Wednesday, December 28, 2011

How to Potty Train in one week (or less!)

1.  When picking out the baby you want, be sure to get a strong-willed and competitive one. 

2.  Deal with your strong-willed child's need for independence for two years.  Try not to pull your hair out with the "Own" and "Self" statements (as in, "I'll do it on by myself, and I do NOT want any help from you.")

3.  Use your child's older sibling as an example, which may or may not turn into a competition for the potty each and every time one decides to sit on it.  This will test your patience to the limits, but hang tough.

4.  Pick a day, and go for it!

In other words, training Haley has been a breeze, totally opposite from Shelby.  I didn't have to offer any bribes and didn't have to spend days at home with a naked kid.  Maybe picking out that strong-willed child wasn't such a bad decision after all!

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas in New Mexico

For the holidays this year, we braved the Irving-to-Los Lunas drive to Bryon's parents' house.  Just hand over my "Mother of the Year Award" for riding in the car a total of TWENTY-FIVE freakin' hours.  I think we had to pull over at least 25 times for potty breaks.  Good thing we keep a $1.99 IKEA potty in the back seat! 

L√ĄTTSAM Children's potty, green
Nothing but the best for our kids!

Unfortunately, a stomach virus joined us on the trip.  Shelby puked in Bryon's favorite Mavericks cap.  Haley learned to puke in the potty like a big girl.  Janice didn't come out of her bedroom for over 24 hours.  Monica actually lost weight instead of gaining 5 pounds.  Fun times! 

The girls did have a great time with their cousins. 

Ashlee, Shelby, Isa, and Haley before the puking began
 We got lots of great gifts, but the winner was the legos for Shelby.  Something tells me she got her dad's engineering genes.
Look what I made!

I was most excited about giving Janice a quilt her mother had started before she passed away.  I pieced the back to look like a garden, which reminded me of her, and my cousin Meredith finished piecing the front that she had started.  Meredith also did the binding and quilting, since I was WAY short on time. I just loved how it turned out!
Back by Monica

Front by Helen and Meredith

Other highlights included lunch with Bryon's nanny from when he was little and also a wild adventure to the mall to let the kids ride the carousel.

Aaron, Leao, and Bryon

Haley, Mom, and Candy Cane, the horse

Santa's Visit

You know how some Christmas celebrations stick in your memory, while others have faded?  I'm hoping today's Christmas will stick in my kids' minds forever!

Since mid-November, the girls have been asking Santa for a "fluff", a shovel, and some dirt.  When Haley first said dirt, I thought she was kidding and would be asking for a pony in no time.  Lucky for Santa, she stuck to her guns!

And, what about that "fluff"?  Shelby first saw it at Walgreens and fell in love.  Again, I thought she would fall in love with the next sparkly thing she saw, and then the thing after that, and then the thing after that.  Wrong!  She stuck to her guns too and kept asking for that fluff.  Santa couldn't be more thrilled at the $4.99 price tag.  Proof that Santa made his annual visit to the Pfaff house:

Dirt and a shovel for Haley, sand castle by Bryon one of Santa's elves

I was still half asleep while taking pics this am...
Following in every kids' habits, the girls had just as much fun with the boxes as the toys. 
The kids' "boat"

Sunday, December 18, 2011

You Get What You Get, and You Don't Throw a Fit!

Sorry, co-workers, for the crappy gifts you are about to receive.  Just know they are from the heart, even if they are ultra-ugly!  

Our employer recently adopted a new policy that mandated no one could bring a non-clear purse, cup, lunch box, uniform, etc. into the pharmacy.  I get why they did this.  After all, we do work around narcotics...but, it's really hard for 6 women to no longer carry a purse.  We've been doing it for a collective 125 years between us.  We need our belongings within eyesight, or we just feel lost.  

With this in mind, I decided to sew lovely clear "purses" for everyone for Christmas.  Take a gander:
U.G.L.Y!  But, functional.  

My favorite.  Matches the fabric-covered calender I made.

I thought the ric-rac would make it cute.  I was wrong.

Really odd size and shape.  Sorry gals!
Note to self, NEVER try French seams on heavy vinyl.  
 You think Coach is going to be calling soon to make me head designer of the clear-purse division?  Yep, I have my doubts too...

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Trying to Get Into the Spirit

Christmas is only 28 days away.  In my best effort to get into the holiday spirit, I purchased the Elf on the Shelf.  I had seen some amazing things people had done with their elves and wanted to steal some ideas.  Just google it to see what I mean! The idea is that the elf picks a new place each morning to be discovered.  We've now caught him in the chip bowl, munching on Tostitos, on the couch, watching tv, and hanging out in Haley's room watching her be naughty nice.

First things first, we had to name our elf.  After much deliberation, the girls came up with "PeePaw Elf".  I'm guessing since my dad, PeePaw, and his family were here visiting for Thanksgiving, the girls were heavily influenced by his presence!  So, without further adieu, meet PeePaw Elf:

Silly PeePaw stole the remote!

So far, they aren't buying his "magic" powers of reporting good/bad behavior to Santa at night.  I guess my hopes were a little too high...

In another attempt to lift my Christmas glee, I pulled all the stuff from the attic to decorate.  After putting up our Christmas "Palm" tree (a gift from my sister years ago that I absolutely LOVE), I climbed into the attic to find the rest of the crap decorations.  That is when I discovered this beauty:

Nope, this is not a model from an anatomy class!
It is a battery operated candle.  It melted.  All over a snowman rug.  Nope, that is NOT normal.  Except in extreme heat...So, I guess my attempts to get into the winter holiday spirit did work a little with the reminder that this past summer's heat is something I never want to see again.  Bring on the snow and cold!

Thursday, November 10, 2011

What Does Not Kill You...

After suffering through several weeks' worth of home improvement, I can now safely say our family has survived!  It was a little rough going the night we spent in a hotel due to paint fumes, but it was all worth it in the end.  Haley seemed to be the most traumatized, running around with her hands over her ears, crying "Loud!  Loud!"  She did enjoy sleeping in Shelby's bed one night when her crib was shoved in our bathroom.

Before we started, I had an interior decorator come over to give us some direction.  In one short hour, Erika Basham ( gave us some great ideas, specific paint colors, and motivation to get the project started.  Unlike my sister, I have NO home decorating skills, so Erika was worth every penny of the $50 it cost.
Some before and after pics:
Before-formal living
During--formal living

After--formal living
WAY Before--Study/future nursery
Before--kitchen cabinets

During--kitchen mayhem 
After--kitchen cabinets, much cleaner
Before--living room carpet (this picture does not give the stains justice)
During--Living Room
After--living room (bad pic...sorry!)
During--accent wall
After--accent wall

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Meep, Meep!

Everyone has their outlet for stress reduction.  For me, it is sewing.  For Bryon, it is tinkering with his 1947 Ford is the garage.  This afternoon, I heard a strange "Meep, Meep".  He was so excited to get the horn working.  Here's video evidence that even a three-year-old can honk an old horn!

Watch out world!  These two will be cruising the streets in Sparky before you know it!

The Unexpected Costs of Parenting

Our "spirited" child, Haley, is VERY conniving curious and stubborn determined.  Turn your back for five minutes, and you never know what you will find her doing.  At this point, all I can do is grab the camera and laugh.  

When we became parents, we knew it would be expensive.  Diapers, formula, piano lessons, all kinds of therapy, car insurance, college tuition, and wedding dresses were all on the list of expectations.  Little did we know, parenting costs also included:

Full boxes of trash bags strung across the house

The wasted bottle of sunscreen was the least of our worries.  Replacing the carpet was a little more expensive.
Ink on high-quality pleather...finally removed with acetone.

Yet another bottle of mom's lotion

A full bag of brown sugar...not that expensive, just a pain in the a#@ to clean up.

A case of bar soap, again a pain to clean up after she used it as a "crayon" on the floor

YUM!  Powdered coffee creamer mixed with water makes for a messy, yet delicious, treat!  Just ask the carpenter ants now living in our kitchen...

This is a toughy.  It's dried lavender with lentils mom was using to stuff eye masks for her friends.    At least the carpet smells good...

Tabasco, EVOO, sesame oil, and worcestershire sauce go well with sprinkles.  

Also included in Haley's adventures are not one but FIVE bottles of shampoo, all the same brand and all newly purchased, squeezed in the bath for bubbles.  It's taken me this long to learn to buy the cheap stuff.

So, to those of you replacing your flooring, NEVER buy light colored carpet.  NEVER put carpet in a dining room.  And, most of all, NEVER leave "spirited" children unattended in your home!

Sunday, October 30, 2011

A Trick and Two Treats

When the going gets tough, I get busy.  I deal with stress by putting it into overdrive at home.  So, this week, I dealt with my troubles by making some of the fun Halloween ideas I had on my pinterest boards.

The first project was treats for Shelby's classmates.  It was super easy and fun to do with the girls.  The tutorial can be found here.  I added a ribbon through the top with a tag saying "from shelby".  The only problem was that I bought the "big pack", so the printable labels weren't quite big enough.

Next were some fun deviled egg eyeballs.  These turned out better than I expected and were a big hit!

Finally, I made one more treat for the special trick-or-treaters in the neighborhood.  The lucky ones will be getting one of these:

The not-so-lucky ones will be getting one of these:  (I ran out of white chocolate...)

The tutorial can be found at one of my favorite websites,  I made the mistake of letting Shelby and Haley help out on this one, and I think Bryon was ready to throw the whole mess in the trash after the eighth time I yelled, "Stop eating all the eyeballs!! Stop touching that!!  No, you can't eat another cookie!!"  

Enough with the Halloween creations.  Time to move on to Christmas!  Just wait 'til I have another stressful week to see what's up my sleeve.

Sugar High Part III

Before babbling about the THIRD Halloween party, I want to say last week was one of the worst weeks of 2011.  There is NO way I could have made it through without such wonderful people in my life.  My mom watched the kids while I was recovering.  Our awesome nanny, Gloria, helped me prepare tons of freezer food.  My husband was the shoulder I needed to cry on and was the rock that kept me focused.  And, then, there are my incredible co-workers.  Seriously, how many people are lucky enough to work with their great friends??  Especially ones that send you these:

Lori, Annette, Anneva, and Emily ROCK!

So, on to the party!  Ms. Annette had six adorable munchkins over to celebrate. We had a great time decorating pumpkins, playing "Pin the tail on the cat", and busting the pinata.  Haley was an absolute riot, taking off her costume and running around with just pink tights on for half the night.  All she could talk about on the way home was "'Nett.  Party.  FUN!"  Thanks, Annette, for entertaining my crew!
Who's ready to party?

Fruit of the Loom?

No one was injured!

Go, Haley!

The "blindfold" completes the dinosaur costume

Pin the tail on the cat

Our little artist

Ethan's creation