Tuesday, March 30, 2010

I blog when I'm bored!

and with Kent home the past full four days we haven't been bored in the slightest so I haven't blogged a bit!
we've been working out, cleaning house, running in the park, and playing like crazy (the weather is GREAT!).   Last night we wanted to go and do something crazy- but couldn't come up with much and settled with Chuck e cheese.  I haven't been since I was a kid and I figured that Zeb and Ike would love the place.  We ended up getting a fab coupon online- and then the token machine was broken so the employee gave us TONS of extra tokens.  We'll be able to go back a few times with the ones we didn't use!

My point and shoot camera still takes rotten pictures- so I apologize.  Ike and Zeb LOVED the rides and the games.
and they also loved the creepy singing robots.  Ike couldn't get enough of them.  The whole evening brought back all sorts of strange memories. Espeically the smells of everything!  Every chuck e cheese in the whole world must smell the same.
 We didn't eat there because the food prices are INSANE.  I don't think that Zeb and Ike even knew they had food.  The lights and music and games kept them sufficiently distracted.  The night was well worth the few dollars it cost us.  They especially loved this kiddie roller coaster simulator.
The rest of Kent's spring break should be even more exciting :)  Melynda shows up tomorrow and then we've got all sorts of fun stuff planned!  Hopefully I'll have lots of pictures to post.

Friday, March 26, 2010

sad little monkey

This kid sure knows how to put on a sad face.  We'd been at meijer and he lost his free cookie privilege because he gave me the nasty scream (his new favorite way to try and get my attention when I'm busy).  This was the face he put on when he asked about the cookie AGAIN at home and I reminded him about the bad choice he'd made at meijer.
and a side view just so you can see the lip sticking out. Kent tells me he used to do the same face and his mom would ask if a little bird was going to come and perch on his lower lip.

This monkey was saaaaad.  I hope he remembers the lesson next time he wants to scream at me.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

easter egg hunt

We had our annual easter egg hunt playgroup yesterday and the kiddos had a blast.  This is the first year we've actually been able to do it outside - and it was much better than in the church halls :). And we lucked out that we chose yesterday.  It may possibly snow tonight and the weekend is supposed to be pretty chilly.

Plus, this year Zeb actually had a real easter basket. Last year I got grief for this picture (his plastic sack).  I am a cheapo and sometimes it shows up in my parenting.  But really, I don't think that Zeb noticed either way. 

Zeb continued talking ALL DAY about the eggs he found at the park. Ike just ran around and watched all of the older kids play.  He also found a stash of jelly beans and went HOG wild. It was so sticky and messy.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

our night at the brewery.

I love new adventures and meeting new people and being in new places.  With that being said- living the transient life has it's downsides as well. I feel like as often as I'm making new friends and having great experiences- I'm saying goodbye to friends and experiences as well! I guess that's the trade off.

We went to dinner last night with a group of friends to celebrate birthdays, the arrival of spring, and to welcome the new season of moveouts. A lot of great people are leaving toledo soon and it's terribly sad. Our evening last night, however, was anything but sad.  Who needs alcohol when you can have chocolate cake and good food and great company?!  I guarantee I can laugh as hard and act as stupid as any drunk person.

We missed everybody who couldn't make it! 

Monday, March 22, 2010

I'm finally back to the computer.  We had a wild weekend and I've had a crazy busy day already so far!

I filled out all of my paperwork for my new job!  I'm going to teach a boot camp class- and possibly some cardio circuit or stroller cardio classes at the YMCA. I'm so so excited. I've been wanting a job for some time now- and this will be PERFECT! They'll PAY me to work out and watch my kids for free. You certainly can't beat that deal.

Then I went and got my trash kicked in my art class. I've been taking an adult art class and today was rough. We worked on drawing folds, creases, and other ridiculously hard things.  I'm not sure I've got the patience to be an artist.  One of these days I'll include some of my work, but for now I'm just getting the hang of it. 

Also this morning we sent off Laney, Taylor and Henry. Through sobs zeb managed to squeeze out:  "I want to go to New York with Heeeeenry!!!".  He was devastated as he watched them pull away.  It's kind of sad now that he knows what he's missing with all of his cousins living so far away.

They came for the big birthday weekend and it was wonderful. One of my favorite birthdays yet- and it was even on a sunday! Thank-you EVERYone so much for all of the cards, gifts, well-wishes, etc.  I do love attention on my birthday.

Henry and Zeb loved being together and did really well.  Ike and Henry are actually closer in age- but right now Ike just drives them both bonkers.
When laney got here she told us the real reason that they came was to go to Gap maternity.  She gets a fab discount and it's the closest gap maternity store to Buffalo! Luckily the gap is also near restaurants and we went and celebrated at Red Robin. It was so great.  We didn't take any kids and it was so nice to eat out without them!!  Probably the best gift I got this year. Plus, our meals were FREE. Red robin gives you a whole free meal and ice cream for your birthday. Can't beat that either.  We couldn't get a single decent picture, though.  I'm not sure what the deal is with Laney- but when she comes I can't stop laughing. It isn't like we are laughing about anything that funny, either. We just giggle a lot.
Sunday was perfect, too. Kent did everything. Made breakfast (and got me nutella). Took care of the kiddos at church. Made dinner. Made my birthday cake. And cleaned the house a zillion times, too.  Thanks, ralph. I loved every second.
Zeb LOVED the texas sheet cake, too.  Who doesn't though?  I've got a REALLY hideous picture of Laney and me with the cake but I don't think it needs to be blogged. I'm still considering it for a later date, however.  It's pretty stinking ugly.
 And finally- laney's preggo picture.  I made her make a heart shape on her burgeoning belly.  We are both opposed to hand/heart shapes on the belly AND burgenoning belly pictures for that matter.  I can't believe she even let me take it. She's going to KILL me for posting it.  Happy Birthday, Laney.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ike can't keep his tongue in his mouth!  I don't know if it's because he's just figured it out- or because he's still got a zillion teeth half way in- or what! but he's been walking around with it out ALL day long.
He had his first friends over to play today and couldn't keep his tongue in then, either.  I tried to get a good picture of these three but it was impossible.  They are all just a few months apart- youngest to oldest from left to right. 
 We went to the park after naps and Ike's tongue problem only got WORSE.  He disappeared for a moment and I found him under the playground equipment, LICKING all of the poles. Luckily some friends brought some suckers and one of those kept his tongue busy for quite some time.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Ike, meet the sidewalk.

Ike has entered a whole new world the past couple of days. He's never walked on grass before this week because since he's been walking it's always been covered in snow or too wet and muddy. And now the kid just can't get enough. He begs to get outside. He screams and points to the grass when I carry him to the car. And when I put him down he topples and trips and flips and tips over incessantly- but he loves it nonetheless. Unfortunately he has also come to know the sidewalk quite well. He just can't quite seem to manage the space where sidewalk and grass meet. Even if there's no real height difference and no step- never fail, EVERY time he takes the step from grass to sidewalk or sidewalk to grass- he totally face plants it.

The pictures don't do his face justice. It's pretty sad. I have a feeling it's going to be like this for a few weeks while he gets his "grass legs".

Even Zeb has had a few problems. He's not used to wearing shorts so when he does trip it seems to hurt a lot more and there are more tears.
All in all I think that both kiddos are beyond ecstatic about the warm weather. I am happy.  I hope we don't get hot too fast, though. I need a few months of 50-70 degree weather before the 80s and 90s show up!!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

zuppa toscano

I'm not sure what made me decide to make this- but I did, and I LOVED it. It's Olive garden's Zuppa Tuscona and it's got to be the easiest restaurant copycat recipe ever. I think it tasted spot on and was super easy. We had it with my favorite EASY breadsticks

  • 1 lb ground Italian sausage (I used 1/2 pound)
  • 1½ tsp crushed red peppers
  • 1 large diced white onion
  • 4 bacon pieces
  • 2 tsp garlic
  • 8 cups of water with chicken bouillon (I only used 5 so it was a thicker soup)
  • 1 cup heavy cream  (I used milk and it was delicious!!)
  • 1 lb sliced Russet potatoes, or about 3 large potatoes. (I used red potatoes)
  •  a bunch of chopped kale
cook up the sausage with onions and garlic.  Bring water and potatoes to a boil and cook potatoes.  Once soft- add sausage and seasonings. Cook a few minutes and then add milk and kale. Heat through and let kale soften.

Monday, March 15, 2010

Zeb just wants to clean the house. he asks me everyday what he can do to help. Kent even bought him his own special spray bottle so he can help with the chores. He especially loves to vacuum (funny considering he was terrified of the vacuum for almost two years).  He's no good at it- but it keeps him busy for awhile. 

Oh- and I included the vacuuming in his underwear picture because I have a funny story about him.  This kid was the potty training champ. I shouldn't curse myself- but he was really easy to potty train (maybe it's because I was expecting some tortuous process).  

We were at the gym last week and he told the his "teacher" that he needed to go, so she took him.  He pulled up the step stool- and got all ready by himself- but then decided he was going to pee standing up.  We taught him sitting down and we've been transitioning to standing up (at HOME WITH HELP!) so he decided to try it on his own. I reminded him SEVERAL times that he needed to sit at the gym- but standing is just too much fun I guess.  Needless to say, the kidzone instructor had to come and get me because Zeb peed EVERYwhere. All over the toilet, himself, and the stall WALLS!

 And speaking of bathroom stories- this poor kid has had a hard week- literally. He's been constipated for a few days and it got so bad that I WAS CRYING with him. The poor kid was shaking and sweating and bleeding.  It's all fixed now (thanks to prune juice and LOTS of veggies) but here's a picture of him one day last week when this was the ONLY comfortable position he could find. And then he totally zonked. If you zoom in you can see the fresh tears on his face and in his eyes. Poor little monkey.

Saturday, March 13, 2010

his new favorite thing.

Thanks a lot, kent!  Every time we pass the church (which happens to be frequently since it's so close) Zeb BEGS and BEGS to go drive the car around the parking lot.  And I have to admit- he's actually pretty good.  Plus, I vividly remember my dad letting us drive the car around Starcrest (the apartments where we lived) when I was little and absolutely LOVING it.
Zeb can steer really well- and is great at avoiding the big light poles in the middle of the lot.  He especially loves honking the horn. Luckily he still believes me when I tell him that only dad can help him drive. I told him I don't know how. He asked "why?" (of course) but seemed to buy the excuse.
Last night we visited a friend in the hospital and then Kent relented and took him driving on the way home!  This better mean that Kent is going to take the real lessons in 14 years as well.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

These pictures aren't actually from today but they illustrate my present predicaments perfectly.
Also, let me preface this post with the hope that I'm not the only wife guilty of this act.

I just got off the phone with Kent. My sole purpose in calling him was to allow him to hear the atrocities to which I was being subjected. I wanted him to hear the banshee screaming and listen to the whining "why? why? why?" from our eldest rugrat.  I realize that his afternoon is probably equally as un-enjoyable and long as mine but I still felt the need to make sure he knew just what I was going through :)  Am I the only one that makes these calls now and again?  I think the call was a success. It did make me feel better- and Kent was very empathetic. 

Today is just one of those days where I have everything to do and everywhere to be (although now, at last, all is done for the moment and both squidlets are quietly painting/sleeping) and my kids seemed to be trying their hardest to make sure I couldn't get anything accomplished. 

Zeb has entered the "why" phase. Pretend this picture is of him getting ready to say "but, whyyyyyyyyyyyyy???".   I'd be totally fine if he was asking me real why questions- like "why is the sky blue?" or "why do we have an appendix?"- but instead he just whines "whyyyyyyy?" after EVERYthing I say to him.  Today at Meijer I answered with, "because I'm the boss".  He chirped right back with, "no, I'm the boss".  The lady passing by us laughed out loud.

And this little turkey. The poor guy. I can see three molars coming in right now and he is miserable. It must hurt so bad- and I'm a total advocate of tylenol and motrin- but the stuff just isn't doing it for him.  At least he finally fell asleep.  I just hope they pop through quickly.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

2 signs that it's spring

First- this picture was taken in the MIDDLE of my living room with NO flash.  The sun is finally bright enough to make it past the first few inches of our windows!! It actually fills the house.

 And if it wasn't already obvious-Ike's favorite item of destruction right now happens to be the wet wipe container.  He's pulled out every wet wipe and spread them around the house at least thirty times.

And the second sign that it's spring: After our run OUTSIDE yesterday we PLAYED in the park!  Ike slept through it but Zeb loved every second.  Plus we saw many long lost friends whom we hadn't seen since last Novemberish :)  I miss my park people. 
 In other good news- yesterday Ike found my little temperamental camera in my purse, got it out, and then chucked it onto the kitchen floor. I thought for sure it was finally totaled-only to be pleasantly surprised that it is now working better than ever.  The screen hadn't turned on for a few months which meant that I could take pictures but not see what I was doing or view them afterward. Now it works like a charm. Thanks, Ike.

Welcome, spring!  It doesn't officially start for a few weeks but we'll start the celebrations now.  Especially since my birthday happens to fall on the first day of spring- and birthdays are truly meant to be celebrated ALL month long.  Happy spring and birthday to me (and laney, too I guess).  I'll be posting my birthday wish list soon.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Michigan!!! woohoo.

We trekked up to Grand Rapids, MI for the weekend and had a blast.  Cousins Amy and Craig moved up there just a bit ago and we decided to go and check out their place. The drive was only 2 and a half hours. Have I mentioned how much I love having family on this side of the country?  Sometimes all I need is a little time with family to make life sweeter.  It was so much fun!  This morning as I packed the kiddos into the car to head to the gym, Zeb asked, "can we go to Taylor's house again?".  He loved playing with Katie and Taylor. And Ike and Sophie had their own splendid time.  We did really miss the other starkeys, though. I've become accustomed to visting Amy in Ashland- so we missed yaya and family quite a bit!

Staying with them made Kent and I realize just how nice it would be to have a house! Their place was AMAZING! a toy room, a guest room, a garage, and a yard.  What else could I ask for?!  oh- maybe  a perfectly paved and beautiful running trail right outside their front door! AND it runs along a river.  It was fabulous. I can't wait to go back when it's green.
Ike and Soph are just a month apart. They loved trying to steal each others binks.  and check out Sophie's eyes.  Our kids are all going to be brownies, I'm sure.
Zeb and taylor goofed off and giggled the entire time we were there. Zeb really was meant to have an older sibling.  He did EVERYthing Taylor did.
and here's peanut.
thanks for the fab weekend, guys! We can't wait to see you again soon.

Saturday, March 6, 2010

Yesterday Kent made a surprise lunch visit home.  All of the boys wrestled around for awhile and then Kent had to get ready to head back.  Zeb yelled, "Kent! wait!" (he still will only call him kent) and ran back to his room to get something.
 He came back like this.

He told Kent that he had his "listenscope (that's what he calls a stethoscope) and box" and was ready to go to "school-work" (that's where we say Kent goes every day) and "give people shots".  It was really really cute.  When Kent told him couldn't go because the hospital is a place for sick people, Zeb responded, "I'm sick people".
Kent let him listen to his heart beat and then we walked Kent out to the car and said goodbye. Zeb wanted to go so badly.

Thursday, March 4, 2010

Kent can get our kiddos laughing so hard they can barely stand.

This is downtown by the "slushy ribber" as Zeb calls it. Kent was doing something ridiculous and Zeb was beside himself.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

this kid is BEGGING for spring.

I really need to find my (buy some new) sunglasses. I canNOT believe how bright it was today. Zeb kept reminding me that the sun was up and that we didn't have to go to bed anytime soon. He also asked to go to the park a gazillion times.  We didn't go to the park, but I did take him out to play while Ike took his nap.  It really wasn't warm enough to be in just a short sleeve shirt- but he insisted.  He also insisted on his rain galoshes. With all the melting snow- it  was a perfect day for them.

He ran around and splashed and played like it really was spring and not 37 degrees with lots of snow still on the ground.

I wouldn't mind just one more good storm- but last month was the second snowiest february on record for toledo so I can't complain. Occasionally I get snow for my birthday but we'll have to see what happens this year.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

and here's ike.

This kid drives me bonkers!!!! he never sits still.  I'd say that at least 85% of the pictures I take of him end up blurry.  I took a gazillion on Sunday- and ended up with two. And they aren't even great.

He is very impatient, too. He refuses to sign.  Actually refuses and then throws little fits when I try to get him to do it.  He is starting to talk more, though.  He can say "what's that", "up", and "choo" - along with the basics "mom", "dad", and "ball".  I may be the only person who understands the words when he says them, but he speaks nonetheless.  And he's really really funny. He's going to be the teaser and jokester in the family.  And he's going to continue to make Zeb crazy for the rest of their lives.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Sunday after church we decided to venture out for a drive.  We ended up downtown and decided to check out the old building we'd been to a few weeks ago.  I got a bunch of pictures of Zeb- but almost NONE of Ike.  That kid is nigh impossible right now. Luckily Zeb is a little more cooperative and saves my sanity.

I'd really like to take a photography class so I can get a better handle on lighting and motion and whatnot. I forgot to switch over my images to RAW - so these aren't the best quality- but I still think this kid is mighty cute. 

Plus, this old building was really really cool.  I think Toledo used to be a really great city.  Don't get me wrong- I really do LOVE this city- but downtown is so desolate and dilapidated. It looks like there used to be a lot of great stuff to do and see and it makes me sad that we missed it (by a few decades).
 It really is fun to take pictures when you've got a good camera.  Plus- I am learning more and more about photoshop. I even removed zeb's scab in some of the pictures.  Did you know that there is a feature called 'weight loss' on photoshop?!