Saturday, January 31, 2009

Crib Is UP.

We are moving right along and getting ready for the baby. After much contemplation about the bedding I decided that I really want it to "match" it's gender so I am going to wait to decorate until AFTER Hammie is born. We have a bed. We have a changing table and are ready, but want to paint and stuff after it is here so it's room will be good to go for awhile.

I have picked out the bedding and will order it once the time is a little closer. We tried to look at it when we went to Des Moines, but of coarse I picked stuff that is online only. If it is a girl then I want purple and green. I will make some of the stuff like the bed skirt and stuff. This time around we aren't going to get the quilt that never gets used! I really like this butterfly or flower stuff also - I think my mom and I can figure out how to get something close.

I am not 100% sure on the boy stuff, but have some green and brown picked out currently at Babies R Us. Probably a dark brown bumper and who knows about the skirt. The crib looks a little silly without one though. Haven't thought much about decorations.

Ally helped Jason put the crib together today.

Drew "supervised."

It is up and ready for a little person to come live with us in no more than 9 weeks - hopefully a little earlier!

I would have posted pictures of the guest room, but they ordered the wrong color of headboard so we are waiting for that to come in.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Have I ever Mentioned?

Have I ever mentioned that I hate our van. Actually that is pretty strong. I really do like our van - I never thought that I would drive a mini-van (yes Angi - you told me so....).

This lovely van has been broke it seems more than it has been driveable. I was watching the Today show last summer and they were talking about the biggest money scams - Extended warrenties were on there. In our case - it has SAVED us oh about $25,000. Yes and that is actually a LOW and conservative number. It broke down again this week for an unknown reason, but this time the warrenty company said - oh that part isn't on the list - ARGHHH. There are 600 miles left on the warrenty and over 20,000 miles on the engine (which has been the big problem).

So Amy keep reminding us that this van has to be gone by this summer!

What would you buy? Obviously we will be buying the extended warrenty - it was worth our money.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Happy 30-Something Birthday!

I had lots of fun this week. I didn't try and "bug" Jason about my birthday plans since I knew that there was no way that he could forget it. I had been counting down since Christmas.

Last year he was so bogged down with work that he was unable to get my cake finished. This year he stayed up late one night to finish my cake. He claims that it isn't his best work, but I still loved it. I love round two layer cakes, but he says there isn't enough room to decorate. If you can't tell - Tinker Bell is driving Lightnigh McQueen. Drew and Ally couldn't decide on the characters so we compromised!

The "best" (hear the sarcasm) part of my birthday was waking up to - not the blueberry pancakes that I typically get, but a van that absolutely LOVES our family. Yep - our lovely Kia Sedona is broke again. After much research, Jason discovered a pulley that is missing so the serpentine belt is off. Originally we thought (and are still hopeful it is not) the alternator. So he took me to school and headed to work. At least I didn't have to drive to work!

We went to HuHot for supper. The kids were thrilled since they love to make their own dishes and watch the guys cook for us.

On Friday Jason invited our small group over for Bunco and snacks. It was a lot of fun. If you notice in the picture my shoulder is SLIMED. I had been holding 11 week old Maddie who is a mircle from God. She had a pacemaker put in when she was a few hours old.

Saturday was my real treat. On Thursday I had opened a box with a backgammon board, Pottery Barn magazine, diaper and box of Mac & Cheese. What does all this mean - at first I thought another trip to Turkey, but a close second is a trip to Des Moines to Pottery Barn and Babies R Us - one of my favorite store and another necessity at this time that we don't have in our area. We picked up lots of ideas for decorating and just loved walking through Pottery Barn and decided we probably need to head back again to DM after we know that is REALLY in all those totes in the basement before we decide what baby stuff we need to buy. All this with NO kids. They stayed with my parents for the days - getting spoiled - they weren't in bed when we got back at 10:00!

To top the whole thing off - Jack and Sheryl and precious Lorelai born 2 weeks ago joined us for supper at Macaroni Bar and Grill - hence the mac and cheese. They are home for a couple months from Turkey on state-side.

So let's just say that I had a great birthday even though Jason keeps telling me I am getting close to 35 - Really I am still closer to 30 though!

The best part is that my mom sent me an email saying happy 31st birthday. I called her to tell her that I really was older. She didn't believe me until she pulled out her calculator and typed in 2009-1977! Thanks mom! Not sure if you feel older now or me!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Thinks He's Cool

I just got told at supper by my four year old son - Good job my friend - fist pump.

I don't remember what I did to deserve this high compliment, but sat there shocked as Jason about fell on the floor.

Sunday, January 18, 2009


The kids didn't have school on Friday - it was a teacher's meeting day. So they still went but got to play all day with their friends. But it was COLD. It was so cold that we kept our hat and mittens on the whole way and the heater never caught up. I stopped to get the picture of the thermometer on the way at the coldest part. By the end of the day, the temps rose 60 degrees. If you are in Iowa you know that we have had a some warm days with a high of 30. But what did you think of the wind on Saturday - Glad that the temps were reasonable. Our subdivision almost got snowed in!

This week looks a ton better and we should be able to head to school every day ALL day!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

It's Cold

That might be an understatement, AND I am tired of being indoors and in my house. I think that when it warms up to at least -15 or so we might try and head out and do some errands. We won't have a whole day of school this week - now that is crazy!

Monday - Early out - 5 inches of snow and blowing
Tuesday - Late Start - Blowing and cold
Wednesday - 5-6+ inches of snow, blowing and Cold
Thursday - BITTER cold - exact words from the news cast
Friday - No school planned - teacher inservice

Drew is in HEAVEN!!! He likes his stay at home days. He would choose to stay home rather than anywhere - almost McDonalds is the exception I think! Last night as I was putting him to bed I told him that we would eat breakfast at home before going to school since we knew we had a late start.

He said - Mommy come here and look out my window.

We frequently do this to check for deer in the front yard or just to look at the weather or moon, but tonight he said with all sincerity (for our safety). The snow plows have plowed our streets, but they haven't gotten to the one to school yet. We will have to stay home tomorrow.

In his shyness (truly) he didn't want me to tell the story to Jason, but how could I not. About 15 minutes later, he got his wish for another stay at home day - so fort building, legos and other fun things to drive mommy crazy - here we come!

Monday, January 12, 2009

Rachael Ray

My daughter (and I) LOVE Rachael Ray. If we are home, we flip it on to mainly watch the cooking part of the show - I think that we are going to start DVRing it. Ally stops whatever she is doing to carefully watch what she is doing and asks questions. Today we watched her make a yakatori noodle bowl. We decided to make it for supper and it was a hit! There are no leftovers for lunch tomorrow - bummer! It was basically teriyaki chicken and noodles.

Maybe my little girl will be a chef?

Another Computer Guru

This picture is TERRIBLE but is shows what my little boy likes to do after nap - Nick Jr. I need to get a real mouse for my laptop so they can both be on it and the fighting will stop, but until then we have 15 minute turns.

Also nobody probably has ever noticed, but when we moved into our house we didn't have a hardwood floor mat for our office chair. After 2 plus we finally got a chairmat and the piece of cardboard is retired - and a good piece it was!

Snow - Snow and some More Snow

We keep getting snow and it really doesn't/shouldn't make the news. It isn't record snowfall or even really terrible to travel in. I can handle 2-5 inches at a time - it is the ice and wind that comes before or after that is not so fun. The last couple storms have been had no ice. We woke up to LOTS of snow on Saturday. I think we were suppose to get 1 inch but really what is the difference 1 or 5 inches. No big deal. We cleaned the house and then all went out to work and play. I love the snow blower - why didn't we buy one several years ago. I can't imagine how sore and tired Jason would be without it. I did help a little with it. It is a cold and wet job using it, but you feel like a champ when you are done. Please no comments about a 28 wk prego woman scooping snow - I wasn't in pain afterwards.

Today we got another 3 or snow inches (total about 8 on the ground - not too bad!) We got out of school early today. The 3 inches aren't the bad part it is the 35 mph winds that are following the storm. Like I said I don't mind driving in 3 inches - you can still "see" the road or most of it. It is the lack of visability that I strongly hate! We got home way before that hit. It actually probably got to our house about the time that we headed out after supper in the dark to clean off the driveway. It was fairly calm and then the wind came up and wow it burned your cheeks! We are in a blizzard warning tonight. Man I don't want another no school day - late start would be nice.

The next storm blows (literally again) either Tuesday night or Wednesday for another 3-5 inches and some more blizzard like conditions. So that would put about 10 inches on the ground and another chance for some on Friday. I love Iowa winter. I love that we have change so often and it is not always warm - even though there are days that I wish for some 70 degree weather.

One positive - Ally can define blizzard for you correctly today!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Dust off the Rook Cards - Some Math Ideas for You!

Ally brought home a couple weeks ago some "homework." Actually she has brought other homework home. I am becoming the parent that I get so frustrated with - the ones who "forget" to send stuff back! I am trying to get better, but for some reason it is always the mom that has to go through the book bag.

I am a big fan of math - for some obvious reasons?!?! Don't get me wrong - we read and have her sound things out. But it is not always our focus - I am not a natural "reading" teacher. But math is a different story. Sometimes I can't believe what she is "learning" in kindergarten math since it seems so basic, but I guess there are other kids out there that don't get their addition facts as early as our kids. (We taught addition at supper with eating bites!)

They have been working on pattern units and counting units. The counting unit has been interesting. Some ideas out there to do with your kids that will help them gain number reasoning skills (and I approve this message!)

1. When you grab a random amount of something - napkins, cookies, fish crackers, legos, etc have the ESTIMATE (tell you how many the THINK are there). Then have the count them. Estimating is a skill that many kids are weak at in the middle levels but hey let's help them out when they are young.
2. When bored at the dr. office while WAITING - have them figure out how many eyes are in the room or fingers or toes or legs on the chairs. Some may start out by counting each one but that is OK!
3. Teach skip counting (evens and odds) then work your way up to doing 3s, 4s, 5s, 10s. (hopefully then later they can do the dr. office game by using those strategies.
4. As a beginer (like Drew or a 3yr old) draw numbers on one side of the page and pictures of objects on the other. Have them connect the picture to the number. Or make big number pages on paper - have them search the toy room and find that number of objects for that number.
5. Our newest idea - from our favorite kindergarten teacher, Mrs. Glanz - She gave us number cards to 10, but I pulled out the Rook cards since they went to 14. You can make your own cards but I would put them on cardstock. I would have a stack of at least 4 of each number. Divide the cards out between you and your kiddo. Each flip a card. Whoever has the bigger number says - ME and gets the cards. ALly is much faster than Drew but sometimes he makes a mistake - tonight it was 9 and 6 so we "built" those numbers out of fingers or legos or whatever and he had to redecide. We did it with 12 and 13 also.

You can do different variations of this game - like playing which is least. We have also added the two cards together and one person gets the evens and the other the odds. (throwing in our skip counting stuff!) Tonight Ally and I made a new variation of having 5 cards in our hand and playing the bigger number to get our partners cards.

You can do so much with younger kids to build number sense. These are all great ideas, but the most important part would be your kid EXPLAINING why they are making the decision to you. At first they won't be able to do it and you should model the reasoning or give them ideas of how to start, but you know they understand it if they can talk it through!

If you want more ideas - let me know. And if you are a stalker that has some great reading skill games - let me know:)

Friday, January 2, 2009

New Family Members

Introducing the newest family members - Sparkles, Mo, Sally, Gerkin, Mickey, Minnie and Kevin.

I guess we will see how long I can keep them alive. Ally got a new fish tank from Grandma Rhonda for Christmas. It has taken us a week to get the "stuff" and water in it. She came up tonight so that we could pick out some fish. Now they are all swimming happily.

Jason ended bedtime stories with "Fish out of Water" to remind them "not to feed the fish too much or something may happen, you never know what."