Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Seven

Today my girl is 7!
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We already had her birthday party with friends a few weeks ago. Today we will celebrate Emily with just family.

I've filled the day with all her favorite things. It's appropriate that she has school today as she loves school. David made her pea soup last night for her lunch, one of her favorites. I brought Ding Dongs into her class for a treat. Tonight, she has drama class which she is really enjoying. I'm making her a pumpkin roll for her birthday cake. It's a total pain in the butt, but she's worth it and it's what she wants. She also requested her favorite meal, a roast with carrots and mashed potatoes with rolls. She is a different girl, and I love that about her. I'm sure we'll end the evening at the pool as she likes to go every chance she gets.

She's at a sweet age. She is growing up and gaining independence, yet she still cries at the thought of ever leaving home. We tell her she can live with us forever. She likes that. Time is moving by so quickly and she is growing up into such a beautiful girl. I'm so proud of her.

Monday, August 29, 2011

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

I started working for bargain believer about 4 months ago. It's a great fit for me. I help do coupon match-ups with sale items for several stores every week. And I can do it from home while my baby naps.

Our favorite grocery store that we do match-ups for is Fry's Food. They really have the best deals, and there are always free items every week. I never really looked at it as promoting Fry's as we are all just looking to save a buck, but it definitely is. As a thank you, Fry's offered all of us bloggers tickets to a Diamondbacks game. I wasn't sure as it's still a 90 minute drive each way to Phoenix. Then, my boss throws in that she'll pay for us a hotel for the night. What? A night alone with my husband? I was all for it. And with my Mom here, we had a babysitter already. Sweet.

We headed to Phoenix Saturday night to watch the D-backs against the San Diego Padres. We are currently leading in our division, so it's an exciting time to be at the ballpark.
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But, we weren't just in any regular old seat. We had the best seats in the house. A private suite in the same row as the press and it just happened to be where the former owner used to watch every game. David was beyond thrilled. Seriously, I have rarely seen my husband so giddy. He was sitting in Jerry Colangelo's old suite. For those that don't live here, he's basically been a part of every major sports team in Arizona. And I peed in his toilet! HA!
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Not to mention the abundance of free food and drinks and hats for everyone. Here's a little view of the suite.
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Here's me and my happy hubby.
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Me and my boss Juli who also brought her husband.
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I forgot to mention the free parking with a very short walk across a bridge to get into the suite level. It was first class all the way and truly a once in a lifetime experience. I'm so glad we went.

Did you know that in the heat they run air conditioning in that huge stadium? It's true and the A/C was on full force that night, made it very comfortable for all us fans. Until you had to walk out in the furnace that is Phoenix in August. Oh my gosh, 115 degrees takes your breath away. I had forgotten how hot it is there.

We had a lovely night at the hotel and took off after the continental breakfast in the morning. It was so much fun to get away, but we couldn't wait to get back home.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Carpet

After 4 years in this home, we wanted new carpet. It wasn't "that bad", but we knew what had been cleaned up and lets just say we were skeeved out. (My husband has never heard of the word skeeved. I was shocked so I looked it up. It's not a real word, it's in the urban dictionary. It means grossed out in case you've never heard of it too.) Two black dogs with bladder issues and one of which would get in the pantry when we left and eat an entire loaf of fiber bread and well, let's just say our steam cleaner use to come out of the closet about 3 times a week.

This would have been a luxury that we would need to use savings for, but with couponing I can easily pay for this. We went through Home Depot and charged it through a no interest program for a year. I make a payment every month and in a year it's paid for and our savings is untouched. I read a great saying on a coupon blog ~ "Save on the things you need to afford the things you want". Yep, saving on grocery to afford carpet. I like that.

So, this was our before.
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The guys were quick and efficient and very nice. Someone had even wrote on the concrete under the tile "nice house". Funny we never knew that was there.
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Here is the final result.
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Love it! We are very very very happy!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Other Mothers, An Old Video, Carpet and Sunsets

Emily and Noah have a special bond. It was that way from the get go.
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David and I thought Noah would be a girl. We both pictured having two girls and we were shocked when the ultrasound tech told us otherwise. But God knows whats best for our family. Emily would have been very jealous of another little girl in the house. But a baby brother? Well, that's just fun.
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She came home from school yesterday and Noah threw his sippy cup in the air and it landed on his head. He started crying which I ignored. He cries all the time. But, Emily took over mothering him, ice pack and all.
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They were hanging out tonight on the hammock.
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And can I just say a thing about my girl...she awesome. I wish I could be more like her. I got angry with her this afternoon in the car and garbage came flying out of my mouth. I said things I regretted the instant they came out. But, I couldn't take it back. So a few minutes after I cooled down, I looked in my rear view mirror and apologized and asked for forgiveness. She just smiled and said, "That's okay Mommy, I forgive you". Really? Just like that? I would've held a grudge for at least 3-4 hours. She truly is so sweet. I could learn a lot from her.
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My Mom is also taking to Mothering Noah. I heard them outside this morning. My Mom singing lollipop and Noah getting the pop down at the perfect moment.
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I know my Mom may not move out for a year, but Noah is going to really really miss her. She gives him attention all the time. She watches Barney with him over and over and over. I'm sorry, but that's where I draw the line. My Mom has more caring and patience in her little finger than I do in my whole body. I could learn a lot from her too.
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When I was looking for those older pictures of Emily and Noah, I came across this video on Photobucket. I don't even remember uploading this or why, but I almost shed a tear. My kids were still babies really. We obviously made this video to send to Grammie Gwynne. I don't even know if we ever sent it.
Three years ago, they were making carpet angels. Now we are getting new carpet. After several dogs with bladder issues and god knows what, we are getting a chocolate brown carpet on Friday. Well, just in the living room and family room, but the room looks like this tonight as we get ready.
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It was a battle between East and West tonight with a spectacular sunset.
East...
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West...
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I think the East wins by a rainbow.

Monday, August 22, 2011

5 Minutes After

David went to Costco this weekend and found Halloween costumes. Yep, 2 months early. Normally, that would annoy me as it's still 100 degrees out, but since Ben loves to dress up, every day is a good day for a costume. David got him 2 because he had just taken him to see each of these movies in the theater. Thor and Captain America. Ben was in heaven.
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He immediately tried on each one. Captain America.
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Thor.
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But, that's not what this post is about.

During the day, the house is quiet. My Mom and Noah sit outside and read magazines. I surf the computer and get some work done here and there. It's quiet and peaceful. I love having my Mom here. One giant perk is almost every day when I need to pick the kids up from school, Noah is still sleeping. I just leave him with Grandy (a mix of Grandma and Granny that Noah made up) and I'm off. Today he had just woken up when we walked in. I scooped him up and brought him in Emily's room. Noah was still in his sleepy state and laid on Emily's bed. They got all cozy and sweet.
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Noah looks less than pleased to have me snapping photos.
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I peek in on Ben whose in his room trying to decide what superhero costume to put on.
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The island in the kitchen goes from bare to this.
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And Ben flies out of his room as a shirtless Captain America.
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All that in about 5 minutes from when we walk in the door. Those two kids energize this house. I love it when they come home.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Emily's Birthday Party

Emily doesn't officially turn 7 until the 30th. But she has two friends who had birthday's this week. So, we combined the parties (they wanted to) and we had a birthday party yesterday for three little girls.
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Emily and Alanah (the two bigger girls) are 7, and Savannah is 6. I think Emily had a great time. Each girl got to invite a couple of friends.

We had great food.
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The kids played tug of war.
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Noah stole chips.
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There was a pinata. We chose one with strings that all the kids pull, so nobody ends up in the E.R. Way fun and easy.
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The girls opened presents.
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Which Emily says was the best part.
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And we had yummy messy cupcakes.
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Noah ate chips and cupcakes. Notice the mess of Dorito cheese and blue frosting on his mouth.
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How cute is this guy?
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I'm talking about my husband, not the puppy. Although, Lucy is adorable! My friend Dakri may not think so at 3:30 in the morning though.

And this is my cousin. Well, not really my cousin, but my Mom and her Mom have been best friends since they were 6 years old. Denise and I grew up going to each others birthday parties in Phoenix. Now, we both live up here in Prescott and our kids are friends.
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It was such a fun evening with friends and family. My girl felt special and that's all I ever hope for.
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The celebrating will continue on her actual birthday. I'll tell her the story of when she was born and how she got kicked out of the nursery the first night for crying too much. She'll go to school and get to bring a treat for all the kids. Then, I'll make her favorite meal and dessert. Anything for my girl...

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Around Our House

We are starting to get into the groove of school again. Everything is different this year. I have a part time job from home. My Mom is living with us. Ben isn't home with me all day. It's a lot of adjustments, but we are learning our new daily routine. Although, it changes daily. Go figure.
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Emily and Ben started a drama class last week. Yep, drama. No surprise on Ben's part, but Emily chose that over ballet which did surprise me a little. Here they are learning about expressions with Mister John the teacher and a cowboy puppet.
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He's pretty funny (Mister John, not the puppet, well both really). The kids have a great time and are really enjoying it. They acted out The Three Little Pigs and Ben was the wolf of course. Here he is blowing down Mister John's house.
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The class size doubled this week and the kids ask everyday if we are going to drama. I think they could do it everyday and love every minute of it.
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Noah had his well visit at the doctor this week. He is 27 pounds (36%) and 35 inches (66%). The preemie will probably end up being my biggest kid. He spends his days playing and diapering Spiderman.
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I'm pretty sure Spidey wouldn't enjoy that, but whatever keeps Noah happy and quiet is fine by me.
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Our garden is a mystery. We have some tomatoes growing that I'm not even sure are tomatoes.
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I'm not sure if this is a Roma/Grape hybrid or what. They got to the size in the picture and are now turning red, so they are what they are. Let's just hope once they ripen up that they taste good.
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Our garden is kind of wild. Stuff grows where we didn't plant it and what we did plant doesn't grow. And what was in our compost that didn't break down, mixes with other seeds and makes fingerling tomatoes. I can't explain it. And sometimes, we don't even notice something is growing until it reaches a size that could be seen from outer space. I'd like everyone to meet Super Zucchini.
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How did I miss that thing? I don't know. But, I weighed it and it's 5 pounds. That was bigger than Noah was as a 1 month old.
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I think Super Zucchini will make some super tasty muffins.

And while we think Super Zucchini is impressive, Noah is not so sure.
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He was seriously freaked out by it.
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I shouldn't laugh when my baby is scared, but I do and I grab the camera. Just the kind of Mom I am. I'll throw a few extra bucks in his therapy fund. I wonder if he will forever have a dislike for zucchini.

Anyone have a good zucchini muffin recipe? I'm going to make a quadruple batch tomorrow morning.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Camping

We went camping 10 days ago. I just haven't had time to blog about it. It was our one last hoorah before the kids started school. We are not typically camping people. We like electricity and plumbing and stuff like that. But, we are also willing to try new things.

The last time David and I slept in a tent, it involved a hike down the Grand Canyon. That was hard core camping. You only get what fits in a backpack and what you can carry. Here we are in November of 2006.
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When looking for that picture, the first one that I pulled up on the photo CD was this one of Ben. He cracks me up. He was about 9 months here.
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Anyway back to camping. Our friends had been wanting us to try camping with them, and we finally caved. We figured since Noah is 2, it can't be that bad. And we were right. It was awesome.

My friend made all the reservations at White Horse Lake, about 1 1/2 hours from us. She picked the two best campsites in the entire place. The kids quickly made themselves at home.
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Ben even got in relax mode.
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My husband was almost in a comatose state. Seriously, I've never seen him so relaxed.
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Right behind our campsite, the lake ended and there was shallow water that all the kids would hang out by. They caught butterflies and found snakes, and had a great time. You'd think there would be tons of mosquitoes, but not one. It's not wet enough (even around a lake) to breed them. It was awesome.
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Ben brought one costume with him, of course.
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David took the boys and hiked to the top of the rock formation.
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Here they are at the top.
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The sunset was gorgeous.
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And that meant it was time for smores!
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And if you are picky like Noah, that just means chocolate.
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The first night was a little rough with Noah. He didn't cry because I pulled him out of the pack and play after he fussed here and there for a few hours. He likes sleeping right on top of you. Chest to chest. I would've minded if he wasn't so sweet. And waking up to this view puts anybody in a great mood.
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We took a hike around the lake.
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We went with two groups of friends, and here are all the kids.
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This is the boat launching area.
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Then, it was time for afternoon naps.
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I got some nice pictures of the kids at the lake at sunset.
Emily...
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Ben...
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Noah...
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Yep, that pretty much sums up my kids' personalities.

We even went fishing. Emily learned to cast and was very proud of herself.
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It was a wonderful trip. Two days was perfect and we will definitely do it again.