Saturday, December 12, 2009

Cats Outta the Bag!


For those of you who haven't figured it out yet, I'm totally knocked up again!

I am 9 weeks pregnant and due in July with our 3rd spawn!

Despite the constant nausea, migraines, and a bout of the flu so far, we couldn't be more excited.

I guess this explains all of the complaining I've been doing and me being so sick. ;) Hopefully there will only be about 3-4 more weeks of complaints. Then it's on to the fun part! We decided we aren't going to find out the gender of this baby since we already have one of each. So few surprises in life, I think this will be a fun one!

Thank you to everyone for all of your support and encouragement. I can't wait to meet this little, or most likely NOT so little, one come July!

Sunday, November 22, 2009

Go green.

I never used to be conscious of the whole recycle thing. I mean, I would return my soda cans, but that was 5 cents a piece I was getting! It wasn't until I got married that my husband made me more aware of my recycling habits and helped me turn them around.

Here a few of the things we do at home to try and do our part...

I NEVER buy wrapping paper, tissue paper, gift bags or ribbons for presents. I reuse all the tissue paper, bags and ribbons from presents we have received.

I use paper bags at the grocery store instead of plastic.

I cut apart the paper grocery bags I have and use the blank side as the outside for wrapping presents. Then I use all of my pretty ribbon or bows I've received to snazzy them up. It's really beautiful, especially at Christmas time with the same colored wrapping and all the beautiful bows!

Lighter.Safer.Greener wants to know what you're doing to help save our planet!

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Pumpkin Madness

A couple weekends ago we did our annual pumpkin retrieval trek. This year we headed out to Greenbridge Farm in Jefferson for $1 pumpkins. The kids were ready in their boots and Braeden pulled Ryllie & Spencer nearly all the way out to the field in the wagon...
The kids hitched a ride with the pumpkins on the way back...
There was an entire covered area that had a hay tunnel and a wheatbox for the kids to play in for free. And since there wasn't anyone else around, the kids had free range.
Tate & Connor sat in the wheatbox playing while the older kids played on the hay.

The McIntyres
The Jones'
The night before Halloween we spent the evening carving pumpkins on a makeshift mat on the living room floor. The kids just ran around playing while all the adults did the hard work. I swear, one day, they'll have to do all of this themselves!
L-R Spencer drew 3 silly faces that I carved out, Sheri carved Ryllie's castle & Nathan carved Braeden's autobot pumpkin.
Our house still smells of pumpkin guts.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

My baby turned 4.






My son turned 4 & I didn't even blog about it! What?! I'm a terrible mother. On October 125th, my bucket, that's right, his nickname is Mommy's bucket, turned four! It was 4 years ago that I gave birth to my 10 pound 4 ounce Mister man. I can't believe he's four. I know everyone says this, but it went by so fast. So much has happened. He has grown into the sweetest, most stubborn, caring, inquisitive little boy.

He's always been one to just go go go, I suppose that's why I keep asking him to slow down and stay little for me. He says he can't. That he has to grow up to be a Daddy and get his own house. What is that? What four year old wants to grow up and move out?

A few milestones:
First smile: 3 wks old
First laugh: 8 wks old
First word other than Mama & Dada: kitty
Crawling: 7 months old
Walking: 11 months oldTalking in full sentences: 18 months old
Refusing to eat anything but yogurt and cereal: 1-2 1/2 years old
Potty trained: 2 1/2 years old
Complete drop down massive tantrums: 2 1/2 years old-3
Obsession with Transformers: 3 1/2-present
3 wks

1 year

2 years

3 years

4 years old!
I really truly believe that Spencer is growing into a caring, loving, thoughtful little boy. At random he tells me that he loves me and that I'm pretty. What girl wouldn't want to keep that boy forever? Too bad he wants to grow up so fast! I love you Spencer Zane.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

The Heart of our Home...

As a child, our family spent most of our quality time together in the "great room." We always ate dinner together and watched Jeopardy afterwards (while my older brother sat at the table yelling out the answers as he ate... VERY slow eater). Another big thing we did together was watch movies and eat homemade caramel popcorn. But times have changed a lot since I was a wee tyke...

Now that I have a family of my own, I've found that we spend a lot of our time together in our bedrooms playing with the kids. I don't remember both of my parents down on the floor playing with us very often. Perhaps it's because there was 4 of us and we entertained each other, but I find that our happiest and most memorable times are spent hanging out on the floor of Spencer & Tatum's room playing airplane or Saturday & Sunday mornings when we all linger in bed tickling, tackling & teasing the kiddos. I never thought that the heart of our home would be the place we sleep, especially since as a child it was the place we never wanted to go since the "go to your room" statement always meant we were in trouble. I hope that we continue to spend a lot of time playing with and enjoying our children while they still want us to.

What do you think? Where is the heart of your home? Leave me a comment & if you do, you'll help me win a new Samsung washer & dryer courtesy of Twittermoms! Then I'll be able to do even more laundry and fold it in our bedroom with the kids! I've recently discovered Spencer & Tatum LOVE to find our pile of unfolded clean laundry in our room and play dress up. Very entertaining...




Friday, September 18, 2009

Spencer's Imagination

So I'm new to this whole preschool thing so I have a couple questions...

A) Is it normal for my usually very outgoing child to NOT want to tell me what happened at school?

B) Is it normal for him to make things up that never actually happened?
First day of school he had yams for snack... not.
He almost got a time out for not putting a toy away... not.
Today he stood on top of the table and didn't get to eat the rest of his snack... not.

So when I ask his teacher, she's is just like, huh? What are you talking about?

I am so confused. I am not really sure what to believe. I don't know why he's making things up... Is preschool not exciting enough that he has to fabricate stories?

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Spencer's first day of Preschool...

I think I haven't posted this because I'm quite possibly in complete denial that my near 4 year old has a life outside of me.

Friday was his very first day of preschool and he was sooo ready for it. I dropped him off and he immediately ran off to make new friends. There was a handful of other kids crying and clinging to their parents and for some reason it made me feel a lot better. He was not being forced or coerced, he wanted it, he needed it. We both did.

My baby next to his backpack & hook!

Lining up to head inside

First one in the door, never even looked back.


While he was away, Tate & I hung out in a very quiet house. My stomach churned the entire time wondering what he was up to. We finally went to go pick him up and he was super excited to see us. It took a lot of questions to figure out what exactly had happened in school.

1-He apparently had yams for snack and had told the teacher he hated them.
2-He nearly got a time out for not listening to the teacher when she told him to put a toy away.
3-He made a friend named Braeden (Braeden had a blue shark on his shirt just like Spencer had a blue monster on his shirt... bonded them I guess).
4-He told Braeden that he knew 2 Braeden's, him and his cousin.
5-Braeden told him there was only one Braeden.
6-He learned about Adam & Eve and how they ate the smooshy fruit.
7-They cut out paper hands and he was too slow so he didn't get to finish and then yelled at me because I didn't have any child friendly scissors for him to "continue learning."

So yesterday I spoke with Teacher Kristy to figure out what exactly happened and found out...

1-They had crackers for snack (no yams)
2-He never got in trouble, or even close
3-He did absolutely wonderful

So it'll be interesting to see what stories he comes up with the rest of the school year. Yams. I was wondering who would bring yams for snack for 3 & 4 year olds!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

5

My freshman year of college I caught a toilet on fire and had to do community restitution in the paint shop. The very next year I started serving my punishment... After my unintentional attempt at arson, I started dating a guy who was part of a fraternity (we'll call him Big Red. Why not? My parents did). He was hilarious and had the greatest personality, but as soon as I started hanging out at said fraternity, I met a really cute guy (we'll call him Dimples) that I could not stop thinking about. Soon after, I dumped Big Red in hopes of striking up a romance with Dimples.

To my dismay, Dimples paid no attention to me. He was a senior and I was a lowly sophomore. He soon graduated and left me. But alas, one day I saw Dimples at the gym betwixt my sophomore & junior year. I struck up a conversation and left that day feeling hopeful that I would see him again. The next week I returned to the gym every day at the same time in hopes of seeing Dimples again, but to no avail. Sadness returned.

The next summer I lived in an apartment above a girl (we'll call her Hooch) who started dating Dimples. I was so excited to see him return but less than elated to see Hooch treat him like the Hooch that she was. One day I told Hooch how much I really liked Dimples. Turns out Hooch wasn't that into Dimples. She said that they were going out to see a movie that night and I should come along. I went along.

Soon after Hooch & Dimples broke up.

It wasn't until my senior year, when I had given up all hope of finding love and had resorted to dating a townie who lived with his brother and didn't have a job AND a 5th year senior who had no idea what he wanted to do with his life and spent most of his day with his friend the Bong, that Dimples returned to attend graduation school.

I was in the cafeteria and Dimples walked in. My heart went thud thud and he asked me for my MSN Messenger name...

5 months later we were engaged.
5 months later we were married.
5 months later I was preggers with his baby.

Happy 5 year Anniversary Tony! I married you for your dimples and your biceps but to NO surprise it's turned out to be so much more! I love you.

1up

Tony turned 29 a couple weeks ago. I think he was deprived as a child when it comes to crazy birthday cakes. So he requested a Super Mario Brothers 1up cake. I hope he appreciates it, because I'm done with his fancy cakes... He's nearly 30!

Smells like Fair

So a few weeks back the fair came to town. Tony hates all things fair, aside from the food. So he really didn't want to spend his money on something he hated, but I REALLY REALLY wanted a funnel cake. So he promised to make me one. We got home really late that night, can't really remember why, but we spent the next couple hours making and devouring the most tasty delicious funnel cake ever. If you're ever in the mood, it takes nearly no time and Alton Brown has provided us with a super easy recipe here...

Ketchup...

I know it's been a while, but I gotta tell you about our Fourth of July. See how I did that there, catch up/ketchup... you eat ketchup on your burgers/hot dogs on the 4th. Get it? Wow, that was dumb...

This 4th of July we went out to my parents' house in Stayton and BBQed. Good times had by all. The most momentous time was of course the lighting of the fireworks. The kids all loved it and thought it was hilarious that my brother Nathan stood by everytime with the house in hand "just in case," because at one point he LIT THE LAWN ON FIRE! Good thing he had his trusty hose!Even the babies had a good time. Some of the fireworks were a little loud, but for the most part they were fine.
When all of the regular fireworks were done the kids got to do sparklers!

They all had to stay within the confines of their block of cement so they wouldn't catch anybody else on fire. They did really well! When we were all done we all jumped in our cars and headed to the middle school to watch the big fireworks. We ended up spending the whole time coralling the children and trying to keep them from jumping out of my brother's truck. Perhaps they weren't quite old enough to be into the cool fireworks. Live and learn.

Friday, July 24, 2009

X Games 2021

For Spencer's 3rd birthday all he wanted was a skateboard. Of course one of his grandparents, who will remain nameless ;), got him one, but I had yet to let him try it out seeing as all I could invision was him biffing it and hurting himself badly... So yesterday he asked and I was like, okay, why the heck not? He's almost 4, he's had it for a nearly a year and I haven't so much as let him sit on it. I padded him up and let him get after it.

Turns out he was really effing good! He went back and forth on the sidewalk for 2 hours! I am so proud of my little skater. This was just the first video I shot, he got much better and could go about 15 feet...

Saturday, July 04, 2009

Epic Fail

Every 4th of July I get a little sad because I see all the families load up and head out to spend their weekend camping. I only remember one time we ever camped as a family growing up and I absolutely loved it. An excuse to not shower, get filthy & stay up late. Every summer when my basketball team had a tournament somewhere to save money we'd camp instead of staying in a hotel.

So me and my nostalgic self thought it would be an awesome idea to have a trial camping run in the backyard with the kids before venturing out to the real camp world. Here's our campsite! Complete with fire pit, grahams, chocolate, and mallows...
Tony built a fire in our pit and Spencer was so stinkin' excited not only for the smores but for sleeping in Uncle Na-Na's cool tent.


Tony dismembered our butterfly bush to make pokers to roast the mallows on. I wasn't too torn up about it seeing as those things are now noxious weeds & out of control!
For the first time ever I had the patience to sit and make the perfectly toasted mallow. I usually just shove it in the fire and then blow it out and eat it... Kind of like Spencer did.
The kids were loving it. Tate ate her first mallow and kept walking around the table trying to find the rest of the ones that I had hid from her.
It was a beautiful evening. UNTIL... it was bedtime. It was already a good hour past regular bedtime when we put the kids down in the tent.

I had taken our memory foam mattress off of our bed and it pretty much filled up the entire "6 man tent." Don't really know how they get that abstract number seeing as it JUST fit 2 adults and 2 small kids.

Spencer did great. He crawled right into his brand new sleeping bag ready to go to sleep. Tatum was too excited and just kept crawling around the tent. And as she crawled around she got more and more tired and would not just lay her head down and sleep. So she ended up crawling and crying and Spencer kept yelling at her to be quiet causing her to cry even more.

So then I was like, it's cool, I'll just go lay down with them and get her to sleep. NOT. She just kept crawling around. Tony joined us and she still didn't settle down. At one point she crawled on top of my head and I went to get up and move here and she literally rolled down my back 3 times. Tony could not stop laughing.

Finally around 11 when I finally realized that we had failed I took Tate inside to her crib. Within a minute she was sound asleep. Such a stinker. Tony came in to sleep inside and I stayed outside with Spencer. He too fell asleep in a matter of minutes as I laid there wide awake until about midnight when I realized there was no way I would be able to sleep out here with all of the random noises (I just might be THE lightest sleeper ever).

So I swapped with Tony who was trying to sleep on our naked bed with some crappy fleece blanket he pulled out of a drawer somewhere. I slept in Spencer's bed.

Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, June 21, 2009

Alas, the long car search has finally ended...

So about 2 months ago we started entertaining the idea of getting a new car. If we ever wanted to have another kid we'd have to get a new car seeing as children must be in booster seats til they're 35 and we couldn't fit 3 across in our Charger. Not to mention it had been about 10 months since our last car switcharoo and in my time, that's LONG.

So we began our search. Our list included:

Honda Odyssey






Honda Pilot








Toyota Highlander









Toyota Highlander Hybrid





Toyota Sequoia








Toyota Sienna




Volvo XC90








Land Rover LR3







Nissan Armada








Nissan Pathfinder








Acura MDX








Mazda 5







Dodge Durango







We researched blue book, safety, crash test ratings, JD Power & Assoc., reliability, resale value, etc. and were quite surprised by many things we found. For example, we had always thought that the Volvo was the safest car out there. Both my oldest brother and my youngest brother rolled & ran into a tree (respectively) and escaped unscathed. Apparently that is no longer the case.

We looked into the Mazda 5 (the mini minivan) just to find out that it had less space than any of the SUVs we looked at and in my opinion, should no longer be allowed to carry the title of "minivan." I mean, if I'm going to drive a minivan, I'd like it to have the features that a minivan should, like lots of seating, lots of cargo space. Poor Mazda 5 was like the ugly stepsister.... but affordable. I'll give it that much.

I also realized that nearly all used minivans come thrashed inside. I was excited about the prospect of a 2006 Honda Odyssey under $20k with Nav & DVD, early on in our search, only to find out that the previous owners children and dog had exploded inside.

I think the reason we've had such a high turnover rate in cars is because we've always settled. We've never really gotten the car that we want with the features that we want and merely purchased based on our budget alone. So when we finally compiled a list of MUST haves in our new vehicle we came up with the following:

AWD
Seating for 7-8
Rear DVD
Leather
High resale value
Reliable
Safe
Gets at least 20mpg on the highway
Less than 60k miles on the engine
Around $20k

So little by little, vehicles were getting ruled out. The Highlander Hybrid was out of our budget, the Nissan Armada, Toyota Sequioa, & Land Rover got horrible gas mileage. The Durango had a terrible resale value, the Volvo had awful ratings (safety & reliablity), couldn't find a Sienna or Odyssey with AWD in our price range. So it came down to the Acura MDX & Honda Pilot.

Seeing as the Acura MDX is basically a luxury Honda Pilot. it didn't really matter which way we went as long as we got the features and the price we wanted. After looking at the brand spanking new Honda Pilot and doing the math, we realized a 2006 would suit us just fine. After a couple of failed attempts at negotiating during previous weekends, we headed up to Portland sans kids on Saturday. We initially went to look at a 2006 Acura MDX with Nav, DVD, leather and only 45k miles for $21k: a sweet deal. Too bad as soon as we got there there was another family with 2 kids in the process of financing it. Awe snap. I gave them dirty looks as we left.

So off to the Honda dealership. This particular Pilot was a 2006 EXL with the rear entertainment package. It drove great, had 55k miles on it, Honda certified... and after a LONG day of negotiating and 2 months of research, we drove home with our new car!

HOWEVER, last night we decided to try and figure out the DVD system and ended up getting completely locked out of our car because it thought we were trying to steal it. I about freaked out. Fortunately, Tony called the dealership this morning and we got "unlocked" and we are going to get our DVD player fixed tomorrow morning. Goodtimes.

Despite last nights craptasticness, we are officially done car shopping! Thank you to everyone who shared their thoughts and opinions on cars with me! It was very enlightening... I think we'll have this one for a while... This is the first time I've ever wanted to "pimp my car." I want new rims, running boards, tinted glass... I know... I'm ridiculous. But if you know me, and the way I work (Example A: when Tony & I got married I refused to use any of our wedding gifts in our apartment because it was only temporary. We could only use them once we bought a house. Example B: I didn't want to paint, redo our floors or tile our countertops in our house until I knew we'd be staying there a while.) then you'd know that if I want to improve on something then it's something I really want to keep.