Friday, April 30, 2010

Friday Flashback: Gracie's Early Days

In a couple of days, Gracie will turn five.

*deep breaths* Don't hyperventilate, Marisa. You will survive it.

I don't feel like she should be old enough to have her fifth birthday just yet, as she's still a tiny little newborn baby and all that... I think that is actually what I wrote on my blog last year, when she turned four. And the year before that, when she turned three. And I know I was feeling the same way on her second birthday... and her first.

Does it ever sink in that these tiny babies are growing up? My sources say no.

But when I see the photos from her first few days, weeks, months, its a shock to the system. She's a big girl now, entering the big bad world of kindergarten in only a few short months, and leaving me behind (you better believe I'll be one of those embarrassingly teary-eyed moms as I wave her off on her first day of school). But as this is a flashback, I'll take you all on a quick little trip down photograph lane, with some of the first photos of Gracie on this planet.

Me and Gracie, on my very first Mother's Day,
which was also the day I brought her home from the hospital.

Will and Gracie - one week after she was born
(One of Gracie's rare sleeping moments)

Me and Gracie when she was two months old.
I was already back to work, teaching summer school
and experiencing rotten separation anxiety.

Gracie at three months old.
This is the first photo we have of her smiling.

And the quirky, fun little girl she is today:

Despite my intense denial that she's a big girl now, I do have to say with all honesty, it is so exciting seeing her turn five.

Gracie was born with such an exuberant personality, one that has only grown with each passing day. She's an amazing kid, incredibly smart, with a humongous heart and a sense of humor that never fails to crack me up. The last five years have been a treat, and I can't wait to see what the future holds for this little kiddo!

Happy Birthday, Gracie!


Have a flashback of your own to share? Head on over to Tia's blog, at for Flashback Friday!



Thursday, April 29, 2010

A Trip to Duck Island

*all photography by Tia of*

The other day, Tia and I got our kids together for a trip to Duck Island.

Duck Island isn't technically an island, but as it is an idyllic spot, swarming with ducks and geese, Tia's name for it is very fitting. When my brother and I were little, there was a magical meadow near our preschool that we called "Flower Land." After we'd grown, we'd still drive past that meadow, remembering how much we loved Flower Land as preschoolers, even though the flowers weren't even really flowers. "Hideous Patch of Blooming Weeds Land" might have been a more appropriate nick name. But to us, it was a magical meadow, and magical meadows are called names like Flower Land. That's just the way it goes.

Such is Duck Island, the magical land where all the web-footed creatures of Abilene swim in their cerulean (... er... mucky brown) lake. You could see its magic in the eyes of the kids as they tossed their fistfuls of corn tortilla's in the air. Tia, who is an awesome photographer, captured the magic for all to see ~

And my favorite of all the photos - Gracie's graceful "Ew, is there duck poo on my shoe?" dance.

Thanks, Tia, for an awesome day! You can read more about our trip to Duck Island, with even more of Tia's gorgeous photos, at her blog



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Ew. That's Disgusting

Click the picture to be magically transported to
The Mama Dramalogues, and my post.

I blogged over at The Mama Dramalogues, today.

About Marmite and Annelie's misguided taste-buds.

Come on by!


Monday, April 26, 2010

Outta The Mouths of Babes - The Annelie Exclusive

Another Wendiwinn-inspired snippets post... This one is all of Annelie, my highly entertaining 3-year old.


Me: Here is your drawing paper. [passes Annelie her paper]

Annelie [in a slow, robotic voice]: Thank youuuuu........ [whispers dramatically] Annelie is out of batteries.


After reading the fruit chapter of kid's encyclopedia

Me: My favorite fruits are cherries and strawberries.

Gracie: My favorite fruits are pineapples, watermelons and cherries.

Annelie: My favorite fruits are marshmallows.


Scene: at home. I'm lamenting over the fact that I still can't find my newly bought shipping envelopes, after searching for twenty minutes.

Me: If I don't find these shipping envelopes, I'm going to LOSE it!

Annelie: I thought you did already lose it...


Annelie [striding proudly down the hall]: Mommy, I just killed a bug in the bathroom. I used Daddy's toothbrush to squish it.


Me [shouting]: ANNELIE! Do NOT blow your nose on your sister's arm!


Scene - drawing table. Annelie is whining about not having the pencil colors she needs for the picture she's drawing.

Me [groaning]: Annelie, you have got to stop whining! I can't take it anymore.

Annelie [crossing her arms and sticking out her lower lip]: I'm drawing you a picture, but I'm not going to make it beautiful.

(because that is the worst "I'm mad at Mommy" punishment, apparently)


Okay, that's all. Have a kid-related blog post today? Head on over to The Mama Dramalogues for Mama Drama Monday and link it!

Happy Monday, folks!


Friday, April 23, 2010

All Growed Up

My kittens are all grown up and ready to enter the big, bad world, which is a struggle for me, as I want them to remain itsy-bitsy little baby cats forever.

Oh man, I'm dreading Gracie's first day of kindergarten this upcoming fall. If it is this difficult watching the cats step from the front door to the front porch, I can't imagine how I'm going to cut my apron strings and let Gracie get on a school bus and enter her kindergarten class without me.

Although Gracie is a little braver than my scaredy-cats, who might act like big grown-ups sometimes, but were truthfully too afraid to leave the front porch. After only a couple of minutes of shivering and shaking with fright, the kittens were happy to be back inside.

And of course I had to document it, because I'm Crazy Cat Lady, and that's the sort of thing Crazy Cat Lady does.

First steps!!

It took a good five minutes before Somer the Hermaphrocat even left the front door. Sophie took a little longer. They think they are so brave, but they're really not.

This is as far as Somer got before
he turned around and high-tailed it back inside.

And a video, which is a little on the boring side, but features me talking in baby-kitty voice.

FYI, yes I did blame the cats for the boringness of the video. What can I say? I am a blame-placer.

And if you want to admire my roses a little more, I blogged about them at my homey blog yesterday, {HERE}

Happy weekend, folks!


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

A 6 (out of 5) Star Review by Gracie

click the above image to read the review!

My 4 year old daughter Gracie completed her first movie review:
Of Disney's Little House on the Prairie TV mini-series.

Come on by The Mama Dramalogues and check it out!


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

The Green Goblin

Sometimes its really hard to keep a straight face and not fall over laughing when my girls get into trouble. Like today, for instance, when the girls were "playing nicely" in my bedroom while I was making their lunch. When I called them in to eat, they both walked into the kitchen and sat up at the table as if Annelie wasn't covered in green glitter and ochre.

"Oh yum! Chicken! I love chicken!" Gracie said as sweetly as can be, buttering me up, to be sure. I just stared at Annelie's glittery green face, biting my cheeks to keep from smiling. Looking angry is such a struggle when you want to laugh oh-so-very badly.

And did they honestly think I wouldn't notice?

Gracie - the make-up artist - knew they were in trouble as soon as she saw my face, and started crying and promised that she "will never ever do naughty things ever, ever again."

And, "I'll make sure to always say please and thank you," she added as a bonus.

I let them off easy - no dessert after lunch. But I had to snap some photos of Annelie's awesomely naughty makeover, because seriously... its funny. I just made sure to say, "Oh boy, Daddy is going to be soooo mad. I need to snap a photo to show him."

The fear of punishment clearly doesn't stop Annelie from putting her... um... best face forward and smiling with all that she's got.

Never a dull moment, that's for sure.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Alphabet Print GIVEAWAY!

So... about a billion years ago (back in December, if you want to get technical) I started an Alphabet collection of prints, and completed the letters A and B... and then stopped.

In fact, I haven't created a single new illustration since mid-January. Oh, the shame!

Its terrible. I know. My poor, neglected colored pencils are not happy with me, and I decided that in order to flex my colored pencil fingers and get my illustrating bum back in gear, I needed to have a GIVEAWAY!

So here's what it will be all about:

The Prizes - I will be choosing THREE winners.

Winner #1 will receive an 8 x 10 print of their Alphabet letter of choice AND a $25 gift certificate to Elegant Snobbery

Winner #2 will receive an 8 x 10 print of their Alphabet letter of choice AND a $15 gift certificate to Elegant Snobbery

Winner #3 will receive an 8 x 10 print of their Alphabet letter of choice

To Enter - Leave me a comment letting me know which letter of the Alphabet really floats your boat (I'm thinking perhaps the first letter of your child's name, or the name of a child you know, or perhaps yourself if you want the prize to be all for you, you, and only you!).

For bonus entries - please leave a separate comment for each entry.

  1. Tweet this giveaway, with a link to this blog post and an @elegantsnobbery so I can keep track of it.
  2. Blog this giveaway (you are welcome to use any of the images in this blog post, in your own blog post) and leave me the link, please!
  3. Shout it out on Facebook, with a link to this blog post (I'll most likely have to trust you on this... so please be trustworthy)
Easy peasy, right?

This giveaway will end: Saturday May 1st.

PLEASE make sure I have a way of contacting you!


Friday, April 16, 2010

Friday Flashback: Vegas, Baby, VEGAS!

Will has been out of town on a business trip for the last few days, and won't be back until tomorrow, and I miss him, so today's Friday Flashback will be about him and us and our fun trip to Vegas in the summer of '04.

I had been back from my study abroad semester in Bath, England for a couple of months and our long distance relationship - from England to California, an 8 hour time difference - was miserable. So, without further delay, we decided he needed to come out and visit me for the month of August, and it only made sense that we book a trip to Vegas, baby, VEGAS!
I love Vegas. Not the gambling part. I'm actually pretty darned terrible at gambling, and the idea of dropping money in a machine or on a table and never seeing anything come of it, makes my stomach hurt. But the live shows and awesome food and SHOPPING make me very happy. I'd been to Vegas a bunch of times before, but Will had never been, and anyone who knows Will, or has been reading my blog for awhile, knows that he is a massive Elvis fan(atic). Vegas was the logical place for us to go (we've since been to Hawaii and Memphis together, so we have the Elvis-related vacations covered).

It was awesome. We had fun. So much fun that we impulsively thought Ooooh, lets get married! and went diamond ring-hunting, though we didn't officially get engaged until a week later. And then five months after that, we were married and finally able to live in the same country together. Hurray, no more long distance!

Because of legal reasons (related to boooorrrring immigration laws) we weren't able to have one of those awesomely tacky Elvis weddings while we were there - which is a good thing because my family wouldn't have been very pleased if I came home from Vegas married with an illegal immigrant husband (especially as he would have been deported straight away) - but someday, we'll be back in Vegas, in a tacky little chapel with the King there to renew our vows.

Yay, fun!

Aw, we look so young. Its amazing how only six years and two high-energy little girls later, I feel so old.


Have a flashback you want to share? Visit Tia's blog at and join in the flashback fun.


Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Um... So... I Blogged about the Birds & the Bees, Today.

It was awkward. And my face was red the entire time I typed it.

But go and read, anyway.

And perhaps pat my head and tell me everything will be alright and I will survive my daughter's teen years and a more elaborate version of "the talk" somehow.


Monday, April 12, 2010

Thinking Outside the Box

At the moment, Gracie and Annelie's favorite activity is filling out their preschool/kindergarten prep workbooks, which is absolutely fine by me, and I can only hope they keep their zeal for learning once school starts.

I'm going to be honest, though. Gracie's kindergarten prep books stress me out a little, because they seem geared toward the three-year-old crowd, not the five-year-old crowd... but then the first grade books are too advanced for her at the moment (she's getting ready to read, but the 1st grade books expect her to already know how to read), so we're are stuck without a happy medium.

Gracie, my far-from-ordinary almost-five-year-old, never fails to crack me up. The activity she was working on yesterday was about the color yellow (see what I mean? Too basic for Kindergarten). This is how our learning time went down:

Me: Alright, Gracie. The instructions say to color in these three objects yellow. What are they?

Gracie: A lemon, a corn, a banana.

Me: Yup. Okay, so you also need to draw something else that is yellow in the empty space. Can you think of another thing that is yellow?

Gracie [matter of fact]: When dogs pee in the snow. That's yellow.

She's right, of course. Dog pee snow is definitely yellow.

Who needs generic answers like the sun, daffodils, or yellow ducks, when you can answer with dog pee snow? That's Gracie for ya. She's always thinking outside of the box.

Click to visit The Mama Dramalogues and join us for
Mama Drama Monday!

Happy Monday, everyone! And moms out there... do you have any good kindergarten prep workbook recommendations? Please let me know!


Friday, April 9, 2010

Friday Flashback: The Loopy and Latoosha Show

From left to right: Loopy and Latoosha
in High school

Growing up, Molly and I were like peas and carrots. We were the best of friends. We traded heart-shaped BE-FRI/ST-END necklaces, and practically every friend-related happy moment of my youth, from kindergarten through senior year, Molly was sitting right there next to me.

in Elementary School

Growing up, we were also like oil and vinegar. We were the worst of enemies. We threw our broken-heart shaped necklace halves back at each other, declaring that we were never speaking to each other ever again, and nearly every moment of my pre-teen angst was linked with Molly.

Her dad called us Loopy and Latoosha and we lived our lives in The Loopy and Latoosha Show. It was hilarious. It was dramatic. It was heartwarming. It was tumultuous. It was more fun than I could ever imagine a childhood friendship being.

Molly and I have been friends for 24 years now, and I wouldn't take back a single second of it, not even our second grade tanbark wars, or the middle school angst, because she was the only friend who loved me - and hated me - like the sister I always wished I had.

We grew up living a block away from each other, always sitting next to each other in school, always in the same circle of friends. Our mom's even had garage sales together when we were growing up.
Our moms, rockin' the mid '90s

We spent a lifetime sitting in her bedroom, adhering Lee press-on nails to our pre-teen finger tips, sharing Babysitter's Club books, and scribbling words into notebooks with the hopes of one day becoming published authors.

We watched ridiculous amounts of Ricki Lake and Happy Day's reruns, played Spit and Truth-or-Dare like it was going out of style, tore up our neighborhood on roller blades, and organized epic neighborhood-wide games of hide-'n-go-seek tag.

After we grew up, and I had baby Gracie, Molly would swing by my house with her baby nephew in tow, and we would take them to story time at the library, then out for amazing amounts of greasy pizza dipped in ranch sauce.
in Middle School
We can't be held responsible for our outfits
and tinsel-rimmed berets...

But by all means, snicker away at my glasses.

Though its been three and a half years since I've moved away from California, and since Molly and I have even seen each other, it doesn't really matter because this friendship spans the continent, spans the world, spans our lives, and The Loopy and Latoosha Show will always be on-air.

So, I'll leave you now, with our childhood hand-clapping, finger-snapping anthem and the intro to The Loopy and Latoosha Show:

Down by the banks of the hanky-panky
where the bullfrogs jump from bank to banky

with an eeeps, eiips, ohps, opps.

Hey Mr. Bullfrog, go KER-PLOP!

I know her dad has our 4th grade-selves on video, singing and hand-clapping to this song.

I miss ya, Molls!


Have a flashback of your own? Swing by Tia's blog at and join in the fun!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

The Good Days and The Bad Days

Hey! I'm over here at The Mama Dramalogues today!

Come and visit!


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