Wednesday, April 28, 2010

April trip to the Zoo

Today appeared to be a nice day to go to the zoo after looking at the weather. Well, obviously someone else had that same idea. There were perhaps 50 buses in the parking lot and people were flooding the streets waiting for the gates to open. I hesitated and actually considered going home. But, it is the zoo. It is a big enough place that the crowds are not always so obvious unless you go inside of the buildings. So, I decided to give it a go but just check out outdoor animals. And, that we did!

We started at the monkeys who were extremely loud this morning. We could hear them screaming from the parking lot! We then checked out the tigers, lions, gorillas, bears, fish, elephants and rhinos (yes, we climbed that big hill), and sea lions before stopping for lunch in the garden. It was so pretty in the garden! We then checked out the giraffes and zebras (who were rather stinky) before heading for home up another big hill.

It was super busy at the zoo, and we even saw people we knew (and that never happens because I do not know anyone). It was a fun morning and we escaped just before the big gusts of wind came in. Addison and Asher had fun. And the best part - Asher stayed dry all morning. He is still wearing a diaper because of his GI thing - but he is pretty much fully #1 trained. How nice is that!

Next month, Madagascar will be open!

Going to make a trip to Omaha's zoo? Here what to bring:
1. Stroller. I am still bringing mine. The zoo is big and kids get tired. Do you really want to be on the other side of the zoo with your kiddo having a melt down? I don' I bring mine. Besides, where else am I going to put all of our stuff?
2. Dress in layers. It was cold today when we arrived, but warmed up quickly as we walked. Additionally, it is hot in the buildings even in the winter. The kids wore hoodies today, and I learned to stick with zip up sweatshirts or jackets - much easier!
3. Picnic, snacks, and lots to drink. All that walking makes everyone hungry and thirsty. Keep your eyes out for the bathrooms and use them whenever you see them!
4. Extra clothes. The kids may get wet or spill or whatever. Just better to be safe than sorry.

Have fun!

Go Gorilla...Go!Ahhh...a baby!ElephantBreak in the garden

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Sunday, April 25, 2010

Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Sunday, April 25, 2010
I was talking to one of the other Mommy's at school and she was telling me how her Kindergartener came home with tickets to a Royal's Baseball game. So, while I was at school to eat lunch with Alivia on Friday, I stopped into the office and picked up tickets so we could go.

Let's just say today was a far less than perfect day to go to a baseball game! Brrr! It was 50, quite windy, cloudy, cold, with an occasional bit of drizzle. Nice. The Omaha Royals played the Albuquerque Isotopes (and the Royals won!).

We arrived at Rosenblatt Stadium at 12:30, an hour before the start of the game, and went to find our seats. Then we went out and paid a $1 so the kids could play in the kid zone on bouncers, swing a bat, etc. They had fun, and it did not seem as cold out there.

Just minutes before the game began, we purchased a couple hotdogs and some cotton candy and let the game begin. Chris and I tried to explain the game of baseball to the kids, but they were more interested in all the food Daddy kept buying than the game itself. :) It was seriously freezing. So, about the 3rd inning, Daddy took the kids back out to the bouncers while I buddled up under the blanket. They came back with even more food! We watched the game for a couple more innings, freezing the entire time, before we could not take it anymore. We missed the only homerun, but we were able to enjoy some of the game. I am not sure the kids were able to completely get the idea of baseball or be able to enjoy the experience of going to the game because it was so cold. But, we were able to get to Rosenblatt before it is only a memory. And, they were able to taste test the hotdogs, popcorn, cotton candy and nachos! No Joke!

The kids said they had fun, and that is all that is important. It will be hours before I am completely thawed though and days before their tummies recover!

Daddy getting fresh with the lion...:)Royals Fun ZoneAlivia at BatAddison slidesAsher pitchesIt's Game TimeCotton Candy TimeLet's Play BallWatching the game...Brrr!DSC05527DSC05530Nacho TimeSay Cheese!Good-Bye Rosenblatt
Want to go to a Omaha Royals Baseball game? The gate opens 1h and 5 minutes before the first pitch. Bring plenty of cash for food because that is all the kids want. Bring a small bag with kids' supplies including a lot of hand wipes. Don't forget your camera to capture the last season at Rosenblatt. Do not bring these things because they are no allowed: Video camera, big bag or backpack, or umbrellas. Have fun - and go on a warm day!

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Saturday, April 24, 2010

Just a Day in Austin Life

6:45: I awake to Asher's door opening and Daddy in the bathroom getting ready to go to Iowa to get the playset.
7:15: Addison starts coughing during a breakfast of cocoa puffs. This led to Addison getting really sick with a really bad case of the stomach flu plus...if you catch my drift. She was sitting on the potty while using the bucket...the poor thing.
7:45: While I was tending to Addison in the bathroom, Asher has a major accident in his pants. I guess Asher is still having his GI issues afterall. Back to the diaper for another day. (Asher has been doing really well in the potty too. We have gone many days accident free of #1's. He just holds his #2's for naptime and night time and goes in his diaper!).
8:15: Addison is really sick now. Asher is standing next to Addison while he eats his Cocoa Puffs trying to ask her questions. Clearly...this is not going to work all day. So, Daddy decides to take Alivia and Asher with him to my parents in Iowa to get our playset.
9:30: I start to finish my painting project while Addison lays in the family room on a make shift bed we set up for her.
10:30: Addison has been to sleep for 1/2 hour. Whew. My painting project is now complete (I was mostly done after painting last night). So, I head outside to mow the lawn before the playset comes in. I hate mowing around that thing! I check on Addison every 10-15 minutes or so and can see her through the window (I moved her bed in front of the patio door).
11:30: I am finally done mowing. Addison is just waking up when I come in and she asks if she can have carrots and dip! What?! Um, no!

I wonder if it is a bad sign that it is not even noon and my clothes are covered in vomit, poo, paint and grass?

12: I get Addison settled and quickly shower.
12:10: Chris arrives with my parents and they begin the long process of the playset installation.
1:00: I run to the store to get some things for lunch.
1:20: Lunch...finally!
2 until 5:30!!: More playset. It did seriously take that long without breaks. It would have been installed in no time, but we selected an area in the yard that was not level. So Chris made it level...which proved to be a challenge. Once installed...the kids played and played on it!
6:30: Dinner from Old Chicago. Seriously...$35 for 2 pizzas!! I do not think we will ever go there again (we paid $29 with a coupon and I thought that had to be wrong!).

The kids played all night on the playset. They are so excited to have it back. Thank you Grandma and Grandpa for all of your help. Addison felt better by lunch time (thank goodness) and played outside with Alivia and Asher. Amazing how sick she was and what an amazing recovery she had!
8 PM: Kiddos to bed
8:30: Chris stayed with the kids while I went to the store to get the towel holder/toilet paper holder for the bathroom. Installation will have to wait for another day.
9:15: Home,blog and go to bed by 10:30.

Seriously...we lead a dull life. I wonder if someday we will miss this amount of chaos because it will be even more chaotic?

Unloading Begins! (& Look - New Neighbors!)Asher at WorkAsher "helps" Grandma clean the tarpJust one little lift - and it will be up, right?Getting LevelThe Boys Thinking...The kids at play!Playing House Weee!Rainbow Play Set - All Installed!Baby Alivia?

PS We had new neighbors move in to the side of us (on the Crawford Street Side), making 2 sets of neighbors for us now. I was amazed by their supportive friends and family that helped them move! At one paint there were like 10 cars there helping them! Let's just say...if you know someone moving and you care at all, make arrangements to help them on moving day for even an hour or so, even if it means missing an all important sporting event, day at the salon, or whatever. The people moving will know how much you care by your efforts (or lack there of). That's all I am saying. Shoot, bring them lunch, water bottles, paper towels...anything...if you can not be of help otherwise. Oh, this is a whole other blog. Maybe by the time we move next we...

...oh never mind. I refuse to talk about moving!   

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Mommy...The Painter?

On Tuesday, I put on a new hat - Mommy, the painter. I had 1 day to paint the laundry room before the drop zone/closet was going to begin to be installed on Wednesday. You see, our entire home is painted in flat paint. Flat paint can not be washed. And, with 3 kiddos, the walls get rather dirty. So, after 3 paint samples, we selected a color and I went to work.

I took Addison to preschool at 9am and raced home with Asher to paint. I got Asher busy at play with his toys, turned on the tunes and went to work. I only got one wall done during preschool time because of potty breaks with Asher and having to run to the fencing company. But, I was able to get finished during quiet time. It looked amazing. Chris and I did end up having to put on a second coat after the kids went to bed - but it was done!

So, now that I put on this hat and was able to demonstrate to myself that I was capable of being a painter ALL BY MYSELF (because Chris is really the painting pro), I went ahead and painted the main level bathroom last night, finishing it up this morning. I even had Chris rip out the ugly towel holder and toilet paper holder (they were ceramic) and replaced them with rubbed oil bronze ones). After one coat - it looks pretty good - so I am calling it good.

So, what did I learn? Well, for starters, who needs to tape? It is so time consuming and it is just as easy to paint without it if you have the right brush. I love love love Pro Trim brushes and rollers from Lowes. They may cost a little more - but you do get what you pay for when it comes to painting supplies. I also love Lowes paint. Behr gets all the good reviews and all...but it comes at a very steep price. Consumer reports gave Lowes' paint the best pick, and I tend to agree. It has worked great in both of the girls' rooms, Asher's room, the laundry room and now the bathroom that we have painted in this home since November 25th or whenever we moved in here.

I am on a roll now! I am now selecting paint from our seemingly endless supply of paint in the garage to paint the bathroom in the basement during my next quiet time painting party! I will probably lose weight from all the bon bons I will not be eating during my painting episodes...ha ha ha!

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Friday, April 23, 2010


This week marked our first week of Holy Hour at Saint Columbkille. Since Addison will be going to Sacred Heart Preschool in the fall, Chris and I are required to have 15 service hours and Holy Hour counts as part of those service hours. We also need 15 additional hours of service and Adult Formation for Alivia's Catholic Education. We thought, what better way to achieve our service hours than in Holy Hour. Chris and I are going to be doing this on rotation, and I started today with our 3 pm Holy Hour.

What is Holy Hour of Eucharistic Adoration? Holy Hour is an hour devoted to prayer, often in the presence of the Blessed Sacrament, in the Catholic Faith.

What do we do during Holy Hour?

This is an hour Jesus wants us to spend with Him any way we want. We read books in the chapel, read the Bible, bring our own prayer books, pray the rosary, or just enjoy the peace (and quiet) that comes from being in the Presence of God.

I was unsure how I would do during Holy Hour. I am not one for sitting, and I am not used to quiet unless I am asleep (and even then!). However, I enjoyed my time in Holy Hour today. I was the only one there, so it was very peaceful. I did not have to rush through prayers as I sometimes feel like I have to do because the kids are growing impatient. I read a book on the Path of Jesus that I found peaceful and educational. Although Chris will be going next Friday, I am looking foward to my return to Holy Hour in 2 weeks. 

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Cookie Decorating 101

  In one of my many searches on fun things to do with the kids, I came across cookie decorating at Doodle Cakes off of 149th & L Street. Doodle Cakes is a decorate a cake party place, but they sometimes do these little play date sessions I guess. I'm not even sure where I found it advertised, and I had a difficult time finding it when I went to look for it again. Anyway, when I saw that today was going to be rainy, I thought that would be a fun thing to try.

What fun it was! We started out jamming out to the music while decorating their chef hat. How fun! Next came the cookies. The kiddos got to decorate a round cookie and 2 oval shortbread cookies making it into one big bunny cookie. It was adorable! What a fun idea! Addison and Asher sampled a bit of their cookie before we had to rush out of there to meet Alivia for lunch at Bell.

Alivia was expecting us at Bell. We waited and waited in the hall for her to come. The other Kindergarten class came through, but we never saw Alivia. After while, I thought I must have missed her, so I went into the lunch room where she sat eating. She had seen us in the hallway and walked right on past us, saying that she would get in trouble if she got out of line (Seriously, even to say "Hi" to your Mommy?). We sat "near" her at the table, then she joined us after she ate her lunch. She was quite upset when we left and had us wait for Mrs. Sindelar to come back to the classroom before leaving. I think we will wait for a while before joining her again for lunch. We miss her, but we do not want to make her too upset during the day.

Overall, it was a fun, but busy morning. Well worth the busy for the fun, though.

Going to Doodle Cakes to decorate a cookie?
1. Bring $4 per cookie you want to decorate. They provide the kids with the chef hats and a plastic apron to use so they do not get too messy.& that's it! Enjoy!

Chef Hat DecoratingLittle Chefs?Frosting SamplingCookie DecoratingMmm!

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Thursday, April 22, 2010

Before & After: The Outdoor Entryway

Another before and after - this time the outdoor entry. We will enjoy this space, but, as Addison pointed out, we need one more chair. I think we will make do for the moment. Here are the before and after pictures. Keep in mind, the landscaping needs tons of work. That will come...eventually.


The front entry BEFOREThe front entry BEFORE
The front entry AFTER - with Asher chillin'The front entry AFTERThe front entry AFTER

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Chris & the Kids in Mom Daily!

I submitted a photo with my Thank you to after the breakfast with Diego event and kids explore. Below is an article that features that photo! How fun is that! Love!! Chris is going to die! :)

Kidz Explore rocked

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The WHAT club?

There is an inside joke in our family about the "poop club." The poop club, in case you are wondering, is a club you can only join if you have a poopy accident in your pants while out in public. Gross, huh?

Well, Asher officially joined - willing or not - today at the Nebraska Furniture Mart. Asher spent the morning at Grandma Kathy's with Henry and Ben while I was a mommy helper at Addison's preschool. While at Grandma's house, Asher had a poo accident. He went in his pants, then pulled down his pants and sat on the potty. He clearly has a serious GI thing going on, and he is so new at this potty thing that he can hardly hold it!

We went to the Mart to pick up Avatar for Chris and then look for Alivia's desk for her birthday. We purchased the movie along with 100's of other people, then walked a mile to the desks in the basement of the furniture section of this massive store. Asher had to go potty right away, but could not go when he sat down. We walked over to the desk area when it hit him. He looked at me all upset and said as loud as he could, "I have to POOP!" I think he did just that as we ran across the store to the potty.

Poor kiddo. He did not ask to join the poopy club...but he did. Fortunately for Asher, he is not the only member of our family who is a member of the club. And, I will just leave it at that.

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Sunday, April 18, 2010

Henry's Birthday Party

This afternoon was Cousin Henry's 3rd Birthday party. The kids had a blast (and I slept - blah). Happy Birthday, Henry....and many more!

Let's Party: Alivia (5yr), Addison (3yr), & Asher (2yr)Let's Jump!Happy Birthday Henry - Now 3!Storm troopersStorm Troopers

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Saturday, April 17, 2010

Breakfast with Diego & Kidz Explore

Eating Breakfast with DiegoDiego, Daddy, Addison, Asher & AliviaThe whole fam with DiegoLet's Jump!Trying to get Asher to JumpHand PaintingAlivia's Rainbow from God...Asher getting a smiley face...but not thrilled about it.The Pillbury Dough Boy!The Village Inn Bear!Addison slidingSnack timeKidz Explore 2010

Today we were invited to attend Breakfast with Diego and then onto Kidz Explore at the MidAmerica Center in Council Bluffs. What a beautiful facility!

We arrived at 9 am ready for donuts! The kids filled their plates, ate a little, and then Diego arrived. Addison and Asher were a little timid, but they still got their picture taken with him and gave him a high five. After a quick trip to the potty (yes, potty training is going well!) we went to check out Kidz Explore. We had never been to this event before, so we had no idea what to expect. What a fun place! There are tons of booths with prizes to win and information to gather. The kids filled their bags with candy, of course, coloring pages, colors, and prizes. Alivia even won an overnight stay at Coco Keys water resort with swim passes for the whole family! The kids had their hands painted while they learned about God, which was neat. Addison & Alivia liked all the bouncers best. Addison is really into bouncers right now and having one at home is not enough. In the second room, yes there were two rooms and booths in the hallway too, there was this HUGE line of food from No Frills with crackers, apples, cookies, graham crackers, Ho Ho's, fruit snacks, granola bars, fruit juice, icecream and more! It was seriously crazy all the food (although not the healthiest, they had. Luckily, there were 2 dentists there giving away toothpaste and tooth brushes...but we never saw a dietitian.

It was a fun but exhausting time. Alivia and Addison liked the bouncers best. Alivia also liked winning the big prize. Asher, who refused to jump in the bouncers, liked the treats and going fishing at the Children's Hospital/Kohl's exhibit. I was most excited seeing the kiddos having fun, getting the kids fingerprints and DNA stuff done, and Asher going potty in the potty and not having any accidents (he typically holds it the entire time we are out refusing to go on the potty away from home. Finally, today we had success! I nearly cried out of excitement!).

After seeing the price of tickets...I'm more than sure that I would not pay money to go back. It was a fun experience ONE TIME...but could not recommend going. Sorry.

Want to go to Kidz Explore? Here's what to bring:
A stroller for little ones (although we are all too big for that now!)
Hand wipes
socks so the kids can jump in the bouncers
walking shoes for mom and dad
and be ready to learn, be sold stuff, and have fun!

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