Thursday, April 29, 2010

Etsy Eye Candy for Mom - 4.29.10

With Mother's Day right around the corner, how about some ideas for what to give that special woman in your life... or yourself?!

I love this...  a sketch/watercolor portrait of your child.

I still love this momma's nest... (I have a thing for all things birdie - have you noticed?)

These are precious - personalized magnets made from dominos!

Or... you could just give her one of these and let her sleep in!

From BibBon.


Tuesday, April 27, 2010

And then she was three.

All she wanted to mark the occasion was a Dora party, so a Dora party she received, complete with a Dora jump castle.
And what Dora party would be complete without Backpack and Map? 

My saint of a sister stayed up with me the night before, cutting out mouths and eyeballs from foam as I sewed the backpacks together.  The idea is not original, so don't be so impressed.  I got the idea from the Nick Jr. website and modified it a bit.  I also learned that sewing with craft foam is not fun, for me or for my cheapie Singer.  I'm still picking out purple pieces!
I digress.
Back to the party.
I have a thing for making the birthday cakes for my chickies; I don't know why, but for some reason this is important to me.  Aforementioned saintly sis also helped me with the cake, chocolate per the birthday girl's request.  My sister found the hot air balloon idea from a cake-decorating website and we went with it.  The balloon basket is made from the little sponge cakes sold in the bakery section at the grocery store.  The balloon itself is attached with string tied to pieces of spaghetti.  The rest is buttercream heaven.
My girl couldn't wait to get "her candles" on the cake - she'd been taking them out of the pantry all week, adoring them.  Little did she know that Swiper would steal them away!  My big brother donned a blue mask and swiped the candles away while we were setting up the cake... all part of the master plan with Backpack and Map!
We then told the kiddos to go get their backpacks so we could find where Swiper hid the birthday candles.  After everyone had it, the question was asked: "Who do we ask for help when we don't know which way to go?"
They all then removed their maps and headed to Puzzle-Land, where they had to complete the puzzle before heading to the next location.
Once complete, they went to the Lollipop Forest, where they had to collect all of the lollipop trees (dum dums stuck into the ground).
The birthday girl was prepared for her adventure with her pink cowgirl boots.
Then, it was off to the sleeping troll (played by my brother-in-law), who was holding the candles in a special box.  They all pulled the maracas from their backpacks and shook them to wake him up.  Then, they had to say "Por Favor" for him to give up the special box to the birthday girl.

At last, she would have her beloved candles!

Happy Birthday sweet girl... and many more. 


I don't have time for a longer post, but I just wanted to say whee! over my new blog look from Danielle.  Did she rock it out or what?!  Thanks girl - I love it!

I stayed up last night working on scrabble tile necklaces for my MOPS group, so I am one tired girl with lots of Modge Podge under her fingernails...

but stay tuned.  I'll be back later to tell the story of this little chickie's Dora birthday:

Sunday, April 25, 2010


This weekend was one of those weekends where you're going 100 miles an hour all day from sun-up to sundown and you don't get a chance to so much as breathe before it's time to jet off to some other event until before you know it, it's already almost 10:00 on Sunday night and you've still got laundry to do and a checkbook to balance and meals to plan and a floor that is in desperate need of mopping.

You know those weekends, right?!

I'm one exhausted mommy.

Oh, and my baby girl is now 3. 

How did that happen?

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Pass the Tissues and the Diet Coke. Seriously.

After the stress of the trip last week, there's no slowing down at the MNATO household...

Today, we will be registering Big Sis for kindergarten. 


Friday, Lil Sis turns three.


Pass me a tissue, would ya?

I'm in the midst of preparing for all out Dora party on Saturday, to include little backpacks for the kiddos that I still need to make and a Dora the Explorer adventure to plan..  (Nothing like a deadline to get me motivated!) 

And I have a ton of sewing project ideas just waiting to be brought to fruition.

Bring on the Diet Coke to get me through the late nights this week!

Danielle is working her blog design magic in the midst of a big move, so I am excited to see what she comes up with - I know it will be fabulous. 

Question for ya:  I've been contemplating changing my blog name and address to make it reflect a spin-off of my nickname for my little family.  What do you think?  I know it's my blog and I can do with it as I please, but I'm interested to hear your opinions...

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Lessons Learned

I've been here in Indy for three days now, and I'm ready for home.

I'm learning a lot of great information for my job, which is awesome, but I'm learning some other things as well...

1.  It's much more fun going on a trip with another person than it is going solo.
2.  It's a little scary being in a downtown metropolitan area by myself.
3.  I sleep so much better when I'm snuggled up with my hunk of a hubby.
4.  The silence is nice, but the sound of my girls' voices is so much better.
5.  It should be a crime to not have a mini-bar in every hotel room.


You know you agree.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Indiana... and the temple of Vroom!

So, I made it to Indianapolis in one piece.  I nearly had a breakdown before leaving my chickies, but kept the tears from flowing so as not to mess up my mascara.  Priorities, right?!  I can't even tell you how many times I recited the Our Father and the prayer of Saint Joseph as we were waiting on the tarmack.  Sheesh - it's tough facing the fear of your own mortality, isn't it?

On the first flight, I learned a valuable lesson of those who travel alone and check in at the airport:  you get stuck with a middle seat.  And not just any middle seat, mind you.  I got the middle seat in the window escape hatch row (ironic...) between two middle-aged men who were asleep before the plane rolled away from the hangar.  Can you imagine?  Here I am, eyes wide, hands clasped, prayers a'goin in my head in between these two men with either severe cases of narcolepsy or not a care in the world.  Judging by the way one man had his shoes kicked off, I'd say it was the latter.  The man to my left was courteous enough to lean his head against the window but angled his body so that his legs were in my space, and the man on my right was rubber-necking so much I thought he'd eventually lay his head on my shoulder.

Sweet Jesus.

And did I mention the hogging of the armrests?

Oh.  My.  Lawd.

So I did what any good, respectable Southern girl would do... I ordered a beer and flipped through the pages of Cosmo.

After a layover in Denver, we headed into Indy, and arrived about 1130 last night.  There is no shuttle service running at night, so I hailed a cab to the hotel, dreaming of the king-size bed that awaited my tired body. 

I only thought the plane ride would be the most terrifying part of my trip.  I then endured fifteen minutes of pure terror, at the mercy of a crazy taxi driver who sped around curves at 80 miles an hour all the while talking on his cell phone in a language that contained a lot of "h" sounds reminiscent of throat-clearing.

And did I mention the taxi reeked of curry?

Dear Sweet Jesus.

I'm now here and settled (and exhausted) after a day of training, resting up before I meet some new friends later for dinner.

This time, I think I'll walk.

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Mama's Rules Gone Awry

If you all remember, Big Sis became the proud owner of a little rat  hamster when she gave up her beloved silky blanket a while back.  True to his nocturnal nature, "Teddy Bear" spent his first nights in our home running incessantly on his wheel, keeping us awake and/or scaring the crap out of us in a quiet house.  So, we did what any good hamster owner would do: we got him a run-about ball, with the notion that maybe he'd wear himself out!

It began innocently enough.  Teddy Bear was enjoying his new toy, just making his way around the house, the sound of plastic echoing on my concrete floors.

I began making dinner and setting the table while the girls played... just another normal night right?

As I made my way to the table with the silverware, I glanced down and caught a glimpse of Teddy Bear in his ball.

Ruh roh.

He was laying on his back, arms and legs flailed out as if they were surrendering, his head turned to the side, his nose a little bloodied.  I picked up the ball to examine him closer, confused as to what was going on with him.  I summoned dh over... "Look at Teddy Bear... what's wrong with him?"  He's just as confused as me.

Then Lil Sis comes over and looks at me with this, just, scared, surprised look on her face.

"Mama, I woll it, mama.  I not frow it!  I woll it!"

Oh.  Friggin.  No.

My rule with balls in the house is that it's okay to roll them, but not throw them (hence, nothing gets broken). 

Let the record show - mama's got a new rule. 

No rolling hamsters in the house.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Etsy Eye Candy: 4.7.2010

I've been perusing a certain theme of items on Etsy lately:

Towels fit for two little queens from YikesTwins.

Adorable memory game to fill idle hours.  From MamaMayI.

There's no fighting over pails anymore with these personalized ones from lourux.

All this because I'm counting down the weeks until I get to see this:

Oh yeah.

Bring it on.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Does This Happen to You?

I love traveling.  It is so exhilarating to see new places and visit different communities - to get a taste of where another person lives and to gain a better appreciation for home.

Then why does it make me so nervous?  Ack!

Ever since having kids, whenever I've planned a trip that involves leaving them for a longer period of time than a couple of days or one that involves a great deal of distance, I get very anxious.  Of what, I'm not sure. 

Is it the flight?

Is it that I'm leaving them?

Whatever it is, it's so uncomfortable. 

I leave on Sunday for training for work in Indianapolis (the week AFTER the Final Four, of course) and just thinking about it today made me feel like I couldn't catch my breath.  It doesn't help that I really don't like flying.

Like, really don't like flying.


I know it will be great once I get there and get into the nitty-gritty of the training.  And I must say I'm looking forward to three evenings with nothing on my agenda but lounging, sleeping, and reading. 

I'm not looking forward to missing my babies.

Or the flight.  Ugh.

Did I mention I don't like flying?

Guess I better start packing.  Watch out Indy - here I come.

Friday, April 2, 2010

Daddies and Daughters

My sister coordinated the most wonderful fundraiser for her local Boys and Girls club... a Daddy-Daughter Dance. 

I know, you're swooning already.

To top it off, she chose the theme "Pinkalicious", based on the book by Victoria Kann.  Over the course of a couple of weeks, she turned an old historic dance hall into a pink ballroom, completely draped in pink faux curtains, pink bows, pink fabulousness...

It was a night of pink perfection.

There was plenty of primping beforehand - pink toes for Big Sis and purple for the Lil.

The girls were so excited!  They wore their adorable pettiskirts and topped off the look with little wrist corsages.

It wouldn't have been pinkalicious without pink cupcakes, so there were towers of them... yum.

There was q whole lot of twirling goin on...

and Lil Sis surprised us all when she joined in on YMCA!  Who knew?

But this, by far, was the best part... two little girls and the daddy they adore.

Are you making memories with your daughter today?

Disclaimer:  Yes, it was a daddy daughter dance, but I was an official volunteer, so I got to sneak in some photos too!