Saturday, June 30, 2007

Oh my gosh, I can't tell you how much better I feel this week after going to bed at 11:30 every night. O.K., almost every night. There was one where I stayed up until 12:30, and I most certainly felt it the next did anyone who had the nerve to argue with anything I said that day.

Being that it's summer time, I'm falling into the trap of letting Jake and Emma watch way too much TV. We should be out doing things. Instead, when Dave asks Jake where he went that day, Jake has every reason to answer "the couch".

So this week, I will limit the kids TV time to 1 hour. I already have a system set up to achieve this, I just have to follow through with it. Famous last words...

Check out Lara's site for other's habits!

Here are my other habits/goals for 2007:
11:30 bedtime - habit
Emma's bedtime routine - habit
Work before computer time - struggling with
8K a Day - need to get back to
Wear my pedometer - habit
R-E-S-P-E-C-T - habit
Food Journal and Scrounging - getting better
Increased personal reading time - habit (and loving it!)
Limit personal computer time - working on
1 on 1 kids time - struggling with

Thursday, June 28, 2007

"100 Things" - a post in 3 acts - Act 2

Check out Act 1 here...

34. My wedding was completely theatre themed.
35. Our invitations were formatted like a program for a musical.
36. All the music during the ceremony was from muscials.
37. Our reception was in a restored theatre. The head table was on stage, and then the stage became the dance floor.
38. The favors for the guests were magnets that we made to look like tickets for the wedding.
39. I love to travel.
40. I'm one of 26 cousins...just on my Mom's side.
41. I would live in a vat of Dairy Queen's Butterfinger Blizzard if I could.
42. In my opinion, Quantum Leap is one of the best shows ever made.
43. I really, really like Phil Collins.
44. I'm going to see Genesis when they tour in September.
45. I paid way too much for the tickets.
46. I'm going with my sister who I think would kidnap Phil is she had the chance.
47. I played sports when I was in grade school but stopped when I learned that I actually had to play despite the fact that my whole body hurt from exertion.
48. My passport photo looks like a mugshot for one of the Manson Family girls.
49. I've only ever broken one bone in my body.
50. I've had a lot of x-rays proving that not only did i not break other bones, but that I'm actually a wimp.
51. My mom used to say that if she collected all the x-rays my sister and I have ever had taken, she could create a complete skeleton to use during Halloween.
52. I once drove myself to the ER while Dave was on travel because I (ahem) stubbed my toe.
53. I have a Hitchhiker's Thumb
54. I'm running out of things to tell you.
55. I have a scar right in the middle of my forehead from an accident I had when I was a kid.
56. The scar was caused by rocks (fine, pebbles) having to be removed from my head.
57. I would give my right arm to play Adelaide in Guys and Dolls.
58. When I was a kid, I wanted to legally change my name to Jessica.
59. I thought it sounded better than my actual name when paired with the last name of the guy I was sure I was going to marry.
60. Thankfully, I didn't marry that guy. No first name would have sounded good with his last name.
61. I have walked across the Golden Gate Bridge.
62. I don't like bridges so much.
63. I don't like to walk over any kind of opening in the ground (sewer grates, for example).
64. Seriously running out of things to say.
65. When I was a kid, I nearly set my own pajamas on fire because I was trying to warm them on the space heater before going to bed.
66. I laugh like my mom. That's not always a good thing...

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

When "Please pass the Kettle Corn" just doesn't work anymore...

For more pics, visit WW or 5 Minutes for Mom

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Come on, Get down

(KC and the Sunshine Band playing in the background)

Me: Come on, Jake! Let's dance!
Jake: (coloring) How 'bout after I finish this picture?
Me: O.K. Let me know when you're ready.

(5 minutes pass. "Sound Your Funky Horn" starts)

Jake: (jumping up) Come on, Mommy! Let's rock the house!

I'm telling you, if I had liquid in my mouth, it would've come out my nose...

MDWLC - Week 7

I did really well with 2/3 of my goals this week...I still haven't made it to the gym. But I walked on the treadmill and have been walking a lot in place so that I can get my steps in for the day. I've "pre-journaled" every day and have had lights out by 11:30 every night, too.

And the result? I'm done 1.5 lbs. Woohoo!!

But last Thursday, I also urged you to focus on something other than the number on the scale. And for me this week, it was the way my clothes fit. I'm noticing that the shorts I'm wearing this summer are just a little bit looser than they were a month or two ago. Now that's pretty durn exciting!!

My big challenge for the next 2 weeks will be late night snacking/dessert. I have rehearsal most every night for the next 2 weeks and I probably won't be getting home until around 10pm and my habit has always been to snack after rehearsal, whether I'm hungry or not.

And I just found a new snack. Wheat Thins Lightly Cinnamon. Have you tried them yet? No? Go out and buy a box. They're quite nostalgic for me. They remind me of a snacky dessert thing my mom used to make out of leftover homemade pie crust at Thanksgiving and Christmas time. Quite Good.

Here are my goals for this week:

  1. Work out when I'm going to make new goals, start a new journal, and weigh in. I'm confusing myself right now because I'm following a dual timeline: the challenges and my home Weight Watchers meeting. I need to sit down and figure out what I want to do when so I can save my brain. Every little bit counts.
  2. Get to the gym OR walk on the treadmill 3 days. I'm O.K. with not going to the gym if I can get myself on the treadmill. I guess that was kind of redundant...
  3. 2 servings of non-pudding dairy a day. As far as Weight Watchers is concerned, pudding is considered a dairy serving, but it probably wouldn't hurt me to make my servings of the non-sweet variety.

So there you have it! Check out Tales from the Scales to see how everyone else is doing!

MDWLC starting weight (5/18/07): 158
MDWLC current weight (6/26/07): 156.5
Loss/Gain to date: -1.5 lb
Goal weight for next week (7/3/07): 156

May Day Weight Loss Challenge - The Whole Schebang -

Monday, June 25, 2007

"100 Things" - a post in 3 acts - Act 1

Rumor has it that since I've done 100+ posts, that ya'll want to know 100 things about me. Or at least I get to pretend that ya'll want to know 100 things about me! But since that makes for one long post (and I want you to keep coming back), I'm going to split it up. How crafty am I?

  1. I am the youngest of 6 kids - but please don't call me the baby.
  2. I'm 50% Danish, 50% Italian, and 50% Irish.
  3. I was a surprise baby.
  4. My birthday is in the summertime.
  5. I've never celebrated a birthday at school.
  6. I spent the summer before 1st grade on crutches.
  7. I scared my mom whenever I would use the crutches.
  8. I used to collect Pez dispenser (200+ at the height of my collection)
  9. My husband and I met during a production of Grease.
  10. Before we started dating, I set my husband up with my sister.
  11. I have been involved in over 20 plays (either onstage or backstage)
  12. I have directed one show (our church's production of Godspell)
  13. I will never direct a full size show again.
  14. I don't have a Bachelor's Degree, Associate's was as far as I got.
  15. I had 2 more classes left in a self-designed major to get my Bachelor's.
  16. I was 8.5 months pregnant with Emma when the class ended. I never went back (and I have no plans to)
  17. I hiked up a mountain once.
  18. I had jaw surgery the summer before my senior year in high school and spent my 17th birthday with my jaw wired shut.
  19. I had braces for nearly 5 years.
  20. I never wore my retainer.
  21. My teeth are crooked again and my dentist is bugging me about braces.
  22. As part of a tooth implant, I had bone extracted from my him and inserted into my jaw.
  23. I remember the pain of the days after the bone extraction more than I remember the pain of childbirth.
  24. My boyfriend in high school asked me out after he (accidentally) walked in on me changing for a play.
  25. I once considered modeling as a career.
  26. I laugh out loud at the notion of me as a model. For anything. Except for maybe pajamas.
  27. I would love to be a DJ. Performance without being seen.
  28. I'm horribly afraid of the dark.
  29. I have a lot of fears actually.
  30. When I go to the reptile house at the zoo, I don't like to stand too close to the glass in case one gets out.
  31. I also don't like to lean against the walls in case one already got out and is about to nest in my hair.
  32. I don't like to swim in un-chlorinated water for fear that some other species will think my toes make a good snack.
  33. I don't want my kids to inherit my fears.

Stay tuned in the days to come for Acts 2 and 3!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Smart Habit Saturdays

Wow! I can't believe it's been 2 weeks since I've checked in. Life around here has been a little crazy over the last few weeks, but it finally looks like it's starting to settle down just a bit. VBS is over which leaves me only 1 script to memorize so that's a big relief, but I've still been really tired lately.

Which is why my new old habit makes so much sense for me. I need to get back to a schedule where the lights are out by 11:30pm and the alarm goes off by 6:00am. I have been so exhausted lately because I'm staying up too late, and then sleeping in too late which makes me feel like I am just behind for the rest of the day. I really need the time in the morning before the kids get up to look at my script, too, so this habit just makes sense all the way around.

Because of the craziness, my other habits are slipping through the cracks again. But hopefully one more piece to the puzzle (not being tired) will start to bring the big picture back in focus. I'm going to start working on all my habits this week, too, so things can start getting back to some level of normalcy around here...whatever that means.

Check out Lara's site for other's habits!

Here are my other habits/goals for 2007:
Work before computer time - struggling with
8K a Day - need to get back to
1 on 1 kids time - working on

Friday, June 22, 2007

Mother's helpers - Vol. 2

A while back, I wrote about a couple of Mother's Helpers that I had found and Jake really responded to. He doesn't ask for them as often anymore because we now have two new things around the house that help us out (usually) whenver we need it.

The first one is counting, or more accurately racing. Jake is really big into timers, and he always likes to get things done before the timer goes off. One day when he refused to get ready for school and I couldn't get ready myself because he was hanging on me showering me with love, I asked him if he could go potty before I counted to 100. I gave him a ready, set, go and then started counting. He ran down the hall laughing and went to the bathroom, came back and said "You didn't even make it to 30". I told him that was great and asked him if he could get dressed before I counted to 100, and off he went. We use it for everything now, and he gets such a kick out of "beating" me to making it to 100. Once, while I was counting, I said "...thirty-four...thirty-five...thirty-s..." and he comes tearing through the door saying "Did it! You didn't even get to -ix". He's not got it down to syllables what number I'm on. Pretty cool.

The other helper I've discovered is Jacob! Lately, he wants to help me do everything...load the dishwasher, unload the dishwasher, sort the laundry, putting the laundry in, changing it to the dryer. And thanks to Lara, Jacob is now starting to put away his own laundry, including hanging up his clothes. And just the other day, for the first time ever, he OFFERED to help without me asking. I was so excited I nearly wet myself...but since we are trying to re-teach Jacob not to pee his own pants, I thought that mightn't set a good example. And you wanna know what he offered to do? Hang up Dave's and my laundry.

I think I could definitely get used to this!!

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Spring Reading Thing Wrapup

The Spring Reading Thing is officially at an end, so it's time to do a wrap up post. Katrina gave us a list of questions that we could answer so I thought that would be the easiest way to post about it.

What was the best book you read this spring? The best new book I read was The Five Love Languages for Children. There were parts of the book that I was just amazed with, it felt like they were writing specifically about Jake. It really helped me realize that there are things he responds to more than others (Quality Time and Physical Touch mean more to him than Gifts) and I have really seen a change in him when I make an effort to do those things. The best reread would have to be Beyond One: Growing a Family and Getting a Life. This was not on my original list, but I took it with me on vacation and fell in love with it again.

What book could you have done without? There were several, actually. I never even finished 3 of the books on my list just because I couldn't get through them. I figured if I wasn't hooked within 50-75 pages, I probably wasn't going to get hooked. I stopped reading Cat's Eye, Lake Wobegon Days, and I Will Bear Witness. Although I've read Cat's Eye before, I was bored to tears (and I had the voice of a friend in the back of my head telling me how bad the book was). My uncle and I enjoy similar types of humor and he is a big fan of Garrison Keillor so it surprised me that I didn't like this one, either. I just couldn't keep myself awake, and all the "footnotes" at the bottom of each page were really distracting. And finally, I Will Bear Witness was very repetitive. It is a diary of WWII, but for the first year, every entry was almost exactly the same. I lost interest quickly.

Did you try out a new author this spring? If so, which one, and will you be reading that author again? Bitten was the first Kelley Armstrong book and I was pleasantly surprised with it. My husband, Dave, actually bought this book to read on the plane and I started reading it when he was done. He likes this stuff and I usually laugh when I see the books that he's chosen, thinking that they weren't "my thing". But I could easily see myself reading the rest of the books in this series. I also read Petticoat Ranch by Mary Connealy book (also not on my list, thank you Katrina!) and I really liked it! It was an easy, quick read which is just about all my brain can handle sometimes.

If there were books you didn't finish, tell us why. Did you run out of time? Realize those books weren't worth it? Just the three I already mentioned.

Did you come across a book or two on other participants' lists that you're planning to add to your own to-be-read pile? Which ones? I have actually saved the link to the review page so that as I need a new book suggestion, I can check out what others had to say!

What did you learn -- about anything -- through this challenge? I learned that I have a hard time finding books I like. I used to read just about anything anybody put in front of me, but now I find myself not wanting to waste my time with something I don't like from the beginning. I also realized that I might have to try some non-fiction books to see if they'll bore me as much as I think they will! And also, just because I create a list, doesn't mean I have to stick with it if I find something new or realize something else was bad.

What was the best part of the Spring Reading Thing? Reading something other than magazines. I had gotten away from reading and I had forgotten how good it feels to get invested in a character or a story line. I felt like I was reclaiming a little piece of me that I let die when I had the kids. I realized that I need to nurture my brain and imagination a little more.

Would you be interested in participating in another reading challenge this fall? Yes, Yes, YES!

This is what my reading list looked like by the end:
Bitten - Kelley Armstrong (FINISHED)
The Five Love Languages of Children - Gary Chapman and Ross Campbell (FINISHED)
At First Sight - Nicholas Sparks (FINISHED)
Winesburg, Ohio - Sherwood Anderson (FINISHED)
Cat's Eye - Margaret Atwood (STOPPED READING)
Lake Wobegon Days - Garrison Keillor (STOPPED READING)
I Will Bear Witness - Victor Klemperer (STOPPED READING)
Confessions of a Slacker Mom - Muffy Mead-Ferro (ADDED TO LIST/RE-READ - FINISHED)
14 Hours 'Til Bedtime - Jen Singer (ADDED TO LIST/RE-READ - FINISHED)
Beyond One: Growing a Family - Jennifer Bingham Hull (ADDED TO LIST/RE-READ - FINISHED)
Petticoat Ranch - Mary Conneally (ADDED TO LIST - FINISHED)
The Time Traveler's Wife - Audrey Niffenegger (ADDED TO LIST - IN PROGRESS)

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

We went to the craft store the other day and Jake had pulled a couple of things into the cart before the end of the trip. He had his choice between the two things he pulled off the shelf, and this is what he went with. And no, he has no idea who the Silver Surfer is...

For more pics, visit WW or 5 Minutes for Mom

MDWLC - Week 6

O.K. I threw down the gauntlet last week, and it worked. I have a 1 pound loss this week. That puts me back at where I was at the beginning of the challenge. It's not great, but I'll take it! I've got VBS this week which means tons of healthy food like tater tots and Corn Pops, but after 2 nights, I've only indulged in a brownie so I'm pretty happy with that.

Here are my goals this week:
1. Write down the food and points BEFORE I eat it. Too much lately I have been going back and writing at the end of the day and I know that there are things that I've forgotten. I'll never forget that I ate a vegetable but did I really only indulge in 1 cookie? Probably not...

2. Get to the gym 3 times. It's amazing how little I go to the gym when Dave is not around. It's something I've always struggled with and it's high time I break the cycle.

3. Lights out by 11:30pm. I've been staying up a lot later than I usually do and when I'm tired, I make bad choices!

Check out Tales from the Scales to see how everyone else is doing!

MDWLC starting weight (5/18/07): 158
MDWLC current weight (6/19/07): 158
Loss/Gain to date: 0 lb
Goal weight for next week (6/26/07): 157

May Day Weight Loss Challenge - The Whole Schebang -

Monday, June 18, 2007

Totally Random Jumble of Nothingness

I officially have 463 gabillion things going on, so I am at the moment not capable of much more than totally random snippets of information. Try and keep up...

Everyone here is at varying levels of illness. Good times are being had by all as a result.

Our church's VBS started last night and Jake had a blast. Dave and I are doing the "storytelling" portion for the preschoolers, and one of the kids in the group is apparantly obsessed with cranberry sauce. He keeps shouting it out at random moments. The same kid left the church crying last night because Moses was floating down the river. I think he was really tired.

Emma's potty training is officially stalled. She's still telling us she has to go, but she also knows it delays her having to go to bed so it's a new trick for her. We'll pick things up again after VBS.

I am currently memorizing 5 scripts - 1 script for each remaining day of VBS and 1 real script for the show I'm in in July. My brain hurts.

Dave's head is about to explode from the project he's involved in at work. He's traveled at least 2 days a week for the past 6 weeks. Plus 2 co-workes have quit in the past month and a half. One of them was a partner in the company. Everything is very stressful there right now.

Jake got a new toy at the craft store. I'll have a picture on Wednesday.

We had painters here all last week. They were done Thursday. Because they were here, I had to move all of the stuff out of our living room. We have a lot of stuff in our living room. I just moved the last of it back today. We love the new color.

This post about schedules and organization using scrapbooking supplies left me drooling.

That's all I've got...

Friday, June 15, 2007


For several weeks now, there have been these large vinyl signs up in the neighborhood yards congratulating Seniors on their graduation from high school. Within walking distance from our house alone, there are 5 or 6 families with graduating students. I always love to see what the messages say and to see where the different people are headed to for college.

And then I realized something the other day.

Have I really been surrounded by this many possible babysitters and not realized it????


Thursday, June 14, 2007

Morning Glory

I've never been a morning person. Ever. When I was growing up, it was not unusual for me to sleep until noon or 1pm during the weekends. I enjoy my sleep. A lot. When I don't get enough of it, don't even try to be happy around me. Run. Run fast and find a good hiding place.

When Dave is home, we get to bed by 11:30 and are up (usually) around 6:00am. I don't like it, mind you, but that seems to be a schedule where we can work out together, I can scrapbook and get in a shower, all before a freight train Jake comes barreling in at 7:00am.

When Dave is not home, I don't typically turn out the light until 1:00am and then I sleep in until my own personal human alarm clock lets me know that it's "seven-zero-zero". We take our own sweet time getting ready in the morning and then waste away the day.

Not this week. Dave is not home so I'm still staying up too late and being shocked out of my slumber by Jake at 7:00am. But this week, we had painters coming in everyday at 8:00am which meant that I needed to be up and showered by then to let them in the door.

So you can imagine how frustrated I was when this morning at 4:45am, I heard beeping. This incessant, loud-enough-to-wake-the-dead beeping. This unidentifiable, fingernails-on-a-chalkboard-beeping. This UNLOCATABLE, for-the-love-of-God-PLEASE-STOP-BEEPING beeping.

I was convinced it was the fire alarm mounted in our hallway, so I walked out of the room and gave it a good stare down. The beeping stopped. Triumphant, I returned to bed. Only for the beeping to continue. We had 2 more stare downs before I decided that I had the ultimate power in this situation: I had the power to flip the switch on the circuit breaker. Take that, you electronic coward that doesn't have the nerve to beep when I'm looking you in the eye. HA! Now if I can only remember which breaker it's on. Finally, after 3 tries (which means going up and down the stairs to the basement to test the light switch to make sure I've hit the right breaker), the accused is silenced.

I went back to bed, and the beeping continued. Near tears at the amount of sleep I WASN'T getting, I finally tracked the noise down to the Carbon Monoxide alarm that the painters had unplugged in order to paint the walls. They then put it under some plastic, although I doubt they did it to torture me. But still...

I plugged the unit back in and went back to bed. It was now 5:30am. I drifted off thinking "I've still got an hour and a half left...." Then the crying started. Jake was crying out because his night light was not on. His night light that is controlled by the same circuit breaker as the wrongfully accused fire alarm. The same circuit breaker that I forgot to turn back on after finding the real culprit. So I head back downstairs to the basement to turn the breaker back on.

Finally, with the beeping stopped and all electricity to essential lighting fixtures restored, I return to my bed, already asleep before my head hits the pillow. Then the cat started crying. Deciding the cat can work his own problems out, I lay in bed, wide awake until 6:15am. I must have drifted off because I was asleep when the 7:00am freight train came through right on schedule.

But it all has a happy ending, because you can't beat your 4 year old son lying in bed with you, rubbing your back and giving you kisses on the cheek and saying, "Mommy, you sleep until the clock says seven-two-zero. Then you can get up."

At least he's learning early how to deal with his Morning Glory Mom.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Wordless Wednesday

For more pics, visit WW or 5 Minutes for Mom

MDWLC - Week 5: Truth time

O.K. My goal was to maintain over the two weeks since I last weighed in. Didn't happen. I gained 2 lbs, and it's high time I get myself in check. I'm starting to feel like a bit of a hypocrite being a weekly contributor to this wonderful challenge, but then not following my own advice.

That stops now. So I'm laying it on the line. I'm telling you my weight, not just my progress, because I need some shock therapy. My sister, Kristen, and Dave are typically the only ones I tell my weight to, so this will be a big step for me.

As of today, I weigh 159. There I said it. And I will keep saying it every week as long as this or any other challenge exists.

I also need to take stock of the choices I'm making, the obstacles I'm facing, and look back and think about what has worked for me in the past. From my heaviest weight ever (192 lbs. - 4 years ago, 6 weeks after Jake was born), I have lost nearly 40 lbs (I got to 153 in February) so I know that I can do this. And we are only talking a few pounds I need to drop to get back to where I need to be. It's a completely attainable goal.

But I will only reach my goal if I work at it. I'm not going to get there on the path I'm on now.

Today is a turning point. I just threw some saboteurs in the trash (the outside STINKY trash, mind you), I will take a walk with the kids tonight, and I will come up with a new game plan.

MDWLC starting weight (5/18/07): 158
MDWLC current weight (6/12/07): 159
Loss/Gain to date: +1 lb
Goal weight for next week (6/19/07): 158

May Day Weight Loss Challenge - The Whole Schebang -

Monday, June 11, 2007

Bad Spelers ov the Werld Untie!

O.K. I admit it. I'm a spelling snob. Misspelled words drive me nuts, and they have for as long as I can remember. When I was in 4th grade, I out spelled an 8th grader to win an all school spelling bee. I thought I was hot stuff. No one else did. Evidently my desire for correctly spelled words can annoy some people (I have a tendency to correct Dave a lot), but I can't help it. Spelling matters to me. Maybe a little too much...

We have an hourly daycare center near us and I had to take the kids there today so I could go to a dentist's appointment. The kids love it there and I've always been really happy with the way the business is run. They have organized crafts, story time, snacks, the whole 9 yards. They'll even follow any specific potty training instructions you have if you are in the middle of that adventure with your kid(s). And besides that, they are an HOURLY daycare center. How often can you find something like that? And when you do, you shouldn't complain right? Well, they've never misspelled anything. Until today.

They provide a hand written report on what your kids did while they were there (only for the younger ones, so I only had it for Emma). It includes what they ate, what stories they read, what toys they played with, diaper changes, everything. Evidently, today Emma learned about the "grochery" store, she ate some of her "bananna" and some of her "gronola" bar. She also "triped" over here own feet while she was there and fell down.

Even just typing those incorrectly almost gave me a heart attack. I have to go now. I need to find a dictionary to read.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Vacation recap (long with pictures)

O.K. The bags are unpacked, the laundry's done, the bills are paid, the pictures are downloaded, the husband's in flight on his next business trip, and the kids are in bed. Time to post about our vacation!

Overall, we really did have a great time. There were a few meltdowns that required vacating the premises, but that's to be expected with a 4 year old and 2 year old, even when you are not vacationing, right? Right. And we were even complemented on our parenting skills by another person staying at the hotel because of the way we handled Emma during her daily breakfast fit. That felt pretty good.

Like I said before we left, I tried really hard not to have a set itinerary. We had a list of activities and just kind of let the weather and the kids moods determine what we did each day. And since Emma and Jake still both take naps, we had to be back in the hotel room by 1:00 or 1:30 everyday. So mornings were for excursions and after naps were for relaxing in the room and swimming in the hotel pool. I think if we had stayed in the pool the whole time, Jake would have been very happy. He was learning to doggie paddle and keep his head above water and just having a grand ol' time. And we got a new inflatable floaty thing for Emma so she could join in the fun. We never got a picture of her in the water, but she enjoyed it even in the room.

On our first day there, the kids didn't nap so we ended up going to a children's garden. It only took us about an hour to go through, but the kids really liked it. Jake was especially found of the large model train system that was set up. He kept running around trying to find the trains after they disappeared around a turn or in a tunnel. Emma just ran around the entire place and I had a tough time keeping her from jumping in the frog pond. The girl loves water. And has no fear. Great combination!

The next day we went to a FREE kids festival that was held downtown on the riverfront. We got there about an hour before the festival started, which gave us plenty of time to play on the two huge playgrounds they had there. It was really strange playing on a playground that was situated under a huge bridge crossing the river. I kept looking up and Dave kept laughing at me. I'm not a big fan of bridges when I'm on them, let alone being under one. They also had a beach volleyball area there, but since it was too early for the nets to be up, the place was filled with kids beach toys (buckets, shovels, sieves, etc) for anyone to go play with. So we did that for a while and then walked through the festival which was HUGE and FREE. They even had some free food being passed out by a local grocery store so we ate lunch for next to nothing! Pretty awesome place.

Monday was spent at a place called Parky's Barn. It was a huge farm that had an indoor play structure inside the barn, open grounds for picnics, a playground, animals to pet (Dave even milked a goat), pony rides and wagon rides. We didn't do the pony rides or wagon rides because we ran out of time and I'm not even sure the kids knew they were there. They had so much fun in the barn and looking at all the animals. And they both got a kick out of trying the water pump and then watching the water go down the chute. It was a good reminder that it really is the simple things that keep them entertained.

On Tuesday we went to the Museum of Natural History and Science. It's in this great old train station that houses about 5 museums. The inside and outside of the building are pretty cool. This is the only picture I have of that day because I didn't have an opportunity to take any more. Emma would not. stop. moving. She was everywhere. I remember there was a cave, and a glacier thing, and some stuffed animals (not the cute cuddly kind), and there were people talking and trying to teach Jake things. But besides Emma and being bored out of my gourd, there wasn't much to be said about that day. Everyone else liked it, but that's not really my thing. Except the awesome ice cream creation I had at their ice cream parlor. Vanilla ice cream, caramel, Butterfinger pieces. Yeah. Good.

Wednesday was the day I would like to forget. We went to the zoo but it did not last long. Jake was in a hitting and kicking frenzy so we just left. And after naptime, it continued when we went to Chuck E. Cheese. I eventually had to carry him out kicking and screaming. Not a good day. I took this picture at 8am that day. I maybe should have taken it as a sign that maybe we just needed to have a down day. My bad.

On our last day there, we went to the Newport Aquarium. This was by far my favorite place. I loved it, but again did not get to see much of it because the kids didn't want to look at any of the animals or fish for more than .5 seconds before they were moving on to the rooms with no animals or fish. You know, the rooms with the TV screens and buttons that try to teach you things about the animals and fish you just ran past? The longest place we lingered was the penguin exhibit, but even though the kids had stopped moving, the penguins did not so this is the best picture I have of them.

So for our first trip as a family of four, I think we did O.K. We learned a lot. And we (mostly)had fun, which is what vacation is all about right? And now I have to go start planning for the next family vacation. It's only 2 years away! ACK!

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Smart Habit Saturdays

While we were away this past week, I had plenty of time to think about what I wanted to do for my habit this week. That doesn't mean I actually DID think about it, I just had a lot of time to. LOL!

As I was putting Emma to bed tonight, I realized something. Even though she's 2 years old, I never developed a bedtime routine for her. Dave takes care of Jake's bedtime routine and they do a lot! With Emma, I pretty much put a new diaper on her, wrestle her for the toothbrush and put her in her crib. Good night!

Jake gets potty time, teeth brushed, 2 or 3 books, prayers, backrubs, noserubs, usually a little bit of tickling and then lights out. Emma gets zilch. I really need to change that!

So, this week I am going to make a habit of doing a bedtime routine for Emma. We'll do potty time, teeth brushing, 1 or 2 books, and prayers. Dave is on travel again this week, so I'll be happy if the kids get their routines in 5 nights (usually I just want to get them in bed because I am DONE by the end of the day).

Check out Lara's site for other's habits!

Here are my other habits/goals for 2007:
8K a Day - habit
Wear my pedometer - habit
R-E-S-P-E-C-T - mostly a habit
Food Journal and Scrounging - working on
Increased personal reading time - habit
Limit personal computer time - working on
1 on 1 kids time - working on

Friday, June 8, 2007

We're Baaaaack!


We are finally back from our vacation, and let me tell you, it wasn't that bad! LOL! There were definitely some sticky points, but overall it went really well. I didn't get as many pictures taken as I had hoped, mainly because the kids were never stopped long enough for me to get the camera out. We had several blurry shots, though!

I'll write more a little bit later with some of the highlights and lowlights, but I'll leave you with a picture of one of the highlights. Have a great weekend!!

Friday, June 1, 2007

Vacation Link-o-Rama

Tomorrow is the big day! We leave tomorrow for what will be our first week long vacation as a family of 4. It also marks Emma's first hotel stay and only Jake's 2nd hotel stay.

Um, yeah. I'm a bit nervous.

BUT, we are going with an open mind and as Dave LOVES to say: "We'll play it by ear". I hate that phrase. I am very much a planner, but I'm realy proud of myself this time around. I have a list of possible activites but didn't assign them a day or time like I would've really liked to do. I have a list of restaurants that offer Kids Eat Free days. Whether we'll actually make it there remains to be seen. And being the confident person I am, we chose a city that is only a 2 hour drive from us so if there is a major meltdown (adults OR kids), we can just cut our losses and head on home. How's that for looking on the bright side?

Anyway, I'm not sure I will be reading or posting much (although Dave will have his laptop and there is free wireless in the room), so I thought I would leave a list of links that ya'll can peruse in my absence.

And please, try not to cry too hard while I'm gone!

  1. Emma is just starting to potty train (God help me) and while it's great she's asking me to go, if she asks me to go one more time, I'm going to FLIP OUT. Head on over to Shannon and Lara for a funnier, less psychotic view on the matter.
  2. I have a tendency to stress on vacation, which totally defeats the purpose of a vacation. Luckily, Laura has a reminder for the way life should be.
  3. I know she's been on The Today Show, but I just recently found Kathryn, and I couldn't agree more with her take on the Harriet Carter catalog.
  4. My friend Christine's son, Colin, is losing teeth left and right, and this picture just cracks me up!
  5. Do you like to write? Do you like contests? Do you like moose that poop candy? Then Scribbit's June Write Away Contest is the thing for you!
  6. Don't forget to check Tales from the Scales on Thursday for my weekly post!

Have a wonderful week everyone! I'll catch you on the flipside!