Friday, July 31, 2009


I love being crafty. Actually, I wish I was more so. Crafty, that is. (and then some!)

I love the feel that a home made or handmade or refurbished item brings to a room! And I have really been "feeling" vintage items made new! Thanks to McKee for getting that notion swirling around in my head! (I just added it to the jumbled mess up there!)

Are you a DIY-er? For those of you that I have lost, that means Do-It-Yourself-er!

My dad is a major DIY-er. And my mom is too, for that matter. I come from a very crafty-DIY-kind-of-home! I am just not very DIY!

But, this recession we have on our hands dear friends, is definitely making me a lot more aware of what I can do for less!

Now, let's all say hello to....

Such a great website! So much fun. Awesome ideas. Great DIY projects! Made easy. Step by step instructions under their DIY tab on the left side bar.

I am still searching around to find the last perfect touches for Layla's BIG girl room. (Other than the bed that I am still on the hunt for!)

And I think I have found a project I am willing to try. Although this may go in MY master bedroom. That is still not decorated!

We all remember these growing up, right?

I know I had one! In the standard back form.

Well, check out this modern version!!!!!!

Stunning. I just love how the vintage looking scrapbooking paper was used instead of plain old black! Although plain old black would look stunning as well, depending on the rooms decor!

But, what a fun variation? I am on it! This will be my next project...after I finish the gigantic canvas art piece I started on Tuesday. So, here is how to do the silhouette!

Supplies and tools:

scrapbook paper
glue stick
white card stock
double-sided tape
printer or photo copier

1. Search your photo collection to find images that are profile or silhouette shots. Copy or print them as large as possible on an 8-1/2- x 11-inches sheet of paper.

2. Tape the photo page and scrapbook paper back-to-back then cut out around shape of the child in the photo.

3. Glue the silhouettes onto white card stock and frame them.

How easy-peasy? I love easy-peasy! And besides. They are just down right adorable.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

An Apple a Day

An Apple a Day...I wish! And I am not talking about the good-for-you-fruit that we all know and love...No, no. I want THIS kind of Apple a Day!

For Me

I just adore the simplicity of the red dress, with the bold collar. It makes a statement, no?

For Layla

I think we would make a spectacular mommy-daughter duo with this ensemble? Definitley swoon-worthy! (Fall 2009 Family Photo Session, perhaps?)

Now, one (and I have many) of my favorite reasons I adore The Shabby Apple oh so much is because they have a line specifically designed for The Perfect Fit!

As they put it:

Shabby Apple celebrates the short legs, curvy hips, straight waists and flat chests in us all!

And as a woman of many curves, I appreciate a company willing to recognize and cater to and design for women of ALL body types. Lord knows we are not built like the models walking the runway, so why on Earth would we expect their clothes to fit us?!?!

My second favorite thing about this amazing company...

If you have a sizing concern or determine the dress is not the right dress for you? Return your dress and Shabby Apple will ship you a new dress for FREE! I mean, what company does that?

Third highlight. A company who designs elegantly for women, and also designs equally adorable, stylish, modern pieces for children too! One stop shop for me and Layla. Now, what mommy (or daddy, or aunt, or grandma) doesn't LOVE that???

I could keep on going, but I think you should just go look, and see, and buy* for yourself! **They are extremely well priced!

And keep up to date by visiting their enticing blog...

Yum, yum. Now that is one delicious Shabby Apple!

Flash back mommy moment

Okay. So last night I totally had a flashback-mommy moment...all at the same time!

And gosh! I appreciate my mom so much more now that I am a mom myself. And I also feel so guilty for what I and my other sisters put her through growing up...

So. I get home yesterday evening. Normal routine. Richard greets us. Gets Layla out of the car, as I grab my purse, Layla's lunch bag, Layla's diaper bag and usually a bunch of trash from the daily grind.

I drop my stuff on the counter. Richard gets Layla an afternoon "cicle" (aka popcicle) and I head upstairs for a few minutes to change, relieve myself and just wind down from the long day...

Yesterday was different. I couldn't make it upstairs, so I had to "relieve" myself in the downstairs powder room.

Now this is where it all goes wrong. And it is somewhat my fault. I didn't close the door in its entirety. Bad mistake.

Before I could finish up, Layla busts in the door asking for "Mommy this, and Mommy that!" And as I was asking her to step out of the bathroom and give mommy a few minutes, Sammie (our pup) busts in right after her and starts jumping all over me. Pants down. Sitting on the porcelin crown. Nice one.

I am shouting for both of them to "Get Out!" And ouch, Sammie, is scratching me. And Layla is screaming because she thinks it's funny!

And I just look up and scream, "Oh my gosh!!!!! Seriously?????" (And I wonder where her new favorite phrase comes from???? Look no further. It is I.)

And Richard says, "That's why you should have shut the door!"

Lesson learned. I'll have to pass that tip on to my mom...

Don't just make sure the door is tightly shut, but a lock is a good idea too!

I am embarressed to admit that we used to just barge in on my mom! When the door was tightly shut. I mean, how rude?????

Tip to all moms. Lock the bathroom doors. I mean...when you are actually IN there!

Oh my gosh!

Oh my gosh!

That is Layla's favorite new phrase that she uses OH SO frequently.

A bird flies by. "Oh my gosh! Mommy, see birdie?"

We pull up in the drive and daddy is outside watering the grass. "Oh my gosh, mommy it's daddy!"

Her cartoon does something. Anything. And it is "Oh my gosh!"

Oh my gosh, oh my gosh, oh my gosh!

At this point - I am just gonna thank the Lord that I learned very early on that we do NOT use the Lords name in vain. Because if I did, do you know what Layla would be spewing out of her mouth every other second?

Yep. I thought you knew....

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Still praying...

...Although my prayers never stop!

Please keep praying for Stellan and his family. And the many, many other children and families going through their own very difficult and trying time!

I know I am so blessed!

Prayers for Stellan

The Bragging Mommy

The Bragging Mommy
Everyone should check out

A blog all about cool, neat, wonderful new items that mommy's would like to know about! And they give you the good and the not so good reviews about the various products so you can judge for yourself.

I fell in love with a product they are reviewing today! They are called SwitchFlops!

SwitchFlops are Flip Flops with velcro changeable straps. As the creator of these magnificent shoes puts it, "Change your look, not your sole."-Lindsay Phillips

There are so many adorable and fun straps to choose from. And on their website you can see what the different straps look like on the SwitchFlop. Check them all out at

Lindsay began designing functional flops in high school with colorful straps, each adorned by a unique button. Her idea evolved when she realized that by using Velcro she could create one shoe with many straps–unlimited choices with minimal effort. This simple, yet brilliant innovation was the birth of SwitchFlops. Lindsay applied for a patent on her idea before she graduated high school.

Things that are Brag Worthy according to The Bragging Mommy:

Now you can have One Pair of Flip Flops, and just switch out the straps to match any outfit. And it will look like you have a ton of different Flip Flops.

It saves money, because you don’t have to keep buying flip flops, just buy the straps.

There are a ton of straps with fun colors and patterns to choose from.

Their are SwitchFlop 2” heels, that can add sophistication to your wardrobe.

They even make SwitchFlops for kids!

Here is my favorite look that I designed on the website! I could have picked about 20!!!!!!

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Meeting Wade

I was so excited to meet my best friends little boy, Wade, for the first time this weekend!!! He was a day shy of being exactly one month old when I met him. Not too shabby, Aunt Mel.

I am still waiting to be personally introduced to another friends little boy who was born over 7 weeks ago...Boooo! On that.

But, Wade totally fulfilled all my newborn baby desires!!! He is such a itty bitty thing and looks just like his daddy! Just look at that little, so sweet!
And Nicole is such a doting and awesome mommy...she just seems to be at complete ease with him in her arms!
I know Nicole will probably hate me for posting this. (Not to mention Gary, her hubby!)

But I found this picture so calming and peaceful, and downright beautiful. (And there are no censors required, so I think I am safe!)

UPDATE: With all due respect, the beautiful picture was removed at the request of the baby's mommy and daddy!
There is nothing quite like the moment shared between mommy and baby while feeding!

Mr. Wade is having a little bit of a rough start to his life, as he was diagnosed with acid reflux. Ouch! No fun. Poor baby. We all know how bad heart burn can be, so imagine that times 10!
Mommy and daddy are doing all they can to ensure he remains a comfortable and happy little baby boy! And I think they are doing a stupendous job!!!!

See you next visit guys!!! We love you....

Monday, July 27, 2009

Mom's Par-tay!

So, we celebrated my mom's 60th birthday, on Saturday, July 25th at Alamo Cafe in San Antonio! It was a planned surprise party, and although she was on to us, we still managed to surprise her with who was in attendance! Yay for us!!!! It was fun.

Here is a shot of the party spot, before the birthday girl arrived!

Her actual birthday is July 28th - so happy, happy birthday momma!!!!

Here is the birthday girl with my papa!

Mom was all decked out in a cute silk brown and cream polka-dot dress, with sassy green details!

And by the looks of it - you cannot tell Layla was excited to see her Mimi and Popo, but she was! I promise, she adores them. Back to the big surprise factor. She wasn't expecting her old friends to be there, The Barnes' and The Weinheimers'.
Next up was THE BEST table! Ha! It was our, Rich, Layla and Ethan!

And here is Michele, my older sister, visiting with life long friends. Jerry, with her daughter, Karly!
Then there was the cake table. (I knew I sat at the wrong one!) This table belonged to my younger sis, Kimberly, her step son, Marshall, and her good, good friend, Leticia! Leticia arrived back from serving in Iraq just days earlier. We are thrilled to have her back home, and safe. Thanks for your service, Leticia! America appreciates it, I promise.

And here is the party crowd! My older cousins, Jennifer and Markey, with their husbands. And my younger cousins, Justin, Phillip and Aaron! I love all these people SO much and I don't get to see them near enough....
Justin was the BIG surprise of the evening!!! The last time I remember seeing him, I was in high school. And he was all of like, 9 years old, I think. He has grown to be such a handsome young man, well, they all have! They are the best!

Next table up...
Is my cousin, Crystal, the blonde on the far right. And her clan. Mostly. Two twin boys, Seth and Tyler. Two girls, Laura, 16 and Bethany, 5. Her niece, Pueschel and her step son, "it." Just kidding, but check out the 'do! Wow. I couldn't tell you the color of his eyes to save my life.

And here is Paige, with Laney. Laney is my cousin, Jennifer's little girl. Such little monkies, these two?!?!
Another cousin! Gorgeous Morgan, 15, with a friend she brought along for the fun of it!

And here is a picture of The Ham of all Hams! These are two funny guys, I tell ya! John and Jack, respectively.
The man in charge of making sure Alamo Cafe was run smoothly that night, was my best friend, Albert, from high school. We all go way back and he added the perfect touch to the evening. Probably not the best wording there. (Check out his hand! Not the perfect touch!)
The party couldn't have been any better! Mom deserves it all. Suprise parties. Day at the spa. All the special treatment in the world! She does it all for so many of us, and we could never pay her back. Ever.
My mom had a blast and that is all that matters. In my book. Er, blog...

Friday, July 24, 2009

Praying for Stellan

If you haven't heard of, you should go visit her blog now!

I enjoy reading her blog. She is funny. Insightful. Faithful. Well spoken, err, written. And her children are adorable. And one, in particular, is in need of our prayers right now.
Prayers for Stellan
May God continue to hold you close sweet baby!

Skip Hop on back to school

As I was reading about this adorable birthday party on my good friends blog today...

Read that here...

The gift bags for the party reminded me of a wonderful and affordable backpack that I discovered a few months back.

They are called Zoo Packs by Skip Hop. Visit the website here...

I plan on purchasing one of these for Layla when she moves on to her next BIG classroom at Day Care! Because although she is turning into a BIG girl, she is still quite small, obviously. She is only going to be two years old soon!!! But, these backpacks are made just for little people.

And although they make a very pink mouse zoo pack, I am going to opt for the doggie zoo pack, because Layla loves doggies and this is just too irresistible to pass up....

Am I right? And for just $20.00 - you can't beat that!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

PP in the Pot-tee!

PP in the pot-tee! PP in the pot-tee! (You must sing it!)

That is exactly what Layla did last night!!!!!

I am just amazed at the leaps and bounds she is taking this week! I truly have a baby no more!!!!! (Boooo!!!! But, Yaaaaaay!!!!)
I am so proud of her. She is so proud of herself! You should have seen the look on her face when the potty started "singing!"

My friend, Tara, handed over about 3 potties to me last week and we just set them out a few days ago. Actually, the same day "IT" never came home from Day Care.

Anywho - one of the potties sings when PP hits the bowl. As I was drawing her bath and making sure the water wasn't too hot, she asked to go potty a few times. I didn't think much of it and I never make a huge deal about going. So I sat her on the potty and told her to relax. She usually stands up in about .5 seconds and says she is done...not last night!

I was leaning over the tub when all of the sudden I hear, "Ta,da,da,da,DA, DA!" (I do it NO justice!) It was like royalty was entering the room!!!!! Her face lit up and I am sure mine did too! I asked her, "Did you go potty?" And she was so happy, she jumped up and said, "YES!" And sure enough, it was there.

I was so, so proud of her. We danced, we laughed and we sang!!!!

And then into the tub she went.

We tried again this morning, but no luck. But, we are not giving up though. Just like we didn't give up or rather give into "IT!"

Speaking of "IT." Mommy messed up BIG time yesterday.

For a reason I am unsure, I am still taking "IT" to Day Care and leaving it for her. Even though I know she isn't using "IT" anymore. Why am I doing this? I think I'll end that today. I am throwing them AWAY! For good.

So back to the BIG mommy mess up. Daddy was washing her hands after dinner and she saw "IT" sitting in this bowl where I soak all of her sippy cups, hell nah!

It was totally my fault! Richard said, "Now you are gonna have to give it to her!" Uh, no! Before he could say another word, and while she was drying her hands...I didn't miss a beat. I snatched and ran to the front door where I knocked. (Pretending someone was at the door.) I said, "Oh hi, Miss Tracey! Here it is." And shut the door, right when Layla came dashing around the corner!!! (She heard it all.) And said, "Miss Tracey got paci?" I said, "Yep, she said NO MORE!" And Layla smiled, turned around and started playing.

Seriously? She keeps amazing me! And to think Richard wanted to just give it back to her? He is such a softy.

Operation on going. Over.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009


So this is a different kind of post. Because it is about me. And not the other one. You know? Layla. I think I have mentioned her in a few previous posts. Just a few.

What I have not shared with all of you is the fact that I am in pretty bad pain on a pretty regular basis. I have had lower back pain since I was 14, so I have become accustom to living and coping with pain. And if I told you the back-story to all of this....well, let's just say we would be reading this post all night. But, lately the pain is all over my body. In my joints. In my muscles. Again, we could be here all night. Moving on.

I finally went to visit my doctor last week and he ran a magnitude of blood tests and I am happy to report that everything came back good. Nothing weird going on in my blood, so that was great news to hear this afternoon!

But. Of course there is a but...isn't there always???

My doctor has referred me to a rheumatologist because he believes I have fibromyalgia...

I am not sure about you, but I had NO idea what that was. I know I have heard of it before, but I really didn't know what it meant. But, after reading the below information, it helps me understand why I have so many symptoms - and possibly the cause! So, I would like to share it with all of you...

Newly Diagnosed Patient

by Robert Bennett MD

Fibromyalgia (fi-bro-my-AL-ja) is a very common condition of widespread muscular pain and fatigue. Seven to ten million Americans suffer from fibromyalgia (FM). It affects women much more than men in an approximate ratio of 20:1. It is seen in all age groups from young children through old age, although in most patients the problem begins in their 20s or 30s. Recent studies have shown that fibromyalgia occurs worldwide and has no specific ethnic predisposition.

The Symptoms of Fibromyalgia

Fibromyalgia patients have widespread body pain which often seems to arise in the muscles. Some FM patients feel their pain originates in their joints. Pain that emanates from the joints is called arthritis; extensive studies have shown FM patients do not have arthritis. Although many fibromyalgia patients are aware of pain when they are resting, it is most noticeable when they use their muscles, particularly during repetitive activities. Their discomfort can be so severe it may significantly limit their ability to lead a full life. Patients can find themselves unable to work in their chosen professions and may have difficulty performing everyday tasks. As a consequence of muscle pain, many FM patients severely limit their activities including exercise routines. This results in their becoming physically unfit, which eventually makes their fibromyalgia symptoms worse.

In addition to widespread pain, other common symptoms include a decreased sense of energy, disturbances of sleep, and varying degrees of anxiety and depression related to patients' changed physical status. Furthermore, certain other medical conditions are commonly associated with fibromyalgia, such as: tension headaches, migraine, irritable bowel syndrome, irritable bladder syndrome, premenstrual tension syndrome, cold intolerance, and restless leg syndrome. Patients with estalished rheumatoid arthritis, lupus (SLE), and Sjogren's syndrome often develop FM during the course of their disease. The combination of pain and multiple other symptoms often leads doctors to pursue an extensive course of investigations, which are nearly always normal.

Diagnosing Fibromyalgia

There are no blood tests or X-rays that show abnormalities diagnostic of FM. This initially led many doctors to believe that the problems suffered by FM patients were "all in their heads," or that fibromyalgia patients had a form of masked depression or hypochondriasis. Extensive psychological tests have shown these impressions were unfounded. A physician's diagnosis of FM is based on taking a careful history and the finding of tender areas in specific areas of muscle. These locations are called "tender points." They are tender to palpation and often feel somewhat hardened if the muscle is stroked.

The Long-Term Outcome for Fibromyalgia

The musculoskeletal pain and fatigue experienced by fibromyalgia patients are chronic problems that tend to have a waxing and waning intensity. There is currently no generally accepted cure for this condition. According to recent research, most patients can expect to have this problem lifelong. However, worthwhile improvement may be obtained with appropriate treatment. There is often concern on the part of patients, and sometimes physicians, that FM is the early phase of some more severe disease, such as multiple sclerosis, lupus , etc. Long-term follow-up of fibromyalgia patients has shown that it is very unusual for them to develop another rheumatic disease or neurological condition.

However, it is quite common for patients with "well-established" rheumatic diseases, such as rheumatoid arthritis, systemic lupus, and Sjogren's syndrome, to have fibromyalgia also. It is important for these patients' doctors to realize they have such a combination of problems, as specific therapy for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus, etc. does not have any effect on FM symptoms. Patients with fibromyalgia do not become crippled with the condition, nor is there any evidence it affects their lifespan. Nevertheless, due to varying levels of pain and fatigue, there is an inevitable contraction of social, vocational, and avocational activities that leads to a reduced quality of life. As with many chronic diseases, the extent to which patients succumb to the various effects of pain and fatigue are dependent upon numerous factors, in particular their psycho-social support, financial status, childhood experiences, sense of humor, and determination to push on.

The Treatment of Fibromyalgia

The treatment of FM is frustrating for both patients and their physicians. In general, drugs used to treat musculoskeletal pain, such as aspirin, non-steroidals (e.g. ibuprofen), and cortisone, are not particularly helpful in this situation. As in any chronic pain condition, education is an essential component that helps patients understand what can or can't be done as well as teaching them to help themselves.

It is important for a patient's physician to discover whether there is a cause for sleep disturbances. Such sleep problems include sleep apnea, restless legs syndrome, and teeth grinding. If the cause for a patient's sleep disturbance cannot be determined, low doses of an anti-depressive group of drugs, called tricyclic anti-depressants or short acting sleeping medications such as zolpidem (Ambien) may be beneficial. Patients need to understand these medications are not addictive when used in low dosages (eg., amitriptyline 10 mg at night) and have very few side effects. In general, routine use of sleeping pills such as Halcion, Restoril, Valium, etc., should be avoided as they impair the quality of deep sleep. It is claimed that Ambien (zolpidem) avoids this problem.

There is increasing evidence that a regular exercise routine is essential for all fibromyalgia patients. The increased pain and fatigue caused by repetitive exertion makes regular exercise quite difficult. However, those patients who do develop an exercise regimen experience worthwhile improvement and are reluctant to give up. In general, FM patients must avoid impact loading exertion such as jogging, basketball, aerobics, etc. Regular walking, the use of a stationary bicycle, and pool therapy utilizing an Aqua Jogger (a floatation device that allows the user to walk or run in the swimming pool while remaining upright) seem to be the most suitable activities for FM patients. Supervision by a physical therapist or exercise physiologist is of benefit wherever possible. In general, 20 minutes of physical activity three times a week at 70% of maximum heart rate (220 minus your age) is sufficient to maintain a reasonable level of aerobic fitness.

Drugs such as aspirin and Advil are not particularly effective and seldom do more than take the edge off FM pain. Opioid analgesics (propoxyphene, codeine, morphine, oxycodone, methadone) may provide a worthwhile pain relief in a subgroup of severely afflicted patients, but fibromyalgia patients seem especially sensitive to opioid side effects (nausea, constipation, itching, and mental blurring) and often decide against the long-term use of these drugs. The use of opioid analgesics (narcotics) in the management of non-malignant pain has been a controversial issue for many doctors, with the usual reasons for concern: addiction, oversight by state medical boards, and criminal diversion of drugs. However, recent research has shown that addiction seldom occurs when these medications are use in chronic pain states. It is important to understand the difference between addiction and dependence (which occurs with all these drugs in the majority of patients (see
Addiction/Dependence). Two particularly useful weak opioids in the management of FM pain are tramadol (Ultram) and the combination of tramadol with acetaminophen (Ultracet). Neither of these two medications is a FDA scheduled drug (i.e. they have minimal addiction potential).

Particularly painful areas often may be helped for a short time (2-3 months) by trigger point injections. This involves injecting a trigger point with a local anesthetic (usually 1% Procaine) and then stretching the involved muscle with a technique called spray and stretch. It should be noted the injection of a tender point is quite painful (indeed, if it is not painful the injection is seldom successful). After the injection, there is typically a lag of two to four days before any beneficial effects are noted. Other techniques that directly help the tender areas on a transient basis are heat, massage, gentle stretching, and acupuncture.

About 20 percent of FM patients have a co-existing depression or anxiety state that needs to be appropriately treated with therapeutic doses of anti-depressants or anti-anxiety drugs often in conjunction with the help of a clinical psychologist or psychiatrist. Basically, patients who have a concomitant psychiatric problem have a double burden to bear. They will find it easier to cope with their FM if the psychiatric condition is appropriately treated. It is important to understand that fibromyalgia itself is not a psychogenic pain problem, and that treatment of any underlying psychological problems does not cure FM.

Most FM patients quickly learn there are certain things they do on a daily basis that seem to make their pain problem worse. These actions usually involve the repetitive use of muscles or prolonged tensing of a muscle, such as the muscles of the upper back while looking at a computer screen. Careful detective work is required by the patient to note these associations and, where possible, to modify or eliminate them. Pacing of activities is important; we have recommended that patients use a stopwatch that beeps every 20 minutes. Whatever they are doing at that time should be stopped and a minute should be taken to do something else. For instance, if they are sitting down, they should get up and walk around--or vice versa.

Patients who are involved in fairly vigorous manual occupations often need to have their work environment modified and may need to be retrained in a completely different job. Certain people are so severely affected that consideration must be given to some form of monetary disability assistance. This decision requires careful consideration, as disability usually causes adverse financial consequences as well as a loss of self esteem. In general, doctors are reluctant to declare fibromyalgia patients disabled and most FM applicants are initially turned down by the
Social Security Administration at the first review. However, each patient needs to be evaluated on an individual basis before any recommendations for or against disability are made.

So, here I am in a nut shell, I suppose. I have so, SO many of the listed symptoms! And over the years I have seen a gastroenterologist, a neurologist, a cardiologist, a urologist and a dermatologist, respectively, to try and figure out what is going on with my body. It boggles my mind to think all of these "seperate" issues really come down to one syndrome.


Continued prayers are requested and appreciated always!

"IT" update

IT is still at Day Care ya'll....
In case you don't know what "IT" is...see this post.

Today is Day # 3 with out IT!!! I am beyond thrilled and excited to share a bedtime story from last night. Actually, it is not quite a story, but a quote! From Layla.

We laid down for the night in the "big bed." (I suppose that is my next milestone to tackle.) And Layla rolled over to go to sleep...she rolled back over towards me and uttered...

"Miss Tracey has my paci at Day!" (Day = Day Care in Layla language) And she started laughing!!!! She then rolled back over and went to sleep!
She looked a little something like this...just without - you know - IT!
I don't believe it gets any easier than that ya'll!!!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

We left "IT" at Day Care...

..."IT" being Layla's pacifier!

I am going to start this post by asking for all your continued prayers...we will need them.

You see, Layla began a love affair with her "paci" aka pacifier, aka binky, aka bink-bink, from the day she was born! I guess, technically, I cannot blame her seeing as I, or daddy, stuck it in her mouth to shut her, I mean to soothe and comfort her...

Look at da wittle bitty bay-bay!
My initial approach was to get rid of the bink-bink when she turned one. Just as we did with the bottle. The bottle was a cinch, but the paci - not so much! But, not really because of Layla, but because of daddy. Daddy "didn't wanna hear it!" So, the love affair continued....

And continued...wait! What is that look of??? That look is of pure panic! "Where is my binky? And why is it NOT in my mouth?"
Ahhhh! Here it is....and the affair continued....although the bink-bink did change colors! As Layla changed shape... All together now...everyone say, "Awwwwwww...."
I do sincerely believe it would have been easy to get rid of the paci when Layla was just one. She really couldn't talk and protest it...but I gave in when I shouldn't have! Lesson learned.

All bets were off when Layla was around 17 months old! She could definitely protest when I took the paci away, and that is exactly what she is doing in the frame below.

"Noooooooooooooooo!!!!!" And this is what she looks like when she gets her way - and her paci! Happy camper, indeed. Can you see the smirk in her eyes? All sass, I tell ya! I still don't know where she gets it from! And for no other reason - other than I just love the below picture. She reminds me of Punjab from Annie!
Anyone???? Punjab???? No???? Ahhh, the memories! Back to the moral of the story...A couple of weeks back, Layla's teacher at Day Care, Miss Tracey, told me that she fell asleep at nap time without her paci. I was impressed! But, I didn't think too much of it becasue I did not think it would happen again. I was wrong. I was told yesterday that she hasn't slept with her paci since that first day!!!! What? Wow. Now. That. Is. Impressive.

I made the executive decision, right then and there - the paci was NO MORE! Daddy didn't have a say in it.

So, me and Layla get in the car to leave Day Care and begin our hour long road trip home. A typical trip like this usually includes singing, dancing, (a lot of Michael Jackson) talking, snacking and definitely some paci time for Layla. Which means some much needed quiet time for mommy!

I was prepared though. As I drove along, staring down at her paci sitting in the front passenger side seat, I knew it was inevitable. I knew she would ask for it...and then came the words.

"Mommy, paci?" she asked. So, I pretend to start looking around for it...and said, "Oh! You didn't get it from Day Care? We left it at Day Care, sweetie, I am sorry."

30 minutes of ear piercing, top of the lungs screaming ensued. All the while, I am trying to remain calm, and assuring her everything is okay. And asking her what is wrong? She just screamed louder. And I would assume, I am not sure, but pretty sure, that I looked a little (a lot) like this!

But, at least I didn't and never will look like THIS! Lord knows she needs more help than all of us! Can I get an AMEN?!?!?!

Once we got home. It was NO big deal. She doesn't get her paci much during the daytime anyway. Just in the car. And at nap and bedtime. The evening was good, but bed time was approaching...and I was dreading this part! I just knew it would be horrible. Another round just like the drive home....ugh!

Layla's bedtime routine includes, giving daddy hugs and kisses. Giving Sammie hugs and kisses. And then into mommy's arms, up the stairs, where at this point she usually says, "Mama, big bed." Meaning, I want to sleep in mommy and daddy's bed. "And paci." I reminded her WE left it at Day Care. A little whimper and she asked for her "Tawberry Mil." (aka Starwberry milk!) After she finished her milk, she flipped over and started to fall asleep. I was in shock. No crying? No kicking and screaming? No insomnia? No sh*t? (Sorry, but I couldn't believe it was that easy!)
She woke a few times throughout the night, but nothing out of the usual. She wasn't even searching for her paci! I am in shock, but I am also a realist. This is just beginning. It will probably get worse before it gets better. Right?
It's weird. It is almost like I miss the paci???? Layla is probably already over it. Hopefully. We will find out soon enough.
The truth is. I will always cherish these precious moments...

...pacifier and all.

But the time has, good-bye dear friend! You served us well. You were good to us. Real good.

But, my baby is a baby no longer! (sigh...)

We Be Jammin'!!!

Most of you know I am a sucker for homemade goods. Everything from my art...
Err...I mean, handmade childrens decor - to clothing - to food!!! If it is homemade - I LOVE IT! There is just something about a personal touch that makes it, well, so darn personal!!!
My latest obsession is homemade, well made, clothes. Especially for Layla! And I have found another sewing genius!!! Her name is Meli. No, not me Meli. (Although I do think I am pretty genius myself!) But, Jam Clothing Co. Meli!!!
Here is just one of the many pieces she has created! Can some one say, "SASSY?!?!?"
Maybe Layla can be one of her models one day???
Check out some of her other creations here...
You can purchase one (or two or three, etc., etc...) of her incredibly unique and adorable designs on Etsy or Ebay!
We are in negotiations, but Meli may be working on a little something special for Layla's 2nd birthday party. But, I am not sure I gave her enough time to design it! At any rate - Layla WILL be wearing one of her uber-posh designs very, very soon!
Keep up the awesome work, Meli. I adore it!

Monday, July 20, 2009


Well, Layla can officially say ALL of her ABC's without any help, and with the correction pronounciation!!! We are so very proud and excited for her. She is now trying to teach each of her babies, she has four, how to say them!

I do have to admit...her X sounds like an S, but we will work on that!

My baby girl is growing up....on to the 123's!

Thursday, July 16, 2009

Peace Love Mom

As some of you know, I am throwing Layla a Peace, Love and Happiness party in August when she will turn TWO years old. (Peace sign - get it?)

Anyway - I am encouraging all party participants, babies, kids and parents alike, to dress in their GROOVIEST attire! It should be a lot of fun...

Only problem so far - I don't have a cool, funky outfit to wear!!!

I think I may have solved that problem today by simply reading the blogs I follow on blogspot! You must check out

Calling all moms - in case you still need an outfit for our Peace Party - or any reason - head on over and check out the Peace Love Mom website! Fun stuff....

I think I will be wearing this tee!!!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

You can't please them all...

...this much I know for sure!

But, I hate when I am a part of anything that hurts anyone else. Especially my family. That really hurts me.

All I can say is when you ask for honest opinions - and get them - you should brace yourself first. The truth hurts.

But, now I have to move on and worry about my real problems. Like how we are gonna pay mortgage this month? Any contributions are welcome....didn't think so!

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Peanut. Peanut Butter. And Jelly.

That's right. Who doesn't just love a good PB&J sammich from time to time? I know I do. And Layla does. And McKee does.
We had a few snacks at the waterpark the other day, which were good. Refreshing. Nice.
Layla would like to know if you would like a grape or an apple slice?
She would prefer a banana now, thank you! Say MONKEY!
After our fruit snacks, it was time to bring out the good stuff. AKA - Peanut. Peanut Butter. And Jelly! (You gotta sing it!)
So, I handed a Smucker's PB&J to McKee while I was getting one out for Layla. If you haven't had heaven. Incredibly overpriced pre-packaged PB&J's - but OH SO good! Anywho - this is where the next shot of Layla comes in. Look at that face! She looks like she should be saying, "Wait! I want one of those too!" Don't worry pumpkin - you are next!
She took a few bites and I asked her if it was good? I am laughing really need to know Layla to appreciate the face she is making below...but, she does this real sassy head shake, like, yeah! You know it! That is what she is doing below... And they were so good Layla wanted to toast with McKee! Cheers to PB&J's!
Layla is saying, "Don't even think about trying to sneek a bite - I got my eyes on you, McKee!" All with her eyes. No words. It is all in the eyes...
Another wonderful weekend with Jen! Thanks lady!
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