Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Family art gallery

So I got this idea from Family Fun Magazine and I love it. It's a way to display your kids' artwork. I scoured local thrift stores for good-sized frames. (And happened to find a great pair of woman's boots in my size that look brand new for six bucks!) When I had several frames I liked, I took out the glass and backing and painted them all silver. Then I hung them on the walls of the bonus room with a little binder clip at the top.

Like this.

Then the kids can have their artwork framed.
Just like the pros.

And we can easily switch them out as new masterpieces come home.

Maybe we'll hold an opening reception one of these days.
And charge big bucks.
Anyone wanna come?

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Snippets from our week

**Edit** Ok, Ok. In response to the comments and in Andrew's defense, he used to be a good handy man. I could give him my "honey-do" list and regardless of the schemes that I'd come up with, he'd try his best to comply. He replaced a porch, two garbage disposals (at different houses), a kitchen faucet, and re-built a fence that got demolished in a wind storm, to name a few. However, I have a hard time putting him to work when he can hardly walk. Maybe if his physical therapy ever starts working, I'll feel better about sticking him with the handyman work.

Unfortunately, in the midst of the doorknob fiasco, he had to help me demolish not one but TWO deadbolts when he really should've been resting his poor aching back. So, until he's healthy, I'll continue to turn projects into crises and hope for the best. **End of edit**

It has been a pretty uneventful week. That's usually a good thing. So I'll share some of the things that happen in a normal week for us.

Tuesday: This is the one day of the week when Whit doesn't have school and we don't have anything else scheduled. We usually end up running errands or going somewhere fun. Today we were feeling lazy and spent the whole morning at home. It was wonderful. Whit got dressed up in her tutu, tiara, and mismatched heels and danced for me and Caroline.

She has got some MOVES.

She used her dancing ribbons, which she named her
ZOOLA-ZALA. Rhythmic gymnastics, here she comes!

Care Bear was thoroughly entertained.


What IS that on the ceiling?
We better go in for a closer look.

That's what I was afraid of.
A sticky hand.

He wouldn't come down without a fight.
And now there's a little pink stain on our ceiling.

Also, Whit's friend came over after school.
They played princess rock stars.

Thursday: I passed this tree as we were driving around today.

Those are BLOOMS and it's only the middle of February.
Spring must be right around the corner!
It made me happy.

Friday: Little Miss Caroline crawled herself right under the bar stool. This was a first.

She was completely content for a while and then
proceeded to crawl over the bar and out.
I guess it was her baby obstacle course for the day.

Brandon wanted to see how it felt,
so he joined her.

Saturday: The Great Door Knob Fiasco of 2009
I convinced Andrew that we should spend part of our tax refund on a few little home improvement projects. First up--Replace the door knob on our front door.
It had seen better days.

Did you know they have an entire aisle
of door knobs at Home Depot?
So many choices!

I decided on this one.
I thought it looked elegant.
And I am just the epitome of elegance, right?

I asked the employee if replacing this was something I could do myself and he assured me that, yes, it was simple and would take about half an hour. Wrong!!!! I ran into some major issues. And leaving two big holes in your front door because you're sick of a project really isn't an option. I'll spare you all the details, but six hours later, this is what I ended up with:

a slightly darker version of the original.
But at least it locks.
And I didn't have to hire anyone to finish it for me.
I hope the rest of my projects go MUCH smoother.
Anyone know a good handyman in case they don't?

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Family photo shoot

Things were way too busy for me around Christmas time and I neglected to get real family photos taken. But I was determined to not let a whole year go by. So why not do it on Valentine's Day? I was worried about Caroline cooperating, but it turns out it was Whitney who was the difficult one. The photographer kept saying, "You have your hands full with her, don't ya?" Oh, and guess what his comment was when he saw Caroline. "Look at that Gerber baby!"

Sunday, February 15, 2009

That's amore!

I totally got spoiled in the revelry of Valentine's day this year. I got to go on not one, but TWO dates on Friday, then had a really fun dinner at home with the kids last night. Here are some pics of the festivities.

I got to help with Whit's preschool V Day party. She has such a cute class. I love seeing her in school mode. She is such a big girl!

They played Valentine bingo and decorated cupcakes.

Bonus perk: One of my best friends is her
assistant teacher, so she watched Caroline for me.
Thanks, Bea!

That evening, B-train and I went to his school's V-Day dance.

We got all dressed up and boogied down.
(Man, we look like we're glowing!)

It was so fun at the beginning, we were dancing and being crazy and laughing so hard. Then we stopped to get a treat. (B's favorite part.) When we went back into the dance some of B's friends were there and I was left dancing the Cha Cha Slide with two other moms while the boys ran around the dance floor chasing each other. Good thing we have 8 more years to figure out proper dating etiquette.

We came home from the dance and hurried to get the kids ready for bed by the time the babysitter got here. Andrew had planned our date and told me I needed to change into "outdoorsy" clothes. Hmmm.... I was intrigued. Midnight hiking? Spelunking? How many outdoor activities can be done under cover of darkness?

Oh, he knew what we was doing.
He reserved a campsite at a local park,
started a campfire,

and we made s'mores.

I can't believe how much planning went into this date. (And most of the last-minute packing was done while he was in charge of both girls and I was dancing the night away with B.) Not only did he have all the necessary items for making a fire and s'mores, but he also brought along his iPod and speakers for us to dance, a light-up Frisbee, milk chugs, Martenelli's and champagne glasses. He really went all out. It was wonderful. I LOVED it. We had a great time and it went by way too fast. If Caroline wasn't still waking up at 4:30 am, I would've been tempted to actually stay the night out there.

Then last night, we decided to have a nice dinner at home instead of fighting the crowds.

I'm really feeling the love in the air right now.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Cuteness peaks

My kids go through phases when they're cuter than other times.

In fact, I go through phases like that, too. Mainly sliding down toward the "not so cute" phases these days.

Don't get me wrong, I think my kids are adorable 95% of the time, but I've found that at different times in their lives, they get more or less compliments/comments from strangers.

Brandon was a SUPER cute new baby. He started getting comments from strangers from the time he was just a couple months old. I think it lasted until he was about 3.

Oh, the cutie pie!

He had those big eyes

expressive facial features,

and handsome smile.

When he turned 4, I think he moved into "big boy" status and the comments started dropping off.

It was a little different with Whit. I think it may have been her lack of hair. But she didn't hit her first cuteness peak until she was almost two, when she finally had enough to tell for sure that she was a girl.

Then it just kept growing and she just got prettier.

It helps if she doesn't have a patch on.
(I was shocked when going through old
photos of how many of them do!)
She still gets compliments,
but they seem to be trailing off a bit.

Well, I think Caroline has officially hit her first cuteness peak. I can't believe how many strangers in public compliment her. I know all babies draw attention, but their comments change or seem more sincere. I have honestly heard from five different people, "She could be the Gerber baby!" Seems especially fitting since that's my maiden name.

I love her eyes and smile.

Of course I'm biased,
but I think those strangers are right.
She is one adorable little girl.

Sunday, February 08, 2009

25 Random Tag Thingy

So I typed up all these things for a Facebook tag thing and figured (like Jackie) I might as well post them here, too. Why not?

1. The smell of clean laundry make me happy.

2. I've lived in six states and feel most at home in the desert.

3. I started wearing glasses in 2nd grade and contacts in 8th. I'm not a candidate for LASIK, so will probably wear them until I die.

4. I've tried out for Jeopardy, The Amazing Race, and American Idol, but didn't make it on any of them...yet

5. I involuntarily went through natural childbirth...not once, but TWICE.

6. I played volleyball, softball, and ran track in high school. I miss volleyball and softball SO MUCH.

7. I dream of traveling to New Zealand some day.

8. Playing the piano relaxes me. I love just sitting there for an hour or more on Sunday nights and playing until my fingers get tired.

9. I've worn the same toe ring on my right foot for 10 years now. I bet that toe will look really funky if/when I take it off.

10. My favorite date night is tennis with Andrew...even though he wins every single time.

11. Andrew is convinced we're done having kids. We might be, but I'm not so sure yet.

12. I am the official lawn mower of the family. I even mowed up until I was 38 wks prego with Caroline.

13. I have 148 college credits, but only an associate's degree. Reminds me of Tommy Boy: "A lot of people go to college for seven years. I know. They're called doctors."

14. I'm on a waffle kick. Most mornings for breakfast, I toast a whole grain eggo and spread peanut butter on it.

Peanut butter waffle.

15. I am NOT a bath girl. I just don't get it. It's not relaxing to me to sit in a pool of my own filth.

16. I decided I wanted to be a dentist when I was in 5th grade. I stuck with that major through my freshman year of college, then made the HUGE change to dental hygiene.

17. When Andrew retires, I hope we can go on missions together for our church.

18. I love reading out loud to my kids. I usually try to give at least one character a British accent.

19. I get a great sense of accomplishment out of assembling furniture and toys.

20. I have a problem with remembering my age. It was easy until I turned 27. I got stuck on that age for a few years and now I just keep forgetting. Am I 31? 32? It all runs together.

21. I fell in love with gelato this summer and can't find anywhere around here that sells it. Any local friends have an inside scoop to share with me?

22. On my 11th birthday, I got a terrible bloody nose and actually bled out of my eye. Ewww.

23. When I answer the phone I say "Hi" instead of "Hello." It throws a lot of people off. They think they're getting my voicemail.

24. When I started dating Andrew 12 years ago, I thought I had found my dream guy.

Turns out I was RIGHT!

25. I LOVE taking road trips. When Brandon and Whitney were 5 and 2, my mom and I took a 5,000 mile drive across the country.

I would do it again in a heartbeat.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

More good news

We're on a roll here, folks. Keep the good news comin'.

Last week, Whit had her regular visit to see her favorite Pediatric Ophthalmologist. At our previous appt, he had asked us to patch two hours a day Monday-Friday. That's so hard to remember! I told him we'd probably been patching on average about 6 hours a week instead of 10, simply because we'd forget.

They tested her vision and things are looking pretty good. Her vision is equal in both eyes and she can actually see 20/20 when she uses both eyes together. Sweet! She still does not have binocular vision. Her brain switches back and forth from one eye to the other to see different things. Whichever eye she isn't using, turns out slightly. Dr. Buckley's a bit concerned about that and thinks she may need a fourth surgery to fix it in the future. But the good news is that WE'RE DONE PATCHING. For now.

We go back in May and I am totally worried that he's going to recommend patching all summer again. Prove me wrong, Whitney. Prove me wrong.

Whitney's favorite place with one of her favorite people

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Telltale signs of a successful date night

1. Happy, smiling parents.
Yes, we are giddy when we get time to ourselves.

2. Takeout boxes from a yummy restaurant.
3. Piles and piles of tickets from Chuck E. Cheese.

Chuck E. Cheese's is PACKED at 8:30 pm on a Saturday night. So we decided to go to dinner first. And it's actually a REALLY fun place to be at 10! You have free reign of the games and can cast judgmental glances at all the parents who still have their small children out at that hour. Kidding...sort of. We had an unbelievable run on the Skee Ball machines. For those who are unfamiliar with one of our favorite pastimes, if you score over 450,000 points, you win the bonus--complete with flashing lights and ringing bells. On my VERY FIRST game, I won!! 250 tickets, baby! Woo hoo! I figured I better stop while I was ahead. Andrew proceeded to also win the bonus three of his first four games. Are you kidding me? Unfortunately for us (but good thinking by the CEC peopl) the number of tickets won resets to zero each time someone gets the bonus. Still, we scored. We also had fun playing pop-a-shot basketball, air hockey (I stunk), and racing each other on The Fast and the Furious.

Caroline is so high maintenance and stranger anxious, that we are just now starting to get back into the dating routine and the girl is 8 months old. I had almost forgotten how fun Andrew is...especially when he's not in severe chronic pain.

4. Coming home to three sleeping kids.
(The pics of the girls were not so flattering.
You'll have to take my word for it.)