Wednesday, November 30, 2011


The kids have been going to gymnastics for a while now and I almost never get a chance to take pictures of their progress!!!  Since Becky was here today, I sat upstairs and tried to capture some fun moments... only problem though is that I am taking a picture through a window so they didn't turn out great.... oh well, better than nothing!
We first tried Owen in the tot class (he goes alone) a year and 3 months ago, it was fine but after about 2 months he just screamed every time I left him so we pulled him out.  A couple of months later, I had to take him with me to Addyson's tiny tot class (the parent goes in with the child) and he got to participate a bit and he loved it!!!  So, once a spot opened up I put him in the class too!  He has been coming about a year and he loves it!!!  He was once afraid of some of the "bigger" tricks and now he has overcome that and is doing a lot of them on his own!!!  Look at him doing a roll on the beam!!!  I'm so proud of all that he has conquered!!!
He was timid to try a lot of things, like the "skin the cat" on the bar but once I gently made him do one and he realized he could do it and not get hurt, he would then be excited to do these tricks on his own!!!  Miss Jennifer says he is ready to move up to the next class and I know he is however, it is not so easy!  His class meets the hour before Addyson's class and then when I take Addyson to her class he would have to sit out.  Since I have to take them a lot by myself (since Brad is gone so much), it doesn't make sense for me to sit at the gym for 2 hours with 3 little ones and then I would have no idea what to do with Owen while Addyson was in class. So, for now, he'll stay with her and Miss Jennifer is really good about asking him to go more advanced tricks that he is ready for so it works out pretty good!
I started Addyson in gymnastics when she was 16 months old!  I can't believe she has been doing it for 15 months now!!!  She is such a natural!!!!  I have often thought about moving them both up to the next class together and letting them sort of guide each other and I could go upstairs and watch with Ethan.  However, while she has the skills down, waiting in line patiently for your turn while there are SO many other tempting things to play on right beside her is a bit too much to ask of this very active 2.5 year old... probably why they say the kids have to be 3 before they move up!
She has SO much fun during gymnastics and loves to show off!!!  She is a natural at picking up skills and doesn't have much of a fear when she is asked to try something new!  Maybe the Olympics is in her future... or maybe she'll just be a Razorback gymnast!!!  I'll take either!  Really, as long as she is having fun and being active, that is all I care about!
She has been with this class the whole time!!!  Some of the kids have moved up so there have been some new additions but, some of the kids have stayed the same!  We look forward to seeing our friends every week and seeing what new configuration the room will be in and what new skills they will learn!  As we near the end of class the kids start reminding me of our weekly tradition, we always head to Flying Burrito after class!!!  I have used lemonade as a bride for Owen to try many new tricks!!!  Hey, it works!  After this class, we introduced TeeTee to our world of Flying Burrito!  Yummy!

Finding a Friend

You'd think after having 3 kids that I would remember at which age certain events happen...however, I cannot!  I couldn't remember when they started to look at toys but figured it was coming soon since he'll be 2 months next week.
So I found Mr. Moose (Owen got this from my dad on his first trip to Canada) and attached him to Ethan's car seat along with the elephant that Addyson got from Aunt Gina when she was born.
And tonight, while the big kids did gymnastics, I found Ethan interacting with Mr. Moose!  I couldn't believe it but was SO happy I was there to capture that moment!!!!  He was smiling at him and cooing to him!!!  It was SO cute!!!
And he kept waiting for Mr. Moose to talk back and smile back but it never happened!!! : )
He also found the elephant and reached for it!!!!  I couldn't believe it!!!!  At first I thought it was a fluke but it did it over and over again!!!!  Wow, he is getting SO big!!!!  I'm so glad that he has found his friends on his car seat because maybe now that will make car trips a bit more enjoyable for him!!!

Painting Nails

Becky got the honor of painting Addyson's nails for the first time!!!  While I was a bit sad to miss out on the opportunity, I was happy that it was Becky that got to be a part of it......after all, she is the beauty fashionist out of the two of us!!!  She was telling me that she changes her fingernail paint color 2-3 times a week.... who has time for that?!?!  Oh, someone with NO kids!!!: )
Addyson LOVED getting her nails painted and soaked up every minute of it!!!  It was cute to watch her intently watch TeeTee paint her nails!
And to make sure they were good and dry, she got to blown on them!!!
After all was said and done, she sat on the couch and admired her newly painted fingers and toes!!!
It didn't take long for Owen to start asking to get his nails painted after Addyson was done.  How do you tell him, "No, you can't do it but your sister can."?  So, what the heck, Becky painted his nails too!  Luckily, in her bag of new purchased nail polishes (totaling 10 or so new colors), she had a blue!
So Owen got his finger nails AND toe nails painted with a pretty metallic blue color and loved that he was able to be part of this fun event!
I love how Addyson is still part of the fun watching every moment for different angles!  I wonder if Owen will ask every time Addyson gets her nails painted for him to get his painted too.  If so, I better go out and buy some blue nail polish for him.... all I have is pink!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Making Meatballs

My sister is a good cook so I was looking forward to her making us a few meals while she was here!  I'm amazed that she can walk through the store and come up with a meal and know what she needs!  Me, I need lots of planning and lists to put together a meal!  One of the meals she planned was spaghetti and meat balls!!  Yummy!
And what was even better was that she let the kids help!!!  See, when you are energized and full of energy, letting the kids help in the kitchen is fun!!!!  And the kids LOVED diving right in to that bowl full of meat and mushing it all up!
They had so much fun rolling out the balls and they loved that they were helping to make dinner for us all!
Fun in the kitchen almost always leads to messy, little hands!!!  It was funny to watch Addyson try to get all of the leftovers off of her hands.... not so easy to pick off!
After the meat balls cooked it was time to eat our yummy dinner!!!  Becky make a yummy salad and a really yummy veggie sauce (I have 2 containers of leftovers in the freezer for more easy meals when Brad is out of town!!!)!
And Becky has learned a few tricks of the trade!!!  As she made each kid their bowl and picked out their meat balls she said, "Oh Owen, here is one of your meat balls... and here is another one!!!"  So each kid thought they were eating their very own meat balls that they made!!!  And that fact alone made them even yummier!!!!
Everyone made "happy plates" tonight!!!  Yummy!!!!  Thanks TeeTee for a yummy dinner!!!!  We'll let you come back to visit any time if you promise to cook for us again!!! : )

Pocket Sling

I normally carry Ethan around in my Moby wrap!  He loves it and I love it!  It helps distribute the weight to both of my shoulders so my back doesn't start to hurt.... this is much needed since he weighs close to 14 pounds if not more!!!  The down side with the Moby is it is BIG so it isn't as easy to just throw in the diaper bag and it takes a minute to wrap me up which I normally try to do in my garage before I leave the house.  Today, I wasn't as prepared but thankfully I had my pocket sling in my bag for easy slinging!
Tonight, during dinner, Ethan got to try out the pocket sling for the first time and I'd say it was a success!!!  He slept all through dinner!!!  I cover him up with a napkin so I didn't get pizza on him and he snoozed away while we all ate!!!  I'm so glad he likes it!!  This sling is easy and quick when I need something for just a short amount of time.... to long in here and my shoulder and back start to hurt!  Call me crazy, but, I have a couple of other slings I am looking forward to using as he gets bigger!  Not that I want him bigger... I just want to use some of my other slings I haven't used since I carried Addyson.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

TeeTee's Visit

About a month ago, Brad got word that he would have to go to Saudi Arabia over Thanksgiving and be gone about 10 days.  That was his first major trip on the schedule after Ethan's birth and I was nervous...silly me should have know better.... I should have known his work would have filled up the rest of his schedule before this Saudi trip so I would have lots or practice caring for 3 kids by myself.  However, at the time, I was SO nervous and quickly got on the phone to find backup!  First, I asked Nina to help but then, her and I thought it would be a great idea to ask my sister!  I've been wanting her to come visit us in Arkansas and this was the prefect opportunity!
When I asked her, she was excited to come.  I think I made her a bit nervous when I told her come prepared to work... I think she thought I was going to have her scrubbing toilets and washing dishes.  In her mind, she was coming to play...that's not work... right????
She quickly learned it was work!  Up at 7 and going ALL day long is exhausting.... especially if you are not use to it... getting up at 7 AND going ALL day long!  On top of that, add wiping hineys, bathing dirty kids, and finding ways to constantly channel their unending energy!  Bless her little heart, she was a trooper and did great at it ALL.  She jumped right in and I rarely had to ask her for help!  She got up with the big kids so I could sleep in.... that alone was worth it's weight in gold!  She also spent a lot of time doing crafts with the kids!  It was SO cute!
Let me back up and say how quickly Becky learned about working while tired!  My sister said she could come help me out as long as she didn't miss a Thursday of work.  So me, trying to maximize my help time with her, booked her the first flight out on Friday morning (and the first flight out on Thursday morning so she would make it home in time to work).  That meant that she worked until 3am on Friday morning, took a cab to the airport, checked in at 6 am, flew ALL morning, and then got to my house about 1 and jumped right in with the kids.  Silly girl thought she could nap as soon as she got to my house!  The kids napped the whole way to and from the airport so when they woke up and say Teetee in the car, they were ready to play!!!!  No rest for the weary!!!  Let me say, she was SUCH a trooper to agree to the flight schedule!!!  Thanks Sis for maximizing your time here!
The kids had fun taking her to all of our favorite restaurants!  Becky was asking for some of them by name after reading the blog!!! : )  First stop.... Briar Rose of course!!!  There was also a trip to Flying Burrito.... and another trip to Briar Rose!!!: )
When we were discussing where to eat, once she asked me, "Where are all the fun/nice places to go eat?"  I tried to explain to her that these places were now our "nice "places to eat!  With 3 kids, going out isn't always fun and enjoyable so it isn't worth spending a lot on dinner when you'll probably end up eating it cold OR taking them somewhere fancy where you spend so much time worrying about if they are disturbing others that you can't even enjoy your dinner!  When we went to Gusano's for half price night and she sat next to Addyson, she quickly realized what I was talking about!!! : )  She also quickly learned how much work just getting out of the house was.  After breakfast at Briar Rose we went to Walmart and then I needed to go to Sam's.  I asked her if she wanted to go with and she said, "No, just take me how with the kids... this getting in and out of the car is a lot of work!!!"  : )
They also had fun taking her to our usual weekly activities, like gymnastics!!!  I sat upstairs with Ethan while Becky took the big kids to class.  I tried to prep her before she went in but I didn't give her all the ins and outs on where to help the kids, when, and how.  I would try to tell her what to do from upstairs and through the glass which is almost impossible.  One time she just mouthed back, "You wanna come do this???"  I shook my head no and decided the kids were fine and if anything was really out of control Miss Jennifer would let Becky know!  No need for me to micromanage from upstairs!!! : )
We also did lots of shopping!!!!  Becky arrived on Black Friday so that night we hit to mall to see if there were any deals and that wasn't our last time to visit the mall!!  Becky is a HUGE make-up connoisseur and there were stores here she can't find in Canada so most of her shopping was at a couple of these stores... and we went back to each store at least a time or two!!!  Addyson was SO excited when she got to go with TeeTee into one store.  I told Becky to watch her closely because she will want to touch EVERYTHING!!!!  Becky said Addyson did great and for a little reward she asked the lady to give Addyson a sample in her own bag!!!  Addyson was SO proud to show it off.... oh no, I hope Becky has not created a monster!!!! : )
Becky spent so much time helping with the big kids that she rarely got to spend time with Ethan.  Her time with him was when I would take the kids to school or pick them up.  It was cute when I came home one day and saw them bonding!!!
The downside to her visiting when it was just me was that I didn't have a lot of time to take pictures and capture every moment like I would have liked to!  She was in one room with the big two and I was off somewhere else taking care of Ethan.  But, that's just how life is these days!  It is usually my job to take pictures and lately I have to remind Brad to grab the camera because it is a bit hard for me to juggle Ethan and get a good shot!  However, I am thankful for the ones I did get!!!
I'm SO glad my sister came to visit!!!  It was just too short!!!  Her last night here I couldn't believe that I hadn't gotten a group picture.  I just kept saying, "I'll get one tomorrow!"  Well you know how that goes, it keeps getting pushed off until we are saying our good byes and I make everyone quickly pose to get that shot!  What a fun, busy, exhausting week we spent with TeeTee!!!  Thanks for ALL of your help sister!!!!  And thanks for all the memories!!!!  Love you!!

Black Friday

Well I did it, I went on my first every Black Friday shopping trip!  I can't believe I did it!  I wanted to see what all of the hype was about.  This year, some stores were opening on Thursday evening so I decided to take advantage of it.  Aric came over to stay at my house after I put the kids to bed so I could run to Toys R Us to take advantage of some sales.  The store was opening at 9.  Silly me thought that not many people would be there so I didn't hurry to go get in line.  I showed up at 8:30 and the line was all the way to Pier One.... see how far back I was!
The line moved quickly but, by the time I got in the store most of the deals that I had gone for were gone!  Most of my Christmas shopping was already done but I thought I'd stock up on birthday gifts...haha!!!  The main thing I was going for was a Mustang hot wheels car for the kids.  I had to wait in line at the customer service counter to see if they even had it since it wasn't on the shelf.  Silly me waited in line there and by the time I got the "ok" that they had one the line to check out was weaved halfway through the store....
I hadn't thought about that!  Ugh!!!  And people were crabby.... well some were!  The back of the line was constantly moving as people got in line so it took me about 5 minutes to finally find it and in the meantime almost got in a fight with a lady who thought I was butting in.... not butting in... just trying to find the ever changing end of the line!
After waiting in line an hour and a half to check out, which I was nervous the whole time that I would get a call from Aric saying Ethan had woken up and all that waiting would have been for not, it was finally MY turn to pay.  Glad I made it to the end in one piece and with my goods  But, really.....
I'm not sure it was worth it!!!  I waited in lines for 3 hours to saved $30.  My time is worth more than $10 an hour!!!  I think I'd rather wait for Cyber Monday and shop from the comfort of my home, in my jammies, where I don't have to worry about getting beat up!!!  Are we crazy as Americans for thinking that Black Friday shopping is fun and worth our time???  Can't say I'll ever do it again but I'm glad I finally got to experience Black Friday shopping and try to figure out what all the hype is about!  Now I hope my kids are as excited about their gift from Santa as I'm hoping they will be!!!

Saturday, November 26, 2011

Bowling with the Bride

Today we had family and friends get together to honor Emily, the Bride to Be!!!  In a little over a month she will be a part of our crazy family!  Lucky!!!  To celebrate with her my mom came up with Bowling with the Bride!  It was a lot of fun!
The kids especially thought it was better than sitting around, talking, and watching the bride open presents!  Here, they got to bowl and have fun!!!  And I was super thankful for Aunt Margret and Uncle John for their help with the kids while I ran around and was super distracted with other things!
After Issac's recent bowling party, Owen was a pro!!!  He knew how to do it all by himself and needed no help!!!
Aunt Gina had a hurt shoulder which was a bummer for her but worked out perfectly for Ethan who wanted a soft chest to rest on instead of napping in the stroller!!!
The bowling alley was empty since we got there right when they opened.  It was nice because we had room to set up a table full of yummy food...
and party favors!!  I just love the bowling pin cookies decorated in Emily and Aric's wedding colors!
Ever now and then I got to check back in with the kids!  I was impressed he could get the ball and set up all by himself!  Guess he is getting big and strong!  Owen bowled 2 strikes and Addyson got one!!!  They were so proud!
5 lanes full of family and friends Bowling with the Bride!!!  What a fun afternoon!

Thursday, November 24, 2011


After round 1 of Thanksgiving dinner and before round 2, we went for a walk in the park across the street from my mom's house.  It was such a pretty afternoon and felt so good to be outside!  While we were walking we noticed a lot of walnuts on the ground!!!  Owen wanted to know what was inside ALL of these round nuts so we thought we'd find out!
We went home, got a bag, and went back out to fill our bags full with walnuts to take home and ask Grandma how we get the meat out of them!
I had told Owen that we needed to wait for Grandma to wake up from her nap before we cracked them.... he was asking non-stop since our first walk and I was a bit too exhausted to find a hammer and get all the supplies to crack them so....waiting for Grandma was my excuse to buy me some time!!

Turns out, Grandma was "hiding" in her room saying her prayers so she was gone a long time (can't say I blame her... I'm sure the peace and quiet was a welcomed break from the full house!).  Owen kept coming up to me and saying, "Grandma sure is sleeping a long time."  or "Grandma is taking so long!"  Grandma heard him comment about napping so long and she yelled out that she wasn't napping.  She blew her cover!! : )  The gig was up and Owen was ready to get crackin'!!!
Since the black walnuts are so messy we had the kids and helpers put gloves on before they got to work.  And then the crackin' began!!!
I remember being little and going for walks at Grandma's farm and collecting walnuts.  Watching my kids gather nuts today brought back so many good memories.  Not only for me but, for the rest of the group.  Mom's friend Larry talked about hammering nuts as a kid and they cracked so many that the rock they used had a shallow spot in it from all of the use!
I love how watching my kids grow up and some of the experiences I do with them help trigger memories of my childhood!
And while my memories are triggered in my, my kids are making memories of their own that one day they will share with their kids!!!  AND, they'll have this blog to help them tell their stories!!!!
While Owen was hammering away, Addyson was getting frustrated that her nut kept rolling away so she decided to take matters into her own hands and peel the nuts with her hands.  She was very proud that she was successful without the use of the hammer.
However, she wanted to go back to using the hammer so she figured out that sitting on her knees helped her have a better angle and could crack the nut better!!!  I love how all of these little experiences have also help them with their problem solving!!!
And while I was outside making memories with the big two, Ethan was inside being snuggled by Aunt Margret!  Again, it is SO nice to have family around to help.  When I am home alone with all three Ethan gets most of my attention when he is awake while the big two play together.  When I have help, I try to spend as much time with the older two as possible.  And this afternoon, that was spent crackin' walnuts!!!