Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Thanksgiving 2011...

Wow, what a wonderful, wonderful time off and Thanksgiving we had!

Our break started Wednesday when we packed up the car and left for Michigan. What’s sad is that we actually sent down a suitcase, pack ‘n play and turkey fryer down with my mom the day before, and we were still stuffed to the brim with stuff! The weather was gorgeous and the kids were settled in with a movie. We made a stop at a candy store that we always see and never stop at and got some fudge and popcorn. We made it to my sister’s by about 1:30.

We spent the rest of the day getting the rest of the groceries and waiting for Suzie’s new TV to be delivered. We ordered some dinner from a local place that I love and her TV finally arrived! Around this time my sister Cindy and her husband Josh and my dad got in, so we all caught up and relaxed a bit before everyone headed off to bed. Cindy and Josh were only staying two nights, and the place was a little cramped, so my mom and dad stayed at a local hotel and each night some of the kids went with them. Colton was a pain that night and decided that 3:30 was a good time to get up. Thankfully he was only up an hour, but he still managed to wake everyone else up :(

Thanksgiving morning John and Suzie headed off to run the Turkey Trot while I stayed back and got cinnamon rolls ready and Cindy got the sticky buns ready. John and Suzie were back in no time and we all enjoyed a great breakfast and the Macy’s parade. I also got to do Suzie’s hair which was fun for me :) We spent the rest of the day cooking our fabulous feast. Kylie helped Cindy make the noodles as has been their tradition since Kylie was really little. Around 2:00 all the boys headed down to the garage to get the turkey fried and hang out. Josh and Ryan had fun down there with them. Since Suze lives in a townhome, there isn’t much opportunity for them to go outside and play, so they jumped at the chance to play some football outside with the bigger boys :)

We were ready to eat dinner around 5:30 and it was amazing! The best turkey we’ve fried yet and all of the side dishes were perfect! Colton enjoyed his first Thanksgiving with a full tray of food – turkey, mashed potatoes, etc. I’ve never had a child old enough to eat real food at their first Thanksgiving, so it was neat seeing him chow down and get messy! After dinner we all collapsed in the family room to watch Spy Kids (obviously Kylie and Joshie’s choice :) ).

The next morning we got up and had a great breakfast of pancakes and then Cindy and Josh had to leave because Josh had to work that night. After they left we got ready (again, I did Suzie’s hair and she did my make-up) and all the girls headed out to the outlets. Of course it was crazy busy because it was Black Friday, but on top of that the weather was absolutely gorgeous! Especially for being up in Michigan! But I got an awesome deal on a new coat and a Jacket and a Jacket for Kylie and a coat and snow pants for Joshie. Then we went to the HUGE Christmas store where I was able to get Colton’s first Christmas ornaments. Then we had a great fried chicken dinner in the adorable little German town right there…so fun and yet we were so beat…we just wanted to get home (it was about an hour away from where my sister lives).

Saturday we woke up and had another great breakfast of eggs and sausage. After that we all just played and hung out waiting for the OSU/Michigan game. Since I’m not a huge football fan I started packing us up. After the disappointing game, we really got ourselves packed up and started to load the car. My parents were leaving too, so they were loading up, and found out that the battery had died in their car. While they were jumping it, something weird happened and the doors all locked…with the keys in the car :( So we waited for AAA to come and unlock the car. Honestly though, I’m really glad it happened because the weather was still absolutely gorgeous, so the boys played football out in the front and we just sat on the steps and watched them while we waited. Short sleeves at the end of November in Michigan…who would’ve thought???!!!

After AAA came and fixed the car, we were on our way home. But not before the kids made a discovery as they were in going potty before we left…their elves had returned! This time with another little friend for Ry-Ry! They were all so happy see their little friends and all held them tightly in the car on the way home. The trip was going well until we realized we were really hungry. So we ran through Burger King and John took the boys in to the bathroom. Colton was being a pistol and refusing to eat even though he hadn’t eaten in a while. We loaded back up and headed down the road eating our dinner. Just as our dinner was about gone (with Colton crying the whole way because duh…you’re hungry dude!) Ryan says “Mommy…when we get home, can you take me potty?” Now, this was about 10 miles from the last potty stop, and still 1 ½ hours away from home, so I said “Ryan, do you need to go potty?” and he told me “yes.” So we stopped again! I tried to feed Colton again, without success and we loaded up and hit the road again. Thankfully the rest of the trip was uneventful and we got home around 9:30 Saturday night.

We unloaded the car and I could easily tell that Colton was super excited about being home…he just looked so much more at ease. We put a bunch of stuff away and went to bed! All the big kids showered and went over to sleep with my parents.

Sunday morning we went to church and had a really wonderful Thanksgiving Communion Service. We came home, ate lunch, put the little boys to bed and started getting out the Christmas stuff! We got most of the stuff up before we had to leave to go to John’s sister’s house for another Thanksgiving dinner. The kids had a blast playing with their cousins and the adults had fun just relaxing and talking. Dinner was really good too! We left to come home around 8:00, which made for a really long day. We got home and the kids all got ready for bed and went to sleep.

Monday was hard getting back into the work and school routine, but it’s nice knowing that we’ll get some more time off in just a couple of weeks! Now it’s time to buckle down and get this Christmas shopping done!

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Last weekend was another fun one!

John and I took off work Friday to try to get some stuff done around the house. John took the kids to school and I jumped right into cleaning out all of the kitchen cabinets. The dust in them has been bugging me for a while now, and I also needed to sort through everything I had and get rid of stuff I don’t use. It took forever, but it was worth it! Now I have clean kitchen cabinets and more room because I really cleaned out the stuff I don’t use. That night we went to dinner with our neighbors. The kids were all really good and the food was great too (we went to Mellow Mushroom)!

Saturday was a fun, relaxing day. John got up early and got some meat in the smoker and I made some cinnamon rolls and hot chocolate for Josh and Noah (he slept over after dinner the night before). The rest of the day was spent relaxing, running to the grocery store, John watching football and me getting food ready for later in the day. The OSU/PSU game started at 3:30 and my dad and uncle came over to watch. Those two (they are brothers) always bet against each other on the game so it was fun watching them cheer against each other :) We had pulled pork, sausage sandwiches, corn chowder and homemade mini-apple pies. We also went outside and played some football during halftime which was fun!

Sunday was Kylie’s first gymnastics meet of the season. It was also her first gymnastics meet as a level 4. She was so nervous because there was a skill in particular that she had just gotten the week before (her front hip circle on bars) and she wasn’t sure if she’d be able to do it in the meet. My parents were so nice and watched Ryan and Colton so we didn’t have to worry about trying to keep them entertained during the long meet. Josh and John sat and played games on the iPad and I watched Ky warm up. When the meet started, her first event was beam and she started her day off great with a 9.25! After that it was on to floor where she scored an 8.3 (we thought that was low and couldn’t figure out what she had done to get such a low score for such a great routine). Then she went to vault and got an 8.85 and then it was time for bars. I was so nervous for her! I watched her routine and was so excited when she made her front hip circle, did her shoot-through without falling forwards or backwards, and did a good mill spin! I was so happy for her! She got an 8.0 on bars which was great for her! Overall she did so well!

After the meet we went to Olive Garden (she got to pick since she got a 9.0 or better on an event – Daddy’s incentive for her) and had a really nice meal. John and I just kept marveling at how easy life would be if we only had 1.) two kids and 2.) they were Josh and Kylie’s age. I mean we hardly had to do anything…Kylie could go to the bathroom by herself, they could both get themselves in the car and in their seatbelts by themselves…so easy! But, we also agreed that when we were driving and looking in the backseat, it seemed so empty and weird with only the two of them! We didn’t like that at all!

When we got home we spent the rest of the day relaxing. I cleaned out the boys’ closets and finally got the rest of Ryan’s clothes moved into the room he shares with Josh. It felt so good to be able to just hang out at home since it was so rainy outside.

And the best ending to the weekend was knowing that we only had two days of work this week and then it was off for Thanksgiving!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Apothederm Review

I’m not sure what has happened to me, but all of a sudden I have become super worried about my skin…specifically my face. I have never really done much for it besides wash it and moisturize it, but lately I have been scouring the internet, reading reviews and trying to find the best products to brighten my skin and prevent aging. I was fortunate a few weeks ago to be selected to try a couple of different Apothederm products and see how they worked for me.

The first product that I selected was the Bright Skin Serum. I have felt that my skin is pretty dull, and now with winter approaching, I really wanted something to brighten it up! I tried it as soon as I got it in the mail! Here is an excerpt from Apothederm.com about the http://apothederm.com/shop-products/brightening-acne/bright-skin-serum/:

“Our specialized formula refines, brightens and hydrates for a more even complexion. Our SmartPeptide™ technology specifically targets impurities to refine blotchy, discolorations and imperfections. Your skin will look and feel rejuvenated and radiant.”

After a week I did start to see a difference…my skin did look more luminous! However, there were a couple of downsides for me to this product – 1.) it remained sticky if I didn’t put anything over it. So the first couple of nights I felt like my face was sticking to my pillow. 2.) My face itched after I put it on, but that didn’t last long…usually a minute or so. Because of this, I contacted Apothederm and reached out to them hoping they could offer a solution. They sent me their Moisturizing Cream to layer over the Bright Skin Serum. Here is an excerpt from Apothederm.com about the Moisturizing Cream:

“Hydrate your thirsty skin with our emollient-rich cream. Developed specifically for dry, aging skin, this cream nourishes, replenishes, and firms, helping to reduce visible signs of aging.”

This stuff was great! Not to heavy or thick, nice smell, and felt good on my face! So now I put on the Bright Skin Serum and then put the Moisturizing Cream over top of that. My face does still feel semi-sticky though, but that’s a small sacrifice for bright and silky skin :)

Overall I really like the way my skin looks. I can only imagine how great it would look if I used all of their products! I also had such a great experience working with the company…they listened to my concerns and were ready to help me out however they could. I encourage you to head over to their site and look around. They have a lot of great facts about the technology that goes into their products and some great before and after photos. And until December 31, 2011, you can use the code “TENOFF” to receive $10 off your order!

Apothederm partenered with Mamasource to provide bloggers a chance to try their products and write a review on them. I was given the Bright Skin Serum and Moisturizing Cream to try out, and I was not monitarily compensated for this review.

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Christmas Cards Ordered - Check!

I just ordered my Christmas cards from Shutterfly! I am on the ball this year!

5x7 Folded Card
View the entire collection of cards.

Warm Weather, Last Football Game, Productive Weekend...

What a weekend!

Friday night we spontaneously had dinner with John’s parents, his sister and brother-in-law, and niece and nephew. My mom graciously offered to babysit Colton, so John and the kids and I headed to Cinco De Mayo and had a really nice dinner with everyone!

Saturday John and Josh had football practice and I started the huge project of cleaning out the playroom! I know with Christmas right around the corner and more toys coming in, that the room was going to get even more out of control if we didn’t do something. So I went down there and just started throwing things away and donating! Then Kylie and I had to leave for our hair appointments, so it was nice to have a break!

After our hair appointments, I got the pot roast in the oven for dinner, and then I went out and cleaned out the garden. It was absolutely gorgeous! The sun was out and it was 65 degrees! The only downside was the wind, but that was OK because I loved being able to clean out the garden in just a long-sleeved shirt! After I was done with that I went inside and Kylie, Josh and I went back to cleaning out the playroom.

Kylie’s BFF Rachel came over and we had a really nice family dinner with my parents. After dinner, Kylie, Rachel and Ryan went over to my parents’ house, my mom stayed with Colton (who was fast asleep), and John, Josh and I ran to Menchie’s :) I love that place!

Sunday we were all up and getting ready for church when my dad calls and says that he’s bringing Ryan over because he threw up. Sure enough he kept at it when he got home :( So we skipped church and I sat on the couch with Ryan sleeping on my lap for a good part of the morning.

My mom volunteered to watch Ryan and Colton so that I could go to Josh’s last football game of the season. So we loaded up the car and headed out. They played their last game in a high school stadium and they won! All of us parents of his team were the loudest cheerers there by far! It was a good game :)

After that we headed home and the kids and I went back to cleaning out the playroom (I said it was a mess!). We finally finished around 7:00 Sunday night with I think 8 bags of trash and 5 bags going to Goodwill! I was so happy with how much we got rid of! The kids were all hungry, so we loaded up the car and headed to Max & Erma’s where all of the kids were super well behaved and Colton ate Mac & Cheese for the first time :) Then it was home to bed!

Friday, November 11, 2011


Today is such a cool day…11-11-11. But luckily for me, it’s not just “a cool day,” it also happens to be the day that my littlest baby turns 10 months old. 10 months! I can’t believe he’s that old already…where has the time gone?

My little Colton – you are such a sweetie and you capture everyone’s heart the minute they lay eyes on you! You have the biggest brown eyes I’ve ever seen, and the cutest bald head that has just recently started sprouting more and more little blonde hairs. You have four teeth on the top that all came in about the same time, and two on the bottom that you have had for a while. I have been giving you samples of pretty much everything we eat (ranging from broccoli to Kit Kat bars) and I haven’t found anything you don’t like yet!

Your “crawl” is adorable! You army crawl everywhere and the workers in the church nursery think you’re such a hoot! They get such a kick out of watching you get where you need to go. You have just this past week started getting up on all fours, but then you collapse and take off in your normal manner. You can easily get to and from a sitting position which has been nice, except in the crib when you’re supposed to be sleeping :)

Speaking of sleeping! You have actually only gotten up once the past two nights (you had been getting up at least twice every night before that) but I’m not holding my breath…I don’t feel like we’re out of the “sleepless” woods yet :) But thankfully you are so easy when you do get up in the middle of the night…get you (and you are chatting up a storm when I bring you to my room!), feed you (only about 6 minutes) and then lay you back in your crib with your blanket and you’re good to go. So I can’t (and really don’t) complain.

Yesterday was a pain with nursing…I feel like you’re ready to give it up. You get so distracted and are constantly trying to leave! So unless you are super tired (or it’s the middle of the night), it is such a struggle to nurse you. I’m not really complaining though as two months from today you will be cut-off completely :)

You have become more and more happy as the days go by…you laugh and smile and talk. You are waving “bye-bye,” you were kissing for a long time but have taken a break from that, when you see a fan you put your arm up and make circles with it (I usually make a sound acknowledging you know what a fan does), you respond when someone says your name, and when I ask where someone is (i.e. “where’s Kylie?”) you turn your head toward them.

Thank you for being my sweet little boy! I love you so much and I can’t wait to see how you fit yourself even more into our family as time goes by!


Monday, November 07, 2011

Colton's 9 Month Visit...

I took Colton for his 9 month well-check last week and here are his stats:

Weight: 21 lbs. 7.5 oz (57%)
Length: 30.5 inches (94%)
Head: 45.5 cm (48%)

So he's still a tall little guy! The doctor mentioned something about him waking up so much to eat during the night - using the word "absurd" if I remember right :) But she acknowledged that it might be necessary since he's not taking much breastmilk during the day.

But overall a great appointment and he barely cried when he got his shots! Such a great little boy!

Wednesday, November 02, 2011

A Fun Tuesday Night...

Last night was a fun night :)

As I was leaving work, John texted me and told me that he was still stuck at work, so I went home knowing that it would be a little crazy and that dinner probably wouldn’t get made right away. So when I got home, I fed Colton and went downstairs to the playroom to watch some hockey by Ry-Ry. As we were down there, Noah and Zora knocked on the door to see if Josh and Ryan could play outside. So I got Colton ready and we all headed outside (Kylie was at gymnastics). It was really pretty out…the highs yesterday and today are in the mid-60s and sunny.

I put Colton in the stroller and I played football with the boys. Josh really wants to get an interception, so I worked on passing to Noah and Josh kept trying to intercept it. Then I played a little with Ryan :) It was nice being outside and getting some exercise!

John picked Kylie up on his way home, and by then it was getting pretty dark and pretty chilly, so everyone went inside. Since the kids just turned in their October reading logs for school and got their Book-It coupons back (and also because we had just had the house cleaned that day and didn’t want to mess it up with dinner :) ), we decided to go to Pizza Hut for dinner. We loaded the kids up and went to the only Pizza Hut around that still has a dining room. As usual, we were one of about 3 customers, so it didn’t matter how loud Colton got or how crazy our table was :) Each kid ordered their own personal pan pizza (black olives for Ky, sausage for Josh, and cheese for Ryan) and John and I shared a pizza. We had a really great time talking and laughing and eating!

When we got home it was time for bed, so everyone got ready quickly and fell right asleep!

Tuesday, November 01, 2011

A Fabulous Halloween Weekend!

It sure was one heck of a Halloween weekend!

Friday night was going to be low-key, hang out at home and relax. Yeah, not so much. Kylie and Josh’s class Halloween parties were Friday afternoon, so John and I took some time off work and headed over to the school (along with my dad) and bounced between the classes (I think we spent more time walking the hallways than actually in the parties, but whatever). After the parties, Kylie’s BFF Rachel came over (she was spending the night) and Josh’s friend Merritt came over for a playdate. Kylie and Rachel set up a spa for me that included a foot bath/massage, a real massage, and make-up!

The afternoon/evening was going great, kids were playing, having fun, and apparently that triggers something in us (John specifically) to mix it up a bit. He suggested that the girls go to open gym at Kylie’s gymnastics. They have a neat thing on Friday nights that lets you pay a small fee and kids get to play on all the equipment for an hour and a half. Once Josh heard that Ky and Rachel were going, he wanted to go, so we called up our neighbor/friend Noah and he went with him. So my dad stayed with Ryan and Colton (who had gone to sleep a little earlier) and we loaded up the car and took the kids to Buckeye. We dropped them off and headed to the grocery store to pick up stuff for our little get-together the next night. After that we needed to meet someone to get adult flags for Josh’s football practice the next morning, so we waited around for this person for a very long time, and by the time we were done with our errands, it was time to pick the kids up! So we loaded them all back into the car and took everyone home and put everyone to bed!

The next morning John and Josh headed out to football practice and worked around the house getting ready for the people that were coming over later that night. When John and Josh got home, Kylie and I headed out to get her some fangs and then to exchange a hair dryer I had gotten. We stopped at the Halloween store and the fangs that would work for her were $17, so I told her we would wait and look some other places first. Went to another store and didn’t find anything. Then went to Ulta to pick up some make-up and exchange my dryer. Kylie got some cool make-up put on that would go with her costume later that night. Then they told me that they didn’t have any more of the hair dryer that I wanted, but another store did (that happens to be over by where I work, about 25 minutes from my house!). The coupon expired that day, so we had to go, even though we were running so late!

We got over to the other Ulta store and got the dryer. We quickly went into another Halloween store and found the same fangs that we had seen earlier (except they were $3 more here!) and Kylie agreed they would be good. We walked up to check out and the line was wrapped around the store! Now we had been in 3 Halloween stores, and this was the only one with such an obnoxious line! We had no choice but to get in it :( Thankfully, I think we only waited about 15 minutes, and in all we were only about ½ late to the party…thankfully John was home and had the food ready to go for everyone!

After we all ate dinner we got the kids in their costumes and headed into downtown Powell for Candy by the Carload. Local businesses dressed up and handed candy out of their trunks to all the kids. It was chilly, but not super cold, and all the kids seemed to have a great time. After we were done there, we went back home and the guys all watched the Buckeye game, the kids played downstairs, and us girls sat in the kitchen and chatted about Pinterest :) It was so fun that the last people didn’t leave until around 11:00!

Sunday we headed to church (we were definitely pretty tired!) and then back home for lunch and naps. Our nanny Miss G. came over to watch the kiddos so that I could watch Joshie’s football game with NO INTERRUPTIONS!!! It was awesome! The only downside was that they lost :( But Joshie had a touchdown catch and some flag pulls, so he had a good game.

After the football game we headed home and John surprised Josh and Ryan with tickets to the CBJ game! They got dressed up (it was “kids in costume get in free with adult”) and headed out. I played with Colton for a while, talked to Kylie while she worked on her projects, and finally put Colton down for bed around 7:00. Then Kylie and I started making the food for our Halloween potluck. Kylie peeled the carrots and chopped the celery with a sharp knife! After we were all done with the food, she got ready for bed and then we played Uno and Boggle. I had such a great time hanging out with her! And I love that she’s old enough to play some fun games :)

She went to bed around 8:45, and as I was cleaning up and thinking I would get to sit and relax, Colton decided he wanted to get up and play. So he and I got some one-on-one time together :) John and the boys got home around 9:30 and they told me all about the fun time they had! John put them to bed and then he and Colton had some fun playing together.

Monday was another crazy day! I left work 2 hours early and headed home to get ready for our Halloween/trick-or-treating night. And of course, as I was loading the kids up in the stroller to pick Josh and Ky up from school it started raining! So I covered Colton up, gave Ryan and umbrella, and off we went! When we got home, I threw everyone’s clothes/coats into the dryer. Then we started getting costumes on and food ready. I made a Buffalo Chicken Chili in the crockpot that turned out really good! All the neighbors participating filed into our garage (we had the header going) and the kids ate dinner. After dinner it was time for pictures, and then off we went to get candy! Thankfully the rain was gone, the sun was out (setting, but out) and it wasn’t as cold as it could have been!

As usual, we stayed together through the first half of our neighborhood, and then the dads followed the big kids as they took off and my neighbor and I stayed back with our little ones. It was so neat to see how much difference a year made with Ryan! Last year he was so slow and it was such a struggle, but this year he was off and running and kept up with Zora! After they were done we headed back to the house and sat in the heated garage and drank hot chocolate and ate dinner while the little kids played.

The big kids stayed out until 8:00 and then came home and dumped their candy out on the kitchen table like last year. I can’t believe how much candy they got! It filled up three large bowls! I got everyone some awesome Nutella hot chocolate (tasted fabulous!) and slowly the kids trickled out to go home and get ready for bed. After our kids were in bed John and I cleaned up the house (the cleaners came today) and then crashed!

Another fabulous Halloween down in the books!