Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Tour - Pre-Preschool

Being an older 3 yr old, it seems like Cass should already be in preschool, but alas, that Sept 1 rule is a pretty hard one to sneak by. The perfect little "something" for Cassidy's schedule came on to the scene with a little preschool located in our local high school and run by students/aspiring teachers (with teacher oversight). I got her signed up and we were able to stop by for a little tour the day before it kicked off!

Evening Projects

In an attempt (notice how I did not say a hard and fast rule :) to limit iPad time between dinner and bed, I've been trying to come up with projects the kids can work on after dinner at the table. This night was pulling out a new set of watercolor paints I had stashed away and our giant paper. And it worked!

Cassidy Tries Tumbling

With our newfound Tuesday mornings free, Cassidy's friend Clara invited her to join her for tumbling class. Good news - she absolutely loved it and listened to the teacher really well! Bad news - they wouldn't sign her up for the remainder of the session. She still had a blast though!

Sunday, January 29, 2017


To my kids, juicing things is a treat. I really think its the fun juicing machine that turns hard food into liquid that sucks them in more than anything. But they do gulp it down quickly no matter what I put in it. Apple-carrot-celery-orange was on the docket this particular day!

Troy rates food with a thumbs up, thumbs down or sideways thumb. Most of the time (usually when its a sideways or down) i can't stand this. But the things that get thumbs up are awfully cute!

Rock Climbing Date

I took my son on a rock climbing date. I had intended to rock climb with him but when we got there he said he wanted to do it on his own. (Later, he of course said "you surely could have rock climbed with me Mom!" Ah, indecision...)

He's such a stud on the rock wall (says the not biased Mom at all!) My favorite part of this video is showing how well he descends the thirty foot wall. Such a pro!


The mean tease of spring showed up for one random Saturday. The kids were dying to be outside and naptime was pushed back for at least an hour thanks to the gorgeous weather. How could i force them inside with THIS possibility literally on the other side of our door!?

Nothing about this pic says January!

Our kids weren't the only ones outside, all neighbors that were home were out too :)

Front yard, back yard, neighbor's yard and everywhere in between on this sun-shiny day!

Snapshots from above

Mike snapped some pics of the kids and I in the kitchen and I'm in love with this bird's eye view of life in the kitchen these days. My two little happy helpers :)

First Basketball Game

Troy and the other kindergarten boys of Mahomet had their first official basketball "game". I was expecting it to be even more chaotic as they put together all the rules and played out a game for the first time... but really, they have been doing a great job. Here are some shots from the first game!

Sous Chef in Training

Cassidy, as I've mentioned, is a legit help in the kitchen. She's safe and awesome and a joy to be with while cooking. Here she is sauteeing onions. You know, the average three year old's idea of fun :)

Friday Funday

Fridays are errand day, and one of the places Cassidy and I had to stop was the mall. She had never been in a Claire's store before and once she got past admiring the ear piercing station she found all the other pretty things. Such a girly girl, this one.

It was pretty warm out this day, too, which was much appreciated :)

We had a quick lunch at Sams before wrapping up our shopping for the day. I thought she'd pick a pretzel but hot dog it was :) Love my little errand buddy!

Winter-y Walk

We take the opportunity to go on a walk to the woods WHENEVER we can. This is one of the first chances we've had this winter, but it was a great day to do it!

Even in the freezing cold, the woods are still beautiful :)

Who needs the chiropractor?!

Sorry Dr. Melby, but Cass has her own chiropractic strategies to employ in Daddy's care :)

Monday, January 23, 2017

The Great Ice Storm of 2017

Alright well it wasn't *such* a huge deal. But it was a big enough problem that after heading out to the gym for the early Saturday class I committed to staying IN the rest of the day with my crew and not driving anymore. It was a great day just to stay around the house!

Ok, We *did* go somewhere. The trek across the grass next door to play in the basement of our neighbor's home for awhile. It was sooo good for the kids to get a little break and play together!

True Love Is...

... using your hard earned American Airlines snack (Executive Platinum perks?) to get your wife a perfectly sized bag of trail mix for a treat. I don't buy the big bags any more (I can't be trusted haha!) so these are perfect and wonderfully appreciated. Thanks honey!

Stretchy Stretchy

This girl is flexible.... like REALLY flexible! I can't believe it. Crazy, crazy.

Things I love - Minivan Blue Light

I LOVE how when its dark out this blue light appears in the minivan. It makes me feel like a limo driver. Which, essentially, I am as Mom.

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Troy's Mid-Year Report Card

Troy got his first school-age report card. He did great on the "1, 2, 3" scale they grade on (no As and Bs yet as they don't use that in kindergarten). My favorite part, as always, is reading the comments. I'm SO proud of my little kindergartner and how hard he is working this year! Go Troy!

Funny story. We went over his report with him and asked if he liked school. His response? "I LOVE school! And I'm never switching teachers, ever again!" We had to break it to him that he gets a new teacher every single year... this was a complete shocker to him! Though I'm very thankful he loves his teacher as much as he does!

Mike's winter gear

It's no secret Mike doesn't love the winter. Or the cold. But thanks to Gentleman's Box this year, he has a number of new stylish cold-weather accessories. Hat and scarf, proudly worn below. Maybe winter isn't SO bad after all!

Alright, Mr. November ;) I see you striking a pose!

Bus Stop: Winter Edition

Even in the middle of winter, my little "outdoorsman" has no problem getting out the door. He's eager to get outside no matter the weather, really. When there's snow on the ground, he wants to see what animal tracks we can find. The suspect on this particular morning? A bunny?

The three kindergarten buddies, every morning, climbing on the bus with all their gear. Troy, far right.

Ok, so THESE mornings are difficult when its this cold. Thankfully we haven't had *too* many of them yet!

Football Champs

The last college football game of the year was on on Monday night. Being that college football is kind of a big deal around here (and Cass knows it!) we made our football food favs. And little chocolate peanut butter football shaped treats. And THEN we googled the start time of the game and realized it was after naptime. At the end of the night, I tucked Cass in and as I was tucking her in it hit her. "Wait. Daddy said we were going to WATCH FOOTBALL TONIGHT. I WANT TO WATCH FOOTBALL!" So. I decided to let her watch some football. Even though it was bedtime. When I came back downstairs after awhile, this is what I found. Daddy officially has his football watching buddy.

It's too cold so I'll stay right here...

Cass *used to* go to the bus with me in the mornings. But, alas, she has decided it is too cold (um, it is) and hangs on the couch while I walk Troy out front. Footie pajamas and iPad for the win... is it spring yet!?


This is how Troy feels about it being the WEEKEND! Haha.


I'll give you a few seconds to guess what I "did" to make my daughter melt into this puddle of a mess. (wait for it, wait for it...)

I painted my toe nails while she napped. WITHOUT HER. HOW DARE I!?!?

"Why did you paint your nails, and MY nails need paint and I WANT TO PAINT MY NAILS!!!!! WAAAHHHHHHH!"

It is also worth noting that it took her less than 10 seconds to notice my toenails were painted. 10.seconds.people.  Wow.

2016 (sort of?) summed up

I saw a lot of people posting "top 9" pics of the year on Instagram and Facebook right around NYE. Fun, right? Easier said than done. Without thinking about it "much", here were the nine I picked to highlight the year:

  1. Disney vacation
  2. My kids' Halloween costumes very accurately summed up their interests this year (Legos and princesses)
  3. I got ink (whaaaat?!)
  4. Mike found Gentleman's Box and started getting all fancy on me :) 
  5. Troy started Kindergarten!
  6. Cass morphed into a "big kid" from a toddler, seemingly overnight
  7. I don't know... we laughed a lot this year!? And kissed a lot!?
  8. Mexico trip for Mike and I (amazing!)
  9. Kids dipped their toes in the ocean for the first time!
We saw and did a LOT as a family! What a year!

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Lots of snuggles

Troy went back to school this week. That means that Cass' one-on-one time with me is plentiful again, and believe me, the girl soaks it up. She came up to me while I was cleaning something on the floor today and squeezed my face and just said, "I just love you so, so much Mommy!" And walked away. I get lots of snuggles, all day long, but especially after naps, like this pic below :) Love every minute of 'em!

New Robe

Hilton Bonnet Creek had incredible robes while we were staying there. AND I left that trip with one of my very own. I have been looking for opportunities to wear it any chance I can - and evening baths in my favorite tub are the perfect opportunity to get my robe on! I love you, new robe! I love you, bathtub! I love you, Mike, for sending me away to my little oasis for awesome baths in the evenings!

Un-deck the halls

Farewell tree. I enjoyed you this year. Before tearing it all down, I poured a cup of tea, got cozy under a blanket and enjoyed it for a few final minutes.

And then the undecking began...


Can't remember hearing this ANYWHERE in Disney World, but Cassidy came home and promptly began saying "Oh-toodles!" left and right. All the time. Every day. You never know when she's going to come out with it. We laughed, of course, the first night she did it. And now it has stuck. OH-TOODLES!!!!

Happy New Year!

Our neighbors are the bomb. Seriously, we live in the best group of neighbors a family could ask for. Friends of ours decided to throw a joint birthday party for their two kids on NYE evening AND invite all the neighborhood kids, feeding them dinner and keeping them occupied for several hours while parents did.... whatever! In our case it was our first ever (I think!) NYE date night out! THANK YOU LINDSAY AND TIM!

Below, pic of the party, courtesy of Lindsay. Troy on top of the basement roller coaster. Cass doing something in the corner there. One of the birthday kids (Kaden) blurred in front of the roller coaster :)

Meanwhile, we went to JT Walker's for dinner. And got dressed up too! Yeah!

I had tiger shrimp kabobs which were amazing. Mike had a steak alfredo dish. Also delish as I tried some.

We were missing our tradition with friends Ed and Blanca and the fondue pot, but this worked out well! Welcome, 2017! 

The easiest week to parent

A friend of mine posted a quote about the week after Christmas being the easiest week of the year to parent... pretty much! The kids entertained themselves so well for days after returning home from vacation/Christmas in Chicago. For hours and hours and hours.... and days and days....

Troy had a LOT of Lego sets to build and he built them ALL. Then he promptly takes them upstairs and works them into his major Lego stash somehow, which oftentimes includes dismantling it somehow.

After all the Lego sets were built, Mike got good at coming up with "challenges" for Troy to make. This was "make something with Stormtroopers". He came up with exactly what we saw at Hollywood Studios with the March of the First Order.

After a few days, we invited some friends into the mix. These girls were reunited after a few weeks apart and it took about 15 whole minutes before the princess dresses were on. The Princess Anna dress hadn't been in the "dress up stash" yet as I had kept it safe until Disney. Cassidy enjoys that its in dress-up now. And is happy to share it.

Happy Birthday Grampa

Grampa turned the big 6-0 the day after Christmas this year! We kicked the day off with cake for breakfast for Grampa (and well, the kids may have been a little eager to dig into his piece too.... getting forks from the kitchen themselves LOL)

Then we went out to Manny's for lunch, Grampa's pick!

Love this pic of Grampa and Gramma with the kids. Right down to Cassidy's smirk :) Happy Birthday, Grampa!