Blog Archives for tag Mitchell

Love being able to meet up with old friends!

The Mitchells were going to be in Virginia visiting Amanda (getting the nursery ready!) so they had planned to come visit us…but since we were going to be close to them after flying, we met for lunch!

Saturday Night Dinner…with surprise guests!

Well, we knew about it ahead of time but the visit in general was a surprise this weekend! Roger and the girls were up visiting his other daughter Amanda for the weekend and she lives about an hour away…so they all came over for dinner! I haven’t seen them since we left Jacksonville in 2014!

Can’t you see us with a daughter this age?! We’d take her in a minute. :) (We could have had one this age if we had a kid two years before we got married…or two years after we met.)

One of the best things to come out of tonight? Getting to recreate one of our favorite Virginia photos!

2004-2016 Tom Virginia Cake

The photo Virginia wanted to take—showcasing the two big guys that she can threaten boys with (a running joke for many, many years):

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And just for comparison, the same trio back in 2007:

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The Three Musketeers, together again!

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And a selfie for the road!

Until We Meet Again Party

We decided to have a going away party before we left—but I called it an “Until We Meet Again” party because I HATE goodbyes. It was also a perfect excuse to rent a huge waterslide for Owen because he loves them and our new house has zero place for one.

As it was being set up, the kids were VERY excited watching out the window. Katie was saying “Slide! Katie slide! Katie slide please!” :) I was busy getting the last few things ready for the party and Tom was running our last errands so I made the kids wait until he got home…but then it was game on! Owen had no issues with it, of course, but Katie was a poop. She loves climbing on things but put her on the slide where she HAS to climb (and can pretty much climb without much caution) and she wanted NONE of it. This is where she’d stop:

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Even after Owen went down a few times, this is the farthest she’d go:

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Finally I had enough of trying to verbally coerce her into climbing up, so I got on the slide with her and basically pushed her up each rung of the ladder. Once we got to the top, she didn’t want to go down…so I put my arm around her and we went down together—AND SHE LOVED IT! And immediately went to the ladder…and climbed up all on her own (the little shit!)! I did go up again behind her to make sure she didn’t slip backwards, but she did it just fine!

And then at the top of the slide…I realized my phone was still in my pocket!!! @$&#%! I obviously hadn’t planned on going on the slide (I was still wearing clothes, too) but got caught up in the moment of being frustrated with Katie. :( I yelled at Tom to come get it and instead of coming up the ladder calmly, he was a bit upset and wasn’t being careful…and instead tried to come up over the side of the slide and pulled a leg muscle while getting back off. Like pulled it badly enough that he was limping. :( But the slide was a blast and I knew I’d be on it more throughout the day…so I just gave in and put my suit on right then. And since Katie was still going up and down, I put her in her suit, too.

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This is where she liked playing the most. And she was pretty good about moving out of the way when you said “Katie, watch out!” She’d go wait on the side until Owen came down, then she’d go back in the water. :)

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Even though the slide was fun, I thought it might be out to kill me. After the kids had been playing for a bit (while I was working on party prep), Katie refused to come down (it was her naptime but she didn’t know that—she was just being stubborn). I told Owen this was his one chance to push his sister down the slide—and he tried but he said she was too strong and he couldn’t do it…so I had to go up the slide again to get her down. So I climbed up and we came down together—and I smashed right through the end buffer and landed on the ground with Katie on top of me! HOLY CRAP. I knew it was possible (other adults have done it before) but I had already gone down “successfully” a handful of times so definitely wasn’t expecting it. Katie wasn’t hurt (or crying) so that was good, and for the most part I was okay, but I had actually smacked my head on the ground. Ugh—instant headache. Then Katie was trying to get back onto the slide so I had to grab her…and I slipped on the wet tarp while carrying her! Thankfully she wasn’t hurt and I wasn’t really, either, though my butt and back hurt. Good times, right? I handed her off to Tom and took some pain pills. AND THEN…I was going down the slide with Owen and we were having a blast…and he was excited and wasn’t following the rules (waiting for the area to be clear before sliding down) and just rammed his feet straight into my side. Needless to say it was time for me to take a break.

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Once the other kids arrived, things got a little more hectic. Pool toys came out and were part of the slide and kids were going down together (as you can see here)…and the “rules” kind of went out the window. :)

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The girls loved Katie and basically thought she was their own little doll. :)

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Ursula was the first adult to go down and she went tandem with Virginia! She agreed it was a blast!

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Everyone had fun and the slide was (of course) a hit. There were a few minor bumps and bruises once all eight kids were on the slide at the same time and Owen ended up with a sure-to-be bruised eye. But it was super fun and it all went really well. The only minor bummer was the weather—in the middle of the party we had a downpour just long enough and with just enough thunder and lightning to send everyone inside…for 15 minutes! So then it was back outside! It started to threaten a storm again about 7:00 which sucked because all the adults were going to get on the slide (and I had planned on being able to use the slide most of the evening)…so we just sent the kids inside and a few of us went down a few times in the rain. There’s even video of me catapulting over the end (which may get posted privately) but I’ll gladly post the one of Tom! :)

Once it started storming and we were all inside, the kids were watching a movie and the adults were visiting and snacking…and Jacqueline was doing my dishes. There was plenty of room in the dishwasher but she actually LIKES doing dishes so who am I to stop her? :)

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It was a really great time and I am so glad we did it…and it wasn’t until everyone was gone that I got really sad thinking about how much we’re going to miss everyone. (It’s always sad leaving, but the last time we left, we were just going to be missing two families…this time, we have more friends that we’ll be missing so it will be even harder.) But at least we have some great memories!

Fun, but kinda sad night.

We had our good friends over tonight for dinner…fun, because we love them and always have a great time…but kinda sad because it will be one of the last times before we move again.

Owen’s light sabers get everyone involved:

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And the guys—missing the third musketeer who is currently deployed.

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Bounce bounce!

We went over to Mitchell’s for Virginia’s birthday and the kids loved the trampoline!

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Caught in mid-air:

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Daddy does the bouncing:

Katie saw this bike and wanted it and made a beeline for it. Of course she couldn’t reach the pedals but she had fun sitting on it and being pushed in it.

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Both kids had A BLAST running around the big yard and getting on and off and on and off the trampoline. Virginia held Katie while they bounced and I think she liked that the best!

The kids got to stay up WAY past their bedtime because they were having SO much fun (and because we were visiting)…

My three lasagna morning.

Dinner for the Mitchell’s since Ursula is really sick, dinner for us one day this week, and one for the freezer!

The bonus is that I used five [heavy glass] jars of spaghetti and Alfredo sauce that we don’t have to move!

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Happy 5th birthday, Owen!

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We had Owen’s 5th birthday party at one of the local gymnastics places. We invited his entire class (16 kids) as well as our friends. Half of his class RSVPed (of which two asked to bring other siblings, which was fine) and I was annoyed but honestly pretty impressed that we got a 50% response rate. However, of those eight that RSVPed, four didn’t show…two of which were the ones that asked to bring extra kids. :| So that cost me extra because I opted to go with the 25+ kids plan (which allowed for another employee to be scheduled) because we were right on the line with RSVPs and I figured we’d likely get some that would show up without having RSVPed. So we ended up with 15 kids total instead of 23. Oh well, it’s only money, right? And Owen had fun so that’s what matters, right? But he did have fun so it’s all good!

Ursula made the awesome Ninjago cake!

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When I called Owen over to see it (he was out playing) he said “It’s Jay!” (Of course, he was right, Jay is the blue ninja.)

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Owen with two of his classmates, Tanner and Braxton (who I’ve posted pics of before). You see that Owen really isn’t the same size as the rest of his class. :)

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Katie having fun running around:

Katie was very interested in what was going on in the bounce house—but we put her in with the kids and she screamed. So she was content to just peek in for a bit.

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I showed Katie how to hang on the bar and she loved it! She’d hang and swing then drop off—over and over.

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And then she got in the bounce house because it was fairly empty:

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Back at the bar showing daddy her tricks!

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The birthday boy in the middle of the parachute!

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And here’s a 6 minute video of the parachute fun (pretty much for the grandparents). :)

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Each kid got to do their own thing in the middle of the parachute balloon. Owen did a spinning twist.

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A few last runs before leaving…

The last pic of our best friends for quite some time—our friend Tom is deploying next week and we’ll be moving this summer…

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As Ursula was getting the cake packed up to go, Owen saw that the head was off to the side and was VERY concerned that it wasn’t coming home and kept asking about it. We assured him Jay was coming home. Then he saw Ursula carrying it to her car (to bring to our house) and he was concerned that the cake itself wasn’t coming home at all!

Overall, it was a great party for Owen’s first REAL birthday party (not just something at our house with a few friends or family). :)

Previous Throwback Thursdays

Getting ready for s’mores at our house on Valley Ridge Lane (during Tom’s first deployment in 2005) with Ursula Mitchell.

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One of my favorite pictures from our wedding day—Jessica was our flower girl and she DID NOT want to take a picture with me no matter what.

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In Traverse City at my apartment before heading out camping and to Mackinac Island in September 1997.

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Circa 1991 at Tim Hough (now Nolan)’s graduation party. Who would have guessed we’d someday become cousins?

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Trip to Baltimore in 2005 with our good friends Tom and Karen Trimble.

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A somewhat recent Throwback Thursday (11/25/10)—with Kelly King.

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Just a few years ago (2007—seems like yesterday)…one of my all-time favorite pictures with good friends Nancy and Kelly.

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Camping with cousins Lisa and Lori in high school—I’m guessing ’89 or ’90?

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I had completely forgotten about the trip to Toronto we took with Sue McLaughlin and Pam Williams—maybe 1988? 89?

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Thanksgiving, photo fail, and friends.

The day started out well enough. Owen was very VERY excited about going to Uncle Roger’s for Thanksgiving…and kept asking me how many minutes how many minutes how many minutes. I told him it wouldn’t be until after Katie’s nap, so then he started asking how many minutes until her nap. Over and over and over. At 9am. :) He told me he was going to go get in the car. I told him no, it wasn’t time yet. I finally told him it would be a few hours, and I would let him know when it was time…I wouldn’t let him miss it.

Fast forward until after Katie’s nap. I had the mashed potatoes going on the stove and their nice outfits all ready…and of course she woke up too early. Fine, no problem. I got them both dressed for pictures. Katie wasn’t terribly happy (she’s got a cold—as does Owen—and her nap wasn’t long enough) so it was challenging to say the least. And she was really REALLY cute, too, so I was disappointed. But I was snapping away and hoping I’d at least get one decent shot.

Then it was off to finish the potatoes. And take breaks every minute or so to wipe Katie’s nose. And try to get Owen to RELAX about getting his shoes and coat on and wanting to get in the car. And then I decided to take more pictures…AND DISCOVERED THERE WAS NO MEMORY CARD IN THE CAMERA SO I DIDN’T HAVE ANY PICTURES. I wasn’t in a great mood before that, so that just pushed me over the edge. (It’s the little things, I swear.)

So I was rushing to get everything packed to leave the house (changes of clothes for both kids because it was Owen’s Clean Out Weekend and because Katie accidentally got some of Owen’s “poop juice”, diapers, pull-ups, snacks, etc.), get the potatoes finished and in the crock pot, stack all the dirty dishes, let the dog out, and then—since I’m apparently a masochist—TRY TO TAKE MORE PICTURES WITH UNCOOPERATIVE KIDS… Needless to say I didn’t get one good picture.

The best picture of the super cute hand-me-down dress:

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The best of the awful sibling pics:

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The good thing about the day was going to our friend’s house—my babysitter’s house—so she took over Katie duty while her younger sister played with Owen. This became Katie’s favorite new activity:

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The kids were having a great time playing (Owen even asked to play on the big outdoor trampoline!), I was drinking wine and visiting, and all seemed well. Until Owen came over to me asking where the bathroom was, so I went with him to show him—and watched as he puked in the toilet. Twice. Oh lovely. I told him he might be going home—if he was sick, we really couldn’t stay. He immediately started whining that he didn’t want go…he wanted to keep playing. So I told him we had to take his temperature and if he had a temp, we had to go. He didn’t have a temp, so we stayed.

The dinner was nice and it was good to be with friends—it helped not to miss Tom quite as much. But of course Owen was frustrating. He had told me he would try all the new foods…but come time, he didn’t touch anything. He claims he ate a bite of mashed potatoes but he didn’t. He didn’t even want his yogurt. Sigh. Then he had to go potty—and I went to check on him (I don’t trust him when we’re not at our house)—and it’s a good thing I did because he had peed all over the toilet, floor, and waste basket. SERIOUSLY?! Breathe. Breathe. I know where the cleaning supplies are, so off I went. It wasn’t a big deal (and they didn’t care) but still, it was like WHAT ELSE IS GOING TO HAPPEN?! Then we called it an early night because Katie was getting tired and I really just wanted to get into jammies and relax.

Once we got home, I tried pictures again…and didn’t have much more luck.

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Both kids were in bed by 7 and then I got to relax…

Things about me you might not know.

This game has been going around Facebook whereby you are given a number and you are then required to tell that many unique or fun things about yourself that most people wouldn’t know. I’ve really enjoyed reading the answers from all my friends, and while I didn’t officially get a number I thought it would be fun to play along.

  1. At a very young age I knew I didn’t want children and actually asked my mom if I could get a hysterectomy. Wisely, she assured me I should wait.
  2. I still didn’t want kids until a few years after getting married… But that changed during the few days after finding out my Grandpa Len had died and I was with all my extended family back in Michigan and I realized how much I loved my family and didn’t want it to end with me. It’s a good thing Tom was on board.
  3. From that moment, it took three years to get pregnant and involved both of us being tested (no issues), though one of those years Tom was deployed. :)
  4. We are currently on our third deployment: ~9 months, ~13 months, and hopefully this one with kids will be the shortest at ~6 months. When you dream about falling in love with a military man (Oh! Those uniforms!) you never think about the sucky parts.
  5. In college I made a list of the top 25 or so things I was looking for in a partner. The top 5 were CRITICAL. When I met Tom? He had none of the top 5 but I still knew from the first night he was the one. Yes, I knew the very first night that we would get married. It took four years but we did it!
  6. I loved every part of my wedding and would do it all over again in a hot second. I loved all the unique touches (trumpeter, writing our own vows, one of the groomsmen barfing in the bushes during the ceremony, reception on a dinner train, personalized cake topper, and a horse and carriage) and to this day people still tell me how awesome it was.
  7. For someone who is a homebody and doesn’t like change, the military is not really the best thing for me. I always said I would wait to have kids until we were settled so they wouldn’t have to move schools…but life just doesn’t work that way (I got old too fast and Tom had decided to stay in for 20). But, we have met the greatest people and can’t imagine life without having met our best friends Roger & Ursula Mitchell and Tom & Karen Trimble).
  8. I :heart: Amazon. If I never had to leave my house to shop I would be just fine. I have my fingers crossed that someday we move somewhere that Amazon delivers fresh groceries. If you ask me where I got something, chances are probably 90% it was from Amazon, 5% it was from another online source, and 5% it was local. :)
  9. If I never had another job again I would be just fine. I am NOT someone who has to work to feel validated.
  10. I don’t consider myself a hoarder, but my pantry has been referred to as Dharma. Yes, I also :heart: Costco and Sam’s Club.
  11. I hate being late. For anything. Even with two kids on a hectic morning, I still make it to Pre-K (with a 15 minute drive) at least five minutes early.
  12. This was the first year since we got married that we didn’t have Chinese for our anniversary dinner (it started as luck then we planned it and even managed during his past deployments). We changed it to steak and shrimp this year so we’d be eating the same thing on the same day!

My first substitute husband job!

Thank heavens for friends! (I could actually say that a lot, but today it’s about Roger coming to look at the sink.) :)

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At first he was afraid it was inside the faucet with the hot water lines—which would require a plumber—but then he said “Hey, let me check this quick…”

And bingo! It was the pull-out handle—it was loose and the water was dripping from there. A quick tighten and it’s fixed (and he could find the tool he needed right away thanks to Tom organizing everything before he left!). He also moved the hose to a less-constricted space (away from the dishwasher line) so it’s easier to pull when necessary (and will create less stress on the part).

I never would have thought to check that, but now I know if it happens again!

Phew! I was envisioning $$$ for a plumber and/or $$$ for a new faucet.

And I think it’s pretty good that I didn’t need a fill-in hubby until a month in to the deployment! :)

Great Wolf Lodge, Day 1

I had been planning on heading to Great Wolf Lodge when Tom returned from Afghanistan…but he suggested we go beforehand. So he took two days off work and we headed up this morning. I had the brilliant (if I do say so myself) idea of taking our babysitter, Virginia, along for an extra pair of hands and eyes…and as it turned out, it was completely AMAZING—it was great being able to pay more attention to Owen (who will remember it) and be able to take tons of pictures (though Virginia is in most of the pics with Katie!). But seriously, Virginia was awesome with Katie the whole time—even when we weren’t actually at the water park.

So without further ado, the pictures.

Proof we were actually here, LOL—though this picture was taken as we were checking out. :)

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We splurged and got a Kid Cabin suite—complete with log cabin bunk beds and a day bed (and their own TV which we never even used). Owen was excited about his own room/bed and testing out the bunk bed steps. He didn’t make it to the top because he was too scared. :)

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The view of the outdoor pool area from our third-floor balcony.

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Katie was (of course) intrigued by the new annoying band on her ankle.

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Sneaking one of my fries. Tom ran to get us Chick-Fil-A while we got settled and into suits. We figured we’d be eating at the hotel enough (and spending enough money on overpriced food) that fast food was acceptable for our first lunch.

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Waiting in her 2T suit. We had brought her 12m suit (that Grauntie Rose got her for her birthday) and I actually put it on her but it was really too tight.

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Ready to go with Miss Virginia!

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She SEEMS to be interested in the bubblers, but unfortunately it only lasted about seven seconds (if that). She just wanted to MOVE. This is where Virginia came in really handy.

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Owen liked them quite a bit, however.

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Of course, she was more entranced with the hole that had no water coming out of it…

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This is how Owen watched the 1,000-gallon dump bucket—far away from the action on the sidelines…

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…in the bubblers. :)

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One of the few things Katie could reach and was semi interested in.

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Miss Virginia on constant vigil—keeping Katie’s face out of the water as she tried to drink it.

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FEETS!

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This is where she liked to crawl.

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Making sure I actually get in a photo!

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She LOVED the lazy river (Owen hates it with a passion—he has some strange fear about inner tubes).

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The outside frog slide that he loved!

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Just hanging out. I cropped the pic so he appears closer than he really was. He was pretty far out. I love that he’s old enough we can let him do that and not worry or freak out.

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It was about this time that Tom and I decided to splurge on drinks from the bar…since it was right there and all…and it was HOT outside. Yeah, we only had one drink because while they were certainly tasty, they were NOT worth the price. But, as a bonus, while we were standing there waiting for the drinks and Tom was holding Katie, she peed on him. (She had a swim diaper on, but they can only hold so much.) :)

I then had Virginia take a family shot—and she only took three and one of them came out really well!

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This is how Katie crawled most of the time—her knees were sore (yours would be, too, if you were crawling on cement!) so she would kind of drag one leg while actually putting the other foot down (if you look closely you can see the foot prints on the right side).

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Owen having fun in the pool with the water toys.

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Virginia spent a lot of time walking Katie around. Again, brilliant idea.

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Owen on his favorite indoor slides. It was terribly hard to get good pictures of this due to timing and the new camera that I wasn’t totally familiar with the best settings to get the best shot. So lots of the future shots might look a little off. I did the best I could. :)

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The other area Katie liked—the waterfall station (well, it was more like a sheet of water). It was somewhat interactive because the water did crazy things when you stuck your hand in it.

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Tired boy…and we had only been there 2.5 hours at that point!

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Climbing in the ropes with dad. They headed to the top to attempt the waterslide…but once Owen got to the top he said NO WAY (even though the one he went on in Kalkaska was about the same).

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Back at the room for dinner. This is where Katie loved to crawl.

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Miss Virginia taking a break.

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Owen and daddy taking a break.

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Virginia stayed in the room with Katie while I took my real (i.e. non-waterproof camera) down to try and get some better pictures of Owen.

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Owen liked the sheet of water, too.

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This is him doing his robot through the falls.

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Back up at the room on the balcony with Virginia and Katie. Katie liked to push the furniture around and stick her feet out the slats.

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Completely THRILLED that she got the remote and we didn’t take it away from her!

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Owen in his own bed!

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Katie had only slept about an hour in the car and then didn’t get an afternoon nap at all…so we were hoping it would help her fall asleep quickly. And it did…she only screeched for about four minutes before she was out cold. I’m sure Owen wasn’t too far behind, and Virginia even put away her laptop and went to bed about 9:20. Tom and I turned our phones off about 10:30 as we were exhausted, too. However, I didn’t have a great night’s sleep…I tossed and turned and it felt like I had slept a loooong time but when I looked at the clock it was 1am. Ugh. The cycling of the A/C pretty much kept me up/woke me up—when it was running, it was COLD and you needed to be under the covers…and when it was off, it was WARM and you didn’t want the covers on. Plus my back hurt (as usual) from the car ride and what carrying of Katie I did (though Virginia did most of it). Plus it was only a Queen bed. So I knew I’d be exhausted the next morning…

Deckwarming & Katie’s Third First Birthday

Today was the big day of our Deckwarming party (and Tom’s going away party) as well as a mini celebration of Katie’s first birthday (technically her third first birthday as we already celebrated in Michigan, then she had her actual birthday on the 10th, and then today’s gathering). It was a long, hot, tiring—yet fun—day.

Party-prep is so much work—it never seems like stuff will take that long…but it always does. I was VERY thankful to have hired Virginia to come watch the kids while we did the prep because then I didn’t have to listen to Katie screaming because I wasn’t paying attention to her…and I was actually able to get stuff done! I loved what Virginia posted on Facebook—it’s classic Owen:

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As usual, we had too much food (or maybe just not enough people?!) but then, I’m a Len and we apparently don’t know how to cook for less than 40 people (or are paranoid about not having enough food regardless of the number of people). :) But everything was delicious.

The weather actually held out—it was touch and go for awhile with intermittent thunderstorms pretty much all morning and early afternoon—but it cleared up about 4 and was sunny and gorgeous (though the humidity was right at about 99%).

We had a good blend of old (Mitchells and Trimbles) and new friends (from my mommy group) and the kids had a blast in the playroom and in the pool.

Then it was time for the birthday cake. I had wanted to do something special for Katie so she didn’t fall into that “second kid gets squat compared to the first kid” thing PLUS after Owen’s Lego cake debacle I had decided I was never attempting to bake a cake again…so I asked our friend Ursula to make a cake. She has recently started making and decorating cakes and she’s ABSOLUTELY AMAZING (as opposed to my first attempt—see above Lego debacle post). Here’s the picture I sent her (that I found on Pinterest) along with her version on the right (I asked for the 1 on top instead of the ladybug and only two layers):

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[ Find the original cake here: Ladybug Birthday Cake from PinkCakeBox ]

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Amazing, right?

Also a big thanks to mommy-group friend Jacqueline who helped with my last-minute ice cream request (Doh! How could we have forgotten ice cream on our three trips to town?!) and pre-party kitchen cleanup (she arrived during the last 15-minute rush to get everything done, saw I was a bit overwhelmed, and jumped in to wash the sink full of dishes).

Some of the kids playing dress up:

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Having a blast in the pool:

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Wandering:

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She made such a mess that we had to hose off the deck (thanks, Roger!) and give her a quick bath in the sink with Dawn detergent (I hadn’t planned ahead to have baby soap downstairs). Here she is somewhat cleaned up, back with Virginia again.

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Since Owen was having so much fun in the pool and with the kids, we let him stay up late. This is about 9:30 right before he finally went to bed.

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Thanks to everyone who shared the day with me and Tom!! And you can tell we’re all getting older…everyone had gone home by 10:15!! :)

Locked in.

Yeah, so, I just got locked in the bathroom with Owen while Katie was roaming around ungated. (I thought she was gated in but then I heard her playing with the dog bowl and knew she was on the loose.)

Talk about trying to stay calm in a panic.

How did it happen? Well, the door knobs were off from a kid-locking-herself-in-during-play-group-incident earlier that morning and I hadn’t put them back on yet (no, we were never given the little keys to unlock the doors—and we’d tried to find some to buy but just never did). So I didn’t even think about it when I shut the door behind me to keep Katie out while I dealt with a diarrhea pull-up.

Talk about an instant all-over body sweat.

Okay. I can’t get the door open. Who do I call? Who is closest that might be home? I thought of any of the mommy group people who were just there but I knew the closest ones had kids napping…

Okay, I can get one pin out—if I can get them all I can take the door right off the hinges. Nope, the other two are stuck. Calling Tom was pointless since it would take him at least 45m to get home (and there’s not much he could do over the phone).

Who would know how to get the door off? Roger might, but he’s likely busy. Ursula—she could at least come get Katie and then—oh, duh—she could likely put the knob back on. So I called her and she wasn’t home (5m away) but was in town (15m) so as I was telling her what was going on I was still messing with the door and trying not to sound terribly panicked…when I somehow managed to move something just enough to allow me to open the door.

Ah.

Breathe.

Wipe the sweat off my forehead as I thank Ursula for answering her phone.

Then race to find Katie…who was happily playing in the playroom.

Breathe. Breathe. Breathe.

And put “buying keys” on our shopping list. :|

Katie’s Christmas Eve Outfit

We went out for dinner tonight with the Trimbles and Mitchells and I decided to dress Katie in a very special outfit…something that was mine forever ago. Isn’t she adorable?

The things we do for our friends…

This would be the host-provided accessory for our friend Roger’s Mustache Birthday Party.

Having fun with the girls!

The last stop on our road trip was Jacksonville, NC, to see our friends Roger and Ursula and their girls Virginia and Caroline. Both girls took to Owen right away…

And had fun on the trampoline as well!

Facebook Status Updates

  • Jennifer Hudson is currently restoring 97,600+ files via Carbonite onto her new 1TB hard drive with a new Windows 7 install.
  • Jennifer Hudson likes the thought and spirit behind “We Are The World 25” but it doesn’t even compare to the original.
  • Jennifer scored a BINGO in SCRABBLE with the word TOLLERS worth 81 points!
  • Jennifer Hudson was not excited at all about the Olympics, until watching an hour or so of Olympic preview-type broadcasts. Now I can’t wait. BRING IT ON!
  • Jennifer Hudson just realized it’s Friday night. Being a SAHM with a husband who works six days a week kinda lessens the impact of a weekend.
  • Jennifer Hudson woke up and was depressed her dream about seeing Roger Mitchell and Ursula Mitchell wasn’t real…but was glad her screaming match with Jean L. Schwalm and Tom Hudson wasn’t real.
  • Jennifer Hudson—The boy is 12 months old and still sleeping with his burpie over his face. I wonder how long he’ll continue to do it?!?! I wish I could ask him why he loves it so!
  • Jennifer Hudson is ready to throw the Windows7 Upgrade right out the window.
  • Jennifer Hudson never gets as much done during Owen’s nap as she hopes to.
  • Jennifer Hudson is happy to celebrate Valentine’s week by sharing a photo of hubby and me…we first met 2/7/97 and started dating 2/14/97…so we’ve been together 13 years and married eight.
  • Jennifer Hudson is finally watching the season premier of Lost!
  • Jennifer Hudson just downloaded and tried Google Chrome. They need to work on Tab issues before I switch.
  • Jennifer Hudson thinks it’s hilarious that I have Shazam’ed the same song now THREE times. :|
  • Jennifer Hudson has decided life is too short for uncomfortable socks! In the garbage they go!
  • Jennifer Hudson wants someone to stop her the next time she wants to subscribe to Cosmo because it’s a good deal.
  • Jennifer Hudson thinks that the Chocolate Cheerios were a waste of money. Blech.
  • Jennifer Hudson just got Owen to wave back at her! YAY OWEN!
  • Jennifer Hudson was having fun watching Owen dig around in his toybox, leaning completely over with his feet off the ground…until he fell in and started crying.
  • Jennifer Hudson thinks she needs to take a break from Scrabble. I seem to be getting worse the more I play (instead of better) and it’s frustrating me terribly.

Homemade Hooters Wings

So when we were cleaning out/reorganizing the pantry last weekend, we saw we had three jars of Hooters-branded buffalo wing sauce. We thought “Hey, we should have a wing night over at Roger and Ursulas!” So we called them and made the plans!

Of course, we didn’t have wings in the freezer, so went to buy some at Sam’s Club. They come in bags of like 10# so we figured with the number of people that usually show up at their house “for a little get together,” we’d better get two bags.

Fast forward to today, the day of the wing night, and I decide “You know what? I am going to mix all the sauces together and maybe add some more spice” so I opened the first jar and it was the consistency of, oh, peanut butter. We hadn’t had Hooters sauce in a loooong time, and I couldn’t remember if that was how it was supposed to be, so I tasted it and it tasted off. I thought maybe it just needed to be stirred, and that was when I noticed the “SHAKE WELL” on the side. Hmmm, not a good sign, as peanut butter never shakes well. :-/

So I looked at the expiration date. Wow—it wasn’t just expired, it was hideously expired. Like March 2005 expired. >:XX

I should have known better, because our pantry often contains items of such age (especially after throwing away brown sweetened condensed milk from 2002 last weekend!), but I was kicking myself for not checking any sooner than the afternoon of the dinner! Yep, at this point it was about 12:30 and dinner was at 6:30 and we had no sauce and people were expecting Hooters wings.

So, I immediately googled for a recipe and the ones I found were extremely different. So I headed off to Top Secret Recipes and ended up paying 79¢ for the Hooters Buffalo Chicken Wings recipe.

Of course by then I was flustered because our plan was thrown for a loop—now I had to run to town to get ingredients, and now we were going to bread the wings (originally we were only going to use the sauce), and the breaded wings had to be refrigerated for 90 minutes, and the wings were still half frozen, and Tom was napping! 88|

So I woke him up, told him the new plan, ran to town, and when I came back we started breading the wings and making the sauce. Phew! (At this point I was VERY thankful that I had already finished making the double batch of tuna salad!)

Fast forward to the conclusion of this saga…

It was only us four for dinner, so we had entirely too many wings (four trays, or about 140 wings) but we put a serious dent in them because they were absolutely amazing—a grand slam hit—and everyone said they were sooooooooooo much better than real Hooters wings. YAY ME!

Inconclusive

I was a few days late, so decided to take a test.

I used a non-digital test—an old one I had leftover from two years ago, one that gives you “lines” results—that I had never had good luck with.

And again, I had no luck. The test was inconclusive. (The “control” window is supposed to have any type of line in it, any amount of color—and nothing appeared. According to the instructions, that meant inconclusive.)

So I went about my day thinking I would take the digital test the next morning—I mean, what better day to find out if we were pregnant or not than on Father’s Day?! :>>

As it happens, that night we were heading over to Mitchell’s for our Hooters wing night and we were BOTH in a mood to drink. Except I was still pretty sure I was pregnant, so I refrained.

Let’s just say it was interesting to be the only sober one for once!