Monday, April 30, 2012

Wacky Hair Day

It's Spirit Week at school. Today was Wacky Hair Day. I had Emily go to my favorite hair blog and pick out something she wanted me to do. Anything. She carefully scrolled through page after page, including the section specifically for crazy hair day. She decided on the Lady Gaga Bow. Like this:


Sounds good. But I know Emily, and that is too crazy for her. Still, I watched the video and learned what to do. Then, I fixed her hair this morning and as soon as the bow was on top of her head, she freaked out and wanted to do something less wacky.

She picked the braided over ponytail as her second choice. But I hadn't studied the braided over ponytail. I quickly watched the video while she brushed her teeth and that's what she got. It's not wacky at all, just the opposite totally cute. But for her, it's different and that's what matters.


She let me tease the straight part. She went CRAZY!


Next year, I'll know to have a back up plan ready!


As for Ben, they aren't allowing any hair dye or color. So, he went as Bedhead Ben.

Yep, that's pretty much what he looks like every morning. Oh well. Tomorrow is Crazy Hat Day. We have 100 masks which aren't allowed, but only a few hats. This week is going to be difficult. I'm looking forward to mismatch clothes day. I think I can knock that one out of the park.

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Good Times, Good Times

My best friend, Pam, came up for the day and night yesterday. Boy, did we have a good time. We had some quality girl time celebrating Pam's birthday (that was 2 weeks ago) at Wildflower Bread Company. It's our favorite place to eat. Photobucket
Then, she took the kids on a bike ride. Photobucket Photobucket My husband called while we were out and asked that I pick up ingredients for Strawberry Shortcake. No problem. This is what Aunt Pam teaches the kids. Emily was all for it. Photobucket Noah was a bit apprehensive, but got on board. Photobucket And Ben almost threw up after. Photobucket We ended the night with everyone in our bed. Photobucket But, just to watch a movie. Sleeping with those three monkeys would be little sleeping and lots of monkeying around. We had a great time with Aunt Pam. As always...

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Ben's A Monkey

I thought it would be years before Ben would be able to do the monkey bars. Sure he only weighs 41 pounds, but with that comes a lack of upper body strength.

He surprised me and did them for the first time last night. He almost got eaten alive by the swing and he just
kept going.

So proud of our little monkey.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Major Setback

Potty training hasn't been going so well lately. I thought we had pee down, so I started using pull-ups as washing doopy out of underwear is not fun.

Then, he started to use the pull ups like diapers and he peed in 5 yesterday. I was so angry. This wasn't that hard for my other two. But, Noah is stubborn and it's hard to get him to do much of anything. We are now back to underwear with no pants, so it doesn't feel like a diaper.

 I think the look is complete with the dress shoes. He has a phobia of standing up to pee, but he wants to pee in the grass.  So I'm now letting him do that because he thinks that's funny. Him and the dog look really cute out there peeing together.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Take 1

Emily and Ben take a drama class. They are having a recital at the end of May. For their class, they are perfoming a little Broadway type number to Why Should I Worry from Oliver & Company. I usually don't bring my fancy camera to drama, but since I have a new phone that can do cool things, I got a video of them practicing. Ben's shoulder shrugs are a thing of beauty.

In addition to the singing, they are also in the older kids play of The Three Little Pigs. Ben plays the little bad wolf and Emily is one of the forest animals along with the other kids from their drama class. The costumes came in today and they got to try them on. Here's Ben as The Little Bad Wolf. Photobucket Here's Emily as the cutest mouse I've ever seen. Photobucket Photobucket Like everything the kids do, drama has run it's course. They enjoy it while we are there, but complain about going. Since we already paid committed to be in the recital, we are going to see it through the end of May. Then, they will be off for the summer where all they want to do is take tennis lessons and swim.

Fine by me! 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Perfect Evenings

After dinner, the evenings are pretty close to perfect. It's cool yet warm. The kids can't stay inside and really who would want to? Tonight was bike riding.

They raced. Is it a surprise that Ben was faster running than Emily was on her bike, and he was barefoot. That kid doesn't walk anywhere.


Noah colored himself blue today....again. Untitled
They started off with shoes on, but kicked them off a few minutes into playing. You haven't played hard outside unless your feet are black.

Emily was teaching Noah to ride his bike. He's almost got down how to pedal. Untitled While they were playing, I was playing with the Instagram app on my iPhone and took all those photos. It's a pretty great camera and so easy to send the photos to my blog. Sweet.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Around Our Kitchen

Our microwave bit the dust last week. We bought a new Samsung microwave. I had no idea they made microwaves. Our TV is Samsung and so is David's new phone. Well, they do microwaves too and Consumer Reports gave them the highest rating for microwaves. Who knew? Anyway, picking out a microwave was the easy part. We weren't too sure how difficult it would be to install a new one. We got the old one off without too much hassle. Photobucket
Yes, I stock up on paper towels when I can get them for free or cheap. We had a friend and my Dad offer to help install the new one, but David wanted to try it one night and he got the job done. Photobucket
Our old microwave was stainless steel. I hate stainless steel. Well, I love it but it is so hard to keep clean. We went for black, and I love how it looks.

Yea David! On to other things in our kitchen. We cook a lot. I think we cook more than most families. Even David cooks his lunch for work and brings something every day. We almost always have a big breakfast on Sundays, bacon, sausage and waffles! We finally cooked the bacon in the oven for the first time and we were all super impressed. If you've never tried it, you must. Just put the bacon on a cookie sheet. It's okay if it overlaps. We cook a whole package of bacon because Ben eats 4 pieces and Noah has about 3. I'm lucky to get one full piece. Photobucket Oh yes, 400 degrees for 20 minutes. About half way through, flip it so they don't overlap anymore. We throw the sausage on there too. Photobucket What you end up with is perfect bacon and sausage and really no mess. Photobucket That's Ben, going for his fifth piece. After we eat, we just scrap the grease into a old pickle jar and clean the baking sheet. So, so easy. We will never cook bacon on the stove or griddle again. In other news, David and I upgraded from our old flip phones to smartphones. I got an iPhone. It's pretty neat, but I've barely had a chance to use it because Emily won't stop playing with it. Maybe she can teach me how to use it!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Day With My Life

We have certain rituals at bedtime. Ben's includes his Dad on one side and me on the other while he says his prayers. Then, we smoother him with kisses, each taking a cheek. Sometimes, David and I will meet in the middle for a smooch and Ben get's all mad. "That's my life" he'll yell at David. He means to say "That's my wife", but it's so cute, who are we to correct him.

Today, Ben and I spent the day together. He had a well visit scheduled at the Doctor this morning and his eye appointment in Phoenix this afternoon. He got to miss the whole day at school. I decided to try to make it a little fun for him.

At his well visit, her only real concern is that he's lost weight in the last 5 months, not much but he's now down to the 16% in weight and 52% for height. I explained that the kid runs everywhere. He doesn't walk...ever. And he prefers a salad to french fries, so that pretty much explains it. After that appointment, we headed to Phoenix. Ben got to enjoy a movie in the backseat and relax. We headed straight to lunch at Chick-fil-a. Gosh, how I miss that place. Ben enjoyed it. Photobucket Photobucket
Then, we went to Old Navy. Ours closed. Oh, but before we went to Old Navy, Ben got an ice cream cone. He has a rough life. Photobucket Then, we went to a park and played for awhile. Photobucket Photobucket Photobucket
And he finally did the monkey bars! Photobucket Then, we were off to his eye appointment. Everything went well, but we are back to patching again. He's had 5 months off after his surgery. The doctor wants to improve his eye even more, so we are all for it. Ben was less than thrilled though when we got home an I put on an eye patch. It will take time for him to get used to it again. And that was Ben's day with his life. 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Easily Entertained

Noah still doesn't eat much, but he was content today to chew on a blue marker. Photobucket Oh yes, he was mighty pleased with himself. Thank goodness it's washable marker. Photobucket The Avengers movie is coming out in a few weeks, and Ben is about as excited as you can get. I think David is too. I found some masks online and printed them up for Ben. He colored them and I laminated and tied a string on. He acts like they are the best thing ever. Seriously, he's just as happy with paper masks as he was with anything he got for Christmas. The Hulk is his favorite. Photobucket I love that sometimes it's the simple things that can make their day.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Around Our House

Ben and Noah have been playing so well together lately. Typically, Ben prefers to play by himself, but he's teaching Noah how to be a true superhero. Here they are as Batman and Robin, the Dynamic Duo. Photobucket This morning Emily put on a puppet show staring the Grinch. Photobucket I put all the pillows on my bed! Photobucket Emily is obsessed with trying to do the splits. When I was in high school, I was a cheerleader and sometimes we'd do something that our coach wasn't thrilled with. She'd make us lay against a wall like this and stretch, for a long long time. We were so flexible though that our feet or legs would just be on the ground. It was still uncomfortable after 5-10 minutes. Gravity will just pull your legs down, try it sometime. Photobucket Emily and Ben were doing some Just Dance 3. Photobucket I love that we all have fun playing that, from my Mom to Noah. Well, not my husband. He doesn't dance.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Kids, Screen Time and Snow

Some days are harder than others. I'm butting heads with Emily because we are both alpha females. Ben is giving me attitude, yes the perfect child can get moody once in a while. And Noah is just being Noah, strong willed and stubborn. He takes after his mother.

Then, some days things just roll. The ebb and flow of me and my kids is perfectly in sync. Last night was smooth sailing. After the kids had ice cream cones (the boys had chocolate chip, Emily had rocky road), they just sat and watched TV.
Their school is doing a no screen challenge for 10 days right now. No TV, no computer, no games. The kids who do it get rewarded with a field trip to a cool zoo about an hour away. My kids didn't even want to try it.

It's not that they can't go without watching TV or playing on the computer. Sure, we have the TV on a lot, but they never sit there and veg out in front of the TV for hours. They'll watch it for 20-30 minutes (one show) and they are done.

It's Saturday morning. Emily is playing dolls.
Ben is in his room playing superheros.
Noah is destroying his train set with the Hulk.
The TV was on and they all walked away from it. That's just how it goes in our house. Could we go 10 days without watching TV? Sure. Do we want to or need to? No. We've never put limits on screen time and don't feel we need to. Everything in moderation.

It snowed here last night. Just a dusting, but there may be more to come.
It wouldn't be April around here without a little snow.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Big Girl Bed

I used to have a really pretty house. I was single and I kept things clean and orderly. I had a pretty bed with a Pottery Barn quilt and decorative pillows that I made every day. I had time to put pillows on my bed every morning.

Now I stumble out of bed and stumble to the kitchen and pour myself a cup of wait, that's Dolly Parton. Although, I do the same thing. My wonderful husband makes for me coffee every morning, for that I will forever be grateful. Within 5 minutes, I start packing the kids' lunch while making them breakfast at the same time. In any case, pillows are the last thing I think about or have time for in the morning.

Since we got a new bed though, we needed new sheets and a new comforter. We went from a cal. king to a king. It's wonderful. We got the bed all set up earlier this week and I love it. Noah does too.
I figured that all that took a nice chunk of money and we'd conserve on spending for awhile. After all, we just paid off our carpet last month. I thought we were in the clear.

I thought wrong. Our microwave died yesterday morning. I was frantically trying to get it to work, tripping the breaker, resetting the GFCI's. I even got an outdoor extension cord just to try to plug it in somewhere hoping the problem was the outlet not the microwave. Nope, the thing is dead as a doornail. Thanks Whirlpool for less than 5 years. Seriously, I've never had to replace a microwave that quickly. Although, we do use it alot.

Yesterday my Mom and I were heating our coffee on the stove. It felt like little house on the prairie. Thank goodness our friends had a spare that they pulled out of their camping tent trailer. So, we are back in business. But, we will be getting another one this weekend.

It never really ends does it?

Monday, April 9, 2012


The day before Easter the kids colored eggs. As a parent, I hate this activity. It's messy and a pain, but I can't deprive them of the experience. At first, I'm regretting it and thinking I should've come up with some crazy story like the dye tablets got attacked by some huge red ants and there will be no dye tablets this year. But I give in and they have fun.
Noah just liked to throw the eggs (and I mean throw) them in the cup and then fish them out.
All I see is a big mess, oh and my kids having fun. I guess that's the point.
Ben with his finished eggs.
Emily with hers.
Noah with his. I told him to smile.
Um, not quite. Open your eyes.
Never mind.

Then, I must have been delusion, I told them we could paint them too.
Alright. Eggs are done. It was time for the Easter Bunny to come.
They liked all their goodies. Thanks Gwynne! My mother in law sent them those great baskets full of candy.
We went on an egg hunt.
Then, we drove down to my Dad and Stepmoms house in Phoenix. Suzy got them all sorts of goodies and had so much food. The kids headed straight for the pool.
Oh geez, she makes me nervous.
They put on their suits and went swimming.
The water was still a little cold, but they'd do 10 minutes in, 10 minutes out. They didn't care. David provided the entertainment.
Last summer, Ben learned to swim. I was curious if he'd remember or how he'd do and he did just fine.

My brother and his daughter Auna took the kids on an egg hunt.
That big house next door to my Dad's was just bought by Corey Hart from the Milwaukee Brewers. They do their spring training in Phoenix, so might as well have a house there. When my Dad told him that his nephew loved the Brewers, they invited him over to meet the whole team a few weeks ago. Very nice.

Then, Noah threw about 20 rocks in the pool which Emily very sweetly got each one.
We had a great time and it was wonderful hanging with my family for the day.