Monday, January 31, 2011

Today started out with Max greeting me at my bedroom door, unannounced, 15 minutes before I had to be up and 30 minutes before I usually get him up. I open the garage to see there is a nice accumulation of snow on the ground that I was not expecting, which means my commute will be slower than usual. After dropping the kids off at daycare I had to make a trip back home and then back to daycare as I forgot the gigantic bag of stuff they needed. Because of this, I had to call and push back my doctor's appointment as there was no way I was going to make it on time. Oh, and then on my way to this appointment, I zoned out and started to drive to work instead thus adding more time to my commute.

Can we say "Happy Monday Ashley!" because I certainly started out the work week on a grand scale.

But then I look at these and it's not such a big deal.

We had the honor of watching our god daughter, Miss Lyla June, stay with us this weekend and boy did the kids have a blast with her! Whenever we get together with our cousins the kids are running on full energy the whole time. I figured that would only last for the first night, that by Saturday things would settle down. Boy was I wrong. Those three were at it all day Saturday too!

Sunday was much calmer. There was the anticipation of Mommy and Daddy coming to get Lyla, the novelty of having our cousin over was finally getting old, and we had a few extra men over to entertain the kids by showing them the great craft of grinding up meat.

Oh, and let's not forget the pool full of balls in the basement that also may have helped in tiring them out really quickly!

We also had Bella stay with us which was awesome because I hardly had any clean up after meals! Bella was also easily entertained, patient with all the kids, and extremely happy to have so much free roaming area in our yard. You could say she was also running on full energy as this is how I found Bella Saturday evening.

Don't you love how she passed on top of the train track and some really uncomfortable blocks?

The weekend was great, so I'm going to give my Monday a pass and hope that Tuesday will be better!

Friday, January 28, 2011

It was Andrea's golden birthday yesterday! 

We celebrated at our favorite place, Acapulco's, where the kids could be a little unruly and the grandparents could rile them up even more!

Happy Birthday Auntie, we love you!

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Max has become quite the story teller. I won't say liar because it appears to just be a stage and not a real problem at this point. Plus? It is so incredibly funny sometimes!

During the party on Tuesday Lyla came running over to me and told me that Max hit her, and then showed me how Max shoved her on her shoulder. As I was telling Lyla how that was not very nice Max came barreling out of the hallway and starts yelling "I no hit Lyla!" Then he proceeds to tell this long, animated story.

He tells me that he went over to Lyla and they both started hitting each other. He starts punching the air at this point as if they got into a fist fight, which was hilarious. Another giggler was when he said "and then..." and he starts choking his neck and says "Lyla did this." At this point, I am laughing. I can't help it! Katie is talking to Lyla and I turn around to see if she sees what Max is doing. Apparently she missed it but I am just grinning, such a bad mother I am. I shouldn't be encouraging him to tell such stories, and if you know Lyla, you know that she more than likely did not engage in a fist fight and then attempted to choke Max. She is far too dignified for something like that! Thankfully, they were both pretty riled up from all the people at the party and the incident was forgotten before it even started. Seriously though? Where did this little story teller come from?

Oh, and because I know you guys enjoy these. Another funny moment in my life.

Max told me in the car yesterday that "Daddy calls me 'Babe.'"
I laughed and said, "No, Daddy calls me 'Babe,' you 'Buddy,' and Rory 'Boogers'.
Max yells back at me, "No, Daddy calls me 'Babe'!"
OK Max Man, you can be Daddy's "Babe".

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Last night I hosted a Pampered Chef party. My friend Brooke just became a consultant in November and it was a great way to help her start out her business. Plus I got to have a party that wasn't based on my children, that was probably the most exciting part for me!

We turned our living room into a showroom so Brooke could show off her mad cooking skills and our island become the display table.

Naturally there was some horsing around with the kiddos too!

Thank you to everyone who came, I had a really fun time. I'll be busy tonight cleaning up and putting everything back where it belongs, but don't worry, I'll be smiling while I do it and enjoying the memories!

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

We caught three fish all weekend, two of which were worthy of pictures. Now you may think three fish is nothing to brag about, but did I mention we sat in the house and just watched for flags? So three fish while being extremely lazy fisherman is worth bragging about in my book!

The first fish we caught everyone came barreling out of the house to see. Oh, and Andrea made sure she had another good shot of her!

Max is always so proud of the fish!

Andrea didn't like that the fish was squirming all about! (Not a good picture, success!)

Don't you dare try to bring a fish into the house without letting Max help!

Tara, always mature.

So Rory looks all intrigued by the fish, but if I told you she had just touched the fish and then put her finger in her mouth, you would look at this picture differently now wouldn't you?

We had a nice family weekend at the lake, even if we were pretty much confined to staying inside. Of course, had it been summer I think we all would have been happier.

Monday, January 24, 2011

You want to know what's crazy? Cramming my whole family, plus our "plus ones" as Tara called them, into my parent's lake house for the weekend. Especially when it's below zero pretty much the whole weekend. I mean, that leaves us with only games and drinking. And games and drinking with my family? Leads to pictures like this:

Why Andrea thought this was a good idea, I don't know. Why Taylor agreed, is even more bothersome!

The faces say it all!

Something was really funny, but Andrea refuses to take a laughing picture.

Who doesn't enjoy a Bloody Mary in the morning?

Oh yeah, and then there was fishing too, because Dusty is my husband after all. I'll save those pictures for tomorrow though. I know you're excited!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Last night we went to Katie and Andrew's house to check out their basement that they just finished remodeling. I wish I would have at least thought to take a picture so I could show you what a good job they did on it, but instead you'll just have to trust me that it looks really great. (Now if only that couch would come in, huh Katie? hee hee.)

Good news is I still got the gold. You know, pictures of the cute kids to show off! Lyla was very good about sharing her desk with the kids, unfortunately they couldn't decide who got to actually sit in the seat without some pushing and shoving.

Lyla was teaching Rory some dance moves at the dance party.

Max wanted to join in, but as you can tell by Dusty's face, we do not allow dancing (or standing for that matter) on chairs or benches.

We had a nice evening, the kids were really fun to watch, and I'm glad we finally got to see the basement completely finished!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

I hate, hate, hate that it's always dark out when I'm home with the kids. It always results in pictures I'm disappointed in. Flash lighting is just unflattering and with kids that don't sit still it is impossible to really work on my technique. With that said, here are a few funny pictures I've been sitting on because I'm not happy with them, but I figured it was time to just share them anyway.

Max helped Grammy make dinner one evening. Grammy is a saint for putting up with Max's "help" if you ask me!

Rory hasn't figured out how to keep her spoon flat and usually spills the apple sauce out before it gets to her mouth. I usually end up helping her towards the end but this night Max decided he wanted to help. Isn't it funny that he opens his mouth with her?!

Do you see Rory's face?! She loves when her big brother tickles her!

Last night Auntie came over to visit with the kids. They love their Auntie so much that I was officially banished from helping with the bath, reading a bedtime story, or tucking them in. That is, until Max realized he loves his Mama and came screaming out for me to tuck him in. Yeah, I'm the favorite still!

So if you're wondering why I haven't been posting as many pictures lately I think I showed you why. The pictures are cute in context, but stand alone they really are a hot mess. I'm going to have to find something else to practice my flash taking technique on because this is really irritating me!

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I've been going a little crazy these last few days as my daughter has picked up an extremely annoying habit. She enjoys screaming for attention. It started with the "mine" scream that she'd use on her brother and I'm embarrassed to report it worked at getting my attention and stopping Max from stealing Rory's toys.

Then she started doing it when she wanted something. We know to ignore it, and we did, usually. After reexamining myself I'm also embarrassed to report that it appears about 10% of the time it still works on me as I'm distracted and don't remember to ignore her.

Last night we came to a stand still. While attempting to enjoy a pleasant dinner out with friends our daughter was screaming up to the heavens every time she wanted something. And she wanted something a lot. I actually resorted to putting her on my lap and covering up her mouth whenever she'd do it. Which was worse, because than she would start laughing, so you know I only encouraged it. I still believe that was the best decision since we couldn't leave and I didn't want the other diners to be annoyed by my screaming girl, but it sucked.

So today we start monitoring ourselves more. Daycare is already doing the same things we are with ignoring her screams and reminding her to use her nice words and inside voices. I also talked to them just to make sure they monitor themselves like we are. We need to do a better job of  how we react to her screaming.

My little 16 month old is teaching me something new. When Max was 16 months? He was adjusting to having a brand new baby sister. Screaming was a form of communication with him, but it was vaguely used and short lived. I have a feeling this is going to be more of a struggle with the little girl. She's definitely got some of her Mommy's Daddy's (ahem) stubborn streak to her.

Wish us luck. And if you see us ignoring a screaming girl? Maybe offer us a shot...or three!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Anna, Dusty's cousin whom I've claimed as my own, will be moving out of state in a few weeks for a promotion. I'm really happy for her. I am. I'm also totally bummed.

You remember these adorable pictures?

Those cakes were made with Anna's help. She's an extremely talented baker, and not only that but she puts up with my insane demands that we spend quality time together while I decorate the cakes she bakes. I mean seriously, look at those cake decorations that I did. Now look at the Christmas cookies she decorated this year.

Do you see what I mean? She's insanely talented. And you don't even get to taste the food! Trust me, it's that good. And I don't even like sweets.

So in order to make her feel guilty for leaving me and forcing me to either bake myself (the horror!) or order my treats (it's not personal!) I decided to dedicate this blog to her.

Anna, I love you, I really am happy for you and the new promotion and you better be good at keeping me updated on what is going on in my vicarious life! Also? How psyched are you to have a whole blog post dedicated just to you? You totally deserve it and more!

See? We were obviously meant to be the real cousins. This picture would just look all goofy if Dusty's face replaced mine!

Monday, January 17, 2011

Dusty and I split up this weekend. Dusty went fishing and had lots of fisherman stories, but also a picture to match the story being told.

You'll have to ask him all about landing this 4-5 lb fish on a 2 lb line. (Yes, he told me the story, I just didn't take notes and know I'll get in trouble for telling it wrong here.) And make sure he doesn't forget to add that Chad was a big help! (He would try to take all the credit...)

I went back to my old college stomping grounds and hung out with the greatest college friends a girl could ever ask for. You know they love you when they take a picture like this specifically for the blog!

We had a really great time. We only fought once. Wait? Did I just say I got in a fight with my girl friends? Apparently I'm the weird one because I wanted to turn the cab around and go take a picture in front of the Oscar Mayer Weiner mobile. In the cold, late at night, parked at a hotel parking lot. I don't know why they wouldn't let me, I still think it would have been awesome...

The kids? They were getting spoiled up at Dido's and Grammy's! I know they had a good time as they were pretty exhausted Sunday when we all met up. Unfortunately we had are first full-on public meltdown that resulted in Max and I having to leave Grandpa's birthday party shortly after arriving, but Dusty and Rory still had a lot of fun. Thankfully everyone got to bed on time last night and it should be a really busy yet exciting week!

Friday, January 14, 2011

You want to know what's great?

Dinner with extended family! We had dinner with GG John, Uncle Tom, Bopa, Grandma and Auntie Ta-Ta last night! My Grandpa and Uncle Tom were down to visit for the night before heading to an appointment in the cities and thankfully it worked out that we got to visit with them too!

Daddy insisted I get a picture of this, so I better share. Rory is usually quite a good kisser, but she decided to eat Daddy's face last night instead. Ha!

Happy Friday everyone!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I know I told you that everyone is healthy, but that was a stretch from the truth as Max has a cold and really it's not worth writing about - usually. Yesterday though, Max's nose was really runny. So runny the teacher felt she needed to discuss it with me when I picked Max up from daycare.She was concerned it was getting raw and wanted to draw my attention to it. (Thanks!)

This is what Max's sleeves looked like at the end of the day. Yuck!

Yes, we do encourage him to use Kleenex but he's a 2 year old boy. I don't think he's going to stop using his sleeve anytime soon.

After taking a picture of Max's sleeve Max had to take a picture of Rory because "It's Rory's turn!"

And then I decided to let Rory take her first picture with my camera. You know, that camera I love and cherish and spent a lot of money on because I love and cherish my photos? Yeah...

I learned my lesson to pay attention, and spent a lot of time cleaning my lens, but I do love this picture!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

I leave for my solo vacation in a month and I am so totally excited. Now I'm looking for some advice. I haven't taken a weekend vacation, that required staying in a hotel for about 5 years now and I like to over think. Here are my question areas please pass on any advice or suggestions, let me know if you think my thought process is completely whack, whatever!
  1. Harry Potter: I have purchased and own the complete works of Harry Potter, in hard cover. This posses a dilemma as I would be required to pack all these books weighing me down and taking up precious space. Do I splurge and purchase the collection on a coworker's Kindle that she so graciously offered to lend me? It would cost a lot more then my hard cover collection since I purchased used, and my trip is already going to cost quite a bit. Or? Maybe you have an electronic reader with the collection already on it and want to borrow it to me for my trip? (I'd totally replace it in a heartbeat if anything went wrong, I just personally do not desire to own one as I rarely purchase books. I like the library.)

  2. Liquids: Airport security is no longer fun. I plan to have a carry on and check a bag because there is no way I'll be able to pack for the weekend in a carry on. I know me, it isn't doable. Do I just put all my liquid necessities in my packed bag and hope it doesn't get lost? I don't even know the regulations at this point so I do need to look into it more. Or I could save myself the hassle and just ship myself a package to the hotel with all my necessities so I know they're there and don't have to stress out about it. Do you have a better suggestion?

  3. Sunscreen: I don't have a lotion boy, how do I protect my back from getting sunburnt without completely hiding it from the sun and having a white back to the rest of my (hopefully) bronzed body? I've used spray sunscreen in the past and had horrible results but maybe it was my technique? Please have a good suggestion!
Those are my main concerns at this point. There are a couple others, like my transport and my laptop, that I need to figure out but they aren't so much dilemmas as me slacking on following up with people. So I'll get those figured out.

Thank you for your help. Anything is appreciated!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Some of my mom's pictures from last weekend!

Max and Bopa's fish they caught:

Max needed a pickle and beef stick in his Cranberry Juice, just like Grandma had in her Bloody Mary:

My little girl who was not happy playing outside, but enjoyed getting the trucks all to herself inside:

There were lots more of course, I am my mother's daughter! Thanks again Grandma and Bopa for taking the kids last weekend, Dusty and I really enjoyed our break and the kids had a blast.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Grandma and Bopa were gracious enough to take the kids up to the lake this weekend so Dusty and I could get a little break. After the holidays and all the illnesses it was really appreciated, and needed, as I slept for 12 hours between Friday night and Saturday morning.

Saturday was a lot of fun as we enjoyed being childless again. We started out with bloodies and Bingo.

Dusty won the first game meaning we were playing for free the whole time! I ended up winning the last game which left us $7 ahead when you added up our drinks and food too. Such a great start to our day. (Oh, and Andrea also called into the bar and ordered us a round on her which was totally unexpected and super sweet. I have such great sisters!)

After annihilating at Bingo we did a little shopping, met up with Ashley and Randy for some dinner and cocktails, and then we went bowling!

Yes, I did have to take a picture of my bowling shoes. I really did.

It was a late night, keeping me up until almost 3am which is usually impossible. We had a really great time and I'm super happy we had friends that were able to get together last minute. Sunday? Well lets just say I spent a lot of time on my couch. The kids didn't get home until late so they were whisked off to bed, but not before Max got to show me the picture of his and Bopa's fish!

Everyone's starting out healthy this week, with stories to share, so it was a good weekend!