Saturday, August 30, 2008

Mullet Be Gone!

So after 1113 days of potential hair growth, I finally decided it was time to get rid of the mullet and get Leah her first hair cut. Hubby is still mortified that I cut Leah's hair; his thoughts were it took this long to get hair--why cut what little she has? Because stringy, scraggly, thin, mullet hair is not becoming on such an adorable three year old, dear.

Here is the before:

During the haircut:

And the after--ta da!

(Note--she didn't do anything to the bangs, that is how short they are after 3 years)

I happened to be making a trip back to where we used to live and got Leah in with my old hairdresser. She also gave Emma her first haircut--I told her if we would ever have a third, we'd be back again.

Now, I am not opposed to girls having long hair. I may let Emma's hair grow out at one point, but for now her bob suits her and its quick and easy. I will also let Leah's hair grow back out, but it needed to be cut. Most likely she has inherited my fine, thin hair which looks horrible long but I will humor hubby who thinks all girls should have long, thick, preferalby blonde hair. (Ain't gonna happen without a good dye and weave job in this family)

The main reason we went back to our "old town" was for me to have a Dr. appointment. Ladies, you all know . . . THAT one. I wasn't up to finding a new Dr. here in town, so I decided it would be easier to go back and see the one that I know and trust. Not to mention I have a slight crush on him in the "you saved my daughter at birth and I will love you forever" kind of way. He is an awesome guy and took great care of all our family in the 4 years we lived there. He has 5 boys and always loved seeing both of the girls--there has been talk about possible arranged marriages. I could tell he may have a slight preference for us--when you look at his bulletin board of pictures/Christmas cards/birth announcements we are up there at least three time. He has to clean it off to make room for new ones, but he leaves ours up there. Man, I miss it there.

Another reason I needed to get back was to go to my friend Robyn's store. She runs an awesome consignment shop where I used to get the majority of our clothes. Now I actually have to BUY clothes. Since I hadn't been there in awhile, I found quite a few great things--and it didn't cost me anything since I had credit there from the stuff I've sold. I got myself I new pair of Gap jeans, a JCrew shirt, Rocket Dog shoes, and an Anne Taylor loft skirt (for free since it had a hole in it that she knew I could fix). For Emma I got a couple Old Navy shirts and a pair of capris, and for Leah I got a pair of Old Navy pj's and a pair of Croc mammoth shoes. $4 for the shoes, ladies! Those retail for $30. I've tried to shop at the consignment store here in town and it just isn't the same--the prices are WAY too high and the clothes are WAY out of date. Robyn only carries recent styles and gets a lot of name brand stuff that looks barely worn. I used to visit at least twice a week. Now I've been there twice this year.

Those are the only reasons I would go back--cheaper haircuts, great Doctor, and awesome clothes. Now that I did all those things, I probably won't be back in awhile. I do not miss the town at all. I do not miss the 1+ hour drive on a crappy highway--I can't believe I drove that 3 days a week for 3 months, and hubby drove it everyday for 3 months.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Do you know what time it it?

It's college football time!! Tonight is the first home game for Iowa State and the girls and I are going (hubby is out of town with work). I still haven't figured out quite how we are getting to and from the game--those are minor details. We won't be able to stay for the whole game because kickoff is at 7:05 pm and Emma has school tomorrow. I know there will be a lot of tired kids at school on Friday considering the head coach, the athletic director, and many assistant coaches kids all go to her school. The neighbor boys (who have become slightly less annoying, amazingly enough) already told me at the bus stop this morning that they would be there for the whole game. It wouldn't be a big deal getting home late tonight except that we had a thunderstorm roll through last night and Emma was up for about 2 hrs in the middle of the night. We were both dragging this morning.

Anyway, Iowa State takes on South Dakota State University tonight. This is a little bit of a family rivalry on dh's side--his older brother and younger sister (and wife/husband) all went to SDSU while hubby and his younger brother (and their wives) went to ISU. Hopefully we'll come home with the bragging rights and show once and for all that a jackrabbit is a stupid mascot. ;) Sorry, G.

Here are few pictures from Emma's first ISU game back in 2004
Football stadium complete with marching band, fans, and players
Hanging out on the hill, looking cool
Tailgating after the game with her friend
Emma went to a few games that first year we moved back to Iowa. I think this was Homecoming that year, hanging out with Uncle Nick

Leah's first game was in 2006
They changed things up for their pregame routine this time--smoke came out of the helmet and everything
Tailgating before the game
Enjoying the game with Dad
Emma was there, too

We'll try to get to as many games as we can depending on the weather. The passes that the girls have only allow us sit on the hill, which hubby doesn't like (he claims you can't see the game--honey, with two young girls I'm not watching much of the game anyway). We don't have season tickets for the two of us to get in, so we mooch off my dad and whoever may have an extra ticket. A single ticket to sit on a piece of grass to watch ISU play Nebraska this year is $60. Not sure I'm willing to fork over that kind of cash unless I'm guaranteed a win. Let's hope we have quite a few of those this year!


Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Kindergarten Musings

Tonight was the Parent Open House for Emma's kindergarten. Here are a few things I learned:

  • "Open House" from 5:30 pm - 6:15 pm actually meant "Be there at 5:30 pm, the teacher has a lot to say and will address the parents as a group" Thankfully I had been cued into this fact by a couple neighbors who have been through the drill. Other first-time parents didn't read in between the lines and actually thought it was an open house. Maybe because every where it says its an open house.
  • It's started already: "There has been a confirmed case of cryptosporidium in your child's classroom." Great, 5 days into school and we're already passing the infectious diseases around. What's next, tuberculosis?
  • Due to the great wisdom in the state legislature (a.k.a. Democrats), classes can no longer legally ask for parents to give or even suggest for them to donate money for class field trips. I'm sure they thought they were doing teachers, parents, and students a favor by trying to keep the cost of going to school down. I get it, not everyone has an extra $4 to go to the Pumpkin Patch, but I would be more than willing to give an extra $4 for a student to go if it means everyone can go. But no, they can't ask for money so many of the class field trips have already been cancelled. Bummer, dude.
  • By the end of the school year my kindergarten child should be able to read the following words on his/her own: a, and, are, can, do, for, go, has, have, he, here, I, is, in, like, little, look, me, my, play, said, see, she, the, this, to, was, we, what, where, with, and you. The teacher said "They will be so tickled when they are able to read these words." Too bad Emma was reading those words a good 6 months ago. We are onto words like "quality" and "rambunctious". I am hoping the teacher keeps her word when she says she will keep those who already read challenged.
  • I do think this teacher is a good fit for Emma. The teacher loves science, nature, and animals--three of Emma's favorite things as well. The teacher used to have a bunny in her classroom until the administrators decided against any animal with fur. Again, I understand--allergy issues. She will be bringing him in on specials days, along with visits from her dogs. Kids are also encouraged to bring their pets for show and tell if they are able. Somehow I don't think our cat Elway would fare well in a class of 19 kids.
  • I signed up to volunteer at the Halloween Party and the Valentine Party, to go on the field trip to the Animal Clinic (if they can go), to be a guest chef when they make pizza in class (since they can't take their usual field trip to the local pizza place, Happy Joe's), and to volunteer to help out in the class. I wasn't brave enough to sign up for the school carnival, be a class parent, or coordinate the PTO basket for the silent auction. That would be a bit much.
  • Emma has always made best friends with a boy within days of stating school. Her first year of preschool it was Jared (who was adorable, BTW, and showered Emma with gifts throughout the year--that's the kind of boyfriend to have), last year it was Jensen, and this year it is CJ. CJ is also a doll and lives just down the street from us. The two of them happened to be outside one night last week and were able to play for just a few minutes. After he got inside, he promptly told his parents, "I love Emma." They hold hands walking onto the bus in the mornings and today they ate lunch together.
  • The teacher encouraged us to meet the other parents in the room because we would be spending the next 13 years with them. "And before you know it, your kids will be dating each other." Let's just try to get past kindergarten, first--then we'll start talking about dating.

Guess what I got!

On this morning's "To Do" list was to go to Target, which happens to be one of my favorite things to do. Who doesn't love Target? Anyway, I decided to splurge and buy myself something I've needed for a long time.

Ta da!

Are you as excited as I am? I have actually been wanting to buy this for quite some time, but always put it off. That means my floor don't get cleaned too often because I've been having to resort to the hands & knees method, which is not fun. Now I'm excited to clean my floor with my new Wonder Mop! Call me a dork, I don't care. I really like clean floors. I'll report back later to see if it was worth the $9.99 I spent on it. (Can you tell how cheap I am? I waited almost 9 months to buy a $10 mop which will hopefully save time and energy--I think I need professional help)

Wanna know what else I bought myself?
In ultra fine point. Once again, I am a dork about permanent markers. I have a deep love for them. Now that Emma is in school, I get to label everything I can get my hands on--in 12 different colors including fandango pink, playful purple, margarita green, and rambunctious red. How exciting is that?!

Gotta go mop and find something to write on . . .

Monday, August 25, 2008

15 years ago

Fifteen years ago in August I was 18 and a college freshman. Before school even started I have moved into the dorms to go through sorority rush and start marching band practices. (Yes, I was in both a sorority and the marching band) Being in marching band you automatically "meet" about 250 people--all majors, all backgrounds, from freshmen up to 5th year grad students. A lot of practicing is done by instrument, and then by rank--a group of 8-10 people who march together.

In my rank there were 5 guys (one of them also a freshman who I knew) and 6 girls (one of them a good friend of my older sister's, and one of them was TJ's roommate--a fact we happened to figure out earlier this year). One of the guys also happened to be my future husband.

I didn't know it right away; of course as a freshman I came to college with a boyfriend back home still in high school. Needless to say, we didn't stay together very long after I started college. Part of it had to do with the fact that we were totally different (I was dating a "bad boy" type at that time) and maybe part of it had to do with someone I met in band. Just maybe. Of course I thought this band guy was cute, but in the band/engineer nerd sort of way. We started dating a few months into school and the rest is history. Three years later we were engaged, four years later we were married, and now fifteen years later here we are.

The whole family, including my parents, were driving by the dorms where I lived as a freshman yesterday on our way to a Cyclone event. As I was reminiscing saying, "Fifteen years ago I met John", Emma pipes up from her seat and asks "Did you like John when you first met him?" The rest of the van errupted into laughter--I don't know if I ever did answer her question.

Emma--the answer is, "Yes, I did like John when I first met him. And I still like him now."

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Birthday ReCap

Leah had a very memorable birthday this year, but most of those memories will have to do with doctor's offices, ambulance rides, and hospital stays. We ended up having a very small party for her. Bad mommy that I am didn't even pull out the "3" candle or sing "Happy Birthday" to her. Poor girl got ripped off in the fun department this year. Thankfully she doesn't really know the difference and hopefully won't be scarred for life. Well, actually she will be--from surgery she had two days after her birthday.

Here is Leah opening a couple birthday presents in her hospital bed

Talking on the phone with Emma, playing with the Dora doll she got from the hospital for her birthday

This puppy was another birthday present (don't tell her we got it for free at the Fair for buying a new cell phone--it is a Webkinz). Shadow went into surgery with Leah and has a hospital ID wristband for a collar

"And then they gave me an enema which really sucked, and I couldn't eat, and they cut me open. But I get to watch all the movies I want so this hospital thing isn't too bad. Miss you, Emma!"

After surgery was over and she was getting ready to go home, we checked out the playroom at the hospital

On the elevator with Dad, headed home

You can barely see the small incisions she has from her laparoscopic surgery; two on the front (one in between her nipples and one under her armpit) If you look closely, you can also see her 5 inch scar she has from her initial surgery as a baby

One in back

She didn't get a Little Mermaid cake, but she did get to be the Little Mermaid

Gotta love how big sisters behave when it isn't their day

Enjoying the lame-o cupcakes I made (dh thought they were lame considering I had a masterpiece of a cake planned)

Leah is now this many

Thursday, August 21, 2008

That was a compliment, right?

So Leah is a little obessed with "oobies" lately. She always telling me, "I like your oobies" and trying to cop a feel. She comments on Daddy's oobies, her oobies, Dora's oobies, Barbie's oobies--and on and on. I won't tell the poor girl she's more than likely to be blessed with small oobies.

I guess now her body part obession has turned south. We were walking up the stairs for lunch today (her behind me) and she says, "I like your big butt!" Thanks, honey! Good thing you are cute and innocent, Mommy usually doesn't like to be told she has a big butt.

Its going to be a long year

The battle of wills has already begun, and its only the second day of school. Emma has some very particular clothing issues (mainly having to do with undergarments and occasionally socks). Underwear really bother her and I have a hard time finding a style that she can wear comfortably. She is constantly complaining and pulling at them and bothered by them. To the point of tears most days.

I'm at a loss over what to do. I do make compromises, trying to buy her clothes that she likes to wear. I haven't purchased a new pair of jeans for her in a year--maybe by winter it will be cold enough that she'll want to wear jeans, but for now they bug her. As do about 90% of all the other pants I bought her last spring and summer.

I had to bribe her to wear the shorts she had on yesterday. Of course once they were on, I'm sure they didn't bother her once all day because she was so busy. But getting to that point involved some begging, bribing, and threats. And it started all over again this morning. I tried to alleviate the whole situation by having her help me pick out an outfit the night before, but then the weather forecast was about 10 degrees cooler than what I thought and we needed to change our plan this morning. Once again, bribes, threats and tears (hey, that sounds like a cool new music group!) were all present before the ungodly hour of 7:15 am. Too early to be fighting with a tired, grumpy kid when you are also tired and grumpy.

I've even pulled out the "I paid a lot of money for those clothes" line; she's not impressed. Off to try and find some suitable options online.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

She's gone!!

Wanna know what today is? The first day of school!! Emma has been ready to go to kindergarten for about 2 years now, so she was super excited about today. We kept asking her if she was nervous, and she would just say, "No, I'm excited!" Let's hope that enthusiasm continues for the next 20 or so years.

As for me, I am doing the happy dance distraught with emotion. Isn't that how I am supposed to feel? I'm not one of those sentimental moms (no offense if you are); rather I'm so glad she'll be out of the house for a good 8 hrs a day. I've been home with her the past 5 years and at times our personalities are too close to get along. My hubby often says we purposely egg each other on with our behavior. So I think its time she has a little break from mom. Of course all month she has been saying she wants out of the house, "To be away from whiny kids and bossy moms." That makes two of us, sister!

Ready for school

Saying good-bye to Dad

The bus stop (this is just the kids on our street, our neighborhood has two buses and lots of stops)

I did drive to school to make sure she got there and got to her class okay. The teacher had invited parents to come for the opening story, so we made a point to be there.

In line with her class

Talking with the principal

Putting things into her locker

Listening to the story

I have been given instructions that I should be waiting for her at 3:30 pm when she gets off the bus with "a special treat". I'm not sure what that means to her, but I did promise her an ice cream treat yesterday.

Now its time to tackle my "To Do Once Emma Goes To Kindergarten" list. So far all I've got done is:
1. Visit Starbucks for a venti skinny white chocolate mocha w/no whip (hey, I was up at 6:15am and need some caffiene!)
2. Catch up on blogs, upload pictures, and post on my blog
Is that enough for today? I wouldn't want to get everything done at once.

Leah is going to have the hardest time adjusting. Emma has been there with her everyday for the past three years. As we're driving away from school she says, "I miss Emma." Just breaks your heart. :( One of other parents asked Leah what she was going to do today and her reply was, "Party!" So far she's been happy to watch Sesame Street and Caillou. And with our lack of progress in the potty training area, she may be at home with me the next three or four years.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Operation Skinny Bitch

It seems like I am always trying to lose weight--aren't we all? Before I got pregnant with Emma, I did the Weight Watchers points thing on my own. I borrowed the materials, got some inspiration (from where, I'm not sure--if that same inspiration could come back now, that would be great), and lost about 25 lbs. I started walking every day--in the middle of January and February in Minnesota. Walking turned into semi-jogging and by May I ran my first 5K. Granted I ran 15 minute miles, but I ran the entire thing. I was feeling good about myself and how I looked.

Then I got pregnant. That was ultimately the goal for weight loss--to be healthy to get pregnant. I gained the recommended amount of weight during pregnancy. Of course I got left with 10 extra pounds once Emma was about 1 year old. Add another kid, add another 10 extra pounds or so. I've mentioned before that I am slightly vertically challenged, so a few extra pounds isn't the most flattering thing on me.

I've started/stopped trying to lose weight more times than I can count. This January I signed up with (totally free) and it worked . . . somewhat. So far this year I've "started over" three times. I have lost some weight, but have no momentum. I was getting all psyched up to start again when I saw this post on Cristin's blog. Perfect. I could join OSB and find motivation and support. Then life happened. But I am still determined to use OSB and sparkpeople to get me motivated and on the losing end again. Wish me luck!

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Our State Fair

Is a great State Fair (sing along with me!) Before everything happened last week, we had a fun day at the State Fair. My family always went every year when we were growing up. In high school I even lived at the state fair for a week (I was on State 4-H Council--are you impressed?). Once dh and I were married, we went to the Minnesota State Fair every year. Now we are back in Iowa and haven't made it there in a few years. Dh got free tickets (including gate, food, and rides) through work; we tried to make it there on Saturday but Leah was starting to complain her tummy hurt that day. We did go on Sunday and looking back at what we put Leah through, it may not have been the best idea! Oh well, we all had a great time. **please excuse any ginormous pictures--photobucket, the computer and I are not getting along** Where else can you:

See Bob the Builder

Hug an elephant

Look like your favorite college mascot

See a giant blue gorilla selling spas

Ride the sky glider

Go down the giant slide (those are Emma's feet up in the air)

See a giant Army dude go down the slide

Ride dizzy dragons and spinning bears (please do not call CPS on me--we didn't know at that time that Leah's guts were up in her chest)

Pretend to be a farmer

Pose in cheesy cut outs

And see Clifford the Big Red Dog (excuse the photos, our camera sucks)

Those were just a few of the things we did get pictures of. We also saw

A cow made entirely out of butter

A huge pig

And a big bull

(Since we didn't take pictures of these things, the pictures are stolen from kdotp. This is what Emma looked like the last time we made it to the State Fair)

Its been a few years, but we'll be there again next year. Its the only time I can eat a bowl of fruit, fresh fudge, deep fried cheese curds, a huge pickle, a battered and deep fried Snickers bar, and a cup of chocolate chip cookies all in once place. (Yes, that is just what I ate; not hubby or the girls).