Thursday, December 1, 2011

Family Picture...FAIL

Most people pictures are hard with children. Sometimes they are hard with just adults...
So here is my attempt at a picture for our Christmas card.

"Oh look! Geese! Everyone Look!

"Okay, now everyone smile"
Chris: "Wait...what?"


 In short, these will not be the pictures used for our Christmas card this year :).

There was one success of this photo shoot...and this was it.

I lied...two successes! Here is the other of the girls with their Nini and Papa. My girls are so lucky to have two sets of wonderful grandparents they get to see so often. 

Monday, October 17, 2011

Picture Perfect

I know, I know...I have neglected my poor little blog. Honestly, it's like having another job! But, I am back and with me I bring some precious pictures to share with you. These were taken during our beach vacation in August by my fabulous friend Summer Triompo. She is an amazing photographer with some very fun "visions" for photo shoots. Some of these "visions" proved to be a bit trickier to pull off than expected but nonetheless we carried them through and here are a couple of the end results.

These are a few of my very favorites! These look so fun and easy-breezy...that is how you know a good photographer because "easy breezy" was not what was going on behind the scenes here. More like a three ring circus and an impending hurricane.
God bless photographers who take pictures of families with young children.

More to come on this...

Thursday, September 15, 2011

See Ya, Summer!

As summer comes to an end I would like to say, "Thanks Summer, it's been fun but I am over the heat, the pool and my kids boredom. Unfortunately for you school starts as you end....So, Bon Voyage!
I have no doubt I will welcome you with open arms next year but for now, we're done".

In celebration, a couple lessons learned from my experiences this and past summers to hopefully make your life a bit easier for future summertime fun!

So, here it goes...

Tip #1
First aid kids should be stashed everywhere:
Pool Bag (we'll come back to this one)
Diaper bag/purse

Addison took quite a fall at the pool this summer and as I went to help her I realized I didn't have anything in my pool bag that would fix this big of a "boo boo". Lifeguards had band-aids for paper cut wounds, which was not helpful at all. I learned my lesson to start bringing some supplies on pool trips because inevitably someone is going to hurt themselves. Concrete and water don't make for the best conditions for little ones quick feet.
Target sells some great pre-made first aid kits that are $6 and have a good stock inside them. You can also make it at home with the basics: Neosporin, band-aids, tylenol..etc, doesn't have to be a beach bag full, just some go-to items. Why do you need these in so many places? Because I can't remember what I had for breakfast today much less to move my first aid kit from my purse to my pool bag. Save yourself some time and put them everywhere. Why else do I need them in so many places? Have you met Emma?

She's an on-the-go kind of gal and "boo boos" are just part of her daily routine. See...

Tip #2
Swim diapers DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT hold in pee. I think they are pretty amazing because they hold in the other stuff in, but if your little bundle of joy is sitting on your lap after playing in the water and you feel some warm water drizzle down your's not water. When you get your little one all swim diapered, bathing suited up, sun screened slathered and THEN put them in car seat, golf cart or stroller to go to pool...chances are that seat will be wet by the time you arrive.
So...for what's left of this summer and for future water ventures, I recommend putting on swim diapers when you arrive to your water destination and no sooner! I thought this was common knowledge but my encounter with some new moms and grandma's this summer told me I need to put this info out there!

See swim diaper on modeled on Emma below....see pee on sand directly below that.

Tip #3

Have you ever given your child some juice to cool them off from the days heat and hydrate them? Did you then notice they turn into an energizer bunny of sorts, that keep going and going until they literally drop? That my friends, is a sugar high and sugar DROP! I have experienced my kids on a juice sugar rush and that will not happen again.

Enter, naturally flavored water. Put some rasberries, strawberries, oranges, whatever your kids (and you) like in water bottle with water. Makes water a little bit more interesting for them and you know that you aren't getting 8-16 grams of sugar PER drink, like other "flavored waters".

Got anymore "summertime tips"? Post them in comments!


Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Mother Knows Best

Addison often ask me questions I don't know the correct answers to, as kids do. She is persistent though and will not be pushed aside with anything but an answer. I admire her desire for knowledge and hope she keeps this though out her life. I am also amazed at how easily she accepts my responses (true or maybe not). I am her mother and she think I know everything about everything, so when I give her an answer (other than "no" for sweets) that is her end all, be all.
I can't help but wonder (yes, that was a Carrie Bradshaw moment) how long this will last? How long until she starts to question my responses or knowledge? Even worse, when does she CORRECT me for the real right answer.

Some questions, I really don't know the answer to:

Addison: Mom, is it going to rain today?
Me: (I went with the weatherman's way here) It might.
Not good enough...
Addison: Mom, I really need to know.
Me: Yes, Addison it will rain today.
Addison: Okay, I will go get my raincoat.

She has already asked some tough ones:

Addison: Why is Nana never coming back?
Me: She is surviving in the sky with God. She loves it up there and feels no pain anymore.

Addison: How do 3D glasses work?
Me: Ask your father.

Some...I flat out lie about:

Addison: Mommy, what does that sign say?
COTTON CANDY SOLD HERE! (at local fair)
Me: It says you should brush your teeth every night and every morning.
Addison: Okay.

I love that she assumes I know everything. I love being the one (or one of the few) that is the one who will give her the answers to questions she will ask.

I do know the day is coming when she will not believe the answer I give her and she will seek them herself. This is unavoidable I know...but something else I have noticed. She asks my opinion as well, not just the answer but my opinion about the answer. So, since I can't be her "end all, be all" answer forever, I can be an opinion she can respect and trust.

I think she is already is suspicious about some of my answers (cotton candy, see above). But also values my opinion, see below:

Continued from cotton candy conversation:
Addison: What is that picture next to the sign (picture of cotton candy).
Me: (Pause) It's Cotton candy... They have some there but it's not good for your teeth and body, so they are reminding you to brush your teeth. I like for my teeth and body to be healthy, so I feel good.
Addison: Yeah, I don't even like cotton candy (yes, she does) I want to be healthy like you! Right, mommy?
Me: Yes!

That day will come when she knows that I don't know everything, but for now I will enjoy it...and take advantage of that and the fact she can't read yet.

Here is that little gal now...turning into a beautiful young lady!

Tuesday, August 23, 2011



Addison's 5th Birthday party arrived after a very long countdown....she's been talking about it since February. It was a great success (aside from the mini monsoon that hit at the end). We had it all...grass skirts, leis, cake, balloons, pinata and more!

Let's take a look...

The Birthday Girl! So excited. She picked out her whole ensemble minus the coconut bikini top. That is where I drew the line.

The decor. Thanks to my friend Jennifer for the amazing topiaries (see top right, yes those are drink umbrellas!) and ruffled streamers (not pictured, but so cute).
Notice the palm tree Emma is next to. It's a cooler! I highly recommend it for your future luaus.

Party fun!

Wait for it...
Addison took Emma down the big slide for first time...such a good big sister! Emma LOVED it.

More party was really hard to catch them. They don't stand still long!

Finally, the pinata. I highly recommend for kids parties but they are HARD to break. We cheated and pulled the bottom apart.


Happy Birthday to my sweet Addison.

Thursday, August 4, 2011

Vegas Baby!

After experiencing Las Vegas for the first time this summer,  I figured I would give you the good, the bad and the ugly guide to the "Fabulous Las Vegas".

The Good:
Amazing hotels. It seems one is always trying to "one up" the next, which means they are all simply incredible.
Great Food. I am not normally one for buffets, but Vegas does this well. We received some great advice from our Blackjack dealer (Alex) the first night....NEVER eat anywhere on the strip that is not fine dining (i.e. in a hotel). So, we played it safe and ate in the hotels and buffets are everywhere. In our hotel they had a breakfast buffet that had eggs, red velvet pancakes, prime rib, sushi and a full dessert bar! That is just the beginning. I have never seen so much food in one place on display.
Phenomenal Return on Investment. You can double, triple and make great money QUICK. On the last night we were there I bet all the chips I had in roulette and tripled my money in 2 minutes!

The Bad:
Lack of Sleep. Vegas is always open. They never close up shop and when you are inside you can really lose track of time. Bottom line, come prepared to not sleep and leave needing a vacation from your vacation.
Return on Investment. Sometimes you see a "phenomenal" return on investment. Most times, the casino sees a better return. When your are losing every hand and you think your luck is coming back, it's not. WALK AWAY.

The Ugly: Sometimes...Often times there is no return on investment. Accept that this is part of Vegas and you will have a much better time. Set a limit of how much you want to lose at casinos and cut you (or your spouse) OFF! Go hang out by the pool and let the hotel comp all your drinks and food to make you feel like you didn't lose it for nothing...but that can be one expensive drink!

It's all for fun though, and fun is exactly what we had!

Monday, July 11, 2011

First Day of Kindergarten

 You guys knew it was coming....biggest news in the Dale household since Emma was born, Addison's first day of Kindergarten.

What a day! And, what a big girl. This was a much bigger deal for Mommy and Daddy than Addison. She acted like she had been going to Kindergarten for months! So proud of our confident little girl....and proud of Mommy for holding it together (until we got back to the car).

Without further delay...

Addison's First Day of Kindergarten in pictures.

Backpack? CHECK! Lunch? Check! 
Silver shoes I wish they had in mommy's size? CHECK!! She is one stylin' little lady.

And....she's off!


 Daddy, wait! I have to fix my hair! Poor guy, in this house he is ALWAYS waiting on a girl fixing their hair. Okay, she's ready. CHEESE!


This is it....

I really wanted to take more pictures inside the classroom, but I showed some real mommy-restraint by not. They were all so happy and calm, I decided to let them be without blinding them with a thousand flashes. 

While Addison was at school, Emma caught up on her emails and texted a couple friends....

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

The Functional 5

So....I am not sure what happened here. Last month I was strolling along with my blog and the next thing I know I haven't updated in weeks. I guess life gets in the way sometimes but I thank you for reading and I'M BACK! My welcome back gift to you...five things in my life that make everyday things just a little bit easier:

Harris Teeter EXPRESS LANE

I use this service frequently....every week. One afternoon I go online, order my groceries then a couple hours later I pull up to the store push the little buzzer and out come my groceries. The whole process including online ordering and pickup probably takes me 30 minutes. The best thing is that it saves my sanity from shopping with my girls. Love them, but do not love shopping with them. In fact, I am not sure Emma will never see the inside of a grocery store and I can avoid those annoying balloon situations we encountered with Addison. I understand it seems like a good idea to give the kids a sugar cookie in the front of the store so they can be hopped up on sugar and bouncing off the salad dressing aisle. And sure...give the kiddos something that is sure to fly into the sky as soon as you hit the parking lot and they will cry like they had that balloon since they day they were born. I understand this sounds like great customer service for parents....but please Harris Teeter, spare us the torment of the sugar high and agony of the loss of the piece of rubber in the parking lot.
Back to the point...
This is a pretty widely known service now (since I have made it my mission to tell all mom's about it) but I thought I would share. One other little fun fact, every purchase you have ever made with your VIC card will show up in your cart once you link your card online. So, if you are like me and buy the same stuff every week, you can just pull up your list and start checking away. OR, Harris Teeter will actually email you "last weeks list" and you can just order that with push of a button. All for $4.95 ($1.95 during the summer). Honestly HT, I would pay a heck of a lot more for this amazing service.

Keurig Coffee Maker

I never understood how some people love electronics, until now.
That amazing piece of equipment is my BFF in the mornings. It is simple to use and makes a darn good cup of coffee.


I don't watch anything in "real time" anymore. I have no idea what days/times any of the shows (see CSI above) I watch are on but I do know they happen during the week and are waiting for me when I have a spare minute to catch up on my crime scene drama, or really anything other than the Disney Channel or HUB. It's also great for kids. When it's time to turn off the TV and Addison is so upset that she won't see the end of her show and vows she will never forget and won't recover from this injustice, we record it for her to watch later. She then forgets almost immediately and I delete it but it saves us a lot of drama and whining for sure.
Pause, rewind and fast forward are a perk too.

Remote start and push button close on rear hatch

When you are in the market for a new car, these are a must. I use the remote start more in the summer than the winter due to our BRUTALLY hot weather. I start the car and by the time the kids hit their seats it's a cool 70 degrees in there.
I have a larger SUV and god bless the engineer at GMC that thought of adding a button to close the rear door on your key fob remote. Not like the old days (2 years ago) you used to have to use your muscle (and a little hop if you are 5'2 like me) to get that door down. It looked like I was spinning the big money wheel Price is Right. 

I constantly have my hands full and have no time for spinning the wheel anymore. I can push a button on my remote and it closes for me. Very handy.


Oh wait, I don't have one (take this as a hint, Chris). But, my hubby does and boy does he love to tell me about all the AMAZING features on it.
Like KEY RING. You scan all those annoying customer discount key tags into your phone and save the info there and put the tags in the trash. BRILLIANT. I hate clutter and love to be efficient, so that is right up my alley.

Hope you enjoyed the Functional 5 and learned a little something. Next post is about VEGAS BABY...and what I learned there.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Good Old Fashion Summertime Fun

Addison sure is fun these days. She loves playing with her Daddy. Wrestling, racing and water fights are on the top of her fun list...and she is TOUGH.

This is from this past Sunday afternoon. Chris definitely got a bad deal in this water fight.

Addison=never-ending water supply from hose.
Daddy= re-filling every other shot.

This is how it all started. An unattended hose, while Daddy prepared the water guns.

 She was relentless...

Daddy got some good shots in, but he was no match for Addison and the hose!

Addison won, hands down.

We can't leave little Emma out...she loves the pool. Loves to float on her back and attempt to jump in from the steps. Yes, the pool is exhausting for us.

Happy Summer!

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Procrastination Station

I read an interesting article on procrastination the other day in REAL SIMPLE* magazine. I meant to read it a week or so ago but put it off....:).

Anyway, I am the absolute worst....full blown procrastinator. Lucky for me (and everyone else) I work well under pressure.

A couple things I took away from this article:

1. Do the worst thing first
Um, what if they all seem like the worst thing, then what?

2. Start your day over at 2pm
They say, assess what you have done already that and make an action plan for the last couple hours of your day to tackle the most critical tasks.
I am pretty sure this why babies/toddlers take an afternoon nap...they need to refresh before tackling those tedious tasks of the afternoon like pooping, crawling, crying and eating. I wonder what Emma's critical task for this afternoon is....ah, whining. Mystery solved. Way to tackle the most annoying thing first!

3. Create an audience
Simply, this keep you accountable. A friend of mine started a blog so he would be kept accountable to stay on track for weight loss. It worked...he is down 87 lbs!

4. Don't Interrupt Yourself
This is the most amazing thing ever. I have put this into practice and it works. I can be a bit ADD and try to do 4 tasks at once. Concentrating on one, putting phone on silent and ignoring distractions (like kids calling my name....jk). It works.

Finally, my favorite. Plan an UNPROCRASTINATION Day.
Put together a list of all the errands, tasks and basically anything you have been putting off for too long and do it all in one day. I put this into practice today. I call it a mini-unprocrastination day because I did all the tasks that have accumulated in a pile on my desk that "I will get to later-don't want to deal with now".
I feel like a weight has been lifted. That to-do stack is gone and only one task left for the day, file away that big stack of papers on upstairs desk. I hate filing...I should have done that first.

After reading that article I thought, "Great idea, I will do an UNPROCRASTINATION day every month". After my mini one, I am more every quarter should suffice.

 If you want to read more, check out this great article:

What will you do on your UNPROCRASTINATION day?