Thursday, December 18, 2008

Happy 13th Birthday, Casey!

On Saturday night, my cousin Casey had her 13th birthday party. She got to choose what she wanted, and she picked a 50s-themed sock hop! They invited 40 kids and had the party at the elementary school gym. Brian and I were able to stop by on our way home from Christmas shopping. We arrived just in time for the 8 p.m. limbo. Most of the kids were dressed up for the sock hop (poodle skirts, white t's and jeans for boys, etc.). Menu items included burgers and fries, and the cakes looked just like vinyl records! It looked like a lot of fun and we are so happy to be part of this amazing young lady's life. She is a great person. Happy 13th Birthday, Casey!!

Visit To Santa

On Saturday morning, we took the boys to eat breakfast with Santa. Sam was so excited to see Santa, but when we got to the room, he chickened out. Santa finally came up to our table to tickle Sam and ask what he wanted for Christmas. Sam changed his "blue car" request at the last minute to "doughnuts!" (Don't know where that came from, as our breakfast with Santa consisted of eggs, sausage and cinnamon rolls ... which Sam called Tootsie Rolls ... too funny!)

Afterwards, Sam and I went to Santa's Workshop to make some crafts and color. Fun day!

Lincoln, Nebraska-Iowa

I'm finally posting from the past few weeks ... On Dec. 6-7, we rented a van and drove the four of us plus my grandparents to Lincoln, Neb. (Sam calls it Lincoln, Nebraska-Iowa.) My aunt coaches basketball so we usually make more trips there during the season to watch her team play. She and her hubby have a four-year-old son and the boys have a blast playing together. We drove straight to the arena for the Noon tipoff, and when we got there we discovered the boys were dressed exactly the same! (We received the outfit last year from Aunt Connie and it's about the only red one he has without ISU on it!) They had so much fun playing together in their matching outfits! We had a great time visiting with Grandma and Grandpa in the van and Sam had waaay too many snacks! That's what grandparents are for! Thanks for a fun weekend, everyone! Here are some pics and videos from the weekend ...

Monday, December 8, 2008

So Proud

This morning, Brian and I took the boys to a new daycare. Our previous one is closing and it's the only place our boys have ever known. Sam has grown up there, and has made some very good buddies. He absolutely loved playing with them, as well as our provider's older boys who are 11 and 13. He looked up to them and idolized them. So it made this morning extremely difficult for us, especially me. I was dreading taking them someplace new and unfamiliar. It literally hurt my heart.

Last night, we invited our new care provider, her hubby and two boys (2 yrs. and 3 mos.) over for pizza. We wanted them to play together at least once before just leaving him there with unfamiliar people. They had a great time playing cars and trucks and just running around. That was a good sign and eased my anxiety a bit.

Then, this morning, our precious two-and-a-half-year-old did something that brought tears to my eyes. He was ready to go to "Carson and Carter's house". We piled into Brian's car and Sam said that HE wanted to knock on the door. That little dude knocked on the door, went on in and started playing with Carson. He thought Mommy and Daddy would be staying, but when we said we had to go to work, he came over, gave us each a hug and kiss and even made a joke, saying "Bye bye, Pumpkin!"

That little guy made me SO PROUD to be his mom. Even though I can't stop thinking about him and Jake today, I know we are doing the right thing and raising a confident and happy little boy. And that makes me so proud.

Thursday, December 4, 2008


I haven't posted in awhile so am taking the lazy way out and putting pics in a slideshow. (Weird how having two kids, a full-time job and getting ready for Christmas makes life a bit hectic!) I'll try to post more when I have a little more time. For now, enjoy the pics and we hope you are doing well!

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Other One Talks, Too

Okay, so I've been meaning to post a couple things that Sam has said recently. He's starting to put more words together and it's funny how his little mind works.

Lately we've been talking a lot about where people live. He knows that some of our family lives in "Ankey, Iowa", some in "Altoona, Iowa", others in "Tadinda, Iowa", and so forth. So today at Wal-Mart we saw a large inflatable Santa Claus. Our conversation went something like this:

Sam (excitedly pointing to Santa): "Look, Mommy, Santa!"

Me: "Yeah! Good job, Buddy!" (I was so proud because he'd never called him by name, and last year he was very afraid of him.)

Sam: "Where Santa live, Mommy?"

Me: "The North Pole."

Sam: "North Pole, Iowa."

And one more ...
The other night we were saying prayers. We usually just "God Bless" everyone and call it a night. But we've started doing the sign of the cross now. So I say "In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. Amen." A couple nights ago, Sam surprised me by saying it all by himself.

His version: "Father, Son, Holy Shoulder. Amen."

Thursday, November 20, 2008

"Happy Thanksgiving"

Here's a quick video of Jake "talking" a couple days ago. I'm sure he's saying "Happy Thanksgiving." :)

(We are amazed at how much he talks, since Sam did not babble very much at all! Although you're not supposed to compare your kids, it's amazing how different they can be!)

Friday, November 14, 2008

We're At It Again ...

Most of you know that we spent almost two straight years demolishing and remodeling our home. Yes, TWO STRAIGHT YEARS. It consumed every spare moment we had. We tore out each and every piece of plaster, re-wired all the rooms, installed insulation, hung drywall, laid tile, etc., etc. Here are some pictures (they are at least 3 years old so some of the rooms have changed again, such as the kids' rooms), but it gives a little glimpse of what we did. These are just a few of the gazillion pictures we have ... and they're a few years old so most are missing furniture, etc., but you get the idea!

And now we are doing the same to the basement. Why, oh why, do we do this to ourselves?? Although the basement is going to be small potatoes compared to the rest of the house ... and we're not doing much drywall or anything too complicated so hopefully it won't take too long ... but now we have two kids ... hmmm ... we might be done in a few years! :)

Kitchen/Dining Room Before (we knocked out the wall in-between)

Kitchen/Dining Room Mid-Job

Kitchen/Dining Room After

Kitchen/Dining Room 2 Before

Kitchen/Dining Room 2 After

Kitchen/Dining Room 3 Before

Kitchen/Dining Room 3 After

Kitchen/Dining Room 4 Before

Kitchen/Dining Room 4 After

Dining Room Before

Dining Room After

Hall Bathroom Before

Hall Bathroom After

Hall Bathroom Before

Hall Bathroom After

Office Before

Office *Almost* After

Office Before

Office After

Guest Room Before

Guest Room After (now Jake's room so different from this pic)

Guest Room Before

Guest Room After

Fireplace Before

Fireplace *Almost* After

Bedroom Walkout Before

Bedroom Walkout After

Master Bathroom Before

Master Bathroom After

Monday, November 3, 2008

Three Months Old!

I can't believe how fast time has flown with Jake! He turned three months old today. It seems we were able to savor Sam's little moments a bit more than we can with Jake. (Funny how you lose track of time when you have two of them!!) He's growing so fast -- too fast. Here is a video taken today in which he's almost rolling from back to front! I'm excited to see all his changes, yet it makes me a little sad that he's getting so big so quick.

"Two Boys"

A couple more of our "two boys" ...

Kid Cuisine

How many two-year-olds would rather eat shrimp than chicken nuggets? Check out his plate of nuggets, and look what he's reaching for instead. Shrimp is probably his favorite food, followed closely by eggs or tenderloins.

And the second picture is him eating "green eggs" for breakfast. We've been reading "Green Eggs and Ham" (featuring, of course, Sam-I-Am!).

Our Neighbor: Part II

As promised, here's a better video of his yard on Halloween:

The Pirate and the Bumble Bee

Here are some shots from trick-or-treating last Friday here in town. It was such a beautiful night! We were lucky and got to do it two nights in a row -- and both were terrific so we had to take advantage of them! :) At first Sam was apprehensive about going up to people's doors, but that shortly wore off. By the end of the night, he was walking up to doors and knocking on them all by himself (see videos at the end of this post). Such a big boy! He also found a "titty-tat" that he loved. He kept wanting to "touch it, touch it" but we weren't sure where it came from. The cat starting following us for a little while, and Sam loved that, too.