Saturday, June 27, 2009

Homeowner Pains

There is always something, it seems, when you own a home, at least in our case. Just when we think we have everything in top shape, the garage door breaks in a near mangled mess!

Chris came home from work on Friday and asked me what I thought of the garage door. Huh? What are you talking about? I had just mowed, cleaned up, and shut the garage door with out any apparent problems. Come to find out, the screws I was finding all over the garage were from the garage door, causing it to weaken. The bolts and bracket on the door connecting to the garage door opener popped off and the garage door opener part was all mangled. It was a serious mess, not to mention a hazard.

So, I made the my Dad. He fixes everything. He was down within a hour to help Chris diagnose the problem, buy the necessary tools, and eyeball what needed to be done. Chris already had a headache. Our plans for going to the art fair downtown today were blown out of the water. He was not happy.

Saturday morning came, and so did a guy who claimed to give free estimates. Of course, being a garage door salesman, he said we needed a whole new garage door, plus a new opener (which seemed quite strange since we just bought this one last year) costing $1000. Um, what? We still have our home on the market and are continuing to shell out money here and there for small repairs, but $1000 is no small repair! Chris wanted to go for it because our garage door has been a big problem for us. He just did not want this problem to pop up again. He was hesitant to fork out the big money. I, on the other hand, thought the salesman was nuts and wanted to go with my Dad's plan...or at least try!

So, Chris, with no excitement, spent the majority of the day sweating it out in the garage, taking it all apart, drilling new holes, buying parts, remodeling the set up a bit, stabilizing the unit and again and again, and piecing everything back together. In the end, he spent $80 (mostly for a new CORDED drill), and it is fixed. For now, our garage is as good as new (if not better!) Thanks Chris!

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Fireworks Show

Chris' brother invited us to the Country Club where he works for their annual fireworks show. We arrived shortly after 8:30, quickly catching up with Chris' parents and finding a nice spot to sit. It was a beautiful night with a nice wind to keep the temperatures comfortable. It was just nice to actually sit and relax a bit after our crazy week (3 showings, garage door repair, ugh!). The Country Club was really nice...makes you want to be a member (if only...!).

The fireworks began shortly after 10. Asher, laid his head on me, not liking them at all. He only cried a bit, though. Alivia and Addison really got into them this year, though. The fireworks were amazing! And, the finale - wow!! Highly recommend parking your car near this show every year!

Thank you Uncle Brent for the invite and the amazing show!

Asher & Fireworks do not mixBoom!Crazy Finale!More Finale!

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Thursday, June 25, 2009

Before and After: Dinette Area

Finally, our new kitchen table has arrived! Here's the story. I ordered this table off of Ebay (this is what happens when you have 3 kids and no time to shop!). They claimed to hand make each one upon ordering. The table itself was made in Italy and shipped via cargo on a ship! Anyway, after 9 weeks, the table arrived! It is a bit large, but we have a large family. I love it! I am so excited for the new look.

Large shipmentEmpty Space
Now it is official: We do not have any furniture in our home that we had when we moved it. That is a major accomplishment considering all the furniture we have in this home!

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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Children's Museum in June

Asher slides!Learning about DigestionIn the DinerGrocery ShoppingIn the Puppet Room

Wild! That is all I will say about our visit to the Children's Museum today! There were numerous daycares and daycamps there today, so many that I did not think it was safe. We started upstairs at the at the Sesame Street Presents: The Body exhibit. We had been there before, but actually missed seeing some things last time! The kids still liked playing in all the areas. There was an Elmo meet and Greet...but are you kidding? The line was so long we would still be there waiting! There were just so many kids there today! We went downstairs to the ball room. It was filled with bigger kids who liked to push, so we did not last long. We went into all the rooms with similar issues. We ended up in the baby room, where we played for a while until lunch. I think the kids had fun in spite of the craziness.

Note to self: Leave when you see buses pulling up when you are getting out of the car!

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Monday, June 22, 2009

Reality Divorce

I'm sad, about Jon & Kate's decision to file for divorce. I watch very little TV. Let's just say I watch LOST and Jon & Kate +8. Other than that...I watch random TV, but nothing regularly. I have watched Jon & Kate since the first show. Their 6 were born 15 days before our little Alivia was born, so I liked watching to see how they raised their kids, disciplined them, potty trained them, and all the fun places they took them. It was no secret that Kate was a bit harsh on Jon. Okay, perhaps she was a bit more than harsh. Jon was the quiet one. All of that harshness had to get to a person eventually. I am not giving Jon excuses, because there are not any excuses. Both Jon and Kate are at fault. I just do not understand how they could not try and make it work for their 8 kids. They just renewed their vows last August afterall! Come on! They kept saying on the show how they do things for their kids. Since when is divorce the best thing for kids? Since when is Daddy not being home every night or Mommy being home every day the best thing for kids? I know, I know, I do not know their specific situation. With that said, you marry "For better or for worse" and they did that twice, once in front of their 8.

Thinking of our marriage, I just could not think of ever living separately from Chris (sorry to those who keep wishing...). I may get mad at him and vice versa (less now that I stay home. Our lives are so much more relaxed now that I take care of the kids and home and Chris works. HIGHLY recommend being a SAHM for any mom who is overwhelmed working. Makes everything better). We made a promise to each other x5: Once on the day we got married, then again on the day we got married in the Catholic Church, and then once for each child we had together. We are committed to each other. If the going gets rough, we will take a trip together and work it out, get into counseling, and recommit ourselves to US.

I think Chris can relate to Jon. Chris is the quiet one (shocker!) and I am the witch. No, I am not quite that witchy, although some would probably argue that. I am, however, more honest than I should be sometimes. I do say too much that is on my mind sometimes. Chris and I are really honest with one another, so my honesty does not affect Chris directly, but more indirectly. I like things perfect, but not as bad as Kate. I let the kids eat without bibs (the kids Alivia's age wear bibs on the show! Addison, who is 2, has not wore a bib in a year!). I do like our home to be clean. Anyone with kids knows this is rather difficult. I have gotten much worse since our home has been on the market, too. I am VERY particular, like having the laundry caught up, like cleaning one room before moving to play in another. I can relate to Kate, but she was a bit rude to Jon. I many times felt bad for him as she yelled at him. With that said, the bad moments made for good TV. So, I assumed that they portrayed Kate that way and she was not really THAT bad. Perhaps I was wrong.

The whole thing is sad. I feel sad for their beautiful 8. Jon's comment that he was excited for the next chapter because he is only 32 (so he is still young enough to start over or what? What crap!). I am sad, mad, frustrated, et al.

Now, what will be my Jon & Kate replacement? I'm sorry, I do not do reality divorce! 

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Storytime at Standing Bear

Well, just in case we continue to live at our current address, I decided to take Alivia (and Addison) to story time at Standing Bear Elementary tonight. What fun! Alivia was able to pick out some books (and Addison will check out some next time), make a fun ocean tube craft, and play a bit. It was fun. Think we will make it a habit of going every Monday and Wednesday night and Friday morning! At least she will be familiar with the library if we stay in this neighborhood! Next time, we will let Asher come along.

Addison in the teepeeAlivia with her craftThe Kids are in the HouseComputer time

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Sunday, June 21, 2009

Father's Day 2009

Father's Day 2009Airplane watchingBig steerman (whatever that's a plane)Asher & DaddyBye Bye Airplane!

Happy Father's Day! This year Chris is the Daddy of Asher, 18 months, Addison, 2 1/2 years, & Alivia, 5!

After Daddy opened his presents at home (new shorts, shirt, socks and a gift card to Best Buy), we went to the annual flight breakfast in Harlan, Iowa. Although a little cloudy, some planes came in for breakfast. We arrived around 9, wishing Grandpa Bill a Happy Father's Day. We ate some breakfast (Asher ate eggs and the girls enjoyed some chocolate milk) and then watched the planes fly in and out. Asher waved "Bye Bye!" excitedly to each one of them. Asher really got into it! Addison wanted to take a airplane ride (soon Addison...soon). It was fun. We gave Grandpa a movie and a photo storage card for his new phone (techy Grandpa!).

Then we loaded up and came back to Omaha to visit with Grandpa Bob. Grandpa also got the DVD Gran Torino and a golf towel from the Oak Hills Country Club where they are now members. After visiting them for a bit, we went out for the annual TCBY treat (Daddy's get a free treat at TCBY on Father's Day!).

Back at home, it is now rest time. We hope to get in a good bike ride with the kids and maybe some water time.

Why can't every day be Father's Day...right Daddy?

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Friday, June 19, 2009

A Dip in the Pool

Asher & Boppa splashing LucasUnderwater AliviaKids at play
Chris' parents invited us (the kids and I) to the pool at the Oak Hills Club Golf Course today. It was our first time there, so I was not sure what to expect. It is really nice. It is not all fancy like some of the newer pools, but it is quiet, warm, lined with a soft liner, has many toys and a water basketball hoop, and not chaotic busy which is really nice! Alivia played with cousin Lucas while Asher continued to swim without any fear. Addison, remained mostly on the side playing with toys and shivering. I did take her for a brief swim around the pool before she got out to get dressed just before the rain hit. We hope to visit Grandma Kathy and Grandpa Bob's pool again sometime, maybe when it's hot. Grandpa has a goal for Addison to go under the water by the end of the we better get practicing! I am hoping she just gets in. :)

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Thursday, June 18, 2009

Visit to Mahoney State Park

In the tunnel at the Park, Asher 18mViewAlivia on the Observation deckView from Observation deck (not that I would know).What's down there?The viewPretty waterfallNikki and Asher enjoying the viewNeed a bigger stroller?

Today we visited Eugene T. Mahoney State Park in Ashland. We have only been there in the winter, so this was a new adventure for us. We played at the park before a big bus of kids arrived, then went to the observation tower. That thing is tall! Carrying Asher, holding onto Addison's hand, I did not make it far. Addison got timid and wanted to return back to the ground. Alivia and Aunt Nikki went all the way up and saw the gorgeous view! Next we took a little trail down to see the river and a passing train. We took a little walk where Nikki and I ended up with our hands and stroller full! It was 90+ degrees and too hot for the tired kids to handle! We found a shaded picnic spot for lunch before continuing our car tour to check out the pool area for perhaps our next visit. After yesterday, we were not ready for another pool day (and Nikki and I are still a little red anyway!). Besides, the pool there is unreasonably expensive!

Mahoney is  a beautiful park and we will definitely visit again.

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Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Visit to the Splash Station


Upon Arrival...Alivia goes "Weee!"Break timeWatching Nikki in the wave poolAsher breaking itMmmm, nachos!Alivia swimmingFinally...Addison is happy!Too much pool?

Today, our day started early picking up Aunt Nikki at the airport, shopping for Father's Day, and running errands. After a quick lunch, we took off on our first trip to the pool in Fremont. We went to the Splash Station last year and had a great time. This year, I thought it would be easier with the 3 kiddos all walking and liking the water. Again, I should never assume that things will be easier.

We arrived shortly after noon to sunny skies and 90 degree temps. What a great day to go to the pool! Right away, Addison and Alivia did not like the big water tower that dumped 500 gallons of water every 2 minutes with a big horn warning. Alivia loved the train slides (unlike last year when she was afraid to go down them). Asher...oh Asher! The boy is nuts. He just would walk to the side of the pool and jump in. Quite scary when me eyes wandered between the 3 kids. Asher liked to jump off the side to me (not going under obviously) and then "swimming" and kicking in the water. Addison liked splashing at first, sticking her hair in the water to get wet. And then there was a 10 minute break. That broke her from the water for some reason. After the break, Aunt Nikki was in the wave pool, Alivia was swimming by Asher and I, and Addison was screaming and crying at the top of her lungs that she was cold (it is 90 degrees and NOT COLD!) and wanted to go home! I needed help and quickly. I picked up Addison screaming and kicking, picked up Asher and told Alivia to come with me to get Nikki. Nikki swam with Asher and Alivia in tow back over to where we were swimming initially. I held Addison, screaming at the top of her lungs while we swam. I took her out of the water to sit on the side so I could go back to Asher. Addison screamed louder. Oh lovely. Meanwhile, Mommy's everywhere were staring at me as they were wondering, "Come on, do something about your daughter." Okay, I had my hands full! I could not get Addison to stop screaming. Addison stripped out of her swimsuit and searched for her clothes, quickly changing back into them. I was done. Nikki sat with Addison outside the pool for a while, then we switched off. If I was at the pool alone, our trip would had ended half hour after arrival. But, luckily, we had Nikki along so at least Alivia and Asher could swim.

So, trip one to the pool down, unsuccessfully. I do not know what Addison's deal is with pools. She does fine at open swim at the YMCA (where we are there alone), so perhaps she likes quiet swimming. Her favorite part of the day: Nachos that Nikki got. Alivia's favorite was the slides. Asher's favorite, if he could say, was jumping off the side and scaring Mommy and Aunt Nikki with his lack of fear! Oh, and Asher liked licking off the cheese on the nachos and dipping it back in for more. Mmmm...double dipping!

I now know that as a Mommy, nothing is easy, and I will never assume otherwise.

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Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Mommy's Weekend

I want to make note of last weekend so we do not forget the fun (or I mean torture) we endure some weekends.

Rise and Shine around 6:30!! Don't the kids know to sleep in on weekends?
Make beds, get kids dressed, teeth brushed, hair combed.
Pack up for morning outing
Off to Fontenelle Forest for a hike.
Home in time for lunch.
Naptime for kids and Mommy.
Within minutes, Asher is crying, Addi is slamming doors and drawers in search for a taggie! Mommy (frustrated) calls it quits for my nap!
Movie time with Addison and Alivia
Asher wakes up, take a long family bike ride.
Dinner/Dinner cleanup
Out for an evening treat
bath time
kids' bedtime 8pm
Mommy out for a 4 1/2 mile run.
Mow the lawn (there was a little light left).
Shower and pack up for work
Work 11-7:30, and into SUNDAY:
Home at 8 in time to get the kiddos dressed, teeth brushed, beds made. Upstairs cleaned up - check.
Now time to clean up for open house! WHOOOPEE! Chris plays with very tired, crabby kids while I clean up.
Off to free lunch out with coupons from nurse’s day (from a while back!).
Say good bye to Chris and Kids - my turn to do open house!
Open House 12-3ish with 5 total families.
3:30: Kids return, tired without naps. Fun. Chris and I are exhausted. Play outside a bit, ride bikes a bit.
Dinner/clean up. Too tired and nauseaus to eat.
At 6 - I was so tired I went and lay down until I heard crying at 7:15. Got up until kids' bedtime.
8:30: Ate a bit, then bed for the night (I thought).
11 - Addison, who was sleeping in our bed, pooped and was HOLDING it! Seriously, disgusting! Cleaned up Addison. Fearing my side of the bed was poopy, I slept on the floor (We only have 1 set of sheets out and the rest are packed "someplace" who knows where). Chris and Addison slept in the bed (Addison was having problems getting to sleep on this night and I was too tired to stay in her room. Having problems going to sleep at night is a new thing since saying so long to her taggie. She usually only comes in our room when it storms).

FINALLY, to sleep until waking at 7:45 (which is REALLY LATE) to Asher calling, "Mommy, I want up!"

Oh, what a fabulous weekend! :)

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Sunday, June 14, 2009

Chris is Right!

On a usual Sunday from 12-3 PM, Chris is doing the Open House while I take the kids out to find something fun to fill our Sunday with. Well, today, after not having any sleep since waking yesterday morning (that's right, SATURDAY MORNING) at 6:30, Chris offered the Open House to me and he would take the kids out. I did hesitate until I heard Chris had a plan to go to his parents' house. Okay, sign me up for the open house! How hard can it be, right?

After doing the open houses, Chris always wants to pull the FSBO sign. I am always like, come on here...we decided we want to move, let's give this a go. We can not be wishy washy with this! We have gone to so much work to get to this point.

I have had 3 families in the last hour come through and 2 were both quite interested. One had their home on the market and are looking to move up. The other had a 3 bedroom, 3 kids, Mom and Dad, as well as a Grandma living with them! UGH! They are crammed. The mom was so excited she sent their 5 year old little girl up to pick out her room. She came down and told me she wants Alivia's room (not sure Alivia is ready to hear that until she picks out her new room!). That couple was quite excited, asking many questions about our home, neighborhood, etc. They really liked our home, and that was clear. Chris has told me this of many couples before, and we never hear back from them. Many of them have to get loan approval, have to sell their home first, etc, so it is just a matter of time. I think it will go from no offers to 2 in a week. After hearing all the nice compliments, it does make me sad. Chris and I put our hearts into our first home. We brought home our babies to this home. I learned how to decorate, and Chris and I both found our modern taste in this home.

God has a plan for us. I am just waiting to see what it is and where we will live. Since Chris and I can not seem to decide, we will leave it in His hands and see.

P.S. I have no problem admitting to Chris he is right, either!

P.S. again: Had 6 people walk through total.

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June Day at the Forest

This month we decided to select a weekend day and go to Fontenelle Forest with Daddy. We wanted to show Daddy what we liked about getting away to the forest, as well as take a hike off the boardwalk (which, at this point, I will not do alone with the 3 kids and no stroller!). It may have been a little muddy, but that did not stop us! Addison walked probably a mile or more before wanting to be held, while Asher did not want to get his shoes all muddy! We got off the boardwalk and walked over the train tracks right down to the river. It was beautiful (but quite scary!). Alivia hunted and found many snails. She carried them around before she left them in their new "habitat," Alivia's new word for the day. Addison found a nice worm, while Asher just found 4 shoulders (Daddy's and mine) to lay on as we hiked. While we may not have seen any deer on this visit, we were able to see a wild turkey and hear it, "GOBBLE GOBBLE GOBBLE!"

The verdict: Daddy liked the Forest better than the zoo! It was very peaceful to hike through the forest, and we only saw a few park rangers (so we were more or less alone!). After playing outside, we made our way inside to play before calling it a morning! Now, Daddy thinks he may go to the Forest and spend his lunch break there sometime! What a wonderful way to spend a Saturday morning.

Boardwalk RiverwalkDown by the RiverWatching the River's CurrentSnailsLooking at the swamp!Monkey AliviaBuilding a houseProof...Mommy went too!

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