Monday, December 24, 2012

Merry Christmas!

We're on day 3 of celebrating Christmas today and are having a great time.  I hope you have a great holiday!

Thursday, December 13, 2012

The build thus far.

Life has been hectic lately, but I thought I'd do an 'up to this point' post on how our house building is coming.  Mostly for my benefit so I can look back later. :)

We were gone last week to Cancun {which I need to get it together and upload pictures from!} so it was really amazing to see the progress in that week.

A couple days before we left I had to rush and pick out plumbing fixtures.  It's amazing how much you can over think every little decision you make, and the fear that you're going to spend the next 30 years of your life cursing yourself for the wrong choice.  For example, the time came to pick out toilets and I had to pick between round and elongated.  OMG, what do I do??  I was paralyzed over this decision, until I decided to just go with what we have now.

Wait a minute, what DO we have now?  I've parked my behind on that throne every day for the last 6 years, and I have no idea what it looks like.  So, I go with the tried and true decision breaker.  Flip a coin. :)

The same held true with our shingle sample.  If I don't pick the exact right color, everyone will drive by our house and laugh and my horrible design choices!!  Then I couldn't remember what kind of shingles we have on now.  Are they light grey or black??  The sad part, we just had them replaced a few months ago from a hail storm.

Building a house has taught me a few things, and the biggest being this: I learned that I live my life in a haze.

Here is some of the progress as of now.  Some of the outside:
back of the house
another view of the back
front view with the bump out (which is the master closet)
another view of the front
Here is some of the front door.  The door will be replaced, obviously, but I'm loving the way the windows along it came out.  Just don't remind me of the creepers that are going to stare in at me.  It's a good thing we won't have neighbors.

The upstairs is all framed up, and I believe the downstairs will be this week.  Plumber has been there and done his magic and next up is heating and electric.  Don't get me started on my fear of deciding where all the outlets and light switches go.
a view into the master bedroom.
standing in the living room looking into the kitchen/dining room
dining room
living room

I've had a few headaches where I was certain it was from my head nearing explosion, but it's coming together.  It's crazy to think that in a few short months, this will be our new digs.

I brought Kendall by to see it a week or two ago.  As we were leaving she said, "That almost looks like the kind of house I wanted."  Gee, thanks kid.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Nemo has ruined me.

We're not really big pet people.  Neither Eric or I grew up with pets, so I don't think I have the maternal pet instinct.  For Kendall's birthday, I decided to get her a fish.  While we were at it, we'll throw one in for Sydney too.

As we were getting ready to head out for our trip last week, I remembered the stupid fish in the house.  I brought them with to my mom's, who was going to keep them for the week.  That way they didn't have to shuttle back and forth with the kids to Eric's mom's.

We picked the girls up from my MIL's on Sunday.  Later in the day my mom texts that they'll stop over one night this week, as she still has Kendall's dance costume, an anniversary card, the fish and some other stuff.  I was puzzled for a long time, wondering why she was sending fish.  I don't even eat fish! Besides, it just stinks up the house, so I wanted to tell her to just keep them.

Doh.  I already forgot all about the family pets.  In my defense, the kids did too.  I really wish they didn't have a 2 year life span.  This confirms that Fido will not be joining our household any time in the near future.

We went to my parent's last night to get everything and got the fish.  zomg, those effers stink.  I hate them.  I hate cleaning the bowl, I hate the smell of the fish food, and I hate that the girls don't even remember that they have fish.  Stupid gift.

My dad told me he'd just flush them yesterday, and I was seriously contemplating it.  Then, in my mind all I could hear were PETA activists going apeshit and saying that you shouldn't buy a pet if you don't have the time and commitment to take care of it, and how selfish I was.  I don't really think these little fish count as pets so much, but I still was guilted by my imaginary bashing from imaginary people.

I took the stinky little fish home, hoping they'd somehow freeze and/or suffocate in the bag I had them in during the drive.  Or, maybe I'd hit a pothole and they'd knock on the tank and get a head trauma and die.  No such luck.  They're durable little things.

Upon another smell of the dirty water, I started contemplating holding a nice little ceremony and wishing them bon voyage through our pipes to the nice watery sewers where they could swim freely.  Again, cue imaginary guilt trip.  So, I start cleaning their tank.  Have I mentioned the smell yet??

Apparently, those crazy things like to swim in their own filth, because they kept swimming away from me as I tried to scoop them out.  I finally caught Eight, when I saw something floating.  I accidentally ripped off one of his fins. Uhhhh, oops?  I dumped it down the drain with the dirty water so he wouldn't have to be reminded of his dismemberment, which I think was the humane thing to do.  After that I kept a close eye on him, and I felt like his little front fins were spinning like crazy.  As if he wasn't already swimming in circles, I think he's going to have a really hard time not getting dizzy as he's now lopsided.

Here's my confession - I keep thinking about it and feeling bad that I ripped his limb off.  Does he have phantom pain where it should have been?  PTSD? Is life still worth living for him? Is he crying to Soupy through the tank separator to just remove it and let Soupy take him out? Survival of the fittest coming to fruition.

That damn fish won me over with my guilt.  I keep thinking of lovable little Nemo, and the joy I felt in my heart when he was reunited with his dad.  I don't want to get to the pearly gates some day and have "Fish Torturer" on my permanent record.  I now have to do a penance and give him extra {stinky} food and pretend to care for that stupid thing.  That, or let Eric get rid of them so I can still have a clean conscience.

 I'm just glad I didn't get a parrot.  I can't handle really being mocked by a pet talking back to me.

Monday, November 19, 2012

What goes in must....ew.

I have crossed that parenting test that I was hoping to avoid.  When I had babies in the house, I was acutely aware of small items for them to swallow.  I didn't know I would have to monitor my 4 year old as closely.

I was trying to get the girls to take a nap yesterday.  After skipping one all together on Saturday, they were desperate for one on Sunday.  Ok, maybe I was desperate for them to take one, which is probably more likely.  I put Kendall in my bed, to separate them hoping that it'd help with them falling asleep without the distraction of the other.  Have I mentioned how much I'm counting down the days until we move and they have their own room?!?

On her 12,789th trip out of my room to tell me something, Kendall came back out with a penny.  Where she found a penny, I don't know.  She was insistent on putting it in her piggy bank, which of course was right next to Sydney's crib in her room.  I told her not now, and after another struggle, got her back to bed.  No more than 10 minutes later, I hear a little voice, " I have to tell you somethin' again."

::Sigh::  "What now, Kendall? You need to get to bed!"

"Mom? The penny feels funny in my throat."

Surely I heard that wrong, right?  She couldn't put it in her piggy bank, so she decides to....swallow it?

Sure enough, she ate the damn penny.  Upon questioning, she tells me it was like a little pie.

No more Thanksgiving prep and talking about pies in our house I guess.

After a call to the clinic, I am now on doody duty.  I tried informing Eric that they said the father is typically the one that has better luck examining the uh....sample.  He didn't go for it.  If we don't find said penny in the next few days, we have to bring her in for an x-ray.

I tried telling Kendall last night that she has to do her business on the potty chair, instead of the toilet, so I can look to find the penny.  That of course, led to a discussion that when you eat something it comes back out.  I am now paranoid with how her brain is working and fully expect her to start swallowing stuff to see if the theory holds true.

The moral of the story is, this is further proof that a penny is a worthless piece of metal that should be done away with.  Grrrrrr.

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Being Thankful and Prayers for Reese

Last year I did a 30 day of Thankful series on the blog.  It's almost 10:30pm, and I just realized that today is November.  Hey, it's been one of those days.  Give a girl a break.

Today I am extremely grateful for my family's health.  We've had some very scary days the last 6 years, both starting with brain tumors.  When you get that news, it knocks the wind right out of you.  Your whole world turns upside down, and you want to just rewind and go back to when things were easy.

We have been beyond blessed to have seen miracles happen.  As life starts to get a little more back to normal, it's easy to fall back into your every day routines and not realize how damn good things are again.

Today I found out that the father of a friend of mine was diagnosed with the same cancer that my dad had.  He is being treated at the same hospital, and is prepping for a stem cell treatment, very similar to what my dad did.  It's amazing how you can instantly be back in that room when you got the news.  I remember what I was wearing.  I remember where I was sitting.  More than anything, I remember what I was feeling.

When I got pregnant with Sydney, I stumbled upon message boards on The Bump, a pregnancy/parenting board.  From there, I moved to a smaller, private board.  Over the last 2+ years, I have gotten to know so many wonderful mothers from all over the country.  You share in each others triumphs and in each others pits.  Today we heard of a big pit.

Last night, the adorable, spunky 2 year old of one of the mothers was brought to the ER and found to have a brain tumor.  News like that quickly slaps you back into reality of how much of a blessing your children's health is.  That news is something that no mother should have to hear.  Tomorrow morning, sweet Reese will be having surgery to remove the fluid in her brain and some of the tumor.  Please keep this baby in your prayers, as well as the rest of her family.

Kendall's Birthday Part II

Saturday was the big day.  Miss Kendall's Princess Party!!  After debating on her theme for weeks, and going back and forth, she finally settled on princess.  
There was pink.  There was bling.  There were tiaras.  

My sister in law made those adorable crown cookies.  I had the same cookie cutter as she did, and thought I'd be clever.  I made pink crown rice krispie treats.  Except, I squeezed the food coloring too hard and they turned into this weird red color.  I instantly thought it looked like raw hamburger, but thought maybe nobody would notice.  Sure enough, Eric walks in the kitchen and wonders what the hamburger is for.  Yep.  Definitely need to outsource the cooking and baking in the future.  I was smart enough to do that with the cake.

Isn't the cake adorable?!?
We had the party at this bounce house at a local petting zoo.  Kendall insisted on at least wearing a skirt to the bounce house so that everyone would know she was a princess.  She also insisted that some hair is in a pony, and some is down and curled.  With some curls by her face, as a matter of fact.  When I'm back here in 10 years and whining at how much time she's in the bathroom getting ready, I can look back and know it started young.
Up next it was time for cake and gifts!
She got a cute tool set from my friend to help build our new house.  She and Sydney both were fighting over that this week.  There were also tons of princesses and other fun toys.  She is one very lucky girl.  A big hit of the night was a card of a castle that folded out.  Seriously, this is why we don't spend much money on her gifts (aka Soupy, who I've still managed to keep alive and well, thankyouverymuch)
And here is Kendall with her BFF Blake.  I heard, "Hey Blake, let's hold hands when we walk!" These two kill me with cuteness.  I'm restraining myself from starting to plan their wedding....barely.

The party was a success and Kendall loved it.  The next morning, when the gifts and stuff hadn't even been put away yet she said, "Mom, I'm almost five now.  We should start planning my next party."  Oh boy.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Halloween Carnival

Friday night, the girls and I headed out to a local Halloween carnival at the school.  We met up with their best friends and daycare buddies, like we did last year.  It's crazy to look back at those pictures and see how little Sydney was, and mostly her lack of hair!

Once again, the kids had a blast playing the various games and I could not get Sydney out of the bounce house.  I'd start tying Kendall's shoes, and Sydney would sneak behind me to run back into it.  I can't count how many times she squealed, "I bouncing! I bouncing!"  I figure it was good practice for Kendall's party the next night at the bounce house.  You don't want to look like an amateur in front of your nearest and dearest, ya know? 
The kids got tatted up.

They had a great time, and it was only somewhat chaotic wrangling in both of them.  I didn't need to pour a glass of wine when I got home, so I consider it a success. 

Stay tuned for Part II of Kendall's birthday tomorrow.  I'll give you a hint - it involves Rice Krispie bars that looked like raw meat.  Have I mentioned yet how awesome I am in the kitchen?  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Kendall's Birthday: Part I

Thursday was Kendall's 4th birthday.  I wanted so badly to stay home with her, but I had to take Friday off for various appointments, and I knew she'd have just as much (probably more!) fun at daycare.  She was able to start out her day wearing a crown, and I wouldn't be surprised if she never let it leave her head.  She got to pick out the meals for breakfast, lunch and snack, so she felt pretty special.  They sang happy birthday to her 3 different ways, and she made sure to tell me allllll about it that night. 
Eric got off of work a little early on Thursday, so he picked the girls up from daycare and met me to celebrate that night.  We went to Chuck E Cheese, and the kids had a blast.  They almost had as much as their daddy, who I had to constantly remind to quit stealing their tokens.  He justifies it that he could win more tickets, which would get them a better prize.  Mmm hmm, sure, ok.
The best part of going on a Thursday night, was that it was relatively dead inside, so the kids could run and have free reign over the different rides.  I so wish I would have been recording when Sydney first turned around and saw Chuck E Cheese.  I don't think her eyes could have gotten any bigger, or she could have ran any faster.  I know I win mother of the year, when I wanted to get her close just to get the same reaction on film.  She wasn't having any part of it though.  Kendall, on the other hand, loves to be the center of attention and get close to him.

After lots of rides, pizza and a cupcake, it was time to go.  For part of Kendall's present, we went to the pet store and let her pick out a fish.  That's the extent of pets in our house, and I was a little shocked to find out these little things can live for 2-3 years!  I guess this will be a bigger commitment than I thought.  
They each ended up getting one.  Kendall named her's Soupy, and Sydney named her's Eight.  Confused?  Yeah, me too.  
On the way home, Kendall rode with Eric and Sydney hopped in with me.  She wasn't done with the birthday celebration, so she kept singing Happy Birthday to Kendall...who wasn't around. lol  I just held my phone up to record the sound, but you can see her a little bit.  My favorite part about when Sydney is done with something, is her little Italian accent.  "You like-a that song?"

We had Kendall's princess birthday party on Saturday, so stay tuned for Part II.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Happy Birthday, Kendall!

Wow.  Wow. Wow.  

My baby is 4 today!  It seems like I just wrote this letter to her for her 3rd birthday.  Here we are, another year later.  Another year of fun, of smiles, of laughter, of joy, and mostly - of love.

Kendall always amazes us with what she picks up on and learns.  In the last year she has:

It's been a busy year, but a lot of memories have been made.  
Kendall, you are such an amazing blessing to our lives.  Your wit and spunk keep us on our toes and keep us laughing.  Your love of books and reading makes me so happy, and you are an incredible sister to Sydney.  You make us so proud, and we can't wait to see what this next year will bring for you.  
Happy birthday, baby girl!  I think 4 will be our best year yet. 

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

The Nuk Fairy

 So, last week I decided that it was time.  Time for Sydney to give away her beloved pacifiers.  And you guys? I was terrified.  Seriously, this kid looooooved them.  We would only give them to her for sleeping, but that didn't stop her from trying to beat the system.

She'd sneak in her room for a quick hit.  You'd look around and wonder where Sydney quietly snuck off to, and there you'd find her.  Now, this was no novice.  She knew she wasn't supposed to have them, so she thought she was clever.  Nothing a quick hand over the mouth couldn't cover up, right?  Or, she'd give it to you, while sneakily hiding the replacement one behind her back.

I know they say the first step in addiction help is admitting you have a problem.  We tried staging an intervention all week with her, but there was no way of knowing if we were getting through.  There was only one way to tell, and it was to go cold turkey.

Now, of course I wasn't going to be the mean one to take away her beloved comfort.  And we all know Eric surely wouldn't step into that role.  It was time to call on backup.  Enter in.....the Nuk Fairy.

We geared Sydney up all week, that the Nuk Fairy was coming to visit Friday night, and was going to take all of her paci's to the babies who needed them.  So, after dinner, we gathered them all up (that we know of. I wouldn't be shocked if she had a little stash buried in the floorboards).  We put them in a bowl and handed them over.
She methodically looked at each one, silently giving her approval. 
 "Hold up! This one, too?!?"
And then it was time,  She set them down and was all excited to be a big girl.  This process was cut pretty short because big sister kept running outside in just her underwear, and I didn't want to add another reason to why we're those neighbors, so we had to quickly shoo her back in.

Ok, the band aid was ripped off.  Now I'm waiting for the inevitable questioning for her nuks, and the changing of her mind.  Instead, she made a comfy bed in what else, a laundry basket.  I'd like to say that this basket was empty because I'm so awesome at keeping ahead of it all.  In reality, there was probably a pile stacked on the couch that she dumped out.  But, I digress. 

Now it was time for the true test, when it was time to go to bed.  We said goodnight, and shut the door and waited.  About 20 minutes later she started asking for it.  Eric, I've come to realize is the enabler in the family.  Immediately he is all, "Oh, come on! You have to give it to her!  You're torturing her, Tessa!  You can't just do it all at once!!"  Men.

I went in and distracted her with something else, and that was that.  I was expecting a weekend of crying and no sleep, and I was pleasantly surprised.  The Nuk Fairy now has a 2-2 record for my kids, so I'm sold.  

Now, if only the Fairy left me money for her future orthodontics which I see in my future...

Monday, October 15, 2012

Today, it starts!

Today is the day that we've been looking forward to for the last 4 months.  We are officially breaking ground on the new house build! ::confetti::

We met last week to sign the paperwork to buy the land from Eric's aunt and uncle.  During this time, the old house and shed were torn down  Eric and my in laws were there to watch them do it, and my mother in law video taped some of it.  We were at their house watching it on the computer, and Sydney kept saying, "Oh no!!! My new house! Oh, no! My new house fall down!"
Haha, sorry girls.  That house had to go!  We stopped out there this weekend to get a good before visual.  Everything had been cleared out, except some of the foundation remained from the house.  The girls were all concerned on where their new house was.  It'll be so fun to watch this process through their eyes.  

Here is our new house "before"

And here will be it "after"
I most looking forward to seeing it get framed up and to truly be able to get a picture of it in my mind.  Now for the decisions, decisions, decisions.  It feels like we've already made so many, but I think the real work is starting now!

Friday, October 12, 2012

What do you mean it's not the right answer??

This morning I took Kendall to have her preschool/kindergarten screening.  They took her off into another room, and did a variety of tasks with her.  Some motor skills, some cognitive skills, some problem solving skills, etc.  They want to determine early if there are areas that children are lacking in, so you can do some early intervention to have them ready for kindergarten.

Overall, Kendall did awesome.  When they came back in to go over her results with me, I had to laugh.

Her problem solving questions cracked me up.

Q1. What do you do if you go into a dark room.

A: You go to sleep.

Apparently, it's supposed to be turn on the light, but she got a half point for that.  As a mother that tries to get two little stinkers to go to sleep at night, I disagree.  I give her an A+ for that answer.

Q2: What do you do if a fork is on the floor.

A: I tell Sydney to quit throwing it there.

OMG, I die.  Do you see our dinner time issues?

I love that kid.  Above all else, she never fails to make me laugh. :)

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Two Against One

This is the week that I give props to the single parents out there.  Bright and early Sunday morning, Eric headed out for a drive out to Colorado for a week of elk hunting.
Before he left, we tried to get in some family time and took a little walk down to the park.
I think the real reason he suggested it was so he could play on the swings a little.  Luckily Kendall didn't mind waiting her turn. ;)
Now, I don't know what it is about Sydney.  You'd think she'd have a 50/50 shot at getting her sunglasses on the right way.  I think she likes it better this way, since she does this every time she puts them on!
So, with Eric gone, we've been trying our best to keep busy.  Sunday my friend and her little boys came for a playdate.  We heard them go downstairs for a bit, and they were quiet.  Now, any mother knows that a quiet kid (or two!) isn't always a good thing.  I had to laugh when I went down to assess the damage.  Why of course the books are better laid out along the hearth! 
After the playdate, it was a late nap for the girls, which I in turn needed to wake them up from to have dinner.  Sydney was not a fan of getting up, and I don't blame her.  Sunday afternoons are always lazy for me, too.
We've gotten through two days with daddy being gone.  The girls were starting to miss him last night, so they sent him a little video.  Kendall then said that they needed to take a picture to send him also, and this was their best one. lol
Tonight we have Kendall's dance classes so it'll be another busy night after work.  I think I've found the trick of being on my own for a week, though.
Coffee.  And a big one at that.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Jump, Spin and Shake Around

Last night, Miss Kendall got to go to her very first dance class.  She has been excited all week about it, and made sure to practice up her dancing skills.

Of course, I had to get a cute little outfit for her, because what fun are dance classes without the adorable leotards and tutus?!?!

 While waiting for the class to start, Kendall practiced her spinning.  

Once the class got started, I moved outside with the other parents.  Kendall came out after full of smiles and stories.  She told me how they jumped and twirled and shook around.  She told me she learned so many things.  When asked what she learned, she replied, "dance."  Ok.  She told me she can't wait to go back again.