Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Finally I got around to getting the pumpkins out of the back of the van from last weekend. Bailey, her friend Miranda, Lauren and I all had fun creating our jack-o-lanterns. I will post the pictures below - but additional explanations will have to wait, because I have literally fallen asleep TWICE while typing this...deleting nonsense sentences and catching my head from falling forward suddenly. Ugh - sleep deprivation is NOT pretty.

Beggar's Night

In Iowa - or at least in Central Iowa, they have something they call "Beggar's Night." This is when the kids dress up in costume and go trick-or-treating. The strange part? Well, there are many - but unlike the rest of the country, the kids trick-or-treat on Oct. 30...not the actual date of Halloween. Also, people expect kids to tell jokes when they trick-or-treat. I have no idea how this originated. It is wierd.

This year Bailey decided to hand out candy - but she DID dress up. She found a formal-type dress at Goodwill ofr $11, put on a tiara and voila - princess Bailey was born. She invited a friend over to hand out candy. Mark watched Grant and Lauren...I mean Goodnight Bear and I set out for candy.

Lauren LOVED the experience. The first couple houses we rang, Lauren would wait for the owners to open the door, then she'd say "Trick-or-Treat" and then a big "Thank You." She continued to say thank you several more times as we walked away from each house - and then she'd stop and say "More House?" Yes, my child is into the candy collecting thing. I'm definitely going to have to hide her big pile of candy and ration it out...but then if I hide it...I'LL still know where it is...and that's probably even more dangerous.

SHWEW! Turns out the repair guy's initial guess was wrong - it was NOT the compressor, but the thermostat - $75. THANK YOU!!! But, did you know that on NEW appliances, the warranty is 1-year now and not 5? What a crock.
How can it be that a 5-yr-old AMANA refrigerator can break down just 4 months after its warranty expires? hmmmm...suspicious! And it looks like it isn't an easy fix - looks like a $500-$600 repair job that only comes with a 90-day warranty. Unacceptable! However, the alternative is a new fridge - which will most likely be over $1,000. So, if it were YOU....do you go for the cheaper option - the repair with the lame-o warranty and pray it doesn't break down again in many years? Or do you suck it up and get a new fridge? What happened to the days when appliances lasted for decades? Gone. I've read many a post and talked to many a friend who have had nice, new, name-brand appliances break after 5-7 years. Not cool. (which is currently our fridge problem - ha).

Monday, October 29, 2007

"Wook, Mommy! I Meh-ih-sin!"

So....any suggestions how to get Creamy Desitin off of the couch? ugh.

Yesterday after church we loaded the kids up in the van for another Sunday of Halloween fun. This time we took a trip to the ZOO for "Night Eyes" a Halloween-themed fundraising event for the zoo geared for younger kids. So with our Winnie The Pooh and Carebear in tow we walked through the zoo, collecting candy and viewing a few zoo animals along the way. Lauren was SO excited to wear her costume and Grant slept almost the entire time (yeah!). Bailey enjoyed holding Lauren's hand and showing her all of the animals - what a great big sister. The highlight of the day? Lauren got to hug Curious George! They had lots of inflatables there too - but since we went during nap time - Lauren was practically comatose by the time we reached those attractions.

Here are a few pictures from our afternoon.

Sunday, October 28, 2007

Yesterday (10-27-07) marked ONE MONTH since Grant was born. How is that possible?! Here he is (picture taken yesterday) - should be posing with a DRAKE sweatshirt, but here's the cute giraffe from cousin Krista - the Central alum.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Report Cards Are In....

Bailey's 6th grade year was a nightmare - for all of us. She struggled with her relationship with her teacher - we all did...and as a result, her grades did not reflect her knowledge. She has always gotten fairly good grades, always understood the materials being taught - and so last year, when she struggled with grades we were all stumped. I'm happy to report that this year, 7th grade, she has AWESOME teachers, has regained her self-esteem and her grades are once again reflective of her knowledge of the materials being taught. So, report cards are in this week....and...HONOR ROLL! Woo-Hoo! Way to go, Bailey! Grades are as follows:

World Cultures..... B+
Social Studies....A
Language Arts....A
Industrial Technology...C+

Overall GPA for Quarter 1....3.807

I'm so proud of you, Bailey! Keep up the great work!

Thursday, October 25, 2007

So much for going in for the FREE 8 x 10....but how could I NOT buy this?!

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The Better Homes & Garden Website offers a FREE tool that allows you to design and print your own jack-o'-lantern patterns. How cool is that?! You can choose from thousands of faces, or the site will create one for you. Thanks to thrifty mommy for alerting me to this cool site!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Finally, I get to watch this season of The Bachelor. Mark would never watch it with me - but now that we have the dual-receiver DVR, I can record it each and every week and watch it during those middle-of-the-night baby feedings. Yeah! So here are my favorites - I'd be happy if he ends up with any of these women. He is THE BEST bachelor in rose ceremony history!

Just kidding...I'm happily married and completely kidding, Mark. =-) (wink) But seriously - Jenni is my FAVORITE. I really think they make a genuinely happy couple - and did you see how caring she was toward chemical imbalanced Hillary last episode? I really feel like she is a truly nice person - and I think since I can't have him - she should.

But if Jenni doesn't win him over, my second pick is Sheena. She's a little young and a little ditzy - but I think they work nicely together and I think she really likes him.

Halloween Decorating Idea from Birds and Blooms Gardening Newsletter

Grab a few round, white balloons, cheesecloth cut to lengths of about a yard, and glow sticks. 4-inch glow sticks will probably work best and you can find them at party supply stores or probably at your local discount store this time of year.

Activate a glow stick and insert it into a balloon. Then inflate and knot the balloon.
Position the knot at the top of the balloon, and use a permanent black marker to draw eyes and a mouth.

Drape the cheesecloth over the balloon, cut a small hole and push the knot through the fabric. Secure with string and hang in the breeze.
Grant - 26 days old and cuter than ever

Potty Training Update:

Yeah....we have a way to go yet...that's a Dora Pull-Up on her head.

Monday, October 22, 2007

What a big day we had yesterday! Not only did we get everyone packed and ready for 9:30 church, but then we rushed home, changed clothes, grabbed a quick snack and loaded back up in the van and headed to the pumpkin patch! What a great day of fun - but EXHAUSTING! (started out in that state by the way). Lauren had an absolutely wonderful time, depsite it cutting into her nap big-time. Even Bailey enjoyed herself - I think Lauren gives her an excuse to enjoy the things that she'd otherwise be too old and too cool to enjoy. And Grant? He napped almost the entire time - SHWEW! It was a beautiful day weather-wise and a beautiful day family-wise. These are the things I hope the kids remember someday - not the things - but the moments like this one. A really good day. TONS of pictures from our outing:

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Lauren Reading To Her Brother...

It's GAME DAY in the Bluegrass - and my nephew, Wyatt, is ready for a UK Victory! C-A-T-S, Cats, Cats, Cats!

Friday, October 19, 2007

Handsome Little Guy....and I Think He Knows It!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Let me tell you a little secret...

Wednesday, October 17, 2007


Today was a baaaaaad morning! Grant awoke way too early, followed by Lauren crying and whimpering in her bed. I put Grant down, climbed back up the stairs to comfort Lauren and get her ready for her day. When I opened her bedroom door I was HORRIFIED to find her diaperless in her Blues Clues nightgown, covered in feces....dried caked-on stuff that she'd obviously had on her for hours. At least she was upset by this. I think she must have removed the diaper before falling asleep last night and later in the night...well...you can imagine. The scene of it all, combined with the stench had me instantly gagging. Where do you even begin with such a mess?! First, the hands...and then a very warm and VERY soapy bath...which had to be drained after the initial scrub down to drain out the stuff...then a refill of the tub for a longer soak and another scrub.

Luckily while I was bathing Lauren, Mark jumped in wearing rubber gloves and breathing through his mouth. He threw everything - throw pillows, blanket, crib sheet, mattress pad - everything in a plastic bag. I didn't have time to sanitize everything immediately because we had to be at the Dr. for flu shots in 30 minutes from this dreadful occurrence. (SIGH!)

I will say that there were no tears at the Dr., despite the shot....it was a quick in and out experience - shwew. I avoided the situation for another hour killing time at Kohl's. But then we were back home, Grant was fed, changed, back asleep...and it was time...so I grabbed the bleach spray cleaner and scrubbed the crib rails and everything near the crib. I still have to tackle that laundry - DREADING IT! I'm thinking boiling hot water, lots of soap and a LONG SOAK before continuing the wash cycle.

The thing is...no matter how clean I get it all...that smell is just stuck in my brain. Like I said...NOT a good morning.

Tomorrow? We're buying the darn Dora underpants....and we're preparing for potty training boot camp. I can only handle one kid pooping everywhere at a time.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007



It has been 2 1/2 weeks since Grant was born. In that time, little laundry has been done, minimal cooking and lots and lots of toddler TV-watching. I feel extremely guilty about this. I want to give my 2-yr-old the attention she deserves - extra even. But the truth is, while battling exhaustion, physical recovery and everything else a newborn brings to the table, Noggin, and PBS have saved our lives. But this can NOT continue - at least not in this quantity. I really don't want her watching more than an hour or two of TV a day. SO, yesterday I set out to break this cycle and I ventured outside of the home - alone - with TWO children. EEEEK!

After some quick research I found a Toddler Time at one of our local libraries. Pre-registration was required, but they bent the rules for us. Sessions began at 9:30, 10, 10:30 and 11. "Great," I thought....we'll go to the 9:30 session and run a couple errands and be home before lunch. WRONG. I wasn't able to pull it all together, bathe, feed, pack, load up, etc. until after 10! We arrived for the 10:30 session.

There were approximately a dozen or more other toddlers present - they seemed to know the routine - Toddler Time regulars I presumed. They were busy playing with the library's puzzles and games. At 10:30 the storytime door opened and the children and their Mommies poured inside. Lauren was not intimidated. As the songs, and actions began, all of the children sat in front of their mothers on the floor, participating at the appropriate volume and style. Not Lauren - she was in the center of the carpet - singing at the top of her lungs, jumping (new skill) up and down, "dancing" and having a rip-roaring good time. Good for her, I say! She was good, really - except for that one incident where she crawled under the felt board easel to explore the CD player....but all in all a great success.

I quickly gave up on following her every move after storytime - I mean - have you tried to carry a large diaper bag, a purse, a coat, a small pile of board books AND a newborn in a carrier all around the library? Forget it! I just parked it and as long as I could see the exit and didn't hear screams or cries - I figured we were doing OK.

It was a high-anxiety morning, trying to figure it all out with TWO kids in tow - but I did it! AND...I am going to sign her up for Toddler Time later this fall - so we'll actually be doing this once a week. I DO need to get a double stroller though - hauling all of that stuff around was the most stressful part I think.

Here are some shots of Lauren's fun:

Friday, October 12, 2007

And in this corner...weighing in at 8 lbs, 9 oz and 21 3/4 inches long....just 2 weeks old....Grant! Yesterday Grant went for his 2-week check. His jaundice is clearing up nicely and he's growing like a WEED! He weighed 7 lbs. 14 oz at birth and just 2 wks later - 8 lbs 9 oz! He's becoming more and more alert - searching with his eyes to focus on whomever is holding him or talking to him. He's hungry A LOT, sleeps A LITTLE, and cute absolutely all of the time.

He lost his cord last week and so we were able to give him his first real bath....which he hated. The boy HATES being changed, bathed...anything involving naked. But he smelled absolutely edible after his bath. Is there a better smell in the world than a freshly bathed new baby? I don't think so! Sorry for the shot of the privates below - but a mother needs her obligatory naked baby shot for the baby book, right? Something to embarrass him later in life when he brings home a new girlfriend?