Friday, November 30, 2007

She's Back!

I haven't written about it on here yet, but I was going to do a post today lamenting what we thought was the loss of our cat. Grumpy has been with us for seven years, since she was a kitten and I was pregnant with Alayna. Her name is due to an accident she had the day we took her in...She was licking a cat food can clean and a gust of wind blew a piece of plywood over, landing on her little body. She was fine, but her lower lip was cut and separated from her gums, making her constantly look crabby and pouty. So, we took her in and her name became Grumpy.

Throughout the years, we have had many changes when it comes to Grumpy. She was born a barn cat, really, then we took her in. She was indoors for three years, then went outside for a year before we moved to our current house. She became an indoor cat again, but started having issues with heat cycles, staying off of counters, and using her litter box instead of the sandy crawl space. So, out she went again. Grumpy has since had 2 litters of kittens, so 4 of those cats are still hanging around. But, if you ask me, they are just pets. Grumpy is still a member of our family.

So why do I say "she's back!"? Because Andy and I both noticed a few days ago that we hadn't seen Grumpy for a few days. We also noticed that a few days earlier, we had both seen a pair of bald eagles in the trees near our home. So I watched for her everyday, called her name when she didn't show for dinner, worried over my cat's disappearance. I had just told my good friend today that I think it's time we admit that something must have happened to her, and she wasn't coming back. Then, I went outside to help out my daycare mom and there was Grumpy! She ran to me, meowing and wanting to be held. She's skinny and has some sores on her sides, but she's alive and she's back. I'm so happy and I can't wait for the girls to see her (Lilly was napping and Alayna is at school) And so that you can all fully rejoice with us, here's a pic of Grumpy that I took last spring. She's such a cuddle bug and really a good cat. People always comment on how interesting her coloring is (and if anyone wants a cat that looks just like her, she has a baby that's her twin!)

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Almost a year...

I have been thinking about our upcoming month and one week, and to be honest, my head is spinning. I got thinking about it all this morning when I realized that today, Mikayla is 11 months old. Yup, my baby is almost a toddler. I don't want to admit it, but I've been told that there's no denying it. She is such a good baby, and she's my last baby, so I have problems letting go of the fact that she's not going to be a baby much longer. I was hoping she'd stay that way forever. But, that's not possible. And I have a feeling that with all we have planned in the next few weeks, she'll be one before I know it.

In the next five weeks, we have some HUGE things happening in our house. Today is Mikayla's 11 month birthday, Sunday we have a double birthday party, next Sunday is Alayna's Sunday School program (in which she's Mary and sings a solo! check back for video in a few weeks) and another birthday party, the following Thursday is her school program, then that Saturday we are going to the Trans-Siberian Orchestra concert. Following that is Andy's family Christmas that we are hosting on the 22nd, then Christmas Eve with both sets of parents, and Christmas Day with my side of the family-which we are hosting. Are you all still with me? Because then we hit Mikayla's first birthday on the 29th, New Years, Alayna starts back to school, and then Miss Alayna turns 7 on Jan 6th. I'm not ready to admit to that one, either...

So, please wish me well in the upcoming weeks. Scattered in there we are hoping to go to the Holidazzle Parade and Macy's 8th Floor, a friend is having a murder mystery party that we're still not sure if we'll make, and I have a pile of presents that I need to wrap. I am so in need of a personal assistant-anyone want to apply for the job? It doesn't pay anything, but I'll love you tremendously!

Monday, November 26, 2007

Christmas time is here!

I hope you all had great Thanksgivings. Ours was wonderful and we had two different dinners over two days, so I stuffed myself silly twice! What more can you ask for your favorite meal?

And now that Thanksgiving has come and gone, I can focus on Christmas! I LOVE Christmas. We started with our decorating on Thursday night, putting up the non-tree decorations. We have our Gingerbread village up, the various knick-knacks that replace some pictures on the shelf, our pine garland on the multiple stair rails, the stocking are hung...but not by the chimney because we don't have one of those. We go with the stairs. The only thing that was left were the trees.

So yesterday afternoon (after a crazy-hectic morning and early afternoon) we set out to the tree farm to cut down our trees. We tried a new farm that was closer to home than the one we've always visited. It was nice, but we could tell the guy was in a middle stage. Most of the trees were either too big or too small. In a few years, he'll have a great supply again.

But, we did find two trees that worked and looked great. Only we didn't really test them that well before we cut them down. We got them home and went to trim the one, and it was the prickliest tree ever. I'm not kidding you. This thing is half cactus. But, we donned our gloves and trimmed it to size. The girls were so excited to put on the lights, beads and ornaments. Lilly was most excited about putting the train around the tree and has asked at least 1,539,867,430 times since last night if she can turn it on. Guess what's hiding in my closet for her for Christmas?

The second tree is great and while trimming it to size, both Andy and I commented on how nice and soft this tree was. It was no problem to hold, manage and move around-even without gloves. Well, that softness is great for feeling, but not so great for ornaments. The branches are also soft and they just bend and droop with the heavier ornaments. But, we made things work and tried to put the heavier ones up top.

Both trees are now beautifully decorated and standing proudly in our living and family rooms. I've been impressed with my daycare kiddos today, because I've only had to warn once or twice about touching the tree. I really hope that I'm not jinxing myself by typing that out. We shall see!

Saturday, November 24, 2007


I turned the girls into elves, so here's a little ditty from them. They want to watch it over and over and over again, so beware if you have kids watching with you.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! I hope and pray that you all have wonderful days filled with safety, love, happiness, joy and all of those things that you are thankful for. Personally, I know I'm going to have a good day. Thanksgiving meal, as a whole, is my favorite meal. I just love the combinations of the turkey, mashed potatoes, gravy, green bean casserole, dinner rolls, corn & broccoli bake, etc. Notice I didn't say pie? I despise pie. But we usually have a Thanksgiving cheese cake or something that more than fills the pie void.

So what am I thankful for? I'm thankful for my wonderful husband, who always does what he can to support our family and give us the life that we want. He sacrifices a lot of things so that he can work extra, and I am forever grateful for that. He also makes sure to give me time to be someone other than Mom, which is wonderful. I am thankful for the 3 beautiful, healthy children that I have to hug, kiss and be with each and every day. I am thankful for all of my wonderful family and friends. I am thankful that my dad is okay after his fall and that it wasn't more serious than it ended up being. I am thankful for the house over my head, the food in my stomach, the clothes on my back...because I know that many people in the world don't have those things. I could go on and on, but I really don't have the time or the energy to write it all down. I have so many wonderful blessings in my life that I am thankful for!

Happy Thanksgiving to you all!

Monday, November 19, 2007

Uno Attack!

The girls have been on a huge Uno Attack kick and want to play it every night. This is quickly becoming Lilly's favorite game, as she loves to match up the colors and numbers. It's a great learning experience for her, too, as we talk about how she just laid down a '5' or an '8'. She's quickly learning more of her numbers. But, she doesn't totally grasp the concept of the game, either. She knows she wants to be the first one with no cards left, but she gets disappointed when she hits the button and doesn't get any cards.

Friday, November 16, 2007

Hermit crab?

Mikayla was crawling all over last night, playing with everything. Apparently she tried to pull up on Alayna's mini papason chair, but the chair won and flipped over on top of her. I didn't see any of this, because I was up in the kitchen getting a glass of milk. Anyway, Andy called my attention to the living room and asked where the camera was. My interest was piqued, so I had to see what was going on. As you will hear, I was laughing so hard that when I talked, I sounded like I had recently been huffing helium (as if I don't hate the sound of my voice on video enough) Anyway, here's our cruel parent moment for the next month or so. Come on, you know you would have taken video, too!

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Oh My Goodness!

Mikayla is a funny little girl. She loves to be moving and doesn't like to sit still. She does her army crawl faster than seems possible without getting rug burn, she can't get herself into a sit from her belly because she's too impatient, she loves to pull up on things, and if you try to make her sit when she wants to stand, she will make her entire body go ram-rod straight until you give in, because she won't.

So last night I was sitting on the floor, playing with Mikayla, and she was in a standing mood. She's doing very well with her standing and balance, so I let go and she stood there for a few seconds. Before we knew it, she took off and took 4 steps towards Andy, stopping at his knee. Andy and I both looked at each other like, "Did she just do that?" then went ape like dorky parents do. We clapped and made a big deal, Mikayla clapped and squealed at herself, Alayna and Lilly came rushing down from brushing their teeth to see what the fuss was. So, like the dorky and normal parents that we are, we prompted her to walk back and forth between us several more times. I would say that she took 3-5 steps by herself on at least 8 different attempts. But the other big thing is, she would catch her balance and right herself most of the time when she'd start to fall!

Now I know that this seems early, and believe me, we're not proclaiming her a walker just yet. But, Alayna took off on Thanksgiving Day 2001 and hasn't stopped since. If you do the math, her birthday is January 6th, so that put her at 10.5 months old. Mikayla is December 29th. Yup-10.5 months old. We shall see...

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

First time in the snow this season

Our snow last Friday stuck around longer than we had anticipated. It was still there Friday after Alayna got home from school, so she and Lilly were able to play in it. Some had melted, but there was enough that they still had fun. It actually stuck around until late morning on Saturday. Here are some pics and funny videos...I apologize on the pics and the fact that they aren't closer. I was taking them from the back door, and I wasn't about to step into the snow barefoot.

Sunny thought that Alayna was going to throw a snowball for her, but in reality she was starting her snowman
This is Lilly making a snow angel...
Eating the snow...
Alayna's snowman, which didn't get very big because when you get off the bus at 4:10 and it gets dark at 4:45, you don't have much time!
And these videos are so funny. The girls would go down the slides and go sailing across the ground. Seriously, these videos don't do it justice because the first few times they would go much further on their feet. By the time I got the camera going, they had worn down some of the snow at the ends of the slide.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Update on Dad

We went down to the hospital yesterday and watched the Packer/Viking game with my dad. And oh, what a good game it was...Anyway, Dad was doing really well. He was up and moving around, eating, feeling good. We're hopeful that he can come home today, as the docs made it sound pretty promising. Of course, he still has a long road ahead of him, including sleeping with his back brace on for the next 6 wks (comfortable, huh?) but just being home will be great.

While at the hospital, I got a call that Andy's uncle Bill had been airlifted to the same hospital my dad was at for a heart attack. Once the game was over, we went to visit Bill and see how he was doing. He was out of surgery and feeling great, he said, joking with everyone, including the nurses and doctors. Lilly said he didn't look like uncle Bill, so he took a hat from Will, put it on his head and then Lilly said it was, indeed, uncle Bill. We're hopeful that he will be home in a few days, too, but thankfully he seems to be okay.

Needless to say, I think I've had enough health/hospital drama to last me awhile. Andy's gramma is also going in for a routine knee-replacement this Wednesday, so I've had enough. No else one is allowed to get sick, hurt or hospitalized for quite awhile. So if you are reading this, consider yourself warned.

The Lion King

Saturday afternoon, Alayna and I joined our friends Jill, Mary and Karla, my aunt Diane, my cousin Kelly, and my mom for a matinee of Disney's The Lion King for it's 10th anniversary celebration of being on Broadway. It was phenomenal!

Alayna had been excited and every day for the past week, had done a countdown to The Day. She would wake up in the morning, look at her calendar and say, "Only 3 days until Lion King, Mom!" When Saturday arrived, she literally came running into my bedroom at 7:45 and exclaimed, "Today is Lion King!!" She could barely contain herself. The whole drive into the city, she asked if we were there yet, how much longer? When we got to the theatre, she stared in awe at all of the seats, the fancy ceilings, the crowds of people. She couldn't take it all in fast enough. She wanted to sit on the aisle seat so she could see better, so we all obliged and let her be the tail of our group.

When the lights started to dim, I thought she was going to wet herself, seriously. She was so excited. Well, for those of you who haven't seen the theatre production, they start out the show with The Circle of Life and various animals actually come down the aisles, through the seats, and walk up to the stage. At one point, Alayna looked over and right next to her was a huge costumed elephant-4 people, one for each leg!

As the show went on, I found myself watching Alayna more and more, and the actual show less and less. The excitement and wonder in her eyes was so great to see. She was tapping her fingers, bouncing her feet, nodding her head along to the music. She would laugh hysterically at the funny parts and stare wide-eyed at the dramatic parts (like the stampede-which was amazing!) Throughout the show, she would comment on scenes that were different than the movie, things that Lilly or Daddy would love, costumes that were "really cool."

When it was all done, she asked if we could go see it again. She actually wanted to see the showing at 7:00, but I told her that wouldn't be a possibility. But next time it came to the area, we would try to get tickets.

For those of you who haven't seen it, I would definitely recommend getting tickets. The costuming is amazing. You see the human forms, but they are easily overlooked by the incredible costumes that they are sporting. They are all humanoid, yet lifelike to the animal. My favorites had to be the giraffes, followed closely by the hyenas. But really, they were all so inventive, creative and amazing. I know that in our group, the entire production received 16 thumbs up.

Friday, November 9, 2007

Look what we got!

This pic was taken this morning at about 7:15. The girls (and me!) were so excited to see snow. We had some light flurries the other day, but it was all barely noticeable and nothing stuck to the ground.

This one was taken about 8:00 or so. Lilly is going nuts, she wants to play outside soooo badly. But I have the 2 babies here for daycare, so maybe once they nap I can let the big kids outside for a bit. We'll see.

This one was taken at 8:30! I am really getting into a Christmas mood now. I know the snow will be gone today, probably by noon, but I don't care. I LOVE snow.

And this is just our funny dog. Sunny also loves snow and was running up and down the driveway, scooping up the snow as she went. She'd then toss her head into the air, like she was having a snowball fight with herself. It's still snowing, and I just checked the deck railing. I'd say we have close to an inch. Oh, and for all you fair weather people, it's only 30 degrees out there at 9:15. LOVE it!

Right now... dad is having back surgery. Please say a little prayer that everything will go well. Also, if you wouldn't mind, please say a prayer that he will follow all doctor's orders for his recovery. He's kind of a stubborn person (I say that in a very loving way) and likes to push the envelop a bit. I keep reminding him that if he wants to be able to hunt, fish, camp, snowmobile, lift his grandchildren, etc, that he needs to follow those orders to a T.

So, for those of you who don't know my dad, here's a pic of him with Mikayla on Father's Day.

Dad, I'm thinking and praying for you! I hope that everything goes well. I know you won't be able to read this, but we'll be down tomorrow and we'll for sure be there on Sunday to watch the game (GO PACK!). Take care, let mom and the nurses do things for you, and I'll see you soon. Love you!

Thursday, November 8, 2007

It's always something, isn't it?

When I was younger, I couldn't wait to have a family and own a house that I could call my own (well, besides that darn bank that really owns it) I dreamt about that day and could hardly wait. I knew that I'd want this type of carpet, that color of walls, these certain appliances, etc. It would be this many bedrooms, this many baths, this type of lay-out. It was, in essence, my dream home.

Then the reality sets in and you are an adult with a family and a house, though not necessarily your dream home-that one was too expensive. But the house that you have is great and holds a very special place in your heart. You still want those carpets or appliances, but you can't afford them all at once. And you don't want those carpets until the kids get older, anyway, so you are stuck with the burnt orange, circa 1979 floor coverings that were there when you moved in. You don't care if they get spilled or peed on while the kids are still learning how to be "big." It happens and the carpet will be removed in a few years anyway. As for the appliances, it's all in due time, I'm told. Technically, the oven still works, even if it's only 3 of the 4 burners on the stove and the oven itself heats unevenly. Besides, the money for a new oven needs to be used to fix the toilet that won't stop running or to buy fuel to heat the house in those bitter winters. As long as the oven works for basic functions, it's fine and doesn't need replacing.

Now don't get me wrong, I love my house and I love owning a house. It's just that lately it seems like there's always something happening. Our toilet upstairs was running non-stop, so we needed to put the kabash on that right away. However, it wasn't right away enough and in my no-sleep-in-two-nights stupor I missed the bottom step at 4am when heading to the bathroom and banged my arm really hard. Needless to say, the toilet was fixed that night after some...shall we say gentle?...prodding on my part. Some may call it demanding, but that's neither here nor there.

Andy and I are also having a small debate on the future of the house in the next 3 years. We have decided that by the time Lilly starts school, we will be putting on an addition so that the girls can have their own bedrooms. I have my idea of how to do it, and Andy has his. Of course, mine is the most logical and flows the best with the rest of the house and Andy's just doesn't, but he'll come around to my way of thinking soon enough if he knows what's good for him. LOL That's also when we'll put in those carpets that I've always wanted, and re-side the house, and get central air, and put a fireplace in the living room...I have it all figured out. Maybe I haven't gotten too far away from that little girl who dreamt about her perfect dream house after all.

Monday, November 5, 2007

November is here

November has hit Wisconsin. There were some questions on how it would be, too, thanks to our weather so far this year. We had a wet spring, followed by an extremely dry summer, a soaking early fall, and an Indian summer-like late fall. But November has come and it feels like...well, November. Finally, a month that is just like it's supposed to be.

Our highs for the next four days are forecasted to be near 40, with night-time lows in the 20s and high teens. I know that to many of you, that sounds ridiculously cold. But to us, it's a good sign. A sign that the changing seasons will soon be upon us, bringing deer hunting season, Thanksgiving, winter, Christmas and New Years. And in our family, 2 little girls' birthdays, too.

I personally love this time of year. I am a Thanksgiving and Christmas fanatic and love everything about the holiday season-the temps, the sights, the smells, the sounds, the traditions and services. I could go on and on. I'm already thinking Thanksgiving and beyond. Thanksgiving dinner is my all-time favorite meal as a whole and I can hardly wait 3+ weeks for it (minus the pie, of course). I also love laying in bed that morning, watching the parade with the girls and Andy (if he's not out hunting) And I have committed myself to getting as much done for Christmas as possible before December so that I can more thoroughly enjoy all that December and Christmas have to offer. Then there's Mikayla's first birthday, New Year's and Alayna's 7th birthday. Three very important events in a little over a week. Needless to say, I'm getting very excited for the next two crazy, busy months.

So Happy November to everyone out there! I hope you all have a great time prepping for the upcoming holidays!

Friday, November 2, 2007

Halloween Pics

I'm very ashamed to admit that I didn't get that many pictures of actual Trick-or-Treating. It was just so much work to get everyone out of the car, up to the door, use their manners, back in the car, buckled up, and on to our next destination... x 15. But, I got a lot of pictures at the Halloween party last weekend. Anyway, here are some from Wednesday night that I shot while still at home.

Thursday, November 1, 2007

Trick or Treat!

I was going to upload some pics, but apparently Blogger is having issues, because I'm getting an error message before I even can select my pics. So, until it's fixed I'll leave you with this Lilly funny from this morning.

L: Mommy, if I pull down your underwear, can I get something good?

M (in disbelief): What was that?!

L: If I pull down your underwear, can I get something good?

Thank you, older school-aged children, for those wonderful learning experiences that you give our younger children. Alayna had the joy of learning the great song "Trick or treat, smell my feet, give me something good to eat. If you don't, I don't care, I'll pull down your underwear." We told Alayna that it was inappropriate to sing, but apparently we didn't catch her in time. And Lilly has a memory like a steel trap.

Once I corrected Lilly, gave her an M&M or two, and stopped laughing, I had to call Andy and tell him since he was on break at the time. His response? Something I can't post here. But he's a man, my name is Candy, and I'm sure you can all figure it out on your own...