Friday, June 29, 2012

Keeping Busy

It was so incredibly hot today that going outside was just out of the question. It sure makes the day longer when you have to fill all of it indoors, but we managed to keep ourselves pretty busy.

Harper was happy to try out his new paints I picked up at Michael’s yesterday.

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After playing a computer game and watching TV, Landon settled down to draw his dream theme park.

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Zoe got herself caught up on laundry and then read a little before coming up to join us at the table. She decided to create a design with the perler beads, something we seem to pull out every summer.

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Once Harper went down for his nap, I decided I’d better get started on my second canvas. I think this canvas is going to be a little more time consuming than the first, but hopefully it’ll come out the way I have it planned in my mind.

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Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hex Bugs

For his birthday, Landon mostly received money. I think people just aren’t sure what to get kids these days because it seems like they already have so much…which, in fact, they do. Receiving money isn’t really so bad though, right? I know I wouldn’t complain!

Anyways, since he’s had all this birthday money burning a hole in his wallet, he decided to take it with him the other day on one of my (too frequent) trips to Target.

He ended up buying himself some Hex Bugs. I hadn’t ever heard of them until that day, but they seemed pretty neat, and it was his money after all.

It has probably been one of his better buys to date. Not only does he actually play with them, but Harper likes to sit and watch them go as well.

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So far we’re up to 9 bugs and one building kit. I think though, that before the summers through, we’ll probably be adding to our collection, especially if it actually holds their attention like it has been! 

The Little Lamp

I’m still picking up things for the nursery here and there and a few days ago I was at Target and found this incredibly cute lamp:

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I couldn’t believe it was only $28, so of course, it is now in the baby’s room. I love the shade, and how the light glows through when it’s turned on.

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I also love the little mushroom pull detail. So cute!

I like to have a clock in just about every room of my house too, so when I passed these funky $7 wall clocks, I got one of those for the nursery as well. Love that I’m able to have all these different colors, not just your typical pink/purple accessories!

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This nursery is ever so slowly coming together…but, I sure am having fun finding stuff for it!

Wizard of Oz

Oddly enough, only days after posting about the musicals that I love so much, we ended up getting to go see one.

I was looking through our Six Flags booklets to see what coupons were included and came across one for Toby’s Dinner Theatre. It was a $10 off coupon for any of their shows, and when I saw that they were doing the Wizard of Oz until July 1st, I knew we needed to go.

I figured we’d have to go on Wednesday night because Zoe was going to the beach on Thursday and she’d likely be working the rest of the weekend, so I called right away. (If anyone in my house loves theatre as much as I do, it’s Zoe.)

We weren’t really sure what to expect since none of us had ever been to Toby’s, but when I looked for reviews online, they were very positive, so I was looking forward to a great show.

Doors opened at 6pm, and the dinner buffet began at 6:15pm. I didn’t really think about traffic being an issue, but I should have. We didn’t end up getting to the theatre until about 6:20, and the line for tickets was quite long. We had to wait about 15 to 20 minutes to pick up our tickets which I thought was ridiculous. After paying for our tickets, we headed into the theatre area. We were seated at our table and then told we could head over to the salad bar until our table was called for the main buffet. We were number 73, so we had quite a wait until it was our turn to get dinner. (Landon was really worried about eating food off of the buffet after our bad buffet experience at the beach last year, but eventually he gave in and ate. Poor kid.) The food was pretty decent and I just couldn’t seem to get enough of the fruit salad…which is really weird for me.

They cleaned up the buffet at 7:45 and the show began at 8pm. I was still a little skeptical about how good the show could possibly be when the stage was so small, but I knew it was going to be good as soon as I heard Dorothy sing her first song. She had an amazing voice, and she played her role perfectly. As the show progressed it was apparent that these actors were all very well rehearsed and knew their stuff. The Scarecrow, Tin Man and Lion were terrific and I couldn’t help but think how much they reminded me of the originals.

There were a few elements of the show that I just couldn’t figure out how they were going to include. For example, the Munchkins. They accomplished that scene by having the actors sit on rolling stools and it was quite entertaining! I also wondered how they would incorporate the tornado (I thought special lighting but they had people dressed in long grey costumes whirling around like a tornado) and Toto (they used a stuffed dog at some points, but also a real dog when necessary) and when they got to the Emerald City, would they have that color changing horse that I always loved as a kid (they did!!! lights can do amazing things!).

Over all, I was thrilled with the show. However, if I could change a few things, I would. For instance, being 9 months pregnant was never as uncomfortable as it was sitting in the chairs they provided for both dinner and the show. If you are going to be sitting that long in any one seat, it really should be a bit more comfy. I thought maybe it was just me, but I noticed a lot of people squirming in their seats during the show and Zoe even told me that she was quite uncomfortable sitting there. I would also make it possible for people to purchase their tickets online and bring a printed ticket to avoid the wait at the ticket pick up window. I’m not positive this isn’t an option, but if it is, I wasn’t made aware of this option. The last thing I would change would be to offer dates or times where you aren’t required to eat at the venue. I would have been just as happy to have eaten at home and then gone to the show afterwards, even if the price were only slightly lower. While the food was good, it was just not worth the wait or added expense.

I would definitely recommend anyone who loves theatre to try Toby’s out. The over all experience was really fun, and all 4 of us had a great time. Landon even asked me if I thought we’d get to go see another show sometime this summer…and I did notice that Grease would be showing at the Baltimore location beginning July 1st…Smile.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

One Hour

Harper still wasn’t up when I finished all of my morning stuff today, so I went in and woke him up at 7:30am. I know it seems crazy to wake a sleeping baby, but I am all about keeping him on a nighttime-naptime-awake time schedule. It just works for me.

His Mema was here to pick him up for Rolly Pollies at 8:30am and it dawned on me how much we had done in the one short hour that he’d been awake.

  • Get him up and ready for the day
  • Breakfast for him; banana, mandarin orange slices and apple juice
  • Playtime

We played with his animals, which basically means we pulled out each one, one at a time, from the toy box and put them in the middle of the kitchen floor and then sat on them. They like it.

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Then, we pulled out each “big one” car from the toy box, again one at a time, and put them in their designated spots on the coffee table. We didn’t actually play with them yet, but they are there for later when he gets home and wants to push them across the table to me…but only after telling me exactly where I should sit on the floor across from him. And, I do mean exactly where to sit.

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Next up was brothers new toy, HexBugs. He likes to sit down right in the middle of the action…

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So, I guess that may not seem like a whole lot, but really it was only one measly hour. I can’t imagine trying to actually document an entire day. It makes me tired just thinking about it.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Music to My Ears

I rented the movie Victor Victoria from Netflix back in January, and I finally watched it the other night. It only took me 6 months to make time for it, but I’m really glad I finally did! I wouldn’t say it’s my favorite, but I certainly enjoyed all 2+ hours of it which is more than I can say about most movies I’ve seen.

I don’t know why, but I’ve always loved musicals. I can’t name one I’ve ever seen that I didn’t love. Watching them on video is great, but take me out to a live show and I’m in heaven! Wicked is going to be here in October and I’ve sent my husband lots and lots of hints about it. It just so happens to be showing on my birthday, and I can’t think of a better way to spend my day! He and I have seen a few other shows, and I don’t think he minds seeing them, even though it’s really my thing. We’ve seen:

  • Hairspray (EXCELLENT!!!)
  • High School Musical (Went for the kids, ended up LOVING it!)
  • Annie (Classic goodness, took the kids to this one too.)
  • The Lion King (In NY on Broadway. AhhhMaaaZing!!!)
  • Brigadoon (Saw this one in high school put on by high school)

Unfortunately, that is the end of my list. It’s short, huh? It’s too bad they’re so expensive or I’d go see one as often as possible. I do have a list of others I’d like to see live though.

My love for musicals goes way back and probably began with Grease. My sister and I knew every line and song to that movie, probably still do. We also loved Little Shop of Horrors. I can’t even begin to imagine how many times I watched that one. Then there was Rocky Horror Picture Show which I can’t for the life of me figure out why my mom would let me watch when I was so young!

Here’s a list of others that I’ve watched and loved:

  • The Sound of Music
  • Footloose
  • The Wizard of Oz
  • Moulin Rouge
  • Bye Bye Birdie
  • Sweeny Todd
  • Mama Mia

There are others, I just can’t remember them all right now. I’ll just keep adding to my list as I think of them! Smile

Saturday, June 23, 2012

Parent Drive-In

As hard as the last couple of months felt with all the commotion of graduations and parties and birthdays, I fear that nothing is going to compare to the day that I have to drive my 17 year old to college and say good-bye to her as she starts her new adventure without me.

Of course I know the day is coming whether I like it or not, so I’m doing what I can to prepare for it. Today, Tony and I attended what they call “Parent Drive-In”. It was basically a primer on what to expect when sending your kid off to school. I was skeptical when we got there, thinking it was going to be a bunch of useless talk about things we already knew, but it turned out to be very informative and made me both excited and nervous for her.

I was happy to hear about all the clubs/groups and organizations that the campus offered as well as outside learning experiences. They have a club for just about everything you can think of and even offer free entertainment for the students on the weekends.

They talked about campus rules/regulations and about the parties and drinking that occurs. One dad said “You mean that the kids will bring alcohol into the rooms?” Uhh…yeah, dad. That’s probably going to happen. He’s got a whole lot of learning to do, that one. Oh, and another mom asked if there was a curfew. A curfew? Seriously. These are “adults” here people…they gotta figure crap out on their own at some point.

I do sympathize with those parents because it really is hard to believe that your kid is now going to have to make responsible decisions on their own. I understand their fears. I also know that anyone reading this who actually knows me is probably shocked at my cynicism, considering my stricter parenting methods...but while I may be “stricter” than some, I am not naïve.

They talked a lot about how to continue to parent your child while they in turn learned to grow. How to give advice without solving their problems, and how to focus on being more of a source of comfort, assurance and guidance. I’ve really been trying to be more of this person this year, and especially this summer. I’m attempting to be less controlling and allow her to make her own decisions, but I have to admit, it’s tough. Tough because I still want her to need me the way she used to…

I’d like to be more of a friend at this point rather than parent/disciplinarian, and I think I’m doing a pretty good job. Don’t get me wrong, I still don’t say yes every time she asks me to do something, but I feel that she has few limitations at this stage. We are trying to let her be an adult, just one with some kind of boundaries. Does she have a curfew? Yes, but it’s very flexible. Did she get to go on a week long trip to the beach with no adult supervision. No. (Still a decision I stand behind 100%) Does she go out/have someone over nearly every day of the week. Yes. Does she go to work? Yes, faithfully. Is she able to grab a friend or her boyfriend and take a trip somewhere for the day. Yes.

I guess some people would be appalled by these rules when she is 17 years old, but for me, it’s all about baby steps. Growing up with boundaries, at least initially. For the most part, I feel like Zoe is accepting of our rules and is generally okay having some type of limitations, but she does get upset when I tell her she can’t do something. (After all, no one likes to be told no.) Sometimes I just feel like it’s okay to ask your kids to help out around the house instead of running off all the time. Sometimes, it’s even okay to say no just because you think they need a break, even when they don’t realize it.

I guess the most important thing for me, as a parent, is to let Zoe spread her wings and show me who she is. If she goes out into this world being an honest, caring human with strong morals and values, then I’ll feel like I’ve done my job. If she continues to include me in her life because loves me, then I’ll feel like I’ve done my job well.

Friday, June 22, 2012

Friday Morning

Since I’m about to have my last baby, my mother-in-law kindly offered to continue to take Harper to Rolly Pollies for me once a week. He really likes going, it’s good exercise and he gets to be around other little kiddies his age. So, this morning was the first class for this session and she came by around 8:30am to pick him for his class.

We weren’t sure how he would do riding with her out there because he’s become quite clingy (with me) in the last few weeks and only wants “Mama do it”, no matter what “it” may be. But, I did my best to pump him up about it last night and this morning before she got here in hopes that he’d be excited to go back and not be so worried about Mama, do it. She told me that he did pretty good except when they got there he wanted Mama to get him out of his car seat and cried a little. She just told him that Mama wasn’t there and that they couldn’t go in to Rolly Pollies if he was crying and he quit. Phew. I’m glad it wasn’t too hard for her, I know how difficult he can be. I have to admit though that I hated buckling him up in her car and hearing him say “Bye, Mama”. I know he’s in good hands with her as she always takes the best care of my kids, but it was a little stab not getting to see him play. I have to remind myself that he needs a break from me every once in awhile just as I need a break from him.

While he was gone I did some much needed cleaning. Two bathrooms, dishes, a quick pick up and load of laundry later, they were back. He was in such a great mood when they got back, too! He went straight for the iPad (his favorite) but only for a minute or two then he was tearing through all his toys. We played cars for a bit then he saw his animals in the toy box and pulled them out one by one. He likes to take them into the kitchen and make a pile with them in the middle of the floor. I have no idea why he always goes in the kitchen, but that’s exactly what he did this morning.

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He got them all in the kitchen then pulled them all on his lap and couldn’t have been happier with himself. I think once he sat down he realized he was getting sleepy and he started to rub his cheek and nose with his frogs hand (like he normally would with his blanket) and kind of just stared off into space.

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While Harps is down for his nap, Zoe and Landon are keeping themselves occupied with a little Super Mario Bros. on the Wii.

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It’s been a long time since we’ve played the Wii around here. I guess we’ve all just been too busy. It sounds like they’re having a pretty good time in there though, so hopefully they will remember it for another time when they’re “bored”.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

When It’s Hot Out

The minute Tony got home from work tonight, Landon started asking if we could walk down to the pool. It was incredibly hot today, 100+ so it did seem like a good time to go. So, we slapped on some sun block and suits and off we went.

A couple weeks ago I picked up a maternity bathing suit at Target and today was the first day I actually wore it. I just never felt like I could justify the price of a bathing suit I’d only wear once or twice…but, it’s been so darn hot I just ripped that tag off and went for it!

Harper actually spent some time in the pool this time too, so Tony and I weren’t just following him around the whole time. It was so nice to go down there and cool off after such a long day. My body needed the relaxation and I only hope it translates to a good nights sleep for me. Just the short amount of time we spent out there made me feel so relaxed.

It was also nice that since I was getting in the water Tony and I could take turns playing with each boy. Sometimes Landon has friends at the pool, but today he didn’t know anyone there, so Tony and I took turns playing with him or shuttling Harper around in the water.

As usual, Landon had lots tricks to show me, so I got out and grabbed the camera to catch a few.

The Perfect Handstand

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Sitting on the Bottom

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Lying on the Bottom (sort of)

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Just before we packed up to go, Harper discovered the water fountain, one of his favorite things ever. He loves him some “co wa-wa” aka cold water.

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On the way out of the pool I decided to get a quick pic with my phone so that I would have proof that I did actually wear a maternity bathing suit in public!

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It was worth every penny.

12 Year Canvas

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This is the canvas that I wrote about the other day. I haven’t hung it on the wall yet but I already know where it will go once I get around to it.

The photo was taken at my parents house out on their dock. It’s a really good picture, but I think it’s pretty cool that he had this done in black and white. And, I really love the saying.

If you can’t read it, it says:

Our Love

wasn’t dramatic, like some bolt of lightening with a crack of thunder following. It was more like when flint strikes steel and the spark fades almost too fast for you to see. But still, you know it’s there down where you can’t see, kindling.

Tony and Angela

June 9 2000

Lunch Conversation

Today while eating lunch with the boys we got on the topic of our top 5 favorite animals. Landon asked me first, and this is what I came up with.

  1. Zebra, has always been my favorite, no idea why
  2. Peacock, I like pretty birds
  3. Flamingo, I like pretty salmon colored birds
  4. Koala, cute and cuddly, who doesn’t love cute and cuddly?
  5. Penguin, couldn’t think of anything else.

Then, Landon was up:

  1. Cheetah, they’re fast
  2. Penguin, always been a favorite of his
  3. Snake, bet he wouldn’t touch one!
  4. Alligator, no idea why on this one
  5. Parrot, he likes pretty birds too I guess.

Since we were on the subject, I asked Harper what his favorites were. I thought it was hilarious when he just started listing them…

  1. Hippo
  2. Rhino
  3. Zebra
  4. Doggy
  5. Bear

I’ll have to be sure to get Zoe and Tony to let us know their top 5 favorite animals too!

Before 10am

Before it was even 10 o’clock in the morning, Harper and I had done about 4 million things. To say that he has a short attention span would be a huge understatement. Sometimes he can sit and do one thing forever, other times, we go from one thing to the next like we’re on fire.

We started out playing with the iPad, because that’s how he likes to start his morning, then moved onto the toy box where we had nearly every single toy out, then onto lining up the cars on the table. After that 15 minutes, we decided to go outside and fill up the kiddie pool because it was already 90 some degrees outside. We brought all kinds of toys out, and I even put on my bathing suit (gasp!) to sit in the pool with him…but, after playing with the shark for about 10 minutes, he wanted to run and climb up the slide (only to decide he didn’t want to slide) and then we got on the trampoline. I think it may have taken me more time to get on the trampoline than he actually jumped, but I did get a few cute pictures of him at least!

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This is his impression of hopping like a bunny:

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Here he is being a cow:

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And, when I asked him what was next, this is what I got:

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Ostrich, maybe?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Harper @ 22 Months

Harper has been keeping me on my toes lately. Literally and figuratively. He keeps me so busy some days that by the time Tony gets home from work, I am ready to collapse…and, that’s with an afternoon nap! I know part of it is because I’m 9 months pregnant, but another part is just trying to keep him happy and entertained.

I know I’ve written before about him becoming more and more independent and “2 year old-ish” but this week it’s been in full force. He’s really gone from easy going to demanding over night it seems. I still look at him and want to squeeze his little cute self to pieces but there have been a few times just recently that I’ve wondered who the little demon is. He can go from adorable to hell like in a matter of seconds. It’s crazy.

Here are a few Harper moments I want to remember, or perhaps forget. I don’t know.

  • Yesterday he was lying across my lap on the floor, face down while I was tickling him and when I let him up he looked at me and said “Mama, I eat crap”. Haha! He had a little fuzz in his mouth and I guess he’s heard me talk about putting crap in his mouth a few times. I laugh every time I think about it. 
  • When I get him up in the morning, usually no later than 7:30am, the first thing he wants to do is sit and play with my iPad. He recently learned how to access and use YouTube and that's become his most favorite thing to do. He usually watches video’s I’ve posted but I’ve also searched a bunch of Barney and Wiggles videos and left them in my history for him to watch. Sometimes he accidentally finds his way to the homepage and ends up watching tennis or some stupid kid doing something stupid, but most of the time he’s content to just sit and watch the one’s I’ve saved him.
  • In the past couple of days he’s been having full blown tantrums. The screaming uncontrollably, roll on the floor, head spinning demon type. I’ve had to put him in time out, twice. Whenever he starts going crazy I just sit him in the chair in the living room and let him go at it. He usually cries for a bit and then gets up wanting me to love on him, and eventually calms down. I think two is going to be a tough year for us.
  • We finally turned his car seat around this week. The doctor told us they recommend turning it around between 1 1/2 and 2 years old, but he still wants to cry and be a pain in the car so we thought turning the seat around would help. So far it has helped and he likes telling me all about what he sees outside. He tells me “Red light, stop. Green light, go. Yellow light, SLOW DOWN!”. He just learned that 2 days ago and he’s got it down pat.
  • He likes to find certain letters that he knows. He knows: H, N, O, A, E, g, M, and W. Why those particular letters I’m not sure (other than H because he knows his name starts with H), but he consistently knows them. (I put g in lower case because that’s the one he knows, not G)
  • He repeats everything we say, and I do mean everything. It’s been a good way for me to watch my mouth, but sometimes things still slip.
  • He yells “Bless You” whenever he hears anyone cough or sneeze. Over and over and over again.
  • He still won’t do anything on the potty chair, but loves to sit on it before his bath every night.
  • We’ve been exploring a bit more with craft stuff and he loves to stamp, glue, play with play dough and color. He likes to make “trees” which is basically just green scribbles, but really good scribbles! :)
  • He wants to be held ALL. THE. TIME. I’m not sure what that’s all about but it is tiring. I try to hold him as much as possible because I know when the baby gets here it will be tougher for me to do all that holding, and he is still such a little guy. The hardest is holding him while walking up and down the stairs, but I do try to do it most of the time. I know that as he becomes more independent he’ll do more of it himself, as he is fully capable, just unwilling.
  • He says “Mama do it” when he wants me to do something. Most days he won’t let anyone get him in or out of his car seat, he just screams "Mama do it” until I acquiesce. I know I should probably just let whoever is trying to do it go ahead, but it just seems like one less battle to fight sometimes, so I do it myself. Being his person of choice is both rewarding and tiring all at the same time.

All in all, life with this little boy is great. He fits our family so perfectly and we all love him tremendously. He’s such a little smarty and watching him learn every day is truly amazing. And, his sticky hugs and kisses aren’t all that bad either.

Duck Park

Yesterday, before it got super duper hot here, I decided to take the boys to the park. We got there around 10am and only stayed for an hour, but it was long enough because it was starting to get really hot when we left.

Observing

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I let Landon choose the park he wanted to go to, and we ended up at the park we call “the duck park”. There is a nice little pond and stream with lots and lots of geese and ducks…therefore, it is the duck park.

Impressing with his Backwards Monkey Bar Trick

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Landon ran around that park like he hadn’t seen one in years, and Harper just kinda walked around observing what was going on. He usually loves to slide a million times, but for some reason yesterday he wouldn’t slide. At all.

After playing at the park for a bit we walked around the pond checking the place out. I made Landon stop in front of these pretty purple flowers so that I could get a picture of them. I couldn’t believe he did it without arguing!

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It’s a good thing I got them out to the park for a bit yesterday because our weather here was unbearable today and tomorrow is supposed to be even worse.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

12 Years

In the midst of the two kids’ graduations and parties, I forgot to mention that Tony and I celebrated our 12th wedding anniversary. We are pretty low key people in general, so there wasn’t a huge party or anything…we just decided to go out to dinner and exchange small gifts.

Even though I hated doing it, I bought him a video game for our anniversary. I hate buying video games unless it’s Christmas or his birthday, but honestly, he was DYING to have Diablo III, and I knew that he was kind of expecting it. So, instead of trying to find something else, I just got him what he wanted. Yawn.

He got me something really cool though, as usual. Using a photo of the two of us from last summer, he had a canvas made. He converted the photo to black and white and then had them create text over the photo. I need to get a photo of it to show you what I mean, but I just keep forgetting to take the darn picture! I’ll put it on my long list of crap to get done, and hopefully actually have that to share tomorrow.

As luck would have it, our anniversary fell on a Saturday night this year, so that made going out to dinner easy. My mother-in-law came over to sit with the boys while we headed out to a local German restaurant. I don’t know what made him think German, but I was all about it.

We went to the Old Stein Inn in Edgewater, and it was awesome. They even had a live band playing, and the music really brought me back to those German beer tents. Man, I really miss those darn fests! We ate bratwurst (DELICIOUS!!!) and Tony had some beer, although I can’t remember now what he had. There was a huge pile of sauerkraut on our plates, and while Tony ate some of his, I found out that I still really do not like the taste of that crap.

It ended up being a nice night out albeit short lived. We just sat and talked and ate and nearly sweated to death at our outdoor “shaded” table. As usual, our conversation was mostly about the kids, but as the food settled and the music played we even started to talk a little about ourselves and the future we see together. It’s a future with kids, and family vacations, and report cards, and meltdowns, and ice cream cones, and arguments…but, it’s a future we’re both looking forward to forging together. And, I suppose that is all that matters.

The Basement, Completed

I guess I should post the after shots of the basement area we finished. I mean, it’s been done for almost a week now. Zoe’s already all moved in (although, it’s still a bit of a mess) and the baby room is under construction.

Here are a few shots of the finished product. The first photo is from the doorway and towards the bedroom area. That small wall there is what separates the “hallway” from the “bedroom”. We left the bedroom area open like this with the idea that when our kids are grown and gone, we’ll be able to take the door off from where I’m standing and have open access to the entire basement area. Make sense? For now though, there is a closeable, lockable door separating the two areas.

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The next photo is from the doorway also, but to the left side of the room. The very far door is the closet, and the middle set of double doors is to the water heater.You can barely tell from the picture, but right in the left hand portion of the shot you can see another doorway. That is unfinished storage and the ac unit.

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Here’s a closer shot of the bedroom area. It’s actually really big…and don’t mind the two ding marks on the pole. They were put there by the two dings that put the carpet down and have since been fixed.

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The wall you see in the above photo, to the right is the small wall separating the hall and bedroom. On the other side of the wall (not facing the bedroom) is more unfinished storage. They painted the walls and floor in that room which helps to keep dust down and it really looks better with the paint. I forgot to get a picture of that space, but it’s boring anyways.

So, that’s that. The area is awesome and Zoe is adjusting to sleeping down there just fine. She was very reluctant, but the more people that see it and tell her how nice it is, the more she’s convinced. A few of her friends have even offered to swap their rooms for hers…hopefully she’s smart enough to see a good thing when it’s right in front of her!

Saturday, June 16, 2012

Zoe’s Senior Graduation Party

In our neighborhood there were 11 graduating seniors, so our community also threw their graduation parties. (On the same day as the 5th grade party! It was a tiring day!!!)

Instead of each senior getting their own cake, we opted for 5 with 2/3 names each instead. It was just way too much cake any other way!

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The senior party was a bit more refined with catered BBQ and DJ, but still ultimately just a big fat pool party. Each senior was able to invite as many people as they wanted, and while I don’t know how many people other kids invited, Zoe had about 40+ show up. She invited a few more than that, but that was about the number that RSVP’d and showed.

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Many of the friends she invited had to work that evening and just stopped by for an hour or so, but it was really nice of them to make an effort to come out and see her.

Each senior also had their own photo frame that their friends could sign:

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And there many, many pictures taken, of course. This was the first group of friends to show up:

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Another group:

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And another group, later in the evening:

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And, of course, when Brandon showed up (after his sisters graduation and dinner), I had to get one the two of them. Apparently, right after I took this shot, he tossed her butt in the pool. Too bad I missed that one!!!

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They swam, and froze their butt’s off, and ate and talked until around 11pm when the party ended, and I think they all had a good time. Hard to believe it’s all over.

5th Grade Grad Party

Oddly enough, our neighborhood has thrown the 5th grade graduation party every year, beginning with the year Zoe graduated 5th grade. I was so happy to find out that all these years later the party would still be in our neighborhood.

Every 5th grader was invited, and asked to bring in $5.00 and a food item to share. So, it was very reasonable and gave all the kids a chance to hang out together after their big morning. Of the 90+ 5th graders, around 65 showed up for the party, so it was quite a success!

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Landon was so excited to get down to the pool for the party, he was ready the minute we got back from the ceremony. The party started at 11am and we were there right when things got started. The water was freezing, but that sure didn’t stop a bunch of 10 and 11 year olds from getting in and having a great time!

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Thursday, June 14, 2012

Fourth of July Apothecary Jars

I found this easy peasy craft on Pinterest.

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To make your own all you need is:

  • different size/shape glass jars
  • kidney, northern and black beans

Layer them however you like and voila! Cute, inexpensive 4th of July décor! And, you can always cook the beans later if you want and reuse the jars for another project.

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Promotion Ceremony, Take 2

Early Friday morning, Landon’s school held their 5th grade promotion ceremony. (The 5th graders didn’t get caps & tassels, but he’s cooler than most 5th graders and had a sister who just graduated high school a few days prior, so he had a hat to wear!)

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I remembered sitting in the worst spot for Zoe’s 5th grade ceremony years ago and hoped that things hadn’t changed too much so we sat where I thought the “action” would be and I was right! (Nothing’s changed in all these years!!)

We got to see him come through the balloon arch while the pomp and circumstance played (and again, I was teary eyed):

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And, I could see his cute little face sitting in the sea of happy 5th graders:

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Each fifty grader was given a carnation and was able to dedicate it someone. Landon dedicated his to his family. We were all so happy! And yes, tears were in my eyes again!

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That’s his teacher Mrs. Bell handing him his certificates. She was also Zoe’s teacher in elementary school and in Tony’s graduating class. Small world, right?

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I was sitting on the floor in front of them and Landon spotted me, but Mrs. Bell spotted Mema sitting in the chairs to the right…that’s why they are looking two different directions!

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The kids sang two songs, Firework by Katy Perry and Count on Me by Bruno Mars. I’m not a Katy Perry fan at all, but I loved hearing the kids sing her song. Bruno Mars I like a lot and when they sang Count on Me, I was just a bit more than teary eyed. As a matter of fact, I can’t even listen to that song at all now because it just makes me think of my kids and how I hope they know that they can always count on me.

And that I’ll be there.

Always.

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