Thursday, September 27, 2012

Kids develop differently and we have never been surprised with the fact that our boy who started running the minute he could walk has always been a step ahead of his sister in coordination. It's just the way it's been around here.

But our girl? She's been surprising us like crazy around here the last couple of days. Max was able to drive his four wheeler by his self the night of his birthday party. Rory? Well we figured we'd need someone to ride with her until Spring at least. This girl? She's all about doing it herself!

She doesn't ride as long as her brother, her hand gets sore from holding the throttle down and she'll tell you when she's done. But she can do it and she's doing it pretty dang well too!

Don't fall in love with her new helmet though. She finally got it today (it was on back order so it didn't make it to the party) and the helmet is a different brand than her brothers and apparently that brand runs larger. So we're off to find a different one that will fit.

We also had to do a bike exchange. Grandma and Bopa did get her the cutest bike ever, but it was a bit too tall for Rory. Daddy brought home her big girl bike and Rory was riding it within moments. Seriously? It took Max a few weeks to figure out that he couldn't back peddle as he'd keep stopping himself. Rory is all about moving forward!

The girl is almost as fast as her brother and she's been doing this big girl bike thing for an hour!

Of course, I should have figured it'd be Rory that would pull out these surprises. She has always been the unpredictable one. Looks like we'll be extra busy this fall getting as much practice in as we can on both the four wheeler and the bike before the snow hits us.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Maya has been such a blessing to our family. I mean, every time she rolls in poop I get to throw her in the shower and wash it off. When she vomits in my garage it gives me an opportunity to clean up the garage floor. I love walking around my yard looking for her turds to clean up so the kids don't step in them.

Maya has convinced me that I am most certainly not ready for a family dog.

Then there are those times when we're in the yard and I'll tell Maya to stay. It may take a couple tries but she'll listen and remain in our yard while I walk to the neighbors. Those afternoons spent on the couch reading to the kids and Maya is sitting at my feet keeping my toes warm? Perfection. Maya in the house also gets me out to enjoy the beautiful weather and the fact that she doesn't pull on her leash? Makes it that much more enjoyable.

Maya has convinced me that I am capable of managing a family dog.

The way she loves on and protects my children? That has convinced me that Maya has been such a blessing to our family!

We don't need a family dog, it wouldn't be fair to our part-time family member!

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

OK, I want to show off a little bit so appease me here. Rory's cupcakes? I was pretty proud of them as I made Rainbow Princess cupcakes. Which basically means, I spent a lot of time getting a rainbow layer effect on those cupcakes so I'm going to show them off.

I made sugar cookies in the shapes of crowns, hearts and stars for the top of the cupcakes and used white chocolate chips melted as the frosting hoping the harder substance would help them stand up. I still had to put toothpicks behind the cupcakes to get it to hold, but they turned out cute anyway.

I bought a French Vanilla cake mix and a refrigerator sugar cookie dough. There was enough effort going into these without needing to add homemade cake mix and cookie mix to the agenda. The good news is no one seemed to mind!

So, there is my showoff for the week. Be impressed!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Prior to Rory's birthday party Katie and Andrew took our kids for the weekend giving Dusty and I a chance to go out. I convinced him to go to hiking at Interstate Park on the Minnesota side as I'd been wanting to try it and it is too strenuous a walk for the kids. We had a nice time and the scenery was beautiful.

The potholes on this side of the river were much larger, there was even one you got to walk down to the bottom of and look up, pretty neat!

The fall colors are just starting to come out too so it made the walk a little more colorful.

It was a nice break together without the kids, especially since our anniversary was spent sitting at home nursing sick kids.

Thank you Katie and Andrew, we enjoyed our little break!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Rory's birthday party went wonderfully. Almost all our family made it to celebrate and while it was a bit too chilly to spend a lot of time outdoors, we were still able to enjoy it in bursts.

My baby girl was very excited to tell everyone it was her birthday and we've been working on showing off 3 fingers. (She likes to do 4 instead, like Max.)

I blew up some balloons for the kids to play with. Uncle Eddie thought Nora needed some as hair accessories.

Rory was the proud recipient of a new bike!

And Daddy and Chris got her this pink camouflage four wheeler! She can now cruise up and down the yard on her own instead of riding with Max. (Yes, I do say Daddy because I, by no means, am involved in purchasing four wheelers for 3 year olds.)

Also cute to note? When Rory was uncovering it she got so excited and started yelling "I got a motorcycle! I got a motorcycle!" Max meanwhile is yelling "Just like me Ror! Just like me!" (Max calls her Ror, like Roar, it's adorable!)

There was lots of grumbling but I of course got another group shot! (Some day they'll all just accept this, right?! I mean, it isn't like I freak out when they all do silly things to my photo, the point is to have it.)

It was a great celebration of one of my most favorite little girls. Thank you everyone for helping my daughter feel so very loved every day of her life!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Last night we stayed in, had a simple dinner and celebrated Rory's birthday with apple crisp and ice cream.

It was a perfect evening for two kiddos on the mend while also celebrating Rory's 3rd year.

This weekend? We party!

Thursday, September 20, 2012

All my complaining seems to have been for nothing. Rory woke up looking way better this morning and her initial strep test came back negative, Whoo-hoo! We're not doing much to celebrate her birthday today since her party is this weekend so here are a couple fun recent photos of the birthday girl from my phone!

Her checkup was quick as we have no concerns for Rory. Her weight is average at 32 lbs and she's still one of the taller kids for her age at 3' 32" but what's most interesting is that she weighs about 2.5 lbs less than her brother and is 2.5" shorter. How are those odds?

So tonight we'll take it easy as both kids get on the mend and keep it simple at home celebrating my big girl's 3rd birthday!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

It's been a while, I know, I'm sorry. We've had it a bit rough over here. Max got sick on Sunday and it would not go away. He developed what I assumed to be a rash from his fever yesterday but of course that got worse. After a visit to the doctor today we discovered his flushed face, sandpaper rash and boogers everywhere actually aren't our only issues. The boy has strep throat. 

I should be upset but instead I'm elated that we finally have something tangible to treat and a timeline of what to expect. He wanted me to take a picture of his rash to show to Grandma, so take a look Grandma!

It's hard to really see it unless you're up close but you can make it out if you click to make the image larger.

The even better news? My baby girl who turns 3 tomorrow may also have strep but since her symptoms weren't strong enough we'll have to hold off on a throat culture until tomorrow. So on her birthday we'll be visiting the doctor for her 3 year check up and also swabbing her throat to see if she's got strep throat.

So like I said, it's been a rough week. Hopefully I'll have some fun photos for Rory's birthday tomorrow, we'll see how she is feeling!

Saturday, September 15, 2012

This weekend Lyla and Nora stayed with us while Katie and Andrew celebrated their 5 year wedding anniversary. Naturally the kids had been talking about it all week. We headed out to a local apple orchard to pick our own apples!

Rory was not sure what to make of this apple that wouldn't detach itself from the branch.

Nora was so enthralled with what everyone was doing and while she wasn't strong enough to actually pick her own, she sure had fun helping Uncle Dusty!

After we picked a big bag of apples we headed over to see the goats where all the kids had fun screaming whenever the goats stuck their heads out of the fence, trying to eat their clothing.

We also walked on their trail that took you on a nice walk along their property with many swamps, huge maple and oak trees, and of course, some silly kids to keep us entertained.

The last activity we participated in was the most anticipated, the hay ride! We got to tour their apple orchard, their strawberry patch and their pumpkin patch. The kids had a lot of fun pointing out the various things we found along the way and it was a pleasant end to a nice visit.

Once we got home, we dehydrated apples, we took some trailer rides on the lawn tractor, and we also worked in the garden. I too, was busy working so I have no pictures of the rest of the day. But the kids? Well, their filth will confirm our hard working day!

A shower for the big kids BEFORE dinner tonight led to a curious little sister/cousin peeking in on them.

It was a great day together and everyone was in bed early which was perfect for me!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

The kids and I made some glitter slime. It was awesome! It was a great discover on The 36th Avenue's Blog.

It really was easy and colorful fun that has lead to quite a bit of quiet time from the kids. Which I naturally am thrilled about! Nothing like encouraging sensory discovery while also getting to sit back and drink my tea.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

My photo project is done! Finally!

I found the layout and instructions while perusing, you know, one of my favorite pastimes. Seriously? I find so many things not only to drool over but to do. I've been wanting to use my own portraits on our walls but it's not cheap to frame photos and I don't have the imagination necessary to just throw photos up on a wall. So when Pinterest took me to Tales from the Crib's blog post I knew I wanted to try it.

A couple things I'd suggest if you do this:

  • Make sure your project manager (Cecil) actually project manages so you don't accidentally make a duplicate of one sized foam board and complete forget another. frustrating when you are done painting to only discover you have to cut and paint another piece and everything has been put away!
  • I used oil free paint instead of using a cloth cover. Seriously, I would never have been able to wrap the boards tight enough to my liking, I just know myself and the painting worked out great.
  • Have a couple sharp razor blades nearby or be ready to have to sand a lot of edges. (This is touched on in the post.)
  • We measured out the boards and then ran into issues later where the photos didn't exactly match up with the boards. There is some overhang and some under-hang. It isn't obvious, but if I did it again I think I'd find a way to safely trace the images on the foam before cutting instead.
  • We used the 3M Command Interlocking Fastners. (You know, their removable sticky things so the paint doesn't come off the wall.) I thought it'd be easier for getting the photos up on the wall since it is foam board. I'm now terrified it won't remain sticky to the foam and I really don't like that it makes the photos sit out about an eighth of an inch from the wall. I'd suggest finding a different way to hang them. 
  • Lastly, and also mentioned in the first post, order from a good printing place. I usually order my prints from but the larger prints are sent rolled up and it can make the photos wavy and they also didn't have the sizes I needed for this project. So I ordered from and I cannot compliment them enough! The photos were mailed completely flat and the amount of care that went into their shipping impressed me immensely. I'll still order from Snapfish for my smaller photos but I think the extra cost for the better shipping of larger photos makes Mpix my new favorite.
You guys, I am in love with my wall. The lighting is horrible for actually showing how cool it looks, since the two windows letting in natural light are on the same wall, so bear with me on that. Also? It's huge, and really fills the room nicely.

(That window is flush with the ground outside. While I don't allow my children to play in the windowsill usually, it worked well for showing the size and if they were to fall out, they'd literally roll onto the ground. No need to call Child Protective Services!)

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

This past weekend we were able to spend some time at the lakehouse with my cousins. Not everyone could make it but the reason for the big get together was that Brookey and Eva had flown in to visit, you know, before she has her baby boy in November. (Yay!) Rory was so excited when she saw all the girls, her and Eva immediately took to each other and ventured off on their own. I found them playing in this tube.

My mom took up a collection of all the funny hats they were handing out at the MN State Fair for my kids, naturally we had to take them out to play with.

We took a boat ride between rain clouds. My dad wasn't quite accurate on his rain predictions and we did end up hitting some hard rain about 50 feet from the dock on our return but still, it was fun!

And Eva got to drive the boat! (All the kids took turns but this was Eva's very first time, so worth noting!)

That evening Brookey read stories to the little girls.

Taylor practiced her heart making skills on Brookey's belly which was adorable.

That morning we all took a group shot before separating. I know, I've got some good genes! (Well, besides my own personal stance and shirt that seems to imply I too will be having a baby in November. That's what I get when I'm always the one running into the shot after starting the timer...)

We had a really fun time seeing everyone and getting to hang out. I cannot wait to hear about baby boy's arrival in November. As for Granny Judy? She'll be waiting on that name. It's driving her crazy not knowing!

Monday, September 10, 2012

You guys? I'm still catching up from a very fun weekend with my cousins. Photos to come hopefully tomorrow. (Could someone please freeze time except for me tomorrow? It'd be appreciated. Just 30 minutes is all I ask, to get back on schedule?)

So today I leave you with this gem:

Max to Rory, whispering at the breakfast table: "I like your face, it's so pretty."

I'll be hanging out over here in my grave, since I died from the cute!

Friday, September 7, 2012

For a fun Friday post, lets look at some funny lines and stories from my children lately.

Max: "Mom, I'm married to my dad. He lives in St. Paul."
-Explaining who his other dad was. Even more reason to support marriage equality I guess.

Max: "Mom, I don't want to play I Spy anymore. I'm not winning."
Me: "But you're not losing?"
Max: "Yes I am. I'm losing on patience!"

The first and only friend I've hear about since Max started school is Big Grace, not little Grace, Max's new bus friend. On the second day of school he drew her a picture, rolled it up and taped it closed. This was the second time I had heard about her, the first was when he got home that first day asking if he too could have a lunch box like Big Grace did. Did I mention that Big Grace is not in Max's Junior Kindergarten class? And since he rides the bus with Jr-K through 12th grade kiddos I have no idea how old this girl is. I think she's in the elementary school, and Max is insistent I know her, so my guess is that she either went to the same daycare that Max used to attend or she was at Vacation Bible School this summer. Either way? My son's first school friend is an older girl that he's drawing pictures for. I am so screwed for the teenage years! I knew it, he is a Cochran after all, but seriously does the universe need to remind me on the SECOND DAY OF JUNIOR KINDERGARTEN?!

Rory woke us up in the middle of the night.
Rory: "I want to sleep with you."
Me: "Rory baby, why did you wake up? Do you need to go potty?"
Rory: "Nooooooo."
Me: "Why are you crying than?"
Rory: "Because you guys were not coming to get me to sleep in your bed!"
-Cue Dusty snorting in bed, the very man that has never in his entire life of sleeping with me ever been woken up in the middle of the night and laughed. He's a bit of a crabber if he's woken up. Don't even get me started on the nights before both our children were born...

Rory: "Mommy, we have dinkles!"
Me: "We have what, Rory?"
Rory: "Umm...dinkles. You know, the corners!"
(Pause for a moment of thought.)
Me: "OH! Yes Rory, we do have DIMPLES!"

Hopefully they gave you a laugh for the end of the work week. We're looking forward to some major cousin loving as Brookey and Eva are visiting from California and we cannot wait to see them and the rest of our cousins!

Thursday, September 6, 2012

This morning the kids and I took Maya for a walk to the waterfalls. (One of the perks to half day school, we can still squeeze in some morning activities!) While I enjoy taking fun artsy pictures, I'm not one to keep them or share them. Every once in a while though I get a really fun one I want to show off, especially if a new technique I was trying worked! Say hello to the sun rays on this spider web. So fun!

Rory and I enjoyed our afternoon shoe shopping yesterday while Max was in school. She decided she needed pink cowboy boots and the girl version of the kicks Max got for school. Of course I said yes to the purple ones!

We also checked out the waterfalls of course, the kids haven't been there in a while and they were quite happy looking at it all.

Max was even getting adventurous and sneaking out way further than he usually goes. Doesn't this face say, "Am I in trouble?" I do love that boy even if his before school energy levels are unmanageable right now.

I'm adjusting to having Max gone for the day, I'm not however, sure what to do with Rory during that time. It seems so simple but I've never been a mother to an only child that is 2, almost 3 years old, so this is new. If you have any fun suggestions, send them my way. We'll be doing the afternoons-to-ourselves thing for the whole school year now so I'm sure we'll be trying lots of things out!

We've have a couple friends going through some terrible times with their children. If you're the praying/good wishing type, will you include them in your thoughts and prayers? Thanks much!