Saturday, December 6, 2008

Poor Mr. Grinch

I bet he never expected to be dressed in a pink doll onesie complete with velcro diaper.

Oh, and he needed to be changed several times.

Oh, and he got entertained with rattles and such,

and rocked to sleep...

Friday, December 5, 2008


Julie's brother Ryan and his wife Jenna, decided last minute to join us NC folk for Turkey Day and boy were we glad. Things would have gotten rather dull without them.

Much to the disapointment (and that's putting it lightly) to all the male members of the family, we rented a cheerleading game to play on my sister's Wii after we ate. Haylee was probably the most enthusiastic about it even though we all enjoyed playing it...very reminicent of DDR...

Cambree found other ways to keep herself occupied while everyone else played the Wii...

Can you say cheese? I mean seriously folks, CHEESE! This has become her trademark grin.

Thanksgiving sugar cookie decorating...per BJ's request.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not too late!

So I just realized that I haven't posted Halloween pictures yet. That could be because I was so mad at myself for somehow misplacing all the pictures we took on Halloween night or it could be because I just forgot, your choice. These ones from our Trunk-or-Treat are pretty cute though too!

Monday, October 20, 2008

A Not so Haunted House

My family has always done gingerbread houses around Christmas time so I had this great idea to make a Halloween house (not a scary haunted house, c'mon, Haylee's only 3 years old) with Haylee. All the prep work took a little longer than I anticipated so Haylee only got to do a little bit of the decorating before bed and I felt bad doing the rest without her but it was one of those nights when we both needed her to go to bed and I really needed to finish asap before my royal icing turned into royal cement...

It was worth it though. I was rewarded in the morning with plenty of oohs and ahhs and wows and "thanks for making this house for me mom!" oh, and several "can I eat it nows?" thrown here and there too.

It took more time than I planned but it really was a lot of fun. I recommend this project to anyone, with or without kids.

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Tactile Snacking

What better way to teach your kids to enjoy different tactile experiences than to finger paint with chocolate pudding? You can tell which one was a little more into the experience than the other! I love these pictures because they show how vastly different these 2 girls' personalities are...

Haylee likes to take her time with new things until she's more sure of herself and only then she will let loose - a little. She also likes to have everything clean; she really couldn't believe I was encouraging her to do this. Also I think she went and washed her hands 5 times during our 20 minute finger painting experience.

Cambree, on the other hand (someone else's other hand) knew immediately the purpose of this experience was to allow her to figure out how much of this gooey sweet stuff she could consume in the shortest amount of time and if, along the way, she happened to make some sort of design on her tray, well that was just an added benefit. She ended up needing a "refill" from the paint pot about as often as Haylee washed her hands!

Monday, September 22, 2008

Chicken Like You've Never Known it Before

This recipe is also from Bon Appetit. It is so different from all the flavors and spices that I am used to but it was delicious! This is mostly due to the smoked paprika that is in it which was the only ingredient I don't normally buy...I learned it is considered a "gourmet spice" but it was worth the extra effort it took to find - please don't cheat yourself and just use regular paprika because you will not get the same flavor.

This dish was also so beautiful that I can imagine myself serving it at a dinner party someday...that is, someday when I start hosting dinner parties.


Ok, so everyone knows I like to cook. But here's the thing, I mostly start out with a recipe and try to follow it best I can. I often make tweaks and changes here and there, mostly to scale down, make things more affordable, and satisfy my need to make every meal my own.

I've tried 2 recipes lately that all (including the girls) of us have really enjoyed. This first one is from Bon Appetit and it's a beautiful summer pasta dish. It has goat cheese in it (my new favorite expensive ingredient). Yes, it's a little more pricey, and no, it's not good, old, comfortable cheddar, but it is surprisingly mild and delicious!! I did make a lot of changes on this one though, because I was determined to use what I had on hand. I won't bore you with my changes here so if you are interested, let me know and I will pass them on or feel free to try the recipe as originally written as I plan to do soon considering how much I loved my version. Who knows, maybe the original is even better!

Here's the link:


Friday, September 12, 2008

Comic Relief

So Haylee has this doll that pees in a mini potty when you feed her water from her bottle. I'm sure you've all heard of these dolls. (C'mon, don't you remember those pink Mattel commercials when you were young? These things have been around for a while.) From day 1, I (Julie) wanted this cute little doll to remain a cute, dry, little doll but someone, and I don't even remember who, showed Haylee how to "feed" her baby. So now she does it all the time. She even takes her in the bath tub on occasion but I never thought it'd be a big deal because if water got in, she'd just pee it out into her little potty, right?


This little doll, Haylee named her "Big Baby" has been sitting on her potty for 2 weeks straight, right on the ledge overlooking our dinner table. No pee. We tried adjusting her legs, arms, posture but still no pee. The other day as BJ and I were enjoying a leisurely evening of watching TV, I finally got fed up with it and asked BJ to drain her out by pulling off her legs. To my surprise, I turn from Everyday Italian to see him giving Big Baby mouth to mouth! (I guess he was tired of having all kinds of training and never getting to use it.) Giada forgotten, I fall on the floor laughing. I mean, seriously folks, just try to picture it!

Here's the thing worked! Well, kind of. As he blew air into Big Baby's mouth, water started dripping from a little hole between her legs! Yeah!!! But then it stopped working. Don't worry, he tried reverse CPR too and no pee. Her arms and legs, we learned, are impossible to remove without a machete (anyone have one we can borrow?) and there is still a puddle of water sitting inside her. We'd like to keep Big Baby around since, well, aside from being a cute doll, our whole family has sort of grown a bit closer to her lately. I'm thinking the only way to drain her is to drill holes in her mini behind.

If you or anyone you know has experience with this kind of thing or you think you might have a creative solution to our little problem, please pass it on.

Thursday, August 28, 2008


Today, or maybe it was yesterday either way it doesn't matter, I got really creative and served Haylee chicken nuggets for lunch (don't worry though, they were the fat free, trans fat free, cholesterol free, 100% organic, whole wheat ones...yeah right!) Anyway, they were a bit hot when I gave them to her. A minute later, she had her hands held just over them, nice and still. When I asked her what she was doing, she answered that her "chicken nuggets would cool off faster in the shade, right?"

The Big 1!

A bit late, yes, but I am still going to report on Cambree's first birthday. Mostly with pictures though so don't get too excited about another long narrative from yours truly. :)

We just had my sister Mindy and her family over as they are both of our girls' favorite playmates anyway and it was a fun little party. Presents (unwrapped by everyone but the Birthday Girl), cake (and a cute one at that if I do say so myself), ice cream, lots of slobber and more than one messy face. That pretty much sums it up!

Oh, so about the cake...I was trying to think of something meaningful and the best thing I could come up with was a bee. Why, because Bree (the bee) is so incredibly busy! She works overtime at what she does, that's how busy she is. And another note, the credit for the message on the cake goes to Alvin, not either or us. It was a potential name for our blog back when we first started it, thanks Alvin!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Vacation at the Beach

Marianne and our niece Sami came out to visit us here in NC last week (yeah, visitors!) and the highlight was our 4 day trip to Myrtle Beach. The girls had so much fun getting extra attention (wait, who am I kidding, BJ and I did too!) and relaxing at the beach, well relaxing as much as you can while trying to convince your almost-one-year-old to leave some sand for the shells!

One thing that made this beach trip a little different was the fact that our hotel had a pool and a lazy river and "SC's only swim-up bar!" (I tried to convince BJ to swim up and get a drink with me at the bar but to no avail.) We spent many a conversation trying to convince the girls to come hang out at the beach instead of the pool but they preferred the pools. Lucky for us, the 2 were so close we were able to set up "camp" at each and go back and forth during the day.

This was our first night at the beach and no, she is not sleeping, this shot was mid flip... I think it was around 11pm and she was rolling and flipping and jumping all over her dad, giggling the whole time...

We buried Sami and turned her into a mermaid!

Sami broke her thumb a week or so before they came out but luckily, she had this waterproof vacuum cast cover thing, a bit cumbersome and a pain to get on but it allowed her to play in the water!

Unfortunately, this picture isn't close enough for you to tell how covered her face was in animal cracker slime which acted as an excellent paste for the sand...

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Midweek Report

So BJ is at scout camp this week and we are surviving at home without him, although Haylee seems to miss him a bit...

I didn't think I'd hear from him till Saturday but he surprised me and called to check in tonight.

His report? He's having more fun than he thought, the boys think he stinks, they fed him baked beans (maybe I should change the order of those), and he got sunburned. Why did you get sunburned? (I asked, when I made a point of sending him with plenty of sunscreen) His answer? Because he couldn't get any of the boys to apply the sunscreen to his back!

Please note: Neither of the above pictures is actually BJ.


Can you say "chubby bunny?"

She thought, no, she knew she was so funny!

Wednesday, June 25, 2008

Dr. Beege visits a retirement community

This month brought me to Glenaire, a retirement community that has 3 levels of service, independent, assisted living and skilled nursing (nursing home). Since I always thought I would like long-term care I was looking forward to some experience in the field. I wasn't expecting an experience like this though...

Our "office" which I will be reffering to as our closet (because that is what it was before it became the clinical pharmacy) is very small. In it fits Dr. Peoples, my preceptor, and two other students, Keri and Crystal. The closet is located at the end of one of the skilled nursing halls. One day I came back to my office to find one of the residents seated in my chair. This resident has dementia and is usually not all there if you know what I mean. So I decided to go get a coke and hopefully she would be gone by the time I got back.

Upon my return she was still there chattin' it up with Crystal, Keri, Dr. Peoples and two nurses. They were all trying to convince her that she needed to go back to the lounge. So when I showed up they used the excuse, "BJ needs his chair." This actually worked, however, as she was on her way out of the closet the nurse asked her, "Do you know what BJ stands for?" I was bracing for the worst as this isn't the best question to ask some people but her reply made us all roll with laughter. She looked at the nurse with contempt at having been asked such a silly question and replied, "It stands for Bull S*@%!" Needless to say that story made it around the whole facility and has become the theme of the month for us. Dr. Peoples and the other students like to come up with other things that BJ could stand for such as, Big Stinker (where they got that one I don't know) and other such nonsense. This makes for a fun game during our down time (not that we have down time).

Despite the unusual meanings that have been suggested for BJ, I have really enjoyed working in this long-term care facility and think I might look into this as a career. Old people are on a lot of meds and it provides many opportunities to teach them about their meds as well as suggest changes that can greatly improve their lives. 2 down seven more to go.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Sweaty Biker Girl

Fathers' Day vs. Christmas?

So the day before Fathers' Day while BJ was at work, Haylee and I put together some gifts for him. Nothing too big, just some basic essentials that he's been needing for a while now (brown dress socks, a couple packs of Koolaid, a new Star Wars key chain) oh and we also put together a little book. It has pictures of just Haylee and BJ starting from when Haylee was born up to now with a "story" to go with it, nothing too crafty or time-consuming but it turned out to be pretty cute. So we had a grand old time wrapping them up (especially considering the fact that I couldn't find any scotch tape so we used glue sticks for our adhesive) and she was pretty excited about it. More so than I realized...

That night, Fathers' Day Eve, she came into our room around 2am and whispered in BJ's face, "Daddy, we got presents!" It proceeded to happen a couple more times through the course of the night. She said the same thing as soon as we woke up in the morning but this time she started naming them off...

Isn't Christmas Eve supposed to be the night that everyone is so excited they can't sleep?

Friday, June 13, 2008

Starting Early

Yes, we like to start teaching our kids early about the finer things in life. Bree, for example, loves watching quality entertainment like Emeril Live. I often give her the option between Baby Einstein or The Food Network...Food Network wins every time and I can't say I blame her!

Monday, June 2, 2008

The Gift of Tongues

Yesterday at nursery, Haylee learned about the 5 senses. She told us what each body part was (or wasn't) for, ie. your eyes are not for smelling, your hands are for reaching (although most of us usually think of touching we were ok with reaching) but our favorite was her tongue. In answer to our question "what does you tongue help you do?" Haylee answered, "it helps you get things out of your teeth!"

Thursday, May 29, 2008

1 Down 8 to Go!

So I do have tomorrow but I figure now is as good a time to celebrate as any. Tomorrow is my last day of my first rotation. I finished the didactic portion of pharmacy school last month (no more lectures and tests!). Now I have 9 (8 after tomorrow), 1 month rotations. I get to pretend to be a pharmacist under the supervision of another pharmacist while still paying tuition. Each rotation has a different emphasis and some will be more challenging than others. All of them are in the area, about half in Durham and half in Cary/Morrisville.

This month I have been at Almac Clinical Services. They package and ship drug and other supplies for clinical trials. It has been a very laid-back month. There is not a whole lot I am able to do other than watch and learn. I did give a short presentation to some of the employees here on the "ins and outs of a protocol" and put together a pharmacy manual for one study. It has made for some boring days but allows me a few weeks to take a breather from the rigors of studying for tests before I start a more difficult rotation next week.

Next week I start my geriatrics rotation at a continuing care retirement center that is only 1 mile from our house. I am so excited to have commute that is less than 30 minutes. This is the closest I have lived to my "work" since I worked on-campus at BYU. It should prove to be a little more demanding than this month as I will be assigned patients to follow and give at least 1 presentation. As some of you know older folks are on a lot of medications and provide plenty of opportunities for pharmacists to make changes to their pharmacy regimens that could improve their quality of life. I just hope it doesn't smell like a rest home.

I have the month of July off and then I will be back in Durham at a compounding pharmacy for August. In September I will be at the same company I was at last summer doing drug information. October is free. November I will be at a hospital doing a medication safety rotation. December is free as well. In January I will be at a specialty pharmacy that accepts physician referred patients on more than 10 meds. In February I will be at a Duke outpatient clinic taking care of diabetes, coumadin and cholesterol patients. For March and February I will be back at the same hospital I will be at in November working with the internal medicine team. If all goes well I will graduate on Mother's day 2009!

The light at the tunnel is getting brighter now the only problem is trying to decide what I want to do once my 10 year college career is over. Any suggestions?

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

A Welcome to Summer

Can I just mention again how lucky I feel to have some family nearby? We went to Emerald Pointe, a water park sort of near us here in NC, with the Saari family (Julie's sister) for Memorial Day and it was a blast! BJ and I were a bit nervous at first because Haylee didn't want to do anything and it was a bit chilly (not cold, just not screaming hot) but we all warmed up and had so much fun! Haylee was so brave and went on a couple very small water slides but her favorite part by far (as she keeps reminding us) was the octopus that had swings on it (in a pool). (Every prayer she has said since we got back she has been thankful for swimming and the octopus!) Bree had a ball just splashing in the water, oh and trying to climb out of the tube in the lazy river. BJ and Jason went off on their own to do some male-bonding on the biggest rides and thoroughly enjoyed themselves.

Mindy and I took our turn going on some of the "must be over 45 inches tall" rides and to sum up our experience, I shall use the word "thrilling." Let's just say we were a bit shocked that all these kids were going on the rides we were without batting an eyelash while we were so nervous that we were shaking the entire time! I felt so old and loser-esque! But trust me, I had reason to be afraid...the story why deserves its own paragraph...

About 1/3 of the way down one of the tube rides, the current from the water started pushing me equally from all directions so that I just stalled! I was stuck! I watched as rider after rider passed by me, wondering what I was doing there I'm sure. After trying to push off the side of the slide without luck, I frantically started trying to grab the handles on everyone else's tubes, despite the dirty looks I received from many of them, but it was no use! Finally, I just started yelling "Help me!" to everyone and they all just slid by me with an "oh, sorry!" and a sympathetic shoulder shrug. I thought about getting out of my tube but as I pictured myself getting swept up in the current and making the newspaper headlines the next day and knowing how I look in a swimsuit, I dismissed that option immediately. Eventually, my head started swimming with all kinds of thoughts, should I start screaming? would I be here all day? how did this happen? am I just too heavy? am I sitting in this thing the wrong way? maybe I should tell someone this ride is unsafe, that is, if I ever get off this thing? what was the last thing I said to my girls? will BJ be ok without me? should I start praying about this?...eventually, my runaway thoughts were rescued by an unsuspecting teenager who got wedged with me and I pushed off his tube with more energy than I thought I had, sending myself down the remaining 2/3 of the slide. The funniest part was Mindy, just sitting down at the bottom waiting for me. She overheard some guy, "Dude, did you see the lady that got stuck?" It took her a minute to realize that "lady" was me!


Today I was eating a piece of toast by myself for breakfast while Haylee threw a mini fit because I wouldn't let her eat princess fruit snacks for breakfast (because they're not healthy and you're supposed to have something healthy for that first meal, right?). After a couple minutes, she came in, curious what I was eating that was so's how the conversation went:

Haylee: Is that chocolate bread?
Me: No
Haylee: Is that dang-it bread?
Me: No, it's just regular bread.

I'm a bit worried of 2 things. First, does she really think there is such a thing as "dang-it" bread? And second, where on earth did she learn that cheerful phrase?

Sunday, May 18, 2008

A Glimpse

I am constantly amazed with babies and how their brains work. This week we got to see a glimpse into Cambree's little mind. We've been doing some very simple sign language with her and didn't expect to see her respond for a while but as I was feeding her lunch the other day, she looked at me and signed "more" and then paused and made the sign for "food." I was so surprised! What a wonderful thing to be able to communicate with your baby. It seems she has entered an entire new level of babyhood and we as parents have said more than once this week that favorite line of all parents..."our baby's growing up too fast!"

Saturday, May 3, 2008

Greensboro Marathon...he/we made it!!!

Yeah BJ!!! We were so proud to see him cross the finish line! A little bloody, a bit chafed, and the saltiest I've ever seen him after a marathon but he looked great! My (Julie's) sister Mindy and daughter Jaina joined us for the day and we were all so glad. Haylee had a friend and I didn't get lost on my own! Actually, aside from a 2 or 3 turnarounds, we didn't have any problems at all (Mindy and I have a bit of a history of getting lost together...) This was light years ahead of the horrible disaster we experienced at the Richmond Marathon a while back. I'd come back to Greensboro anytime...not sure about BJ though, I guess there was a couple tini tiny hills on the course but hey, who wants to run a flat marathon???

The finish line was not very crowded at all and I had the absolute best spot to take a picture of BJ (from the front) as he was about to cross the finish line. But Bree, in the stroller behind me was just so cute that I had to take a quick break from watching the runners to tickle her toes. The moment I looked up he was there and it caught me off guard! Someday I will get that perfect finish line picture!!!

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Hiding Spot

Here is our little Cambree in her favorite hiding place under the couch.

Birthday Girl

Of all the pictures we took on Haylee's birthday, this is my favorite. After bidding farewell to her beloved cousins, she stayed out on the porch and played in the rain by herself for almost an hour. I went out to check on her one time to find her sitting down, swinging her legs and singing "Happy Birthday to me...." over and over and over. She was soaked so I let her take a bath.
The next day we got caught in the rain while walking into Target. She complained over and over about how she "didn't like this rain drops" and "I'm all so wet!" and "I need to go home and take a bath tub".

Take 2

Take 2, yes. I already tried this once. When I tried to add a picture and it took me 3 hours to figure it out and then it was so HUGE it was obnoxious and I deleted the whole thing. (I didn't think I was that computer incompetent!) Now I'd like to start over. There are too many people with blogs with whom I'd like to keep in contact and I hear it's much easier to keep track of people and updates and such if you have your own. So here you go. I'm more excited this time too so hopefully that will help things along. Any tips on the art of blogging are welcome!

PS, My motivation for this has been very much encouraged by my good friend Tassi. So thanks Tassi, if this is successful, I owe it all to you!