Thank you for stopping by! As I rarely have time to update this blog anymore, please come visit me at my new photoblog, Cari Berry Photography where I'll blog the occassional Beauty and the little Beast story, as well as post sneak peeks and stories from all my photo sessions. I try to give return blog love to all visitors over there, and hope to start giveaways there in the very near future!

For visitors to this blog, please accept my apologies, but I've had to turn on captcha because of the insane amount of spam comments I've been getting. Dontcha hate it when one bad apple ruins it for everyone else??!! ;)

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

You Capture: My Favorite Things. Enter to Win!

I just discovered a new carnival called You Capture! It's aimed at people who want to improve their skills in photography, or just want to have some fun with a camera. This week's challenge was to take a picture of something you love. Without a flash. No problem! But since it's a challenge, taking a picture of the kids seems too easy. Instead, here is something else I love.

Mr. Salty's Chocolate Covered Pretzels. Love might be too mild a word for what I feel about them. They are an obsession. And perhaps a small part of the reason I'm not losing a pound of my baby weight. Though I like to tell myself that I have an undiagnosed thyroid problem to blame for my chubbiness. Not likely, but whatever makes me feel better, right?!

Now here's the best part of this post! I love these pretzels so much, I want to share them with you! That's right. All you have to do is a) comment on this post, and b) follow my blog. I will choose THREE (count em 3!) following commenters at random to recieve a box of Mr. Salty's Chocolate Covered Pretzels in the mail. Tell your friends! Contest ends Wednesday at 3 pm PST!

Oh, and, Pssst.... Click here to win something cute for a very minimal amount of effort!

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

What the %@*#? Wednesday, 2nd Edition

There are hundreds of dollars worth of toys in this house. Toys that light up, talk, sing, roll, bounce; toys that even drive themselves. I'm beginning to think we've wasted every hard-earned penny spent at Toys 'R' Us. The little Beast would rather play with arbitrary, decidedly non-toylike items he finds around the house (like this). Case in point - I left the little Beast alone for a nap, and this is what he did instead of sleeping.

What the %$*#?! Yes, those are diapers. A LOT of diapers. In a mix of types and sizes, which made it a pretty difficult mess to pick up. Oh well... at least they were clean.

Sunday, February 22, 2009

I Heart {B&W} Tuesdays!

we picture {this}

Not Me! Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! invented by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week. I've never participated in this meme before, but this week, I was just such an exceptionally superior mother and human being, that I couldn't resist bragging about a few of the things I didn't do! *wink, wink*

I certainly did not cuss out another car while driving my kiddos to the park this week, and my toddler did not immediately and repeatedly mimic the foul language I didn't speak. And I was not amused and grateful that he mistakenly pronounced my colorful word as "ack-jass" instead of shouting it out the right way.

I did not eat an entire bag of Famous Amos bite-sized cookies in one sitting. I wouldn't do that because I am on a diet. I'm going to lose 15 pounds in 11 weeks, which will be a piece of cake (pun intended) because I possess the most amazing willpower and never give in to my sweet tooth cravings.

I also did not create a makeshift lipstick out of Carmex and pink marker after I did not forget my favorite gloss when meeting friends for lunch this week. I am not that desperately vain.

I did not throw a stuffed dog at my son's head to get him to quiet down while I was on the phone after my highly-effective finger-snapping, glaring and exaggerated head shaking did not work. That would be childish and borderline abusive. And of course I am a model of maturity and unshakable patience.

And speaking of my extraordinary patience, there is no way that instead of cuddling the little Beast as he bawled his eyes out after taking a tumble, I might have said "Well, if you had listened to mommy in the first place and not climbed up the changing table, you wouldn't have fallen and hurt yourself!" I didn't say that because I am endlessly empathetic, even at the end of an extremely trying, napless day!

There, glad I got that off my chest. If you've got some things you want to cop to NOT doing this past week, head over to MckMama's site and play Not Me! too.

Friday, February 20, 2009

Field Trip Friday!

Hi friends! I'm starting a new feature on Fridays where I recommend my favorite post of the week by a fellow blogger. This week, there's a two-way tie for the posts that made me laugh the hardest. So pack a sack lunch, find a buddy, and take a 2-destination field trip on me!

First stop is Miss Disgrace, where you can "eavesdrop" on a very funny conversation with her toddler.

Next check out "THE DIAPER DIARIES: Always loaded; sometimes full of crap" and read about her hilariously embarrassing special moment!

Have a great time visiting my favorite blogs of the week, but check back soon to find out what new craziness the little Beast has thought up!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

My Big Fat Accomplishment

I picked up the little Beast's usual gourmet lunch at the Golden Arches today. Yeah, that's right, I'm a stellar mom when it comes to balanced nutrition (a multi-vitamin and a Pediasure count, right?) Anyway, as we were pulling away from the drive-through window, I handed him his Happy Meal toy over the back of my seat. Thrilled beyond measure with the cheap hunk of plastic that would shortly be lost and forgotten amongst the other debris stuffed under the backseat, he cheerfully exclaimed, "Thanks, mom! I so proud you!"

Wow! After 2 years, 5 months, and 10 days of exhausting, exasperating, unceasing hard work on his behalf, the little Beast FINALLY offered some measure of gratitude and praise. For what? For handing him a 25 cent toy that came with the artery-clogging meal that I bought, rather than made, and served in the car. Well done, mama, well done.

What the %@*#? Wednesday

Over the weekend, my dear husband (DH) spotted the little Beast chewing something while glancing around furtively. "What are you eating?", he asked. The little Beast offered the standard toddler response to that question, which is to clamp one's mouth tightly shut and paste the most wide-eyed, innocent look one can muster onto his face. Not fooled for a second, DH pried open the little Beast's jaws and fished this out:

"What IS that?" you ask? Ummmmm.... yeaaaah, THAT is the rubber cap that's supposed to cover the bolt that holds our toilet to the bathroom floor!

What the %@*#? Look how filthy that bolt is! Why would he choose to seek out the dirtiest, most germ-ridden object in our entire house and suck on it? I'd like to be a fly on the wall of his brain for one day, just to get some idea of how his thought processes work!

Tune in next week for another fun installment of What the %@*#? Wednesday!

Monday, February 16, 2009

What A WONDER-ful World

This week's theme at I Heart Faces is Wonder. My kids entry is a shot of the little Beast checking out lions at the zoo:
My adult entry is my sister holding my baby girl for the first time:
Check out the other fabulous entries by clicking the button below:

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Glue On a Dog

The other day I left the little Beast unattended in a room with my sister's dog. In a few short minutes, our evil genius managed to let the dog out of her crate, find and open a bottle of Elmer's school glue, and squirt said glue all over said dog. Of course, I reprimanded him, but he was probably confused by my laughing demand that he re-enact the moment so I could capture it on camera for all of you. And here it is:

the Re-enactment

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Beauty's Revenge

Writing about our weekend incident at the mall started me thinking about all the other times my children have thrown up on me. The little Beast was a reflux baby, so for more than a year he regularly showered us with regurgitated milk. When Beauty came along, she was thankfully reflux-free, but did go through a short phase of projectile vomiting. One afternoon, I was walking her around trying to soothe her as she fussed. As usual, the little Beast was underfoot tugging at my pant leg to get my attention. Suddenly, Beauty exploded vomit all over the little Beast's head and upturned faced. My dear husband scooped up our screaming son and ran for the bathroom while I, being the exceptionally compassionate mother I am, hollered after him, "Don't clean him up yet - I need to get my camera!" I laughed all the way to the bathroom thinking that the little Beast had finally gotten a little taste (literally, ugh!) of his own medicine! Anyway, here is that disgusting moment captured for posterity:

Monday, February 9, 2009

Silly Faces Contest

When Beauty was a new baby, she made all kinds of funny faces. I had a hard time choosing the silliest picture to enter this contest.

But the Beast is silly too, so I had to share a pic of him just for fun:

And here is a silly Miss SmartyPants for your enjoyment:

Check out more (and much better) silly photos of kids' faces or submit one of your own over at i heart faces:

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Sorry About the Mess

It started out as a good weekend. After church today, we stopped by the mall so that I could spend a gift certificate. JCPenney was having a grand opening celebration so we headed there first. It was really nice, everything spanking new and sparkling. At least until we got there.

We hadn't been in the store 10 minutes when the little Beast defiled their pristine floors with a couple hundred gallons of vomit. And I just happened to be holding him at the time, so me, him and the shiny new floor were covered in puke. Of course, he had to lose it directly in front of an entrance and a checkout station, so that we could ensure the largest possible audience. Even worse, we were 2 steps from a table full of celebratory cupcakes, and I'm sure the nasty smell was doing nothing for the appetites of Penney's patrons. To top it all off, I hadn't packed a change of clothes in the diaper bag, so I had to strip the little Beast and myself down to our undershirts and stuff our stinky wet clothes into a a plastic shopping sack I begged from a disgruntled and disgusted employee. I won't be showing my face in that store again for a loooooongtime. I got out of there as fast as I could, but it was definitely one of my more embarrassing moments.
(Don't worry - the little Beast is doing okay. Sleeping soundly thanks to a little bit of Tylenol.)

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

My Kids Will Sleep Anywhere.

Beauty Defeats Darth Vader

Asleep at the wheel


Not long ago, the little Beast was struggling to fit an arm into the nose hole on his Mr. Potatohead without success. Frustrated, he threw the toy to the ground and growled, "Daaammit!".

Shocked, I asked him "What did you say?"

He repeated it clear as a bell. I tried to stay disapproving, but could barely hold back laughter. I said, "Go tell Dad what you said."

I followed him into the kitchen where he repeated the curse to Dad. Dad asked, "Where did you learn that word?"

I thought for sure he was going to blame Dad or Auntie or some character on television, but no. Without a second's hesitation, the little Beast pointed an accusing finger at me and said matter-of-factly, "From Mommy."

Oops. Busted by a two-year old.