Sunday, October 30, 2011

Bathroom Blues

I guess I can no longer go to the bathroom if #1 is not home.  Seems how I feel the urge to visit there every 15 minutes...this could be very hard.  

*I made sure she wasn't going to fall before grabbing my camera.  No, she's never done this before.  No, I won't be letting her in the future.  

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Not Creating Pumpkin Drama

 We have visited the same pumpkin place since Snug was born.  Actually, it has moved  locations, but I think it stayed in the family as all of the "props" have stayed the same.  Every year we take a picture in this pumpkin cut-out.
 Each year we take a little wagon ride and pick out the pumpkins everyone wants.  They're pre-picked, but still fun to decide.
 There are lots of animals to pet.  They have donkeys, rabbits, chickens, pot-bellied pigs, goats, llamas, and a horse.
 Snug wanted this BIG pumpkin, but I think it was like $25 so the answer was "no".
 Rosebud didn't even pick out a pumpkin, so Monkey Man did it for her.  She was just too busy walking around.
 LMM loved the animals...especially the pot bellied pigs.  These are piglets, and they were kinda cute.
 Everyone loved the horse.  He is old and gentle and very friendly.
 I'm not sure what I like most about this picture.  Rosebud getting nuzzled or the look on Snug's face.
 This boy would make a good farm kid.  He'd have stayed forever if we let him.
 Snug really doesn't love getting his picture taken, but sat still for a minute so I could get his yearly "shot".
LMM can't get enough of the camera and wanted me to take several pictures.  Then he insists that he "see them".  
A lovely day at the pumpkin patch.  The end.

Oh I so wish.  The boys' favorite part about going here is that every year they've had a huge straw pile to jump in/play on.  You can see last year's picture here.  Seriously, if you didn't click there go do it.  The kids have changed SO MUCH.  And I can totally tell I was editing photos back then because they look much much better.  Oh well.

Anyway, when we got to the straw pile/pit area there was a sign that said you had to buy a wristband this year.  And they had the area  snow fenced in.  Very different, but whatever.  So we went to purchase a wristband.  I'm thinking $1-$2/kid.  Wrong.  $5 per PERSON who wanted to go in.  Rosebud would have been free, but $20 to go play in straw?  For that price I could have purchased some bales down the road and made our own pile.  We had to tell the kids no, and they bawled.  Seriously cried their little hearts out.  And we got after them for not being grateful for the fun time they had and took them straight to the van...but after awhile #1 and I decided really, we'd have cried too.  It was what they were really looking forward to.  And charging that much (especially for adults as well) is crazy.

I typed up a letter to the owners of the farm, but I haven't sent it.  I just explained that although we know the growing season was tough, that was a little...steep.  I told them how much our kids love going there and how we buy our pumpkins there (for MUCH more than we could at ALDI or Wal-Mart) because we want to support local farming.  I explained what a fiasco it created charging for straw play and how our kids were sorely disappointed.  But I didn't send it.  I don't want to create pumpkin drama.  For now it sits on top of our desk.  It is nicely written...very sincere.  I just can't decide whether or not to express my feelings on the whole thing or just let it drop.  At first I wasn't sure whether to even write a letter.  Then I was sure I should.  Now it sits all typed up...and I am unsure again.  What do you think?

Friday, October 28, 2011

Snippets of Survival

This will be a rambly post to be sure.  Life just seems rambly right now.  I feel like we are on fast-forward and I'm hanging onto the tow rope.  I feel humongous although I am told daily no one would ever guess I am 33 weeks along.  That's all great and such, but I weigh more than I have in my entire life and I'm bigger than I was with the other three.  And I have 7 weeks to go.  Yikes.  

Tired.  I am so tired.  The acid reflux and insomnia I experienced with Rosebud are back with vengeance and I am convinced more and more each day that I am having another girl.  Some days I wish I knew (like when I see super cute Christmas sweater dresses for a baby girl or when washing newborn clothing and finding out I loaned out/never got back most of my newborn boy clothes).  Most of the time though I'm glad I don't know.  

I bought this little dresser at a garage sale (At LMM's school of all things).  We have zero extra dresser space for baby clothes, and just about zero space to even put a dresser, so this is going to be it for awhile.  I can't say I was loving the look of it though.  
 I washed it up and sanded the whole thing, but it still wasn't quite what I was looking for.

 While we were in Vegas Rosebud turned 18 months!  She is a full fledged toddler complete with meltdowns, new words, and abundant energy.  She is wearing a size 9-12 month clothes and is somewhere between a size 3 and 4 depending on the shoe.  She weighs 19 lbs 4 oz and is 30 inches long.  Her newest word is "up" which she doesn't actually say out loud.  She mouths it and then kinda makes a "p" sound at the end.  Very cute.
 Our little Oliver is not so little anymore!  He is a good kitty and takes quite a bit of loving.  He also is feisty and if the kids don't stay out of his face (as in put their face RIGHT up to his) he'll get them...but they have been warned and they don't heed that warning.  Most of the time though he's pretty laid back and is a great family cat.  Here he is with Little Monkey Man during his morning breathing treatment.  The steroid he's on has really helped him this fall, and we haven't had many breathing issues.
 Back to the dresser. After sanding, and knowing that there was still too much varnish on it, I decided it would have to be stripped.  Have you ever texted someone and they weren't on the same wavelength and it came out all wrong to them?  Here's my text to #1 at work after we'd visited Lowe's for some dresser refinishing supplies: "Bought a stripper, but it was more expensive than I had thought".  He actually thought I was talking about a stripper and was really confused.  My next text revealed that the paint I purchased was only 50 cents.  He finally put two and two together and pulled his eyeballs back into his head.    The WOOD stripper did the trick and the paint went on well.
 I bought little wooden knobs and painted them the colors that are in our Beatrix Potter nursery/Rosebud's room.
Here's the finished product sitting in our dining room.  I was happy with the results!
It goes well with the little wardrobe (from when my brother and I were babies) that houses Rosebud's clothes.
Dresser:  $5
Stripper:  $9.99 (but there was enough left over to do a table I have out in our shed next summer)
Paint:  50 cents (look at the clearance shelf in Lowe's for paint that they didn't make the right color...super cheap!)
Knobs:  4 @ $.88 each
Knob Paint:  Already owned!

I figure all in all it was a little over $15 for the whole project (if I half the price of the stripper seems how it goes to two projects).  Not too bad.

This week both boys had Halloween parties at school and are sugared up enough to last till Christmas, let alone a party at a family friend's house Saturday and Trick-or-treat Monday night.  Good thing we give all the candy away!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

Police Softball Vegas 2011

 The whole reason we were even in Vegas was to play softball.  Not me personally, but #1.  There is a game for wives but I am not athletic and I don't think playing ball is on the "Approved" list from my midwives!
 The park that they play at is beautiful.  Each ball diamond is a miniature replica of a real professional stadium.  So fun!
 On Friday night, after winning their first two games, we watched an all star team made up of selected players from police teams that were there play against the Wounded Warriors softball team.
 Each of the wounded warriors is missing a limb or a hand/foot.  They lost their arms/legs/hands/feet serving our country in Iraq and Afghanistan. And they play softball.  Well.  The all-star team won, but seriously the fact that these guys play at all is just awesome.  And they were SO young.  I'll bet the average age was probably 23.  They gave a lot to serve their country.
 Here's the team lined up before the game.  As you look down the line, most of the legs you see are prosthesis.  The crowd in the stands was not cheering for the police all-star team  :o)
 The view from the stadiums is awesome.  Mountains in the background, perfect (but HOT) weather.  It was great.

 We tried to get ourselves in a few pictures too.  Cause we were there-not just scenery!
 #1 plays first base.  He had a pretty good tournament.
He had two home runs and a few good hits.  I was really proud of him!

This slide was really funny.  After he slid in and was safe he had to hold the base and put it back where it belonged.  The fields are astro turf and the bases aren't really stuck down so that people don't get hurt sliding into them.  I have another picture of him facing down the third base line, towards the outfield, hugging the base after this slide.  
I think I heard that there were seventy some teams at the tournament from all over the US and Canada.  In his bracket (they have to split into different brackets or it would take FOREVER to run the tournament) I think he said there were about 30 teams.  They finished 4th place.  Not bad!

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Walt Vegas, Las Disney

While in Vegas, I decided it was the equivalent of the Disney theme parks...for adults.  Don't get me wrong, I'd rather spend time in Disney any day, but hear me out here.  
Disney hotels offer the nicest in accommodations.  I've never stayed in one of their hotels, but I've walked through several.  These pictures are from our hotel.  It was absolutely beautiful.  There were two drawbacks...first off sections often smelled like a funeral parlor being that they had decorated with thousands of lilies, and secondly it was literally a ten minute walk from our room to our car.  Other than that, it was perfect.

 Here is one of the outdoor gardens.  There was no spare in detail.
 Just like Disney, there was traffic in abundance and people everywhere.  I'd recommend going to Vegas mid-week as it is much easier to maneuver than it is on the weekend.  The crowds of people are just crazy.
 Just like Disney, they have recreated places from around the world.  My favorite hotels were The Venetian and Caesar's Palace.  They were so beautiful.  They really made you feel like you were there.
 Just like Disney, there was something to see around every corner.  This is not a statue, it is a real man.   He didn't move, but I'm pretty sure if #1 had reached over and touched his tips he might have broken character  :o)
 Inside the Venetian.  Doesn't this seem like Disney for adults??
 Like Disney, there are shows everywhere.  We didn't pay to see a show, but saw several spectacular things outside the hotels.  This is the volcano outside of our hotel.  Pictures don't do it justice.
 Disney at night is awe inspiring.  So is Vegas.  Thousands of lights, so much to look at.
 They both have palm trees.
 They both have people in character that you can get your pictures with (only at Disney you aren't expected to tip them).
 Another show (Atlantis in Caesar's Palace).
 There were even some Disney characters in Vegas.
 Another re-creation of a real place.  I believe that Epcot has a replica of the Eiffel tower too.
 Hey Buzz!
 Of course, most of the characters we saw were not Disney themed.  I didn't take pictures of MANY who were not dressed appropriately.  But like I said, Vegas is Disney for adults.  Not that I want that kind of entertainment as an adult, but I don't think I am exactly who they are marketing to!
 The big guy himself!
 Just like Disney, there are tons of beautiful pools to relax by.
 This was one of the pools at our hotel.  We spent a few hours relaxing here.
 There was no spare to detail.  I didn't get pictures, but there is a roller coaster on TOP and hanging OVER one of the hotels, and outside of another.
 This is Vegas' Pirates of the Carribean.  I think it was called Sirens of Ti, but whatever.
 We watched the ship above as it traveled down the canal, but not the actual show.  Unlike Disney, the Sirens were not dressed for a male audience.  Excuse me, they were dressed for a male audience, but not my male.  I couldn't believe how many people had their little kids there.  Not just at that show, but everywhere.  One o'clock in the morning?  Kids of all ages, everywhere.
 A fountain show.
 At Disney, you can see cutting edge technology.  In Vegas, we saw some too.  This is a spiral escalator.  Yep, you just stepped on and it took you up.  It was amazing.
 I guess I did get a picture of one of the roller coasters.  Not as many rides as Disney, but you get the idea.
 Money.  There was so much money being spent in Vegas.  You want it?  You can buy it.  There were stores EVERYWHERE.  I saw stores I've only ever heard about with brand names I can't even afford to look at.  People spent money like water.  Not us.  We're debt free and proud.  But seriously, people spent money like crazy.  We watched as people lost hundreds of dollars in slot machines and at game tables.  I lost 54cents.  Viva Las Vegas  :o)

In the elevator on the way down to the lobby one morning, we encountered a group of college age girls.  One girl was telling her friends how she has "literally lost a $100 bill and didn't care".  She went on to say how "this place just makes me feel rich".  #1 and I wanted to know exactly where she had last seen that money.  Vegas didn't make us feel rich.  
Just like Disney, food prices in Vegas were outrageous.  We tried to stick to the cheapest food possible (in the hotels, most of the restaurants started at $40/plate).  However, as we discovered, even McDonald's was expensive.  A Big Mac extra "value" meal?  Upwards of $8.  Double cheeseburger?  Over $3.50 for the sandwich alone.  There were three things on the dollar menu.   chocolate chip cookies, apple dippers, or a small parfait.

Denny's was our best friend.  Denny's had regular prices.  Now, here at home going to Denny's would be a special thing, we don't get to eat out often.  However, being able to walk in, order breakfast to go (the line to actually get a table was usually a 40 min. wait) and spent $8 total...that was a blessing.  We'd get something, split it, and have eaten enough-Denny's has great portions.
Ok, here's the Animal Kingdom part.  Inside the MGM there are live lions.  The day we were there we got to see two cubs play together.  
They were so cute!!!!  They acted very much like out kitten, Oliver.

So here is why we thought Vegas and Disney are similar:

Beautiful accommodations
Attention to Detail
CLEAN (inside the hotels)
Tons to spend money on...without even realizing what you've spent.
Expensive food
Tons to do/see
Lots of shows
Pools and palm trees
People acting childish

I am glad I got to go.  It was quite the experience.  It was all a little overwhelming!!!!