Wednesday, August 31, 2011

I need some book suggestions

I don't know if you noticed, but in my "typical day" post I mentioned reading to my kids.  A lot.  We have somewhere in the neighborhood of 120 kids books, and while Kalena is interested in most of them (there are still a few that are a little long for her) Will mostly wants me to read dinosaur books.  Unfortunately, we only have 5 of those.

SO.  Lovely readers.  I need you to tell me your favorite kids books that feature dinosaurs.  We have 3 from the "How Do Dinosaurs" series, and two other random ones.  I'm really hoping some of you have kids who love dinosaurs as much as mine do.

Also, head over to my Food Lush post and give me your advice on bread makers.

Man, I sure am needy today aren't I?

Saturday, August 27, 2011

I'll be directing you to my sister's blog

In case you're feeling deprived by not seeing pictures of my kids, my sister wrote a cute post about what they're up to at her house.  Go check it out!

Friday, August 26, 2011

Feels a little weird actually

So yesterday Brian calls me and says, "What do you think about going to Denver this weekend?"  His company needs a piece of equipment picked up in Denver and brought back here, meaning they would send him in a company truck with a company card for gas.  He figured we could take the kids, see my sister's family, maybe see his sisters, hang out for a day or so and then drive home.  And I told him that that sounded nice, but what I'd REALLY like is if he took the kids and went to Kirsta's while I stayed here.


They left this afternoon around 1, so until they get back on Sunday I have the house to myself.  I have big plans to, you know, clean (and watch things actually STAY clean) and watch netflix by myself.  Also big plans to sleep in tomorrow, but since I typically wake up on my own around 6:30 we'll see how that goes.  It's a little bit strange knowing that I don't have to tend to anyone's needs but my own until they get back.  Especially since this is the first time I've been away from the kids overnight since before Will was born.  Although, I guess technically they are away from me.  Anyway.  I plan on enjoying my free time.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

A typical day

So I'm stealing this from Jennie, and you should too because it's fun and I want to read about your day!

6:20-6:30 am: Sun shines in the window and I wake up.  Check the clock.  Realize I need to get up now if I'd like to brush my teeth in peace.  Lay there for a few more minutes anyway

6:30-6:45:  Get up, dressed, teeth brushed, hair brushed.  Brian gets up.  I start breakfast for me and the kiddos, usually oatmeal.

6:45: Kalena's sun comes up, releasing her from the prison of her room.  She's generally been awake for 30 minutes to an hour.  She finds me, then Brian to say good morning.  She is always cheerful.

6:50: Breakfast is ready, get Will out of his crib.  I wake him up if he's not awake to make sure the morning nap will happen.

6:55-7:20: Brian leaves for work (he eats breakfast there.)  I eat breakfast with the kids.

7:20- 9: Playtime.  I generally try to wash the breakfast dishes now and start a load of laundry if I need to.  Make our bed if I'm on top of things.  Read to the kids for an hour or so.  Say, "Be NICE to Will" one hundred thousand times.

9:  Will's morning nap.  Kalena gets to watch a movie most days.  Or, if I've scheduled a playdate for her it usually happens around now (at our house obviously.)  While both kids are occupied I try to do productive things, like clean.  But some days I work on my scrapbooks instead.  If I'm really tired (aka someone was up during the night) this is prime nap time.  Kalena will generally leave me alone if I tell her I'm "taking a rest."

10:00: Kalena and I snack during her movie.

10:30 ish: After her movie she plays, sometimes colors, sometimes more reading, sometimes outside.  She tells me multiple times that she "think Buster awake."  He is not.

Sometime before noon Will gets up and the kids play together until lunch.

12:00 Unless the kids are very engaged in something else, lunchtime.  Usually something quick and easy since they'll take two bites and be done.

12:20-2:00: Playtime.  Prime mess making time!  I say, "Be NICE to Will" one hundred thousand times more.  Another 30 minutes to an hour of reading again before nap time.

2:00 pm: Will and Kalena both nap.  I do any dinner prep that I can.  All that needs to happen later is the actual cooking.  After that I read, or scrapbook, or play on my computer.  If it's Friday I watch last night's Project Runway on

3-4:00:  The kids get up.  Usually closer to 4.  Most days they play outside until dinner.  If I'm especially worn out or it's rainy they sometimes get an episode of Dora or something else.  I finish making dinner.  If it's Wednesday we head over to my parents house for dinner.

5:15-5:25: Brian gets home.  The kids throw themselves at him.  We eat dinner.

6:00: I wash dishes while Brian washes kids.  On non-bath days he plays with them while I do dishes.

6:30-7:00: Get the kids ready for bed.  Have them help clean up toys, get in pajamas, brush teeth, a story if there's time, Kalena always requests a song.

7:05:  Fall on the couch.  Watch a movie or some netflix with Brian while we both do various thing on our laptops.  Chat about the day.  Shower if I need one so my hair can dry before bed.  If one of us has evening commitments, they usually run from 7-9 or so.

10-11: Bedtime.  Depending on how tired I am.  Prepare to do it all again tomorrow.

Your turn!

Monday, August 22, 2011


Because I know your life would be incomplete if I didn't post some pictures of my kids today.

Not sure about the whole "roasting marshmallows" bit.

 Okay, tastes pretty good.

But you know, who needs s'mores when you can eat the sand in the sandbox?


Monday, August 15, 2011

I think I need to have a karaoke party

So.  One of the benefits to family reunions in the state I live in is that we get to drive to them.  Maybe you're wondering why driving would be so great, I mean, 6 hours in the car with two toddlers doesn't seem like a fabulous time does it?  No.  BUT.  When you drive you can jam your car full of stuff to make life convenient and also more fun.  For instance?  I hauled 4 pack-n-plays up to the reunion so that we would have enough baby sleeping space for babies arriving by plane.  Convenient, yes?  Yes.

Know what else I brought?  A karaoke machine.  Obviously you would never take one of these on a flight, but we had room in the car so WHY NOT?  And you guys, it was so fun!  (Side note: yes it IS possible to have fun with karaoke, even if NOBODY is drinking.)  Because come on.  How often do you get to see your parents sing a duet of Summer Nights?

(Is that the cutest picture of my mom ever?)

And how often do you get to see my cousin belting out Backstreet Boys?  Okay, maybe a little more often.

So here's the real question.  If I have a karaoke party when I turn 29 (next month!!) will you all come over and karaoke?  I promise not to make you sing.  But I will like you a little more if you do.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Family photo

Family picture courtesy of my Aunt Ann, taken at our family reunion in Estes Park.

It surprises me sometimes that with my red hair and Brian's dark hair we keep having these little blonde kiddos.  It shouldn't, probably.  Brian's mom and three of his siblings are blonde.

I used to show people pictures of me with my sisters (people who didn't know my sisters, obviously) and have them ask, "Who are the girls in the picture with you?"  It is not easy to tell just by looking that we are related. 

 I'm pretty sure Will and Kalena will never get that.  There is no mistaking that they are siblings.

Monday, August 8, 2011

I guess she thought that was a good reason?

A couple weeks ago at church Kalena was following Will around.  With her finger in his ear.  He was quite obviously trying to get away from her so I told her (in my best "I'm serious" church whisper) to knock it off.  And she looked at me, totally sincere, and said, "But I WUV him."

Apparently love makes tormenting him okay.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

More of the Estes Park trip

While we were in Estes Park we toured the famous Stanley Hotel.  This is the hotel that was the inspiration for Stephen King's The Shining.  And while none of the movie was filmed there, apparently the mini-series was?  I've never seen it.  Actually, I've never seen all of the movie either.  I get too freaked out to watch horror movies.  I have read the book though.

Anyway, no kids under 5 allowed on the tour which means none of our kids could go.  (Not that we'd want to take them anyway.  Who wants a toddler on a haunted hotel tour?)  But all the adults still got to go.  Know how we managed that?  We hired babysitters for the vacation!  That's right, we suckered hired two lovely teenagers that Kirsta knows from church to go with us.  And it was SO NICE to know that you didn't have to be chained to the house if kids were napping/sleeping/you didn't want to take the babies.  The Stanley tour was the only time we left ALL the kids.  For which the babysitters probably thanked their lucky stars.  17 kids total, the oldest two are 6, there's one 5 year old, one 4 year old, and the other 13 are ages 3 and under.  Anyway, they totally earned their money during that couple hours.

So.  Interesting tour, although we didn't see anything supernatural.  You can actually stay in the hotel, (room 217 is the most requested) but it seems like it'd be awfully noisy what with all the tour groups and, you know, ghosts running around.

Oh, another interesting tidbit (if you haven't already stopped reading): even though none of the movie The Shining was filmed here, some of the scenes from Dumb and Dumber were.  Bet you'd never group those two movies together.  So, the tour was fun.  Probably more fun since it was a private tour-- there were enough people in our family to make up a whole tour group.  Things like that are always more fun when it's all people you know.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Vacation time

Vacationing with kids is not really vacationing.  I find that it's often harder than just being at home.  My kids sleep less, the places aren't childproofed, there is travel involved, the list goes on.  However, I have discovered that it IS possible to have a relaxing vacation with you kids.  Here's what to do:

1) Take your mom with you.  Husbands are helpful, yes (at least, mine is) but extra time with grandma is special for the kids.  This means they're asking HER for stuff instead of always asking me.

2) Go to a house where there are kids often.  My kids where in awe of the number of toys they had to choose from.  Also, things were pretty much kid-proofed.

3) Stay with family members who think your kids are adorable.  We stayed with my grandma and both my mom's sisters who all share a big house together in southern California.  I'm not sure how many times someone told me my kids were darling but you know what?  It never got old :)  Also, every time I turned around someone was feeding my kids whatever they wanted-- less responsibility for me!

4) Have older kids there for them to play with.  Alright, this is probably not within your control, but it still made my vacation better.  My kids got to play with some of their second cousins, all of whom are several years older (two 8 year olds, two 6 year olds) and it was great.  Not only did we not have to worry what was going on with the older kids watching out for them, Kalena was thrilled every time she got to play with her "best friends" as she called them.

5) Don't plan anything.  We went there with the sole purpose of visiting family and that is exactly what we did.  Visited with family.  It was great.  No long drives to outings, no worrying about where or when my kids would nap, no expensive day trips that the kids won't remember.  I highly recommend this method of vacationing.

Vacations like this leave plenty of time for the good stuff: lounging around.

That's the way vacations should be.

Friday, August 5, 2011

I'm not even sure that kind of thing is genetic

It looks like Kalena may have inherited my love of the written word.  She wanted to read today, so I told her to pick a book and bring it over.  This is the stack she brought me:

Her insistence on taking books to bed every night might have been another clue...

Thursday, August 4, 2011

In the interest of full disclosure

We had to get up in the middle of the night to make our morning flight today.  See, the flight was at 7, which meant we needed to be at the airport at 5.  And my grandma and aunts live in Beaumont which is about an hour and a half drive (no traffic) from LAX.  So we had to get up at 3, load the car and leave by 3:30 am.  Fortunately, even in LA you can count on very little traffic at 3:30 in the morning.

Anyway, we got to the airport at 5, and when we went to check in I opted to check the car seat since I had no worries about getting it back at the Grand Junction airport.  For those of you unfamiliar with the Grand Junction airport, it's small.  Like, our mall is bigger (and our mall isn't big.)  Even if you're the last one off the plane you can make it to the baggage claim before the baggage does.  And you guys?  The lady checking us in offered to check both our bags for free!  She took pity on us hauling around two small kids.  We definitely took her up on that offer and it made going through security and getting to our gate and on our flight SO MUCH EASIER.

So now you know.  Not everyone at Allegiant sucks.

Tuesday, August 2, 2011

Allegiant customer service

I just want to throw this out there since I didn't add it in my Allegiant Ordeal post.  The Allegiant customer service number is:


The baggage service number/lost and found number is:


These are the only phone numbers listed anywhere on their website and I only found them after some digging.  Under the FAQ "Who can I contact about a problem I had on a flight?" they offer an address.  So I suppose according to Allegiant procedures I should have driven home illegally, without Will in a car seat, and then MAILED THEM A LETTER.  Why didn't I think of that?

Anyway, I can't vouch for the baggage service number since I didn't have that one in my phone and it wasn't listed ANYWHERE at the airport.  But I definitely recommend that you write down both these numbers if you're flying Allegiant.  Even if you think you don't have any checked bags.  Because, you know, *we* were going to avoid baggage claim.  HA HA HA.  Oh.

Monday, August 1, 2011

What's a cabin in the woods without some time on the lake?

No mountain vacation is complete without spending a little time on a mountain lake, right?  So while in Estes we headed down to the marina and rented a pontoon boat.  Kirsta got behind the wheel and we headed out for a lovely time on the water.  

Then like 7 minutes in Amelia got sea sick and we had to turn around.  But we dropped Kari and Amelia off and went back out for a wonderful, you know, 12 minutes.  After that the kids were tired of it.

Even before we left the dock Amelia looked a little suspicious of the whole thing.

The kids took turns helping Kirsta pilot the boat.  That was the best part, obvs.

See how thrilled the are to be enjoying such a wonderful ride?

Seriously, who gets sick on a pontoon boat?  Oh well.  It was fun anyway.