Thursday, February 28, 2013

A Look Back - February 2013

If you're reading this it's a miracle! I played a rousing game of musical beds with the kids last night, and now I'm exhausted. I laid my head down in no less than four different places: first the top bunk, then the bottom bunk, then my own bed, and finally the couch in the living room. One day my children will stay PUT and I won't wake up alone in a bed that doesn't belong to me. Until then, I dream of the day that I open my eyes in the morning in the first place I shut them at night. Toddlerhood only lasts so long!

Which brings me to the purpose of the post today. Holy cow, today is the last day of February! 2013 is sailing right along, isn't it? Our family had a great month together - celebrating love and growing up.


Reagan's middle name should have been "roly poly." Reagan Roly Poly Robert. Nice alliteration, right? My child is a rolling fool, and unfortunately, he's rolled right on off of the couch a time or two already. He continues to be SUPER strong, and I have a feeling he's going to be an early crawler - he can almost push up and go already - at barely 4 months old! If I were a first-time mom I'd probably swell with pride at my child who seems to be way ahead of where he should be. But I'm not a first time mom, and I know what it means when you have a kid who is so active. It means I'm going to spend the next few years very, very busy. :) (Gracie 2.0, anyone?) Slow down, bud!

Some of Reagan's favorites this month: Reagan loves his Sophie the Giraffe toy. The little built-in squeaker gets him every time! But I think his most favorite thing was getting to feel like a big kid and "eat" snacks with his sisters. Actually, he wasn't eating anything at all, but he's a baby, he didn't know the difference. :) When the girls and I have an ice cream treat, I always put my cold (empty) spoon to his lips, too, and he LOVES it! I'm a stickler about giving kids food too soon, so no cheating here, but I can already tell he's going to really enjoy eating, haha. Even though there is nothing on that darn spoon he still whines for it and I can't give it to him soon enough!

As for me, I have really enjoyed slow dancing with my little man, soaking up every day of his babyhood and enjoying every toothless smile, every pathetic little cry, and his cute piggy toes. :)


What can I say about Gracie? My second child has really grown up! Of course she likes to prove me wrong when we're in front of other people, but she really is behaving much better at home than she was just a few months ago. We took Grace to the pediatrician for her speech this month, and now the little stinker is a talking up a storm. Some of the words that used to be muddled are clearer now, and she's adding words and speaking longer sentences every day. As with all things, she'll do what she wants when she's good and ready!

Gracie loves to play with her Little People toys, and boy does she get animated with them! (It's so hilarious.) She puts one little plastic person in one hand and one in the other, and makes them jabber back and forth - mostly they are arguing...very LOUDLY...which usually ends up with one crying dramatic sobs...very LOUDLY. And then they both burst into song...very, VERY loudly. Haha. One day I'm going to catch this in a video, because it's not a performance I ever want to forget! 

Grace had her first trip to the dentist, which she did surprisingly well at, and she spent the month having fun with Evie indoors, playing dress up, watching movies, and trying to ride out the rest of winter!


Evelyn loves to be a little mommy most of all. She is constantly loving and hugging her little brother and she is happy to be the first to run and grab something when Reagan has a spit up attack. :) She has also recently taken on the position of Chief Language Checker. If you say something that isn't nice (or that she doesn't like) she will quickly remind you that "...we don't say that." 

She has also, admittedly, been a bit of a stinker this month, haha. Every child goes through phases, and I'm pretty sure she's in a limits-testing phase at the moment. Let's hope it's a short one! It usually is for my first born. Since Evie is able to communicate easily, I like to ask her questions about her own favorites!

Favorite Food: Orange Chinese Chicken
Favorite Show: Jake and the Neverland Pirates
Favorite Color: Pink
Favorite Toy: Buzz and Jessie and Woody
Favorite thing to do for fun: Play with my friends
Favorite Animal: Unicorns

Evelyn is eagerly anticipating preschool screening (she can't wait for school this fall!) and one of her favorite places to go is church. She wakes up every day asking "Is it church day?!" Haha. :)


Chocolate covered strawberries at grandma and grandpa's.

Valentine's Cookies

Hanging Out

Valentine's Day

First dentist trip

Bunk beds!

The month of February was full of heart-shaped fun and activities for our family. We also welcomed bunk beds and had a few really good snow days thrown into the mix. For a short month it feels like we accomplished a lot! And we certainly made many memories to treasure forever. 

I cannot even tell you how excited I am for March. March! The month of Spring!! Will we get to venture outside? Take a few walks? Fly a kite? I don't know, but I can't wait to find out! 

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Mom Jeans

Just saying "mom jeans" sends me into serious fits of the giggles. :D When I think of mom jeans my mind instantly goes to the popular SNL skit of the same name. To me, THIS is what mom jeans have always been. And if you can't click the link (and/or have been living blissfully oblivious) they look a little something like this:

"I'm not a woman anymore - I'm a mom!"
Hehe, gets me every time.

The worst offense of these jeans, of course, is that they make the wearer appear a BAZILLION times bigger than they actually are. I'm not telling all ladies to go out there and shake what their mama gave them for the whole world to see, but if you've ever had a great pair of jeans that fit just right, you know what a travesty these things are. You can still be modest and not wear belly button eaters. 

The thing is, mom jeans aren't always as obvious at first glance as the ones in that picture. In fact, after a friend shared a blog post with me, I realized that I might actually be a mom jeans offender. ME. I'm 27 years old, for crying out loud! But it's true. I read the post in horror as I discovered that some of the places I buy jeans from are the worst mom jean offenders of all. Are YOU walking around in mom jeans and don't even realize it?

All my ladies should check out this blog post:

And see if your jeans are actually made for your body, or if you're walking around looking bigger than necessary from behind. :)

This is all meant in fun, and I promise I won't make fun of you if these are actually your jeans of choice. We wouldn't want to put Old Navy out of business after all. Haha. And admittedly, the author of this blog post models some jeans that I couldn't imagine my own mom wearing. Bling on the butt? Erm...I don't know - sorry mom. :) Still, it's chock full of pictures and tips to help you on your next jeans buying adventure. (Which for me will be about ten pounds from now!)

Hope you all have a great day, and don't feel too bad if your sporting mom jeans today...I didn't know I was, either. :)

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

Bunk Beds - Finally!

So. For nearly the entire month of February our family has been living in a construction zone. You may remember at the beginning of the month when our kids were bouncing around on mattresses in the living room. That was the start of it all....

It was the night of the Super Bowl and Eric and his dad were working on putting bunk beds together for the girls. They were nearing the end of the project, when lo and behold, they realize they are missing an entire bag of screws and parts that they need to complete it. Well, great! Sorry kids, no beds for you. But not only that, when I walked into the kids' bedroom to look at the progress the first thing out of my mouth was, "Are those rails supposed to be crooked?"

"That's what I thought," said Eric.

So we had a crooked bed with missing parts, haha. Lovely! We contacted the manufacturer of course, and when they finally got back to us they said that they needed pictures of the bed so that they would know which parts needed to be replaced. So we sent them pictures. This is nearly two weeks later, already, and our kids' bedroom was totally out of commission with a half-constructed bed, loose boards, and random tools lying around.

We wait to hear back from them, only to discover that they want more pictures. Eric is annoyed. So he called their customer service to explain the situation and was treated very rudely on the phone, cut off at every sentence. Now, I don't know how well you know my husband, but sometimes I'm pretty sure his job in finance is just a cover for some other mysterious profession. Eric Robert knows how to get to the bottom of anything and almost always comes out victorious...somehow, he always finds a way....

Eric got a hold of the CEO's personal email address (baha) and included him in on an email to the company expressing our deep dissatisfaction with their customer service. And what do you know...after weeks of the run around, Eric received an email back within hours saying that the parts would be sent to us as soon as possible, no extra pictures required.

Thank you.

But by then, three weeks later, our schedules had blown up and Eric was barely home to work on the bunk beds. Our living room was full of giant boxes and piles of paper and bubble wrap. That is, until last night. Last night was the only night that Eric would be home this week, so by golly, we were going to get those darn beds finished once and for all!

And that's exactly what we did. Let me tell ya, the girls had a BLAST hanging out in their new beds. :) In fact, they were so excited that they couldn't even wait until their beds were made before they hopped on!

Even Gracie couldn't contain her excitement...

I did finally get them off long enough to put the rest of their blankets and pillows on. The girls found their dream lites and made themselves cozy.

But as predicted, that didn't last for long. Gracie grabbed her pillow....

...and hiked it on up to visit her sister. :)

I have a feeling that a lot of childhood memories will be made in these darn beds. :)

Evelyn really wanted the lights off so that they could play with their dream lites, so it was at this point that she said, "No more pictures, mom, this isn't a fan site!" Baha. 

Lest anyone believe that the top bunk is actually the best and most favored bunk in this house, let me call your attention to the lesser-known third level. I like to call it the "basement bunk."

Ha! Two perfectly comfortable beds to pick from, and they want to play UNDER them. :)

And they really are comfortable! We made it a priority to find good mattresses and mattress pads. I won't tell you about how Eric crawled into Gracie's bed and nearly fell asleep. Or about the fact that I spent the first half of writing this blog from the bunk beds while Grace drifted off. They're family beds, really. ;)

Yes, it was a pain in the butt getting to this point, but at the end of the day we are very happy with our purchase, and these beds literally saved us another YEAR of not having to move. Woohoo! I have been wanting to redecorate a bit in here, but I wasn't able to when I couldn't even walk through my children's bedroom for a month. I think a little bedroom makeover might be in the cards for the month of March. We'll see!

Happy Tuesday!

Monday, February 25, 2013

"Date" Night

Nearly every weekend Eric and I do the same exact thing. And every Monday I briefly mention here, "...and Eric and I went on a date night on Saturday...." and that's all I usually have to say about that. But I figured, since I'm always talking about it, maybe I should bring you all along once and show you what we do.

It's a very thrilling experience. :D And on this particular evening I drove Eric nuts taking pictures everywhere we went, which was icing on the cake, really. Haha. 

The thing about our date nights is that usually they aren't really date nights. They are more like nights we get to run necessary errands without all of our kids in tow. But at least it's time we get to spend together!

So here we are. The Saturday Date Night Crew:



And little man

You didn't think we would actually get away with complete alone time, did you? Haha.

Our first stop is to get something to eat, and we always stop at the same place. It's quick, it's delicious, it's...


Oh my holy yumminess.

If you've never eaten here and you live in the St. Louis area, what is WRONG with you? Baha.

It was here that Reagan had his first diaper blowout of the evening. (Yay hot date!) So we took care of that business and then sat down to a delicious dinner.

We always order the same thing. Are you sensing a pattern here? Except that this time I branched out a bit. Instead of getting the mostaccioli dinner, I got the spaghetti dinner. Watch out! :) All of this food plus drinks costs us $20, and it's a massive amount of food. It's enough to feed our entire family the next day just on the leftovers, so you can guess what Sunday night dinner usually is! The meals come with a salad, lots of pasta, and two huge peices of garlic bread. Mmm...carb city!

The best part is that it's really good food really fast. From the time we order to the time we're eating is about five minutes, which is crucial when a baby is along and you have stuff to accomplish for the evening!

Hi, buddy!

Once our bellies are full and we roll ourselves out the door, we go to our main and most exciting destination of the night.

Wahoo - it's Aldi! :D
Time for grocery shopping.

We shop the South County location, where Eric is well-known by all of the employees.

"So you brought your mystery family with you this time!" we hear as we walk through the front door. Haha, I might just send Eric to the store one or four time throughout the week. :)

Then we get our shop on.

Strawberry applesauce might just be the most yummy treat ever, and Aldi has some good stuff!

When we talk about our personal finances, we always reference the "nerd" and the "free spirit" ala Dave Ramsey, because there always seems to be one nerd and one crazy person in every relationship. :)  I am clearly the crazy person in ours. And our wonderful personalities shine through in our shopping styles.

I'm walking along, plucking things off of shelves and throwing them into the cart. Then I look behind me and see Eric arranging things just so. "You have no idea how to put things in a shopping cart," he says. I make fun of him. And take a picture.

Yep, he's the nerd. Gotta love him!
(You should see him bagging groceries. Oh man. I'm not even allowed to touch anything, because I will just mess things up.)

It was at this point in the evening that Reagan filled his britches for the second time, and I was very animated when I discovered it. "Oh my, pee-yew - that is terrible,"I said while fanning the fumes around me. Only I didn't realize that at that very moment we were passing by the bathrooms and a little old man was shuffling out of the door. With a horrified look on his face he booked it out of there as fast as his legs would take him. 

Poor guy! :) I had no idea, but Eric saw the whole thing which he laughed about all through the check out and into the car, and we busted out in random fits of laughter over it for the entire rest of the night. :D

After this we went to another familiar destination to take care of my child's diaper issue and spend some more money. Target, of course! I had heard the dollar spot was restocked, and well, hello...gotta make a special trip just for that. I get lots of our birthday and other party things from there, and I definitely scored for Evie's party this year. (Which, by the way, she is now officially old enough to request a friend's party at the park, so watch your mailboxes this June if you live near us!) I took pictures of all of our unnecessary but totally necessary purchases, but for some reason they won't upload. 

And it's by this time in the evening that Reagan is just about over it (and Eric, too, haha) and we need to get home to our other babies. So we load into the car, have some deep and meaningful conversation (or...joke about little old men in Aldi's bathrooms) and end another productive Saturday night out.

And now you know.
Saturday night date night.
So the next time I devote one line of this blog to "...and we went out on Saturday..." you can just insert this in there. :)

Hope you guys had a great weekend!

Friday, February 22, 2013

Confession Friday 2-22!

Happy Friday!
I'm not feeling so hot.
But that won't stop the confessions!

I confess that I did not take my kids out to enjoy the snow yesterday. But we did let them roll around in mounds and mounds of bubble wrap that came in some packages we got recently. Still fun, right?

I confess that my house smells like barf, because Miss Evelyn decided to concoct her own Scentsy recipe in one of my warmers. In case you were wondering, cinnamon and laundry detergent scents are not a good combination. Blech!

I confess that I never sing alone in the car. I sing to a million adoring fans.

I confess that I am happy that some blogger buddies have returned to blogland. Woot! Missed you, girls!

I confess that with preschool screenings and registrations coming up soon, I'm starting to stress over where to send Evelyn to school in the fall. Though, she has her own opinion on the matter, and her mind is made up. "I want to go to the loofren school," she says. And why the "loofren" school? Because they have the best playground, in her opinion. Priorities, my friends, priorities! :)

I confess that I haven't had a nice relaxing bubble bath in a ridiculously long time, and I think that is definitely in order sometime this weekend. I don't know why you need to know that, but now you do.

I confess that if there is one thing I love about the world covered in snow, it's that even in the darkest of night, it's not dark outside.

Took this picture at midnight last night.
Those icicle lights have been up since October 2011.

I confess that my heart dropped to my toes Wednesday night when I called out to Evie and she said, "My name is EVELYN." Say wha...? She later retracted her preference for full name only,'s only the beginning, I'm afraid.

I confess that Aldi has the best ice cream ever. (Belmont brand.) Every flavor. Can't go wrong. Don't ask me how I know.

I confess that I have a few "bad ideas" to share with you that I may or may have not experienced for myself in recent days.

   #1 Getting in the shower without double checking that you have a towel first is a bad idea.
   #2 Painting your nails right before you decide to use the bathroom. Bad idea.
   #3 Installing the ladder on your kids' bunk bed days before there is a mattress on top. BAD idea.
   #4 And finally, devouring Burger King before a workout is a bad idea. A really really bad idea.

Now I'm going to convince my children that we should go back to bed. :)
Hope you guys have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Batten Down the Hatches!

Hot chocolate?

We're ready for a winter storm this afternoon, so it better not disappoint. :)

I'm oddly excited for this disgusting weather we're supposed to be getting. Not because I really care for winter to stick around any longer, but because I have absolutely nowhere to go today, so the kids and I are going to bunker down with lit candles, cozy blankets, movies, and lots of hot chocolate. :) While we're staying in, we will be praying for anyone who has to drive a bit today - they say it's supposed to be pretty icky. I am NOT a fan of driving in winter weather with slick roads, so to those of you getting out and about, stay safe and stay warm!

In other news, I've been having a few issues lately, and I promise there will be a new (real) post up tomorrow! I won't burden you with all of my worries, but the latest issue: my phone is gone. Just gone. I had it in my parent's van last night, got the kids through the door in the dark, and then I couldn't find it. It has all of the pictures on it that I was going to use to blog today. (We had a yummy dinner and dessert that the kids helped with last night at my parent's house!) Here's hoping that it turns up soon....

It's true, I do not always have it together. Right now I really don't have it all together, haha. Peaks and valleys. Thus is life.

Reagan says, "Hello!"

We hope you have a wonderful February day, no matter where you are!

vvvxcczzah - Evie :)

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

We're Just A Bunch of Geeks

Hello, strangers! What a great long weekend we had. I don't have a ton of photographical evidence to prove that. Every time we have an extra long weekend I seem to be extra lazy and never bother to pick up a camera, haha.

Eric was home with us yesterday (and surprised us with Friday off, too!) and we took Grace to the pediatrician in the morning concerning her speech. Gracie seems to have a language all her own sometimes - she talks a lot, but most of it we can't understand, and sometimes what she does say isn't enunciated very well. After having Evelyn, who seemed to always speak very clearly and with a wide vocabulary, we just wanted to make sure everything was a-okay with Grace.

Turns out Gracie is totally normal and a typical second-born. Our lovely doctor let us know that for Grace's age, only about 25% of her words are usually understandable, and that sounds about right for her. So she's just an average kid. We're okay with average. ;) Evelyn certainly has the ability to do the talking for both of them, haha.

Reagan embraced his inner nerd this weekend.

So let's see...on Friday we had take-out and a movie night with the family. On Saturday Eric and I went on our Valentine's date. You don't want to know where we went. Even we were laughing at ourselves. :) On Sunday we had an awesome day with our church family, including a "We love Red Bud" feast on Sunday evening. The dinner replaced our usual Valentine's banquet with an event the whole family could enjoy together. I so wish I had gotten pictures of this! The cute decorations, the massive amounts of food, and the sweet fellowship with good great.

This week promises to be the start of a really nuts season in our lives. Eric starts class back up again tomorrow night after a long break. (Since before Reagan was born!) And he was recently nominated to be on a team representing the SIUE school of business in an upcoming competition, so he has several meetings and a lot of preparation for that in the coming weeks. Add several appointments to our usual schedule and I pray that I just make it through to the end of the month! It's going to mean a lot of time with just me and the kids. I love my kids. I also love my sanity. Please don't leave me, sanity.

I snuck up on Eric having story time with Reagan....

My son will earn his "nerd" status honestly. :)

As for me, well, I've been amazing myself lately. I'm on week 3 of my workouts, and I haven't skipped a single night - even though they're an hour long and I'd much rather go to sleep, haha. And I'm fulfilling a total bucket list goal by learning the piano. Right now Eric is giving me pointers and I'm self-teaching from our piano lesson books. I had one goal in mind: By the end of this year I wanted to be able to read the music and play short pieces from a simple book of Christmas songs we have. Turns out that was a pretty easy goal, because I accomplished it in about three days. Never too old to learn something new!

I'm wrapping it up here, because I've typed this entire post one-handed and it has taken me forever! :) I hope you all continue to have a great week!

Friday, February 15, 2013

V-Day Rewind

Whew, we had a long Valentine's Day filled with fun, and boy did our kiddos get spoiled! Eric had a meeting after work and we didn't exchange gifts this year, so it really turned into a family day focused on our babies. That's fine with me...but dear, we should make up for it this weekend. ;)

Our morning started with some Valentine's Day treats. 

This was more than we would typically give for a minor holiday, haha. Eric and I had actually picked up a few really cheap dress up outfits for the girls after the holidays, and we were just waiting for a good excuse to let them have some of them. Late the night before I remembered that they were in our basement, and I thought, "Well, I guess this is a good excuse to give them a little gift." So that's what I did!

And boy were they excited about it! The girls wasted no time in throwing on their new princess clothes.

Our family recently became the proud owners of a digital piano - it's not a keyboard, even though it looks like one. :) One of our littles will be taking lessons from her daddy soon. I'm sure you'll be hearing more about that sometime in the future!

We read Reagan's new storybooks, played a game with some colored hearts that the girls' Sunday School teacher had dropped off the night before, and had lunch. Soon after that my mom and John stopped by bearing more gifts!

Reagan became the proud owner of a new bib.
He's my valentine. :)

And it wasn't long after my mom left that Eric's mom showed up with even more gifts. The girls got to take a trip to the playground with their grandma, and I got busy working on a little scavenger hunt to send Eric on a wild goose chase we he got home later that evening....

My babies came home, and we set to work making our special dinner. I think half of the children in the bi-county area made heart shaped pizzas at some point this week, haha.

Evelyn was all about it...

...and Gracie was half interested in pizza making and half interested in the iPhone. :)

Eric got home just as we were about to pop our dinner in the oven, and we all enjoyed a yummy meal together.

Grace is pretty serious about food. :)

It was delish!

I promised Eric that I wouldn't take any pictures of him on his scavenger hunt. :) But after dinner he unscrambled a little message from me about mushy stuff no one wants to hear about. Then we relaxed for the rest of the evening, and after everyone else went to bed Gracie stayed up with me for some yoga. I'm telling you, I've never ever (ever) heard that child laugh so hard than she does when I'm twisted up like a pretzel. It makes ME laugh, and then I can't do a darn thing. I almost choked when she came up and thumped me between the eyes when they were closed. I laugh at my kids all the time for the cute stuff they do, but Gracie makes me laugh like a girlfriend makes me laugh. A self-depracating "this is ridiculous" kind of laugh. I never feel closer to my middle child than when she makes fun of me doing yoga. Baha.

So that was it! That was our day, and we were reminded once again of how thankful we are to have family around us. Grandparents definitely made the day a little bit more special for their grand babies, and I was thankful for an excuse to do some fun activities with my kiddos. When I'm president, I'm coming up with weekly holidays just so we can always have themes for life. Haha. Next week, let's do outer space. Vote for me! ;)


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