Christmas Playhouse

Sometimes the best of Pinterest intentions get you a cardboard box.

Granted, it is a sweet little box complete with shingles and pink gingerbread.

Keeping the tradition of making Mae a Christmas gift alive, I turned to this pin that I have been swooning over for months. It just looked so simple and sweet to pass up on.


So off to Staples I went for the foam board.  Our local stores don’t carry the right size so I had to place an online order.  No biggie, just had it shipped straight to my office…..Well, until it got here that is.  The damn box was so big, there was no way to fit it in the car.  So after a vehicle switch-a-roo with my mother, I was able to get the box home.  That was the only real hiccup with the supplies, unless you count someone (not me) placing a large box over the duct tape and exacto knife rendering them lost in the storage room forever.  Forever turned out to be right after Christmas….after I had replaced all the supplies.

I followed the diagrams to the tee but the measurements aren’t accurate.  I had to take the liberty of some customization but I finished up the paint touch up and duct tape reinforcement on Christmas Eve as Mae Mae and Daddy snoozed away.

(Eddie has taken up the bedtime reading task but falls asleep right along and even before Mae sometimes.  The other night, she came to my bed to tell me she needed to use the potty.  I asked her where Daddy was and she started making snoring sounds.  Daddy was out cold…..)




If you follow this pin please take the measurements as a general guideline.




about a bike

Katrina did an awesome review of a balance bike awhile back…..And to make a long story short.  I WAS SOLD.

Technically this is a Christmas present that we are enjoying a wee bit early.



There are no pedals to master and Mae hit the ground running with this little bike.  She is going at about a snails pace for now but speed will come.  She was beyond excited!






Talking with Mae

While riding on Papa shoulders up the cattle lane.
Mae: (pulls papa’s hat down over his eyes)
Papa: Hey! I can’t see.
Mae: Sorry dude.

Mommy: Mae, would you like some pomegranate?
Mae: Yes.
Mommy: Is it yummy?
Mae: No. Special.

Mommy: How is your pudding?
Mae: It likes my stomach.

Attempting to explain the logistics of trick-or-treating.
Mommy: We will go to the neighbors and they will give you candy.
Mommy: Do you understand what we are going to do?
Mae: We go get a lot of sugars.
Mommy: Yes, we do. I should have just said that.

Since Mae was an infant, I would ask her about her day when I got home from work.
Mommy: Mae, how as your day? What did you do today? Tell me all about it.
Infant Mae:
Now she beats me to the punch.
Mommy: Hi sweets!
Toddler Mae: Lets talk about it.

The new bedtime routine includes a second trip back to the potty after lights out. After we are done…..
Mommy: Night Mae. Love you. See you in the morning!
Mae: Alligator.


the destruction of a toddler

Mae is a sweet-natured toddler that is just now really starting to tantrum those terrible two’s. And she is already half way to age three.

So, I need to confess:

We have never really had to baby proof much in our home. If we say NO a few times, she usually will respect it.

No foreign objects have went for swim in our toilet yet.

Coloring on the walls has been limited to a few instances. And even then, she ran to tell me that she had made a mess and she used the magic eraser herself to clean up.

No poop has made its way out of a diaper and onto a wall or anything for that matter.

No dishes have been broken.

No couches have been ruined.

No priceless keepsakes have been broken/lost/destroyed. (In retrospect, that may only because we don’t really have anything that precious.)

All of the above is why I was totally shocked to find that with just the aid of one of my earrings and with only 4.6 seconds, Mae could destroy the charger port in my car. At first, I thought that just my charger had gone bad. After replacing the charger, it became apparent that she had worked some toddler magic on the port.

And you know the crazy thing? My first thought was that perhaps we need to trade vehicles sooner rather than later. Plans are the in the works for a minivan near the end of year and the thought of not being able to charge my phone sent chills down my spine and for just a crazy second, I was willing to replace my car to charge my phone. Talk on the phone much, Stacie?????

And yes, I realize that the karma alone from writing this down will be biting me in the butt by the time I get home today. My house will most likely be in shambles by 4pm.

reading her paper

reading her paper

hellish morning

You know the kind …….

3:18 wakeup call from Mae
3:59 get her settled and head back to bed
4:00 Eddie’s fog horn of an alarm goes off
4:09 damn thing goes off again
4:10 he is up
4:45 finally fall asleep
4:55 she is up again. get her some milk and slide into her bed
5:29 she is snoring away, arms wrapped tight around my neck, pressed cheek to cheek

Mae: Mommy, is it morning time?
Me:   No sweets, go back to sleep.

5:31 pulls me by the hand to the bathroom
5:45 still playing on the potty. no success
5:46 give Mae a book or two, jump in the shower and ask Mae to stay put. she does.
5:55 time to give up on the potty. ask her to bring me a pullup and she comes back with panties and insists she put them on. despite the imminent danger I agree.
6:00 start breakfast, pick up living room, pack lunch, layout clothes, and in general walk in lots of circles

Mae: Mommy, I pee-pee’d.
Me:   Where?
Mae: In the floor. look!

6:12 throw a wipe over the wet spot and attempt to catch the streaking toddler
6:15 catch her and put her up on the changing table.
6:16 surprise! she pooped in her panties too.
6:20 get things somewhat cleaned up and decide to throw the panties away
6:30 attempt to eat my cold eggs
6:31 mae refuses any and all breakfast. no eggs. no waffles
6:40 the basement door opens and Papa arrives for the morning daycare run. Mae is thrilled.
6:50 attempt to dry my hair, slap on some clothes and makeup
7:05 say goodbye to Mae.
7:06 She throws her little arms around my neck and says: “Mommy, we best friends!”

I melt and mentally start my entire day over. Give her kisses from head to toe and send her off to play with Papa.  Man, I love this kid.


I drive to work with a grin on my face. Now, if only I could stay awake.

Mae Day

This little blog has a bit of an identity crisis most days. It wants to be a farm blog or diy blog, but it keeps slipping into mommy blog land. Who am I to fight it?

So this morning is all about Mae.  All 2 1/2 years of cuteness. Little Bit. Little Miss. Mae Mae. Sweets.


She ran right up to this pumpkin, wrapped her little arms around it and exclaimed, “I love it, I love it!”.



This is a ballet costume of mine circa 1986 that Mae proudly struts around in.  When Eddie offered her a handful of popcorn, she took the whole bowl and sat right down in the kitchen to munch on her “aircorn”.



We ventured to the hair salon last week for Mae’s first real haircut.  As we entered the doors of the salon she called out, “Me get haircut!” to anyone that would listen. A little trim on the ends and some new bangs and she was thrilled.  She loved the entire experience.


I have to confess that we have only taken Mae out for ice cream once.  Not just once this year, but once ever…..We just don’t eat it and it is ten miles away so excuses, excuses it hasn’t happened much.  Mae was more interested in all the people than the ice cream.  A few licks and a couple of spoonfuls from me and she was done.  Another example of misplaced mommy guilt.


This brave kid has little to no fear.  She loves animals without trepidation.  Squeezes those kitties, pulls the dog’s tail, talks to the cows, and stomps on bugs.  After finding a snake in the road that Yaya ran over, she got down nose to nose with it and probably would have tried to put it in her pocket if I had let her.  She is the sweetest and toughest little girl I know.

She asks to go on adventures which are usually farm exploration walks on the farm.  Last weekend, YaYa, Mae and I walked the half mile up to the back pond looking for frogs.  They were a little too quick for us to catch but Mae loved it just the same.

Our morning routine has settled into a super sweet cuddly routine at the crack of dawn.  Mae woke at 4:45 this morning for a little milk and mommy time. I slide into bed with her and after sucking down a bottle, she throws both her arms around my neck, grins real big and falls back sleep.  All of this happens with her eyes still closed.  Sometimes, after 10-20 min or so, I can slide out of that little embrace and salvage a chance at a shower before work.  This morning, we did this twice.  4:45 and 6:30.  Two bottles, two cuddle sessions and she was back asleep.  Only to be awoken by the dog barking at 7:00.  All of this plays havoc on a morning schedule for a working mom but I can’t and won’t bring myself to change it.  I miss so much during the day that a few extra minutes in the morning are too precious to waste.

I don’t know what we would do without this little bundle of sweetness.

I am oh so grateful.


Talking with Mae

While in the bathtub before bed…..
Mae: toots (super loud) in the tub.
Mommy: Mae, did you poop in the bathtub?
Mommy: Mae, is there poopy in the tub?
Mae: I hear thunder.

Climbs up on the couch with newspaper in hand.
Mae: I need my glasses.

Eddie turns off the tv.
Mae: Oh, shit.
Mommy: No, Mae. That is a bad word. Try saying, “Oh, bummer”.
Mae: NO MOMMY! Bummer is bad word.


healing slowly…..


Mae’s sweetness is keeping me going.


Moments like…..

When she puts her little arm around me while laying on the floor, coloring and says “ok, mommy?”

Yes, I am sweets.  Or, I will be soon.  No matter that I was writing out the names of all my babies on the coloring book at that exact moment. She knew.  Yes, she did.

Moments like…..

When we are cuddled up on the chaise lounge watching “evie” (TV in our house) and when I scooch her up higher so she can see better…..And she says, “no, mommy, cuddle” and she scooches right back down and lays her head on my chest.

Moments like……

Every morning without fail she wakes up at 5:30…..she just wants to get in bed with me to cuddle.  After a quick swig of milk she is fast asleep.

All the while, tugging on my ear for comfort.  There is no way I can sleep but it doesn’t matter.

Moments like…..

When Mae climbs up in her booster seat for dinner and says….“for this day…amen……god bless me”.

I wish I could say that it is due to our prayer diligence at the table but I will have to concede that it is probably the influence from daycare….


Another day with Mae is another day to heal.

loss is a loss

They mean well….I know they do.

But awkward attempts to comfort after another pregnancy loss are just empty hollow promises of better times.

Please know that……my heart is broken again.

The tears sting just as hard this time.

The ache is just as strong this time.

Again, my head is swimming with thoughts of missed memories, touches, smells and laughter.

But this time around there is a new emotion.


The fear of no hope.

The fear that this is the reality of a family with one child.

The fear of the conversation with my daughter one day about being an only child.

Just because I have grieved before doesn’t mean I can’t go it again.

Just because I have grieved before doesn’t mean I do it well.

Just cry with me.

That is all you can do.


the high of a new handbag

Hello, my name is Stacie and I have a problem… lifelong (all 35 years of it) quest for the perfect handbag.

Ladies, tell me that you all know what I mean.  The itch to find a bag that brings a new promise of form and function perfection.  A bright new pattern or soft leather that will make your heart skip a beat every time you enter the room and catch a glimpse.

My sad and sorry attempts to explain this to my husband fall on deaf ears and glazed over eyes.

My argument that this isn’t anything to do with fashion but strictly a practical matter are just laughed at.

But in recent years, the approach or hunt has changed.

First off,  the quantity has gone down as I have turned my focus to quality.  Out went all the $20 purses into the donation pile.  Off to a friend purse swap I went with 5 and returned with one… Progress.

Secondly, the functionality requirement took at big turn with the arrival of Mae and I had to figure a diaper bag in the mix.

Before Mae arrived, I spent $45 on an awesome green tote and justified the purchase declaring it had diaper bag potential.


beautiful tote but a terrible diaper bag where items disappear into a big black hole


look at this detail!

look at this detail!


Baby shower time arrived, and low and behold, I was gifted a diaper bag.  I filled it to the brim and off to the hospital we went.  I had convinced myself that I had to use my legitimate diaper bag, (bad plastic and all) and left my green tote at home.  It was overflowing with just the basics and I commented to my sister that I must really be going overboard hauling extra supplies.  On my first trip to Walmart when Mae was a few weeks old, I passed a few diaper bags on the shelf and they were three times the size of the little one I was carrying.  Ok, it wasn’t just me;  that bad bag was damn tiny.    Into the resale pile that little ugly bag went.  Thankfully no pictures survived.

Next, I moved on to a small crossbody bag, baby in the ergo and diapers in the car.  Worked pretty well since we didn’t really do any extra long outings.  I was just so opposed to the idea of a bag screaming DIAPER BAG.  And it seemed silly to haul a large bag when all my purse needs fit in a little clutch anyway.  I made it my mission to skip the diaper bag altogether.

My sister obviously knew I needed help in this department, because she ordered me to buy a Diaper Dude bag and sent me a Thirty-One bag as a gift.   Also under her instruction, I created a separate bag for daycare only that I used until around 14 mths when I stopped pumping.  The Diaper Dude has been a great addition for the men in the family as my Dad uses it more than anyone.  Eddie is more of a grab a diaper and hope for the best kind of guy.


Thirty-One bag we use for daycare

Thirty-One bag we use for daycare


But, as Mae has grown the need for a diaper bag has grown, not decreased as I expected.  There are more snacks, toys, games, books,  baby dolls, sunglasses, sunscreen, milk etc……..Oh, the days of nursing.  How nice to have  a built-in food supply 24-7!

Without realizing it, I had moved in to the multiple bag category.  Purse, lunch, and diaper bag for Mae.  It was getting out of control.

Then I stumbled across this Lily Jade bag.  Every Mommy Blog reader has probably seen lots of press on these bags.  I was a little hesitant at first since I have never purchased “designer” anything, much less a bag.  I must have read every review written and wore my family out with all the drooling.

I bit the bullet and ordered one for my birthday since they were on sale and I was petrified that they would be sold out again soon.  I have longed and drooled and wished and built up this new purchase so much that I was actually scared for it to arrive.  I so worried that I would be let down, since it seemed impossible to live up to those crazy expectations I had in my head.

my totally worth it designer diaper bag

my totally worth it designer diaper bag


But, it did.  I am wholeheartedly happy with my purchase, big price tag and all.

I remember one reviewer writing something along the lines of, “I didn’t even know how much I needed this in my life”.  That line came back to me as I swung this bag over my shoulder this morning.  She was so right.

I am so taken with the bag that I am a little disappointed that Mae hasn’t commented on it yet.  I am half expecting a “mommy bag pretty” or something like that.  Guess it is just a mommy thing.  Mae couldn’t care less how I carry her milk and diapers.

For now the hunt for the perfect bag is on hold….since the perfect bag for right now has arrived.


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