Wednesday, July 31, 2013


- I love watching American Ninja Warrior
- I love Catfish: The TV it, you won't regret it!
- Presley really does love preschool, she actually will be changing rooms in the middle of August, she'll be a 'senior'. Which means new teachers but hopefully most of the same kids. Hopefully that transition will be ok.
- Piper is teething....seems like the top 4 are all trying to poke thru at the same time. She is still happy, her sleeping is off and on. We'll have a couple bad nights and then some good ones, so we never know. Tylenol and teething tablets have become part of our nightly routine until those suckers pop threw!
- My little sister is going to be 29 on Friday. That means I'm not 29.
- My baby is going to be 4 1/2 on Saturday. STOP GROWING!

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Weekend Update

The week flew by not much went on. I worked late Wednesday, Steve went out Thursday and found out Friday that he got promoted at work! He has been doing the superintendent job without the title or the pay for over a year and they finally gave him the promotion that he deserved!
Then I went out with my friend Sarah on Friday night! Girls night was great, we do our normal girl talk, drink some beers and laugh! And I was out until almost 11, which is late for this girl!
Steve had to get up and work Saturday morning, I was tired and slightly hungover. I managed but I really just wanted to sleep. So once Steve got home, I took a nap!
We decided to go out for an early dinner and then went the campground to meet up with my friend Katie and her family. It was fun, we love hanging out with them...though again, Miss Piper just doesn't do well in the 'camping' situation. Gravel and sand, so she can't get down and move we stayed a couple hours then headed home.
This morning I got up and went to work....early, I left my house before 6 am. At least I was home by 11 so that we could enjoy the beautiful day! Piper took her nap and we decided once she got up we would head out and be outside!.
We had a late lunch at Latitude 41, which is a bar/grill on the marina. Great weather, the kids got to see some boats and eat a little lunch. Then we headed to a park to let Presley run off some energy.
After some time at the park, we went and got ice cream! By then, Piper was ready to get down and get moving so we headed home. Steve went to the store, Presley played with the neighbors, Piper played and got into everything and I tried to NOT lay down and nap! Great day, great weekend and now back to reality!

Oh goodness......happiness is awesome.

Miss Piper now 'fake' laughs. She throws her head back and scrunches up her face and fake laughs at us....usually if she hears us laughing, she'll start doing this! It cracks me up!
And then there is this sweet face, oh how I love this smiling, beautiful face!
and then she rolls her eyes at me.

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Love this!


1. Paint her nails. Then let her scratch it off and dirty them up. Teach her to care about her appearance, and then quickly r...emind her that living and having fun is most important.

2. Let her put on your makeup, even if it means bright-red-smudged lips and streaked-blue eyes. Let her experiment in her attempts to be like you…then let her be herself.

3. Let her be wild. She may want to stay home and read books on the couch, or she may want to hop on the back of a motorcycle-gasp. She may be a homebody or a traveler. She may fall in love with the wrong boy, or meet mr. right at age 5. Try to remember that you were her age once. Everyone makes mistakes, let her make her own.

4. Be present. Be there for her at her Kindergarten performances, her dance recitals, her soccer games…her everyday-little-moments. When she looks through the crowds of people, she will be looking for your smile and pride. Show it to her as often as possible.

5. Encourage her to try on your shoes and play dress-up. If she would rather wear her brother’s superman cape with high heals, allow it. If she wants to wear a tutu or dinosaur costume to the grocery store, why stop her? She needs to decide who she is and be confident in her decision.

6. Teach her to be independent. Show her by example that woman can be strong. Find and follow your own passions. Search for outlets of expression and enjoyment for yourself- not just your husband or children. Define yourself by your own attributes, not by what others expect you to be. Know who you are as a person, and help your daughter find out who she is.

7. Pick flowers with her. Put them in her hair. There is nothing more beautiful than a girl and a flower.

8. Let her get messy. Get messy with her, no matter how much it makes you cringe inside. Splash in the puddles, throw snowballs, make mud pies, finger paint the walls: just let it happen. The most wonderful of memories are often the messy ones.

9. Give her good role models- you being one of them. Introduce her to successful woman- friends, co-workers, doctors, astronauts, or authors. Read to her about influential woman- Eleanor Roosevelt, Rosa Parks, Marie Curie. Read her the words of inspirational woman- Jane Austen, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson. She should know that anything is possible.

10. Show her affection. Daughters will mimic the compassion of their mother. “I love yous” and Eskimo kisses go a long way.

11. Hold her hand. Whether she is 3 years-old in the parking lot or sixteen years old in the mall, hold on to her always- this will teach her to be confident in herself and proud of her family.

12. Believe in her. It is the moments that she does not believe in herself that she will need you to believe enough for both of you. Whether it is a spelling test in the first grade, a big game or recital, a first date, or the first day of college…remind her of the independent and capable woman you have taught her to be.

13. Tell her how beautiful she is. Whether it is her first day of Kindergarten, immediately after a soccer game where she is grass-stained and sweaty, or her wedding day. She needs your reminders. She needs your pride. She needs your reassurance. She is only human.

14. Love her father. Teach her to love a good man, like him. One who lets her be herself…she is after all wonderful.

15. Make forts with boxes and blankets. Help her to find magic in the ordinary, to imagine, to create and to believe in fairy tales. Someday she will make her 5 by 5 dorm-room her home with magic touches and inspiration. And she will fall in love with a boy and believe him to be Prince Charming.

16. Read to her. Read her Dr. Seuss and Eric Carle. But also remember the power of Sylvia Plath and Robert Frost. Show her the beauty of words on a page and let her see you enjoy them. Words can be simply written and simply spoken, yet can harvest so much meaning. Help her to find their meaning.

17. Teach her how to love- with passion and kisses. Love her passionately. Love her father passionately and her siblings passionately. Express your love. Show her how to love with no restraint. Let her get her heart broken and try again. Let her cry, and gush, giggle and scream. She will love like you love or hate like you hate. So, choose love for both you and her.

18. Encourage her to dance and sing. Dance and sing with her- even if it sounds or looks horrible. Let her wiggle to nursery rhymes. Let her dance on her daddy's feet and spin in your arms. Then later, let her blast noise and headbang in her bedroom with her door shut if she wants. Or karaoke to Tom Petty in the living room if she would rather. Introduce her to the classics- like The Beatles- and listen to her latest favorite- like Taylor Swift. Share the magic of music together, it will bring you closer- or at least create a soundtrack to your life together.

19. Share secrets together. Communicate. Talk. Talk about anything. Let her tell you about boys, friends, school. Listen. Ask questions. Share dreams, hopes, concerns. She is not only your daughter, you are not only her mother. Be her friend too.

20. Teach her manners. Because sometimes you have to be her mother, not just her friend. The world is a happier place when made up of polite words and smiles.

21. Teach her when to stand-up and when to walk away. Whether she has classmates who tease her because of her glasses, or a boyfriend who tells her she is too fat - let her know she does not have to listen. Make sure she knows how to demand respect - she is worthy of it. It does not mean she has to fight back with fists or words, because sometimes you say more with silence. Also make sure she knows which battles are worth fighting. Remind her that some people can be mean and nasty because of jealousy, or other personal reasons. Help her to understand when to shut her mouth and walk-away. Teach her to be the better person.

22. Let her choose who she loves. Even when you see through the charming boy she thinks he is, let her love him without your disapproving words; she will anyway. When he breaks her heart, be there for her with words of support rather than I told-you-so. Let her mess up again and again until she finds the one. And when she finds the one, tell her.

23. Mother her. Being a mother - to her - is undoubtedly one of your greatest accomplishments. Share with her the joys of motherhood, so one day she will want to be a mother too. Remind her over and over again with words and kisses that no one will ever love her like you love her. No one can replace or replicate a mother's love for their children.

24. Comfort her. Because sometimes you just need your mommy. When she is sick, rub her back, make her soup and cover her in blankets - no matter how old she is. Someday, if she is giving birth to her own child, push her hair out of her face, encourage her, and tell her how beautiful she is. These are the moments she will remember you for. And someday when her husband rubs her back in attempt to comfort her...she may just whisper, "I need my mommy."

25. Be home. When she is sick with a cold or broken heart, she will come to you; welcome her. When she is engaged or pregnant, she will run to you to share her news; embrace her. When she is lost or confused, she will search for you; find her. When she needs advice on boys, schools, friends or an outfit; tell her. She is your daughter and will always need a safe harbor - where she can turn a key to see comforting eyes and a familiar smile; be home.

Monday, July 22, 2013


- The skies are getting dark and I see lightening! I'm excited, we need a good thunderstorm with some rain for this yard! I'm already afraid of our water bill this month! But you know what will happen, we won't get any rain...I'm thinking about going outside and trying to take some pictures of the lightening. Though now the sky is black and the wind is gone. Creepy.
- Presley plays so good by herself sometimes! I love the stories! This weekend she had brothers. One time she had 2 older brothers and boyfriends who were throwing ice cubes at her. Another time her brother was 6 and she was 6, I asked if they were twins (then tried to explain what twins were). Then we were playing preschool and we had to wait for her brother to show up. Once he did, he had an owie on his leg and had blooded all over the place. Daddy helped with duck tape!
- She didn't cry at preschool today!
-  Ugh, we want to go somewhere for our 35th birthdays in Feb/March, any ideas? I know if we don't book it soon, we'll keep putting it off and never do it.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Week in review

Ugh, after being on vacation it is hard to get back into a routine...especially for the kiddos. Presley of course cried when I dropped her off at daycare every day until Friday! So hopefully tomorrow she will be fine too....fingers crossed!
We have been trying to put Piper to bed earlier than normal. Her bedtime process always takes at least a half hour to an hour (dumb, I know) So we start about 7 in hopes she is asleep by 8. It has been working nicely this week!
Wednesday I worked late and Thursday I went out after work with some co-workers. It was fun to get to know some of the people that I don't normally talk to at work (mainly b/c we are all so busy that there are rarely opportunities to just socialize during work). I was still home by 8 and Steve had already fed them dinner, gave them baths and they were both in bed! Awesome!

Friday we got home and cleaned, ate dinner and got ready for my parents and my aunts from WI and TX were in town and came over to see the girls, the house and just talk.
Saturday morning I got up and went to work early and when I got home Steve left to go help Jerry and Holly. The girls and I literally hung out and did nothing. We did make a quick trip to the store, but other than that we played, cleaned and enjoyed the day.
We had lined up Andrea and her boyfriend Chris, to come watch the girls for the night. They didn't come over until 7:30 so we tried to get Piper in bed before then, which worked for the most part. Presley on the other hand, freaked out when we left. She hasn't had a babysitter (other than family) in over a year! Andrea had to hold her back from running out of the house with us. We had to run out of the house and quickly close the garage door. I felt so bad leaving these two teenagers with a SCREAMING 4 year old and a crying (almost sleeping) 9 month old, but I figure this is great birth control for them!
We went to Saints to meet my whole family, there were 15 of us and it was a really good time! Talking, drinking and just having fun! Once everyone left there, we met my friend Sarah at Cooney's for a beer and then of course we swung by The Boathouse on the way home too. We got home about 12:30, which is too late but it was a good night out!

Today we got up, ready and headed to my parents house for brunch with the family. It was super yummy and good to have more time to talk and let my aunts see the girls a little more. We came home, Steve and P went to the store, Piper took a nap and I went to bed for a nap too! I needed it! So it was a busy weekend but a good weekend!

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Part 6

We told the kids to act funny....they did!
- This was the least relaxing Okoboji trip we've had just b/c Piper is at a bad age. She wants to be down and mobile but when we are outside 90% of the time on a gravel/sandy area, it's hard for her to be cooped up in her stroller all the time! It was still a good time and we both got relaxing time to ourselves! Presley and I had our time on the beach, her playing and reading. Steve took care of Piper and hung out with the boys (not on the beach) or fishing.
- If I have to hear "I'm hungry" one more time, I'm going to scream!!!!! I bet Presley said this at least 50 times a day. She would have 6 mini pancakes and a banana for breakfast and not more than 15 minutes later she was hungry.
- We had more health issues on this trip than any other. Ella, Christie and Ava passed on a 24 hour stomach issue Mon-Wed. Steve has found a new allergy to pineapple juice and was sick Tuesday night from that. Thursday his sister, Roxanne started feeling sick and his brother, Jason was having canker sore issues on his bottom Friday Jason went to the walk-in clinic for his mouth (a virus that they couldn't do anything about) and that night Roxanne went to the ER b/c of the pain and vomiting (gallstones, she stayed and had surgery this morning!) Then Ava started throwing up Saturday morning! Thank goodness this has all stayed out of our family (so far!)
- This is one of those vacations where it doesn't matter if you shower. During the day you are sweaty and covered in sand and take a shower after dinner, come outside all nice and clean and spray yourself with insect repellent and sit in the smoke of a bonfire!
- Presley has pushed every single patience button I have this week. She is bossy, demanding, spoiled and will do exactly the opposite of what you ask of her....especially if it has to do with Piper when she is sleeping. Presley CAN NOT be quiet...she said she doesn't know how to whisper! And of course we are in these tiny little cabins, so we can't really punish her in there b/c she'll just scream and wake up Piper! UGH!
- Piper did not sleep good. She was up ALOT...and of course, you don't want to let her cry it out b/c then she'll wake up Presley! So she got a bottle (or two) every night in order to get her back to sleep. She also ended up sleeping in bed most of the time too. We didn't stay up as late as we normally do mainly b/c we didn't know if we were going to be up with Piper (and b/c the teenage/20-something nephews weren't there to keep Steve entertained until the wee hours of the morning!)
- Presley eventually opened up to everyone. Even when we went shopping she said thank-you to the employees! She still has her 'shy' moments but it is getting better!
- As good as it is to be on vacation, it is so good to be home!

Part 5

One thing you learn on vacation, the kids are going to be dirty! Even after baths!
Piper sporting a mohawk courtesy of the wind!
I love this cheesy face!!
Piper ready for the water!
She was not impressed!
Ava, Sam, P and Gavin having fun!

Part 4

Thursday we made our way to Arnolds Park to do a little shopping and see if P wanted to ride anything. It was only $10 for her to ride and she loved it!
Riding the ferris wheel with daddy!
She likes the little kid rides, but she is almost bored with them. After riding the tilt-a-whirl at the Green Days carnival she is up for more adventurous rides! Adventureland should be interesting this year!
Of course, her favorite thing was the free playground, jungle gym area. Steve went with her the first time and then she was off by herself!

Cousins (Part 3)

Steve told them to laugh at each other....I think they slightly overreacted! Drama queens!

Part 2

 Blowing bubbles, (yes we buy small wedding bubbles b/c they are cheap and small and when they get knocked least you have more!)
Ella did a little knee-boarding
Even the kids played a little beanbags
Presley didn't talk to anyone on Saturday, finally when Ava got there on Sunday afternoon she opened up. Her and Ava fought like sisters every night. 'You're not my best friend anymore', 'You aren't being nice!' It was rather funny!
Wednesday we made our way to the Barefoot Bar, it's a nice place to relax, drink and have fun. We put Piper down for her afternoon nap, letting Grandma Kathy 'watch' her for us (hoping she would sleep the whole time we were gone. She didn't and she wasn't happy)
The older kids took advantage of the water slide!
Presley enjoyed her first (virgin) strawberry daiquiri and loved it!