Here is my final installment of the February Photo-a-Day challenge!  I did it!  And I enjoyed it so much, that I'll be participating in March too.

I hope you're enjoying my pictures as much as I'm enjoying displaying them to you. 

Here's a final look at the challenge:

Day 21:  A Fave Photo Of You
This is one of my all time faves.  This picture was taken on one of the happiest days of my life: my wedding day.  Can't you just see the happiness in my eyes?

Day 22: Where You Work
I work at home... as a mom.  These two little guys are my full time job.  Lots of work and lots of fun!

Day 23: Your Shoes
These shoes are part of my mom-uniform.  Don't mind the RA toes... at least my nails look nice! 

Day 24: Inside Your Bathroom Cabinet
This is embarrassing.  But honestly, most of it isn't ours... it's my sister-in-law's stuff from when she lived here before she got married... 3 years ago!  Mirella, pick up your crap!  I'm just going to have to box it up for her.

Day 25: Green
Forgot to take this picture until it was almost too late.  

Day 26: Night
A really cloudy night sky... that white dot is the hidden moon. 

Day 27: Something You Ate
Dove dark chocolate... yummmm.

Day 28: Money
A tip left after a play date pizza lunch. 

Day 29: Something You're Listening To
I have been listening, watching and analyzing data videos for my sister-in-laws masters thesis.  I've been working on it for 3 weeks now... Alaina, I promise I'll be all done by Friday! 

You can follow along in March on Twitter (@NicoleTableFor4) or Instagram (NicAvesani).  And be sure to check back here periodically for updates!
Thanks for stopping by!

Sock Saga

As a mom of boys, I knew I'd have a lot of struggles.  Messiness.  Spills.  Dirty faces.  Fist fights.  Broken bones.  ER visits.

But I never thought that one of my struggles would be clothes. 

I was always under the impression that boys didn't care too much about their dress and thus, I could choose their adorable man clothes with ease.  I was wrong. 

Marco is becoming increasingly more difficult each morning, afternoon and night when we are choosing clothes.  We have increased our wardrobe changes from 2 times a day to 3 because now he refuses to nap in his day clothes and wants to choose his "nap clothes".  He is always concerned about having to get dressed and goes through his closet and drawer a million times a day.

My bestie thinks I shouldn't give him an option... just tell him what he's going to wear and smack him if he defies me.  Easier said than done.  I've tried... really, I have.  But fighting does not get us ready and out the door any faster.  We are all in a better mood if I just allow him to choose between a few options and we get going. 

The biggest problem and my biggest frustration is with socks.  He puts on and takes off and changes his socks a ton of times per day.  He'll go to sleep with one pair and wake up with another... he must be sleep sock changing or something!  I can't find a bunch of socks because he'll take them off and leave them wherever... the car, his toy chest, his bed, the bathroom, under the table, outside... you name it!  So we have a bunch of mismatches.  But what I've now realized is that he LIKES the mismatches.  Because it's not cool enough to wear ONE pair of socks... no no no, he wants to wear TWO at once.  

We have a bunch of Toy Story socks, Cars socks and assorted sports socks.  So if he wants to wear his "Soccer Basketball" socks, that means ONE soccer and ONE basketball sock.  If he wants to wear his Cars sock, they have to be different so he can sport as many Cars characters as humanly possible at one time.  And my all time favorite... Toy Story.  He has to be sure that he's wearing the "friends", so he has to wear one Woody and one Buzz sock at the same time.  

Do you know what this does to my laundry sorting?  Or the state of the drawers?  Pure and utter chaos and confusion! 

Tell me it gets better.  Tell me they out grow this.  Tell me my sock saga will come to an end.  Or should I just buy plain white socks from now on?

The Nail Files

It's my first time linking up with the Nail Files and I'm so excited!

The only reason I am linking up in the first place is because my mom decided to spoil me and take me to get a mani/pedi on Monday.  Ahhh, it's the life I lead... sooo glamorous!

My nails... are... atrocious. FYI

The Nail Files

My mom was upset at my color choice, but I thought it was fun.  Besides, I have nowhere serious to go to, so why not have fun with it.  It's not like I have a wedding or serious job to go to... I'm with my kids and other moms all day everyday.  I want to do FUN colors.

So I did.
It was a little challenging to take this picture because of the RA, but I got it!
Color: O.P.I.- I Want to be A-Lone Star

I love it because it's like a silvery blue.  Very cool and very fun!

Glad I got to link up and hope I can do more in the future!  Did you do your nails this week?  Go link up!

myTunes Tuesday

Jonas is starting to sing.  So far he can "sing" a portion of Twinkle Twinkle and also Happy Birthday.  He does a great job too... when Marco allows.  Here's his debut at 16 months!

#febphotoaday {11-20}

Here we are with the second installment of the February Photo-a-day challenge.  In case you missed my first set, you can check it out HERE.

I must say, I was a little bored with this set... just not interesting or fun enough.  You'll see.
But first, here's a reminder of the challenge days.

Day 11:  Makes You Happy
Can anything make me happier than my children?  Yes... my sleeping children!  But seriously, beautiful right?

Day 12:  Inside Your Closet
This is sad.  Since we're living with my in-laws, Mau and I share a closet... and it's filled mostly as a storage unit.  Our clothes are crammed together and space is so limited that if we get something new, we must get rid of something old.  I don't ever want to hear any of you complaining about not having enough space... EVER! 

Day 13:  Blue
The beautiful blue skies in Miami.  One of the perks of living here. 

Day 14:  Heart
I thought this was sweet for Valentines day.  

Day 15:  Phone
Had to make this one interesting, so I used Jonas' phone as inspiration.

Day 16:  Something New
I almost didn't have anything for this one.  I don't buy new things every day!  But then the book I won from Book Nook Club arrived just in time!

Day 17:  Time
My favorite time of day... nap time!  (also see Day 11). 

Day 18:  Drink
Was so late on this one.  I actually had a pretty glass of wine but forgot to take my picture.  So here you go... my last drink of the day.  "Whoa, someone get me a glass, cause I just found myself a tall drink... of waaater" (anyone watch Tangled?  Anyone?)

Day 19:  Something You Hate To Do
I really do hate brushing my teeth.  Most boring 4 minutes of my day.  But I promise I still do it... twice a day... every day.  

Day 20:  Handwriting 
I don't love my handwriting.  It's sporadic too.  This is my Bible Study Fellowship (BSF) homework.  Intense. 

There you have it!  If you'd like to follow along daily, you can follow me on Twitter (@NicoleTableFor4) or on Instagram (NicAvesani).  Check back in on the 29th for my last installment of #febphotoaday!

Looky, Looky...

See anything different?

Yup, I gave my blog a mini-make over!

Really, I love my blog layout and template but there were some things I was lacking and some things I needed to update.

My favorite, most awesome, most proud addition to my blog is my BUTTON!  Grab it.  Flaunt it.  Distribute it.  I'm so proud because I made it BY MYSELF... using a tutorial (duh).  If you want to make your own button, I strongly suggest using THIS TUTORIAL which was easy, user friendly and flawless.  What do you think?

Some new features (aside from my incredible button), I have a search bar for searching within my blog.  So if you want to find all my posts about breastfeeding, RA or poop, you can do so easily now!

I also have a small "welcome" of sorts.  Hi!

And if you scroll towards the bottom, I have a blog roll that lists all of the blogs I frequent and LOVE.  If you'd like to be included on my roll, please let me know and I'd be more than happy to add you. 

I think that this little make over is just what I needed.  I was feeling a little down about my blogging lately... and I haven't posted much.  After tonight, I'm feeling a bit more rejuvenated and excited.  

Thanks for hanging around and sharing in my life!  You are each very special to me. 

He Said

Funny things Marco has said lately:

I put Marco on timeout for deliberately pooping in his pants (it wasn't an accident).  He was crying hysterically.  So when his time was up, I went in to his room and very seriously,
"What did you learn?"
I wanted to hear "I do caca on the toilet only".  But that's not what I got.  He looked at me with confusion and said
I had to leave the room I was laughing so hard.

Marco loves the movie Tangled... (so do I by the way).  He goes up to Mauricio every day and says "Papai, you want da princess hair?" It wasn't until last night that we finally understood what he wanted him to do.  He wants Mauricio to put the blanket on his head so that it's draped down his back like "long princess hair".  And what a pretty princess he would make!

When I tell him he's gonna get a spanking, (pow-pows), he replies,
"No Mama, I don want pow-pows... dey hurt".
Yeah, kinda the point there buddy.

He's also a complete know-it-all, and argumentative like no other... a teenaged toddler.

My mom and I were driving with the boys in the back and yapping away like we always do.  Jonas was sleeping soundly, but Marco was listening intently to every word.
My mom said "... you know, because you live in Miami..."
Marco interupted her and said, "NOOO... we live in MY-ami".

Yesterday Marco and Mauricio were counting together...
16, 17, 18, 19...
Mauricio paused to allow Marco to have the big finish.
Marco said "TWELVE-TY"... wrong and strong.
Mauricio corrected him... "No Marco, it's TWENTY".
And Marco corrected HIM, "Papai, it's TWELVE-TY, ok?"

And lastly, another poop story because it's too funny not to share.
Marco is obsessed with Cars paraphernalia.  OBSESSED. So when my mom found the Huggies wipes in Cars packaging, she had to buy it for him.
He always says, "I need my Cars wipes for my nose and my booty".  But he says "Boody".
So the other day, Mauricio announced that he was going to the bathroom.  To which Marco generously offered, "Papai, you can use my Cars wipes for your boody".  LOL!

Stay tuned for more funny antics from Marco... I'm sure there's bound to be more!

Happy {valentines} Mail

Ever since seeing THIS BLOG via Pinterest, I've been dying to send my own "Happy Mail".  I decided that Valentines day would be the perfect unexpected holiday to surprise my friends's daughters with a little love.

This was so fun and inexpensive and I think it really brought a smile to their faces!  Who doesn't love receiving mail?  But add to it a bottle FILLED with fun goodies... now that's awesome!

And, not many people know you can just put stamps on an empty water bottle and toss it in the mail... I know I didn't until reading the Giverslog.  So fun.  Imagine opening your mailbox and finding "happy mail"... ahhh, so exciting!

Here's what I bought.  All from Target dollar bins.
~ Pencils
~ Heart erasers
~ Jelly stickers
~ foamy word stickers (love, hugs, kiss)
~ glittery heart stickers
~ those bracelets that are shaped like things (I forget the name).
~ poms

Then I shoved it all into a water bottle, slapped a cute label on it and *voila*.  We have "happy mail".

I weighed them and they came in at just about 3oz... according to USPS, that's 5 stamps.

All in all, I spent under $10 to make both these gifts and hopefully I made two little ladies very happy on Valentines day.

Did you notice that these gifts are actually from Marco and Jonas?  My little casanovas.  I had nothing to do with it... really.

#febphotoaday {1-10}

I decided to participate in the Photo a Day challenge this month.  I saw everyone doing it in January and thought I'd give it a try for the shortest month... if I liked it, maybe I'd consider keeping it up. And do I like it?

Love it.

For those of you not aware of what it is, a blogger put together a list of things to take pictures of on a daily basis.  You take the picture on the day and post it to twitter using the hashtag #febphotoaday.  You can also post it to twitter and Facebook.

I love it because it's challenging me to be more "artistic" in my picture taking... and not just taking pictures of my babies. haha. If you'd like to follow along with me on a daily basis, follow me on twitter (@NicoleTableFor4) or on Instagram (NicAvesani).

All my pictures were taken using the iPhone 4S and made pretty by Instagram.


Day 1: Your View Today
I was at Bible Study Fellowship on Wednesday morning and thought this was the perfect view.  Women worshiping Jesus. 

Day 2:  Words
Lunch menu at Deli Lane.  I took this one primarily because it had the date. 

Day 3:  Hands
The most perfect hands... I made them.

Day 4:  Stranger
I took this at the Mayfair plaza while waiting to go into work.  This girl was a stranger then, but turns out she was one of the students I was subbing for! 

Day 5: 10am
Coffee before church, and a little inspiration.

Day 6:  Dinner
Rosemary Chicken Burgers with Corn on the cobb.  Yummo.  Here's the recipe... You're welcome!

Day 7:  Button
The number 7 for day 7.

Day 8:  Sun
It was really overcast and the sun did not come out all day... so I decided to take a picture of MY son instead.  Cutie. 

Day 9:  Front Door
The front door at my in-laws house... where we're living. 

Day 10:  Self Portrait
Just me... hello. 

So which is your favorite?  I don't know about you, but I think they're all pretty decent.

Check back on the 20th for the next installment of #febphotoaday!

Peanut Butter Heart

Sometimes it's the little things.

When I was a little girl, my mom used to make my lunch sandwiches.  She'd make my PB&J's and always tell me she was putting extra love in it.  She'd take her knife and smooth a heart into the peanut butter before sticking the jellied bread on top.  When I ate it, I always knew there was a heart inside... with all of my mom's love.

When I went to high school, she'd still make my sandwiches... and still draw in the heart.  Even though I was way too cool for that "kid stuff", I still secretly loved it.

When I went to college and would come home for lunch, she'd stand in the kitchen and make my PB&J's and even still draw that heart inside.  By this time it was a force of habit.  And I still loved it... it was my secret heart.

Today while making a PB&J for my boys, I remembered my mom.  I asked Marco if he wanted extra love in his sandwich, and drew it a perfect peanut butter heart.

While he ate it, he knew it was there.  His secret heart, with all of his mama's love inside.

Tag, You're It!

Actually, I'm it... for now.  But you're it next!

Callie from Through Clouded Glass tagged me in a blog link-up game thingy.  Fun!
The rules are:
1.  Tell 11 random facts about me
2.  Answer the 11 questions provided by tagger.
3.  Tag new people with 11 new questions.

I was recently passed a different blog tag award and you can read my random facts HERE.  I honestly am not interesting enough to come up with 11 new random facts about myself.
But I will answer the questions that Callie asked, so here we go:

1.  If you could listen to one album for the rest of your life, what would it be?
Definitely Jason Mraz at Java Joes... it's his acoustic album from before he blew up.  I love this album for several reasons... first, it's acoustic.  Second, he improvises and scats throughout... hot.  And last, I used to listen to this cd religiously when Mau and I first started dating, so every song reminds me of our blossoming love... double hot. 

2.  If you were a teacher, what subject would you teach?
I was a teacher.  I used to teach middle school Chorus and I loved it.  The only subject I'd ever want to teach is Chorus.  The only reason I can handle the job is because it's music.  I love music, not teaching and not children.  haha.

3.  What is your favorite verse/quote?
"I can do ALL things through Him who strengthens me" Philippians 4:13

4.  Why did you start blogging?
I started blogging because I was too lazy to put together a scrap book of Marco's first year, and then felt incredibly guilty.  So I decided that keeping a journal/blog/log/record of his life with stories, pictures and lessons would be way more valuable than a baby book.  But then I realized that by doing this, I was learning a lot about myself too.  And I got hooked. 

5.  What is one book you think everyone should read (besides the Bible)?
1984.  But you have to read it as an adult and not as a school assignment.  If you read it in high school, you must read it again. It's genius.  And terrifying. 

6.  Favorite drink to get at Starbucks?
Depending on if I'm thirsty or not.  If I'm thirsty, then it's a Caramel Frap.  If I'm not thirsty, then a Caramel Machiatto

7.  Would you rather it snow or rain?
Rain.  I abhor the snow.  Snow is fun... for about 2 minutes.  That's all.

8.  Advice that your mom gave you that you never forgot?
Always wear a bra.

9.  Most read website or blog?
Facebook junky and now I'm becoming addicted to Twitter too... 

10.  One thing you'd tell your 13 year old self?
"In one year, you'll meet your husband... and he'll be young and immature... but wait for him anyway, and don't do anything stupid". 

11.  What do you hope people will say about you after you die?
She loved Jesus and is now living with Him.  
Now I pass this honor on to a few blogs that I read and love.  You should check them out too!

Mama Dee at Sleep Is For The Weak

Jessi at Notes of Life and Love

Aly at Alys Bloggity Blog

Allie at Table For More

S at Already Right Where I Belong

Ladies, if you've recently been tagged, please don't feel like you have to re-do it... no obligation here, just have fun! And here are your 11 questions:

1.  If you could meet and hang out with the cast of one reality tv show, which would it be?
2.  How many kids do you want?
3.  What would be your dream job?
4.  If you won the lotto, what charity would you donate to?
5.  If money was no problem what would you want for your birthday?
6.  What is the last book you read and did you enjoy it?
7.  What is the last movie you saw and did you enjoy it?
8.  What is your #1 parenting principle?
9.  What is your #1 marriage principle?
10. What is your favorite weekday dinner to make?
11. Why do you enjoy blogging?

And if you get a chance to read, one of the most powerful posts I've ever written:
On this day in 2011: Not By Me, But By Him

So Random Saturday

Saturday again, people.  Yay!

1.  This morning, I'm actually being very productive.  I was asked to substitute at work today, so I have a full day! I'm teaching lessons from 9-2:30!  Driving to work today was NOT a waste of time and money, can you believe it?!  So happy!

2.  Yesterday I booked a vacation... on a whim.  My in-laws are part of the Wyndham resort time share program and they are ALWAYS calling.  Usually I don't answer, but yesterday, for whatever reason, I did.  They were offering a vacation, with guests at an incredible price.  Yes, we have to sit through a session, but Mauricio can say "no" to anyone when it comes to money.  Here's what we got... get ready to die.  4 days/3 nights, 2 rooms, 4 Disney park tickets and a $50 American Express gift card... all for... wait for it... $200.  Did you get that?!  $200 for ALL of that!  And the resort?  Ahhh-mazing.  It's a 5 star, brand spankin' new resort.  The Wyndham Grand at Bonnet Creek.  I'm dying.  Dying.  I Can.Not.Wait.

3.  My amazingly talented cousin is a woman of all trades.  She has a yummy skin product line called Skin Candy.  All her products are completely 100% natural and organic... and delicious.  For Valentines Day, she's promoting these heart shaped soaps that smell like cinnamon and clove.  Best part?  A portion of the proceeds go to the Children's Cancer Research Organization! It's only $5 for 3 soaps.  Great deal, great price, great product!  Buy it!

4.  I'm reading Under the Dome by Stephen King.  And it's long.  Really long.  Like over 1000 pages, long.  I'm not sure if I want to read it.  It's uncomfortable to hold.  And I think I'm going to fall behind on my challenge if I take the time to read this thing.  Even though it's the length of 3 books, it only counts as 1.  Then one of my booky friends told me she read it and only gave it 3 stars... so now I don't know if it's worth it.  Have you read it?  What are your thoughts?

5.  2012 is going to be a BIG BABY year!  So many pregnant women, OMG.  Already, 4 people I'm close to are pregnant... not to mention all the blog mama's I "know" and acquaintances.  This is the year, people.  All the cool kids are doing it... literally.  haha.  And me?  So happy to hold everyone else's newborns... and hand them back.

6.  I went to the dentist this week for the first time in a long time.  I'm embarrassed by how long it's been... ahem.2years.ahem.  And, I also got Mauricio to go!  If it's been long for me, you don't even want to KNOW how long it's been for him.  I'll reserve his privacy and not tell you.  And I'm happy to report that we both have shining, clean and healthy teeth.  Yay!
7.  My kids break everything.  Recently they've broken the xbox... which will cost at LEAST $60 to repair.  How did they break it?  Turning it on and off and opening and closing the tray.  Jonas is hypnotized by the green light... "must...touch...it".  Well, now... broken.  2 xbox remotes are also broken... chewed straight through.  An xbox cable and a cable for the laptop have also been chewed on and now have exposed wires.  A wireless mouse has been dropped repeatedly and now does not click.  And the list can go on... but I'll stop there.  Moral of the story?  My kids need to keep their grimy hands off our stuff AND we need to learn how to put our stuff up.  
8.  I'm participating in the February Photo a Day challenge.  Super fun!  If you're not participating, you should.  I post my pics to FB, twitter (@NicoleTableFor4) and instagram (Nicavesani).  I'll also be updating my blog with the pictures every 10 days or so.  Follow me and play along!  

Until next Saturday... have a great weekend! Peace.

Just 5 Minutes

I'm sure by now you've all read the Don't Carpe Diem article that was rocking every mom's world last week.  It was a great article and I felt I could relate to it pretty perfectly.

What the writer says is true... the day to day sucks.  And anyone who thinks or imagines or says that it's "easy" or "joyous" is full of it.  Being a mom is a tiring uphill battle.

My father-in-law says that being a parent is a Horrible Paradise.  I loved that.  A paradise because what is better than having children and seeing them grow?  Nothing.  But it's horrible because it's difficult.

And from moms with grown children, we hear "oh just wait, time goes by so quickly"... and my favorite (because it's true) is "the days are long but the years are short."  The days are tortuously long.

Then this morning I had a little chat with my mom.  She mentioned that she was passing by a landmark where "I used to let you take a sip from your water on long trips".  She was remembering me as a child.  And she started to cry.

One thing about my mom... she cries... a lot.

Me, being used to the waterworks, brushed her off.  But then she said something that struck a chord in me...

"Sometimes I just want 5 minutes with my little girl". 

And then I started to cry.

Although she is so happy and fulfilled to have seen me grow up, have a life of my own and have children of my own, it doesn't change the fact that I'm her baby... and she misses her baby.  Not that she wants me to be a baby... but maybe just for 5 minutes.

And don't I already feel that way?  I look at pictures of my boys, smushy faced and wrinkly, and I want to hold them again... like that... for 5 minutes.

I do not want a newborn... I have no desire to revisit that stage of my life.  But for 5 minutes?  Absolutely.

I'm so happy my children are growing and learning and moving forward every day.  I am proud of the way we're raising them and the values we're instilling in them.  I don't want to stop moving or move backwards.

But I would like a tiny time portal. Is that too much to ask?

Just for 5 minutes.

On this day in 2011: Proud Musical Mama