Stream of Consciousness

I don't have a lot to share from the past couple of weeks. We have had a couple of great weekends but nothing really blogworthy. Two of my cousins are getting married in the next month so we've been in Chanute the past two Saturdays for wedding showers. Showers always bring back good memories. I cannot believe we've been married 5 years this June! Last Saturday, Lindsey and I took the girls (minus Brynna) to the movies to see Nomeo and Juliet. Tylee did good but it did not hold her attention near as well as Tangled. It is a cute movie but takes awhile to get in to. She still asks me often what their names were. I've told her 100 times but she still doesn't know. Must've really made an impact, huh? 
I'm not sure if I ever made an official announcement but we named our little black puppy. Her name is Otter. This is our first experience with labs but apparently we got really lucky. I was convinced it was just the breed but have been told otherwise by several people. She is just as calm as Boone was and honestly just lays around and hangs out in her crate with the door open. She doesn't chew, doesn't wander off into other rooms, doesn't jump or bite - she just lays there and plays when you want to play. Apparently that isn't always the case. Boone is back at the trainer so it is just Tylee and Otter for now.
I feel like I should elaborate more since I've been MIA for so long but there really isn't much to say. Hopefully it won't be long before we can get our camper out, play outside, go to the park, and actually do some blogworthy events. Until then, I'll leave you with some pictures of Tylee from the weekend.
Bossing me around
It cracks me up but when she gets really animated about something, she closes and flutters her eyes like this.

This is what, "Smile and look at Mommy's camera," got me. A big 'ol fake smile.

And another fake smile. I cannot wait until she throws out real smiles left and right.


Big Girl Room

I finally got Tylee's room to the point where I feel comfortable sharing but it still isn't 100% where I want it to be. It will probably take me awhile to get it there and I didn't want to make you guys wait another 6 months. I have 2 issues with the room. 1) The top part is a lot more pink than I wanted it but by the time I realized it, we already had spent $70 in paint. I got several opinions and went ahead and went with it but I should've trusted my gut. Oh well. 2) It never crossed my mind that every single item going in the room was pink - a pink kitchen, a pink doll house, pink bedding, a pink bean bag, a pink step-stool, ect. Needless to say, there is a LOT of pink.
Once I realized that her room was way too pink, I knew I needed some major accent colors. I took the bedding to JoAnn's fabric and picked out something that I normally never would've went with. I tend to like matchy-matchy stuff but Ashley Ann and HGTV mis-match stuff all the time and it looks great. So I got a quilt-pack of greens and blues to frame and make throw pillows with. (I need a little more for the last frame.) 
I have to say that I LOVE the way the frames and bed turned out. I would say it looks like something straight out of Pottery Barn but I can't lie - it looks like that because it is. I can take credit for the throw-pillows though! 
My next favorite thing in the room is the chicken wire frame that hangs above Tylee's bed. I copied that off of who else but the famous Ashley Ann. It is pretty busy but works for now. I want to thin out some of the pictures and then matte a few with some pieces of that same material but I ran out. I'm thinking of making some flower clips and adding some other odds and ends to the frame as well. All in time, I guess.
Unfortunately, I don't have a wide angle lense so I cannot get a picture of the whole room. You will have to use your imagination for how its all laid out but I shared the important parts. We need a curtain (not sure what color) for the not-shown window and I am going to make some sort of ball/pom-pom collage to hang from the ceiling. Like I said before, it will probably be awhile before I get all those little extras finished so I thought I would go ahead and share. Hope you enjoyed the tour!


Daily Driving

We bought a new Jeep a few weeks ago and I think my favorite part about the whole car is that Tylee's little face is front and center.


2.5 Year Update

I never did a 2.5 year update on Tylee and I figured better late than never, right? So lets see if I can document Tylee in a nutshell right now.

Let's start with everyone's favorite thing: Food! I guess I should rephrase that - it is my favorite thing but apparently Tylee could care less about food. Some days she won't eat a single morsel and the next she will eat a 6-piece Chicken Nugget meal all by herself. I never stress about her food intake and have learned by now that she will eat when she is hungry. Her favorite things are Macaroni and Cheese, any form of chicken, steak, pasta, grill cheese, square cheese, yogurt, green beans, and most fruits. With that said, I could give her a whole meal of all her favorites and she may or may not take a bite. The only annoying/worrisome thing about the whole situation is that I never know whether to order her something or make her a plate.

Vocabulary: The cutest part about her vocabulary right now is her expression. She tilts her head, points her finger, and wrinkles her eyes often. I need to post some videos sometime because she is definitely a drama-queen. I was talking with my family this weekend and someone pointed out that they loved how Tylee always talks in complete sentences. It brought me back to second grade having to write, "The girl said yes, she would love to go swing!" over and over and over again. I remember fighting my teacher and thinking it was dumb to have to write both parts of the sentence. She told me that someone should be able to read the sentence and know what question was asked. Tylee must've gotten that memo because she always makes sure to repeat both parts of the sentence. "Tylee, do you want something to drink?" "I do, Mom! I do want a drink." Or, "Tylee, did you color on that chair?" "I did. I did color on that chair, Mom." She is very matter-of-fact.

She also has grasped some form of past tense. I probably wouldn't have picked up on this but she puts a separate "ed" on the ends of words when she is talking about something we've done in the past. "I walk-ed at the Zoo, Mom. One time, I did." Or, "I drank-ed that juice before. I did, one time Mom."

Likes: Her hobbies are probably the same as most 2-year old girls hobbies. She loves all things princess, playing dress up, and dancing around while singing to Taylor. She likes to color, is pretty successful at puzzles, and still loves to read books. Her favorite cartoon is still Diego but Beauty and the Beast maybe be inching its way closer. She still plays very, very well by herself and I rarely worry about her when she is out of sight. 

Intelligence: She knows all her colors but still finds a reason to ask me 500 times a day, "What color is that, Mom?" I usually tell her the wrong color and she gets mad and yells, "No! That is not orange, it is purple, Mom!" I am sure there is some sort of ploy for attention...which works because I always answer her. Her counting is finally starting to improve. She counted, "2, 5, 7, 2, 5, 7!" for months but lately I have been hearing, "1, 2, 5, 6, 7, 8!" I can't really say I've worked with her a ton on her counting so I'm not complaining. I am a true believer in "they know what you teach them" and I haven't focused on letters or numbers at all.

Sleep: I think we have had the easiest kid ever when it comes to sleep. Things have been a little different since we gave up the binky but for the past 6 months or so when she got tired, she would go in her room and go to bed without any coaxing or even telling you she was going! It really was that easy. Sometimes we even fought to keep her awake! Since the binky is gone, we still just tell her its nap or bedtime and she goes right to bed. It probably takes her 20-30 minutes to fall asleep now but its never more than just a couple of, "Tylee! Go to bed!" and she is out. Naps last anywhere from 2-4 hours and bedtime is between 8 and 9. She is always up around 6:30 or 7:00.

Potty-training: We were making big strides with potty-training and I actually made the comment to Tj, "Maybe this really is going to be this easy!" We wore panties for an entire day and successfully went #1 in the potty 6-8 times in a row. She stopped mid-play, said she needed to potty, and would go to the bathroom. Then we had a couple of #2 accidents and she has shyed away from the whole thing since. I haven't wanted to push her but I know she is ready now. It is definitely more our fault than hers at this point because we haven't given it 100%. I'm just dreading the whole experience but hopefully I'll be posting soon that have officially ditched all the diapers.
I mentioned awhile back that we had hit our first hurdle. I honestly feel like most of Tylee's life has been all sunshine and rainbows but apparently we have hit the terrible two's. (Although a couple people have told me we are more in the terrible three's.) She is very, very bossy (afterall, she is my child!) and if she doesn't get her way - she doesn't just pout...she gets mad and yells. If you tell her to stop doing something, she simply tells you, "I don't want too." She doesn't think twice to tell you "No" either. She has definitely lost some of her innocence and her attitude is in full-swing. She was being snotty the other night and all I had to say was, "Tylee!" with my stern voice and she immediately said, "But I'm not talking back, Mom." Think I've said that a few too many times? Apparently so.

Although this has been the most trying stage thus far, it has also been the most rewarding. She is very, very loving and is so much fun to be around...95% of the time. You can't walk out the door without her saying, "Wait! Give me a hug and a kiss." She calls me at work to tell me she misses me and wants me to come home. She tells stories, talks about her day, and is as good of company (to me) as some adults are. Every good stage comes with some bad and I'll definitely take anything I can get. I am so excited for spring and summer to experience some big-girl things with my baby-girl.


Getting Closer!

Tylee was "testing" out her new room.


Happy Valentine's Day!


Beauty and the Beast

I'm just catching on to this whole Disney-vault thing and boy, I wish I would've understood it several years ago. How in the heck am I supposed to get my hands on a copy of The Little Mermaid (my favorite Disney movie) now? I can promise you, buying a copy of that movie was far from my mind in 2006 when it was released from the vault. I never paid any attention to this whole vault thing until we had Tylee. How am I supposed to get these movies now that I have a princess obsessed 2-year old? Cinderella anyone? Of course, you can find anything on the internet but the $60 price tag is holding me back. With that said, I figured I better go ahead and buy Beauty and the Beast since it is now out of the ever-so-tightly-locked-vault. Snow White is available right now also, so I guess I need to buy her before she gets locked back up too. Disney knows how to market - look at me, I am falling right into their trap.
Beauty and the Beast came yesterday (I waited to make sure she didn't get it for Christmas) and since I've had a long week, I put her in bed all by her little lonesome to watch her movie by herself. Sad, I know but I needed some me-time. Shortly after the movie started, I heard her hollering at me. Like the super-star Mom that I am, I ignored her. A couple minutes later she ran into the living room excited and telling me, "Mommy! I saw the Beast! I saw him, I did! I hollered 'Mommy!' but you didn't come. Do you want to come see the Beast?" I told her to holler next time the Beast came on and I would come see him. 45 seconds later, I was in her room sitting by her bed watching the Beast. She was SO excited. "The Beast is mad, Mommy. He is. He has Belle's Papa. Belle is sad and the Beast is maaad." I was a little worried that it would scare her so I sat in there for a bit and watched with her. A few minutes into it, she was up looking for something and when I asked what she was looking for, she said she was looking for the case that I had put away. She continued looking and finally told me, "The Beast is happy on the box. I want to see the Beast happy on the box." I assured her that him and Belle would both be happy in a little bit and just to keep watching. I didn't see her again for an hour and a half and everytime I would peek in her room, she was so intranced in the movie that she didn't even see me peek in. I cannot wait to curl up with her on the couch this weekend and hear all about her new movie. Thank goodness we were able to catch this one while it was out of the vault.


Bye-Bye Bink!

If you would ask Tylee, we had a pretty tramatic experience one day during the snow storm. No, we didn't get stuck in the snow, we didn't freeze, and we didn't run out of food - but her binky's did get thrown in the trash! She has only gotten binky's when she was in bed for 6+ months now (except on very rare occasions when I knew she would need a nap in the middle of an event - such as the Nebraska Game, in the car on the way to Christmas, ect) but has been pushing her luck a litte more and more, bringing them with her into the living room after nap or sneaking in there to get them when we weren't looking. I think we caught her in the living room with them 5 or 6 times over the course of the two days we were snowed in, so Tj took the bad rap and threw them away. It took her a little longer to fall asleep at nap-time that day, but once we made it past that hurdle - I knew it would be smooth sailing. Bedtime was a little more drawn out also but again, she finally fell asleep. Its been over a week now since they've been gone and we haven't had a single issue. She has barely even asked about them! Thank goodness, because I was really dreading this. Guess we should've bit the bullet a long time ago.



I started this post early on Super Bowl Sunday, hoping to share one of Tj and I's favorite recipes on a very appropriate day. Unfortunately, something was going on with Blogger and it took over 6 hours to upload 9 photos. (Come to find out, I had used up 100% of my free Google storage and needed to purchase more. Would've nice of them to tell me that before I babysat the upload process all stinkin day!)

Anyways, I was never a Guacamole fan until we went to Cozumel on our cruise. We decided to eat at Margaritaville and usually never order an appetizer however, when they offered us fresh Guacamole made right at our table, we happily obliged. It was so simple but delicious! We weren't home long before we decided to make our own version - which is basically a bunch of chopped up veggies mixed together in a bowl.

Cast of Characters:
3 ripe Avocados
1/2 Tomato, chopped
1 Clove Garlic, minced
1/2 Juice of a Lime
Handful of chopped Cilantro
1/2 Red Onion, chopped
Salt and Pepper to taste
**Sidenote: It took me forever to figure out how to chop an onion this way but once I did, I have never went back. It is so simple and truly is worth your time to learn. I feel like I'm trying to be  the Pioneer Woman but I figured since I was cutting, I myswell show you. I accidentally skipped a couple steps because I wasn't planning on doing the tutorial until halfway in. Sorry. Start by cutting off the "tip" of the onion so you have a flat slate to work with and are able to sit the onion in an upright position. Make sure you cut off the right end - you have to have the root in order to keep the onion together. Then, cut the onion in half from root to tip. 
Take one of the halves and start peeling off layers until you get to the part of the onion that you actually want to eat. Cut slits up in the onion up to the root - as wide as you would like your pieces of onion.
Then, take your onion and turn it 90 degrees. Cut slits perpendicular to the previous slits, resulting in pieces of chopped onion! See? Easy!
 And now, back to the Guacamole. Cut the avocados in half and pull out the seed.
Scrape the gooey-inside into a bowl with a large spoon. Mash, mash, mash. This is why its very important to get ripe Avocados when you start. The harder the Avocado, the chunkier your Guacamole will be.  
Once your Avocado is the consistency you want it, mix in the rest of your ingredients. This is where the test-tasting truly begins. Sometimes we need more onion, more garlic, more salt, ect.

Just mix and match until it is to your liking.   
And last but not least, Enjoy!


Sneak Peak

Construction is finished...

and the painting has begun!


Snow Icecream

Get 4 to 5 cups of clean snow.

Wish you would've brushed Tylee's hair for the occasion.

Stir in 1 cup of milk, 1/2 cup sugar, 1/2 teaspoon of vanilla.


Snowed in!

I should have believed them this time - those weather guys were not kidding. It seems like they always talk a big talk but nothing ever happens. Of course, the time it actually does happen - I am not prepared. Tj started talking about rationing our food a little yesterday and I laughed. He wasn't kidding.
We woke up this morning to drifts taller than Tj's truck. There is absolutley no way we can get to town. We have 2 miles of gravel before we get to a semi-popular road that will probably be plowed. We may try to get there later today but it doesn't look promising. Our friend is coming with his tractor later (to feed his cows) and said he will try to make us a path.
Tylee is standing on her rocking chair in this picture and the snow out our bay window is still almost as tall as her. Being snowed in with my little family of 3 has been fun. Yesterday we built a fort, made puppet faces out of paper plates, colored, read books, and napped together. I think those same things are on the agenda for today.


Comfort Food

on a very, very snowy day.