March 31, 2010

Hair Woes...

OK, friends...

I am about at my wit's end.

Little A will NOT allow me to do anything with her hair.

I have been putting up with the mullet jokes for months now.

I will admit, her hair is seemingly growing at a much more rapid rate in the back.

She will not leave a barrette in for more than 13 seconds. And, a rubber band? Forget it. She makes it her clear mission to rip it out of her hair and eat it as soon as I get it in place.

I can already envision the surgical removal of said rubber band from around her ischemic intestine as we speak...

Take exhibit A, for example. She had no sooner walked away from me, and she was already working on this one today.

I really want her to get used to having things in her hair, especially now that summer is coming and it's getting hotter.

What's a mom to do??

March 30, 2010

Her Days are Numbered...

Breaking news...

Sassy counted to 100 for me today in the car.

And, she only skipped 13 & 44 and needed a gentle reminder that seventy came after sixty-nine.

I am so proud of my big girl! ♥♥♥

March 29, 2010

TICK TOCK on the clock, and other ramblings...

Happy Monday, friends! I just have a few thoughts and quibblings to share this fine March morn...

1. My first nephew is due to arrive today. We are all so excited! However, last I checked, he did not have his bags packed, nor was he ready to vacate his warm little nest. So, PSA to Tucker. It's time, baby boy! We are ready to meet you. Your time is UP in there. Ding!

2. Speaking of babies, my blog friend Kendra and her husband David welcomed two of the sweetest babies I've ever seen early Saturday morning! From the sounds of it, her labor and delivery were quite the adventure, but resulted in 2 healthy, nice-sized babes! HURRAY! Kendra, you are a CHAMP carrying those two as long as you did! We are thrilled for you, and please send your thoughts and prayers their way for a speedy recovery and all the joy in the world that these sweet babies will undoubtedly bring!

3. I am growing quite tired of this crazy Kansas weather. We stopped for lunch Saturday afternoon before a planned trip to Great Plains Nature Center. During lunch, it literally dropped 20 degrees in temperature, leaving us all dressed improperly for a nature hike. C'mon Kansas! I am ready for consistent 70's and sunny! Thanks!

4. Sassy, Graycop, and I went grocery shopping Friday afternoon. After loading the groceries in the car and beginning our drive home, I discovered that Sassy had officially stolen goods for the first time. Candy? No. Gum? No. Kumquats, people. Baby girl had a pocket full of kumquats to add to her treasures at home. Maybe it was a shout out to Mama K and her crew. I'm not quite sure.

Photo from The Cultured Cook

So, what's a Mom to do? I talked with her and she had ZERO concept that she had done anything wrong. I decided that it was not the time to drive back to Dillon's and march her inside to return the stolen fruit. We just talked about the fact that we have to pay for everything in the store, and that putting things in her pockets was not OK. Thoughts?

Have a great week, peeps!

March 26, 2010

Sweet Baby Vibes...

Today is quite possibly the most coveted, exciting, blessed day EVER for my sweet blog friend Kendra. She and her husband are at the hospital getting ready to welcome two very sweet, special, prayed for, and already loved babies into this world. Please keep Kendra, David, L & A in your thoughts and prayers tonight and beyond...

Every child born into the world is a new thought of God, an ever-fresh and radiant possibility.
~Kate Douglas Wiggin

March 24, 2010

This Is My Life...

This is the plate that Sassy and I had an argument over at dinner. Four minuscule pieces of turkey tenderloin and a single string bean.

It took me 15 minutes to convince her to take ONE BITE of her turkey. She would only consider this after I removed the bean from her plate.

She told me, "There, mama. I took one bite of turkey and now I am full. That is enough for me."

That's a quote. Verbatim.

Fast forward 10 minutes...

We had cleaned up from dinner, and Little A ran up to me and promptly shoved her pointer finger in my face.

(The rest is not for the weak at heart stomach)

Her pointer finger that happened to be balancing a giant green boogie.

I grabbed her hand to suspend it in mid-air so as to prevent the spreading of the boogie to any household surface.

"Sassy," I pleaded (without thinking of just who I was talking to), "Will you please grab me a Kleenex or toilet paper?"

She immediately started gagging and ran into the bathroom, only to emerge a second later with the trace of the ONE piece of turkey she ingested oozing down her shirt.


I swear, I don't know what to do with these girls...

March 23, 2010

A Picnic in the Park...

Today, we decided to enjoy the beautiful weather! Little A, Graycop and I drove to Sassy's school to pick her up from preschool. Then, we took a leisurely ride up to Wichita. We enjoyed the fresh air, and the girls spent the majority of the time giggling as the wind infiltrated our car.

We made a special stop at Sugar Sisters to obtain a lunch for our picnic... chicken salad for Mommy & Graycop and PB&J for Sassy and Little A. We arrived at one of our favorite parks and found a spot at a picnic table. The girls were thrilled to eat as the very friendly rather aggressive ducks begged and quacked at our feet.

Mommy even splurged and bought four strawberry babycakes for my babycakes... and Graycop...

After our picnic, we ventured over to the playground area. Sassy quickly "disappeared" and made some new friends. Little A has amazed me this year with her gumption in regards to the playground offerings. She is pretty fearless... she has no qualms about climbing up the biggest, steepest latter or wall that exists there. Nope, not Little A!

Sassy doesn't do such a poor job, herself...

Little A found it greatly entertaining to pick up wood chips and toss them in front of her. I though it was cute. Until another mama told her little guy that is was naughty to throw wood chips as she glared at Little A. Time to pick up and move to another station...

Sassy took a few turns on the droppy slide, so named for it's steep drop, I think...

It was fun to watch Little A test her hand-eye coordination on the ladders. She is really getting better and better at multi-tasking and accomplishing more complicated gross motor feats.

And, in my humble opinion, you'd be hard pressed to find more joy than in the face of a child enjoying a swing through the beautiful spring air...

We had to visit the pond one last time to bid farewell to the ducks, and we were on our way home... ready for sweet, sweet slumber.

Can I get a great big YES for naps?

March 22, 2010

Spring Break Recap...

It was a crazy, busy week for us, with myself getting caught up on work and, er, blogging after being sick for a week. We had some fun, and here's the run-down:

Saturday: Attended LMB's 5th birthday party at Funtastics. It was, like, totally funtastic. Sassy was a fearless jumper-off-high-ledges. Little A kept Tyler on his toes the whole.ENTIRE.time. We ate cake.

Sunday: My parents took us to lunch at Red Robin- a late birthday celebration for me that was supposed to take place while I was sick. I was forced to wear balloon ears and endure serenade. Sassy and Little A ate my ice cream, sundae. Even the cherry on top.

Monday: My Dad and I drove the girls to Burger King to meet with some friends. I had very important Pampered Chef products to deliver from my party. Sassy climbed higher than she's ever climbed before. Little A spent half of lunch trying to shove apple fries up her nose. My Dad vowed to never enter a play place again.

Tuesday: My parents watched Little A so that Sassy and I could join Tom, Lynzee, and the gang at a real birthday day celebration at Pure Entertainment and lunch at Taco Bell. Sassy proceeded to attach to my leg like a leech and hardly jumped on anything once we got there. By the time she was finished with lunch, she looked as though she had rolled in a vat of cinnamon and sugar from her Cinnatwists. We bought a copy of... what else... The Princess & the Frog. After dinner, we had a Mom-daughter slumber party, watched the movie, ate popcorn, and snuggled. Oh, and earlier that day, Little A looked so cute playing with her Pinkalicious wand from BK:

Wednesday: Happy St. Patrick's Day! We woke up and got our corned beef and cabbage started. I did a mini photo shoot with Little A, then with Sassy. During nap time, Sassy and I baked homemade Irish Soda bread, which we enjoyed with dinner. We made extra, and Tyler and Sassy spent some time dispersing the extra loaves to neighbors and friends. Here are some extra pictures from our photo shoot out front:

And, she's done...

Thursday: The weather was gorgeous!!! I took Little A to the doctor in the morning for the usual... breathing crud. She got some steroids. After naps, my parents and I drove the girls to the zoo. We thought it would be a perfect way to spend the beautiful afternoon. So did the rest of Sedgwick County! Tyler met us after work. We spent a couple of hours there. Returned home, ate left-overs, and Lynzee and I went to an Uppercase Living open house at our friend Cammie's. Fell in love with half of the catalogue. I ordered one thing to start with for Little A's room. Can't wait to share when it's all up!

Friday: My parents, the girls, and I drove up to check out a new place to have Sassy's birthday and put down the deposit. As sad as I am to let go of the true-blue Alice in Wonderland tea party idea that we have been talking about for the past year, I am also relieved to simplify a bit and have a more adventurous, fun Alice in Wonderland birthday party... NOT at home! We went to Super Target and ate lunch at Famous Dave's.

Saturday: Girls attended MDO: weekend edition. Tyler and I did spring cleaning, laundry, and transitioned the girls closets from winter to spring/summer. This is an ALL DAY job. Sassy felt sick after she got home. Ran a small temp. and was very tired. Put girls down early, watched Twilight.

Sunday: Tyler had a side job. All day. During nap time for Little A, my Mom and I took Sassy to see Alice in Wonderland. She loved it. It's her favorite story. I was a bit concerned she would be terrified, ala Coraline, but nope. Made dinner. Gave the girls a bath. Put Little A down. Painted Sassy's fingers and toes. Put Sassy down. Waited for Tyler to get home. Watched Twilight: New Moon. Dreaded Monday morning and getting Sassy up and ready for school. The end.

P.S. I don't think I have ever eaten out so much in one week. Ick. OK, now it's really the end.

March 19, 2010

Colorado, Day 5

Sunday morning, we took our time getting ready for our day in lovely Colorado. Prior to our trip, I had made reservations for us on the Cog Railway up to the summit of Pikes Peak. We had all been looking forward to this little excursion- especially Sassy, who asked constantly when it was time to take the train ride to the top of the mountain. The girls enjoyed chasing each other around our hotel room for a while, and Little A tried desperately to convince Sassy that she should allow her to brush her hair. Yikes!

We decided to make one last trip to Garden of the Gods, this time actually stopping in at the visitor's center. It was really nice- there was a small museum, educational demonstrations, and a nice gift shop. Sassy collected some more rocks and Little A picked out the cutest stuffed wolf. Tyler and Sassy also chose a Colorado Spruce sapling to take home and transplant.

On the upper level, just outside the gift shop, there is a walk out balcony, if you will, with gorgeous views of the garden across the highway. It was such a beautiful day, and the girls really enjoyed running back and forth and tip-toeing to see the scenery.

Tyler, Sassy, and Little A had some adorably memorable moments on the balcony. There is something about quality Daddy-daughter time that is just enough to melt my heart...

Finally, it was time to pile into the car and drive to the foot of Pikes Peak for our train ride. The weather was predicted to turn a bit for the worse around noon, and sure enough, it did. When we arrived at the railway, we were informed that the train would not be traveling all the way to the top due to inclement weather, but rather to mile 6 or so. As disappointed as we all were, I had to let out a small sigh of relief, as I had been having nightmares about all the horribly tragic things that could happen to the girls when we reached to top and got out of the train. I know, I know... ridiculous. But, still. I even bought a LEASH for Little A for this very trip. Yeah... resorting to the child leash... wow.

We bought lunch to take on the train, and waited in line to board. It was a really neat atmosphere- felt very vintage to me.

The girls were just thrilled with our seats- almost the very front of the train! They had so much stinkin' fun on the ride. The train wasn't packed, so we had a bit of room to move around, and we could allow the girls to switch back and forth from the bench we were assigned to and the bench facing us. It was great!

We had plenty of time to laugh, tell stories, sing songs and eat snacks since our ride was a little over 2 hours, round-trip.

Did I mention that I took as many pictures during our train ride as I did of the rest of our trip?

It was the strangest thing when we reached the max point of our ascent. Until that point, the track ahead was free and clear. However, we reached a certain point where you could not see one bit of track ahead. It was completely snowed over, and that's what determined how far up we were able to travel.

We switched sides of the train car with some neighbors so that we could see the view from the other side on the way down. Sassy and Little A continued to eat their lunch and we waited anxiously for the stop off point around mile 4 where we could stop and stretch our legs a bit.

Although we were a bit cold, the girls had a great time playing in the snow. That is until Sassy failed to pay attention for a moment and fell face-first down a very small snow embankment. It was all Tyler and I could do to stifle our laugh as she screamed like a banshee as she fell. She was very distraught that she got her jeans wet and that snow went inside her boot. Oh, the trauma...

We boarded the train again, and Sassy was very quiet the rest of the way down. Both girls sat on Tyler's lap, and Little A dozed off here and there, comforting herself with her notorious finger-sucking. Oh, my sweet, sweet little family.

When all was said and done, we were actually thankful that the ride was condensed from the normal 3 hours and 10 minutes, since the girls did grow restless and sleepy towards the end of our decent. Having said that, the Cog Railway was one of the highlights of our trip, and we hope to take the full ride someday in the future.

And, so ends our pictures from Colorado. We spent the remainder of the day walking around Manitou Springs. Tyler was about in heaven when we stumbled upon a little cafe that served Yerba Maté. Since college, he has been in search of the special little gourd cup and straw that you use to drink this tea out of, and sure enough, he scored a prized souvenir for himself.

We tried to make it to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings before they shut their gates, as the stayed open for an hour and a half past this time for tourists already inside. But, we took a bit longer than we had anticipated loading the girls into the car, and we missed it by one minute... literally. We saw the gates being shut for the evening. I only pouted a little bit.

On our way out of Manitou, we stopped at another rock store for Sassy to choose souvenir to bring home for LMB and LuLu. Oh, and herself, of course. Good thing these rocks are inexpensive! We also stopped at a popcorn place and a winery for some booty to bring home!

We decided to take the girls to Poor Richard's to check out the toy store and bookstore. After spending some time there, we headed over to Old Chicago for a pizza dinner. Yum!

Lastly, we found a great theater to take the girls to- the $1.50 admission was just the right price to take the girls to see The Princess & the Frog again, rather than head back to the hotel prematurely. And, even when the girls both fell asleep and we snuck out of the theater three quarters of the way through, we didn't feel too bad!

Ta Da! Our trip to Colorado was complete. We packed the car and got as much sleep as we could to prepare for our early departure and 8 hour ride home the following day. We had a wonderful family vacation, filled with excellent memories, and we can't wait for our next family adventure! We are so blessed to be able to do things like this!

March 18, 2010

Colorado, Day 4

Saturday, I had the unique opportunity to attend Focus on the Family's live marriage simulcast with Jennifer & Israel, as well as some fellow blog readers. Unfortunately, Tyler wasn't able to join me, as we had no child care during our time in Colorado. Still, it was a fabulous conference with some phenomenal speakers, and I think I had plenty to bring back to the table and share.

We had the opportunity to hear Francis Chan (Crazy Love) speak of his spiritual transformation that took place at the time of his marriage, and how he now "walks the walk" as much as he "talks the talk". We were thoroughly entertained as Dr's. Les & Leslie Parrot (The Love List) spoke on the components of love that exist, and finding balance in a marriage.

It was amazing to hear Dr. Gary Chapman (The 5 Love Languages) speak in person, as I have often followed and shared his teachings on The 5 Love Languages of Children with my PAT families. He spoke about the various styles of forgiveness, and recognizing what our partner needs in terms of forgiveness, as well as helping us recognize why we tend to forgive the way that we do. Very eye-opening!

We heard Gary Thomas (Sacred Marriage) speak on God's design for marriage and Dr. Juli Slattery (No More Headaches) speak about traditional marriage roles and why men and women need to feel like they fill these shoes. We heard Stephen Kendrick (The Love Dare) tie things together on the importance of forgiveness in a marriage, and the essence of having a forgiving heart, and underlying theme of the conference. Great, great information & inspiration to make some changes!

And, lest I forget our star-studded experience- hearing Kirk & Chelsea Cameron speak of their journey in marriage and what God how they honor God in their choices. Very neat to hear- not going to lie- I was WAY more smitten than I thought I would be. And, just for Kelli, I will share one of the few pictures I took during the conference:

It was great to be able to spend more intimate time with Jennifer & some of the other bloggers I met, like Amanda & Erik, who were just great! Following the conference, we spent a bit of time reflecting on the criticism & hate that Jennifer has to deal with daily, and the journey that they were about to embark upon in Kenya with Compassion. Amazing stuff!

You can see a few more pictures of our group here and for those of you that read Jennifer's blog, you may or may have noticed a familiar (blurred) face in the background of a picture of her & Israel from her latest post... yep, that's me at the simulcast! That gave me a good chuckle.

During the time that I was at the conference (7:00 am- 2:30 pm), Tyler was on his own with the girls. He took them to The Dinosaur Depot Museum, McDonald's for lunch & play, and then back to Focus on the Family to play and wait for the conference to end.

Finally, it was time to say goodbye to Focus's beautiful campus:

The afternoon was relatively young, so we headed to the United States Air Force Academy's museum and stunning chapel. The girls were so sleepy, but they enjoyed the hands-on plane onside the museum, choosing a gift for Graycop at the gift store, and hiking uphill to the chapel. What a fantastically beautiful structure!

Sassy enjoyed climbing the stairs to the chapel, and we took a look inside- just gorgeous! We spent some time laughing and chasing the girls around outside, and I was busy taking pictures from every angle I could!

Tyler and I even managed to get a self-portrait that we both approved of- practically unheard of! As much as I adore photographing my beauties, it's really fulfilling to get a nice picture of my husband and I together every once in a while!

After driving through the campus, it was easy to see why people would come across the country to attend the academy. It was magnificent! What a place to live!

We decided on round two of Noodles & Company for dinner (yum) and even hit the local TJ Maxx (a personal favorite) to kill a little time before returning to the hotel for the evening.

Throughout our trip, Little A refused to sleep in her pack'n'play, and she proved rather difficult to put to sleep. See, she enjoys things quiet and dark, and sharing a small hotel room with 3 other people who tend to stay awake a lot longer than her was NOT conducive to her sleeping style. Nope. Not at all. But, she was a trooper.

Finally, we were able to rest and dream sweet dreams about our last full day in Colorado...