Friday, July 27, 2012


This past weekend we took our second annual family vacation to Seattle.  It went fine.  It was not wonderful, nor horrible.  After all, we do have two toddlers, one who takes two naps for a combined four hours, and one who should nap, but refuses.  If we went by their sleep and rest schedule, we would not have left the hotel.


1.  We had a very successful dinner at Buca Di Beppo Friday night.  This was HUGE because we had just spent 3 hours in the car and we did not sit down until it was Abby's bedtime.  I credit this success to the large party of teenagers dressed oddly for a scavenger hunt.  Ella was enthralled with their costumes.  For instance, one guy had a sand bucket as a hat and a stuffed monkey on his shoulder.  Who knew what she was thinking, but she was relatively quiet the entire dinner.  Her mind must have been processing something.

2.  Breakfast. The hotel had a hot breakfast every morning.  We owned that breakfast.

What We Learned:

1.  Ella still needs to have the option of a stroller during long walks, especially if she needs to keep up a decent pace.  A tired three year old would have a better attitude in a stroller.  Duh, that is why we bought the Double BOB! We should have brought it.  Knuckleheads.

2. A one bedroom hotel room is not going to work, yet.  So our family of four slept in one room while the pull out bed remained untouched.

Daddy and Abby 

Abby is amazed at the fish 

Ella the Octopus

Ella and Mommy 

Abby's first carousel ride

Add caption

Balloon Man 

$5 bouquet 

Pretty similar to last year's photo

Um, YUM!

Check out last year's visit HERE.  You'll be amazed how much the girls have changed within the year.  

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Another Trip to the Night Doctor

Just the other day I was thinking about how we have managed to stay out of the doctor's office for a few months.  Then I had a little chuckle about a conversation Ryan and I had earlier in the year.  It was in regards to a pre-tax medical deduction that we were taking advantage of and he thought I overestimated our monthly medical expenses.  Turns out I underestimated them... considerably.

Apparently that thought was a jinx.

My second jinx occurred Thursday morning right before the big incident.

Ryan was at the hangar.  Abby was napping.  Ella and I were entertaining our dear friends, Heidi and her daughter, Ruby.  They had arrived for a play date 15 minutes earlier.  The girls had just enough time to warm up to each other, we grabbed our coffee, headed outside, and Ella had enough time to eat half a muffin; if you know Ella, that does not require much time.

The conversation went like this:

Me to Ella:  "Ella, please get down from the roof (of her Little Tykes play structure).  Remember my job is to make sure you are safe and that is making me nervous.   Can you make a better choice?"

And she got down.

Me to Heidi:  "Ella is going to have a broken arm by the time she is 3.5 if she keeps up all this climbing."

and no joke,  .2 seconds later she tumbled.  And by tumbled, I mean, crashed on her chin.
The scene of the crime.  Ella apparently tried to climb over the little red door and it swung out from under her.  We have speculated she landed on the plastic door frame. 

Doing what I always do, I held back not wanting to make a mountain out of nothing.  But, as soon as she stood up you could see there was a gash.  A big one.  It was ugly and I went into panic mode.  I grabbed Ella and used my hand to hold her gash together.  I thought she was going to pass out.  I thought she might have broken her jaw.  I thought the ambulance was necessary.  After a minute we called off the ambulance and hopped into the car, shoeless.  Luckily, Ella's princess shoes were still in the garage from the fit she had the day before (that's another post).   Heidi stayed with sleeping Abby until Grandma and Pa could arrive.  (Huge thanks to all of them.)

We were on our way to the Night Doctor's.  If you remember, Ella has previously visited the Emergency Room before.  Click  HERE.

Unlike her previous experience at the ER, it was busy.  We had to wait, and wait, and wait.  All the while the anticipation built.  The videos distracted her, but not us.
Might as well take a picture or two.  We've been here for 90 minutes already. 

When all was said and done, Ella did amazing.  She absolutely hated being restrained, and  I absolutely hated restraining her.   Seeing her fight and question, not understanding the process or reasoning behind the doctor's actions was heartbreaking.  Her owie was so big and deep the doctor did two layers of stitches, ten across.

And we suppose Ella will have quite the battle scar and story to tell.   And you would think that that experience would slow Ella down and limit her climbing.  Not in the least bit.  Not even for a second. That's our girl: fearless, brave, and full of spirit.

Warning some pictures are gross and disturbing.


My poor baby girl. 

All stitched up with a story to tell. 

Silly and goofy like always. 

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Play, Play, Play

Last week Ella had a super duper play date with her oldest friend.  Like always, they were goofy, funny, and happy. 

They were Rock Stars and marched in a parade.  K was a  drummer counting Ella in while Ella jammed on her guitar. 

They showed their sweet dance moves and really moved it. 

Of course, they had to dress the part with their super cool shades.  Btw, not everyone can pull off pink princess shades with such flair. 

These rock stars also excel in cooking. 

So, they made their own gourmet pizzas with pineapple, mushrooms, tomatoes and lots and lots of cheese. 

And because this picture is cute and Abby was lucky enough to score an ice pop...
(Note: One benefit of being a second child is that Abby has enjoyed far more ice pops than Ella ever did at this age... don't judge...) 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Catch Up

My momma took a little bit of time off on her blog.  She does that from time to time.  This time it was because daddy came home after 15 LONG days away, 4th of July, and because, well, I have not been so easy at bedtime.  I am sure she will tell you all about that in an upcoming post.

Anyways, she asked me to fill you in the last few days.

We have been baking up a storm.  I even managed to swipe some whipped cream. 

Abby enjoys scooting on the mouse.  Momma really loves these pajamas. 


We went to the local Fourth of July parade.  Abby was the best clapper there. 

Ella prefers to sit on Pa's shoulders. 

Deja Vu from last year.  

It was a perfect day weather wise. 

Momma and Abby. 

Abby has a lot of teeth.  She is eating apples here and can now sign "more", "eat", and "all done".
Momma needs to learn more signs to teacher sister.  I'll remind her. 

We visited the Children's Museum, but Momma only took
pictures of Abby,  NOT FAIR. 

I put on my party dress, winter hat and mittens and danced, danced, danced. 

I am silly. 

Abby and Daddy planned a flight together. 

And most importantly, we have a DOG!  Ok, we are only borrowing him, but
I am plotting my plan to get mom and dad to buy me one.

Life is great; I am loving having momma home.

Monday, July 9, 2012

Week Planning

To do with the kiddies this week:

Okay, this one might really be for me, but I am sure the girlies will also enjoy the sweet treat!

Meal planning:

We also have swim lessons on the docket, a date night, a swim date, and of course, trips to the gym  and library this week.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Yum! Planning Week 3

Now that the hubs will be home this week, I plan on kicking it up a notch in the kitchen.  After all, he is my wingman and will happily run to the store for any last minute items and will entertain the kiddos while I get my cook on.

I am charge of dessert and I was thinking about making this:

Easy and delicious

Thursday night we have dinner plans!  Whoop, whoop!

Friday lunch, perhaps?

And sometime this weekend:

with this

and then maybe we will hit the craft we did not get to this past week... Oops!  Other than that, I am sure there will be lots of family time, trips to the park, and may be even the pool.  

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Ah- Ha Moments

*Please disregard my errors.  I am delirious.  In fact, I should make that a blanket statement for all my blog posts.  Don't judge me on my sentence structure, conventions, or quality of writing, as most of my entries are completed right before bed and with one eye on the TV screen.  Thank you kindly. *

I have been by myself for the past two weeks, minus the 30 hour stint Ryan was home over a week ago.  These two weeks also perfectly coincided with my occupation change from teacher to stay at home mom.  I consider myself to be a pretty competent person.  After all, there are a lot less capable mothers out there and I do have a degree in elementary education, a masters, and eleven years of classroom experience.  However, I must tell you, all bets are off when it comes to your own children.

Here is what I have learned/ noticed:

1.  My kids are constantly the kiddos who leave the house with unbrushed hair, a dirty mush and soiled clothes.  As a result, my goal for the upcoming week is to make sure we leave the house looking respectable.  At all times.  Plus, we will put our clothes on for the day AFTER breakfast.  DUH!  (This might also help with my massive pile of laundry... bonus!)

2.  Presetting expectations is a must.  This is so obvious in the teacher world and so necessary with a toddler.  Everywhere I go I say, "If we have a tantrum we go home."  Ella now fills in the blank and she knows I mean business.  We have left the library and just this past week, a birthday party due to tantrums.   That simple phrase is my mantra.  I bet I say it in my sleep.

3.  Scissors are a godsend.  Seriously.  Ella can snip away happily for twenty minutes.

4.  If I shower at all, it is a good day.

5.  Drive-thru Starbucks can make anything better.  Seriously.   Our regular order is a petite vanilla scone for Ella and a grande vanilla latte for moi.  Twenty minutes of driving, sipping on coffee, and listening to Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire is sometimes the break we all need.

6.  My dishwasher is worth its weight in gold.  We were without if for 2 days and I thought I was going to have an anxiety attack every time I put a dish in the sink.  Not sure why, but life is better when my sink is empty.

7.   Amazon delivers toilet paper.

8.  Costco is a great outing.  This I knew, but everyone is happy at Costco so I thought I'd add it to the list.  Plus, they have this awesome Princess Sticker book right now that I am using to bribe motivate Ella to get into the water at swim lessons.

Some shots from the week:

All in all, it was has been a GREAT two weeks.  I feel like we are in our groove.  I am happy to be staying at home with the littles.   My confidence has grown.  I can keep my kids happy and entertained, my house somewhat clean and organized,  I can cook wholesome meals (this was my biggest worry about staying at home), and I am back at the gym (yay).