Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween, y'all!

Whew, BUSY day!

Chris ran his first 1/2 marathon today and I am SO PROUD of him! He had a great time, despite the cold and rain (what a rockstar to power through!). I forgot my camera (actually, to be clear, I thought I forgot my camera, but it was, in fact, in my purse the whole time). Anyway, we were there to watch him cross the finish line, umbrellas and all! So while Chris went home to clean up and warm his muscles I took the kids to their school for the churches fall festival. As it was raining everything was moved in doors. We got there at 10:59. It started at 11. Needless to say, we did all the games twice before anyone else got there (but hey, more candy for us! And clearly, that's what we all need more of!).

At the lollipop tree. Pick a lollipop and if it has a red dot you win additional candy (and it was movie size boxes of candy!)

Ryan "fishing". We won a lot of skittles here. (Notice what a multi-tasker already, eating a lollipop while fishing.)

After, we enjoyed hotdogs, popcorn and some candy. Then, we walked in the cake walk. First round, Anna-Kate won a cake (she's evidently inherited my good luck at winning games). Two rounds later, she won again. Unreal.

We headed home for naps, then woke and made a mad dash for Halloween party #1 of the night, it's the party we annually go to at the Cook's. I'm telling you what, my friend Ashley goes all out! We had a blast and even enjoyed Pumpkin Chili (sounds disgusting, I know, but it was delic!!). The kids had a great time playing!

Here are the kids, all dressed up. (To be fair, this was actually taken yesterday at another Halloween party we went to).

Anna-Kate with her friend Campbell

Family picture

The kids at party 1 (and yes, this is Ryan picking his nose. Unfortunately the trend continued throughout the night...):

We then dashed off to party #2 of the night where I took the 2nd batch of Ghost rice krispie treats (yet, both days I forgot to take a picture. Ugh).

Picture of kids at party 2.

We had a great time chatting with lots of neighbors, then left to begin our trick-or-treating (In the rain. And it was quite cold. Overall, a poor showing by the weather if you ask my opinion).

Here are the kids' at my sweet neighbor/friend, Beth's, house:

Anna-Kate, post (2) parties, a little dirty from all the junk:

How we "rolled"

Look Mama, it's CANDY!!!!

How Ryan ended the evening

and of course

We're clearly versatile, at the close of the evening, we all transformed into Ninjas

Anna-Kate got the BIGGEST kick out of passing candy out to trick-or-treaters (we kept the kids up late tonight since the time change happens tonight). She sat by the door looking out the window just waiting for people to come, then ran to get the bucket, then ran back very excited. :)

Classic quote of the night...Anna-Kate had taken off her Minnie dress and tights and only had on her shirt and panties. I suggested putting her dress back on or choosing another dress-up "so we don't show our panties". Her response? "but I like people to see my panties, they're pretty".


Here's a bonus, a picture of my kids and our family friends yesterday at the party. The kids were non-plussed with the idea of another picture, clearly. (this half smile from Anna-Kate came after I informed her "you want to smile in this picture Anna-Kate" as menacingly as I could sound.)

Friday, October 30, 2009

Halloween parties

Part 1

Yesterday was Anna-Kate's school fall party. She was thrilled beyond belief to wear her Belle dress out of the house (a strictly enforced rule that dress up stays inside only) along with her shoes (remember how she got those?). Anyway, sweet as can be, she trotted in to school. Ryan was quite reluctantly pried from my arms as I dashed out to clean the house as much as possible before returning to school for her 11 am party (why do they do that to me? Only 1.5 hours?? And of course, the organizational/must-clean-everything-now aspect of pregnancy just descended upon me recently.)

When I arrived back I found huge goodie bags from their game time (hopefully can snag someone else's pictures who was a good mommy was there for the whole day. In the room was pizza, fruit and juice boxes--to be followed up with cupcakes. Luckily, there was extra for parents. We all know I can't smell pizza too long without partaking myself. :)

Coleson, AK, Lucas and William at their table at school. Her best little school friend, (who used to sit next to her) Ansley, moved last month so I guess their teacher decided to re-do seating assignments. We are in the "girlfriend only" mode, so she was less than pleased, but clearly, she's making it. :) (which, Carey, she still comments from time to time that "Ansley wasn't at school again today"... :( ).

Wow, my face is sure looking pregnant. Gotta slow down the dorito consumption.

Playing ring around the rosie with her friends Emma and Asa.

Sweet smiles.

Ansley's replacement, her new best friend at school, Emma.

This afternoon is our Moms Club Halloween party. I signed up forever ago to bring a "fun Halloween-y dessert". Stay tuned for pictures for what I come up with. :) Hey, I've still got 1.5 hours...

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

The search

...for the H1N1 vaccine continues. Not to get all controversial, but after much prayer and asking and reading...we have decided to get the vaccine for our kids and for me (and possibly Chris, jury is still out on him). (Sidenote, if you are dying to know my reasons, I'm happy to share as this time last month I swore we would NOT be getting them). Anyway.

We are in kinda a weird place with pediatricians, we have insurance that requires you to use their doctors and facilities, but for whatever reason, the doctor we've been with since moving here (not "official" doctor of theirs) is in their extended network as there weren't enough pediatrician's for the amount of kids in the area or something. So my "real" ped (who we've never seen) has the vaccine, the doctor we frequent (and is convenient!) does not have it.


I called this morning on the way to Ryan's playgroup after dropping Anna-Kate at school to see if they had it. No was the answer I received. She said they were waiting for their shipment, had not received any and to keep calling back. OK, fine. When I arrived at playgroup, another mom, who sees my same doctor, commented that her son had received his H1N1 in the office on Monday. "Whaaaaat?" say I, perplexed at the information. I immediately called back and was told the husband of the head of the practice (who owns a different practice) had given his wife 50 of their vaccines to use and only those who had appointments and who asked for it got them while they lasted, so to keep calling back. Ugh, barely missed it. So, I get home from playgroup, school and lunch and see on facebook a friends' status: "for those who see Dr. X, H1N1 vaccines are in, call to make an appointment". You have got to be kidding me. Of course the call went straight to voicemail and of course I've not heard back yet. I'm sure they'll be gone before I get an appointment.

And it continues.

(Are you still reading? Are you bored out of your mind? Sorry about that, fall party at school tomorrow should result in better fodder, or at the very least, cute pictures).

Thursday, October 22, 2009

A little help please!

Our son may always and forevermore remain nameless. No, really.

"Baby boy ____". Nice ring to it, huh? How about "boy # 2" or just "deuce"? Ya, we are in a bad way!

We simply cannot agree on boy names. Any suggestions? :) We are set on a middle name. Here are the parameters.

We like somewhat traditional names and the meaning is very important to me.

In the same way, it has to "sound good" with Anna-Kate and Ryan.

We try to avoid top 50 if at all possible, for sure top 25.

Refuse any name that ends in "on".

If you can manage to make it a family name, you win extra points.

Winning entry prizes include exclusive rights to be the first to hear the name along with my undying love and affection.

So, help a girl out, do you have any fabulous suggestions for our poor third child?

Recap on the week

My grandmother had hip replacement surgery last week and was just released home this week. I went to visit her last week, and was planning to visit Wednesday until plans suddenly changed (side note, please pray for a quick and total healing for her. A separate hairline fracture was found after her surgery and the doctor's have told her to be off of her hip for 6 weeks.)

So Tuesday night Anna-Kate woke up with fever. 101.2 (underarm) to be exact. Boo. So the next day we had an impromptu jammie day as we obviously didn't go to school. We had a great time and I would have great pictures to show for it if my camera batteries weren't dead. I know, lame excuse. We visited the ped just to rule any flu's out...she's in the clear thankfully!

Today I tied up a lot of loose ends, did some monogramming, a trip to the post office (definately in my top 5 least favorite places to go, possibly top 3--YUCK) cooked and cleaned while the kids were at school. Seriously, highlight to my Thursday is picking Ryan up from school. I love to peek in on him playing with his friends and then to see the look of sheer joy on his face when he sees me is the greatest feeling in the world!

Tomorrow I am heading to a women's retreat through my church up in South Carolina. Shockingly, the weather is calling for rain (can I ever go anywhere without rain anymore??). Praying for a sweet time of fellowship, refreshment and spiritual growth. I'm really excited!

Not sure what Chris has planned for the kids. There is a local fair on Saturday, but as Chris hates crowds, I seriously doubt he'll go. :)

On a completely random side note, we have decided to get the H1N1 vaccine for me and the kids (not sure if Chris even qualifies??). This has been a serious topic of much prayer and discussion around here, so I am thrilled to have an answer and a peace about the whole thing.

Well, if you are still reading you must really love me, because this was boring. My apologies, I'll dig deeper tomorrow. :)

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

A great way to spend the afternoon

Yesterday, my friend invited us over to bring bikes/ride on toys to her feux-de-sac (not a true culdesac :) ) to play in the gorgeous weather. We all used our mom mobiles vans to box the kids in and other cars out. Glorious.

Ryan was loving the tricycle and Campbells helmet

When the big kids tired of riding bikes, they gathered some fall/Halloween books to read. How cute are they? (Although, I'm a bit troubled by AK's hand on Andrew's leg...). :)

They all then decided that was subpar to the "real deal" Miss Wendi stepped in and had all of their attention for a solid 7 minutes. Now, if only the little ones had shown interest.

Monday, October 19, 2009

paci update

Ryan went down like a dream last night, no tears! I think he was so exhausted he just couldn't even cry. Slept until 8:15 this morning. :)

Thinking we were done, I laid him down at 1...tears for about 10 minutes. Theeeeeeen, he woke up at 2:30. Ahh! Praying it was a poopy diaper I went up there, but alas, no. He never fell back asleep. Now we are just trying to keep him awake until 8. Praying if we stick to schedule, his naps will adjust themselves soon (like, tomorrow would be super, thanks).

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Pumpkin Patch '09

(Pretend you don't know that we actually went to the pumpkin patch 2 weeks ago). Also, please notice Ryan's outfit. I got it from Strasburg ($$ kids clothes) for $6 last January and made Anna-Kate's to match. Yeah for frugality!

Picking out the perfect gourds:

Pumpkin cuties with their "perfect pumpkins":

Totally unsure about this whole pumpkin thing:

On the other hand, totally hamming it up:

Our yearly tradition includes going with the Crabb's, and then going to Taco Mac for dinner afterwards. Here are Adam and Anna-Kate showing us their favorite pumpkins:

Family shot:

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Goodbye, Oh beloved paci (Ryan edition)

Well, yesterday was the day. The day I dreaded since I brought him home from the hospital passionately sucking on his little MAM. We had decent success with taking Anna-Kate's paci away (and here), so thought we'd go for the same strategy with Ryan. I gathered them all into a ziploc bag for him to throw away. However, at 16.5 months Anna-Kate didn't realize the finality of throwing them away, so happily complied. At 6 days shy of 20 months, Ryan was having none of it (our ped suggests taking the paci during the "teen months" so they are old enough not to *need* it and emotionally handle the loss, but young enough to forget about it relatively quickly and move on. We barely made it time-wise...) See, he wouldn't let go, and was trying to open the bag up to release his dear friend from captivity...

Hugging goodbye...

Anna-Kate came over to give him a hug and kiss then looked up at Chris and said, "cheeeese!". Awesome, her "cheesing", Ryan beside himself and me trying not to bust out laughing. Poor guy.

Last night was night 1 of no pacifier for Ryan. He did pretty well. I rocked him a bit longer as I sang an extra couple of songs to him. I laid him down and left. About 1 minute later he started crying, and he was MAD. If you are a mom, you know what that cry is like, quite different from the cry of sad, upset, scared etc. So, I didn't feel too bad for him. But, about 10 minutes in it turned sad and just downright pitiful. "Mama" he cried sooooo sadly. I started to cry. Chris told me to be strong so I let him cry about 5 more minutes then I went in to comfort him. I held him until he stopped crying and told him how much I loved and what a big boy he was then I prayed for him for extra peace and comfort from the Lord, layed him down (awake) and left. I didn't hear a peep out of him until I got him this morning. Thank you Jesus!

(PS, to seal the deal that I am mean, I borrowed my friends' "nail polish" (called mavala I think?) that is used (it was given to her by her daughter's dentist) to prevent nail biting and thumb sucking and put it on his pointer and middle fingers, aka, the back-up paci, before bed. I didn't want to jump out of the fire into the frying pan, or however that saying goes...). As an aside to that, as I was vegging and catching up on my TIVO from last week I got a serious craving for Doritos. I subsequently finished the bag of chips. As I was digging my finger into the bottom of the bag to get the remaining chips and licking my finger a bit of the mavala stuff got in my mouth. OMg, it was so bitter and horrible. It ruined my chips, and I felt so bad I didn't reapply it to Ryan tonight. But, back to the story.

So we felt encouraged today and had a good morning then put him down right at 1. He cried and I went in about 10-15 minutes later to comfort, same as last night, asleep like that. However, instead of sleeping until 4, he woke up at 3. Yuck.

He was so tired this evening, and as Anna-Kate didn't nap today either (and why would she??) we decided to have a movie night. We all huddled in blankets on the couch with warm chocolate chip cookies and watched "Beauty and the Beast" with remote handy for fast-forwarding through all those pesky "scary" scenes. (My girl is definately sensitive and I plan to keep it that way as long as possible.)

We put them both down a little early. Ryan cried about 10-15 minutes and I was about to go in until it suddenly stopped. I'll peek in later, to make sure he's asleep. Praying he didnt' find his fingers. With Anna-Kate, she was good on the 3rd day, so hopefully tomorrow Ryan will be out of the worst of it as well.

Friday, October 16, 2009

10 year reunion!

Here is the picture from the family pancake breakfast. Lovely that my two kids are the only ones in the picture, huh?

There was a football game Friday night--so fun to see everyone, but SO weird at the same time. When I went to school there we were in the ghetto, if you will. Now the school has changed locations and has a HUGE beautiful campus, with football, amongst other additions.

The following morning was the pancake breakfast where all the kids ran around like crazy (Ryan thought he was so old trying to (and doing pretty well!) keeping up with some 5 and 6 year old boys. Anna-Kate was in heaven with her goodie bag that Sara made for all of the kids. Hers had princess stickers and markers to color princess book markers...perfect! Afterwards we took a tour of the new campus. I think Mr. Axtell (Sara's dad and superintendent of the school) felt sorry for my pregnant-without-hubby-keeping-up-with-two-kids (one of whom, whose name starts with a "R" and ends with a "yan" kept thinking it would be fun to run in the street) so he offered to chauffer said nameless child on his shoulders for the tour. A million thanks!

That evening we went to Alamo Cafe, an old favorite of mine, for an adults only dinner. There were door prizes, trivia prizes and a slide show--so fun! Sadly, the quality and consistency of my photos remained the same this night...resulting in one lone picture. Here is me with Christina after dinner on our way to the after dinner dessert social. (Sidenote, could I possibly look any rounder in this picture? I'd completely reject it, but as it's the token picture from the night...alas, I will add it. Sigh.)

At the dessert we chatted over dessert (of course) and watched old videos from last day of school etc. Seems like soooooo long ago!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Disney on ice!

A while back, my friend, Heather, found a deal for bogo tickets to Disney on Ice. The show started at 7:30, so we opted to let daddy's keep babies and we would take the "big" kids (Anna-Kate is big??). We talked about it and the most she gathered was, "Like the disney parade?" and would tell people "I'm seeing Disneyworld on ice!" It was SO FUN!

The two of us just after arriving. She could hardly take her eyes off the show for a quick picture!

The 4 of us: Heather, Andrew, Anna-Kate and me during intermission.

It was the "celebrations" one, so they started by having a birthday party. Goofy dropped the cake and it made a huge mess (ie, it broke in 4 nice pieces). So Sorcerer Mickey came out to get the brooms (a la Fantasia) to clean it up. Anna-Kate was not a fan of them (the lights went low and the brooms' faces were covered and there were neon black lights on them). She buried her head in my chest saying, "it's clean, it's clean, now go away!". Haha. Then came the Halloween party...basically all of the Disney villains were there with a few ghosts thrown in for good measure. I almost had to take her out, but thankfully, I had the forsight to put a snack in (and even more forsight to cover it with my umbrella and keep it from being taken at the door). So, I distracted her with a snack and just turned her back to it so she faced me. Next came the Valentines Day portion where Minnie dreamed of being a princess and all of the princesses came out--certainly the highlight! Next came a luau (with Lilo and Stitch and Mickey and Co) finally ending in a Christmas celebration with everyone.

Andrew and Anna-Kate = great buds!

Trying to capture the awe and excitment in her eyes!

Some pictures of the ice skaters. She was so happy to see all of her favorite princesses (Belle, Ariel, Cinderella, Aurora, Snow White and Mulan all were there--ironically, she's only seen the movie Cinderella).

Dancing with her buddy, Andrew. They stood up and were clapping (trying to stay on beat, but not so much) during one of the one else was standing or clapping. :)

We got home about 9:45 last night (thankfully, my threat of "you can't go unless you nap" worked or it would have been B-A-D!). They were both barely awake and kept saying, "I'm so tired". As she was getting in bed Anna-Kate said, "Mommy, I want to go see Disneyworld on ice again tomorrow, that was a special treat for you and me". Ahh, warms my heart!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Back from Texas

...and I've got the pictures to prove it! :)

We went last Wednesday and returned yesterday. The original reason for the trip was to attend my highschool reunion in San Antonio, but tickets are cheaper to fly in the middle of the week, so we turned it into a reunion with other friends and family too!

Poor Ryan entertaining himself (thanks, Sesame Street!) while I finished packing (and Anna-Kate was at school Wednesday morning).

On Thursday we went to the San Antonio zoo. SO FUN! We went with my childhood friend, Christina and her son Parker (we've been friends since 1st grade), my parents and Kendel and her son Ezra (we've been friends since 5th grade). All of the boys are within 4 months in age. We stayed at Christina's parents' house--such a blessing (they have grandkids so were fully prepared highchair/pack-n-play wise etc)!

Here are Ezra and Ryan looking at the prarie dogs:

They was another section that Anna-Kate loved where you could crawl "in" to the prarie dogs' habitat. The boys were too short, but Anna-Kate fit perfectly!

Their zoo has a waaay better train that ours!

We had a picnic and went home for naps, but returned to finish looking. They had just opened a new Africa section, with HIPPOS! Anna-Kate's been dying to see a real hippo, and they were so close. She loved it!

The boys were awestruck too (well, at least all 3 had their attention on them for a minute):

They were HUGE. I mean, I knew hippos were fat, but geesh, H-U-G-E!

This is Anna-Kate talking with Chris...we all sure missed him!

Friday was rainy and icky. I should also add that San Antonio is in a drought. Yet, 2 days we were there it rained all day. Ironic, no? Anyway. Mom and I took Anna-Kate to the doll house that I used to love to go to as a child. It is a 2 story Victorian-era looking house FILLED with all kinds of dolls (1000's, really). She loved it, and it was so special to go back.

This was her favorite doll, I think it was in the range of $800. Amazingly, she didn't ever ask for us to buy her anything. She just said "what a special treat" to see them when we left.

There is a new addition, an adoption tea room (when you adopt a doll they have a tea party for you and your new baby). So cute. Anna-Kate loved trying on all of the hats!

I repeated my usual, "let's look with our eyes not with our hands". She took it and ran with it, never touching anything. I picked up some doll clothes to see the price and she got all over me about touching! :)

I had such a wonderful time hanging out with longtime childhood (and adulthood!) friends. Such a special time. Christina's husband, Kyle, (who is an awesome photographer!) got a lot of great pictures of the kids and the 3 mama's, but I don't have those pictures yet. I'll add later.

I'll make a seperate post for reunion pictures, a great time as well!

And, oh yes, how we traveled. I'm sure I looked like a one-woman circus (with 2 kids in tow).