Thursday, March 31, 2011

Susie Homemaker

Today I felt like Susie Homemaker. After we were all up and dressed for the day we went to Walmart. I bought a few supplies to start my tot school markers :-P

Let me tell you, this is not a good time to go to Walmart...Easter candy galore! Tons of supplies for making Easter cupcakes and pies! Oh my....the cadbury eggs were calling my name but I resisted. Instead I decided to distract myself by making a yummy dessert that was WW friendly!

Here ya go:

I bought a 9 inch reduced fat grahm cracker crust. Then I followed the directions on the pudding box to make a pudding pie (I used 2 boxes of sugar free butterscotch pudding this time). After it chilled for 3 hours I cut a slice (a serving size is 1/8 the pie) and then slivered up a little banana on top and topped it with 2 tblspoons of light ready whip. The grand total is 4 points plus if you're doing WW. It's 1 more point than the pudding and fruit cup recipe I shared earlier, but it feels more dessert like with the crust so it's worth it! Next time I'm going to use cheesecake flavored pudding and slice strawberries on it! :-)

After making the pudding pie (while the girls slept) I created a spring themed sensory table for Raya! See, I told you I was Susie Homemaker today! Look how stinkin cute this is!:

I found the directions for colored rice online and then created my own springy sensory tub! Here's how you can make it too: First, get a disposable 9x13 cake pan with lid. You could use one you have, but I liked the dissposable just so my nice pans don't get yucky. Then get a giant bag of rice. This stuff is cheap. Pour however much rice you want into the pan...I made mine about 1 inch deep. Then drop about 8-10 drops of green food coloring in, along with 1 tblspoon vinegar. Stir it all up until you have green "grass" :-) Put the pan of rice in the oven at 225 for about 20 minutes, or until the rice is dry. Then top it off with whatever you have around the house!  I used some plastic easter eggs, a couple little trucks that have places to put rice, flower erasers ( I found a giant bag of these for $1 at Walmart in the party favor section. I plan to use the others for color matching games, etc. )...then I gave Raya some spoons and popsicle sticks to dig in there too. SHE LOVED IT! She honestly played for almost 2 hours today after nap. ***I will say that if you are a clean freak (Grandma F.! :-) then you should do this activity on a kitchen floor or outside, etc. I  taught Raya to keep the rice in the tub, but once they get digging and playing some rice does escape. The green dye is locked in the rice, so it won't stain the floor or anything, but I kept the vaccuum handy to use after she was done playing.**

I think I got a fun mom rating from Miss Raya today :-)

She LOVED burying the flowers in the "grass" and then digging to find them

I also showed her how to fill the eggs with rice and then shake them...and how to scoop and pour the rice into the trucks, etc.

So all in all a very successful "school" day! My goal was to only do tot school 2 days a week, b/c I didn't want to set myself up for failure when I get really busy. But for now as long as I have time to throw something in every day I think I'll try!

Oh, and while Raya played this afternoon Mama admired her new sewing machine haha. Haven't tried it yet though!

Wednesday, March 30, 2011


It's becoming clear that Brielle just adores Raya. When Raya interacts with her she focuses so intently, and often even smiles! Raya has  started saying "Hi baby!" whenever she sees's really sweet.

Today Brielle was watching Raya play with her ball toy...

Then Raya decided that it was extremely important Brielle actually hold one of the balls haha. I tried explaining to her that sissy's hand was too little, but that made no difference. She was bound and determined to pry open Brielle's fingers and get that ball in one way or the other! :-)

The way Brielle is looking at Raya just makes me smile :-) I can already picture me running around the park with two little girls giggling at eachother's antics....I'm so excited!

I think Brielle was relieved that Raya gave up on the ball thing :-P

This  little outfit of Brielle's was a gift from Aunt Emily. It's a kiki pants (don't know if I spelled that right)....but anyways, it's sooooo soft....I have no idea what it's made out of, but I do know it say to hand wash it! :-o  lol.....the but has a little snapped butt flap too hehe

The damn pink chair is back!

So as I mentioned in my last post, today we started "tot school" with Raya! I need to go pick up a few little supplies before I can do many activities (I mean, who knew we don't have any markers in this house?! :-)  ....but  I did throw together a fine motor activity at snack time today. Miss Raya's cereal was poured into an icecube tray and we used different sized spoons to transfer the cereal into various measuring cups (or to her mouth!)....and I also got out the little measuring spoon that came with her ear infection medicine haha....she liked stacking the cereal in that and then dumping it out!

Brielle sat on my lap and watched Raya's fine motor practice. I told her she was exempt from "school" for the time being :-)

Then our other tot school activity for today was that website I posted yesterday that has the little online books for toddlers. My oh my, that was a big hit with Raya! We read every single one, and she loved pushing the space bar on the computer to make the illustrations move. When Daddy got home from work they read through them all again!

While I"m thinking of it, here are a couple other fun finds I came across in my tot school endeaver. First, I'm totally adopting this "busy box" system as a TV alternative when I'm nursing. I just need an afternoon to put them together!

And in the spirit of Easter, here are some fun ideas I came across for learning games using the plastic easter eggs we will all have laying all over the house soon :-)

It wasn't all fun and games today though. Miss Raya is turning more and more "evil" every day....I swear people, she's kinda mean! LOL  Look at this face....strikes the fear of God into ya doesn't it?

Her latest thing is hitting. She keeps hitting me in the face!!! And she doesn't necessarily do it when she's's like she's testing me to see what I'll do and how I'll  react. The first time she does it I saw a stern "no. Hitting Mama is not nice!" and then she almost always hits me again, but softly....she's totally testing her limits! After she hits me the second time (no matter how hard) I usually do a very firm "Rayana Marie, that is not nice!!"  .....and then she proceeds to bawl because I've hurt her feelings.

....she's got an awesome fake cry....she squints her eyes shut super tight and scrunches her nose, just trying to force tears out

Brielle had a tantrum today too. I had wanted to take a cute picture of her because Grandma F. has been begging me to put one of these headbands on Brielle, and so today I did and thought a photoshoot was in order...

But then after basically 2 pictures she lost her ever loving mind and freaked out

I determined she was tired, and so a nap was in order!

She woke up in a better mood, but by that time we had lost the headband lol

And lastly, it's been awhile since I've included a WW tip of the day, so here ya go! :-) I was reading one of my message boards recently and someone was talking about how she had attended a WW meeting and felt like she wasn't as welcome as some others because she didn't have as much weight to lose. Another girl commented to her something that I could relate to. She said "when I was in college my weight was up, down, and all over the place. I had a thin friend that I always thought was the perfect size. One day I was walking through a common area and saw her drinking a natural meal replacement shake. I kind of laughed at she was all thin and drinking a shake. She said that she gained 3 pounds and was trying to lose it. Again--laughter. Her thought process made sense, though. She'd rather get rid of these 3 pounds she had gained instead of waiting until it turned into 5 or 10 or more. I had the mindset that when my fat clothes got too tight it was time to diet. In retrospect I wish I had taken her advice!" my tip of the day is that once you reach your WW goal weight, don't forget to MAINTAIN. I've always done the whole "when my clothes don't fit anymore I"ll diet" sort of thing, but I agree that it's way way easier to never let it get back out of hand in the first place. It's easier to lose 3-5 lbs when you first start slipping, rather than wait until you've got 20,50, or 100 lbs to lose! So this time, once I reach my goal, I'm going to (try) being better about maintaining!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Tot School

Yes, my 2nd blog entry of the day...I know, I know....overkill :-P  However, both girls are in bed for the night and I'm enjoying one of my pudding/fruit bowls and getting to watch a little Teen Mom 2, so I decided to post a few pictures from today and also tell you about my latest plan!

First, the pictures. Today we pulled out the bouncey seat that my mom had picked up for us cheap at a garage sale or something. Brielle is getting big enough to be interested in this bouncey, rather than the "boring" one that only  vibrates. She loved it!!! Raya was mighty  intrigued as well...

...and yes, Raya  drags that  pink  chair around all on her own, and she placed it just like that haha. (Bridgett, make a note to yourself that those chairs should be your go to gift for every toddler....Raya loves that thing!)

There was no fashion show taking place here today....these are the outfits you get when I have 2 sick and fussy girls, who I know will puke and/or poop on themselves throughout the course of the day LOL

Today I also decided to get out our bumbo chair, which was also another garage sale find from my mom! Brielle is still too little to sit in it for very long, but she did great holding her head up for short periods today....she really seemed to enjoy it!

Yes, this is her "enjoying it" face :-P

But sometimes her head got very very heavy!

Mom, is this the face Brielle makes that reminds you of my baby pictures??? ....because I think I do see it here.

Raya threw the tantrum of all  tantrums upon seeing this bumbo chair. She was totally pumped when I first brought it upstairs, but once she realized that it was intended for Brielle and not her own giant tush she completely lost her mind. Oh the humanity!

So we let Raya take a turn....and let me tell  you, there's nothing like sitting in a bumbo chair to make your toddler look like she's 10 years old!! I mean seriously, does it not look like there is a pre-teen sitting in that thing?! :-P

Ok, and now for some of my ramblings haha. I  have decided that I have one of those brains that is always turning, thinking of things I could and should be doing! My latest endeaver???? TOT SCHOOL! :-)

Why not add tot school  to my plate haha. When I decided to run my Etsy shop I did very well with it....and when I decided to start Weight Watchers I did very well with that too (down 2 more lbs this last week by the way, even with the Buffalo Wild Wings! :-) now I'm committed to starting some version of tot school with Raya. I'd like to start by doing  it 2 days a week. Once  we move into our new house I'd love to set up a little "school" corner in her playroom! I've been unhappy for awhile now with the amount of TV she watches and the lack of structured learning time that I plan for with her. I ordered that learning kit for her Easter basket, as I mentioned in a previous post, and receiving that sparked my interest ...I want to do more! Raya does not have a personality that make her naturally inquisitive in academic tasks (or at least not yet.) I think that by me putting more effort into planning activities I will be able to spark her interest...and the  more engaged she is during the day the fewer tantrums, so it's a win win situation. In looking around  online I"ve come across some AWESOME resources, so I thought I'd share them with you all since I'm sure some of you might like to try some of this as well :-)

First, there is a website called "Tot School". Basically a homeschooling mom came up with educational  activities to use  with the toddler crowd, and she shares all kinds of awesome ideas (I will warn you that these websites I'm sharing are a little hard to just have to spend some time clicking around to find all the good stuff :-)'s the site:  Basically  once a week all kinds of other moms participate in themed learning activities etc. and they share the things they do on *their* blogs when you go to the above link you should look at the list of blogs on the right hand side...spend some time checking various ones out to see what everyone is doing with their "tots"....if you're like me it will motivate you to get your butt in gear because there are a lot of creative moms out there doing awesome things with their kids!!!! This is on her website, and it's a bunch of free printable activites you can use ...Raya and I will definitely be trying some of these out!  She also has her own blog you can's great!   When at her blog you should check out all the colorful rectangle tabs on the right....great resources! One of my favorite "tabs" is the "terrific tot sites"....looking through those I found these awesome websites that I think Raya would love! :
1)  (Here you can upload any photograph and turn it into a coloring page to print off!!)
2) (Tons of free coloring pages and you can search by category, etc. Grandma F, I see a bunch of "educational" ones that I bet Sawyer would love!)
3) (Go to this site and then click "library" --it's at the top. You can click on various books to "read" and they are perfect for toddlers! Then from there you can click "games" --at the top--and there are some very very basic games that even the youngest kids can play)

Finally, this is another awesome website/blog:  Let me make it clear, I have NO intensions of homeschooling, but I love the idea of "homeschooling" the toddler crowd. This website does have some things your can purchase for download, but it's basically all FREE on her site too! By paying she gives you everything to download and print in one easy file basically, but if you are willing to look around her site you can find most of the same stuff to download free!

Go here to see what she is doing with her toddler, who I"m guessing is right  around Raya's many awesome ideas!!!!

This is a central location where you can find many of her free downloads:

Grandma F., you could find lots of fun things for Sawyer at the link above. For example, little things like this that he can count out stickers on, or even M&Ms hehe :-)  (Just click "download" to save any of the items to your computer and then print them!)

....and now on my wish list of things to buy is this laminator, so that all my fun activities can be reusable  for Miss Brielle! :

So there you have latest mission! Etsy, WW, and tot school---oh my! :-)

****Don't miss my other new update from's below*****

Get your craft on :-)

So this weekend I ordered a sewing machine! I got this one here:  It's supposed to basically be the best beginner sewing machine, while still having tons of options, etc. The only thing it doesn't do that I might have liked is embroidery, but the ones that had that function were more money and/or looked complicated for a beginner. Down the road I could always upgrade if I got good I guess :-)

The reason for getting the sewing machine is that I've been wanting to re-open my Etsy shop ever since February, but it's so hard to find time!! Plus, with my arthritis acting up, I didn't want to have orders that I couldn't fulfill b/c of my fingers hurting too much to do all the handstitching, etc. So I decided that if I'd learn how to use a sewing machine, instead of hand stitching all my designs, then I'd be able to fulfill orders faster and without aggravating my arthritis. Plus I'd love to start making matching skirts for my shirts and onesies :-)

The sewing machine is supposed to arrive on Thursday...I can't wait to start practicing!!!

For those of you who started reading my blog more recently and may not know about my etsy shop, here it is:   It's currently empty until I figure out how I want to do my grand reopening...and I want to add some new designs too....and some of my crochet hats now that I'm doing that :-) 

Here are a couple examples of the stuff I sell....this monogram shirt was a popular item :

So was this one:

I have lots of shirts that work for birthdays...

And I don't leave the boys out either:

So anyways, I'm hoping I can be a quick learner on the sewing machine and then start recreating many of my past designs on the machine instead!!! Wish me luck :-)

Oh, and like I said, I want to start making coordinating hats for my shirts too! Kinda like this little shirt and hat set I made Raya for'd buy this stuff right?! :-P

So in preparation for returning to my Etsy shop I've been looking around on Etsy just to get a better feel for the things that are selling, prices, etc. I'm not planning to copy these people or anything, but just need to know for reference so that I know how to price my own things and such.

I thought I'd share some cute finds with you case you're wanting to buy your little ones any cute clothes! :-)

First, here's the outfit that I would totally buy Raya if I had the money. I'm literally drooling over it. Too bad it's like more than $50 to buy the dress and pants together haha. So cute though!

Here is a crochet pattern I think I might make matching booties to sell in my store. Do you think these are cute? I could make them to match some of my onesies and such

FOr girls:
For boys:

Lastly, I don't have a boy obviously, but I found a few cute things that I think are really adorable for little boys. So all you boy Mamas, here's a heads up :-)

I'll be sure to keep you all updated on my etsy shop progress...and when i reopen hopefully you can help me spread the word!!! I think I might do a free giveaway here for my grand reopening, and a lucky reader could win something free from my stay tuned!

Monday, March 28, 2011

Sick Girls

So this afternoon I took both girls to the doctor. I  heard that many of the daycare kids had been diagnosed with RSV and strep, and since Raya has been sick the last few days (and Brielle started getting sick last night) I decided I better take them. Raya must lick the other kids over there I swear, b/c she was only there one day last week!

Well, the doctor's verdict was that they both most likely have RSV :-( Raya also has a bad ear infection and is now on meds for it. Both girls' oxygen levels were good and Brielle's breathing (in her chest) was the doctor said Raya is probably on her way to getting better (since RSV peaks around day 3-5) but Brielle is probably going to get worse before she gets better, and to take her to the ER if her breathing becomes labored, but otherwise treat her at home. Poor girls!

Brielle has been sleeping a TON today, but otherwise seems ok and happy when she's awake. Raya won't eat, but other than that is acting much more like herself today.

Here is a picture of Raya when she woke up on Sunday, during the worst of her illness

Lookin' rough girlfriend! :-P

This was Brielle this morning....she was being so cute :-)

We were analyzing Brielle this weekend and everyone is starting to think she *might* look a little bit like me. My brother says she looks like me now, not me as a baby. My mom says that Brielle usually looks like Lee and Raya, but from certain angles and in certain pictures there is a little something that reminds her of me. I agree that every once in awhile I catch a glimpse of me, but it's hard to tell. Right now it's pretty clear that her face shape is totally Lee's and Raya's...I have a long face and always have. Both girls have very round faces. The cheeks, mouth, and chin are also all Raya/Lee. But the eyes and above might be more me. (Which is probably why when Brielle is sleeping and wearing a hat she looks so much like Raya!) The nose doesn't look like Raya's but doesn't look like mine either, so we're confused. It's like she has Raya's nose, but more upturned. I can't wait to see how she grows into her real look over the next few months! My mom and I both think (Raya, don't read this...cover your ears) that Brielle actually has prettier features than Raya did at this age....and knowing how stinkin' cute Raya is now Miss Brielle might go off the charts with her cuteness once she gets some hair and stuff...we will see!!!!!

Here is Raya at about the same age...the mouth and cheeks are most definitely the same :-)

Here is my favorite picture of Brielle from this morning....look at those blue eyes!! Maybe I'll end up with a blue eyed girl AND a brown eyed girl :-)

Grandma posed with Brielle before she left for work :-)

And lastly, Raya on the drive home today

She fussed for her bedtime stuff, and since she's sick and I didn't want to listen to a tantrum I gave them to her!

She sleeps with a lot of crap!

I have one other new entry below...don't miss out ;-)

Get to know "Mama" :-)

I stole this little get to know ya survey from a bloggy here are my answers! :-)
1. If you have pets, do you see them as merely animals or are they members of your family?
Before we had kids they were definitely our babies. Griffin is "mine" and Gunner is Lee's. Griffin's first year he probably got more attention than a human infant would have....he had a wardrobe of clothes and was spoiled rotten! If I'm being honest though, once I had Raya they went back to being dogs again haha. Definitely dogs that I love, but I just can't put them anywhere near the level of my own girls. My mom always says it's like that movie "Marley and Me" though...poor Griffin probably wonders what the hell happened!  :-) Luckily for both the puppies Lee still treats them like big babies....he cuddles them on the couch every night.

2. If you could have a dream come true, what would it be?
Well, besides things I already have I guess my current "dream" would be for our house to sell for full asking price and then find a dream house in our new location for little to no money! :-)

3. What would you do with a billion dollars?
I'd buy a house, take some vacations, and never work again in my life! Well, maybe become a professional shopper haha

4. What helps to pull you out of a bad mood?
Playing with my girls....or going out to eat and shopping with Lee 

5. What is your bedtime routine?
Raya goes to bed between 7-8, then Brielle and I usually cuddle and do her bedtime routine so that she can go to bed around 9pm. Then if I'm not exhausted Lee and I stay up and watch our DVR'd TV shows :-)

6. What activities did you do in high school?  If you could go back, would you do the same stuff or something different?
Basketball and golf, choir, band (played the flute), jazz band (played the keyboard), speech (did both individual and group speech), did the plays and musicals every fall and spring....I pretty much did everything. That's what I love about goinng to a small school (graduating class was 40 something I think :-)  ...I hope my girls get to go there too!

7. What kind of books do you read?
Lately I've been reading chidlren's books! But I also like to read classics, and girly love stories (not romance novels though)

8. How do you see yourself in 10 years?
Hopefully working at a job I love, raising 3 kids and attending all their events, etc....still married and living in a nice new (to us) house!

9. What's your fear?
Something happening to Raya or Brielle. Right now I'm specifically terrified of SIDS since Brielle is right in the 2-4 month prime time range for it :-o

10. Would you give up all junk food for the rest of your life for the opportunity to see outer space?
No!!! There are very little things I'd give up junk food for haha

11. What's the first thing you do when you wake up?
Brielle usually wakes me up by 6am. I unwrap her from her swaddle and let her stretch while I drink a cup of coffee. Then I change and feed her so that we can cuddle and watch morning TV or play on the computer until Raya wakes up between 8-9am.

12. If you could change one thing about your significant other, what would it be?
Um, either that he was in love with babies and begged to get up in the middle of the night OR that he was obsessed with buying me gifts so that I'd never want for anything ;-P

13. If you could pick a new name for yourself, what would it be?
I've actually always liked my name. I think it's unique enough that I don't have to specify which Shawna I am when I'm in large groups....and I've never been teased about it or anything. I can't think of any other name that I'd prefer.

14. If you could choose between six months of sun or six months of rain, what would you choose?
Sun!! But I hate being in hot weather so I'd choose the sun of a spring or fall day....highs in the upper 60s to low 70s :-)

15. If you could only eat one thing for the next 6 months, what would it be?
Oh god, this is a tough one. Either cereal or, if I knew it wouldn't make me sick, icecream!

16. What is the thing you enjoy about blogging the most?
I love that my girls will have so much of their life documented to look back on. I like blogging for family and friends to read, but I mostly do it for my girls. I use to turn this blog into books for them. I would love to have something like this to look back and read about my own childhood, and I think it will be so fun for them when they are older to read all of this! I also like connecting with other people through my blog and staying in touch with family and friends that we don't often get to see.

17. Do you prefer salty or sweet food?
SWEETS. I wouldn't shed one tear if I could never eat another potato chip, but take away my cookies, icecream, or candy and you won't live to see tomorrow ;-)

18. What items are in your purse right now?
I rarely carry a purse right now b/c I just use the diaper bag. So it's full of all the girls' stuff, and then I just stick my money and stuff in my pants pocket usually!

19. Name 3 things on your bucketlist?
I assume this means what 3 things I want to do before I die or something? Well let's see....
1. Have baby #3
2. Find a job I love
3. Take an RV roadtrip across the U.S.

20. What do you watch on television that you shouldn't?
Oh man, what guilty pleasure shows DON'T I watch would be easier to list! haha
The worse ones are probably Teen Mom, 16 and Pregnant, American Idol....

Sunday, March 27, 2011

Children's Museum

So on Saturday Lee and I took the girls to the children's museum. Raya has only been there once, and it was before she could walk...and Lee has never been before at I thought it'd be a fun time. Well, unfortunately after we got there we realized Raya was really under the weather and after an hour or so was ready to come home (she ended up with a 102 degree fever, cough, puking, pooping, etc....thank god the mess was all at Grandmas! haha)....but she did have some fun playing the short while we were there. Once we move back here I want to buy a year long membership....then Lee, I, and both girls can go as many times as we want during the year for only $100....whereas it costs us $21 each time we go now (and once Brielle is 1 year old it'll be $28).

So here are the pics from the day....enjoy!

Raya wasn't tall enough to reach this--you raced little wooden cars-so Lee helped her and she just thought watching the cars was the coolest thing ever!!

THis little slide was surprisingly fast!

She was unimpressed with the rock climbing wall haha

In one room there was a GIANT almost 2 stories tall

Raya and daddy climbed up to the top!

And down they came!!

Raya wanted to go again, so they went back up. Next thing I know Lee decides to send her down by herself!!! When she came out the slide I thought she was going to be half dead....the picture is blurry because I ran over to see if she was alright!!

When I got to her I realized my little girl is BRAVE....she thought it was fun!

The reason I'm not in any of these pictures is b/c I was wearing Brielle in my wrap and letting Daddy do most of the playing with Raya. I did try to get a picture with Raya though, and she would not cooperate!

I have LOVED this wrap! But Brielle is about to outgrow really works best up to about 15 lbs and then they start sagging more, etc. I'm thinking of investing in the next step of carrier since I do like wearing Brielle instead of taking a double stroller a lot of times. Still debating what carrier I want next though. Lots of people love the Ergo, but I think it's too bulky for me. I"m thinking a Beco....maybe a Beco Gemini, but I"m still not 100% sure. Anyone out there in blog land happen to have experience with the Ergo, Beco Butterfly, or Beco Gemini?? I'd like my next carrier to have buckles, not be a wrap.

I always feel bad for the book room at the meseum. It's so cute, but no kids ever want to read when there are so many other toys!

We ended with lunch at Buffalo Wild Wings. And yes, WW totally endorses lunches of wings haha....I probably ate three times my points for the day but oh well...I'll be extra good this next week !

And if you're wondering, Miss Raya is starting to feel a little better this evening....hopefully the worst is over now!!!