Tuesday, July 29, 2014


So most nights in our house are pretty much the same, we like to keep the same routine but some nights we just have to break the monotony of the same thing night after night. Kids in general are pretty adaptable to change (minus last Saturday for us!)
Steve usually picks up Presley on his way home from work and starts to get dinner ready. I pick up Piper and get home between 5:15 and 5:30. Then we eat between 5:30 and 6.
Then depending on how they are acting or the weather, Steve either takes then outside or downstairs to play while I clean up and take a couple minutes to get things organized (start laundry, put away laundry that has been sitting in baskets for nights on end, pay bills....whatever). Then I join them in playing and hang out until about 7, when it is bathtime!
Bathtime is followed by quiet time with milk for Piper and fruit with a quick cartoon for Presley. In a perfect world, both girls are in bed by 8 and sleep by 8:15! :)

They probably could go to bed earlier, but that damn sun! Once fall comes and the sun sets earlier, we might move this back to 7:30....which seems so early but we wake them up by 6:30 during the week and both girls DO NOT want to wake up in the mornings! And I can't blame them!

Brighter days

So needless to say we all slept in on Sunday morning, we finally got up a little after 8. We got dressed, packed up and headed out about 10. Surprisingly, we had a good trip home. They actually ate some breakfast and lunch, they actually watched a movie and when we got home Piper actually took a nap! HA!
Presley went straight to her room (the girl likes time to herself to play!), then she colored for a while (the girl likes to color everything in patterns) and then she and Steve went to Target to get kindergarten school supplies! You would think she would be excited, but we had to show her a picture of another kid in her class getting school supplies on Facebook to convince her that she should go!
We had a pretty good night, did baths and got the girls to bed at their normal time.
We did start a new 'star' chart for Presley's behavior this week, yesterday was good and she got stars for all 6 of her 'chores'. Sucks that we have to do this just to get her to behave, but whatever works!

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Worst Day Ever

Ok, let me put this in perspective before I offend people. I realize that some peoples worst day ever is finding out a loved one has a disease or a terminal illness or having someone close to them die. I DO realize that my worst day is very trivial in comparison, but just let me have my moment.
So for Christmas we all went in and got my dad an exotic car experience at the Kansas Speedway, he was super pumped and we were all excited that we were able to find a weekend that the whole family could go down to watch him and have a night in a waterpark hotel!
Friday I picked up Presley from preschool and said "P, guess what? It's Friday! Tomorrow we go to Kansas City and we are going to have so much fun!"
I was 66% correct.
- It WAS Friday
- We DID go to KC
- It was about 10% fun. We had about 3-4 good hours.
Friday night we packed and got ready, so Saturday morning we were up and ready and out of the house at 8...which is exactly what we had hoped for! SCORE! Presley had been pretty good for about 4 days a in row so we were hoping this would continue on our trip.
About 2 miles away from our house is when it started. Presley thought it wasn't fair that Piper had milk and she had water (even though she specifically told us she wanted water!). Then Piper was playing with 5 big legos, Presley wanted them. Took them. Piper starts the screaming and crying. Legos were given back to Piper, Presley starts screaming, crying.
This ritual continued for the next 2 hours. TWO HOURS.
Then we stopped for lunch at 10:30, (early but we needed to stop before we got too far into KC) of course, MCD's doesn't serve lunch until 11. Within 20 minutes we had to carry Piper out b/c she was screaming. I broke down. I couldn't handle it. That's me, crying in McDonalds, eating my bacon, egg and cheese biscuit. That's me.
My mom and dad decided to take Presley and Boston in their car to help give us a break from one of the kids. Piper screamed and cried (MAA-NEY!!!! which we aren't sure what this means, but she says it over and over and over again...either MINE or I'M HUNGRY are our guesses).
We got to the speedway before everyone else, you know, since they stayed to actually eat and enjoy lunch. Piper was actually good once she was out of the car. While we waited she ran around and entertained people and Steve decided to enjoy the exotic car experience too! We figured he wouldn't get this chance again and his 'dream' car was there for him to ride in. 115 MPH. It was pretty cool to see and hear these cars go flying by. I'm not a big 'car' person, but they did look cool!

My Fav, the yellow Lamborghini!
All 4 grandkids were good during the time we were there!  I was hoping Piper would run off some energy and get ready for a nap at the hotel.
Miss Mary was made to wear this helmet!
Daddy loved ALL of the cars there!
So my hopes of getting Piper a nap were diminished when we got to the hotel and none of our rooms were clean (which we were kind of expecting since check-in time wasn't until 4). So we got changed and did some swimming at the water park! The park was super cool, all the kids (including some of the bigger kids!) enjoyed it once they got comfortable.
Presley's favorite thing to do was put her hair in the fountain and then flip it over, spraying water everywhere. Piper would get in, get splashed and then run over and wipe her face off on the towel.
Finally about 3:30 our room was ready. We got everything up there and organized and my mom agreed to lay down with Piper in hopes for a quick hour nap. No such luck. The girl wouldn't sleep.
During this hour, we only had two whiny baby issues with Presley. She was mad that Steve got fries instead of chips with his (late) lunch, then she was mad that he didn't save her any fries once she realized that she actually liked them. Then I got in the water with her (in an attempt to distract her from the fry meltdown). We went over to one of the bigger pools, she didn't want to get in. We tried the lazy river and she freaked out on me. So I was done.
About 5 pm we all went back to our rooms to get changed and ready for dinner. We already knew this would probably not work out for us and our lovely children (Miss No-Nap and Miss Attitude). We had a little extra time and decided to head to the arcade. Fun huh? Wrong. Presley whined b/c she didn't know how to play any games (you know, pushing a button, b/c that is super hard?! She is just so afraid to fail or NOT be good at EVERYTHING!) She broke down in tears b/c one of the machines that you can win candy on...didn't give her candy that she liked! Really? Fine, say goodbye to the candy!
So we went to dinner.....Piper was typical Piper, nothing out of the ordinary. Won't sit still, wants to walk around, wants to sit on everyones lap.....anything but sit. Presley was good for the first half of the meal.....then we got her food....the fruit was all melons which she won't eat, she crawled under the table mad, then hit her head on the table and then the crying started. She wouldn't calm down, she wouldn't eat dinner, so Steve took her back to the room.
I finished my food, packed up our leftovers and headed up to the room with Piper.  I decided to take Presley down to mom and dads room while Steve tried to get Piper to sleep. We had already told P she was done......She was not having any more fun the rest of the night since she had been bad over and over again all day long. So what happens...we are in their room and you can hear Boston and Mary in the next room over jumping on the beds having fun. I couldn't let her go. I couldn't. I had to stand our ground, we give in to her too often already and it needs to stop. She was heartbroken and I can't blame her. All we wanted for this weekend was to have fun and here I am telling her that she can't have fun with her cousins. Again, I LOST IT. I literally sat in the bathroom of my parents hotel room crying. Presley was crying too (looking at herself in the mirror the whole time).
Finally when Piper was asleep, P and I went back up to the room. Exhausted. My parents had even agreed to watch all the kids while the grown ups went out but it just wasn't in the cards for us this night. Poor Steve was a champ dealing with all of this. He got Piper and Presley to sleep and then tried to calm me down too. Thanks baby! Love you!
Needless to say, I am so glad that day is over. The highlight of the day was the 2 hours in the middle at the speedway, which was the main reason we were there to begin with!

Tuesday, July 22, 2014


Oh good golly. The last month has been a challenge (to say the least!) with Presley. She was SO good there for a while and then it slowly started changing. She cannot do anything without negotiating, she can't do anything the first time we ask, she can't do anything without challenging us or trying to make her own decisions. I realize that she is only 5 years old but I feel like I (we) argue and yell at her ALL of the time these days and I hate it!
I don't know if it is nervousness, knowing kindergarten is starting soon or jealousy of Piper (b/c Piper is really cute and fun these days and gets alot of positive attention).
She has started wanting me ALL the time, even at drop off at preschool she now cries (or really resists going) in the mornings. Its exhausting.

Yesterday I had printed off a 'chore' chart so that she can earn stars for a possible reward at the end of the week. We got home from preschool and she was actually being good, not talking back, so we got that chore chart out and she was excited about it. It has 6 things on it, simple things but these are the things that we are struggling with EVERY day!

1) Get ready in the mornings good
2) Have a good drop off at preschool
3) Eat a good dinner (including not complaining, sitting down and actually just eating instead of playing, standing up, walking around, playing with Piper)
4) Help clear dishes off the table
5) Help pick up toys
6) Go to bed good

So she was excited about it, she earned 6 stars tonight and hopefully this will help her focus. Otherwise we are hoping that the change of kindergarten scares the crap out of her and she starts behaving again (like she did last fall with her new preschool class). Wish us luck! :)

Smoke a little smoke

Saturday Steve got up bright and early and headed to Panora for his brothers Smoke a little smoke, drink a little drink party. All day party, mostly to have a BBQ competition! Tons of kids, bean bags game, eating, drinking, camping (which we were planning on doing!)

My mom had agreed back in March to watch Piper overnight for us and we took Presley knowing she could play with cousin Ava. I dropped Piper off about 10:45 and we made our way to Lake Panorama. It was the perfect day, we were outside all day!

Presley decided that being my little shadow sounded more fun that playing for the first 4 hours we were there but eventually she went off and played. Jerry won the smoking competition! We were SO happy for him! And Christie and I won the first bean bag competition (I will say, she did more scoring than I did!)
About 10:30 the drinking started to get a little more obvious, cousin Ava was sleeping and I didn't want Presley to be a witness to the nonsense going on. We had planned on tent camping but then someone gave up their room for the night, so we pounced on it and claimed it as our own! P was sad that we didn't camp out but with everyone still up and drinking outside I think this was for the best.

Yesterday P and I headed home about 9 to get Piper and Steve stayed a while to pack up his smoker and help clean up. We were all just tired. The house is gross, the laundry is mostly done but just in baskets all over our bedroom. I'm secretly hoping someone will sneak into my house and clean it one of these days. (but then they might be really disgusted with how gross it is!) Piper napped, Steve fell asleep on the couch, I fell asleep off and on in the chair and poor Presley just played (waking me up every now and then to ask a question or to tell me something). Finally we decided to pull

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Weekend behind

Man, how did I get a week behind on posting? UGH! I know you are all on the edge of your seats wondering what we have been up to the last week. I mean really, why isn't there a reality show of our lives? The entertainment value would be unreal! HA!

Anywho. The Saturday we got back from vacation we all slept in! It was exactly what we all needed! We had told P that we would get the slip-n-slide back out, but then the our yard got sprayed for our monthly treatment and she was heartbroken! So we decided to hit up the pool for a short while!  The girls loved it, however Piper just runs. And running around a pool, and chasing her over and over again is just exhausting. Presley did good, she would put her face in, blow bubbles and once she got comfortable would let me help her 'swim'.
We were only there for an hour and then we decided to get ice cream on the way home. Piper took a late nap and we just hung out the rest of the night.
Sunday we all slept late again!  Presley and I had planned on going shopping for a little girl time, but she was so snotty and has been such a terrible listener lately that I had to cancel our plans b/c I couldn't handle it. I think maybe over the last 10 days we had too much time together! HA! Another sign I am NOT meant to be a stay at home mom!

The week was a blur, dealing with exhausting Piper and trying to NOT fight with Presley 100% of the time is just emotionally and physically draining. By Thursday Presley was screaming and crying for me when I left for work and Piper was crying for Daddy on our way out. Then P threw a HUGE fit at daycare. Steve said it was the worse drop off he has ever had, screaming, crying and kicking. I called preschool about 9 to see if she had called down and Miss Colleen said P just kept saying that she missed her mommy and wanted her mommy! HEARTBREAKING! In tears at work I decided to take a long lunch so that I could take my baby girl out to lunch in hopes to help calm her down for the rest of the day.
I had our monthly work outing after work which was very much needed! It was me and Amy and then my friend Lyndsi, good girl talk on the patio with the perfect weather and some beers! Ahhh....

Tuesday, July 15, 2014


We decided to hit up the splash pad again Thursday, it keeps them busy for a while and wears them out. We all had fun! Presley really wanted me to get in, so I went thru the sprinkler and fountains with her. When I participate it helps her come out of her shell a little and have some fun! This was our last day so we hung out and tried to relax and took pictures and enjoyed it!
P and Ava in 2012...how funny that this was recreated completely by accident!
Piper wanted her chance to cheese for the camera!
Messy baby. Bad hair, little pizza face, little ice cream face. This is the typical dirty kid up there. All day in the sand and sunscreen...all evening in bug spray and camp fire smoke!
Thursday night Ava and Presley wanted to have a sleep over. So Ava came into our cabin and they girls watched a movie until they fell asleep...success! :) I woke up about 9 and slowly woke everyone else up so that we could get packed up and headed home. Finally by 11 we were on the rode, the girls did pretty good, but you could tell we all just wanted to be home in our own house. We got home and unpacked about 2:30. It was so nice to shower in our own shower (and then not put bug spray on 10 minutes later!) Steve and Brock went to the Motley Crue concert that night and the girls and I hung out, they went to bed pretty good and I was able to get some stuff put away, laundry started and just enjoy being back home!


So we planned on going to Arnold's Park Tuesday, which worked out perfectly b/c it was windy and chilly by the lake! We did some shopping, Presley got $20 to spend however she wanted, she bought a ring, the purple headband (that she just HAD to have which you will see in the following pictures), candy and a tshirt! We walked around the park, we didn't ride anything (too expensive there!) and the girls were not interested in playing on the free playground stuff!
If you look really close, near Presley shoulder there is a hint of pink in the purple flowers....this is an egg we hid for the Andrea's Angels Easter in July event! (Let me know if you want more info, its awesome!)
That afternoon Steve and Presley and the rest of the gang headed to Barefoot Bar to hang out while Piper and I stayed at the cabins so she could nap. It was actually chilly with the wind blowing so hard, but the wind kept the bugs away!
Wednesday morning the water in the lake was SO muddy, no one was willing to even think about getting in. We knew we had to keep the girls busy and just chasing Piper around didn't sound like fun. We found a splash pad in Spirit Lake so we checked it out. It was perfect! Two large playgrounds, swings and a nice big splash pad with fountains and buckets of water.
Christie brought Ella and friend, Sam and Ava out to meet us there for some fun too!
Steve had bought water balloons and a slingshot for them....it was actually really cool! This thing shot these water balloons SO far, the kids (and adults) loved it! Too bad water balloons never last long enough!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Okoboji 2014 (Saturday, Sunday, Monday)

So Saturday we got up and ready to leave, we got to Spirit Lake about 2:30. The drive went good, the kids were fairly good and we were able to get unpacked and get Piper down for a short nap after we got there!  We stayed up late this night, too late for this momma, but my friend Lyndsi was there and some of Steve's family was there for the night so we did a lot of talking and drinking!
Sunday we got up about 9, hung out and then while Piper napped Presley and I headed to the beach to hang out! She played good, we talked and I got some reading done!
Once Miss Piper got up, she joined us at the beach and she actually did pretty good. She wasn't interested in the water (which is a plus!), she didn't throw sand around, she just watched Presley and played!
Even cousin Derek helped out and took them to the swings!
Steve took Presley fishing for a while....she liked it, but the fish weren't interested!
Me and P in 2014
Flashback.....me and P in 2011
This little thing can be SO sweet sometimes!
Monday the girls slept in again! Cousin Derek has decided that white trash is the new style, he doesn't care what anyone thinks.....mullet, cut-off jean shorts, the flag brotank.....good entertainment for us!
Presley was not feeling that great this day! I don't know if it was too much sun, or just a quick bug...but she got up at 9, took a 2-3 hour nap (which she NEVER does unless she is sick) and then she was ready and in bed by 9!
Piper however was typical Piper, full of energy, looking for trouble and social!
Sam with the turtle they caught, who they named Jennifer! HA!

Friday, July 11, 2014

3rd and 4th of July!

So Thursday the 3rd started our vacation! We did Applebees for dinner (3 times in 2 weeks! So bad!), Piper was less than cooperative, but we had expected it. The surrounding patrons were relatively understanding, even giving me direction as Piper took off running around the corner and then into the kitchen! Seriously, the kid lease is sounded better and better every day!
We then headed over to the Urbandale carnival to do some rides since we knew we weren't going to be doing much on the morning of the 4th. I refused to do the Tilt-a-Whirl this time and did the kiddy roller coaster instead!
and my first time on the big slide! HA!
Daddy took her on the bumper cars! This girl loves rides and $20 in tickets does not go far in these carnivals!
On the 4th we hung out most of the day, we had the neighborhood party at 4 and we had to pack for vacation! We decided to skip the parade. After the nice, relaxing, not busy Johnston Green Days parade the thought of parking a mile away and fighting 2000 other kids for candy just didn't seem that fun for any of us, especially when the kids never really eat the candy anyway. The weather was perfect, so we tried to spend time outdoors to enjoy the day!
She now poses like a cheerleader ALL of the time! And she keeps mentioning going back to cheer class, so we'll see. We aren't doing anything until fall no matter what!
At 4, we headed over to the neighborhood block party. They have such a nice house and incredible pool/patio/yard set up! It's always nice to get together to talk and hang out with the people who live around us.
Steve conveniently had to get 5 stitches in his hand earlier in the week so opted to stay out of the pool...leaving pool duty open for me! Lucky me *insert sarcasm*!
The monster did not get in the pool, it was chilly in her defense...she ran around the pool, looked like she was going to jump in the pool, chased the dogs and just wore us out!
We wanted to stay longer than we did, but really needed to get the kids home and packed to leave!  So we didn't do any fireworks either. I kinda feel bad, but with the way things worked out this year, it just didn't make sense to try to fight crowds and parking to keep them happy and up late! Is this just us being lazy? HA!