Sunday, February 21, 2010

Recap of the last few months

There is no way I would be able to re-cap from last August so I thought I would start from this January and share some of my favorite moments from 2010 so far.
Play-off Game (Packers vs. cardinals)
In January, Brian and I attended our very first play-off game. It was the most exciting game that I have ever been to. The energy in the stadium was awesome, too bad we were rooting for the packers though. The packers ended up losing, but it was a very exciting game that ended in OT after a cardinals missed field goal in the last few seconds of the fourth quarter. As in most games there were some pretty beligerent fans, but the difference between most games and this one is that I was the one who was getting pretty angry while brian, for the most part, stayed fairly calm. Overall, we had a great time!
Disney on Ice
Also in January we went to see Disney on ice with a our friends Tanya and her daughter Jacqueline. It was a very exciting night for the girls, but also for me too. I had been waiting to take Makenzie to plays and shows like this since she was born. I was looking forward to sharing my interests of theatre and live shows with my daughters. Tanya and I made the whole evening somewhat of a date night with our daughters and we took them to Olive Garden beforehand and then headed over to the US Airways Center. As in all things done by disney, it was absolutely magical. They had a display of all the princess dresses and the real life princesses waving and saying hello to all the little girls. Makenzie and jacq just loved it! Then we found our way to our seats and watched a show that was fabulous. It kept a 3 and 4 year old entertained the entire time with a brief intermission. I loved the show as well and am looking forward to taking the girls to disneyland this year.
Daddy Daughter Dance

Every year makenzie's school hosts a daddy daughter dance around valentine's day. Last year she was unable to go, but this year I convinced Brian to take her and she was so excited! Before the dance I took her to the hair salon and she got a special updo. She picked out her party dress and put on her dress-up heels (Thank you jessica- the girls love them). Upon arrival the girls got corsages and sat at tables dressed with real linens and ate cake and chocolate covered strawberries. It was like prom for little girls. They also had professional photography on site to capture the special event. Makenzie had fun dancing with all her friends and her daddy. I loved all the pictures but these were my favorite.

Workin' Mama

Where have I been lately and why haven't I blogged since last August? Well besides the fact that I was never really great at blogging in the first place. I started working exactly 3 months ago today. What started out as a couple days a week has slowly been taking over most of my free time. I barely have time to take pictures much less upload them and then blog about them. LOL Working has been a major transistion in my household. Brian is now responsible for a lot more and I am now a contributing monetarily to our family. Some things have been neglected in the transition, but both brian and I are making sure that the girls are not one of those things. Working with kids has been harder than I ever imagined. I have always been the type that enjoyed work and can see the positive in any job, but I never anticipated the guilt that would come over me when both girls cling to my legs not wanting me to go or the sad looks that that would flash on makenzie's face when I say yes to her question of, "mommy do you have to work tonight?" It hasn't been all bad though. I LOVE my job. I feel like in many ways I am making a difference in the lives of others. I love connecting with people and hearing the stories that my residents tell and hearing about their lives before coming to live at our facility. The work itself can be challenging especially when in the short three months I have worked there I have already been bit by a resident and pushed through a door almost into a wall because the resident wanted to leave. Both of these instances imediately made me want to quit, but I get plenty of hugs, kisses, I love you's and thank you's to make up for the bad. Not sure where I am headed in the working world, but wherever it is I hope that it gets a little easier on our family and it continues to be worthwhile!

Monday, August 17, 2009

Then and Now

Shortly after moving to Az and joining a mom's group I met a wonderful person who has since become one of my good friends. Adrianna is leaving for a few months and I will miss her! I thought this would be a perfect time to look back on one of my fonder memories of our two girls. Adrianna has a daughter who is very close in age to Madison and when the girls were younger it was very hard to tell the two apart. They both had lighter hair and pretty much bald heads. They were roughly the same size and developmentally the same, for the most part. In the first picture (taken when the girls were about 8 mos.) they look very similar to each other and the second picture was just taken August 1st (Girls are 2) and it is evident how much they have grown and how they each have their own look now. Adrianna and I still laugh about how much they looked alike and how we always had a hard time telling them apart. I just know that Adrianna is going to be one of those friends that will be in my life for a long time and hopefully our girls will be able to grow up together (along with many of my other friends and their amazing kids).

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Back to School

Makenzie started back to school on Monday (orientation) and then her first official day was Wed.
Makenzie had missed school so much so she was not scared or upset when it was time for me to go. She did seem sad to leave Madison and told her, "I will miss you best friend!" That made my heart melt, but for the most part I was tear-free. Makenzie goes to an awesome school and they served us all breakfast and had a present for all of the parents which was called a cry baby bag or a parent survival kit. Attached was a little letter that I thought was so precious I had to share it:

Dear parents,

After you have wiped your tears, make yourself a cup of tea. Put your feet up and relax and take a minute to remember a few things while holding...

Cotton Ball- The softness will help you to remember the gentle spirit of your child
Rubber Band- Remember to help your child learn the possibilities and importance of having a flexible mind, heart and body. Stretch them, but not to the breaking point.
Candle- Celebrate life with your child. We usually celebrate birthdays and other special occasions, but overlook life's daily triumphs. Everyday miracles and extraordianary effort are reason enough to celebrate.
String- Think of it as a kite string- and remember to let your child soar, but don't let go of the string.
Penny- This is for your child's thoughts. Remember to have a conversation. lots of conversations. Don't just tell your child what you think or what they should think. Find out what they think. Encourage them to think for themselves. then listen very, very carefully.
Cross- Remember that Jesus loves you and your child

Thank you for entrusting your child with us. we promise to do our best every day to be your child's companion in learning and growing, both academically and spiritually.

Blessings, your staff at Christ Greenfield Lutheran preschool

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer Fun!

With school starting tomorrow, I thought that I would recap our summer and some of the amazing experiences that we have had.

My Friends

This is just a few of the amazing women that I am lucky to call my friends. Moving out here two years ago I never thought that I would meet a group of ladies that are as amazing, friendly, understanding and supportive as these wonderful women. We try to meet at least once a week and all of us have at least one kid that is around the same age. This particular picture was taken at a birthday party for sweet mackenzie!

D-Backs Game July 24th, 2009

We had so much fun at the diamond back stadium. They have an amazing play land for the kids and a peter piper pizza inside. The girls loved playing and eating super expensive stadium food. We were really high up though which was kinda scary when you have an energetic 2 year old, but it all worked out and will definitely be going to another game soon!

Maddie's 2nd Birthday at CEC
I have very fond memories of Chuck E. Cheese since I worked there for most of high school. I have always thought they were a great company and provide so much fun. Makenzie had her first birthday at CEC and now Madison has celebrated a birthday there as well. It was so much fun and she was able to celebrate with some of her closest friends. Madison ended up with a black eye (which Brian attributes to the coger birthday curse), but she really enjoyed herself and I think had an awesome birthday!

Toddler Mcdonalds
One of my favorite things about AZ is how kid friendly everything is. There is so many options to get your kids out of the heat and one of the cheapest is the Toddler Mcdonalds. They have an entire play area dedicated to toddlers. It can get pretty crowded, but we were able to meet up with our friend baby mackenzie and her mommy for some lunch and play before it got too packed!

4th of July

One of my earliest childhood memories is going to Fairmont Park in CA and having BBQ's. If anyone knows my mom it is one of her favorite parks and she suggests going there for any holiday which permits having a BBQ. This was where we spent the fourth of July and it was a ton of fun! We played badminton for a couple hours (YES HOURS) and sat by the lake enjoying awesome food and visiting with family and friends.

Night Swimming Anyone?
Our first night in CA, my mom insisted that we all break out our bathing suits and go swimming. Madison couldn't stay awake, but the rest of us were swimming around 11PM. Makenzie thought it was the coolest thing in the whole world taht we could stay up late to go swimming!
Road Trip
This is one of my favorite pictures from our road trip to CA. It was not a really special drive and is one that we have made dozens of times, but I wanted to make it seem more like a vacation so me and the girls played all kinds of games and took a dozen pictures. This was during a stop for gas. While in Ca we got to do two things I have never done before which is visit the L.A. Zoo (free with my Phoenix zoo membership) and the aquarium of the pacific (which is fantastic!!!)
Makenzie's Birthday Party
Makenzie celebrated her fourth birthday at build-a- Bear. She really wanted to have it there and wanted to invite her entire class. It was so much fun watching all of the kids make their bears, but I thought the best part was seeing all of her classmates react when they saw each other. They had been on summer vacation for about a month before Makenzie's party so when they saw each other they were giving hugs and were so excited to see each other. Makenzie and madison still are sleeping with the bears they made so I think it was a hit!

Tuesday, June 9, 2009

Veg Pledge

As some of you may know, before getting pregnant with makenzie I was a vegetarian. At that time, I wanted to eat healthier and I have a liking for for pigs and cows. I think they are cute so I felt bad eating them. I lasted for a long time, but when I got pregnant I craved burgers. That was probably the reason that I gained so much weight during that pregnancy. I seriously had like three burgers a day at least. Since then I have just not had the motivation to go back. Growing up a meat eater it is just easier and more convenient for me to cook meat rather than try to be creative in thinking up veg recipes. However, I have really wanted to go back and try it again. The last couple weeks I have been strongly considering it and I keep coming across more and more things that are pushing me in that direction. So, it is official starting Monday june 15th I am no longer going to be eating meat. I took a pledge through PETA to try it for 30 days in which I will see how manageable it is for me with 2 kids and a husband (who is NOT giving up meat). This time around there is a variety of reasons for doing this. Some of the reasons are:
It is healthier
Vegetarians have more energy, lower cholesterol and are at lower risk for heart disease
It helps save animals
The grain used to feed live stock can be used to help feed the hungry
Cows and pigs are cute (some people may think poultry/seafood is cute)
One thing I cannot give up is dairy. I like milk, cheese, etc. and no amount of soy substitutes are going to make up for it. Other than that no beef, pork, poultry or seafood for at least 30 days, but quite possibly longer. If anyone knows any tasty vegetarian recipes please send them my way and wish me luck!

Animal LOVE

Among other things, last week me and the girls went shopping at old Navy. they were having a sale on dresses and skirts so I wanted to stop by and see if I could find anything. The first thing Madison sees is the Manequins standing at the front of the store. They are the ones in the commercial with the moms and dads and kids and a DOG!!! Madison was hooked. We spent at least fifteen minutes while Madison hugged the "kids" and pet the "dog". I had to drag her away so I could, heaven forbid, shop for clothes. Makenzie was waiting to see the doggie on the bench so we eventually made our way to the kids section, but there was no dog. Makenzie was so bummed. I got them bouncie balls to keep them occupied (big mistake bc every 2 seconds I was chasing after someone's ball) while I finished shopping. As we made our way to the dressing room Makenzie screamed, "there he is!!!!!!" The dog was in the dressing room. the girls ran over and spent the next ten minutes sitting with the dog. Makenzie asked if I could take their picture so here it is.

Following the animal theme, Madison has been working on her animal sounds. I thought it would be cute to take a video of her practicing. (Please excuse the laundry in the was laundry day!)

Okay so NO video... i started posting this at 3:00 and it is now 7:30 and is still not uploaded. I will edit this later