposed to paying for things you think I can't live without!

a list to fill you in

24 May 2011

Let's catch up...
  1. First on the list is an apology. Man, I've been missing from the blogging world for a bit. Can you say busy?
  2. I finally bit the bullet and bought an iPhone. All I have to say about that is life-changing. I cannot believe I held out so long, but I'm kind of thankful that the old LG bit the dust.
  3. I designed and ordered the cutest personalized cover for my phone and I am SO happy with it. I wish they were cost-effective enough to offer them in the shop, but I'm worried no one really wants to spend $50-55 on a phone cover... even if it is cute. 
  4. Sophie is a grown woman. Seriously. She has the cutest round teeth on top and is the sassiest thing you've ever seen. She touches everything, empties trash cans, eats bugs and smiles while being defiant. It's exhausting, but hilarious.
  5. We are leaving for the beach in less than three weeks. Ella asks every day if it's still three weeks away. We are renting an RV this year and I can't wait to see if I did okay. Finding things via the internet is always an interesting adventure.
  6. SD & I fight over the iPhone because we are obsessed with Angry Birds. I think we need an iPad for Christmas this year.
  7. I bought two awesome tables for my living room last week. Think tarnished brass, glass tops and dainty legs. They were antique, cheap and look perfect in front of the couch instead of a traditional coffee table. SD thinks they're too tall, but I'm trying to win him over.
  8. I'm reading American Wife and love it. It's a bit risque (you've been warned), but is an interesting read. I haven't been able to put it down all week.
  9. We have eaten fast food for dinner at least twice a week for the last month. That has got to stop.
  10. I bought three bathing suits yesterday and plan to take only one of them back. I lucked out at TJMaxx and Ross and got them all for a steal. It's too bad they're all one-pieces, but I'm convinced I'll be able to rock a bikini next year if I can't pull it off by labor day.
  11. I've been doing a modified version of Weight Watchers since Valentine's Day and I'm working out at the gym in my building 4-5 days a week. I hate lifting weights and I hate the elliptical, but somehow doing it on my lunch break makes it a little more bearable.
  12. I've lost 11 pounds since February and I'd like to lose 8 more. I am working HARD and it is finally paying off.
  13. I might never have a flat, toned, pre-baby belly EVER again, but I can be proud of everything else and okay with the fact that I traded that belly in on two of the cutest kids around.
  14. Speaking of the girls, I filled out Ella's pre-K registration packet today and it makes me feel old.
  15. Did I mention we're going to the beach in three weeks? HURRY up already.
  16. Ella's dance recital isn't too far away and she's getting excited. We have two cute costumes hanging in the closet and we're practicing up a storm. She has gotten so good this year and I'm so proud of her. I can't wait to see her shaking it on stage.
  17. My sister, K, went to Ireland with her hubby the week before last and I'm super jealous (but thrilled for her!). It just sparked conversations about where we can go for our 11th wedding anniversary. I'm thinking Greece, SD says Spain, England & the south of France.
  18. I know, I know... we should really do a big trip for our 10th anniversary (next year), but logistically speaking it won't work. We already have big plans for our vacation time next year and it involves the girlies. Big fun, my friends.
  19. I have lots of recent design-ery things to share, but I honestly haven't had the time to get them uploaded. Keeping up the the orders is rough enough! Maybe I'll have some things to share in the coming week.
  20. I've had an invite to Pinterest in my inbox for weeks (thanks, Beth) and really need to get on the bandwagon. Again... who has the time?
  21. SD's new job is going really well and we're finally settled in to our new routine. He's had to travel for a week, two different times and might be out of town again right before our vacation. While I'd love to have him home, he's really enjoying the traveling and Ella is beside herself every time she gets a new photo of the plane. 
  22. Cicadas are EVERY.WHERE. They have taken over the pear tree in my yard, they swarm when we go outside, we cannot walk to the car without them crunching under foot. They are so loud out there that we have to yell at each other when we play outside. Thank goodness, they won't be back for 13 more years!
  23. We spent our first day at the pool on Saturday and it was lovely. I am so looking forward to this holiday weekend and the prospect of double-digits worth of lazy weekends in the water.
  24. I had a "tiny" pregnancy scare, which turned out to be a nice case of vertigo. One doctor's visit, two sick days and three prescriptions later and I'm still walking kind of crooked. I was hoping to avoid an appointment with the ENT, but it isn't looking good. Walking and holding a baby at the same time is kind of critical at this point in my life.
  25. Okay... twenty five things is enough. I'm going to enjoy my Dr. Pepper and DVR'd episode of the Bachelorette and talk to you guys again later!

Sidewalk Talk

17 May 2011

My favorite part of celebrating Easter this year came very late in the day. SD decided to play basketball with the boys, so I packed the girls up and brought them home for some rest.

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Ella couldn’t wait to dig into her Easter basket goodies, so we decided to take the sidewalk chalk and head outdoors. It was so late in the evening, we were fighting against darkness, but they had the best time playing together.

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I think Sophie was surprised we were letting her do something so messy and she had such a great time. It is so much fun to see what things they instinctively know to do or learn from their siblings in 30 seconds flat. Before we knew it, she had chalk in her hand and was scribbling on the drive.

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Ella practiced her name {I love the way she draws the “a”} and I helped her draw a few other images. We worked on hearts and how to start with two circles side by side and connect them. I always love how impressed she is with even the most rudimentary drawings. Little girls are so easy to please sometimes.

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There is nothing sweeter than uninterrupted time with the people you love. Birds were flying by, Sophie waved at every car that passed by and both girls spent the hour grinning ear to ear.

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Beemer tried to monopolize some photographs and nibble on the chalk, but it was a pretty successful afternoon. Both girls were covered in chalk and dirt and who knows what else and had to be delivered STRAIGHT to the bathtub when they were finished.

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As the sun kept sinking deeper and deeper behind the trees, we had less and less light to work with. Sophie finally gave up and heading towards the front porch steps.

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This might be my favorite moment spent with my girls to date.

This post was slated to post last Friday but, as you know, Blogger had a few minor hiccups and thwarted my plans!


Although Easter was really late in the season this year, it seemed to sneak up on me. I had been thinking about the girls' baskets for weeks and all of a sudden I had a mere days to finish them up! Luckily, I had been taking good notes and Ella had been making many requests over the previous weeks.

I am not a huge fan of candy for the kiddos, although they do get sweet treats. Instead of loading up on sugar, I usually shop for things that I would be buying them anyway. This year, Ella got a beach towel and bathing suit, silver sandals for spring/summer, a cute quilted purse that she spotted several weeks ago at a local shop {thanks, Sue}, some alphabet flashcards and the movie Tangled. There was also some candy, bubbles, kaleidoscope and hopping chick.

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Sophie got a beach towel, bathing suit and sandals, too. She also got Melissa & Doug maracas, a bead maze that suctions to the high chair tray, a new sippy cup, some baby puffs and lollipops.

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Ella was most excited that the bunny apparently shops at Sew Close to Home and Sophie was impressed with the lollipops.

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I'm pretty sure I've told you how Easter goes down in our family, but it always gets puzzled looks, so I'll share it again. We dye eggs in the days before Easter and put them in our baskets the night before hoping for a visit from Peter Cottontail. When he arrives, the eggs are hidden in the house {usually in the living/dining rooms} and replaced with lots of fun treats. When the girls get up, they sift through their baskets and then look to see where that silly rabbit hid their eggs.

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There are always comments about how tall the bunny must be, but I remind Ella of his mad hopping skills and that if the eggs were hidden any lower they might be a midnight puppy snack. This year, that actually happened! We found a cracked shell on the floor, a smug weimeraner and were one egg short.

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The Easter Bunny always hid our eggs when I was a little girl and I never knew that not everybody did that. We hide them again and again throughout the day, but the first round is always up to the big guy himself.

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After baskets, egg hunting and a chocolate filled breakfast it was time to get all gussied up. Getting a photograph of all four of us {without that sneaky dog} is very difficult, but we managed a few that weren't terrible. I opted for a more casual outfits for the girls this year and it was nice not to fuss with lace and slips. They wore their cutey-patootey felt headbands from our family shoot earlier this spring and Garan made these awesome get-ups.

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After church, there was a YUMMY lunch and much egg hunting by the littles...

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I'm hoping you enjoy these pictures, two weeks late, and that you'll share how you celebrate Easter with your family! Does the bunny hide eggs at your house or is that a crazy family tradition we've managed to pass down?

Dye Time

10 May 2011

What's Easter without eggs? At first I felt a little guilty when my mom volunteered to help the girls with their eggs on Good Friday while I was working. Then I reminded myself how much I hate dying eggs and forgave myself for missing out on Sophie's first experience. I'll do it next year when she can follow directions!

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I remember dressing the girls really cute that day, knowing there would be pictures. When I got home and saw that Garan made Ella wear a t-shirt as a smock I cracked up. Oh well.

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Apparently, I bought the cheapest dye known to man because there were only three heinous colors and even uglier stickers. They are lucky I didn't see this before the dye process. I might have bought something else and postponed this little shindig!

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Then I reminded myself that this was totally not about me! The girls had fun and we had 12 {VERY} bright eggs to leave for Mr. Bunny on Saturday night.

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