Saturday, December 21, 2013

A Full House

This Christmas is just as crazy as last. Last Christmas I gave you my heart but the very next day you gave it one else singing that song with me? Ok, excuse me for trying to fit Christmas songs into every day conversation.

Last year we were moving into our new house just one weekend before Christmas. The house was barely decorated and was so brand new that it felt kinda cold.

This Christmas, we are fully decorated with a huge wreath, a big urn out front with berries, sumac, and pine, lots of bows and ribbons around wherever we could place them, a mantel overfilled with tiny lights and candles.....I could go on.

Although, I don't think it would be THIS decorated if I didn't have my Mom living in my basement. My parents moved in about a week before Thanksgiving since they sold their house and the condo they are building won't be done until around Christmas or a little after.

Both Jason and I will be quite sad when my parents move out. For one thing, my dad is, what do you call it, a Mary Maid, or Molly Maid, or something like that. When I walk in the door with two tired kids from a long day at school, it's so nice to see that the laundry is done, there are no dishes in the sink, and the wood floor isn't covered in dog hair.

My Mom keeps me as productive as I can be. We have made Christmas candy and caramels, wrapped presents galore, worked on homemade cards, sewn stockings and infinity scarves for teacher gifts, and I am sure there is so much more. Not to mention our list of things we WANT to do is huge. We still have to make tablecloths and favors for the tables since I am hosting Christmas this year.

Just as much as I will be sad to see my parents go, my Mom even said today she will be just as tearful. It's kinda funny that she will only be a half mile away and yet we are talking about it as if she is moving out of state. Honestly, my parents can't move any closer. But that's the way we like it.

My Grandparents on my Mom's side were a huge part of my life. Every Saturday we spent the day together. Talk about memories. Playing dice, making gin n' tonics (I was always too young...but I'll forever remember those), having dinner together always followed by a dessert, and then more cards or dice!

Looking forward to many more Saturdays filled with family.

For now, this full house will be getting ready for a Christmas with 25 more members of this crazy family eating, opening presents, chasing little kiddos, and lots and lots of laughing!

p.s. Austin wants a garbage truck for Christmas. A BIG one. 'THHHIIIIISSS BIG' as he stretchs out his hands to show Santa just how big it has to be.

Sunday, December 8, 2013


Jason and I were in a pretty crazy state of mind when we decided to get pregnant when Austin was only 6 months old. Neither Jason or I consider ourselves huge baby people. Don't get me wrong, I love babies, but having a newborn is one of the craziest stages in life.

Some people would give anything to go back to the breasfeeding, up in the middle of the night, blow out diaper changing days.

I am not one of them.

When we realized that our children were only going to be 15 months apart, I didn't really know what that meant. I asked many people around me about their children and how many months/years they were apart. Everyone with close children raved about it! So happy that their children were close together. They'd list all these benefits that made me feel somewhat validated in our decision.

Sure you get diapers over with a little faster, there aren't any bottles to wash night after night, they like to play with the same toys...oh that's right, they like the same toys! Toys get fought over like gold in our house. It's not that one toy is that amazing, but they LOVE to want what each other have.

I know that's likely common in most households but it's bad at our house. They taunt each other constantly. Example: Ava has a flamingo stuffed animal in the car. Austin wants said flamingo. Ava doesn't want to share so she keeps holding it out to Austin and saying "Mingo! Mingo Austin. Mine!" She doesn't just do this once, she does this the.whole.way.home!

They love to get on each other's nerves. Ava will be minding her own business and Austin will come ask Ava a question. If she says no, Austin starts yelling at her "Don't say no Ava Jayne Rogers!". Within two seconds, Ava is crying.

I feel like I am constantly asking them to stay away from each other. Don't touch each other, don't talk to each other, Ava stop spitting at Austin, Austin stop yelling at Ava, Austin don't poke her, Ava no biting, Austin she had it first, Ava stop screaming, Austin, Ava, Austin, Ava, Stop, Don't, Repeat!

Does this mean that soon this stage will disappear and they won't want to be apart? Do we have to go through this first to get to the stage where they are inseperable and love each other too much?

Hopeful thinking isn't it.

Someone said Austin will likely be protective over Ava, is that before or after he pushes her down the stairs? Do households with two boys the same age apart have the same problem? Or two girls? Hard to teach your three year old what ignoring your sister means. The whole car ride home she tries to fire Austin up. He has an instant temper and if he could just block her out of his mind.....but he's three. That's not part of his nature at this age.

Is it legal to swat your kids with a fly swatter while driving? Can I get a divider in my car that blocks out sound like those in a limousine?

It's a struggle as a parent to figure out when to step in when your children are fighting and when to just let them figure it out.....usually for me that means until someone comes running and crying.

Everything with children is a stage.....let's just hope this one is short lived.....or maybe let's hope they continue to love to spend time together even if half the time they are fighting.

Saturday, November 30, 2013

Construction Birthday

Austin's 3rd birthday party or should I say 'Dirt-day' party was construction themed.
It was a perfect year for this theme since Austin has a huge love for diggers! I found this adorable invite on Shutterfly. I knew months in advance his theme so while they were digging the road in our development, we just happened to get some shots of Austin hanging out by all the big machines.
Decorations included construction signs and caution tape
This is the first banner we have made out of fabric. Bought by Stampin' Up called Build a Banner. They want you to spray the stamp ink onto the fabric but we used daubers instead to wipe the color onto the fabric. It worked very well. We then pinned the letter on so that we could reuse the backing for another party and change out the saying.

Plastic construction hats were so much fun! We stamped a personal touch onto the front.
 Love the brads that make the diggers stand out even more.
Cookies once again were perfect. Hard to see since I forgot to take pictures before we put them in bags but construction hats, diggers, and signs all fit into the theme just right.
 The fact that she made Austin's name into cookies was extra special.
Cupcakes by Cupcake Tree Bake Shop not only look adorable and fit each party, but also taste good too!
 This awesome Big Rig was bought from Meri Meri.
 It makes sounds and doubled as a cupcake carrier!
A few more decorations. Plates, napkins, and cups all bought from Meri Meri. And of course some paper straws are always a must.
Themed presents.....Thanks Mom! I dig you too!
The face of a happy birthday boy. He loved his bulldozer and other trucks from Pottery Barn.
 Grandpa and Austin read Goodnight Construction Site. Nice hat Grandpa!
A huge Tonka truck was also a beloved present.
Treat bags also from Meri Meri (you have to check out this website!!). Filled with coloring pages of diggers, crayons, construction stickers, lego treats (featured later), digger toys....I don't know what else we crammed in there but they were full to the brim!
Cake topper also made by Cupcake Tree Bake Shop. It was a great idea since we knew we wanted an ice cream cake from Coldstone. She rocks! I send her some of my pictures ahead of time and she matches it always better than I can imagine in my own head.
We found Candy Blox on Amazon and put them in cute little treat bags as favors.
And here's birthday boy blowing out his candles! He had a blast!
Frog birthday followed by Dinosaur and then Construction year I have a feeling I won't be picking the theme....

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Austin: 3 years old

My shark costume wearing, monster loving, little einstein watching, eater of nothing but gummy worms, little boy turned 3 years old this past week.

He absolutely loved the construction theme of his birthday party this year. He is all about diggers and dump trucks. Sometimes he lines up every single construction toy in a row (maybe a little OCD.....we're blaming Grandpa for that!)

Austin is still quite the picky little eater. But somehow Jason got him hooked on cottage cheese! At least he's getting some protein. He'd eat sweets and treats all day long just like his mama!

Austin loves to play in the basement. Something about an unfinished basement leads to hours of fun and imagination. We moved the bounce house indoors for the winter and the kids LOVE it. Maybe with the bounce house and the tent and all the toys scattered everywhere, it's like our own mini-Disney world down there!

Austin moved up to the Dino room at school. It's more along the lines of pre-school. I rejoice because his tuition goes down a bit but Austin rejoices because he is back with his friends that have moved up over the past few months.

Austin's favorite movie right now is Cars 2. He loves Mater.

When I asked him what he was going to ask Santa for Christmas, he said a big Garbage Truck!

He refuses to wear his winter coat to school. One of his many stubborn choices, coming from the person who just ran out of the house the past few 30 degree days running errands without a coat on! Oh well, they said it was safer in a carseat without it so maybe he is making the right choice.

He has recently found a new love with chocolate milk.

He has been going once a week to Introduction to Sports Class at the Y. He loved soccer. Basketball was a bit harder for him. He turns into a real shy guy when he gets there. I thought this class would be a good way to show him all the sports and find out if anything really lights a spark in him. Turns out that being a Lefty is a bonus when it comes to sports!

That's my 3 year old in a nutshell. Oh and Grandpa's his best friend. No surprise there.

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Ding Dong...Trick or Treat!

Smartest thing ever......take pics of the kids in their costumes on a beautiful day in September/October long before the cold and rainy Halloween night!

I bought Austin's costume long before Halloween knowing that he loved sharks. I was just hoping and praying that he wouldn't change his mind or decide all of a sudden he really didn't love sharks anymore.

 He clearly enjoyed playing the part!

Ava's costume was a piece of cake as she's still too little to decide what she wants to be. As soon as I saw the little strawberry/watermeon (I think it's the former) costume at carter's, I was hooked.

They had a blast as usual carving pumpkins with Kate.

Austin's request for Mike Wazowski was excellently executed by our resident pumpkin expert
The actual night of Halloween we had all the family over. We went across the street and as Austin rang the bell and said trick or treat, he walked right into the neighbor's house! Oops, no Austin, we stay out here! He only made it one more house before he was already walking home to get warm and eat his candy.

The kids are still wearing their costumes almost daily. Whoever's idea it was to get 5$ costumes at Marshall's the day after was one smart person, because I got Ava an adorable bumblebee costume that she has been having fun playing dress up in. I have to remember that for next year!
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