Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Lilli as Bambi on ice :)

Lilli really wanted to wear Caden's Toy Story boots last night. She had a very hard time walking in them. The best part was when she tried to stand up while wearing them. I had flashbacks of Bambi trying to get up after falling on the ice. She is a funny girl!


Monday, January 30, 2012

Sick house

For some reason we are having a very hard time keeping all of us healthy! Caden and Lilli are going on week three of their colds. They both ended up having ear infections, and Caden also has Sinusitis. Ryan and I have been battling extremely sore throats ourselves. Enough already!!! Did I mention was also had the flu go through the house about two weeks before that? Who knew that colds could be so horrible? The kids have coughed so hard that they have thrown up! Nothing is better than having a child (who just had a huge breakfast of eggs and cereal) get into a huge coughing jag...while you are holding her. It was pretty gross.

We seem to FINALLY be on the mend. Ryan took Caden into the Walk-In clinic at Shopko because his cough seemed to be so much worse. That's when his ear infection and Sinusitis were diagnosed. Both kiddos are taking Amoxicillin. Ryan and I have been taking Ibuprofen non-stop for our sore throats. The window sill above the kitchen sink looks like a drug store!

Hopefully I will be able to report soon that we are all healthy. Keep your fingers crossed for us!

Sick, but still cute:

They are showing their grilled cheese sandwiches. Caden's is a space ship and Lilli's is Mickey Mouse.
The best part is that Dada gets to eat all of the scraps :)


Sunday, January 29, 2012

Happy Birthday, Ryan!

Today is a special day. It is Ryan's birthday. While it may not be a milestone birthday like last year, it is still just as important. Unlike last year, we didn't do anything special this year. He just wanted the normal Sunday family dinner. Since Cara, Jordon, and Andrew were in town, we moved it up to noon instead of dinner time. Given his pick of any meal for his special day, Ryan chose Lebanese food. Here is a shot of my plate before I ate my lunch:

I texted a pic to Grammie to show her. She told me it looked tasty and that I did a good job :) I ended up making Grape Leaves, Baked Kibbeh, Tabbouleh, and Cucumber salad to east along with the Baked Kibbeh. The Hummus was store bought.

It was a nice day. Ryan and I agreed on no presents this year. I don't count the presents from the kids. Caden even picked out Ryan's presents by himself. He picked out a green insulated coffee mug and a Perry the Platypus t-shirt. He was pretty excited about the shirt. I did have to talk him out of a Toy Story 3 Landfill toy like he has. He tried to tell me that Dada should have his own so they could play with them together.

I did end up giving Ryan a present. I was trying to think outside of the box since I didn't want to spend any money. I ended up making this for him:

Sorry for the bad pic. I will take a pic with my camera later. This one was shot with my phone, and the flash is horrible. I will take some tomorrow and repost.

I made this with a Melissa and Doug tray from the pizza set that the kids have. Those Melissa and Doug toys always come in nice wooden trays. The problem is that they don't have lids, and they are all different sizes so that I can's stack them. Instead of throwing away the trays, I saved them figuring I could do something with them at some point. So I did! I just painted the entire thing brown first, and then I selected the pics I wanted to figure. I LOVE the pic of the two wearing their overalls by the fence, so I knew that I wanted to feature that one as the large one. I added the word "joy" that I cut out with my Cricut. I wanted it to be simple and not overrun with embellishments. I think it turned out to be pretty nice. Ryan is planning to take it to work.

I have a nice pic of Ryan with his apple bars, but I didn't upload my pics yet from the camera. I will do that tomorrow.


Saturday, January 28, 2012

My new love: Spinning

For as long as I can remember, I have wanted to try a spinning class. I was always too intimidated to go to one. The spinning people (as I imagined them) were too hard core for me. I didn't think I would do well with an instructor barking directions at me. What if I wouldn't be able to increase resistance when we told to do so? Would people look at me? Would they notice I didn't increase it at all? All of my fears came true...

My only experience with spinning, up to three weeks ago, was the one time I went to a class when I was living in Chicago still. You know, back in the day when I had more free time than I would in my entire life, but I didn't realize it back then :) Anyway, I decided one day to try a spinning class. I had no idea what I was getting into. The male instructor got us going right when class started, and he barked directions just as I had imagined would happen. He didn't ask if anyone in the class was new. He didn't help with seat position. He didn't explain what cadence was. He didn't explain how far to turn resistance for hills. I was completely lost. I felt like a fish out of water, and I decided that spinning wasn't for me. Sad day.

Flash forward 7-8 years. Since we now have a family membership to the Y, I want to get my money's worth. That and become more active. I noticed there are quite a few spinning classes offered. That got me thinking about trying it again. Another influence on this decision is that my Aunt Chris and Uncle Johnny seem to love spinning. They even go to class together. How cute is that? One of my co-workers, Pat,  who is also trying to get into better shape mentioned that he wanted to try spinning after he lost some weight. I talked him into going with me. My last reason is my legs. Yep, my legs. I have ALWAYS wanted to reshape my legs. I know I will never have little skinny girl legs, but I know they can get better. So after considering all of my reasons, I knew it was time.

So three weeks ago Pat, his wife Beth (who is an experienced spinner), and I ventured into the Wednesday night spinning class at the Y. Chad is the instructor. He looks like Elliot from Law and Order SVU. I was intimidated. There were people with the special spinning shoes, biker shorts, and Chad even brought his own bike seat! I didn't know people did that. Chad noticed us when we walked in and asked if we had ever done spinning before. After we hadn't, he went through everything with us. He helped us set up our bikes in the correct positions, and he told us what our goals should be for the first class. It is amazing what a difference this was from my first spinning class! I was exhausted by the end of class, but I loved it. I can say that after three weeks...I am hooked.

I was especially proud this week when a couple of high school girls had to sit down and rest while I pedaled on. Who knows? Maybe I will become that person with the shoes and the shorts who everyone looks at and says, "Wow, she is hardcore." :)


Friday, January 27, 2012

Sleeping babes

I think it is pretty normal for a parent to love watching her children sleep. They just look so sweet and peaceful. I look forward to checking on them every night before I go to bed. Ryan does, too. There have even been some nights when he will see me heading toward Caden's room (we always go there first), and he will try to beat me to the door. It's a nice little competition. :) Caden has really been into have all of his "friends" with him in bed lately. The bed gets a little crowded, but he seems to love it. I had to get a pic last night.

You probably also noticed that he isn't wearing pj's. He prefers to just sleep in his diaper. Sometimes he will wear his shirt, or he will wear pants, but usually not both.

Lilli also is such a cute little sleeper. We never know where she will be in the crib when we check on her. She is a mover! She does sleep pretty well though. We can't complain. I wanted to get a pic of her last night as well, but she was in a pretty awkward position. I couldn't get a good shot of her face. This is the best I could get:

So snuggly :)


Thursday, January 26, 2012

Travelling Daddy

The kids and I have had a bit a quality time together just the three of us lately. Ryan has had to do some traveling for PMI. (PMI is a billing and coding company in which Ryan is a partner with Dr. Chuck Brownlow for those who don't know). It started with last Friday when Ryan headed to Nashville, which was no easy feat. The weather was horrible, so Ryan and Chuck had a beast of a time even getting there. They got there late Friday night, lectured all Saturday into the evening, and left very early Sunday morning. Ryan was bummed out that he didn't get anytime to sight see or meet up with our good friend from high school Jessica Turner. I told him we will have to go back sometime as a mini trip and visit. He had a great time lecturing, but he missed the kids. We missed him a lot, too. Caden really wanted to send Dada a message, so this is what we sent: 

Dada sent a response, and Caden probably watched it around 15 times! Lilli liked it, too.

Overall, we did pretty well. I had a terrible sore throat, and both kids were still fighting their colds, but we had a good time. Ryan got home around 1 pm on Sunday. The kids were very happy to see him.

Monday night then Ryan had to fly to Des Moines to lecture again all day Tuesday. And once again, the weather did not cooperate. After some flight switching, he was able to get there. Getting home was a pain, too. He almost did not make it Tuesday night.

As with over the weekend, Caden wanted to send Dada a message again. This time he was telling Dada about his cold.

Lilli seemed to be feeling a little better. Here are some pics of her "shopping" from our shelves. She loves to pull out the capers and can of Carnation and carry them around. Silly girl.

We are all happy that Dada is now home and doesn't have plans to travel again any time in the near future.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


So I decided that I needed more motivation to run. I think one piece of great motivation for females is to look good while they run. Of course this means my apparel needs to look awesome. I decided I should start with the most important piece of equipment for a runner...the shoes. Look at these beauties that I am getting:

I LOVE LOVE LOVE them! They have another pair that is similar to this that glows, but I don't think I will be doing too much night time running.

So my running times might not be the greatest, but at least I will look good while I do it :)

I will leave you with some pics of the kiddos and a short video.

Here is Caden from Monday night cracking some eggs for dinner. He is getting pretty good at it!

This is Lilli trying whole broccoli for the first time. She liked using the fork, but wasn't too sure about the actual broccoli.

She does, however, LOVE dipping apples in peanut butter. She ended up discovering that her favorite thing to do was the simply just scoop out the peanut butter with her hands and eat it that way.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

New Year's Resolutions

Look at me posting two days in a row! That leads me right into my New Year's Resolutions!

Here they are in no particular order:

1) Update the blog more frequently: Since my family in Ohio doesn't get to see the kids very often, I know it is very important to keep the blog updated so that they feel like they know what is going on in our lives. Plus, my kids are just too darn cute to not post pics of for everyone to see.

2) Workout regularly: I am already doing pretty well with this. Signing up and paying money for the Oshkosh Half-Marathon in April is really helping with this! Also joining the Y is giving me the opportunity to try some new classes. I want to figure a way to bring the kids into this one more. I have already been doing bicycle ab exercises with Caden sitting on my stomach. He thinks that's pretty funny.

3) Mail cards for special occasions on time: Although this was on my list last year, it was an epic fail. I don't know what my problem is with getting things out on time. I am hoping to help this along by planning ahead of time month by month the cards that I need to send. Since my scrapping room is so organized, I have no excuse. This is a good excuse to show my room, right?

Thank you, Ryan. That was the best birthday present ever!

4) Read more for pleasure: I LOVE to read. That makes sense since I'm an English teacher I suppose :) The problem is that I just don't seem to have enough free time to allow myself to read. At times I actually feel guilty when I am reading. I feel like I should be doing something else like cleaning or something. I need to get over that. It is important for myself that I allow myself time to read. I deserve it.

5) DATE NIGHT!!!: Ryan and I need to go out just the two of us more often. We feel guilty when we do. I know we shouldn't. We spend so much time with our kiddos. We have decided that we just need to pay a babysitter (Yes, I know we have many family members and friends who would watch the kiddos, but we feel like we are taking advantage of them if we ask them to watch the kids), and then we need to go out and have adult time. I want to start going to a movie once a month. This is pretty big considering the last movie we saw was before Lilli was born I believe. :) And I also want to go to dinner at least one other time a month. That means TWO date nights a month. Sounds good to me!

6) CRAFT! CRAFT! CRAFT!: I love to craft. Scrapbooking, card making, crocheting, paper crafting... I need to make more time for this. It is a nice stress reliever for me. The good part is that now that Caden is older, he can come downstairs with me to craft. He LOVES to play with my Cricut. And now that the basement is cleaned, there is a large area where he can play down there with me. A family that crafts together stays together :)

7) Stay organized: At this point, I think our house looks pretty good in the organization department. The garage could use some work, but right now it is just too darn cold to worry about that. Being organized always me to have so much more time to use on other things. Does that make sense? I have started making sure everything goes where it needs to go ASAP. So when I fold my laundry, I put it away as soon as I can. If I don't, there is the tendency to allow it to pile up until it is all done. That just gets the pile to look overwhelming and the task to keep getting pushed back. Not good. I have also been doing things for the day the night before. This includes: pulling out my outfit the night before, choosing outfits for each kid and placing on their dresser, packing my lunch, preparing my tea so I just need to put it in the microwave the next morning, pre-planning dinners... Overall, this has made my morning a lot less hectic and a lot more productive. I think Ryan would agree with that :)

I will update periodically on my progress!


Monday, January 23, 2012

Hello there old friend!

Happy New Year! New Year means new starts and new goals. One of my goals is to...wait for it...update this blog more frequently. I was doing okay until Sassy passed away on the 5th. After that I was pretty sad, and I quite honestly didn't feel like blogging. That was then. Much has changed.

We had a wonderful holiday season. Thanksgiving was a Wisconsin year, so we ate here. We did end up traveling to the Mall of America Black Friday. We stayed in a hotel Friday and Saturday, and then we headed home on Sunday. We had a great time. Caden LOVED the rides at the mall. Here are some highlights:

Dada and Caden on a ride
 This was too funny. Caden crawled into the cabinet under the TV in the hotel room. He then pushed out the drawer to look at us. Goofball!

The funniest (and saddest at the same time) was when Caden and Andrew went on the Wonder Pets ride. Caden thought it was fun, but poor Andrew was not a fan. Here is a video from it.

Saturday was also great because we were able to meet up with Joel, Mindi, and the kids for dinner. They got to meet Lilli. Stupidly, I did not take any pictures :( The kids seemed to have a great time. It reminded us how much we miss them.

Dec. 21st Danny and Samantha got married. They signed the marriage license at our house. We were the witnesses. We then celebrated with some yummy pizza. Welcome to the family, Samantha!

Christmas was also wonderful. This was an Ohio year, so we headed to Ohio after we were done with work on the 22nd. The kids did pretty well in the car. They didn't really sleep very much at all. We got into Aunt Chris and Uncle Johnny's pretty late. Caden was holding on to Baby Mickey when we went in. Uncle Johnny said, "Is that Mickey with you?" Caden said, "Actually, it's Baby Mickey." LOVED IT! His new word he loved at that time was "actually." I am proud to say that he uses it correctly.

We had a great visit in Toledo. Here are some pictures, but Ryan has most of them. I will put more on later after I get them from his phone :)

 Here is Lilli with Grammie. We were really happy because she went right to her. She remembered!

Here Lilli and I are waiting for Dada and Caden to get off of the train at Tamoshanter. 

Merry Christmas!

Caden playing with Buzz and Jessie with his cousin Christopher.

Lilli lets "Aunt" Jennifer hold her. I love this pic because of Lilli's eyes.

We continued our family tradition of reading The Night Before Christmas before heading to bed Christmas Eve.

Again, we have more pics. I will update with the pics. Thank you, Aunt Ann for the majority of these pics from Christmas. I love them! I have to get more of them off of Ryan's phone.

We left Toledo on the 26th. Although we hate the driving, we do love visiting with the family.

The next day was also an important day, because that is when Ryan and I drove to Illinois (Trivoli) to pick up our little Minka. We didn't think we were ready to get a new puppy after losing Sassy, but my mom and Bill decided that it was time :) The place where we got her was 4 1/2 hours from Oshkosh. So, yes, that meant another entire day in the car basically. We were happy to get her though. Here are some pics:

On the way home!


Sleeping on the floor of the passenger's side while driving home.

The dragon by the castle :)

Minka checking out Lilli.

Minka loves her brother.

She has been doing very well. She has had accidents, of course, but we expected that. She and Bentley get a long very well. They are constantly playing. I vacuum all of the time thanks to their playing. For example, on Saturday I vacuumed the living room six times. Yes...six times. Minka clomps onto Bentley's fur, so there are always little puffs of Bentley fur all over.

The kids like Minka, too. Caden isn't too fond of it when she gets into her little feisty moods and chases him trying to chew on him, but other than that he is good with her. He is even a big enough boy to let them outside for me sometimes. When their playing gets to be too much, we put them outside to run off some of that energy. You can often hear me saying in the house, "Okay you two, go outside and play."

Lilli likes Minka, too. They have something in common. They both love to pull off her socks. Minka will grab the tip of it, pull it off, and run for it. Lilli thinks it is pretty funny. The only way to avoid this it to keep shoes on Lilli. She prefers to be barefoot though given the choice. We are happy that Minka is now part of the family. She fits very well with us.

Shortly after that we celebrated the coming of 2012. We had dinner with the family at Grandma and Bumpah's house.

Side note: Sadly, Caden no longer uses the word Bumpah. He now says Grandpa :( I was sad when this change took place. Lilli does say Bumpah, so that makes me happy. It just shows me that he is getting older. I used to love it when he called Grandma "Ba." That was a sad day too when he started to say Grandma. He is talking SO much. He is starting to drop things. He used to always use the "b" sound. For example, he would call Leonna "Beonna." I'm not sure why he did that. He now says Leonna. He still has a few that remain. He likes to call a computer a "beputer." Ryan and I have been working with him, so now he says "com-be-puter." :) I've been trying to write down the cute or funny things that he says. Sometimes it is hard to keep track of all of them. The other day he told me when he grows up and gets big he is going to drive my car and be a teacher like I am. I asked him if he wanted to be a teacher, or if he wanted to be an eye doctor like daddy. He thought for a minute, and then he said, "I want to be all." He wants to be a teacher eye doctor. I also loved it last week when he told me that Lilli is going to talk when she gets older. I told him that was correct. He said that they will talk together. Then they will build a fort to sleep in. They will not go to sleep because they will stay up and talk together and they will laugh. A parent couldn't ask for anymore than that!

Lilli is also my little talker. Her favorite word right now is "Minka." I think she hears us saying it to so often, that now she says it all of the time. She kept saying the word "why" yesterday. Since that is one of Caden's favorite words, I am not surprised by that. She still has the sweetest little voice when she says the word "hi."

Other things going on with Lilli...She LOVES to run, especially when she has something she knows she shouldn't have. For instance, she is really into pulling out our outlet covers. She will grab it, look at me, and run away squealing. She knows she shouldn't do that. Stinker...

I also have proof that both kiddos are mine. They both LOVE LOVE LOVE frosting. That alone proves it.

I have been trying to better manage my time. One thing I did that really helped with this is organizing our basement. Somehow cleaning that up seems to have given me so much more time. I think part of the reason is that I am no longer dedicating any time to worry about how horrible the basement looks. Here are so pics I took after I finished. I now can do other things without feeling guilty that I am not using the time to organize the basement.

Did you notice the workout area? I have been using that quite often lately. We now have a family membership to the Y, so I workout there as well. I got tired of feeling crappy about not losing all of my baby weight, and then I realized that I have no one to blame except myself. Yes, I am really busy, but so are a lot of other people. I realized that working out needs to be a priority for me. I want the kids to see me workout so that also becomes a part of their lives. So now it is a priority for me. Even if I am really tired, or I don't feel like working out, I get at least 15 minutes in. I have also been going to spinning class at the Y on Wednesdays after Lilli's swimming class. It is killer, but also a lot of fun.

I have also renewed my interest and adherence to Weight Watchers. I am tracking everything I eat, and realizing that those extra bites of the kids' mac and cheese can add up :)

Nicole Josephs and I signed up to run the Oshkosh Half-Marathon in April. That will be a huge push to get back into great shape. I know it is possible, but at this point that seems pretty difficult. I even did a trial run last night to get my time for a mile. It was 13:40...ouch! We will see where I end up. My goal is to just keep pushing myself to improve my time. Like I said, I just really want to demonstrate to Caden and Lilli a healthy lifestyle.

I think that is a pretty good update for now. Of course, there is more, but that will have to wait for another day!