Sunday, December 4, 2011

Thanksgiving Dinner and Funnel Cake in one weekend? Sounds like a dream...

But it's not a dream! Here in Florida, because of the amazing weather, the Broward County Fair happens Thanksgiving weekend.

If you know me at all, you know I LOVE the fair. For the sole reason of The Zipper. When we saw that the fair was happening this past weekend, we decided we couldn't miss it. I also needed someone there who had not ridden the Zipper before and could be convinced to ride it with me. A Zipper virgin if you will. We found that person in my friend Kathy. She, her husband Wade and their son Owen joined us.
Kathy was not only a Zipper virgin but also a corn dog virgin... can you believe this? She had NEVER eaten a corn dog in her life. We took care of that in a hurry:
She enjoyed her first corn dog experience thoroughly.

Something Kathy didn't enjoy... the thought of having to throw away her garbage into this:
What about this garbage can? These guys were everywhere. I actually kind of loved them.

Owen missed out on this action above. This is what he was doing while we were enjoying our first bite of fair food.
We waited until just the right moment to wake the sleeping bear (it takes our sweet little guy a while to get in the groove after a nap, especially when he's not waking up on his own.). We knew that if we waited for this to wake him, he would be all smiles:
Really, for a two year old, does it get much better than waking up to a helicopter ride? I think not.

Next up were the animals. So in Utah, you've got some real decisions to make when it comes to the animals... do you want to hit all five or six buildings that contain cows, pigs, sheep, bunnies, chickens, and all other farm animals or do you want to pick one or two to check out? Well... in Florida, that problem is taken care of for you. There is only one building with animals to look at. It had about a million rabbits and chickens and then maybe one of each of the animals listed above. Perfect for us. Owen was in heaven.

They actually did have a few more animals over in a petting zoo.

Correct me if I'm wrong but I swear at most petting zoos, you actually get to go in the gates and pet the animals. Not here... you were able to reach your hands far enough in to pet maybe one or two of the animals.

That wasn't the only thing this petting zoo had to offer us though, it also had this guy:
Amare Stoudamier. I didn't know who he was (shocker) but apparently he is a basketball player for the Knicks so that was exciting for Tyler. Too bad when Ty asked if he could get a picture with him, the guy told him he didn't take pictures with people when he was with his family. Oh well... we snuck this one by pretending I was taking pics of these goats... TAKE THAT AMARE!

From there we headed for more rides. A couple for the kids and then the most important ride of the night.... THE ZIPPER!!!
It's almost embarassing how much I love this ride. Really... I get on it and don't stop laughing until the ride is over. And good news, Kathy even loved it. That has never happened. Usually when I find someone to go with me, the minute we are off the ride, they swear it off for the rest of their lives. YAY Kathy! So happy I found someone to share my love with.
 Yep. Loved it. Thumbs up.
We figured we couldn't end the night without one more ride for the kids and some more fair food.
Nothing better to end the night with than a giant funnel cake. We had to go to four different booths to find just the right toppings. Tyler is very particular about his funnel cake and apparently everyone else at the fair was too. Everyone wanted strawberries. When none could be found,  we settled on some cherries and chocolate sauce. I have to admit, even without the strawberries...YUMMM....
After one celebrity sighting, fair food and fair rides, we figured it was time to hit the road home. On our way out, we ran into the Puppetone Rockers. These guys drive around in this contraption, sing and play the piano (and almost run over little children). The Owen's could not get enough of these guys.
When we finally convinced Owen that it was time to go, we stepped out of the gate and there were some guys playing the steel drums. Owen can't hear music and not stop to dance:

 Where is Owen learning these moves?
Side note: On the way home in the car we asked him what his favorite part of the night was. I'm thinking he is going to say one of the rides or the petting zoo. You know what he said "Dancing to that puppet car". Lesson learned: Instead of spending $50 at a fair, go stand right outside of the fair and let your child dance for twenty minutes. He'll be just as happy.

One more thing: Because this poor little lady gets left out of a lot of these posts, let's just take a moment to look at this sweet face: We love this little girl!

Monday, November 28, 2011

Gobble Gobble

We started off the Thanksgiving holiday with Tyler getting in a little turkey bowl time while me, Owen and Collette took a bike ride (YAY! Finally got a bike trailer for the kids so we can go biking and running together again!) and prepped the house for Thanksgiving dinner.
This year we got together with four other couples. Since there were going to be 17 people in total, we decided to be super classy with our Thanksgiving decorations. We took some church tables, used some dollar store plastic table cloths (I have a $30 credit at my local dollar store. Who knew you couldn't return items to the dollar store, you could only get credit? Not me.)

Since I had one round tablecloth and one rectangle shaped tablecloth, we had to get creative to make sure we had tablecloth covering the whole table.
Should we pause here a moment to talk about my socks? This is what I look like when I mop my floors. Mismatched socks. Don't judge me.
I also got dollar store plates, cups and silverware and for decoration, we threw in the oreo cookie turkeys that Owen helped me make that morning.

 Owen helping but mostly eating all the peices of the oreo turkey. That's what happens when you make crafts with a two year old.
  I grew up with a tradition that I have tried to incorporate into our little family. It is called a Thankful box. You put it out at the beginning of November and whenever you feel thankful for something, you put it in the box. Then on Thanksgiving, right before you eat, you read everything in the box. Owen and I made our Thankful box at the beginning of the month and he and I would put thankful messages in it every few days. When our Thanksgiving company arrived, I explained to them that I would love for each of them to put something in the box as well so we could see what everyone else was thankful for. I also needed to remind Tyler to put something in there since he had passed it by each day without a glance this month. After the prayer I pulled out the Thankful box and started reading them. I soon noticed that nobody else had contributed to the box so I put it away and told everyone we should probably just go around the table and say what we were thankful for instead. I'm going to go ahead all call my friends out here... they all acted like this was something they had never heard of doing before. Is this not a Thanksgiving tradition? Come on people! Anyway, after the initial awkwardness of me forcing people to talk about what they were thankful for, the dinner was a success. Tyler had smoked a turkey for us and everything that everyone else brought was AMAZING. I love Thanksgiving. Yumm.

I'm sure you are all wondering what we had in our Thankful box right? Owen was thankful for pumpkins and crocodiles and his friends. Tyler was thankful for the thankful box and his hot wife (his words, not mine), his kids and great friends.  
And me... I'm so Thankful for Tyler. Even though Ty's work takes him away from us a lot, I am so grateful that he is such a hard worker and that he does so much for our family.  I'm so thankful for our kids and the amazing little people that they are. Lastly this year, I'm so thankful to have friends here who feel like family. Even though we couldn't be with family this year for the holiday, it was so great to have fantastic friends around to spend it with.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Sunday, November 13, 2011


My mom, as I've said before is amazing at holidays. Especially Halloween. She always let us kids choose our own costumes and would do everything to help make us look the part. You may remember from this post that there were a few years when the costume didn't turn out as well as one might have hoped; however, she did come up with a lot of good costumes. When we were super young, she made a tweety bird and sylvester the cat costume for me and my brother. She also made us clown costumes, a rollerskating waitress costume, and a Bam Bam, Pebbles and Dino costume that has been used by every family member and every friend that I have. One year she even made me this cat costume (pictured below). She also made one for my favorite cabbage patch doll so we could dress up together.
Was I too old in this picture to be carrying around a cabbage patch doll everywhere I went?

So there were definite years of success.
She would always dress up as well. Even now, when none of her children live at home, she gets dressed up so when kids come knocking on the door, they won't be disappointed. I always dreamed I would be that same type of mother. I'm not. Every year I have these intentions of having great costumes for me, husband and children and then it's halloween day and I've barely given it a thought. This year, for weeks before Halloween,  Owen said he'd like to be a witch because he really wanted to ride a broom. Once I explained to him that brooms don't really fly, he changed his mind and wanted to be a cat. Much easier costume than the witch but still not as easy as the free dinosaur costume we borrowed from a friend (thanks Jos!). Tyler and I kept trying to hype up the dinosaur costume in hopes that Owen would be convinced that was what he wanted to be. On the night of our church trunk or treat, about an hour before the event, we got out all of the halloween costumes. We were super excited because Owen had in fact decided he wanted to be the dinosaur, until he saw his elmo costume from last year and couldn't be swayed. I went with my never fail deviled egg costume, Tyler threw on his old Sponge Bob costume and Collette dressed as "Zany Zebra" (that's what it said on the package that my mom sent us). No effort at all for any of us. I didn't even decorate our trunk for the trunk or treat. Lame I know.
 Someone brought animals to our trunk or treat. Not Halloween-ish but pretty fun for the kids. Also, I suck and didn't take any other pictures. I actually didn't even take these, Tyler took them with his phone.

On Halloween day my mom had a tradition of making homemade chili and breadsticks and then having donuts and caramel apples for dessert.
This was the extent of that tradition for us this year:
Yep, that's canned chili and breadsticks made out of pre-made bread dough.  Lame. I didn't even make donuts. Luckily for us, our friend Mckenzie made some that I ate the second I got to her place (they invited us over for trick or treating). Tyler got super creative with his costume and threw on a captains hat. Owen decided he really did want to be the dinosaur and Collette went for a bunny costume that our friend let us borrow. I didn't even think about putting on a costume. Seriously, not even the deviled egg costume and all I have to do for that is throw it over my head. 
We had such a blast with our friends. These are Owen's besties right now. McKay, Ella, Rylin and Kylee. Love these kids. Aren't they the cutest? I think so.
He did get a little sick of the dinosaur hat, which Tyler was super happy to carry around for him.
 He had such a great night and luckily both he and Collette are too young to realize I was sort of a disappointment for a mother on Halloween. Next year, I'm sure I'll be much more motivated to make everything from scratch, the chili, the beadsticks, maybe even the costumes.

Saturday, October 29, 2011

An interview with Owen

The other night while I was putting Collette down, I heard Tyler and Owen talking in the other room. Tyler was giving him a "favorites" interview. I loved listening to his answers and thought it would be fun to record this interview in Owen's own words and post it here. He's a very active little child so I'm sorry I couldn't get him to sit still while asking these questions. He almost never just sits still.
 I love this kid. Have I said that before?

Since we're already on the subject, let's talk about the kids shall we?

New things with Owen:

1. He is a talker. If there is a lull in conversation, without fail he'll say "what should we talk about?" and then help come up with a new subject. Usually something like alligators or turtles. He is also in the "cuz why?" stage. Everything you explain to him he asks for more explanation... "cuz why mom?", "cuz why?"
2. When he's trying to get Tyler's attention and if Tyler doesn't respond after a minute or so, Owen will yell "HONEY!". I guess he notices that when Tyler isn't listening I'll yell "HONEY, can you please respond to Owen? "and he Tyler usually responds. Quick learner this kid.
3. When Owen wakes up in the morning he'll yell out "I'm waking up!" or "Hey guys, it's me!" or "Hey guys! It's sunny day!"  I love morning time.
4. We want to potty train him but if it isn't Owen's idea, it is not happening. We've been asking him if he wants to go in the big potty and he'll politely decline, then when he's a number two, he'll come to me and say "Mom, I'm pooping in my diaper because I like it". Just to let me know that he knows he should go in the toilet but it's not going to happen.
5. He LOVES to draw. Not color, draw, with a pen. He could do it for hours.
6. He loves to play trains, animals, cars and legos. But mostly he likes to destroy these things, run cars into each other, run trains into each other, have animals eat each other and have me and Tyler build lego structures so that  he can promptly tear them down.
7. He loves to say his nightly prayers. Usually consisting of only the beginning and the end. We usually have to remind him that we need to be thankful for things and bless other things. When we remind him of this, he'll usually say "Heavenly Father, thank you for Jesus, Amen".
8. He uses his favorite "beat" (blanket) for the following- Acting like a ghost, playing superman and hiding from dinosaurs and monsters under it.
9. He loves to play baseball. We have a little baseball set that a friend gave him for his birthday this year and he loves to set it up, hit the ball and run the bases over and over.
10. He always wants to help. He wants to help when I clean, help when I'm making meals, help give Collette a bath, help change Collette's diaper, and on and on... just today he wanted to help Tyler change a tire.
11. He's so good at calming Collette down when she is upset. Yesterday in the car she was crying and he kept saying "No cry baby, there isn't a monster coming. There isn't monsters at our house, only lizards and squirrels." I was laughing so hard in the front seat. Oh how I love this kid.
12. He is super friendly. No matter where we are, if there is another child around, he will go right up, say hi and try to play when them. Regardless if they are ten years older or a year younger, as long as he perceives them as a kid, they are immediately referred by him as a "friend". Love this about him.

He is such a fun little dude. He is constantly making us laugh and has such a great little personalty. I really feel like he is just my best little buddy and I can't imagine having a better sidekick.

And now Collette:

1. Collette is now 5 months old.
2. She weighs almost 15 lbs and is 24 1/2 inches long. (50% for each, does anyone besides the parents care about this percentile thing?)
3. She is an amazing sleeper. Amazing. This makes Mommy very rested  and very happy.
4. She is such a happy baby. She hardly ever cries and is super quick to laugh all the time.
5. She has rolled over but pretty much decided that once she proved that she could do it, she probably wouldn't do it again. Ever. She is sitting on her own though so I guess that's something.

6. She loves to balance on Daddy's hands. She also drools A LOT (as you can see on this shirt)
7. She loves to eat and has started on oatmeal, bananas and a few veggies. I was going to wait a little longer but she wasn't having it. She sees you eating and let's you know she doesn't want to miss out.
8. She LOVES Owen, loves him. He walks into a room and she starts laughing. He'll come and lay right on top of her, roll over her, put his hands all over in her face and instead of freaking out about it, she laughs and smiles the whole time. I love seeing them together.
9. She loves to be sung to. If ever she is crying, singing almost always calms her right down.
10. Her favorite things to do are sit in her bumbo while I'm cooking in the kitchen, play under her baby activity set, sit in her swing, be held by mom or dad, eat, poop, and just be the cutest thing ever.
11. She is a major thumb sucker. Loves her thumb. I know it's going to suck breaking that habit later on but it's sure convenient when putting her down for naps and bedtime. She grabs onto her blanket, sticks her thumb in her mouth and drifts off to sleep.

We are head over heels for this little lady.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Just Fall Stuff

Well it's fall, or supposed to be but you'd never know it in the Sunshine state. Since the fall weather doesn't come to us, we decided to do everything in our power to make it seam like autumn at our place. Things like making Halloween crafts and Halloween sugar cookies with friends:
And doing more Halloween crafts:

A little Halloween garland to spruce up the place. I planned to do this one afternoon when it was pouring outside and we had nothing else going on. I thought it would take us all afternoon to finish it but no, Owen knocked the whole thing out in about twenty minutes. Leaves a lot of indoor time for Mom to figure out something else to do to keep Owen from the TV.
We also visited a pumpkin patch, or in Floridas case, a pumpkin parking lot.
I actually loved this place. I didn't expect much because they don't have real  patches here but this place was awesome. The kids picked out their own pumpkins:

Then, once you paid for your pumpkin, there was free pumpkin painting:
 Owen's best little girl friend Ella. Isn't she darling? We love her.
This is one of Owen's friends. He was super concerned with the fact that Owen wasn't painting an actual face on his pumpkin.
They also had a butterfly reserve (not fall-ish but still super fun for the kids):
And a giant chair for the kids to play in.
Who cares if all of the pumpkins are in a parking lot rather than an actual patch when they have so many other things to keep the kids entertained?

We also spent a night carving pumpkins with some friends. Our friends Kathy and Wade are awesome and love Halloween. They decorate their whole front yard for the holiday. This guy was there to greet us when we got there:
Actually, Kathy was so worried that this would horrify the children that she covered him up for us. We wanted to check him out though and Owen and his friends are still a little young to know to be scared so we took the cover off. Kylee, one of Owen's little friends loved "the bird eating the worm", see... still too young to know that the crow is actually eating the man's eyeball.

She also had a whole set up for pumpkin painting and carving.

And what would a Halloween party be without candy and treats and more candy and more treats for the kids?

Once everyone was all sugared up, the carving and painting ensued:

The finished product:
Not too shabby. Funny thing about trying to do punmpkin carving with two year olds... after about three minutes, the kids were ready to move on so the dad's end up finishing the project.

Meanwhile, Collette pretty much just sits around looking cuter than anything. BTW... she doesn't always go around shirtless, she is typically a very modest little lady but she had drooled all over herself and we figured it was better to just go shirtless than keep her soaking wet all night.

Since we don't have the cold weather, changing leaves or any other autumn things going on, I thought I could at least get some fall smells in my house. I took myself down to Bath and Body Works to buy the most fall-ish candle I could find. I feel like there is some research out there stating that I may be poisoning my family by using a candle, I really hope that's not the case since I've been burning it non stop for the past two weeks. How else am I supposed to get my fall on?