Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Holiday Weekend

Oh, what a weekend it was!  We made the trip north to the homelands this weekend to spend the weekend with our families.  We laughed a lot, ate a lot, and we were spoiled every time we turned around.  Delaney didn't quite understand what was going on, but she had a great time running the show and getting lots of cool new stuff.  She even managed to last through half of Christmas Eve mass!  She would have lasted a lot longer if she new how to whisper.  This weekend Delaney decided talking non-stop was what the cool kids do!  She just doesn't have a volume control.


We spent Christmas Eve in Tekamah for dinner.  Then, I was up until 4 a.m. with Delaney who wanted nothing more than to party.  It was ridiculous!  I was at my wits end for sure!  I thought last weekend in KC was tough when she wouldn't sleep in her own bed, this was a nightmare!  She not only wouldn't sleep in her own bed, but she wouldn't sleep period.  I tried to keep her quiet so the rest of the family could sleep, but I don't think anybody got much rest that night. 

We were in Omaha by 10a.m. Christmas morning for festivities with the Mencke family.   We were all spoiled (as usual) by Grandma & Papa Farm.  Delaney had lots of fun with her new things and her cousins.  Delaney managed to hang in there pretty well considering how exhausted she must have been.  By 3 o'clock I had trouble staying awake.  We loaded up and headed back to Tekamah for the partially extended Bryant family.  Delaney squeezed in a little nap, and we fired up and ready to go by dinner time. 

So, we are back in Lincoln now with one day of work done.  To say we are still exhausted is an understatement, but it was definitely worth it to have such a fun Christmas!  All season long we've been saying that it didn't feel like Christmas.  Now that it's all over, it still doesn't feel like Christmas; however, it was a lot of fun and a very merry holiday! 

Oh, I had a total "Mom fail" and forgot to charge my camera after last week's trip to KC.  Oops!  I managed to get through about half of our festivities before it completely died on me! 

 Of course, Izzy enjoyed her stocking stuffers!  She's kinda hard to please with toys and treats, but I think we did pretty good this year!
 We had to do most of the opening for Delaney!  She didn't quite "get" it.

 D got some new dress up shoes that she thought were pretty cool until she tried to walk.  So far they haven't been on her little feet since...
 Here's Daddy with her new "copter".  He was more like the little kid on Christmas with this thing! 
 She showing off some of her loot here...can't remember what it was now...
 Here's what Santa left for Delaney at home.  So far, the picnic basket has been the favorite of the bunch!
 She has also enjoyed the blanket I made for her and her very own Camelbak bottle!  She has coveting one of these since last summer, and now she has one of her very own.

 Here's our little family after church on Christmas Eve! 
 Here's Craig demonstrating his helicopter! 
These two are addicted to each other!  It's so fun to watch them together! 
Here's Delaney with her Mencke cousins.  They are all getting so big all of a sudden!
Before my camera died, Delaney took Tyler's new drum set for a spin!  She LOVED it!  I keep telling her piano lessons first...

Hope your holidays were as great as ours!

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas from the Mencke Family!


Prologue
I thought I should provide a little background as to why I am writing the Christmas letter instead of Crystal this year.  We had been talking about miscellaneous holiday crafts and I told the wife how much more creative I am than she is.  Big mistake!  All I got out of that conversation was that I “created” my way into writing this letter as punishment for my statement.  I will try my best to make it a card you might actually like to read this season…
Chapter 1
So it is getting to be that time of year again when the “Jolly Fat Man” is going to be breaking and entering in millions of homes and more importantly when family, friends, and possibly even people you do not know will be sending you Christmas letters detailing all of the “exciting” things that have unfolded in their lives over the last year that you really don’t care about.  Trips, careers, and stories about how their kids are better than everyone else’s are likely to be primary topics this year just as they are every other year.  Being as how I cannot think of anything other than those topics to talk about, I thought the least I could do was to make it more interesting.  So, I went with television show titles as the framework for my masterpiece.  


The Parenthood – “Big D” is starting the terrible 2’s early.  Pray for us!
Last Man Standing – Male/female ratio, including the dog, is 3-to-1.  Maybe time to risk 4-to-1???  Hmm…
Big Brother – As of a few months ago, I now work for my brother.  Trust me; he’s keeping a close eye on me.
The Voice – Delaney has quite the growing vocabulary.  She still won’t say “please”, but she’s got “hot pink” down.
Law & Order – D spends a lot of time in “timeout” these days.  She keeps getting “acquitted”.
Kitchen Nightmares With my new job, Crystal now does most of the cooking.  I’ll leave it at that…
Up All Night – These are very few and far between thankfully.  We are getting too old to be up that late.
Hawaii Five-0 – No, we didn’t go to Hawaii—I wish, but we did go to Okoboji!  That’s pretty tropical for us!  Ha!
Bones – Delaney now knows how to “Throw the Bones” for the Husker defense.  We couldn’t be more proud!
Monday Night Football – Forget the Huskers, my Chiefs are just plain bad.  At least the Packers are rolling!
Dirty Jobs – We go through a lot of diapers…”poop” is another favorite in D’s vocabulary!
The Dog Whisperer– As long as there’s a pillow and a blanket for her, you’d never know Izzy was here.
House – We tiled the kitchen last spring, now when we drop things they break.  Great improvement!
The Amazing Race – Crystal trained for and miraculously completed her first 5k in August.
Private Practice – 6 weeks later, she was in a walking boot due to a stress fracture because she runs funny.  Ha!
The Good Wife – Crystal puts up with all of my shenanigans and she still loves me.  But, why is she always tired?
Family Guy – I look forward to coming home everyday to see D! And the other two…I guess…sometimes…
Epilogue
I have to give the wife a little credit, she did contribute to this by being the ‘Editor in Chief’’.  If there is anything in here that you do not like, just blame her for not taking it out.  I think it turned out great.  After racking my brain over creative ways to write this letter and thinking “outside the box”, I am finally finished.  To sum it all up, I shall close with a statement made by Clark W. Griswold in the greatest Christmas movie ever made “…Hallelujah! Holy shit! Where's the Tylenol?” 
Merry Christmas to all and to all a good night!  (Play Ball!) 
Love, Craig, Crystal, Izzy, & Delaney Mencke

Friday, December 23, 2011

Delaney & Sugar are not friends

Well maybe I should rephrase that...Delaney & Sugar plus Mommy are not friends.  Yesterday, I took a big decorated Eileen's sugar cookie over to Holly's as  Delaney's Christmas gift to all her friends over there.  It also gave Holly a break from making snacks that day.  (I had done the same thing last year, but Delaney was too little to actually enjoy the treat with her friends!)  Well this totally backfired on me yesterday.  Of course, all the kids loved it, but if they had the reaction to it that my kid had I'm sure that I was being cussed all over the city of Lincoln last night.  Sorry fellow parents!

Don't get me wrong, Delaney had had her fair share of sugar over the last 21 months.  Cakes, cookies, candy, you name it she's tried it.  Yesterday was totally different!  That sugar cookie might as well have been made out of crack because my kid went crazy!  It was like we gave her speed and caffeine!  It was like talking to a brick wall last night trying to get her to behave.  She didn't hear me or care about anything I had to say.   It was a nightmare!

It was one of those awful nights that by the time I laid her down in her crib and walked away I was at my wits end.  It was a RELIEF that it was bedtime!  Then, of course, like I always do after a rough evening, by 9 o'clock I was calmed down and feeling guilty for being so mad at her.  Why does that always happen?!?  I've had some serious "Mommy guilt" moments lately anyway between shipping her here and there for a few nights, and being gone, etc.  I just can't shake the feeling that I'm a horrible mother sometimes.  I love that little twerp like nobody's business, but man, sometimes she makes my heart hurt!  Next year, I'm taking an Edible Arrangement...

Monday, December 19, 2011

Christmas in Kansas City!

We celebrated an early Christmas in Kansas City this past weekend with the Bryant family!  It all started back when the 2011-2012 NFL schedule came out and we discovered that our two teams would meet head-to-head this season.  We gambled with the Midwest December weather and bought the tickets.  The trip then evolved into the Bryant family Christmas.  Jess & Nick were kind enough to volunteer for child duty, so the rest of us could go to the game.  (Thanks guys, we owe you one!)  I took full advantage of the opportunity to try out my new camera, so here are a few of our favorites...
We thought the kids looks cute in their matching blue PJs, but of course neither of them wanted their pictures taken.  They wanted to party!
 Saturday morning we decided to take the kids to see Santa Claus.  As you can tell, D wasn't too keen on the thought of sitting on Santa's lap, but Chase was pretty much in awe of him! 
 After some lunch, shopping, and naps the kids wanted to go swimming.  It was Chase's first time in a pool, and just like his Momma's he was a little fish.  Delaney even demonstrated a few of her swimming skills for the bunch!

 After a yummy dinner Saturday night, we opened a few gifts!  Of course, both the kiddos were spoiled!  Delaney didn't quite understand that some gifts were hers and some were Chase's.  We will still have to work on sharing!
 Waiting patiently for Daddy to open her new Elmo toy.  Coincidentally enough, we had just watched Sesame Street and Delaney fell in love with Elmo instantly and Papa showed up with a very special Sesame Street toy for Delaney.  What perfect timing!
 I love this face!  Isn't he so cute?!?  He looks so much like his Dad most of the time, but once in a while we can see Jess in there too!

 Obviously, the game didn't turned out like I hoped but it was a great time nonetheless!  We did a little last minute tailgating!  The weather was better than we could have hoped for!  It was mid-fifties by kickoff and sunny!
 Oh, I almost forgot...these two got engaged last Thursday!  They are planning a Spring 2014 wedding after they both graduate. 
 Aren't they cute!  Even though our team lost, I think we all agreed it was a good time!
 Here's my favorite "game" picture.  Mason Crosby warming up!  Gotta love the new zoom lens!
This picture was just for Craig...
 Great flyover!  This was a lucky shot.  I just tipped the camera up mid-national anthem into the sun and snapped this.  Not too shabby!

 This picture pretty much sums up the game...Craig's ecstatic...the rest of us...not so much!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Looking forward to the weekend!

I have been feeling the love all around this week.  After Izzy's ordeal last weekend, I have had no less than 5 people offer to help us out with her this weekend while we are away.  After a lot of thought and advice from our vet, we have decided to take Uncle Brent & Aunt Buffye up on their offer to take care of Izzy for the weekend.  I think this is the only option that will allow me to relax and have any fun while we are in Kansas City.  I am beyond grateful for their offer!  I know she will be great hands.  I also hope the anti-anxiety meds the vet prescribed will help mellow her out while we are gone! 

I also celebrated my birthday this past Monday.  Talk about feeling the love!  I had over 50 FaceBook messages, lots of texts, and many phone calls from family & friends!  I was also treated to lunch by my work BFF, Kaitlyn at Red Robin!  I returned to find some beautiful flowers at the office from Craig!  He can be really sweet when he wants too!  Then, another co-worker surprised me with a delicious cupcake from Cupcakes & More.  It was a great day!   I am one that never really looks forward to my birthday.  I always feel like it's a hassle for everyone to stop and acknowledge it right in the middle of the hectic holiday season.  Don't get me wrong though, I love a little extra attention and spoiling once a year! 

Speaking of spoiling, Craig surprised me with a new camera for an early birthday/Christmas gift!  I haven't had much time to play with it yet, but I'm really hoping to this weekend!  Hopefully this means some great pictures for you coming soon!

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Poor Izzy!

We were having a great weekend!  Delaney was off getting royally spoiled by her grandparents at the farm, and Craig & I were enjoying a long overdue date night.  We had purchased a night's stay at the Lincoln Embassy Suites last February, so we finally decided to use it last night.  We spent the afternoon at the Devaney Center watching our niece Sydney's (aka Syd-fishous) swim meet. We enjoyed a wonderful dinner out at JTK last night (thanks to a sweet Living Social deal!), then we attended an Ugly Sweater Christmas Party at the Ruwes before we settled down for some sleep after midnight. 

We were rudely awakened at 6:15a.m. this morning with a call from the PetsMart Pet Hotel.  We had boarded Izzy there for the night, as it is her favorite place to be boarded if she absolutely has to be.  It was a PetHotel manager telling me that Izzy had just suffered a seizure and that they were rushing her over to the emergency vet.  We were up, packed, and walked out of our suite within 5 minutes.  I got a call from the vet at the e-vet within about 15 minutes states that Izzy was ok and alert, but they recommended some further testing to figure out the cause of the seizure. 

We got down to the e-vet and discussed everything with the vet.  We weighed the options and decided to do some blood work to rule out infections of causes of that nature.  Well, her labs came back relatively normal for being right after a seizure.  They said that they were comfortable letting us take her home and just not leaving her for 24 hours.  Beagles are a breed of dog that is susceptible to epilepsy, and it is common for the first seizures to start at age 3 & up.  Izzy is about 3 1/2, so we are right in that window.   Given the labs came back relatively normal, this could mean we are looking at an epilepsy diagnosis down the road if she suffers from more seizures.  Let's hope that this was just a freak occurrence. 

After we left the e-vet we headed over to PetsMart to pick up Izzy's things and pay our bill.  I asked the girls there for a play by play of what went down.  Apparently Izzy had gotten up and eaten fine this morning.  They were just going for their morning walk/exercise in one of their play rooms.  She was awake and alert, but within 15 seconds of walking into the room it started.  Her head started shaking, and then she fell over and started convulsing.  I'm confident that the two girls working at the time handled her far better than we would have at home.  They said that it lasted about 30-40 seconds and she "came to" relatively quickly afterwards.  They were very concerned about Izzy and told me to expect a call from them to check on her within the next couple days. 

She has been resting since we got home.  She seems pretty normal just tired, which is always the case after we leave her.  She suffers from some serious separation anxiety from Craig.  So, now I have to fret all week because we have to leave her again this coming weekend for our big trip down to Kansas City for the Packers vs. Chiefs game.  I have a spot reserved for her at Wilderness Kennels where she stayed when we went to Okoboji last July.  She got along fine there last summer and the people there are super nice, but now I'm really torn on what we should do.  PetsMart is our favorite, but they are pretty pricey for a longer stay!  Oh, decisions, decisions.  Any volunteers to dog sit?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Throw the Bones

Check out what Craig taught my little girl while I was out shopping on Black Friday...we are so proud!  Sorry I can't figure out how to flip it!
video

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thanksgiving Recap

We had a great holiday weekend!  It was full of all my favorite things...family, food, and shopping!  Delaney was thoroughly spoiled by all of her grandparents & aunts & uncles.  We definitely had some reprogramming to do when we got home.  She had over her normal share of "time outs" on Sunday.  She was CRAZY!  Hilarious, but oh so naughty.  I didn't do the greatest job with pictures over the weekend, but here are a few to share! 
 We kicked off the long weekend right, and celebrated my baby brother Chip's 21st birthday.  His birthday was technically on Thanksgiving, so we took him to our hometown bar at 12:00A.M. Thursday morning. I'm getting too old for that, but it was a lot of fun to celebrate with him and see some old friends. 
 My baby sister had quite a bit of fun that night too.  Here she is with one of her long time friends, Abby!  Abby happens to be the little sister to my best friend Amanda!  It's so much fun when we can all get together like when we were kids.  I will apologize now for the hideous nostril self portrait...eww!)

 We did get so spend some quality time with our families over the weekend.  I promise we spent equal time with both sides, but I have no proof of the Menckes this weekend.  We had professional pictures take with them on Saturday. After pictures, I got schooled twice my our nieces Sydney & Jaiden in UNO.  I hadn't played in years, and it showed! 
 Papa was getting a little too cozy with cousin Chase, so Delaney strategically placed herself between Chase and "HER" Papa.  It was pretty cute.  Luckily, Chase didn't seem to mind sharing...
 Delaney is pretty cute with her baby cousin.  She was pretty infatuated with him,and has been talking about him nonstop since we got home.  It's going to be so fun watching these two grow up together.
 Isn't he adorable?!?  I swear this kid is always smiling.  Even when he's having a rough day, and not feeling the best he's still smiling!  I wish I could see him more often!
He had to model the new hat his Momma got for his upcoming 6 month pictures.  Isn't he cute!  I had my first little "miss the baby stage, let's have another one moment" after I fed Chase his bedtime bottle.  He finished in and nuzzled into my shoulder to cuddle.  I miss that soo much!  We won't be having another baby soon, but for the first time I missed having a little, little one.  Within the next year, we 'll talk about it!

Monday, November 21, 2011

Time to Give Thanks!

Time seems to be flying by these days.  I thought I'd take a moment today to stop and be thankful for the many blessing in my life!  The rest of the week is full of family and fun, so I probably won't be back to post until after the holiday! 

My little peanut seems to be growing up so fast these days!  Every day means new words and more personality!  It's hard to keep up sometimes!  Obviously, she is the most wonderful blessing in my life!  She can have me at my wits end, pulling my hair out, and then give me one look and I melt!  (She gets that from her dad!)  She's one of a kind, and I wouldn't trade her for anything!  My world has not been the same since that little, tiny baby entered our world...and I wouldn't give it up for a second! 

After 10 years you'd think you'd get tired of one person, but I can't imagine my world with out my man.  We often drive each other nuts, but there is no one I'd rather fight the good fight with.  He's my best friend and my partner.  I couldn't have chosen a better father for my kids or a better companion for my journey!  I'm sure I take him for granted far more than I should.  I really should work on that more...love you honey!

Obviously, my puppy has taken a bit of back seat over the last 20 months, but I wouldn't give Izzy back for the world!  Aside from her crazy anxiety and shedding, she's pretty much the perfect dog!  She loves to play, but will snuggle like nobody's business!  She tolerates her little sister better than we could have hoped for, and for that I am truly grateful!  She was our first "fur"-baby, and I love that little dog like there's no tomorrow! 

Our home is something I'm grateful for every day!  It keeps everything I love safe and warm.  I can't wait to go home at the end of the day and be at peace!  (This is far easier no that the railroads, "Quiet Zone" has gone into effect!)  Of course we have a list a mile long of upgrades/changes we'd like to make to that house, but we love it!  I'll be very sad to leave it whenever the time comes down the road! 

We have two vehicles sitting in our garage right now that are completely functional and PAID OFF!  This is a huge blessing, and I am so thankful for!  They both get us safely from point A to point B without any trouble!  The miles are racking up on them, but I'm hopeful they'll last a little while longer! 

We are both gainfully employed in a horrible economy!  Although our bills aren't going anywhere, we are surviving!  This is far better than the alternative!  Craig even managed to find a new, better job this year, so that is truly a blessing! 

We have so many wonderful family and friends that love us and our kid like nobody's business!  We are so lucky to have so many amazing people in our lives!  We don't say it enough, but thanks for being you!  I hope everyone takes a little time this week to remind themselves of all the good things in their lives, we have so many blessings in ours! 

Sunday, November 6, 2011

Professional sliding with Miss D

We had a fun weekend here at the Mencke house.  We enjoyed a delicious dinner out at the Parthenon Friday night.  It had been quite a while just the three of us had eaten out.  Delaney really like the Greek food, and unexpectedly we got a show with our dinner.  There was a group of belly dancers that put on a performance right as we were finishing our meal.  Delaney, of course, was completely enamored by this.  She smiled and danced along. 

Last night, we traveled up to Omaha to celebrate Craig's brother's and nephew's birthdays.  Tyler's birthday was Friday and Brent's was today, so we split the difference and got together last night with everyone.  We had dinner at Farmer Brown's in Waterloo.  If you love a good small town steakhouse, this is a great one!  We all ate too much and then had DQ ice cream cake afterwards.  It was a fun family night!  Delaney even fell asleep on the way home, which is rare these days, so it was a great success! 



Today we had a quiet day at home.  It started off with another crappy football game at noon, that for some reason wasn't even on regular TV.  The ol' Green & Gold came through for us though this afternoon with a big win in San Diego.  It restored a little faith in our football teams, given how awful the Husker game and the Chiefs game tuned out it was a little bleak for a while!  (ouch!!)   Between games, we got Delaney out in the backyard to enjoy the weather.  Uncle Chip even came over to hang out for a while!  She went wild as usual, and demonstrated some killer sliding techniques on her swing set.  I thought you might enjoy some pictures & a  little video!
video

Monday, October 31, 2011

hAlLoWeEn 2011


We have been celebrating Halloween for almost a week now!  I'll sum up our festivities with pictures as they are far more fun than my mindless rambling...

We started off with a date with Parker to Boo at the Zoo last week!  Delaney wasn't feeling the greatest that night (nasty head cold), so she was pretty content to ride along in the stroller and munch on Goldfish crackers!

Friday night we carved pumpkins...with, power tools.  Actually I should say, Craig carved pumpkins and Delaney & I watched.  I think they turned out very cool, and they only took about 5 minutes each! 
Saturday night, Craig's brother & sister-in-law hosted an Adult's Only Halloween Bash.  Can you guess who we went as...your favorite cousin's from Christmas Vacation...Eddie & Catherine.  (Of course, I don't have a decent picture of the two of us, so this will have to do!)   Brent started out as Don King type character, but ended the night like a crazy Elvis...


Tonight we went Trick or Treating around the neighborhood with some of our neighbors.  I fully expected Delaney to ride in her wagon, munch on some crackers, and look at everyone like we were crazy!  No...this girl wanted to join the fun!  She ran from house to house through most of the neighborhood.  She kept up with the big kids pretty good, and gave Mommy & Daddy a workout!  She did take a few wagon breaks, so I was able to get a few picture of her!  She was a busy girl tonight, and had tons of fun!



We ended the night with some yummy cheesecake and ice cream across the street!  Delaney thoroughly enjoyed that as well!  Hope you all had a fun  Halloween!  (Oh, and Delaney supposed to be a bumble bee if you couldn't tell!)

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