Sunday, March 25, 2012

Disneyland 2011

Last February yes, I am aware of how long ago that was we decided it would be fun to meet up with some friends and hit Disneyland before the rush of summer and crowds descended and my desire to take the kids became non-existent.

We went back and forth with our decision because we didn't want to do Disneyland with a baby who wasn't even one yet.  So, we got smart and found a friend who was happy to take her for 2 days and we were off!

So for two days we were a simple family of 4.  It was actually really fun, and we had a great time with the 2 families we met up with.  The crowds were light and the kids had a blast together.  The only bummer part is that it rained a little bit.  We didn't mind too much and the storms thankfully passed pretty quickly.

Hunter wanted to ride all the rides with his daddy....shocking.

Madison was ecstatic that she got to do all the rides with friends.....again, shocking!  Our kids are nothing if not consistent.

Hunter's favorite part of the day was getting to see Tinkerbell.  I'm not kidding.  He gave her the biggest hug-- I'm pretty sure he has a crush on her-- and considering he's watched the movies with Madison about a hundred times, it's not surprising at all.

The kids had a blast the entire day.  What was my favorite part of the trip???? Getting to eat Chick-fil-a twice.  Pure heaven.

And Hunter enjoyed getting some straws there to play with in the car on the ride home.

Monday, March 19, 2012

The beginning of school 2011

I had never been so excited for a school year to start as I was for this year.  Summer was rough for us.  With the exception of our SUPER fun trips, it was pure misery-- which is really not normal for me.  I like having my kids home.  I LOVE not having someone else's schedule to follow. We usually have fun and play a ton.  That was not the case last summer.  I'll leave it at that, but suffice it to say, I was really excited for it to be over and finally get regular breaks from the kids.  Now that it is March I'm a little excited to have them home with me again.

remind me I said that in July when I'm crying and counting down the days for it to end

So, here it is....the beginning of pure bliss.  Well, until homework and extracurriculars took over my life.

The kids were being the biggest stinkers that day and would not let me get a group shot.  I finally gave up the battle and took one picture each and left it at that.  

Then I threw a party to celebrate them being out of the house.

Then I received flowers from Ryan saying he appreciated that the kids were alive to be sent to school this year.  I'm kidding, I'm kidding.  That was just the implied message behind them.  

And then they came home and all was right with the world again.

I have to say, overall this school year has been so much easier for me than last year was.  The schedule that I had with the kids activities about killed me....I felt like I was in the middle of complete chaos and just needed  a break.  Which probably contributed to my difficulties throughout the summer.  I never got to take a breath and "right" myself.

This was my life last year, and let me just say, I know many people who have it worse than me.  They are simply better than I am and I bow to their amazing-ness.

Monday:  Afternoon Preschool

Tuesday:  Morning Preschool, dance (which required me to sit in my car with 2 bored kids for an hour while we waited for Madison)

Wednesday:  gymnastics for Hunter, Afternoon Preschool, Soccer for Madison (once again, 1 hour + 2 bored kids = cranky mom)

Thursday:  Morning Preschool, Piano lessons for Madison followed by an hour break and then Dance for Madison

Friday:  House cleaning day, Soccer for Madison

This was all on top of the normal everyday errands, laundry, cleaning, plus I make breakfast every morning, Madison's lunch almost every day and usually make dinner.  

We were a tad overscheduled....We had to do an entire weeks worth of homework on Monday night.  Otherwise it didn't get done.  In my rank of what's important sleep comes before 1st grade homework.

The hardest part for me was the constant "hurry up and get there so I can wait for an hour" that I experienced.  I only had so many errands that I could run within a few mile radius of dance.  And there was NOTHING by soccer.  Thankfully piano was right across the street!

So this year, when Madison had dance and gymnastics scheduled for and hour each at 4:45 on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I knew what I was in for-- I wasn't excited, but I knew what I signed up for. However, the first week of school I had an unvocalized prayer answered.  I was worried that I would be so harried again this year from the crazy schedule I created, that my kids would end up with a mom that was never happy.  That's not fair to them, but I didn't feel like I had much of a choice.   I WANT my kids in activities that interest them.  They deserve that.

Back to the greatest blessing I could have received-- On Tuesday that first week, Madison's dance/gymnastics teacher called me and offered to let her move up a class and then she would have dance and gymnastics back to back on Tuesdays.  I started crying when she told me that.  It has freed me!!!  Now all I have to do is drop her off right after school-- and I do mean RIGHT after school-- and Ryan picks her up on his way home from work.  Life is manageable again!

So now my schedule looks like this:

Mondays:  karate

Tuesdays: Morning Preschool, dance/gymnastics, and soccer (from Feb to May)

Wednesdays:  Morning Preschool, karate, piano

Thursdays:  Morning Preschool, soccer, my day to cook for dinner group

Friday:  House cleaning day

Now I have some days that I can just be home.  That I can clean and organize and prepare dinner or read a book or get addicted to Vampire Diaries on Netflix or let my kids just PLAY.  That's what kids need most!  Plus now they both get a chance to play with friends during the day.  Not to mention naptime.  Oh, how I LOVE naptime. Hunter is a different kid when he gets sleep.

I can't believe the school year is already so close to being over-- the kids love all their teachers and all their fun activities, it makes the constant sacrifice on my part worth it.  I love seeing how happy and well adjusted my kids are, it makes for a happy mom!

So, if you are wondering why I am so behind on blogging or why my house is always a disaster or why I no longer wear makeup, this is why.  I need sleep sometimes too :)

Hunter's 4th Birthday

So....Ryan and I are super lame parents and choose not to do a birthday party for our kids until they are 4.

Well, Madison got her first at 3, but she actually had friends.  That was back in the days when I was a good mom and did play dates and park days and actually talked to adults in person instead of only text and facebook.  You know, the life of a mom with 1 kid instead of 3.  Now all I do is run kids from one place to another all day, who has time for the park???

But let me tell you what, this party was worth the wait.  Seriously, I had WAAAAAY too much fun putting this together.  And let me say, for my first at-home party ever, it was a rockin' success.

Before I proceed, I would like to give a HUGE shout out to Sole for pinning all these ideas on Pinterest.  Without her we probably would have made Hunter wait another year for a friends birthday party.

What was the amazing theme???

seriously, he is one addicted Angry Birds fan.  His favorite version is Rio, he likes the monkeys, I think.  I don't play games-- I'm a crossword puzzle/sudoku kinda girl myself.

He got an Angry Birds shirt to wear to the party.

The kids got to play a live version of Angry Birds.
A big thank you to the USPS for their free boxes.

We found an Angry Birds bean bag toss.

And the kids also got to play a game of  "knock the cans over."

I was worried that with the wait to play the big game the kids would get restless, so they had three to rotate through, and it worked GREAT!

Here's Hunter with the first shot at knocking over the pigs with the slingshot-ed birds.  
I wasn't able to get a picture of the actual "slingshotting" as I had to help hold it.

Then it was time for cake and ice cream.  And by "cake" I mean Angry Bird cupcakes.  

Let's just take a moment of silence to appreciate these beauties.  I'd love to say they were oh, so difficult and taxing to my skills, but they were so stinkin' easy.  Well, to be honest, even though they were super easy, they still taxed my skills as a cake decorator.

I used the Pioneer Woman's chocolate sheet cake recipe and topped them with plain ole fudge frosting out of the tub, and they were the best cupcakes EVER.  Seriously, for Madison's half birthday I sent some to her class and they all said I should be a professional cupcake baker.  Yum!

He had so much fun with his friends!  At least once a week he tells me, "Mom, for my next birthday I want to have it at {it's always somewhere different-- the kid can't decide} ."  He can't wait to play with his friends again and of course, get LOTS and LOTS of presents.

Madison's 7th Birthday

Madison picked Bounce U for her birthday party this year.  The kids just love that place!

Madison loves climbing up to the top of the trampoline climby thingy.
  I don't work there....I have no idea what it's called.

Hunter loved climbing it too.

She got tons of fun gifts from her friends.

And even a Hello Kitty cake.  Yum.

Presley's favorite part was getting to slide, over and over again, with her favorite babysitters.  She's spent lots of time with the Montgomery boys considering every time we take the older two kids on a fun trip we leave her with them.  It's a win-win situation.

I can't believe my oldest baby will be 8 this year.  I'm having a really hard time with this milestone.....

Presley's 1st Birthday

I find it embarrassing hilarious that I'm finally getting around to blogging Presley's first birthday a few weeks before her 2nd birthday.  Yes, I am aware that I am so incredibly behind on blogging that it's not even funny.  Better late then never?????

For her first birthday I made her a cake just to take pictures of her eating it.  It took her a while to get into it, but once she did there was no stopping the girl.  Somehow she even got it on her feet.  Still can't figure that one out.....