More Playing

I haven't had much time to play with my camera since I've gotten it. Tj has been home which means I've been playing wife rather than pretending I'm a super famous professional photographer taking pictures of the most beautiful child model ever. I can pretend, right? So far, it's only been "auto-mode" for me. Any photographer that knows anything will tell you, "You don't just get good pictures from owning the camera. You have to know how to use it." I've even seen some pretty snarky responses when asked, "What kind of camera do you have?" I guess they aren't wanting you to think that just buying a certain camera will give you those images. I appreciate the honesty but I somewhat disagree. I can't say I have any pictures from my old camera that show these baby blues this well. So for me "auto" is better than none-at-all.

Are you loving this look? It's the official dirty look. I get it often. That is a mild one but you get the jist. Her personality is really shining through these days and I love it. That "I thought I loved you then" song - SO true.

We've had some changes happening at home that I'm excited to tell you about. Dutch wanted to give you a sneak peak. And I have to say, he is a much better subject than Tylee. He will sit and let me take picture after picture trying to get my settings right. That is, as long as I have a treat in my hand. Hopefully everything is finished tomorrow and I can spill the news. It really isn't that exciting.

How much more random can this post be? Good night.


Just Playing


On the Menu: Shepards Pie

Another fall favorite in the Trollope household. You think I've made this meal since last February? Nope! But Tj has already requested it since the weather has started turning cool. I love fall for so many reasons!



You are probably as shocked as I am that I don't have pictures plastered all over the blog yet. I have only taken 8 pictures! 8! When I picked Tylee up on Friday she looked pretty rough. (See below*) It wasn't as fun taking pictures of a messy little girl because I knew that I wouldn't do anything with them. How dare I put pictures of Tylee on the blog when she isn't looking her best. Ha. Yesterday we went to town, got hay bails and pumpkins, cut cornstalks, came home and set all that up, then headed to a wedding and the Elks Picnic. Another busy day with not many photo-ops. She is taking her morning nap now and I can hardly wait for a lazy Sunday at home with the cutest little subject ever.




Dear UPS Man,

Please come visit me soon. I've been looking forward to this day for a long, long time. It may be the 3rd best day of my life.
  1. Tylee's Birth
  2. My Wedding
  3. The day I got my camera

I should probably say the birth of my neices and nephew. Or the day we moved into our house. Or the day I bought my Volkswagon Jetta. Or when I got my job. But nah, I think I'll stick with said ordering system. Maybe that'll make you bring it on time. Just don't tell anyone how this day ranks, please. It says you are scheduled to be here tomorrow, so please don't let anything happen to change that. I'll be forever grateful.


I remember talking some major crap on my sister when she bought her camera. Come on! How could that one take any better pictures than the throw-aways from Wal-mart? I spent many a nights throughout highschool at Wal-mart, filling out envelopes and anxiously waiting A WEEK for the prints to come back. I couldn't hardly wait to get to school the next morning to show all the girls. It was always a huge day with lots of talking and not much working. Those pictures were great, let me tell ya! So apparently, I've always loved taking pictures but didn't really feel the passion until I had a subject.
Actually, I never really cared about pictures until my sister bought her camera several years ago and let me play with it. That lead me to buy the camera I had, which took great pictures and was fun to play with but I still longed for my very own DSLR. And now one is coming to live with me. So thanks Linds! Thanks for encouraging me and showing me what a great picture/camera even is. Because I'll admit, I totally copied you but now have thousands of awesome pictures of Tylee that I would've never had. That is worth being a copy-cat, right? I would've lived with disposable camera pictures for the rest of my life. Like Mom and Nanny. (Hahahahaha. I seriously cannot stop laughing at that sentence and the only person that will actually laugh IRL is Lindsey.)
I know that just having a great camera does not give you great photographs. Which is why I bought this book to go along with it. So, welcome to my next hobby. Aren't you glad you are along for the ride?


On the Menu: Taco Soup

When I was scouring my brain for meals during yesterdays post, I was honestly thinking - What meals do we rotate right now? Brisket and Grilled veggies, Steak and Corn-on-the-cob, Pork loin and potatoes, meat and veggies, meat and potatoes, meat-meat-meat. Bleh. 99.9% of our meals Tj cooks on the grill. I'm a lucky girl! But I love to cook. I honestly ask, "Can I please cook tonight?" And have said many times during our marriage, "Are you serious? Steak again?" I asked for a KitchenAid Mixer for my birthday one year and a pot the next. I remember my Mom telling me a story about my Dad buying her a knife set one year and she was not a happy camper. Do you know how excited I'd be to get a new knife set? D.O.R.K. I know. But anyways, when I get the pleasure of cooking, the 6 meals from yesterday are the first to come to my mind. Tj and I both are in a dinner rut but the seasons are changing and our meals seem to also. I'm excited for fall. Fall = Casseroles, Soups, and noodles made by yours truly. Summer = Tj and his love affair with his grill.

I was excited when Kelly's Korner did a Show Us Your Life: Dinner Recipes. I browsed through a bunch of them and although I've yet to make one, most of them looked really good with normal ingredients you can buy at Wal-mart. Yaah for that!

So, here is another staple in our household. I discovered it when I was doing Weight Watchers before I got pregnant. It's the easiest meal ever, very low-fat, and super good and hearty.



I am a creature of habit. I go to the grocery store every other week, park in the same spot and make the same "tour" through the store. I go in the grocery side, walk past the registers and toward the "bathroom stuff". I fill up on soap, shampoo, Q-tips - anything of that nature. Then I walk down the big isle toward the back of the store glancing at the kitchen gadgets, head over towards the baby isle for a few Gerber Graduate meals, and now into the grocery area.
I walk the same route, down the same isles, and get the exact same stuff. Time, after time, after time. We always grab Subway on Wal-mart nights, head home, unload, and put everything away.

It's always fun to go to work the next day. I have yogurt and bananas for breakfast, fresh sandwhich stuff and pringles for lunch, and string cheese and carrots to snack on. Then - it's time for dinner. Oh crap. Dinner! What's for dinner?

Here are our staple meals:

  • Spaghetti
  • Tacos
  • Enchiladas
  • Steak
  • Chicken Alfredo
  • Tator-tot Casserole

We rotate between 6 meals people. And do I have the ingredients to make ANY of those things for dinner? Nope! $150+ later and I have not a single meal. I have green beans and cream of mushroom soup, but no Tator Tots. I have Spaghetti Sauce but no garlic bread. (I need to mention somewhere in here that we get our hamburger in bulk and have it readily available in the freezer.) And those are our staple meals! A new meal? Forget it. That always involves a trip to the store. And another $30.

So how do you do it? How do you plan your meals so you can use the other half of the head of cabbage from your Hobo Dinner to make coleslaw the next night. How do you come up with enough meals, that vary from each enough (hence, not tacos and enchiladas back to back), to use a whole head of lettuce? Please, enlighten me. And my wallet.



I'm running out of stuff to blog about. Tylee is 15 months, walks around, says a new word every 3 weeks or so, and um...I don't even know how to end that sentence. The learning curve after 1 has definitely slowed down. In a week, all I pretty much have to say is: Tylee got a new puzzle. She isn't even close to knowing what to do with it yet. We went to Chanute Sunday and I didn't take one picture. I am in-between cameras (yes, IN-BETWEEN CAMERAS!!) so no pictures. She still likes to sit on things and cover things up with her blanket. She officially says drink and up.
She is SO much fun right now and I love watching her personality change and grow every day. But she doesn't give me much to blog about. And I like blogging. I like getting comments and most of all, I love reading other peoples blogs. I don't care what they blog about...I'm just excited for a new update. Sometimes I have something to say or something that I want to blog about but think, "No, that is Tylee's blog. People get on their to read about Tylee, not me." But I think I'm wrong. People are probably like me and just like it when people update. Even if it's about their refrigerator, or what they had for dinner, or a home tour. And people may be bored just reading about Tylee...who knows? So I'm adding this little trinket to the bottom of each post and am going to try some new things. Add a little spice to things. So tell me what you think! But you'll have to wait for my first "new" post. For now, off to bed.


Dancing Queen

Tj thinks he is a good dancer but thinks I am not. I think I am a good dancer and know he is not. The truth is, neither of us are great dancers but we have fun. That is all that matters really, right? We joke about who's moves Tylee has. She loves to dance but has some really strange moves. My favorite is the hands behind the back leaning forward move. The circles are a new thing also.

Don't mind the socks with the dress. We had already lost the boots by this point.

video video



This weather is hard when it comes to dressing Tylee. She has SO many fall clothes that I am so excited to put her in (Thanks Linds!) but it's so in-between right now. It's cool in the mornings so I'm tempted to put her in long sleeves but by the time I pick her up, I feel like I tortured her all day just so I can get her in these cute clothes. Sometimes I layer her but seriously, layer a 1-year old? I will even admit, that's a little overboard.
I felt a little awkward today when I was looking for tall socks to put on her with her boots so that the tops wouldn't rub on her calves. Should I seriously be worrying about that? It reminded me of college days when I would borrow (yes borrow, I can honestly say I've never owned my own pair) my friends "hooker" boots to go out and would scurry around looking for tall enough socks so that they wouldn't rub and hurt my calves. At least Tylee's aren't patent black leather.
It was all worth it (to me, we won't ask Tylee how she feels) when I dropped her off at the babysitters and the sitter and another Mom flipped out over how stinking cute she looked. Before I even knew what I was saying, I said, "You guys are really missing out having boys!" What?! I was totally on Tj's side when he wanted a boy. But now, oh now! Bows, leggings, cardigans, hooker-boots, dresses, capris, sandals, binkinis, cover-ups...oh the possibilities.



Let's take a walk back-in-time and pretend you are a highschool girl. A highschool girl with no job and no money. But also, said highschool girl probably has no interest in sewing shirts. But her Mom may. So - how much would you pay for these? How much would you pay before you thought, "That is waay to much. I'm going to go home and tell my Mom to make me one." Or, how much would you pay as a Mom rather than think, "Why would I pay that girl when I can make my daughter and all her friends one for free?"
I'm not going to tell you how long they took or how much I have invested. Just plain and simple - how much would you pay?
Long Sleeve - Personalized
Short Sleeve - I can personalize these too...they just aren't sold yet so I don't have a name to put on them. Please come out of Blogger and Google Reader and vote in my poll on my sidebar! Feel free to leave comments also. I have an idea but don't know if it's too much...or not enough. And I have several made up and For Sale if you want to buy one! I'll just have to tell you how much in a few days. Haha. I have Parsons Vikings colors too - I just don't have a test model for PHS so am scared to make one. I have 4 LCHS being worn to the football game this weekend!


Little Girls Best Friend


Fishy, Fishy

My brother-in-law had a fish fry yesterday and I realized more than ever, Tylee needs siblingings. Like 5 of them. Of course, my sisters 3 kids were there and then their 2 cousins - 6 kids 7 and under. Tylee fit right in with the big kids. I just sat in the lawn-chair, made sure she was visible (to at least one adult), and relaxed, like pre-child days. Boy, was that nice. She had SO much fun playing with the kids too. I'm thankful that we are close enough that she gets to play with her cousins a lot. Especially since she stays at G-ma's during the week by herself. She was worn out by the time we left. She fell asleep in the car on the way home around 7pm and slept until after 8am this morning! She has always been a good sleeper but it's not often she sleeps for 13 hours straight. Mommy enjoyed that too.
Remember how I wrote that Tylee likes to sit on things? We missed a great photo-op but she thought she needed to sit on her ice-cream cone...and was successful! I have a couple of cute pictures from the day but they are on my sisters camera. Maybe she'll log-on and upload them for me later. Hint, hint Linds!


Mean Mama

Tj and I have 4-5 things that we watch on TV weekly. Whether we DVR it and watch it after Tylee goes to bed or have it on in the background while playing in the evening, we keep up with several programs. Most of them are pretty juvenile. Let's be honest, there isn't much else on right now. Let's scroll through my DVR right now: Kourtney and Khloe take Miama, Gearz, Wipeout, The Real World, Man vs. Food, Top Chef, and Hell's Kitchen. Depending on the season, you can usually add Survivor, Real World Challenge, The Hills, and Kendra. The girls and I were talking the other day at work and neither of them watch much TV. They are usually playing outside with their kids. Wanna know what we do outside in the evenings? Play with rocks. We have NO outside toys. Apparently I was a little too structured with Tylee's gifts. I guess I just figured they would accumulate somehow or another and before we knew it, we'd have 15 yard ornaments. But nope, here we are almost through the entire summer without a single toy. Poor girl. I can't really say that I've wanted any outside toys until now. She couldn't walk the 1st half of the summer and being outside was a pain. She crawled and put every bug or rock we came across in her mouth. Shortly after she started walking, we lost the roof and lived in the motel for a few weeks. No outside toys needed then! Once we got back home, we used her blow-up pool a lot. Then we had a spurt where it was waaaay too hot to be outside. Most weekends we were usually running around, at the park, or in Chanute. Now that it's finally nice enough to be outside in the evenings, we need some outside toys. Anyone have any for sale? We may go to Wal-mart tomorrow and see what we can find. I don't want to be the mean mama any longer.



Tj works for the Union Pacific railroad, which I could kinda compare to a cult. Or a club. Yah, kinda like the Babysitters Club. Kidding, just kidding. Anyways, the railroad is definitely a lifestyle over a job. There is lots of time away from home, lots of terminology to learn, lots of time on the internet, always on-call, carrying your phone, plans being ruined...the list goes on. Don't get me wrong, there are lots of perks too. Tj can be home 2-3 days in a row and keep Tylee, is off different days during the week to run errands during business hours, flexible schedule for vacations, alone time for me (to make shirts, take pictures, play on the blog, go to dinner with friends), not cooking dinner everynight (ha!), and the normal: pay, benefits, retirement.
90% of people don't understand the railroad. That's understandable because there is a lot too it. That being said, railroaders mostly hang out with, well, railroaders. Railroaders wives normally hang out with other railroaders wives. You won't find many friends that are okay with not ever making plans, understand if you cancel on them at the last minute, and don't mind making plans on a Tuesday night. Wednesday is no different than Saturday to Tj. 99.9% of our close friends are railroaders, teachers, nurses, self-employed, or farmers. I am the only person with a M-F, 8-5 job. And it sucks.
The whole point of that way to long story is to preface the fact that we hang out with old people. Or older people, I better say. We have a couple different groups of friends in Parsons. One group consists of Tj's buddies from highschool that I am extremely jealous of. They still talk daily and see each other weekly. Who can say that they still do that with their higshcool friends? The other group is, you guessed it, old railroaders and their wives. They are fun! There is no drama. No one cares if you leave early, don't show up, or come late. Everyone understands. We are by far the youngest of the group and it doesn't bother us a bit. ALL of this is actually preface to another story about The Elks and my house being damaged by the storm but this post is already way too long...and about nothing. I promise, it'll all come together soon.


Temper Tantrum

Boy, do we have a temper in the making. The first little fit was the one with the laptop that I mentioned here. Tj and I both couldn't stop laughing. We must've encouraged her...although subsequent fits have been thrown while no one is watching. Which worries me a little.

Let's set up the scene. Tylee is very good at playing by herself. Sometimes I feel bad because I let her. But anyways, lets say she is playing by herself in her rocking chair; taking her baby, sippy-cup, and book all up in the chair with her. She will set the book down first, of course, so she can sit on it. Then crawl up with the baby tucked under one arm and the sippy-cup wrapped around her fingers. I wish I could demonstrate this next part but I can't. Nothing goes wrong, she doesn't fall or get pinched, but she'll flip out, get mad, flail her arms around in the air, and throw her cup on the floor. For no reason at all.

It isn't the type of mad like, I told her no and she wants something so let's throw a fit. Or ohmigod-lets-get-the-sprinkles-out-of-the-pantry-one-more-time-and-maybe-mom-will-let-me-play-with-them-this-time-because-this-time-is-different-than-the-eleven-hundred-other-times-I've-taken-them-out-of-the-cabinet. But!! No-such-luck-and-Mom-takes-the-sprinkles-and-I'm-going-to-get-so-mad-that-I-don't-even-know-if-I-can-handle-not-having-those-sprinkles-so-I-think-I'll-throw-myself-backwards-on-the-cement-floor-and-cry. Don't get me wrong, she has those too. These fits are different.

I get that mad sometimes. So mad where I just want to throw something. Or lay in bed and kick my feet. So frustrated that you don't even know what to do and no one or nothing can calm you down. But it's usually for a reason bigger than...um, it's usually for a reason. Sometimes she gets mad for a reason but she'll totally overeact. Like, you put your hand over the shape sorter and she doesn't want it there. Or you touch her rocking chair when she doesn't want you too and wow, watch out. Hopefully I can get one on video too but they are hard to catch....because there seems to be no stimulus.



I wouldn't be a good professional photographer because I would show EVERY. SINGLE. PICTURE as a sneak peak on my blog. I would have a really hard time narrowing it down and would probably just cave and put them all on there. Such as this...There is a "miniture" sunflower field that the K-state Ag office has grown in Parsons. Miniture, as in, the sunflowers are miniture and the perfect height for Tylee. I picked up my 1-year pictures at Lasha's yesterday and was telling her that I have been tempted to call her to come do a session with Tylee. Her response? "Well, if you need to, I could probably work something out and wiggle you in somewhere." Need? Um, no. I don't need any more pictures. Want? Yes, I would LOVE to have her come and take some. My checkbook (and husband) says no though. So I thought I'd take some of my own. I'm hoping I can get my sisters camera sometime before they cut these and get a little bit more "professional" pictures. She still owes me a week with her camera from when I let her take my Vera Bradley diaper bag to Florida. I figured I'd better at least try with my camera before I drove by and they were gone. I am pleased with how they came out and may actually develop some! Develop pictures? Who does that anymore?


Same 'Ol

We haven't been up to much, hence the lack of blog posts. Since Tylee's birthday, I haven't really documented anything as far as monthly milestones. It makes me sad. My little girl is growing up. Since I have nothing else to blog about, I thought I'd document a few things.

  • Tylee loves to sit on things. She take things from her toybox, carries them over to her rocking chair, puts them in the seat, and climbs up in there. Usually, the said item falls out before she gets on top of it but she doesn't mind. She climbs back down and starts again. I'd love to hear the psychology behind that.
  • She loves the blanket that came with her Bitty Baby. Mostly, she loves covering stuff up with it. Her head, my head, the laptop, Dutch, the cement Boston Terrier figure in the corner, the rocking chair...whatever. Again, what's that all about?
  • She is very good at the "put the object in the bucket via the appropriate shape" game. If you cover up any of the holes, she gets very upset and takes your hand away. She has mastered everything but the star. She also likes the Tower with the decscending sizes of rings. She would rather wear the rings as bracelets than put them on the tower, but knows where they are supposed to go. She just doesn't care.
  • She has a really bad temper. Really bad. If you take something away or won't give her something, be ready for a fit. It is pretty comical at home but I'd be okay with not having any in public. It gets pretty embarrassing pretty fast. The other night Tj wouldn't give her something and she sat down on the floor and was crying. Her little laptop was right by her foot and she swung her hand around and slapped it out of the way. I think Tj's words were, "That laptop didn't do anything to you."
  • She is a really good eater and can eat most all table food. We have to be careful when opening the DelMonte cans of fruit becaues if she sees that yellow can, you myswell just give it to her. We are very strategic about opening it beforehand and hiding the bowl behind the centerpiece on the table until she is done with her food. Her favorites (other than fruit) right now are bread, rice, macaroni and cheese, string cheese, and meat (hot dogs, vienna sausages). I'm sure there are more but those are my standby's.
  • She loves drinking water. She has mastered drinking bottled water without spilling a drop. She would rather drink from Mommy or Daddy's cup than her sippy cup but doesn't like to share it back with us.
  • It's been almost a month since she's had a bottle. She doesn't seemed phased. Now it's time to start giving her cold milk...
  • She is saying more and more things but nothing really concrete. Uh-oh, Dutch, Bye, Bye, Dada and Mama are still probably the only real words she says. I think she says, "Pup", "What's that?", "Skeet", "Drink"...I could use my imagination and probably come up with more. She jabbers non-stop.
  • She understands almost anything you tell her. "Where is your tongue?" "Go get Dutch's ball." "Throw it!" "Where is your cup?" "Give it to Daddy." I think that type of language is more important than the actual verbal part but I'm not sure. I can't remember the two types now that I'm typing this.
  • She hates bathtime. I think it's because she fully understands that at the end of the bath, water will be poured over her head numerous times to get the soap out. I asked my sister about this. I figured she was a pro with 3 kids. She said that is the easiest way. She has tried lots of other things but that is the most painless. Tylee won't even set down in the tub now. She stands the whole time and tries to climb out. Bathtime consists of her standing and whining, me washing quickly, wetting her hair with a wash rag or the water out of the duck, adding shampoo, and rinsing it out. I've tried EVERYTHING. Cover her face, making her look up, laying her down, using the duck and making it fun...everything. The only thing I can get her to do is bury her face in my chest with a towel, and dumping quickly. Poor girl.
  • If I were to buy her summer clothes, I would buy 18-24 month. However, my sister has lots of 2T things which we've been wearing and they fit fine. She is getting pretty tall and thin and I anticipate that she will be able to wear most of those next summer also.
  • She loves Dutch more than anything and I think the feeling is mutual. She loves taking his toys while he is chewing on them. He growls and she giggles. She chases him around the room, straddles him and sits on him, pets him, hugs him, and smacks him.It makes me so sad that he is already 12 and probably won't be around her whole childhood. I can't believe how well he tolerates (and actually enjoys) her.