Sunday, January 31, 2010

Aunt Jenny Comes to Visit!!

My best friend, and Amara's Godmother, came to visit on Saturday. It was wonderful! I wasn't feeling well and it was so cold, we simply laid around on the couch for hours catching up or played with the kids. A big part of the trip was some quality time with Mara too. While Alaric was on his date with Nana and Grandpa, Aunt Jenny got lots of uninterupted Mara time!

Here they both are just smitten with each other!

Then Aunt Jenny gave Mara her Christmas gifts! She was in heaven. She got her very own train from Thomas the Train but it was a GIRL! Rosie. She is purple and pink and Amara loves her.
She also got a beautiful blue and white dress too! Thanks Aunt Jenny!
Lots of giggling ( from the kids and us), playing, and just catching up! It was so great to let the toys pile up, the laundry lay un finished and drain a bottle of wine with a best friend!Alaric had pooped in the potty so we had a poopy party that night. We went to McDonalds for ice cream cones and sundaes and Aunt Jenny gave a few small gifts to Al too.
When it was time to say goodbye to Aunt Jenny, she kissed Mar over the railing.
Then she kissed her under the railing. The did it over and over and over- atleast 20 times. I'm not sure who liked it more- Amara or Aunt Jenny! What fun!

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Waiting for Nana and Grandpa!

Nana and Grandpa were coming to visit today to take Alaric on a date! They were taking him out to lunch and to the Illini Game all by himself! What a special treat.

While we waiting for them to arrive, we made sticker sheets- it's our new favorite activity. I just get out my treasure chest full of stickers and give them each a piece of construction paper and they go to town. It's so great to see how focused Amara can be too now that she can do the stickers by herself.
Nana, Grandpa and Alaric right before they left on their date!
Nana and Grandpa love their grandkids- GO ILLINI!!!!
Alaric has so much fun with Nana and Grandpa! He ended up falling asleep on Nana's lap in the first half. And when a buzzer beating shot ended the first half and the crowd yelled and screamed, Alaric woke up and said, "We need to talk to the owner of this place ( Assembly Hall) and tell him to make it more quiet!" PRICELESS!!!

Twist and Shout!

In an effort to avoid the winter BLAHS for the whole family, we've tried to do something together as a family each night intead of watching TV. Reading a book together, playing on the computer, soccer in the basement, whatever. The biggest hit lately has been TWISTER! Brian and I received this Twister game AS A WEDDING GIFT more an five years ago and I just took the wrapper off a week ago for a playdate. Sad but true. Alaric is hooked! We play and laugh and fall to the ground.

Here Amara and Daddy try to get their hands and feet in the right places.
Alaric takes his turn as the spinner- his favorite job for sure! he loves being the boss ( I'm not sure where he gets that!)

Monday, January 25, 2010

The kids were on TV today!

My girlfriend is a news anchor on a local TV morning show in Champaign. She contacted me and another stay-at-home mom a few weeks ago to ask if we would like to be part of a fashion segment on the Morning Show- OF COURSE WE WOULD!!!!!

Today was the big day. Alaric was so excited. He wanted to sit at the desk with Anne and wasn't very excited to hear that he would only be standing but couldn't wait to see what it was like in a TV studio.

Well, I got the kids up early after putting them down early last night in great moods- and AMARA WAS LAYING IN HER OWN VOMIT! Yup, she had thrown up. Yuck. I tried to get her bathed and she screamed and screamed. i thought, " Oh dear, how am I going to do this today". But minutes later she was dressed and sitting in the kitchen eating, laughing, and playing. So, I decided maybe it was a fluke and I'd try it.

We got to the station early and saw the kids outfits! The spring line. I wasn't even thinking sleeveless or short sleeved when it was snowing outside. They both looked adorable.

Look at Amara's 80's inspired outfit and hair and shoes!
The General manager from Macy's shows Allyson and Lauren their outfits too!
Anne's hubby dropped thier baby off and she changed Josh quick in between segments!
The conference room we were dressing in was right off of the news room. Alaric loved to see where the reporters worked.( notice Mara and Al holding hands. I told them they would need to do that on TV and they wouldn't let go of each other)...
Until it was TV time! As soon as it was time, Amara wanted nothing to do with Alaric's hand and didn't want to stand still so I had to hold her. I never would have worn white if I thought I would have been on TV. Oh well, they did amazing, really! It was so much fun. My super smiley kid, Alaric who couldn't stop talking was in awe of all the cameras and never smiled once.
Oh, and when you watch it, you'll notice Alaric holding his hand out to touch the table the whole time. Anne showed Alaric right before the cameras started when to stand. Then she touched the table and said, "near this table" Well, whether Alaric was using it as some sort of measurement or a obeying a direction, he wanted his hand to be out and touching the table just like Anne did.
Then Anne surprised us all with a quick tour of the station. They got to see the news desk AND....
...become newscasters! look at them all! Lauren and Allyson ( being held by mom Andrea), Alaric and Amara! They loved it.
Look at this natural- she could be the next Katie Couric! ( those hands folded crack me up!!)
Alaric poses for my camera and all the others.
Mara loved every second!
Then, the other morning host, Rob Collins came over to have conversations and give high fives!
We even got to go behind the scenes to see how the producers and directors pull it all together for a live show!
Video of Alaric and Rob Collins talking about the dog on his shirt and whether or not he has a real dog at home.
We had so much fun- what an incredible experience! Anne, thanks so much for thinking of us and for being so great! It was amazing!
Oh Yeah, Macy's let us keep our clothes!!!!!!!!!!! WOO HOO!!! We love Macy's and Ms. Rhonda!

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Birdies...Where are you?

The third Sunday of every month, all the kids from our church gather together to do service projects and other craft-like things together. Last week, the kids made all kinds of birdfeeders. Today, we finally had the opportunity to put all 6 birdfeeders that Mara and Al made all over the yard. We wanted to put a few up close to the house so we could keep an eye on what the birds and squirrels do.
Mara put hers on her playset.
They both wanted to put one on the rooster!
I'll let you know how long it takes to before the birds attack our backyard!!!

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Reagan Turns FOUR!!!

Alaric's Best Friend, Reagan, turned 4 and had a super fun birthday party today. Look at this birthday boy!!!!
Seven boys and Amara were there...what made them happy for hours? A Monster trainset by Geotracks- look at this thing- so COOL!
The kids had a pizza lunch
A delicious "geotracks" cake!
Reagan got tons of awesome gifts, including $4 from Al! Here are 6 of the boys! Trevor had to leave before the group shot- look how excited the birthday boy is to be surrounded by his best friends!
Here's the girls!
What fun!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Bathtime and Poops-can't beat it!!

Bathtime is the highlight of many of our days! Amara could live in water-really! She begs to get in and she cries when she has to get out. Alaric doesn't like to get his head wet but he does love to play in the water.

Before the water fills the tub, the kids crowd around the toys to pick what they want to play- look at these stinkin cute butts- I just had too!

Mara gives her Cabbage Patch, Alicia, a bath!

Look at my waterbabies!

After Bathtime, Alaric said he wanted to sit on the potty. I was so excited! I thought this was a BIG deal. I left for just a moment and came back to find Al sitting on the pot playing a hand held game, JUST LIKE HIS DADDY!!!! PRICELESS!

Monday, January 18, 2010

A visit to the Monticello Fire Department!

Alaric is having a Firefighter Birthday party this year in March! Each year, in leiu of gifts, we do a service project that goes along with the theme. This year, we wanted to collect funds for our local volunteer fire station. THANK GOD I LIVE IN A SMALL TOWN!! Last night, Brian called the volunteer fire chief at HOME. He asked if we could collect money for their department-of course the answer was YES!!! He asked if we could come over with the kids on March 20th to deliver our money in person and look at the trucks- YES!!!! Then, he asked if we could stop by today to meet him and hopefully take some pics of Alaric on the trucks for his birthday invites-YES, YES, YES!!!!!

Last night we made a few dozen chocolate chip cookies to bring with us and Alaric has been going CRAZY!!! We put him in his Halloween costume and even dressed up his stuffed dog in Amara's dalmation costume. Mara too needed to have her firehat on!
Cheif Dubson came over on his day off to meet us, and more importantly field questions from his number one fan, Alaric!
While the men quickly talked about plans for March, I ran around the station with Al taking tons of pics- so we would have atleast one we could use on the invitation. We got tons of them! None of these are the one- you'll have to wait til the invites come out but there are so many cute ones!

Even Mara got excited to be at the firestation!
Even though the birthday party is two months away, the time will fly and since it seems to be the only thing we've talked about for the past 6 months, I expect nothing less for the next two.
Thanks to Cheif Dubson and the Monticello Fire Department for making Alaric's Firefighter dreams come true!

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Sunday FUNday!

Before church today we ran errands. We time time to kill so we sat in the Cafe at County Market on campus! The kids LOVED sitting and looking out the window while they drank their sippy cups and ate their illini sprinkled doughnuts!
Then, after church, the whole family met at Fat Sandwich Company!!! THis place is amazing and the kids enjoyed it too. They have rediculous sandwiches, all with fries on top. Mine had mozzarella sticks, chicken fingers and ranch. My moms' had jalopeno poppers, mac and cheese bites, mozz sticks and fries. I bet they had 100 different sandwiches to choose from. It was perfect before we headed home and took terribly long naps!

Thursday, January 14, 2010

It's the Little Things....

...that really matter. We Fultons do alot ALL the time and are overprogrammed with obsurd amounts of activities that enrich our families lives. I blog about them all the time. I make everything look amazing and perfect because I can, I'm in charge of my blog and that's how I want to remember it. But the truth is, some days suck! The experience was amazing but my kids were terrible. OR my kids were great but the event was just so so.

Amara's been in a funk- a blood boiling screaming, kicking on the floor, sobbing uncontrollably, only wanting to be held, booger and cough kind of funk. Therefore, I too have been in a funk.

Even in the midst of it all, we've had some pretty great moments that are amazing and we didn't do hardly anything at all!

The kids wanted a book while Bri was making dinner. Often times, we sit in front of our space heater and dream that it will magically turn into a fireplace. Both kids were listening, engaged, and loving the story. It was so sweet and special to actually capture the moment.
Today, my once again cold kids, demanded blankets. Instead of putting them on the couch with their blankets, I laid them on the floor and wrapped them up like bean burrittos. They loved it!
And tonight, after a really rough day with Mara, she rallied! She had a monumental event at the dinner table, ate all her food, and got to have pudding for dessert! BIG DAY!
I love my life most days but there are some I often times am thankful to God I get to finish as quick as I can and start fresh the next day. Even in the funky days where I'm all out of sorts, I find such Grace in examining the little things that make me feel complete.