April 28, 2011

Nearly Wordless Depiction of Saturday...

It was B.U.S.Y.

Egg Hunt in St. Peter, MN {cold...brr}:

Went to Home Depot to see Uncle Adam and attend the kids workshop {highly recommended} The girls built a flower box:

Sassy & Grandma took the next step up from crochet and began knitting. In through the font door, run around the back, out through the window, off jumps Jack.

We dyed Easter eggs:

...And hunted for them...

...and took in as much of Charlie Brown as we could ♥...

April 27, 2011

you can never get enough of this stuff...

It's Friday, I'm in ♥

Friday morning, 5:00 AM: Set out for MN. Car was packed Thursday night, leaving just the necessary commotion Friday morning to get into the car and drive. 2 adults, 2 children, 1 smelly dog... CHECK.

8:30 AM: Having slept for an hour or so, I join Tyler and commiserate over the fact that neither girl has slept a wink. Master plan = FAIL. We've stopped twice already, the latest for a potty break, the former for a gagging dog on the verge of puking all over the back seat and children inhabiting the back seat.

11:15 AM: Stop in Urbandale, IA for a lengthy lunch stop/play date/break for sanity with fellow friends in the midst of travel.

2:45 PM: Facebook status update: 145 miles to go! Likely listening to Don't Stop Believin' for the 2,397th time.

3:57 PM: Ask Sassy politely to refrain from signing the Adele lyric and I'll lay your shi*t bare because it's not a nice word...

4:52 PM: Arrive in Mankato. Finally.

It was a long day of travel. I hadn't completely mentally prepped myself for the trip, as it was quite the last minute decision to go in the first place. Fearing lack of adequate vacation time on Tyler's part, we has agreed to stay home, only to change our minds once the girls pathetically begged us to go see Gwamma and Gwampa in Sota (as Tink would say)...

It was great to see everyone. Catch up. Have a nice dinner. Let Charlie and Bentley get reacquainted.

Sassy quickly wrapped Grandma around her little finger. No sooner did we arrive than Sassy had Grandma completing craft projects with her. First it was learning to crochet...

I discovered that an Ott lamp makes for one heck of a flash substitute!

Charlie & Bentley foraged for scraps in the kitchen as Tyler and his Dad finished butchering the chicken...

...and I played around with self-portraiture (glasses... you guessed it... pink eye for me, too)...

Tink, well, we sort of lost track of her. I kid, I kid. She played with her baby in the front room for hours.

It was early to bed for all of us! Sayonara, Friday!

April 26, 2011

Golden Link Birthday...

Phew. What a weekend. We just returned last night from our fairly last-minute trip to Minnesota to visit the in-laws for Easter. We had a great time, and I plan to recap our trip (with pictures, of course) just as soon as I am able.

For now, the end of April is proving to be rolling just as I projected May to be. Busier than busy.

I've been lagging behind on the blog, and I'm faring even worse on the blog reading. Forgive me, friends. I have a lot of catching up to do.

For today, I will leave you with a story that made me smile this morning...

As I've been alluding to, Sassy's 5th birthday is coming up. May 1st, in fact. Yep, she's my May Day beauty.

The last couple years, she has been interested in making a paper chain to count down the days until her birthday. You can see last year's chain here.

We made Sassy's chain a bit late this year, but she has been enjoying removing her link every day for the past week or so. She was a little upset that we forgot to bring her chain with us to MN. That disaster was quickly averted by reassuring her that she would get to remove several links at once when we returned home to KS.

So, this morning, when she removed the proper amount of links, she realized that there were only FIVE links left until her birthday...

At which point she proclaimed today her golden link birthday, because she was turning five, and there were five links and...

...you get the picture.

I didn't even know she knew what a golden birthday was. I figured I'd give it to her, since her real golden birthday was something of a distant memory for her...

Oh, and speaking of paper chains, I think I might need to construct one for myself. We leave for vacation in 31 days. Yeah, I need the chain not so much for the excitement factor. I think I will hang my chain in front of the refrigerator. Or perhaps next to the snack cabinet. Along side my workout DVD's, maybe? Over the scale? Yeah, something like that.

April 21, 2011

Kindergarten Round-up.

We had Kindergarten Round-up earlier this week, and to say my emotions are mixed is an understatement.

On one hand, I am SO excited for Sassy to start Kindergarten. She is a very smart little girl, and I am amazed by what she has learned so far at home and in preschool. I can't wait to see her continue to strive in the school setting, to continue to make growth in her reading skills and reasoning and all that good stuff. I look forward to her making new friends and attending birthday parties and further establishing a network of girlfriends that make her feel special and important and capable. I look forward to getting to know her new teacher and contributing to her classroom. There is so much I look forward to.

On the other hand, I am conflicted. It's going to be along, lonely day without Sassy by my side. This is like big time, this full-day kindergarten. Sassy is growing up so fast. I worry about her. I worry that she will not eat her lunch. I worry about the effect of mini-mean girls. My Sassy is so kind and sensitive- she gets her feelings hurt easily and is not the best at sticking up for herself. This breaks my heart, and it worries me deeply. I won't be there to protect her or calm her down or give her a great big hug. I often think back to the days when Sassy was a baby, when it was just her and I in this big, new city, and we were who the other had to rely on. That was it. Things have changed so much in five years!

With all of that being said, we trucked right along to kindergarten round-up. We dropped Sassy off int he multi-purpose room as we were asked to and went on to the gym to listen to the presentations. Sassy colored and met new friends and learned the rules of the school bus. All in all, it took about an hour. Things went smoothly.

Still, I cannot stop thinking about how that one little hour changed so many things, and how in a few short months, Sassy will be ready & eager for this important milestone to arrive.

Mom... not so much.

Well, maybe.

I don't know.

Ask me again in August!

April 20, 2011

Pink, it's like red but not quite...

You could be my flamingo.
It's a new kinda lingo.

Pink has hit our household... again. And by that, I mean NOT in a good way.


Yesterday, I returned home from day one of instructor's CPR re-certification to find one adorable little girl with very pink, inflamed eyes.

Darn. Got her started on antibiotic eye drops right away (thanks in part to awesome peds. nurses who can appreciate the fact that it was 5 minutes before closing time, we are trying to get the heck out of dodge this weekend, and believe I am capable enough to know what pink eye looks like and have the wherewithal to bring them straight in if there are any other alarming s/s of a more serious infection!)

Tink was a champ with the eye drops! I ended calling both girls out of MDO for today before it was too late last night...

Good thing I did, because...

...guess who had some pink, inflamed eyes this morning?

Not too bad yet, but might as well treat them early. Poor girls. And so close to Easter and our weekend trip to Minnesota.

At least they will have both been on the antibiotic for several days and should not be contagious at all anymore. Just pray for us that everything improves as it should!

And, it's never a bad thing to be able to rock out to my hubby's Steven Tyler's tune all day in my head, right?

♪ ...and I think everything is going to be all right no matter what we do tonight... ♪

April 19, 2011

What the Hair?!?!

I spent a few moments yesterday flipping through some old pictures on my computer for one reason or another. Maybe it has to do with the fact that my first born will be FIVE in TWELVE days. I don't know.

Anyway, I came across these pictures from just before Tink was born...

I have 4 things to say:

1. Where in the world did those curls go?
2. May I have some bread for my squishy cheek sandwich?
3. I need to be much better about taking candid pics of my girls playing like I used to...
4. Um, seriously, the curls...

April 18, 2011

Shop Until You Drop...

That's pretty much what I did this weekend! I had a wonderful time in KC with some friends. We left Saturday morning and headed straight to Legends. Here's the run-down:

Gymboree Outlet: I usually love to stock up on things from the outlet, but it must be a sign that I bought way too much Gymboree for the girls last summer. Everything looked entirely way too familiar! I did buy my nephew Tucker a couple of outfits to include with his {late} birthday gift.

Stride Rite Outlet: I was on an important mission here to find the girls quality, supportive summer shoes. I even, at the suggestion of a friend, traced the girls feet to place inside the shoes since they weren't with me. I found two cute pairs- what I assume to be last year's version of these for Sassy and these for Tink. Brought them home- both TOO BIG! Drat! I think we are going to try to stop back on our way to MN to exchange them this weekend.

Gap Outlet: Again, another one of my favorite places to score great deals for the girls, and I was largely underwhelmed by their children's selection this time. I did find Sassy a super-cute swimsuit cover-up and matching flip flops, so now she's set in that department. I also bought Tyler a polo and plaid shorts, which of course didn't fit. I swear, I don't know why I bother.

Carter's: I was a HUGE fan of Carter's when the girls were younger, and I seem to find less and less I like each time I go there. I think our Carter's days are numbers. I did pick Sassy up a pair or capri sweatpants for soccer and this super cute tank top.

Old Navy: I only spent a brief few moments browsing with a friend. I picked myself up a pair of lounge shorts and both this for Sas and this for Tink.

Osh Kosh: This is a store I don't usually give a whole lot of thought to, but I had a 25% off coupon, so I checked it out. They had some really cute things. I picked up some play clothes for Sassy, Tink, and Tucker for a really great price! I couldn't resist these bubble shorts, so I bought each of the girls a pair. Once I got home, they looked so cute, and I wish I would have bought more. With my coupon, the tops and bottoms were only $4.50 each!

After shopping, we checked into the hotel, ate dinner at The Cheesecake Factory, saw a comedy show at Stanford & Sons and headed across the border to Argosy.

It was my first time at a casino. Ever. Is that crazy, or what? Truth be told, I was underwhelmed. I thought I would enjoy the slots, but I blew through $10 in no time flat, and was like eh. I'm sure, had I won, I would've been singing a different tune. I did really enjoy watching one of my friends play blackjack, and I'd like to try that sometime, but I was too chicken.

We headed back to our room and talked and laughed a slept {a little}.

Sunday, we enjoyed breakfast at the hotel and headed to Oak Park Mall for some more shopping. Here's the run-down:

The Disney Store: I was hoping to score some Easter basket goodies, but I didn't find a whole lot that caught my eye. I did buy each of the girls this shirt.

Naartjie: I about died when I saw they had one of these! It's one of my favorite stores to order from online, and it was so cool to see all their things in person! I bought Sassy 2 adorable outfits, and they had some great sales and clearance stuff!

Lane Bryant: I had a $15 off $15 purchase coupon, so I picked up a cute pair of zebra sunglasses for less that $5! Woot!

Taylor Shoes: I had one thing that I really, really wanted to buy myself on this trip, so I did! Say hello to my new babies in Ash.

Gymboree: My friend had one last Gymbuck she wasn't going to use, so I scored Sassy a super cute outfit from this line!

New York & Co: Again, just followed some friends in, and found some cute stuff! On a whim, I tried on this dress and loved it! I can't wait to bring it on the cruise. I also picked up 2 pairs of earrings. All for... get this... $22 with tax! Got to love coupons!

American Girl: Last stop! Tyler and I bought Sassy this and this for her birthday {in THIRTEEN days} and picked up this and this for my parents to give her. She'll be over the moon!

We ate a late lunch at Cheddar's and headed west for the ICT. What a fun weekend! I told you we did a LOT of shopping...

April 15, 2011

Friday Free Flow...

I feel like I've been having a bit of writers block. That's coupled with the fact that I've been incredibly busy at work, leaving less and less time for me to devote to blog writing. That makes me sad.

I ♥ keeping this blog. I am very thankful today is Friday, but I could seriously do without the cloudy skies, temps in the low 40's, raindrops, and the windy insanity. Whoever coined Chicago the windy city has clearly not frequented the great state of Kansas. For reals. C'mon mother nature... don't you know I'm in the middle of transitioning all of our closets? Throw me a bone, won't you?

Tomorrow morning, I'll be hopping in a car with four girlfriends for some much needed S&L for 36 glorious hours in Kansas City. What's S&L? It's like R&R, only better. Who needs rest and relaxation when you can have shopping and laughter? Not me.

Tyler and I leave for our trip in 42 days. We will be aboard our cruise in 44 days. Thank.you.Lord. I am so excited! Any tips on how to best prepare the girls or make the transition the easiest on them? Ten nights is a LONG time to be away! This is, and will continue to weigh heavily on my mind and heart.

Speaking of heavy things... I am just about beside myself that my baby girl Sassy will be FIVE in sixteen short days. FIVE. That's big time. I cannot believe I have an almost-5-year-old. Where in the heck have FIVE years gone?

My reading list is coming along. I read and enjoyed March's book, and I switched my April and November selections to align with my book club's April pick. I've started Little Bee, but I have a ways to go. There are some other things I've been dying to read, so hopefully I will sneak a few in on the cruise!

May is going to be a crazy month for me, I'm sure of that. We'll kick it off by celebrating Sassy's birthday, and then it seems as though every day is jam-packed until we head east on the 27th. Girls dentist appt. Child Find. Field Day. Preschool Field Trip. Dress Rehearsal. Citywide garage sale. Dance recital. Mother's Day. Oral Health training. Sassy's 5-year check up... with shots. Autism Early Intervention training. Two full days of instructor's CPR re-certification. Big Truck Night. Last day of school. And that's just taking into consideration the stuff that's different in our schedules. Never mind all the typical stuff we do every week. YIKES! No wonder I am getting all worked up about the next 6 weeks...

Let's talk garage sale. Oh, the garage sale. How I loathe thee, garage sale. The thing is, even though they are a TON of work, we've always done really well. And, who doesn't want that extra spending money on vacation? So, I truck on...

Trivia rules. The end.

Have a wonderful weekend, everyone!

April 14, 2011

Hoop Art Swap!

A little while ago, I participated in my first hoop art swap over at Life Made Lovely!

Basically, I was paired up with another reader, we had a bit of back and forth email communication, and we both set out to make a piece of hoop art that would suit one another. I was paired with Megan, and once I received my hoop art (which I had made for Tink's new big girl bedroom), I felt like an utter amateur. HA! Megan claims, however, that she loves the colors I chose for the hoop art w/ rosettes that I sent her. I think maybe she was just trying to be nice. ♥

I failed to take a picture of the hoop art I sent her, but hopefully she will join in the linky fun! This is the hoop art we received:

Isn't it adorable??

Megan, if you're reading this, won't you join in, too? If so, I will amend this post with a link to the hoop art I created!

Drive-In Disaster?

Last weekend, Lynzee and I decided it would be a good idea to take the girls to the drive-in to see Hop. Correction, we thought it would be a good idea to take her girls plus Sassy to the drive-in to see Hop. Considering the movie didn't start until after Tink's bedtime, I thought better of bringing her along. Tink & Daddy had some quality backyard time at home!

So, we loaded the van with blankets and pillows, and headed to Starlite. Since the movie began directly after the music program, and this was such a last minute decision, we ended up stopping at Quik Trip for dinner.

Lovely, I know.

What does one get for dinner at a gas station, you ask? Well, a fruit cup, a string cheese, and a small bag of pretzels for Sassy and a string cheese and some beef jerky nuggets for me. I know, I know...

We decided to attempt to be slick and devised a plan as far as seating arrangements go. We brought 3 adult lawn chairs (Tom went, too) and one child's lawn chair. We placed the chairs outside of the van, and arranged the three girls all snugly in the back, laying on their bellies so they could watch the movie. We deemed the child's lawn chair the naughty chair, where girls who weren't doing a good job listening would have to sit. We explained that we only had one naughty chair, and if someone wasn't listening, they would have to come and sit in it for a few minutes. If two girls weren't listening, then we'd have to go home, since we only had one naughty chair.

Genius, right?

Not so much.

Our first dilemma involved the fact that we had pretty poor visibility due to the van with their hatch up in front of us. They were even kind enough to use a tie down strap that Lynzee and I asked them to use, but it didn't help much. We sort of maneuvered the van in our parking space to optimize our view the best we could.

The girls started off as happy campers...

Twenty minutes into the movie, the arguments ensued. She is laying in my space. She took my blanket. She looked at me. You know, the usual.

Lynzee and I thought it our duty desperately needed to get away from the van, and fast, so we headed to the concession stand, where there was a line 2 miles long.

LuLu wanted cotton candy and LMB wanted a funnel cake, so we decided that she could share it with Sassy. So, Sassy experienced a first at the drive-in... her first ooey, gooey, greasy, sugary funnel cake. The girls stayed happy as they noshed on their treats...

Sassy was in heaven:

Then five seconds later, they all claimed they had to go to the bathroom... again (Tom had taken all three girls before the movie began).

After the bathroom break, we had pretty much had it, and decided to pack up and leave. All in all, drive-in was a bit of a bust. The girls were over tired, cranky, and teary-eyed. Oh, and sugar is NEVER the answer to any behavior problems. EVER.

May just be a while before we hit the drive-in again. Sad face.

April 12, 2011

The Performance...

{Catch up with Part I and Part II}

To say the MDO music program was a total riot is the understatement of the year. They were SO stinkin' cute, those little critters! Nothing like a good guttural belly laugh to round out my Saturday!

My girls were all kinds of into the music...

And, now to share some video clips. Here's Miss Tink singing away at Baby Bumblebee...

And Sassy with her rendition of Amazed...

And Tink, one last time...


April 11, 2011

The Preperation...

{see Part I here}

Sassy & Tink have spent the better part of this year practicing and practicing and practicing for their MDO music program. It's always a hoot to see what they end up performing, and then come to the realization that that's why Tink has been singing twinkow wittiw staaaaaar incessantly for months! It suddenly all makes sense.

The program was Saturday, which was quite a busy day for us. Sassy had her second soccer game in the morning against the maroon team, which they lost, 6-1 {but who's counting? Certainly not me, according to the rules...}

Tyler was rebuilding a fence for a friend, but he made sure to make his way home in time for the "concert". It reached 90 degrees here Saturday (nice!) and the girls just had the most difficult time deciding which fancy dress to wear. Each one they discovered was fancier than the next, and it was a process, let me tell you...

Finally they came to agreement on their Plumtickled dresses that they got for Christmas this year. We got all dolled up, did hair, found matching sandals in the depths of basement storage, and applied lip gloss. Phew.

Naturally, an outdoor-front-porch-photo-shoot ensued.

Meet the stars...

Performances to follow...

The Playbill...