oh tracy, you’re so funny.

After my laundry post yesterday my friend Tracy emailed me this:

"just a quickie for helping Chris not be so wrinkled:  iron his clothes when they are still damp!  don’t even put them in the dryer.  have the ironing board and iron set up  so when they come out of the wash you are set to go!"

Obviously she does not understand my problem!  Aren’t new friends great… they just assume the best in us! 

Chris has wrinkled clothes b/c I hate to put away the laundry, and although I know an iron would help, I guess I forgot to mention that I hate ironing even more!  My form of ironing at this point in my life is when I pull the wrinkled garment out of the pile, I lay it down, smooth it out, and call it done.  I tell myeslf he’s a high school teacher standing among kids that rolled out of bed and who will always look worse than him.  Not to mention, he has figured out that if he grabs what he’s wearing for the day and puts it in the dryer while he’s in the shower, it gets most wrinkles out.  So see, why WOULD I try harder?

Anyway, just had to share Tracy’s email b/c it caused me to fall out of my chair laughing this morning when I read that she actually thought I would IRON!  :)   Oh Tracy, you think way too highly of my house wife skills! And if she irons Joel’s clothes with THREE kids running around I think I may have to call someone to have her committed, or call Martha (Stewart) and let her know she has a strong competitor!

i feel sorry for that third kid

If you’ve ever had a baby then you know that you cherish every second you have with her. She is the light of your life. She is your reason for living. She is every free moment you used to have but are happy to give up to her. You are careful, and watchful, and protective. Even me, who is what you would call relaxed, parented pretty much by the books when Bailey was little. I started her on cereal when they said, I gave her tummy time and read to my belly. And most importantly, I paid attention. I can look back at her baby book AND my journal to tell you to the minute when she cut her first tooth, rolled over and sat up for the first time.

I knew everyone said it wouldn’t be like that with the second, but I knew, I KNEW myself better than they did and I knew, I just KNEW that I am the best documentor in the entire world and would know everything about Parker just as detailed as I did with Bailey. This coming from the person who now has a baby with the most severe case of diaper rash she’s ever seen b/c instead of starting Parker on one baby food at a time, has given her every kind they make b/c it’s easier (and frankly more fun to watch her taste new foods everyday!). So now until it clears up, poor, hungry Parker is back to just cereal. And if you’ve ever been brave enough to taste baby rice cereal, you would feel very sorry for her right now that’s she’s missing out on peaches, carrots and bananas (which are what I think gave her the rash).

But in my mind, what’s worse than the diaper rash (which is bad. very very bad.), is that I missed TWO major milestones! Seriously.

Yesterday my in-laws took Bailey for the day and night (thank you!) to give her some special one on one time with them and to give us a little break. So in the morning after she was headed to Grant’s Farm with GoGo and Bubba and Chris was at soccer practice, Parker and I had some one on one time of our own. I spread my favorite quilt on the floor and laid down to play with her. This is when I realized that my little baby can SIT UP BY HERSELF! For like actual minutes at a time without falling over! Now, when Bailey sat up for the first time we had not only the camera out, but the camcoder was rolling as we made calls to everyone we knew, “Bailey is sitting up!!!” And truthfully, if I’m really honest with myself, we probably had all that going way before the actual sit-up event happened b/c we were just so excited when she could prop up in the Boppy, or sit in our laps without her head falling forward. And here’s my poor little Parker, sitting up like a stud and wondering where all the fuss is. I swear she looked at me with her huge blue eyes and was thinking how unfair it all was.

Then, less than 20 minues later I was sitting on the floor giving her a bottle when I wanted to change the channel and so let go of the bottle for a second to grab the remote. In that second, hungry little Parker picked up the bottle I had so carelessly let drop to her chest and started feeding herself. I looked down and in the exact same moment felt intense happiness that she was so amazing and utter dispair that somehow I had missed this too! As far as I know she can mix the formula herself when I’m too busy chasing Bails around to feed her the second she’s hungry. As I watched her little hands grasp that bottle I swear she was thinking what a complete failure as a mother I was. There she was, trying desperately to get my attention by crossing two milestones in the few minutes she knew no one was home and she had my undivided attention!

Ok, so logically I know that I am not a failure as a mother. But it does make my heart hurt to know that she can sit up (still slightly unsteadily, but sit up nonetheless) and hold her own bottle, and that not only do I not know the exact moment she learned those two skills, I still haven’t written it down in her baby book!

Here are the miraculous events themselves…
Isn’t she amazing? I know this isn’t her baby book, but I definitely didn’t anounce it to the entire blog world when Bails sat up so this is something right? And not that baby #3 is even in the thought process yet, but if she ever does come along, I just feel sorry for her future blank baby book.

Because we both know if I can’t keep up with two, how in the hell am I going to record what #3 does?

oh yes, it’s laundry day.

I took some photos last week to document my laundry problem. And yes, it’s a problem, a major problem. You see, the thing is, I acutally like to do laundry. I LOVE cleaning products and laundry soaps fall into that category. I love the smell of detergent, dryer sheets, bleach, etc. I love the way they look lined up on my laundry cart. I even like to take the lint out of the dryer b/c I feel so clean knowing all that came out of our clothes. Because of this love, I do laundry at least once a day. The problem comes when it’s time to put it all away. I just never seem to find the time to do that. And so, day in and day out it just piles up higher and higher in our already tiny bedroom until either Chris or I have had enough and take the time to put it away. That happened just now. We put a weeks worth of laundry away. Or at least we’re halfway there b/c since Bailey is sleeping upstairs, all the girl’s clothes are in a basket waiting to go up and get put away. This may or may not happen for another week b/c they don’t care as much about wrinkles.

Speaking of wrinkles, this is the biggest problem according to Chris. For me and the girls, we basically wear sweats or play clothes all week so if they are slightly wrinkled I figure within 10 minutes of being put on they are going to be spit-up on or something equally gross anyway, so who cares? Chris, however, doesn’t feel the same way. In fact, he said something to the effect of “if I were a professional I would understand you can’t walk around with wrinkles.” Yeah. Usually I would have put up a fight for the professional comment and then launched into everything else I have to do around here, ending with making him feel bad for not helping more. But today, I realized, (unfortunately) he had a point. And I acually got him to model.


So I’m sure you are on his side of the laundry debate. Which is, of course, JUST PUT THEM AWAY! Ok, Ok, not so loud, the kids are sleeping!

And if after all this, the wrinkled model and all, you don’t believe I have a serious problem, then here are the photos from last week:


This is my attempt each day to TRY to make myself put it all away… I pile it all on our bed. Wait, is there something moving in there???


Oh yes, this is where I make Parker nap. Luckily she loves the smell of clean laundry as much as I do.

Now don’t judge me, she sleeps best in that nook between our pillows. So what that I have to shift the clothes around to make her fit? I swear, she loves it.

Lots more to tell you about today, but little miss Parker is on my lap now, not napping (like her daddy and sister are), so mommy duty calls.

Before I run, check out the coolest site I found that is by a KIRKWOOD grad! Curly Girl Designs. Not only is her artwork awesome, I LOVE LOVE LOVE her site! I dream to be that creative!

Oh yeah, and this is what our bedroom looks like AFTER we buck up and put everything away! Cute huh?


sleeping through the night

There probably won’t be too much said on here in the next few days b/c I am on a mission to make Parker sleep through the night. For the past couple of weeks she has been waking up not once, not twice, but THREE times to eat. We’re so tired anyway that it was easier to feed her, but I’m putting a stop to it once and for all.

Last night it took her 45 minutes to cry through the 1am feeding, but she did it. Who knows what tonight will bring, but whatever it is I know I will be even more tired tomorrow, if that’s even possible. Wish me luck, it’s hard to be tough in the middle of the night.

If I do have time tomorrow night (inbetween the best tv night all week!! GREY’S!!!), I will post photos from what will be a photo opportunity in the morning… my parents bought Bailey a Little Tykes house (the Cambridge Cottage to be exact) for her second birthday and we all put it together tonight. Her birthday isn’t until July, but we really wanted this for her and now she can enjoy it all spring/summer. Anyway, I can’t wait to see her reaction in the morning when we show it to her! So I will try to get that up.

Also, if you pray, please pray for my friend Tracy. She has a lot going on right now and even though she’s handling it all better than any human being should, prayers always help. I feel like I’ve been praying for her non-stop this week, but the more the merrier!

And one more also… I’m helping put together a fundraiser for Episcopal City Mission and we’re looking for silent auction items. If you have ANYTHING, please share! Go to their website: ECM, and you’ll see what an amazing ministry this is, which will make you immediately want to help! Thanks!

catching up

I had to reread what I wrote last night to remind myself what I promised to write about tonight! The porch, photos from yesterday, etc. I will get to all of that, I promise, but let me just say a few other things first. Because after all, this is my blog!

So last night Parker was up three times to eat. If she had her own room I would have told her to go fly a kite and let her cry it out b/c come on, she’s not a week old anymore and has NO reason for being so hungry! Chris wanted to put her outside and let the squirrels raise her. Not a bad suggestion at 4am. I have made an appt with St. Luke’s Sleep Center so that we can finally figure out what to do with these kids and the non-sleep we’re all getting. I have a phone call scheduled for this Friday and then an office appointment for May 7th. I can’t WAIT until May 7th! I will keep you updated, but if any moms out there have any suggestions until then, I would love to hear them! Our problem is that Parker needs to learn to sleep through the night and when Bailey went through that stage it was about a week of tear filled nights. I’m fine with the whole “cry it out” method, but how do we do that when they need to share a room? So right now Parker is in our bed and Bailey is upstairs until we figure out something else. Which should be May 7th! Please pray that this sleep specialist will give us a plan that works and we can finally get some shut eye!

This is going to sound silly, but Bailey says “happy” now. She came up to me tonight, put her arms around my neck (she loves giving “backwards hugs” when I’m sitting on the floor) and said “happee”! I swear my heart slid out of my body and melted all over the floor. Later, when she had Parker cracking up, she pointed to her and said it again. “Yes, Parker is happy, you’re making her happy!” Seriously, this is why I need a video camera taped to my forehead so I can capture these sweet moments. I will never forget that chubby little finger pointing to her chubbier little sister and saying “happy”. This is why I love being a mom.

Ok, enough chatter. It’s photo time.

These are from yesterday when we pretended that Bailey wasn’t sick and took her outside for some sunshine. It was 80 degrees and beautiful! We had the sprinkler on, the t-ball and golf sets out, etc. Of course I had the camera, and thank goodness b/c I got some amazing shots, if I do say so myself!
Bailey and her blankie.

WARNING: These photos are not for the faint of heart or non-adventurers out there. There were no children harmed in the taking of these photographs. Fun was had by all, I swear.


Are you ok? Still breathing? Good. Those are some of my favorite photos thus far in life! Let me know what you think, I love comments!

And now, what the world has been waiting for. Ok, no one really cares, but I want to share our back porch with you. It started out a little rough and last fall we cleaned it out and painted the floor and walls. Then this spring we’ve worked on the decorating. My MIL, Terri, made the amazing curtains and most of the pillows. My dad made the birch ladder. My wonderful husband and FIL, Bubba (aka Bill), hung the new ceiling fans. My mom worked her bottom off in the yard hauling mulch, and although you can’t see it in these photos I had to include her b/c she worked hard too! And I guess I supervised? No, I cleaned and placed and decorated!

Standing at the back door. The window seat is my favorite, as are the directors chairs that Terri recovered with monogrammed fabric, love that!

Standing at the back door and looking right, the eating area and swings.

Standing at the picnic table and looking back.

Looking at the backdoor.

So that’s our porch. We love it, every nook and cranny. Don’t you love the curtians hung by clothespins? And the two swings side by side. I mean, can you get cuter? :)

I’m not going to end this with what I’m showing you tomorrow so that I’m not stuck tomorrow night! I will tell you that I’m going to make a photo album soon of my all time favorite Allen family photos. But soon, in my vocaulary, could be weeks, so don’t hold your breath! Good night!

so little time

It’s almost 10pm and I have so much to share that I know most of it will have to wait until tomorrow b/c I’m too tired to write about everything right now. But I’ll do as much as I can…

First, just had to share Uncle Matthew’s gift to Parker last weekend at her baptism.
Can you believe he bought and used pink and gold puffy paint? That’s love I tell you. In case you can’t read it, it says, “Bless my Uncle and I”.

So Bailey is still sick. Hasn’t thrown up since Friday, but now has this horrible cough that’s keeping her up at night. It dawned on me that just cleaning up AFTER her maybe wasn’t killing all the germs, so yesterday I had a mini freak out and I bleached everything I could get my hands on. Hands that are now raw and hurt. I worked upstairs in the girl’s playroom and bedroom. Every plastic toy that could be soaked got thrown in the tub with bleach and everything else I scrubbed with Clorox spray and then Lysoled.


The bleach bath


Bailey lately loves to “help momma” so I gave her a clean paper towel and she “cleaned” every puzzle piece from every puzzle in the playroom! Those pieces are still in a basket and are my last bleach bath items. Hopefully now we’ve gotten all the germs out of here!

Last thing as the typing is keeping C up, just wanted to share my latest scrapbook page. If you read this, you will remember me mentioning I wanted to paint with brown last week. I ended up painting brown on black paper and then decided to scrap it. This is unlike any page I’ve ever made b/c there are absolutely no products (ribbon, brads, etc.) included, just paper, pen and photos. The title and journaling are obviously hand done, torn and inked. The photos where sanded and then inked. So simple but one of my favorite pages so far.


You’ll have to let me know what you think.

And that my friends, is all I have for tonight. Tomorrow look for the most amazing photos from today and also I actually documented the laundry shuffle…before, middle and end. It’s quite a display. And I finally took photos today of the completed porch. So hopefully I’ll have time for a million photo post tomorrow!

I hope you all had great weekends! Shots for Parker await us at 8:15am tomorrow morning, what a way to start a Monday!

another good movie

Are you wondering when I had time to watch another movie between last night and this morning? Me too.

Bailey woke up around 3am vomiting again. I swear this thing just won’t go away. I’m so tired of changing her bedding that we cleaned her up and just brought her downstairs. You never know if it’s going to be a one time thing or hours on end, so we piled towels around us and settled onto the couch, Chris in the chair close by. Since nothing was on and we wanted to bore her back to sleep we decided Elmo was not the best idea, so we watched Man of the Year.

Great movie. Maybe reviewing something you watched in the early morning hours in a sleepy haze isn’t totally accurate, but we both liked it. Again, it was a movie that turned out to be nothing like we thought it would be. I hate it when they show all the good parts on the previews or tv commercials, then when you sit down to watch the movie you feel like you’ve already seen it. This was not one of those movies.

Robin Williams was really good, as were all the supporting actors/actresses. It was funny, laugh out loud at times, with a touch of suspense thrown in. Anyway, worth renting in our opinion.

i love good movies

Don’t you just love the feeling of leaving the movie theater and wishing you could watch hours more? When you’re mad it’s over b/c it was just so so good? Or maybe just the simple feeling of being happy you picked a good movie over the one you forced yourself to sit through last time.

Last weekend when my sister was in town we watched the stupidest movie. Marie Antoinette with Kirsten Dunst. It was so bad that she left to go back to my parent’s house for the night before it was even over. Me, being a person who is morally against not giving a movie a chance to get better, sat through it until the end when I threw up my hands in disgust b/c not only did it not get better, in fact, it got worse. I hate that. Knowing you wasted all that time on something so stupid. I could have been crafting or sleeping or working to end world hunger or just picking my nose. Anything else would have been better than sitting through that entire movie.

That movie left such a bad taste in my mouth that I was honestly scared to pick the movie this weekend. So I gave Chris 3 choices and he chose Stranger Than Fiction with Will Ferrell. It was amazing. He and I both liked it, which doesn’t happen often. Usually I love the romantic ones that he hates and I sleep through the dramas that keep him up at night dreaming of far off places. Tonight, however, we will both be in bed early, completely satisfied and happy with our choice of movie for the night.

It was funny in a sad sort of way and went in directions we never could have guessed. Great movie. Rent it!

great kids art project, Teds tackles stickers, and Angie’s Skillet Lasagna

Three big things to talk about today.

1. Art

I’ve said before that I try to paint with Bailey everyday. It doesn’t always happen, but I try. Lately I’ve been looking for ways to stretch out the projects and save paper, so we’ve been painting found objects. For Easter she painted paper mache eggs (I will post photos of that soon) and the other day we started a box. A neighbor gave me the box for free and I’ve had it knowing it could be used for something creative. It’s a simple wooden box that took the paint great. What I love about not always painting on paper, is that with this box, the 10 minutes of painting she did on it will just be the first step. The next time we paint, hopefully after nap today, she will do more on the box in different colors. It stretches a project and really makes it look better! Here it is:

The empty box.

My old shirt she paints in… someday I want to make something out of it b/c I think it’s beautiful!

I use the same piece of craft paper to cover the table each time we paint. Again, I love the colors on this and want to do something someday with it.

It was a BLUE day.

We added a little yellow also.

Then we got crazy…

and I let her paint with her feet!

I will keep you updated on the progress and final product!

2. Stickers

As often as we paint we also do sticker work. Up until last night that has consisted of me handing her each sticker one by one and Bailey sticking them on paper. Last night while I was making dinner, I knew she had her art bucket out and I assumed she was coloring. Never assume right?

For the first time ever, she had figured out how to get the stickers off herself and instead of putting them on paper like we always do, I found her decorating “Teds”. When I saw her she looked at me and said, “prippie, Teds.” “Yes, Teds looks very pretty.” :)

It is a small milestone, but a milestone it is. Stickers are now in their own home, out of reach, so I don’t find her decorating the walls!

3. Dinner

My friend Angie Feryn from Spokane emailed me this great recipe I just have to share. My photo doesn’t do it justice. It was delicious and EASY enough for my to make it! Enjoy!

SKILLET LASAGNA (from Angie Feryn)

Jar of Spaghetti Sauce
Package of No Boil Lasagna noodles
container of ricotta or cottage cheese (if you use ricotta, mix it with some water to make it spread easier)
package of shredded mozzarella
handful of shredded parmesan
hamburger (optional–it goes quicker if you make it chees lasagna so most of the time, I make cheese)

Brown 1 lb of hamburger in a skillet, add half of the spaghetti sauce (just pour sauce into a med-hi skillet if not using meat)
cover with a layer of no-boil noodles (you’ll have to break some up to make them fit a round skillet)
spread cottage cheese/ricotta over noodles
add a layer of mozz
add another layer of noodles
add a layer of sauce
top with mozz and sprinkle with the handful of parm
cover and let it simmer on med until cheese is melted (10-15 min)
Scoop it out with a large spoon to serve

Add a bag of salad and french bread and you’re way better than Rachel Ray in speed and you’ve only dirtied one pan.


Try it, if I can make it anyone can!