Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Right Now

My friend Risa at risakerslakewrites.com recently posted a "Right Now" post. She got the idea from another blogger, who also got the idea from another blogger. So... I'm stealing the idea from Risa, who stole it from someone else, who stole it from someone else. lol. I thought it would be kinda fun to do a post like this every once in awhile.

Right now I am:

Reading: only blogs, and even that's been pretty sporadic. I did actually read a book a real book a few weeks ago, but I also managed to prove why I can't do that right now. I stayed up till 4:00am reading that stupid book. I've always been like that. If I start a book, I. Must. Finish. It. So, reading blog posts here and there is all the reading I do, because they are short and I can be on my way when I need to be.

Watching: This is Us. I'm in LOVE with this show! I also currently watch Outdaughtered. And of course Mickey Mouse Clubhouse is a daily morning ritual.

Listening: "Let It Go music," as the kids call it. It's a daily request. And no, I can't just play the Frozen soundtrack. It has to be the actual Let It Go song, on repeat...

Drinking: Water and Cascade Ice sparkling water.

Eating: We had Annie's Shells and White Cheddar macaroni and cheese tonight for dinner. I was going to make a nice steak dinner, until I realized that I started the marinade too late. So now it's steak and potatoes tomorrow instead and it was simple mac and cheese tonight.

Wearing: Pj bottoms and a feeling lucky, Lucky Charms shirt.

Loving: The sunny weather we've had the last few days! It's been so nice to let the kids play outside again without freezing to death. It's still cold, but in the 40's at least!

Anticipating: We leave for Disneyland a week from today!

Hoping: That the kids sleep until at least 7:00 in the morning. Rylee usually does most days, and Ayden does sometimes, but usually he wakes up any time between 5:45 and 6:30. We had a busy day though, and he didn't take a nap, so fingers are crossed!

Following: It's kind of hard to avoid all of the political stuff right now. I was looking forward to the election being over so we could move on to more fluffy topics on Facebook and Instagram, but then came the inauguration. And then the next day was the Women's March. I realize it's important, but I'd really like everyone to just go back to being friends. I'm tired of the arguing.

Wondering: Will there ever come a point that parenting gets easier???? I thought the tough phases would ebb and flow a bit, but it kind of feels like we just go from one hard phase to the next. Don't get me wrong. There's lots of fantastic moments in there too, but not easy. I can't say there's been an easy phase yet.

Trying: To figure out when I'm actually going to sit down and write Ayden and Rylee's birthday post. It's been a month now...

Worrying: Always about money. Christmas and a 3rd birthday made things tight enough, but then we unexpectedly had to put four new tires on my car. I only went in to get a new battery, but ended up with over $1000 out of pocket instead. Then we've also been hit with close to $1000 in doctor bills this past month too. If I'd known it was going to cost me $200 when I went to the doc in October for my cough that wouldn't go away, I would have sucked it up and toughed it out. We also got a hefty bill for Rylee's eye appointment (that turned out to be unnecessary. Sigh.), and Tony's racked up a few doctor bills as well. Oy.

Planning: To really work on sticking to a budget so we can quit dipping into our savings account, which is supposed to be our down payment to buy a house.

Contemplating: Whether or not to let Ayden and Rylee spend the night at their grandparents next month. MIL has asked for that to happen. This would be their first overnight without at least one of us with them. I'm pretty sure we are ready to let that happen, but our biggest hesitation is that their house is not child proofed. We can't have one of them waking up in the middle of the night or early morning and having free reign in the house. Chemicals under the sinks; furniture not secured... We'll see.

Monday, January 23, 2017

Day in the Life: Winter 2017

I have exactly 1:26 minutes left to get this post done before the deadline! Aaacckkk! I'm joining Julia from My Life in Transition for her quarterly DITL link up. I'd invite you to join as well, but yeah, it's a little late for that. However, you can still do one and post anyway! These DITL posts are some of my favorite to read. I love the sneak peak into everyone's daily life/routines.

I've always wanted to do pick a weekend day for this, but they always end up way to hectic for me to keep track and log throughout the day. I managed to do it this time, although it might be a bit boring as there's barely any family time involved. That's right. I had almost an entire day all to myself. Today was not a typical day...

Sunday, January 22, 2017

Tony: 44 years old (as of yesterday!)
Me: 42 years old
Rylee: 3 years
Ayden: 3 years

I actually got to bed last night at a decent hour and was asleep by 10pm. Unheard of.

4:30am - Tony wakes me up with his snoring. I nudge him a few times and ask him to roll over (he was laying flat on his back), but he didn't budge. I finally decided to just get up, go potty, and go out to the couch so I could go back to sleep.

5:57 - Ayden wakes up crying really hard. I go in and hold him, and ask if he had a bad dream. He says yes, although I'm not really sure he even know what it means to have a bad dream. I take him into the bathroom to go potty and take his pull-up off. Then I take him out to the couch with me, hoping we can go back to sleep for the half hour before my alarm is set to go off. I thought a few times that he actually did go back to sleep, but then he would move and change position, so I knew he was still awake. Which means I was still awake too...

6:30 - I hear Tony awake in the bedroom. Ayden starts to stir and he's ready to get up. I send him in to say good morning to his daddy.

6:44 - I lay my clothes out for the day and jump in the shower. I shave my one leg that I didn't get to do yesterday because Tony took a shower before me and there wasn't enough hot water left! haha

I hurry through the shower, get dressed, and hurried out to tell the kids good bye. I see that Rylee is wearing different pj pants than she went to bed in and ask if she had wet the bed. Tony answered that she had wet her pants, but he wasn't sure about the bed. I rolled my eyes and went in to clear the bed off and put the sheets and blankets in the laundry room. I threw a new mattress protector and sheet on the bed for Tony to make later. Then I gave each of the kids hugs and kisses, grabbed my purse, water bottle, and a Luna bar and headed out the door.

7:25 - got my car started, but ran back into the house to grab the mints I had left on the counter. I always make sure I have mints in the car, because if I ever get sleepy while driving, chewing on them helps keep me awake. I say my goodbyes one more time, jump in the car, and I'm on my way.

Today I'm meeting up with a group of friends from college. I haven't seen them in over 5 years! There's a few that have kept in close contact and see each other regularly. Otherwise, most of us just keep in touch via Facebook and an occasional get together like today.

About 10 minutes down the road, I realize that I haven't taken a picture yet to document the day. I quickly snap a selfie while sitting at a stoplight, hoping nobody sees me taking pictures of myself. Thank goodness it's early and not very many people are on the road yet.

8:40 - I meet up with three of the girls to carpool the rest of the way. I'm so glad I didn't have to drive the whole way by myself, and we had this extra time to visit even more. I've been friends with one of these girls since freshman year of high school.

9:40 - we arrive at our destination, La Provence & Petite Provence, a boulangerie and patisserie. If you're like me, I had to look up what those words even mean. Basically it was a bakery/pastry restaurant type place. We are 20 minutes early, but the place is very busy, which allowed us to put our name in and get a table at our designated meeting time.

10:00 - one more girlfriend from college joins us. We have a lovely time visiting, catching up on our current lives and reminiscing our college days. There are three more girls from our group of friends that aren't able to join us today, that we hope will be able to come to the next get together. We start making plans to meet up on the WOU (Western Oregon University) campus this spring. We joke about how we need to dig out our old roller blades and take a tour of our old stomping grounds. Of course, nobody still has there roller blades, so we'll just take a walking tour instead. Wink, wink. We are so old now that the name of the college has even changed since we went to school there! It was formerly known as WOSC (Western Oregon State College). And actually, if we go back even further before our time, it used to be called Oregon College of Education. And before that, it was the Oregon Normal School. A little history lesson...

11:30 - We all say our goodbyes. Not too far down the road, I realize we didn't all take a picture together! We talked about all of us finding our old pictures and bringing them next time, but we failed to take a current picture. Sigh.

12:25pm - We get back to our meeting point and each get in our own cars. I decide to run into Old Navy real quick, since it's just right across the road. Old Navy is awesome about giving away their hangers, and I need to restock so that I can get ready for the upcoming consignment sale in March. I never feel like I should ask for hangers if I'm not buying anything, so I find a few items on clearance that happened to also be an additional 30% off. When I ask if they have any extra hangers to give away, I'm given a huge bag full!

1:20 - I leave Old Navy and head to visit my mom. She had some pretty severe health issues last week that ended up with her in the hospital. She's now at the Salem Transitional Center to rehab a broken ankle and recover from the back surgery she had a few weeks ago.

1:45 - When I arrive to her room, I find my mom asleep. As soon as I move around the room to sit in a chair, she wakes up. She's doing so much better today! She's convinced she's going to be able to go home by next weekend. Time will tell...

With my mom.
3:20 - Leave my visit with my mom. Before jumping back on the freeway to head toward home, I stop and get a milkshake. I'd like to grab something light and quick to eat, but I don't want fast food, so I settle for a milkshake instead.

4:40 - Pull into Walmart to pick up groceries. I have to remember to pick up some black shoe polish for Tony! Walmart is always packed and it takes me way too long to get all the groceries. While standing in line to check out, I scroll Facebook. I have a friend doing an online LulaRoe party, so I snap a picture real quick of my LLR outfit that I happen to have on and post it, making a joke about being the best dressed person at Walmart.

6:30 - Finally done shopping and head home.

6:50 - Pull into the driveway and unload the groceries from the car. Tony just finished giving the kids their bath and is putting their pj's on. Rylee and Ayden are super excited to see me. Awwww, so nice to be so loved! Tony is feeling DONE from the day and goes into the bedroom for a break and some alone time.

I help the kids pick up their toys. We give each other lots of hugs and have fun taking a few selfies. I can't end the day without a picture or two of my kids, right???

My babies

Making faces
I comb Rylee's hair and we get both of their teeth brushed. Then they pick a book (Beauty and the Beast) and we sit down on the couch to read it together. Part way through the book, Tony comes out of the bedroom and joins us for story time. After we finish that book, they get the truck trader magazines that their Grandpa brought yesterday. I'm not sure why they are so intrigued with "reading" them, but we count the different colored trucks and point out all the dump trucks.

7:25 - They aren't happy when I say it's time to go potty and go to bed, but we somehow manage to get them into the bathroom without too much whining. After saying our bedtime prayers in Rylee's room, they wrestle around for a few minutes instead of giving the hugs and kisses they are supposed to be giving each other. Finally I get Ayden in his room to tuck him in and say goodnight, while Tony tucks Rylee in. Then we switch. Rylee always requires more time from me to give squeezy hugs, let her "do my hair," and sing songs.

7:40 - Leave Rylee's room and start going through all of the toys and books I'll be selling at the consignment sale, and making a list so I can enter them into the computer. Tony starts playing a game of Risk on his old school PlayStation.

7:50 - Both kids are hollering. Tony takes Ayden potty and goes in to see Rylee, but it's me they both want to see. I go in and tuck Ayden in one more time, and then take Rylee potty and tuck her in again. Once that's done, I go back to work on my consignment sale stuff. If I get 30 items entered into the computer tonight, I go into a drawing to possibly earn a higher commission off the stuff I sell at the sale. During this time, I also plug my phone into the computer so I can download my pictures.

9:23 - I finish entering my items into the computer and then go take a shower. I talk with Tony for a bit when I get out. He sounds horrible. He's managed to catch the kids' colds. While we're talking, I discover an entire pile of dirty laundry on our bedroom floor that is soaking wet. Apparently while Tony was indisposed in the bathroom (taking a grumpy) today, Ayden and Rylee had fun in the other bathroom "making pancakes" from the sink, resulting in a ton of wet clothes and towels. I moved the clothes into the laundry room and off our bedroom carpet. Men! Eye roll...

10:25 - I toast myself a bagel and then sit down at the computer to type this up.

It is now 12:37am. Ugh. This has taken MUCH longer to put together than I thought it would! It was a fairly simple day and considerably shorter than ANY other DITL post I've ever done, but it's still taken me hours. It's time for me to hit the tab to publish this post and try to submit it, even though I'm now past the deadline. And then I've GOT to go to bed!

Friday, January 13, 2017

Toddler Interview

Question and answer interviews pop up in Facebook all the time. I love them. I'm so happy my kids are now at an age I can do this with them!

What is your name?
Hmmm. Rylee

How old are you?
Rylee: I'm one (while attempting to hold up three fingers)
Ayden: I five

When is your birthday?
Rylee: uhh, one
Ayden: ummm, surprise

How old is Mommy?
Rylee: you one (I see a theme happening here)
Ayden: you're mommy

What is your favorite color?
Rylee: my favorite color is orange (she usually says blue, so this was a surprise)
Ayden: my favorite color is orange (he just said that because he was copying Rylee. His answer changes every day. Although their daddy is always very happy with orange being the answer. Go Beavers!)

What is your favorite food?
Rylee: carrots
Ayden: broccoli
(they are generally pretty good about eating their veggies, but I'm not sure carrots and broccoli are actually their favorite foods. But hey, I'm not going to tell them any differently! haha!)

Who is your best friend?
Rylee: my favorite best friend is Jade
Ayden: my favorite friend is JayCee
(these are their cousins up in Washington)

What is your favorite song?
Rylee: Twinkle Twinkle Little Star
Ayden: Guitar. I want a guitar!!

What is your favorite animal?
Rylee: my favorite animal is a elephant
Ayden: my favorite animal is a giraffe. A T-Rex. My favorite animal is a camel. (apparently he's rather undecided)

What are you scared of?
Rylee: You! You're a monster!
Ayden: Rawrrrr!!!
(such funny kids)

What makes you happy?
Rylee: I sad
Ayden: ummmm. Scissors! (they were just practicing with their new safety scissors)

Yep, wearing their Halloween costumes.

Where is your favorite place to go?
Rylee: Grandma Faffy! Grandpa Craig! Lilly! (Lilly is their dog)
Ayden: Aunt Debbie (he's never actually been to her house, but she has visited us a lot! I also have no doubt he would have a blast at her house.)

What do you want to be when you grow up?
Rylee: giant
Ayden: a costume

What does love mean?
Rylee: Huh. You.
Ayden: I love you.
(heart melts into a big puddle mush)

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Christmas Recap

Is it okay to still be doing a Christmas post even though it's January 11th (12th now. I started this post yesterday!)? Since we actually still have another Christmas family gathering this coming weekend (I'm not kidding!), I'm saying it's okay since we aren't even done with Christmas yet. Tony's extended family always celebrates in January with all the aunts and uncles and cousins. I still have to write about our 3rd birthday events too! So far behind...

My family used to all get together on Christmas Eve. It was my absolute favorite day of the year because it was the one day we all (mostly) got together. As all the cousins grew up, got married, and started having kids of their own, this got harder and harder to do. After my grandpa passed away (4 or 5? years ago), we've been drifting further away from each other and the last few years getting together on Christmas Eve became low on the priority list. Last Christmas, an Aunt even bluntly stated that our family Christmas was "not a priority" to her. I suggested we schedule it on a different day other than Christmas Eve, because I do realize that as everyone gets married, each cousin gets torn between our side of the family and their spouse's. So let's do it on a different day instead, because the most important thing was for us still to get together, regardless of when.

My mom, brother and his kids, sister and her family, and my family, decided we would continue the Christmas Eve tradition with just us. Sis and her husband hosted at their house and cooked a nice turkey dinner. I contributed a corn casserole. The kids all got to play together and open presents. I have my own childhood Christmas memories that I remember fondly. I want SO MUCH for my kids to have awesome Christmas memories with their family too. I think we are off to a good start!

Before heading to their house, we decorated gingerbread houses at home in the morning. I've never actually done a gingerbread house myself, but I thought it would be a fun tradition to start with the kids. I've never decorated with icing before either, so I made quite the mess all by myself, without their help! lol. Ayden was absolutely all about decorating his house. Miss Rylee was all about eating the candy! I even told Ayden he could eat a piece of the candy and he said, "no. It goes on the house!" Okay then...

Rylee picking her next candy to eat. Ayden took a quick two second break from decorating to look up for a picture.

The three youngest cousins. Everyone should have a cow and Buzz Lightyear at their Christmas Eve celebration.

Eliana (11), Nathanial (5), Rylee (3), Urijah (a week shy of 6), Adilyn (3), Steven (6), Ayden (3).
Not pictured: my niece, Pearl (1.5) who was being very camera shy.

My Siblings

Christmas Eve family selfie.

That night, we put cookies out for Santa, although Ayden and Rylee really didn't understand what we were doing and got a little mad that they couldn't just eat the cookies. After they went to bed, I broke off a little bit of each cookie and left it on the plate for them to finish what Santa didn't eat in the morning.

I woke up Christmas morning without a voice. Literally, I had nothing above a whisper of sound. That was fun. And interesting (and kind of funny) when you have to bring out the Mom Voice with toddlers. Hard to sound very firm when all you've got is a whisper! Our original plan was to spend the morning at home and then go to Tony's parents for the afternoon. We debated whether we should still go to their house if I was getting sick.

Everything ready for Christmas morning.

Ayden is always the first one up in the mornings. The first thing he said was "uh oh" when he saw the stockings on the floor by the tree. He wanted to hang them back up. So sweet! Once we convinced him it was okay to leave them there, he moved on to his new "skateboard" (scooter). He gave it a few whirls around the house and then decided he needed to go wake up Rylee and tell her about the new scooters. I took a video of this and it was the cutest thing and melted our hearts! So happy to have it on video. Rylee came out of her room and ran to the tree as soon as she saw her scooter. After they test drove them around a bit, we opened the stockings and presents. Notice that empty space next to the couch, behind the pink scooter in the picture above? At some point, Tony sneaked another present under the tree in that spot. He surprised me with a Shark steam mop! I had said I wanted one but thought it was off the table because we had set only a small Christmas budget for each other. He went well past the budget. I did not. I'm happy, but feel bad at the same time! My gifts to him were not exciting. I'm embarrassed to tell you that I only got him new white undershirts and dress socks for work! Oops. Also, when did I become such a nerd that I'd be excited about a mop?

The only pic I captured at home Christmas morning. They loved their new safety scissors that were in their stockings. (Now I just need to get them back out for them to practice with!)

Before we packed to go to the in-laws (the plan was to spend the night), I called MIL to get her opinion on if we should go or not since I had no voice. We determined that since I felt fine, and it being Christmas, that we should still go spend Christmas with them. I just needed to keep my distance and not hug on Great Grandpa. We had a wonderful afternoon with Tony's family. His aunts and uncles were there, along with his parents and grandpa. That night, Tony and I took advantage of having having babysitters (his parents) and went to see the new Star Wars movie in the theater. We found it difficult to follow in parts, trying to fit it into the other SW movies, but overall I loved it and can't wait for the next one.

Using her new chapstick that Aunt C gave her.

Playing with his new airplane.
Tony with his Grandpa. He's very special to us. 

The next morning, I still didn't have much of a voice, but it was at least a little better. Before heading home, we stopped at an old friend's house and visited her family. I went to middle and high school with this friend, and we were roommates in college. We also used to live right across the street from each other before we sold our house and moved to Veneta two years ago!

You'd think that would be the end of our Christmas festivities, but oh no. After this, we had a little Christmas with Tony's brother and his family when we went to Washington for our sledding weekend. We haven't actually done Christmas together the last few years, so it was pretty fun, even if belated.

Then last weekend was supposed to be the late Christmas gathering with my family with aunts, uncles, and cousins. It ended up getting canceled because of the huge winter storm that blew through. If it was just snow, it might not have been too bad. But the snow was sandwiched between lots of freezing rain as well, so there was a LOT of ice. I literally haven't seen some of my family for over a year, so it was kind of sad not to be able to get together.

We have one more Christmas party to go. This coming up weekend is our last Christmas celebration! This one is for Tony's mom's side of the family. We saw most everyone on Christmas Day this year, which was unusual because it's typically just his parents, grandpa, and one aunt, but on Saturday we'll also have several of the cousins there too. It will be fun. The kids love seeing everyone and I love that they are making memories.

As much as I love the holidays, I am looking forward to being able to put Christmas behind us. Wait. Who am I kidding? I still have our Christmas decorations out!!! The only things that have been put away are the tree decorations and the stockings. Ugh. I REALLY need to put the rest of it away, but I really dislike the "undecorating" part of Christmas. Sigh.

Now, I need to hit the publish button and submit this post before it hits midnight and it's the 13th! It's taken me a full day and a half to finish this post. Life with toddlers....

Monday, January 9, 2017

Microblog Monday: Snow and Ice

My last post was about our trip to Washington to go sledding. Who knew that we'd see so much snow here at home the last few weeks? Last year we only got a VERY light dusting of snow that didn't even last a day! Last Wednesday we ended up getting several inches of snow. It also managed to get down to 15 degrees for a few nights, so it was pretty cold. Ayden and Rylee enjoyed being able to get out and play in it.

Eating snowballs

By Friday, most of the snow had melted. However, it came back on Saturday with a vengeance! Not just snow this time though. First, we had several hours of freezing rain that left a good layer of ice as a base layer. Then it snowed about 3 inches, followed by more freezing rain! We had plans to celebrate a late Christmas with my family that afternoon and then had a wedding to go to that night. We stayed home instead and spent another day in the snow.

They got pulled around on the sled.

Then they got pulled in the wagon, which didn't work too well.

They attempted to pull each other.

And Rylee ate lots more "snow ice."

By yesterday, everything was just one thick layer of ice! There was more freezing rain in the morning. By afternoon it was just regular rain, but that just made the roads a skating rink.

Can you see how icy it was?

Now we are expecting a full day of rain tomorrow and a 40 degree temp, so nobody will be surprised if there's some flooding. Fickle weather anyway...

If you'd like to read more #MicroblogMonday posts from other bloggers, click here.

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Mostly Wordless Wednesday

We had a fantastic New Years weekend up in Washington with Tony's family. His brother doesn't live too far from Mt. Hood, and we planned to go sledding while we were there. However, they've gotten a ton of snow at their house over the past few weeks, so we didn't even have to hit the mountain! They have a perfect sledding hill right there at their house. It was Ayden and Rylee's first time in the snow and they loved it!

Ayden and Rylee with their cousins.

He loved walking through the snow and exploring.

Any time we ever see a horse, Rylee always asks to ride it. She regularly asks to go to her aunt and uncle's house so that she can ride their horses. I'm not kidding when I tell you that she literally asked/said/demanded about 172 times between Friday and Saturday if she could ride the horses. She finally got her wish Saturday afternoon!

Aunt J walking taking them for a walk on Tootsie Roll.

Rylee's favorite thing to do in the snow: Eat it!

Ayden was pretty adamant that we needed to build a snowman, so we did! 

Who doesn't love a ride on a 4-wheeler, especially in the show?

My favorite picture from the weekend.

Our first family snow experience.

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

International Blog Delurking Week

The first full week in January is International Blog Delurking Week. This year it runs from the 1st through the 8th, so you still have 5.5 days left to come out of hiding and leave a comment on any blog(s) you read, even if it's only a simple "I'm here."

I know I shouldn't obsess over who reads my blog, but let's face it, I do! It's not near as much fun writing posts if nobody reads them. And I might just cry if nobody ever commented (okay, I'm exaggerating. Maybe.). I always check back to see how many page views my posts get, and I spend way too much time looking to see if anybody has commented after submitting a new post. I know I should just forget about it and write for myself, but I've made some incredible friends through blogging and I can't help but want to continue those friendships and make new ones. It's also nice to know that other people really do find you interesting; or at the very least, think your babies-turned-toddlers are adorable and worthy of reading about.

I know there are several of you that are regular readers and commenters, but I also know that there are many of you who read and rarely or never comment. Are you a lurker? I want to know you! Please let me know you are here, even if it's only this one time. As I said above, you can keep it simple and leave an "I'm here" in the comment section below, or you can take it a bit further and tell me a bit about yourself (my preferred method). Tell me your favorite book, author, sports team. What are your hobbies? Do you have a blog too? You don't have to answer all those questions (unless you want to). I'm just trying to give you ideas so that maybe you'll leave a comment and let me know you really do like following my family's story.

That's all you have to do to celebrate International Blog Delurking Week!

Now, to answer my own questions:

  • My favorite genre of book to read is a good love story/romance novel.
  • My favorite authors are Nora Roberts, Nicholas Sparks, Julia Quinn.
  • My favorite sports team is the Oregon State Beavers.
  • My hobbies are used to be scrapbooking, reading, going to movies, playing games, but who has time for any of that now. I'd say my only current hobby is blogging.
  • Obviously I do have a blog (wink, wink).
Lastly, I want to say a HUGE thank you to all my readers. Whether you are a lurker or not, I appreciate you taking the time to read my babbles.

*I also want to give a shout out to Mel at Stirrup Queens for continuing to bring bloggers together and keeping International Blog Delurking Week a thing.