About Me

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Nebraska, United States
A would-be stay at home mom working full-time as a teacher. I teach at my old Highschool, working side-by-side with my own teachers. I blog to keep the Texan grandparents updated and chronicle our life for future reference. (In other words, I don't have a real baby-book or diary.) Comments make my day. Thanks for stopping by! kimlepper at gmail.com

Wednesday, December 21, 2011


If we have no hiccups and manage to complete one project a month, we should have the house just like we'd like it by April 2013. Which is also when we'd like to have baby #2.
And, while we're at it, we hope to win the lottery by then too.

Sunday, November 27, 2011


We close on the house tomorrow but I couldn't resist posting the Thanksgiving Highlights!

My parents hosted, I think the final headcount was 20.

We greeted.

Some matched.
We feasted.

While others played.

"I'm gonna eat your ears!"

Then we recharged,

to play,


And read.

Then I went shopping until 4:30am and got my Dyson for $140. It's so awesome it makes husbands want to clean everything with no prompting:

Sunday, November 20, 2011

This Kid Cracks Me UP

*Walking out of the bathroom*

"WHoooeee! That's a big one. I get TWO gummy bears!"

Friday, November 4, 2011

Here's to No More in at Least Four!

Remember this post?

Well, we couldn't help ourselves.

We close on the 28th!

This is move number 4 in 2.5 years.

In other news (as is evidenced in the picture), Sam boycots her naps about 1/2 the time now.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Yes, this DOES really happen

And I'm lost as to why the parents think it's ok to do so.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

So much to say...

And so little time.
It takes my laptop 7 minutes to boot up, so I'm squeezing in a cute story:

While at the park I was talking to another mom about baby signing. I said, "Sam knows lots of signs too...Sam, can you sign 'Park'?"
The sign for park is to fingerspell it, but Sam just flicks her fingers around. She did so and then proceeded to sign some of the letters she has mastered announcing them as she gets her fingers in the correct position:
"R!" (her favorite)
"E!" at this point the other mother was very impressed
I was beaming with pride. Not only did she just show off her letters, but she remembered how to sign refrigerator! (finger-spelling REF)

She finished her talent show by exclaiming,
"That spells PARK!"

Friday, September 16, 2011

Fly on the Wall- Classroom Edition

student: "Sra. Lepper, how do you say 'I hate this?'"

me: "Eres bonita."

student: "ERES BONITA!"

me: "Gracias!"

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Monday, September 5, 2011

Three Musketeers

Aug 2009

Jan 2010

(out of order) Aug 2011

Too many cooks in the kitchen?


Saturday, September 3, 2011

Two Peas in a Pod

Not only is this a quick progression of Sam and Audra's playtime together, it also shows just how SLOW my daughter's hair is growing.
(Note Audra's pigtails in the last one)

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Two Worlds Collide

Sam's diction has improved exponentially the past two weeks. Jer came home from Europe and was floored that I didn't need to translate anymore. She still has trouble with L's (Laundry is "draundry") but for the most part she is spouting off full and complete sentences that are clear as day.
Like tonight, for instance. We are reading "The Jungle Book" and we get to the page where Mowgli runs away. She sits straight up, puts her face close to the picture of him running off into the jungle and yells,
"Oh no! Be careful of the cars!"

Thursday, August 18, 2011

First Day of School

Started the car to take Samantha to "daycare" and the "check engine" light came on.

Dropped Sam off at friend's house and she was sobbing as I left.

Did everything I could to keep from crying myself as I drove to school.

Someone was in my parking spot at school.

First class was crazy. I told the students that their homework was to bring their supplies, but I forgot to tell them that the dictionary they can order through the school...and they don't need that by tomorrow...crap.

My hands finally stopped shaking after the first period.

I was in my second classroom late.

I have two native speakers in Spanish I...not sure why...

Said, "shit" instead of "sheet" at one point...not sure if the students caught it...

On the drive home babysitter told me that Sam finally decided to play and have some fun with the other kids.

Car guy says it's the catalytic converter, just wait and see if the light comes back on.

End craziness, repeat tomorrow?

Thursday, August 11, 2011

"Smart Fish Swim in Schools"

That is the slogan for Swimtastic.
They are amazing!

My big fear for Samantha has always been drowning. While kidnapping, choking, running into the street are all things that I am careful of, drowning is where I step into the realm of paranoia. Mix in a child who loves water- but has no idea that she needs to hold her breath- we decided to splurge and signed her up for classes. She was the only one in her toddler swim class, so it ended up being private lessons!
She has become quite the little fish, spending more time below water than above it. Her teacher, Hannah, says she'll say, "Bye Miss Hannah!" and let go. When she pulls Samantha back up, her face will still be under water, looking at all the toys on the floor of the pool.
Bath time no longer involves toys.
All she wants are these.
I do realize that there are toys in the bathtub. They were tossed in but never played with.

Yes, they are more expensive than other places, but they are worth EVERY penny.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

A Taste for Torture

Jer left for Spain today for 17 days.

Sam went from 2 hr naps to flat out refusing to nap. Yesterday.

Jer got a part-time job at the High School where I'll be working doing tech support 2 days before he left.

School starts in 11 days.

MY classes start here soon...I should probably figure out when exactly...

Jen is visiting for 2 weeks (SQUEE!!).

Sam will be doing trial runs at "day care" this week.

During my last shift at the restaurant I somehow managed to pick up 2 shifts the next two weeks.

And all I can think about is "Boy, I'd love to buy a house and have another baby..."

It's like I ENJOY torturing myself.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Quotes from this Morning

"Can Mommy help you with that?"
"No, I by SELF!"

"Are you ready to go bye bye?"
"No, I busy."

"Daddy isn't here."
"Oh, Daddy garden."
"No, Daddy went to ride his bike."

"Samantha, whatchya doing?"
"I poopy."

"Would you like some strawberries?
"Um, yes, I think so."

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Did You Know

That coloring on a sliced apple with a dry-erase marker will cause it to stop working? Permanently???? No? Well, now you do. So when you give your child a dry erase marker, make sure all apples are out of reach.

Monday, July 18, 2011

My Two Cents

Although I've cut down our grocery bill from $120/week to $80/week (would be $60/week if it weren't for the darn packets) I've been waaaay busy and have gotten behind on my couponing. My goal is to get the bill down to $60 a week once the school year starts. That being said, a fantastic scenario fell into my lap today and I had to take advantage of it, busy or not!

So, here's how it rolled out:
Back in May I bought 40 Duracell batteries for roughly $18 from Staples. It was AFTER the purchase that I realized I would be getting a $20 store credit, not a mail in rebate. I was annoyed, as we never shop at Staples, but whatever. We needed the batteries and I figured we'd buy toner there when we needed it.

This past weekend I had seen some awesome items for sale at Staples but was annoyed that I hadn't received my rebate yet, as this would be the time to use them.

Fast forward to today, Staples sent me a $20 rewards coupon in the mail. Now, I have to really give kudos to Staples here. Apparently they'd already e-mailed me the coupons, but I hadn't redeemed them yet, so they sent me paper copies telling my they were about to expire!

After doing some quick math, I made a list of everything I could get without having to pay out of pocket (ie under $20), loaded up Samantha and headed to the store.

Now, can you pick out the error in that last sentence? No? It's the part where I loaded up Samantha. She could have stayed home with daddy, but I decided to get her out of the house. I need to remember that this is my hobby and doing such silly things as bringing my daughter along makes it stressful. Like giving me many false alarms so I'll race her to the bathroom, only to have her sit on the toilet with her hollering "No!....No!....No!"

She's not peeing, protesting, or even answering a question. She's just fascinated about her echo in the stalls.

Anyway, where was I?

So I loaded the following in the cart:

and the total was $20.02

That's right! My .02 really is worth something!

All along I was thinking this was only going to give me more store credit- but when I got home I realized that I'm actually going to get a rebate check for $13.98!

Summary: 40 batteries, 2 reams of paper, 2 paper hole punches, 4 highlighters, 2 dry-erase marker boards, 200 note cards, 5 RSVP pens for $4.04 out of pocket.

Lesson Learned: do not take child to Staples

Sunday, July 17, 2011

What I Say vs What She Hears

"Samantha, don't take mommy's pen. That's rude." All pens are called "rude" now.

"Here, let me put a pin in your panties." Now she thinks panties are fair game to use her pen on.

Friday, July 8, 2011

Three Years of the 4th



(Look how healthy Jeremy looks now!)

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

"Psh- Stay at Home Mom's Don't Work!"

No, we don't! We sit at home all day blogging, eating bonbons and watching our children play. If you contain them to one room, nothing ever gets dirty.

Like today this morning. It was chalk full of bubbles!

My wonderfully trained child ran to the bathroom to blow some bubbles. They were very hard bubbles- "Hm, lots more water for her today...hard bubbles are no fun," I thought to myself.

I beamed with pride- she's so smart, blowing bubbles in the bathroom at such an early age. I don't even have to prompt her anymore!

As she toddles off to play I think to myself, "I'm so glad I don't have to wash the bubble containers anymore." Being a stay at home mom, it can be very inconvenient to have to wash those bubble containers. Now I can relax all day.

As I check the calendar to see if we can attend an afternoon of relaxing and playing with friends my child starts squealing in frustration. I turn around to see a pile of runny bubbles on the floor. And my child's foot. And she's trying to get them off by stomping around, leaving lots of bubble prints on the carpet. Shoot. Those hard bubbles were just holding back the runny ones.

"Oh no! Bubbles in the bathroom, Samantha!" I swoop her up and whisk her to the bathroom- a mere 5 steps from where we are.

In those split seconds Sam manages to spread the bubbles more by flinging the patch of bubbles off her foot and then reaches down to try to wipe off the bubbles with her hand.

Then her immediate instinct to wipe her hands off kicks in and she wipes her hands on her belly. I get her into the bathtub and she begins grabbing random parts of the tub in an effort to help me balance her.

The water is running, but the bubbles seem to be spreading faster than I can contain them. Sam finally calms down, allowing me to take over. I'm able to wipe the source of the bubbles, which is a feat in itself as my daughter's bubble maker is like a vice grip when you try to clean it.

With lots of bubbles floating in the bathtub I finally get her out of the tub. In the 6 inch trip from the tub to the sink she manages to touch more bubbles and, again, instantly wipes them on her belly. "Samantha!!" I sigh.

We then stand in front of the sink and wash her hands and belly with soap. With the bubbles still soaking in my carpet I ignore my child's demands of "Sahtha do it!" and quarantine her to her room while I pop the rest of the bubbles.

As I begin my trek to the fragrant bubble piles my child-that-never-wants-to-get-dressed squeals that she's cold and wants clothes. I quickly throw a dress on her and tell (again) her to stay in her room.

I manage to pop the rest of the bubbles, scrubbing the carpet thinking, "In my year at the restaurant and three years teaching, I've never once had to pop someone elses' bubbles."

So, for those of you who are jealous of us SAHMs or are looking forward to becoming one, just keep in mind that you have to really like bubbles. And bonbons.

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Little Literalist

I told Samantha to sign Papa's Father's Day card to say hi to him. After scribbling for a second she put her pen down and then fervently waved at the card shouting, "HI!!!!!"

Definitely her father's daughter...

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Feed Me, Seymore!

Typical Breakfast: 6 oz soy milk and 5-6 bites of egg/pancake/toast

Today: it is now 11am. In addition to her 7 oz soy milk she's eaten TWO full pieces of toast with jelly, several raisins, 3/4 of a peach, a piece of cheese and is asking for more.

Growth spurt, anyone?

Thursday, June 9, 2011

I Started Kissing Everything in Sight...

Kisses are quite the commodity in our household. Samantha has discovered the medicinal properties and thinks kissing fixes any boo boo. Recently, however, she's decided that kisses are not only useful, but necessary. After a while I had to start rationing the kisses, "No, you don't need a kiss, you're fine." Then I just got lazy, kissing my hand and placing it on the injured area if it was in an odd/stinky place (blister on the foot).
Today while taking a bath, Sam ever so slightly bumped the back of her head on the tub while playing. After denying her a kiss, Sam decided to fix it herself; She promptly kissed her hand and patted the kiss onto her head.

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

New Adventures in Employment

So a few weeks ago I spoke to the principal at the gradeschool where Jeremy works. She wanted me to work for them VERY part-time (1 period a day). The problem is, in order for me to get my provisional certificate, I have to be working at least half-time (3 periods a day).

Now, literally minutes before I had this wonderful offer (that I had to turn down) with the grade school, the Catholic High School called me for an interview for a full-time teaching position.

So I had that interview on Friday. Talk about deja vu. Same people and questions from last year when interviewed! I didn't think it went any better than last year, and since I didn't get the position last time, I didn't get my hopes up. I was told they'd call me by the following Friday.

On Tuesday I got a phone call from the High School and just missed it. The superintendent left a message. I immediately called back, but he was on the line. 30 minutes later he was still on the line! I left a message and an hour later still had not gotten a phone call. Just when I was about to freak out that I'd have to wait until the following day to know why he called he returned my call. Apparently they offered the position to another teacher, but she only wanted part-time. They offered me 2 periods a day. GROAN!

Suddenly my wicked math skills kicked in...1 + 2 =....Hey, I might have an idea!

So the good news is I will be DONE waitressing in August. AND back in the classroom with a foot in the door at my #1 choice of employment (the High School).

The bad news is that I'll STILL only be working part-time. Which is horribly frustrating financially. And this time I won't be home with my baby during the day. And will probably have to go back to waitressing next summer.

But I'm trying not to think about that right now...

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Learning to Breathe

Someday someone is going to call the authorities and then I'm going to have to try and explain that my child is screaming like someone is beating her, not because I'm beating her, but because she can't open a box. Or she can't get the block in the organizer. Or she can't get her sock off. Or she can't get her coat on by herself.

"Ma'dam, there has been reports of constant screaming, crying and banging coming from your residence."
"Sorry, sir, but my daughter can't get her shoes on by herself as quickly as she'd like."
"I'm sorry?"

"She won't let me help her and gets frustrated."

"So she screams bloody murder...right. And the bruises on her face? I suppose that's because she 'fell'?"

"No, actually she bangs her head on the floor when she's frustrated too."

We had tried everything- taking the toy away after a warning not to scream (cue tantrum), helping her anyway (cue tantrum), letting her try again and again (cue tantrum), giving her verbal clues (cue tantrum). It's as if there is a little tantrum gremlin poised in position behind her. You can literally count down to the moment of the scream. It's been quite the headache.

Today I noticed that when she's building up to the big "blow up" her breathing becomes intense, and she holds her breath. As she struggles more and more she lets out puffs of air when she can't hold it in any more an then sucks in a new one. I walked up to her before the tension got too high and held her hands, asking her to look at me.

"No help!" she insisted.

"I'm not going to help you, Samantha. Remember, we don't scream at our shoes. When you get frustrated I want to you take a deep breath (cue demonstration) and then try again. Can you breathe with mommy?"

She practiced with me. Then she went back to putting her shoes on. Any time I could hear her frustration building I would remind her, "Take a deep breath Samantha!" I could hear a huge vocalized breath and then a calm sigh. Finally she proudly marched into the kitchen wearing her shoes, "I did it!"

"Yes, you did! And no screaming! Good girl!"

She beamed with pride, "Yeah!"

Monday, June 6, 2011

When L is an N

"Nook, Mommy, Nook!"
We sing, "Na Na Na Na Na!"
Sam likes to sit on mommy's negs.
Lauras are Noras.
Ice cream is nicked.
Hugs are given with nove.

And my personal favorite,

We put chap stick on our nips.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Sunday, May 29, 2011

TMI Take 2

Warning: this is a post about potty training! If talk of #1's and 2's bother you, or you think it's a silly thing to blog about, come back for another post.

8:30 #2 and then Diaper free
8:40 Asks for diaper
8:41 sing ABC’s*
8:50 sing ABC’s
9:00 sing ABC’s
9:08 wondering how much longer she’s going to hold it...
9:10 sing ABC’s
9:15-9:25 sat on potty while listening/watching “fire truck”
9:35 Sang ABC’s and played with warm water while sitting for 5 minutes
10:10 let it alllll out outside. And watched it.
10:40 back inside
10:45 ABC’s
11:00 ABC’s and lots of water to sip on

11:10 #1 on the floor- few drops on the potty
11:15 ABC’s
11:24 #1 on the floor (stopped midstream)
11:28 Asks for diaper
11:30 interrupted #1 on the floor
11:30-11:40 played with water on the potty
11:41 successful #1 on the potty! Sam wanted to play with the water
11:42 called Daddy to tell him the good news
11:57 #1 at the kitchen table
12:19 Diaper on
*this is what we do when we sit on the potty

11:15 diaper free (after playdate) Samantha decided she wanted to sit on the potty while she ate her applesauce
11:25 snack all done, got up from potty. I told her when she went pee pee on the potty she could have her diaper
11:26 started #1 on the carpet, quickly back on the potty. She stopped, and then finished on the potty!
11:27 diaper on
6:15 sat on potty and made mommy sit on the other potty
6:30 put on panties (baby was not happy) with diaper cover (baby was much happier) and ate dinner
6:45 still dry after eating and washing hands!
6:55 Sat on potty
6:56 #1 in potty chair, Sam sprung up and exclaimed, “all done! WATER!!” and pointed to her success
7:15 panties on, played until 7:30. Diaper on for bedtime


9:30 getting ready for Kindermusik and Sam wants to wear her panties.

When it is time to leave I put on a cover. As we are leaving I notice she is VERY wet. Diaper quickly replaces the panties.
No more panties for the day


9:20 diaper free, sing ABC’s
9:30 Sam asks for panties. I tell her when she pees she can
9:35 ABC’s
9:38 Sam runs to potty (unprompted) sits down and pees!!!!!!!!!!!!

9:40 Sam watches her favorite Youtube video

Mommy worked two doubles and so daddy had to participate. She was very good about #1’s, but daddy was quite grossed out about #2 on the floor

Mommy tries to take her to mom’s group in panties with a timer set for every 20 minutes. The problem at this point is that Sam knows how to go #1 on the chair, but she sprinkles and then JUMPS up to celebrate before she’s done, resulting in either 10 celebrations in 15 minutes, or an accident when she just can’t hold the dam any more

Mommy is getting very frustrated. Every time baby sits down to pee she says “OW!” and jumps up. Mommy is out of patience by 9:30 and realizes that she needs to eat breakfast. She tells Sam “we go pee pee in the potty” and leaves her in her room unattended, fully expecting to clean up a lake in a few minutes.

9:35 Sam walks into the kitchen carrying her potty chair and shows me a very stinky mess, “poopy mommy, poopy.” She looks very concerned, but my celebration helps her realize it’s a good thing. After lots of high-fives she asks for “tries” (french fries).

In-laws are in town and are on board with helping us continue while they are visiting. Sam has very few accidents, and is pretty much trained for #2. For #1 she still has trouble in new settings (ie not at home with mommy).

I'd call this round a success! She only wears a diaper when she's sleeping now. We're pretty much done with cloth as she had a really hard time distinguishing between her panties and the diaper. This is fine by me as I am so ready to be done washing diapers (although I'm currently washing panties, but this is much less and now there is an end in site!).


This morning she iniciated #1 on her own for the first time AND EMPTIED HER BLADDER. This is HUGE, folks. She continued to do it all day. We no longer have to ask her to go unless we are about to leave the house. And she stays dry for about an HOUR. I tell you, I'm on cloud nine, I'm so proud!


Now it's time for the teddy bears.

Friday, May 27, 2011

Adventures in Potty Training

After a successful (ie dry) morning with a trip to the library for Story Time, a long car ride in the rain and fun splashing outside I felt confident leaving her unsupervised in her room while I made lunch. Within minutes I hear, "Uh oh, sippery...sippery *WAM* SIPPERY!! MOMMY SIPPERY!!"
I couldn't help but laugh as I help her get up from the puddle.

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Constructive Criticism from a Toddler

As we are potty training, Sam is usually bare-bottomed when we are at home. Today I thought I could get away with wearing capris.

Apparently not.

At one point Sam tried to sit in my lap.

As soon as her bare bottom touched my calves she jumped up and yelped, "OUCH!"

She then inspected my legs, trying to brush off the pricklies.

Still confused she asked me, "Hot?"

Not hot, Sweetie, but your point has been made.

Friday, May 13, 2011


Samantha at 2-years-old

Weighs 23 lbs even

Loves washing hands

Loves anything water

Screams at her toys/clothes/food/mom/dad at slightest frustration

Takes one 1 hr nap (GR!!)

Wakes up from her nap screaming and CRANKY every day, and screams at the slightest irritation for at least an hour; Why? Because she's still tired, but heaven forbid she go back to sleep after 60 minutes

Loves to run

Loves the wind, thunder, rain, clouds, stars, moon and sun

Speaks plurals and possessives correctly (Samantha's Carseat, Mommy's babies, Daddy's coat, mommy's shirt)

Tilts her head, scrunches one side of her face and signs "work", empathizing with me whenever I'm getting my uniform on
Likes to pretend she is a baby (asks for pacifier, lays on the floor and does a fake "waaa")
speaking of fake, she has the fake cry/tears down to a science. Makes me look like a horrible mom to strangers who can't tell the difference!

Lets me put in pigtails now, leaving them in all day

Favorite foods: watermelon, noodles, chocolate chips, asparagus, ice cream (dairy free), eggs, soy cheese chicken when daddy cooks it, french fries and rice

"Yucky" foods: real cheese, chicken when mommy cooks it, coconut milk, leafy greens

Can now tolerate real yogurt and butter

Wants to try a bite of everything at least once- even when Mommy and Daddy insist that she won't like it!

Favorite shows are sesame street ("Street") and Signing Time

Order of adult preference is: Mimi, Mimi, Mimi, Mimi, Mimi, Papa, Mommy, Daddy
(This, of course, is before Grandma and Grandad's visit. This will probably change very quickly when they arrive.)

How old are you, Samantha?

Ram Sam Sam

Lilypie Kids Birthday tickers

Lil Sister

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers


Lilypie First Birthday tickers