Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Scariest Trick or Treat EVER!

Along with the rest of the East Coast we were waiting for the big Frankenstorm aka Sandy for the last few days. I'd done my part with the groceries, meal planning and prep, ensuring batteries and flashlights were ready to go. George did all the man stuff and quite honestly, I don't even know what it all was. I'm grateful I don't have to worry or even know what he's doing to prepare for our family because it's simply taken care of.  {even though some of the process makes me insane}
I am forever grateful for who he is.

As the weather reports kept coming in worse, school was canceled for today and trick-or-treating was postponed until Saturday night.

Since the worst of it was to hit us late last night with high winds and tons of rain, we decided to take the kids to the mall for trick or treating where it would be dry and to have something fun to do. We met up with two of my friends and their kids. Seeing them both {and their kids} always makes me happy!

George took a vacation day to ensure we were prepared for the storm and a potential power outage, so he was able to come mall trick or treating with us.  Yay!

We blew out of the car, literally as the wind whipped the doors open and were hit by cold, cold rain as we ran inside. Despite looking like drowned rats, we were good to go. Andrew decided to recycle his Headless Horseman costume from a couple years ago and Lily went as Minnie Mouse.

We've been working on teaching her to say "Trick or Treat" and her version is "Chicken Treat" which I am in love with!

Apparently the whole city had this same idea to go to the mall for trick or treating. It was so packed and basically a long, long line for a little bit of candy for each of the kids. Think slow moving conga line around each floor of the mall going from store to store. 

 Lily had walked along in line holding her Daddy's hand happily throughout the night. As we made our way around half of the top floor, we got to a stopped part of the line by the food court. There were a couple little kids around age 4 or 5 dressed like Spiderman stopped near where we were and I saw a mom cover her kid's eyes when she saw Andrew's costume. I laughed as I told George what I saw and he jokingly said to Andrew, "You should walk over to them."

I started to fix Andrew's costume near his eyes at that moment as George said, "Where's Lily?"

I immediately looked by his leg where she was JUST standing holding his hand literally seconds ago and frantically scanned around amidst all of our legs of our group of 10 of us aside from Lily and she was gone.

I immediately started running back the way we had come {behind us} as random people in line were saying "Minnie? She went that way." pointing back. I went back close enough to George to yell, "I can't find her!!!" and then kept running back looking for her among a mass of people waiting in line for trick or treating. Only it wasn't like a single file line but a group of people in lines.  More people than I could possibly easily spot my 2 year old who I'm almost certain was grinning from ear to ear shouting "run run" as she sent me into a panic.  

I kept running, asking if anyone had seen a pink 2 year old Minnie and kept getting, "She went that way" still pointing back.  Panic was beginning to set in for me.  {as I'm typing this now even a day later, my heart is literally pounding out of my chest and I can barely see through my tears}

I got all the way near an anchor store at one end of the mall the whole time thinking, "She could NOT have gotten this far." 

At the escalator, there was a mall security guard and a police officer standing there looking over the balcony at the bottom level. I grabbed them and screamed, "I'm missing my daughter! She's 2, dressed in a pink Minnie Costume!"
The cop asked me where I saw her last and then radioed that a 2 year old in a pink Minnie Costume was missing between the Food Court and Macy's. 

At that time George and Andrew had made it to me as I shouted again, "I can't find her!!!" Right then a woman shouted, "I got her!" and there. she. was.  Praise the Lord! 

I grabbed her as she was looking up at the woman annoyed that this person was holding her from running. I heard the cop say over the radio, "She's been found." admist all the chaos of where we were.
Lily excitedly said, "Mama!" as she hugged me and then George scooped her up to hug her and carry her back to where Stef and Amber and the rest of the kids were.  Andrew walked with me behind George and Lily as I tried to process what had just happened and he kept saying, "That was so scary. I'm so glad we found her." I cried. George almost threw up.  I watched Lily look at her Daddy then put her head on his shoulder and later learned he was telling her she has to stay with Mommy and Daddy and we were so scared. 

This all took place in about 3 minutes time from "Where's Lily?" to finding her.  It felt like a lifetime.

The red X on the left is where we were. The red X on the right is where we found her.

I don't think it really had sunk in yet for me.  Honestly, one of the scariest moments of my entire lifetime.  My greatest fear is someone taking one of my children.

Stef, Amber and their kids were also really scared and so happy we all returned with Lily!  At that point we were done trick or treating. After an attempt to allow the kids, including our Lily to run off energy we headed to the play area, but quickly decided it was also too chaotic and after the last few minutes, so we headed to McDonald's to eat together before all heading home.

After we got home and Lily was safely tucked in bed, the reality hit me pretty hard. I cried a lot and when George said, "Can you imagine if we had to come home without her tonight?" the possibility of how close she was to an exit that someone could have simply left with her so easily terrified me.

There were a lot of prayers and praising going on as we went to bed last night.  

This was most definitely a reminder that in an instant, life can change.  Lily is such an independent little one and she is so fast. She had no idea. She was just happy to run and it literally happened in seconds. Letting go of her Daddy's hand, he said something to Andrew and we looked down and she was gone. SECONDS. 

I'm so, so grateful our story has a happy ending.

she must be thanking God...I know I was

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Steph's Snippets

~The big bauble rage.  I don't get it.  I think I'm just more of a "less is more" kinda girl and the overwhelming neck apparatus is too much.  That being said, I don't hate them. I just don't get them.

Same with the chambray shirt. Perhaps because I'm old and wore that in 8th grade back in the 80s. Ohhhhhh my favorite chambray skirt paired with my favorite chambray shirt belted with a silver belt and my brown boots. Yep. 1985.   Yeah, I'm just old.  And to think I'd roll my eyes at my mom when she'd tell me some fashion trend was popular when she was young.

~Why people are so psycho about politics. Seriously, at this point in my life, your ranting isn't going to change my mind. But rather I'll just tune out, block your updates and the like. This election cannot be over soon enough.  Remember the Kerry/Bush year? Yeah, same thing for me this year. Not a fan of either.

~I was looking at both of my babies this past weekend and was thinking, "I give birth to blonde babies." They have the same hair color and same eye shape which they obviously got from me. Andrew's eyes are my favorite color of blue and Lily's are a gorgeous amber brown like her daddy's. Lily's eyes are actually two different colors...slightly. But they are. Both of them have amazing long eyelashes. I love that Andrew adores her just as much as she does him.

~I am seriously over cooking for my family. Between the exasperated sighs of the tween, the pickyness of the husband and the toddler food strikes, I want to just boycott.  And truth be told if there wasn't a resident two year old, I probably would make them fend for themselves for a little while.

~Approaching 40, {yeah, I've decided since I'm under 6 months to go, I'm approaching} I realize I have less tolerance for people who are not authentic in addition to what I touched on before about one-sided relationships.  Life is too short.
I don't want to spend time appeasing other people when my time could be better spent embracing people who want to be in my life and contribute to the relationship.  I'm more interested in ensuring my CHILDREN are navigating the social skills and settings than spending time trying to teach adults appropriate social interactions.  Selfish? Intolerant?Maybe. But, it's where I am.  I just can't get behind the attention seeking, game playing adults and it's a huge turn off for me. I desire to spend zero time investing in or with them.

~My husband said to me last week, "I would be perfectly fine if we had twins next time."
WHAT?!?! I still am shocked. One of those things I never thought I would hear from him.

~The rope we gave Andrew to hang himself with last year with school and his own success, worked.  He is carrying straight As this year again and making sure all of his work is complete not just hurried to get it done. I don't subscribe to the "it's good enough" theory. He learned that lesson last year. We're very proud and impressed with his junior high transition! We got a letter in the mail the other day stating we have no need for a parent teacher conference at this time. And since I'm satisfied on my end and don't feel we need one either, yippee!!!!!!!!!!!!

~Christmas time is approaching quickly! Andrew and Lily's gifts have been decided upon. Reagan, not so much. She's the hardest to buy for.  Last year I came across an idea that George and I have embraced...buying something they need, want, wear and read.  We're big fans of that! Especially with the older two to keep the excess down on wasting money.  Lily's easy because we pick things up on clearance and she's pretty much done except Santa, but we know what he's doing this year.

I'm also seeking a couple volunteer opportunities for Andrew and Reagan. It was impactful for me as a child and they are both old enough to participate in a way that I'm hopeful will impact them as well.

~My mom comes next week! Can't wait!! We have a busy, packed week, but it will be fun! Of course the weather is in the 70s all this week and the forecast next week will be in the 40s, she'll just freeze. Arizona is the place to be for weather in early November. And the fact, that instead of saying, "Oma", Lily calls her "Elmo" makes me laugh so much! Can't wait to get it on video.

~I wish someone would create and market Bubble Guppies merchandise. I mean, come on already!

Thanks for enduring the randomness in my head. Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Ghost Foot

Last year my Pinterest eyes were much bigger than my time availability. 


I like the ideas.

And instead of having a bunch of magazines lying around my house annyoing the crap out of my husband, I can keep my ideas at my fingertips. 

I literally pitched over 10 years of magazines a few months ago. Granted I did it when I was angry cleaning, but aside from ONE magazine I wish I still had due to sentimental reasons, I can find everything online.

One of the things I pinned last year was a footprint ghost as decor for Halloween.  I gathered up the supplies I wanted to use. I've seen varying options online, but I wanted it to be on a canvas with a ribbon to hang by.

I picked up the 8x10 canvas at Hobby Lobby.  Cheap! A 2-pack for $5.99. I also picked up a "hairbow" for the ghost too.  I already had black and white paint on hand from other various projects as well as the hanging ribbon, so this was a relatively inexpensive project for me!

Last year I got as far as painting the canvas black. 


I put it away disappointed that I wasn't able to get to it.

This year, I knew it was going to be completed. I pulled out the already painted canvas and figured since it had cured for a year, it would be good to go. 

A few weeks ago, I pulled it out and Lily and I were finally ready. I did a test footprint on a piece of paper. P-E-R-F-E-C-T!

Whew! This is going to be cake.  HA! Yeah, right.

First one on the canvas was smeared and Lily was missing a toe.  Not exactly what I was going for...drunkish ghost.

Washed the paint off of her foot and repainted the canvas. Left it to dry.

Yesterday was the day I was ready to return to it.  No wasted perfect foot on a piece of paper this time. We just went for it! 

First try was ok. But I did not love it. And after the time investment, {hello? more than a year!} I wanted to love it.  Washed her foot off and repainted the canvas.  Fortunately we had a sunny-ish, warmer day yesterday, so outside it went to dry and shortly after, we tried again.  This time was successful!! I loved it!

And since I didn't tell Lily what we were making, when she shouted, "A BOAST, MAMA! A BOAST!"  I knew it was "it".  I love it!  Added some eyes, the hairbow, her name and the date and voila!

Easy craft, yes. 

Timeless piece of Lily that I will treasure always made it totally worth the time put in.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Lily in the Leaves

Last Friday morning, Lily and I were out running some errands and then hit another consignment sale still on the hunt for a winter coat for her.  After we left the sale {sans winter coat}, Lily who was confined to the stroller the whole time we were perusing the consignment sale, wanted to "Run run!"  
Walking to the car, I spotted these leaves and decided this was perfect for her to run off some energy and me to get some pictures, obviously.  Happy Fall!

Friday, October 12, 2012

Review: PlayMobil Take Along Soccer Match

We're a family that is on the go. A lot. 

Andrew has always been a kid who takes "stuff" with him.  Legos,  handheld video game, action figures, books...something always.  I love that he knows to just bring something to occupy himself in the event we're gone longer or heaven forbid he just needs to say, "Mommmmmmm, I'm bored."

Reagan's getting better with remembering to get in the habit of grabbing something if we're going to be gone!

When I was asked to review and share the Playmobil Take Along Soccer Match, I was super excited because it's a perfect take along for my older kids!  

  • Perfect for travel, this compact and travel-ready Take Along Soccer Match includes a 22 x 33 inch field, soccer ball and other accessories.
  • To further enhance the soccer experience, the figures have a leg that kicks to propel the ball forward, which helps make playtime more realistic.
  • There are also goalie figures that connect to goal joystick, which allows kids to control the goalies’ movements from behind the goal net.
  • The PLAYMOBIL Take Along Soccer Match is ideal for kids ages five to ten; because of small parts it is not recommended for little ones under the age of three.

It's great to take along to Grandma's house or keep in the trunk even to play at a picnic.  The kids enjoy sports and soccer is something they both can agree on. Although, sometimes it got turned more like a hockey game.  They're pretty competitive in a fun spirited way and this was enjoyable to watch and listen to them play with!  Thankfully there are no vuvuzelas included. haha

With six athlete figures primed and ready to play, this set comes fully equipped with everything kids need to have a complete soccer game experience.

Visit Playmobilusa.com to redeem the coupon code US72A12C for 20% off Playmobil Take Along items.

You can find Playmobil on Facebook and follow Playmobil on Twitter too!

Disclosure: The information and gift packs have been provided by PLAYMOBIL USA through MyBlogSpark.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

2 Year Pictures

Lily's 2 year pictures were a little more difficult to capture than her one year  because she is always on the move where last year, she was barely standing!  This year, she was on the move and her blankie although not intended to be a "prop" was a perfect addition to truly remember our Lily at two years old.  Her blankie is her prized possession.

Long before her 1st birthday, I decided since she's a summer baby, her annual pictures will be wearing a white sundress, so the tradition continued.

I'm in no way a Photographer {I leave the capital P to the Professionals}, but I do love my camera and am willing to learn to use it on my children and not willing to pay $300 for photo sessions.

Although I knew when I was doing them, the sun was too bright and I'd face some blown out pics as well as some shadows, I'm less interested in the technical part of the photographs right now and more interested in capturing who Lily is at 2 years old.  Even though I know what's "wrong" with my photos, I'm extremely happy with the subject and what I captured.  

It's her.

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Giveaway: Crayola BTS Fun!!!

I've mentioned before that Crayola is one of my favorite brands.  In fact, it is my go-to brand for crayons and markers without question.  The Color Wonder products are life changing... no coloring on anything but what it's supposed to show up on! 

Everytime I think they've created something fantastic, out comes something awesome again!

As most of my Arizona friends and family have entered the part of the school year of Fall break and since here,we're all in the groove of back to school,  I thought it the perfect time to share some Crayola products.


One of my favorite versatile products is the dual sided dry erase board! You may recall seeing it in the kids back to school pics!
  It comes with a pack of eight Crayola Washable Dry-Erase Bright Crayons. Colors cleanly and easily wipe off each side for endless creative play. The set also includes a machine-washable “E-Z erase” cloth and the classic Crayola built-in crayon sharpener.  One side of the board is black and the other is white.  Yep, it uses dry-erase crayons, not markers!  In addition to my using it, it's ideal for Lily. She colors on it all the time which saves us on paper!

If someone had told me in my first parenting days, that I'd be handing my toddler markers to color on the glass storm door of our house, I'd have thought they were crazy, but Crayola has done it again! Making toddler mom life easier for kids who love to color using Crayola Window Mega Markers and Crystal Effects Window Markers.
The Mega Markers are oversized and bright colors! The Crystal Effects dry to a unique and awesome crystalized look. If you have kids who love to color, these are awesome! Decorate the car windows to show your school spirit!!    While I'm not quite ready to hand off the Fabric Markers to my 2 year old, kids can add their own artwork on backpacks or create wild, brightly colored designs on a new pair of jeans or a t-shirt with Crayola Bright Fabric Markers. The bright colors will “pop” off dark fabrics, showing kids creations in a whole new light! This is right up Reagan's alley!
One of the switches for junior high is Andrew learning how to study and work on time management. One of the Crayola products that has helped with studying for tests and reviewing notes for him has been the Wild Notes line.
  • "Combine fun and learning with Crayola’s Wild Notes Index Cards. Kids can make presentation notes or flash cards with different colors using just one pen. The convenient spiral-binding at the top allows for easy flipping and the perforated cards allow for clean tear-out.
  • Writing special notes to friends can be fun, but writing on peel n’ stick paper with surprising colors on each note is even more exciting. Crayola’s Wild Notes Sticky Notes use one unique pen for kids to colorfully leave messages with fun shapes anywhere for themselves or for a friend. The sticky notes are the perfect size for quick reminders
  • Kids will love doing their homework this year with Crayola’s Wild Notes 1 Subject Notebook. Watch as amazing colors change on each page with the Wild Notes pen. Convenient spiral-binding allows for easy flipping."

He uses it at home for review and if I'm being honest, I love to write in it and leave him notes.
{he'll be mortified if he knew I wrote that!} What can I say? I love pens, I love paper and I love Andrew! Perfect combo!

We lovelovelove our Crayola products and these new ones are just what I hoped...living up to the Crayola name in every way!  Follow Crayola on Facebook and Twitter for more info.

Lucky for you I have the above products to giveaway!!!
Runs through Friday, October 12, 2012 at 12:00pm. Winner will be notified via email and updated on this post.

You can win a gift pack featuring the following Crayola items:
  • Crayola Bright Fabric Markers
  • Crystal Effects Window Markers
  • Crayola Window Mega Markers
  • Wild Notes Index Cards
  • Wild Notes Sticky Notes
  • Wild Notes 1 Subject Notebook
    Here's what you have to do: {separate comment for each entry}

    1. Be a follower {publicly} of My Not-So-Little Guy and My Little Punky Pie. {MNSLG&MYLPP}
    2. Leave me a comment letting me know what item you're most excited about!

    Additional entries: {optional}
    1. Tweet about the giveaway. Be sure to include @LittlePunkyPie, @Crayola and #MyBlogSpark in your tweet. {can do this daily...separate comment for each}
    2. Like Crayola on fb and tell 'em I sent you.
    3. Like MNSLG&MYLPP on Facebook.

    As Lily says... "Guh Luck!!!"

    Disclosure: The information, products and additional Crayola Back-to-School gift pack was provided by Crayola® through MyBlogSpark

    Congratulations, Amy!!!
    You'll receive your Crayola Back to School prize soon!!!

    Monday, October 8, 2012

    He's Home!

    {Catching up on summer posts still...}

    After Andrew's two week visit to Arizona, he returned home on George's birthday.

    It was a super hectic time at the airport on my end.

    Upon acquiring my gate pass, Lily and I headed down to security, but the line was crazy long and the flight was arriving early. We headed up to the alternative security line that is out of the way and typically not long. Wrong. Lily and I waited a little bit while nervously looking at the time on my phone over and over.

    I just knew, we would not make it. 

    I headed back down to the main security lines and saw Andrew's flight flashing "Arriving," on the screen.  I sent him a text telling him that if I was not at the gate to come towards baggage claim and I would wait for him as soon as he got off the tram.

    It's July, so I'm sweating anyway. Running all over the airport, carrying an almost 2 year old, I'm certain I got my workout in for the day.

    Finally, I went to the side where I could speak to one of the TSA agents, explained the situation with my son's flight arriving at the moment and needed to get to the gate. He let me skip the whole line and with a thank you to the people in the front, I hurried through and onto the tram.  Sent Andrew another text telling him to wait at the gate, I was coming! 

    Run off the tram, run up the escalator and run to the gate...all while carrying Lily.


    Panic is starting to set in.

    I called my mom to ask what he was wearing when he left Arizona so I knew what to look for as I
    headed back towards the tram. Just as I was about to get on the escalator, I got a text from Andrew asking me where I was and he was at the gate!


    Lily and I turned around and headed back towards the gate when finally I spotted him!

    Ahhhhhhh safe at last! 

    Lily was so excited to see Andrew...and he was just as excited to see her!!

    Glad he's home the rest of the summer...I think his baby sister is too.

    Saturday, October 6, 2012

    Bedtime Banshee

    Almost as quickly as I told a friend last week that Lily has had no trouble with naptime after her crib to toddler bed transition, we had trouble.

    It was like she knew I had said it was easy and decided to mock me with a banshee screaming temper tantrum. 

    Fortunately it didn't last long.  But, then came bedtime. Repeat. Only longer. And getting out of bed, opening the door and coming down the stairs all while screaming like she's in a wicked metal band.

    Last night after taking Andrew to the airport, I headed to another consignment sale with Amy. Found a few great things. It seems to be a newer sale, so not much there, but super great prices! I got Lily a lightweight coat, a pair of boots and a Gymboree velvet skirt with attached leggings for $7.00 total.  I went to look for a baby gate, primarily.

    When I walked in the door, Lily, in her Halloween pajammie best was dragging herself and her blankie down the stairs screaming like she was in a horror film.  My adoring husband was sitting on the couch, hand on head with a look of defeat on his face.  I know that one. I had it at naptime the other day.

    I, fresh from my 5 hours of downtime, gave him a kiss, scooped up the Lilinator and headed up the steps.

    I talked to her, read a book quickly, sang her a song, laid her in her bed and gave her a kiss. As soon as I stepped towards the door, the banshee returned. 


    I laid her back down and stood next to her bed. She had stopped crying. She rubbed her blankie between her fingers like she does when she's sleepy.  Did the slow blink.  But... kept checking to see if I was still there.  With her sound machine going, I was starting to fall asleep standing there.  Each time I'd start for the door, she'd scream all over again. If I left the room, she'd open the door and come out.  Eventually, I sat outside her door holding it closed while she screamed and tried to open it.

    Mind you, sleeping has not been an issue for this one.  Until now, apparently.

    After nearly two hours of screaming, crying, carrying back to bed, full body temper tantrums, and pure exhaustion on both hers and my part, she fell asleep.  During this escapade, I decided there was no baby gate bargain that was worth the sanity I was losing. It was established that a baby gate would come to live with us today. At least she would be contained and the trips out of her room and up and down the steps would cease.

    For the last few weeks, she's just been waking up at 6:00am and then coming downstairs when she gets up. No one has to be up at 6:00am in our house.  So prior to the banshee appearance the last few days, we had been looking for a gate to keep her in her room in the early, still dark, hours anyway.

    Pressure mounted, swing open, walk through baby gate acquired today. 
    Clearly, Lily and I have different feelings about this.