Saturday, February 28, 2009

PS..Weight Loss Update

I hit the 20 pound mark yesterday and Brian hit the 35 pound mark. If you read the weekend away blog you saw we gained 7 pounds each last weekend. Just one week later, I'm down 10 pounds and he's down 11! South Beach for LIFE!!!!!!

We've been having so much fun!

Alaric is now done with swim class. It was a huge success! He doesn't scream if you dunk him, he kicks his arms and legs, he can tread water ( with a noodle around him) and he was sad to get out of the water. Mission accomplished! We may do the same class again in April as we prepare for summer.

Daddy got to take Alaric once! Alaric has been asking and asking. Here they are using the kickboards with their teacher, Amanda.
Daddy is so proud of his son!
At the end of each class, they turn on the fountains and waterfalls because open swim begins. Bri and Alaric loves running through the mushroom waterfall!

My sweetie!

Mara is not the best eater. Actually- she sucks! I don't know how this happened to our children as Brian and I LOVE to eat! She used to eat SOME food but now she fights you, slaps your hands away, fusses, and spreads it on her face. Happy one second....

...screaming the next!

I know I say it all the time but watching my kids together brings me the most joy! They love each other. Alaric tells her all day long how pretty she is and that she's his best friend- uh! Warms my heart. Look at his adoration here and how much she loves it!

They just hang out. Bathtime is a favorite. Alaric splashes her and she giggles- over and over and over again!

We are preparing for Alaric's big 3rd birthday bash on the 21st! A construction party at the Monticello Community Building. He is so excited. We've cirlced the day and have started the countdown!
Brian took us to Allerton to take some pictures on the payloader for his invitation. Alaric was in HEAVEN!!!!! Brian and I were pretty excited about it too. It's so fun watching him doing something he loves.

Look at this happy face!

Allerton has this old fire truck that once was used just for Allerton Park. It's beautiful! So is our son! Great shot, Bri!

He found some tools!
Nothing better than sitting in a tire!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Weekend Away!

When you look at these pictures, you may not believe that we were by ourselves and for some of the weekend, we weren't by ourselves!

We were planning on leaving really early Saturday morning. Well, we woke up Friday morning and heard weather reports for the weekend and decided around 6:45AM , that we needed to leave that afternoon. In a furry, we got our hotel room for an extra night, got packed, tried to clean the house and do some laundry, etc. Bri got off work a few hours early and we headed out early afternoon.

Brian's parents too came up Friday night and stayed in the same hotel so they would be able to help Anita Saturday and Sunday and not get snowed into Galesburg. Friday we went to Harry Caray's restaurant with the kids and Bob and Chris.

Here is Alaric on the Harry Caray cow!
Brian loved his beer and Mara wanted one too.
Harry, Alaric, and Brian- all happy campers!

Alaric loved having his own bed. Nothing like jumping on a big bed in a hotel!

Friday night was rough. Bri and I hardly slept at all. Alaric was up 5 times with his night terrors when he talks or screams or hollars and needs to be comforted. Amara's top two teeth were coming in and she was miserable. She was covered in snot, had a fever, and could not get herself comfortable. Bri spent more than two hours in a chair with her rocking and soothing, etc. We both were uncomfortable in the bed and got very little sleep.
SO- we were happy to get the kids to Anita's house at 9Am and get out by ourselves.
OUr first stop was Millenium Park for skating!

Bri was much better than me! I had chin splints in seconds. I'd go around 2 or 3 times and then take a break. He kept going.

Trying to be cool and not slip!

Then we went to Maggiano's Italian Restaurant for lunch. We binged on carbs...we had stuffed mushrooms and tons of bread for appetizers and then Bri had lobster stuffed ravi and I had fettichini alfredo. We had a sampler of three desserts too...cheesecake, cream cake, and apple pie- YUM!

We went back to the hotel and went into a carb induced coma for three hours- just what we needed- SLEEP! Just enough time to get back up and head to the next restaurant for an early dinner. We went to Wild Fire. For an appetizer, we had fried goatcheese and bread. For our meal, Bri had three kinds of filet with different crusts and fries and I had pork chops and a HUGE baked potato with butter and sour cream. We also had 2 beers each. For dessert we had two half portions of two famous desserts- their cream pie and their pecan chocolate chip cookie in a skillet with ice cream! AHHHHHHHH- we were so stuffed we couldn't move. But we were happy!

HEre is the desert plate. We had the middle cookie in a pan thing and the cream pie that is in the middle of the back row...Who on earth with pick those berries in the back with you can have all the other things?

So, when we got back to the hotel we went swimming and in the whirlpool and we still got to sleep around 9! We slpet so much better Saturday night and were out the door to Anita's by 9Am to pick up the kids and head to Great Gram's house in Coal City. We met Grandma, Aunt Mary, and Uncle George at church and then headed back to Gram's house for a pizza lunch.

Overall, it was a WONDERFUL weekend. We got to have time with our kids, time without, and time with family. We are ready tos tart our week.
Oh, by the way- we have a long road ahead of us...Bri and I BOTH gained SEVEN pounds while we were gone- SEVEN!!!!!!!!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Weigh In Report AND big celebrations!

Just wanted to tell you our weight loss report as of today! Brian is down 33 pounds and I am down 17! Since Janaury 6th! We've worked very hard and are very proud of the accomplishments we have made.

We are going away for the weekend and plan on eating lots of pasta and sweets. While talking about it with Bri this morning and pondering what we will do if we actually gain 5 pounds in one weekend, he began to tell me how this is our journey and this is how it's going to be for us...sometimes we'll decide to blow it and make poor choices with our food. What's important is that if we do decide to cheat or splurge, we get back on track immediately, keep working, and don't give up. We will always struggle with our weight. Have I told you lately how much I LOVE my husband? THank God for him!

Also, today is a very special day. Today is the birthday of Gavin, Reece, Maggie, and Lauren Michaels! It's their 1st birthday. Only one year ago, they came into this world as precious, itty bitty quadruplets to our dear friends, Tiffany and Jon! We've been so blessed to be part of their journey in having these angels and raising 4 babies at once. Their blog is on the left of ours. Please check out an update on each one. They are so beautful and have come SO far! Happy Birthday Michaels' Quads!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Amara gets her nine month pictures taken

Sweet Mara wasn't so sweet today while getting her pictures taken. She cried and fussed and screamed as soon as I let go of her to try to get a shot. The first 5 pics that were taken before she realized what was going on were the best. We get the kids pics taken at Portrait Innovations and we LOVE them because they are SUPER cheap AND you get all your pics in 20 minutes.

Here is Mar looking at herself. She had alot of fun trying to play with the little girl in the picture.
Here's the photo I went with. Only one pose because the others were not worth getting. You all think she's smiling but I know it was two seconds before her face broke and the tears started streaming down her face!

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Weekend

Another whirwind weekend....

Friday I spent all day doing laundry-27 loads! No, not really but 7 loads, really! I do ATLEAST one load a day but with potty training and incontrol of Alaric's pooping, sometimes I could do 3 loads a day of just poopy or pee pee clothes!

Anyway, since Amara is only happy on my hip- thus the continued truggles with my carpel tunnel, she must be with me each step of the up and down the stairs process to put loads in, get loads, fold loads, etc. Here she is on top of the hamper. I sit her there and carry the hamper up and down the stairs with dirty or clean clothes. It works for us and she loves it!

Friday night our friends from church came over. Bri had so much fun making the kids laugh while we waited for our friends....nothing like the sound of laughter.
Our friend, Laura, has two foster kids- Lucian- who is only one month older than Mara ( 10 months). He doesn't look too much bigger than Mara but is SO thick- he weighs 8 pounds more than she does and is crawling, pulling up, climbing, and walking with assistance. Amara just started rolling over two weeks ago!

Then there's Luna. She's about 8 months older than Alaric but they are such good friends. They play so well together at church and on playdates and are very much drawn to each other. After the kids made valentine cookies and had their picnic on the floor while they ate them, they just laid down together and hung out. So great as it gave Laura, Bri and I time to talk like adults too ( the babies were asleep).

Saturday morning, V Day, was extra special. Alaric got to have a special breakfast- heart shaped pancakes dipped in syrup and whipped cream. We ate together and opened our cards from our families.

Amara ate her cards after mommy read them to her.

Bri took off after breakfast to help our friends move from one house to another but was home in time to take a well deserved nap. Then it was up and moving again for our VDay party.
Here mommy and Mara are. She's wearing my favorite dress. Did I tell you she's 9 months old and swimming in her 3-6 month clothes?

Our group of friends who all have kids is growing fast. Two moms just had babies in the last two months, two are pregnant and everyone else has a kid 10 months are under. No one felt like battling the crowds to go out or getting a sitter so we all hung out together.
The kids made valentine bags to distribute valentines in and also made foam heart magnets for the fridge.The parents grazed on appetizers and desserts and enjoyed time together. So great to have friends that get your struggles.

Here is a try at a group picture of the kids- one couple and their two kids were gone and Mara was already sleeping. Notice Alaric's pants. THose are his third pair WHILE AT THE PARTY!! I don't know if he was super excited about having a zillion new toys to play with or if it was the Zyrtec we gave him to try and hinder any allergic reaction to the dog on site but he peed and pooped his pants once, clogged the toilet in the process and then peed his pants again less than an hour later- wow were we pissed! Thank goodness everyone wears the same size and we were able to borrow extra clothes and put him in a pull-ups- THE JOYS OF PARENTING!

The kids were up SUPER late- I mean SUPER late. We were just walking out of their house at 10PM. The last part of the night involved the bigger kids and bouncing like crazy on the couch. Some parents were trying to control their kids from leaping off and I was encouraging it ( since Alaric never does anything daring). Fun to watch.

The kids went to sleep in their own beds at 10:30. Mar slept til 6:45 and Alaric slept til 8:15. Here is a picture of the wall outside our kitchen where we tape cards we get for special occasions. Alaric loves having all his valentines from his friends at school down low where he can see them.

Before church today, I took this picture of the kids gifts from Grammy and Papa ( did I mention that before we headed to the party last night we went to their house to feed Amara and get the kids' valentine gifts).
My mom, Grammy, made each kid their own pillow for their beds. Alaric's is the Disney Movie Cars- his newest obsession. Amara got Strawberry Shortcake,my favorite kids character.

We have a pretty easy week ahead of us as we prepare for a NIGHT OUT IN CHICAGO WITHOUT THE KIDS NEXT SATURDAY NIGHT!!!!!!!!!!!!! WE CAN'T WAIT. More details to follow. Have a great week, everyone!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Catching Up!

Well...the computer has been down for quite awhile and I've been feeling really vunerable not connected to my outside world through my computer. HEre's a catch up on what's been happening.

Last weekend was Cholcolate Fantasy in Monticello. All the businesses do things related to chocolate. The public library did a free Charlie and the Chocolate Factory day. They had readings from the book, chocolate tastings, coloring sheets, design your own candy wrapper, a cake walk...which they called candy bar walk. When your number was called, you won a full size candy bar. Alaric was so excited. He won three times. At then end, I asked him if he would consider putting one of his three back so another child could enjoy later- of course, he said yes!
They also had a guess how many m and m's contest. The little ones were really funny listening to. Alaric's friend, Kelton said 5. Alaric said 512. They both lost.

Saturday afternoon we went to the local bowling alley with The Moms Group of Monticello. What a great family activity. Alaric loves it almost as much as Bri and I.
Monday wasmy standar grocery shopping day while my parents took the kids. Instead of eating at their house, we headed to St. Matthew, my old school, to see all the teachers! Such fun! Shout outs to Mrs. Meade who checks my blog daily. I miss them all and it's so fun to see them again.
On Wednesday, Brian's mom came to visit for the day. It was raining and Bri was sick so he stayed home with Amara and we went to he indoor playground at First Christian Church! So amazing! There are hundreds of things to do but Alaric preferred to stay close by the fire engine and the cars.

That night, my heart swelled with pride at Alaric's twice-weekly swim lesson. He is doing AMAZING!. On Monday I started dunking him under the water and it did NOT go well- he screamed and choked and was very dramatic. He refused to lay on his back and float with his head and ears under the water.
Wednesday, Bri, Amara, and Chris all came and he was incredible. He floated on his back with his ears under the water and I probably dunked him 10 times and he never even cried. He choked some at the beginning and he can't seem to keep him mouth closed but I always told him what I was doing and he always let me.

Here I hold him in the "football" hold and he practices kicking and moving his arms.

Nana gave the kids their Valentines gifts too while she was here. Amara got her very own purse. It sings songs and talks and has lipstick, keys, a bracelet, a mirror, and money. I'm not quite ready for her to grow up this much yet but she seemed to love it!

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Kitchen Update part 3 and fun times

In the midst of unexpected housing remodels and a stove in one room and a fridge in another and laundry piled up everywhere and STUFF all around, we are finding time for the stuff that really matters- being together.

THis was Alaric's first week doing swim lessons. He needs it desperately because he doesn't like the water and refused to put his head under the water- even in the bathtub! I want to take the kids to the pool this summer and not have my kid crying evertime a drop of water gets on his face.

It's a parent/tot class and there are only 4 other kids ( two of which are water babies and LOVE the water all over their heads). We have a teacher who is showing us how to help them float and kick and blow bubbles. We play games, slide down slides, sing songs, etc. It's really fun- really! I'm loving it because it's my time alone with Alaric. Most of the time, Amara gets the shaft because Al demands so much attention but often his attention isn't focused. This lets it be all about him. We are driving 40 minutes each way for a 30 minute lesson but it's all worth it. Bri and Amara came on Wednesday and took pics while we worked.

Here is Alaric jumping off the edge...I'm supposed to dunk him when he comes up and then shower him with love. Well....we are working on it. He is getting more and more confident. I dunked him up to his nose twice and was able to tip him back and put his ears in once- its progress!

he wouldn't let go of this cup!
Here is Mara after her lunch- GREEN BEANS! I don't know if you can see it but she has tons of snot all over her face too. Poor baby- she now has Alaric's old cough and congestion and there is nothing we can do about it. Lunch is a fun time!

Daddy's co-worker, Eric, came over after work to help load up the fridge from the dining room and move back to the kitchen. Alaric loved the dolly they used.

Done for now! Here is our new dishwasher. It's the same model as our stove but two years newer. You can see the finished don't quite match but it's good enough for us.

We still have to put the quarter round around the outside once it comes in to Menards to finish it off.

My newest hope-counter tops! We already have them picked out at Menards. They match the ones we put in our bar area in the basement. Dark. We think the dark counter tops with the orange cabinets will look nice. Maybe if everyone gives us Menards cards for our birthdays in March we can pull it off as a spring project...along with new gutters, new front steps and banister, plumbing in teh basement....

Bri goes back to work tomorrow- why take an extra day off when he can save it for when we really need it again. Moving on to the next thing...