Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Ava's Birthday Carnival!"

After much planning and anticipation, Saturday finally arrived. I had picked up the popcorn machine, talked with the moon-walk guy, bought the refreshments, picked out decorations, ordered the cake, and almost everything else that you could think of. We knew we were looking at a lot of rain in the forecast, but we were thinking if it stopped around 4 o'clock like the forecast said, we would be okay.

As my mom and I were heading back home from picking up the tables and chairs for the party, we had to be detoured around a downed power-line...thats right, we had lost power! This was about 2 o'clock, and the party begins at 5 o'clock. So, we start brainstorming there any possible way it could be back on by party-time, where could we move the party, what exactly would my brother's generator power, and on and on?

My brother-in-law works for Alabama Power, he got on the phone to see what he could find out. The "official people" were saying we should have power back on by 5:30, but his connections said 4:30. We all agreed we should just stay put as planned, and hope for the best...(and my brother, Chad was bringing the generator just in case.)

So, we start setting up for the party. At almost exactly 4:30, the power is restored! Hooray for Alabama Power! Everything is coming together...the rain has stopped, the moon-walk guy sets up, the clowns (Chad and Mikey) are getting dressed, all the kids are dressed, and I think I just saw the sun peek out from behind the clouds!

It's Party Time!

The guests started arriving right on time.
We had face-painting by my sister, Tiffany.
Most of the girls chose to be butterflies,
and the boys wanted super-hero faces.


For entertainment and to help with the games and stuff,
I asked my brother and brother-in-law to dress-up as clowns.

My brother, Chad

My brother-in-law, Mikey

We moved outside.
We had tables and chairs set-up in the garage.

Maddie Rae, and Karyn
Jenny and Teagan
PawPaw and Archer
Ava and Ashton
Ava and GranGran
We had a popcorn machine, and
my mom was in charge of churning out the popcorn.
It tasted good, and everyone loved the smell!
Jennifer, Mary Brooke, and Archer
Lisa and Michelle

The kids played outside for awhile,
and people helped themselves to the hotdogs and BBQ.
Then it was time to move back inside for presents.
The clowns ushered the kids inside to play
"Pin the Tail on the Donkey".

Ava opening some of her presents.

After presents, we went back outside to sing
"Happy Birthday" and have cake.
The cake was really yummy with "whipped" icing.
It was finally "Pinata Time".
The kids had patiently been waiting

Leighton taking a swing.

The aftermath of the pinata.
Mommy and Ava acting silly.

Ava loving on her daddy.

Now the kids just continued to play in the moonwalk...

As day turned to night, and the sun set...

Still more fun was to be had on the play-yard.

Train for 4!

The party was coming to an end, and I think everyone had a great time, including my baby girl Ava. The next morning, she asked me, "Why does my party have to be over?"

All in all, we had 50 guests: 22 kids and 28 adults. We ate 2lbs worth of BBQ sandwiches and consumed 32 hotdogs. There was 1/4 of the birthday cake leftover. We cooked 3 batches of popcorn. No one left hungry!

Would I do it a heartbeat! Next week, NO!

I love you Ava, Happy 4th Birthday!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

"Fall Bugs..."

So, the beginning of Fall has brought with it not just cool breezes, hazy sundowns, and playing outside, but also BUGS...

I don't mean the squirmy, itchy-biting, yuck bugs. I mean the gotta stay home and in the bed bugs. Last week, I was caught off guard by a 24-hour stomach virus that kept me from work. Thankfully, the kids didn't catch it. Then, last night Ava woke up with a 102 temperature. I had to miss work again today. We treated her fever, and this morning she slept a little later than usual, but she says she feels great, and no more signs of a, I guess she has conquered.

A virus that would normally keep a kid down for a few days, just seems to bounce right off of her. I hope Archer has her immunity qualities. He has a bad cough, but nothing thats keeping him from eating, smiling, and sleeping!

So, I hope my little family is getting all of the illnesses out of their system right off of the bat! We don't want to miss anything due to being sick.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

"Excuse Me While I Brag..."

My life changed the day I had my baby girl, Ava Claire.
No longer was life just about me!
My heart did flips and somersaults I didn't know it knew how to do!
She is my sunshine and my sweetie!
When my life was turned upside down by divorce,
she is what got me through it!
My Blue-eyed, Blonde-haired babe!
Always quick with a comment and encouraging word.
She loves life, and she means business.
When she started getting too big for her own good,
along came baby brother!
Now, we are a little family of 3.
Archer Blaine arrived on April 7, 2009
My little love-bug.
My handsome little man!
Always with a smile for mommy.
Another Blue-eyed, Blonde-haired Babe.
What's not to love...
I'm in love with my children.
They are the best things that ever happened to me,
and I wouldn't know what to do without them!
My little piece of heaven on earth.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

"Ava's Birthday Treats for Preschool!"

Ava's preschool lets the kids have a special treat on each of their birthday's if the parent wants to bring something for the class...well, you know I did!

I opted to make something different which just happened to be pretty easy! I didn't want to make cupcakes for 40, so I bought these little Rice Krispy Treat Squares and fixed them up...
I placed them in the cupcake holder which were really cutesy for girls.
Then, I melted the white chocolate almond bark
in the microwave according to instructions
and spooned some onto each square.
Lastly, I sprinkled each chocolate topped treat with sprinkles!
Now, that was easy and the kids at the preschool loved them...
and so did the messy icing!
Happy Birthday Ava!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

"Why I Blog?"

I think having this opportunity to chronicle my life and my family is good for me! I'm not going to win any awards for scrap-booking or journaling about family life, so this is kind of a fun and candid way to keep up with our happenings! I am getting back in touch with my creative side. And, not to be biased, but I have 2 of the cutest kids to keep up with. Also, I saw this site that will make your blog into a neat is that! What a great gift for your kids to have...not just the cute posed pictures and stories. A book with chapters filled with stories written by you, played out by them. They get to see a side of me that they truly cannot appreciate until they are becoming adults themselves. Just maybe, they can relate to something, laugh about something, or cry about something. Who knows how it will touch their lives! So, to conclude this topic..."why I blog" give my kids a glimpse of who their mom is and how much I love them.

Many, many, many more posts to come,

"Not Me Monday...or Tuesday!"

I would never post my "Not Me Monday" post on Tuesday morning.

I couldn't put water in my little girl's oatmeal and tell her that I used milk...I would feel too guilty!

I would never stop giving my baby his antibiotics a few days early because he hates it so much, and then have to restart it because I wasn't compliant...No, not this nurse!

I'm too much of an animal right's activist to encourage my daughter to kick the stray dog that keeps jumping up on her and my nephews when they try and go outside to play.

I did not and could not spend WAY too much money at my first bi-annual consignment sale for the kids, and what could someone do from 4PM-midnight at one of those sales...I know I wouldn't still be there looking through clothes, toys, and everything else that you could possibly want for a 5 month old and a 4 year old!

I'm sure if my 4 year old daughter insisted on calling people "butt-holes" and her own variation of the word, "mutt-moles", I could think of some better way to punish her than by putting a drop of soap on her tongue...who would do that?

Once again, this has made me feel so great about myself...
the things some people will do!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

"Birthday Plans"

Ava will be turning 4 on the 21st. We are planning her birthday for the following Saturday. I've kind of waited until almost the last minute to get out her invites for the party. Yesterday I went to Hobby Lobby to see what I could find. I've kind of been on the fence about a theme because I didn't want to spend too much money and I wanted to have it at my mom and dad's house. So, I browsed the invitation aisle at Hob-Lob and after much thought, chose the theme.

We are going with a "carnival" theme. I wish I had taken a picture of her invitations, but I used every last one of them. This is her first party where we've invited pre-school friends, so I hope some of them get to come. I have to come up with a cake now, I've already booked a popcorn machine, cotton candy machine, and one inflatable. We are going to have face painting, some "carnival-ish" games, and my brother and brother-in-law have volunteered to dress up as clowns! We are also going to have hotdogs and other refreshments.

I am really excited, and have thrown the "not spending much money" out the window...

I am so glad that Ava and Archer's birthdays are 6 months apart, and not close to Christmas!

I will be posting more about the party later...

Monday, September 14, 2009

"Sweet Baby...Bad Blisters!"

My sweet little Archer had a couple of blisters come up on his fat, juicy, right thigh last week. I didn't think much about it. I just thought he had gotten hot in his bumbo and it caused his little blisters. But, to my surprise there were 3 more on the same leg a few days later. The doctor told us today that he has Impetigo. There are 2 types, bullous and non-bullous. Archer has the bullous type...blisters.
To my horror, guess what the website says can prevent Impetigo?

Good Hygiene!

"Not Me Monday!"

What should I come clean about today...
Where should I start?

I would never let my house stay messy for 2 weeks the time I got two rooms clean, the first one was messy again!

I would never fold and hang my laundry and then leave it on the couch for so long that it has gotten all messed up again and Ava thinks she can climb up on the couch and jump on it!

Never in a million years would I make my daughter stay in the bathtub and play just so that I could finish watching one of my shows!

I would never guiltily be just a little bit happy when I heard that my ex-husband had filed for divorce again, not me!

Who would ever let their preschooler go to school with left-over cheese roll-ups from Taco Bell for breakfast...not me, not ever!

I would never take the last diet pepsi out of my mom's refrigerator when I dropped Archer off before I went to work.

I could never let my daughter wear the same pull-up two nights in a row just because she didn't have an accident the first night and we had ran out of them!

This has been very therapeutic...I think I will have to do this "not me" thing again in the future...maybe on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday, and Sunday too!

Sunday, September 13, 2009

"Workin' Mommy"

Being a single mom of 2, it is my overwhelming responsiblity to provide for my little family. I count it as a blessing to have a job that I enjoy. Also, being a nurse allows me to only have to work 3 days a week. Granted, those are 12 hour shifts, but even so...that allows me 4 OFF days out of 7! So, I don't feel like I'm neglecting my children because I'm not a "stay-at-home" mom. I am taking care of them, and as they become responsible adults they will be able to follow my example of providing for my family and having a strong work ethic.

Now, to why I am posting this. This morning I got myself ready for work, and then it was time to get Ava and Archer to my mom. I put Archer back to bed, and he was dozing back off to sleep. Ava on the other hand, was ready to watch cartoons. I would have loved to lay on the couch with her and watch TV, but today wasn't that day. I gave her some big hugs and kisses, and as I was leaving she said..."Mommy, you know you miss things when you go to work." Well, what a way to start my day: Guilt Trip! So, let me just read my first paragraph again and see if it makes me feel better...NO! The responsible adult in me got up and headed on to work...the guilt-ridden, feeling-sorry-for-myself little mama just had to get over it! Another day, another dollar!

Saturday, September 12, 2009

"Camping for Amateurs!"

Yes, we've had the camper for 5 months now and I think we are really getting the hang of it!

We are getting to know some of the campgrounds in Alabama. We have stayed at Point Mallard Campground in Decatur, Oak Mountain State Park in Pelham, and our last trip was to Clear Creek Campground in Bankhead National Forest located on Smith Lake in Winston County.

Thursday after lunch, Mom, Dad, Huett, and Sam left out in Dad's 12 passenger van pulling the pop-up camper behind. Ava had gymnastics that afternoon, so we didn't get to the campsite until around 7 o'clock. Still enough daylight to see how beautiful our campsite was.

We had a lovely spot facing the lake. And, close enough to the playground so that the kids could go play and we could watch from our "yard". And right behind our camper, across the road was the bath house. 2 very important elements to ensuring a fun experience with preschoolers...close proxemity to bath house and playground!

That night we got the fire going, and after nightfall me and mom took Huett, Ava, and Sam to the bath house for small feat! While we were waiting turns, we found 2 small frogs on the sidewalk hopping around...they kept trying to touch them, and Ava was sad because her frog kept hopping away and wouldn't let her touch him.

Mom decided to bring along a microwave this time. We haven't mastered any great camp-out meals yet. We are still munching on snacks and eating sandwiches most of the time. The kids ate sausage and biscuits that we warmed up in the microwave for breakfast. The great advantage to having the microwave this time was that I was able to use bottled water and heat Archer's bottles up in the microwave. I know it says not to heat bottles in the microwave, but we were "roughing" it! Its a good thing we had this option, because the bathrooms there didn't have any warm water from the sink!

Friday morning it was overcast, but it felt good outside. We took an "adventure" walk along the bank of the lake to see what we could find. We found 1 flip flop, 2 kitchen forks, 1 kitchen spoon, 1 butter knife, a persimmon tree, the boat ramp, and a poster that showed us every kind of snake in the area. It was fun!

Me and Mom then decided to take the kids around the campground...I was pushing Archer in his stroller, Ava was riding her bike, and Huett and Sam were cruising around on their PowerWheels Gator. I am so proud of how well Ava is riding her bike these days! She has really taken to it. During our little excursion it starts to first, just sprinkles...then full blown downpour! We just let the kids keep playing since they were already wet, and we got stuff ready for lunch.

We had sandwiches for lunch, and got the kids dried off and in some dry clothes to watch a movie and take a nap. I didn't think the rain was ever going to stop! But, when we woke up from our naps the sun was shining.

We had been telling the kids that we probably wouldn't be able to go swimming because the weather was too yucky and the wind was too cool, but since the sun came out we changed our minds. We drove over to the "beach" and they had a blast. Me, Mom, and Archer just watched from the shore.

Me and Dad decided to take the kids back to the campground via the bike trail. Mom drove the van back around, and we took the 1 mile trail through the woods. It was paved, so I was able to keep Archer with us. It wasn't too bad until Sam decided he wanted to ride on the stroller too, and then about 10 minutes later Ava decides she is tired and she wants to ride too! Normally I let 2 of them ride on the step, but 80 pounds of kid plus 18 pounds of baby is too much to push up, down, and around! So, I expelled everyone except Archer from the stroller...they were going to have to toughen up! I felt bad when we got back to the camper and Sam had 2 blisters...what kind of aunt am I?

Anyway, to end this camping adventure...I helped Mom get Huett, Ava, and Sam ready for bed and then me and Archer headed home because I had to work the next day.