Thursday, July 31, 2008

Pay Yourself First Challenge

Here it is, our Pay Yourself First Challenge video submission. Yes, I am a huge nerd.

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July at a glance...

What a month! We tried to soak up as much sun as possible starting at
the pool and ending at the Lake. Addison turned 2 and started to be a little chatterbox, Asher turned 8
months old, got 2 teeth and began to crawl, and Alivia became more and more of a Miss Independent. Hope
everyone is having a wonderful summer!

July Pictures

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To do list of the week

Every week I create a to do list for myself. It can vary from a couple things to many things to do. For example, this week I have a somewhat long list:

1. Try and get windows fixed: We have 3 windows with broken seals. After first thinking we had to replace them, I did some research. They can be repaired! It will be done tomorrow. Yeah!

2. Get roofing estimates. Our insurance agent came and looked at our home after the summer storms and found 3 shingles to replace on the roof. That is it. I found this to be unacceptable considering those around us were getting new roofs. I found it difficult to believe that we only needed 3 shingles. So, I had 2 roofers come out. One took pictures of the damage and resubmitted it to our insurance. We are currently seeing if they will change their minds on the 3 shingles recommendation.

3. Find a Honda Odyssey. We decided on a mini van and this is what we want. It is the end of the month, which is when the dealers are more willing to negotiate. We found a couple used ones that we liked, one is in Lincoln, the other we feel is overpriced. So, we will wait and see. They look at us and think we HAVE to have a car. Hey, we have gone several months with just the Camry. We are not desperate!

4. Sell the excess "stuff" in our storage room. I had an unsuccessful garage sale to get rid of excess clothing of the girls and myself. It is all sitting in our storage room. Chris does not like clutter, so I have to get rid of it and fast. I sold our patio chairs too (the table that was destroyed in the storm) on Craigs List and the remaining items I am beginning to sell on Ebay. I have not sold on Ebay in a while, so we will see how this works. It is a lot of work and late nights, and that is all I will say for now. Hopefully I will get more than 99 cents out of the stuff.

5. Schedule a haircut for Chris. This should be the easiest thing, but as of today, Thursday, I have not done this! Everytime I think to do it, I can't find the phone!

6. Finish July pictures. July brought in over 400 pictures. I think I have issues. I take pictures of everything!

7. Oh, and Chris reminded me of this...House hunting. Yeah, like we have nothing better to do, we have been considering moving (perhaps why I am busy getting windows fixed and making sure the roof is fixed). Long story short, we need to get out of here. Since late July of 2006, Chris has wanted to move. The fence we installed did not make the problem go away; it just made things worse.  After looking at a few homes, we have decided to wait. First, our plate (at least mine) is just too full right now. Second, the market stinks. Third, they want us to sell our home first and then buy (our neighbors sold a home similar to ours in 3 days in May...yeah, I will not be living out of the Camry with 3 kids while we look for our next perfect home!). So, we will have to stay here until spring at least and leave our blinders and ear plugs in. :) Like I said, long story.

All of this is between going to the grocery store, doing laundry, cooking, baking, cleaning, going to the zoo, visiting Grandparents, etc. I will repeat, as a SAHM I do not get to sit much and eat bon bons. That is a total misconception.

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Wednesday, July 30, 2008

Getting out of the cage


Addison & Alivia at the zooAsher looks on at the zooMonkey businessSun BearThe bear strokeUm, is this hill big enough?Giraffes and penguinsAlivia's stroller ride

Since our return from vacation, we have kept close to home. So this morning we utilized our zoo pass and went to the zoo for a few hours. The kids did really good. Alivia walked a lot and then I invented a new place for her on the stroller (probably not the best place but it beats carrying her). We went through the desert dome and then kept outside since it was nice, seeing the monkeys, bears, tigers, elephants, rhino, zebra, giraffes, & penguins just to name a few. We had a picnic next to the zebras and then went out for ice-cream. It was a fun time. Enjoy the pictures of our hot morning

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Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Asher Wade at 8 months.


That’s right, Asher is 8 months old today. He is on the move by crawling now, making it more challenging for Mommy, Daddy, & his sisters. He loves electrical outlets and cords, so I have to watch out if any are anywhere in sight. He also is getting better at standing and playing while holding on to something, such as the toy box or couch. He is very vocal, and does say “mama” & “dada” but isn’t specific yet, as well as many other babbling words. I just noticed that he is able to pick things up with his fingers when I tried feeding him pieces of baby puff foods (which he did not like). Foods: He will eat fruit and breast milk. That is it. He clinches his jaw shut after the first bite of vegetables and watches me to make sure I put fruit on his spoon. He definitely gets that from his Daddy! He does seem interested in what we are eating, so I see that as a positive sign once he gets used to thicker food. He still nurses 4 times a day. I am still on a milk free diet and plan to continue this through 1 year. Since Asher has 2 teeth now and may be working on 2 more, I have been lucky that he has only bitten me once. Asher is working on mastering the sippy cup. So far, he rarely takes it making it difficult for Mommy to leave him over a feeding (he gave up the bottle months ago). He also has an interesting way of telling me when he is hungry. I is a cry/whine kinda thing. Let’s just say that when he is ready to eat, he has to be fed now! He has yet to baby sign anything with the exception of “up” which he continues to do well and often. As he gets bigger, I am getting more and more of a bicep workout by carrying him. His favorite toys are his teethers, piano, and noisy toys that he can chase after. Being a typical boy, he loves the TV remote control, too, and hates it when we try and get it back from him when he changes the channel to fuzz from the popular Curious George.

Asher's sleep is a little messed up now after a week at the lake with Mommy & Daddy right next to him as he slept in the pack n play. However, normally he sleeps from 8-6 or 6:30, naps from 1-4. In the last couple days he has taken a morning nap, too.

Alivia loves to hold and play with Asher and many times will empty the toy box giving him toys to play with. She is very curious about his “differences” when she helps to change his diapers. Addison is more of a rough playmate. She has been caught throwing a ball directly at him, standing on his stomach, and pushing him over! Yeah, he goes to the restroom WITH ME now! (Just what you all wanted to know, right?).  She also has her gentle side, wanting to know where Asher is at all times. It is so cute when she gives him kisses and rubs his now thicker strawberry blond hair.


With each passing month I find it more and more difficult that he can be “this old already.” At the same time, I feel so blessed to not have missed anything in these first 8 months and would not change a thing. Asher is our little 8 month old blessing.


Crawling BoyBathtime!Playing the piano

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Saturday, July 26, 2008

On the move & talking about it

Asher is on the move!

When we left last weekend, Asher was scooting with his arms and army crawling. He could get around a room, but it was at a slow pace. He was just beginning to get up and start the crawling process last Friday. Now, he is up on all fours and lunging forward and quickly moving throughout a room into the next. He gets up on all fours to crawl and just rocks, opting then to do a lunge forward. He has taken two or three crawl moves forward just today! It is so adorable to watch how excited he gets that he can get to things he wants (like the TV remote). At the lake, he started doing this new exercise so he could reach a red balloon. He can get to crawling from sitting but I do not think he can sit from crawling yet.

Talking about it: Asher is also really babbling now. "Dada" "lala""Ba ba" and a lot of little Asher babble that I am not sure how to spell. Maybe I will try and video this and upload it.

What will he be doing next?

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Friday, July 25, 2008

We're Back!



Daddy & Asher
Asher & Mommy
Cheese! Addison is such a ham!
Air Chair fun!
Alivia swimming with Grandma & Grandpa
Lake of the Ozarks Vacation 2008

After a week of sunbathing, it sure feels strange to look out the back door and see our neighbors instead of the Lake (oh, I would so much rather see the lake, hear ducks and pelicans and hear the dock creaking than see our neighbors!).

Oh, we had such a wonderful time. We left Saturday morning at 8:35 and arrived at 3:15 just in time to get a good swim in before dinner. Chris & I decided within minutes of starting to pack the car that we need a van! Anyway, Alivia was SO excited when we got to The Graybill Getaway

The girls TRIED to sleep in the same room the first night(Addison on the bottom bunk and Alivia on the top bunk. Addison, who normally sleeps in a crib, was ALL OVER THE PLACE. They played pretty much all night and I slept maybe 20 minutes. Not so fun. Sunday night Addison slept with us, and then the remaining nights she slept in a pack n play that Grandma and Grandpa bought for her. How nice!). Sunday was spent just getting used to the Lake of the Ozarks, my parents' home and our new surroundings. Alivia & Chris took a ride in Chris' canoe, (that we named this year "Po - because this is all we can afford!") & swam in Grandma's big pool (aka the lake). Chris even test drove the new slide, that turned out to be too big for Alivia's taste this year. Meanwhile, Addison, Asher & I stayed closer to the house on the deck playing in Grandma & Grandpa's baby pool (much more Addison's taste). Addison found that she liked going in and out of the doors on the sun porch. Addison did get in the water briefly, but did not like it much. Monday we decided to go to Captain Ron's for some beach action. The girls played in the sand and Asher got some much needed swim time. It just so happened to be 96 degrees or hotter. It was intense. We then went back to the house for a picnic and afternoon nap. We were welcomed by Grandma and Grandpa's arrival, too! Tuesday morning brought rain, so Chris, Addi, Asher & I did a little shopping at the Outlets and surrounding areas (Grandma's Candy!) while Alivia stayed and played with Grandma and Grandpa. Addison and Asher liked the attention I think. Tuesday we did more lake activities in the afternoon, getting Alivia to get on the jet ski. She cried at first because she wanted off, then cried because she wanted on and wanted to go faster. She liked to pick out neat slides, find deer (lucky girl!) and look for ducks and pelicans. Wednesday we went back to Captain Ron's for more playing in the sand and swimming. Addison ventured out a little more in the water, too. We got to see ducks and 2 big swans! It takes little to get us excited. After a little snack at the bar and grill, we went to a local park to play at the playground while Asher ate and had another little picnic. Then we went back to the house for our little afternoon naptime. Alivia, Chris & I went back out to do more shopping (more Grandma's Candy). Alivia really liked being with Mommy and Daddy while her siblings napped! There was more jet ski rides and canoe rides for Alivia and Daddy, too. Chris and I loved going down the new slide. It took me like 10 minutes to muster up the courage to go down though. It is so tall! Wednesday night was our date night. We went to see The Dark Night. I have never seen a Batman movie before. This movie was quite intense and not relaxing at all! I am not sure I would recommend the movie, but it was a good movie in that it kept us on the edge of our seats. At 2 hours and 45 minutes or something, we felt it was about 45 minutes too long. And, the theater was SO LOUD that I think my hearing is permanently damaged from all the gun shots in my ears! With all of that said, it was nice to get to go out alone with Chris and have the opportunity to see a movie. Thanks Grandma and Grandpa! Asher was none too pleased about this, crying himself to sleep (we went to the late movie at 8:10, but I was still not able to put him to bed first). Thursday was an exta day since we were originally going to go home on Thursday. We tried to stay close to the house doing activities in the lake. Grandma Bet & I did a little tubing (and Grandpa can be a crazy captain!). I swallowed much of the lake I think, but it was fun. Alivia took more jet ski rides and swam in the lake a long time with Grandma and Grandpa! :) Addison & Asher stayed close to the house. Addison just did not want to go in the water, but liked to watch all the lake activities from the martini deck. She did like feeding the fish with Grandma, too. Asher worked hard on perfecting his crawling (oh, he is so mobile now!). We all enjoyed an afternoon nap on Thursday, which was nice.

Okay, family favorites:
Chris: Jet ski rides, canoe rides, our date (he has to say that :) ), swimming, the slide, Grandma's cookie dough and sweet corn, Grandma's Candy's Taffy & almond clusters and "sleeping in" in the same room with Asher and Addison (ha ha).

Alivia: Watching Curious George and her new Bee Movie to and from the lake, sleeping in the same room with Grandma Bet (how nice of her!) in the bunk beds and on the roll out chair beds, jet ski rides, Captain Ron's beach, canoe rides, seeing the ducks, deer, pelicans, etc, swimming, watching everyone go down the slide, Grandma's cookie dough and snacks, & playing at the newly found lake playground.

Addison: Sleeping in the new pack n play Grandma and Grandpa bought her, Captain Ron's Beach, snacks and cookie dough, eating, eating and more eating, following Grandpa Bill everywhere, and going in and out of Grandma and Grandpa's doors.

Asher: Eating, nursing, getting 2 teeth, learning to crawl, playing with toys on the sun deck and martini deck (minus the martinis of course), & napping at the lake. Asher did NOT like date night.

I liked the whole trip, minus the car ride. I liked the water, being outside, loved the beach, the slide, the boat and the jetski. I liked my parents help (which was sooo appreciated! I was able to swim, go on a canoe ride and much much more that I would not have been able to do if they had not have been there!). Chris and I enjoyed our alone time with the kids, shopping and our date night. It is nice to get away and have a change of scenery. And, Chris & I learned that we definitely need a bigger car!

Until next year...enjoy the many pictures!    

Asher playing on the deckAddi in the waterAlivia on the dockOff for a canoe rideSplashing AsherAt Captain Ron's BeachEating corn...Addison's 1st time!Crawling baby boy!Grandpa Bill & AddisonOff for a ride

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Monday, July 21, 2008

Asher gets teeth!

That's right, Asher got his first teeth (the 2 bottom ones in the front. Sorry, I am not a dentist) on Monday. All that drooling has paid off I guess. I will post pictures when I finally get a good shot.

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Friday, July 18, 2008

Are we there yet?

Oh, off to the lake we go.  We are looking forward to some much needed fun in the sun (weather permitting) with our family over the next few days. I will post pictures when we return. We plan to take a few canoe rides, swim and maybe Chris and I will even go out on a date! (we have not done this since maybe September of 2007, so we are not sure how to go out alone anymore)

Until next week...we are on vacation!

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Monday, July 14, 2008

To the Dentist, Park, & Doctor...

...oh, what a morning. Alivia had her 4 year dental check up. She is doing fine. She was such a big girl and watched the TVs on the ceiling as they cleaned her teeth, took x-rays, etc. We had just enough time after her appointment to stop by a park before going to Addison's 2 year appointment. Addison is finally 20 lbs - 22lbs (and 2%) to be exact! Yeah! She was 19lbs I think at 18m, so that is pretty good. She is 33 inches in height (35%) and her little head is 45 cm (8%). She is doing well and had her last immunization until her 4 year check-up when I have the pre-K ones done.My assignment prior to her next appointment at 3 years is to potty train and stop the thumb sucking. Humm, we have some work to do.


Alivia getting her teeth cleanedAlivia at the Dentist

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Saturday, July 12, 2008

Addison turns 2!


Addison Rose is turning 2,

We'll have the cake & fun,

We just need you!


That's right, Addison is 2 years old today! We ask her how old she is and she politely replies, "Two!" So cute! Addison talks a lot, but you really have to know her to understand what she is saying. She can say a lot of words if I ask her to say them as I point out things, but she seems to forget she has the ability to tell us her wants & needs. She will walk to whatever she wants if she really gets frustrated. Addison continues to be a good eater, most of the time. She still likes her vegetables, but 2 times a day usually skips the meal or snacks altogether! She seems hungry until we sit to eat and then she is "all done!" Addison's favorite word is "crackers, " using this word for cereal, wheat thins, and chips! She LOVES to snack, which is something I have to work on stopping. She is definitely turning two, though, as we find her pulling out a lot of Alivia's hair (to defend herself typically), screaming at the top of her lungs just because she can and she has even bitten Mommy & Daddy once each! Ouch! (I think she will only bite us once, though!). Addison's favorite things to do are play with her babies, color, and play in the water outside in the sprinkler toys or in the pool (although she does not like going to the big pool necessarily). Oh, and she still loves her taggies and her thumb. Potty training? I think she would have done better when she was 20 months old than now because she is too smart now. "Do you have to go potty, Addison?" "NO!" is her general reply. But, she is always ready to tell me after she has gone in her diaper or help me out by taking her diaper off and laying down and waiting for a new one. I have a feeling it will be a few months before we have full success (and commitment from me). She tends to stay close to Mommy, but will run errands with whoever is leaving (she hates being left behind). Addison is starting to show more of her independence by taking off her clothes and trying to put them on by herself, washing her hands by herself, and just today - she started to climb up the rockwall on the playset by herself (We call her our little Curious George because she is curious but now because she is a little monkey, too!). I think we will see our little girl's personally really come out in the next few months. 

Happy Birthday Addison Rose! We love you!

 (Below are some pictures from her birthday party. She had a lot of fun and loved being the center of attention. She loved her new toys, playing with her cousin Lucas, and eating fruit and "crackers" aka chips. She even blew out her birthday candles (but did not like eating the cake). Her birthday cake this year was a doggy because of her love of dogs. We go on walks and she points out every doggy we see. She had quite a day!)


Addison & her doggy cakeDSC05148New baby doll!Eating cake on her new tableFamily photo

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Tuesday, July 08, 2008

Quiet Time

Nap time around here is called "quiet" time. However, it is rarely quiet for those over age 4. On weekends, Chris and I work diligently on those many outdoor projects, like staining the play-set & the fence, hedging the bushes, weeding, mowing the lawn, touching up the paint on the house, etc, etc. During the week, during my hour (if I am lucky that is all I get anymore), I eat my lunch (if I ate with the kids I would still be finishing my lunch from November!), clean up lunch, get a sippy of B.milk ready for Asher when he wakes up while blogging and checking/responding to email. Once a week I mow the lawn (I have a monitor I wear that lights up so I can see if anyone needs me & I check on them often. It only takes me a half hour though). I started mowing as a favor to Chris. After a long day at work, I was sure he did not like coming home and having to mow the lawn. Then I  had a family member say, probably joking, that I should be mowing the lawn. I, taking things personally, thought, "like I do not work so I do not do anything." So, now I have taken upon myself to mow. Today, for example, I did the weekly mowing, bottle, kitchen clean-up, purchased some stock on the stock market (my first quiet time thing to do), and am about to go and clean up upstairs and start a load of laundry. Alivia will be awake anytime. Wooh! And people think SAHM don't do anything!

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Sunday, July 06, 2008

Car Dilemma

Minivan? Hybrid Car? Commuter car?

It is no secret that gas prices are ridiculous. Chris drives quite far to and from work every day, so he needs a fuel efficient car. The Camry is fuel effiicient, but not as efficient as some other cars on the market. The kids do all fit in the Camry now (although we would need to upgrade in the next 3 years probably). So, we could keep the Camry for now and get Chris a nice fuel efficient commuter car, using the Camry as a trade perhaps in a few years. Options we have looked at our the Prius, Honda Civic, Honda Civic Hybrid, Ford Focus, and the Toyota Yaris. Humm. Then there is the shoveling the kids in the Camry issue. Can I tell you how many times I became annoyed with this the couple times my back has gone out the last couple months? Or, how annoying it is when the girls pick on Asher so he can not sleep or the mess with him to wake him up (he is currently in the middle of the 2 girls in the back seat). Oh, or when we go on a longer drives and there is no way to access them from the front seat (you unhook your seat belt and the entire car alarms! UGH!).

Then there is that thing called money. It would be easier on us to buy a commuter car (although not by much) than a van. We are writing a fat check for this car, and we like the money better in the bank at the moment. It is our emergency fund, and we are not so sure a big van is an emergency. We are getting by with the Camry after all.

I know what you are thinking because I have seen the stares (You should see the people standing in parking lots staring at me as I load the kids. Haven't they ever seen 3 kids in a car before? They are probably also pitting us I suppose. We are just not sure a van fits into the "necessary" category right now. Afterall, Chris and I don't even know if we want one yet! And, the Camry is working for now). Are we crazy? We have 3 kids and we are squeezing them into a car. To answer your question, yes, I am crazy (but I refuse to speak for Chris. :) ). If we had all the money in the world, I would want to buy a Prius and maybe a Hybrid SUV.

So, what will we do? It all depends on the day you ask us. In the next month or 2 we will decide. Until then, Chris will take his motorcyle to work unless it rains and we will continue to make the Camry work for this family of 5! 

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Progress Towards 2008 Goals...

Playset Before (but after hail)Playset Before (but after hail)Playset AfterGirls playing on the playset (after)

Well, we are halfway through 2008. So, it is time to check in on our 2008 goals.

1. Organize: Oops, I have not done much on this one. Best get to it! I will start this week. :)

2. Save: We are not saving an entire paycheck, but we are saving the same amount that we were on 2 incomes prior to saving my entire paycheck (does that make any sense?). I would like to save more, but things just keep coming up. This is a work in progress. There are always more pennies to save!

3. Be more active: Yeah, check! We are doing this one! Chris "works out" with weight training and running every other day while I try to run 5 to 6 times a week probably. Running is my break from the house alone. If I do not run, I clean. So, this is my alone time as well as getting some much needed physical activity.

4. Buying the bear minimum: Yeah, another check! Perhaps having 3 kids that do not do well shopping helps us with this goal.

5. Buy a family car. Nope, have not done this one. We are working on it though. I will have to post this dilemma later. I am too tired to elaborate, and the thought of it stresses me out.

6. Getting an air conditioner/furnace: check again! Yeah!

So, I guess we have our work cut out for us. We need to buy a car and organize. Oh, and I need to add a goal: Complete Addison's first year scrapbook. I made her a shutterfly scrapbook, but I have not finished the cut and paste scrapbook yet (oops). I NEED to get that done.

I best get going...we have work to do!

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Saturday, July 05, 2008

It's time to move...

...when your neighbors have a couch in their front yard! Oh, and that is only the beginning.


The couch (on the lawn on  the right)Couch on the front lawn anyone?

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Happy 4th of July!


Decorating Star cookies4th of July 2008Bike rideOur Chalk Flag

We had a fun day just staying around home yesterday. After we decorated star cookies, we did a little shopping for Addison's upcoming second birthday, made our traditional chalk flag in the driveway, took a family bike ride, had a BBQ, before settling in to watch all the fireworks. I put Addison to bed first (she has been running a fever the past 2 days) and then woke her up, as promised, so she could watch the fireworks. She went right back to sleep. Asher slept inside throughout all of the loud fireworks around him. What a great 1st 4th of July for little Asher! He saw the fireworks on Sunday night, and I do not think he liked being woke up to watch them.

Hope everyone had a Happy 4th of July! (and enjoy pictures of our little fireworks!).


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