Thursday, July 29, 2010

The OCM and Meeting Clifford

This morning we visited the Omaha Children's Museum. We were invited to go in the afternoon, but we really needed naps today.

We started upstairs at the Clifford exhibit. It was not too busy at first and the kids were really having fun. Then, Clifford himself came to visit! I guess he visits on Thursdays and Saturdays. How fun! So, the kids got to give him a hug and get a blurry picture taken with my phone since my camera sat on the kitchen counter. Asher was scared of him, but still gave the Big Red Dog a high five.

We played downstairs in the play space and the ball room until lunch time, when Addi said, "Mommy, I am tired today."

I hope we get to visit again before Alivia goes back to school. Am I the only one that hates to see summer end and school start?

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Members Play Date at the Zoo

July Visit to the ZooGetting WetSi, Miles and Alivia walking the bridgeFeeding the Fish

Yesterday was member's day at the zoo. The kids had just went to the zoo on Monday with Grandma Kathy, but we had a play date with the Vintons that the kids were really excited about.

We met up with them at 10 and it was not quite unbearably hot yet. We went through the upper and lower floors of the jungle. I had not been on the lower floor in years since it is not always stroller friendly. The temperature was more reasonable and less humid actually. It was fun to see the animals downstairs. I did not remember all they had down there!

We next visted some outdoor exhibits on our way to our picnic next to the Rainbow play systems. It was nice and hot for my friend Laura who is expecting their third baby is 5 weeks. She is very brave! After lunch, Addison stepped in a huge hole of mud and immediately wanted to go home. She had a short bout of the stomach flu on Tuesday, so she just was not acting 100% of herself.

So, shortly after lunch, we made our way out of the zoo. It was a fun morning, and we got some train passes for our next visit!

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Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Another Family Addition

I had a deal with Chris and the kids.


We have been having trouble with our cat since we moved. She is refusing to poo in her liter box. Seriously, new house, poo poo all over it? Not a good combo. I would have gotten rid of the cat immediately if we did not have kids and the humane society was a bit closer. We have tried EVERYTHING to no avail.

Well, Saturday I awoke from my nap (I had to work an overnight shift Saturday night, so I napped with Asher so I can stay awake all night), there was something new Alivia wanted to show me.

A Beta they named Nemo (But NEMO was NOT a Beta!).

So, I had to ask, "Where is Piper?"

Oh, she was downstairs. They bought more pet supplies to keep her from pooping all over. Nice. Someone did not understand If Then statements in school.

So, today I have 2 pets to care for - a cat who continues to poop in our basement and a fish. Lovely. Here's to hoping they both escape so I can go back to just being a mom.

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Saturday, July 24, 2010


It's official, we are finally a diaperless household! We have been buying diapers for over 6 years! Let me tell you, I love not having to buy them, but I do miss having babies around (bitter sweet really).

As I mentioned, Asher officially finished potty training at the lake. He was more or less trained before the lake, but I really have to stay on top of the game in order to prevent accidents. If I instructed him to go potty at THE perfect time, he would go #2 in the potty. Otherwise, he would just go in his undies (yuck!). There were times that I caught him as he was going and he would finish his duty on the potty, so he was slowing getting it. By the time we arrived at the lake...he just got it. We are not sure what it is about the lake. Perhaps it is being in swimming trunks and in the water most of the time. We really were not in clothes much. Maybe he just did not want to go in his swimming trunks. I don't really know...but I am glad it clicked for him. Asher has continued his success at home, and is excited as ever to tell me when he has success in the potty.

Now...if I could just get the cat back to being potty trained. Perhaps we should have brought her to the lake!

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July Visit to the Forest

This morning was such a nice morning, we decided to go and visit the Fontenelle Forest and the Bug exhibit again. We arrived to the shaded forest and it was actually cool. Weird to feel cool after feeling so hot for so long. The bugs were still there and the kids checked them out as we walked the trails. Daddy wanted walk the trail to the river, but we turned back after the real bugs began to attack even with our bug spray on. Gees! The kids love playing in the acorn acres area and could play in the dirt for hours.

It was a fun morning. It is always fun to go to the Forest. The Forest membership and the zoo pass are one of the best Christmas gifts we get all year because they are the gifts that keep on giving month after month.

Until next month...

Walking the riverwalkPraying MantisPlaying in dirtSpider timeAlivia & a snailWalking the River TrailAlivia gets a ride

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Friday, July 23, 2010

Life in the Quiet Lane

Daddy got to enjoy 7 days of peace and quiet while the kids and I were at the lake. He arrived home Friday at 6 and we returned Thursday around 4. So...what did Daddy do?

Well, I don't even know for sure. When he arrived home, he mowed, trimmed and watered our trees. Over the weekend, he adjusted to the quiet space of our home and caught up on his work so he had less to do when he returned on Monday.

During the week, he helped his Dad do some work on their deck one night, took a nap one night, and mowed again before I returned so I did not have to do it (thank you!).

Although he would never admit it, I believe he did enjoy his peace and quiet. Believe me, the noise quickly returned when we arrived home and Daddy new his alone time was over. Well, at least for 16 or so more years.

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Running at the lake



I learned during this trip to the lake that I cannot run hills, at least not well. I got up every morning with the exception of 1 and ran. At home, I many times have to run before Chris goes to work. I do that because I hate running when it is hot and I just prefer to get it over with. At home, I run the trail mostly and then through the neighborhood a little. But, really, it is not very hilly. At least it is not very hilly when compared to running at the lake!

I was out the door either before 6 or at 6. I basically woke up, put my contacts in, brushed my teeth and was out the door. So, I was not even awake yet when I was looking up a 90 degree hill. I am not joking, either. After the 90 degree hill, there is a slow incline that continues on for what seems like forever and ever until I would reach another 90 degree hill. Then it is more of an up and down (or mostly up) away from the lake towards the highway. By the time I reached the highway to turn around…I was a wreck. But, I knew the rest of my run was all downhill mostly.

Every morning I ventured off the main drag onto new terrain. Okay, I know it is not nice to poke fun at the locals, but let’s just say their homes with undies handing on the clothes line in the front yard with barking mean dogs in cages do not give MO locals a good name. Some of the roads towards the lake were just not the friendly looking. I ran on the highway 2 mornings before I got tired of nearly getting hit by speeding cars when there is not a shoulder on the road to escape to. Finally, 3 days before departing, I found my road. I led down a big hill (that I eventually had to run back up) onto a gradual decline until I turned around. I loved it. In all, I think I probably ran 4-5 miles mostly uphill. My legs look awesome, but the rest of me doesn’t after all junk food I ate on vacation.

I will miss the scenic runs in the morning at more of a reasonable hour. I will miss the centipedes crossing the road under my feet, the turtles, the crows, the wandering dogs, the deer running in front of me (I saw 2 on my last day!), and the peace of it all. I will not miss the humid wet temperatures that I could not seem to escape or the random cars that tried to hit me because the roads did not have shoulders. 

Now…back to running the Shadow Lake trail. Hey…at least there is a lake!

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Thursday, July 22, 2010

Lake of the Ozark Family Vacation 2010

We have returned! We have been vacationing at the Graybill Getaway from Sunday July 11 and returned home today, July 22! Chris returned last Friday (he was there Sunday through Friday), and the kids and I stayed with Grandma and Grandpa returning today. What a fun but challenging vacation!

Our vacation began on a Sunday after I had worked. I wanted to take a little nap before the 6 hour drive. Well, I guess I did if you count a 1/2 hour as a little nap. Then, off we were to the lake! We got lucky and after eating lunch in the car, the kids slept most of the remaining 6 hours of the drive.

Our time at the lake with Chris along was wonderful. Except for little showers that we all swam through, the weather was wonderful. We swam, boated, road the jet ski, water skied, canoed, fed the ducks, went shopping at the outlet mall, and even got time for a little date in there. Here were the family favs from the first few days with Daddy:

Alivia: Went down Grandma and Grandpa's slide this year! She went down it the first day totally shocking Chris and I. She swam well, with her life jacket. I think we will insist on that for many years since it is 20+ feet deep and murky water. Alivia liked the jet ski rides, canoe rides, boat rides, eating out with Grandma and Grandpa on the boat at Paradise, and sleeping in the bunk beds best.
Addison: She liked celebrating turning 4 (on the first day at the lake. We took them to a beach for her special day and it was closed!), playing in the baby pool with Asher on the dock, learning to float with her life jacket (this is huge progress from a girl who would not get in last year), and riding the jet ski with Daddy.
Asher: Asher liked doing it all...jet ski, riding in the boat while we skied, canoe rides, feeding the ducks, etc. He was up for anything.
Daddy: Water skiing on one and two, jet ski, date night, canoe rides alone for a peaceful workout, swimming with his flipper flappers on!
Mommy: My morning run, Date night, swimming (I love swimming!), going down the slide with shorts on (without shorts it gave me slide burns!), boat rides, water skiing, canoe rides with the ENTIRE FAMILY OF 5!, and jet ski rides with the kids. I liked Chris being there too!

Chris left us Friday at noon to Addi and I in tears. I thought it was no big deal to stay a few extra days without Daddy until he went to leave. DADDY>>>>STAY! Oh, how awful to see Addi cry.

We did have fun. I took the kids to Franky and Louie's to play at the beach. They liked it so much that I had to talk them into getting out when a rain shower came through. We liked it so much that we took Grandma and Grandpa back with us! We also went shopping with lunch at McD's where the kids played at their play space. They acted as if we had them caged up or something when we arrived there. I think that is the only meal that the kids mostly ate. Other than that, they ate no food, just "snacks!" It was rather annoying.

Favorite Things:
Alivia: Getting new earrings (she can put them in anytime now that 6 weeks have past), getting a new turtle and keychain, and going to Grandma's Candy in Osage Beach. Alivia still liked swimming off the dock, going down the slide, playing at the beach, riding in Grandpa's chair tube behind the boat with Mommy and then with Grandma, and eating cinnamon toast and strawberries with cinnamon.
Addison: Playing in the baby pool and she loved the beach! Addison excels in beach situations. She has sand under her feet and a gradual entry into the water...and she is quite happy. Addison also liked sleeping on the bunk beds with Alivia and drinking Grandma's chocolate milk.
Asher: He was still up for anything. He liked the jet ski, riding in the boat, jet ski rides with Boppa and going fast, he perfected going #2 in the potty (all 3 of our kids were #2 trained at the Lake. There is something about the lake that does it for them. NO MORE DIAPERS FOR THE AUSTINS!), and the beach. Asher was a pretty much up for anything to do with the lake - he was a great sport. He is now ready for lessons with little fear of the water - he is able to kick and move his arms and float with his life jacket. That is way ahead of Addi because she is so afraid.
Mommy: Swimming, my morning run , water skiing with Asher and Grandpa on board, Jet skiing and topping it off at 60-65mph one morning when I was the only crazy one on the lake, and going to the beach because all the kids have fun there. I did not like taking the kids to Mass and am pretty sure I will not be doing that anytime soon. Let's just say I am well known from Asher saying, "MOMMY! I PEED!" right after the Father completed a 45 minute Homily that I could not follow. I also missed Daddy on our extended vacation. My parents were wonderful help, don't get me wrong, but I am nobody without my other half.
We had an extraordinary time at the Graybill Getaway and can not wait to do it again. We have plans for next year at the time we normally go, so we are hoping we will be able to make the trip sometime next summer. Until then...we have many memories and many photos... LAKE OF THE OZARKS VACATION 2010.

On the dockAddison's 4th birthdayThe girls swimming with DaddyAsher swimmingCanoe RideAddison on the Jet SkiAsher on the Jet SkiAlivia on her rideFunny Daddy in his flipper gearCaptain TopherPlaying in the poolFloating AddisonChillin' with GrandmaMommy ready to skiDaddy up on 2Captain Asher Asleep at the wheel!Date NightFranky & Louies BeachGraybill Getaway GangRiding the Raft!Addison sleeps on the boatBad Boys - Grandpa & AsherDaddy Drowning Grandma & Alivia on the raftLake of the Ozarks 2010

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Friday, July 09, 2010

Addison's 4th Birthday Party!

Addison celebrated turning 4 (on Monday) with a Ladybug Birthday Grill out tonight. This was our first grill out birthday party, and it was fun! Addison was quite excited for her party and had been talking about it for quite some time.

We celebrated with her favorite foods, including chips and dip, she opened her presents including an adopted doggie from Pottery Barn Kids, a new baby and light up shoes, before enjoying ladybug cupcakes and ice cream. Addison loved the cupcakes, even eating 2! Addison had fun playing with her cousins and her new toys during the party. She really had fun.

I know...I say this with all our kids' birthdays, but really...Addison is going to be 4 on Monday? That does not seem possible! She had her 4 year check up today and she was 32 lbs! (25%) and 40.25 inches tall (63%!). Last year she was 27lb (13%) and 36 1/4 inches (25%). So, as you can see, she has grown A LOT in the last year! Addison is probably our best eater. Her favorite foods are broccoli, "pizza" is what she told Dr. Calderon, chips and dip and carrots and dip. Addison likes to work on her ABC flashcards and play with our play date friends. In public, Addison is generally quiet and shy and comes across as being a sweet little girl. But, she has you all fooled at that. At home she is our little pistol! Her favorite word is "NO!" and she has a really mean way of saying it. She gets into her moods where she just cries and screams at the top of her lungs. Believe me, she is far from a QUIET little girl! Addison's favorite things: Baby dolls, strollers, real babies (she has been known to say she wants a baby like that one and point to REAL babies. Dr. Calderon said she would have to talk to Mommy and Daddy about that one!), stuffed doggies and her beloved taggie blankets. I am in process to come up with a way to get rid of the taggie blanket - but it is so hard to see her sad. And, I still remember my mom taking mine away (and burning it). So, I guess it is a personal thing. I hope to find something to replace it, if that is even possible.

Addison just started riding her bike after completely avoiding it for the longest time. She rides with training wheels right now and is getting used to it. She does not show much interest in bike riding though. She just started pumping "all by myself!!" on the swings. This is also a big deal for her because she just refused to do it for so long opting to swing in the baby swing and be pushed while sucking her thumb. Addison still likes to change her clothes many times a day and always asks, "Am I cute, Mommy?" after selecting a new outfit. She is so funny. Addi is beginning to show some signs of letting go of being a baby herself. It is good to see her grow up, but it is sad, too.

Addison is finding that turning 4 is not so bad...if she can just get past having to get a shot this morning!

Happy 4th Birthday Addison, our little Ladybug!

Addi with her ladybug cupcakeThe 3 kiddosAddi with her presentsWE NEED SHADE!Chow TimePresent TimeLet's Open!Watching...Family watchingPresent TimeAddi with her new doggie and babyDaddy & AsherLadybug CupcakeMmmm!Mmmm Yuck :)Aunt Bridget, Baby Ben & AddisonAddison with finished Toy Story 3 puzzle!

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