Sunday, May 31, 2009

May In Review

Oh, what a crazy month!
Berkshire Hathoway, May Day, Cinco de mayo, meeting Baby Braden, Meeting Baby Ben, Alivia riding her bike without training wheels!!, I ran a 1/2 marathon, picnics, updating the entryway, FSBO, open houses EVERY WEEKEND, trip to the Maiefskis, Mother's Day, monthly trip to the zoo, Childrens museum, and fontenelle forest, Alivia's birthday party, Memorial Day and Alivia turned 5! Alivia finished preschool, Asher getting into trouble, summer is here! And we ended the month with Asher turning 18 months!

Oh, how did we survive? Now, onto another fun filled month!


I think we are Crazy!

Or, at least I am crazy.

Okay, I know what I said...NO MORE OPEN HOUSES! However, we placed the ad in the newspaper, which then placed our home open house on several websites. We had to have an open house! So again, after a night without sleep, the kids and I went out for an afternoon of activities while Chris stayed home and got scared.

The kids and I went to the sprinkle park for the first time this season! It was fun! However, the water would be on for 10 minutes, then be off almost completely for 10 minutes. Um, our kids' attention span does not last that long. We made it an hour there and they were done. It was 1:20, and I needed to be out of the house until 3. We drove to Chris' parents house to find them not at home...oh, I should have called. We came back home and waited for viewers to leave before running in and pulling the sign. We had someone else coming for a scheduled viewing at we had little time.

Unfortunately, nobody got a nap. Chris was all worried because the interested party waiting for loan approval came back for the 3rd time stating their loan should be approved this be expecting an offer. Great! We will be homeless this week? Another couple also came through really interested stating they would definitely be in touch! After worrying for a couple hours with few brain cells without sleep, I had to get out of the house again. Chris agreed to keep Alivia and I decided to just take Addi and Asher on a walk. It was 4:30. I returned home at 5:30 and the people were still not there. I could not walk anymore. I was hot, tired of walking (I had been walking for an hour!) and I had not slept in days now! Come on! So, Addi, Asher and I went to the backyard to play while the people looked around. They were interested as well, but had to market their home first. Oh, they are not an immediate threat. The house will be sold by the time they get their affairs in order.

So, at this looks like we will at least get 1 offer within the next couple of weeks. Now, if we can just decide where we are going to live we would be set. I have an appointment to view a home on an acreage tomorrow with the kids (Chris has another showing of our home to get home to). One really has to be committed to this process to proceed because buying and selling a home with kids takes time, work and lots of commitment!

I will keep you posted!

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Friday, May 29, 2009

Asher's 1/2 Birthday!


Asher is 18 months old today! I was just telling Chris that I hardly remember when he was not walking! Now he is running and getting into trouble. Within the last week, Asher filled our toilet on the main level with a few toys and then topping it off with Daddy's flip flops while we got ready to go some place. Then, again while we were getting the kids ready to walk out the door, Asher opened the register cover and threw his shoes down it. Luckily, the vent trapped the shoes before going too far. Asher is a big talker, saying many words. His first sentence was, "More Cocoa Puffs Please!" in the car! He calls all cereal cocoa puffs, the cereal we eat only on weekends when Daddy is home. He calls drinks, "snacks" or at least that is what it sounds like. I kept giving him snacks until I figured it out! He is a very picky eater. He does not like milk and the only meat he will eat is an occasional hot dog of all things! He likes special K over Cheerios, and genenally scrapes anything sweet off of his tongue onto his hand and says, "Yuck!"

Asher likes to play with his basketball, soccer ball - even getting good at kicking it, golfballs, footballs, etc. Okay, if it is a ball - Asher will fight you for it, even if it is pink. Although he COULD feed himself for a few months, he just started actually doing it with a spoon. Until a few days ago, he would take a few bites until I sat down, then he would hand me his spoon. He likes storytime with Mommy and coloring time (or messy time) with his sisters. He is a funny boy, liking to walk around with his sister's headbands around his neck like a dog collar! :) Asher is very tough. He generally does not cry unless it is a MAJOR injury. I have seen him really crash, get up and say, "Ouch" pointing to his head, hand or whatever he hurt, hug me, and then move on. Seriously! That would cause the girls to cry for at least 10 minutes! He is also tough with Addison, who tends to take his toys. His defense: Hair pulling (okay, what goes around comes around as Addison did this very thing to Alivia). I do redirect Asher, but I do think Addison asks for it a lot! (Addison and Asher have a love/hate relationship. One minute they are getting along fine and the next minute Addison is saying, "I don't like Asher!" We have no idea where she got this phrase because nobody says it around our home except Addison. But, we are working on more Addison time so she does not think Asher is getting more attention or anything). Asher is a pretty good sleeper sleeping from about 8 PM until just before 7 AM yelling "Mommy, UP!" when he awakes. That is a nice alarm clock every morning, let me tell you! He occasionally cries out for me after going to bed, but rests on my shoulder falling right back to sleep. He sleeps on his tummy, tucking his hands under his cute! He even does this while sleeping on my shoulder.  He takes one nap from 12:45 (but usually talks until 1) until 3:30 or so. Alivia and Asher get along well. She likes going down the slide with Asher on her lap, and she likes standing under him while he climbs the playset ladder all by himself (something he just started doing!).

And, at 18 months, I begin to think about potty training. I said just THINK. I got out the potties for Asher to investigate. He is very good at telling me when he goes #2 and tells me "yuck!" as he tugs at his diaper, or he smells so bad he clears rooms. I am thinking that he and Addison may be close to being potty trained at once! Perhaps I will make it a competition and see who wins! (Addison is holding out for dear life on the #2 STILL).

It is hard to believe that our baby is 18 months. Asher will go in for his 18 month appointment on Monday, and I will update then. I am sure he is well over the 19 lbs Addison was at her 18 month check up! He is growing up too fast! Have I said that before?


Asher at 18 monthsPouting time!Baby soccer pro!

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Alivia's 5 year pictures

Alivia had her 5 year pictures taken today. Here are some of her favorites:



Oh, to be 5 and a little princess!

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Thursday, May 28, 2009

My Take and Jon & Kate +8

It is no secret that I am a fan of 2 shows, Lost and Jon & Kate +8. Last year, I kind of got away from Jon and Kate because I was just too busy to watch TV 2 nights a week. However, I had to watch the season premiere on Monday after all of the accusations were flying around.

Now, here is my take on it.

Jon wants to quit the show. He wants his life back. He wants to work. Many men do need to work to fulfill that need and their confidence to provide for their family. He feels he is forced to stay home with his kids so his wife, Kate, can go out and travel, speaking and doing book signings. I cannot comment on if he has had an affair because nobody’s really telling the truth, so who knows. His wife has left him, in some ways, for the show and the fame. This is evident. This is not an excuse, but husband's that stray usually have non existent wives or the man just can not be faithful. Jon had been faithful, so it goes back to having a non existent (or controlling) wife.

Kate loves fame, attention and the $25-$50,000 ($1-2 million this season alone, not including the books sales) they are claimed to get per episode. The just moved into a million some odd dollar home with 24 acres and they need the show to pay the mortgage or something. Yes, I realize they have 8 kids, but if your husband is done, it’s done! I think if Kate had to pick between her husband and the show going on, she would pick the show. She would never admit to that, however. She also was very harsh, almost rude, regarding her husband in People magazine. I'm sorry, they are still married. Since neither of them are really telling what went on with Jon, she is just looking plain bad for saying the things she has said about Jon. Jon is I think he is getting the raw end of the deal because she is loud and voicing her side. I like his quiet side better. She said on the season premiere that the kids called her by the baby sitters name. Okay, that is sad, especially sad considering she CAN JUST STAY HOME! She does not HAVE to travel, speak, etc, when they make that kind of money per episode. She always says that the show allows them to stay home with their kids. Really? Why aren’t you at home then?

I guess I liked the show because of the things they did with the kids, the places they took them, etc. I do not like watching someone’s horrible personal life in reality. I did watch, however, the entire episode. I am hopeful that the show will not continue down this dramatic path of reality divorce. I, for one, do not want to see that!

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May Visit to the OCM

Today was our monthly visit to the OCM. The museum was busy with the kids out of school. They have a new exhibit upstairs, ELMO, that was really fun!  kids dressed Elmo with magnets, watch mommy tie shoes, played in the bakery, and they had a little "exercise" area that the kids really liked. It was a lot of fun! We moved downstairs and played a bit before Addison asked "Can we go home, Mommy?" Asher really gets into things, really liking the ball room (go figure!). I took some pictures with my phone since the camera remained on the kitchen counter. So, I will try and post them later. 

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Alivia's Kindergarten Check up

Anyone who knows about the Pre-Kindergarten check up knows, this can be a very traumatic appointment. This appointment usually consists of shots, vision screening, hearing screening and an exam. They no longer require the urine test, which helps a little. However, having worked in a pediatric office as a nurse, I am smart. HA! I had Alivia's shots done at her 4 year appointment so her 5 year appointment was not so bad. It was fun for her actually!

She passed with flying colors! She shyly answered all of their questions, performing all of the tasks asked (skipping, hopping on one foot, writing her name, etc). She weighed 37.8 lb (34%), 42.25 in tall (46%). They do BMIs now and she was found to be within normal limits there, too. She passed the vision and hearing tests well, even going away with the nurse to test without any hesitation.

The results: Alivia is physically ready for kindergarten beginning August 17. All we have left on the check-list is to learn how to tie her shoes. I think if I bought shoes with ties that would help!

Now, off to enjoy Alivia on home this summer!

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Monday, May 25, 2009

Alivia Turns 5 Years Old!

Today was Alivia's 5th Birthday! Alivia is such a big girl! Alivia's favorite interests are: Clothes and picking out her clothes, drawing and coloring, riding her bike "without training wheels," movies, ladybugs and butterflies, swimming and doing water activities, and playing with her friends. Alivia has surprised us by becoming a little bit outgoing. She is usually the first one out of the kids to try things, depending upon what it is. Her favorite foods are totinoes pizza (I know, yuck), Mamas pizza and onion rings, and any food one would label as junk food. Alivia is quite the helper. She helps unload the dishwasher, but is losing that job to Addison and Asher who love to help Mommy with that. Alivia on occasionly helps with dishes, clearing the table, picking up toys, and is quite organized (when she wants to be) in cleaning her room. I think Mommy's clean fleakish behavior, more so lately for obvious reasons, has shed off on Alivia a bit. Alivia is very loving, giving hugs and kisses out of the blue. Alivia and Addison are quite close. Alivia is always concerned that Addison is okay if she is upset and is quick to share with her, typically. Alivia even let Addison help her open her birthday presents today! She continues to be a sensitive little girl, shy around other kids at least at school. She does well playing with kids at the park and making friends easily though. She is excited about kindergarten and is slowing collecting things to get ready, like a new backpack, new clothes, lunchbox, etc. Chris and I are confident she will be ready for kindergarten, we are just not sure we will be!

So how did she celebrate turning 5? Well, we celebrated with the party 10 days ago, at school last Wednesday and then today. She has had a lot of birthday celebrations! Today we went to Iowa for the Memorial Day Service, then out to Grandma and Grandpa's house for a little BBQ. Addison and I got up at 5 AM, so we were exhausted and came home right after lunch so we could take a nap. Alivia and Daddy watched movies. Then, we all got up and Alivia ran through the sprinklers and rode her bike. We celebrated with an DQ icecream cake. Alivia liked it...yeah! (She generally does not like cake). We then went back out and took a long bike and wagon ride. It was a fun night. Alivia and Chris may go see a movie tomorrow afternoon (Chris took a vacation day tomorrow).

It is difficult for us to believe that Alivia is now 5 years old. We have talked about it for months, but for it to actually be here is sad. Where does the time go? It seems like yesterday that we brought home our 4lb 15 oz tiny baby girl. And now look at her!

Happy Birthday Alivia Grace! We love you!


5th Birthday GirlMemorial Day 2009Donut Picnic!Alivia, Addison and the presentsOpening presents nice!Memorial Day 2009 in ShelbyQuick Golf Cart Ride around the farm!Sprinkler Time!

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Down to 3 Weeks

Chris and I have learned ALOT doing selling FSBO that we would probably otherwise have learned the hard way. One man and his wife asked Chris what tax Levy we were in. He knew the answer, but we were not even sure what it meant. Okay,our tax levy is 2.05 roughly, which is low actually. Castle Creek, on 156th and Fort (a couple miles away), is at a tax levy of 2.503. The assessed value multiplied by the levy% equals the tax amount, so one can figure out how much tax you would pay on the sales price of the home (the more the home is worth, the more tax, obviously. Then if it is a higher levy, taxes will be REALLY EXPENSIVE!). The neighborhoods we were looking at had tax levy's of 2.677. I have deleted all of those homes. We refuse to pay $7700 or more in taxes in a year. That is crazy! Seriously, we can have a similar yard and everything and pay that much more?!  Some of the homes had the same finished sq feet (just on 2 floors with unfinished basements and larger garages) as we have now! Here is a home that Chris and I looked at SELECT HOME. I seriously loved the IDEA of this home. It has 4 bedrooms each with bath access (Master with master bath, Asher would get his own bath and the girls would share a jack n jill bath - these bath arrangement is my new home requirement!). It has nice window treatments (after shutters, one really looks at these. I do not want curtains of mini blinds!). The yard was wonderful with a natural stream running through it. Okay, it needed some repairs, so I wanted to low ball them with a contengency (which one really can't do in this market) to sell our home first. This home is special for a few reasons. 1. It is foreclosed. YIKES! I sure pick 'em! The repairs: The deck is just hanging on by a thread. If our kids got on it, it would crash down. The inside of the home needs lots of work. The sump pump went out, flooded the basement. So, it would have to be repaired. It was unfinished, but the walls were finished. I could go on and on. Anyway, if you go to the bottom of the link, check out this home's taxes. Yes, that says: $10,415! That is nearly $870 a month IN TAXES ALONE! Okay, can you see why the homeowners foreclosed? They built this fabulous home not knowing that it was sitting in a 2.6 -2.7 Levy zone and they could not pay their mortgage once those nice taxes were thrown in. Um, can't say that I can blame them. That is like giving a new small car away in taxes every year. If we could do that...why would anyone purposely do that? Now, house 2. Chris and I drove by this home and LOVE it! It is similar to another home we like...but that other home has too many issues. Taxes? $8412 or $701 a month in JUST TAXES! Seems interesting that this home is for sale within the first 6 months of their first large tax bill. Humm.

So, now I am looking at my CBSHOME favorite list. The only homes on it are the ones like ours for sale in our neighborhood that I am tracking for selling purposes and a few others. Chris and I were really leaning on building in Shadow Lake but are ruling it out because of the tax levy. We just do not wanto to throw $8000 or more away every year. Imagine how much we could save for college with that money that we would otherwise be giving away in taxes!

We invested the $200 in the paper for our ad, which has so far done nothing for us. We plan on keeping the home on the market for the next month while the ad is in the paper, at least (our initial plan was to have our home FSBO until July 12th weekend and then pull the sign and go on vacation!). If we have not sold, we are going to stay home. Chris and I  can think of a million things to do with $8000  or a year other than give it away in taxes (granite in the kitchen and bathrooms, new tile floors in the bathrooms, a deck, disney world, vacations, college savings plans...just to name a few things!). We are not doing any more open houses. We have done them 3 weekends and have decided if people are really interested, they will call and set up an appointment to see. Taking the kids out in the afternoon when Addison and Asher really need to be napping is just plain crazy and exhausting. Today we went to 3 parks, Toys R Us and then out for icecream. Chris had 1 person walk through (and they stayed over an hour!). I can not speak for Chris, but I am just going to count the hours until we can pull the FSBO sign. If and when we decide to move next time, we know what to do. FIND LAND AND A BUILDER! We are not going to run all over looking at homes that do not fit the bill in horrible locations with taxes that are seriously for the crazy and stupid. Our next home only exists if we build it. If our home does, by a miracle, sell in the next 3 weeks, we will find land and build or maybe find a home on a good levy. We have a builder...just not suitable land. And, if we have to pay those taxes, we will pay half up front and roll the rest into the mortgage, making the monthly mortgage a little easier on our eyes.

For now, let the timeline begin..
...3 Weeks!

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Friday, May 22, 2009

Alivia Completes Preschool!

Today was Alivia's last day of her second year of preschool at the Gingerbread House, marking a major milestone! Alivia went from being the shy girl that refused to talk to kids in her class until like January, to making friends and even having a little boyfriend! How scary is that. Okay, he is a boy and they are close friends. :) It is hard for us to believe that she will celebrate her 5th birthday on Monday and begin Kindergarten in the fall. Time sure flies. I feel lucky to have spend most of the last 2 years with her at home. It will be nice to have her home all day with us this summer to do as many fun things as we can. As I picked up Alivia from preschool today, it was difficult for me to hold back my tears (and Alivia said, "It is okay Mommy, I want to go to Kindergarten!") Just when I think she is growing up too fast, Alivia says something to remind me that she is still my baby (but is becoming such a big girl!).

Congrats Alivia on successfully completing Preschool!
Alivia in front of The Gingerbread HouseAlivia at Preschool

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Testing The Minimalist Theory

We are minimalists...I have explained this before. We try to get by in life on as little as possible. We do not have a home phone, only have basic cable (because without it we would not have any TV!), the kids know at age 2 to turn off the lights when you leave a room, etc, etc. We are also big savers, saving a lot of Chris' salary each month (more than we did when I was working actually!). Now, with this said, we get into the moving conversation.

Now, we want to move into a new home, a new investment. Our home has been a relatively good investment. We were able to finish the basement, add a big day light window, 5th bedroom, fire place and a bathroom with a shower in it. All those things added value to our home to help us get some of the money out of the house. Things like new carpet, trees in the yard, fence, etc, look nice on paper and help a home sell faster...but do not really help in the price of a home. Anyway, as we are looking at our next home, we are looking at many things. We really want a kick ass (sorry, no other way to say it) location. Our current location is WONDERFUL and really can not be beat. We are practically within walking distance to HyVee, Walmart and Target, as well as walking trails, a park, sprinkle park and a school! WOW! There are also many churches near by. Now, we have looked and NOTHING has all of those things. This next location we want to back to trees, a pond, golf course (I know, we don't golf...but we could!), or something. Chris REALLY wants an acreage, but we really have not found anything close to his work that fits that our needs (they are on land but need MAJOR work).

Here is the problem with moving and our current minimalist theory. We set our budget and started looking. Our taxes, at least today, stand at $3500. However, we have been reassessed so they will be going up if we stay or for the next owner. Anyway, the lowest taxes we found in a home were $6500 (and that was just 1 house we found in the $6000 range)! YIKES! Most taxes lie closer to $7000-$8300!! We have looked in Elkhorn, Gretna, Papillion, LaVista, and Bellevue and they are all the same - VERY HIGH! Sorry, but paying $700 a month JUST IN TAXES NOT INCLUDING THE MORTGAGE payment is INSANE! UGH! We found a few homes we liked, all had extraordinary high taxes. Let's just say, this does not fall into our life theory or goals. I keep going back to lets just stay, Chris will drive a lot, we refinance to 4 point something percent for a 10-15 year, and we can rock this house out! Oh, what to do, what to do...

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Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Catch 22

Chris and I are in the midst of a catch 22. UGH! We had a second showing tonight of a family who is very interested in purchasing our home, even stating that our price is dead on (thank you...we think so too!). Anyway, they have to get mortgage approval, which takes 3-5 days once the paperwork is filled out for a conventional loan, or 2-6 weeks for a VA loan. So, we could be getting an offer soon depending upon which type of loan they go with (we require loan pre-approval prior to making any offers, obviously).

Now, for the catch 22. Chris and I have stopped seriously looking at homes since we can not make any offers until our home sells. Yes, we could get a bridge loan...but we have a brain. If our home does not sell, we will not be buying another one. A bridge loan is one of the dumbest things I have ever heard of! Anyway, we have done some looking by driving by and that type of thing without looking inside. We just selected a few very good potentials this weekend. Tonight, I went on our favorite list to find many of those homes SOLD. Let's just say, this past weekend was a hot weekend for more than just our house! So the catch 22 is if we find homes now that we can buy when the time comes, those homes are more than likely going to be sold when we are in a position to buy. So, by looking now, we could potentially be setting ourselves up for BIG disappointment. I was quite disappointed seeing many of our top favs GONE! UGH! Why does moving up have to be so complicated? Chris and I decided that lazy and/or smart people just stay put!

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Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Skipping Through the Forest

Asher taking a breakAlivia's breakI can see you Addison!

Today was our May visit to the Fontenelle Forest. I can tell from month to month how the kids are growing up as they change when we visit places. Last month, Asher was perfectly content riding in the stroller. This month, he was screaming at me to "Want Out!!" So, as scary as it was, I let him out on the deck trail that is quite high at times and not very secure. YIKES! He held my hand for the most part, then wanted up! Pushing the stroller where Addison was content while holding Asher was a task, I'll tell you. I got my work out! But, the forest is so wonderful in the morning. All the birds chirping, woodpeckers making noises, etc, makes it so peaceful. The leaves have come out on the trees since our April visit making the views different. We can not wait to come back on a weekend so we can take more trails with Daddy. As we left, 2 big bus loads of kids arrived. Oh, Mommy sometimes knows just the right time to leave!

Making music togetherTaking a walking break

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Sunday, May 17, 2009

Open House Take 2

I hesitate to say that today we had a successful open house, but I will say it anyway. WE HAD A SUCCESSFUL OPEN HOUSE! We had 9 people walk through with many seeming interested. I hesitate, however, because it is not really successful until we get an offer and the house is sold!

The open house was from 12-3, but pushed into almost 4. Our near by neighbors put their ranch home on the market with an real estate agent and had an open house, as well as another home with our similar floor plan had an open house. I drove around and there were MANY homes for sale with open houses. It was like a neighborhood open house! Chris kept rather busy "selling" our home with fresh baked cookies, Kenny G's soft music playing in the background, and fresh cut flowers.

I had gotten home from the night shift at 8 AM, got the kids ready and out the door with Chris for the morning to his parents so I could get the house ready. It took me until 10:20 to spiff things up. Then I went to bed for an hour! Whew...a whole continuous hour of rest! Then, Chris brought the kids home and we were off. After the park was nixed by Addison because it was cold, we headed to the mall play area and the Gap. Asher was sick and kept soiling his clothes. I went through 2 outfits and had to buy another one! After leaving the mall, I bought the girls icecream cones before doing some more shopping at Village Point. Okay, 3 tired kids without naps and one Mommy who more or less skipped a night of sleep shopping - bad mix. Oh, and add in Asher messing his clothes in every store. We were ready to come home when returned just before 4.

And again, we will wait. Wait and wait for an offer...

...I think it would just be easier to pull the sign and rock this house out some more!

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Friday, May 15, 2009

Alivia's 5th Birthday Party

Today, from 3-4:30 (right after preschool), Alivia celebrated her birthday with her preschool classmates, friends, and grandparents. Her birthday falls on Memorial Day this year, the Monday after school gets out, so we decided to have her party 10 days sooner so that her preschool pals could come. This was our first attempt at a kids' birthday party...and it was uncontrolled chaos! (I am always surprised how parents leave their kids with complete strangers, in this case US! One mom called to RSVP and asked me my name, while another one asked if I was Alivia's Mommy in school and then went onto say her little boy would be coming. I guess Chris and I are a little protective about who we leave are kids with (and our kids would not stay anywhere alone without us, either! I have yet to drop off Alivia at a party without staying with her).

The plan: Play outside. We had the tent system set up, the extra slide, the playset (obviously), the big plastic house, picnic tables, kids tables, etc, all ready to go. The kids started arriving and playing. It was was the boys that were doing all the screaming! I asked them all to get on the playset for a picture began to rain. They all ran for inside, taking off their shoes, and then going to the basement. Chris and I scrambled to get the tables inside and set up for cake (with help from our team of helpers - his cousin, our parents, and my friend Heather - Thanks!).

First, Alivia opened her many presents, including 4 Barbies (all different too!). She got a lot of nice things. Each friend sat next to her as she opened their present to her. Then, we had her cake/cupcakes, gummy bears and juice boxes. Alivia was really shy while they singed, but she liked blowing out her candles. It was uncontrolled chaos. The kids then laced up and went back outside, while a few stayed inside and played downstairs. Asher finally let me put him down after insisting that I hold him (he went with Grandpa Bob to play outside) and Addison and cousin Gwen played outside. I'm hoping the parents were not too mad about how muddy some of the boys were when they went home! YUCK!

After saying good-bye to her friends (she gave them treat bags with a big bag of M&Ms, sidewalk chalk, bubbles and water balloons - all things to play with this summer), Alivia opened up her presents from her Grandparents. She was so excited to get a new backpack for Kindergarten and drawing supplies (Alivia is really into drawing right now - definitely from Chris!).

After the clean-up was done, Chris and I are exhausted! We can see why people have parties outside of their homes.We learned a few things. Tell the kids where the potty is. Get the juice boxes ready (Alivia can do this herself and has since she was 2 (Addison can and Asher is trying!), but most of the kids could not do this). Ask more people to help because 2 people (and I only had one hand because Asher would not let me put him down) is not enough. We had help - but I felt bad that our parents and Chris' cousin had to help so much since they were our guests too! Have pick up time in a 15 minute time period. I did think 1 1/2 hours was perfect time!
It was a fun afternoon! And, most importantly, Alivia had fun!
Play TimeTube Time (Asher loved it outside!)Group Photo minus 4PresentsPink Cake and CupcakesFamily PhotoMake a Wish!Feeding FrenzyAddison, Great Boppa Austin, and Grandma BetTreats!

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Wednesday, May 13, 2009

May Trip to the Zoo

May Trip to the ZooAsher telling me to "Look"Now those are some big ears!Snacktime...Asher feeds NikkiIMAX time in 3D

May's trip to the zoo usually is Alivia's birthday. However, this year, Alivia's birthday falls on Memorial Day, making it one of those days we probably do NOT want to go to the zoo because it will be a ZOO! Today's trip was special because Aunt Nikki came along. She is in town because her home sold and she is moving out her things (she now lives in Parker, Colorado). After picking up Nikki from the airport, grabbing her some unhealthy breakfast, we went to the zoo. On many of our trips, we are the only ones at the zoo. Today was not one of those days. Today it seemed like every school and daycare in the area decided to make it zoo field trip day. It was so bad that if I was there alone, I may have called it a day sooner because of all the traffic at the exhibits
We began the day as we always do at the jungle, then the Kingdom of the night (whew, that place stinks!). Then, Aunt Nikki wanted to see the penguins at the aquarium, and then we visited the jungle. I had gotten my zoo email last night that said they had a special on the IMAX - so we went to the 11AM showing of the IMAX Under the Sea 3D with Jim Carrey! It was a really good one! The 3D glasses rocked, but the girls did not want to wear them. Funny thing is, Asher wore them without a problem. He sat quietly on my lap, falling asleep within the first 10 minutes. Addison followed his lead, falling asleep on Aunt Nikki's lap, while Alivia finished off the popcorn and lunch items I had brought along. This is my second IMAX movie and would highly recommend them. This one was 45 minutes, long enough without being too long. They are very kid friendly (and I went to the first one with the kids without help).

We had to end our visit to the zoo after the movie so Alivia could get to preschool. It was a fun morning!

Night nightAddison sleeps, Nice Glasses KKSporting nice frames

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Mommy Gets Tired, too

I think I need to point something out here....MOMMY GETS TIRED TOO. It seems that I am not supposed to ever run out of gas...and I am!

Keeping a home spotless just in case someone calls and wants to see our home is seriously exhausting with 3 kids. It may be difficult without kids, but having 3 little ones messing it up all day long is a constant battle. They are generally pretty good, but like all kids, they have their moments. Additionally, I continue to do loads and loads of Addison's laundry for her minor to major accidents because "I just don't want to" go potty in the potty. Oh, gotta love that! In a few short months, I will begin potty training Asher. And, I probably will still be potty training Addison. Let's just say, I get tired just thinking about (and probably stinky).

So, the last few nights I stayed up late posting our home on any for sale by owner website I could find. I have not posted it in our paper yet. It is $70 for 1 week (one Sunday), $150 for 2 weeks or $200 for one month. Seriously! That is ridiculous! I had a friend place an ad and not get a single call from it! So, in the mean time, we are holding our cash. Neighbors nearby put their home on the market a couple days ago. It is a ranch and not a 2 story like our home, but it is in a similar price range. So, we may get some of their traffic. Both the neighbor and another home similar to our floor plan are having open houses this weekend. They ARE on the MLS since they are both with real estate agents. So, we hope to take advantage of that by placing our open house signs near theirs to perhaps draw some people to our home after visiting theirs. If we get no visitors during this weekend's showing, we will empty our checkbooks for the OWH!

In the meantime...I will clean, do laundry, and clean some more. I can't say I would recommend FSBO at this point. I would pay $15000 at this point to get this house sold quickly so we can move!

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Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day 2009

Mother's Day started off rather challenging. After staying up all night at work, I came home, saw my roses and almon m&ms from the kids (Chris got me the entry table and mirror already) and rushed off to Mass with the family. As usual, Asher was very challenging, but he tested me more as I was completely exhausted. Then, we rushed home so Chris could go to his parents’ house for a BBQ and wish all the Mother’s a happy one and I could stay back and sit in an unsuccessful open house (okay…perhaps we should have waited until we advertised and put some signs out!). At 1:20, I FINALLY laid down. I think it was 2 when I woke to Asher “singing” in his crib and Addison crying in her room. Wow! Impressive! I got to sleep for 40 minutes. I feel so rested (note: SARCASM). I went downstairs to see what happened to Chris so he can maybe, just maybe, let me go back to sleep for, I don’t know, an hour? He was napping on the couch. So, I went back upstairs to find Addison covered in YUCKY in her pants (let’s just say something did not agree with her and it was evident!). So, off to a bath we went. She was not happy, and neither was I. It is now 2:30, I have not slept since 6am Saturday morning. I put her back to bed and went into singing Asher’s room. Whew! What is that smell? That’s right…same thing with Asher. COME ON! Is this some kind of sick joke? What did these kids eat? Finally, 3pm – I can go to sleep until 4 – then it’s time to get up to go and see my Mom/Grandma/Aunt Marsha for Mother’s Day.

We arrived at my Grandma’s almost in one piece for a chicken dinner. It was good to see everyone after the crazy day…just to relax, play hide n seek, whatever. We gave the grandmas butterfly things that stick in the ground from Mulhalls. I went to Mulhalls to buy these rustic flower things that also stick in the ground, but Alivia wanted the butterflies. When you are shopping with 3 kids in the rain, you tend to agree with whatever they say if it means you can leave the store sooner!  Anyway, once we reached Grandmas, although tired…I was much more happier about the day being able to actually celebrate being a Mommy! I love being a Mommy! It is the best and hardest job…but I would not change a thing!

Happy Mother’s Day!

3 GenerationsOur GrandmasPresent Time with Grandma JonesAsher Chillin'

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