Tuesday, September 30, 2008


Monday, September 29, 2008


This past weekend we attended our city's Oktoberfest. Last year we went and there was not a bratwurst or beer sold at the entire carnival...how can that be a true Oktoberfest? So this year we opted to take Nolan for some rides and then plan on brats and beer at our place afterwards with some friends. It worked out well because there was a discount wrist band (one price you ride unlimited rides) from 1-5. Without wanting to sound negative, I'll say that I was a bit disappointed in the ride selection, it really was a small carnival...smaller than last year. That being said, Nolan, Abby & Alex didn't seem to notice because they had a great time.
Abby and Nolan had a great time on this kids version of a roller coaster, which they kept calling a "train." So much fun in fact that Rob could sit idle no longer and had to join in on the fun. Oh, and he brought Alex along, too:
A family photo (looking at this, I realize I should have made them stand in front of say, a ride, rather than a random camper).
Bumper cars, the dad's had to ride, but I don't think they minded! This, believe or not, was the kids' favorite "ride." Big slide, don't ya think?That brave tiny speck up there is Nolan. Abby was right behind him...they loved this thing!It was a great Saturday and Nolan for one was a tuckered out little boy!

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Cheyna's "Sprinkle"

Last weekend I hosted a Baby "sprinkle" for Cheyna. Tara and Staci gave me the idea to call it a "Sprinkle" because it is Cheyna's second baby and I thought that was just a cute idea. Lots of the ladies helped and brought food/drinks and we all had a great time boy and kid free, chatting, eating, playing a couple games and watching Chey open gifts. Erika is the only other mom of a girl and her baby girl is still growing inside her. So, I admit, I may have gone overboard on the pink, but it was just so much fun. I know this is really silly to "brag" about, but also during the shower, while I had my hand on Cheyna's belly to take a picture, Baby Vrabec gave me a good kick, and I am still soooo excited about that. Now that the shower is behind us, I am really getting excited about meeting their newest beautiful addition!!!
Opening gifts:
Cheyna & her cake:The whole gang:This is when she kicked me...the baby, not Cheyna!

Friday, September 26, 2008

Snack Time

It's one of my favorite times with my handsome little trouble maker. He no longer lets me help him up on this chair (which scares the daylights out of me). He drinks my water. He eats his snack and tells me stories and about his day. I look at him and see my baby. I look at him and see a boy. I pause. Time slows down for a couple minutes while he munches his granola balls. Wasn't I just holding him in my arms, naming him, telling him we had waited so long for him? Telling him all the dreams I had? Who fast forwarded the time and how do I get some back? Snack time. We chat. He lets me kiss him, at least once, before he tells me to stop. Before he climbs down the chair, unassisted of course, and off into the world to play. My baby. My boy. My miracle.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

Mystery Solved

Nolan's fairly new Cars shoes (imitation crocs) are Nolan's favorite and most often worn shoes. Easy to put on, durable and go with pretty much everything! So it was a bit distressing when we couldn't find them. At first I just ignored the fact, because more often than not by really looking for something, I can never find it and then just get irritated. So, if I think something is missing and it's not detrimental, I just pretend I don't notice and it usually shows up. Not the case with Nolan's shoes, so after a few days I started looking and re-looking in all the popular and not so popular spots. Brian said Nolan probably "put" them somewhere, which I agreed with, but where? I would ask Nolan where they were and he would say, "I don't know, let's find them." Then he would just look at me, not realizing I was waiting for HIM to tell me. So I began to think like Nolan, or try to. Which brought me to his room. Under his bed where this box has been since we bought the shoes. Ahhh, of course.
As soon as I showed Nolan he smiled happily, completely unaware of any stress or confusion he may have caused, and gleefully yelled, "There are my shoes, I put them in their box!"

Sunday, September 21, 2008

But I Shared!

This was a conversation I had with Nolan last week when we had the Vrabec's to dinner:

Nolan (running into the kitchen with glee): I eat candy!

Me-Uh huh (busy cooking)


Me-What candy?

Nolan (chocolate covering his face)-Candy, from the desk.

Me-(Panicked)-Did you take the wrapper off? Show me!

Nolan-Okay, come on, I'll show you.

I'm taken by the hand to the office where Nolan points out the tinfoil from a Hershey's kiss I had left sitting high on the desk. He (perhaps with an accomplice) had climbed onto the desk, unwrapped it and eaten it. I thought they were playing trains.

Me-Nolan, you CANNOT play on that desk or eat things without asking mommy first! That could have been something bad.

Nolan-But it's not bad. It's candy!

Me-(exasperated)-You need to go sit in time out for eating candy without asking.

Nolan-But, but (crying), I shared with Abby!!!

Yes, I think he may have given her a bite, but from the evidence of chocolate around his mouth, he got the majority. None the less, they both did some time in the corners while we laughed silently at the way their minds work. It's okay to be naughty if we share!!! For the next two days and random times Nolan felt the need to explain to me, over and over, how he had shared the candy with Abby. I couldn't seem to get him to understand it wasn't the sharing that was the issue this time, because that usually is the issue and they were both soooo proud that they had shared without us making them. Then they got in "trouble." I guess it really does seem unfair, in their minds. So, the moral of the story. Our kids shared and it only took forbidden chocolate to make them do it!

Bathroom Makeover

I feel guilty that this post hasn't been done sooner considering how hard Brian worked on this bathroom. The week prior to Labor Day weekend, Brian took some leave to do this home project, because otherwise it would probably not get done. Most of you that know Brian know that Brian is very in tune with detail. If he does something, he does something right and he does it well, even if it takes a longer time. I'll confess that in the midst of many of his larger projects he's done in the time we've been married, this character trait borders a very thin line between a strength and a fault. This particular project was no different, but as always, in the end, he's right and I'm so very grateful he did it right and the final result is fantastic. Brian not only primed and painted the walls, he painted the floorboards and the doors to the cabinet, also adding hardware to the doors and updating our doorknob. He put in a new light fixture that I love! He replaced the towel racks with the Southern Living at Home bathroom set I had bought a while back with this bathroom in mind. And finally, what took the most blood, sweat and tears...he ripped up the floor. Then he ripped up the other floor that the previous owners had left and put tile down. It looks soooo awesome and I'm so grateful to him for his hard work and his fine craftsmanship. And just when I thought I might have to sell him on e-bay...
Here are some pictures, but I really don't feel like they do the job justice.
You can see the light a little better when I turned it off and just left the flash on:
And because he had over a week off work, he was able to grow out his goatee. Just like he had when we dated back in the day.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Grammie & Pop Pop's Visit

As mentioned in my previous post, my parents drove down for a visit last week. It was so awesome having them here and so much fun watching Nolan play with them. My dad's such a goofball, I'm not sure Nolan knew what to make of him half the time, but Nolan sure laughed A LOT! My mom entertained Nolan in only a way Grandma's are allowed...with candy and sugar!! Thanks so much for making the trip and for spoiling all of us!!!
Almost as soon as my parents walked through the door, Nolan asked to swing, which he rarely does anymore. But he totally remembers that Pop Pop is a champion swing pusher! Higher Pop Pop!!
Swimming. Nolan, thanks to Pop Pop, now knows what "dunking" and "pushing people in the pool" means, but we have assured him that these are "GRANDPA ONLY" games. This is my dad trying to relax at postal point. But toddlers quickly pick up on who the fun one is. So this is what he did most of the time, play with Nolan and Abby. I'm not sure who needed a nap more after we were all done. Out to dinner. Nolan was showing us his blue tongue from his sucker. And Brian's just being a dork goofball. Actually, Brian had some of the sucker and it is a bit blue! My mom did a scavenger hunt with the kids. The prize was quarters, which the kiddos were ecstatic over! They had a blast!This is what my old man does when I tell him to smile for the camera. I could put together a whole album of pictures like this. :)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Look who we found!

Last week my parents drove down for a visit. They arrived on Monday and left on Friday, so it was a short trip, but we had a great time. Nolan was spoiled and continues to ask for Grammie & Pop Pop daily. I'll post some more pics of their visit soon!

Monday, September 15, 2008

Happy Birthday Avery!!

Happy 3rd Birthday Avery Grace. I know it's in part that Nolan and you were born so close together, but I can't help feeling extremely choked up writing Happy 3rd Birthday to you. Being preggers with your Mommy and Miss Tammi was one of the highlights of my life. That was until we met the three of you. I don't think it's coincidence that all 3 of you seem to be extremely mischievous and know which buttons to press. I think you had plans going on in the womb, chatting through our bellies. Anyway, sweet girl, I miss you and your mommy soooo much and I hope that we can all get out for a visit really soon. We love you and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!
P.S. Kim, that cake is so pretty I think I would have cried when it was time to cut into it!!!

Friday, September 12, 2008

Happy Birthday Abby!!

Last Sunday Abby turned THREE! She (with some help from her mom & dad) threw an awesome birthday party, with all kinds of crafts and goodies. There was one other girl, Libby, who is 10 months old, but the rest of the attendants were all little boys, it was so cute. Cheyna was brave enough to have painting, coloring, sidewalk chalk and even let the kids decorate their own cupcakes. Very creative and lots of fun. I can't believe another year has come and gone and I'm so happy we were able to help celebrate such an exciting milestone. If Abby is half as good at being a sister as she is at being a friend, she'll be the best big sister in the whole world!

Sheet painting:

Singing Happy Birthday:

Opening presents. Since most of us parents all have boys, we were all super excited to have the opportunity to shop for pink and girly stuff!!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Congrats, Tara! And Oh by the way, SURPRISE!

Tara graduated with her bachelor's degree this summer, which of course is no small milestone. So Staci decided we would throw her a little celebration. She sent out an email saying her and Dan were having an "end of the summer BBQ" and then sent out another email, this time leaving Tara out of the loop, saying it was really a surprise party for Tara! As far as I could tell, Tara was genuinely surprised and we had a great time celebrating. Staci made her yummy crock pot lasagna. The kids ran themselves out chasing each other and playing. Congrats Tara, we're so happy for you!
Here's the graduate in front of one the signs, but there was a glare.
All the kiddos at meal time. If you count, you'll see this is how Jon & Kate (from the TLC show) must feel. Insane!The lovely hosts, Dan & Staci:I love this picture of Dylan and Lilly:

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Day 3

Well, our last real day of camping came upon us much too quickly. After an awesome breakfast by chef Brian of eggs, bacon & sausage we headed to the park's Petting Zoo. They had a short little hay ride that we rode, then we went in and fed the animals...goats, ponies, pigs, mules and fish. They were very tame and friendly, but willing to eat lots of food. That afternoon we took a canoe out on the lake. We brought Nolan's booster seat and put it in between us and he loved it and even went swimming. I was too scared to bring the camera on the boat in case we tipped...which I almost caused us to do! The weather forecast was a little uncertain for that night, so being in a tent, Becky & Tim opted to bow out early and head home. We were sad, especially since it was our turn to cook, but we were relieved that it didn't rain and we were able to enjoy one last dinner outside (steak night!). Then the 5 of us (us & the doggies), hung out around the fire and made some s'mores! The hay ride: The petting zoo: Nolan, Brian and our "adopted" goat feeding fish. This goat followed us, particularly Nolan, everywhere--it was so funny! Brian and Nolan sitting on the canoe, after our boating adventure: I snapped this pic of the canoes and lake, but it still so tough to capture the beauty of the lake. Nolan and Daddy roasting marshmallows about 10 feet away from the fire because it was really windy and we had already had one nasty spark get Nolan. He had a blister the next day, poor little guy!!! Trying to show Nolan how to eat a S'more (he wanted to just pick them apart). Mmm, soo tasty!

Day 2

Saturday Nolan slept until about 6:45 am...which he stuck to most of the weekend. Not bad considering there were skylights. We had a breakfast of champs, cereal and powdered sugar donuts, apprantely a McMenamy camping tradition. We then headed to the lake/beach for swimming. Tim and Becky, friends from Crestview joined us for the weekend but were tent camping in a different part of the park. They met us at the lake with their son dog, Brady. Nolan was having so much fun I went back to the campsite and made some sandwiches to eat on the beach. After he had turned into a fish from swimming so much, we headed back for a short nap. Tim and Becky cooked for us Saturday night and then we girls played some Bingo. Then we finished the night off by sitting around the campfire, snacking on S'Mores.
Brian and Nolan swimming.

A view of the beautiful lake/trees!Becky, Brady & Tim:I love that Becky tied Bucky up to this sign. It's not a camping trip without breaking some rules!

Nolan protested a nap profusely, but was sound asleep before his head hit the pillow! Haley couldn't resist an afternoon rest herself!

Becky & Tim's campsite, it was really shaded and pretty!Tim trying to "steal" her s'more. Never attempt stealing chocolate from a woman, it will never end well!

Nolan used one of their mugs to drink water out of. We told him it was "coffee" just like Mom & Dad and he used it the rest of the weekend, referring to his drink as "coffee" no matter what we put in there (milk, water, juice, whiskey...nah, not really, just seeing if you were still paying attention).Becky & I playing Bingo. I would like to say we won, but we didn't. Boo!! Oh well, it was still lots of fun!