Saturday, August 29, 2009

This and That

Nathan is a crawling machine! He is so fast, and has quickly learned how to get up the step from the family room. Time to bring out the baby gates again! He puts up his arms when I ask, "How big are you?" He also started to sign "more." And, knock on wood, he's been sleeping through the night the past few nights. He is fascinated with whatever Ella is doing and thinks that she is just hilarious! Ella, on the other hand, thinks her brother is annoying and continues to ask me to "move him" when he gets too close while she's playing. But, they do play nicely together sometimes!


We met our good friend, April, and her son Jackson, in Lomira yesterday. Lomira is pretty much exactly half-way between New Berlin and Greenville, where April and Jax drove from. You may have noticed a new button on the left side-bar, called "April Accents." This is April's new on-line boutique. She is so talented! Plus, my kids were her models, so it's like they're famous. Or something like that. You can check out April's blog for more pictures of our picnic in the park. Here are a few of our attempts at a group picture.

(Notice Ella pulling Nathan by the shirt? Thanks Ella.)
Well, you can't say we didn't try! And here's a shot of Ella modeling one of April's creations! Isn't it cute?

Blogger changed their formatting a little, so I'm still trying to feel my way around the new changes. Like where the heck did the "add a video" option go??? I'm sure an amature. And spell check! Where is that? Hmmm...I'm not sure if I like this.
*Update*
I just changed my settings back to the old editor option. I guess I'm just not ready yet. I never was good with change.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Commitment

Just in the past two days or so, I've made two major commitments. Starting September 13th, I will be teaching K5 Sunday School at our church. They were desperately looking for volunteers, so I felt it was something I could and should do. I hope I'm not wrong! Ella will be starting in the 3 year old Sunday School room, which I think she will enjoy.

The second commitment is something Joe and I will be doing together. We have decided to start the Slimfast diet plan starting this Monday. I will keep our progress updated on this blog, as it may prove to be something to keep us accountable! It really comes down making a life-style change. We need to eat healthier, not only for ourselves, but for our children also. We need to be role-models for our children, so they will make healthy choices as well. I'm glad that Joe and I decided to do this together. I think we will be good support for each other. Stay tuned...

We have our first "Newcomers Group" event this Saturday. It's called "Bon Appetit." It's basically a dinner party, held at a member's home, with a specific theme. The theme this month is Spanish Tapas. Every couple is responsible for bringing a side dish, while the host/hostess provide the main course and drinks. I'm looking forward to going, but I'm a little apprehensive as well. It's always hard meeting new people and making small talk. But, we have to start somewhere. Luckily, two of the couples go to our church, so that will make it a little less awkward. Hopefully.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

39 Things Every Mom Should Know

I read an article in the latest "Parents" magazine, written by Kacy Faulconer, and I wanted to share some of the "39 Things Every Mom Should Know." She begins the article by saying, "...but here's something very specific to enjoy about your little kids: They don't know what you're actually up to."

* Don't beat yourself up if you have to use a bribe.

* Put Band-Aids on everything your kids want you to. Why not?

* Know this: That stain won't come out. And it's okay. (The sooner you accept this, the better.)

* Answer this question: What is the worst thing that can happen if your kids sleep in their clothes?

* Teach them to pump on the swings ASAP.

* Remember clogging lessons are not in the best interest of the child.


Good advice, isn't it? I thought it was so funny, but very true.



We had a visitor from last Thursday until Tuesday. One of my oldest friends, Kari, drove to Michigan to stay with us for a few days. We've been friends since middle school, which brings us back to around 1991 or so! That's a long time! It was really nice to catch up and spend some time together. We had the opportunity to go out on the town, just the two of us. We took a river boat cruise, ate dinner at an Irish Pub, had some drinks (or several), went to a "Spy bar", listened to dueling pianos, and had a night cap while sitting on a patio, overlooking the river. And that was just Friday and Saturday! The rest of the time, Kari watched me try and control my children. She helped Ella dress up like a princess and cracked up at Nathan's facial expressions. Many of my funniest memories are with Kari.



Meads Mill Middle School, 1992



Did you know that we live in a nature preserve? Not really, but look who also came to visit.

A momma deer and her two babies have been hanging around our yard, eating the crab apples (thank you deer!). I looked outside one afternoon and saw the two babies just sitting in the wood chips, under the trees. I'm pretty sure the momma is the same deer who enjoys my garden.
Speaking of my garden, I'm fairly certain I planted cucumbers, but instead of cucumbers growing, I have about 8 pumpkins growing. Worst garden ever.





Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Splish Splash!

We ventured out this morning, in search of a splash pad I discovered on-line. It only took us about 15 minutes to get there, and it wasn't crowded at all! Best of all - it was free! Ella had a blast, as I expected she would. Nate didn't enjoy the water as much as his sister did. He preferred to sit on the grass and eat snacks. I have definately been doing some detective work on the internet lately, trying to find fun activities for us to do during the day. I give this adventure an A+!




And here is a short video of Nathan doing, "So big!" It's not his best performance, but it's still cute!


video
Onto the next adventure!









Tuesday, August 11, 2009

How Does Your Garden Grow?

It doesn't. Well...it does, but then it gets eaten by this visitor:



Oh well. Can't say I didn't try. At least someone is getting a good meal out of it all.


Joe's mother gave us two bags of clothes that were Joe's when he was a baby. Circa 1981 or so. We were able to pull out two or three items that looked relatively current, otherwise, they looked like clown suits...as was fashionable in the very early 80s. Here are some examples. My favorite is the shirt that has "Jeans" written all over it. Joe wondered if there were matching pants that had "Turtleneck" written all over them. We didn't find them unfortunately.










And just because I'm mean:







This is also what my house looks like, now that Nathan can crawl:

We are in trouble! Just today, Nathan showed us just how big he is. We've been working on "So Big!" and he finally did it. It was the cutest thing ever. I will try to capture it on video so you all can see how cute he is!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Book Review


While on vacation, I completed the book, "Hawkes Harbor" by S.E. Hinton. It was relatively short and it kept my attention. Turns out, the book was about vampires, which I did not expect at all. This is the same author who wrote, "The Outsiders," so I was expecting a great read, but it was only mediocre. It was somewhat entertaining however, and better than the last book I read. On to the next! I would like to read the "Twilight" series in the near future. I've heard good things.

Things I Learned on Vacation

We are back from vacation. We had a wonderful time in Shelby, Michigan, on the shore of Lake Michigan.

We stayed here:

and had this view:



It was so relaxing! We had beautiful weather, with only one rainy day. We lounged on the beach all day, only coming inside to eat. We ventured into Pentwater, Michigan, an adorable little tourist town. We ate at Bubba-Q's for lunch in Silver Lake, Michigan, after taking a dune ride in this:


Nathan learned to crawl:


video




Ella was visited by the "Sand Fairy" every night. (Gigi put a treat in Ella's cup every night and Ella thought it was the best!) However, now that we're home, Ella still believes the "Sand Fairy" will be leaving her treats on a nightly basis.


We decided to take the high speed car ferry back to Milwaukee, since it took us nearly 8 hours to get to the cottage a week earlier, due to construction and traffic. It sounded like a grand idea, until we got on the boat and barf bags were being handed out. Lake Michigan was extremely rough that day, so rough that we couldn't even get out of our seats without falling into other passengers or just falling. And, about a quarter of the boat was seasick, including my husband and my son. Nathan vomited Exorcist style, which in turn caused a lovely young man across the aisle to begin puking as well. What a super experience. But hey, we arrived in Milwaukee much faster.

Back to happier times...each night we sat on the deck and enjoyed the sunsets:

We sipped Lemondrops (or Irish Whiskey for the boys) and played Yahtzee. I am addicted to Yahtzee! My family humored me by playing every single night. Thanks guys.


We discovered that Ella may turn out to be a champion kayaker (is that a word?) (Side note, "Kayak" is the word I misspelled at my 7th grade spelling bee. I spelled it "Kyak." Oh well.)

Despite the puking on the way home, it was a fabulous vacation. Now it's back to real life.

I am entering a contest to get my blog "made over." The website is onceuponablog.org and I've added the site's button on my side bar. Really neat stuff...maybe I'll win!