Our Five Ring Circus: March 2010

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Don't Try This At Home


Benno has been visiting for almost a month now.

Did I mention that Magic Benno visited us for ten days and then HITCHHIKED down to Texas to visit my aunt, uncle, and cousins. No? Well, he did. And, it worked.

He managed to make it to Texas in less than 2 days. He left on St. Patrick's Day and flew back today. Yes, flew. My aunt and uncle convinced him that flying would be better than hitchhiking.

The hitchhiking to Texas thing really shouldn't have surprised me as much as it did. Benno is always on the go. He regularly hitchhikes through Europe, and even hitchhiked to (and through) Africa. His next adventure, when he leaves here on the 5th, is to spend two days in Vegas, and then he will be flying to Japan, where he will be spending a year.

We expected to spend a full month with Benno, so we were a bit disappointed that he spent 2 weeks in Texas. He had a great time, though! We were so excited to see him today.

We met at my parents house for dinner, to welcome him back. My sister and her family joined us, because they are going away for Easter, so this was the last time they would get to see him.

The kids adore Magic Benno. He is a black belt in karate, loves sports, and is constantly doing magic tricks, so he keeps them entertained.

It was beautiful outside today, so we spent our time outdoors. Lexie even managed to join in the fun with all the boys. Benno asked if she could play, too, and then added, "Are little girls allowed to play outside and get dirty?" I thought that was so funny. When he was here, 2 1/2 years ago, he was surrounded by little boys, so he's not quite sure what to do with Lexie!


Magic Benno never fails to shock me. He is a dare-devil, and is willing to try anything.

Including, jumping off a very high deck.


We had to explain to the boys (notice them watching in awe, in the corner) that they are never ever ever ever, under any circumstances, allowed to do what Benno had done.

Dylan's response? "Well, maybe when I'm big like Uncle Benno, and have my black belt in karate, I can jump off Papa's deck, too!"

Or not. Let's leave that up to Magic Benno!

We are enjoying the last few days with Benno, before he leaves. Life is always exciting with him around! We are REALLY going to miss him.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Tuesday Tibits

Tuesday Tidbits is my day to record all the cute and funny things my kids say and do. I'm going to have to print these out when they are miserable teenagers, so I can remember just how sweet they were!

Upon seeing the ad of the smiling Pedigree dog (which seriously creeps me out), Dylan declared, with a giggle, "I can't stop looking at it!"

Lexie woke up from her nap yesterday, and when I got her out of her crib, she sniffed her shirt a few times, and told me, "I smell like Cosette." (Cosette is our cat.) "Cosette smells like strawberries.....No, Cosette smells like paper towels."

Lexie handed me a rock that Dylan has, that is striped like a zebra. She said, "It's a zebra from the ocean!"

My mom gave Lexie a necklace last week, and she was so proud of it. She told me, " This is MY necklace. It has beautiful on it."

Lexie says "toosepaste" for toothpaste, "toosebrush" for toothbrush, and "wothcloth" for washcloth.

Dylan mistakenly uses never in the place of ever. A frequent phrase is, "That's the best thing I've never tasted!"

Have you ever heard of wonderants? Specifically, orange wonderants? Neither had I, until Lexie educated me:

"Mommy, can I have the wonderant?"
"What wonderant?" I asked.
"The ORANGE one!" She exclaimed.
"What's a wonderant? " I asked.
"I don't know what you're talking about!!!" I said. "Show me."

She led me into Dylan's room, and quickly chose a book off of Dylan's shelf. The title? "Alice in Wonderland." The cover was orange.

True Story Tuesday

I am linking up with Rachel, at Once Upon A Miracle, for True Story Tuesday. Please, do yourself a favor, and check out her blog. She keeps me laughing!

My story takes place in late March of 2004. Actually, some of it takes place on this very day, 6 years ago. I was newly pregnant with Dylan at the time (very new...as in, hadn't even missed my period yet), and had no idea. My dad, my Aunt Jackie, and I took a road trip to Virginia to visit my sister and her family. My sister didn't know we were coming, which made it even more exciting.

My first sign that I was pregnant should have been the stop at McDonald's, on the way. I practically ordered everything off the menu. Seriously. And I don't even like fast food. I couldn't get enough. A complete meal, yogurt parfait, a milkshake...as I sat down and began to devour my food, my Aunt Jackie looked at me and asked if I was pregnant. "No way!" I insisted. We weren't even trying.

Sadly, that weekend was the very last weekend that I was ever hungry during either of my pregnancies. After that, I was plagued with extreme morning sickness that wouldn't let up, and wouldn't allow me to eat.

When we arrived in my sister's neighborhood, my Aunt Jackie and I dove onto the floor of the car, so she wouldn't see us. It was my aunt's birthday, and mine was a few days away, so my sister never expected us to be there. My dad went inside, greeting my sister and his grandson.

A few minutes later, I tiptoed around the house, and knocked on her patio door. My sister saw me, and began shrieking and jumping around the house. She finally let me in, and as she was hugging me, the doorbell rang. She ran to get it, and was so shocked to see Aunt Jackie at the door. I have never seen her that excited before!

And so began a fun weekend of partying with my sister and my aunt. I'm not a drinker, so it's very ironic that I chose that weekend to have a few drinks. (I was so freaked out after I found out I was pregnant, but my doctor assured me that I was fine.)

We had the best time! We stayed up late talking, spent hours at Mexican restaurant (where I devoured even more food, which prompted my aunt to ask me again if I was pregnant) sipping margaritas, and just enjoyed a great "birthday" weekend together. Really, it was one of the most fun weekends of my life!

Which brings me to the second thing that should have made me think I was pregnant.

My aunt and I were sharing the queen size bed, in the guest room. No big deal. I love her, she's awesome, I'm completely comfortable with her. There's this thing, though. I prefer sleeping in a fitted tee shirt or camisole and my underwear. I didn't sweat it. I can easily keep my pajamas on when sharing a room.

Only this time, I couldn't. Apparently, I got so hot in the middle of the night, that I stripped off all my clothing. All but my underwear...which happened to be a thong. That morning, I woke up, and was mortified. I was laying on top of the covers, almost completely naked. My aunt was still asleep, so I threw my clothes on and pretended like it never happened.

She never said a word.

So I asked her, later that day, if she saw anything. She assured me that she didn't, but I'm not sure if that's possible. I frequently beg her to tell me if she saw anything, and she just shakes her head. I even asked at Lexie's birthday party last month, and she still denied seeing anything. The only response she gives me, is, "I knew you were pregnant that weekend. I knew it!"

Perhaps she didn't see anything. Perhaps her possible hangover made her think that she was dreaming. Perhaps she'll take it to the grave.

I don't think I'll ever know.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


My laptop has been pooping out over the past few weeks. We thought it was the battery, so we ordered a new one. We put it in, and it still wouldn't charge properly. As of Friday morning, it wasn't charging at all. It took 48 hours for my battery to charge, so now I'm racing against a rapidly draining battery to get everything done online! We ordered a new power cord, so hopefully it gets here tomorrow and solves the problem! I had an unplugged weekend. I feel so far behind on everything!

On Friday, Dylan took in his last batch of pennies to school, for "Pennies for Puppies." For the past two weeks, his school has been collecting pennies to donate to the humane society. Dylan had already taken in two containers of pennies...and then came the big one of Friday! The container literally weighed more than Dylan, and when I dropped Dylan off, his teacher looked at me, and said, "You're kidding me?!?!?"


All of those pennies were courtesy of Grant's animal-loving friends at work! He had a jar on his desk, and his co-workers quickly filled it up!

Lexie and I got some shopping done while D was in school. We picked him up, and then went to my parent's house for dinner. My horse got moved on Friday, and they didn't even let me know until he was already at his new barn. I was a bit annoyed by that one! Dylan and Lexie fell asleep on the way home, after a slow detour through town to seal the deal, so I actually got to sit back and talk to some friends who were over for a visit. I went to bed early so I could get a bit of reading in, and got a great night's sleep!

I babysat my nephew, Brady, on Saturday afternoon. He and Dylan had a great time playing together. I think I need to watch him more often! The kids stayed occupied for hours!


After he left, Dylan got to go to his first drop-off birthday party! It was a sleepover-themed Batman party!


We dropped Dylan off, then Grant and I spent some time with our baby. We took her to dinner, then did some shopping. As usual, Lexie was an absolute angel at dinner, and all the ladies in the restaurant fell in love with her. She is almost always dressed up, and the old ladies, especially, love it!

We had a great time spending some time with our girl, and Dylan had a wonderful time at the birthday party. They decorated Batman capes, had pizza and cupcakes, broke open a pinata, watched a Batman cartoon, and played. The favors were the best: the mom picked up layered, long-sleeve Batman tees from Old Navy when they went on clearance, for 97 cents!

Once again, I went to bed early (isn't it amazing what being unplugged from the internet does?), and got some more reading in. We had a very lazy afternoon today. I lounged around, reading my book for several hours while Lexie napped. It was so nice and relaxing!

Tonight, Grant's parents treated us to dinner at Applebees. The kids were so good, which made it really enjoyable for us. We taught them at a very young age that they had to behave in restaurants! We had a yummy dinner, and had a great time talking to his parents. Dylan doesn't like desserts, but he devoured more than half of my chocolate lava cake!

We were just about ready to leave, when I heard all the servers clapping and heading to our table. The server announced to the entire restaurant that "Stefanie was turning 30," and then everyone began to sing to me.

Poor Lexie had a birthday flashback, and began sliding under the table like she did at her birthday party!

The food was so good, that I almost have to forgive my inlaws for that one! Almost.

We had a great weekend. I'm really looking forward to the upcoming week. Easter is my second favorite holiday, and we have a lot going on...it helps that the weather is going to be gorgeous! This may be the first Easter in several years that we won't have to wear winter coats!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Feeling Nose-y

What's that you ask? Oh that. THAT'S what my daughter decided to stick up her nose tonight, while she was supposed to be asleep.

Okay, okay, on her behalf, I don't know if she actually stuck it up her nose or if it fell into her nose while she was on her back. Either way, it got jammed in her nose.

In my 5 1/4 years of being a mom, I have never had to deal with this. Dylan and Lexie never put anything into their noses...well, other than a finger.

We were happily watching TV tonight, and heard Lexie begin crying. I went to check on her, and she managed to tell me that there was an earring in her nose. I thought she was lying or just had a bad dream, until she handed me an earring back.

And then it hit me that there really might be an earring in her nose. I called for Grant, turned on the light, and began searching her crib. I managed to find both earrings, but could not find the other earring back. I picked Lexie up and looked in her nose.

At first, I didn't see it, but sure enough, there was a silver earring back jammed in her nose. Way, way, way, way, way up inside her nose.

I looked at Grant and said, "We're going to have to go to the ER!"

I picked up the phone to call my sister. My nephew is a "nose stuffer" so she has some experience with this. As I was waiting for an answer (she never answered, but called back later, laughing), I handed Lexie to Grant and told him to teach her how to blow her nose, because maybe she could dislodge it that way.

After a few tries, she managed to blow the earring back out of her nose. It shot out like a bullet and hit her Dora potty seat insert with a PING!

That, my friends, is what I call relief. A BIG relief. For Lexie most of all. Our checking account breathed a sigh of relief, too (ER copay went up)!

Grant and I, while trying to hold back our laughter, told Lexie not to put anything into her nose. Ever. Our sensitive girl immediately burst into tears, which turned into a cuddling session with mommy.

She finally went to bed with two empty nostrils!

Lesson learned or future repeat offense?

Only time will tell.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Parks and Recreation

My kiddos love going to the park. It's definitely one of their favorite places to go!

When Dylan started Pre-K in September, we began stopping by the local park after he got out of class at noon. It quickly became routine. We started going 2-3 times a week.

This park is awesome. It's small, but it has a basketball court and baseball field, in addition to the play equipment. We hardly ever run into another person, so we get the park to ourselves! While everybody else is at home eating, we play. Every so often, one of Dylan's classmates or a friend will meet up with us.

We love our park! We get to eat lunch, play baseball, ride bikes on the basketball court, and play...and we get to do it without worrying about other kids! I often get to read while the kids are playing on the play set. Score!!!

We had a long, cold, snowy winter. One of the worst we've had in many years. My kids would beg to stop at the park when we drove past. The sadness in their eyes, when I repeatedly told them that it was too cold or too slippery to play, broke my heart.

After three very long months (if not more!), I surprised the kids with a visit to the park today! It was like letting caged animals loose for the first time!


Lexie was so excited that she even let me put pants on her, before I let her out of the car. Without a tutu. That's a BIG deal!

She ran for her favorite purple dinosaur.


It was a bit chilly, but the sun was warm. (When I say chilly, I mean 55. I'm such a wuss!) I don't think they even noticed the chill. They were too busy rediscovering the fun things to do at the park.


After about an hour of playtime, I had to drag Lexie out of the park. And I mean that literally. She never wants to leave. I promised that we would return on the next nice school day, and she seemed satisfied with that.

Dylan and Lexie kept talking about how much fun they had at the park today. It was the first thing they told their Daddy about their day. Looks like we're getting back into routine!


They couldn't be any happier!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

True Story Tuesday and a Few Tidbits

I'm joining in at Once Upon A Miracle for True Story Tuesday!

I'm going to head back to the summer of 2005. Dylan was around 7 months old at the time, and our Great Dane pup had just arrived a few weeks earlier.

Dylan and our puppy, Bailey, quickly became the best of friends. Dylan thought his big puppy was amusing, and Bailey loved the tiny puffs that Dylan dropped on the floor for her. Either way, they were inseparable.

One warm, sunny morning, I plopped Dylan in his jumperoo so I could finish the dishes.

As I cleaned up the breakfast dishes, I heard a lot of giggling coming from the next room. I smiled to myself, thinking how awesome that sound was. And then the smell hit me. The most terrible stench I've ever smelled was wafting into the kitchen. I stopped what I was doing, and walked into the living room.

At first glance, everything appeared to be normal. Dylan had a huge grin on his sunlit face, and the puppy was under the jumperoo licking his feet. But there was still that horrible smell.

With a feeling of dread, I walked closer. And then I saw it. Dylan had diarrhea running down both legs. The puppy was happily licking it off of him. Upon closer inspection, I realized the puppy was covered in liquid poo.

I didn't know whether to laugh or cry. I watched in shock as the fun continued.

At the precise moment where I began to lose my sanity, the doorbell rang. I was so relieved to see my dad standing at the door. He decided to stop over and see his beloved grandson. Talk about perfect timing! I looked at him, and began laughing hysterically, and then crying. I could barely explain what was going on.

My Dad walked into the living room and burst out laughing! Which made Dylan laugh harder, and the puppy start jumping around, splashing poo everywhere.

It took almost an hour to clean up that disgusting mess. Thankfully, it was much easier with my dad's assistance!

Moral of the story? Jumperoos and diarrhea are not a good combination! And dogs are gross.


I have a few Tuesday Tidbits for today. It's another Lexie edition. My girl is absolutely hilarious!

On St. Patrick's Day, Lexie overheard Dylan greet me with a "Happy St. Patrick's Day, Mommy!" A few minutes later, she proudly announced, "Happy Spongebob Day!!!"

Lexie walked up to me this weekend, and opened her mouth wide. I asked her what she was doing. She told me, "I ate candy. See the candy in my stomach?"

For some reason, Lexie refers to bath towels as paper towels. I continuously correct her, and she continuously calls them paper towels.

Yesterday, she wanted to go outside and play baseball. She told me, "Let's Play baseball! I'm the batter and you are the ball!"

Monday, March 22, 2010

The Awkward Phase

Oh, the dreaded awkward phase. Every kid goes through it. Dylan is just going through it sooner than I anticipated.

Let's face it. He's tall. He's ridiculously skinny. The pants and shirts that he wore through fall and winter were baggy on him, and worked wonders at covering up just how awkward he looked.

Every so often, when he would put on a fitted pair of pajamas, we'd catch a glimpse of that awkwardness.

It really emerged on Sunday, when he put on shorts and a tee shirt for the first time. There's no hiding those overly long and skinny limbs anymore. When I first caught a glimpse of him on Sunday, I immediately thought of a foal, that hasn't quite grown into it's legs yet.

My little man is growing up. He not a baby anymore, but not quite a big kid. Hence, the awkward, in-between phase.

He's still pretty darn cute, though.

As Lexie likes to say, "Super Duper Pooper Scooper cute."

Let me sound that out for you. "Supah Dupah Poopah Scoopah cuuuuuute!"

That must mean he's really cute. Awkward limbs and all.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Oh, Happy Day!

Spring is here...and we had a wonderful weekend!

The hubs decided to kick off Spring with a major project. He spent the afternoon pulling out all the hedges in front of our house. When he was done, our front yard looked naked. The house looked bigger, though! Those monstrous hedges were hiding half of our home! He finished quickly, with the help of a friend, but there's still a lot of work to be done. He has to dig out the roots, and then do some landscaping with some smaller shrubs and flowers. The absence of the hedges did showcase the fact that we now need to power wash the house, and paint some trim!

Dylan and Lexie were amazed at the mountain of hedges.

On Saturday evening, we attended the baptism for Grant's cousin's daughter, Bella. I offered to take some pictures during the baptism. Little Bella looked so beautiful in her gown! It was a great service.


When we arrived home, a friend came over with his son. Dylan and Lexie were so excited to play with Jack. Lexie was the first to decide play time was over, by declaring that it was time for bed. When she gets tired, she drops whatever she's doing, and heads to bed.

Spring was definitely in the air today. It was warm enough to wear shorts, and we spent several hours outside, enjoying the warmth and the sun.

It was a beautiful day for an anniversary! 11 years ago, today, Grant and I began dating!

On a more emotional side, my nephew's horrific car accident was 9 years ago, today. It was a terrible time for my nephew and our family, but miraculously, he survived. We are so blessed to have him here with us.

Grant's parents and grandma stopped over for a visit this afternoon, and we had dinner together. Grant's mom just got back from Florida, and had souvenirs for all of us. We had a great time. We truly enjoy Sunday afternoons with Grant's family.

Lexie entertained us with her singing skills. Future American Idol?


My princess insisted on wearing her "bootiful" dress again today. At least she skipped the high heels that we fought over yesterday, and opted for rain boots!

Dylan wasn't up for having his picture taken today. He's usually a willing subject, so I can't complain! He got in a lot of baseball practice. He is so excited for T-ball to begin next month!


Lexie decided that she had to learn to play baseball!


After a few pitches hit her forehead, Daddy had to step in for a little tutorial.


I think she liked getting bonked on the head! After each pitch to the forehead, she started giggling, and said, "Oh no, not again!"

We're all happy to welcome Spring into our lives! We're looking forward to many days of fun in the sun!


Happy Spring!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Diary of a Picky Eater

Lexie had her 3 year well check today. It went about as well as I expected.

After a year of tests and blood work, Lexie is leery of anybody in the medical profession. I had to stand on the scale with her to get weighed, stand next to her as she was measured, and hold her down for a belly check as she screamed (thanks to frequent...ahem...examinations...by the gastroenterologist). I can't really blame her.

She cooperated for the rest of the exam. Until the end. She saw the nurse walk in with two needles, and got very angry. After a short round of tears after her shots, she cheered up. I feel so horrible holding her down while she gets her shots!

Surprisingly, Lexie is growing well. She weighs 32 lbs, and was 40 inches tall. She was in the 95th percentile for height. She's very tall, like her brother. They definitely don't get the tall gene from me!

Lexie now has to go back to the Hematologist to get her neutrophils checked, and get some allergy testing done. They want to make sure she doesn't have other allergies, in addition to the eggs. We got a new prescription cream for her eczema, because the current one isn't doing it's job.

As for her eating...nothing has changed. Her doctor was very concerned that she's still eating so poorly, even after 2 years of dealing with it. I spoke with a nutritionist last summer, and technically we're doing all we can. We're going to continue to give vitamins and her daily nutritional drink, and hope that she continues to grow well, and that she will eventually start eating better.

It is a daily struggle. We can't let it turn into a battle, because it will just get worse. I do have moments when I get extremely frustrated, and just want to yell. I can't let myself worry obsessively about it, though, or I'll go crazy. I just continue to offer a variety of foods and hope that she will try something new.

I feel like I have a 3 year old with an eating disorder. I am not joking when I say that she eats/drinks under 10 items. She doesn't eat ANY fruits or vegetables. She has an occasional bite of turkey dog or chicken nuggets. Her staple foods are toast/bread with peanut butter or butter, pancakes, plain noodles with butter, and crackers. There are times, especially recently, where she won't even touch the foods she likes.

I'm not quite sure how this happened. She was breastfed, and was an amazing eater until she turned a year old. I remember one evening, when she was 11 months old, she downed 3 bowls of peas. When she turned 1, her eating started to go downhill.

I don't think it's anything we did. We modeled good eating habits. We eat every meal together. She witnesses us eating a wide variety of healthy foods. Her doctor said she's just overly stubborn, and possibly has a texture issue.

I don't speak often about it. I do get embarrassed, especially when we have to eat around other people, and she won't eat anything. But this is just something we have to deal with every day. I can either choose to completely stress out about it, or just methodically offer her new foods and ask her if she wants to try something. This is our version of normal.

As for now, she's growing well. She's getting at least enough nutrients, with the help of her vitamins and drink, to thrive. She looks completely healthy. She only gets sick once or twice a year. I'm hoping that this time, next year, I will be able to say that she eats much better!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Luck of the Irish

Happy St. Patrick's Day!


We had a laid back St. Patrick's Day. To be honest, we didn't do much to celebrate. Grant is Irish, and loves St. Patrick's Day. He and his brother did go out after work today. I'm not Irish, and my family never made a big deal about it. It's just another day to me.

I had high hopes to dye the milk green, bake shamrock cookies, and hide gold candy coins, but failed to follow through. We all wore green, and went about our normal day. Luckily, a leprechaun visited Dylan's school overnight, and left him some candy coins.

It was a gorgeous St. Patrick's Day. After school, we went over to my best friend's house for a visit. The kids had a great time playing outside. It was so warm and sunny!

When we came home, both kids were tired. Dylan spent some quiet time playing Wii.


Even though it was too late for a nap, my sweet Irish princess ended up falling asleep while watching Dylan play his game.


When she woke up, we had some pizza, and spent another hour outside. We played baseball, played on the swingset (which we bought one year ago today-great investment!), and took a walk up to the farm behind our house.

We are really loving these beautiful, (almost) Spring days!

When Grant came back from drinking green beer, I took the annual Irish picture. Non-Irish aren't allowed. ;)


I always think that Lexie is a mini-me, but sometimes, when I see her next to Grant, I think she looks a lot like him! Definitely the eyes and nose!

Grant's day did not end so lucky. He built his own computer on Dell's website, and ordered it over a month ago. It was supposed to ship out today, but he didn't get a shipping confirmation. He checked the order status, and saw that the order was canceled! He has been eagerly waiting for a month, and they just now canceled it. He called customer service, but got transferred three times, then put on hold, and disconnected. When he called back, he got an automated message saying that they were now closed. Needless to say, he was very angry and disappointed, and just ended up going to bed. I feel so bad for him. Isn't that crappy service?!?

Better luck next year, I guess! I'll set aside green food coloring and green icing for the cookies, so I'm prepared!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

Tuesday Tidbits is my way to remember all the cute and funny things my kidlets say and do!

Dylan called me in to his room to tell my something. When I got there, all he said, was, "Mommy, I'm already half asleep."

Lexie is now addicted to lip balm (it's in the genes). She likes to smear it on her face and neck at times. One day I tried to wipe it off, and she began crying. "But, Mommy, you have lipstick on your cheeks!"

Lexie was writing up a shopping list. She asked, "Mommy, how do you spell cow milk?" I spelled it out for her. After I finished, she asked, "Mommy, how do you spell M?"

At the end of Dylan's day at school, he tells both of his teachers "I love you" before he leaves. No wonder they're smitten with him!

Lexie was going potty the other day. She yelled out from the bathroom, "There's a coconut in the toilet!!!"

Last week, we picked my mom up from work. We passed a cemetery on the way to my parent's house. Dylan asked, "Is that where your mom is buried?" My mom turned around, looked at him, and said, "I'm her mom! And I'm not buried anywhere!" Dylan looked really embarrassed, then whispered, "I meant your Grandma."

My sister watched the kids last week while we went to a viewing. As we were talking in the entryway before leaving, Lexie ran upstairs, chasing after the cat. Five minutes later, I went upstairs to get her. I found her asleep on the bathroom floor! When Lexie is tired, she doesn't hesitate to go to bed!

Lexie has been having vivid dreams lately. She always tells us about them. Two recent ones were of Santa melting and Nina stealing her hot dog. She was very sad about the Santa one, but really angry about the hot dog!

When I attempt to take a picture of Dylan, he either runs away, hides under something, or hams it up. Today, he emerged from his hiding spot to give me a big smile!

Lexie told me she was thirsty today. "How thirsty?" I asked her. Her response was, "Kind of old." I think she misunderstood my question!

Lexie loves animals. Dylan has been learning all about dogs at school, and told Lexie that when dogs lick you it means they love you. Lexie walked over to me today, and leaned in for a kiss. Imagine my surprise when she licked my forehead. I was in for a bigger surprise when she licked our dog.

I Heart Faces-Bundled Up

It's "Bundled Up" week on I Heart Faces!

I haven't participated in a while, but really love this theme. About a month ago, we got a ton of snow. The most our area has seen in 17 years! My kids were absolutely shocked by all the snow, and I had a great time snapping away. I had a really difficult time narrowing it down to one picture! I decided to go with the one of my 5 year old son, Dylan, wading through the snow. He just looks so happy and carefree, and the picture makes me smile!


Sunday, March 14, 2010

Rainy Days

We were spoiled by the beautiful weather last week. It has been raining since Friday afternoon. It has been very blah outside, and we were cooped up all weekend.

On Friday, Dylan had a stuffed animal "dog show" at school. His class focused on pets all week. The week started with a field trip to Petco and ended with the annual dog show. This week they will be collecting pennies to donate to a local animal shelter.

Dylan decided to take in his giant, stuffed dog. He got it from his Grandma, at the age of 2, when Lexie was born. Sure enough, it was the biggest dog in class. He thinks big. After all, his real pet dog is a Great Dane!


While Dylan was at school, Lexie and I went shopping. I picked up a few toys for their Easter baskets (on the sly!), and we bought a small gift for Dylan. Dylan's quick thinking that morning saved Lexie from falling completely down the basement stairs and getting hurt, and we thought he deserved something special. Poor Lexie tripped while walking down the stairs, and began sliding down, headfirst, on her belly. It was a very scary moment to witness, because I couldn't reach her in time, but Dylan quickly sat down and blocked the steps, and managed to stop her from falling the entire way down.

On Friday evening, we had dinner with my mom and then played a few games. My mom and I usually play games once a week. We love Quiddler and Yahtzee!

Saturday began with wonderful news-we found a home for my horse! I was so relieved! Since it was pouring down rain, I was able to finish a big project I have been working on. I turned the bottom shelf in our hall closet into an art shelf.

I put all of the playdoh, moon sand, and clay into a big crate so it can be easily pulled out, and put all the crayons/markers/colored pencils into a storage container. That bin, the paper, and the coloring books are all in easy reach. All of the other stuff is separated into bins behind the stack of paper and coloring books. I hid the messier art supplies (paint!) out of sight!

I was so happy to finish that project, and the kids really like having access to their art supplies.

On Saturday evening, we had Grant's dad and Nannie over for dinner. Grant's mom is in Florida, and his dad is getting bored, so we figured we'd have him over. I hardly ever have a "formal" dinner, but it was fun! It was nice to actually use the china we got as a wedding gift!

After they left, Grant and I enjoyed a lazy night, and watched a movie together. We stayed up entirely too late, but luckily, we all slept in! The kids weren't even affected by the time change. We did, however, almost forget to turn the clocks ahead! Grant's 85 year old Nannie had to remind us!

We spent another lazy afternoon at home before going to Nannie's for dinner. It was nice not to have anywhere to go this weekend. The next few weekends are completely booked!

Dylan is almost completely better. His cough was gone by Friday morning, and he only has a slightly runny nose now. Lexie woke up with a stuffy nose and low fever this morning. Hopefully she is able to get over it as quickly as Dylan did!

It looks like we're in for another day of rain tomorrow, but it's supposed to be sunny on Tuesday! I can't wait for Spring!

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Sigh of Relief

A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders today.

My horse is not going to be homeless at the end of the month. He has a new home! It seems like it will be perfect for him, and it's going to be $75 a month less than what we pay now!

I am incredibly relieved. I can now stop worrying about finding him a place to live, and focus on other things!

Friday, March 12, 2010

The Art Of (not) Getting Sick

Dylan woke up this morning with a bad cough and a stuffy nose. It came on quickly!

Being sick doesn't even remotely slow him down. He hardly ever gets sick, and when he does, he bounces back quickly. Even with his cough, he was acting completely normal.

Unfortunately, we had to cancel the playdate with my best friend and her boys. I haven't seen her since she became a stay at home mom. We were supposed to get together last Thursday, but her oldest son was sick. I really wish they could have come over, but I would feel so guilty if her kids got sick, especially the baby!

We have had some beautiful weather this past week. Today, it was well over 70 in the sun. It felt AMAZING. I opened the windows, put my plants on the front porch, and dressed the kids in short sleeves.

Even though Dylan had a cough, I took the kids outside. I figured the fresh air would be good for him!

I decided to do some preparation for the warmer weather, and began by putting up the swings. Dylan and Lexie were so excited to have their swings back!

Then, I began the dreaded chore of the season: scooping up the poo! This year was the WORST! We had dog poop buried under 3 feet of snow for a month. Keep in mind, one of our dogs is bigger than I am. I don't think I need to say any more. The warm sun shining down on me helped just a bit.

Our yard is a mud pit from all the melting snow. That's the worst part of when Spring hits. I tried to convince the kids to stay on the swingset or ride their bikes in the driveway, to minimize the mess. They still ended up getting filthy!

We decided to go on a stroll through the neighborhood. I could tell that Dylan wasn't at his best, because he wanted to go back home rather quickly. Our walk was cut short, but that's okay.

He spent the rest of the afternoon resting while I cleaned the attic, and pulled the bags of warmer weather clothes out. Thanks to clearance sales last year, I have quite a bit to work with!

I am positive that Dylan will be feeling completely better by this weekend.

My kids have been blessed with great immune systems, and very rarely get sick. They definitely did not get this from me! I seem to catch all the colds that are going around!

Lexie had one bad illness in her three years of life-roseola on her first birthday. This is a surprise, because her Neutropenia makes her more prone to catching infections.

Dylan has only had two notable illnesses. The flu at 14 months, and the high fever and cough that he had in September.

Other than that, they get a very mild illness about twice a year...these illnesses never slow them down, and go away quickly. Dylan got a stuffy nose last month, and it was literally gone in less than 24 hours. He is the only kid in his class who hasn't missed a day of school yet!

Sick visits and medications are a rarity here. Lexie has only been on antibiotics once for an ear infection as a baby, and Dylan has been on them three times-twice for an ear infection as a baby, and once this past September.

I know we are blessed in this department. On the other hand, I could write a novel on rashes, eczema, diarrhea from a food allergy, picky eating, and nutritional deficiencies. Life is never perfect!

Well, except for now. This weather feels pretty darn perfect.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Spring Is In The Air

The days are getting longer. The sun is getting warmer. The temperatures are climbing. We are thrilled!

I'm still dealing with a lot of stress right now, which is bringing on headaches and sleeplessness, but the sun is definitely lifting my spirits. I had a bit of a reality check yesterday morning and this morning, which made me realize that despite the stress, I am incredibly grateful for what I have. My heart is heavy for those who are dealing with losing a loved one.

I've been so busy the past two days, that I didn't have a chance to really relax until late tonight.

Yesterday, we were on the run for almost 12 hours. I left the house at 8 AM, and had stuff to do until nearly 7:00 PM. It was a good day, though. Dylan had a field trip at Petco, so Lexie and I had a chance to shop together. Lexie found her Easter dress, and it is gorgeous! I tried on a lot of clothes at American Eagle, and realized that a) everything was too short, b) everything showed too much cleavage, and c) I am really liking the muscles in my legs from running! Lexie told me I looked so beautiful in everything I tried on. I think she was just buttering me up to buy her a toy. ;) I had a gift card, so I finally left with a cute shirt, dress, and a tank top to go underneath both (gotta hide the cleavage while picking D up at school...and, well...for almost everything in my daily life)! We then went to a playdate at the home of one of Dylan's classmates. I really enjoy talking to the mom, and Lexie and her youngest child, who are the same age, have a great time together. I'm bummed that Dylan and his friend will go to different schools next year, but am hoping that they remain friends. We visited my sister and nephews for a few hours after that, then stopped at Subway for some takeout. I had no urge to cook after a day like that!

Today, was gorgeous. I woke up to bright sun and chirping birds! It was warm enough that we could ditch the winter coats, and the kids got to play outside, which was a big bonus!

We visited my parents and Benno today. On the way to their house, we ran into a bit of a roadblock.

Lexie warmed up really quickly to Benno. Her first reaction when she saw him today was to shriek and run away screaming, because she expected Papa to open the door. Within minutes, she was sitting in Benno's lap! She is now completely in love with him!

Benno entertained us with his magic tricks. I am so impressed. He is really good! I made him perform several of his tricks over and over again, hoping I could figure out how he does them, but had no luck! The kids kept asking for more.

We stayed for dinner, and my oldest sister stopped by to join us. My kids adore her. She is like a big kid, and is so good to them. She wore Easter bunny ears, and delivered some Easter treats. Of course, being the dental technician she is, she had to toss toothbrushes, toothpastes, floss, and lip balms into their baskets.

We spent hours outside this afternoon. The 3 feet of snow is almost completely gone at my house, but there is still quite a bit at my parent's house. It didn't stop the kids from soaking up the sun! Lexie was filthy by the time we went inside!

Dylan was the first to go inside. The play ended rather abruptly for Lexie. She kicked a beach ball across the yard, ran after it, stopped in her tracks, and said, "I'm going to go see what's for dinner." She walked away without another word, and went inside, leaving my dad and I staring at each other and laughing.

The past two days have been a nice change from the long, cold, dreary winter days we've been having.

We are looking forward to Spring!