1.30.2011

Oh my cuteness!

1.29.2011

Full Advantage

Tylee and I took full advantage of the weather today and had a picnic in the park. It was a much needed day outside in the midst of these winter blues. I'm not sure who enjoyed it more, her or I.

High of 63

In January? Awesome! It puts a whole new pep-in-my-step to be able to open the windows and breath in fresh air. The air and sunlight make my house feel clean without even cleaning it! Wonder how long I can get by with that illusion?  

1.28.2011

Cupcakes

Can you tell which one Tylee decorated? Come on - I'll give ya one guess.

1.27.2011

Another Chance

Tj and I didn't find out what we were having while I was pregnant therefore, I never got to 100% do a little girls room. I did a "neutral" room and added in some girly things. Here is a post about the finish product of Tylee "nursery" and here are some pictures of it right now.
I never completely loved it or got it exactly where I wanted it as a nursery and now that toys are starting to filter in, I am farther from liking it than ever before. It just feels like a hodge podge of toys and colors and I am ready for something new and organized. Lucky for me, I get my chance - construction started today! Pictures coming soon!

1.26.2011

Memory

I have a bad habit of buying Tylee a toy every 2 weeks when we go to Wal-mart. We try to find something cheap without accumulating a bunch of junk at home. Sometimes it's $.50 and sometimes it's $10...it just depends on what we find. I know I'm starting a bad habit but a few dollars is well worth my sanity. She gets a new toy to occupy her for the next hour and I get a quiet trip through Wal-mart. Win-win.

1.25.2011

Best Friends

1.24.2011

Our Weekend

Oh, Monday's - they always come too soon. Our weekend was good though, it seemed long for some reason. Grandma Ann called Friday morning to see if Tylee wanted to spend the night. I studdered because Tj was at work and I didn't have plans. What was I going to do without my side-kick? This was our first experience with someone actually wanting Tylee for fun and not because they were asked to babysit. I finally obliged to Grandma Ann's request and had some alone time cleaning my house and catching up on my DVR. What did we ever do before children?
I woke up Saturday morning to a puppy wimpering rather than Tylee tapping on my shoulder wanting some milk. (And those of you that have asked, our puppy still has no name. "Little Black Puppy" is what Tylee calls her and I can already tell we are going to have a hard time convincing her of something different when we finally can agree on a name.) I showered and headed to Chanute to spend some time with the family and pick up Tylee. In the 6 hours that I was there, I think I saw 25 family members in 5 different locations. It was a fun day.
Our Sunday plans were cancelled because of the weather (that never happened) so instead of snuggling a sweet baby boy, we had a relaxing day at home. We made homeade pizza, smoked a brisket, and took naps. It was the perfect way to end a great weekend.

1.21.2011

Turning Point

I've tried to live in the moment every day of Tylee's life, never wishing she was a day older or younger, always finding joy in the stage we were in at the time. So far I've thought each and every age was the best and never understood how it could get better. But it did. Now, I look at all the Mom's with kids younger than Tylee and think, "Oh, they don't even know! It gets so much better!" I've truly believed that and am being honest when I say I have never wished she was a single day younger or a single day older...until recently.
Tylee was the best baby we could've asked for. She nursed like a champ, started sleeping all night when she was 3 weeks old (aka 6 hour stretches, eating, then going right back down after she ate for another 3-4 hours), never had tummy issues, not colic, never had a major illness, ect. We were spoiled. I remember at 6 months feeling like we had turned the corner from "needy baby" to an independent fun little girl. I would say 6 months was when I felt like I got a little piece of my old life back. 1-year was fun. I loved when she started walking and have never told anyone, "Just wait till they start walking!" because I honestly enjoyed every bit of it. 18 months was fun because she had started talking and the months leading up to her 2nd birthday were some of my happiest times to date. Between 18-months and 2 years is when she truly became my best friend - talking and telling stories, learning new words and phrases, and was finally able to "hold her own" on a solo dinner date with Mom. Tylee did some major growing-up during those 6 months and I officially gained a new best friend. The months after her 2nd birthday were fun and we had a really good summer together - going camping, going to the library, and swimming every chance we got. Unfortunately, something has changed and my precious, sweet, innocent, adorable little girl is turning into a kid. And I'm not loving it.
I don't know if it actually has anything to do with her age or if its just the dead of winter and we've been locked up in the house for several months but either way - for the first time in her life - I have to shamefully admit that I'm not loving this age. There was seriously a time (when I was dumb) when I would be like, "Tj - Tylee learned to spit! Look how cute she is when she spits!" Newsflash! Its not so cute anymore. And neither is putting a spoon in your ear at the restaurant and asking if its silly. Or throwing yogurt on Boone. Or licking my face when I go to give a kiss. It was cute when she called me a stinker but its not cute now that she calls me a "stinker-butt." The learning is over and she knows better now. Cuteness = over! I'm sure its just a stage and I know that stages of 3 will be worse than 2. Stages of 4 will be worse than 3. The important part of this whole equation is that every day she is another day older, I love her a little more, and we are one more day closer to summer. It's gonna get better, right?

1.19.2011

Before and After

I've never made it a secret that I edit my photos. I can't claim that I truly know what I'm doing but I know enough to at least make a subtle difference in the picture. Not every single picture I post is edited but most of them are. Pictures of Tylee's book? Not edited. Pictures of the dog - not edited. Tylee's pants - not edited. Christmas Pictures - Edited. Nebraska Game - edited. Anything important? Edited. Most of the time I can tell if editing will make a difference in the picture and can gage my time as to whether its going to make that big of difference. Normally, anything that I'm "showing off" is not edited - aka The Elf on the Shelf, Tylee's pretend play, or her M&D Puzzles. Anything that is scrapbook worthy, is edited. Such as this picture of Tylee and Grandma Katy: I knew going in that an edit wouldn't make or break the picture but it was Christmas and I know it will go in her 3-year book. I wasn't going for a dramatic difference - I just wanted a little pop, a little color boost, and some sharpening. That is exactly what I got (except I'm noticing now it is a little more yellow than I would like)-
Here are some before and after pictures that Lindsey sent me to edit of her girls. These are decently exposed but the white balance is off (aka - the picture is blue) so I just did a little color adjusting, added a little contrast, and messed with their eyes a tad.

You should be able to Click to Enlarge

These next pictures...I'm almost embarrassed to share. I haven't seen the original since I edited it the first time and I'm not sure I wanted too. But alas, this is a post about "before and after" pictures so I myswell air my dirty laundry.

Ridiculous, huh? Those before pictures were awful. Actually, they weren't really awful because I wouldn't have been able to fix them if they were truly awful. They were just a little underexposed (or too dark) but thankfully I nailed the focus. I love looking at before and after pictures, especially on professionals blogs so I thought I would share some of mine. Also, I think its important for people to know that pictures are edited. That is why you aren't getting those shots out of your camera...no matter how much you paid for it or how much you've learned. Sometimes its fun to tell the truth.

Click to Enlarge

1.18.2011

Family of 5

And Boone is not happy.

1.17.2011

Learning

I bought Tylee this Barbie book at Wal-mart on Saturday and she got it out of the sack without my knowledge. I'm shamefully admitting that my child was unattended too for apparently quite a bit of time because when we sat down to read the book later that night, the sticker page was empty. I was immediately disapointed that she "ruined" the book without getting to do it with her but then again, obviously I wasn't paying any attention to her. Mom-fail. (Will it make me a better Mom if I tell you I was busy making homeade beef-and-noodles? Didn't think so.) When I opened the book to read it to her. I was pleasantly suprised and so proud of her! She had put every single sticker in the perfect spot! (The turtle and the fish above and the 2 hamster stickers below.)She even got Barbie and Teresa right! When I asked her where she was when she put all the stickers on she said, "In the living room. I did it, Mom. I did it all by myself." Yep Tylee, you sure did.

1.15.2011

Boone

Oh Boone, we love you so much. You are such a great dog and a very important part of our family. I don't know what we would do without you.

Except maybe wear black pants for more than a few minutes at a time.

1.14.2011

Thanks Papa and Janis!

Shortly after Christmas, Tylee and Daddy had a little incident (while Mommy was at work) that involved a dry-erase marker, a chair, and the guest room comforter. Those of you that have had any experience at all with dry-erase markers know that they do not come out of clothing. Or chairs. Or bedding. Because of said incident, the easel that Papa Randy and Janis bought Tylee stayed in the box for a few weeks. I guess you could say we were a little gun-shy. But alas, the easel made its debut and Tylee loves it. We color every night and Tylee couldn't be any more excited. That is Dora and a princess crown. The family on the bottom is us, drawn by Mommy. The lady at the top is Grandma Ann with eyes and panties courtesy of Tylee. No coloring session is complete without a little princess action thrown in. Thanks Papa and Janis. The easel is a hit! And I'll be calling you when dry-erase marker ends up on my couch. Be expecting my call.

1.13.2011

Snow

Our snow experience so far this year has not been great. Tylee was so excited the day that it actually snowed but once she got out in it, her excitement faded quickly. I was in bed with the flu but Tj bought her a little snow shovel and she helped him shovel the drive. She was so excited about the shovel but apparently not too long after they got out there, Boone knocked her over and she got snow on her hands. She has wanted nothing to do with it since and goes from this

to this, very quickly.