Friday, August 29, 2008

I'm so ready for the weekend!

Just a super quick post to say have a wonderful and safe LONG Labor Day weekend ~ YAY!

The Millers are coming (double YAY!) so I'll be busy "entertaining" for a few days, but I'm sure there will be lots of fun stories and pictures to share next week.

Talk to ya later!

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Fun week, baby ~ F * U * N !

Let's see where do I start with this Week O'Fun at the Butler home. Monday morning was crazy busy with errands. First we went to Walmart (ughh!) to get Isabella's school supplies (normally I would take care of that at Target, but since her list included a $5 Walmart gift card for photo processing, I just bit the bullet and got everything there), then to Payless to get her dance shoes, then we snuck into my local scrapbook store really quick followed by a trip to Costco to pick up some prints I had ordered online the night before. (By the way Marci you were right, their quality is amazing. Thanks!) I know it doesn't exactly sound like a marathon, but with these two on board everything seems to take twice as long. Finally I decided that although I had not accomplished everything I had hoped to, I was more than ready to hang up the gloves for the day/morning. So I went through the Chick-fil-A drive-thru, ordered us some yummy food and home we went, you know so that the kids could take a nap and I could pass out.

On Tuesday morning, this one:
woke us up crying at about 4:05am, and then again at 5:00am saying it really hurt to go to the bathroom. The poor thing was in a lot of pain and I was pretty sure I knew what was wrong, but called her pediatrician's office and booked the first appointment they had available. As I had suspected, but hoped was not the case, it turned out she had a UTI. Luckily she's been feeling much better since Tuesday, but she's still on antibiotics to make sure everything gets cleared up.

Then on Wednesday night, this one:
drove us (get it?, drove, since he's in his little car? Ha, ha, ha,... Boy, am I tired!) to the point of exhaustion because he is teething something awful. You can actually see and feel one of his bottom teeth. So last night he was in so much pain and so uncomfortable, he just couldn't fall asleep. Here's a boy who's normally asleep by 8:00pm. Some Infant's Tylenol, as well as some other remedies, and a whole lot of rocking later, he finally fell asleep at around 10:40pm. He woke up at 3:45am screaming. Scott went upstairs and gave him a bottle, but once again he could not get comfortable enough to go back to sleep. So after a while I went upstairs and took over so that Scott could get a little more rest before starting his day.

This was the two of them this morning:
Cool as cucumbers! How do they do that? Oh, to be so resilient,... Me on the other hand well,... I look exactly how I feel and friends let me tell ya, it ain't pretty.

Monday, August 25, 2008

On Your Mark... Get Set... Crop

Disclaimer: This here is a post about scrapbooking and nothing but scrapbooking. If this is definitely not your cup of tea, you might want to disregard the blog this time around and check back at a later date. As always, thank you for stopping by Perfect Chaos. Bu, Bye!

Alrighty then, so let me start by saying that I'm not much for crops. If you're not a scrapbooker and are still reading hoping that I lied and that this post is actually about more than just scrapbooking, a crop is a scheduled time at a specific location where scrapbookers get together to well, scrapbook, eat and socialize,... but there's a whole lot more socializing going on than anything else. This is probably the reason I don't sign up for many of them. That and the fact that I hate having to pack up a bunch of my supplies to take along not really knowing what I will end up using or needing, but I didn't pack. My LSS (local scrapbook store for you non-scrappers) had their 4th anniversary this last Saturday and held a 12 hour crop from 10am til 10pm. Yep, 12 hours and because I've been craving some creative time as soon as I read about it I called Scott at work:

Wicked Liz: "Hey Cakes, wondering if you'd be OK keeping the kids on the 23rd. I'd like to go to a crop at Eclectica and get some layouts done."

Unsuspecting Scott: "Sure Babe, it'll be nice for you to get out and have some fun. That shouldn't be a problem"

Terrible Liz: "Oh, thanks Honey. I'll call them right now and reserve a spot. Thanks! Love ya."


Excited Liz: "Hi, Eclectica? I'd like to sign up for the Birthday Crop... Yeah, can't wait... OK, see you then. Bye!"


Apprehensive Liz: "Hey Cakes, I called and signed up. Thank you so much. You know how much I'll be able to get done in 12 hours?"

Perplexed Scott: "12 Hours? What are you talking about?"

Guilty Liz: "Oh, I didn't tell you? Yeah, it's a special anniversary crop from 10am to 10 pm."

Indignant Scott: "Oh, forgot to disclose the details, did you?"

Eluding Liz: "Cakes, I really have to go, the kids, the dogs, the oven,... I think there's someone at the door. Yes? Coming,... I gotta go. There's just too much going on right now. I'll call you back (right!) Love ya"

Anyhoo, I made it to my crop and actually got some stuff done. The big project was a "First Year" album for Sam, while everything is so fresh in my head. I got the idea from one of my scrapbooking magazines (I admit, I'm a huge scraplifter) and I absolutely adore how it turned out! It's an 8x8 green/brown album with a really simple design, bullet points on his development and one 5x7 black & white photo. That's all there's to it. Now don't get me wrong, he has his own 12x12 album already filled with tons of pages, but this is more of a go-to kind of album. The pictures of the album are not the best, but you'll get a good idea of what it looks like. So, without further ado, here it is:

This is the album

Opening Page

(This is for sure my favorite page so far)

First Days
(The OCD person in me hates the "F" on this page because it doesn't match the rest. This is what happens when you go to a crop and borrow something from someone because you don't have it and it is oh so cool and then you get home and realize you are one letter short so you'll have to improvise,... and now it's driving me crazy!!! It'll have to do for now, but I'll definitely have to figure out how to get my hands on the appropriate "F".)

1 Month
(photo taken by Marci Lambert)

2 Months

3 Months

4 Months

5 Months
In addition to completing most of his 12 months album, I completed 2 two-page spreads and one single page layout. Not bad,... not great for 12 hours, but I'm definitely not the fastest scrapper in town, so I was pleased with what I got done.

Whoa, do you see what I see? Do my eyes deceive me? Say it isn't so.

Apparently when I purchased the green/brown album, I also bought a pink/brown one. Ooohhh, I smell a very girlie "First Year" album happening for Isabella in the near future.

Finally, I'm leaving you with a couple of my latest creations:
I have to find a better way of posting pictures of my layouts,... oh well.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Hey! I've been tagged again,...

My friend, the very talented Marci, who unfortunately I don't get to see very often, has tagged me. And although I'm pretty sure I'm going to fall short on this "tag", I'm going to try my hardest and darnest to play along.

OK, so the rules are:

(1) The winner can put the logo on their blog. (Check ~ as seen above)
(2) Link the person you received your award from. (Check)
(3) Nominate at least 7 other blogs. (See, this is where the "falling short" part comes in, a few of the blogs that I love I've just happened to stumble upon and they don't even know me, but today they're going to get a "Hey! You don't know me, but I know your name, your husband's name, your childrens' names and your dog's name because I'm always stalking your blog. Keep up the good work!" e-mail from me. Well, maybe I'll word it a little differently. I don't wanting them thinking I'm some sort of weirdo who's all up in their business. Seriously! I like their blogs too much to have them totally freak out and remove them.
(4) Put links of those on yours. (Check)
(5) Leave a message on the blogs you’ve nominated. (Check)

These are the blogs that I frequent (quite, well,... frequently):

Ashley Gailey (she's one of the ones who doesn't know who I am. But I really like her scrapbook style and that's what got me to her blog. What's kept me coming back for more is her writing style. She is HILARIOUS! Laugh out loud funny)

Stephanie Howell (another one who doesn't know of my existence, but I found her through the Top Scrap Blogs list. I love her scrapbooking style and her heartfelt writing. I've actually cried with her blog before)

Kelli Goree (yes, another one to whom I am just another lurker,... OK, my friends have got to start their own blogs soon!!!! I love her scrapbooking style and have actually scraplifted a few of her layouts)

Sandy (my very good friend who is a breast cancer survivor since March 2007 and started her blog to keep us all informed of her treatment back then, and her many blessings now; her strength and spirit are definitely an inspiration to me)

Christie ( my wonderful neighbor and friend who with my constant encouragement (alright, let's call it what it really is ~ nagging) has not totally given up on her blog, although it is on live support, girl. Keep it away from the light!!!!)

Jessica (my very creative cousin and only relative with whom I share many a scrapbook conversations over the phone, when the kids let us)

Marci, I know you've obviously already been tagged, but yours is definitely one of them. Also, I wanted to let you know that I'm so glad you're back to posting some of your scrapbooking goodness~yeah!)

Boy, I've gotta get out there and befriend some more people who have blogs.

Friday, August 22, 2008

I've been tagged,...

... by my friend Anne. I'm supposed to tell you some things about me that you may or may not know. OK, so here we go:

Four jobs I have had in my life:
1. Human Resources Manager (MO & TN)
2. College Recruiter / Trainer (WI)
3. Retail Assistant Buyer (WI)
4. Clinical Lab Tech Assistant (PR)

Four movies I've watched more than once:
(oooh, so many,...)
1. Braveheart (oh, Mel)
2. Legends of the Fall (oh, Brad)
3. Pretty Woman
4. Old School (ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,...)

Four of my favorite foods:
1. Pork (any way I can get it ~ YUM!)
2. Mexican
3. Italian
4. Comfort Food (pot roast, meatloaf, stew, mashed potatoes, etc.)

Four places I've lived:
1. Puerto Rico (born & raised)
2. Dominican Republic
3. Pennsylvania
4. Wisconsin

Four TV shows that I watch:

1. The Office (no other show can make me laugh as hard)
2. The Bachelor/Bachelorette (pathetic guilty pleasure, I know)
3. The Biggest Loser (seeking motivation, while eating ice cream on the couch)
4. So you think you can dance (and I think they certainly can)

Four places I have visited:
1. Mexico
2. Costa Rica
3. Canada
4. Various US states

Four people who e-mail me*:
1. Yaira
2. Hannah
3. Christie
4. Family
* This is a tough one with my new Facebook addiction.

Four of my favorite drinks:
1. Coca Cola (this is my CRACK!)
2. Riesling (Can I get an AMEN, Hannah & Charlotte?)
3. Ice Cold Miller Lite
4. Cosmos (need I say more?)

Four places I would like to visit:
1. San Francisco
2. Australia
3. Africa
4. Europe (Italy, France, Spain,... I know, I'm cheating)

Four things I am looking forward to in the coming year:

1. Watching my kids grow and continue to develop into wonderful human beings
2. Planning a vacation to a family-friendly resort
3. Learning and improving my photography skills
4. New leadership for the country and hopefully an improved economy

Well, that's all folks. If you so feel moved to play along, please shoot me an e-mail with your answers so that I can learn a bit more about you.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Screaming Chicks

Last week we had a playdate with our friends the Yoders (remember Isabella's friend Josh?). They had a doctor's appointment beforehand so the plan was to meet at their house around 11:30am for some playtime, some lunch and a whole lot of gabbing. As it turned out we got there before they did. So I called to see where they were and Cora told me to go on ahead inside and make ourselves at home. We went inside, dropped off all of our stuff and went back outside because Isabella wanted to play in their backyard.

They have quite a big house that sits on two or three acres of land. So we made our way around the house to their back patio where Isabella spotted some toys at a distance. Since I had Sam, I decided to sit on their patio and sent Isabella off to play. She started to walk on the grass towards the toys when suddenly she starts screaming at the top of her lungs: "A worm! A worm! I touched a WORMMMMMM!!!" I had no idea what she was talking about, and I couldn't see anything from where I was sitting so I got up and walked over to where she was standing to see what the big deal was.

As I look down, I don't see the worm she's screaming about. Oh no, I see a coiled up snake staring right at me while doing that thing they do with their tongue. Holy Cow!!! I had never seen a snake that wasn't confined to some kind of tank before. I honestly cannot tell you how big it really was because of the fact that (A) it was coiled up and (B) I was ready to poop my pants right then and there, but it looked HUGE! So I instantly grabbed Isabella and ran back to the patio as fast as I possibly could while holding Sam in my left arm and pulling Isabella with my right. I happen to know for a fact that her feet did not touch the ground once until we got to the patio. My poor girl,..

Anyway, I knelt down and while scrutinizing her legs asked her if "the worm" had touched her, and in her hysterical state she kept telling me over and over again that she had touched the worm. I finally got her to compose herself and asked again if it had touched her to which she responded "NO, I touched the wormmmm!!!" I guess suddenly we both realized that we were still only a few feet within "the worm's" reach and we started running towards the front of the house while screaming like the two chicks that we are. And inside we went. And I'm pretty sure I locked the door. You know, just in case.

Not five minutes later Cora and family arrived and when I excitedly tell her what had happened, after laughing quite a bit she asked me to take her out and show her where the snake was. HELLO!! As if I'm about to willingly come face to face with that beast again? Yeah, I don't think so,... Well, apparently snakes are not uncommon around their house.

Needless to say I'm really looking forward to the INDOOR playdates we'll be having at their home going forward.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Hi, my name is Liz,...

... and I'm a Facebook-aholic.
It's been only a few days since I've joined, but I'm totally addicted and currently in search for a good support group, and fast!

So, for a couple of years now I've had a few people telling me to join this "cult" called Facebook, and the truth is I couldn't have been any less interested. You see, I just didn't get it. But now? Now I need some serious HELP!

I've found some of my current friends on there, some old friends, some old co-workers, but nothing, NOTHING compares to how much fun I am having reconnecting with a lot of my high school buddies.

You know the question: "If you could go back in time, where would you go?" Well, you know most people answer college, and it' usually because of things such as independence/freedom, experiences, parties, blah, blah, blah. Well you can keep your college cause I'd go right back to High School in a New York second.

We were such a tight-knit group of friends, and had what I think should be an illegal amount of fun together. Most of my memories involve lots and lots of laughter. In 2010 it'll be 20 years since graduation. 20 years!!! It's unbelievable how time flies. Unfortunately life circumstances can take people in different directions, and in all honesty I haven't been the best about keeping in touch for quite a while. Yeah, I am most definitely going back home for the reunion. There was no doubt about that before, but now that a lot of us are in touch and laughing ourselves silly with all kinds of memories and photos,... oh Mama, watch out!!!

So anyway, if you haven't yet gotten sucked in by the black hole that is Facebook, I've got one piece of advice for you: Stay Away!! But if you refuse to take my advice and decide to join then,... by all means send me a friends request so that we can keep in touch.

See? I told you it's a cult ~ brainwashing, controlling, time stealer, keep you away from your family, wear these Nike shoes and drink this yummy lemonade. Well,... maybe it's not that bad, but as you start finding friends, you'll see, it'll suck you right in.

Alrighty then, so in honor of what's just happened to me (as described above), I'm taking you on a short trip down memory lane. Just remember, it was the late 80's, early 90's.

These are from Junior Year in 1989:

These are all from Senior year 1990:
Graduation ~ Wow, check out those bangs!

Yep, here's me at Prom.
Nice hair! Nice dress! Nice tan lines! Nice matchy green eye shadow!
Got sequins?
Thank goodness no one turned me in to What Not to Wear.

I wanted to include pictures from our Senior trip, a Caribbean cruise, but their quality is pitiful, and the people are hardly recognizable in them. So this will have to suffice for now.

Gotta go, I've some people instant messaging me through Facebook. Woo Hoo!


Friday, August 15, 2008

Bring on the milestones

Today we ventured into uncharted territory: feeding Sam rice cereal with a spoon for the very first time. We introduced it to Isabella when she was 4 months old. But during Sam's 4 month checkup last month the pediatrician discouraged me from introducing anything to Sam for another month or so. Apparently he didn't think we needed to add any solids to his diet quite yet.

The wonderful big sister did the honors so that the obsessive Mama could snap away. And I'm so glad I did; Sam's facial expressions are priceless:

"What in the world is that?"

"Wait, wait, let's talk first!"

"Oh my gosh, how invasive is this?"

"What the,...?"
"Did you seriously just put that thing in my mouth?"

"Mama, aren't you gonna do something?Oh wait, you're in on it, aren't you? That's just great!

"Yeah, I'm not really sure what it is you'd
like for me to do with this stuff."

That's it, let us pray:
"Dear Lord, please help me since no one else around here will."

"Hmm, maybe this isn't so bad after all."
But then again, everything tastes better when you add my fingers.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Sunflower Art

After dinner this evening we went to see the sunflowers along Germantown Parkway. We got to see them last year and they were truly amazing (you can read more about that by clicking here). Anyway, I've been wanting to get out there for weeks to take pictures of that breathtaking display, but haven't really made the time. So finally tonight we went.

This is along the lines of what I had in mind when we left the house:

a whole lot of this:
and maybe some of this:
And although as you can see, we did see a little bit of that, unfortunately most of what we found when we got there was this:

and this:
and this:
and many other very intricate designs.

I'd like to call this Sunflower Art, and there was quite the array of designs for our perusal. Someone or some people spent a lot of time and creative energy making sure the patterns were perfect. And to tell you the truth I think they're doing people like us, who waited way too long to go see the sunflowers and totally missed them in their grandiose splendor, a huge favor by giving us something different and interesting to appreciate while we are there, lamenting that we waited so long.

And of course, since you know me, you know I take every possible opportunity I can to take pictures of the family, and tonight was no exception. Here are just a few:

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Step aside Picasso, step aside

So it was a typical afternoon at the Butler home yesterday ~ Sam was taking a nap, Isabella was playing in her bedroom and I had actually snuck away to enjoy some much needed quiet time. Suddenly Isabella ran into the game room and excitedly told me: "Come Mama, come to my room. I want to show you my friends!" The truth is I immediately thought she was talking about her stuffed animals, since that's who she usually refers to when talking about her friends. Well, never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see what was on her chalkboard.

Her first portrait. It was of our family and it was awesome! There we all were: Baby Sam, Daddy, Mama and Isabella. we all had two eyes, a nose, a mouth, two legs and feet (albeit tiny feet), except Isabella also added two arms to her self-portrait. I absolutely love how she made it a point to draw Baby Sam's "crazy hair", as she put it. (If you click on any of the pictures you'll be able to get a much closer look.)

I asked her if it would be OK for me to label each one of us as she walked me through her picture and she eagerly agreed. She even posed proudly next to her masterpiece allowing me the opportunity to take fuss-free pictures.

Our girl never ceases to amaze us. It's quite obvious she loves to draw, color and paint and we're just ecstatic to see her artistic style and creativity develop right before our very eyes. You can bet I immediately got online to research some art classes for our little artist.

Monday, August 11, 2008

The fog is lifting

So the good news is that we're starting to feel better. The bad news is that it's not happening fast enough for my liking. One more day of Scott being home would've been golden!

Oh well, I guess it's time to get on with it. I've got tons of stuff to do and am basically moving at the speed of a slug, but here I go,... I think I can, I think I can, I think I can,...

Here are some pictures of the kids taken earlier this morning:
Isabella is still doing fine, and we're definitely hoping she stays well.

Other than the fact that Sam decided to play a game of Tic-Tac-Toe on his poor little nose last night, he's doing much better.

Here's one of him doing one of his favorite things: tummy play time.

Sorry about the short and boring post, but with all this illness not much has happened around these parts. Hopefully the next post will be more interesting. Until then,...

Saturday, August 9, 2008

We're sick,...

and it sucks! Sam and I have a horrible summer cold that is driving us both crazy. He's a snotty mess and uncomfortable and whiny. My head is about to pop, I'm all teary eyed and when I'm not sneezing, I'm constantly blowing my nose. We're miserable! Isabella and Scott have been spared so far, thank goodness.

I'm counting down the minutes until I take my beloved NyQuil and pass out for the night (kinda sad when that's the highlight of your day).

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Absolutely NO dieters welcome

With most local schools starting back up next week, my brother and his wife decided to take the week off and have some fun. So we packed up the van this morning and took our very hungry selves to Harrah's Casino in Tunica to experience the phenomenon that is:
Oh yes, the Paula Deen Buffet.

Let me start out by saying I'm not exactly a fan of buffets. If I sit and think about it for too long I kinda start itching all over. There are some I will go to because they look immaculately clean and I've never had or heard of anyone who's had a bad experience. But today's experience? Well, I think I'll have to borrow one of Isabella's latest expressions and say "Oh my GOSH!" It was seriously incredible.

Now trust me when I tell you if you're currently partaking in any type of weight-loss plan (whether it's counting points, or calories, or sticking to proteins, or having itty bitty meals delivered directly to your home or eating only cabbage or pineapple, or drinking vinegar, etc., etc., etc.), then you must absolutely, positively and without any hesitation STAY AWAY!

Since we were a party of seven, we got placed in a private dining room, which was awesome! Then you have the selection of food and desserts ~ never ending and everything, and I'm actually pretty certain of this, is made with a lard base. Well,... everything except for the very unpopular and lonely salad bar. I wonder how hard they laughed when it was suggested that maybe there should be a salad station included amidst the smorgasbord of very southern, and not the least bit healthy food.

Take your pick: Pork? Sure, how do you want it ~ Fried, battered and deep fried, in the form of sausage, or bacon or ham? Chicken? What's you're craving ~ fried, baked, chicken pot pie, chicken and dumplings, chicken tenders? Are you hungry for some beef? There's pot roast, roast beef, cheesy meatloaf. There's an entire station of seafood that included shrimp and clams and other stuff that I don't know about because I didn't step close enough due to the fact that the mere thought of any of it make my hair hurt. How about a carb? Potatoes prepared a million different ways, macaroni and cheese (and this ain't Kraft), creamed corn, biscuits and gravy, or maybe just biscuits, or maybe you'd like to pick from 5 different types of gravy to smother your food with. Oh, and let's not forget about the catfish. I mean, you name it, they've got it. I can't even remember everything that was available.

And I haven't even mentioned the dessert station. Wait, do you hear that? No seriously, listen closely. That would be the sound of sweet angels singing their beautiful melodies as I approached the celestial dessert area.

However, I must confess I am a bit disappointed. You see, after we got home my neighbor Christie called me to ask how our lunch adventure had panned out. Well, after discussing what now seems like enough food to feed at least two countries, she asked if I had any of the Creme Brulee. WHAT? There was Creme Brulee, which is my most favorite dessert in the whole entire universe, and I missed it? Well,... I guess I'll just have to go back another day.

Anyway, I'll now leave you with a few pictures from today. It's just the kids. Apparently I was too busy eating my food to stop and take any pictures of it. Oops!

The cousins having a peaceful moment.
She is sassyness personified
This boy just cracks me up!

Monday, August 4, 2008

Open wide and say AAAAHHHH

This here, ladies and gentlemen, is a certified beautiful, healthy and cavity-free smile:

Isabella had her first ever dentist appointment today and to tell you the truth I expected nothing but absolute chaos during the visit. You see I am terrified of dentists. For me dentists are legal, modern torture devices. I would much rather have 12 consecutive c-sections than visit the dentist. So of course, for whatever twisted reason, I was expecting Isabella would be quite scared as well. So I did the best job I possibly could prepping her beforehand (without sounding like the scared fraud I really am) and even let her bring her beloved dog, "Copper", with her to the appointment.

Although Isabella was a bit scared of the unknown and all the gadgets in front of her, once the Dental Technician, who was awesome, explained what she was going to do, how she was going to do it and how all the instruments worked, she was so incredibly brave and willing to do whatever was asked of her. She was such a good girl and did so great. I'm pretty sure her favorite part was going to the prize wall and picking her own reward for doing so well.

Actually, this was such a non-traumatic experience for her that by the time the doctor called her name to examine her she was an old pro ~ she came running, sat on the chair, opened her mouth and when all was said and done, she happily went back to their very cool playroom. And you have no idea what a huge relief that is for me. Phew! Now, if only I could be so brave,...