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Carrie Elle

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Friday, January 11, 2013

Farm Animal Friday #6

This is Norman, the big-necked Belgian colt.  This was his awkward stage.  He grew into quite a magnificent horse, indeed.

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Thursday, January 10, 2013

The Night the Baby Slept

If you "like" my Facebook page, you may have seen me practically screaming from the rooftops about how excited I am that Claire slept nearly 12 hours last night.

That's right.  At 17 (and a half!) months old, my baby *just* slept through the night for the first time.  As in, didn't wake up screaming for me once.  And even better, didn't once wake me up with double-heel kicks to the face (oh yes, she has done that before).

Claire's preferred sleeping method.  ON MY PILLOW.  And no, I'm not asleep - I can't sleep like that!  I'm closing my eyes to block out the flash and secretly hoping it startles Claire into rolling over (it didn't - I had to move her).
Now, some of you just absolutely, positively cannot relate to this.  Your kids have been sleeping through the night since you were still counting their ages in weeks.  Maybe even in their own cribs, and maybe even in their own rooms.

For better or worse, that's not the case here.

When I woke up this morning at 6:40 AM, Claire's smiling face just inches from my own as she peered at me through her shaggy bangs, I was tired (it was 6:40 AM!).  But then, I was 6:40 AM!  Nearly 12 hours after I had laid Claire down in bed and tiptoed into the living room to watch Real Housewives.  And she hadn't woken me once all night long.

I know better than to expect a repeat performance.  I know so, so much better than that (my four-year-old doesn't consistently sleep through the night yet).  

But I'll take it for what it is.  A night of peace, for myself and for Claire.

And I will be very, very grateful for it.

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Tuesday, January 8, 2013

Kickin' This Flu to the Curb

This week has been a doozy, as far as illnesses go.

Actually, you know what?

This whole last YEAR has been a doozy.

I don't think we've ever been this sick, this often.  In the last nine months alone, we've had two different flus, the kids have had eye infections and ear infections (several ear infections), and we've been visited by The Stomach Virus from Hell.  That on top of the standard head congestion/colds/sinus issues that are to be expected.

Poor little sickie.
I attribute all of this sickness to society and children.  We were *never* this sick when we lived out in the country - probably because we were rarely around other people, and we were hardly ever around other kids.  Now we live in the Suburbs.  Jack goes to pre-school several times a week and we play with the neighborhood kids on a regular basis (and they all go to school, too).  I guess germs come with the territory.

But whenever we are sick, I find myself being grateful for our health.  Grateful that is a temporary hiccup in our daily lives.

Big kid meds, little kid meds, grown-up meds, water!

Two trips to the Urgent Care (can't wait for that bill...), several sleepless nights and a house full of germs later, I am ready to kick this illness to the curb.  And I am lucky that we *can* kick this illness to the curb.

I hope in this new year (all fresh and bright and wide open before me...once the flu oozes out of our lives, that is...) we can find a way to build up our immune systems and get healthier.  I feel like we aren't being very respectful to our health when we're shoving our faces full of cannolis, you know?

Maybe it's the flu talking, but, I'm ready to make some changes.

I know there are a lot of food/health documentaries out there - which ones are worth watching?  

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Monday, January 7, 2013

Top Mom Blogger - Site Review and a Giveaway, Too!

It's no secret that I've been busting my butt to grow this blog.  It's not easy.  I wish I could say one day I just decided to create an awesome blog and it was an overnight sensation and opportunities abounded from day one - but that's not the case.

There's a lot going on behind the scenes.  Aside from writing a ton (and consistently), I've been scouring the web and joining forums and asking questions and soaking in every.little.piece. of blogging information I can find.

This is a craft, and I'm going to master it.

You would *think* that blogging would be about...words.  Writing.  Solid content.

And it is!  But there is also so much more that goes into developing a quality blog - the kind that people want to read, and the kind that people actually want to visit and follow.

It can be hard to find solid blogging info out there.  It's almost like people want to keep their tips to success a secret.  I mean - I know there are people out there making money blogging...but HOW??

So, I am going to share with you my new favorite find.  And then give you a chance to win a three-month membership of your own.

My new secret weapon.

First of all, don't let the name throw you off - you do *not* need to be a "mommy blogger" to use this site.  In fact, I didn't see one piece of information in the site that was only relevant to mom bloggers; rather, the site is a wealth of knowledge that any blogger can learn from (and I do mean any blogger - no matter what your focus!).

The site focuses on solid tips and achievable action items for growing your blog and finding success doing what you love best (blogging, right??).

There's a library full of useful articles (including several on monetizing, working with PR firms, and building community).  There is also an audio library and even a video library - no matter how you like to get your information, you should be able to get it here!

I've been scouring the site for tips - mostly things related to blog design (I'm in the middle of a big redesign!) and monetizing.  The information has been very helpful.

The articles are written by actual, successful bloggers.  So, I'm taking their advice and should be a famous blogger any time now (kidding...but really, the help and insight is amazing).

You can find Top Mom Blogger on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube!

Membership is $9.95/month.  But you can win a three-month membership here  Just leave a comment below telling me you want to win and then fill out the simple (one step!) Rafflecopter form below.

This giveaway is open now through 11:59 PM on Sunday, July 13th.

Disclosure: I received a one-month subscription to Tom Mom Blogger free of charge so I could write this review.  The opinions and experiences are all mine!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Sunday, January 6, 2013

Moments Like This...Awesome

We've been cooped up inside for several days, now (thanks, flu!).  The kids are finally feeling like themselves again, and today Jack asked if they could wear leg warmers...because, "leg warmers make us fast!"

Of course they do!

Moments like this remind me how fun parenting can be (and how awesome little kid brains are).

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Friday, January 4, 2013

Farm Animal Friday #5

Donkeys.  Naughty little donkeys, at that.

That's Harry on the left, and Donkey on the right.

I have a lot of donkey stories.  Like the time Harry met Sally (no, really - he jumped into the neighbor's pasture and terrorized their donkey, who is named Sally).  Or the time Donkey pierced his own nose.  Or the time I was five months pregnant and took Donkey to a show.

But I'll save those for another day.  For now...enjoy the donkey noses!

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Thursday, January 3, 2013

What I Made for Dinner

Yes, you read the title of this blog post correctly.  It says, "What I Made for Dinner."  As in, I made dinner for my family.

But that's not all I made!  I made dessert, too (with Jack's help).  Kind of.  More like, a delicious bread that would be awesome at any time of the day but is extra awesome after dinner once you've added a little icing to it.  

Everything was so easy, I thought I'd share the recipes here in case you are looking for an easy meal that even a completely novice "cook" can handle.

Read more »

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Tuesday, January 1, 2013

The Home Organization New Year's Resolution

I am a resolution setter.  I am not, however, a resolution keeper.

Over and over again, as New Year's Day rolls around, I feel all sparkly and confident in the resolutions I set.

And then, not two weeks down the road, I realize that my "resolution" to eat healthy and exercise was derailed by a blueberry cake doughnut and a Real Housewife marathon and so, I'd better just quit and EAT MORE DOUGHNUTS...right?

Well, not this year.

This year, I'm kicking the "health" resolutions to the curb (or, at least not saying them out loud) and instead going to focus on something that I absolutely, positively *must* get done, resolution or not.

I'm going to organize the SHIZNIT out of this house.

We've been here for a year and a half now.  Claire was only six days old when we moved, so as you can imagine, home organization was low on the priority list.  And while we did get everything unpacked and put away in the first month or so, we just haven't got around to really organizing everything.

And so, that's my resolution.  I'm going to organize this house. Top to bottom, front to back.  It's time for this house to start coming together.

My first stop is going to be the drawers in the master bathroom.  Because they look like this:

See?  I have a lot of work to do (there are three more drawers like that one, plus a couple of very disorganized cabinets!).

Tomorrow, I think I'll brave Walmart (ohhhhh, nooooo...did I just say that?) in search of inexpensive organization tools.  And by the end of this week, I hope to show you my first completed project.

What are your New Year's Resolutions (or, are you one of those people who shall remain resolutionless?).

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