Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Success! defines success as follows:

success [suh k-ses]

1. the favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavors.
2. the attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
3. a successful performance or achievement: The play was an instant success.
4. a person or thing that is successful: She was a great success on the talk show.

At the Butler household, today we define success as follows:

1.the ability to go seven (and yes, they were
consecutive) days without having a single
potty accident.

She did it!

Do you think she's excited?
Yeah, maybe I should've taken a picture of me and Scott
just to show how excited the two of us are.

She proudly moved the seventh star over last night. On our to-do list today is going to Target to pick up her Play-Doh Ice Cream Making Kit. She can hardly wait!

Here's to hoping she keeps up the good work!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Stunning in Black

Our little ballerina looked so beautiful this morning before dance class that I had to pick up the camera and snap a few pictures.

And my absolute favorite:
I love you, Peanut!

Monday, September 28, 2009

SNL Sneak Peek

As many of you know I recently joined the teaching staff at Eclectica Scrapbooks and Stamps, my local scrapbook store, and I couldn't be more thrilled. For the most part I will be teaching scrapbook layout classes, which is what I'm most passionate about, but every now and then I'll create a special project.

Anyway, my first class will be this coming Saturday. It's called SNL (Saturday Night Layouts) and you will leave the class with 8 completed and photo ready 12x12 page layouts. I will teach the first half of the class (4 layouts) and Danielle will teach the second half (the remaining 4 layouts).

So I thought I'd share a sneak peek of some of the layouts we will be creating:



"Delight... in the little things"

Fun, aren't they? Wanna see more? Then come and join us this Saturday night.

Saturday Night Layouts (SNL)
Saturday, October 3rd from 4:00 PM - 8:00 PM ~ $29
Instructors: Danielle and Liz

Bring your basic scrapbooking tools and we'll have fun making pages that'll make you run home to look for the perfect pictures. But don't delay. Make sure you call Eclectica at 901-377-0730 to sign up and secure your spot.

I can't wait to see you there!

Our Double Date

Scott was able to secure some amazing tickets (four to be exact) to a very popular event that came to town this past weekend. So being that we had two extra tickets, we decided why not make it a double date. It was a fantastic time: crowded and loud and crazy and fun. Where did we go you ask?

Well, we went with these here cuties:
Isabella & Hudson, her best friend.

To see this:
Yes my dear friends, Scott and I took Isabella and Hudson downtown to Disney on Ice ~ Worlds of Fantasy last Friday night. The three of us stopped by Auto Zone to pick Scott up after work, parked our car at the Fed Ex Forum and walked over to Beale Street to enjoy some yummy dinner at the world famous Dyer's Burgers.

Since we had plenty of time, we decided to surprise the kids with a horse carriage ride around downtown Memphis. Isabella and Hudson were thrilled and loved every minute of it!

Can you tell? Just look at those happy faces.

So then it was show time! We did our mandatory potty rounds followed by purchasing ridiculously overpriced show souvenirs. (Geez! These people make quite the living.) We found our seats (which were wonderful) and waited for the show to begin. This was an especially exciting experience since it was Hudson's first, and we were all so happy to share it with him.

Mickey and Minnie Mouse opened the show to the longest and loudest shrieks you've ever heard. Or so I thought,....

That was, until these guys showed up:

WOW! Those kids went bananas when Mater and Lighting McQueen came out. The energy (and noise) in that place was through the roof. It was so awesome!

Yeah BTW, this is pretty much what he looked like throughout the entire show:
He was so focused and mesmerized by the whole thing. I love it!

OK, so then they took us on an underwater adventure with Ariel, Sebastian, Flounder and the rest of the gang:

I especially loved their beautiful colorful costumes.

Immediately followed by a trip to Pride Land for a Lion King adventure:

Here is young Simba with Timon and Pumbaa

Then it was time for a quick break.
It was at this time that these two cuties, who had already eaten cotton candy and sno-cones, absolutely HAD to have popcorn. Not one single popcorn vendor walked around our area for the entire duration of intermission. Sorry kiddos!

The second portion of the show was dedicated in its entirety to Isabella's favorite:

OMG,... it's TINKERBELL!!!
And then as we all know, all good things must come to an end:

While Scott rushed home to relieve my mom, who had kept Sam, so that she could go home, Isabella and I took our guest back to his house. She totally passed out on the way there. He didn't. I think the adrenaline was still rushing through his veins.

Danyelle, thank you so much for sharing your little boy with us. We had such a nice evening and he was an absolute joy. Just so you know we will gladly double date with those two anytime! :0)

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

I'm not beneath a little bribery

OK, so we've been having a bit of a dilemma at the Butler home lately. It would appear that Isabella, you know our four year old that has been potty trained for well over a year, is going through a "phase" of having frequent potty accidents. It usually happens when she is focused on watching TV, playing or doing something so fun that apparently stopping to go to the bathroom is not an option. We know it's not a medical condition because she had some procedures done at the beginning of the year that came back normal. And the thing is when you ask her if she needs to go her response is always the same: "No", but then she has an accident. To say that this infuriates me and Scott is a gross understatement.

Anyway, yesterday I finally hit rock bottom. I was so upset with her for going potty on herself that I told her she was not allowed to watch any TV for the rest of the day and she was not allowed to stay overnight at her grandma's this weekend and that if she kept this up she would have to wear diapers again. She was so distraught over all of this that I thought for sure she'd go and camp out in the bathroom even if she didn't need to go. Right! Well, the joke's on me since she went potty on herself again last night after dinner. WHAT?! She said she didn't want to get up from the toy she was playing with because she didn't want Sam to take it away. Are you kidding me?

Scott had some discussions with her and took away the Leapster and I had some discussions with her and thought for sure I was going insane. So I decided I would Google the issue, like you do, and was shocked to discover that apparently this is just a "phase" that is quite common in the 4 year old age group. I looked at five different websites and all of them basically said the exact same thing:

*It's very common among the 4 year old age group
*It's just a phase and it too will pass
*Whatever you do, do NOT punish or take toys or privileges
*Praise them when they go to the bathroom and set goals and offer rewards

OOPS! Guess I like totally missed the mark on this one!

Listen, I try my hardest to be the best mom I can be to these two wonderful kids. I really do. But I gotta be honest ~ this whole potty training thing has brought out my ugliest side and I have to make a HUGE conscious effort to remain patient and understanding. And if you've been reading this blog you already know this, remember this?

So, I decided to once again readjust my approach and expectations and try the praise, goals and rewards method. Last night I printed out a picture of one of the items on Isabella's Christmas list and made this here little poster:

So there you have it,... seven days accident-free gets her the super fabulous and very coveted Play-Doh Ice Cream Making Kit. They don't have to be seven consecutive days, they just have to be seven whole days.

This is taped to the kitchen cabinet directly over the TV she watches every single morning during breakfast. She responded very favorably to the challenge this morning and cannot wait to move the first star from the right side to its assigned location tonight.

I'm praying this works, cause quite honestly I'm not sure what the next step will be if it doesn't. If any of you have any suggestions or tips that have worked with your children I would love to hear them.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Adorable Artists, Festival Fun & Bubble Bath

I know I'm a bit behind, but I wanted to share some of the highlights of our fun weekend. It all started last Friday when on the spur of the moment I did something I don't normally do (and for good reason),.. I set the kids up with their very own canvas, paint brush and paint and had them go to town. For about 45 minutes they enjoyed being busy little artists and they loved every minute of it. Although initially they had 7 different colors to work with, they managed to turn it into a huge supply of muddy brown paint in no time.

All in all, Isabella was pretty neat about the whole thing. Sam on the other hand, I had to strip him down to nothing and wash him from head to toe in the utility sink in our garage when it was all said and done. They sure did have a great time creating beautiful art. And you know I just love these moments!

On Saturday my Mom, Isabella and I got to enjoy some wonderful girl time. We went to the Germantown Craft Fair in the morning, walked around for hours and looked at tons of beautiful merchandise. Of course Isabella had herself a lovely time what with the face painting, sugar/candy, spin art and riding the 1940's rides I previously blogged about here.

That, my friends, is sugar in a test tube. Lovely!
Oh, and check out her brand new bracelet.
I tend to do a lot more looking than shopping at these events, mostly because I find a lot of the merchandise to be a bit overpriced. However, this time around I left the festival with a beautiful jeweled cross painting on canvas. I spotted them on our way in and loved them so much that I had to find them on our way out. So tell me, what do you think?

Aren't they gorgeous?
I bought the one on the right hand corner. I ♥ it!

Sunday morning we went to church and then came home for lunch. After nap (which I gladly decided to partake in) we went out for some ice cream and then went to the park to play for a while. Being that it was a nice cool cloudy day, letting them run around outside and get nice and tired seemed like a good idea.

So what better way to end such a fun weekend than with a little pampering? For the first time ever Sam and Isabella took a nice long bubble bath in our tub. For them being in Mommy & Daddy's tub was such a BIG deal and they thoroughly enjoyed themselves. Although both of them were in the tub, Isabella was too busy playing to pay me any attention whatsoever so I leave you with pictures of Sam, who laughed so hard when his Daddy blew bubbles his way that he ended up with the hiccups. I posted a preview of his awesome bath experience in yesterday's blog post.

I hope you have a happy Tuesday!

Monday, September 14, 2009

18 Months

It's hard to believe that our sweet boy is 18 months old today. I can't stand it! If anyone out there finds a way to stop or slow down time, please let me know ASAP! Seriously!

We are so incredibly blessed to have such an amazing human being in our lives. He has brought so much joy, so much laughter and so much love into our home.

Today we went to his 18-month checkup. Of course, I was anticipating there would be a shot involved in addition to his annual flu shot. Ugh! Little did I know that apparently I totally skipped over his 15-month checkup, so there were actually 4 shots in total. FOUR! We had a little catching up to do. I thought for sure I was going to pass out right there on the spot. I'm happy to report that thanks to kids' unbelievable resilience he cried a bit, but walked out of the office babbling away and laughing at his funny stories. I wish I could say the same about me. Truth be told, I think I'm still a bit traumatized. And just so you know I've put my "Mother of the Year" acceptance speech on hold for the time being.

He weighed in at a whopping 32 pounds (off the charts), he's 34" long (95th percentile) and I forgot how big his head is, but it's a big one at 95th percentile. He is big and healthy and happy and that's all I could ever ask for.

He is one wild and crazy and active and funny and lovable and affectionate and handsome and wonderful boy!

We love ya, Sammy!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Just because...

... this sequence of pictures is SO him
and it totally cracks me up.

Pictures taken Saturday afternoon in our backyard.

How can anyone look at this and not smile?
Have a happy Wednesday!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Labor Day Weekend

Yes, it's 5:00am and I'm sitting at the computer catching up on the blog, Facebook and e-mail. I wish I could say that I have decided to wake up earlier in order to get more done, but unfortunately that is so NOT the case. I was unexpectedly woken up at 4:00am this morning by a terrible allergy attack, and the worse part is that even though I immediately got up and self-medicated I was unable to fall asleep afterward. So here I am. Sitting at the computer at this ungodly hour. With my box of tissue right next to me. Seriously dreading the day ahead of me.

But moving on to happier things, we did have a wonderfully fun Labor Day weekend. Although it seems like we did a whole lot, Scott and I were able to spend quite a bit of time relaxing and talking and hanging out.


This was crop night, baby! Scott kept the kids and my mom and I went to my LSS and spent 6+ hours there talking and laughing with fabulous women who share our passion for crafting. We made such pretty things ~ my mom of course focused on her jewelry and I worked on some scrapbook pages. Well, I only completed three to be exact, but I'll post some pictures of them soon.

Also, I'm sorting through some ideas about some crafts I can make to sell since we're thinking about possibly signing up for some local craft shows in the next couple of months. I'll keep ya posted!


We all slept in, thank goodness, went to Cracker Barrel for breakfast and then set up the kids' inflatable pool in the backyard. While they played and splashed and giggled and fought, Scott and I sat on the patio and relaxed. It was so nice!

In the evening we went to our friends' house for dinner. Isabella and Hudson got to play for hours. Can I just tell you how much we adore the Tolls? We had such an awesome time!

Batman & Batgirl saving the world with their
super cuteness:


We went to church in the morning immediately followed by lunch and naps and then the biggie: a trip to the Delta Fair with our friends the Wessons. Why is this such a big event, you ask? Well, for starters Scott had never been to the fair. The people watching and yummy/crappy food alone are plenty good reasons to go, in my opinion.

Meet Chris. He is what I consider a fair food connoisseur.
The kids and I had a great time. Scott however believes that experiencing the fair once is good enough and that there really is no reason to go back ever again in the future. I think the children beg to differ:

#1 Loved:

Funnel Cakes! Mmm, yummy!

The rides:

Well,... maybe not this particular ride:
Thanks for being there for her, Hannah!

And the ridiculously underwhelming prizes you got
at the ridiculously overpriced games:

#2 Loved:

Pronto Pups (aka Corn dogs).

And the one and only ride he was able to get on:
Yeah, I don't know if you realize this or not, but those kids rides are some pretty tight quarters. Also, I don't know if you realize this or not, but I'm not exactly what you would consider a petite person. Sam didn't actually meet the height requirements to ride the train all by himself so I had to stuff myself into it with him and Isabella. You know those biscuits that are pressure packed into a tube and when you twist it to open they just kind of explode? Yep, that was me on the train. Not a pretty sight, my friends. So glad you missed it! Anyhoo, this finally leads me to...


So the kids allowed us to sleep in until about 8:45am (yay!) and we just vegged around the house until it was time to go over to my mom's to celebrate my brother's 30th birthday.

Happy Birthday, Chris!

I baked him a yummy chocolate chip cake and my mom made dinner and we ate and talked and laughed for a good while before calling it a night.

So there you have it. Labor Day weekend consisted of lots of fun activities, lots of time spent with friends and family, lots of rest and lots of laughs. And seriously, I couldn't have asked for anything more!

Friday, September 4, 2009

ABC's of Me

My sweet friend Amy over at My Sweet Life tagged me in this fun "getting to know you" game.

Here are the rules:

1. Link to the person who tagged you
2. Share your ABC’s
3. Tag three people at the end by linking to their blogs
4. Let the three tagged people know they have been tagged by leaving a comment on their website
5. Do not tag the same person repeatedly but try to tag different people, so there is a big network of bloggers doing this tag

Available or single? Happily Married
Best Friend? My husband, my mom and a couple of girlies who know who they are.
Cake or Pie? Definitely cake, but it has to be moist
Drink of choice? Regular Coke is my crack (especially from McDonald's) and I am currently desperately trying to detox from it so if you see me shaking, that's why.
Essential item for every day use? My computer
Favorite color? Purple, but I also love red and I'm starting to develop a serious liking for orange
Google? Yes, it is my search engine of choice
Hometown? Humacao, Puerto Rico
Indulgences? Scrapbooking supplies, books and movies
January or February? Neither one really does much for me.
Kids and their names? Isabella & Sam
Life is incomplete without…? Faith in God, family, friends and lots of laughter
Marriage date? 02/02/02 He picked it,... smart guy, isn't he? He hasn't forgotten once!
Number of siblings? One older brother and one younger brother
Oranges or apples? Oranges
Phobias and fears? Losing a family member, going to the dentist, snakes and spiders
Quote for the day: "Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind" by Dr. Seuss. Love it!
Reason to smile?: Hugs & kisses from my family and the sound of my kids' laughter (especially if they're together)
Season?: Fall ~ I love the colors and the cooler weather, followed closely by Spring
Tag three people:

(1) Michelle over @ Creative Journey
(2) Jennifer over @ Half Full Martini
(3) Jessica over @ Cherished Emotions

And anyone else who would like to play along.

Unknown fact about me? Hi, my name is Liz and I'm a reality TV junkie. It's not something I'm particularly proud of, but it's true.
Vegetable you hate? Lima Beans ~ N.A.S.T.Y!
Worst habit? Snapping my gum,... terrible, I know!
X-rays you’ve had? Chest and ankle
Your fave food? Rice and beans a la Puerto Rican style and steak
Zodiac sign? Gemini

Okay, so there you have it. Please make sure to let me know if you play along. I'd love to learn a little bit about you too.

Thursday, September 3, 2009


Yep, I've gotta admit today was a bit bittersweet for me. My baby girl started her 4 Year Old Preschool today. And it's not like I wasn't aware this day was coming, it's just that in times like these I can't help but wonder when exactly it was that she got so big.

She was beyond thrilled this morning. The Fours are the oldest kids in the program and they get to take real lunchboxes to school, which is a really big deal since none of the other age groups get to do it.

As you can see she picked an Ariel lunchbox.

Here she is striking a pose for her momma.
We got to school early enough to take some more pictures while we waited for them to open their doors. Isabella and Sam were quite affectionate towards each other, which of course melted my heart.
As soon as they opened the doors, we walked to her new classroom where Isabella found her name and immediately got situated. Sam absolutely loved that the chairs were just his size, so he decided to sit next to Isabella and start working on some kid's morning craft. I was of course too busy taking pictures to notice so one of the teachers had to rectify the situation. Oops!
Anyway, so we drop her off and then Sam and I head out to run some errands. OK, so can you say Happy Boy? It was almost as if he knew it was just the two of us for the next however many hours and that made him so happy.
One of my favorite moments of the day was when Sam and I went to pick Isabella up at school in the afternoon. Sam and Isabella were so excited to see each other and for about 20 minutes they talked and laughed and giggled and hugged. It was heaven! I won't get into what happened after those 20 minutes, but just know that for those 20 minutes all was well in our little world.