Monday, December 31, 2012

December wrap-up

I was a bad blogger last week.  I indulged in lots of sweets, stayed in pjs all day, let the dishes pile up in the sink, and ate way too much take-out but I built lots of Duplo castles, dressed Minnie Mouse hundreds of times, ate lots of pretend cookies, colored after every meal(and then some), danced my butt off against a 4 year old and two year old on the Xbox, and snuggled up with my little people while watching movies.  Sometimes life is better when you step away from the camera and laptop and just enjoy.  So that’s what I do every so often and hope that my mind will tuck those captured moments away for later on when the kids are too big to want to cuddle anymore. 

But good news Mom(because she is always wanting to see more pics of the girls) I did take some pictures this month and here is a quick wrap-up.

1) Nothing says Merry Christmas like Mr. and Mrs. Santamingo; 2) Christmas list made; 3) Screaming and coloring, check; 4) dress up; 5) crazy poses for Mom; 6) wiggle car used as a scoot toy; 7) Singing in the Christmas preschool program(Taylor is on bottom row, 2nd from right); 8) crazy Elf(aka Snowflake) antics; 9) new color changing star on tree thanks to hubby; 10) more dress up and posing silly; 11)Ikea shopping; 12)Daddy snuggling; 13)sidewalk decorating; 14)new hat creating(I’ll post about this in January); 15)mailbox checking; 16)goodbye party for Elf; 17)car napping; 18) cross dressing Elf tea party; 19)Santa gifts; 20)left pile jumping; 21)fun with bracelets; 22)present opening; 23)new visitors for Baby Jesus; 24)bike riding; 25)spending time with cousins; 26)Elf vs transformers marshmellow war – they really shouldn’t mess with Mommy’s coffee; 27)best road trip kid


Hope your December was exciting too!

Sunday, December 23, 2012

Sisters Sunday

So what is a Mom to do when she finally has both girls in their Christmas dresses, nice shoes, hair combed(only one kid fought wearing a bow), and sweaters on?  Make them pose for pictures of course!  But my kids decided to be funny.  Let me take you through my humor for this particular morning clockwise from top left.

We are tricking you into thinking we will stand here all sweet and let you take as many pictures as you want.  “Airplane”; Lizzie found her own way to strike a pose like Taylor; Aaaaahhhhhh!; Gangnam Style


Thursday, December 20, 2012


After finally going through all my pictures from the past week I discovered about 10 I could use for Lizzie but had to narrow it down to just one for your delayed Elizabethursday.  This kid is just too funny right now provides me with tons of photo ops and great stories to go with them.  She even tells me ‘No pictures’ when I try to video or photograph her meltdowns.  Those are epic and I plan on embarrassing her in the teenage years with them or use them to remind myself that I thought life was hard when she was two.

So until then… hold on tight kid, it’s a wild but fun ride with this family!


Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Taylor Tuesday

I finally found my way out of the mounds of treats being baked, Christmas preschool programs, pile of dishes in the kitchen, traveling to see family, presents to be wrapped, and laundry that multiplies like crazy.  So I’m back to the world of blogging and trying to play a bit of catch up so that there isn’t a gap when I go to make the girl’s Taylor Tuesday and Elizabethursday books.  Did I mention that I’m behind on those too???  The good news is that in between all those things listed above I managed to take some time to play with my two favorite little people during this wildly warm December and take a few pictures. 

This cutie told me ‘grab your camera’ and then turned around with this pose.  Her outfit also explains a lot about her love for pink lately.  Try explaining to a four year old why these pink leggings don’t match this pink dress.  They are both pink Mom!  I give up because at least she has on clothes, unlike the other one who likes to run around ‘makees’ (aka naked) but this is a G rated blog and we will leave those photos unposted.


Friday, December 14, 2012

Homemade gift ideas

Every year I struggle to come up with ideas for parents that have everything and grandparents who need nothing.  When kids came along this got a little easier because grandparents and great grandparents always love pictures of the little ones.  I know I can’t be alone in this search for good gifts so I thought I would share a couple that have worked great for me. 

The first one is a personalized photo calendar.  The first year I did the scrapbooky one and then realized making 5(one for me to keep too) of these was a lot of work and I only had one kid at the time.  I had made a few books on Shutterfly and Picaboo so I decided to try out their calendars.  Shutterfly doesn’t offer the ability to full edit your photo layout and background choices, so Picaboo is the winner for me.  Not everyone is as OCD about this as I am and will probably love the options available at Shutterfly.  I pick out pictures from the month they occurred so we can look back on the girls from the year before.  And every year I tell myself not to wait until the last minute to go through a years worth of photos.  Maybe one of these years I will remember not to do this.  Thank goodness for caffeine and a Duck Dynasty marathon last week!  Yes I watch the show and love it but that sounds like a good post for another day.  Back to calendaring… here is an example of what my pages looked like for 2012.  I can’t show 2013 since they are currently wrapped and won’t be opened by the time this post is viewed.

Screen Captures

Picaboo makes it so easy.  If only it were easy to keep it down less than five photos per page.  More than that gets to be a bit busy and you completely loose the background.  Picaboo is constantly running sales so that you can get them for at least 40% off and potentially free shipping depending on if you have to order 8 like I now do.  You could pull an all nighter too and still have them in time for Christmas if you are still looking for a gift.  Just make sure you have something fun to watch or Facebook pulled up so you can procrastinate every so often.  It’s just more fun that way or maybe it’s just the way I do things.

My other go-to gift for parents/grandparents is an ornament with a picture of the girls.  The first year I did Taylor’s handprint mold thing(official term) as the ornament and have done pictures versions each year since.  Then I did Taylor in this cute snowflake ornament, the next year was a foam photo frame kit(turned into ornament) that Taylor ‘helped’ with, and last year’s was such a fail that it fell apart while hanging on the tree.  I had these incredibly cute ideas of what to do and when I attempted to make them it was a horrible mess.  Plus I had stressed over making them.  As a backup I bought another set of foam frame sets with hopes that Taylor would be able to help again last year since she was getting better at crafts.  It was still way too hard for her and I had to finish this up to only have them fall apart as people unwrapped them.  I promised myself that I would not let this be a stressful gift and have decided to leave ornament making to the pros for a few more years.

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Cue Crate & Barrel’s adorable frame(with stand on back for table sitting later) ornament with a few personal touches.  Sshhh… don’t tell anyone these were only $3.95 each.  They had rectangle versions too, but I loved the fun shape of the ornament.  I generally mark the year on the back but thought I would add a personal touch to the front.  I took a picture so you could see my fancy workspace.  Can you tell I share the table with my 4 year old who loves to craft too?  I have to constantly remind her that she cannot take over the entire table. 

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My Silhouette did a great job of cutting the itty bitty 3/4” tall black vinyl lettering. I peeled off all the negative space, applied contact paper to the front, and then very carefully pulled the backing off.  Make sure you rub the top of the contact paper really good with an old credit card or scraper before peeling the back off.  This will help it stick to the contact paper better.


I centered the ornament on my mat so I had a reference for a center on the ornament and then put the numbers on.  I rubbed them again with the scraper to make sure they were stuck down real good and then pulled the contact paper off. 

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Luckily I had this adorable photo of the girls from our family photo shoot with Heather that worked perfect.  I actually printed two prints on a 4x6 size piece of photo paper and then used the glass to see how I wanted it to line up.  Some of the blank space ended up being cut out too but would mostly be covered in the frame but it bothered me.  What is the photo shifted and someone saw white???  So again OCD girl stepped in and cut a tiny piece of the extra grass from the picture out and glued it on.  Problem solved.  But then it probably wouldn’t be a problem for most people. 

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I changed the black ribbon to a red to be more festive and then found it the perfect spot on my tree. 


This year was so much easier and would have been cute even without the date on the front.  Now what are your go-to gift ideas for those who have everything???

Thursday, December 13, 2012


So Taylor worked on Lizzie’s picture taking skills down, but unfortunately I had to let her know that Marty McFly called and wanted his look back.  Too bad they had no clue what I was talking about and gave me one of those ‘huhhh???’ looks. 


Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Taylor Tuesday

I know I’m biased, but I think my kids are pretty cute.  I especially love how Taylor has mastered the pose and smile at the same time for me.  And this pose was to show Ya-Ya how cute she looked in the jacket she got.  Now I just need her to work on teaching Lizzie to look up and keep her eyes open for pictures.


Saturday, December 8, 2012

Sisters Saturday

I love the tradition of dressing the girls up in matching outfits, helping Taylor spell out words so she can write Santa a letter, and getting as excited as the girls with anticipation of seeing Santa.  Well maybe just Taylor and I were excited about Santa.  Lizzie was excited about the promise of chicken and fries if she sat on Santa’s lap.  She held up her end of the bargain, but now I know to bargain for a smile too.  At least she is consistent with her express while on Santa’s lap and didn’t scream when I stepped back to take pictures.  God bless this Santa and all his efforts to coax her into a smile!  Two out of three people in the picture smiling is a win right???


Here is a look back as the past couple of years.  Lakeline Mall has the best Santa if you are looking for one to visit.

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Thursday, December 6, 2012


In Texas we rarely see snow, but the pear tree in our front yard has definitely let us know it's fall by dropping tons of leaves.  Too bad it's still 75 degrees outside in early December, but it did make for a great time to play outside.  Taylor decided the leaves needed to be in a big pile and Lizzie thought they would be best used for leaf angels.  I think she makes a cute angel!


Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Taylor Tuesday

Jolly old Saint Nicholas,
lean your ear this way!
Don't you tell a single soul
what I'm going to say:
Christmas Eve is coming soon;
now, you dear old man
Whisper what you'll bring to me;
tell me if you can.


Monday, December 3, 2012


Well… dos and a month to be more exact.  Our Lizzie turned two last month and while I’ve been making notes about what she’s been up to, I never sat down and actually blogged about it.  Hopefully she won’t hold this against me when she’s 14 and full of teenage fun!  Bear in mind that I wrote this post almost as a letter to Lizzie for her baby books that I create. 

Lizzie Dos

Oh Miss Elizabeth!  You are the funny, feisty, snuggly, spunk of our family.  You may be little(only 26 pounds) but you are FULL of life and energy!  I often feel like a rookie mom with you and I love how you have introduced me to another way of being a Mom.  While this isn’t always fun, I love that you aren’t just like your sister and have carved out your own path.  You are lovingly referred to as: Lil’ Bit, Lizzie, Elizabeth, Busy Lizzie, my little monkey(you love to climb and cling to me when I carry you), baby girl, and Lizbear.  Taylor loves to call you all kind of sweet names, but Sweetie has to be her most used.  Taylor would love on you all day if you would let her, unfortunately you only allow it for 15 sec intervals a few times a day.  I started working on teaching you to say ‘two’ and hold up two fingers a few weeks before your birthday.  You decided that Mommy’s way wasn’t as much fun and promptly reply “Dos” whenever asked your age and hold up your index finger and thumb.  Love it!  Our family is so entertained by this and you never fail when asked.

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You are the eternal grazer.  You would snack all day if I would allow it, but then what would I do with you during mealtime?  Sometimes you shock us by eating 6 bowls of cereal or 3 servings of mac-n-cheese, but most the time you eat a few items from your plate and then request a popsicle.  You haven’t quite grasped the concept that we don’t eat dessert after breakfast, but I like your thinking.  You will request ice cream sometimes as dessert, but would much rather have a popsicle.  You love french fries, chicken nuggets, cheese, grapes, apples(without the skin), any kind of fruit snacks but always ask for Nemo ones, yogurt melts, pasta, ground beef from taco soup/taco dip(you call it ‘meat’ and LOVE it but won’t eat it unless you think it’s coming from my plate/bowl), cheetos, fried okra, candy(especially sweetarts or suckers), the center part of oreo cookies, and any kind of popsicle.

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Lately you have become quite the coloring enthusiast and you often want them out after we finish meals at the table.  You love stickers and I think you enjoy pulling them off as much as you do putting them on the paper.  Most of your art projects that have glued/stickered items are bare because you pulled the parts back off after it was finished.  Too bad you won’t use the paper again! 

Lizzie started preschool this fall and while I was a bit nervous, she is loving it.  We still have a fun mornings where she clings to me as we get closer to the building and a few tears as I leave, but her teachers are amazing and she is fine within minutes.  She is so proud of the art work she does, is learning more songs, sings the ABCs as she does any motion like washing her hands(even if it’s while playing with her yogurt) and knows most of the song, knows the names of all her classmates, and I love seeing her happy face when I pick her up.  I have enjoyed a few hours to get some stuff done kid-free but can’t wait to pick them up each afternoon.  I knew going in that getting Lizzie to eat her lunch was a lost cause, but for some reason she finds it fun to eat what’s left on the way home.  Whatever works!

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Lizzie didn’t take long to find her own groove in our dance parties and often cracks us up with her wiggles and shakes.  The kid has moves!  She even dances to the short songs on commercials and runs for her tutu each time so that she is properly dressed to dance.  Lizzie is very picky about her music and always has a song request in the car.  Some favorites are We Are(from Ice Age), Let It Grow(from Lorax), Tick Tok, Girls Just Wanna Have Fun, anything Imagine Dragons, and anything by Martina McBride.  She can be quite the little stinker to get in a carseat when she is tired and will fight me like crazy.  Both of us are sweaty and crying by the end of it and for some reason a good Enya, Jack Johnson, or Sarah McLaughlin song can bring you back to a calm state.  Thank God for a well stocked Ipod and a kid who likes good music!

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We often joke that Lizzie is way too smart for her own good.  She was unzipping zippers at 9 months old, climbing on the kitchen table at a year old, required us to baby-proof items that Taylor still doesn’t mess with, and now she can count to ten.  I wish I could take credit for this and say that I worked hard at teaching her counting with cute flash cards, but I think it comes from all the hours spent playing hide-n-seek with Taylor.  Now how do I turn potty training into a fun game???

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I worried that since Taylor is constantly talking that Lizzie wouldn’t be able to get a word in, but that is not true.  She amazes us with her speech until she decides to scream to get our attention.  Common phrases heard coming from you: luv you, luv your guts, me too, shoes on outside, mommy sit down color, mommy play this?, I get Taylor, pick-e me up, this way(once picked up she directs you which way to go), and cheers(like with glasses).

Favorites books: Go Dog Go, Cinderella, Pajama Time, Little Blue Truck, Are You My Mother?, anything in the Llama Llama series, He Bear She Bear, One Fish Two Fish, and Buzy Bear

Favorite movies/tv shows: Bubbie Guppies, Wall-E, Finding Nemo, Doc McStuffins, Mickey Mouse, My Little Pony, and Handy Manny

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You love to give big hugs at the most random times like the grocery store and at the dinner table, but I will take them anytime you give them out.  Plus you generally follow up with big kisses and I know these won’t last forever.  Please don’t grow out of this phase too quickly and let me love on you for many years to come!  I don’t love that you get up at the crack of dawn, but love seeing your happy face greeting me each morning.  Just learn to sleep a little closer to when my alarm goes off.  I love you sweet girl and can’t wait to keep watching your personality bloom.

Love, Mom


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