Friday, December 30, 2011

late 2011 kidisms

K: why are guys that are getting married called brooms?
K: my peach! (her bellybutton)
J: I thought of a way I could make money, like a lot, like $100. Next year we get to pick an instrument and I think I want to play the flute. Then I could go outside and play the flute and put a hat out and get money.
K: daddy can never have a baby inside him, he's just a man.
After I cleaned up the office and showed the girls J: Now Daddy can sleep in this room and he doesn't have to share with you. M: Daddy's not going to sleep in here. J: If you have your own room you can put up posters and do what you want. M: Daddy likes sharing a room with me and you could put up posters in your room now if you wanted (she and Kiree share a room). K: I think Daddy likes to sleep with Mommy.
Jaide and Kiree trying to make a profile for Kiree on her new Nickelodeon fit wii game. J: How much does Kiree weigh? M: (tells them to go upstairs and use the scale). J: Kiree weighs 888. M: No, you have to step on it, then off until it says 0, then you can weigh yourself. (the girls go up and try again). J: Yeah, Kiree weighs 888.

Monday, December 26, 2011

Christmas Card

A Look Back at 2011- What a year it's been!

The year started with...
a mad dash to get the house ready to sell
we started looking at houses
we listed our house for sale
and then...
we got rear ended and thought the car might be totaled, but the repairs were just under the max$$
we got an offer on our house that fell through
we nearly gave up on trying to sell the house
but then...
we got another offer
we went to California and celebrated our 10th anniversary a year early
we sold the house (4 months after we listed)
we were homeless for two weeks at our friend's place
and that was when...
there was an earthquake
we bought the first house we saw (it was also the 17th house out of 18 and the 3rd house we offered on)
we moved in the weekend of the hurricane
immediately after that...
Jaide started 2nd grade and now we walk to school
shortly after that...
at Kiree's preschool orientation, the remnants of another hurricane flooded the parking lot and my car
Kiree started preschool
the car was, in fact, totaled this time
we bought a minivan
we celebrated our first holidays here- Labor Day/7th anniversary of moving to MD, Halloween, Thanksgiving, and Christmas too
oh, and also...
we found out we're having a baby boy due in April
Bob kicked a field goal at the Raven's field during a dads and kids event (he won a gift card).
Meg finally started painting and still hopes to get the rest of the kitchen wallpaper removed before the end of time.
Jaide started Brownies, read the first several Harry Potter books, and is above grade level in math and reading this year.
Kiree talked the ears off of any and everyone who'd listen to her, she loves preschool and can't wait until 2013 when she gets to go to elementary school with Jaide.
It's been a crazy, but good year.

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

November Round Up

And here's the rest of November:

I got to go with Kiree on her preschool field trip to a farm. We went on a hayride and learned about pilgrims.
Kiree got to go up and demonstrate what pilgrim girls did. It was freezing, freezing cold! We were all happy to leave at the end. Kiree and her friend I drove both fell asleep on the ride back.

Kiree's preschool had a pancake breakfast fundraiser at Appleby's one Saturday morning. As a member of the fundraising committee, I got to help out with plating pancakes and busing tables. It was fun. We also all ate some pancakes.

The Monday before Thanksgiving was the turkey trot at Jaide's school. Kiree was very excited about it. Part of it is on the path from school toward our house. Kiree ran the first part with Jaide (just around the field).
I'm happy Jaide was willing to go a lot slower than she could have to stick with her sister.

Thanksgiving was just the four of us. I wanted to go for a hike at the state park that morning, but we ended up sleeping in and then spending the rest of the day cooking. Bob stayed in his PJs all day long! Jaide and I were going to go to Michael's Thanksgiving night, but Jaide decided to stay home and play wii. I went and bought lots of yarn and some stuff for Activity Day. Bob and I did some black Friday shopping separately. I got to take the kids with me. I went to Walmart at about 8:30am and all the sheet sets that had been on sale were gone. There were piles of TVs still however. I just bought some ornaments. The girls went with a friend and her mom to see the Muppet movie that afternoon and in the evening we took family photos at Target. They had a black Friday deal where you could get a CD of all the pictures for $49.99. That's what we got.

Saturday we finally went on our hike at the state park. The girls did very well.
We hiked the paved trail from the swinging bridge to the one end and back. Next time I think we'll bring the girls bikes.

We put up the Christmas tree up before Thanksgiving. It's a brand new pre-lit tree and one row of branches doesn't light. Bob has been trying unsuccessfully to get it fixed. The company that made the tree has now sent us two replacement sections, neither of which fit into the bottom part of our tree. Today it looks like they sent us a new top piece. I think we're going to end up with a whole new tree at this rate. We've been slowly putting up all the Christmas stuff and I've been painting the family room.

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Baby Boy!

I went in for my detailed anatomy ultrasound on the 17th. Since my appointment was at 9am, we ended up bringing both the girls. They were very excited. Jaide guessed the baby was a boy. Kiree guessed the baby was a girl. Bob had also guessed girl and I had refused to officially guess since I have always guessed wrong. Very quickly I saw something on the ultrasound that looked kinda boyish. The technician got some views of the heart and then she showed us the little bottom. Sure enough, it was a boy. Kiree seemed to think that if the tech kept looking she would see that was a girl, but no, we told her, it was a boy and it was always a boy, we just didn't know until then. Jaide was happy to be right. Kiree was sad and then inconsolable. Bob had to take her outside for a while to calm down. Jaide stayed with me and wondered why we were still looking at the baby since we had already found out the gender. They have to look at all the baby's parts to see if he's healthy, I told her. That's the reason for the ultrasound, not just to find out the gender. Jaide was very interested in watching the rest of the ultrasound and she got very good at figuring out what parts of the baby were on the screen. The baby looked very good and is measuring right on with my dates, so he should be born no later than April 12th. The girls each got a print out of the picture of the baby's profile. That probably was the best picture and we ended up with four pretty much identical copies of it. No print out of the little boy shot though, so you'll just have to take our word for it.

one of the baby's legs and foot and a cross section of the other leg, ultrasounds make some creepy images some times.

When I had an ultrasound at 12 weeks, the technician remarked, "look at those long arms and legs!" They did look quite long. Bob wasn't there that time.
Maybe if he had been, it wouldn't have been so surprising. I'm scheduled to have one more ultrasound at 28wks. So far I've had a total of three this pregnancy. With Kiree, I had 13. I'm happy to not be needing so many this time around.

speaking of creepy pics, here is one of the baby's hand (center) and face (right)

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Kiree had a birthday, shout hooray

Kiree with her cake, cupcakes, and one of the presents she opened throughout the day.

Kiree is four! Bob came home to have birthday lunch with Kiree and I. Kiree got to have a playdate with one of her best buddies and she got new toys! A drum, a playdoh pizza set, an art kit, and a Scooby Doo set were what she got.

I interviewed our newest four year old on her birthday.

M: Kiree, can I interview you?
K: Yeah, what's an interview?
M: I ask you questions.
K: Okay

What's your favorite color: purple, blue, and pink, and green.
What's your favorite thing you do at school: play and help make stuff.
What is your favorite place: amusement park
Favorite movie: Scooby Doo
Favorite Book: Dora's Time Adventure
If you could do any thing, what would you do: play with new toys, get a playdoh cake thing and a playdoh muffin maker.
What do you want to be when you grow up: (quietly) a mom (more animated) I wish I could be something awesome like a cowgirl, a pilot, or a firefighter.
What will you be like when you turn 5: just big
Do you think the baby is a boy or a girl: a girl!

Meg's observations:
Kiree is a sweetheart. She is very softspoken and tender hearted most of the time. Sometimes she is very feisty and loud! She can be very dramatic, she has declared many days the best or worst ever! She enjoys learning and asks lots of questions. She loves to practice new phrases she's learned and she remembers a lot. Kiree loves preschool and playing with friends. She loves her family very much and is very excited to be a big sister. She is starting to like running more and wants to be faster than Jaide some day. She is willing to try most foods and likes many of them. She has very long, curly, strawberry blond hair and hazel eyes. She and Jaide love to do things together even if they do annoy (and sometimes hit) each other frequently. Kiree often says hilarious things and seems to really enjoy making us laugh. She has asked us to sing Jingle Bells every night since last December. She loves to watch PBS kids and would watch all day if I let her. We couldn't imagine our family without her.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Hershey's Chocolate World

Somebody's having a birthday tomorrow. In her honor, we went to Hershey's Chocolate World on Saturday. In Hershey, PA, near Hershey Park, they have a pseudo factory where people can go and learn about chocolate and spend money. We had fun. The tour is free. It's like a ride that takes you through how chocolate is made and it has singing animatronic cows! You get candy at the end. It was like cookies and cream balls, which the kids didn't like too much, but that didn't stop us from going on the ride, er tour twice.
We had lunch in the food court. Kiree and I had soup. I think my broccoli cheese soup in a bread bowl was the best lunch of the bunch. Kiree had cream of tomato soup that tasted like the sauce in canned ravioli. Bob and Jaide had pizza and it turned out to be more than they wanted to eat.
The girls were very excited to see the Reese's guy. Jaide wanted a Reese's stuffed toy but we said no since she has a few million stuffed animals already.
I printed out coupons from the Hershey site, so we got a buy one get one free hot cocoa. That was pretty good too. Another coupon we had was for the chocolate tasting adventure, so we decided to do that too.
It was fun, we got to try five different kinds of chocolate plus some chocolate milk.

I learned that it takes 10 days to make regular chocolate and even longer for the fancy kind. At the end we all got "masters in chocolate tasting" from "Hershey University." The kids were excited, or hyper, it was hard to tell at that point. We then took these pics outside before heading home.

I had the bright idea of bringing the girls'
Halloween candy along to preempt the inevitable desire of the kids for us to buy them candy. A lot of the candy they had is Hershey's any way, so there you go. It was handy on the ride up (it did take long weeks to get there) but it got melty in the car (cold outside, hot in the car) and ended up in the trunk for the ride hom


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Halloween Wrap Up

My phone battery was dying so we sadly didn't get any pictures at the ward trunk or treat, but I debuted my Halloween costume there.

That same day was Kiree's preschool Halloween party and parade.

On Halloween Jaide's school had a parade.
It was difficult to see everybody and I couldn't get a good picture of Jaide.
I hope they do it differently next year. Jaide's class had a party that afternoon. I couldn't help out with it since I had to pick up Kiree from preschool right in the middle of it.

The girls wanted pizza shaped like a pumpkin for dinner on Halloween.

Bob carved the last pumpkin we hadn't carved yet quickly before dinner. I
drew the design on it and he carved.

Bob took the girls trick or treating and I handed out candy.
There was a hospitality table set up at one of the neighbors' house. We had several trick or treaters but still ended up with quite a bit of candy left over. Between that and the girls' hauls from trunk or treat and trick or treating, we have a lot of candy in the house. I'm trying to resist temptation since sugar and I don't seem to be getting along as well as we used to. Today we take down the Halloween decorations and start thinking about Thanksgiving and Christmas!

Friday, October 28, 2011

October Fun

Larriland Farm- Picking apples, hayride.

Halloween Party!

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Family Fun

Last month we went to Medieval Times with Bob's work. The kids seemed to enjoy it despite it going quite late. Jaide didn't want to watch the fighting parts, but liked the other parts. It sure was a lot of meat to eat. At least they gave us a doggie bag for the girl's food. We brought home the equivalent of a whole roasted chicken. I turned it into soup.
We were in the red and yellow section. That's the same section my family was in when we went to the one outside Chicago when I was a kid. Does the show always turn out the same way? It's possible.

Last Saturday Bob and the girls went to the Ravens' stadium for a fun event. It was an "All Pro Dad" event that the Just for Dad's group at Jaide's school attended. They got goodie bags with mini footballs and coloring books.
Bob got to kick a field goal from the 20 yard line. He won a gift card for making it. They got a nice photo that I had to take a picture of with my phone. Darn fragile scanners that break the first time you ever drop them on the floor!

Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Other People's Houses

We're still getting auto-email updates on the houses for sale in our old neighborhood from our realtor. It's kind of interesting to see what's happening with our former competition (only two houses in our association have sold this year, including ours) and the new listings. Eventually this link won't work any more since they are under contract now, but I thought it might be interesting to share a house very similar to our old one to show how someone else made the floor plan work. I think they might have done a better job than we did, but someone (the sellers or the previous sellers) must have spent a lot 'o moola.
I was impressed that they managed to add a half bath on the main floor (where the closet in our house was) and a full bath to the basement (we had a half bath) without it looking ridiculous (I've seen other listings that looked like they added a big box with a toilet in it to the middle of their kitchen and other such nonsense)
This house listed right after our offer on the house we bought was accepted. I think the kids would have loved this house (it has a pool!) It's a beautiful house and it was priced well. If they had listed sooner, we might have bought it!
The two other houses we put offers on finally closed, so we got see what they ended up going for. The foreclosure house closed way, way, way, way after it went under contract. I'm sure that shady bank got lots of $100 per day past closing fees from the poor sap who bought that house. The sale price ended up being more than the list (perhaps due to all those shady fees?) The other house that we felt was overpriced held out and got more than they countered to us for. It was a nice house but it was not all that. Congrats to the new owners of the most expensive, old house in the neighborhood. Hope you don't have to sell any time soon!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

And then What Happened?

Well here is the follow up to some of what I've blogged about lately (or a while ago) and some other stuff that has happened.

The green car ended up being declared a total loss by our insurance company. We got more money than we could have sold it for (makes sense since they give you replacement cost). My friend Sara was so nice to let me use their minivan for a week while we were car-less. We went through a long and tedious process of trying to decide what car to buy. Used cars around here are over priced! Bob had this whole spread sheet thing going on. We went to carmax and looked at cars. That knocked the Toyota Highlander off our list (the third row is a joke!). We narrowed it down to the Toyota Sienna (minivan) and the Honda Pilot (suv). They both had the ability to seat eight (not that we're going to fill up that many seats with our own children, thank you very much, but we would like to be able to transport friends and visitors, and STUFF). Bob's calculations gave him the bright idea that a new car might be a better value than a used car. How is that possible? Ask Bob. I think it has to do with the low mileage- thus extra years of having the car and the better gas mileage of the newer cars. Bob requested price quotes from all sorts of dealers and thus we got gazillions of calls from car sales people. We're still getting occasional calls. We test drove two new siennas and a new pilot. We got one quote for a 2012 pilot that was very very low (who knows what it would have gotten jacked up to, but...) Bob really liked the sienna after the first test drive. He was impressed with the features in the LE. I really liked driving the pilot. It felt very comfortable and more like a car to me. We thought either would work. I finally decided I'd go with Bob on the sienna because for one- it had more storage space when you're using the third row (or when the third row is folded in) and two- I thought it was less likely to get me car jacked. Who car jacks a mini van? We ended up buying a blue sienna (Bob really wanted a blue car- silly boy!) I'm happy enough. Bob seemed a little bummed driving it on Saturday. He was the one originally who didn't want to get a mini van. We cleaned out the garage so now we can both park there! I have to fold in one of the rear view mirrors to get the van in, but hey, at least it fits!

Earlier this month Kiree started preschool. She LOVES it! Three of her friends from church are in her class. I had my first time as a coop parent and it was fun. The kids are pretty hilarious. My next coop day is on a field trip day, so that should be fun. I'm glad to have a car to drive for that (and for other purposes).

Jaide is still enjoying school. She has a field trip today and her first day of Brownies after school. I think she's going to sell Girl Scout Cookies this year.

I posted some pics of the new house here.

This Friday I'm taking the GRE. Why? Well, because it was half off in August and September and Friday was the last possible day to do it for half price. But why? Well, some day I think I might do more school. I'm not sure what or when, but I guess we'll see. We'll have to see how well I can cram all the high school math I forgot back into my head before Friday. Yes, it's high school math. And it's making me feel like an idiot.

Friday, September 9, 2011


Alternate post title: What's next?  Locusts?
To say we've had a great deal of rain around here might be an understatement.  Fortunately, our house hasn't had any water infiltration.  Yay!  But who knew that the remnants of a hurricane that hit the gulf coast would cause more problems for us than the hurricane that actually skidded along the east coast?  On Wednesday, tropical storm Lee dumped rain on us.  I was at Kiree's preschool's mandatory three hour parent orientation.  By the time I got out of the building, the parking lot was flooded, right where I was parked.  I think I was probably parked in the lowest spot in the lot.  There was a big drain in front of the spot, but it must have been super clogged.  I waded into the nearly knee high (and remember I'm tall, so that's like 18") water to get to the car, which I then discovered was filled up to the seats with water.  The light weight junk was fa-loating.  I did not try to start the car.  It ended up getting towed to our repair shop, where it sits even now.  The insurance adjuster is going to look at it maybe tomorrow, maybe Monday.  I think this might be the end of the line for the little green Honda.  It was only like 18months from retirement!

We may not have locusts (yet) but we do have quite a few ants marching into our mailbox, to get out of the rain I assume.  Also, a few are getting into the house at the front door.

Friday, September 2, 2011

Surviving August

We survived packing, moving out, selling our house, being homeless for two weeks, an earthquake, buying a new house, moving our stuff into the house, a hurricane/tropical storm, power loss, cancelled church, cancelled school and the first few days of school.
Being a walker means you can play at the playground sometimes before or after school
I hope to also survive unpacking and setting everything up.  I'm looking forward to Christmas, because I'm hopeful that we'll be done unpacking by then.