Tuesday, December 31, 2013

2013 in Review

This year has flown by and I'm not even sure I can remember all of the things that happened this year.

The year started off not so great when we had to put our beloved beagle to sleep after it was discovered he had spleen cancer, and it had spread to his liver and lymph nodes.  He had just turned 9 years old and was our first child.

Remembering Sully
Remembering Sully: Click for more images

Shortly after the loss of Sully, we celebrated Bennett's 3rd birthday.  We took him out to eat, went to the local children's museum and made a final stop a build a bear.  I think he had a pretty good time : )

In the spring I decided the house was too quiet without a dog, so I signed our family up to foster dogs at a local animal shelter.  So far we've had 3 foster dogs and a pair of dogs we watched just over the weekend.  Our second foster dog we adopted.  Our current foster dog, JJ, has been with us since July.  He is a terrier and from what I understand he is a typical terrier, and you have to find just the right owners than love them. (We adopted Simon, the beagle in the middle).

This summer we signed Caiden up for his first year of baseball.  He loved it and although getting there was a little stressful at times, we had a good time.  

Caiden also turned 8 this summer.  We took him and a few friends to play mini-golf at the local golf course.  Fun was had by all and there was no cleaning required for me - bonus!  On his actual birthday, I took the day off work and we did everything he wanted to do for the day - breakfast/lunch at Ihop, snack at Orange Leaf, a trip to Chuck E Cheese and a movie.  

I love this tradition that I started with Caiden. I'm pondering doing this with Bennett too, but that means pulling him out of school once he gets old enough.  Not sure about this one yet.

Oh - let's not forget my husband's losing battle with our charcoal smoker on the 4th of July.  Nothing like dragging the whole family to the emergency room on the 4th with bad burns on your hand - we assured the doctors it had nothing to do with fireworks.  In the end he was VERY lucky to get out with only the 1st and 2nd degree burns he got. After the ER visit and 2 visits to the burn unit, he was basically healed in a week.  You would never even know he was burned now!

Mike and I hit our 10 year anniversary this year and decided to spend it with the kids, and we took a family vacation to Chicago.  We stayed downtown (I think? I don't know Chicago too well) near the Rain Forest Cafe and across the street from a really cool McDonald's.  The hotel's pool was on the roof which was pretty cool.  Of course, I took tons of pictures, but here are just a few!

We went to the Field Museum, Science and Industry Museum and the Aquarium.  I was a little worried about the long drive with a 3 year old, who was just potty trained a few months ago, but he did really well.  All in all, it was a great trip!

To wrap up the rest of the year - I ran a few 5Ks here and there, and also ran in a Marathon relay. I will do this again - what a wonderful experience.  I am still going to school, but I only have TWO CLASSES LEFT!!  I am beyond excited about this.  I have actually completed all of the classes required for my business degree, my two classes are for my Management Information Systems minor.  I cannot wait to be done!

I think that about sums up the year.  Other than losing our dog, it was a pretty good year and I am reminded again and again how fortunate I am that my husband and I have good jobs, a roof over our head, food on the table and our health.

Here's to a Happy and Healthy 2014 everyone!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Its the little things....

Today has been once of those day where I have had a number of reminders to appreciate what we have in life. My health, and the health of my family...and especially my children.  I've been watching Oprah's Where are They Now" and she is talking about a baby that only lived 99 days because he was born with a number of defects and conjoined twins that were separated at the age of 4.  My boys can really challenge my patients some day - but then I see things like that and I am reminded that should appreciate the fact that they are here and able to challenge me.

Tomorrow my older son will be starting third grade, and as I wonder where time has gone - I am so happy we have been blessed with such great, healthy little boys - even if they are a pain in the butt at times!!

Friday, February 8, 2013

First lost tooth!

I have been dreading this time in Caiden's life for a long time.  It is disgusting and grosses me out.  He is starting to lose teeth.  He has had loose teeth for months, but he wouldn't pull them out.  I was really hoping he had a teacher like Mrs. Parker who would just yank the tooth out, just so I wouldn't have to deal with it. No such luck.  Just thinking about all of the wiggling, twisting and cracking makes me want to puke in my mouth a little bit.

But it FINALLY happened this week and at school no less.  He finally pulled out his first tooth.  He earned himself a sticker and a tiny treasure box to keep the tooth in.

I heard a rumor that the tooth fairy really isn't very fond of the treasure chest because it makes noise when removing it from under the pillow.  I also heard it was a little bit of a PIA to open too. I don't think under the pillow is the preferred place to put said treasure box either....night stands are much easier.  Of course, these are all just rumors because I have never actually talked to the tooth fairy!  And that fairy must be a little crazy, because she left him $5!  I think that is just for the first tooth though.  Wish she would have left some kind of note to explain that, but I think she ran out of time that night, and just wanted to get home and go to sleep.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Bra Issues Solved!

I belong to a wonderful women's sorority, Beta Sigma Phi.  My chapter is Pi Tau.  We are not affiliated with a college.  It is a sorority for women of all ages to get together, make friends and give back to our communities.  I joined because I needed some of my own friends who lived in town.  I have met some great ladies and we always have a great time.  We try to meet twice a month - once for a business meeting and cultural program, and once for a fun social event.  

I was in charge of the program for our January meeting and decided to help all of the ladies with their bra fittings.  I had hoped to get a bra fitter from a local bra store to come speak, but I never got around to trying to track her down.  So I started searching the Internet.  I came across this very cool website that has tons of information about our "girls."  It is actually a shopping site for bras and the like, but it has a wealth of information.  The website is called Her Room, and the page I found the most helpful was a list of all of the common issues us ladies have with our bras, the causes and possible solutions.  You can check it out by clicking here.

Read it and go find your perfect fitting bra!  Happy shopping!

Tuesday, December 4, 2012

Where Does Time Go?

Has it really been almost 5 months since I have posted on this site?  I can't believe the last time I was on here was Caiden's birthday in the middle of summer and we are now counting down the days until Christmas!
Gary's First Day Home

I love the Christmas season, and I am just as excited and unable to sleep on Christmas eve now as I was when I was a child.  It is just now the excitement has shifted to watching my boys open their presents.  And I am especially excited because I am able to spoil my boys a little more this year :)
To prepare for Christmas, we have put up the tree and Gary the Elf came to visit the day after Thanksgiving and has been keeping the boys on their toes ever since. They have so much fun looking for the little guy every morning.  He hasn't gotten as creative at our house as he is in others, but he has to stay up high so Bennett doesn't touch him. Wonder where he will end up tonight....
The family is doing good.  We have already had our first round of sick kids this season, with Bennett ending up with Influenza.  Luckily, he was over it in a day.  I felt so bad when he was so miserable that I hadn't taken the time to get his flu shot.  I know not everything thinks their kids should get the shot, but seeing that little guy, and being so miserable that he fell asleep on the floor of the doctor's office...if I can prevent that suffering, why not? 
Caiden is half way done with 2nd grade and Bennett is getting closer and closer to 3 years old every day!  I am still in school, but there is a light at the end of a very long tunnel.  I should be done with school by early 2014.  It seems like a long way away, but I started this journey in 2009, so it has already been a long road. I am now at the short end of the path.  When I am done I will have a Bachelor of Science Degree in Business with a minor in Management Information Systems.  I think I am already getting senior-itis, and can't wait for my 3 week long break between this class and my next one!

Monday, July 23, 2012

7 Years Ago Today

Seven years ago today, one single event happened that rocked my world. Life would never be the same. And I would never want it to be. Seven years ago today, I became mommy for the first time.  He was almost 2 weeks overdue, I was put on petocin for 12 hours and then ended up with a c-section cuz the little booger didn't want to come out.  I should have known that this was his first clue to me what his personality was, because to this day, 7 years later, he dawdles around and takes his time every morning and any time we are trying to get out the door. I cannot believe he is 7 years old, and about to start second grade.  But such a funny, fun, loving and caring boy he has turned into.  And along the way, he has turned into a wonderful big brother.

To celebrate the day, we started with miniature golf, which he has never done before, but loved it...even though I beat him LOL...it was pretty close...if you ignored all of the times he cheated by stopping the ball before it rolled too far away from the hole.  But hey, he's 7 and it was his first time, so I cut him some slack.

Then it was on to McDonald's for lunch. Then we headed to Chuck E Cheese for a while, played some games, picked out a prize.  We happened to be right next to a Cost Cutters and the boy needed a haircut, so we stopped in there quick.  Finally we ended the day with a birthday sunday at Orange Leaf. If you haven't been there, I highly recommend it.  They sell all different flavors of frozen yogurt and then you get to top it with about anything your little heart could desire.  It smelled yummy the second you walked in the door and it tasted oh so yummy.  Don't know what flavor you want? No worries, you can sample before you buy.  Caiden tried birthday cake, chocolate brownie, chocolate, vanilla, and cookies and cream before he settled on cotton candy.  

Finally we headed home, played some video games and picked up little brother from daycare.

All in all it was a great day, and Caiden said it was his best birthday yet.  

Happy Birthday Caiden! Mommy loves ya <3

Sunday, January 29, 2012

New Hobby in the Making?

Thanks to Pinterest, I have a new obsession...ok really I have a million new obsessions, things I want to try, learn to do, make....I could go on and on.  I have pinned tons of things on this site, but I have only actually done a few of them.  1) The homemade laundry soap; 2) Cinnamon sticky roll things; and...ummmm...that was it.  Until today!  I have decided I want to learn how to decorate cupcakes.  I love them!  They are yummy and I love watching all of the cupcake and cake baking shows on TV.  But since I'm trying to eat healthy I knew having those things in my house would just be setting myself up for failure.  But then...I remembered that Caiden has a pack meeting tomorrow night, which means he has to take snacks.  PERFECT!  So I looked up the buttercream recipe on Pinterest, got out my mixer and got to work.

For this last minute project, I decided to use a cake mix for the cupcakes to save on time and money since I don't have all of the needed ingredients on hand.  Looks pretty yummy if I do say so myself =)

Then I got out the decorating kit my lovely hubby picked up for me while he was out shopping...read the instructions, picked out the tip I wanted to try out, and loaded the bag.  I wish I would have taken a picture of the mess I made by the time I was done!  I'm such a messy baker anyway...this was worse than most days! If I decide to do this on a more regular basis, I'm gonna need a better mixer!

I didn't do anything too fancy, but it still took some practice to get some decent looking ones.  I figured the boys in scouts won't really care what they look like, as long as they taste good (and they do...I always have to taste things before I serve them to others!! 
I think they turned out ok.  Not bad for a first time!  Had lots of frosting left over, so after consulting google, I put it in the freezer.  We'll see if it really tastes as good after being frozen.