Thursday, September 16, 2010

Eggs, Bugs, and Beans

This post is inspired by an event my daughter hosted two days ago in her bedroom. I am kicking myself already for not getting pictures, but surely you will understand why. I was cleaning downstairs and Shaelana was watching a movie with a snack. While in another room, I heard her go upstairs, assumingly to play in her room like always. That was my first mistake...never assume anything with a toddler in the house...pure ignorance! After a few minutes up there, I heard her turn on the heater in her room so I immediately went up to turn it off and what I walked into was what resembled a chicken coop massacre.

She had managed to get an 18 count carton of eggs up the stairs, which still had 15 eggs in it and she EGGED her own room. Unbelievable. I was in a state of shock. There, in her freshly painted, newly decorated, brand new EVERYTHING pretty little room was 15 smashed eggs covering every surface but the ceiling. I didn't know whether to yell, laugh, cry or just walk away. The look on her face was priceless and I am certain mine reflected hers. A phone call to Brandon, a bath and a google search later I was off to conquer the mess. I learned that if you put salt on raw egg, it will absorb the goo and assist in cleaning it up so the pouring commensed! Almost 2 containers of salt, plenty of hot water, half a bottle of all purpose cleaner, 3 towels, 2 washcloths, ALOT of elbow grease and nearly an hour later - I managed to clean the mess. Wow.

I heard a great story that made me feel light hearted about the "event" that day. A medical scientist recently received a prestigious award and upon accepting it, he said he wanted to thank his Mom. He said his reason for thanking her all resorted back to one child hood memory when he had gone to the fridge, pulled out everything in it and spread a mess of things all over the floor. When his mother walked in and found the mess, her face went from looking like "she was going to eat me, to a smile". She then sat down in the floor with him, and they played and made designs in the messy kitchen floor. When he asked her why, later in life, she said it was because the mess had already been made, and had to be cleaned regardless, so why not take advantage of the moment and make a memory. And she did. While I didn't play in the egg mess with Shaelana, it did inspire me to try to look at all of the crazy moments differently and take the opportunity to see what positive things could come from it. In addition, my Mom reminded me that God uses many ways to teach us. In this instance, I feel that the lesson to be learned here is that it only takes a brief moment for something disasterous to happen. Possibly it was protection for us. In the time that it took her to have a little fun, a tragedy could happen. It makes me thankful, in an odd twist. I still wonder what inspired her to do that. Possibly her interest in cooking? Maybe a different form of art? Or possibly just found the crunching shell and slippery egg to be too much fun to stop at just one. No matter the cause, I decided that she needed a more acceptable creative outlet!

With that in mind, I took advantage of our surroundings and the next morning we spent some time exploring our own front yard. We discovered so many creatures and life forms and learned some fun things together.

A big slimy slug

Some mystery fruit budding on our tree in the front yard. I still can't figure out what it is...time will tell! I am excited for a fruit tree though!

Some big mushrooms near the hydrangeas

Some little tiny mushrooms near the steps

An earthworm. This guy was the most fun. Shaelana freaked OUT when I picked it up! She was screaming and covering her ears "I don't like the worm! I don't like the worm!" She warmed up to it enough to offer flowers and leaves for him to eat, but refused to touch it! So funny!

One of the many many species of spiders in our yard. On any given day, I promise you will see atleast 15 different types out there. As long as they stay off of us, we leave them alone.

A rolie polie! I loved these as a little girl. Shaelana didn't understand the fascination.

One of my 15 rose bushes in bloom. This one produces sweetheart roses, and I liked this bud.

Yesterday morning, for our daily project, we decided to do some low key crafts!

Her supplies.

Shaelana hard at work on her pretty picture.

The finished project! So fancy. Some of the noodles fell off when we moved it to take the picture. I am thinking liquid glue and flat noodles for the next one!

I have to say, though these little adventures are small, they are a wonderful part of our day. Best of all, Shaelana has been a better behaved child! Ofourse, I haven't replaced the eggs we will see if that lasts...

Ready Set Go!

Okay, so I am back...seriously this time! I finally got a new computer and I have ALOT of catching up to do. Over a years worth of time to be exact! I feel a bit overwhelmed at the idea of backtracking and trying to blog an entire year, in order, prior to blogging about what is going on in our life now so I have decided to just start with NOW. I am sure I will have that "catch-up" post to throw in there somewhere but not today lol!

So, a little update for any who don't know:

In January of this year, Brandon and I decided that more than anything, we were tired of waiting to move out of Arizona, so we just made the decision on where to go, and within 2 weeks of that decision we were on our way to Seattle, Washington!Talk about an awesome whirlwind of an experience and spontanaeity. We were hardcore. The most amazing part is, 8 months later, we are still blissful that we made the decision and it has proved to be a very good one for us in many many aspects of our life.

So here we are! But what are we doing? Well, Brandon was recently promoted from a medical billing specialist, to billing manager and then promoted again to practice manager for the doctor's office he is at! Awesome! I couldn't be more proud of him. He is such an amazing person and he works so hard to take care of us. Now he loves what he does and the people he works with have became friends, not just colleagues, so bonus for us!
Shaelana is 2, closer to 3 now and she is growing way too fast! She is still a short and tiny thing, but what she lacks in size, she makes up for in attitude! Let me just say that having her in our life, there is rarely ever a dull moment. She loves to make us laugh. She adores singing and picks up on songs so quickly it amazes me. Dancing, horses, makeup, puppies, tea parties, Caillou, and Sid the Science Kid are a few of her most favorite things. She is a total rotten mess when she decides to be and there are days I wonder if we are going to make it until bedtime before I lose what little bit of sanity I had in the first place. She is sooo smart! She knows all of her body parts, names and sounds of many many animals, can recognize and point out several letters, can count to 10, tell you her full name, birthday, Mommy and Daddy's name, how old she is, and where she lives. She has a sign language vocabulary of over 60 words! She has been potty trained through the day since she was younger than 2, and at 2 and 4 months, has been completely potty trained through the night as well! Shaelana is just an incredible little joy in our life! I am one proud Momma! Can you tell? :0)

Lexie is nearly 8. She started 2nd grade this year, and is in Texas right now with her Mom, step dad, and brother, but they are in transition to be stationed in Fairbanks, Alaska! What an adventure for her! She is excited and says she "can't wait to live in the North Pole and see polar bears walking down the street"! I love the way kids think! Adorable! She is also became a Brownie this year!

As for me, I just turned 28. Wow. I swear the gray hair and wrinkles showed up the night of my birthday...LOL! I am a stay at home Momma still, but in addition, I have began an at home bakery. This came about purely by accident after I made Shaelana's cake for her first birthday, but I have to say, it is a ton of fun! I mostly do specialty cakes and occasionally home made breads, pies and other goodies. Who knew that something I liked doing for the creative aspects would turn into an income additive to our household? I am enjoying it though and now that we are good and settled here in Washington, I hope to rebuild my clientele. Sooner than later, I plan to have a blog for my cakes too, but one step at a time!

As I am composing this, I am realizing how much I missed blogging!!! It really is theraputic and feels good to get some thoughts and experiences out on "paper". Get ready to see alot of The Bell family on blogspot! We have bookoo's of pictures to post!

Friday, February 26, 2010

Recently we were doing a little spontaneous shopping and we were approached by a photographer who asked if we would be do an impromptu photo shoot of Shaelana. We figured sure! Free portraits involved so why not?

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I am so proud of her! She completely backed out of her holiday portraits and we weren't able to take any of her. Fortunately she warmed up to the camera this time and hammed it up for all of us. Now I can finally schedule an appointment for family portraits! YAY!

***NOW I WANT TO CRY!!! I haven't blogged in a year and while I have many pictures from last year to post, seeing the difference from my last post to this one makes me realize how much my baby has grown up! It is wonderful and heartbreaking all at once. Where did the time go???***

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Earth to Tylonda...Anyone out there?!

Okay so unlike what I originally hoped, I have yet to get a new computer! SAD! I know. I miss blogging and almost a year has gone by. So if you are wondering if I am floating somewhere in space, the answer is yes! Haha! AND we have finally landed! This won't be a long post, and sorry no pictures yet, but I am "dropping in" to say hello, and warn you I will be back soon. *smiles*

Many many many things have happened over the last year, so to play catch up will take time I don't have today, but will make time for very soon as I AM FINALLY getting a new computer! YAY! Not today, but in a couple of weeks. So stay tuned...

I miss you all!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Quick Update

Hello Blogworld!!! My pc is DEAD and I have no way to connect thus the lack of posts and comments. Trust me, I miss it!

We moved into our new house in Catalina about a month and a half ago, and so far we really love it. It is great for our family and what we need at this time in our life so we are very thankful!

Shaelana is doing fantastic, still creating many more opportunities for "Uh-Oh" posts, but to save everyone time, I'll say she is a typical toddler. Big attitude, big agenda, most of which she shouldn't be doing. SMART! She is trying to count to three, can point out many body parts, and sings in baby babble. She understands many directive things and follows appropriately (Where's your cup? Let's go night-night. Time to take a bath. Sit on the potty....etc.) She is officially no longer drinking a bottle. We made her quit cold turkey when we bought her some great new sippy cups. A week later she was forced to say bye-bye to the binky as well. She is sleeping in a toddler bed, in her own room, through the night with NO tears! YAY! HUGE accomplishment in that department. We all sleep better now! She is amazing and I love her more everyday!

Lexie is getting so big! She is writing and reading and learning addition, and counting and recognizing coins. Her favorite subject is art. She loves to doodle, color and draw. She is very inquisitive about God now and is asking many questions. We love sharing with her about our Heavenly Father. Children her age have so many questions about every single thing, so its great she's applying some of those to her faith too. I'm impressed with her intelligence.

Easter was great! We had a big picnic with the family at the park, flew kites, blew bubbles, played on the playgrounds and wore ourselves out! I have some great pictures of the girls from then, but don't have my pictures on this I guess they'll wait!

Hopefully I will be back soon!

Monday, February 23, 2009


Well, it's official! Shaelana has moved right on into the early toddler stage. Yes, I know she is only 13 months, but that isn't stopping her from giving us a little preview of what is called the "terrible twos"! Thank goodness I'm a Momma with a sense of humor and a camera with a battery charge just in case. Otherwise, you might have missed out on these oh so funny moments in our life!

Let's start with pudding. Late one evening, Mommy and Shaelana are sharing some chocolate pudding, when Shaelana decides to be a big girl and feed herself. Mommy's turn is now over, and her share has ran out! This is how it ended...

Oh yes...Sugar rush leads to passing out in Daddy's arms less than 10 minutes later.

THEN! This past Sunday, while Daddy and Mommy are enjoying a movie at home, Grandma asks if it is okay to give Shaelana a lollipop. SURE! We say in unison, looking forward to the time the lolli is sure to guarantee us of uninterrupted silence to finish the movie. Oh no no. A few minutes into this delicious sucker, our little one starts whining and getting pretty mad and vocalizing this. We glance up from our movie to find her in her high chair with this dilemma...

"Look at the mess I've got myself into now Mom!"

"What is going on?! Where is my sucker?"

This picture turned out to be one of my favorites ever and it was purely accidental! I LOVE the reflection of her and her Daddy!!!

Into the bath she goes!

She was babbling about her experience and I love that I caught this funny face!

YAY!!! We got it out!!!

Still good enough to eat I suppose...

In the meantime, I managed to capture this great picture of her gorgeous eyes!!!

AND WE ARE NOT DONE YET!!! Just today, Mommy got a phone call from Daddy. Less than 2 minutes into this phone call, it is eerily quiet. Anyone who has a one year old knows that strange silence and can only assume it means trouble! Then comes the I step around the island in the kitchen, I find our dear Shaelana planning her next meal. See for yourself what the little chef had in mind...

Oh yes! It's Italian Night at the Bell house! Plenty of spaghetti for all!

Uh-Oh sweetheart, you have been caught red handed.

"No worries Momma! I'll put it back!"

This could take awhile...

Well, I guess this is her official "I've been caught" face. She doesn't really seem too worried though.

I have to give her credit! She did make an effort to help me clean every bit of it up! She made me laugh every time and brought true joy to my day just in all of her exploration. How blessed I am to have a healthy, curious baby who is learning of the many things that she has been wondering about for so long and who keeps every moment of my day an everchanging surprise experience. I love her endlessly!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Change of Heart

Well it has been over a month since I have blogged and I figured I better update a little before I let it all pass me by. I think after the whirlwind of the holidays and Shaelana's birthday all compressed into a few short weeks, I was looking forward to a much needed spread of "regular" life. LOL! It was nice to just relax.

In regards to the title of this post...some months ago, I blogged about an upcoming move to Colorado for our family. After giving it alot of thought, having many changes in our personal circumstances, and finally realizing the impact that our extended family has on our everyday life, Brandon and I have decided to just stay put for a little while. We continued having more and more uncertainty as to whether or not we were making the right choice to move, and feeling like we never reached a point of peace in the decision, and having that confirmation through prayer that we were searching for, we realized we aren't supposed to be somewhere else at this point in our life. When the two of us stopped resisting that fact, blessings started pouring in from the Lord as if to say "You are making the right choice!" It is so wonderful to have the peace that only comes from the Father. So our change of heart is to stay in Arizona until we are lead elsewhere by the Lord, if that time comes. We have been staying at Brandon's parents house for a couple of months now, during the change of our decisions, and today, we finally signed a lease for our new home! We couldn't be more excited! It is fitting for our family of four, and we are all thrilled to be able to spread back out into our own territory. Brandon's parents have been incredibly gracious to open their home to us, and tolerable of our unforeseen circumstances, and the very different stage of life that we are all in so we are very thankful they have helped us along the way. Our home is in Catalina, Arizona. It is on the outskirts of Tucson, and there is much more room to breathe in the neighborhoods here, with wonderful views of the mountains!

Brandon also got a new job at Tucson Medical Center in the business office, which he is loving thus far. He is happy there, and that is a big thing after being in a field for so long. It was a much needed position regarding the economical changes. When the impact really hit us in that area, we learned and grew quite a bit as adults, individually, as a couple, and as parents. I have always been a firm believer that everything happens for a reason, and once again, this remains the truth in this circumstance as well. We were able to step back, and take a close look at our financial situation and make changes that improved our status to allow us to live within our means and still be very happy with what we have. It feels SO wonderful to know that we are growing up!

We also had another wonderful closure to a long, treachorous journey with the child custody case for Lexie, our 6 year old daughter. That is now closed, and we share custody with her mother, allowing us to get Lexie regularly and every other holiday. It is so nice to have her back as a permanent part of our life, and being blessed to raise both of our daughters together. She has made the transition remarkably well, and I am so proud of how she has handled all of the changes. It is heart breaking that children have to endure some of these things because of errors that we make as adults, but I am blessed that God made them so resiliant and to love unconditionally. She and Shaelana thoroughly enjoy their time together too, which makes our family feel more complete!

On the downside of everything, Shaelana, Brandon and I have inherited the monsterous cold that is attacking the population lately. It is certainly no fun! I sound like a seal when I talk, supposing seals could actually talk! We are going through tissues like crazy and somewhat irritable, but with everyone hurting down to their toes what can we expect?

I have started a much needed, long put off, struggle to get back in shape. I am happy to report that, while I am still far from my actual goal, I have lost 16 pounds towards that and 8 inches overall. It is long overdue, and I finally just decided that I need to do this for my health and the longevity of my life for myself and my children. I haven't done anything but some good ol' fashioned exercise (I got a new treadmill!) and eating much healthier. I have to admit, I am a bit obsessive with counting calories, so it reflects back onto Brandon and the girls meals as well, so they have all been eating healthier too, like it or not! LOL! I'm happy with what I have done thus far, but really feel like I can improve my efforts, so I'll try to update here to keep me on track.

Lexie received her report card last Friday, and did exceptionally well in all of her classes. The only issue that we had to discuss with her, and really get her to work on is her "inappropriate socializing". Now, even though she is not my biological daughter, any that know me, KNOW very well that I wasn't exactly the quiet, shy type in school, so it was easy for me to relate to the poor doll. Her dad is just like me, so she lucked out in the aspect that we understood. We did tell her that there is a time and place though, and her education, and her friends education needed to come before her conversations. How many of you can relate to that? I mean, I know all of my friends on here were just as gabby as me back in the day!!!

Shaelana is a little pistol that is into EVERYTHING! She is walking and running everywhere. She dances and tries to sing. She has the biggest attitude EVER, and we are certain she has "little dog/man syndrom". Shaelana is really petite for her age, and she makes up for it in attitude and sound. She's a loud mouth, vibrant, and saucy as ever. She is certainly a handful, but we love every chubby inch of her. Right now her favorite word is no-no because she hears it constantly! We have been so blessed!

Unfortunately I don't have any related pictures to post. I kicked myself in the butt all last Friday because I actually packed my camera in my diaper bag, then left it in the car while Brandon, Shaelana and I joined Lexie for her Valentine's party. I went all out and made every kid and teacher awesome treat bags with a load of candy, school supplies, and toys. Brought Lexie a special balloon, and the whole class Valentine cookies. The kids were so fun, and adored having a baby in the class. After they got all hyped up on sugar (thanks to yours truly) they danced and Shaelana was out there with the big kids rockin it out. I was so mad for leaving my camera outside, but couldn't bare to miss a minute of the fun! Sometimes the memory is more important I suppose than a documented picture. That was my first experience as a Mom at school! I can't even imagine what it will be like when Shaelana starts kindergarten! I can wait though, I'm enjoying my baby while she still is one.