Thursday, June 28, 2012


I have a genuine love-hate relationship with this whole stay at home Mom thing.  If you have been reading for a while you know that I find challenge and sarcasm in the daily tasks required of me.  I get depressed and frustrated and honestly I really hate it sometimes.

I don't like being here all the time. I don't enjoy serving my children and taking care of their every need. I don't like having to squeeze a few minutes, usually after bedtime, out of the day for myself so I can write this blog or regain my sanity.  It's difficult for me.  I'm sure it's difficult for a lot of people.

A few weeks ago I grabbed a beer and told my children to not harm one another, but most importantly not to come talk to me for at least five minutes while I sat on the driveway and drank and escaped for a few minutes.

I was told by my friend Sabra that I look mean in this photo. 
She's right.
Sidenote:  It's challenging for me to finish a whole beer anymore.  Why are they so fizzy? 

I am visibly shaking at 5:00 sometimes, unable to handle another fight over Legos or tears over the unexplainable, and desperate to have a husband that doesn't work from before the kids are awake until well after they are in bed, leaving me to tackle everything here alone.

This is probably why I look like this while driving to work once a week.

I am so excited to get out an just be away from them for a few hours.  It doesn't hurt that I can drool over pretty jewelry and pretend that I have fun places to wear them. 

Sidenote:  Here are my current obsessions.  You can find them here.

I'm developing a serious accessories condition....but it's so fun.

Before you think I'm a completely awful person for thinking I'd rather hang with jewelry than my own children, please know that I feel guilty about being so weighed down by all this.  I feel inadequate as a Mom.  Surely I should be giggling  and smothering my children in kisses while folding laundry, cleaning the dog pee, containing a screaming child, and fixing dinner.  Surely.

I don't giggle enough.  I don't smother anyone in kisses all that often.  I feel overwhelmed and angry and then I just feel guilty about it all.  It's a super healthy and successful attitude.

I often think that God is trying to give me an opportunity to rise above it all, to find gratitude in the chaos....which every so often I do.  I am not very consistent though and this is probably why God is still working on me.  I have much, much to learn. 

There is a lot to be grateful for around here. 
Yesterday, while taking a moment's break to breathe away from my kids, I read a blog post by one of my favorite bloggers, Anna from An Inch of Grey.   Anna lost her 12 year old son last fall in a flash flood and I have clung to her every word since that tragic day.  I love the way she honestly expresses the heartbreak, the ridiculous, the ironic, and the very real pain of it all.  To be truthful, I often think of her loss when I am ready to lose my mind with my own three, searching for the gratitude that I know I should have because I simply have them here to be annoyed by everyday.

I tend to think of Anna's perspective in even the smallest of challenges as forever changed, that after losing her son, she has now elevated above me in her existence somehow.  Her profound tragedy must surely give her a never ending supply of gratitude for her daughter whom is still with her, and the simple joys of just being alive. 

For some reason, selfishly, this post of hers from earlier in the month gave me so much grace.

Please read it here.

Maybe I'm not a bad person for feeling annoyed by it all from time to time, maybe it just makes me a person.  That isn't to say that I shouldn't keep working on finding peace in the chaos, but maybe I shouldn't be adding profound guilt on top of it all too?

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

Oh Hello Clean House, I've Missed You - PYHO

A year and a half ago I cried my eyes out as I said goodbye to my beloved cleaning woman, Maribel. She had been cleaning our house since before I had children, or even a dog, possibly before I really even needed her, but I could afford her.  She was truly a cherished part of the family. 

I loved having her come every other week and clean my house top to bottom and it was a necessary luxury for us.  For me.  My sanity needed a cleaning woman's help.

You can read about me having to let her go here.  I was very traumatized.

When push came to shove though, I was abrubtly shoved into the rubber gloves and Clorox of attempting to clean my house while chasing a rice dumping toddler and running little boys from one activity to another. Turns out all this is very challenging.  Alex's promise to help with the cleaning was difficult for him to make good on, since you have to actually be home to help clean.  Not too much cleaning happens before six am and after 10 pm. 

Here is what happens when I am forced to clean myself.  Not good.

Our weekend cleaning sessions essentially turned in to an exercise of how cranky can Mommy be while trying to scrub a toilet and Daddy pretends to know where the vacuum is stored?  Turns out very.  Very, very crannky.

So with the slight break in our financial valley, I quickly snached up the new love of my life...San Juana.  I love her immensely. Possibly more than Alex.

Last Monday she came a little before nine and left close to 10 pm.  She cleaned the bottom of our bathroom trashcans, climbed on a ladder to get the tops of everything in our house, she lined up shoes and  tweezers and remotes, and left a sprinkle of joy on everything she touched.  I had to stop myself from grabbing her into a fierce embrace every time I walked by her.  She was just making everything so pretty, and she didn't ask me to help at all.

Stella also fell in love with San Juana, but due to an inability to pronounce any two part words, renamed her Juan.  I'm not sure Juan is a favorable name for a Hispanic woman, but San Juana was very nice about it.  She also was very nice when Stella chased her down with a diaper and package of wipes yelling, "Juan!  Poo poo!  Juan!!!!!  Poo!!" 

I didn't allow San Juana to change Stella's stinky diaper, much to Stella's dismay, but I loved that San Juana simply smiled at Stella and asked her if she wanted to come live with her. Could this cleaning Goddess actually take my children too?  She is a dream.

I'm honestly not really sure we can afford to keep her, but I also don't know if we can afford to not keep her.  This past week I have kept up with the laundry, vaccuumed when needed, wiped off counters and cooked all our meals...and that's the end of what I can handle.  I can not handle toilets and scrubbing and mopping.  I need a moment without my children, primarily a moment without Stella, to unleash necessary cleaning measures for this crew. 

But when would I read all my magazines and watch my stories?

(Kidding. I actually have a stack of unread magazines mocking me daily, but they are pretty low on the list of priorities currently.  And I haven't watch a soap opera since 1993.) 

(Fine, I set my DVR to record Guiding Light until it went off the air 3 years ago and I possibly cried when it ended, but no soaps since then.  I'm a busy woman.)

The truth is though, I feel guilty.  I find myself explaining how much I need San Juana to anyone and everyone who will stand still within ear shot.  I want people to know that I'm not lazy, I'm not spoiled, I am simply in over my head currently...and I don't like it.

I know a lot of people have someone clean there house, but a lot don't.  I feel like I genuinely need it to feel a sense of peace in my home with these children.  I shouldn't even ask, but am I nuts?

I'm linking up to Shell's Pour Your Heart Out.  Check it out here.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Fifty Shades of Please Don't Tell My Mom I'm Reading Porn: Part II

I'm done.  It's finally over.

I've read all three Fifty Shades of Grey. 

I might be less intelligent now.  It's possible that I am slightly more informed on a seedy, dark world of sexual misfits that I probably was better off for not knowing they existed. I am definitely ready to give you my thoughts on the entire series and be done with these books.  

(Unless any of you want to discuss them in detail later and ponder what the heck is going on in these stories, then I'd be happy to open up the floodgates of thoughts I have.  But only for you.)

Flat out truth:  I loved it.

Yes, the writing is crap and the author seriously needs to find some new adjectives, but I really wanted to know what happened to these crazy kids.  I find this book hilarious in it's absurdity, passionate in their psychotic love for one another, and inspiring.

That's right, I called Fifty Shades of Grey inspiring...but not in the way you are probably thinking.

OK, a little in how you are thinking. It's possible Alex likes this book too, but mostly, like any romance I read, it serves as a wonderful reminder of how fun it is to be in love.  I'm talking about the crazy for one another, butterflies in your stomach when you see them, can't take your hands off one another sort of love. 

(Please note that I do not mention inspiration from the tie you up and handcuff you sort of love.  I'm just not in to that, no matter how many times I read Fifty Shades of Anything.)

I feel fortunate to be someone that is nuts-o for my husband, but you see we have these little people that tend to suck all of our time and energy so that instead of feeling butterflies when I see him walk in the door, I feel filled with rage that he got to be away from the torture our kids have been inflicting on me all day.  I feel jealous when he sits down and talks to them and plays with them, because I've been waiting all the live long day for someone to care for just a moment about me. 

I'm zapped of anything I have to give and feel I'm searching to find a bit of something for myself, much less anything to show my husband that I do think he's fantastic, in spite of his inability to EVER put the creamer back in the refridgerator. 

Seriously. Every. Single. Day. I mean, he takes it out of the fridge, surely he knows that's where it is kept?   Possibly the chemical engineering department at The University of Texas skipped the section on how dairy foods rot if not kept cold?  Someone explain this to me!
I'm totally at peace with it though, as you can tell, because I love him.

Was I talking about a book?

Oh yes, I loved the whole series because ultimately I love a love story, especially because I'm someone in love.  Does that make cheesy sense?

Was I creeped out at times?  Yes, yes I was. 

Was I disgusted by this woman's seeming lack of self respect at times?  Absolutely. 

Did I abhor Christen Grey and all his issues while simultaneously imagining myself in his Charlie Tango helicopter making out with him?  Of course.

DISCLAIMER:  If you haven't read all the books and you don't want to know how anything turns out, wait to read this post because I'm going to talk about the specifics now. 

Here's my new top 10 observations about this series in all of it's absurdity.

1. Someone please explain to Ana that peeing in front of your husband is light years less intimate than having him rip your tampon out and throw it accross the room. 

2. The helicopter crash, the dance auction, the topless sunbathing rage....oh Lord, annoying.

3. What was with the electric charge between the two of them every time they got in the elevator?  This didn't happen in the car.  Could they have some sort of inner ear problems with the increase in elevation as they ascended or descended?  I think they need an ENT.

4. Ana pulls off a money drop for a kidnapping?  Seriously?  I felt ashamed to be reading the book at this point and almost stopped reading entirely...but I didn't of course because I had to hear how Christian handled everything afterwards. You understand.

5. I can handle Christian tying Ana up and such, but telling her not to go to the bathroom before sex?  Cruel. Doesn't he know what a urinary tract infection feels like?  Shouldn't Ana have one anyway from all this action by now?  Can we get the girl to a urologist?

6. The crazy sex near the end of her pregnancy?  Yeah right.  Has this author every carried a child?  Is she trying to make a point that these people are seriously sexually damaged that they are still cool with everything at this point?  Doesn't Ana have hemmroids?  How about those bulging veins from the weight of the baby?  Isn't she peeing her pants when she coughs, much less does rigorous physical activity?  Insane. Any intercourse just before the baby comes out is purely in an effort to spur on labor. There is no joy to be had, especially if a flogger is involved.  (Not that I really know what that is, but nothing else should be involved at all.)

7. I fear this book might have desperate single girls out searching for an emotionally disturbed rich dude to boss them around and own them.  Spread the word ladies, this is poor search criteria.

8. Why do they have to call one another Mr. and Mrs. Grey?  It hurt my head.

9. I don't understand how this is going to be a movie, but speculation about the future actor and actress for it abound and talk of the future film is all over the internet.  Is NC-17 still a rating? Can we all agree that Kristen Stewart and Robert Pattison are impossible? Could I possibly watch something like this?  Not sure.

10. The ending of this series was beyond unbelievable.  The author should have just drawn a picture of a rainbow at the end, possibly with a unicorn.  I'm not buying that a couple with this many issues is all of a sudden so "normal."  Maybe we could check in a few years down the road and infidelity and drug use could have crept in?  Something.

I'm off to delete this book series from my iPad so there isn't a chance of my children getting ahold of it from me.  I plan to wrap these books up for Stella and give them to her as a wedding gift, but not a day earlier. 

Definitely let me know what you thought of the series if you've read it!

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Fifty Shades of Please Don't Tell My Mom I'm Reading Porn

I finally took the plunge. I'm reading Fifty Shades of Grey. 

There is just so much to say.

If you haven't been living in a cave recently, then you are aware of the book trilogy which has captured the hearts (?), minds (?), wild loins (?) of women all over, Fifty Shades of Grey by author E.L. James.

If you have been living in a cave then you might think this is a novel about a cutting edge artist whom has discovered a myriad of ways to blend and create new colors to express his emotions, you would be wrong.  You would be really, really wrong.  There is an art show mentioned though.

I recently started this series after becoming fascinated with everyone else's fascination.  (I'm truly an individual, never being swayed by the crowd.)  To be honest I thought the plot sounded a bit disturbing and the excerpt I read online was cheesy, not overly well written, and trying way too hard.

But, after listening to one of my friends go on and on about how she couldn't put it down, had been so wrapped up in it she was reading it on her iPhone at stop lights, and it had made some....improvements so to speak in her relationship with her husband, I felt like I had to read it.

If you don't know what it's about, essentially a sexually naive and possibly brain damaged, young woman, whom has recently graduated from college meets a 27 year old billionaire with a sexually perverse lifestyle and psychotically controlling approach to...everything and they work on falling in love. 

Oh yeah, and they do it. 

They do it all the time. 

There is a lot of detail.

Now, I'm no stranger to a love scene.  I  read the Thornbirds, and I watch the Bachelor and Bachelorette...including Ben and Courtney's season with the skinny dipping, but this was a bit of a shock.

Since my parents read this blog, I can say that as someone who has had sex three brief and purposeful times, the sex stuff wasn't all that shocking by itself.  There are some seriously baffling things going on in this book though from a sexual and emotional standpoint.  Here's my top ten baffling things about these books so far...I am sure there will be more once I finish.

1. Why do these people only drink white wine?  I'm not opposed to white wine, but this man is a sexual freak who should be periodically engaging in a heavy red.  Anyone else bothered by this?

2. I need to find out what some of these things are in the book, but I fear I'll be arrested if I start plugging them in to a search engine.  Could one of my more perverted friends please block 15 minutes of your time for me to ask you some gross questions?  I promise to never write about them on this blog Mom.

3. Ana's first time having sex....ummm, yeah, that doesn't happen.  Attention all virgins, readjust your expectations by speaking to all your sexually active friends prior to any "relations."

4. There is a ridiculous overuse of the word wanton and I almost need to stop reading the whole thing in protest...but this is way too captivating to stop so I'll endure it. 

5. I have spent hours now in front of the mirror trying to bite my lip so it appears sexy, given this is one of the number one things that Mr. Grey can't resist.  How is this working?  I think I'm developing a canker sore from excessive lip abuse. Is that sexy?

6. Why does Grey use his nose to caress her so much?  When I think nose, I think snot.  Am I missing out on nose fondling?

7.  Am I the only person annoyed by Ana's inner goddess constantly being described as performing different Olympic feats from gymnastics, skiing, and figure skating in relation to her new found sexual prowess.  We get it, the girl has skills, the athletic comparisons make me uncomfortable.

8. I am fully ready for both Ana and Grey to stop gasping when they see one another naked.  I mean really, once you've been doing it as much as these two for a few weeks, it seems the gasp is a bit overdone. Are they surprised every single time? 

9. How am I going to hide this book from my daughter until after she's married?

10.  I would like to insert a 6, 4, and 2 year old in to this couple's lives and see how things shake out.  I'm just saying.

Am I the only one that is obsessed and can't stop thinking about this ridiculous book? 
I'd appreciate any answers you can offer.  I haven't been this baffled/infatuated with a book since Twilight and I am frankly embarrassed because it's just so awful....but I can't stop. 

Fear not though Mom, if you are still reading, I'm putting myself on a strict diet of classic literature after this. 

(I also skim all the sex scenes, I mostly just want to figure out how this all works out, mostly. )

Linking up to Shell's Pour Your Heart Out.  Check it out!

Thursday, June 14, 2012

You Know When You Read Something That Sort of Makes Sense, But Sort Of Sounds Like Someone Was Drinking When Writing?

I assume all of you have read the thrilling, yet heartfelt tale, "It's Not Easy Being A Bunny."  I  can't imagine this spellbinding book slipping by anyone, but if you haven't read it, run to the store to get it.

Stella currently requests this tale of P.J. Funnybunny no less than ten times a day...and tonight I figured out why. 

She might be a mere two years old, but she is wise beyond her years. 

The books starts with poor P.J. lamenting the trials and tribulations of being a bunny.  Too many carrots, too many siblings to contend with, and ears far too large for his frame.  You really feel his frustrations with his lot in life.

P.J. makes a bold, and partially psychotic choice to live his life as another animal in order to escape the torture that is his bunny existence. He tries to be a bear, but there is too much sleeping involved.  He lives with the birds, but alas he can not fly and this really jacks with a bird's life...unless you are an ostrich or a penguin, but P.J. didn't think to investigate the potential of living in extreme climates.  I truly believe he didn't research any of this. 

Frankly, P.J. sounds a bit lazy, particularly when he decides he can't be a beaver because they "work too hard."  Case in point, right?

Tonight though, as I was laughing at Stella's illogical fear of the drawing of the Moose, which never seems to get old to me because she is consistently afraid of all drawn moose, but not reindeer, (she's clearly a little disturbed,)  I realized that Stella thinks that I am P.J. Funnybunny!

This might confuse you, but it really does make sense. I am always lamenting that there are too many children for me to contend with, I feel thwarted in my potential success as a writer, a cook, a professional athlete of some sort, by my children (P.J.'s ears are just symbolism for my kids.)  I too often don't want to eat the pile of baby carrots I put on all of our plates multiple times a day, it gets old and frankly I should stop doing this. 

Stella clearly knows that I often think that if I could just escape some time from my kids I could focus on my writing and really try to do something with it.  If I could morph into someone that could be present most of the time, but balance that with a healthy amount of time to focus on other life giving things for me  like working or exercising or getting my nails done, I would probably enjoy my children a little more when I was around them.

I could get a full time job, I could probably change the world....probably.

If only I could be a possum.  I thought P.J. could totally hang around in a tree all day with the possum, he seems weak.

(Incidentally, in case you haven't read the book and are dying to know, P.J. can't stay with the moose due to some sort of speech impediment he has, tragedy really.)

After being scarred by my complete lack of plans for last summer, this summer is filled with half days of lessons, or classes, or camps, or appointments, turning me into a taxi shuttle and giving me very little time to sit in one place and work on anything that feeds my soul a bit.  My vision of long rest times when I could write and work on things, and joyful excursions to the pool have been crushed by unending witch doctor appointments and playdates and swim lessons. 

I do a lot of car dancing, memorizing words to popular songs on the radio, and reading Fifty Shades of Grey on my iPhone when I get stuck somewhere waiting for someone to finish something.  I think we can all agree I might be substantially less intelligent by the end of the summer.

I feel an upcoming redo of the schedule.

Summer is definitely better busy than not, but I sure could use a little time to go live with the birds, or grab a beer with a friend, or go for a walk with my husband.

I feel it's important to point out that my aspirations are more along the lines of full time employment, independently playing children, and spontaneous wealth which would afford me the luxury of time and endless options.  These are, I believe, reasonable and even feasible options, unlike P.J. who wants to just jump in with a totally different type of species and abandon his family forever. I think P.J. really just needed Cymbalta.

Point made though Stella, I know if I left and tried to do something besides the full time Mom right now I would inevitably run back to you all just life P.J., realizing life is too good being me so I should shut up and stop trying to figure out how to be someone else*.

*Disclaimer:  If I could figure out to be THE JLo, complete with large ass and Fiat, I would feel like I had no choice to morph into her, the world needs her, obviously.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Cole Update Anyone?

There is a vial of urine in my fridge.  It's not my urine, but I was involved in the collection.  It's been there since last Thursday and I haven't made a move to get it out of my fridge and send it to the lab requesting it, primarily because that involves filling out paper work and I don't currently have a pen with which I really like to write.

Do you feel confused by that statement?

I love making lists, filling out forms, and writing with a pen in general, but only if I like the pen.  Currently I'm working with a collection of partially dry, multi-colored, and child oriented pens.  Child oriented in that they are cheap and covered in things like plastic hair or are shaped like a wolf or a bear. 

If I'm collecting urine and filling out forms, I need a good pen.  What am I supposed to do, just fill it out with the wolf pen and pretend every thing's ok?  I don't think so.

The urine is Cole's and it was ordered by the witch doctor to measure his melatonin/serotonin levels.  Cole's been dairy free for a little over a month now, but the doctor doesn't really think everything is going to change unless we can figure out how to get Cole to sleep.  He has this harebrained idea that a four year old that fights going to sleep, gets up multiple times in the middle of the night, and usually wakes early is going to be cranky.  He's so new age. 

I bet he thinks sugar is bad for you too. 


In all honesty, I want to blame Cole's lack of sleep for all of his faults.  When he starts screaming because he can't play the Wii for five hours straight, no sleep is there. When he pushes his baby sister for touching his rolly-polly (which isn't necessarily his, I'm pretty sure all bugs belong to God, or the bug man,) no sleep is there.  When he thinks the Mario cartoon is funny, no sleep is there.  (It's a really stupid cartoon.)

When he tells me I'm fat, no sleep is there....because, as I am quick to point out, he can call me stupid and hate me all he likes, but I draw the line at calling me fat.  I have good genes and am NOT fat.  If he weren't sleep deprived, clearly he would be able to see that.

Cole had two awesome days last week.  For months there has been screaming and irrational reactions to essentially everything Cole related, but two glorious days last week were normal.  Normal meaning there was frustration during a challenging moment, there was crying when he got hurt, but there was never screaming or flying off the handle because I asked him to put on shoes.  It was a great two days.

I don't know what to attribute it to, but I'm going to credit the witch doctor.  Right or wrong, lack of dairy and some recent massage/chiropractory work are all that's really changed for Cole.  Our behavior therapist comes back Friday night with a behavior plan, we'll see who gets credit next week if there is peace again....because notice I said two days last week. 

We're back to some screaming, but he's also slept horribly.

I guess we'll just have to figure it all out once someone gets me a decent pen.  It's unreasonable to think that I could do much of anything before that.

Until the perfect pen and 15 minutes of time to myself collide, I would like to warn everyone coming to my house that the vial of urine in my fridge is totally normal and part of a medically ordered (witch doctor ordered) test. 

Does anyone know how long urine lasts? 

That might sound like a joke question, but seriously, I don't have to recollect pee do I?

Monday, June 4, 2012

Confession Time

I've been holding out on you.  I've been concealing a huge secret and it's time for me confess.

The truth is, I've become famous.

This might confuse you, but hang on, I have evidence.

First, my quote was used on the back cover of an actual book.  This is not a homemade book like the one I "published" and "illustrated" in the third grade entitled Karen, which probably should be in print now but I simply haven't had time to pursue it. 

I'm sure you understand.

The book is From Margaritas to Mac n' Cheese by Deborah Stumm.  It really is a fun, quick read for any Mom.  Here's what my quote looks like on the back of a BOOK!

Second, I am essentially a spokes model for my new place of employment, Noonday Collection.  I think I'm doing a really good job shipping packages of jewelry. 

I think I might be a better jewelry shipper than a Mother, well maybe.

Click on the link below to go to the website, then watch the video on the right side entitled, Watch Our Story.  You hear my voice talking about having friends over to my house before you actually see me so pay attention to the whole thing...don't worry it's short, I realize your limitations.

Leslie's Famous Video Link

I realize there was a mistake in the editing where I am simply listed as "Leslie, Noonday Trunk Show Hostess,"  not Noonday Spokes model. 

It's probably implied.

Finally, I started getting my nails done...because that is what famous people do.

Do you think I look a little bit like JLo in this photo?

Sunday, June 3, 2012

I Want To Say It's Gone Fast, But....

This seems like forever ago.

There is this SAME photo for all our kids' births.  This is Stella though, I swear.
I know everyone says it flies by, and in some ways it does, but in other ways, each phase feels like a lifetime.  The nursing, the sleepless nights, the way a child is in and out of a million phases the first few years of life, strategically changing their tactic as soon as the parents have nailed down how to handle the challenge, can be joyfully exhausting and excruciatingly frustrating.

I feel like the Stella I celebrated turning TWO yesterday can hardly be the same person as this.

Though she clearly was ready to punch either of her brothers if needed, mere days after her arrival and that hasn't changed.

I cried tears of joy when I learned we would be having a girl.  Alex and I both were elated at the opportunity to experience raising boys and a girl.  I was over the moon at the chance to buy things like tights and bows.  I still get more excited about some of her clothes than I do mine, probably because she is infinitely more cute than I am, and my outfits are rarely covered in pictures of baked goods and cuddly animals. 

You might remember my post about the wonder of being able to say I have a daughter and the surprise at how it really did feel different to me than the boys.  You can read that here. I have the same amount of love for the boys as her, but this little girl has a different piece of my heart. 

When I see photos like this...

I definitely feel nostalgic about that rolly little baby, so sweet and happy. 

Mostly though, I am crazy in love with the Stella of now. The Stella of now is still sweet and happy, but has all sorts of personality and isn't afraid to show it.  Obviously...

So this weekend we had cousins and cupcakes and lots of balloons and we celebrated  Stella.  She now has a My Little Pony and a Barbie, but mostly only cares about the two zippered cosmetic bags her aunt got  her, even clutching one in each hand as she fell asleep after her party. 

This is an awful picture, but I love seeing how huge the balloons were compared to her.  She LOVED them.

She didn't even want the cupcake.  We're having the witch doctor look at her, there must be something wrong.

"Cheese" complete with licorice bite in the mouth.
My feelings for Stella have held true to everything I experienced with Aiden and Cole, she just keeps getter better and better.  Sure she was cute and tiny when she was first born, but there is nothing like being able to talk to her and then hear the amazing things she has to say back.  Seeing her think through a problem or  enjoy a new experience is pure bliss. Anyone that thinks all the sweet and wonderful times are in the baby years hasn't watched my daughter walk around in Popsicle covered underpants, no shirt, and her brother's cowboy boots, trying to pin down our dog to make him ride in her shopping cart through the yard.  There is no joy like that, I honestly feel like my heart might burst while watching her sometimes.

(Dog lovers, she is nowhere near capable of doing this and I wouldn't let her play with our dog like that, but watching her try to figure it out is worth that chance that she might momentarily be successful one day.  Sorry Bea.)

Much like her brothers, I am sure Stella will have no shortage of joy and wonder to deliver to me for years to come....and I  absolutely can not wait.

Happy second birthday to my sweet, spunky, smart, and sensible (was out of 's' adjectives, she was applying chapstick to her ear tonight so sensible is a straight up lie,) Stella! 

We love you!