Friday, October 31, 2008

October in Review...

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Happy Halloween 2008


Halloween 2008Tinkerbell AliviaLadybug AddisonAsher the Tiger3 Little Trick-or-Treaters

Happy Halloween!

What a beautful night! It was probably in the upper 60's with little to no wind when we set out at the early time of 5:30 to trick or treat. I mistakenly thought we left at that time last year (but it was more like 6:30...oops!). I wanted to get out before the kids were getting tired. (Asher is typically ready to start the bedtime routine about 6:45 or so). This year, Alivia was Tinkerbell, Addison was a ladybug, and Asher was a white tiger. Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill came along. Grandma stayed at the house and passed out candy while Grandpa helped carry Addison to each house after she got tired. We took a different route in our neighborhood and really got a workout. Asher went to a few houses before resting on my shoulder, then in the stroller. He was really good considering he has a bad cold and was really tired. The girls had a good time and collected a fair amount of candy, both saying trick-or-treat and thank-you really well. Back at home, we nearly ran out! Last year we had maybe 25 kids, and this year Grandma was really busy! Note for next year I guess. We got back home shortly after 7. I got Asher to bed just as Chris and Grandpa delivered the annual Mamas's Pizza. The girls were too full of sugar to eat. Alivia fell asleep on the couch even (a preschool party and trick or treating was just too much for her)!

It was a fun Halloween!


Grandparents and the kiddosTrick or Treat!Tiger in the strollerMmmms Treats!


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Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Asher at 11 months

Asher is 11 months old today! Oh, how time flies! Firsts for Asher this month were getting his first official haircut (and of course, we do not like it) and first autumn! He is getting so big that he is called “a little chunk” by almost everyone who sees him. Asher likes: eating, crawling, taking a bath, & crawling up the steps. Dislikes: Waiting to eat and having his diaper changed.

Asher is still a cruising and has only taken steps by accident (but we saw him!). With how Asher tends to scare us (um, RSV in Dec, escaping from his crib, and a black eye during story time…do I need to say more), I would prefer he stay on all 4’s for a while. He now goes up the stairs with ease (even when I have my head turned!), and I am trying to teach him to scoot down like Addison used to do.  He can stand alone for longer periods now, too. His new found toy is a push toy that he has started to walk behind. You should see his smile when he is on the move behind that toy! Although he was waving a while ago, he really goes at it now. He was waving at everyone at church last Sunday! He says “Mama” “Dada,” “Bye Bye,” “more” and “Hi and we have gotten him to repeat some other words like, “ball.” He just started talking more the last week or so.  He is a good little imitator. He watches Alivia and Addison dance, so now he dances! He likes to imitate Daddy’s sounds and movements best (which may be scary).  He just started using a couple baby signs yesterday! He signs “more” (although he can say more, too), loves to clap his hands, shakes his head no & “up” (he has been doing for a while).  This may not sound like much, but Addison was much older when she started signing.

So, what does Asher like to do? Other than follow his sisters EVERYWHERE, he likes to play under things (like the table, exersaucer, etc), opening and shutting  cupboard doors taking things out and scattering them about, stroller rides, reading books, peek-a-boo before naptime, playing in our tunnel system and playing outside (weather permitting of course).

Did I mention how much he likes to eat? Although he liked table foods at first, he now is going backwards for some reason. His favorite table foods are grilled cheese, macaroni and cheese, and yogurt. If he could tell me, he prefers baby food because it makes him full quicker so he can get down and play. We are constantly telling the boy to sit in his chair, so I think he will be in a booster chair as soon as he can walk. He is now nursing 2x a day and taking an open cup the rest of the time.  I hope to be down to nursing 1x a day by a year so I can easily wean him.

Asher is still sleeping 7:30-6:30, then back to sleep for another hour or so. I don’t mind the 6:30 wake-up call because it gives us time before the girls wake up (and we can watch the news instead of Curious George!). He naps usually from 12:30-4. Asher does not like to be woke up, but is a very light sleeper. So, we are considering switching his room with Alivia. Too bad Alivia does not want to switch unless she gets to sleep in the same room as Addison.

Hard to believe that the invitations are going out today for Asher’s 1 year birthday party. Where oh where has our baby boy gone?

Asher at 11 monthsCruising boyOur little pumpkinsFirst AutumnOur Baby Pumpkin Asher

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Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Rest In Peace...

My cousin, Kurt Gahm, passed away suddenly last week. He will be missed.

May he rest in peace...

Kurt D. Gahm, age 42.

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Toilet Paper Pumpkin

Alivia & Addison made this at story time today at the library (and no injuries today!). It was fun and turned out cute.

  1. Lay the orange fabric square on a flat surface.
  2. Place roll of toilet paper in the middle of the orange fabric.
  3. Gather up the edges of the orange fabric and tuck into the hole of the toilet paper roll.
  4. Lay the green fabric strip and some raffia over top of the hole.
  5. Roll up the brown paper bag, starting at the bottom, towards the top. Give it a twist.
  6. Insert the twisted paper bag over the green fabric and raffia into the hole. This is the stem.

It's a pumpkin!

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Sunday, October 26, 2008

Halloween Fun Day


Village Point Trick Or TreatingVP Halloween Fun this is how I am supposed to look?!

This year marks our second year attending the Village Pointe Halloween Fun Day. Brrrr! But the girls had fun! Asher stayed home with Daddy all snug in his bed.

After walking through the outdoor mall with the strong winds and holding Addison the entire time, I was ready for the chocolate covered strawberry treat that one of the places gave Mommy! And, looking at all the kids' candy, looks like my thighs are going to be getting bigger, too! Mmmm! I can't wait to start chowing down. Oh, I mean, I will save every last one for them.

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Saturday, October 25, 2008

Update Time

1. Potty Time: Yeah, we are almost down to one in diapers! Addison is doing so good on the potty. I think by next weekend, she will be ready to move into her toddler bed (which is her crib with a toddler railing put on) so that she can get up and go potty at night time and naptime, too, if needed (and then there will be the possibility of her getting out of bed, too!). She is wearing a diaper now when we go out (but is using public potties), naptime and nighttime. Next week we should be ready to give up the diaper when we go out as she is staying dry. Then we can move onto the night time challenge. We are using reward stickers as well as 1 m&m for #1 and 2 m&ms for #2. She loves that part, even if it is breakfast time!

2. Ebay. I am still working on putting things up on Ebay some. It is so hard to see each little, adorbably baby item go though. It is painful for me. It would be so much easier if these things would sell at a garage sale. There are times when things do not sell on Ebay. I usually try before putting them in a pile for the used clothing store. I took some items to one store that were nice name brand clothes, and the store would not take them because they were older than 3 years. Funny, 2 of the items they refused I put on Ebay right away. They sold for $30 for the 2 outfits! Um, their loss is my gain, I guess! Ebay is a lot of time-consuming busy work, in my opinion. It takes me forever to put a couple items on there.

3. Moving. Humm. Then there is that. We said a month ago that we for sure are not moving. But, it is still being tossed around. We are not ruling it out yet. We are looking into our options now. I have a house all picked out even, but we have yet to see it in person. It is amazing how good some of these homes look online versus in person! There are a lot of things going into play if we move or stay, but it is always in our conversations (and usually, we want to move so bad!). But, if you watch the news, now does not seem like the best time to even buy milk let alone a new home!

4. Part-time job. I was considering a nursing job part time. It was 15 hours. I was just not ready to commit to that. And, Chris did not want me to take it (or any job). I did then apply to Janie and Jack, a small retail store that is a high end Gymboree. I have shopped online at this store for the kids, but this is the first store to come to our area. I did take the job, but I am unsure if I am ready for this. The pay does not cover my gas money to and from the store. :) I would be doing it for adult interaction for the most part. I am not sure I want adult interaction that much. I do get a discount at J and J and at Gymboree. However, I only buy things there when they are really on sale anyway, so I do not see my discount affecting my shopping habits. We will see. The store opens October 30. So, if you are in the area of Village Pointe, stop in and check it out. I am only working a few hours a week, so I probably will not be there, though. We will see how long this will last. I miss the kids (and Chris, too) just thinking about it. I know, I am such a baby.

I think that covers it for now.

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Visit to the Great Pumpkin

There are always many events around before Halloween. Last year we started attending some of these events. They are good in that it is daytime, the kids get to practice, weather usually is not an issue, and I can make sure that the costumes are put together and ready for Halloween (and we get more good out of the pricey little costumes!). This year, Alivia is Tinkerbell, Addison is Tom Arma's ladybug, and Asher is Tom Arma's Tiger (because he is such a go getter!). Today we went to visit the "Great Pumpkin" at our local HyVee store & then the kids got to trick-or-treat around the store. Alivia was real good about saying "Trick or treat" followed by "thank-you." Addison was actually starting to get into it. We then went to visit Grandma Pat before coming back home.

Now we know what the Great Pumpkin looks like since we never he or she was never seen in the Charlie Brown Special!


Addison, the Ladybug, Alivia, Tinkerbell, Asher the Tiger Grrrr!The Great Pumpkin does exist!Snow White!Visit to Grandma Patricia's

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Friday, October 24, 2008

12 Years, But Who's Counting...

I'm pretty sure Chris has this date marked as the beginning of the best of his life, and he is just waiting for the right moment to say something about it. :) Anyway, On October 22, 1996, a whole lifetime ago it seems, Chris and I went out on our first date to Old Chicago. Tonight I plan on getting take out from there and a movie after the kids go to bed to mark the occasion. I still have the datebook where I wrote "went out with Chris Austin to Old Chicago" as well as Chris' note on how to get to my apartment to pick me up at 7:00 PM (and he was right on time). 

At the time, Chris had graduated with his BS degree and was working at Clarkson's critical care unit as a tech, where he had been working for a while, until he decided what he wanted to do next. I was in nursing school as well as working part time at the Gap and at the Critical Care Unit as a tech. How did the date come about? Well, I wrote a note and stuck it in Chris' work mail box asking if he would want to hang out sometime. He called that very same night and took me up on the offer. Chris was (and still is) very shy. He was the first guy that I went out with that opened the car door for me even after the first date, called me whenever he wanted, & took several dates (and a month) to kiss me for the first time! And, the rest... the Austin life now.

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Thursday, October 23, 2008


Nope, not talking Halloween, but I wish I was! Check out the picture of Asher. Of course, there is a story to go with it. This happened during story time at the library. Seriously, only this boy can get injured during a story at a library! (If you are signed in, select to view the picture to see the caption below the picture for details, if you so desire!)


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Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Asher Before & After

Asher had his first official haircut today, meaning at a salon. My mom (who was a stylist in her day) has trimmed it, but he needed to get rid of the mop he was developing (as cute as it was). He sat nice and still on my lap as Rita trimmed away. Now he looks more like a big boy (which makes me sad!).

Here's the before and after pictures...


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Sunday, October 19, 2008

Visit to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge

Bob Kerrey Pedestrian BridgeViewView of the big MOMore of Big MO

After being asleep for a good portion of our Saturday (I caught a flu bug from Chris), I tried to get us out and about today. We got up and went to our normal Mass time and Alivia to Sunday School (it is so weird having only 2 kids during Mass!). Then, it was off to the Bob Kerrey Pedestrian Bridge. It is a pretty bridge, and it is easy to walk on. It would have been nice to be a little wider, as there tends to be traffic jams of bikes, strollers, etc. We started on the Nebraska side and walked to the Iowa side. I was hoping for a beautiful little park on the Iowa side, but I was disappointed. There was a park, but this park is not used to the foot traffic it is now getting from the bridge. Let's just say, go potty BEFORE making your way to the bridge. Back on the Nebraska side, there was a little teepee the kids liked playing in. It was a fun family walk, and it could go miles away from the bridge, too. Hopefully, in the years to come, we will see more things to do on both sides of the bridge. For now, it was just fun to walk over the water and enjoy the view!

After a quick lunch, the little kiddos took their nap while Alivia, Daddy and I planted 40 tulips...something to look forward to come spring (other than spring that is).


Big of Big MOM & the bunchAsher at the ParkGirls at the parkTeepeeWorms while planting 40 tulips

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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins


Alivia is bringing home more fun recipe to make again. That is just one thing I just love about the Gingerbread House, that the kids get to bake! It helps them to learn to measure, what ingredients are used for, and it is just fun to make their own snack!

This week they are making Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins (Alivia bakes on Wednesdays). We made them yesterday as a rainy day thing to do, and they are fabulous! (I love muffins and breads with chocolate chips in them though!).

In a large bowl, mix together:
4 eggs

1 c. sugar

1/2 c brown sugar

15 oz canned pumpkin

1 1/2 c. oil

Add to above and blend:

2 c. flour

2 teaspoons soda

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Add 1-2 cups chocolate chips

Fill muffin cups 2/3 full. Bake at 400 degrees for 15-20 minutes (We made mini muffins and they were done in 8-10 minutes). Enjoy!

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Monday, October 13, 2008

Forever in our hearts...


One year ago you passed from our lives. While time has diminished the pain, vivid memories of you and your love give us comfort.
Forever in our hearts, minds, and souls.
You are missed.


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Sunday, October 12, 2008

A Baby is a Person


Okay, I am not all political or anything. And, I typically do not discuss religion or politics on this blog (or any other for that matter). Voting is not a game, not a test you can cheat on, this is who we will be stuck with for 4 years. Just doing my homework. But, as a voter, I think I should be educated if I am going to vote. To be honest, I am not excited about either candidate. I do not have some sign in our yard nor do I have a bumper stickers plastered all over the minivan. I look at these candidates as, who is the best of the 2 evils? :) As a Christian and a parent, I want the next President to have most moral values possible (I said possible. I realize politics and morality typically are oxymorons). Laura Ingram is a radio talk show host I used to listen to during my "working" days (& I believe Laura is Catholic if that matters at all). Whatever you believe, I believe a baby is a person at the date of conception. Come on, if you have had a baby, were you not so excited when the test turned positive!? It was a baby! The first part of the interview with Sarah Palin I found disturbing. B Obama does not believe a fetus is a person?

Okay, dry my tears.

Enough said.

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Happy Birthday Boppa Bill


Boppa Bill (my Dad) celebrated his birthday on Sunday, but we celebrated on Friday with too much food & fun. My parents came early to watch the little kids so I could volunteer at Alivia's preschool (I love to see what she is up to up close and personal!). We had Mama's Pizza & Grandma made a yummy birthday cake. Alivia had to show Grandpa her new favorite movie, too, Horton. We had a fun night.

Happy Birthday, Boppa Bill! & many more....


Vroom!Happy Birthday Boppa Bill!

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Saturday, October 11, 2008

The Big Red Barn

Today we went to the Big Red Barn as part of a church function for parents with small children. It was not what we expected, but the kids had fun. There were many animals they could see up close, pet, feed, and even ride (the horses anyway) if they wanted, a corn maze, corn pits with little dump trucks in them, little houses the girls ran in and out of, a few little playsets to play on, and of course, the big red barn (which was a craft store!). It was a fun morning, and we all came home smelling like the farm (goats to be exact)!

Daddy's Full HandsOur Baby Pumpkin, AsherCorn pitPetting zooUm, a goat & a rabbit?

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Wednesday, October 08, 2008

"Just Do It" to music

At night by the time I run, I am running on fumes. Today was no different. After a morning of taking the kids to a play date at the mall (they love playing at the little play area and at the choo choo area at Von Maur), taking Alivia to preschool, back out for a little Christmas shopping after school, to the park, dinner, baths, etc, etc. Yeah, I was tired. So, tonight I decided to try something different to get me moving.


I grabbed Chris' iPOD and got moving. 8 miles later I returned home, refreshed and feeling like I could go farther. However, I have dishes to do and laundry to fold before I go to bed.

But, I am hooked.

And, for the nighttime boogie man. Well, my singing should scare him away. If not, I can run fast! And, mace hurts the eyes I am told.

So, Just do it to music!

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One Day

One day, Long, Long ago...
there lived a woman who did not nag or bitch.

But this was a long time ago...
and it was just that one day.
The End.

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Monday, October 06, 2008

Misconceptions of this SAHM

When I started being a stay-at-home Mom (SAHM) after Asher was born, I had my idea what it would be like. I was wrong on a few (okay, several) accounts.

1. The laundry is always done & put away

This is not true of this SAHM. If it was, that would mean I did not play with my kids and just did laundry all day/night. Or, it could mean that I rarely sleep (& then how would I play all day with the kids?). It does get done eventually, and it takes about that long to get put away. Today I was trying to put away the laundry and Asher dumped the cat food (at least he was not trying to eat it). After cleaning that up, I went back to work. Then, Addison opened the big can of catfood and dumped it all out. Yeah, the laundry looks good in the baskets, don't you think?

2. The house is always clean.

Um, what was I thinking? We have 3 kids ages 4, 2 and 9 months. If our home was always clean, they could not play. Part of playing is to make a mess (and to clean it up). Alivia and Addison are still working on the cleaning it up part. It is also quite difficult to clean with 3 kiddos under your feet wanting your attention. Typically, I get 1 maybe 2 rooms vaccuumed before Asher wants me to hold him. Vaccuming while holding a nearly 20 lb baby is no easy task, ya know. Therefore, I have to be in the right mood with the right amount of energy to clean. Also, Asher wakes up over every little noise since his room is right above the entry way. So, I am in the basement or folding laundry during quiet time. The kitchen clean up is off limits as he always wakes up. I wonder if I will miss my messy house when the kids get older?

3. The kiddos are just automatically well behaved because I am a SAHM.

Well, in public they typically are well behaved (extremely shy and sometimes noncompliant in group activities. But to be fair, they are well behaved). I would love find out an effective way to stop the whining. Oh, that would be so nice.

4. I will be in the best shape of my life.

Also, what was I thinking? I do run about 6 days a week at night. There is only so far I will run within the confines of our neighborhood at the late, dark hour. I have to push myself through my entire circuit because I am simply wiped out by 9 pm at night. When I do run in the morning, I can run forever, or so it seems. So, I guess I am in shape in that regards. However, my diet is horrible. My body does not look like it did before and after Alivia & Addison, and may never look that way again. Afterall, I have had 3 kids within 3 1/2 years. THAT wreaks havic on a body, or at least it sure did to mine.

5. SAHM's are so lucky because they get to eat all their meals with the kids.

I do get to sit with them, does that count? I decided to not plan on eating with them because I always turn up disappointed. I still do, occasionally, think I get to eat with the family, especially when we order our favorite Midtown Mama's Pizza. But, it rarely happens. I eat breakfast on the run, lunch I eat during quiet time, and dinner I eat after my run (although I typically try to eat something during the meal with the kids if possible). I snack a lot since that is what I have time for, which is not a good thing.

6. SAHM's hit all the best sales.

I rarely go shopping unless it is online. If I do venture out with all 3 kiddos and just me, I typically get absolutely nothing accomplished. It will be interesting to see how I do with Christmas shopping this year. I will aim for one store with the gift I want in mind before leaving home.

7. I will have my free time at night to just sit.

When I was working, there was always busy-work they wanted us to do. I could not wait until I no longer had to do that. Well, after the kiddos go to bed, I usually go straight on my run (or I will never do it). Then it is time for a trip to the grocery store, clean-up, laundry, toy pick-up, bills, or whatever else is on the list to be done. After checking email, it is time for bed (between 10-11:30 typically). I rarely watch TV unless it is while I feed Asher at night or while folding towels or something. But, sometimes, despite the mess that surrounds me, I just sit.

8. I would rarely need a break from the kids. I love my kids, why would I want a break?
One has to stay home to truly appreciate this. Going to the grocery store at 10 at night is a treat for me. My run is a treat for me. They are times when I am away from the house alone in my own thoughts. This is rare. I did not think I needed this until I became a SAHM. I took for granted that I could just get my hair cut when I wanted to. Now, it is so much work to figure out when I can get someone to watch the kids, that I think I will just grow it out. :) Oh, and date night with Chris? We now have an ad in our church bulletin for a babysitter. So, maybe, just maybe, we can go on a date without it being for our anniversary or something (thankfully we have 2 wedding anniversaries!). I think the kids need a break from us sometimes, too.

Misconceptions aside, I love being a SAHM. I love being able to take our kids places that Chris and I would have had a hard time finding time for as 2 working parents. I love watching our kids grow before my eyes. I do not like the household clutter, and I am always trying to find ways to keep it under wraps. If our house is a mess, I feel like I am a mess.

So, now that I am done being a super hero (I make milk, what is your super power?), I am off to do some outdoor labor with the baby monitor.

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Sunday, October 05, 2008

Race for the Cure

This morning my friend Laura and I ran the Susan G Komen Race for the Cure. What a moving experience! Many people raced in memory of loved ones who lost their battle with breast cancer. I thank all of you that supported the cause. Next year I will recruit you to either race or "sleep for the cure".
As for Topher and the kids, today was Alivia's first day of Sunday School. I was able to get the girls up, dressed, and hair done before I left. I nursed Asher and got his shirt on before I ran out of time. We went to Mass last night so Topher, Addi, and Asher could just relax and wait for Alivia to finish school before going in for a donut (it was donut day at church). Alivia had a good first day, and they all got their fill of donuts. Although I know I ran for a good cause, I sure missed them!

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