Sunday, November 30, 2014

Two Vacuums

Our two dogs are always around.  And I'm not saying that to be's just that they are always underfoot, especially when there is food in the vicinity.  I know we've got limited time with Darla (she's 13.5 years old) and Lucky has hit the 10-year mark, so I try to appreciate everyday with them.  Even when they create walking hazards when trying to get somewhere in our house.

But, one of the things that I love most about them (after the unconditional love and snuggles) is the fact that they are each a personal vacuum.  G is now self-feeding, which means half of it ends up in his mouth, and half ends up anywhere else.  Lucky can usually be found sitting at the base of his highchair, and as soon as we pull him out of the chair, her nose is on the seat, inhaling anything she can find.  Darla's not quite as quick anymore, but she can still vacuum up the crumbs that fall right in front of her nose.  I take this cleaning service for granted, but really notice it when we're somewhere that doesn't have it means that I have to clean up the mess!

So, that's just one of many things I'm thankful for this Thanksgiving weekend.

We've had a really great weekend...lots of time with family over the last several days, plus we were super productive around the house!  We spent Thanksgiving dinner at Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey's house, and the meal was wonderful.  It was a nice, drama-free day, and a very pleasant way to spend the holiday. My parents also came along, so it was extra special to be able to spend the day with ALL of our family!

I didn't partake in any of the Black Friday shopping, although, I did purchase a few things online to take advantage of some great deals.  And I wrapped our first Christmas presents, which was good because our tree was looking a little lonely!  We set up our tree on Thursday night, and noticed a few of the light strands weren't working.  It also looked a little short - our ceilings are higher here than they were in our last house.  So, while Scott and my dad were out shopping on Friday (yes, that's right, they went shopping, but I did not...but more on that later) we ended up with a new tree.  And it's beautiful!  Ava, my mom, and I decorated it (and the house) on Friday afternoon, so we've been able to enjoy the lights/sounds/smells of Christmas over this long weekend.

Our tree has the option for either multi-colored lights, or white the variety! 


Look who's back...George!  And this year, he enjoyed some wine.

We also took pictures for our Christmas card - both kids behaved really well, considering that it was close to bedtime.  My favorite pictures are where G is looking up at Ava with a big smile on his face.  There is so much joy with these two children!

G's just hanging around...

Now, why did my husband and my dad decide to so shopping on one of the busiest days of the year?  To pick up sheet rock and more doors for our basement!  They worked for a good portion of the weekend, framing in the bathroom and stairway door, as well as hanging sheet rock in the hallway and ceiling.  It looks amazing!  This will be an ongoing winter project for Scott, for sure, but I know he sincerely appreciates all of the help that my dad provides to him.  It's fun seeing this come together!

We also decided to check out the Rosemount VFW and the $2 tacos on Saturday afternoon...they were yummy!!  It was a different experience than at the SSP VFW (it's huge and usually packed on Saturday afternoons) but we would definitely head back to the smaller Rosemount one, especially since it's so close to our house.

A baby in a bar!

My parents are leaving for home next week - we've really enjoyed their visit, and are looking forward to our upcoming trip to Colorado.  Scott and Ava haven't been there in over two years, and it's been about 1.5 years for me.  Can't wait to get some of that Colorado sunshine and bright skies!!!

Love this family (Scott, too...he was taking the picture!)

One last day of the weekend before heading back to work tomorrow...we're off to enjoy this Sunday!

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Mini Murph

G has been one cranky baby lately...crabby enough that his daycare provider contacted me on Tuesday to let me know what a tough day he had been having.  Very clingy, whiny, not eating the greatest...but no fever, so that was one positive!  I was a little worried to see how the rest of the week would go, but nothing else came of it.  He had much better days the rest of the week, but he does have a bit of a cold.  He's been sleeping so much lately, and when he's awake and happy, he's my little Gare-Bear; but when he's cranky, watch out - it's intense!  He's discovered how to screech really loudly, and stiffen his entire body when he doesn't want to do something.  Looks like we're moving into the wonderful years of having a toddler!  But, he is doing a great job of feeding himself, and is NOT happy when he sees jars of baby food.  He really wants to eat whatever we're eating, so that's making mealtime a bit different than in previous times.  Today he ate half a banana for breakfast and did an excellent job getting most of it into his mouth.  Way to go, little guy!

My parents watched the kiddos for a bit for the early evening on Friday.  I had an appointment at the end of the day, and Scott headed up north for his last hunting weekend of the year (and yes, he did get another deer this weekend...)  My parents picked G up from daycare, and then met Ava at the house when she got off of the bus.  Ava was such a big helper to my parents, which I know they appreciated.  And G walked all the way from the fireplace to the couch (probably 7' or so.)  He is one tough little guy to contain, although he does know the word "no"...but he will generally smile when he hears it, and keeps on doing whatever he shouldn't be doing.  Sigh...

My parents came over on Saturday to spend the evening with us.  They picked up dinner for all of us, which included a cute little pizza making kit from Papa Murphy's for Ava.  She had fun decorating her Mini Murph pizza, and said that it was really tasty!  We're going to have to remember that for future fun family nights!


Hangin' out with Grandpa Doug

Grandma Karen and Sassy Ava!

This afternoon, Ava and I are going to a candy making class for three hours.  I have no idea why it's going to take three hours to make candy, but it should be fun, nonetheless.  I'm hoping she can stay focused for three hours and not lose interest in why we're there.  We shall see!

All of our snow has melted, which seems weird for this time of year...last time I let the dogs outside, I noticed it felt like spring.  The area of the yard that the dogs go to is a soupy, muddy mess - makes me miss the packed snow!  Scott and I are going to have to get creative next spring, and make sure that part of the yard is finished first, so we're not dealing with months of endless mud!

Sunday, November 16, 2014

True Love

Last night, we (Ava and I - and Scott, in theory, but he was studying the back of his eyelids before the opening scene) watched the movie Maleficent.  I always thought that Sleeping Beauty was the princess that no one ever talked about (that was before the princesses became a SUPER BIG DEAL in recent years...and now Aurora is a household princess name.)  In any case, I was intrigued to see what the movie was about, and it's easy to use Ava as an excuse to watch anything princess-related. :)

Turns out that the movie was about Maleficent (I know, shocking!) and how it's possible to be a hero and a villain, all at the same time.  But, mostly, it was about love, and how it can thaw even the coldest of hearts.  It got a little scary at times, and Ava started asking me a lot of questions about friends, and why friends do things to hurt each other.  Ava and I both stayed awake until the end of the movie (amazing for a variety of reasons) and it left both of us with things to think about. 

It was a good flick - I'd recommend it.

Our house was hit with a few different bugs this past week...Ava had a headache and sore throat, and I had some intestinal issues.  We've both recovered, but it made the week go by in a blur.  Ava did have all green days at school this week, so that's awesome!  And G has been taking a few hesitant solo steps every day...he's not quite sure if he wants to do it, but when he doesn't think about it, and just goes for it, it's a success!

Scott and my dad worked for several hours yesterday installing a heater in our garage so it'll stay at a comfortable 35 degrees during most of the winter, and then we can bump it up a bit to melt the snow off the vehicles during the winter.  Plus, it'll make it better for him to work in it during these cold months.  All I know is that when I checked on the progress yesterday afternoon, there was a hole in the side of the garage (to vent the heater) and I quickly shut the door and walked away...I'm assuming that everything will be installed properly and look nice at the end.  I don't need to see the entire process happen!

I had a super fun impromptu happy hour on Friday night with some was totally unplanned, and we had a blast!  We've had some pretty rough weeks lately at work, and it was great to kick back for a few hours, and have some laughs...and it was an excellent start to the weekend.

We just finished a very nice breakfast of cinnamon rolls, bacon and strawberries...and there's a full agenda for the day, so we've gotta get moving.  The sun is shining, the sky is blue, and the ground is covered in white sparkles - looks like it's going to be an amazing day!

Sunday, November 9, 2014

A Peaceful Time

It was a good week.  A really good one. On Tuesday night, I had a chance to reconnect with an old friend, and get a really good pedicure, all at the same time.  Two birds, one stone, I say!

On Wednesday night, we had Ava's 1st grade conferences, and really enjoyed hearing about how well she is doing in school.  It was fun hearing about the lessons they are learning, and also about all of the friends that Ava has made this year.  The best thing that I heard was that Ava's class has really melded together well, and Ava is great at playing with all different groups of people...yeah!

And then on Thursday night, Scott took Ava to Gander Mountain to prep for deer opener this weekend, and I took G to get his first haircut.  It's pretty clear that the daddy-daughter combo had significantly less tears than the mommy-son one.  Although, the woman who cut G's hair said he did really well compared to other kids.  I do think he did better than Ava did at her first haircut (it was like she was being tortured) but it was still not his finest moment!  The end result was adorable though.  He looks like such a little man handsome!

Looking pretty unsure about things...

The horror!

Happier now that it's done...

Early on Friday morning we got the news that we didn't have daycare, so we had to do a quick rearranging of our schedules.  Scott had been planning on heading out of town at noon, but I have been really busy at work, and had a major deliverable due.  In the end, Scott was able to hit the road at 1pm, and I was able to work from home, so no complaints here!

Ava has been with Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey since Friday after school, so G and I have had some really good quality time together.  We've had fun playing with all of his new toys, and just hanging out together.  For a while on Saturday night, he just hung out on my lap, watching Clueless with me.  He was so relaxed and that little guy!

He always has to have something in each this case, two balls.  He does amazingly well at crawling with them!

Trying so hard to get Darla to play with him...

I laughed a bit when I realized that my dinner (squash bisque) and G's dinner (sweet potatoes) looked almost identical...

I didn't have any plans this weekend, and it has been the best weekend I've had in a while.  I saw something on Facebook that I really liked: Stop the glorification of busy.  While it's fun to get together with friends and family, and have lots of activities to look forward to, I realized that I definitely need my own time to get caught up with things, and not feel so rushed and behind all the time.

I was able to get all of Ava's old clothes put into storage, and ready to give to some friends.  And I cannot believe how many clothes this little girl has...what were we thinking when we stocked her wardrobe?!

All of the clothes on the left are size 5, and the clothes on the right are size 4...good grief!

It's just been awesome to cross so many things off of my to-do list.  We've only got one thing planned for Sunday...G's one-year photos!  It'll be nice to start the work week not feeling all rushed and frazzled! :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

No Time to Turn Around

I heard the phrase "no time to turn around" yesterday from Scott's mom, and I thought it was very applicable to this past week.  It was a fun week, but a really, really busy one!

After dinner on Tuesday night, we decided to carve our pumpkins.  Ava, of course, wanted to pick out the most complicated design.  We settled on a few mid-range ones, with a standard Scott "creative one" to round out the bunch.  This year's bonus carving said "FREE BEER."  When I came outside this morning, I noticed that pumpkin was gone...apparently it's a free lunch to some animal, too.  On the other hand, my follow-the-directions pumpkin won the contest at our little party last week - hooray!

Doesn't Ava look innocent? Ha!

Scott's deranged squirrel (it's supposed to be a cat, and he went off-pattern...)

Here's my content winner...!

And then when that day was over, we woke up and had a one year old son to celebrate!  G turned one this past was fun to think about how far we have come in one year.  Things were so crazy for us that the time flew by this past year...

"I'm ONE!"

Normal messy face after dinner...

What is this delightful little treat?!


Sooo messy, but he loved it!
Note to self: remove shirt before giving a child a cupcake

Thursday night I needed to leave work a little early so I could pick up Ava from her after-school club.  Scott took G up for his one-year check-up with the doctor.  He's shot up on the percentile charts...50% for weight, and 83% for height.  Awesome, G!  We have one healthy little boy!

And then Friday was Halloween, of course!  Ava "the mermaid" and I headed over to a neighbor's house for dinner, and then to head out to beg for candy.  We noticed that trick-or-treating started really early, but then ends super early, too.  Around 7:30pm, we seemed to be the last ones roaming the neighborhood.  Ava and Fletch got tired, and they both just wanted to head back home.  Ava got to the point where she would tell people "no, thank you" when they tried to give her candy.  When she's done, she's done!

G "the dragon" had stopped over for a few minutes with Grandma Deb, but he was a little cranky so they headed home to hang out with Daddy while he handed out candy.  Scott had a nice bonfire going, and had made some turkey dumpling soup for the neighbors when they would stop over.  Yum!

After we were done trick-or-treating, our neighbors hosted a party at their house.  Most of the kids headed downstairs to their movie area to watch Hotel Transylvania, while the dads sampled beer from the bar, and the moms snacked and chatted away.  Ava made it until midnight...I think I was more exhausted than she was!

Some of my favorite memories of Halloween 2014:
  1. It was a really chilly night, so everyone was dressed warmly.  Fletch had on at least three layers, hat, mittens, etc...but when we walked outside, he looked at us and said "I don't have any shoes on!"  As Emily said, "parenting fail!"  But a hilarious one!
  2. We each took a coffee mug out with us while walking with the kids.  Other parents noted that it was a great idea.  We didn't have coffee in there.  It was wine, and it was delicious.
  3. At one point during the party, Ava made her way back upstairs.  I noticed that her shirt was missing (from underneath her costume) and she had a tattoo.  I had to ask Emily what the heck was happening in their basement!
Grandma Deb with the kiddos!

My pretty mermaid

My angry dragon

Super cute costume...too bad he didn't want to have his picture taken!

Ava was keeping G on the couch, no matter what!

Saturday was even more busy, as we had a bunch of housework to do in the morning.  I then dropped off the kids at Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey's house, and headed to the far side of the cities for a co-worker's wedding.  It was a great night, and we wish them many years of wedded bliss!

Carey, Em and Dee

Sunday morning was an anomaly...we gained an hour, and there weren't any kids around to wake us up early.  We both were up and moving by about 7am...but we were able to go out to breakfast and go grocery shopping, without any young kids slowing us down.  It was great!

After that we headed over to Scott's grandma's house and picked up his Chevy Biscayne.  It stalled once while driving it in town, and then it started to lose power on the highway back to Rosemount.  We did end up needing to call a tow, but it's now tucked away in the storage unit for the winter, so that's a relief.

Good thing we made it home, though, because we had a birthday party to get ready for!  Ava's 1st birthday was a little more extravagant than G's...although he had streamers for decor, and she didn't. :)  What a lucky guy!  Haha!

Waiting to open gifts...

G decided opening gifts wasn't everything that he had hoped for!

New hat from Great-Aunt Steph!

The ball/monkey thing was a big hit from Grandma Deb and Grandpa Whitey!  Both kids loved it.

G took a few sideways, shuffly steps...pretty happy that so many people were there to see it.  He's cheering himself on in this pic!

More cake!
Note to self: good job on removing the onesie!

Who was the messier one?  G (top pic) or Ava (2nd pic)?

After a really great dinner, cake event, and gift opening, everyone went home, and all kids/hubby were in bed by 8pm.  I was so exhausted from my previous six days that I thoroughly enjoyed the mindless task of assembling some of G's toys.  And when I went to bed, I slept very hard!

So, Happy 1st Birthday to G, and Happy Halloween to all!  This witch is pooped and is heading to bed!