Sunday, November 23, 2008

Manic Monday #16

Today's Manic Monday meme is harvest.

I had a hard time coming up with something that had to do with the word harvest that wouldn't be totally clique so I decided to photograph what we harvest every winter.

Yes, our bountiful crop is weeds...and mushrooms.

Manic Monday image courtesy of Jannaverse.

The birthday Month...

Continues... Yet another birthday party to go to this weekend. It is amazing that the neighborhood we live in seems to have spawn the November birthday month. We picked out all the presents for the parties a few months ago so we weren't so overwhelmed this month and that definitely helped.

Yesterday we picked up the presents for the December and January birthdays so by the time their day rolls around the stores aren't so picked over from Christmas. Even better we did all of the girls, the cousins, and neighbor kids Christmas gift shopping too. I'd like to say we are done shopping all together but we only shopped for kids and toys. Still, now we don't have to drive all over everywhere to find the stuff we want. I will probably order the rest of the stuff on-line for my family and adult friends and save myself from the Holiday rush. I tried shopping Black Friday once and it was a nightmare parking, finding, waiting in lines, listening to the person in front of me complain about "whatever." Sales just aren't that important that I have to lose my mind getting them.

I got a little sidetracked but now I'm back. After today's birthday party, our friends are coming over to watch football and hang out. It's always fun and the girls nap for the first few hours so we get to relax a little bit. Then I start wrapping presents..

Friday, November 21, 2008

The Doctor

I don't think I've ever posted about this issue before but now it seems to be time. Since Olivia was 6 months old she has held her breath and arched her back. This is not in refusal to sit in the seat. She loves the car and the seat and will choose to sit in something that will allow her to arch her back. Back then she was only doing it in her car seat and the doctor told me not to worry. He said that she would grow out of it. She just turned three and not only has she not grown out of it but it has become worse.

Olivia slowly began doing it in her high chair too. It wasn't every day or every time she sat in it at first but it evolved into that. So I put her in a boost seat at the table and she stopped doing it..for a while. Then she started leaning back and straining again so I removed the back off the booster seat. Again she stopped doing it while in the booster seat but she still continued doing it in the car every time we went any where. Now she sits at a small picnic table and she doesn't do it at all while eating but she will do it in the car, in the stroller, the bucket swing, or in shopping carts. It has gotten to the point that other people notice it.

Again I brought it to her doctor's attention at her 3 year check up. This time he gave me a number to call which has lead us to an appointment with a specialist in December. All though I am really glad someone is finally going to help us understand why she does this and how to help her, I am faced with the reality that something is wrong. I always knew something was wrong, but now it's more real I guess. The good news is that this issue she has is not causing her any pain, it isn't affecting her when she's playing or busy, and it seems to be isolated to places that she has to wear a safety belt. The bad news is that she will have to wear a seat belt forever so I don't have any idea how to change her environment in that capacity. My other fear is that when she's in first grade and she has to sit in a desk all day will she be doing this and not learning anything?

So I started to panic about visiting the doctor and the "what if's" that follow...what if she has epilepsy or... so I called my BFF who has seen a bunch of specialists for her son when he wasn't gaining weight. I always teased her with, "man if I had to do all the things you've done with the therapies or all the doctor visits and possible diagnosises which BTW he is perfectly fine and normal I'd freak out. I don't know how you do it." So she called me back and gave me her one perfect piece of advice, "whatever the doctor says...your kid is still the same kid you brought to the doctor's office an hour ago." And she's right. Olivia is still my Miss Olivia regardless of what they say and it may be nothing. She may be car sick, she may not like the feeling of being restrained in the car seat or it may just make her feel good to arch her back and hold her breath. Any which way she's still my little love bug. I just want to be able to help her stop this behavior or leave her alone if that's what I'm supposed to do.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Thursday Thirteen #17

Thirteen Things I am Thankful For Today:

1. That I can still post about Thursday in the late afternoon and still get to be accepted on the site.
2. The girls' had a blast at Pump It Up today.
3. When I filled my huge truck with gas today the price was under two dollars.
4. The girls ate lunch at their little picnic table today in the kitchen and Olivia said she loved it.
5. They both napped and I finished all the work I needed to for my home business.
6. I repeat, they both napped.
7. I also had time to balance my checkbook and do a load of laundry.
8. The weather is cold and different than usual. It's nice to not be HOT every day.
9. We are all finally over our colds.
10. After balancing the checkbook I discovered we still have money...imagine that..ok so did I neglect to mention it wasn't very much?
11. Tomorrow Dave comes home early. I look forward to this every Thursday.
12. All the good TV shows are on tonight.
13. We have ice cream in the freezer...that almost never happens!
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The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun! Trackbacks, pings, comment links accepted!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Wordless Wednesday #19

This weeks edition for Tuesday and Wednesday's WordlessWednesday.

Blog clean-up

I think it's time to refresh my sidebar links of fun blogs but it just seems like such a daunting task. I'm a poor typist so it takes me some time to get it done correctly. If I end up leaving someone out who wants to be added just send me a comment and I'll add you to it.

I have actually wanted to do this for some time but life happens and it gets put on the "to do" list. Then my "to do" list gets on the "maybe next month" list. You know how it goes...

Today is officially Olivia's 3rd birthday. We went to the grocery store and picked out a big turtle cupcake. Ava and I are going to sing Happy Birthday to her after lunch so she can blow out another candle. Sadly, Dave won't be here to join in but that's ok. I'll take a picture of the event for WW.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Manic Monday #15 Baking Season

This is the season for baking in my house. During the summer we buy most all of our cookies and cakes because the weather is so hot and it costs so much to run the air conditioner all day long. But now that the weather has cooled down, ok it is 80 degrees today and supposed to be hotter tomorrow but it is definitely cooler than it was over the summer, we can now bake cookies all day long. Then we hand them out to all of our neighbors and friends at Dave's job.

Here's a few pictures of the baking team...

Yip those cookies taste as good as they look...Yummy!!

Those are just are first batch for the season and we have many cakes and pumpkin bread loafs to make too. With my helpers we should be able to make great treats!

Manic Monday image courtesy of Jannaverse.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Olivia turns 3!!!

This is Olivia waking up on her birthday:

As you may have guessed we all woke up with colds. This is always wonderful on the day of your child's party. So many things to get done and we're not feeling like doing anything.

We figured maybe we should just begin simple so we started with breakfast.

After huge amounts of coffee and a lot of cold medicine, temperature takings, and snot wipings we were ready to set things up. Grammie moved out all the toys from the family room and re-arranged some furniture, Dave was on pick up cake, ice, and pizza duty, and I blew up balloons, set out all the food, and made a bunch of peanut butter and jelly sandwiches. This was actually a very easy party to set up for. All the food was pre-packaged and the favors were put together the night before.

This is the cake Olivia picked out...Right now she is really into Ariel and she wanted chocolate cake which I love so it was great.

Soon all the guests arrived and everyone ate and played and had a great time. None of the kids cried or had tantrums. I do believe it actually went off without a hitch. We sang happy birthday and Olivia opened her gifts...

After the party I went to bed. An hour or so later Grammie came and joined me. Poor Dave, he was tired too and he had to stay downstairs and feed the girls dinner and wait until their bedtime before he could come up and join us. But when he did he brought a movie and we all laid in bed and watched it. It was nice, we all felt like crap but got to relax.

Saturday, November 15, 2008


Grammie's never been to Fairyland so of course we had to show her how wonderful it can be.

We walked around and got to see the animals, ducks, and chickens. We checked out all of the fairytale stories. We rode the rides...

There was a big dragon slide that Olivia just could stop going down. Grammie would catch her at the bottom. As we were getting ready to leave we caught the last play at the puppet theater. This was a really fun day.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Berkeley- Our Most Exciting Adventure Yet

Wednesday we went to Habitot in Berkeley. This is a discovery museum for children. What it really was was one of the best times of our lives. We loved it. Here's proof:

This is Ava creating a science project using Styrofoam peanuts and a paper plate.

Ava has discovered that Gak is messy, stringy, and she does NOT like it on her hands. EEEW!!! Yuck!!!
Livy loved the big painting wall. She was making circles and ovals.

These are pools for the kids to go fishing in. I don't have a picture of them playing because as soon as Ava saw the pitcher she filled it and dumped it down her shirt. Water, water everywhere... To preserve the life of the camera I left it outside.

This is a big fan and on the ground there are piles of leaves, buckets, rakes, and a broom. Olivia really enjoyed playing in the leaves.

This is a wall maze for the kids to climb around in. Both the girls seemed to like playing and climbing in here.

And lastly, this is Ava driving the big space shuttle. She's blasted off and ready for flight. The only other thing that we didn't get pictures of was the face painting center where I painted bunnies on the girls' faces and Olivia drew some funny stuff on my face and Grammie's face.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

The Zoo

Dave had today off so we made plans to head to the Zoo. The girls are big enough now that we have to pack very little for them which is a huge blessing. I used to hate having to cart all that stuff around that you need just in case the baby pukes, poops everywhere, or something worse happens. Now we bring an "in case" pull-up and our snacks. It's fantastic.

Again we somehow forgot that it was a holiday and the Zoo was packed with people. Despite everyone else, we ran around and looked at all the animals, had some snacks with the Meerkats, and played all over the park area.

Olivia found a fox hole with a cute little statue in it. She pet it for awhile and then crossed the lily pond with Grammie.

After a few hours it was time to say goodbye to all the lovely animals. Olivia grabbed onto Grammie's hand and they headed for the exit.

If you notice in this picture Olivia's feet never quite touch the ground. She is continually hopping and jumping. Grammie said one of her arms is probably going to be longer than the other because of this!!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Fun Outings

Now that we've captured Grammie we get to do all kinds of fun stuff with her. Sunday we went shopping for Olivia's birthday party. We bought balloons, party favors, floam, party food, and some cool gadgets for Grammie and Papa that we have yet to figure out really how they work. We topped it all off with a big spaghetti dinner, one of the girls' favorites.

Monday we went to the store to order Olivia's cake and then went to Pump It Up for a pop in play time. The girls just love this place. Somehow mom and I forgot that it was a Holiday for all of the school kids so it was very crowded. We still jumped in all the houses and went down the big slide. At first I was afraid Olivia wouldn't be able to make it up by herself so I helped her all the way up the big slide. She quickly went down and left me on the top. Ok, so I don't like slides as much as I don't like roller coasters:) But I had to go down because the kids were coming up so fast. Yes, I probably looked like an idiot but Liv was happy to watch me slide down. The next thing I knew she was all ready back at the top of the slide making her next leap off. I guess she didn't need my help.

Now Ava's my pal. She's not into the slide either, Woo Hoo! She likes the idea of it but actually going down is very frightening for her. We made our way to the smaller slide, which let me tell you- you have to go through this maze on your knees and hands to get to the back to get to the ladder for the slide...not easy and very sweaty. But she liked it and requested, "Go" as she spread her arms out to the side for me to lift her back in. She jumped and jumped until there wasn't a jump left in her.

Then we made our way to Target and some other fine stores. We had a pretzel, another of the girls' faves and cheese. After shopping Ava fell asleep in the car and woke up as soon as we got home. This was the day of no naps. Whew, it was a long day. It was fun and totally worth it. By the time Dave got home from work we were all ready to go to dinner at the buffet. There we ate all we could and came home and literally went to bed. It was exhausting but totally worth it. Grammie got to do all the fun stuff we usually tell her about but this time she was a part of it.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Nut Tree Family Park

We picked up Grammie at the Nut Tree Family Park. This was a really nice park designed for kids between the ages of 2 and 8 years old. We got to ride the train all through the park.

Olivia got to ride her very first roller coaster, which now I know for sure I do not like roller coasters. But as I sat next to my two year old on the scary ride I figured I had to put on a brave face for her. When the ride ended she quietly said to me, "I don't like this one. No go again." Whew, music to my ears. Dave of course thought it was wonderful. Go figure.

Then we road the carousel with Grammie, the bummer cars, an airplane ride, and a few other rides before leaving to go have lunch.

After a big lunch Dave took the girls home and Gammie and I went shopping at the factory stores. We made out like bandits and were as goofy as usual. It was a lot of fun for everybody and really started Grammie's visit off great.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Upcoming Events

2 more days and we get to see Grammie for a whole week while Grampie goes hunting. Woo Hoo!!! Olivia and I did some online research so that we have a great activity for everyday of the week. It's going to be awesome. Dave took off Tuesday because he wants to join in on the fun. He's so funny. I told him that I was planning a full week with my mom here so we really get to do stuff with her instead of just sitting around. I think he got a little jealous because he started naming the days he could take off. Umm- not exactly the point but we'll let him come to the zoo.

Olivia's party has been planned out so all we need to do now is pick up a few items on our grocery list and we are set. This should be a pretty easy party to put together. I can't believe my little Muppet is turning 3 in a week. A WEEK!!!

Olivia is so amazing and cool. I am really enjoying watching her grow up. She likes to play pretend a lot. We sometimes are fairies, sometimes Swiper hunters, sometimes extravagant sand castle sculptors. She also likes to tell stories to Ava and I while we drive cars around on the carpet. Overall she is a wonderful big sister who cares about her sissy's feelings. On Halloween night while we were trick or treating, when candy was dropped in Liv's bag she would take a piece out and put it in Ava's bag. Now Ava's no fool. She walked right up to the door and got her own candy as well...and no she did not share. Ava idolizes Livy and wants to do everything she can do except the sharing thing. All in good time I'm sure.

While I type away, I look over at my sweet Olivia who's playing with her 'prodough' at her desk and she's in her own little world mumbling away... We are going to the spooky forest, we have to find Boots... Gotta love Dora the Explorer.

Thursday Thirteen #16

Thirteen things my girls and I have done today:

1. We slept in late.

2. We ate bananas for breakfast while watching our favorite cartoons.

3. We read a few books.

4. We played with blocks and Lego's and built sand castles (Liv's favorite).

5. We sang songs and danced around the family room.

6. We picked out activities i.e. museums, art studios, and the zoo for next week when Grammie's here.

7. We planned Olivia's birthday cake for her party.

8. We went over some alphabet/color flash cards and played the matching game.

9. We put together a puzzle or two.

10. When Ava was napping, Livy and I played with Prodough as she calls it.

11. We took turns sitting at the desk, riding the bike and scooter, and playing with the cool ball Daddy found behind the couch.

12. We chatted with Daddy on the phone, a neighbor outside, and chased the cat.

13. We hung out, just us girls, we were silly, funny, and messy. It was fun!

T13 graphic courtesy of
Get the Thursday Thirteen code here!

The purpose of the meme is to get to know everyone who participates a little bit better every Thursday. Visiting fellow Thirteeners is encouraged! If you participate, leave the link to your Thirteen in others comments. It’s easy, and fun!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008