Monday, January 31, 2011

Me? Beautiful?

I probably should have gone to bed instead of starting this post but I had two link up posts that I wanted to do tomorrow so when I saw that Jen's post was already up tonight, I decided to take advantage of it. :)

Jen gave us one challenge---but that challenge was harder than many others combined for me.
Here is the challenge, copied from her blog:

We as women are bombarded with images of what perfection should look like. And, if you're anything like me, it doesn't appear when looking in the mirror.
I spent a good ten minutes staring in the mirror, trying to look past all the flaws and imperfections and issues I wrestle with every day. I wanted to really SEE myself. It took me close to five minutes to decide on one facial feature that I consider quite beautiful.

Straight after a shower or after you've washed your face, take some time to really look at that woman in the mirror. What do you see that's beautiful? Ignore or re-evaluate those things that have always bugged or challenged you. What is your singular, personal element of beauty? Is it skin, ears, hair? Is it wisdom or humor or understanding in your eyes? We all have one thing that not only makes us individuals. That one thing makes us beautiful. What is yours and why?

It took me a while but I actually came up with two physical and one personality trait.
So let's get started with the physical one.

I chose my hair. I know that may seem silly but my hair is always something I've depended on. In the past 5 years, I've weighed 100 pounds and I've weighed 200 pounds...quite literally. Weight, and moreso a fat, double chin, has been something I've struggled with my whole life. But God blessed me with a special ability to do hair. I really believe that. I've never had any training and yet I grew up cutting my sisters' hair and teaching them how to style it. I have always self-taught when it comes to hair. I don't have many bad hair days and if I do, it's usually because of my choice not to shower often or my other choice of being lazy. :) I have hair that grows fast, hair that can be blonde or brown and still look good, hair that curls and straightens fairly easily, etc. I have been blessed.
The personality trait I chose was that I believe I am very wise and smart for my age.
Dont laugh.
It's quite funny that I am a wise person because I like to act young and crazy and immature. But in reality, I was ready for that baby girl when I was 20 and I was ready for her brother when I was 21. And I have taken parenting seriously and given up so much of my "youth" (early 20's youth? I dont know what you would call it.) because I realize the importance of my children and their need to have a mature and responsible mother. I know I joke about how sometimes I'm not a good mother but I'd argue with anyone who honestly believes that.
I have always been very good at giving advice and being there when a friend needs me. I can never take it back but I know that if my choices had been different in high school, my life would have been greatly impacted and maybe other's lives as well. I have a strong spirit and a pure knowledge that my Savior loves me and that he did die for me. Sadly, I knew all of that in high school and among my bad choices came bad excuses for why I was doing the things I did.
Sorry, that took a wrong turn.

I feel slightly awkward dedicating a blog post to myself but in reality, we as women need to take some time to focus on ourselves once in a while. It is healthy and not vain to love yourself. "If you cant love yourself, how can anybody else?" ~SWH~

And that's how Suze sees it.

Monday Madness

What special thing did we do today?

Petey and I were out and about when Boss called and asked us to stay away from the house longer. Spidey had just gone to sleep and he was working on homework so he was wondering if we would go out to lunch so he could have a quiet house for a while. Umm, yes sir! :) So Petey and I enjoyed lunch at Applebees. What do my kids still need to learn?

That chairs are for sitting. These silly kids kept standing up on the chairs. Luckily, no one fell off.
What did I made today?

A couple of matching bows for a friend. I think they turned out adorable! There is white tulle behind the pink bow that is hard to see (crappy camera phone). A big girl headband for older sister and a baby girl headband for little sister.
What made me smile today?

Watching Spidey dunk this ball into the hoop for the 100th time.
What made my heart happy today?

Seeing my kids play so well togethr for most of the afternoon.
What did we do for Family Home Evening tonight?
A special shirt that her Grandma and Grandpa got her in China.
And some ADORABLE Chinese slippers. We are SO happy to have my parents home and to be back sleeping in our own beds.
Who needs your prayers this week?
The first person I ask you to pray for is my beautiful little niece, Brooklyn. Her parents just found out that she has had a stroke sometime in this first year of her life and they are dealing with lots of new things to them. You can read her most recent post about the stroke HERE or from there, just go to her whole blog. There are a couple of posts about my cute niece. I know she can recover and is such a strong little girl but she'll need prayers along the way to help her.
The second person I ask you to pray for is my good friend's son, Weston. I know I've posted about this cute little man before but he needs more prayers. He had surgery a couple weeks ago and was just hospitalized for RSV this past week. You can read his blog HERE.
The third person I ask you to pray for is the daughter of a couple in our ward. She had her son, Brigham, 3 weeks ago and had known while she was pregnant that he had a diaphramatic hernia. He was born and he fought ups and downs for 3 weeks before he was taken back home to his Heavenly Father. You can read their blog HERE.
Hope your Monday Madness was great!
And that's how Suze sees it.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

How do I?

How do I keep my house oragnized?

Ok, laugh all you want if you've been to my house and are now reading this post. Clean? My house? Ha! But in all seriousness, I needed help in this area and decided to do something about it.

First of all, I have started following Fly Lady and have used so many tips from her. Sometimes, I just get bogged down with the cleaning of my house---and the tornado that runs through it every morning. My kids are so icky sticky and their mess travels. And then there's the adult mess.
I am THE WORST at getting my dirty clothes in a hamper or putting away clothes that I've tried on only to find I don't feel like wearing that. I create clothes clutter on our floor.
My husband is THE WORST at rinsing out dishes. He creates "longer dirty dish time in the sink" clutter because I have to soak the dishes before I can scrub off the food.
We all have our faults. And we all work on those faults but we make mistakes and we don't always remember to "clean as we go".

But having been at my parent's house this week, I have been forced to "clean as I go". One of my brother's chores is to empty the dishwasher every day...which forces me to do the dishes daily. I know that most people do their dishes daily but I just wasnt one of those people.

So here is what I implented in our home. I have a chart that is filled with chores (sound like fun yet?). Each day, I have written down certain areas in our home to clean and I make sure to get them done every day. Dishes are done on Mondays, Wednesdays, Fridays, and Saturdays. Laundry is done Tuesdays and Thursdays. Etc.
One thing I have found is that I cannot always just do these chores and nothing else. The main goal is to AT LEAST get these daily chores done. If my son poops on his clothes, an load of laundry will be done on a M-W-F-S and if the dishes in the sink are too full, I will load the dishwasher on a T-TH. Or let's say mopping is done twice a week but on a non-mopping day, Petey spills her orange juice. Well, I am going to mop.
At first, I tried to make excuses that ONLY certain jobs were to be done on certain days but this doesnt help me in the long run. I am trying to train myself to clean as I go as much as possible.

So there you have it. My tips for keeping my house in order.

And that's how Suze sees it.

Friday, January 28, 2011

You Capture - Happy

Today I looked around to capture the happiness around me. I found...happiness in a teenage girl as she helped my daughter across the monkey bars.
happiness in a little red headed boy as he placed another ball in the opening of his new basketball hoop.
happiness in a big sister as she gave some love to her little brother.
And happiness in a mom as she saw the happiness in her children's eyes.
And that's how Suze captures it.
PS: I apologize for the quality of photos. It will be like this for a week since every picture I take for the next week will be from my phone.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Wild Wednesday- Find the positives

You are in luck.
Today, I have more than one negative to positive story.

But first, let's start off with some proof from my "How Do I" post a few weeks ago. Remember how I said Petey doesnt grow very fast?Proof! This is my girl in size 6 month pants. Yeah they are too short but they are not too tight anywhere.

So back to my goal---turning my negative day into a positive day.
It all started when Petey woke up crying again last night. I've said it before and I'll say it again, I do not like my kids sleeping in my bed. I don't like it for my own comfort but I also don't like it because of the habits it teaches kids.
See? She ended up in our bed. Because I was too exhausted to fight with her.
But this morning I woke up and I had forgotten she was sleeping next to me. I was immediately grateful that this ear infection happened while we are staying at my parent's house. Their king size bed made sleep still possible when we brought our sick girl into the bed with us.

So later in the day, I took all of the kids outside. I snapped a lot of pictures and we had a lot of fun.
I set my phone and camera on the top of my car and went on playing with the kids.
Then my sister invited us to go to a park by her house so I loaded the kids up and drove away.
Are you connecting the problem yet?
I didn't remember that my phone AND camera were on my car until we got to the park.
By the time we got home, I put the kids down for naps and started walking the cul-de-sac trying to find my camera, while calling my cell phone from the home phone.
A neighbor had picked up my cell phone OUT OF THE MIDDLE OF THE STREET and had it at their house waiting for me.
I asked some neighbor girls if they had seen my camera and even though they hadnt, they all hopped on their bikes and searched the street for it.
And they found it.
Someone had run over it and when they handed it to me, it was in two pieces.
I cried. I was heartbroken. And then I checked my sd card. It was safe! My recent photos were saved!
And then a dear friend found out what had happened and offered me a free digital camera that she doesnt use.
So obviously this turned out positive.
I'm so glad I didn't lose this picture.
Or this sweet picture of George sharing the basketball with Spidey. So sweet.
Today turned out ok. It wasnt the best of days but we turned it into something positive. That's what matters most.
And that's how Suze sees it.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A One Million Dollar Question!

It's one of those nights.
Nothing to write about but wanting to write.

Today, I was tired. Today I am tired.

The kid not picture above smiling like a fruit cake was up most of the night.

That same kid not picture above has an ear infection.

But I really can't complain. Health has been much more abundant this season than the winter season of 2009-2010. Only 2 illnesses which required breathing treatments versus last year's breathing treatment count of approximately 12 illnesses.

In a way, this makes illnesses harder this winter. I am used to our health and gosh darnit, I take it for granted. A lot. So when nights like last night happen, it kills me the next day.

Do I sound like I'm complaining? Because I'm actually not. I am trying to sound thankful.

I have a friend who's baby boy has a feeding tube and so many other issues right now with a husband that works nights and does she sleep at night right now? No.

Or how about another friend who has to deal with MRI's for her daughter and on top of that gets another sick child. Do you think she sleeps well at night right now?

And then there's me. At our house, my kids are in bed by 8pm and I'm in bed 2-3 hours after that. We then wake up the next morning between 8-10am. (not counting these past weeks where I've been getting up at five-freaking-thirty in the morning to get my sister on her school bus)

So trust me, I understand that I do not have the right to complain. And I am very grateful for my usually easy sleepers.

So answer me this: After not getting much sleep at all last night and with all the kids going to bed at 7:30pm tonight, why am I still up?

Now that is the million dollar question.

And that's how Suze sees it.

Monday, January 24, 2011

Monday Madness

What made me feel beautiful today?

My new black boots. Really, truly every woman should own a pair of boots. I didn't get into boots last winter but this winter, I was able to get a brown pair early this winter and I finally saved up enough for a black pair. These ones are by far my favorite shoes right now.
Where did we eat lunch today?

One of Petey's good friend's and one of MY good friend's house. Her good friend is the cute little boy furthest back in the picture. My good friend is that cute little boy's cute pregnant mother. Thank you SO much for letting us come over and help you today! I had so much fun!
What was my FAVORITE picture of today?

Well, let me answer that with another question. Is there a week where Spidey doesnt get title of "favorite picture"? I love my Petey girl too but Spidey is just in the stage of funny camera faces and he's won the picture title for weeks now. Maybe Petey will contend next week. :)
What frustrated me today?

Not the kid pictured below---but the dumb homework he was given that was way above his level. Heck, that stupid word scramble was above MY level (I probably would've sounded smart if I hadnt admitted that it was a word scramble, right? Oops!). It took 4 of us to figure out every answer. How embarrassing! Also pictured in the background is the other half of my babysitting job, my cute little sister.
What did we snack on tonight?

Well, at 7:30pm, my brother asked if I'd make him a shake. (he asks for this most nights and I usually say no). Tonight, I decided we would give it a go. I made a caramel chocolate shake for our dessert and it was delicious!
This little boy's face can tell you how good the shake was.
And so can this little girl's chocolate covered face.
Who's birthday was today?
My cute, girly girl, toe head, very bright, blue eyed, smiley niece. Happy THIRD birthday, Leezer! I cant believe 3 years ago, your perfect little spirit was born into this world. Are you sure it's been 3 years? Really? Positive? Ok, I'll take your word for it. :)
Hope everyone had an amazing Monday Madness. And if you didnt, there's always Tipsy Tuesday---Tipsy? Not sure where that came from. I am NOT tipsy nor do I plan on being in that state tomorrow. I just made that up on the spot so if you think it sounded stupid, you are NOT one of the people that believe I am witty. But trust me, I am. ;)
And that's how Suze sees it.

Sunday, January 23, 2011

A 4th Thank You

First of all, yes, my daughter did fall asleep like this while watching her new favorite movie today. I thought Beauty and the Beast would be too scary for her but she is hooked (except for this time when she fell asleep during it). Second, I made a very yummy potato salad tonight. According to Boss, this would be the winner of this week's meals but I am not as big a fan of mustard as he is---so my winner was still the beef and potatoes from the other day. Here is the recipe for this sausage potato salad. You wont regret it.

And now onto my 4th thank you. I received a package in the mail from Sami a couple of days ago (sorry, I'm just thanking you now).
And the contents inside were perfect for me! Ok, all you ladies who sent me mugs---how did you know I am a hot chocolate addict? And we only own a couple of mugs so they actually REALLY help. And they're adorable!
Also, there were 2 pairs of socks...but one of them is already in the laundry because I wore them all day yesterday. :)
Thank you a million times all you lovely ladies that are giving me gifts. It seriously makes my day and reminds me how many wonderful people there are in this world.
And that's how Suze sees it.

Saturday, January 22, 2011

How do I?

How do I cook without poisoning my family?
A friend requested that I display my recent cooking adventures since you all know how hard cooking is for me. Refer to the post I have a cooking handicap if you were not aware of my disability.
Anyway, I am highlighting 3 meals from the past week in my post today.
The first meal was manadarin orange chicken stir fry.
I cheated and used a "Simply Asia" packet for my seasoning on the stir fry but I cooked everything else. Doesn't that still count?Steps:
  1. Cook chicken strips in a pan.
  2. Add any veggies you want in your stir fry and heat them in skillet with cooked chicken.
  3. Add mandarin oranges.
  4. Pour in sauce...and you're done.
    It was pretty darn good. I cooked this right before Boss came home from something and I completely forgot to cook rice or noodles to go with it but we just ate it plain. Petey hated it---but we liked it. :)

Meal Two: English muffin pizzas
One of my favorite childhood meals was english muffin pizzas. I know, very amateur, but have you met me?
  1. Lay out english muffin halves on a pan.
  2. Add pizza sauces and any toppings.
  3. Broil in oven on 450 for probably 5 minutes.

Have you noticed I really like 3-4 step meals? I don't like cooking in 3 different pans for the same dish and somehow pulling everything together. Maybe I'll get there...I'm not there yet. I put onions and spinach on my pizzas and pepperonis on all of the kid's pizzas.

Third Meal: Ground beef, red potatoes, and corn.


  1. Cook ground beef in a pan and add any seasonings (I stuck with season salt, pepper, and a little chili powder),
  2. Dice red potatoes (keep the skins on, yum!) and add them to boiling water until they are soft.
  3. I used frozen corn and just heated it in a bowl on the stove. It was super easy and I sprayed it with spray butter after it was done cooking.

By far, meal # 3 has been my favorite this week. Maybe because Boss' aunt introduced me to Shepherds Pie a couple months ago and the two are very similiar. Even though I made all of my dishes separate and served them to the kids separately, I mixed all 3 of my dishes together. Yummm!

And that's how Suze attempts to cook.

PS: Tomorrow night's dish will be a contender with meal # 3. I saw it on Paula Dean's show and am going to try and copy it tomorrow for Sunday dinner. Sausage Potato Salad. Yum!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Friday Confessional

I confess:
  • I watch Disney channel a lot...probably too much for a 23 year old mother of 2.
  • And I secretly (not so secretly anymore) wish I looked like Miley Cyrus. Oh to have hair like that!
  • My brother left on a campout tonight...sigh of less kid for the next 24 hours.
  • I have been wearing the same pair of leggings for 3 days now. They are by far the comfiest pair of pants I own.
  • I got upset when my husband said he'd be gone all morning with friends and then come home for an hour, only to be gone again til late at night...until I remembered that last week, I stayed out with friends until 3am and in two more weeks, I am having a 24 hour sleepover party with those same friends.
  • I finally feel like I have real friends again. People I can trust with the things I say that will never go outside that circle. People who invite me to everything and care about how I am doing every day. People who also let me help them and care about them when they need me. I believe it's healthy in a friendship to help your friends and also let yourself be helped. I wish I could freeze life right now---except that I want my husband to be done with school.
  • Wizards of Waverly Place is such a cheesy show---but I'm still watching it.
  • I recently took a liking to the cooking channel---so far, it's taught me a lot of things---all of which I have never used in my own home. So why do I watch it?
  • I dont have much more to confess. Wish I could think of something but my son is crying and although I havent decided whether to get him up from his nap (it's only been 30 min), I can't focus with his sweet little cry (or loud, piercing scream) in the background.

And that's how Suze confesses.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

You Capture - Circles

A link that includes me taking pictures?
I'm in.
I used to call myself Momarazzi because of the amount of pictures I take of my children. I don't have an expensive camera and my pictures arent the best but all that matters is that I love them.

So today's challenge over at I should be folding laundry is circles.
I thought I'd capture a few that stood out to me in the house we are currently occupying (for 2 weeks).
The first was a beautiful picture frame my mom has put up in their front entry hallway. I secretly envy the many beautiful frames and decorations she has but then I think...My parents worked so hard to get through medical school and had to live off of a tight budget for many years so they deserve the things they have. My dad actually started practicing pediatrics when I was 10 months old and I am the 4th child---so they budgeted tight for a long long time.
The second picture I took was of two little eyes. Two little eyes that are so completely amazingly blue that even in a black and white picture, they still seem clear as can be. I love those eyes. I love that girl. So glad she will be mine forever.

And that's how Suze links up!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Dear Mom

This is approximately the 165,534,897th time I've blogged about how cool my mom is.
But really, that's just an approximate. Who's counting, right?
And really, how easy would it be for you to stop gushing about this lady? Though she isnt perfect and she hates that I talk about her so highly on my blog---she needs to know that I wouldn't talk highly about her if I didn't think highly of her. =DThis is going to be way too much information but my story starts yesterday when I was sitting in the bathroom at my parent's house. Yeah...I don't want to keep reading.
But I promise, it gets better.
As I was sitting there, Petey was knocking on the door, I could hear Spidey crying in the other room, and I could hear the other "being babysat" kids throwing toys in the playroom. I had no relaxation---even in the bathroom.
And then I thought of my mom. Weird, right? =D
Anyway, I remembered back to the times I was living at home. I'd like to say that me interupting her in that same bathroom stopped when I was 8 or younger---but I remember being 16 and "needing" my mom while she was in the bathroom. She'd say she was busy and I'd say, "Ok, I'll just talk to you from out here."
So it doesnt stop, does it?
When Petey is 16 and needs advice or has a question, she will find me in the bathroom or the shower and not even flinch before asking for her wants and needs.
It's amazing how every day, the weirdest things bring back memories of the kind of child I was to my mom and I think, "Is that what 14 years from now will be like?'
And even though it'll be hard and sometimes annoying, I'm ok with that because it's worth it for my kids.
Everything is worth it for them.

And that's how Suze sees it.

Wild Wednesday- Find the positives

Yesterday was just one of those days. Boss started school this week and I wanted to just be happy that it meant closer to our end goal. Instead, I chose to sulk for a while that we were losing him for a few months...and moreso that he'll now have to take summer school to get his associates degree. And the other non-open-book crap that we've been dealing with this semester of school.
You see? Arent you proud? My husband would be. I don't actually say everything about our lives on this blog---some things are actually meant to be private. Go me! ha!
Anyway, it was just one of those mornings. By lunch time, I had to snap out of it. So I forced myself to get off my rear end and do something with my kids. I gave Petey a couple of suggestions and she chose the best on of them all.
We made a thank you card for her Boss!
We started by getting all of our supplies out. The usually glue, paper, crayons, and some weird felt heart ribbon that she insisted on using.
She even asked if Spidey could help her color the card. She told me later that daddy would know where Spidey had colored because it was "fast green colorings"...which means, Spidey scribbles fast, therefore, her describing his coloring as fast.
Petey applying the felt red hearts.
And we finished by adding some candy in it for Boss. Yum!
Yeah---I used permanent marker and it bled through. And so did the glue. Oh well. Boss loved it.
We put it on his pillow since he comes home from school so darn late and this morning, first thing he did when he woke up was called Petey into the room and thanked her for the beautiful card.
She was proud.
I was happier.
And that's how Suze stays positive.

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

A huger than huge thank you!

I almost never start a blog post by getting to the actual point---the point that usually ties in with my title.
Why start now?

Today was the first day I watched 7 kids. Phew! So glad to be back to only 4 right now.
We tried to go to the park.
Through some miracle, I didnt lose a single kid!
Half way through our park adventure (so ten minutes in...)
I had to laugh when I looked down at my legs. I'm a mom. Periodically, a child would run up, touch my legs with their sticky hands, ask/beg/whine about/for something and then run back to the playground.

I also finished a special birthday present for a special someone. A girly present for a very girly girl. I seriously need more daughters. :)

And...I received TWO packages in the mail! From three special blogs.

The first one was from Mimi over at Living in France. Apparently, I havent searched her blog enough because she doesnt actually live in France. It's her last name. Love it! Here is Miss Petey showing off what Mimi sent. Petey was oohing and aahing when I opened this one. All the girly stuff we girls love to do together. A pedicure kid, nail polish, and a eye cover for sleeping (I know there's a name for those but I cant think of it right now). When I put it on Petey's face, she took it back off and said, "Mom, this is not great for me.", which means she didnt like it on her face. :)

The second package was a double whammy sent by Emmy Mom and CA Girl. I dont actually know who's present was who's but they were both amazing! The first was an AWESOME mug with a chalkboard background. Love! It came filled with yummy smelling lotion and body wash.
The second part was a cute mini Valentine's wreath, a flower pot, yummy scents for my home, and chocolate!
Hope I paired those presents up right, girls. Thank you so much!
How did you girls know me so well? Everyone's present was unique and I love them all!

I laughed so hard because my husband picked them up and brought them to my parent's for me to open. After I opened each one, he said, "You should take pictures and blog about them." and there was no sarcasm involved.
I was already going to do that anyway! But I'm thinking my husband is getting used to this "weird to him" blogging thing---where sometimes I take pictures of random things just for the purpose of blogging. :) He's a good husband, that Boss. So proud of him for starting a new semester of school today. I know he's going to make us proud---he always does. :)
And that's how Suze sees it.

Monday Madness

Who are we babysitting for the next TWO weeks?

My siblings. It's going to be a blast. And dont worry, we skype almost every day. Oh the beauty of technology!
And today and tomorrow, I'm babysitting 7 people (including my 2 siblings). Pray for me.

How did we spend our MLK day?

Taking my brother and daughter to eat at Ruby Tuesday (Yum!) and
playing at the park.
What picture made me smile the most today?

Yup, once again, it's that squishy little man of mine. Doesnt he have the best, most goofiest face you've ever seen? He sure is a keeper!
How much sleep did I get from Monday-Tuesday?
Surprisingly, 8 hours. But getting up at 5am is NOT fun. And truthfully, going to bed at 9am is not fun either. ha! I'm a night owl and an early riser...not a good mix. Wish me luck---Ill be doing it for 2 weeks straight. Darn my little sister's bus that picks her up at 6:30am.
Who needs prayers today?
My friend's baby boy, Weston, had surgery on Monday and will be recovering for a while. Though the surgery went well, he has been in a lot of pain. This precious little boy has gone through so much in his first year of life and it breaks my heart to hear about it. If you have a minute, please say a prayer for him and his family (especially his dear mother, my friend). Such a fight, that little boy.

My Monday was anything but madness this week. A couple of mishaps here and there but all in all, pretty low key.
Hope yours was good!

Saturday, January 15, 2011

How do I?

How do I dress Petey cute on a budget?
My daughter came out of the womb with a huge headband and bow on her head.

Just kidding. But kind of. That flower and headband cost me probably $6 all together which didn't seem like a problem at the time. I quickly learned, though, that if my girly was going to BE as girly as I wanted her to be, we needed to find another solution.

So I started making my own bows and headbands. Instead of buying them for $3 a piece, I can make a bow for $.50 or less...easy. It takes more time and effort but when you have to budget, time and effort need to be your best friend.

When Petey's hair was long enough, I started practicing on her hair. We could easily get through hair do's like this daily with no complaining on either end---and I was working full time at the time. It is just something Petey was trained to do. I learned that when attaching rubber bands in her hair like this, braids in between gave her hair a much neater look. (and of course, homemade HUGE bows).
I am always trying new things with her hair. Some turn out really cute and others don't. It actually isnt as hard as it looks to get her hair this way. I have always done Petey's hair during breakfast time, while she is occupied eating and not really paying attention. Onto her clothes: In MY opinion, my daughter is usually pretty well dressed. As I said in Friday Confessional last week, I probably spend too much time deciding what she will wear. But she doesn't wear expensive clothing. Ever. Unless it was a gift or hand-me-down. I do the majority of my kid's clothes shopping at Target, Walmart, and Goodwill. And sometimes Target is too expensive for me. I don't like spending more than $5 on most items of clothing for my kids. That isn't always true but for the most part, I stick to that rule.

You can also do well at places like The Children's Place or Dillards if you shop sales and get their online coupons. I don't do that as often since their clothes start off at a higher price but sometimes, I can find just as cheap clothes there as I can at Walmart...still havent found a store that's cheaper than Goodwill. When people offer to give me clothes, I never say no. Hand-me-downs are some of the best things to get. Absolutely free and usually from someone you know. Both of the sweaters my kids are wearing in the above picture are from a friend. Petey's jeans are from Goodwill (that's usually where I buy kids jeans since they are like $12-15 in other stores). Spidey's pants/outfit was on clearance at Target for $4. His shoes were $6 at Walmart. And Petey's shirt is from Old Navy (one of my favorite stores but way too expensive for kids usually) and we bought it as a dress when she was a year old.

One of my other favorite things to do is to buy the plain shirts at Target that are $5 a piece. They have many different solid colors and I will bring them home and begin a project of making them cuter. A little bit of fabric goes a long way on a solid colored shirt. Petey has many shirts that I've added to and they are all adorable to me.

Goodwill. If you've never been there, or to another second hand store in your area, please go now. Their clothes are so cheap and even though it takes effort to look for things, I can almost always find cute, nice looking clothes there. For cheaper than the Walmart Garanimal brand clothing---which doesnt fit my kids very well at all.

Why I got so lucky: Petey is petite. When she grows taller, she doesnt gain a lot of weight. Her shoulders/chest/stomach are very slim and so she actually wears certain types of clothes for over a year. There are many (seriously, so many!) dresses that Petey wore from the age of 6-12 months that she now, at 2 1/2 years old, wears as shirts. This makes my life easier because in the winter, I just buy a pack of Gerber long sleeve onesies in her size and she wears that under the shirts she wore during the summer.

If you're like me and stubborn---even though you don't have much money to work with---try these tips out. It may be just me but that girl up above is always lookin' cute! And her clothes are cheaper than most other kids her age.

And that's how Suze sees it.