Wednesday, February 29, 2012


Errr Vegas WITHOUT baby!  Left Blaine overnight for the first time in his life for not one night, but THREE nights. 4 days and 3 nights with Nick and without Blaine.  It had been since MARCH 2010 since I've seen mountains [UNACCEPTABLE] and this trip was long overdue.  We went hiking in Zion National Park, in Red Rock Canyon, went to an International Pumpkin Seminar in Vegas [very international this year with growers from UK, Germany, Canada, and Italy], and thoroughly enjoyed exploring the elaborate hotel / casinoes of Vegas.  Jaw dropping things for sure!  Favorites included the fountain show at the Bellagio, the volcano at the Mirage, and the gondolas at the Venetian. 

Blaine had so much fun he didn't miss us and we had so much fun we didn't miss him.  Maybe a little but not as much as one would expect!  The babysitters [grandma / grandpa / grandma / aunt] did an awesome job and Blaine had too many adventures to realize mommy and daddy were gone. THANKS BABYSITTERS!  Now planning on "Europe Minus-Baby" in 2014! ;)

TMI AHEAD: On a side-mommy-blog-note, I spent waaaay too much of the trip attached to my dumb breastpump!  I had to get that thing out of retirement for the trip.  Sure Blaine still nurses, but I had no idea I was still producing so much; I had to pump at least 4 times every 24 hours just to avoid a boob explosion. I definitely was suprised and if you had told me in July 2010 that I would need to pump on a vacation in 2012 I would have thought you had gone mad. My new goal is "weaned by 3". :)

Angel's Landing Trail in Zion.  So cool!

Ray Villafane, famous carver who has been on The Weather Channel and Food Network.  He carved this pumpkin that they saved since October!  Crazy that it kept good that long!
Red Rock Canyon, just west of Vegas:

Sunday, February 19, 2012

19 Months

Blaine turned 19 months old yesterday!  CRAZY!  He finally finally FINALLY is saying "mom" more than once every blue moon.  He often will yell it from the other end of the house when he wants me.  I'm still in the "THAT IS SOOO CUTE" stage and not sick of hearing him scream it like I'm sure I will be in a few years. ;)    Crazy that most kids say mom when they are like 6 months old and here I am writing it in his 19 month post.  But that kid is more proficient with tools than any other kid his age, I know it! :)

Last Friday, we visited the lady who will babysit him 3 days a week next school year.  It was HARD.  REALLY HARD.  I am so wishy washy on my decision to go back to work but it is still a "yes" at this time.  He will fit in SOOO WELL there.  She is amazing at caring for kids, I've known her since I was 10, and she's the number 1 recommended babysitter among my coworkers.  When we went over it was 30 degrees out at 9 AM and the kids were already playing outside.  If at all possible, they play outside all morning, then go in and have a dance party, eat lunch, then nap.  Most are still sleeping when the [all teachers] parents pick them up.   Yes, it will be a perfect fit.  He ran into her garage, got out all the tractors he could find, and starting digging in the snow.  Made me smile.  Just like home. 

Now I just have to figure out how I WILL adjust, since I'm pretty sure Blaine will be fine. ;)

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

My Lack of Domestic

My best mom-pal had what I dubbed "the most domestic day ever" yesterday.  She started the morning making pink pancakes for her toddler.  Then heart-cut-out cookies with frosting.  Follow that up with making valentines complete with glitter.  [If you've ever done glitter with a 22 month old, that is what she tackled. Willingly.]    The grande finale was heart-shaped pizzas for the whole family for dinner.

Wow talk about making me feel bad!  Not only have I never made heart-shaped pancakes, I don't think I ever will.  I just don't want to.     Yes, my children will be deprived.  Call social services!  I just lack domestic!  

I'll tell you what though, my son got to play outside for 3 hours yesterday when we could have been doing cookies and glitter.  Plus his mommy can drive a tractor.  

I'd say he is lucky I'm undomestic. 


Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Header Picture Issues

I noticed that my picture for my header was not as wide as it used to be, so I uploaded a new one [that one was old anyhow]. It is still narrow. HELP! I think it is magically being resized even though I unclicked the button that said it would resize it. I'm no expert and need guidance!

Monday, February 13, 2012

What's Your Love Story?

Seen a few people that did this, and wanted to do it too: From Mrs. To Mama's link-up.

1. How long have you and your significant other been together? 10 years!

2. How did you meet? {What's your "love" story?} In college pep band, my sophomore / his freshman year. We had our first "date" in November 2001 but I declared him "too nerdy" and we were "just friends" until that next summer. [Even though my family thought he was my boyfriend all along since he came over multiple times each week and there were no other guys in my life]. :) It was definitely July 2002 when I decided I wanted Nick in my life forever, while on our trip to Montana. I would say that is when it switched from friends to boyfriend / girlfriend.

3. If married, how long have you been married? Since June 10, 2006.

4. If you are married, where did you get married at? Big or small wedding? We got married at the same church as my parents and grandparents. The wedding was average size I'd say. We had an outdoor potluck reception behind the church in the pavillion afterwards.

5. Do you have any nick-names that you call one another? Do share! Schnickles, Schnickelodeon. He doesn't really have any for me.

6. Name 3 things you love most about your honey. Extremely hard worker [almost too much of a work-a-holic actually], very good listener [I talk alot LOL], will do anything for anyone at any time [that works out well for me haha].

7. Tell us how he proposed? Or your ideal proposal? Since we decided early on that we would get married after Nick graduated, time just kept moving along and June 2006 was coming closer. I had bought my dress, etc, and he still hadn't proposed. So I told him he kinda dropped the ball there and gave him the ring I wanted [the plastic version] and told him to cook me a nice dinner. He had the ring specially made [real version] and proposed with heart-shaped pizza at our new house! [It was sitting empty at the time; we bought it a year before the wedding and didn't move in until after we were married].

8. Is he a flowers and teddy bear kind of guy for v-day, or strawberries, champagne, and rose petals? None of the above. He just writes notes and puts little heart shaped smileys on them. Or he used to. LOL.

9. Are you a sunset dinner on the beach kind of girl, or pop a movie in and relax on the couch? If there was a beach here, that would sound nice. :) I like hikes and drives in the country; we like doing active things together, even if that means scooping manure together on a Friday night.

10. Tell us one thing you'd like to do with your significant one day. If you could do anything? Go anywhere? Go back to Alaska, where we spent our honeymoon driving, hiking, exploring, and camping.

11. Tell us what you plan on doing on this Valentine's Day. Call him on the phone; he will be out of town. We went cross country skiing last weekend so I'll count that as what we did. Even though there was a 3rd wheel along, it was super fun and it is what we did last year.

12. Are you asking for anything this Valentine's day? No; we don't even do birthday or Christmas presents. We made that agreement very early on and stuck to it. So much less pressure.

13. Give us one piece of advice of keeping a relationship strong and full of love. If you get mad easily, marry someone who doesn't get mad about anything. Do fun things often and stay young at heart.

14. Show us a picture of what love means to you.

Friday, February 10, 2012

My 'Lil Musician

We've got photos of Blaine "playing" the clarinet, recorder, trumpet, drums, piano, harmonica, handbells, random other percussion instruments, and now baritone. I think we found his best fit! So cute it makes me melt.

My friend asked me what I would do if Blaine didn't want to be in band. "Kick his butt" was the best answer I could come up with. ;)

J/kidding. All I can do is hope! :)

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Huge Stride

Blaine made a huge step this week towards being potty trained. HE WENT PEE IN SEVERAL BIG-PERSON POTTIES AWAY FROM HOME! Before, most often he'd always be leery or scared to go whenever he was away from home. It was always hit or miss on whether he'd actually let you sit him on a big potty at a strange place.

Drum roll please.....

In the last 4 days he peed in the regular toilet: at the public library, at my friend's house twice, and at gymnastics class.

It is pretty pathetic I'm this excited about his pee but honestly, this is HUGE when it comes to me feeling confident about taking him out in public without a diaper someday [hopefully sooner than later!]

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Monkey Nuts: False Advertising

This post is completely off the wall but made me laugh.

There are some strange things we call monkey nuts around these parts. Don't know what you call them where you live. Googling let me know they are actually called hedge apples. Most people pick them up and put them around their house to scare away spiders. I can't say I've ever tried that, but this advertisement on a weather website caught my eye:

I had to click the link. I had to. IT HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH MONKEY NUTS AT ALL. I was thinking if I slept with one under my pillow that all my insomnia issues would disappear, or maybe one under my matress. Just like "Princess and the Monkey Nut". :)

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Hit up the Trails!

I had a really good childhood. We lived on the family-farm compound: grandma / grandpa lived next door, uncle / aunt next to her, great uncle / great aunt and cousins catty-corned from them. Throw in 50 acres, a pond, and couple barns, and I grew up in an outdoor lovers paradise.

If I had one complaint about my upbringing, it would be this: My parents never introduced me to the concept of public trails. I HAD NO IDEA THEY EXISTED UNTIL HIGH SCHOOL AND COLLEGE. True story. I would see a picture of a girl hiking on a trial in the mountains and just figured she was lucky with where she lived. Maybe it was her family's trail out behind her house? LOL. I had no clue there were trails in such places were open for any one's use [and trails so close to our own house].

Well I've definitely made up for lost time in the last 12 years or so [off the top of my head, I've hiked trails in Ohio, PA, West Virginia, Indiana, Virginia, Alaska, Montana, Wyoming, Oregon, and Washington] and now that I have a child it is definitely my vow that Blaine grows up loving [or tolerating] hiking.

We are lucky to have a state nature preserve full of trails 2 miles from my house! [I appreciate it much more now than in my high school running days haha]. Blaine loves going there; it is pretty much the only time I've ever witnessed him climbing INTO the stroller! :)

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Introvert or Extrovert?

Time Magazine had a very interesting article last week about introverts and extroverts. First, it stated that being an introvert does not neccesarily mean one is shy. It was said that scientists can predict if infants will be introverted based on their sensitivity. Also, whether one turns out an intervert / extrovert is highly genetic.

So of course we looked at Blaine's family tree and thought back to how sensitive he was as a 4 month old. We concluded without a doubt that we will have an introvert on our hands. LOL.

However, he is very much a ham for attention and will approach other kids at the park / library and give them toys / books [soooo cute]. It will be such a neat thing to watch his personality unfold!

What do you think your child will be?

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

And Now a Treat: My Monkey

Since all your comments about blog-world-jealousy made me smile and even laugh, I thought I'd share some sunshine with you. This kid got himself into the above situation when I was in the other room doing laundry. SOOOOO FUNNY! So I got him diapered and he did it again, and again, and again, allowing me to get ample video footage. :)

If it's hard to see, he gets up by climbing on the water bottle holder! I should have had a clue when I found him a few weeks ago stuck there with his foot wedged in the holder. Mommy fail!

Personalilty Flaw: Jealousy

I'm starting to think blogging is bad for my health. It certainly makes my number one personality flaw surface: jealousy.

Normally I'm pretty darn happy with my life. Most days I love my house, where I live, my husband, my family, my son, etc. I'm super thankful for all the blessings I've been given.

Then there are "those days". You know, when nothing seems to be good enough and you just feel down in general. [Those days ALWAYS come to me in the wintertime. I have self diagnosed seasonal affective disorder, SAD]. You read some blogs and it sure seems the most people have a better / happier life than you do.

Odds are I have been jealous of your life via your blog if:

- you live on a farm
- you have bought a farm
- you live in Alaska
- you live in Montana
- you live in the country
- your child can say a mile-long-list of words
- your child can write letters at 20 months old
- your child can speak sentences and count at 18 months old
- your life always seems so happy
- you are awesome and happy with being a stay at home mom
- you are awesome and good at juggling being a working mom
- you've done something super adventurous with your life such as moving cross country
- and if you bought a farm when you arrived cross country you get bonus points
- you've quit your job
- your husband does housework
- your husband is romantic
- you've announced a pregnancy recently and this is child #2 for you
- you live in a house bigger than me
- your child sleeps through the night

There you have it! I'm obviously a jealous person. I read these things and then turn around and look at my life and cringe. It is a major personality flaw and something I need to pray about and work on. I'll start by counting my blessings and hugging Blaine. That always makes things better!