Thursday, December 9, 2010


Ava had a pretty early eye appointment this morning.  It actually probably isn't that early for most people, probably closer to midmorning, but for us, it was early, especially since we had to leave 45 minutes before the appointment started to make sure we got there on time.  So both kids were dressed and mostly groomed.  Rhys' hair typically has no hope.  It always looks like he just woke up so I just let it go.  I get it wet, he puts on a hat and it all ends the same.  I was neither...barely dressed all the way as it turns out, since I found out my zipper had been down the whole time when we got home.  I am on a roll!

Anyway, for once there was no wait.  We were in and out of the rooms like nobody's business which is nice when it turns out to be an hour and a half long appointment.  Rhys was a little out of hand, so Ava sat up in the exam chair all by herself.  I will pretty much let her do this all the time from now on because she did amazing.  There was no silly baby talk or pretending to be shy.  She called out the pictures on the wall with enthusiasm, she held still, she cooperated with three different sets of drops (though she did wipe the yellow dye ones on the sleeve of her white sweater).  She even let them do pressure checks with the tonal pen
and the Goldmann applanation tonometer

The doctor decided she did so well that he wanted to get a picture of her optic nerve. So We got to do that test too, which is look into a little lens with a tiny green light in it and stare straight ahead and hold still while the computer takes a bunch of pictures of the back of her eye. She managed to do this too. The eye doctor said she was probably the first 4 year old he has ever seen that has been able to actually get a picture.

Anyway, the end result of the appointment was her pressures were up a tiny bit in her left eye, with a slightly more noticeable cupping of the optic nerve in the left eye and some slight difference in the nerve based on the fancy picture. Her left eye has always been the "good eye". I vaguely remember when we had our surgery consult at Children's the doctor wanted to do surgery on the left eye first. We were confused as to why she wanted to do the good eye, but I guess it does make sense now. We are adding a drop of xalatan to the left eye at night, instead of just doing the right eye.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

I knew it

During preschool orientation, the teachers did a little skit, to show parents the rules of preschool. They kindly mocked common arguments that take place to get out the door, mistakes parents make, like being late to pick up their children, etc. One of them was forgetting to send things to school. I was thinking to myself, "That will never be me. I have this whole involved parent thing down." I already had every school day, day off, special event put in the calendar. I signed up to be a room helper and had it planned out in my head what I could do with Rhys on those days. I was ready. And then Monday happened. I go to pick up Ava and the teacher pops her head in and instead of a fun little fact of the day I heard, "Ava was the Special Person today, but don't worry, we had back up snacks. Do you need a calendar?"

I am a horrible mother. On Special Person day, Ava gets to bring in a snack of her choice, something for show and tell, and lead the class in every line or special thing they do. The thing that made me bitter was the whole "do you need a calendar?" comment. I have the stinkin calendar right on the fridge. I know everyday what the theme will be. I know if she needs to wear a certain color or bring in an item. The schedule for Special Person is on the back!!!!!! I didn't flip it. I knew Ava was the special person one of the days, I just really thought it was next week. I even thought about it before we left the house. We had been discussing what she would bring in (her picture book from San Diego) and what her snack will be (cheese sticks). I apologized profusely to Ava. She is told me over and over again that it is fine. Then she will say, "Remember, when you forgot I was the Special Person?"

I knew this day would come. Soon I will show up to school in my bathrobe and slippers. Since this is often how I spend the morning, it is a distinct possibility.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010


I am planning this whole advent craft thing for Ava. So far it is slow going because it is December 1st and I haven't gotten around to wrapping up all the individual projects. I have collected most of the supplies though. Maybe her advent will start on Monday. She doesn't really know that it is supposed to be 25 days right?

Ava has planned a vacation to Disney. She clearly doesn't get the concept that she has to pay for this vacation. She decided it would be for Justin's birthday next year. Turns out she will have a full week off of school for Thanksgiving so we could try to make the trip Saturday through Wednesday and still be back for Thanksgiving. She managed to keep this a secret from Justin for about 3 weeks. Which is good for her because she tends to blurt things out when she gets really excited. She talks about the trip just about every day so we are definitely going to try to make this happen. All spare change is going in "Ava's family vacation" jar.

The school year is just about halfway over and that is insane to me. I feel like she just got started. It is definitely going by fast and we are in a routine. I can now see how moms look forward to school starting up again after breaks, just to get back to the normal routine. Ava can now write almost all of her letters and is figuring out the sounds. She isn't reading yet, but she is definitely recognizing some words.

I finished one slipper. I am on to slipper number 2. It isn't the matching slipper to the first one. It is for Ava instead. I like to delay my sense of accomplishment apparently. I really just wanted to have to finish at least 2 pairs. And I didn't have enough yarn to make the full 2nd adult size one, so I wanted to be able to finish another slipper before I had to buy more.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

I had a plan

Once upon a beginning of November, I had a plan. I was going to make us all matching slippers for Christmas morning. I found the perfect yarn. I got started and it was fast work. Then I got distracted with who knows what. November is now almost over and I am still half way done with one slipper. That leaves 7.5 slippers to be made in about 27 days. I am now sitting her with my half finished slipper and I just can't get moving. Maybe I should go take a shower and get in pajamas and get cozy and somehow it will bring about the knitty feeling. I don't have much confidence in this.

Monday, November 15, 2010

For your reading pleasure

Here are some books that I have read lately, that I would definitely recommend.  Check them out.  Give them a read.  Give them as gifts. 

Let me tell you bout a man named Jed.

Saturday we discovered that the dog's leash has disappeared.  Not a clue where it has gone to.  Desperate times called for desperate measures.  I cut off a long piece of yarn and tied it to the dog's harness.  That is her new leash.  I don't want to tie and untie it, so she is walking around with a long string dangling behind her.  THis isn't sturdy yarn.  It is worsted acrylic crap.  The cats keep chasing her around to play with her string.  Rhys keeps "guiding" her around the house. 

We still haven't found the leash...or put forth that much effort to really find it.  We are simple people.

PS.  The 1000 book list is a bust. 

Monday, November 1, 2010

the challenge

I have taken on the 1000 books to read before I die challenge.  It seriously might take me that long, hoping that I live a very long life to finish.  There are many books on the list that I have zero interest in reading and some that I have tried and just not made it through.  I started the blog over here  Eventually I will get around to figuring out how to link the two together nicely but I am just doing good making the actual list and posting at all.  Ideally some of my friends will take on this challenge and I can link everybody together so we can see where we are all at. 

Thursday, October 21, 2010

Fall is here, I guess

I finally turned the heat on today.  It was just a little too chilly in the mornings.  The weather just hasn't been able to make up its mind.  A couple weeks ago we actually went camping in Michigan.  It was supposed to be this lovely fall camping trip with apple picking and hiking.  It was freaking cold!  It actually got down to about 39 degrees at night.  It was rainy and cold.  Overall the weather was pretty umpleasant.  I also made the mistake of not bringing anything for the kids to play with. I usually have random things in the car for them so that kind of saved the day, but I will definitely have to plan better next time.  Clearly the camping wasn't so bad that there won't be a next time.  I really do love being outside and I don't think we spend enough time outside as a family.  I have plans to revamp our little patio to make it more family friendly for next summer so we will be a little more motivated to stay out there. 

Playgroup met at the pumpkin farm this week.  Here are a few fun pictures.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Quotes of September of 2010 and some older ones....

July 22nd: Me: Is this what you are wearing today?  Ava: Yeah! I love flowers and I love candy.
Aug 4th: Ava: humph! I'm not going to talk to you. Me: Fine, that also means no whining at me. Ava: Fine! I'm whining at myself!

Aug 8th: Ava: uhhh mommy, the poopie looks like there is corn in it.

Aug. 30th Ava: Maybe we could go to Popeye's and get that chicken that Phineas and Ferb were eating.

Sept. 8th (first day of preschool, in the pick up line to get Ava, everytime we would move a little bit forward) Rhys: Here come!!!!!!  I see Awa!  Here come!!!!!!

Sept. 16th: Ava: I have a white spot on my nose.  Me: Ok.  Do you not like the white spot?  Ava: Well, white spots and black spots are ok for cows, but I don't know if I like the white spot on my nose.

Sept. 24th: Ava: I want to learn how to knit.  Then we can pick out pretty yarn together and drink hot chocolate and sit by the fire together. 

Sept. 27th: Rhys: Ma ma ma ma ma ma ma ma FACE!  (this was his version of Poker Face by Lady Gaga)

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

So close...

I am almost done with Rhys' sweater.  Like always, I am antsy to move on to something else.  I usually find my next project well before I am finished with the current.  It helps keep me motivated.  I won't let myself start the new one until the old is finished, so it gives me that final push to keep going.  I have to finish one sleeve and put everything together and sew on the buttons.  Today Rhys asked if he could wear it, so that is another motivating factor.

Last Friday, my new knitting group met for the first time.  I think we had a pretty good turn out.  Some people were working on the squares for charity, some on their own projects and a couple were just learning.  I finished my first square.  They go pretty fast and are very portable, so they are good little busy work projects or mindless knitting when I want to work on something but don't have the focus to follow a pattern.  A couple other plan to come in the next few meetings to contribute.  I wonder how many squares we will really will get done. 

I ordered yarn for my next project, a large felted handbag.  A friend has asked me to make one for her.  She says she will pay me but I don't think I want to take any money for it.  Who knows if I will mess it up or not.  I have made a smaller version of this pattern before so I am pretty confident that it will turn out well. I am finally getting to Noro yarn.  It is a handpainted wool from Japan.  It just looks really cool and I have been wanting to use it for a while.

I haven't been keeping up with posting what I have been reading.  I have been on a reading spree lately. 

I have recently finished:
Her Daughter's Dream by Francine Rivers.  This was a second book of a two part series.  I really enjoyed it and highly recommend it.

Girl with the Dragon Tattoo by Steig Larrson.  Loved it.  It is actually the first of three books that were unpublished at the time of the author's death.  It was pretty dark, but I am definitely going to be moving on to book #2 shortly.

Safe Haven by Nicholas Sparks.  It was ok.  I have really loved some of Nicholas Sparks books, but this wasn't one of them.  It was just so so. 

Currently reading: The Mini Shopaholic by Sophie Kinsella.  Nothing like a funny British-pop fiction to make me happy. 

Friday, September 17, 2010


So I have been intrigued by the idea of a sampler afghan.  I wanted to work with my friends who do knitting or crocheting and come up with awesome random blankets.  The problem with that is there aren't that many friends who do those things or that want to.  Plus then the debate comes up, what to do with the blankets?  My friend Andrea and I have been trying to get a group of people together on a somewhat regular basis to work on projects.  It has been pretty hard to arrange.  So we have a new plan.  We now have a host house, a few committed people and a set start date.  We also have a project.  We are going to knit squares for charity.  Check out and you will see what we are up to.  We can knit or crochet squares, hats, sweaters, and mail them off, and someone puts them together into blankets for orphans and needy kids in Africa. 

A while ago I got a bunch of wool.  It was super cheap so I bought it figuring I would figure out something to do with it later.  This is it.  The squares are better when made out of wool because they won't burn the little children up!  No seriously, wool is flame resistant versus the acrylic that will melt and catch on fire if it is too close to the open flame.  Anyway.  It is my preschool knit time, so I better get going on the square.

Rhys' sweater is still in progress.  Almost totally done with the body and I will just have to do the sleeves.  Hopefully in the next week or two I will have that done.  Ava can't wear her sweater I made her to school because she needs to have her name in it!  I need little made by Emily tags to sew into my stuff.  I am clearly at that professional of a level.  I think I will then be making some mittens.  I am completely in love with the sweater yarn from Spud and Chloe and they have some good colors for mittens.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

poor bubba

Poor Rhys. He never gets any blog posts. His 18 months milestone post came and went and I never posted anything! Now I can't even remember his specific measurement to catch up. He doesn't have any activities for me to post pictures of or anything like that. He is just the little cool dude who hangs out with me.

Let's talk about Rhys for a bit. He is a funny, funny little guy. He has adopted Ava's knock knock joke. Rhys: Knock, knock. You: Who's there? Rhys: Poopie. You: Poopie who? Rhys: (blank stare). Then he will laugh.

He does this thing where he will frown at you to get you to frown and then he pulls his face into this crazy grin, similar to what you would picture if you were trying to smile while on a roller coaster. As soon as you do that face, he will frown again. This will continue on and on.

Rhys and Ava play pretty well together most of the time. He has started to think it is funny to take what she is playing with and run away with it. I hear "Mine!!!!!!!!!!" followed by shreiking about 20 times a day. I don't know who is doing it because they pretty much sound exactly alike when crying or screaming.

He loves to sing and dance. Ever since he was a baby, I would generally chant while rocking him. "Rhys-y, piecey" I don't know why. It wasn't very creative. Ava had a whole song. I guess I could only rock and get slightly above a hum. I was able to keep going even if I was falling asleep. He still likes it when I do it, and now will sing with me.
(he has a thing for hats)

He and Ava are definitely a lot alike. Both are generally very gentle and affectionate and like to cuddle. Rhys is a lot more forthcoming with new people than Ava ever was or still is. He rarely is shy. I don't know if he really knows what that word means. He talks a lot. I can pretty much discuss most things with him and at least find out what he wants or things about it. I think a few of his meltdowns are related to him being frustrated that we don't know what he is saying, but we get most things. His favorite phrases are "I like it." "I no like it." "Open it." "Close it." "Cute" "Don't touch Pepe." "Get down!"

This is what happens when you use a candle snuffer as a microphone.  It is hard to be a performer.

I love where he is at right now. I can't believe he is racing closer to 2 and farther away from baby. I love that he still wants to cuddle first thing in the morning, says "I waf you!" at least 30 times away. He still calls Ava "Aya" or "Awa" and is light enough to carry around. Ava has suddenly gotten long and all leggy and is definitely not a baby anymore. Just thinking that soon the Awa will become Ava makes me want to go home and video tape his crazy dance. "Watch this!!!"

picture heavy

I got this fancy new phone...not really fancy exactly but it is new. I have regular internet access on it, so I can look at a normal webpage. Which means I rarely got onto a normal computer anymore, which means...all my posts sit festering in my head instead of getting typed out.

We have started a new phase! Preschool. So far Ava loves it. She says sometimes people don't share the play kitchen even though she does. I am not quite sure she has the entire concept of sharing down. She says she has made friends but so far doesn't remember any of their names. I think she got tired of me counting down the days with her until the day she started so when it came time to leave for school and I wanted to take a picture, she wasn't having it.

On day number 2 of school, she started making excited little giggle noises when we pulled into the parking lot. I think that means she liked it.

Ava also started dance class.
She has been asking for a while to take dance, even though I had her in swimming lessons. I knew it was the beginning of the classes and even though I only wanted her in one activity at a time (she is currently still playing soccer once a week) I would have to start in dance classes now if she wanted to take them at all this year. I decided not to fight about swimming lesson for the time being, maybe we will take them in the summer when the pool is more enticing. She will learn to swim eventually. So we started ballet and tap. It is a combined class. They do about 10 minutes of stretching and warming up, 25 minutes of ballet, and then 10 minutes of tap. The teacher opens the blinds for the last few minutes of class so we can see what they are doing. Ava is in the very beginner class with two other little girls. She is the the oldest one by about 6 months. So far all I have seen them do is practice walking across the room on the front taps and then jumping with both feet. Ava can manage both of those.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Better late than never

Here are some Ava birthday fun pictures!

Making their cookie pizzas.

Picking out toppings.

Decorating their pizza.

Getting ready to spin the wheel to win free candy. Ava won $5 gift certificates for everybody at the party. She sure knows how to be a good hostess.

Bozo buckets for more candy prizes. They also played candy bowling but I didn't get any pictures because I was assisting someone in the potty and missed the whole thing.

Decorating the birthday cupcake.

She definitely doesn't mind being the center of attention. "Happy birthday to you"

Present time.

Making cotton candy.

Monday, August 16, 2010

saving money is all the rage these days...

Many people out there have blogs on saving money. I have been looking for easy ways for me to save/earn money by doing simple things. I have yet to become a super coupon-er. As of late, I have not had the extra brain power to use on keeping everything straight. I have decided to just keep it simple for now and just try to use coupons for household items. I am always pretty good about shopping the sales with food and stuff, but a huge chunk of our budget goes to things like shampoo, toilet paper, etc. I haven't quite devised a plan yet, other to follow other blogs and such that let me know about the sales and good deals, so I know when to go out and stock up.

Another way I control spending is actually to shop online. It is much easier to stick with a budget when I can see my running total, compare prices elsewhere and all that. This brings me to this! This maybe the coolest thing I have figured out in a long time. Ebates is a website that allows you to earn cash back on purchases you make online. They are normal stores I shop at too. As long as I am logged in and go to the store through their site, I get cash back from the site on things I would have bought anyway. The site pays out quarterly, so the little percentages can add up quickly, plus right now if you sign up through the link I provided, you will get $5 automatically if you make a $20 online order in the first 90 days. It really is normal sites like target, walmart, barnes and noble, shutterfly, overstock, etc.

Another little thing is swagbucks. You login and use it as your search engine, instead of say google, and randomly you are awarded "bucks" for your searches. They add up little by little and you can cash them in for actual items or gift certificates. Who knows, maybe save up all your swagbucks for a year and have a little stash for Christmas. See the little widget (add of sorts) to the right? Click on it if you would like to sign up for swagbucks. Doesn't hurt to try!

Coming soon...the wine tour weekend!

Currently reading: NOTHING!!!!!!!! Yikes!

Sunday, August 8, 2010


Have you missed me? Sorry I have been busy focusing on revamping my life. Justin and I have been going to the gym 5 days a week like crazy people. Justin has signed up for this 90 day weight loss/fitness challenge. I officially started yesterday but I don't think he is really starting until tomorrow.

Ava turned 4! I would like to think she had an awesome birthday (pictures will hopefully be posted sometime) Justin took the day off of work and we went to the zoo. Ava really likes it when all of us get to do things together. We had a picnic while we were there and finally got to see the dolphin show. It was closed all last year so Ava has never seen it before. Actually I don't think the dolphins have actually been there at all since they were repairing the tank. The show was completely full, we waited in line forever to get in and we sat there sweating like crazy waiting for the 15 minute show. Ava and Rhys loved it though. Rhys kept yelling that they were "schwimming"

We were touch and go whether or not we would even make it back in time for Ava's party thanks to traffic. Ava had talked about having a friend party this year. We definitely couldn't handle a friend/family combo party, that is just way too many people or two separate parties. So we had a friend party and it was awesome! She invited five of her little girl friends to a candy shop party. They got dressed in little aprons and made cookie candy pizza, decorated their cupcakes, played bozo bucks and candy bowling with a giant jaw breaker, made their own pixie sticks, and cotton candy. Ava won everybody $5 of candy so I actually took them shopping in the candy store. It was crazy, but they really weren't too bad. A few times I was like get your hand out of the candy jar! Ava smiled the whole time. It was so funny to watch her and all of her friends interact like little people. They just thought it would be fun to see who could actually jump and get both feet off the ground at the same time. They complimented each other on their clothes. It was hilarious.

I am halfway done with the sweater for Rhys, but not exactly moving fast on it. Our garden is growing things. We have a lot of cherry tomatoes which is good because Rhys eats them at pretty much every meal. We are apparently growing a watermelon that looks suspiciously like a cucumber. Anybody ever grown a watermelon with spikes?

Saturday, July 10, 2010

So restricted

Just recently the old habit of thinking summer was over at the end of August due to school starting finally ended for me. I stopped thinking things like "oh I only have a couple more weeks to wear this before I am stuck in a cold building and wearing my new school clothes." and the likes. Summer ends for us when the weather turns to fall. Not this year though. I guess we will have a transition time. Summer will slow down when Ava starts preschool at the end of August. She will be in school three afternoons a week. That will give us two full days to continue our so called summer schedule. It just makes me feel like I have to pack in the activities. The weeks are flying by and it is just crazy to me. I actually kind of hate the fact that our lives are dictated by a specific school schedule. It is only going to get worse and that actually really annoys me. I don't think it annoys Ava though. She is getting more and more excited about school. She wants to drive by the building all the time. We have also started keeping our eyes open for school clothes. She is definitely growing so trying to figure out sizes is hard. I am thinking she will be in a 3t though. She told me the other day that she doesn't think she should wear jeans to school because jeans make her crazy, so she should just wear comfy pants. She probably is going to end up in comfy pants most of the time since jeans don't really stay on.

We joined a gym...again. I think we have finally done it though. We have stopped compromising on what we want and need from a gym, such as location, hours, childcare, classes, and people I know who go so I have work out buddies just to get something cheaper. Bonus of this gym is there is an outdoor zero depth pool, so we are going to hang out there as a family after we work out this weekend. Hopefully by Christmas we are both much more in shape. I had bloodwork done a few months ago and they said I had high cholesterol. Not high enough for medication, but something to watch which means overall lifestyle change. Justin had his bloodwork done today so we will see what the results are for Mr. Bacon.

reading now: Same Kind of Different As Me by Ron Hall and Denver Moore

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

short attention span

I am almost done with Ava's sweater. I just have to make the hood and sew it all together. That means of course it is time for me to look towards the future and get antsy about starting Rhys' sweater. I bought yarn for his today. Very exciting stuff.

The blue isn't really blue, more of a turquiose.

Tonight I am going to see all three of the Twilight movies. I am looking forward to it, though I am not looking forward to being made to feel old because there are more 15 year olds than anything else.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

me and my nook

As long as I can remember, (really since 2nd grade) I have loved reading. I can remember the exact moment it happened. I was reading Otherwise Known as Sheila the Great by Judy Blume. I remember staying up late to finish the book and after many nights of reading and getting involved in the story, the book was finished. I wanted the story to go on and on so I could keep observing my friends. From that moment on I was completely hooked. I regularly finish good books in a day or two, so I go through a lot of books. This was part of the reason why I wanted a nook. Our house was being taken over by books.

In college, Justin and I always said we wanted to have a huge library. The problem with this scenario is, we don't have the space or the shelves to have a library at this time. So ever shelf like surface was covered with books. I started trading them on book mooch. This worked sort of but I was having a hard time finding books I wanted so I was just paying to ship my books to people. I sold a couple on amazon, but I had to then ship within 24 hours of selling the book and that just didn't work out for me. I got books from the library but regularly returned them so late that I might as well have bought the book. So now I have a nook. It is the ereader from Barnes and Noble. I can finish a book and in 5 minutes have a new one to read. I love it. I am on a mission to find more people who have a nook or use the ereader on their blackberry or iphone. I want to trade books with people! I need to establish a network! I am burning through my gift cards like nobody's business.

I have been looking for a widget for this thing that will let me list what I am currently reading and haven't been able to find one. I should just end my posts with that info. It will probably be more current that way anyway.

Currently reading: Sizzling Sixteen by Janet Evanovich.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Welcome to Hollywood. What's your dream?

Thanks for the comments on being able to comment. I am happy to see it only doesn't work for Justin. He must be technologically challenged, I am sure that is it.

Everybody has things they want to do in life. Some people really want to go sky diving, climb a mountain, eat entire cakes in one sitting. I don't have those dreams. I have generally had just a couple for as long as I can remember. I want to travel around a lot more and see all sorts of places and I want to go on a whale watch. The whale watch started in 4th grade when we watched The Voyage of the Mimi. Every few weeks we would watch a mini episode and do a workbook to identify whales. It was possibly one of my favorite things that I have gotten to do in school ever.

So recently I have been doing lots of little things that come to mind when I think, hey I want to try that some day. Like making jam or bread or learning to knit. I just do it. My newest addition to the list of things to do is going to be a bit harder. I want to make my own syrup. I want to tap the tree, collect the sap, boil it down and make syrup. I read quite a few books when I was younger, Little House in the Big Woods for example, where they made their own syrup. I just want to do it. It sounds fun, tedious and a lot of work for a little syrup, but I want to say, check, I have done it. Considering the fact that I don't have any grown trees anywhere near my house, let alone an maple, is definitely going to hold up this goal. I wonder if there are syrup making vacation spots, like in Maine. Instead of going to a ranch to pretend to be a cowboy for a week, be a syrup maker for a week. (I would love to go be on a ranch for a week too, by the way. I seriously do somewhat curse the fact that I feel doomed to always live in the suburbs.)

In other news, I got an A in my business economics class. Not an A-, a full on A. I am pretty excited about that. Because I posted a picture of my pumpkins yesterday, it was apparently necessary for me to look out at the buds opening up into pretty orange flowers and then the skies to open up and pick the chair off the patio up and throw it down on my pumpkin plant.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


Not that I am fishing for comments, but I have heard that some people are having problems commenting (some people being Justin) and I was wondering if others have had that problem. If that is the case, please email me and I will see what I can do.


The landscapers put mulch down today, for the first time in two years. They skipped last summer for some reason. Anyway, they killed my sunflower. It was growing strong and straight. It now has no leaves and is bent in half. So we will focus on the positive and look at how big the pumpkin blossoms are getting.

I am having a hard time getting a good picture of Rhys' new hair. He won't sit still long enough. He has fully hit the terrible 2's at 18 months. He throws fits about everything because he gets so frustrated with not being able to do exactly what he wants. When he is being nice he is awesome because he can communicate more and he is just funny. Anyway, here is his definitely needs trimmed up more but he got tired of sitting and so he looks like he might have been in prison sometime around 1950.

new site

Look! Our church has new website, including a blog. Isn't it so pretty??? Just thought I would share. I think it is just an example of the connectedness people feel when they are at church.

Monday, June 21, 2010

fuzzy wuzzy was a bear

We all had a case of the Monday's today. It was just weird weather, and we aren't into our summer schedule yet. Ava had gymnastics. She wore her leotard and I am hoping it shrinks a bit when I wash it, though I am sure it won't. If she had any meat on her bones it wouldn't gap in places. She made improvements over last week. She can walk forward on the balance beam with no problem, though she had a hard time getting on. She smiles when she does everything so that is enough to make me keep signing her up and being the mommy chauffeur.

We have set up more things to drive her to. She is signed up for soccer in the fall. It is a very low commitment, intro league. One hour a week, that is it. The game are on nights or afternoons when I don't work so I am looking forward to them being fun family events.

On a whim, I cut Rhys' hair. I have zero experience cutting boys hair, but I just started going to town anyway. He looks pretty cute and so old. He definitely isn't fuzz-less, but his head definitely has a nice new narrow shape instead of a round puff ball. He is VERY blond. Any darkness he had has been cut off. Remember around Christmas and his hair was kind of brown and wavy? That hair is all gone and probably will never be back.

Sunday, June 20, 2010

all day long

All day long I have had ideas and things going through my head that I wanted to say and now I can't think of anything.

*Earlier in the week we went grocery shopping at Target. Ava was so excited, she could hardly contain herself. She acted like everything was a great find. Who needs Disney when we could just go grocery shopping.

*The painting is finished in the house. It looks awesome. It is now a small mystery to figure out when things will be hung back up on the walls. It took years the first time, I highly doubt it will take that long again.

*Ava started gymnastics last week. It isn't really gymnastics. They are mostly learning how to jump and balance. Very basic intro skills. Ava definitely needs the intro skills. She still doesn't really know how to jump. Good news though, we found a leotard so at least she will look cute while not really jumping.

*I have the whole body of the cardigan I am knitting finished. I am working on the first sleeve. I have been pretty distracted with other things going on so I haven't worked on it much lately.

*Justin ran in the warrior dash this weekend. I am sure it was a ton of fun for him and something he enjoys doing. We tried to go and watch. I am glad we got to see the set up and stuff, but it turned out to be a huge waste of a Saturday for me and the kids. Tons of waiting and being hot. Shockingly enough, we weren't the ones sunburned. Justin just dabbed it on in a few places and got burned everywhere else. The rest of us were totally fine.

*I have a new favorite Keurig coffee. It is Daybreak Blend from Caribu. I just love it and think you should know.

*We went to the pool on Friday afternoon as a family. Justin got to experience Rhys' fear/fascination with the drain at the pool. We also figured out that Rhys loves the splash station thing. He will stand under the water as it pours in his face and he really doesn't care, yet he still isn't too thrilled about the idea of standing in 6 inches of water. The lazy river was broken which was a bummer since Ava really wanted Justin to come just so she could go on it. It looks like he will have to come with us another time this summer.

*8 days until we watch Eclipse! I should re-read the book, but I must pace myself. Now that school is finished (hallelujah!!!!!!!!!) I have some more time to read so I have at least 5 days to read something else.

*I just finished reading Her Mother's Hope by Francine Rivers. LOVED IT! I can't wait until the 2nd part comes out. I read another book by the same author a while ago and got completely sucked in. I know she has quite a few other books, but for some reason I am hesitant to read them. I read the first two off of recommendations, so I am not sure what the thoughts are about her other books.

*I also finished reading Water for Elephants. I know it has been out for a while, but I really enjoyed it. I love having things on my nook! I just wish I knew more people who either had the nook or used Barnes and Noble ereader. I am a generous sharer of books, so let me know if you would like to be on my share list! Plus, somebody share with me!

Monday, June 14, 2010

it is almost over!

All we have left to do this week is take our final and we are done with our economics class! I have been dreading it and hating it the whole time we have been taking it but I am getting an A so far. Not just an A, a pretty solid A and a little higher one than Justin. I can't be too confident in it though, since our final is worth 30% of our grade, I can still definitely blow it.

Our house is officially almost done being painted. One more wall was finished today and the ceiling in the kitchen. We just have the center wall dividing the kitchen and livingroom left and then it is finished. Everything will be painted a color other than white! Seriously, never in my life have I lived anywhere that didn't have white walls. We have had a couple rooms upstairs with painted walls for the last few years, but definitely not the whole house. It looks awesome and I am very happy with our color choices. It actually looks so nice that I am all inspired to clean through stuff and rearrange and make the whole thing look nice.

Have I mentioned that I have started to like wine? I have many things in life that I want to like, but just don't, no matter how many times I try. I don't want to be picky. I want to be versatile, it just doesn't always work out that way. Well I have figured out that there are definitely different flavors to wines and different things taste good to me. It all started when I had this niagara wine at a friend's house. It tasted just like grape juice! Justin ordered a couple bottles for me for mother's day. Then I went to wine styles and got a really good reisling. Just liking those two didn't make me feel versatile. I still felt restricted and picky, now just with certain kinds of wine. I wanted to be able to order a glass of wine with dinner and know what to order and like it. When we went to dinner for our anniversary I tried the wine flight. It was four different kinds of Spanish wines. One was really good and I just can't remember what it was, though I know it was a red which surprised me. A friend told Justin to get me Oliver's soft white. It was also very good and easy to find at Jewel. This weekend, we went to a wedding and I had the cabernet and it was also good! Meanwhile during all this wine adventuring, I have planned an overnight with friends to go on a wine and chocolate tour. We actually have a limo that drives us to a few vinyards and we go wine tasting. I am getting so excited about it. It seriously has made me crazy for years that we can to people's houses and Justin gets a beer and I am just kind of stuck. It isn't like I can bring everything for mixed drinks everytime we can go out. Wine is my solution. Hopefully by the end of the summer I will have expanded my horizons and have a list of wines I like to drink.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

at the pool

So today was our first day of the summer spent at the pool. By day, I mean a little over 2 hours. That is plenty of time for us. We brought all the sand toys we have collected this year and a good hour was happily spent in the giant sandbox.

I liked this time too because I actually got to sit back and burn my legs. Later on we went into the pool. Ava was following her friend that is a little bit taller and a lot braver into deeper water. I was right with her but she started to get scared when the water was over her shoulders. I was holding Rhys in one arm and she was hanging on my other arm. She started to panic as I was lifting her up a bit higher and taking her over to the wall. I said, "I've got you." As soon as the water got up to Rhys he started getting scared and he said, "I got you!!!!!!!" Pretty much anytime he was in anything more than 5 inches of water, he got scared and started crying, "I got you!!!!!!" I thought it was pretty cute in a sad puppy dog kind of way.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

so many projects.

Things have been busy around here.  Half of the rooms have been painted. The downstairs is getting started this week.  One or two walls are being painted at a time so we don't have to move everything in the entire living/kitchen area at the same time. It is a much easier system on my end and since we are in no rush, it works out well. 

I have finished some yarn projects and started another.  Here are my first pair of booties.   Because they are baby booties, it doesn't really matter that much that they aren't exactly the same size.  I really am not sure how that happened, but I clearly added a row or left out a row, just not sure which.  I had to force myself to keep going on the second one.  I probably shouldn't really develop a sock making habit because I am not great at follow through on the 2nd one. 

This hat was supposed to be a newborn size but I think it is a lot bigger. It looks that way to me at least, but who knows, I didn't have a newborn handy to try it on. I guess too big is better than too small. Either way, it was pretty easy and inspired me for a future big project.

This was a great beginner knit blanket. It moved fast enough that I wasn't hopeless that I could never be able to finish. It also seemed very stretchy and cuddly. I will probably make more in this style in the future.

Last week a friend came over who knits. I really don't know that many people who knit regularly. It really could be a social hobby. I want to learn from other people so I have been trying to get a group together for a while. Ok, not trying, but thinking about it. I did finally just send out an email to try to set it up. Anyway we went to my favorite yarn shop and picked out some awesome yarn for a sweater to make Ava. One of the main reasons I wanted to learn how to knit was to make sweaters. I figured it would be easier to start out with small ones. Good thing I have some little people to make them for.

Here is her yarn choice. I am really liking how it is looking so far.

Last weekend we did the Relay for Life. We brought both the kids and I really liked having them there. Sleep wasn't that common but there was very little crying or whining so I didn't mind. Plus they both slept during the day on Saturday which was nice when I wanted to sleep.

This has become difficult to write since Rhys keeps flopping on me and saying he is my blanket.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Sorry, I know you will hate me when you are older

Tonight Rhys named his "business".  We were getting ready for bath time and he was clearly gesturing and saying, "toot."  I asked him if that was his toot and he said, "Yes! Toot!"   I told him to go show Daddy his toot and he ran off and showed Daddy his toot.

Softball season started tonight.  We had two games. I think I sucked less than last year, so that is an improvement.  I am now very sore and ready to not move for a while.

Friday, April 30, 2010

Ava knows it all

Ava had been asking to make cupcakes for a couple days.  We ran out of time before it was time for me to leave for work, so she decided she was going to ask Daddy to make them with her.  Justin luckily agreed to go along with her plan.  She would have been pretty disappointed if he had not.  They made them, decorated them with lots of sprinkles and then got to eat them. 

I had already planned on making cinnamon raisin bread this morning so I started in on that.  Ava was clearly still in the baking mood and wanted to make banana bread.  She wanted to do it on her own.  So I got my bread started while she was mashing up the bananas and then I just started adding her ingredients for her.  She just kept mixing and mixing.  I only stirred in the flour a little to make sure it was really stirred in.  She is actually a little upset that I interfered that much.  I held the bowl while she dumped it in the pan.  When we got the bread in the oven she said, "I will tell Daddy how to make banana bread next time."  She is referring to it as "my banana bread" and she just happens to be willing to share it with us.  Justin came home from work and she was very excited to show him her bread.  I am sure in the next couple years she really will be making the bread by herself.

Monday, April 26, 2010

random Monday

Old class is finished.  New class has begun.  Justin and I are taking Business Economics.  It is so far removed from any class I have ever taken that I am a little intimidated.  I also know that it is just easier to do all the projects and tests when you actually attempt to learn as the class goes on.  I am once again starting off the class right and am going to read the book and take notes. 

When I was at the spa for our anniversary they had these dried blueberries.  They were amazing and so good.  I am now on a mission to find some.

Ava "accidentally" attempted to steal some candy from Aldi on Saturday. She wanted one kind of candy and I said no, but told her she could have another kind.  She apparently decided after pouting about it that some candy is better than no candy, but after we had already paid...or as we were paying and I didn't notice.  Either way, I noticed her walking out of the check out lane with candy in her hand.  I made her go back and pay for it and explained to her about stealing.  Two days later she is still talking about how she didn't go to jail for stealing and that I was very mean for saying she "stealed."

Thursday, April 22, 2010

6 years

Last weekend was our six year anniversary.  What an odd even number that is.  It seems so small to me.  Maybe because we have spent pretty much every day together for the last 11 years.  Actually we have spent the last amount of time together in the last 2 years than we ever have in the past due to work schedules.  It just feels strange, like the 6 doesn't accurately reflect our life together.  Not in a bad way, like yeesh only 6 years!  It just feels like more...something.

With Justin's recent promotion we decided we would actually celebrate our anniversary this year.  When we first got married we said that we would never just not do things for each other for our anniversary.  It was OUR day.  It is funny how quickly that gets kind of shoved aside when you have life going on.  We usually at least get around to going out to dinner but not always on the actual day.  This year it fell on a Saturday so we had to go out.   We each had our version of a day off.  I went to the spa for the afternoon.  I have never had a real spa day before and I definitely could handle doing that again.  Justin stayed home and had some quality time with his xbox.  Later that night we went out to eat at a restaurant that we had never been to before.  Generally when we go out, we go out for steak.  This time we went out for Spanish tapas.  The food was amazing!  I had their "wine flight" which was a sampling of their top Spanish wines.  Two of them I liked, two of them I didn't.  I am trying to like wine and am at least starting to figure out what I do like and what I don't.  So far I know that I don't like a woody taste.  I like fruity and sweet.  It might make some wine drinkers cringe, but whatever.  I like it and it is "wine" so there. 

We then went to a chocolate store for dessert and coffee.  It was also delicious.  The best part of the night was that Justin planned it.  I think I plan so much of everything in our day to day life, that it is nice to have a night out that was planned for me.  Not a here are my plans, you can join them if you would like, but a full out "I planned this night with you in mind."

play groups

We are in a playgroup that meets once a week. We used to just meet in the summer but this year we have made it indoors, rotating houses or free or inexpensive indoor activities. It is nice outside again though! Even if I feel like our weeks are filled with running around and not a lot of quality time, I always feel good about our playgroup. Either both of the kids are having fun with their friends or we are getting to do some cool things.

Here are some pictures from some recent playgroups.

They were really excited about finding ants on this tree.  The funny thing was right after I took this Ava's friend asked the other little girl with us if she wanted to "get in on this."

He actually seems to get the concept of "hold on for dear life."

Sometimes.  But he clearly thinks it is more fun to take risks.

I have no words.

This was one of our indoor playgroups.  It is a little town of little houses and dress up toys and things like that just for little kids.  We will definitely be going back.

Monday, April 12, 2010


I always have these big plans for a garden...and then I forget to water it or the landscapers plow it down. I have some decent success with potted tomatoes, though they tend to blow over in windstorms. I put rocks in the bottom of the pot for better drainage and extra weight and it helped quite a bit. This year I have been considering some raised beds. I still might do it but I am torn as to what to grow. I only want to grow things that I know we will actually eat. I am thinking green beans, broccoli, and maybe some lettuce, in addition to tomatoes and our strawberries. We have fun going to pick fresh stuff at this local farm, so it is ok if I never grow anything real, I just don't want to waste the money.

I am almost done with this class. I just have the part left that is a lot of work. Justin and I are taking a class together immediately after that and then I am done for the summer. I am definitely looking forward to just being done with school for a little bit. I have other things I want to do. I know I could do them but then I feel guilty when I know I should be doing things with school. I could be knitting, I could be scrapping, I could be blogging! I am also playing softball this summer so there goes more time. I think I am going to have to start getting up earlier to be able to actually get things done around the house.

Mommy Mondays have been in a slump lately, but today we are meeting friends at a park. I am thinking of planning out some real activities for the summer....or taking the summer to plan stuff for the fall and winter. We are going to have pool passes for the summer, so I am sure they would be pretty happy with just going to the pool. Stuff to think about I guess.

Monday, April 5, 2010

and I'm back...again

I kept thinking there were things I had to write about and I would put it off, and think of another thing and my list kept getting longer. Maybe I will write about the old stuff later, if not oh well, it is lost forever and will not be blogged about.

Our doors now have child proof locks on them. Ava and Rhys attempted to run away today while I was in the bathroom. This wasn't a case of me being off doing something else. I just had to go to the bathroom. The dog had been out on her leash. I heard Ava open the door and grab the leash. Ava has let her in before, so I assumed that is what she is doing. I heard the door shut and then didn't hear anything. I came out and there was the tv turned to static and no Ava, no Rhys, and no Dori. I go outside and run around to the front of the house. I see dropped plastic easter eggs in the driveway and a neighbor running across his yard from across the street. He sees me and slows down. I of course run faster. There is Ava three houses down with Dori on a leash. She is wearing her t-shirt and a pair of tights and shoes. Rhys is in the neighbor's driveway. I grab him first and then the leash. The neighbor was concerned enough that he was waiting for me to wave over to him that things were ok. I will expect the visit from DCFS tomorrow. With the speed people fly down our street we can't really risk them getting out again. I may not ever get out of the house either since I am not so great at childproof things.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Save us from our wealth

I was reading through the blog that Pioneer Woman had linked to. It was about Compassion International. I have read other blog posts about it and know people who sponsor kids. Anyway, in one of his posts he was talking about his own issue with holding on to his money. Right then and there I decided to sponsor a child. I had tossed the idea around for years and just kind of put it off. It helped that through reading through many of his posts and other linked blogs I found more about the organization. I love that it isn't just food and medicine. It is education and life skills. It is giving the child's family the ability to move themselves out of poverty.

When you go to Compassion International's site you are able to search through profiles to pick a child or you can have them pick one for you. I was going to just do that because I have been known to cry hysterically after trying to decide which kitten to adopt. (How can I pick just one? They all need homes! I don't want one to think I didn't think it was cute enough!) I tried to have Ava help me but she was not in a friendly state of mind and she was the opposite of helpful. In the end, I just happened upon our girl's profile and picked her. So we are now the sponsors of an 8 year old girl from Kenya. I am really excited to get the intro packet so we can send letters and whatnot. I was really into having penpals in other countries when I was in high school or middle school. This will be even cooler!

By the way, I was really hesitant to even write this post. I didn't want it to be a braggity brag brag post about something nice that we have done. I am hoping that maybe someone who reads this will think about sponsoring a child too. I am not on the awesome blogger tour with beautiful pictures but they are so give them a read.

Monday, March 1, 2010

tea cup pig

I am currently watching a show with a tea cup pig. I thought it made a nice title. I didn't even know there was such a thing as a tea cup pig.

Anyway, my class has finished up. I am still waiting on my final grade, but my final project paper was a success. The question is...did I blow my A with my final. I don't think I did, but you never know. I have started my next class already. I like having classes that only last 8 weeks. For one if it is horrible, it is over quickly. For two, I get the motivation to be ahead in the class, to actually do the reading and actually get a lot done before that motivation is lost.

I have finished Ava's bag, within in allotted Olympic time slot. She has at least liked it enough to carry it around for a couple of days, which means it has been a success.
I am currently working on another handbag, but not for me. Someday, I will make something for me again. Maybe some socks! Good news is my hand hasn't been hurting as much. I think that is because of two things. I have stopped playing farmville on facebook. I have also actually made an appointment with the doctor for Wednesday.

Two weeks until vacation! I am so excited to go. I am looking forward to the adventure of a 9 hour drive with children... Well not really, but I am up to the challenge. I am looking forward to hiking and hot tubs and hanging out. Bummer about the scheduling of vacation, I have a midterm that week. I am going to have to go crazy and get stuff done in addition to the packing, so I can get it all done before we leave. Then I will have a full vacation of no work or homework!

What car snacks should I pack for the kids? I wish there was a net I could put around Rhys' seat to catch all the toys that he will throw down repeatedly. I wish I could get a sound shield like in is going to be an awesome trip.