Tuesday, December 2, 2008

It's been a long time. The good thing about waiting forever to post on your blog is that there are a million things you can think of to write about. The bad thing is you've lost most of your readers(I know of 2 maybe 3) who now think "What's the point of checking Erin's blog....she never posts anything." Ok so here's a summary of the last few weeks. First....no we didn't get San Diego.....Daniel was one of 2 candidates.....who were both very qualified, but the other happened to have tons of auditing experience as well as a husband who makes and sells surfboards.....unfortunately a perfect fit for the job and area. But, I think things happen for a reason and I'm sure it'll be a little more clear in the future why this happened this way. We've had a few more interviews since then and I'm sure we'll have answers very soon (Christmas time).

We spent the last week in Bloomington, IL with my family for Thanksgiving. We had lots of fun and did lots of shopping. Both Daniel and Ashley had birthdays last week which gave us a couple of excuses to eat lots and lots of cake. So Ashley is 3 and Daniel is 27. We're all getting so OLD. Some of us are old and still not potty trained. I assume you all know I'm not talking about Daniel, but AM talking about Ashley. How do you potty train a child who has no desire to be potty trained. Do you just throw her in underwear and hope she gets tired of soiling herself before I get tired of cleaning her up...or I should say before I literally cannot clean up another mess? One thing I did that motivated Andrew during potty-training(quite by accident) was I cried one time when he had an accident at the mall. It had been a long day and I was very pregnant. I think this really may have scarred him for life and certainly made him think twice about having an accident. The first thing he said after his next accident was "Mommy please don't cry". Heartbreaking huh?....but maybe the key to pottytraining your children through guilt.

Anyway, back to the shopping.....I love black Friday and had so much fun fighting the crowds at 6 am at walmart and target....got some great deals. Anyone who avoids the madness on black Friday is missing out....although it's clearly tragic how crazy some people get on this day. An employee was trampled to death at Wal-Mart in New York......that's ridiculous and very sad. I go with the mindset that I may not get a crazy deal and that's ok....and am usually pleasantly surprised. I got a new camera in fact....a screamin deal I think.....so perhaps I'lll post more pictures. The biggest obstacle now to overcome in terms of posting pictures is to get Ashley to stick around for a picture. It angers her when I point the camera at her. She's a fiesty one ....I'm scared for when she's a teenager. Here's a picture of our family.....may be on our Christmas cards this year....but here it is anyway.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

We're currently in San Diego for a job interview...but come home tomorrow....details to come.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Should I be worried? Ok so I'll admit one of my hobbies is reading fashion magazines. I've recently become a fan of one magazine in particular.....People Style Watch. This magazine consists of page after page of celebrities and their latest outfits and how we...the less fortunate...can find a comparable and more affordale outfit. I like fashion and am interested in it....and let me be honest I need the help to know what is and what is not in fashion....Daniel tries but he IS a guy and well enough said. Anyway Daniel and I were skimming People Style Watch tonight(what a fun husband I have, huh?!) and Andrew happened to look over our shoulders at one point. When his eyes met with a cute girl in an add for a Conair hairdryer(that is sure to make every girl as beautiful as the one in the add).....he exclaimed "I like girls!".... and gave her a big kiss on the lips. Daniel and I just looked at each other in shock. WOW. He's 4....and we're not even close to being ready for that. So hence the first line of my post .....should I be worried?

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Here are my two charmers!

Here we are at the Halloween party at church. I know...my costume IS the scariest. ;)

Bad lighting but look at the chubby little ladybug.....So happy to have found her old friends...3 Musketeers and Crunch bar!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Here are the two beanbag toss games I made....with tons of help from my stepdad. Some might say a little too much went in to this for a couple of Halloween games.....but it was fun and Drew and Ash have already enjoyed playing it in the garage....so well worth it.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Noticing the good things. Andrew and Ashley have become quite the good older brother/sister. Andrew is my in-the-car helper who feeds Holly Cheerios in the car...especially on long trips. This sometimes stresses him out I think and he frequently says "I'm having a hard time feeding Holly".....or "Just one more right?"...but it's good for him. He knows how often to give her one by her signal. She growls when she wants another one and so then he puts another cheerio in her mouth....I should say 5 cheerios...she's getting bigger. Perhaps we should teach her sign language so that she doesn't have to growl at us to get food. Or, I suggested to Daniel tonight that we teach her a high-pitched growl for when she wants drinks and then of course a low-pitched growl for bites of food. Anyway, I can always depend on Andrew to help me out with Holly for feeding and entertaining her in the car.

Ashley too is enjoying her role as an older sibling. She always gives the first drink from her sippy cup to Holly. Also when I give Ashley peanut mnm's ....it's not too long after that I see Holly come around the corner with blue (or whatever color mnm I gave Ashley) drool streaming down her face. I then tell Ash....no more mnm's for Holly she could choke....but the idea was sweet ....right?

Finally, Holly is starting to walk more than just a few steps....seems to be in sync with her 2nd cousin...first cousin once removed....I dunno....anyway Callie Green...I hope I spelled her name right. So Holly walks....and it's so adorable to see the look of pride in her eyes accompanied by a huge grin as we cheer her on with each step. Tonight we put Andrew and Ashley's mini pumpkins in their wal-mart shopping cart and let Holly push it around the kitchen. She loved it!
Ahhh kids.....so sweet sometimes.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Here's my trendy...and one can't deny...chubby little girl. You can see how the vest is pulling a bit across the mid-section. Still....what a sweetheart.

Andrew loves dressing up in his Halloween costume weekly. He just got this horse and loves to ride it around the living room saying "eah-haw horsie...eah-haw!". The horse neighs and gallops....he tells it to settle down sometimes. What a handsome fella!

Friday, October 17, 2008

So I don't have those other pictures I promised but I do have these.

Holly's headed to town in a car that seems to be in better
shape than our other two.
Hmmm...looks like it too needs a little push sometimes.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

What have we been up to? Well here're a few things...just to let you know I'm not dead. We've become obsessed with the Wii fit....could be worse right? We're yoga masters....well I am....and it's hilarious to watch Daniel try to be. He's an amazing hoolahooper though. I'm really liking it and my thighs are killing me. I reccommend it.

Andrew's class went to the fire station today...pictures to come. It was so cute....we met his class there...he got to ride a little bus there and I think that may have been his favorite part of the day. Anyway he's getting so big....I teared up watching the excitement on his face as he got out of the bus at the fire station. It's so fun being a mom and watching your kids experience new things .....especially the good things. He even got to spray the fire hose...not at full blast....I think that would've blown him away.

Finally, last weekend my stepdad and I made these two halloween beanbag toss games out of wood. Yes, we used power tools and everything. Now all I have left to do is paint them. One's a pumpkin face....the other is a spiderweb with holes to throw spiders through. We made them for our church halloween party.....again pictures to come. Andrew and Ashley are going to be a cowboy and cowgirl for halloween....which leaves Holly......I was thinking horse or cow to match...but as of yet I have a ladybug costume from when Ash was little....we'll see.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

What do you do? What do you do with 3 kids ages 4 and under when they go wild any time you are in public? I used to have the philosphy that being away from home with the kids was somehow easier to stomach than being at home. I now am on the fence. On the one hand when you're away from home time goes by more quickly and the kids are messing up someone else's place. Now on the other you have to constantly keep them from getting you kicked out of places and from giving other people the impression that you are a horrible parent and obviously don't know what you're doing. Lately during any outing....Andrew and Ashley in particular act like wild hyenas running, screaming, and laughing maniacally. With this new development...not that they were ever little angels but they used to be better....I'm not quite sure what to do. Lately I've tried to be very military with the opinion that I will just be firm in demanding order while we're out....I'm not going to stay at home because practice makes perfect...right? Not working so far. I spend lots of energy disciplining and worrying what other people are thinking and to no avail. Should I just let kids be kids....and think who cares what other people think as long as they are not vandelizing or mooning anyone.....or is staying at home really the only option for a mom with a 4 year-old, almost 3 year-old, and a 9 month-old? I think wal-mart has the stay at home moto.....the carts that hold 3 kids now have been fixed so they only hold 2 at our local wal-mart....Thank you very much Wal-mart!

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Ok so Jessica tagged me to do this blog. You're supposed to list 6 quirks about yourself. I'll do my best.

1. I'm a crazy road rager. It's true. I confess. As much as I'd like to believe I'm not...I find myself yelling at people in my car for doing things as small as taking too long to get going at a stop sign. I never really realize it until someone is in the car with me. For all of you that heard Elder Wirthlin speak...you know that his comments hit home with me. :) And I quote....
"Have you ever seen an Angry driver who when someone else makes a mistake acts as though that person has insulted his honor, his family, his dog, and his ancestors all the way back to Adam?".....He encouraged us to laugh in those situations instead of "raging".....I'm going to try

2. I'd rather fix a car than fix a meal. Maybe that's apparent from my previous posts, but really I'd just get more joy out of fixing a car. I don't hate cooking....especially when it's for a big group that acts appreciative....instead of toddlers who'd be just as happy with mac n cheese. So Daniel cooks dinner a lot.....don't feel too sorry for him....he likes to cook.

3 I only like talking on the phone to a close few....(Daniel, Dad, Mom, Sister).....or to total strangers. It's those people in between that I have a hard time talking to. I feel pressure to constantly be talking....no silences. So, what do I do when a silence comes....say something stupid inevitably. So I try to avoid phone conversations with others for that reason. Crazy I know.

4. I've developed a love of peppers.....red and green that is. No I'm not pregnant. I just think my taste buds have decided it's time for me to branch out. They are tastey.

5. I love scrabble. Daniel has informed me that this makes me a nerd....and that I'm a minority in this way. He humors me with a game or two a year so I don't get my fill. I just like word games.

6. I'm rarely the right temperature. I spend a lot of time adjusting our thermostat....opening and closing windows...turning on and off fans.....or messing with the temperature in the car when I'm driving. Lucky for me Daniel doesn't seem to care.....or he pretends not to anyway.

So hopefully you'll all still be my friends after reading this. I'm quirky....aren't we all?

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

I am a certified bug-a-phobe.....I'm sure there's a more technical term for that....in fact let me look that up. Ahhh I'm actually an Acarophobic which means I fear itching or the insects that cause itching. This weekend we went to my cousin Tony's wedding which took place in a garden/park. It was all very beautiful except for the millions of little oat bugs which decided to attend the wedding as well. It was horrible....we actually were late for the wedding and thank goodness. Millions of tiny bugs coated everything....bug spray was being passed left and right and let's just say I'm lucky to have come out alive. I now have somewhere around 30 itchy bites. I was freaking out the whole time constantly brushing my legs and arms to make sure no bugs were on me. I also avoid taking walks at night(something Daniel loves) because of this fear of itch-causing bugs. I now embrace spiders and all that they do to capture and eat these bugs. In fact yesterday while I was in my room Ashley yelled to me from the kitchen that there was a big spider on the floor. I yelled back...don't touch it ...I'll be right there. When I got there a big hairy spider was there...and Ashley confessed she had touched it with her finger...kids have no fear. AnywayI actually captured the spider in my house...this big scary one....and let it go outside in order to further my cause....killing these other bugs. My fear of itch-causing bugs has overrided my fear of spiders. I have to say my fear may be somewhat due to the fact that bugs seem to love biting me....Daniel also attended the wedding and I think came away bugbite free....simply not fair.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's Alive!(imagine a spooky igor voice) Tonight my dad and I replaced the alternator on the white car. So, it lives on. I'm seriously contemplating going to vocational school after my kids are all grown up....to learn how to be a mechanic....even just audit a few classes. I love knowing about cars and how to fix them...and I hate being dependent on greasy sexist guys to fix them...I know all mechanics aren't that way....but so many are. Anyway we'll see how long this fix lasts. Anyone need a new alternator?

Saturday, September 20, 2008

A weekend to remember. Since I don't know html well enough to figure out how to have a title and am too lazy to figure it out...the first line of my blog will be my title. This weekend was great...let me tell you why. Friday morning we decided to take a trip to St. Louis...again...we were just there last weekend....and we figured since we have such a reliable car....why not. Anyway Friday afternoon we went to the temple and then got to spend the night at a hotel which included swimming in the indoor pool and getting less sleep than we would have liked since all five of us were in the same hotel room....it turns out Ashley snores quite loudly. Today...we woke up and got ready and then headed out to the Great Forest Park hot air balloon race. To our surprise my mom called and said she'd be coming down to meet us...which we were all excited about. So she met us at the festival....where we ate overpriced food and the kids got to bounce in a few bounce houses. After a couple of hours the kids got wrestless though and we were wondering if there really were going to be hot air balloons since there were none in sight so we decided to head to the st. louis science center nearby. What a great science center they have...and it's FREE. While there we got to see tons of dinosaur exhibits and watched an omnimax movie all on dinosaurs(Andrew's favorite). Did you know velociraptors actually had feathers unlike the ones you see in Jurrasic Park? Did you further know that the chubby skeptical kid in the beginning of Jurrasic park was the missionary who taught me?...moving on.

After a fun day at the festival and science center we headed home in our reliable car. On the way home 'ol reliable's lights started flickering and all of gauges suddenly stopped working. Soon she shut down completely right while we were passing through a small town called Pinckneyville. Since our battery was essentially dead we pretty much just had to stop in the middle of the road with no warning to anyone. Luckily two guys in a truck pulled up and helped us push the car into what looked like an abandoned wearhouse's parking lot.....come to find out it was an auto repair shop that was open on a Saturday night....hoooray. The mechanic that was there said he'd be happy to charge our battery so we could at least make it home....but since the alternator isn't working we weren't allowed to turn anything on...ac...radio.....anything that would take extra volts. Anyway, the point is....we are so blessed. Imagine if it'd stopped a mile earlier......we would have had to get it towed and to who knows where and the kids would have been crabby...or if it'd stopped in St. Louis rush hour traffic on the interstate and the list goes on as to what could have gone wrong, but our car died essentially in a mechanic's garage where a very honest and friendly mechanic was working on a Saturday night. God knows us, knows what we're going through, watches out for us, and blesses us......we are so grateful. So it was a weekend to remember....full of fun memories. Is this the end of the white car?....stayed tuned.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

So our car is on its death bed. We found out a week er so ago that it needs a new alternator and a new transmission...in other words bye bye car. It's a white chevy malibu with 192,000 miles on it...no I didn't mistakenly add an extra zero....some people actually keep their cars that long.....actually I bet most of you can relate. She's had a good run and definitely held up to her end of the bargain so I don't blame her. It seems odd to me that I get a little attached to my cars and start talking about them as if they were people...but I do. Anyway Daniel and I had always kind of said when this one goes it's minivan time since we do have 3 kids and hopefully our family will only get bigger. So we've been roughly making plans to get a minivan. As a side note we also have another car, a 1985 Honda Civic hatchback, which Daniel drives to and from school....great gas mileage.....but quite small and not so pretty. Last night we were talking about how we'd come up with the money for the van ......I can't seem to sell enough on ebay to do it so we were trying to think of another way....when Daniel came up with what was according to him a Brilliant idea. "How about you drive the 85 Honda when the white car dies?" I was/am less than excited about this idea. Imagine me driving around me and three little people....in a car about the size of those rides at grocery stores....the ones that cost like 75 cents and give the kids whiplash....not to mention I don't know how to drive a stick shift.....and I'm too proud to learn. I've told my father-in-law and husband that I can get through this life without ever learning how and I wanted to prove that to them. ANyway it'd be like those clown cars at the circus...all of us getting into this car. But....we can't exactly afford a new car...not without student loans.....so I'm torn between being a thrifty person and sacrificing in order to stay out of debt.....and being comfortable...perhaps safe...and having the convenience of having two cars still in the family. ANy thoughts?

Thursday, September 11, 2008

First day of school ahhhhhhhh! So Andrew went to school this morning. Daniel and I got him ready and decided we both wanted to drop him off. We were a little worried he wouldn't want to stay when he realized we weren't going to be there but........After we met his teacher and we got everything squared away.....he ran over to us and asked for hugs and said "Goodbye mommy.....Goodbye daddy!"......as in get out of here. Mixed emotions of course....but the overall feeling from me is.....I'm happy for him.....he's really excited to meet new friends....play....learn letters....etc. Here's a pic of the little guy!

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

So it's been sort of an eventful week. Sunday my sister, Sarah, arrived to spend the week with us. This was much needed and I've definitely appreciated the help. First major help was on Monday....when Andrew got a physical for preschool. That day went a little something like this...
We wait in waiting room for like an hour while the kids play with toys that other sick kids have played with....I'm not sure what they're thinking having toys in the waiting room....but it's either that or have a room full of screaming crazy kids. Next.....we go see the doctor where Ashley asks(in her I have a cold voice)......"What are you gonna do to my brudder?"....the doctor assures her nothing bad will happen. Then comes the shots and tb test poke. Andrew was reluctant but got through it. One thing I didn't appreciate was the doctor saying...."it's not gonna hurt"......yeah right we all know it hurts and I know she meant well but come on don't flat out lie. If I were him I'd never trust another doctor. We thought we were done but next came the lead test....which was a little harder now that andrew knew needles actually DO hurt. They had to draw blood and I had to pin him down in order for them to do it. It was crazy but we got through it.
To make up for Monday's horrible happenings we went to the St. Louis Zoo on Tuesday. The highlight of the day for me was when the kids and I got to feed a giraffe. Giraffe's are pretty I think and very sweet.....with HUGE tongues. Anyway here're some pictures.

Andrew loved being surprised by the Hippo who would swim by the aquarium window.

Finally they got to sit on a gorilla who was bigger than the two of them combined.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

Hey....sorry for all of the technical difficulties........a special thanks to Aunt Heidi for alerting me....I'm sure you've all been trying and trying to get to my blog...and probably panicking......Well panic no more! Also I'm feeling somewhat better since my last post. I read a friend's blog that talked all about the cute stuff her son says and it made me remember more of why I want to be home. Kids say the cutest things and I need to store up embarrassing stories to tell my kids' significant others some day.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Nothing special is going on therefore no special blog posting but a few ramblings. I haven't finished creating my blog or so you've probably noticed....I can't seem to find my camera to get some new photos to post...and by new I just mean not old ones....I realize we have none posted....what do we look like?.. you wonder...I hope to show you very soon. So sometimes I think I'm the only stay-at-home mom in the world who has a hard time with staying at home. I know this is where I want to be....I don't want to miss my children growing up and I certainly want to be a part of it.....the BIGGEST part....but I find myself going crazy daily and just wanting to get away. Whether it's my four-year-olds constant questions....or my two-year olds constant tantrums.....or my adorable 8 month-olds constant need to be held.....there's always someone who needs me....which I imagine(although I can't remember) is better than not being needed at all.....life is just tiring....and yet with how busy I am, I'm also bored and wrestless. Last year I depended so heavily on playgroups, trips to the mall, and trips to the local museum.....filled our time with lots of things, but now I find myself living in a smaller town....with no museum...a tiny mall where I don't want my children to be spending all of their time, and no playgroups as of yet. So tell me ....what do I do with my kids? The thing is I find myself thinking how can we burn the time....get through it....distract ourselves with this activity or that....but shouldn't I be thinking how can we enjoy each moment and live in it...not constantly hoping for the next or thinking let's get this over with. In the back of my mind I think I need a schedule...yes some structure would do us good.....I thrive on structure....I guess I just need to figure out what to fill our schedule with. If all goes according to plan Andrew will be starting headstart next week which will be every day for half the day. I have mixed emotions about that....it makes me sad to think he's getting bigger and soon he won't want to hold my hand or give me hugs whenever I want....and on the other hand I'm happy and excited for him to meet new friends and he too seems to thrive on structure so I know he'll like it as long as it's a decent program. ANyway I often find myself thinking this is my life and oh yeah there are the kids....but I think the key to enjoying being a stay-at-home mom is....thinking the kids are my life and embracing that instead of thinking of the kids part as a distraction which I sometimes do. I know it's also important to have your own things outside of the kids. ALrighty, that's enough for now....hope I don't win the worst mom in the world award now for thinking this way but I've got to be honest. But seriously I love my kids and I think one of the greatest things you can do for your kids is stay at home with them and I'm so happy to have this opportunity.......stepping down off of my soapbox. Goodnight.

Saturday, August 30, 2008

It all makes sense

It all makes sense now. There's no comment section...and in place of that is the tagboard. A tagboard is a place where you can comment....and the comments just run in a constant stream....like a conversation. So, check it out if you wish.

Friday, August 29, 2008

The blog is pretty but not yet functional

So I was proud to make my blog this pretty....but now I have no idea what I'm doing. I don't know how to allow comments....which we all know is one of the best parts to a blog. Also....what's a tagboard?....for now just email me if you know....since there's no place for comments :) . So it's still under construction and I realize there are many undone parts. I hope to figure it all out soon....anyone with great blogging knowledge...feel free to share some of it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Is headstart really what it says it is?

So lately while spending day after day with 3 little very needy people....I've been wondering if Andrew would benefit from a preschool program. Kindergarten around here is full day and from what I can tell it's that way in many other places. So rather than throwing him into an all day program next year....which might be a big shock to his system....I thought maybe a half day preschool would help ease him into it. Since we're students...we're not exactly well off so it looks like headstart would be the program for us. Here's the deal though.....headstart has pretty low max income requirements and around 80 % of the attendees come from homes that make less than 15,000 a year. So at the risk of offending some I wonder if this is a good thing or a bad thing for Andrew....and I want some opinions....if you have them. On the one hand it could introduce Andrew to those less fortunate and maybe there wouldn't be any difference...or maybe those children would be more humble...which would be good for him. On the other hand maybe children coming from lower income homes have less interested parents and therefore are lacking the morals I want Andrew to be exposed to. I know eventually if he goes to public schools there are all kinds of kids lacking the morals I want him to have but he's still so little and impressionable. Sure I'd like to believe he'd say "hey...that's not right....my mommy says we don't say that....or please be nice...yadda yadda".....but like I said he's still a little guy and these are the important years...and this year I have more control over who he'll be exposed to than in years to come...shouldn't I take advantage of that? So, would headstart give him a headstart.....or a potty mouth?

Monday, August 25, 2008

We too have become bloggers

Well it's finally happened....the moment you've all been waiting for.....The Ames family blog...filled with drama...mystery....love stories.....all you've ever wanted. Actually it's more of an outlet for me......and a way to keep people updated with info and photos.....much like many other blogs. So this will do for today.....signing off from good ol' Carbondale, IL......~Erin
.....don't worry there's more to come....I realize this is quite a short posting.