Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Zeb had his first day of school this week. He was so excited and so ready!  And poor little Ikey screamed and WAILED as we drove away. 'Zeeeeeeebbbbbby!  Zeeeeeeeebbbbbby!".  I think he actually enjoyed the time without his bro once he settled down a little.
We are doing a preschool co-op with some friends here from church. It's only once a week and it's free and, so far, Zeb LOVES it.  I meant to take picture of the projects he brought home, but by the time we made it home Ike was cranky and we were all hungry. I'll get pictures next week.

Having Kent gone again is lame-o. More than anything I'm super bored again.  However- he LOVES Dayton and I couldn't be happier about that :)   I keep telling him that he doesn't have to love Dayton just for me so I'm hoping he isn't fibbing to me and he really does love it.  It's green. The weather is almost perfect. He said they have the biggest nicest cleanest Meijer that he's ever seen and that there's a Sonic right in front of Meijer.  There's no ridiculous traffic. Sounds perfect to me. Oh- and he loves the program thus far. That's a pretty important thing about Dayton, too. It's half civilian/half military so it gives him the best of both worlds and experience in both sectors.
And I thought I should include this picture. We found it on our little point and shoot that Kent used for a few shots. I think it's terrible of me- but it does show just how truly terrified I also was.  Plus- for those of you that think we were abusing our children- we did it to ourselves as well (and that makes it okay).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

We have been super busy the past few days having fun, celebrating our anniversary, and getting Kent ready to leave again!  

We went to the family fun fair at the YMCA  and the kiddos had  a blast.  Zeb ended up with FOUR new 'pets'.  He played a bunch of games to earn tickets to get prizes.  'Mystic' the unicorn is his favorite?!  He's such a goofy kid.

For our anniversary it was just nice to have Kent HOME!  we went to breakfast at this crazy place in town.  We had thirty bucks in free gift cards (kent got through school functions) to a local breakfast place so we dropped the kiddos off at a friend's house and went to breakfast together.  I've also been wanting some nice candles for AGES and kent got me three of these fabulous ones from bath and body works for the price of one.  He knows that I love to get gifts- but it's even better if he gets a good deal on them :)
The evening of our anniversary I went to the general relief society broadcast and Kent cleaned the entire house and made a texas sheet cake.  It was perfect.  He also got up with the kiddos EVERY night he was home.  Strangely enough, the entire month he was gone to texas we only had ONE bad night- but while he was home there must have been at least six or seven!!  Kent says it's because I must just sleep through the shrieks and moans.

Today before church we went out to the park and FROZE.  I think it's time for me to put my flip flops away for good. 
These boys are so funny when they play together.  Usually Ike is trailing behind Zeb as he runs off from place to place.
I love this picture.  Zeb is showing Ike where they are on the map and where they need to go on their adventure! His imagination is EXPLODING.  He loves to go on 'adventures' at the park and draw all sorts of maps.
Tonight as Kent was leaving I told Zeb to say good bye to him one last time and he responded that "Kevin needs to say goodbye too, mom".  Kent asked him who Kevin was and he pointed right next to himself and said "He's Kevin, he's right here. His birthday is today and he's five years old".  I have NO idea where he got the name Kevin or when he started playing with him- but it kind of creeps me out.  He even made me put on Kevin's pjs and brush his teeth tonight. WEIRD.
And here's Ike trying his darndest to hang on to this contraption.  He didn't want anyone touching him while he hung there. I'm still shocked at how physical this kid is. he can already jump and get both feet off the ground! Zeb was at least two before he could do that! although he's not nearly as good with letters as zeb was. Ike still thinks that every letter is a 'b' and Zeb had already moved from upper case to lower case letters at this age!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

best ten bucks EVER.

Have I mentioned that I have an unhealthy infatuation with "Groupon"?  The first thing I think about when I wake up in the morning is the new day's deal.  Sometimes I'll even get up at midnight to see what it is!

A few weeks ago we purchased a family pass to the African Wildlife Safari Park in Port Clinton for a mere ten bucks.  It's the best ten bucks we've spent in a long time. I would even venture to say that the craziness we experienced would have been worth FULL price had we paid it.  And I rarely think anything is worth full asking price!

I took hundreds of pictures- literally.  I've included a small (comparatively) smattering of them.  I hope that you they paint a small picture of the joy we experienced.  

Of all the pictures I took, this is possibly my favorite. It describes our day perfectly.  A mix of terror, amazement, and stupefaction combined with pure amusement (kent and I were amused anyway!). 
This one tells the story, too.

As soon as we entered the safari gates (think tall giant reinforced gates like those on Jurassic park!!) we were literally AMBUSHED by the most ridiculous herd of female elk you've ever seen.  Holy Smokes.  They need to have some warning that informs you to NOT unroll ALL four of your windows at once. We seriously were under attack from every side.  The kids were SOBBING.
Kent and I were beside ourselves laughing. We couldn't roll up any windows.  We couldn't drive forward or back because we were surrounded and we were all being squished.  I'll be honest- I usually laugh really hard when I shouldn't.  This was one of those times. I'd be lying if I told you I wasn't quite terrified myself.

Somehow I pushed giant elk heads out of the car while Kent tried his best to inch forward and inch the widows up.  After a few minutes of terror- we got passed the 'elk zone'.

Next came the little deer looking critters.  They are all from Africa so I'm assuming they aren't deer- but we'll call them that to make things easier.  These little guys were really cute and far less combative.  They loved nibbling on the free pellets we got to hand out.  They waited their turn and didn't try to steal fingers.

Ike definitely enjoyed these guys the most.  I think it helped that they were too small to fit entire body segments in our car.  Some of them could barely reach the windows.
Next came the llamas and alpacas. Or at least what looked like llamas and alpacas.They were nice- but Zeb was still scared by the elk behavior and didn't want any more animals in the car. He was full of all sorts of requests.   "Would you please just put up my window, dad?"  "can we please just go to the zoo instead, dad?"  "I'm all finished with the African Safari now, dad"

This guy was Kent's favorite. 

We quickly entered another danger zone.  All sorts of animals with really large horns and really big bodies. Buffaloes/bison, these giant things that looked like texas longhorns, and some unidentified antlered creature.

We were worried that this guy was going to damage the car. I bet his horn span was six feet.

And the buffalo/bison were just humongous.  When we went around a second time we made sure to keep our windows closed around these guys.  They were just too big and could have literally picked up our car.

They had carrots you could buy to feed the animals- but they were priced like gold.  Luckily I'd read reviews ahead of time and we'd come prepared with our own bags of carrots.
I'm really glad we did bring our own carrots- because they saved the best animals (the giraffes) for last and they would ONLY come to your car for carrots. They wouldn't take the pellets.
I could not believe how close we could be to the giraffes. They were AMAZING and SO BIG!!  This guy was trying to eat my camera.
Both boys actually really loved the giraffes until this one tried to lick zeb's stomach. He was all smiles until that tongue went crazy.
 He was really just trying to get the carrot- but Zeb was too scared to figure out that he just needed to let it go.
here's a shot of the giraffe coming in past me in the front seat to get a carrot from Kent. Check out that tongue!!  I was close enough to see the saliva.
and check out the eyelashes.  These creatures are really really amazing.  And so so big.
 Our afternoon was so much fun.  I'm pretty sure Zeb will remember it forever.  We figure since he's three- and the day was so eventful/traumatic/fun- it will probably be one of his first good memories :)
Our car is now in desperate need of a car wash and vacuum but we all had such a blast. I haven't laughed that hard in a long time!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Everybody keeps asking what we've been doing since Kent's been home!  I feel like we should be doing all sorts of exciting things- but the best part of having him around is just relaxing.  Today we put the kids down for nap/quiet time and we just sat in bed and read.  It was heavenly.  I love that right now he has no tests to study for- no crazy long days anywhere- and nothing early in the morning. We can stay up late watching movies, reading books, and eating ice cream. It's fabulous.

We have been using a few of the gift cards we've had sitting around. Last week went to Granite City Brewery w/o kids and this week we celebrated the completion of Kent's colon fast with a trip to Texas roadhouse.  Kent was only a few hours post procedures so he was still a little tired- but very hungry :)  Zeb LOVES to talk to him with his tongue sticking out. It's this funny little language they have.
 The kiddos are loving the time with Kent.  Early in the morning Ike shouts 'daaaaddy' from his crib. Zeb demands that all of his questions be answered by dad only.  They also both prefer he pushes the shopping cart.

It's also really nice to have kent here to help clean up messes.  The other day we heard Ike shake something out of a bag and then found this. He loves pushing around his favorite objects in this stroller. Usually it's just balls, bobo, or trains and racecars.  This time it happened to be Quaker Oat Squares.  He is such a rascal.
 We've also just been sticking to our regular schedule.  We do walking group and playgroup- and still go the Y a lot. I've loved being able to go to book club and cooking groups without stressing about a babysitter!

Today at walking group we found a snake on the trail. The kiddos loved it. Most of the mothers did not.
 I picked it up so Ike could have a turn holding it- but it just kept trying to slither into his shorts. He finally grabbed it and just chucked it out of the stroller as far as he could. 

Monday, September 20, 2010

I realize that I talk about it incessantly- but I love this time of year. Who could live happily in a world (or state!) with no autumn?! I'd be depressed.   Leaves are starting to fall. Apple picking is in full swing. The aromas of pumpkins and cinnamon and cider are beginning to fill houses and grocery aisles. 

Our Halloween decorations are out and Halloween planning is in the works! However, in all the fabulousness of the season I have realized that I need help!! Does anybody have any suggestions for costumes? for kent and myself.   I know what the kids are going to be (does any body have an extra Mike Wazowski costume for a little boy that I could borrow?! I'm going to have to make one if I can't find one to borrow!) but Kent and I have NO ideas on what to dress up as.

Last year we went as infectious diseases (swine and bird flu).  I thought they were pretty good.

We'd love to do another couples costume- but I'm at a loss for ideas.  We need easy/inexpensive but clever.  Any suggestions? what's the best couples costume you've seen?  send all of your great ideas our way, please :)  Mom- I know you've got to have some good ideas!!  I'd be willing to swap ideas we've already used in the past for any ideas you are willing to share.

Thursday, September 16, 2010

I'm not sure why he's smiling in this picture. I've been borderline vomiting all night as Kent has diligently slurped down his gallon of 'go lightly'. Not to mention he's been on a liquid fast all day today.  I'm never getting a colonoscopy. Seriously .

Tomorrow morning Kent's going in for an egd scope (down the esophagus) and a colonoscopy.  The fabulous double whammy.  Hopefully he can get some answers to his plaguing GI issues!  All of his trouble today had better not be in vain! 

The rest of us had a pretty pleasant day today!  We went to the park this morning with friends and got soaking wet in all of the puddles.  Good thing Zeb has galoshes.

He's been so grown up lately.  He's very independent and has a wild imagination. And he's getting funnier.

This kid is getting harder by the day! He's in full 'scream' mode. One day at the Y kidzone this week he got THREE timeouts. The employees did tell me that "luckily he was just screaming at and hitting Spencer".  Spencer is his pal from church and they know I'm friends with his mom so I guess that makes it better :) Sorry, Cyndi!  I guess I am glad that he's not attacking some stranger with an overcrazed protective mom!
Here he is swinging and getting SOAKING wet this morning, too.

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Here are some pics from our favorite free family fair! Every year the local Lutheran retirement village puts on a HUGE fair. Everything is free and buckets of fun. They've even got tons of food and prizes.

This is the first year Zeb has let them paint his face. He asked for a green snake with blue spots!
and he always loves the pony rides.
The kiddos won these glasses at a bean bag toss.  I love their faces.
And here they are at the Air national guard booth flying a jet.
It was the perfect day for the event. We went in the morning- headed home for naps- and then went to the airport to get Kent! I'm glad we had something in the morning to keep us busy that day.

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Welcome home, Lt. Miller!

I feel like we're on the home stretch! Kent leaves again in a couple weeks- but this time it's only to Dayton (2.5 hrs away) so hopefully we won't go an entire month without seeing him!  He took his last written boards and got his scores back (way to go, myzh!) and has almost his entire application turned in.  He'll interview down in Dayton and then we wait until December to find out where we'll be going for the next chapter of our lives.  I love the excitement and change- but I get all nervous and sick to my stomach thinking about leaving Toledo. I love this place. I love the people. I love everything about it (minus the humidity).

Last night we went to the airport to welcome home Kent!  It was so great to finally see him!  He ended up having a friend on the flight coming home from his navy duty so I ended up waiting with his wife at the airport!  There was also a family waiting for their son who had been gone to Afghanistan for NINE months.  Our one month was nothing!

The rugrats LOVED waiting for Kent.  Zeb was so excited about holding the sign. When Kent went to hug him he wouldn't put it down.
Both rugrats had the biggest smiles on their faces as soon as they saw him.  The whole airport thing made his departure and arrival FAR more dramatic than your average 'going away for a medical rotation'!  The uniform didn't help much, either :)

I do really love his Blues, though.

Today has been the NICEST Sunday!  The best part about it all was Kent getting up at 5:45 with Ike while I slept until 8!  I missed Kent tremendously (his hugs, holding his hand, talking to him, him tickling my back every night, etc, etc) and I am so happy to have him back.