Wednesday, July 28, 2010

They're Back!

Life is back to normal for the most part. Grant and Madison are now home. Tyler left on Sunday (making his return for 12 hours) for a Youth Mission trip to Minnesota. He'll be gone for the week and return FINALLY on Saturday for good.

As you can see, Ranger is getting all the attention once again and the doggie diarrhea is now a thing of the past. Hallelujah!
It has quickly come to my attention that I have less than a dozen days left of my summer vacation. I haven't even started to use my kids' Summer Fun passes, so it was off we go this week visiting several of our favorite places.

First, the Children's Zoo (Monday)
Grant was excited to go and thought we'd see Tyler working there. He was disappointed to find out that Tyler wasn't going to give him his pony ride. Of course, I paid for the ticket to ride the pony prior to Grant's realization and Grant was not about to budge without Tyler. No Tyler, no pony ride. The stinker! Someone had to ride that pony....
Thank you Madison! I knew you'd pull through for me.
On Tuesday, we traveled to my favorite ice cream shop, Ivanna Cone, in downtown Lincoln. It's located in the old Creamery building.
Check out those fun flavors....Andy chose Brandy Cherry, Grant had Grape Soda, Madison got the last of the Mint Chip and I had Strawberry. Delicious and the atmosphere is incredible!

We came home to a uneventful evening until Grant decided he had to go to the bathroom after 10pm and did this...
He stubbed his pinky toe on the trim in the bathroom. I ran to his screams to find the nail on his toe hanging by a thread. I about passed out. (Nursing would never be my thing.) I called for Andy, who was outside at the time, to bandage it. We gave the poor kid some pain reliever and this morning it seems to be okay.

Notice that his first toe has been stubbed twice this summer leaving it raw. This kid is extremely accident prone. I am starting to wonder if he needs glasses.

Now here's my dilemma, do I change the bandage myself or should I go to the doctor's office? I am wondering if the nail should be removed. I don't think the toe is broken, but I just don't know how to proceed. Any suggestions?

I initially thought to take him in, but now I'm wondering if they'd think I'm one wacky parent to bring in a stubbed toe. I'm a parent who can't handle blood, which is true. Not only do I not like blood, but I also don't like $30 co-pays either.

Friday, July 23, 2010

The Forgetful Fairy

This has been a wonderful week for me without having my children around. Rarely am I not around children. Oh, of course, I dearly love them all (mine and other people's), but it is sure nice to get a break. The only drawback this week has been our dog who became so depressed that I needed to seek professional help for the poor guy. He had lost so many fluids (caused by making himself sick) that he was bleeding from his bottom and lost all the "good" bacteria from his intestinal tract. If only you could imagine the mess that I had to endure wasn't pretty.

Anyway, I was cleaning Madison's room this week and found a tiny baby tooth that she lost around the end of June hidden under her pillow in a zip-lock bag. Nuts! I had totally forgotten about it and she knows that I know "mom" is the real fairy. So, the joy of being a fairy has kind of lost it's appeal with me. I do recall that about two weeks ago she stated, "Mom, the tooth fairy still hasn't come." My response was have you emailed her about it. (Mental note to me: don't forget!)

Now having this week free to do as I pleased, I "the fairy" have composed a note to Madison explaining the situation....

Dear Madison,

I am so sorry that I was unable to stop by sooner to retrieve that tooth you lost several weeks ago. I could give numerous reasons for not remembering. For example: I was extremely busy running my fairy children to multiple functions around town or the constant routine of cleaning my fairy home, but that is just my excuse for forgetting what is important to a nine year old. So, I guess I just want you to know that tooth fairies also make mistakes and I apologize. I’ve also included a bit more money than usual due to the circumstances. Please spend wisely.

I just wanted you to know that the past seven days, of my fairy life, I was on a staycation (meaning home alone without responsibilities), which freed up much of my hectic schedule. This made it possible to get many of my tasks, including your tooth money, accomplished this week. I believe all fairies should get this privilege every once in a while. It was rejuvenating!

Please also know that I am now excited to get back to my regular schedule. I really do miss my darling fairy children and anticipate their arrival shortly. By the way, the fairy dog did not do well without his loyal, loving companions and can’t wait to see them.

Love and Smiles,

The Official Tooth Fairy

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Our Depressed Dog

We are working on day #4 without kids and Ranger, the Schnauzer, just can't take it anymore. He hasn't eaten much for me since they left and just lays around on the kids' beds. Now, this wouldn't be so bad except he threw up on Grant's carpet. Of course, it's the only carpet in the house that I did get shampooed this week, so I'm sure that was his reasoning for picking that one. Grrrr....

As soon as I got done cleaning that five by five (guessing) inch spot, guess what else he did...He threw up again and had diarrhea in two heaping piles in his kennel. Ugh! Where are those kids to clean it up???
Ranger grumbling: "Just leave me alone and get my kids back."
Ranger's thoughts: "You're going to put this on your blog, huh?"

As for me, I'm still enjoying the peace and quiet. Next year, the dog goes to Grandma and Grandpa's house too!

Monday, July 19, 2010

Temporary Empty Nest

Yes, it's true. Andy and I are empty-nesters. Just for one glorious week without the sounds of "I'm hungry!", "Can I go over to my friend's house?" or "Are we going to the pool today?. This is the first time ever to have all three kids at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Yes, I'm definitely loving it!

So far, I've cleaned Grant's room and one bathroom from top to bottom. I've sanitized tubs, shampooed carpets, mopped floors and it feels great. I've even tossed a few toys away without anyone retrieving them from the garbage. It's very liberating to say the least.

Well, I gotta go and tackle another project (painting the kitchen) and just so I won't be's what the front door says....

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Closest Thing to the World Cup

Yesterday morning, I soon discovered that the U.S. Women's National Soccer team were playing Sweden in Morrison Stadium (Creighton campus) in Omaha, Nebraska. Wow! This kind of thing never happens in our backyard, so I quickly booked three tickets to go. When I told Madison about our luck she thought I was kidding.

You see taking Madison to a U.S. women's soccer game, like this one, is much better than....

a Justin Bieber concert,

a Miley Cirus concert,

or getting a whole new wardrobe.

Just look at her excitement on our way to the game. I figured this mini trip for Madison is similar to the one we gave to Grant last summer. Now Tyler is asking when he's getting to see his Indianapolis Colts play in person. I told him as soon as they play in Nebraska. That comment was received with a huge sigh and eye roll.
Apparently, Morrison Stadium was built in 2003 and is one of the nicer soccer stadiums in the country. This explains why they chose the midwest for this game. Team U.S.A's next match against Sweden will be somewhere in Connecticut on Saturday.
The stadium was at it's all time capacity, which I have already forgotten. Unfortunately, we didn't get there in time for a great seat (actually no seat at all), so we stood for the entire game.

The photo below is the kick-off. This is nothing like elementary soccer, I tell you. I didn't realize how many players were on the field at one time. You can hear their conversations on the field too, which Andy thinks is just like baseball. I disagree. I think it's kind of weird.
Madison said she's too busy to take any pictures when she's watching the game.
Believe it or not, there were some of those annoying Vuvuzelas that were like the ones blown at the World Cup. Thankfully, there were only a handful in the stadium. I can not imagine a sea of noisy Vuvuzelas.

Do you see the blue one being blown close by me?
Madison's soccer jersey number is #18, so we had to purchase Hope Solo's #18 jersey when we saw it. We thought it was especially cool that both Hope and Madison play goalkeeper.
The game ended with a tie, which kind of seemed disappointing at the time. Not too much excitement, but I can add this to my 40 x 40 project. The only goal for the U.S. was made by Amy Rodriguez. Awesome name!
This night made for a wonderful one for our #1 soccer playing daughter. She had some nice quality time with her parents and time away from her brothers. "Score!"

Saturday, July 10, 2010

I finally WON!

For over two years I've read blogs, commented on blogs and have entered numerous giveaways on blogs only to never have won. I've finally broken my unlucky streak and won my first giveaway that, of course, is scrapbook related from Creating Keepsakes. They must of known that I was going to their convention to spend loads of money there.

It's so exciting to get a package in the mail that I didn't have to pay for!!
This book is what I knew I was going to get. It's a novel about scrapbooking, which I had never heard of before. I'll let you know if it's any good. If it has scrapbooking vampires in it, I'm sure it will be a good read. Really...why wouldn't vampires scrapbook? They live forever and it would be an excellent use of their money.
Then I found this inside the box...(pattern paper)
and this (Fiskar punches),
and this (templates),
and that (adhesive and embellishments)!
Oh, happy day!

Thank you, Creating Keepsakes!

Creating Keepsakes Convention 2010

Yesterday, my Mom and I drove to Des Moines for a fantastic, fabulous, fun day of scrapping at the latest Creating Keepsakes Convention (CKC). It's a three day scrapbooking event that has various scrapbooking vendors and classes all for the obsessive scrapbooker like myself. This trip required me to get up at 3:45 am, but it was all worth it!!
This picture is from the last CKC we went to in Kansas City, which was over four years ago. We even got to meet the founder of CK, Lisa Bearnson, who has now since retired (and done quite well) from the industry.
The below photo is what a class looks like. This was my Mom's SEI class. Notice she's the one who likes to stand while she's creating. This particular class was two hours long, but everyone completed a 12 inch album in that time. I took 4 classes (one hour each) and my mom completed three.
Here's a picture of one of the classes called City Life by Heartstrings Designs that both Mom and I took together. We don't mind separating and taking classes that interest only us.
It was a 16 hour event (driving included) and it was a blast! I'm hoping to attend the CKC in Kansas City this Fall. Anyone want to tag along?

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Day at the Lake

Isn't this a beautiful lake house? I wish it was mine, but, unfortunately, it's not. In fact, one of my wonderful co-workers (Raette) own it and she lets us have a fantastic time there, which is so very generous of her. I've blogged about this place before. It's like the closest thing for us to enjoy a large body of water...Big Sandy in landlocked Nebraska.
The kids loved fishing off of the new dock.
Going to Big Sandy means numerous picture taking opportunities for me. I heart taking photos of the outdoors.
Isn't this sweet? Brothers together on a kayak.
Madison got to bring her friend Aleni for some digging fun.
Grant was so good about allowing me to take some photos of him.
Such a Grant smile!
Grant had so much fun at Big Sandy that he didn't even last a mile out and was sound asleep!
Today we are off to Big Sandy again. Fun in the Sun!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Re-creating My Favorite Picture

The above picture is my all-time favorite of my three kids. The photo was taken while sitting on our front steps on the 4th of July in 2007. I love their sun-kissed cheeks, Madison's darling freckles and Tyler's bleach blonde hair. I even find that Grant's ear smooched by Tyler's face to be very adorable. So, I decided to try to re-create this photo, now three years later. All for the sake of creating a cool charm made by Sarah at Brown Dog Studio.

It wasn't easy.
Madison said that the sun was too bright for her eyes.
Tyler had to sneeze, probably due to that sunlight that bothered Madison.
We decided to take a break for fifteen minutes to allow Madison's eyes to adjust. We also decided to change Madison's hair a little. Grant is giving me one finger because he said, "Only one more, mom!"
Grant was serious too. I told him, " more, until I get it right." This caused some serious giggling. I really appreciated that they humored me on this one.
But I think I got it close enough this time. Tyler's smile isn't my favorite, but it will have to do.