Sunday, April 29, 2012

Alivia's First Communion

Today Alivia accepted the sacrament of her First Communion at Saint Columbkille Catholic Church. After much confusion, she had it at the 9am Mass. Although it was not our preference (since the invitations to family were sent out for 2pm, food for 2pm, etc.), it turned out to work out better with fewer kids going through it (I believe there were 7 kids).

Alivia was dressed in her white dress, white veil, white tights, and hair curled. She was so adorable and so nervous as we sat in the front row and waited for her to go first. She accepted the Body of Christ and nearly dropped the Blood of Christ (okay, must start practicing with Addison now on passing me the wine in a wine glass). Let's just say Alivia probably will not accept the Blood of Christ for some time now. It was a beautiful moment, choked me up watching her. It seemed like yesterday that Alivia, at 4 or 5 pounds, was baptized. Now, nearly 8 years old, is accepting Communion. This is only a small step in her life in Faith, but such a big, memorable one.

Afterwards, Grandma Kathy, Grandpa Bob, Grandma Pat, Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill came back to the house for cake and some of Alivia's favorites. I know, weird to have cake at 10, but remember, we thought Alivia was doing this at 2pm until Thursday afternoon. Too late to change the menu then, at least for me.

It was a beautiful day that could not be dampened by the rain. May Alivia continue to grow in her faith as she continues her journey with God.

Putting on a bracelet we have made for her from Believe4ever. Message me for information. She is amazing!

She is 7 right?! I had to get married to get something in a Borsheims Box!! (from Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill)

Alivia read every card. She received a Bible from Grandma Pat (and wore a necklace that Grandma Pat got from her Mother that was from Rome and is beautiful!), A beautiful music box from Grandpa Bob and Grandma Kathy along with a cute bracelet with a butterfly charm, and a cross necklace from Grandma Bet and Grandpa Bill. Oh, and Addison made her a card. :)

Meanwhile, Addison the cat, crawled in Pippa's bed. :)

It's a fishtail!

I finally did it! Last night while we watched a movie, I sat down behind Addison and made her hair into a fishtail braid. I realize this is not a difficult braid, but I am hair challenged. Considering both my Maternal Grandma and Mom were beauticians (stylists), you would think I could do hair. But, you would be so wrong. My hair looks like crap for a reason. But, I am trying, and this is a result of my trying.

Addison is quite pleased, and it looked good to me.

Here is to many more tries, too!

Thursday, April 26, 2012


Finally, I hit the 365 popular page again! Yeah. I was actually considering quitting the project due to boredom, lack of motivation and Chris not doing it with me. Then, we went to the zoo and I had something of interest to post. So, I did. Huh, what do you made the popular page! Yeah. Not sure that will push me through the year...but it will push me through this week. My next goal, go and purchase a zoom and macro lens for the camera. Then, I will have some fun pictures to take!!

This is a snapshot of the 365 popular page with my image highlighted.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

April Day at the Zoo

What a beautiful day! Asher and I could not think of a better way to enjoy the great "spring" 92 degree weather than to visit the zoo today. We arrived right at 9am (opening time) to our first visit at the new entrance. I am not much of a fan since we are accustomed to entering through the IMAX.

Asher and I typically visit the zoo with friends, but today it was just us. Funny, he never mentioned bringing a friend and did not seem to mind it just being the two of us. I really enjoyed getting to spend one on one time with him, too. He was able to pick where to go, when, and how long he wanted to stay at the exhibit. For starters, we visited the newly remodeled aquarium. I have to say, it is much improved and way more kid friendly. They redesigned the entrance, have "waves" on the ceiling and sounds throughout. It is really cool. Asher's favorite part: The part where he jumped in the water and it moved (similar to the fluidity app we have on the ipad but it looks like the ocean with ocean life). It is a light of sorts that flashes down on the floor which displays the ocean with fish. When you jump or move in the "ocean" the water and fish move. It is really fun. Here are the pictures from the aquarium.
 Above: The "Waves" on the ceiling and the penguin area.

Spider Crab. Anything with spider in it is creepy to me.

Asher at the beach!

Dancing water thing.

DiVentures exhibit for kids...kinda cute.

Okay, there was a lot to take a picture of in there. It was really neat. We stayed outside, during a brief rain shower even, and enjoyed seeing all of the animals. Asher and I both had a bit of an educational experience when we came upon peacocks trying to mate. Seriously, I had no idea the things rattled their feathers like that, as some sort of creepy, rattling, mating call. Funny, I did not see it as effective in any of the cases, but interesting none the less. Peacocks sure are pretty. The petting zoo and the bird feeding exhibits were both closed, which was a big disappointment on such a nice day. Asher and I ended up seeing a couple indoor exhibits before breaking for lunch.
Then it was time to visit the Arctic, at least at the IMAX. What a great movie and a great way to end our visit.


Monday, April 23, 2012

Before and After: The Playset

I would never recommend buying a Rainbow Play set. Mind you, we purchased our play set nearly 6 years ago for Alivia's second birthday (yes, it was like buying a 2 year old a car!) and had to move it, but we still expected so much more out of a play set considering how much the thing set us back. Seriously!

Before our move, Chris and I stained the play set. About a month later, the play set got beat to death by a really bad hail storm that took out a lot of things at our previous address. Our hard work looked horrible. When we moved, I swore I would stain it before Chris put the play set back up in our new backyard. I clearly never got around to doing that. After sitting outside on the farm through the winter, the play set looked horrible. But, we put it up and I swore I would stain it. Last year, I said I would stain it. I never did. This year Chris and I said we would stain it together, knocking it out in a couple hours.

Chris has said he would do a lot of honey dos for me. For one, we have been living with one sink in the master bath for well over a year. You would think I would just go and figure out how to fix the second leaking faucet (my sink no less), but I am still waiting for Chris to do it. I mean really, if I learn to do the plumbing, Chris will never do another plumbing job again. So, I impatiently wait for him to fix my leaky faucet. Additionally, he said he would build me a drop zone in the garage for our endless shoes (bench and shoe storage) about 2 years ago when we moved in. He was going to build it that summer. I grew impatient and had an estimate done last winter. Chris claimed that the estimate was too high as he could knock that out in a weekend.

That was about a year ago.

So, when Chris said he would help me to stain the play set, I knew what that meant. If I wanted the play set stained, I would have to stain it myself.

Today was the day. Asher and I went to Zumba, then went to Lowe's to select a solid stain. The first stain was red and completely ugly. It was supposed to be redwood color since it is a redwood play set. It looked more like barn red paint. It was seriously hideous looking. This time I selected a brown color (oak I believe was the color name. Catchy, huh?).

Asher and I came home, ate lunch with Daddy who just arrived home from a meeting, watched Caillou, and then set outside. The weather was perfect. Asher was so good as I painted away on this play set. I started at 1 PM, took only a couple breaks to get snacks for the kids and to get a drink, and I finished at 5:30. My body is so sore I can not move, but the play set looks amazing, even for the hunk of jump we paid thousands of dollars for (did I mention I would never ever recommend a Rainbow!!).

Of course, Addison had to come out and give me a line of pleasantries, "Mommy, you can paint this but it is still old and falling apart." Seriously! I have been working out there on the thing for hours and that is what she has to say to me?! Okay, she was right, but it would look better. And, it is still a functional play set in every way. I also reminded her of people we knew that did not have play sets at all, so they should be thankful to have one at all. Addison did not care, she still wants to sell ours and get a new one, so I lost that conversation.

Anyway, here are the results. I still have to take off the tarp and stain under there, which I fully intend to do tomorrow. But, I am completely satisfied in my hard work.

Now, I need to fix my faucet already!
Play Set Before (with Asher and Pippa at play)

Play set after

Chris at Work

Yeah know, I had no idea what a crazy workaholic Chris was until he was assigned this task at work. You see, all of his other projects were classified or just left at work. Now that he is working at home, it is like the WORK ON switch has come on and he does not remember how to turn it off. With that said, this task that he is to be working on is something that normally takes 4-5 weeks for a team of people to put together, and Chris is the only one doing it in 2 weeks. No pressure or anything. It should not come to any surprise to me that he is working 12 hour or more days sitting at our dining room table, zoned out in code. On Saturday night, I seriously had to zumba in front of him to get him to come and sit with me...and that was at 9 PM! Hey, whatever works.

Asher and I are adjusting to our limited Daddy in the house. It is actually nice to have him home now that I have adjusted to it. But, it is difficult for us to pretend like he is not there until he says we can talk to him (sometimes he eats lunch with us which is nice).

We have to enjoy whatever presence we have of him as he leaves again Mother's Day.

Saturday, April 21, 2012

Mighty Kickers

Chris has been coaching Asher's Mighty Kicker team for 4 games. Now, Chris had big hopes when he decided to take on this team of 3 and 4 year olds. But really, these are 3 and 4 year olds. Today was brutal, painful, and a test of patience...and that was just for the parents watching! I can not imagine what it was like for Chris as the coach. I feel like I need to help, somehow, but I am not sure if I should be.

Today I encouraged the coach (aka Chris) to switch up the players a bit. Asher has been warming the turf more than playing. Chris said he did not want to make the parents mad. But, I am a parent, and I was mad! Chris was only playing Asher when he played t he star player, so Asher just watched the star player kick goals. Today, I was hopeful that Asher would try and touch the ball.

 Finally, the ball rolled up to Asher's feet. Asher stepped aside and looked at the little opponent, giving the opponent the eye as to say, "Go ahead, you can kick it." My Dad commented, "What a little gentleman." Really? I do not believe you are to describe a soccer player as a gentleman. But, I have never played the game. So, perhaps I have it all wrong. But I don't think so.

In summary of today's game: Asher did not touch the ball, one boy made maybe 5 goals for the other team and made a goal on a neighboring soccer field (so funny! He had endless energy, though. If he just could had found the right goal). One little boy thought the game was football, tackling many of the opponent players as well as his teammates. Really, it was difficult to watch. I got up once to run to the other field to call that child back into the game. It was so difficult to watch!

I believe Asher needs at least a year to grow, mature. Maybe we will try again when he is 5, or maybe when he is 6. Really, his parents need a break. :)

Friday, April 20, 2012

Busy Week

This week has been quite busy. Monday Chris began working from home while I had to go to a continuing education class. Asher, meanwhile, hung out with his Grandparents. Tuesday was swimming lessons, errands, and Addison's last art for all art class.

Wednesday I had a meeting at work at 8am. I woke up at 7 am. Really? I was going to get up and run, but it was raining. Therefore, I did not wake up again until my second alarm went off at 7. Normally, this would be just fine. But, I needed to drive to midtown during rush hour. Oh, and I also had to get the girls up, dressed, hair combed/teeth brushed, breakfast ready and lunches packed plus I needed to shower before I left. Amazingly, I left at 7:20. Huh, what do you know?! I still have it in me (somewhere, deep down). I rushed to get to this mandatory meeting and could not wait to just sit there for an hour. Never mind that the information could have easily been emailed or teleconferenced.

Wednesday was the first day that Asher and I were home while Chris worked at home. Asher stayed home with Chris while I went to my meeting (I have no idea how it would have worked otherwise!). Of all the places for Chris to set up shop, where do you think he placed himself? That's right, in the kitchen. Really? The kitchen has the most traffic and noise than anywhere else in the house. Go to the office in the basement. Nope, he just would not do it. He eventually repositioned himself in the dining room. I guess at least that room is being used more than once a year. Chris goes into work down the street a few times a week for conference calls. Otherwise, for now, he is placed out of our home. I like it in some ways and in other ways it is a big adjustment. First of all, he is physically there, but he really isn't there. We are to pretend as if he is at work. For the most part, I do that. However, this morning, for example, I went running at 8 AM while Asher watched Curious George (and a few minutes beyond). I won't do that very often, but it was sure nice to do it this morning and sleep in a little (getting up and running in the dark does get old and exhausting).

Anyway, Thursday Asher had Toddler Exercise at the YMCA (while I went to Zumba even after going on my morning run). We tried to look at replacement trees for 2 trees that did not quite survive (of course, they are both river birches. What is with those trees?! We have never had one live at 2 homes now. We are thinking of just getting different trees altogether. But, after buying 20+ trees, I am totally not interested in shopping for any more trees!!). It rained on us after waiting for what seemed like forever for someone at Lanoha to wait on us. I guess that will wait for another day.

Today we visited the Children's Museum with Bonnie, Xander and Ben. Of course, everyone else had the same idea. It was crazy there. Asher ran off some energy with his friend, so that is all that is important. Never mind that I was out of my mind trying to keep track of him. At least we were able to visit the construction zone one last time. What a cool exhibit. We ran errands again on the way home, ending up at Zios for a 1/2 baked pizza for our Friday night pizza night (gross, will never do that again!).

Seriously, I want to chill by the fire. I know, it is spring, Thank goodness for fire pits.