Our Five Ring Circus: September 2010

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Finally Fall

The cooler weather hit us on Monday, and seems to be here to stay! I am really enjoying the temps in the 60's after an unusually long, hot summer. I love Fall! Talk to me in January, though, and I'll be more than ready for Spring!

It's hard to believe that it's the last day of September. How did that happen?!? This month flew by!

Yesterday, we celebrated my nephew's 7th Birthday. Brady had a big party on Sunday, but our family gathered at his house for pizza and cake to celebrate his actual birthday.

This (not so) little man is what started my baby fever. I didn't even realize I wanted a baby so soon until I saw him for the first time. Every time I look at him, I see the beautiful baby boy that I adored! I can't believe he's 7 years old!


The boys helped Brady unwrap his presents, and ran around like maniacs, while Lexie cuddled and played with the hamster.


It was a fun night for everybody! Happy Birthday, Brady!

We're going camping this weekend and it's going to be cold!!! Okay, so it will be in the 50's, but that's cold to me! Thank goodness our version of camping is in a warm cabin!

Stay tuned for a giveaway coming up in the next few days!

Happy Fall!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

(Almost) Wordless Wednesday





Just A Few Hours Past Tuesday

As I was getting ready for bed last night, I felt like I was forgetting something. This morning it hit me. I had actually forgotten to post the blog I had written.

Since it's just a few-well, maybe 8-hours past Tuesday, I'm going with it.

It's time for my (sometimes) weekly post of Tuesday Tidbits. It's my way of remembering all the cute and funny things my kids say and do!

-Lexie is very descriptive when she talks. She likes to talk about her emotions. Case in point? "Stop screaming, Dylan! That makes me VERY irritated."

-Dylan's excuse for not going to bed last week? "I have a hard time closing my eyes because they keep opening."

-The other day, Grant and I chased a huge spider out of the house. Literally. It was quite comical. The next day, I told Dylan that we had chased a spider the size of a mouse out of our house. A few days after that, he exclaimed, "Mommy, I saw one of those mouse spiders in our house!!!"

-Dylan is the sweetest kid. I am so proud of him! He picked flowers out of our yard today (yesterday), and gave them to his morning bus driver. He is always thinking about others and trying to make them happy. I could tell by the look on her face that it made her day!

-And finally, I'd like to share Lexie's method of avoiding getting her picture taken.

Step 1: Stare mommy down.


Step 2: Pretend to stare at something else.


Step 3: Not working? Take a sip of water while staring at something else. Smile because mommy is acting like a moron.


Step 4: Smile bigger at mommy, hoping that she'll walk away if I do. Refuse to put water down, though.


Voila! Not what I was hoping for, but it will do.

Monday, September 27, 2010

Another One Bites The Dust!

Dylan lost his second tooth last night!

Just like the first one he lost, this one had been loose for many months. Also, like the last one, it was hanging by a thread.

Shortly after going to bed last night, Dylan began complaining because his tooth was bothering him. The tooth came right out with a little tug from Grant!


It was hard to see, so I told him to smile bigger!


Dylan was so excited, and began jumping on the bed, then racing around the house. "I lost my tooth! I lost my tooth! I can't believe I lost my tooth!" We put his tooth in the pillow holder so the tooth fairy could find it.

At 6 AM, Dylan walked into our bedroom, holding $2. "Look what the tooth fairy gave me!!!"

He's a happy boy!


Sunday, September 26, 2010

No Rest For The Weary

We had another jam-packed weekend! I'm getting used to our crazy schedule!

On Saturday, we spent the afternoon at a birthday party in North Park. The adorable Bella, who is Grant's cousin Ashley's daughter, just turned 1!


I forgot my camera at home, so I borrowed a few pictures that Ashley posted on facebook. ;)


We all had a great time at Bella's party!

That night, Grant and I went on a date! We went into Pittsburgh to see a movie. It was so nice to go out alone for a few hours! We can't wait to do it again!

While we were gone, Grant's mom watched the kids, and even washed and put away all the dishes that were hanging out on our counter from our big breakfast. That was a nice surprise!

This morning, at 10 AM, we had another birthday party to attend at Fun Fore All! This one was for my nephew, Brady.


It was a lot of fun for the kids! They played arcade games, ran around in the huge ball pit/climbing structure, and even got to go on a few rides!


Lexie skipped the first ride, but went on the roller coaster. I had to accompany her, but she loved it! I'm not so sure my stomach was ready for a roller coaster at 11 AM!


After all the fun, it was time for pizza, ice cream, and cake. Grant kept busy winning tickets from the arcade games for the kids to cash in!


After the party, we came home to cheer on the Steelers! It was an awesome game!

We are all tired after our busy weekend. Next weekend? Camping!!!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Celebrating Life

Yesterday, my Grandpa was laid to rest.

My Pap was an amazing man. The best way to describe him was larger than life with an incredible sense of humor.

He was born in 1920, in Pittsburgh, to a German family. He grew up speaking both German and English. After graduating high school, he served in the Merchant Marines and Coast Guard during World War II. At the cemetery yesterday, a flag flew in his honor.


My Pap was a big man, towering over most. He was over 6 feet tall, had huge hands, and was built like a linebacker. He was drafted for the Pittsburgh Steelers, but that was back in the day when they didn't make much money. He chose, instead, to work as a conductor on the Pennsylvania Rail Road and Conrail to support his wife and 2 daughters. He loved the Steelers, and remained a fan until the very end.

My Pap was a very intelligent man. He loved engaging in a good debate! He loved to read, work on puzzles, garden, paint pictures, and watch football. He was a kind, honest man and would help anybody out. But one thing was certain-when you were around my Pap, you laughed a lot!

My Pap left behind many loved ones. We gathered yesterday for a short, private ceremony. The casket was open, and honestly, I was glad. He looked nothing like he did on the day that we found him in the nursing home. He looked like my Pap. It was good to see him one last time, and to say goodbye to a wonderful man.


Rest in peace, Pap. You will be greatly missed.


On the car ride home, in a van packed to the brim with family members, one thing was evident: My Pap's incredible sense of humor lives on in all of us! But that? That's another story.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Picture Day

Today was school picture day for Dylan!


I am always prepared in advance, and bought the shirt I wanted him to wear for school pictures over a month ago. Imagine my surprise when the forecast showed that today would be in the 80's! I really didn't want to go shopping last night in search of a short sleeved shirt in that color, so I made do. I paired the shirt with khaki shorts and rolled up the sleeves!

He looked so cute when he left the house. When he climbed off the bus, he was completely disheveled! His sleeves were hanging down, covering his hands, and the elbows were covered in grass stains. Boys will be boys!

And because I haven't posted recent pictures in a while, here's my silly little lady today:


I apologize, once again, for the lack of blog visits. I'm still in a funk after my grandpa's death. The funeral is tomorrow. I'm hoping things will get back to normal on Thursday. I have had so much happen in the past month. I'm ready for something good!

Monday, September 20, 2010

An Unexpected Nightmare

On Saturday, my parents, Grant, the kids, and I drove to another state to visit my grandpap. He had just celebrated his 90th birthday on September 12th, and we wanted to celebrate with him.

My grandpap hadn't been eating well, and his girlfriend of 35 years couldn't take care of him anymore. A week and a half ago, she made the decision to put him into a nursing home.

I haven't seen my granpap in a long while, so I was really looking forward to spending some time with him.

When we finally got to the nursing home, my dad went to the front desk to ask which room he was in. After a few minutes, they led us back to the room. My mom was the first one in the room. She took one look at him, and turned around in shock. "That's not my dad."

At first glance, I was horrified. It didn't look like my grandpa. He looked far worse than what we were expecting.

He was sleeping, and Dylan and Lexie were standing at the foot of the bed staring at him. My dad quietly explained that their great-grandpa was very old and very sick.

My mom had returned to his bedside, and was holding his hand. Only a moment or two had passed since we arrived. She looked at us and said, "I don't think he's breathing." She just kept repeating it every few seconds while checking for a pulse.

At this point, Grant quickly ushered the kids out of the room. My parents and I went to find a nurse. My dad mentioned that my mom didn't think he was breathing. The nurse stared at us for a few minutes, and then said, "We thought you knew. He passed away about 25 minutes ago."

I will never forget the look on my mom's face as she turned around, in complete shock, and leaned into my arms.

We returned to the room, and said our goodbyes. It was so surreal. He was still warm.

What was supposed to be a nice visit with my grandpa had turned into an absolute nightmare.

I walked into the parking lot, ahead of my parents, and just shook my head at Grant. He understood, and took the kids for a walk while my parents and I made some calls.

It was quickly decided that the kids wouldn't know that he had passed away on that day. I can't believe that the nursing home had just assumed that we knew and let us walk in, with young kids, and stare at my grandpa's dead body.

To be honest, that sight is still haunting me. I'm not sure I will ever get it out of my mind.

We drove over to my Grandpa's house to talk with his girlfriend, Sandy. She was an absolute mess, and since she had just heard the news, she hadn't calmed down enough to call my mom yet. In the midst of everything, she had forgotten that we were coming to visit that day.

We found out that on Thursday, my grandfather took a turn for the worse. They began to feed him through an IV. Late Friday night, the doctor asked Sandy to make the decision about continuing the IV or not. He told her it was only prolonging the inevitable, but it was her decision. The next morning, which was Saturday, she made the decision, and they disconnected the IV. Shortly after, she had to run home quickly, and was planning on calling my mom. It was then that the nursing home called her to tell her that my grandpa had passed. Just moments later, we arrived. He went very quickly.

We got back into the car less than an hour after arriving at the nursing home. That entire hour had been nothing but a big shock.

I have my regrets. I should have gone to see him earlier. I regret not being able to talk to him one last time.

It hurt to see him like that. I'm trying to focus on the man he was..strong, tall, and funny, with a booming voice. That's how I want to remember him.

The drive home wasn't too bad. My kids, Grant, and I were along for the ride to cheer my mom up. Dylan kept telling my mom how much he loved her, Grant played my mom music on his iPod, and my mom and I played cards on cafeteria trays. We had fun and laughed. It was the quiet moments that were the worst. I'd glance at my mom, see the look on her face, and just tear up.

I believe everything happens for a reason. At first, I thought it was the worst timing ever. But we didn't need to watch him die. It's going to be a closed casket funeral, so we did get to see him one last time and hold his hand.

It was a late goodbye, but at least we got to say goodbye.

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Until We Meet Again

My grandfather passed away yesterday.

He lived a good, long life, and will be greatly missed.

Walter D.
September 12, 1920-September 18, 2010

Thursday, September 16, 2010

A Mother's Love

My mom always said that her biggest accomplishment was her children.


I never understood that. But I do now.


My mom is beautiful, smart, talented, and incredibly kind and giving. She would do anything for her loved ones.


She loves her family more than life itself.


Happy Birthday to the best shopping partner I could ever ask for. Happy Birthday to the most worthy Quiddler opponent in the world. Happy Birthday to the woman who is an amazing grandmother to my kids. Happy Birthday to the woman who inspired me to be the best mom I could possibly be.


Happy 65th Birthday, Mom! I love you!

P.S. Despite what Lexie says, you are not an old girl. ;)

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Drives Me Crazy!!!

Just a few things that are currently driving me crazy:

{1} The bird meeting that takes place in the tree beside my bedroom window every. single. morning. 50+ birds chattering at once? Awesome.

{2} Those stupid celebrity nicknames. TomKat. Speidi. P Hil. Not cool. Just obnoxious! I prefer real names.

{3} The word "sammies" being used for sandwiches. It's not a sammie. We're not in England. We're not toddlers. They're sandwiches!

{4} The sibling spats that have been occurring since Dylan started school.

{5} Lexie's new defense mechanism: screaming as loud as she possibly can when one of those spats is occurring. My eyes practically bulge out of my head when I hear the screaming start!

{6} Most reality TV. I'm so over watching all the stupidity humanity has to offer.

Feel free to add to my list! :)

Vent over. Back to my regularly scheduled happy self. Cheers!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Tuesday Tidbits

Time to remember all the cute and funny things my kids say and do! I haven't been too diligent about recording these lately, but I'm getting better!

One day, Lexie was playing in Dylan's room, near the hermit crab habitat. She crinkled up her nose and said, "I smell the stink of Supercrab!!!"

The other day, Lexie asked me, "Is Nina (my mom) an old girl?" (Yes, but please don't tell her I said that!)

Dylan was recently measuring Lexie's head with a ruler. He told her, "Your head is five units long!!!" I'm not exactly sure how big that is, but he seemed amazed by that measurement. I think he confirmed that she does, indeed, have a big head. It's genetic.

Lexie walked out of the bathroom yesterday, holding a broom. "Mommy, I sprayed the bathroom all smelly all clean." I'm guessing that's a good thing.

After the bad bus incident on the first day of school, Dylan came up with a great reason not to ride the bus again. "Mommy, I'm bus sick." Thankfully, that sickness passed the next day, when he made some friends on the bus.

He did try another excuse that night. He did not want to go to bed. After an hour of finding reasons why he needed to get up, he added, "Mommy, I'm bed sick!" I insisted that there was no such thing as bed sickness. He replied, "Yes there is! I'm bed sick. That means I need to get out of bed." Nice try, buddy. Nice try.

I'm happy to report that the only current sickness in this house is the sniffles. Dylan loves Kindergarten and riding the bus. On his second day of school, he came home and told us that he loves school. He has repeated that every day since!

Speaking of the sniffles, Lexie woke up with them this morning. She had a fantastic reason for why her throat was sore. "A fly flew into my bedroom last night and flew down my throat! And now it hurts because he's stuck in there." She finished her statement with a dramatic coughing fit. I didn't have the heart to tell her that it was just a cold.

Here's hoping that those sniffles...I mean, that fly...stays away from me!

Monday, September 13, 2010

Giving Up

It's a sad time for this mama. My now 3 1/2 year old has decided that naps aren't much fun anymore.

Believe me, I've tried. I'm equally as stubborn as she is. I've even tried to shift around nap time.

In the past 4 weeks, she has only napped once.

Here's our daily nap routine: I put her down for her nap. I leave her there for 2 hours, despite the protests. When I return, she's still awake. So I let her get out of bed because it's too late for her to nap.

This no nap thing? No fun. She's miserable by 5:00. Too late to nap, too early to go to bed.

I miss those quiet moments while she naps.

But it's just not working. I'm throwing in the towel. And insisting on a much earlier bed time.

Sunday, September 12, 2010


It's been a busy week-make that busy month-and I feel like I haven't had a chance to breathe. I know I missed a lot this week (month!), so here's a weekly wrap-up!


We spent Labor Day at home. Grant's grandma has pneumonia, so his family's annual picnic was canceled. We spent a lazy morning at home, spent some time at the park, and then had a picnic of our own at home. We were invited to 3 picnics, but skipped them, since it was a school night!



Dylan's first day of school!


I also started doing Tot School with Lexie. She knows all of her letters/numbers/colors/shapes thanks to her brother, but we're reviewing letters and numbers, and working on writing. She loves the one-on-one time spent with her mommy! We focused on Aa, 1, and writing her full name.



Dylan got a shiner when he hit his eye on the corner of the coffee table. Nothing like heading to your third day of school with a black eye! I didn't take a picture right away, but here's one from today. It's finally starting to fade!



We celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary! My parents watched the kids while we had a great dinner at Red Lobster! Grant bought me a beautiful mother's necklace!



Finally, the weekend! We were all exhausted after Dylan's first week of school. We had dinner with my parents, then Grant and I spent a quiet evening together after the kids went to bed.


We went shopping for clothes, and had some friends over in the evening. It was a great day! Happy Birthday to Grant's dad!!!


Today, we went to visit Grant's parents. It was the first Steelers game, and we were all dressed in our jerseys. We usually watch all the games with Grant's grandma, but she still has pneumonia. We're praying that she gets better soon-it's been 3 weeks!

We had a good time! We ordered pizza, had birthday cake, and celebrated the Steelers first win of the season!


It's my Pap's 90th Birthday today! I'm looking forward to visiting him next weekend!

Last year, Dylan got sick on the weekend after his first week of school. He only got sick once more after that. Just like last year, he woke up with a cold today. Here's hoping he follows the same trend as last school year, and remains germ-free!


As you can see, we've been busy! I'm working on catching up on all of my favorite blogs. I'm sorry I've been slacking with my visits! I hope you all had a great weekend!

Thursday, September 9, 2010

One Decade Down: An Anniversary Milestone

We met in the Garden of Eden.


It was January 1999 when Grant and I met. We were cast as Adam and Eve in the musical "The Apple Tree." Little did the director know, it would lead to a lifetime together.

Two months later, we began dating and fell madly in love.

Two months after we began dating, we got engaged.

On September 9th, 2000, we got married. We were young: I was 20 and he had just turned 21. But we knew what we wanted.


It was a huge, gorgeous wedding. Everything went perfectly.


The Garden of Eden theme continued, when we were handed an apple at the end of our reception.


We honeymooned in Riviera Maya, Mexico, near Tulum.


Soon after we were married, we moved into our first house. It was little, but we loved it. We filled it with all of our pets and all of our love.


In 2004, we bought our first house and welcomed our first baby...at the same time! Our son came a lot earlier than expected!


In 2007, we welcomed our baby girl into the world.


Our family was perfect.

In ten years of marriage, there were many happy moments. Amazing things have happened in our lives. The ups, by far, outweighed the downs. There were, however, some downs. That's reality. But we pushed through each and every time and stayed together. We've had our fair share of marriage issues recently. We decided to conquer them together, because we belong with each other. I think we're now stronger than we ever were.

Today, we celebrated our tenth wedding anniversary!


It amazes me how far we've come.

Here's to many more decades of happiness together!