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He is Three

Today is Liam’s birthday.  It’s been three years since that wonderful, AMAZING day where he was born.  I can say without hesitation that it was the best day of my life.   Even now, thinking of it brings a big smile to my face.

Brand New

It has been a wild and crazy three years with little Liam in our lives.  He’s the sort of child that will NOT be pushed to the side, that will NOT be not noticed, that will NOT be just your average “middle child”.  He quite deftly marks his place in our lives and it’s all we can do to just keep up with him.

He’s a ball of energy, a life-force to be reckoned with.  It’s easy to forget that he is small and just as frail as the rest of us.  Because he’s a “tough guy”.  I’ve never seen a child fall down quite as much as Liam does.  And mostly, he picks himself back up with a yell of “I’m okay!” and he’s back at it again.

Three is the age I dread.  He’s already such a handful, that I’m afraid of having more heaped on my plate.  But at the same time, I have to admit, this new age and maturity has been kind of… FUN.  He’s talking more, doing more and actually even listening more.  Still, I don’t want to make it sounds like he listens to us often.  Just more than NEVER which is how he was before.

He has great capacity of cruelty when it comes to his little sister.  He sees nothing wrong with running up to her and smacking her on the head, pushing her over, tripping her as she takes her first toddling steps and stealing toys from her on a whim.  I get the impression that he feels entitled to rough her up a little, seeing as she just waltzed into his life and took his position as “baby”.   Plus, she is JUST a baby, she doesn’t need that doll/sippy cup/car/book.  Liam finds himself in “baby jail” (aka the pack n’ play) quite often because of this.

He also has great capacity to love.  Perhaps, he’s the most loving of all the kids.  He’s the most likely to run up to you in the middle of playing to give you a spontaneous hug and kiss.  Despite the frequent brutalizing of Evie, he shows a great deal of concern for her when she’s unhappy.  And he just idolizes Harry, following him around like a puppy dog and clamoring for his attention.   He’s a papa’s boy at heart and would quite happily go off to work with Kile every day, just to be near him.   His favorite place to hang out in the mornings is on Kile’s lap, sippy cup in hand and stuffed dolphin tucked under his arm.

He loves cars.  Like most boys his age, Hot Wheels cars are his vice.  And the movie “Cars” is arguably his biggest obsession.  He would watch that movie 24/7 if I let him.  I have a strict “1 ‘Cars’ per day” viewing policy.  It’s adorable to watch him get so into something.  His fondness for Disney comes next and for months now he has been able to identify the Disney logo.  And while no Disney movie is quite as fabulous as “Cars”, it still is a cause for celebration.  And I may be scared of traveling across country with this wild, ball of energy, but the look on his face when he first sees Disney World and the cruise ship will make it all worth it, I am sure.  I literally cannot wait to see what he thinks of it all.  What will he do when face to face with Mickey Mouse himself?  The child’s head might just pop off his shoulders.

This isn’t a terribly eloquent post and it’s hard to be eloquent about a child like Liam.  He’s a do-er.  He’s a mile a minute.  He’s a lot of everything in a small package.  And quite simply, I cannot imagine our lies without him.  Quieter and more peaceful, perhaps, but also emptier.

So happy birthday, Liam.  I can’t believe how fast you’re growing.  And I look forward to watching you grow some more.

End Result

Life has, for now, returned to semi-normal.  Harry went with my in-laws when they left on Sunday, and took his pup with him, so the house is a little emptier than usual.  Kile has gone back to work after working hard day in and day out on the sprinkler system for our backyard.   The schedule has righted itself.  Peace (sorta) reigns once more.

Want to see some pictures of the finished projects (to date, more are planned!)?  Too bad if you don’t because here they come anyhow….

IMG_1806 Kile and my father in law putting the finishing touches on the swing set.

IMG_1808 Beetoe watches the progress but is careful to not actually GO outside to do it.

IMG_1819 The swingset, in all it’s glory.  So far Liam’s favorite thing to do is climb up into the tower and send cars down the slide.  We plan to get a toddler swing in a couple of weeks for Evie (and for Liam too since he’s sorta unsure about the “big boy” swing seats).

IMG_1820 See how it has a little picnic bench on the back here?  Harry has plans of eating lunches out here, right now Liam likes to pile rocks on it.  And the small square in the middle of the base, we plan to build a little higher and put a liner in so we can pour sand in there.  Clever, huh?

However lovely the swing set is, a swing set does not make a backyard a habitable place all on it’s own.  We also need some trees, grass and a patio.  This weekend also saw significant progress towards a sprinkler system though!  Kile dug enormous trenches for the water lines, a feat which earns him a gold medal because we officially have the rockiest dirt on the face of the planet.

IMG_1817Yikes. Some of those are the size of a watermelon.

IMG_1818Trenchy goodness

IMG_1821More trenchy goodness

IMG_1822 A few adjustments….

IMG_1826 It works!  Woot!

Next we need to lay some sod (or seed if we choose that route).  Pick out some landscaping.  I’m thinking of using sand with a little rock here and there for the edges of the yard.  We’re thinking of putting rubber mulch under the swing set.  The big question right now is the patio.  What to do?  There’s pavers, concrete, deck…. what would be the easiest/cheapest to do ourselves?  Anyone have any experience with this and want to chime in with your two cents?  I’m open to any and all inspiration here!

The important thing is… we’re MUCH closer to an actual backayrd.  It only took FIVE YEARS.

Marching for Maddie

Yesterday, we roused ourselves out of bed at 6:30am.  On a SATURDAY.  We put on warm clothes, purple shirts.  We got the kids out of bed.  We packed them all into the van and drove off towards the Sparks Marina, after only having a few sips of fabulous, life-sustaining coffee.  We stood around in the chill air before subjecting our lazy, inert selves (okay that may have just been me) to a long but scenic walk around the marina.

It was all for Maddie.

Well, it was for premature babies in general, yes.  But Maddie was my focus.  Maddie was the reason I got up at 6:30am on Saturday and subjected myself to all of that.  If not for her, I’m not sure I would have had the motivation to do it.  I’m not sure I would have had the drive.

I didn’t raise much money sadly.  Or, you know, really ANY.  But my good friend Jenn, who joined us with her young son for the walk, did raise some money so that is something.  Every little bit, right?

We joked that it should have been called a Munch n’ March for all the goodies there made available to us.  Lots of granola bars.  Lots of water.  Fruit.  Juice.  Yogurt.  Muffins.

We joked but the entire time, Maddie’s smiling face remained clear in my mind.  I was doing this for her.  Because she couldn’t do it herself.

March for Babies

Marching for Maddie

The March Begins

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What I’m doing for Earth Day

(so it’s a day late… so sue me)

Hmm. I see a lot of people writing posts today about ways they and their families are trying to be more environmentally consious and I feel a little guilty because I’m not doing anything besides what I normally do. It takes me a minute to realize it’s been about a year since I started using clothdiapers, and hey, maybe that counts as being environmentally conscious, no?

Yer darn tootin’ it is.  At least as far as I’m concerned.

So yeah.  We’re still cloth diapering  And I’m still loving it.  I maybe even love it more than I did last year when I first started out with my bumGenius pockets and gDiapers.  And from where I’m sitting, I can’t believe I didn’t try this before.  I have a good amount of misconceptions I’ve made in my life and the hassle associated with cloth diapering is DEFINITELY one of them.  But you know how it is.  It’s always easy to fear the unknown and I had no way of knowing that cloth diapers wouldn’t be any hassle at all until I went ahead and just DID IT.

People who are anti-cloth diapering (and who would these people be, besides disposable diaper manufacturers and their families??), always like to argue about the water/energy required to clean diapers.  I always roll my eyes when I hear that because, SERIOUSLY?  That is somehow worse than sitting in a landfill, poluting the ground water, for 500 years?  REALLY?  And, just so’s ya knows, Kile says our water bill hasn’t gone up at all in the last year since I’ve been cloth diapering.  And I wash about every other day without fail.  So you tell me.  Our electric/heating bill?  No different either.  HMM.  ISN’T THAT INTERESTING.

Anyhow.  I’m actually kind of sad that we’ll be taking disposable diapers with us this summer when we take our Big Trip to Disney World and Beyond.  I know it’s not feasible to cloth diaper on that trip and we’ll need less hassle (A LOT LESS HASSLE) instead of more but… dangit.  I kinda like my cloth diapers.  I’m gonna miss them for the week we’re gone.  YES, I’M SERIOUS.

I can’t tell you how glad I am not only to not be buying package upon package upon package of diapers each month, but not to be dragging out bags of dirty disposable diapers to the garbage all the time.  For the month that we had two in disposables, I honestly felt that not only was I literally throwing away money, but that I was single-handedly contributing to the problems our Earth is facing.

I’m a practical gal and I will ALWAYS prefer the option that is easier on my pocket book.  When I’m out of diapers, I just run a load of laundry.  And voila, I’ve got diapers.  It’s SO much nice to be able to REUSE something rather than continue the cycle of purchasing, using and throwing away.  And when I’m done with a diaper or want to try something different, I sell the old diaper (there are HUGE communities online for this and you can get quite a bit back on your investment, depending on the diaper) and use that money to buy something new.  I don’t have a single diaper now that I had when I started out a year ago.  And I’m selling off some of my (once beloved) Goodmama diapers and am getting four square into Bagshot Row Bamboo diapers.  It’s like crack man.

And Kile loves not seeing the constant drain on the bank account too, I’m sure.

And if it weren’t for cloth diapers, I would have never discovered knitting the way I have.  And I wouldn’t be making some decent cash knitting up pants, shorts and skirts the way I am either.  So there’s that.

Cloth diapers, man.  They aren’t the prefolds and plastic pants your mother used (though you can do that too, if you really really want to).

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Well Check

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We left the house and it felt good

Last week was a pretty dull one at our house.  Harry was on spring break and not feeling well on top of that so he pretty much laid on the couch all week long.  I spent a lot of time in the house trying to get some knitting done and watching Liam and Evie try to take each other out.  Dull, dull, dull.

So, Kile took Friday off of work and we packed up the family and drove down to Carson City.  It’s an easy drive, since Reno is just a northern neighbor to the state capital and even though we live on about the absolute opposite end of town, it took us no time at all to get there.  We wanted to take Harry to at least one museum while we were there, that was the big purpose of the trip.  He’s in the Cub Scouts now and visiting a museum is a badge requirement for his “Bear” badge.  Plus, he was genuinely interested in going to a museum.

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First things first, we needed to hunt down lunch.  We parked the van, loaded the wee ones into the double stroller and headed down the main drag.  And the iPhone came in VERY handy, making it easy to find a nearby cafe that was well rated and just what we were looking for.  It was “Mom and Pop’s Diner”, across the street from the capital and the state assembly buildings.  The day was very nice so we sat outside and enjoyed the atmosphere.  I definitely recommend that place if anyone is looking for lunch while in Carson City.  Their Tri-Tip BBQ sandwhich was simply fabulous.  I’m drooling right now just thinking about it.

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After that, we took a stroll through the capital and the surrounding grounds and I took an obnoxious amount of pictures.  But it really was a gorgeous day and with all the flowering trees doing their flowering thing, I couldn’t resist.

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We made our way back to the Nevada History museum, with me snapping pictures all along the way.  I didn’t have an issue with taking pictures like a cheesy tourist.  My family may have been a little embarrassed, but that’s their problem.

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We finally made our way to the museum and it was very interesting!  There was this completely awesome underground mine replica that went on and on and I wouldn’t recommend it for anyone who is claustrophobic.  But it was very cool.  There was also a whole room on guns and other weapons and that was cool too.

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And it wouldn’t be a Nevada History Museum without at least one obnoxious display of silver.  I think there were four or five.

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It also wouldn’t be a Nevada History Museum if there wasn’t at least ONE nod towards Las Vegas Showgirls and YAY, there was one!  I kinda got skeeved out looking at the thong/g-string/whatever the heck it was because DUDE, someone totally wore that (see the picture in the display case) and chances are pretty good that she was a skank of some kind.

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It was after that that we went to McDonalds and the infamous ice cream incident took place.  That was a hoot.  We headed to the railroad museum next.  One of those places you always hear about, living in the area, but never go to because you’re not a tourist in your own town, right?  But that day, we were tourists.  So we went and looked a bunch of completely awesome (and completely HUUUUUGE) trains.

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After that, everyone was pretty spent.  So we headed back to Reno and I swear we hadn’t cleared the Carson City city limits before our backseat was filled with this:

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And this:

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I know we don’t go anywhere all that often and tend to hole up in our little house because it’s safe and quiet and simple and easy and SAFE.  But it was a lot of fun to break out of our shell that day and enjoy it together.  It was a real family day and I think all of us will remember it (well, maybe not the two young ones) for a long time to come.  And we definitely need to do it more often.

The Tale of a Boy and his Ice Cream

I have a TON of pictures to share with you from our day today.  We packed up the family and spent the day in Carson City.  It was really a lot of fun too!  The purpose of going was to take Harry to a museum for his Cub Scouts badge, but we wanted to just have a nice, family day on top of that.  And we did.

At one point, we were all thirsty and needing a little break so we stopped by McDonalds.  Kile and I drank our fill while the little ones had hot fudge sundae’s to enjoy.  Liam and Evie were to share a sundae, as with everything these days.  Evie was ALL OVER her sundae.  Or rather, her sundae was all over her since she had it dripping down her face and didn’t care one bit.  She LOVED it.

Liam?  Well.  I’ll let the pictures tell the story.

LLiamLiam is introduced to what is left of the sundae (Evie had her share while Liam was playing in the PlayPlace).  He is skeptical.

img_0499Liam rejects the very presence of the hot fudge sundae.  It offends him to his core!

img_0500Try a bite!  You’ll like it!  YEAH RIGHT.

img_0501Please don’t make me eat that tasty hot fudge sundae!  It BURNS!

img_0502This is pure stubbornness, folks.

img_0505I shall clench my jaws against this foul intruder!

img_0509He is just plain, dead set against it.

It’s not that he doesn’t like ice cream.  He does.  But he doesn’t like anything DIFFERENT.  Ice cream at home is vastly different from ice cream at McDonald’s, at least in his mind.  He is a picky eater, yes, but this whole “no change” philosophy of his sure puts pickyness on it’s ear.  And it makes eating out with him SO MUCH FUN.

Of course, as with any child who is stubborn and resistant to change, the best thing you can do is to lay off the pressure and let them come to it on their terms.  Which is what we did after we stopped laughing.  And guess what?  It wasn’t long at all before he was ready to try a bite.  And, gosh darnit, he liked it.

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What a weird kid.

Easter (and pictures) (but mostly pictures)

How has everyone’s weekend been?  Ours has been mellow.  Solitary.  Quiet (or as quiet as it can be with three kids).   Nothing very exciting.  Nothing extraordinary.

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Of course, this hasn’t stopped me from taking pictures.  And I want to share those pictures here because I feel like I haven’t been taking very many pictures of non-knitting related activities lately.

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Of course, Evie is yet again a major subject.  Mostly because, for the moment, she sits the most still for the camera and doesn’t make weird faces (at least not on purpose).  I cannot say the same about the boys.  It’s almost impossible to get a reasonable picture of Liam these days.  Everything I take is blurry, blurry, blurry.

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Eggs were dyed, though I find as I progress through my adult years that I don’t have much interest in dying eggs.  And I have even less toleration for cheapo Paas dying kits.  It’s virtually impossible to get good color with those damned things.  But I tried.

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Harry had a good time dying eggs though.  So did Liam, though his favorite part might have been when he tried to dump out the entire contents of the yellow dye cup.  Or when he cracked an egg by slamming it on the table too hard.  Whoops.

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The “Easter Bunny” was hard at work last night, putting together everyone’s color coordinated baskets.  Evie’s basket was purples and pinks, Liam’s was blues and yellows, and Harry’s was reds and greens.  Very cute.  And everyone seemed to know whose basket was whose this morning without even having to ask.

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I’m too cute.  Even for myself.

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Liam was big time into the whole thing this morning.  He started hunting for eggs as soon as he got downstairs and was completely charmed by that whole activity.  That is, until he noticed his Easter basket and the bounty that lay within.

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Evie was a little young yet to really look for eggs but she was definitely a fan of the whole chocolate thing.

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We’re sorta playing it downkey today.  Half of us don’t feel that hot (I’m included in that half).  But we did make it out on time for church this morning.

Headed to church

I know, I was surprised too.

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We hit up Jack in the Box after church because isn’t that where everyone goes when they’re dressed in their Easter finest?  For the record, their mini sirloin burgers are faboo.

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After we scarred the younguns with the touchless car wash, we came home.  And that is where we shall stay for the remainder of the day.  Kile is fighting sleep in his recliner while “Cars” plays for about the  10th time this week on the television.

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We have a pretty easy Easter dinner to put together that involves mostly warming things up.  Even better, these “things” are yummy things.  So you know, there’s that.

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This assumes we’ll feel well enough to eat.

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Meh.

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Happy Easter!

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Developments

Sorry to keep you all hanging, waiting for pictures of Kile’s new toy.  Yesterday was a Knit Knit Knit day for me since Sunday and Monday were so busy.  That meant that blogging took a back seat.

Believe it or not, I posted a little hint about this toy the other day in one of my picture posts.  I’m surprised no one picked up on it.  Anyhow, here it be:

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I know, right?  It’s a SCOOTER.  Albeit, it’s a fairly souped up scooter.  But it’s a scooter.  It actually belonged to my brother in law.  Their whole family had scooters and he didn’t like to ride his so he gave Kile a VERY good price (and payment plan!) for it.  It’s nearly new (despite the dirt on it, which it received in the back of my sister in law’s truck on the ride down on Sunday) and in great shape.  Kile is out in the garage as I speak giving it a bath, removing the stickers (not his style) and doing an oil change.  To say he’s enchanted by it is probably putting it mildly.  It came with a nice helmet but we got a small helmet for Harry the other day to go with it so he could go on little rides too.  Kile is looking for a pink helmet for me. Heh.

The plan is he’ll drive this to work during the summer months since it gets like INSANE gas mileage.  He might have to put gas in it like once a month.  It’s more gas efficient than a motorcycle even.  Kile would still like a motorcycle someday, but this is a good step in that direction.

Oy, huh?

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In other news, Evie pulled herself up on the couch for the first time yesterday.

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At one point I looked up at her and there she was, standing.  She had been on her knees, playing with her pushcar/stroller (birthday present!) like she likes to do.  I’m guessing she got it pushed over to the couch and she decided to branch out and pulled herself up.  She did it another time or two later that day and went so far as to get “stuck” once (the stroller got away from her and she couldn’t figure out how to let herself down easily).   Look at that face.  Does she look proud of herself or what?

Of course this is the beginning of the end.  This will morph into cruising, standing up in her crib, and eventually walking.  WALKING.  So not cool.  First she has the audacity to turn one and now this?  She and I need to have a talk.

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And, cuz that’s how I roll, here’s some other pictures to share with ya’ll.  Happy Hump Day!  Enjoy “Lost” tonight! (You know I will!)

Skirty Girl

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Breathtaking Sunset

Addiction

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More shopping with the gals

Yesterday was an awesome day.  Busy, but awesome.  My mother in law, sister in law and niece came to town to do some shopping and Evie and I tagged along.  First, we met them for lunch at Mimi’s Cafe.  We used to eat there all the time and don’t so much anymore so it was a very nice treat.  After all, their french onion soup remains unparallelled.  SO GOOD.

Then we came back to the house so they could unload Kile’s new toy (photos to follow, I PROMISE).  I’m pretty impressed with how we got that done, considering the level of difficulty and angsting about it that went on beforehand.

We went to the Peppermill Hotel where the family was staying for the night and left the boys there.  They had big plans to use the pool while we went shopping.  After a quick yarn exchange at the yarn store, we headed to the Summit Sierra mall and Dillards.  Can you believe that was the first time I’d been to Dillards?  I don’t get out much, I guess.  We were there to look for a formal dress for my niece to wear to her 8th grade social in a few months.  And OMG, formal dresses are SO CUTE these days!  I saw many that I would have loved to have worn back in the day.  You know, back when I was thin and cute.

I also wanted to find a cute sundress for Evie to buy with her birthday money.  My parents sent it, requesting we find her something cute to wear on the cruise this summer.  I definitely found something to fit that bill.  The dress is pretty much PERFECT.  It was pricey but that’s what you get at Dillards.  And my sister in law was naughty and bought Evie a few things too so it’s not like we walked away with only the dress.  There were SO many cute things in that department though.  I’ve deemed it highly dangerous.

We had to rush to meet the boys and my sister in law’s friend for dinner at the Peppermill.  Dinner was fabulous.  Simply awesome.  I still feel spoiled by it the next morning.  It was almost a shame to come home from such a wonderful day.

But the good news is we’re extending the fun today.  They don’t have to leave town until 3, so I’m packing up the runts and meeting them down at the mall at 10.  More shopping!  Truth be told, what I’m really looking forward to is scoring a nice big cup of Starbucks coffee.

I’m not use to being out and about so early, you know.

IMG_0442 The view from my in laws hotel room.  Nice!

IMG_0443 Looking straight down from that same window.  It was a floor to ceiling length window which freaked Kile out but I thought it was sorta cool.

IMG_0444 Their hotel room, which is officially far nicer than any hotel room I’ve ever stayed in.

IMG_0445 More hotel room, and an adorable baby in a stroller.

IMG_0446 Hallway to nowhere

IMG_0447 Very cool chandelier.

IMG_0448 Pretty lights.

I guess it’s been a long time since I’ve been to the Peppermill because all these fancy changes were news to me!

Sunday Stuff

Hey, did you know I won a Pioneer Woman giveaway?  No it wasn’t for a fancy mixer or a fabulous camera or anything.  But I’m still excited because these measuring cups are TDF (that’d To Die For, in case you aren’t aware).  Aren’t you just insanely jealous now?  I can’t believe I finally won one of those giveaways.  I don’t enter all of them (a lot of them have very short time spans to enter and many times I don’t learn about the giveaway until the deadline is over), but I enter a lot.  Then again, a LOT of people enter a lot of the giveaways.  So the fact the fact that I was one of ten winners?  Makes me insanely happy.  You should have heard me shriek when I saw the post with my name on it.

I think Kile is still recovering his hearing.

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Speaking of Kile.  He’s getting a new toy today.  I will take pictures.  I’m in turn glad for him because I know this is something he wants and incredibly annoyed because he’s been a pill about planning for this and stressing about it and generally obsessing.   I’ll be glad when it “arrives” and then maybe I’ll just shove it up his butt.

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I haven’t shared some pictures in a while so I think I need to catch up.  Please refrain from pointing out if any one child is in more pictures than another, mmkay?  Otherwise I may feel obliged to thwack you in the head.

IMG_0691 This is what we woke up to in Elko the morning we were leaving to drive back to Reno last weekend.  I call this “pretty snow” because it coats everything and looks gorgeous and then takes like an hour to completely melt.  Awesome.

IMG_0429 Evie crapped out during breakfast and took a nap on her aunt’s shoulder.  Her aunt didn’t mind one bit.

IMG_0432 Yes, Liam is short, but my brother in law is also VERY TALL.  His t-shirt this day was appropriate for pretty much anyone who stood next to him but with regards to Liam?  Doubly funny.

IMG_0433 *cough*

Fluffy mail This is what we call “fluffy mail” in the cloth diapering/knitting/sewing biz and it was GOOD.  :drool:

IMG_0693 I love the sun shining through icicles.  <3

Bruise Yes, that’s a bruise.  And no, I don’t know how I got it.  Yes, it hurts.

Speaking of “fluffy mail” I was anxiously awaiting this diaper which I had ordered last week.  The above is what I got instead. :blink: SIGH.

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So that’s it.  I’m going shopping today with my mother in law, sister in law and niece who came to town this weekendly SIMPLY to go shopping.  No boys allowed!  I am so THERE.