Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Library Books & Reading & Sleeping

I have loved taking Sadie to the library. The Lakewood Library is amazing. We usually get 5 books & 1 DVD for her each time we go. They have tons of DVDs, so we took her off of our Netflix queue. Might as well save a few dollars, right?

She seems to have one book from the selection that becomes her favorite. Last week it was Edwina, The Dinosaur Who Didn't Know She Was Extinct by Mo Willems. It was so cute to hear her say "Dinosaurs STINKED!!" & knowing she really wasn't totally grasping what extinct meant.

This week her favorite has been Emily's Balloon by Komako Sakai. This one is really adorable & I am in love with the illustrations. A sweet little read that is perfect for bedtime.

Speaking of bedtime...We have still been lying down with Sadie to get her to bed each night. On Sunday Dylan suggested that we start the task of getting her to fall asleep on her own. He had to do it, cause I seem to drag my feet on stuff like this. Well, we did the routine. Bath, jammies, brush teeth, read a book, say a prayer & then I told her I was leaving her & she could do this on her own. She was reluctant at first. Whining that she was too scared. So we got her a teddy bear to hold & left her alone. She didn't get out of her bed once, but she did call out to Dylan & he went in & told her goodnight one more time. We heard her reading a book to her teddy & before we knew it she was asleep. It took about a half hour. We went in & took the book out of her hands & felt SO HAPPY that things had gone so smoothly.

Last night.....same routine. This time Sadie had no objections when it was time for me to leave the room & she fell asleep even faster. We've been pretty happy. Way to go us! And, way to go Sadie!

Monday, July 30, 2007

Church Girl

I'm back in primary again! I've been called to teach the Valiant 10 class & I'm a co-leader for Activity Days. I'm really excited about my class. They seem like a really good group of kids. The girls are pretty excited. I think that may be because I have a baby. They decorated the chalk board yesterday with swirlies & wrote "Welcome Sister Todd". It was cute. Activity Days should be fun as well. I remember loving it back when I was that age and it was called Merry Miss.

The lesson in sharing time this week was on pioneers. Listening to the stories made me tear up a little. I can't believe all that the pioneers went through because of their faith in the church & the gospel. How horrible would it be to have your children dying all along the way. I don't know that I would think it was worth it to lose my babies. Amazing how much they trusted in the Lord.

We had a combined 5th Sunday meeting where the ward mission leader gave a lesson on how to be more effective member missionaries. He asked the people who have been members their whole lives to remain sitting & those that haven't to stand up. It was seriously half & half. I love being around converts. I love their excitement for the church & how it's changed them. I love how they wish they'd found the church earlier in their lives. I love how they want to share it with everybody. I wish I was that excited to share it with everybody, but it scares me. Out here I know there will be many occasions when I meet people that I will be the first Mormon person that they have ever met (as far as they're aware). It's already happened a couple times. That to me is really cool & really scary at the same time. But it's fun to be able to say "look, we're normal people just like you." We'll see what living in Ohio brings as far as new friendships & missionary opportunities. The one thing I learned yesterday is to make it a matter of prayer & let the spirit guide.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

Out & About Today

I got my hair cut this morning. I asked her to style it wavy. We'll see if I'll be able to do it like this again. I didn't get a good straight on photo.....cause you know, it's hard not to look goofy when you're taking your own picture.

We stopped in at Honey's Gourmet for ice cream. All their ice creams are sweetened with honey! Sadie asked for pink (strawberry).

Just some photos in the car. Cleveland is really green.

And this one would be our house. We live on the second floor.

Friday, July 27, 2007

The Children's Museum of Cleveland

We needed to get out today, but the forecast was hot & muggy so we went to the children's museum. This was our second time there. We first went w/ Dylan's mom when Claire was only 3 weeks old. She was kind enough to buy us a membership. The museum is kinda small, but it's packed w/ stuff to do & Sadie just loves it. Here are some photos from the day. They're not great. The lighting was crappy & Sadie would not hold still.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Shop Update Complete

Go check it out!

I didn't get as much done as I had anticipated, and in case you haven't noticed...I'm a little excited about the orange fabric.

The idea for the drawstring bags came about because I was trying to find a way to store Sadie's beloved wooden train set. Then I decided we needed a bag to contain all the Little People & one for all the finger puppets as well. I think they are lovely & functional, which is the best combination.

And...the winner of the orange tote bag is....CHANEL!!! Congratulations! I'll get that bag off to you soon. I hope it brightens your day.

Thank you so very much to all the newbies for commenting. It's been so much fun to get a better idea of who is popping by the site...and now I have a whole new list of blogs to check out...uh oh. Thanks for all the lovely comments as well. I hope you continue to enjoy Sparkle Power & let me know if there's anything I can do better. Aimee suggested that I share a few photo tips. I thought that was a great idea & plan on doing that soon.

If you haven't already, check out Kelly's post in support of moms who chose to stay home. It's an awesome post & I feel it's somewhat fitting here. I love that we can connect through blogging & especially support each other in our efforts as mothers.

Have a wonderful day & thanks again for playing. I had fun!

Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Sweden Is So Hot Right Now

Yes, it is. Even with the 2 year old crowd. Yesterday morning Sadie started off her day by drawing. She yelled to me: "Mom look!!!! I drawed the chef. See hims hat?!"

Which chef you ask.....well this one of course.
I love that she included his moustache.

Sunday, July 22, 2007

Come On Out & Play

I wanted to do a giveaway for my 300th post, but blew right by it. This is post number 316. So here it is now. Yay 316th post!!!

I made this orange tote bag for myself, but plan on putting a few in the shop for my Etsy update, which is now scheduled for Wednesday. Leave me a comment on this post & I'll draw one name on Wed. morning to send one of these darling totes. I've been using mine all last week & it makes me smile every time. Too cute.

Also, according to my stat counter there are a lot of you out there stopping by, but never commenting. Now's your chance to de-lurk. I'd love to meet you. Tell me your name & where you're from & a link to your blog, if you have one. Come on...join in the fun!

Helpful Stuff

I've been loving the Go City Kids website. You can search by city & find all kinds of things that are happening in your area. Great ideas for keeping your kids busy during the summer & I imagine I'll still enjoy it during the winter months here in Cleveland.

The Pampered Chef scrapers for their stoneware. Sometimes I don't get to wiping the dining room table off right away. These scrapers are excellent for scraping up stuck on cereal or oatmeal....or anything else.

I know Chanel has talked about her Ikea shopping bag before. I love this bag. We bought one on our last Ikea trip. It was less than a dollar & is huge! This is great for gathering up toys around the house & making one trip back to the toy box. Also for clearing out all the crap that accumulates in our car & bringing it back into the house...again, in just one trip. Would also be great for bringing groceries in.

Saturday, July 21, 2007

Feeling Full

I took Sadie to the Lake Erie Science & Nature Museum yesterday. It is an animal rehabilitation facility. On display they had owls, turtles, ducks, fish & lots of other little animals. She had a great time. She loved this bridge over a pond. I thought it was quite cool that she just sat right down on it. I felt like such a good mom for taking her out & stimulating her senses & her mind.

Yesterday evening after the girls went to bed, Dylan & I got to spend some time together without any interruptions. I decided not to do any sewing & or any other chores. We watched some TV & talked & I totally felt like we were young kids again. You know that wonderful falling in love feeling that kinda gets put aside for the demands of your kids...well we were totally high on that last night. I think that it came about for me because I've been somewhat successful this week in finding a balance. I've found some time to craft & focus on my creativity. I've done some fun things with my kids & not just left them in their jammies all day watching TV. I've stayed somewhat on top of my household chores. I got to spend some time with my man.

Last night as I was going to bed my heart just felt so full. I peeked in on Sadie sleeping in her bed. I looked over Claire sleeping in her basket & waited for Dylan to come in after taking the dog out. I seriously felt like my heart was swollen in my chest. I know it all sounds so cheesy, but it's true...and I can't even express how much I love my family. Maybe we all need those quiet moments to remember that. And hopefully this new found balance will stick around for next week.

Also, I loved this series of photos. Love how the magazine goes down & the tickle hand comes out.

Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Tangled Up In Blue

So.....apparently I'm loving the blue these days. But of course I already knew that. I just thought it was funny as I was doing laundry today & laying out clothes to be hung up that it was one shirt after another in these various shades of aqua blue. So pretty.


What if it was your job to play all day long every day? No wonder kids never want to take naps or go to bed at night. As a mom you can choose to play with your kids or do your housework & other chores. Rarely do I find myself playing with my girl & just totally forgetting about everything else. Wait, I take that back. I probably do a couple times each day, but it doesn't last for very long. No more than 15 minutes or so & I'm thinking about the dishes in the sink. I can be a little "uptight"....right Dyl?

Anyway, yesterday we played a little. I blew big bubbles for Sadie & she jumped around popping them. She also had a good 30 min. run in the rain. Up & down the driveway jumping in puddles. She was soaked. I stayed under the doorway holding Claire. If Claire had been asleep, I may have considered letting go a little & joining in with that energetic little girl.

And Claire has been enjoying playing under her activity mat. She is cooing like crazy & starting to get a bit more control over her hand movements. Just a bit. She's been reaching & grabbing onto whatever she can manage to.

In other news: I felt the need to brighten things up around here at Sparkle Power. Big thanks to Dylan for hooking me up w/ my new header. It makes me happy. Thanks for all of your cheery comments on the new look as well.

I'm planning an Etsy shop update. I'm aiming towards the beginning of next week (Monday or Tuesday). I'm really loving all the stuff I've been working on. I can't wait to share. I've had lots of fun ideas rolling around in my head & have been making an effort to find bits of time here & there to see projects through. It's amazing what getting a little more sleep has done for me. I'm also a little motivated by the thought of making a little money. Student loan repayment is upon us. Anyway....cute, cute, cute stuff. Are you curious yet? Ha ha. Soon enough.

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

Gaining Weight!

Have you ever heard that when a baby sleeps with their hands up over their head it's a sign that they are healthy?

Claire is doing well. Today at her appointment with the doctor she weighed in a 8 lbs. 15 oz. She gained about one pound in the last two weeks. The pediatrician, nurse & myself all cheered & admired her plump cheeks & belly. We are still waiting for the results from her CF screening...which was sent all the way to a lab in Utah. Hopefully we'll hear back soon, in the mean time I'm trying not to think about it.

And, I'm excited to add all these formula samples to the ones we already have on the shelf. This specific formula is about $24 for one small canister. Hoping all this gets me by until her next appointment in a little over a month. At which point we'll decide if she can switch to regular formula.

Monday, July 16, 2007

Love Being a Girl

Talking to daddy on the phone. Telling him about her freshly painted fingernails & toenails. Can you see her wiggling those fingers?

Sunday, July 15, 2007

Cleveland Metroparks Zoo is Awesome

We went to the zoo this weekend. I was quite impressed. It was humongous & very clean. Very nice big areas for all of the animals to live. Not stinky at all....even the primate house.

Some fun things:

Sadie making a monkey face.
A bald eagle.
In the butterfly room:

Animatronic dinosaurs. Sadie was a little afraid of these.
Also cool....seeing giraffes running (yes, they have enough room to run), touching stingrays, seeing polar bears, seals, elephants, chimpanzees, gorillas & the most humongous fish I've ever seen in my life. It had to be like 200 lbs. It was swimming with the sharks. It was really gross.

Not so cool, but pretty funny: Sadie petting a squirrel. The squirrels in the picnic area at the zoo are pretty used to getting fed & not as afraid of humans as the squirrels in the park, I guess. We were watching Sadie chase after this squirrel, thinking nothing of it & before we know it she's squatting down talking to it & then starts petting it! We were a ways from her so yelling really didn't help. Dylan went running for her & luckily she didn't get bit or get her eyes clawed out.

We all had a lot of fun. It was a good day.

Friday, July 13, 2007

It's Back

The love is back! I've been off the automatic mode (which I think was my main problem). Why did I ever switch to automatic in the first place? Anyway, I've been enjoying taking photos a lot more & I'm finding myself reaching for the camera a lot more. Good stuff.

Oh Yeah.....A Little Summer Update

* Got me some new shades. BIG ones. I'm always behind the trend.

* My hair is all starting to fall out. Post-pregnancy stuff.

* Started exercising this week. Had a goal to exercise for 1 hour, 5 days a week for 6 weeks. Made it through Wednesday. Missed yesterday & today.

* Eating lots of fruit in place of sugary treats & chocolate.

* Been doing a little sewing. That's right! It's been fun. Hope to have a shop update sometime soon. No promises. I'm excited to share what I've been working on. Soon.

Thursday, July 12, 2007

Good Sleeper

Claire has been sleeping 7-8 hour stretches at night. Lovely!

Off to Work

I miss him while he's at work. Unfortunately, sometimes in the evenings I get a little tired & grouchy. Yesterday was one of those days.

Sorry, Dyl. I will try harder today. Thanks for going to work for our family. We know you work hard & we love you.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

There's a Cutie in my Backseat

Wouldn't you love to be a little kid again? In a cute cotton dress & flip flops & pig tails. This is Sadie dancing & jumping & watching her reflection on the van as we head to the grocery store. See that orangy light cast on the driveway? That means it's muggy. Hot & sticky. REALLY wish I could get away w/ a cute little cotton dress. It'd sure feel a lot cooler.

Sunday, July 08, 2007


Now tell me...who doesn't love a corner brownie? Whoever came up with this is a genius.

Too bad I'm not making or eating brownies these days. Someday though, I will have to own one of these.

Friday, July 06, 2007

60 Photos Later

Got started snapping photos. Ended up loading 60 new photos onto the computer, even after deleting quite a few from my camera first. I Loved so many of them I couldn't narrow it down to any less than 12 to share on the blog. I guess that's what happens when you have two happy girls & good lighting. Glad I decided to get my camera out.

Sadie has a black eye, boogery nose and mac & cheese on her dress....Claire has a spit up stain on her onesie...For some reason it makes me love these shots even more.

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