Monday, December 1, 2014

Baby R's 5th Birthday Party & Survey Results

Our kids are nothing if not creative. When I asked Baby R what kind of party she wanted this year, she said princess ninja. Wasn't sure how to go about that at first, but finally was able to come up with some fun stuff based on a lot of Pinterest help.

The decor was ninja stars and Chinese lanterns but in pink and purple. The cupcake toppers had tiaras and princess wands with ninja stars, and the party favors were Chinese takeout boxes with princess gummy treats, chopsticks and a fortune cookie. 

I found a few tutorials online about how to fold paper ninja stars (it was harder than I remembered!), and made a some out of white paper for the kids to color when they arrived and were waiting for the other guests. We used them later to throw at balls that were balanced on top of toilet paper rolls. 

Another game we played was Pin the Tiara on the Ninja. 

And I also set up a few crepe paper "laser" streamers in the hallway that the kids had to navigate through. Overall it was a fun party! 

•   •   •   •   •

I thought I asked Baby R a birthday survey in the past, but I don't see a post about it anywhere. (Not that that means anything since I've hardly posted recently! Still need to post pics from Cinco's first bday.) Our sweet girl turned 5 a couple of weeks ago, and now that Thanksgiving is wrapped up, I finally got a chance to ask her about a few of her favorite things. (You'd think ninjas might have made the list based on her party theme, but there are plenty of princesses represented.)
  • What's your favorite food? Strawberries
  • What's your favorite sport to play? Basketball
  • What's your favorite TV show?  Dora and Friends
  • What's your favorite movie? The Little Mermaid and Sleeping Beauty
  • Who's the coolest person on earth? God
  • What's the thing you're most looking forward to about starting kindergarten?
    Mrs. W. (S's kindergarten teacher - Baby R is hopeful she will have her, too.) 
  • What's the thing that you do best? Help Mom.
  • If you could go to anywhere in the world, where would it be? Chick Fil A
  • What's your favorite color? Purple and blue
  • What's your favorite book? Pocahantas
  • What are three words to describe you? Thankful, 5, thankful for Mommy
  • What is something you used to do when you were little? Chewing on toys
  • What is your favorite season? Windy so you can fly kites - fall
  • What is your favorite snack? Strawberries
  • What food don't you like? Tomatoes
  • Who is your best friend? Delani
  • If you had one wish, what would it be? Another Mommy - two of me. 
  • What is your best memory? Santa
  • What's your favorite game? Tic Tac Toe
She was really enjoying this survey, so wanted to tell me a few more of her favorites. 
  • What's your favorite song? Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
  • What is your favorite toy? Lincoln Logs
She brings joy to me every day. So thankful for the opportunity to be her mama!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Labor Day Will Last Longer Than Just a Day

DH headed to Germany for a work trip yesterday. He will be gone for two weeks. I've been terrible about updating the blog lately, but I'm hoping that this will be good motivation for even short posts each day about the kiddos to help me remember everything to tell him. Since he's seven hours ahead of us, there's not much opportunity to Skype with the kiddos. We got to talk to him this morning since it was his first day there and so he wasn't working. He got to fly business class which made me super jealous (as if I wasn't already about him getting to go to Deutschland) since when I went to China for work we flew coach. He texted pics of his fully reclining seat as well as his gourmet menu and free cocktail. Lucky duck.

Yesterday we skipped church so we could take him to the airport. The kids hadn't really been to the airport to see how things work before so we watched as the luggage carousel turned and spit out bags of different sizes and colors. We saw a plane taxi down the runway, and as we drove away from the terminal, there were a couple in the sky.

Since we were on the north side of town, we met up with a friend of mine for lunch at a McDonalds that had an awesome Play Place to keep the kids entertained. Then we came back home for nap time. Poor Cinco was so wiped out since we'd messed with his schedule so much this weekend. (Friday, DH surprised me with a double dinner date to our favorite Italian restaurant off the Plaza, and Cinco was still awake when we got home at 10pm. Sigh. Saturday, we took the kiddos to the Royals game. Even though we left after the 5th inning, it was already past their bedtime, and none of them fell asleep on the drive home.) Anyway, luckily his nap was a good one. Then we went to the grocery store to load up for the week, and I got the girls Chinese for dinner.

Last night I was working on Cinco's 1st birthday party invitations and watching "A League of Their Own" when it started storming. Around 11pm, I was getting ready to head to bed when thunder woke S up. So we went to my room and snuggled. Unfortunately, that meant I didn't get the best sleep. But the other two slept well, so that's a win.

Today, we played outside for a bit. S swept the driveway while Baby R collected acorns to make acorn pie. Cinco was trying to crawl on the sidewalk, so I put a large blanket down on it and part of the grass, but he didn't want to stay on there. So I moved it further under the oak tree where there was more shade. Didn't help. He crawled over to the driveway and scraped up his knee. Got the baby pool out and put some toys in it,. That helped for a bit while I trimmed the tree branches, but it wasn't long before I noticed he had something in his mouth. Thankfully it was an acorn and not one of the dozens of crickets that were jumping all over. Managed to get it out without incident.

Cinco is napping so the girls are playing with Barbies, and I'm quickly typing this up. My parents are coming over for dinner, and then hopefully I'll be able to get most of the laundry done so the short week goes smoothly.

Monday, June 23, 2014

Life Just Keeps Getting Busier

I know people say time flies when you're having fun, and the older you get, the faster it seems to go. Having kids certainly has sped things up. It's really more that I'm looking down, nose the grindstone, focused on what HAS to be done in the moment - get the kids up, dressed and fed in the morning, then dropped off at daycare, so I can rush to work and then hurry home to get dinner made before they have to get in bed so I can do laundry, dishes, maybe some work, and rarely, some blogging. Then set on repeat. When I have a minute to look up, I see that weeks or months have gone by. Here are some of the things that have happened since I last looked up.

First Kid-Free Trip
DH and I went to NYC in May. He had never been, and we haven't ever been away from the kids together since S was born almost 7 years ago. I missed them, but it was really good for our relationship to have that adult-only time together .

Cinco Update
The only bummer of our trip was that we missed our little guy's first crawl on 5/12, the day we returned home. He had also popped his 3rd tooth. He is now sitting up more confidently, and able to get from lying down to sitting up, pulling up on things sometimes, and loving "real" food. The last few days he's been saying "Maaaa." He will repeat it several times. I totally count that as his first word; Mama. And he got to go to his first T-Bones game. The baseball tradition continues.

(Baby) R
She had her first preschool Spring Show and was front and center! What a star! She loved performing her sign language alphabet song, the Monster Boogie and acting out the Three Little Pigs. Poor kid poked herself in the eye at one point and I had to take her offstage to get a wet towel to put on it for a minute to help it feel better. But she rallied and got right back out there. So proud.

On Memorial Day, we hung out with a family from church, and that night Baby R had a fever of 102. I should have known something was up - she actually napped that day, which never happens anymore. She ended up having a fever for 5 days. Luckily, that was all it was.

She's certainly not a baby anymore, I know. But twice in the last day or so, she's said something and I've thought it was S. Her tiny voice is becoming a big girl voice. Love it, but wistful, too.

Sweet S
She is growing up much too fast. The sassiness has hit an all-time high, and, sadly, my patience has hit an all-time low. But we're working through it. And still having fun! She's so brave; when she gets a loose tooth, she pulls it out. I mean, the sucker probably has a couple days of twisting left, but she just wrenches it out! She has so much energy; I see so much of me in her. She's really excited about her birthday party. Shockingly, it's not Frozen, but Star Wars. Love that kid!

Summer fun.
Taught S and Baby R how to play Battleship. They are really starting to enjoy board games which thrills me because I love them, but DH isn't a fan.

We went to a movie in the park one night and saw "Mary Poppins" - one of the girls' favorites. Loved watching them dance and sing along.

Singing in the rain has been a more frequent occurrence. Praying this means the drought may finally be ending....

We stopped by the library and read to Ginger, a sweet retriever. My friend owns her; she's a pet therapy dog. The girls really enjoyed it.

Picnics in the yard

As for me, I finally got to compete in Corporate Challenge this year. My first year at my company, I was hired after the sign up deadline. Then last year I was pregnant. Had a good experience. I placed 4th in ping pong (seriously? haven't played since high school), and was on the 5th place women's bowling team. Woo hoo! I also played horseshoes, but just got participation points. Had fun, though!

And I got to do another design project for church for a series called Origins:

On a not-so-fun note, things with my parents have been derailed again. I submitted the medicaid application online on April 23, and then found out when we got back from NYC that it was never received. Spent 3.5 hours in the DCFS office with Dad trying to resolve it and basically found out that we needed copies of a dozen papers and a letter from an attorney about the farm. So frustrating. I feel like we take 1 baby step forward and fifteen leaps back.

DH has been working hard on our garden. So thankful we have it again this year! Have enjoyed lots of lettuce so far. Can't wait for everything else to be ready to be harvested.

So many other things - just can't remember them all. That whole time thing again.

When I was younger, I longed for the future. I thought it would be easier. Being married, having kids, owning a house. That's everyone's dream right? And I love my life. But now, though I look forward to the future, I'm thankful for the past, and enjoy the present.

Friday, March 14, 2014

Cinco - Seis

I can’t believe our little boy is 6 months old today! And that I’ve done such a crappy job of documenting his little life thus far. Even with RSV and an ear infection the last couple of weeks, he’s the happiest little camper. Rarely fusses. Though, sleeping has been a challenge since he’s had cold after cold this winter that never ends. We had a glimmer of hope Tuesday when it reached 72 degrees at 5pm, but then it plummeted 12 degrees in an hour, and we had snow flurries overnight. Oh, Kansas weather, you’re so entertaining. 

So Cinco hasn’t gotten to spend much time outside. But he keeps himself – and us – entertained inside quite well. He loves to pull his socks off and chew on them and try to get his cute little piggies in his mouth. And when Daddy rubs the top of his head on Cinco’s belly, his giggles make all of us smile. He’s found his voice and can roll over both ways. Since he doesn’t like to be on his stomach, he rolls about 75% of the way and hangs out on his side. He’s a little wiggle worm and has been known to slide all the way out of his bouncy seat if we forget to strap him in. But we don’t always know that’s happened since he doesn’t complain. He tolerates his sisters’ lack of personal space well and smiles when he sees them. 

And just so we have notes for your baby book, Buddy, here are some things that have been happening in our world lately:

  • We took you to your first sporting event – a Maverick’s hockey game.
  • Grandma D was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s Disease.
  • Daddy went to NYC for the first time on a work trip. Leaving Mommy in charge of all 3 of you for 4.5 days.
  • Grandma B had rotator cuff surgery. 
  • The Internet turned 25.
  • Ellen broke the record for most retweets with a selfie of her and several stars at the Oscars.
  • Speaking of Oscars, one of your sisters’ favorite movies, “Frozen,” won for best animated film and best song.
  • Malaysia Airlines had a flight that disappeared. 
  • The Winter Olympics were held in Sochi Russia. Not the best medal count overall, but the US hockey team beat the Russian team to win silver. 
  • Jimmy Fallon took over as host of The Tonight Show. 
  • The Kaufmann Center was named one of the world’s most spectacular buildings.
  • The Denver Broncos lost to the Seattle Seahawks in the Super Bowl, despite Mommy gearing you up for a win. 

Happy half birthday, sweet boy. We love you!!

Thursday, March 6, 2014


I posted on FB that if my life had a soundtrack, lately it would be playing Tenth Avenue North's "Worn" on repeat.

DH was out of town for work most of last week, so I was playing single mama to the three munchkins. I can't say enough how amazing single moms are. I really don't know how they do it. Cinco had a cold and was up multiple times every night - like every half hour to hour at times - worse than when he was a newborn.

DH came home, and Cinco was mostly over it, but he let me sleep in til 9am on Saturday to recover - I felt like Superwoman! Got lots done. Then Sunday, Cinco started coughing. By the night he was congested and this cold was worse than the last. Thankfully, DH took turns getting up with me. He's finally doing significantly better - I got to sleep for an entire 3 hour chunk last night without interruption, and he only woke up a few times the rest of the night.

Work has been hectic since the first of the year. We finally had a couple of days where we could come up for air last week and this week.

The house is a wreck. Before I left for Bible study last night, I threw in a random load of laundry because I realized if I didn't, today Sam wouldn't have any underwear, Riley wouldn't have any pants, and I wouldn't have a shirt to wear.

Winter feels never-ending. Today was warm, but the flurries last night on the way home almost put me over the edge. I'm sick of being cold and sick of the grey and sick of the grime. The van is filthy because there hasn't been a weekend that's been warm and dry and that I've had the time/energy to get it emptied out so I can get it cleaned.

Mom was officially diagnosed with Alzheimer's on January 29th. Relieved for the official diagnosis on the one hand, heartbroken because of its finality on the other. I need to write a separate post about that whole situation. As well as one about my baby boy - who is almost 6 months old!

It's only a season. I know things will be better soon.

Friday, January 31, 2014

Morning Sounds

The girls humming as they eat, their metal spoons clinking the lips of the ceramic bowls.
My beloved's compact footfalls, staccato on the linoleum, efficiently completing preparations.
Bubbling and angry hissing as the coffee pot protests the cold start to the day.
Our baby boy's even breathing as he nurses, and I nuzzle his tiny, precious fist.
A silent prayer, thanking God for these blessings.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Baby Bullets: 13th Edition

    I'm behind posting an update on the girls. These are from the last six months. Enjoy!

    • Home Alone was on TV, and though I don't find it to be appropriate for our girls' ages, they'd already seen it at Grandma and Grandpa's. Sigh. Anyway, at some point I said my usual spiel about how TV is just pretend, even when there are real people on it, and if any of the things happened to the burglars in real life, they would have been seriously injured or killed, etc. A couple of days later, Baby R was talking about the noodlers on Home Alone. I could not figure out what she meant, and then finally realized she meant burglars. Burgers, noodles... it's all the same, right?
    • While I was pregnant, the girls were fascinated by my growing belly, and at one time tried touching my boob to say hi to the baby. Um, a little lower, kids, thanks.
    • Baby R went on a diatribe about poop one day. She was getting closer to being able to go number two without as much trouble. She started prefacing everything with it: poop-diabetes, poop-strength, etc
    • Baby R came in crying one afternoon. I asked her what was wrong and she said, "Sissy said I was delegating!" Insults know no bounds in our house.
    • S and Baby R put on a song and dance routine, the lyrics to which were, "You can do it! You can do it! You're awesome!" They sure are.
    • Came upstairs to my bed having been made last August. Shocked, thanked my hubs who said, "I didn't make the bed." Nope, that would be our sweet S. Who spent the majority of the afternoon defying me at every opportunity. And who was supposed to be asleep instead of completing this chore. This is why I can't stay mad at her. Oh, and that she's the most adorable six-year-old in the world.
    • S picked up some new mannerisms in 1st grade. She came home one day and told a story including head bob and waving hand. Oy.
    • Once Cinco was born, the girls couldn't wait to hold him. Baby R was doing so and sang a lullaby. Such a precious moment. "Twinkle, twinkle, little star, how I - " Suddenly she stopped and said, "He's heavy!"
    • S went to a bday party for a classmate in November. It was her first experience at that famous place with the pizza, tokens and a singing mouse. The next day, she and and Baby R played with the tokens and tickets. It took all my will power not to bust up laughing every time they talked about going back to Chuck E. Cheez-Its.
    • We took the kids to Legoland. They really enjoyed it. We'll be going back when Cinco is old enough to play, too.
    • Baby R said, "You ruined my life!" She's 4. Sigh.
    • We celebrated Christmas with my side of the family in STL at my sister's house. On the drive there, Baby R sang carols, most notably, "On the first day of Christmas, when my dreams have come to me, a part in a pear a pantry."
    • It was the year of the DVD for Christmas. The girls have enjoyed watching them, but they are really into watching The Justice League on Netflix lately.
    • When Baby R was born, DH took S to see Sesame Street Live. He continued the tradition by taking both girls this January. Such an amazing dad!
    • There's a popular set of Sprint commercials out right now with James Earl Jones and Malcolm McDowell dressed in tuxes and speaking texts from a stage. The incongruity between these amazing thespians and the teen slang is funny. One in particular is two teenage girls texting about how cute a boy is. At the end, they say "Totes McGoats." It's become a huge catch phrase, and one day Cinco passed gas and DH said "Toots McGoots."The girls thought it was hysterical and kept saying it over and over.
    • S got a toy archery set for Christmas. She's been asking for one since she became enamored with Brave. She's done pretty well practicing with it. Just need more warm days and less wind. An actual target other than the swingset would be nice, too.
    • DH bought diapers and wipes at Costco, so the girls asked if they could build spaceships with the boxes from them. Love it!
    • Baby R: Magazines are for pooping. Newspapers are for quiet time.
    • Baby R is taking after her big sister in the fashion department. The other day she wore a red and black flowered blouse, a brown flowered skirt she got for Christmas from my sister, pink/purple camo sweatpants, an orange striped sock and a multi-colored striped sock, sparkly Hello Kitty shoes and a grey flowered cardigan. As one of my friends said, she is FABULOUS!

    Thursday, January 2, 2014

    Happy New Year!

    From Pinterest

    "Let me 'splain. No, there is too much. Let me sum up."

    Baby R's 4th birthday party: Thomas the Train. I felt terrible because only 2 kids showed up. No one RSVPs anymore. What's up with that? It was an awesome party anyway, and she had fun. That's all that matters.

    S played i9 Basketball and really enjoyed it. She was so fun to watch, and she enjoyed it, but she's not aggressive enough. Will see if she wants to play it again.

    I stopped by the office several times while on maternity leave to be in our holiday video and Christmas card photos. Each department re-enacted a bunch of awkward family photos which was creepy and hilarious. Then there was a group photo of the whole company in ugly Christmas sweaters. Fun times.

    I volunteered at the library at Sam's school.

    I finally met with a counselor at the county center for aging and started making real progress with my parents' housing situation.

    Our company Christmas party was at the President hotel in downtown KC. It was fun. The video was hilarious. It was mostly 80s tv show parodies and Wham's video for "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go" was the finale.

    I started back to work the following Monday. It was actually fine the first day - good to see everyone. Miss my babies a ton still, but getting used to it since it's been a month now.

    There was a winter storm advisory on my bday, so we decided not to go out because we were worried my in-laws might not be able to get home if they came over to babysit. And then the storm never happened. But it was fine having dinner at home with the kiddos and watching a movie with DH. We saw The Internship - very good.

    Christmas - The weekend before we went to St. Louis and celebrated with my side of the family. It was fun. We came home on the 23rd. I'd gotten 90% of the Christmas stuff done before I went back to work, but never got that last 10% done, so finished most stuff up that day. That night I went to bed and woke up at midnight throwing up. Food poisoning. Sick all day Christmas Eve. Missed DH's side of the family's big get together that included 7 new babies for the cousins. DH took Cinco and got a super cute pic of all of them dressed alike and lined up on the couch.
    Unfortunately the girls were little terrors that day and weren't allowed to go - I put them to bed at 6:30pm honestly believing Santa wasn't coming - that's how badly they were misbehaving. When DH came home at 7, he got them up to put out cookies and milk since I'd gone to bed, too. Epic fail on my part this year between going back to work and being sick. They were able to redeem themselves by cleaning the toy room before going back to bed and Santa did make it to our house after all. Whew!
    And thank goodness, because I must have been a really good girl this year. I got an awesome Nikon DSLR from my amazing DH. Squee! Now I have to learn how to use it. Too many hobbies - not enough hours in the day.

    DH and I spent New Year's Eve at home, per usual. New Year's Day Cinco was super fussy. He's usually so laid back, smiley, happy as can be. Poor guy - I couldn't tell if he had an ear infection or is teething or what. He was better this morning, thank goodness.

    We were supposed to go to STL this weekend again for my nephew's 1st bday party, but he was diagnosed with RSV yesterday, so we're staying home to keep Cinco away from him. Bummed to miss it. Planning to go out in a few weeks to celebrate instead.

    My freelance social media job has been put on hold for now while I adjust to being back at work full time and my client waits for the post-holiday business to pick back up. Hopefully I'll have a little more time to post updates. We shall see.

    Quick Cinco timeline:
    1-Week Checkup: 21" albs, 7 oz
    9 Days old: Umbilical cord fell off
    11 Days old: Plastibel from circumcision fell off
    4 Weeks old: First cold. :(
    6 Weeks old: First responsive smile
    8 Weeks old: First laugh

    He's still so sweet and happy and laid back. Love this little addition to our family!

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