Thursday, April 30, 2009

The Countdown begins

I am down to just over 2 days until I will attempt to run my first 1/2 marathon! All my training comes down to Sunday morning, 7 AM! It has been a long hall. I have had difficulty getting support as most think I am crazy. Towards the end of my training, I ran during the morning missing breakfast or during the late afternoon over dinner so that I could beat weather, beat darkness or whatever. Chris is/was getting tired of that part of the training.

In preparation, the kiddos will be staying with their grandparents. This is the first time they have all ever stayed over night away from home without us. Alivia is actually the only one to have stayed on the farm (or stayed anywhere) without us. Chris could just not do it with all those people at the run, and the kids would probably not last that long.

With that said, Chris is now sick. Addison started it, now it is Chris' turn. He went to bed at 7:45 tonight if that says anything. So, I may be going to the run alone, without my cheerleader.

I am looking forward to finishing come Sunday and being done with my longer runs for a while. My goal: To finish in under 2 hours. I did have a better goal, but I believe I may have a minor stress fracture. So, I am just hoping to finish WITHOUT totally "breaking a leg!"

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April in Review

What a month! We started the month off with celebrating Daddy's birthday. We had a very busy month. Alivia finished her swimming lessons, then we headed off to the Great Wolf Lodge in KC for a night. The kids had a lot of fun there (okay, Chris and I did too!). We celebrated a chilly Easter on my parents' farm in Iowa. We kept our normal busy pace by going to the Children's Museum, Fontenelle Forest, shopping, the zoo, etc, as well as playing outside more as the weather warmed up. We also threw in a little house hunting. Chris and I must be bored because ended the month with a bang...a FOR SALE BY OWNER sign in the yard. Yes, we are going to give moving a shot. If it does not sell, we will stay put. Let's see how this goes. Also, Asher turned 17 months old! He is talking a lot and almost has a bigger vocab than his big sister, Addison! He is playing more with Addi, but still loves to play ball, ride in his car outside, and follow Mommy around yelling, "Mommy! Mommy" even if I am right in front of him. :)

Next month looks like a busy month, too. We will welcome a new cousin and nephew tomorrow!, I have my big run on Sunday, Mother's Day, Alivia's 5th birthday, and more! Looking forward to it all!

Happy Spring!


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Windows Done: Check

Remember earlier in the spring when I decided I did not feel like cleaning the windows, so we decided to just replace them? Well, come to find out, our windows with broken seals were still under warranty! Yeah! That made our day! We just had to pay for the installation, which was not too cheap (but well worth it and necessary to sell our home). So, today, we had new ones installed. They are beautiful! We can see out again! Window warranties are so worth it! Oh, and I cleaned the rest of them. Pictured below is just one window before and after - the view from our bedroom. Oh, it looks amazing now. Now, they just have to be painted on the outside. 

Steamy View BeforeClear view after!

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Wednesday, April 29, 2009

1 Day Later

It has been 1 day since we placed our home on the market. Someone drove up and took a flyer within 4 minutes of the sign and flyers being placed. And then, we were reassured to making the right decision to move.Sometimes love is not enough.

No, we have not found a house. We have a few homes that we like. It really does not make any difference, though because we can not put an offer in on a house until we sell ours. We are ready to move if we can just find the right buyer. It is time for someone else to enjoy our nearly 9 years of work to this home. We are not ruling out building, either. Chris has an appointment tomorrow with a builder we like to see what land is available. We really want a home with a view (or that does not back to neighbors). But, if our home does not sell, we are always ready to yank that sign out the yard and stay, too.

So, tell your friends and family that someone selling a house and direct them to the website. Oh, and wish us luck...we will need it!

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Monday, April 27, 2009

The Housing Debate

Loan Pre-Approval: Check
House Deep clean: Check (Twice!)
Real Estate walk throughs (x4!): Check
Finding a house: Um, no luck.

Chris and I "thought" we had decided to move (This a recent decision after first making the decision NOT to move. I know, kinda annoying how wishy washy we are. Try being us. Chris and I said, "We are both smart, educated people. Why can't we make this decision?" My response, "I guess we are too smart!" :) Ha!). Our first real estate agent a year ago (whom we dropped after our contract was up) more or less insisted we have to sell our home before we even looked at homes. She said this after we found a home that we wanted to buy. However, Chris and I have had problems finding a home even close since then. What if we would have put our home on the market and it sold? Where would be now? I'll tell you...HOMELESS! We would be in a nice and small apartment with our family of 5 searching for THE right home. Chris and I refuse to settle for just any house since we hope to stay there awhile (we have been in our home nearly 9 years!). We have gotten close, but not close enough that we would have put an offer in if we were homeless.

Why do we want to move? There are a number of reasons...perhaps get closer to Chris' work, to move before the kids get into school so they do not have to move away from friends and familiar school, and the list goes on. We want to find a home that we can be in for years, making our own, like we have with our home now. Staying is an option...and at much easier option at that. Our home, however unpredictable, is somewhat predictable as well. We know what we have replaced and what may need to be replaced or updated in the future. In a new home, it will be uncertain.

Chris and I initially had decided to put our home on the market for sale by owner this week. However, if it sold, we have no potential homes to look at. None, zippo, zero!

So, the debate continues.

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Sunday, April 26, 2009

Entering Spring Life

Home Sweet Home at the Children's MuseumSpring Picnic with Nikki and Heather

It was so nice this week, I did not have time to blog. Or, maybe I just have writers block because of my racing mind.

This week brought the first week on wonderfully warm weather. The kids and I ate breakfast and lunch outside (loved it!), played outside, visited the Children's museum early in the week, Aunt Nikki came to visit from Colorado, we took walks and visited the park. It was so fun to get out of the house but stay around the house! I also busied myself washing windows, blinds and shutters, and doing some more spring cleaning. At least now it is actually spring. I also been doing some Internet furniture shopping (I will do before and afters when I get done). Chris, the kids and I did some more house shopping. This time, I found a home I liked with a great back yard, while Chris saw a lot of work in the same home (all in the eye of the beholder, right?).

With the rain, brought cold symptoms to our house. Ah, to be inside, again. I will be waiting for those May flowers next week!

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Monday, April 20, 2009

Our Kids’ Favorite Things

Our Kids’ Favorite Things

Alivia at 4 years old

1.       Coloring, drawing and playing play doh: She is getting good at it, so likes to color and draw

2.       Dessert: She hates eating meals and can’t wait for the treat at the end of dinner. Perhaps we should eliminate dessert so she will eat dinner…but what would be the fun in that? Alivia does not like cake, however, choosing to just eat the frosting usually.

3.       Favorite foods: honey nut cheerios, Cocoa puffs on weekends, totinos (yuck!) and Mamas pizza and onion rings.

4.       Playing with Addison (especially with their hair things, playing beach putting on summer clothes in the middle of winter, and playing baby where Alivia is the baby and Addi is the mommy!)

5.       Riding her bike (still with training wheels). She said she will ride without training wheels when she turns 5. Okay, Alivia!

6.       Piper our cat

7.       The desert dome and the jungle at the zoo

8.       Watching Curious George

9.       Swimming

10.   Shopping at Von Maur

* If I could put 11 for Alivia, I would say she loves to show her talents. Likes singing, doing cart wheels and flips in the family room, and reciting her prayers (she has known the Lord's Prayer and Hail Mary since she was just over 4 years old!).

Addison at 2 years old

1.       Her Taggie blanket

2.       Saying she is “sick” when she is hungry

3.       Running

4.       Sneaking into Alivia’s room to play at night

5.       Playing with her dolls and doggies

6.       Sucking her thumb (with her taggie in hand)

7.       Favorite foods: Total and special K cereal, vanilla yogurt, chocolate chip cookies, broccoli, and Mamas pizza and onion rings

8.       Breaking things

9.       Changing her clothes multiple times a day (and always wearing pj's when she naps).

10.   Visiting parks & swinging

Asher at 16 months old

1.       Being Curious and getting into things

2.       Asking “why”

3.       Playing with “balls,” whether basketballs, soccer balls, footballs…it does not matter

4.       Throwing things

5.       Favorite Foods: “cocoa puffs” which he asks for every day but only can have on weekends, broccoli and cauliflower, yogurt, grapes (but he hates it when I cut them up!) and chocolate chip cookies!

6.        Playing outside

7.       Gadgets that work: Remote controls and changing the channels, our cell phone (why we generally can’t find the phone and when we do it is sticky. He has done things on the phone that I did not even know it had – like speaker phone), etc.

8.       Chatting: “uh oh” “Up” saying “snack” when he is hungry or thirsty, "Piper" and “yucko” are just a few of his favorites. Saying, “Mama, Mama, Mama…” is something he likes to say a lot! his latest, as mentioned, is asking, "Why?"

9.       Screaming in the car (he learned this from Addison)

10.   Cars, trucks and anything that rolls on the wood floor.

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Housing Update

Over the weekend, we did go and look at house #2 that backed to the pond. We had a lot of questions before even seeing the inside. However, Chris and I were already talking about what we would offer for the home before our official interior viewing. After seeing the interior of the home, we had even questions. It did have 4 bedrooms all with bath access (which is a requirement of mine) plus 2 extra rooms that could be an exercise room and an office. The area under the garage had be excavated for a workshop. That area would be a great place for Chris' work bench and the kids' outdoor toys. All four bathrooms had granite as well as the kitchen, and the kitchen was fabulous suited with double ovens. And, to top it off, the home has wooden plantation shutters (and you know how much I love our shutters!). Now if we stopped there, an offer would be made. There were so many questions. The home looked abandoned, but it was owner owned (not bank owned). The home clearly had not been lived in for quite some time (and it was built in 2007!). The expensive entry doors and back french doors to the concrete deck were not hung properly, the deck had huge spaces on the railings allowing Asher to fit through (and potentially fall through). The real estate agent joked it would be the only home in the area with a deck like that (it was an amazing deck!) with chicken wire on it!  The problems did not stop there. For not being lived in, the home was just falling apart and looked quite lived in with wall dings, wood work dings, poor painting in areas and patchwork, concrete patch work on the deck, plastic wood floors that were poorly installed instead of wood (now come on....granite countertops in the laundry room with laminate wood floors - that just does not make sense). Asher opened a cupboard door in the bathroom and I thought the entire vanity was going to come apart! Chris and I did like the house a lot - if it were perfect. We saw it as a money pit with problems here, there and everywhere! We could see water problems in our future and hours upon hours of both interior and exterior repairs to get the home to fit our standards. I told Chris I would offer them $175,000 LESS than the asking price! Hah! It was too bad these people ruined such a nice house in such a short time, or Chris and I would be moving. My Dad told the agent we were looking for a house just like that one, but not like that one! Um, that is about right, we think.

So, we came home disappointed, but content with our home in NW O.

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Friday, April 17, 2009

Home with a View

I know I know, we said we were not going to move. However, we did not say we were going to stop looking. Well, my Dad was going on one of his Harley rides and found a house for us. I went looking online, did not find that house, but found 2 other homes. The first home was a 2 story, but not exactly the exterior look we like. But the inside was fantastic, great view, finished basement, etc. The second home is a ranch. Okay, a family of 5 and a ranch generally do not go together. There just is not room. However, this home is so nice, we really want to see if we can make it work. And, what we really want, is a home with a view! Both of these homes steal the show on the view.

Well, I think we are stuck here.The first home, the more perfect home. Well, it sold today as I was trying to set up a time to view it! Seriously! The ranch appears to still be available and we are trying to set up a time to see it. It backs to a wooded area and a pond from the looks of the pictures. Beats backing to a pretty pink house. Ha ha! Who knows. We really need perfect at this point, and this one looks like it may fall short of perfect. Right away, it is short bedroom and a garage, but has storage below the garage with a garage door. I can't deal with unloading kids in a 2 car with bikes all around me, a motorcycle, work bench, strollers, etc, any more!

Now that is 2 perfect homes (the one in October we looked at was more or less pending when we looked at it) in our price range that sold either as we were looking at it or before we even got there. COME ON ALREADY! I think God may have a different plan for us. Now, if we just knew what it was it would save me some time in confession. !?*$#!

I guess I will keep looking for now...and praying. Here are the homes...
 House 1: SOLD

House #1 SOLDBack of Sold House #1View of Sold House

House 2: Still for sale (unless someone buys it before we look it).
House #2: Not really our typeHouse #2 View: Our TypeHouse #2 Deck: With a concrete deckHouse #2: Oh lovely bath.

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Spring is Here!

How do I know when spring is REALLY here?

1. Birds wake me up at 6:30 AM singing and I don't mind.
2. The temps are warm enough to keep the windows open from morning until night.
3. I mow the lawn (today was the first day and it now looks so nice). Funny, you mow, then your neighbor comes out and mows. Something about mowing that is contagious. Too bad being nice isn't contagious!
4. Can get up and spend the entire day outside if you wanted, without a parka!
5. Picnics outside. Love them!
6. Flip flops.
7. Fresh air
8. Smells of blooming trees
9. Tulips
10. All the neighbors come out from there dens, I mean homes. is spring.

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Thursday, April 16, 2009

Morning in the Forest

I ended yesterday as I do many days, checking the weather online. Interesting enough, the local weather is rarely correct. Yesterday, for example, it was to be sunny and in the upper 60's. We went to the zoo, and it rained. Today, it again said upper 60's but partly cloudy. Trying to believe them, I planned our day today around this. Unfortunately, it was incorrect, again.

Our trip began at 8:30 as we set out to Fontenelle Forest in Bellevue. The area is beautiful! We received a gift membership for Christmas but had yet to venture over there to use it. We arrived just before 9 to begin our walk down the nature paths. We took some scenic pictures of the great river, but we unfortunately did not see any deer. Perhaps it was due to the loud nature of the kids this morning. Alivia "ran" our walk, excited to play at acorn acres. The kids played there for nearly an hour in the dirt, feathers, uncle Tom's playhouse, etc, before we made our way inside. Downstairs of the main building there are fun things to play with and learn from. Although the weather was a bit cold and brisk, we had fun morning.

After our exercise and play time, we were all hungry. So, what better way to top off our morning than to have lunch with Daddy. The bad part was having to say good-bye. Addison did not stop crying about not wanting Daddy to go back to work until she fell asleep in the car. Asher actually slept, too! (Now, that is 2 times out of 2 that he has fallen asleep after going to the forest. I think a little nature may play a role in this).

As Chris put it during lunch, I should feel lucky I get to do all these things with the kids. And, I do feel lucky, everyday!

River walkPeek a AsherMonkey AddisonAddison and Asher making music togetherPlaying in the dirt...their favorite thing!Fun tableLunch with Daddy!Asher the car!Addison sleeps

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Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Keep in the Cage

April Zoo DayIn the Insect area of the Butterfly ExhibitIn the Aquarium

The kids and I took our monthly trip to the zoo today. The weather was to be sunny and 68. Yes, I have stopped listening to the weather now. It rained. Anyway...

We visited our normal obsessed stops at the zoo (the desert dome, the jungle, the aquarium, and the butterflies just to start). The new skyfari was not running yet, thankfully. I do not believe our kids are ready for that anyway.

Okay, one thing I have to point out is in the butterfly exhibit. First of all, where are the butterflies? On our first visit, after an hour wait, there were millions of them, or so it seemed. Today we really had to look to see one! After you see the "butterflies," you are directed into the insect part. Um, yuck. What happened to keeping poisonous spiders behind glass? I said this last time, but I will say it again, I will not be going in there again unless I take my Raid along!

Gotta love the zoo!

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Radon Testing

Radon? What's that?

Radon is a colorless, odorless, tasteless radioactive gas that's formed during the natural breakdown of uranium in soil, rock, and water. Radon exits the ground and can seep into your home through cracks and holes in the foundation. It has been determined that radon gas is a carcinogen that can cause lung cancer.

It was brought to our attention that Radon levels were coming in high in some of the homes in our neighborhood. When I heard this, I started asking people. Most people either  heard of radon but not tested or had never heard of it. Here is what I know: Houses without basements have a higher risk of contamination, and it does not matter what your neighbor's test says (every home is specific). For example, someone we know that lives down by the trail in our neighborhood had a very, very high level of radon and had a mitigation system installed. And, our neighbor across the street had a high level and had a system installed as well.

Our results are in: NORMAL!

Well, at least our Radon level is normal. I don't know about the rest of us.

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Monday, April 13, 2009


I'm sad. I just cancelled our Netflix gift membership that expired today. I would HIGHLY recommend Netflix for anyone. The kids loved selecting their movies for Friday night movie night and so did Chris and I. I will definitely buy it for gifts. I will miss the movies. I even streamlined some and watched directly on my laptop!

Now, what will I do with all that free time on Friday nights? Oh yeah, laundry...

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Play Date

Kaidence and AliviaKaidence in curlsAlivia in curls

Today is our play date with Kaidence. Kaidence is the daughter of our long time friends. Kaidence's Mommy, Heather, has been my friend since I was about 4 years old! Anyway, the had a new beautiful baby, Brayden (I hope I spelled his name right) on Thusday, so I am helping my friends out (which is not much) but watching Kaidence today so they can sleep a little. Anyone who has had a baby knows, the first couple weeks are the most difficult. It is more difficult with the second, third, etc, times around because you are unable to nap as much. Kaidence is seriously a delight. She has very good manners and the girls love to play with her. Asher is trying really hard to say her name, "Say Kaidence Asher, " "Kaaaa AAAA." Okay, he tried, Kaidence smiled.

So, this morning after we picked up Kaidence, we baked brownies, made bread (for her parents and for people we know that just lost a loved one), played beauty shop putting curlers in the girls' hair, painting finger nails,  and playing dress up. It was a busy busy, that it was time to take Alivia to preschool before we knew it.

As I read stories to the kids before nap time, Kaidence asked, "Do I get to play with "that girl" again when I wake up from nap time? Then, after Alivia came home from preschool today, Kaidence asked Alivia, "Were you a good girl in school today?" Alivia responded, "Yes! I am always a good girl in school!"

Oh, I love little kids. I love play dates. And, congratulations to our friends, Heather and Patrick on their new baby boy! And, congratulations to our friends, Ryan and Kelly, on their new baby boy, too! (See our neighborhood for the O'Tooles).


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Nice People

I am on the hunt. The hunt for nice people. Yesterday in Mass as everyone glared at us because Asher cried a bit during Mass (and I was trapped in the middle of the aisle during a period of kneeling time - but I eventually escaped), then glared some more after Mass as he cried again and they were leaving, then again in the parking lot as nobody would let us out, I began to think, "Are there any nice people left if people can not even be nice, respectful people on Easter Sunday in Church?!" Well, today, I continued to run into not so nice people. I left Alivia's preschool and a white Cadillac SUV pulled out behind us. We reached 156th and Pacific and stopped at the stoplight. I briefly reached back to get my phone back from Asher so that I could call in a take n bake pizza that I wanted to pick up for a friend of mine when HONK>>>>HONK<<<HONK<<<!!!! Seriously, 2 seconds had passed. I looked up in my rear view mirror and the woman in SUV was laying on her horn, giving me the finger. Seriously, for 2 seconds?! I turned through the light and then pulled over so that this crazy woman, who was now riding my bumper, would go around me (after all, I did have Asher, Addison and Kaidence (my friend's little girl who just had a baby) in the car with me). Well, crazy woman pulled over, too (okay, what kind of woman thinks a person in a mini van who pulls over is pulling over to fight? In hind site, I should have turned or slowed down or something), then got out of her car and asked me to learn how to BLEAPIN DRIVE! WHAT WERE YOU DOING TURNING AROUND AT A LIGHT? Seriously, I thought I had somehow made a wrong turn and must be in hell or something? People like this seriously exist on Earth? What is wrong here? It was 2 seconds of her life? Show some patience, some respect?! I told the lady that I had kids in the car and I was sorry she had to wait 2 more seconds...but look how many more seconds she was wasting now yelling at me for the 2 seconds? Is she serious? She then got back in her car and continued to follow me. However, I went like 20 mph until 156th and Dodge, then she stopped at a yellow light and let me go. Whew! I thought she was going to kill me over 2 seconds there for a moment.

So, I am on the hunt to find 1 nice person. Okay, if I have me you, you don't count. I am looking to meet one new nice person. You know, someone that will call you out of the blue to see how your day is going. Someone who never forgets a birthday and calls or sends a card. Someone who does nice things for people and the world. I am looking for someone who says they are a Christian and acts the role in and outside of Church. This nice person would put God first above all things. And, this person would do random acts of kindness for no reason, not because they want something. I want someone to prove me wrong...that nice people still exist in this world!!

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Food for Thought

On the news this morning (yes, I actually watched the news!) they reported that today is tax freedom day. What's that? Wikipedia states, "Tax Freedom Day is the first day of the year in which a nation as a whole has theoretically earned enough income to fund its annual tax burden..." 

How nice.

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Sunday, April 12, 2009

Easter 2009

Happy Easter!

Easter 2009 began early at the Austin House. I started waking up the kids at 6:15, putting curlers in the girls' hair, breakfast, in the car by 7, arriving at Mass by 7:10. It was a beautiful Mass. We want to make sure our kids know the true meaning of Easter, the reason we are celebrating, and then get into the baskets, egg hunts, and candy. We arrived home and the kids excitedly dove into their Easter baskets. Alivia got her traditional swimming suit and matching flip flops as well as the game OPERATION that Daddy thought she would love (but has proven to be a little hard for her yet, Addison got a bunch of her beloved Madeline books, Asher got a soccer t-shirt, soccer ball, and some play-doh, and Daddy got iTunes and peanut butter M&Ms, and of course, everyone got a lot of candy. Next came the egg hunt. Alivia ran around quickly finding all her eggs. Addison screamed and skipped to each egg, Asher walked up to an egg, stared at it, then had to open it to see what was inside. He had found one egg by the time the girls were done! We went inside to warm up and eat a little candy before traveling to my parents in Iowa for Easter dinner.

After the Egg Hunt

After picking up Great Grandma Marci, the fun ride to Iowa began. Asher has decided he does not like to travel, which I have decided is not so much fun. While I tried to entertain the kids, Chris learned how to play the stock market from my 96 year old Grandma!

Easter Dinner 2009Asher on an egg huntAddison on a egg huntAlivia with her basket

Once in Iowa, we enjoyed a wonderful dinner! You know it is good when our kids actual eat something on their plates. Next...the BIG FARM EASTER EGG HUNT! Asher had his hunt inside before slipping upstairs for his 3 hour nap in Grandma and Boppa's crib. Addison and Alivia split the yard having 2 separate hunts. The bunny had lots of fun places to hide the eggs, but it was windy and cold! Brrr! The girls went inside to check out their candy, open up more presents of PJs and gift cards to get their hair cut and styled! Wow! (When Addison was asked about getting her hair cut, she completely turned it down!).

Addison's big basket of eggsBit of Honey anyone?New PJs!Quiet Time with Auntie MarshaEaster Nap

After an afternoon of cuddling up to Bambi and playing with Grandma's toys, we had dessert and came home. Today was a fun and peaceful day spent as a family.


*As always, sign in to see even more family pictures!

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Saturday, April 11, 2009

Just a Jog in the Park

This morning, I got up before dawn and decided to do something different. I got into the car and drove to Zorinsky Lake. It was just before dawn when I began my morning run, but it was light enough to be safe. There were a few crazy people out before me, they were groupies (those who are lucky enough to run in a group) and only a couple singles. It was a beautiful morning in God's land to run. This is what I run for. On my first 7.4 mile loop, I ran by 3 different sets of deer, one set right next to me with a baby right on the trail (who did not move when I ran by!), a cardinal, geese, and 2 hot air balloons! I would not have seen any of that running around in circles in our hilly neighborhood or if I had chosen to sleep in! It was amazing, and I was on cloud 9! I also saw many other runners, which is something I do not see at 4:40 AM in our neighborhood. There were also these inspirational chalk writings on the pavement trail. They were not for me, obviously, but they were fun to read the first time around (although many of them were for those running the other direction). They were funny, too. One, for example, said, "Poop stop" with an arrow pointing towards the trees. Another said, "Think Rocky," "Lincoln or Bust" (the home of the Lincoln Marathon perhaps), etc, etc. They were written for a team of runners, but it was fun to read and kept me entertained and motivated.

After finishing the first loop, I stopped for a brief moment to take off my bright yellow hoodie and kept going. It was such an easy run to what I was used to. Our neighborhood is full of hills, and Zorinsky has fewer, quite smaller hills. It was so nice! I was pretty tired by mile 13, and hoped I was about done. Since I had not been to Zorinsky in a long time, I did not know where I was about half the time (which can be good and bad). But, I finished. 14.8 miles in less than 2 hours! I still had energy left to go on a bike ride with the kids and Chris and walk to the park! Now, if I can just run the 1/2 marathon in under 2 hours I will be happy.

3 weeks from tomorrow is when I will run my first 1/2 marathon! And, yes, I AM COUNTING DOWN!


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Friday, April 10, 2009

A Side of Laundry

Addison started potty training in November. Silly me, I decided to keep the diaper on at nap/night time initially. In January, we took off the diaper. She was dry at night for 6 weeks. However, Addison decided to save her #2s until night time. I wake her at 9-10 pm and she will go. However, usually she still wakes up in the morning, um, messy to say the least. And, Addison gets a bath from head to toe (which neither of us like) and I get a side of laundry. Addison has refused to wear a diaper at night, taking it off herself and putting on her Dora panties once I leave the room. I have talked to her, but she does not seem to be able to tell me what it wrong. Any suggestions?

So, I will be potty training Addison right up until I begin potty training Asher. And, I will continue to wake up, give Adorable Addison a nice bath, and have a side of laundry with my breakfast (Oh, and the sanitizing laundry takes 2 hours and 5 minutes! So, do not expect the laundry to get done in one day around here anytime soon!).

And, please, do not dare ask me, "What do you do all day?" 

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Thursday, April 09, 2009

Progress towards Lenten Goals...

Remember what you gave up for Lent? Anything?
Well, since we are in the midst of Holy week, thought I would post an update on how we are doing on the "things" we are giving up or doing for Lent.
Asher: Did not give anything up. :)
Addison: She is not doing well giving up or even limiting her taggie. We do see her ask for it less. And, Mommy has hidden most of them (and she has not noticed).
Alivia: She never really came up with anything to give up for Lent, but has tried to be nicer to her sister and brother. She is usually pretty good.
Daddy: He did not give up M&Ms as he walked into the house one day eating a big bag of them telling me how good they were! No, I did not find it funny. :) He did give up a couple of things but has been struggling. He wanted to eat healthier and work out. That will continue to be a work in progress.
Me: M&Ms. Dream of them often, have eaten them none since the day before Fat Tuesday (but who is counting). I crave them less now than I did initially. I am limiting my computer time and have not been on Facebook. I logged in twice to get someone's email address that I only have on FB, but seriously did not look at anything. Now that I have not been on it, I don't think I will waste much time on it after Easter. I also am trying to Love The Neighbor. I think I will have to continue to work on this until we move. This must be God's challenge for Chris and I, and it is a good challenge.

So, until Easter Sunday, we will plug away at our Lenten Goals.

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Spring Get-Away 2009

The water parkGreat Wolf Lodge 2009Treat TimeLike Father like sonSki Ball!Vrrooom AddisonSunset at the Great WolfStory TimeLittle HamClock tower playThe girls' bunk bedOur 3 kiddosBig SplashPool timeAsher slides!Daddy and AsherAddison FINALLY sleeps on the way home
I think we will make it a yearly tradition to get away for a night during spring break. Well, I say this now anyway. Next year may be another story.

This year, we took a small trip to the Great Wolf Lodge in Kansas City. We had never been there before, having small kids and having Alivia who did not (and still does not) like loud noises. And, this place is VERY LOUD!

We left Tuesday after Alivia’s swim class at 10:45. The kids had a morning snack and then the girls started their movie. I left the kids and Chris in charge of car toys, but that left us with toys for the girls and nothing for Asher. He was restless shortly into the 2hr 30 min drive, or something. He wanted up, kept saying he was “stuck” and all I could do was play peek a boo and give him random items in the car to use as toys. It was a long drive. And, our kids just do not sleep in the car! That can be difficult.

We arrived at the Great Wolf Lodge at 1:20 and checked in. We knew that we could check in to swim after 1, but could possibly not get our room until 4. So, I had packed a “beach bag” for the swim park area. The people in front of us checked in and got a room. When it was our turn, there was not a room available. So, we headed down to the water park and hoped the kids would last without naps.

The water park is amazing. There is a great zero entry area for little kids where we spent a lot of time. Asher liked to walk through the area and splash. The bottom of the pool is rough, so my knees paid a price! There were 3 slides that all the kids did go down. Alivia was really afraid at first, but could not stop going down them once she started. Asher even went down. Addison went down first, but did not go down again.  There were water slides to go down with and without rafts that were fun, the lazy river, water basketball, water “play set,” the hot tub, the 1,000 gallon bucket of water that dumped every 5 minutes, and so much more! The kids mostly stuck to the basketball court area (that was 3-4 foot deep) and the toddler area, the basketball pool, and the hot tub (which Addison really liked since her teeth were chattering about 90% of the time!).  Chris and I went down the water slides, but we could not encourage the kids to try it. Asher was definitely too small to hold his own, but Addison and Alivia would have had fun if we could only get them to go down them (and they have to go down alone on the slides without tubes).

At 4:30, we tried to get our room again. No luck. Okay, Chris was now annoyed. We paid for the room starting at 4…what is the deal? So, the lady gave Chris “another” room. After getting cleaned up, having dinner, we went out for a treat, a big chocolate ice-cream cone! It took Addison at least a half hour to eat this thing, even getting tired of holding it and making me hold it! Next, we went to the arcade. This place was really nice, and the kids had a lot of fun playing ski ball. They got candy from their winnings. Chris and I were amazed at the kids’ excitement in spite of no nap! We then went back to the room to get their pj’s on for the interactive clock tower and story time at 8. Addison really liked this and laughed out loud to the play and story.

We all went to bed shortly after nine. The girls slept in the bunk beds, with Addison choosing to sleep on the top bunk! Asher slept in our pack in play. It was a nice room set up for the 5 of us.

Day two brought on more swimming. We arrived at the water park at 9 so we could get a table and as much swimming in as possible. Day one was hard because we had problems finding a table within eye shot of where we were. So, we rented a locker for our “valuables.” Having a table near the kiddy pool was nice because Addison liked to sit out because she was so cold. One of us could sit with her and watch the rest of us swim.  The kids were really tired about noon. Addison asked to go home, and then Alivia followed suit. They were all really tired. So, we picked up subway near-by and went home.

This was our first night in a hotel with our kids. We always seemed to have a baby or had some other excuse. And, we tend to take our vacations at my parents lake home. So, what did we learn about this trip to the Great Wolf?

1.       Bring your patience.

2.       Bring your cleaning supplies. Our room was sticky everywhere. Um, yuck.

3.       Bring a night light. We used the TV set to the starting point (it was blue) as the kids’ night light.

4.       Come well rested. Chris and I stayed up late the night before watching a movie (and I knew that was dumb at the time).

5.       Essentials to bring: Swim bag (leave the towels at home because they always have nice, warm, clean towels available), plastic bag for wet items, snacks (we brought snacks in although the sign said not to. The snack shop there did not have gold fish crackers or toddler items! Snack are an essential!).night light, extra flip flops. But, bring minimal things to the pool area because we came home one flip flop short.

We gave the Great Wolf Lodge 3 stars out of 5. The water park was probably 4 out of 5 (4 because of lack of tables).  The 3 was due to the lack of a room, having to fight for a room, and the stickiness of our room. It was seriously disgusting! We may return in a few years, who knows. I have a difficult time going places more than once unless they were amazing. I mean, our life is so short. Unless we have been everywhere, I don’t want to repeat my travels. Unless, of course, it is to go to my parents’ lake home!

We had a wonderful time on our short trip. The kids went right to sleep once at home. It was fun just to get away to a new place. I miss the Wolf already! Now, back to reality...laundry.

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