Archive for Arle

My Lil’ Helper

Arle is becoming quite the presence in the kitchen.  Each evening when she hears me starting dinner, she comes in and asks for the stool.  She climbs up and proceeds to play with water and make a complete and total mess.  At least she looks good doing it, though.  I mean, how can I possibly tell my cutie-patootie to stop making a mess when she’s wearing a tutu and BabyLegs?  An outfit she picked out all by herself, I might add.


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Arle + Shoes = Love 4 Ever

While I was taking a shower, Miss decided to entertain herself by pulling every single shoebox out of my closet, removing the shoes, and taking each pair for a test-drive.

She was in heaven.

It was a disaster that took quite some time to clean up, but I was so honored by Itty Bitty Fashionista’s appreciation of my footwear arsenal that I didn’t even care.

If I fail in all other areas of motherhood, at least I will know I’ve taught my daughter the importance of donning a fabulous pair of shoes.

001002And she’s showing some serious walking-in-heels-talent.  It’s very impressive for a two-year-old.  I mean, I know grown women who can’t walk in heels like Miss Thang can.

009010She can even do her signature tripod move in heels.  Move over Shawn Johnson.


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Adoption Story: Part I

Lately, I’ve felt led to share the story of how our sweet baby girl came into our lives.  It’s my number one favorite story of all time and I would absolutely love it if, by telling it, I was able to encourage just one (or maybe more) of you readers out there.

So, here goes…

Travis and I had been married for two and a half years when I came down with a serious case of the baby bug.  It took a couple of weeks to convince Trav that we were ready to enter such a serious stage of life, but soon he warmed up to the idea.

I was the kind of girl that went into it just knowing I would get pregnant the very first month of “trying.”  I was so convinced that I actually put pregnancy tests in Trav’s Christmas stocking that year.  I know, I know…I have a weird sense of humor.

A few weeks after Christmas, I went to Dallas for a girls getaway.  The time for me to find out that I was preggers would have been while I was on the trip, so I made sure I had my pregnancy tests in tow.  Needless to say, I was stunned when I began to feel my cramps creepin’ in the day before I should have taken the test.  I was completely annoyed when I “started” the next day and it was obvious that I was not in fact pregnant.

I thought, “Oh well, I’m sure it will happen next month.”

Little did I know that this was the beginning of many, many, many months of frustration.

Patience has never been one of my virtues, and it was definitely in short supply during this time in my life.

After a few months, I started buying fertility predictor kits, books, herbs, a basal thermometer, and all sorts of other crazy stuff that was supposed to “fix” the problem we were facing. We charted, we researched, we tried this, we tried that.

I read Taking Charge Of Your Fertility front to back and, by-golly, I was ready to “take charge.”

Still, nothing.

Each month, I would get my hopes up, but each month would end in tears.

It’s such a roller coaster.  You have one week of “trying,” two weeks of waiting to find out, then one week of absolute devastation.  Then you start the whole cycle over again.  Then again. Then again. Then again.

Some months were worse than others.  It was the first time in my life I felt completely out of control.  It was also the first time I had experienced depression.  I began having anxiety attacks and seriously felt like I was becoming a crazy lady.  I had always been so happy and care-free in life, but suddenly I was a mess.  I desperately wanted to trust the Lord with the entire situation, but just couldn’t understand the how or why or what of everything.

Two years went by and we were still on the vicious roller coaster.

We finally decided to see a doctor.  We did more research and found Dr. Lyles.  He’s one of the best fertility doctors in the nation and just happens to be right here in KC.  We filled out loads of paperwork and went in for our consultation.  Dr. Lyles was very hopeful with our situation.  We were both healthy and young, which make fertility treatment success much higher.

He decided it would be worth a shot to try IUI (intra-uterine insemination) at least once before trying anything more invasive and costly.

It sounded like a great plan to us.  Once again, I was absolutely convinced IUI would work.  We went through all the steps and then into the waiting stage.

I was on the phone with my best friend, Virginia, when I realized it hadn’t worked.  That day was definitely my all-time low.  I immediately fell to pieces and cried, and cried, and then cried some more.  Travis came home and found me just laying here sobbing and he instantly knew.  Seeing him only made it hurt that much worse.  He was absolutely amazing through it all and just held me and loved me.

I dragged myself to work the next day only to sit and listen to my pregnant office-mate bitch and moan about how awful being pregnant was.  It took every ounce of will power within me to not leap across my desk and punch her in the face.  Told you I was going crazy.  I had listened to her for months at this point and just didn’t think I could take it anymore.

I would have given anything to have morning sickness, fat ankles, and an aching back because all of that would have meant that I was pregnant.

After a couple of weeks, we went back to see Dr. Lyles and re-discuss our game plan.  He suggested we go ahead and attempt in-vitro fertilization.  We decided to go for it.

I began the meds and was a week away from taking my first injection when I received the phone call that changed our lives forever.

To be continued…

Click here to read Adoption Story: Part II

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Neighborhood Crush

Love is in the air, in our neck o’ the woods.  I’m watching a crush unfold right before my eyes.  Our neighbor, Nate, is falling and he’s falling hard.

For Arle.

It’s hilarious.  He lights up like a Christmas tree whenever he sees her.  He’s totally and completely smitten.

He even brought her a cucumber from his Mommy’s garden.  If that isn’t love, I don’t know what is.


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Fancy Arle

Arle has recently developed a “Fancy Nancy” obsession.  She received the original Fancy Nancy book as a birthday gift from one of our neighbors, and it has quickly become a favorite.

For those of you unfamiliar with Nancy, she’s  a little girl who loves all things fancy, but her family members are all a bunch of plain-janes.  Her mission is to teach her family how to become fancy.

Arle has decided she wants to help Nancy make the world a fancier place and now declares all sorts of things “fancy.”  When I put bows in her hair, she says, “Ooooh, that’s fancy!”

When she wore her tutu to church yesterday, she declared, “It’s like Nancy!”

When I tuck her in at night, I’ve started saying, “Goodnight, Fancy Arle.”   She replies back with, “Goodnight, Fancy Mommy.”

Last week she was digging around in our coat closet and decided to dress fancy.  She found a hat and a couple of scarves that helped achieve the look she was going for.  She asked for some helping getting the scarves tied just right, then topped the ensemble off with her fabulously-fancy sunglasses.  She was instantly transformed into “Fancy Arle.”

Here’s the final product:


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That Was Awesome

Our holiday weekend was fantastic.

We celebrated the day with our friends, Kent, Traci, Logan, and Maddox.  We went to a local Fourth of July celebration and the kiddos had a great time.  The girls went through one of those huge bouncy-obstacle-course/slide-thingamajigs for their first time ever and they both loved it.

Here’s Logan waiting for the “green light” to let her in.


Here’s Miss waiting for her turn and getting a pep talk from her Daddy. You can tell she’s soaking in each and every word.


We decided Trav needed to escort Arle, because she would have never been able to navigate the place on her own.

But then, Arle totally beat Trav to the top.  See her little noggin peeking over the edge???


And, finally, there’s Trav.  Geez, what took you so long???


Here comes our little dare devil.


Check out this form.


“I wanna do again!  I wanna do again!”

073After all that hard work, she took a Cheddar Bunny break.


That night, we went to a park and watched some fabulous fireworks.

This was Arle’s first year to actually see fireworks and we weren’t sure how she would react.  She absolutely loved them, though, and didn’t seem the least bit freaked out by all the noise and hoopla.

As a parent, there’s something so fascinating about watching your child experience something new and exciting for the first time.  I loved watching her expressions, answering all of her questions about what to expect, hearing her “ooohs and ahhhs” in the moment, and listening to her say, “That was awesome!!!!” over and over and over again, as we walked back to the car.

She even said, “Thank you, Momma-Daddy!” as we headed home.  It was as though she thought we had put on the show just for her.

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Birthday Cheer

See this girl?


She turns TWO today.


TWO!!???  How can that be???


We celebrated her birthday on Saturday.  She’s been waiting for “Birthday Party Day” for a LONG time.

We went to a birthday party back in March and she’s been obsessed with the event ever since.

Her favorite song is “Happy Birthday To You” and she sings it ALL THE TIME.

We’ll be driving along in silence and suddenly she’ll say, “I need my birthday party.”

Last Wednesday, I went in to get her after her nap and she said, “Oh no!  I almost forgot my birthday party!”

Later she was playing with her pots and pans and I asked what she was making.  She answered, “Birthday party soup.”

One day she suddenly said, “I want toys.”

I said, “What kind of toys?”

She said, “Birthday toys.”

I said, “What kind of birthday toys?”

She said, “Birthday present toys.”

Because of her excitement, I tried my best to make the big day special.  We did a cupcake theme and I may have gone a bit overboard, but it was all worth it.

I made the invitations.  I bought the two different sized circles at Paper Source, as well as the cupcake stamp.  I then “sprinkled” the cupcakes with glitter-glue.


I made a banner with pre-cut scalloped paper and some cutie-patootie cupcake ribbon.  I used a c.d. to trace the circles on the printed paper and a credit card to trace the rectangles.  Then I simply glued on the glittery chip-board letters.  All of the supplies for the banner were found at Michael’s



My friend, Kristin, and I made Bakerella’s cupcake pops that tasted every bit as good as they looked.





My friend Ellie and I made homemade chocolate cupcakes with cream cheese butter-cream frosting and strawberry cupcakes with fresh strawberry icing that is absolutely heavenly.  Make some soon.


And I made an over-sized cupcake cake.


Don’t tell my guests, but I used five pounds of butter, one pound of cream cheese, and 2 pounds of sugar for the spread.  Needless to say, I was completely baked out by the time it was all said and done, but it was so much fun.

As the guests arrived, Arle wasted no time snagging their gifts and taking them to the “Birthday Room,” aka the dining room.


She also wasted no time getting the party started as she climbed onto a chair and dipped into the cake a bit early. It’s a good thing my grandmother doesn’t read my blog because, if there’s one thing she hates in the world, it’s people licking their fingers.  Especially ladies.  Before my wedding, she gave me strict instructions to not lick my fingers after feeding wedding cake to Trav.  I think, in the heat of the moment, I may have done it anyway.  I digress…


Trav lit the birthday candles and we sang her favorite song.  She did a great job of blowing out the candles.  If I had to guess, I’d say she wished for a life-time supply of fresh bagels from Einstein.


She ate maybe two bites of cake before diving into a cupcake pop.


Then, the “birthday present toy” opening began.



We had a cupcake decorating station set up for the kiddos.  They each decorated four cupcakes with as many sprinkles as they could possibly sprinkle.  I found some cute little cupcake boxes at Michael’s for them to put their masterpieces in and take home as their party favors, along with a few cupcake pops.



All of the “big kids” had a great time watching the little kids.


In order to avoid sugar-induced-comas, we then went outside to let the kiddos blow some bubbles and run around a bit.


Happy birthday to my sweet baby girl.  You mean the world to me, and I love you so very much!

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