Sunday, May 31, 2009

Two Years Old

Dear Clay,

You are two years old now and I wanted to write you a special letter so that someday you and I will remember all the fun things you did as a new two-year-old. You have such a vibrant personality and your daddy, Carolina and I love you so very much. Here are some of the things we love about you right now:

We love your big brother heart. You have been so kind and sweet to Carolina from the day she was born. You call her "Cina" (sounds like a shortened Carolina) or "sister". You love to help her and give her kisses. You bring her a toy when she cries and you sit in the playroom and play together a lot. You are helpful when Mommy asks you to bring her something for Carolina (a burp cloth or a pacifier) and you say, "I the helper".

Lately you have been sticking your fingers in Carolina's mouth and telling us, "She's eating." We can only guess that you have noticed her sticking her own fingers in her mouth and wanted to give her a little variety!

You are doing so well in your big boy (toddler) bed. Mommy and Daddy got really tired (literally) of you climbing out of your crib. You would walk out into the hallway and meet Mommy after she had put you to bed. You were very excited when we brought the new bed home and set it up.

You crawl in your bed a lot, even when it's not nap time. Every day during nap time and bedtime you play in your room. We have tried lots of different things to try and get you to stop but you are very determined. Every single day you end up back in your bed with the covers pulled up and asleep. Even though you play and make A LOT of noise in your room, you always fall asleep in your bed at some point.

One of your other bedtime tricks is climbing in the window. Mommy and Daddy tell you this is very dangerous but you do it most days anyway. We are always having to pull you out of the window and put you back in your bed.

Daddy and I have a surefire way of knowing when you are in your bed for good and ready to try and go to sleep. You turn yourself upside down and put your feet under your pillow. We turn you around every time but this is the way we find you every nap time and every night.

You are and always have been a great eater. You love seafood, steak, Italian food, Mexican food and pretty much anything else. One of your recent favorites is egg drop soup. You got very frustrated with Daddy when he tried to take your soup bowl away at a Chinese restaurant.

You also have definitely inherited a family love for sweets. You will eat treats any time of day and you LOVE ice cream. We take you to the Dairy Queen playground and you bathe yourself in a chocolate ice cream cone. You love it and we do, too.

Whenever you are hungry you will tell us, "I hungin. I eat dinner." You will tell us what you want- nuggets, chicken, tacos or whatever else it is. When you get hungry, though, nothing will distract you until you eat.

You love your juice and you call most drinks juice. You call chocolate milk "chocolate juice" and you threw a fit in the car the other day telling us you wanted "Pepper Juice" (even though the only way you ever have Dr. Pepper is when you sneak it!).

We love the curiosity that we see in your eyes. You are constantly inspecting things and you are very determined. When you are focused on something, you don't like to move away from it. We often find you in the middle of a process and we just sit back and watch.

One day in particular you saw a donut box at the back of the stove. We watched as you tried to reach for it, decided you weren't tall enough and went to get your step stool. After you figured out your step stool wasn't tall enough, you turned it upside down to see if that would make it taller. After watching your unsuccessful attempts, Daddy came and got you the donuts (you earned it!).

One night as Daddy and I fixed dinner we heard you at the front door. You said, "I go to work." Sure enough, you had your car packed with a movie and you were sitting in it by the door. By the way, where do you work again?

Your big love right now is automobiles and motorcycles. You point them out where ever we are. You have numerous Tonka trucks, police cars and other things to push around the house. Your favorite toy for almost a year now is still your lion. You push him all over and we find him in many parking spaces all over the house (my closet, the bathroom, etc.).

You can spot a "peace" (police) car, ambulance, truck, fire truck or tractor anywhere on the road. When we talk about Daddy at work, you tell me "Daddy has peace car". Often times you spot the vehicles on the road and shout about them and Daddy and I have to really search to find them. You have a great eye for finding things and when you do you say, "I found it! I found the ____!".

Lately, there has been a giant inflated gorilla standing on one of the buildings on the highway we always drive. You picked him out one day and you talk about him all the time. He wears yellow polka dot shorts and you always tell us "Ga wears clothes. Ga says hold you." I asked you if you wanted to give him a hug and you very emphatically told me "No!". You get upset and cry in the car when we have to go home and drive away from the gorilla.

Your vocabulary has grown so much over the last couple of months. Even though you started off slowly, you talk in complete sentences now. Daddy and I are always impressed with the things that you tell us. You have gone from calling us Mama and Dada to Mike and Brinney to the most recent Mommy and Daddy (said with strong emphasis on the "y"). You also call Daddy "Muckle" ever since we got back from San Antonio (where everyone calls Daddy "Michael").

Your sentences are anywhere from a couple of words to many, many words. You tell us things like, "Don't want that?" when you think we may not want something and "I had fun with the kids at the gym." We were shocked at how fast you went from barely talking to speaking clearly enough for total strangers to understand you and hold a conversation with you. You talk a lot and you repeat yourself over and over until we repeat back to you whatever it is that you said. If we don't get it right, you keep repeating.

Unfortunately for you, your speaking abilities give away your mischief sometimes now. I left Carolina in your room the other day playing with a toy on the floor. When I came back, she was lying on her back with her head on a pillow. You told me, "I push her night-night." Hmm. When you do something to her that you are not supposed to (roll cars over her head, climb in her Exersaucer with her) and she starts crying you tell me, "I go time out?" Yes, you do.

You are still pretty shy when it comes to new people (unless they are talking to your sister). Most of the time you give them a blank look and pretend like you can't hear them or hide your face when they talk to you. You have some favorites but otherwise you don't really talk to strangers.

You are very sneaky when it comes to food. If we leave a food or drink lying around, you are sure to grab it. You often go to the pantry and ask for a "stack".

You are a VERY active little boy. You love to be outside and running and jumping. We take you special places several times a week so that you can get your energy out and you love it. You get so excited when we say that we are going to play with the kids.

One of your big loves is cleaning. You can be found with a rag in your hand and a spray bottle much of the time. You clean the windows, the tables, your car, the walls and anything else you think needs cleaning. Once as I was vacuuming the living room, I realized you had turned the little vac on and were cleaning Carolina's car seat- atta boy!

Clay, you are such a special boy. We love watching you grow, learn and laugh. You make us
so grateful to be chosen for your parents. You are a blessing to us (and many others) and we pray that you continue to be a happy, loving little boy with such a sense of curiosity and wonder.

Your Mama

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Something To Try

I debated whether to post about this or not because I never want people to feel like they're coming to blog and being bombarded by ads or being sold something. That being said, I always love to find something on someone's blog that is useful to me (i.e. I can make it, buy it, save money with it or make money from it).

I wanted to post about this site because I have been using it for a couple of months now and I have made money using it and it's really easy. It's a site called YouData and here's how it works (I'm going to make this as brief as possible):

1) You sign up on their site using this referral:
(you don't have to give your address, just your email and phone number so they can limit it to one account per person)

2) You fill out how ever many surveys you want to fill out about yourself (the more you fill out, the more ads they show you and the more money you make)

3)You provide them with your Paypal info so they can put money in your account to pay you for watching ads

4) You log into their site periodically, watch ads and get paid.

Here's some of the questions I had when I joined:

1) Are they going to take my Paypal account and hack into it and rip me off? No. I've been doing it for several months now and they have only deposited money into my account. I check it frequently to see if anything fraudulent is happening and I have had no problems so far.

2) How long does it take to watch/see the ads? You log into their website and the ads are in a box. The way you earn money is by clicking on the ad (which takes you to the ad sponsors' website). Once you are on the website, you can close the window and you are done. It takes seconds.

3) Are there always ads available? No. I have maybe 5 ads about 1-2 times a week. Since the ads are specifically geared at your interests, there are not always ads available.

4) Can I spend the money out of my Paypal account on online purchases? Yes. I was SO excited when I bought Carolina some bows on Etsy and the money came from my YouData earnings. Your money is in your Paypal account to spend any place that takes Paypal (Amazon, Ebay, Etsy, etc.).

5) How much money are we talking? Not a lot. Each ad only pays 5-10 cents. Here are some of my earnings each week: $.50, $2.88, $.72, $1.22, $.60. It's definitely not a lot but it does add up and pay for some cute accessories for my girl and that is great for this small budget mama.

I won't be hosting any ads on my site (some people do and make money doing it) but if you use me as a referral I do make a small amount ($1.00 after you get paid for 100 ads). If you use any of the links provided above, it should show me as a referral. Once you sign up, you can also get referrals and make money, too.

Like I said, I don't want people who come to my blog to feel like they're being sold something, but I love to share what's working for me. I
really hope someone finds this useful (let me know if you try it)!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

This Little Light of Mine

One of my constant prayers for our children is that they be lights in this world. I pray that they will be the kind of people that everyone wants to be around because they are such happy, joyful people. While Clay is definitely a happy child (and lights up my world every day), I don't think I have ever seen a child as happy as Carolina.

This girl is happy from sun up to sundown. She is always happy to see everybody (okay, sometimes not the church nursery people) but mostly, everybody. Her smile is SO contagious and she flashes it all the time.

A lot of times when I am walking around with her on my hip, I love to sneak a look over at her and catch her grinning at me. She smiles so big whenever I walk into a room (a mom can NEVER get enough of that!).

Carolina had her check up last week and her stats were 18 lbs. 9 oz. and 26 3/4 inches at 7 months. She has the sweetest little chubby legs (adorable in a dress) and just a hint of a belly. The doctor said she was right on target with her skills and growing.

She is sitting up like a champ and FINALLY rolling over consistently. She was a very stubborn girl when it came to rolling over. She would do it very sporadically (enough to where we knew she could do it), she just chose not to.

I was so worried that her stubbornness in rolling over would make her trunk weak and she wouldn't be able to sit up but she is a great sitter.

Just yesterday, someone commented on what a talker she is. This girl has something to say about everything. The day she was born, the nurses told me she would be a talker and they have been right so far. She is still SO noisy when she eats, sleeps and plays.

Our Carolina is doing slightly better on eating vegetables. I am very determined that her lack of love for vegetables will NOT be due to my lack of trying. We throw several jars of vegetables out every week (we try them every other day) but it's getting better.

Her little two bottom teeth have been showing in the gums for a couple of weeks. Just yesterday the one on the left starting peeking through. We hope to see it come all the way through in the next couple of days. Gone are the toothless grins I love so much!

Carolina is totally in love with her brother. He was making her laugh so hard last night and Mike and I were cracking up. He's still not old enough to entertain her for too long (he has his own things to do, you know?) but when he does play with her she loves it. He comes up to her all the time and kisses her hand, her head or or face. He also has a little habit of pushing her over which doesn't go over too well. She loves, loves, loves him but she has definitely learned to watch out for him.

Carolina has been the sweetest addition to our family. We love having an adorable little girl. We look forward to seeing (and pray for) the little lady she will become but for now...

...we're going to enjoy every moment of having a precious baby girl to rock and cuddle.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Mother's Day

This was my first Mother's Day as a mother of two babies and it was really sweet. Even though it's a special day for all mothers, I will always remember my first Mother's Day being extra special since it's the day we brought our Clay home from the hospital.

This year I got up to breakfast tacos, flowers and balloons provided by Mike's dad (Papa). What a fun surprise! The kids and I were able to visit with Mike's parents in the morning (Mike was at work) until it was time to meet up for lunch.

We met at Saltgrass and had a really nice lunch. The kids got me three silver serving pieces that I had been wanting.
I LOVE getting practical gifts and I love these pieces. We first got several pieces for our wedding and I use them A LOT. I use them to bake, boil or chill and then I can put them on the table to serve the food as well (minimal clean up!). I was SO excited to get more bowls and platters!

I also got some money to put toward a sewing machine as a sweet birthday/Mother's Day present from Mike's parents. I really want one and Mike had also given me some money for a sewing machine but I have NO idea what kind of machine to get (so if you have any ideas...).

After lunch, Mike's parents left, the kids took their naps and I had a nice afternoon relaxing. With three birthday celebrations (my dad's, mine & Clay's), Mother's Day and company two weekends in a row, we were a little tired. We had a GREAT time with all of our celebrations and company but whew! what a couple of weeks it was! After a late dinner, the Skloss house ALL slept like babies!

I had such a wonderful Mother's Day and I thank God that I get the privilege of being the mother of these two little blessings.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Turning Two

A funny thing happened at our house this week: Mike and I put to bed a one year-old (and I cried) and we woke up in the morning to a two year-old. They grow up so fast!

Clay's last night to be one

We went into his room Saturday morning singing, "Happy Birthday".

He was so embarrassed!

Clay got to be the first recipient of the "Birthday Bucket". The "Birthday Bucket" is a fun tradition that I hope to start in our family where it's the first set of presents you get when you wake up on your birthday morning. Who doesn't love waking up to presents?? The writing on the buckets says, "I wish every day was cake and presents."

Clay's Birthday Bucket had a cool monkey book, monkey pajamas, a set of transportation blocks that make fun sounds when you match up the right vehicles and a big boy birthday shirt with a "2" and "Clay" on it.

Clay's next surprise was one Mike and I were very excited about. We had been planning on his "big" birthday gift since last year and we wanted to get him something he would love. We were down to two different things and ultimately it came down to these "treens".

Clay will play with them endlessly at Toys R Us and he got a small set for Easter that he plays with all the time (and sleeps with the engines). We knew we couldn't go wrong with a Thomas set and Clay was so excited! He played trains every chance he got all day.

"Happy Birthday"- Take Two

For lunch we went to a local diner that we go to a lot. It's a low-key kind of place but they still sing "Happy Birthday"....

"Happy Birthday"- Take Three

Clay's after nap surprise was a set of wheels. His new "truck" was very exciting to him. Nana, Papa and Daddy took him outside for a long time in the afternoon driving around and rolling down hills and he had the best time!

Our next adventure was Rainforest Cafe. Clay loves to go there so we knew he would love it on his birthday.

"Happy Birthday"-Take Four

He got new sunglasses and the first thing he did was put them on his head (like Daddy).

This was Clay's very special "tractor cake". He has been into tractors ever since Christmas and he points them out any time we're anywhere (driving down the road, in the toy store, on television). I saw this cake online and knew I had to try out my cake decorating skills. Four hours later, this little cake was born. I kind of like it and Clay LOVED it! He drove the tractor right through the whole scene.

"Happy Birthday"- Take Five

All those "Happy Birthday's" wear a two year-old out!

Clay had such a wonderful day and we were so thrilled to be able to celebrate him on his 2nd birthday. He is such a joy to us and we absolutely adore our little man.

Happy Birthday Clay Morgan!