Sunday, April 15, 2012

Let's build a fort

The kids have discovered the JOY of building forts. If only it gave me as much joy.

This particular fort was built by the kids within FIVE minutes of me cleaning the toy loft.  I got FIVE minutes to enjoy all my hard work.  {sigh}

I'm trying to relax a little and not let the messes bother me....fort building is a fundamental part of childhood.

But I do have to say, the kids had so much fun with it.  Hunter even took a nap in there-- I didn't have to get after him once that day!

Our new family rule is: you have to ask mommy before you begin building a fort.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

My dear, dear Cardinals...

THANK YOU for winning the World Series.  And most importantly, for giving us a 7 game World Series.

I'm going to back up a bit and reminisce about my earliest memories.  See, we lived in St. Louis from the time I was 1 until I was almost 5 while my dad was in Chiropractic school.  During our years there we went to a ton of Cardinals games, my dad is quite the baseball fan.  Literally, my earliest memory is at a Cardinals game during the Ozzie Smith era, watching the game with my dad, eating treat after treat.  I loved going to the games with my dad. Hence, I am a HUGE Cardinals fan.  HUGE.

Seeing as I'm such a huge fan I have watched them in their bid for World Series Champions three times in the last 10 years.  I watched them get swept in the 2004 WS by the Boston Red Sox....{grumble, grumble, dang Red Sox and their breaking of the curse....grumble, grumble}.  I watched them win in 2006 against the Detroit Tigers.  I love the Cards.  I do.  Heck, my family planned a trip to Chicago around the Cardinals schedule.  If we were going to go to a Cubs game and finally see Wrigley Field we HAD to see the Cardinals play.

So when the second half of the season had them playing pretty fantastic baseball I kept hoping and hoping they would make it into the post season.  And then win the NLCS.  And then maybe, just maybe go to the World Series.

Let's just say my hoping and hoping sure came to fruition.  What an incredible second half of the season.  And did they ever make it into the World Series.

I kept telling Ryan, "if the Cardinals make it to the World Series I want to go."  He said that IF they made it he would take me.  Thinking that there was NO chance of that happening.

Guess what buddy, they made it.  I cashed in that promise pretty quick.

So, what did he do????  He said we could go to game 7.  And bought refundable airplane tickets.

See, there hadn't been a game 7 of the World Series in about 10 years, if I remember correctly.  Had I known that at the time I would have pushed for a different game.  Say, a ticket to game 1-5.  NOT 6 or 7.  But, to give him credit, it would have been virtually impossible to make game 1-6 happen with our schedule.  Plus, we didn't really want to go to a game in Texas.  If we went to see the Cardinals play we wanted to see them play on their home turf.

So, it was set after much begging, pleading, threatening and maybe a little bit of crying on my part.  We had tickets to see game 7.  In St. Louis. With my dad and sister, Allie.

Now it was just waiting and seeing if they could keep the Series going.

Holy cow!  Can we just have a moment of silence for how suspenseful and record-breaking the Series was.  I didn't think I would survive the earlier series' with the Pirates, the Brewers and then games 1-6 with the Rangers.

But they did it.  They made it an incredible series.  AND, most importantly for me, they made it a 7 game series.  I had never rooted for the Cardinals to lose, but I did this time...just so we could have 7 games.

I about had an anxiety attack during game 6.  I had to stop watching it before I threw up.  I kept yelling down to Ryan...."What's the score?!?!"  "What's happening?!?!?"

It was rough.

But, after a CUH-RAZY game 6, we were off to St. Louis. And can I just give a shoutout to Southwest in appreciation of their easy ticket changing process.  Since game 6 got moved a night due to weather, that meant game 7 got moved too.  I don't know what we would have done without some flexibility.

 Ah, the anxiety of now wishing, and hoping, and praying for a win.

We met up with my dad and Allie at the airport and headed over to Busch Stadium.  What a game to watch my first time in the new stadium.

I had to get my Cardinals gear at the game because Las Vegas had a whole lot of NOTHING.

Then we got in there and soaked up the atmosphere--trying to just enjoy being there, hoping we win and at the same time praying that I could handle it if they didn't.

We made it through Chris Daughtry singing the National Anthem.

Then, well, then it was time to Play Ball!!!!

And play.

And play.

Oh, the excitement and anticipation that was in there air.

And then there was the HomeRun by Freese.  I lost my voice screaming after that Run.

I'm not one of those people that lets my mood or life be affected by whether my team won or not.  I LIKE when my team wins, but it's just a game to me.  It's not like they pay my bills!  I let it be the entertainment it's meant to be.

But let me just say, being there, watching the game that won the Series....well, it was an incredible experience.  Almost surreal.  I still can't believe I actually got to be there and watch my team win.

As I close, let me just say, I love my husband. I don't think he really realized how much I love my Cardinals until this series.  Being there was never an option before.  But for some reason, I couldn't let this opportunity pass.  And thank goodness I didn't!  This trip was my Christmas present, Valentine's day present, Anniversary present and Birthday present all wrapped into one.  And it was worth it.

I don't know if I'd push so hard to go again-- It's hard to imagine a Series ever competing with this one. But I will be eternally grateful that I was there to see it pulled off.

Congratulations to my wonderful Cardinals!  Here's to hoping 2012 is just as magical.

Did you know opening day is this week????  I did.  Let the 2012 games begin!  I know I'll be watching.

I'm reading mommy

Hunter can't read. But he likes to pretend.

I'll go in his room to check on him after I've put him to bed and he'll be "reading."

In the dark.

With the book upside down half the time.

I love it.  I'm so glad he's excited about reading!  I just find it hilarious that he "reads" in the dark.

This is what we found one night after bedtime, Hunter with his books.

Now if he'd just "read" on his bed instead of on the floor.

Jammie time

Madison and Hunter have started this habit of wanting "matching jammies" every night for bed.  It's kind of cute, but also kind of annoying.  It makes for one more thing to deal with at bed time.

Anyway, so they love to match.  And one of the things they can easily match are their Tapout shirts.  They will sometimes see the commercials for the UFC fights and see the face-off between the two fighters.  So, when they wear their shirts they like to pretend to "face-off" and then they giggle.  It is adorable.  Sometimes Hunter will pull out some of his karate hits and kicks.  Thankfully he has no power behind them yet.  Phew!

Nothing says "Goodnight, sleep tight!" like a healthy round of full contact fighting, right????

My bad habits

I'm one of those parents that happily puts their kid down for naps or bedtime with a bottle.  I have no issues with it.  I don't care what all the "professionals" say.  I need my kids to sleep.  I'll do whatever it takes to have them go down easily.  And all my kids have.  They barely fuss at all, sleep for long periods and wake up happy.

Just so you know, I only let them do this for a few months....I don't do it forever.  My kids get water and that's it at bedtime  now.  Even Presley.

Now that you know one of my bad habits, let me show you what I found a while back.

Apparently Presley didn't want her bottle at nap time.  So she squeezed the bottle until all the formula was out and then went to sleep.

How she could sleep on all the formula, I don't know.  All I can think about how uncomfortable and cold it would be.

Let me just say that after a few days of this she no longer got a bottle at nap time.

Finally! An Amanda trait!

I often joke that my kids are ALL Ryan....they have almost nothing of me in them.  They look so much like Ryan's side of the family, they have so many of his mannerisms and personality traits.  It has *almost* become funny to me.  Almost.

So, a few months ago when I ran across this at breakfast I had to get a picture.

Does anything scream "Amanda!" more than this???? I can't tell you how many times this has been me at the table.

Updating the house

 It constantly amazes me how much work has to go into a brand new house.  We bought our house thinking that we wouldn't have to put much money into it.  Oh, how I was wrong, Wrong, WRONG.

Blinds, ceiling fans, garage storage, the backyard, furniture that fits, water softener system and now painting.  Not to mention the fact that we've already had to repair the AC and microwave, and desperately need a new stove.  Thankfully our water heater hasn't gone out yet!!!

Needless to say, we are slowly getting through my list of things that I want done to the house. Heck, we've been in the house 3 years now and I'm just now decorating on top of my kitchen cabinets.

This year we finally finished the backyard.  Remember that post?  The kids love it, they have had so much fun playing back there!

And then we painted the house.....what an ordeal that was!  This is what our kitchen looked like for a week or two while we decided which colors we wanted....

Aaaand this is what our bedroom wall looked like.....picking a color for all the other rooms was easy....but finding a color for our room was NOT FUN.  I still don't love the color we went with, but I never found the color I really wanted.  All the colors I tried were wrong some how.  I can't tell you  how much money I spent on samples. It got a bit ridiculous.

I think I had 12 different options on our wall, and we went with a color I didn't even get a sample for.  I don't hate it, it's just too light for such a large bedroom.  Half the time it just looks like a soft white. Ugh.  Maybe one day I will find what I want and repaint.

So when it got painted we did the closets, the doors, the baseboards and the walls.  I am hoping we never, ever have to paint again.  Every item we own got moved.  I was exhausted by the end.  Two weeks of doing nothing but moving everything we own. Oy.

This is what our house looked like.  It was a crazy two weeks.

Now that it is over I am beyond ecstatic.  I love color on the walls, and my house REALLY needed some warmth. Thankfully it is over and done with.  On to the next project..... {sigh}

Madison's Piano Recital 2011

Madison has been playing the piano for a few years now and really, really enjoys it.  She loves to practice and gets so excited when she passes off her weekly songs.  She does not like it when she has to play the same songs two weeks in a row. That makes for a happy mommy-- I don't like paying for two weeks of the same lessons.

This year she had a recital at Christmas time.  She LOVED playing Christmas fact, she is still playing the Christmas songs every chance she gets.

She was able to perform: Deck the Halls and Jingle Bells

And what was Presley doing while the students were all performing??????  Playing with her bottle of course.

At home Hunter and Presley love when Madison practices.  They love the music in the house.  So when she is at school I will regularly find them on the piano "practicing."  It is adorable.

Hopefully they will enjoy practicing this much when they start taking their own lessons.