Tuesday, July 28, 2009


 In 5 days we will celebrate 3 years of Jack's life.
We will also be commemorating the 3rd anniversary of the the binky's presence in our home.

It will be a bitter sweet day, for sure.
Our little boy is growing up.
He is working through all this toddler kinks and becoming a responsible boy.
He is ready to embark on new adventures.

But there is one adventure in particular that I'm not sure any of us are ready for.


I'll be honest.  Troy and I are probably 28 times more scared about this than Jack.  Remember when we talked about this way back when?  

Actually, we've been talking about it for a long time. 

"Before the baby comes we'll take it away"
"When he turns 2 we'll for sure get rid of it"
"After Christmas travel"
"On his 3rd birthday.  No ifs, ands, or buts about it!"

Maybe you're the parent that sees older children with binkies and scoffs at the mere thought? Maybe you're the old lady from the store last week who gave me the rundown on all the dental problems binkies cause?  Maybe you're the awesome parent who managed to make it through years of crying without one.  Well, props to you all!  It really is commendable.

But let me tell you why WE'VE gotten so attached to this little binks:

Jack still naps for 3 hours in the day.
It is a wonderful silencer in a car when all hell is breaking loose.
When he gets hurt, the binky is there to soothe all sorrows.
Before bed, he lays on the couch with his dad and his binky and together they snuggle (all 3 of them).
Bedtime is a breeze.  He takes the binky, starts in with the rhythmic sucks, and he is out in no time....at 7 p.m.
and sometimes, dare I admit, it can even act as collateral in a bribery deal.

Can you blame me?
I don't have very much faith that life will be the same without it.

So please help.  
The binky fairy is scheduled to arrive late Sunday night.  and all binkies will be gone.  forever and ever.  Amen.
Any last minute advice is welcome.  I know you left some before, but I need more moral support now!

and PS...I think lucy's has to go too.  It's either all or nothing.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

did I really just push "publish post"?

 you find it strange when pubescent teenage girls take professional pictures with little girls they babysit?

She is a close family friend, in my defense.

I've heard of that website for awkward family photos, but this photo reaches beyond all awkwardness.

It's bad in so many ways.

First off, why are we holding fresh cut sunflowers?
Second, gotta love the window pane backdrop.

Now for the labeled points of awkwardness:

a.  classic triangle hairdo with rounded curling iron edges
b.  maroon colored lipstick from mom's collection, I'm sure
c.  braces
d.  unruly eyebrows. 
 (no wonder the vietnamese lady said to me when I was getting my wedding nails done, "you eyebrows BUSHY....very, very bushy.")
e.  hand woven aztec-y belt

gag me with a spoon. 
speaking of gagging, I just showed my husband this photo from the forgotten archives, and I think he gagged a little too.  Then closed his eyes, and shook his head almost as though to shake it from his memory all together.  bless him.

The good thing is that the darling little girl saves the photo.

And even better than that, she just got more and more darling with time.

Here she is as a Senior.
She lives in Virginia, but I got to take pictures for her during a short visit to California.
And speaking of California.
I am coming up to the greatest place in California....

drumroll please


If you want pictures while I am there visiting my family, contact me at alidegraff@yahoo.com

And go HERE for more details!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

beach. then and now....

This is what a day at the beach was like 
3 years ago:

child sitting in the exact middle of a humongous towel
towel dusted off every 2-3 minutes so as not to have one grain of sand near child
child's hands powdered off with baby powder frequently
sun hats, rash guards, umbrellas and SPF 300 out in full force
food fed to child directly into mouth by an adult with spotlessly clean hands
an occasional walk to the water's edge in the arms of a responsible parent
back to the middle of the towel

This is what a day at the beach looks like 

need i say more?

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

we had a deal

My dear sweet kids,

We used to have a system.  We had the whole morning routine down to a science.  I would take a shower while you two enjoyed a 1/2 hour of water play together in the bath!  Just enough time for me to bathe, apply make-up and dry my hair.  

What happened?

Now you hide when I mention the word bath.  You fight tooth and nail when I try to remove your PJ's.  You cringe at the sound of running water.  And not even Curious George bubbles can entice you to climb in?!?!  

How do you expect me to keep up my high standard of hygiene?  Not to mention that you guys don't smell like roses after a couple days, either!  believe me!

Can't we just get back to the old days?  What will it take?  
I CAN be bought!  Fruit snacks in the water?  Cartoons within watching view?  Anything.  ANYTHING!

Start thinking because I am desperate!

your increasingly greasy-haired, dirty mother

Here's how bath time has gone down lately.

7:00 a.m.
lucy still in shock that I forced her in.  Jack smiling while devising a plan to sabatoge bathtime!

7:01 a.m.
some play has begun...even though I've told them a thousand times NOT to drink the bath water!

7:02 a.m.
a temporary smile.

7:02 and a half a.m.
it's over.  that's all I have...2.5 minutes!  did you count them?  She's done and ready to climb out!

what do you have to do to get a shower in?
tie your children up?

Monday, July 13, 2009

and the winner is....

let's get this done the old fashioned way.

Forget random.org or other fancy, cheatproof systems.  (i promise we didn't cheat)

You can trust your odds were safe in Jack's care.  He is meticulous when it comes to drawing names.  He takes this job seriously.

Just look at the vigor in his shake.

The speed, too.

There was definitely NO peeking!

And the lucky winner is....

Jen Giorgis
my people will be in touch with your people, jen.

Congratulations, Jen!
i sure hope you are jumping up and down screaming with excitement for those of us who NEVER win anything!

If you didn't win, don't cry too many tears.

Just get your hiney over to Heidi's banner shop and buy a special banner for yourself!

Friday, July 10, 2009

luzilla.....{giveaway below}

lucy is to jack's toys
godzilla is to city skyscrapers

if only you could hear jack's shrill scream coming through the computer screen.  
or maybe you can?

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

a giveaway.

did your ears perk up?

Well they should, because this is a giveaway you won't want to miss.  First off, your chances of winning are really good.  I usually try to win giveaways on blogs with 100+ readers.  You've got to figure on this blog you've got a 1 in 10ish chance of winning.  Those are good odds!  

Second, it's an amazing product.  My friend Heidi makes these festive birthday banners, and just started her own etsy shop.  I am giving away 1 of her banners.  Any one of your choosing.   They are also great for birthday or baby shower gifts.  

Third, not only are these banners made with quality materials, and the love and patience of a true seamstress, but one of my favorite banners of Heidi's is made with fabric that my college roommate's sister, Allison, designed!  Did you catch all that?  You can also look at her fabric here.

So, may lady luck smile down on each of you.  
Leave a comment with your e-mail address and which banner you want from Heidi's shop (cogsmo, traffic jam, etc.), and the winner will be announced Monday morning.

*note*  Heidi does take custom orders with specific fabric or saying requests.  Prices may vary.

*note #2*  If you don't win, you should still seriously consider buying one.  Your children will LOVE it for may years to come.  Mine can't wait to wake up on their birthday morning and see it hanging in the kitchen.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

happy day dad.

some of you know my dad.
some of you might feel like you do.
and a few of you may feel like you know TOO much about him.


he's a great guy. i'll tell you that much.

quirky, indeed.
creative, yes.
dependable, always.
funny (i could write a book of commonly heard "jay" jokes)
loves his kids and grandkids
has an honest heart
and is diligent with work, church and family.

Happy 64th Birthday, old man. we love you.

Thursday, July 2, 2009

one step forward, ten steps back

...try 20 steps back! 
I just can't seem to get on top of my game!  Anyone else ever feel this way?

I am seriously considering buying one of those posters that reads:


and having it made into wallpaper to line the largest wall in my home.

In the past few days, my patience has been tested to it's limits!  On Tuesday I was pretty sure you could see the flames of rage expoloing from my nostrils and ears.  I even went into my bathroom and threw a brush (not at anyone, just to clarify).  I was THAT mad.  It's kinda laughable now.  I'm sure even I would get a chuckle out of the whole scene replayed in slow motion.  But at the time it was all I could do.  Then I burst into tears because I hate when my emotions get the best of me.

But you've all had a day like that, right?

So, needless to say, blogging has not been at the top of my priority list.

Until I can find some humorous twist in some of these 2/3 year old moments, I may have to steer clear of writing.  I would hate to be a Debbie Downer.

So, on a lighter note, here are some pictures from Jack's swimming lessons.  The pool has definitely been our "happy place" lately! 

I love seeing my kids playing and having fun outside!

jack's fair-weather cheerleader

I'm off to power clean my house hoping to make up for a week of lost time.
Have a wonderful 4th of July weekend. 

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

i {heart} this family.

see their beauty here (or is it there?)