Sunday, October 30, 2011

Kid(less) time!

Mckmama- Not Me Monday

Welcome to Not Me! Monday! This blog carnival was created by MckMama. You can head over to her blog to read what she and everyone else have not been doing this week.

As for me...
I most certainly did not enjoy a great day with friends at a local pumpkin patch, and when one friend needed to head home a bit earlier than the kids were all ready, did NOT jump at the chance to drive her and her son home. This left my 2 kids with another friend for the rest of the time they spend there. Nope! I always love every minute with my kids and would never pawn them off on someone else for any period of time!

I also most certainly did not take advantage of the time with no kids and lay down for a glorious nap!

Earlier this weekend I also did NOT nearly burst out in song when my dear husband offered to "camp" out in our yard for the last time of the year with the kids and puppy! Again, I dearly love my kids, and cherish every moment with them, even the ones that come in the middle of the night...

I also did NOT take a 2-3 hour nap on Sunday afternoon. I mean really, what adult still revels in taking naps (especially of the 2-3 hour variety)? This also is NOT why it is after midnight and I am still quite wide awake working on this post...
What about you? What have you NOT done this week?



There are some things our kids say that I want to remember for down the road. Aleah is first. For no reason other than some of her recent "funnies" came to me first!

Some of these things she has said since she was really little, but we are bad parents and don't correct them because they are just too cute.

  • "Waffclosh": as in "Mom, can you get me a waffclosh to wipe my face?"

  • The whole substituting the "f" sound for the "th" sound: Love to hear her talk about her friend "Maffew"

  • "Says": pronounced with a long a, as in "Daddy saaays that I am his princess"

  • "Like": okay, she pronounces this correctly, but uses it all the time just "like" a teenager. Hilarious!

  • "Wew" (say "well" except with a "w" sound at the end): totally has the ability to pronounce this correctly, but it is just too cute for now!

  • "Awkward": she is trying to figure out the appropriate use of this word, so sometimes it is pretty funny. She is getting better at using it appropriately in context. She told a story to dad about going back to her old daycare for a day. She shared that it was fun, but that she didn't know all of the kids anymore. Her response..."Awkward!" with appropriate hand gestures. Too funny!

  • Today in the car we were having a conversation about kids, and Aleah stated that she wanted lots of kids...and animals (3 cats, 4 dogs, 3 goldfish, 7 butterflies). She decided that the butterflies "would be hard to keep track of".

  • Tonight out of the blue she asked why some houses have more than one chimney, and if they do have more than one chimney, does that mean there is more than 1 Santa? It then went into the age-old conversation about how does Santa get into places that don't have a chimney, and how does he get all of the presents in...

  • She get frustrated easily (read: EASILY!). Okay, this isn't so much funny as much as something I want to remember about this stage. She really doesn't do well if things aren't going exactly as she planned. I have NO idea where she got that trait...(ahem).

  • "Moooommmmm!": I think I hear this 49,000 times a day. Usually in relation to something that her brother is doing (or being perceived to be doing) to her. In her defense, he does know how to push her buttons. In HIS defense, she has easy buttons to push. Again, no idea where she gets that trait...

  • "Mommy, I want to snuggle": Now, to explain, in our household for her at least, the bedtime routine includes a time of "snuggle" which means Mike or I kneeling next to her bed with our head on or near her pillow. There is no touching allowed during snuggle time unless she initiates it. This snuggle time may not be less than several minutes (in her preference...not her reality every night). Snuggling is followed by a hug and tuck. Hug and tuck are very different steps than the snuggle phase. None can be skipped (again her preference...not reality).

  • She HATES to get up in the morning, and will do anything to avoid it. Of course on weekends, she will still sleep in some, but not nearly as much as she wants to on weekdays when we have to get to school/work. (side note...WHY IS THAT with kids?)

  • Aleah has stated on more than one occasion that she has rules for her bedroom. 1. No boys 2. Don't play with my toys (she actually listed most of her toys) 3. Don't make a mess. 4. No tooting (said stating that only she is allowed to do this).

  • A quote courtesy of the school bus. Keep in mind she has gotten in trouble for this and it doesn't make us proud as parents but it is too funny not to share. On a few occasions she has gotten angry with her brother and yells, "You idiot butt crack!" Jaw-dropped would be one way to describe our reation the first time we heard this. I immediately debated what is the best parenting technique to handle such language. When I looked at my husband, he seemed to be contemplating the impressive nature of the unique word combination.

As I come up with more "Aleah-isms", I'll plan another post to share them.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Pleasant Valley Tree Farm

We had a perfect Fall outing today! We went with great friends to a great place!

It had a hay play structure complete with tunnels, ladders, and lots of places to climb!

These are the beautiful friends I got to spend the day with!

These are the great friends my kids spent their day with!

There was a fantastic corn maze...

Fantastic Fall colors, sunshine and blue skies...

A corn "gun"

A pumpkin cannon...

that shot pumpkins over the trees in the background (they were a LONG ways away!)

Fun activities including these slides (they were GREAT for racing!)

and this 80 foot slide
(yes, Dylan went down it many times; yes, I went down it too; no, Aleah didn't get anywhere near it!)

Some great spots for a nice rest

I didn't get any cozy pictures of me and Dylan because he wasn't still long enough for one
(you also probably heard him today (I don't care where you live))

There were lots of great spots for photo ops
(not that I would know anything about that...)

There was a "Spooky" nature walk

It included lots of ghosts, goblins, skeletons, and even a "spooky" covered bridge!

There were tons of games through the whole place (ring toss, beanbag games, mini golf, and many more!)

It included a "hay ride" (minus the hay) through beautiful hills and trees
This is Wisconsin after all!

All-in-all it was a "frightfully" good day!

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Our "Nights"

For many years of our marriage (like 10), it was just Mike and I, so we were pretty spoiled by being able to run out pretty much any time we felt like it. On a whim, we would decide to head to our favorite restaurant (an hour and a half away) just for dinner. We might call a friend or family members on the way there to see if they wanted to meet us, but we were going anyway.

Enter: our children. Now, don't get me wrong. We badly wanted children. We wanted them sooner than 10 years into our marriage in fact (but that's a whole 'nother post!). It was just that when we did, it was a stark contrast to the life we had lived for many years. We suddenly had a 4 1/2 year old boy (remember the adoption piece of our family), and I was pregnant with our daughter. Our son (and we) had LOTS of adjustments to make during that time, so there was no just picking up and running out somewhere. Then we had our daughter. Once we got her "figured out" at least related to sleep, she was in bed BY 6 or 6:30 in the evening, and if it was a second later than her "window", she was up for several more hours, and slept poorly the whole night. So...6 or 6:30 it was...for years...really. There is no just picking up and running out somewhere with THAT schedule. We could barely get home from work, have supper, and get her to bed on time!

As time went on, we realized that we really needed some "us" time again. We started having a babysitter come once a week (or so) so Mike and I could get out and enjoy being "us" again. It wasn't always totally consistent depending on babysitter availability multiple other things, but we really made an effort, and still do!

At some point (probably even before we had kids now that I think about it...), Mike started meeting some guys fairly frequently. It wasn't every week back then, but it was a consistent connection with "the guys" and it was really good. Now, he still gets together with "the guys", and it usually is every week, and it is still really good.

More recently, we realized that we were getting out together pretty regularly, and he was getting together with friends fairly regularly, and we gathered with friends fairly regularly, but I didn't really have my own time...yet. So I got a "girls' night"! Now we try to have a "date night" each week. It is usually on Tuesdays. Mike has a "guys' night". It is ALWAYS on Wednesdays. I have a "girls' night". It is usually on Thursdays. And Friday through Monday are whole family time! Of course we spend some family time together EVERY day, but bedtime is a family deal on the days that we are all home.

We love our "nights" that we get a chance to get away...together...and apart...and it helps our marriage...and it helps our family.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Family Pictures

Late this past summer, we decided to have a life-long friend of mine (who is a wonderful photographer) take pictures of our family. We hadn't had family pictures taken for years (other than the picture for our church directory :)). Now, most people would choose a photographer that is in their town, or at least fairly close to them. We chose a photographer that lives about 9 hours away from us! So...we incorporated the photo shoot into a bit of a road trip. We spent about 1 1/2 weeks spending time with friends and family, with a stop at my cousin's in North Dakota (which also happens to be where our chosen photographer lives!). We got to have a great visit with my cousin and her family, and got some great pictures of our family!

Yes, this lush, green setting is in North Dakota!

We got some great unique shots that we already treasure!

Mr. GQ and the Princess

There was a beautiful old library

and a beautiful park

The many faces of Aleah

and the consistent smile of Dylan!
(Seriously, he smiles great for every picture!)

Photos by Sara Lovro Photography

Monday, October 24, 2011

Girls' Weekend

The guys were gone this weekend (I'll have to have my dear husband guest host and post about their weekend!)

This meant that Aleah and I had a weekend to ourselves!
So, what do two "girls" do with a whole weekend?

Get together with special friends for lunch

Redecorate a room


This was the 6-year-olds idea, but the ambition wore out pretty quickly for her!

Play games (in our pj' the afternoon)

Do some more decorating

Play with very "girly" toys

Watch cartoons all morning

Enjoy a special treat late at night

Go out for supper (gourmet, I know, but it is this girl's favorite!)

Get manicures

We also got to have long talks laying in bed, lots of giggles, lots of "mom, come and see..." related to whatever activity was going on at the moment. Lots of "I love you, mom!", lots of snuggle time, good nap times, no "real" meals (girl is the snack queen!).
It was a GREAT weekend! Can I have another please?