Saturday, July 28, 2012

Happy Birthday Daddy!

Happy Birthday Dad!

I hope you enjoy your last birthday in your 20s!


Your Sweet Pea

Friday, July 27, 2012

Okoboji 2012

A lakside family photo! 
Last week was our annual trip to Lake Okoboji, Iowa, for a week long family vacation with all of my immediate family!  The trip is a tradition, and shortly after arriving this year we discovered it was our 25th trip.  I'm 28, so we've only missed 3 years in my entire lifetime.  One year we went to Disney World, one year we did an extended weekend trip to Kansas City, and one year we got married!  I think it's pretty special to continue a tradition like this with all of us and now our own kids.  I hope we have another 25 years ahead of us!  All these pictures are from my phone...this week has gotten away from me, and I haven't gotten a chance to download the others on my camera!

All dressed up for dinner...the little diva was twirling!
As always, we make a big shopping trip on the first day to gather all the "necessities" for a week at the lake.  Now with the kids, it is easier & less-stressful for everyone to make more meals at the house versus fighting the heat and crowds at the local restaurants.  We still did a few meals out to give Mom a break and satisfy everyone's cravings for the Dry Dock breakfast (with Blood Mary's and beer chasers) and Tweeter's.  The rest of the time we ate at home having everything from BBQ Ribs to Filet Mignon to Honey BBQ Chicken Wings!  We ate better than anyone on that lake some nights!

A post-dinner sunset cruise!  Doesn't get much better than this!
We never know what to expect out of the kids, and this year was no exception!  Thankfully, we made it through without any major illnesses or trips to the ER.  Delaney's only major issue was not wanting to sleep.  We had to lay down in our bed next to hear for at least an hour at every naptime and bedtime just to get her to calm down enough to fall asleep.  She was also the family alarm clock every day, graciously waking EVERYONE up before 7 most days.  Chase was an early riser too, but he isn't nearly as vocal as Delaney in the mornings! 
The kid's first "lake swim"!
The kids both did great with the boat, water, and lake.  They tolerated their life jackets like champs in the suppressing heat!  I really don't remember either of them complaining about them at all.  Delaney loved the boat rides, she just had trouble understanding that she needed to stay in one spot when the boat was moving!  Chase loved the boat too, he got to dance with his Mommy and drive with his Daddy.  He even managed to squeeze in a few naps on the boat.  He looked some completely peaceful and uncomfortable passed out in his life jacket!  We even got the kids out in the lake for a little swim time.  Neither one of them liked to "free float" in their life jackets, but they both had a ball in the arms of Mommy & Daddy!

Chase needed a koozie for his drink, just like everyone else!  He thought he was pretty cool!
 It's hard to bring the entire family all under one roof for an entire week, so we really cherish this time.  This year was especially bittersweet since Jess & Nick are now officially living in Iowa.  The times when all of us can be together will probably be fewer and farther in between, so it was nice to spend some serious quality time with everyone!  Next year, Nick will have vacation and won't be commuting for vacation, so it will be even better!  Thanks Mom & Dad for starting & keeping the tradition alive, and thanks to my siblings for going with us!  We had a wonderful time and are already starting the countdown to next year's trip!

The kids had a lot of fun this night playing with Nick and a laundry basket!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Terrible Twos...

Disclosure:  I love Delaney more than anything on this planet!  She is the light of my life, and I wouldn't give her up for anything!  This is just a vent and a record of her at this point in her life!

That being said, she is testing me lately!  She is a strong, stubborn, independent child that is too smart for her own good!   It seems that these days are a constant battle of wills between her and I.  I fear for my sanity when the teenage years roll around!  I can already hear the screaming matches and slamming doors! 

Everything is a challenge...getting dressed, eating dinner, going to bed, leaving the house, sharing, taking a bath, etc.  Nothing is easy!  I think this is payback for the "easy" newborn that never cried and slept through the night at 6 weeks!  Things were getting too comfortable!

She now throws things at people, dogs, tables, you name it.  The other day we were putting her shoes on so we could go outside.  She walked across the room to pick them up, and came back with that look on her face that spells "NAUGHTY".  I said, "Delaney don't throw your shoes."  10 seconds later her shoes were flying in my face at warp speed!  I had already lost track of how many time outs she had that afternoon, so I sent her to her room for the first time in her life.  And, get this, she cried!  She actually was upset with the consequences of her actions.  She stood in her bedroom doorway and cried!  I thought it was an epiphany.  A disciplinary action that might actually affect her!  I haven't played the "go to your room card" since, but I'm keeping it at the ready in my back pocket! 

I must explain that Delaney is a smartass smart, intelligent, honest little girl that will answer "yes" to the following questions among others that any other kid would say "no" to:
  1. "Delaney, do you need a time out?"
  2. "Delaney, do you like to make Mommy sad?"
  3. "Delaney, are you being naughty?"
  4. "Delaney, do you need to go to bed?"
How do you get through to a kid that has no fear of consequences?  Obviously, I'm an easy mark in her eyes and she typically only pulls this stuff with me.  Thank GOD as I'm sure we'd have been kicked out of daycare by now if she behaved that way over there!  I know she is testing me, but I can't help feel like I'm failing at this whole mothering-thing right now! Even her beloved Papa has mentioned she may be a great tool in anti-terrorism interrogation!  That's serious!

She has also figured out how to turn on the sweetness when she wants something in true diva form.  This is a typical last ditch effort to extend bedtime.  She'll go through the whole bit..."Mommy, D go potty? Need a drink of water? Mommy, love you!  Kisses?  Hugs?  Rock-a-bye? Twinkle, twinkle?"  Don't get me wrong it's all adorable and cute, but the girl needs to sleep at night.  She's like her mother in that respect...too little sleep creates a monster the next day! The transition to a big girl bed is still a marathon versus a dash!  It still takes at least an hour every night for her to cave and go to sleep, and she's up at the crack of dawn coming into our room before our alarms most mornings!

She has figured out that I can't cook.  She almost always refuses to eat dinner.  She's usually good with fruit, veggies, and condiments (ketchup/ranch with a spoon?!?), but anything else is "Mommy, no like it!".  Seriously, Craig must be brainwashing her when I'm not around.  She won't even taste or try it before passing judgment.  I know I'm no gourmet chef, but I try and I eat it!  Dinner is also a three ring circus most nights.  We have to make at least one trip to the bathroom mid-meal, regardless if I ask right before we sit down she will always wait until we're part way through the meal.  She also has to have exactly the right ceiling lights on/off and ceiling fans on/off depending on her mood.  (She can reach the switches at our times!)  She has also figured out that Izzy will enjoy most of her leftovers.  In fact, last week one night we weren't looking and suddenly Delaney's entire plate of food was on the floor being devoured by our beloved beagle.  Izzy was in heaven, and Delaney was in the doghouse! 

I realize that they are quite comical to the outside, and now in hindsight I tend to agree.  In the heat of the moment though, I'm ready to pull my hair out!  Good thing she's so stinking cute, and we love her to pieces!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Zoo trip

Craig's parents celebrated their 40th Wedding Anniversary on July 1st.  Yes, 40 Years!  Isn't that crazy?!?  We celebrated with some good old fashioned family time with two fun outings.  We went to the Stormchasers Baseball Game Friday, It was only about 105 degrees!  It was a fun night...the team one, everyone was there, the kids had a great time, and it ended with an awesome fireworks show!  The next morning we got up bright & early to beat the heat at the Omaha zoo!  We all had a great time, and came home exhausted!  Here are the highlights via photo!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Summer fun!

We love to accessorize!
I thought after our trip to Vancouver, summer would slow down for us.  Boy was I wrong!  We are still in a week-by-week mode, and I'm still exhausted!  We have been spending a lot of time in the evenings enjoying the shade of the front yard, while Delaney puts on a show for the neighbors!  She is a little fish, and loves everything water this summer!  We even splurged last week and got a bigger pool for her.  This one is 10 ft long and 2 ft deep, so all three of us can enjoy it!  We've used it twice, and so far it has more than paid for itself!  She loves it! 

Delaney loves her water table!
For some reason I decided the week after our trip would be the perfect time to transition Delaney to a toddler bed!  She had made the transition at daycare without any trouble, and she slept in a toddler bed at grandma's house while we were gone with no trouble.  I thought that meant that we'd have an easy transition at home!  WRONG!  This girl is smart & stubborn, and she knows how to work me over!  After two weeks of battling between the toddler bed & the baby bed (pack & play), I instituted "Bedtime Bootcamp".  We took down the baby bed and hid it downstairs where she can't see it.  We set up a CD player in her room for special "big girl music", which also gives us something reasonable to take away when she gets out of bed!  So far, she has been making progress.  She has stayed in bed all night after initially falling asleep.  The hardest part has been getting her to fall asleep...she averages about 1.5-2 hours any given night.  She stays in her bed/room for the most part, but she just refuses to sleep.  Poor kid is exhausted!  She is steadily shortening that time frame, but it's still taking WAY too long!  I hope she gets over this soon.

We even managed a little toddler pedicure! 
Dinnertime has also become a battle.  She is up & down constantly.  She has to go potty at least once every meal.  She has started passing food along to Izzy.  She demands all sorts of things when we don't give her chicken nuggets or mac & cheese.  She prefers condiments to actual food; in fact, on more than one occasion she has eaten ketchup or ranch dressing with a spoon!  I know I'm not a gourmet chef by any means of the imagination, but seriously this girl is testing me!  Her favorite thing to do is say "D no like this!" before she even takes a bite!  Little turd!
Delaney loves her "bike", but she has far more fun pushing it into the street t

I keep trying to remind myself that she's only two, but sometimes I swear it's like she's 14!  I can already hear the bedroom door slamming in a few years with this one!  I also think that the crazy summer we've had is catching up to her a little bit.  She has been tossed around quite a bit, and it's obviously taking a toll.  Thankfully she's only punishing us as she's remained fairly well-behaved for her grandparents & Holly!  I think once we get this sleeping thing under control we will all be so much happier. I can totally tell a difference if she falls asleep before 9 and if it's after 10.  That hour makes a world of difference for this stubborn little girl! 

Blurry picture, but a sweet smile!

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