May 31, 2010

Is this normal???

**Sara - don't read any further....this post is bound to give you an anxiety attack!**

Jarrod took off Thursday and Friday, so we had a nice 5 day weekend off with Daddy. On Friday we decided to drive up to Springfield, Missouri to visit Bass Pro Shop. (More pictures from that excursion coming later.) So, here we are, driving about 55 mph up a Missouri highway, when all of a sudden we realize the truck in front of us has a dog lying on top of the tool box that's mounted in the bed of the truck. John and Erin were with us, and it took us all by surprise. I've actually seen this several times since moving here, but this was a first for the rest of them.

At first we thought maybe the owner had a chain or leash through the back window to make sure he didn't fall off - but then he stood up and that theory went out the window....there was NO window in the back of the truck! The dog stood up and started walking on the tool box, while we're still driving down the highway! Of course, I had to grab my camera.To make the story even more unbelievable, another dog came out from under the tool box and jumped up on top, too! You can kind of see him curled up underneath the tool box to the right of the white bucket. We were all laughing too hard for me to get a picture of the both of them up there. The second dog soon realized he had a more comfortable spot under the tool box, jumped back down and curled up again, and the first dog eventually laid back down. It was crazy!

Seeing dogs in the back of a truck makes me nervous in general....but when you see them on top of a tool box!!! WOW!!! Where exactly did we move to?

May 27, 2010

Thirteen Thursday

I'm going to try a new post idea I got from another blog. It may not happen every week, but we'll see. Each Thursday, there will be a topic, and I'll list my top 13! :)

This week, 13 things Gavin has said that has brought a smile to our faces...

1. "Daddy, what are you doing?" in a "Who do you think you are?" type of voice as he watched Jarrod climb up on a chair to clean the top of the refrigerator.

2. "Penis in there." I hear that almost every time I change his diaper now.

3. He started requesting to watch Bob the Builder...and he sings the theme song! The words say..."Bob the Builder, Can we fix it? Bob the Builder, Yes we can!" When Gavin sings it, he says, "Bob the Builder, Fix it? Can!" :)

4. After we called him Gavin Jack one night, he started calling us "Mommy Jack" and "Daddy Jack."

5. "Shirley pooped. Change diaper." He said this to me as he was patting her belly one day....so silly.

6. This week, we've been reading about and doing crafts pertaining to frogs. Of course, that means Froggy books right? Well, most of my classroom books are packed up and the library only had one Froggy book in. Froggy Goes To School. I heard Gavin "reading" it before he fell asleep for his nap..."Bye, Froggy....fun at school!" :) My little reader!

7. He now repeats warnings I've told him, so he'll go in, put his fingers in the scanner part of the printer and say, "Careful of your fingers."

8. "Yummy water!" as he drank out of Shirley's water bowl like a dog....nice, Gavin!

9. Gavin is definitely my kid - he loves peanut butter on a bagel and the other day, he found my Nutella and wanted "chocolate." So, I put peanut butter and nutella on a bagel for him for breakfast. He loved it and now says at least once a day, "Peanut butter chocolate please!"

10. "Mimi and Beepa coming!" We're excited to see you guys :)

11. Gavin's been swimming every week since we moved here for swim lessons. I take him, so it makes Jarrod smile every weekend when we ask what he wants to do and he says, "Swimming with Daddy!"

12. A new favorite phrase...."Oh man!" Not sure where he picked that one up; I don't feel like we say that very often.

13. Though Daddy hears it more than me (when he's leaving for work) we both smile when we hear, "Love you!" :)

May 25, 2010

The littlest chef

Gavin loves to help in the kitchen. He recently started pulling things out of my cabinets and telling me he's 'cooking.' He will fill whatever he can find with his pretend food and cook. Yesterday, he even took the rest of his muffin he was eating for breakfast, put it in my microwave steamer, and said he was cooking the muffin. He blew on it, said it was 'hot,' then threw the muffin and my steamer in the garbage....must not have turned out like he wanted it.

These were taken last week when he was helping me cook dinner. (Yes, he's in the same shirt as the pictures from the last couple posts because all the pictures were taken on the same day!) He helped me put the potatoes in the pan before they were roasted and was in charge of spinning the salad spinner. Such a good helper!


May 24, 2010

How much fun can a closet be?

Gavin's job is to feed Shirley her dinner. Since he figured out the doorknobs, I had to put a child-proof handle on the closet because he was feeding her two and three times each evening and sometimes adding a scoop of food to her water bowl! Last week, as he was feeding her, I was trying to get some pictures of him doing his 'chore.' The pictures from after feeding her turned out to be the cutest...

Putting the cup back in her tub of food Bye!
Are you still snapping pictures?
After he'd completely closed himself in there and didn't open the door back up, I opened it to find him on top of her food tub! The kid is crazy....


May 21, 2010

What a morning!

I spent some time with the camera yesterday getting some cute shots of Gavin that I could post this morning, but our morning was quite eventful. Let's go back a few weeks -

Gavin had his 2 year check up 3 weeks ago. When they checked his iron levels, they were low. Not dangerously low, but lower than Dr. Harvey wanted. (Whom, by the way, I really like....we've been pretty lucky with doctors for Gavin with all this moving.) He said he'd like to see a 35 and Gavin's reading was 30. So, he sent us home with the instructions of taking a vitamin with iron and to come back in 3 weeks for a new reading.

Gavin didn't like the vitamins. The first day or so went well - half of a Flinstone vitamin...no problem! Then he started refusing them. I even tried crushing it and mixing it with his yogurt, but he immediately spit the yogurt back out. He knew it was in there! (Have I posted about this before???? I'm getting a deja vu feeling.) Anyway, we resorted to a liquid vitamin that I mix in orange juice and he drinks that every morning.

We went today for his recheck. First, they weighed him, checked his temperature and his ears. He usually would scream and cry through all these things, but he did so well this time! I was impressed....then, the nurse came in and pricked his toe. The tears started immediately! While we were waiting for the results, he had to get two vaccines that he's due for since our shot record didn't get sent from NY on time. So, of course now he's even more mad. Well, the iron test came back at a 30.5 - not enough of an improvement to make the doctor happy. Basically he explained to me that the test they run there actually tests the red blood count, which is indicative of his iron levels. He wanted Gavin to have an actual blood draw to get his exact iron level so we could know if he is in fact anemic.

So, we headed to Daddy's work (since I promised we'd see him after the doctor) and told him the news and then headed to the hospital for blood work. We had to do this last summer because of his weight gain issues, and that was awful for both him and I. Of course, it was still awful, but we both did much better! I didn't cry :) and Gavin didn't get to that "can't catch my breath" cry like last time. He was actually done crying by the time we left the office. So, hopefully we'll know something on Monday.

Now to the pictures - I realized I hadn't been taking many so we were being silly and I thought I'd snap a few cute shots to post for all the family that's been asking! :) Before I could get him to look at the camera though, he wanted to show you all how he puts his hands up to jump in the pool at swim lessons. This is a new obsession - he jumps off the couch, off the ottomans, off the bed....all with his hands up like Miss Jo taught him in swim lessons.

Now for the cuteness - such a sweet and innocent little smile!

I asked him if I could take a picture of his feet and this is what I got...
Then I requested a picture of his hand. :)
It's hard to imagine the Terrible Twos existing with a cute picture like this....but believe me, they exist!

May 20, 2010

Some things to check out

I haven't been taking many new pictures lately - it's been pretty rainy here and we really haven't been doing much! So instead of Gavin pictures, I'm just going to write about something I think you should check out. :)

I found a new blog that I like to read and decided to try a recipe that I saw rave reviews for. Go to http://shaversfamily.blogspot.com/2009/12/recipe-crockpot-shredded-bbq-chicken.html and try these sandwiches! They were so easy to make and so delicious! We used 4 chicken breasts and had enough for dinner and lunch on two different days. Gavin even ate this....it was yummy!

I've been introduced to Money Saving Mom and Hip2Save blogs and the joys of couponing. I've always used coupons, but never saved a ton of money. These ladies are wonderful and do all the ad searching for you; they tell you where to buy things on sale and which coupon to use. It's been fun (for me...remember, I'm a dork) to check the site each day or two, make my list, and head off to get deals. You can't pass up paying $0.42 for BBQ sauce or $0.60 for dish soap! :)

And lastly, if you have a picky eater and want some inspiration, check out www.babyjustinwhite.blogspot.com. She just started this part of her blog, but Melanie has great ideas for sneaking healthy foods into your toddler's diet. Things we probably could all think of but don't.... :)

May 18, 2010

25 Things You May Not Know About Me

I've seen several magazines lately with this feature, and I thought it would be fun to do here on my blog. Have a blog? Do one for yourself and post it! :)

1. My middle name is Nicole.

2. I'm an aquarius.

3. I constantly worry about disappointing people. (Partly the reason for the knots in my back, huh Meg?)

4. I wake up every morning and make Jarrod coffee before he goes to work. (But, I must admit, this only started once we got here....I think it was the time change, and now it's just my normal wake-up time.) And I drink more coffee now than ever before.

5. I swore I'd never live anywhere but Ohio.

6. I was Tastefully Simple's top seller for my team last year. :)

7. I always wanted to have my kids close together....until I had Gavin!

8. I always wanted to be a teacher. Dreamt about it since I was a little girl. Got both my undergraduate and graduate degrees in education. Taught 1st grade for 5 years and loved every bit of it. And now.....I spend my days with my bug and can't bring myself to think about the day I'll have to go back to being a teacher.

9. I'm so much like my mom it's scary. (Isn't that right, dad?)

10. Going to Bingo with my grandma was one of my favorite things to do. (And I won a lot, too!)

11. When I get worried or nervous, my stomach hurts! I get a "nervous belly." It's been that way since I was in elementary school.


12. I love to find ways to save money. I get a high from it. :) (Like today - I called the cable company to see if they had anything that could lower our bill, and we got $23 knocked off monthly!) I've become slightly obsessed with some new blogs I found, too. Hip2Save and Money Saving Mom are my new best friends!

13. I'm semi-addicted to the show 'Intervention.' Kinda ironic, huh?

14. I enjoy filling out paperwork and making spreadsheets and lists - I'm a dork!

15. I've slept in the following states: Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Kentucky, Tennessee, New York, Florida, South Carolina, North Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, Alaska, Washington....I think that's all, but more may come to me.


16. I'm going to start watching a little girl part-time and thinking about maybe looking for one more. We'll see how I handle two toddlers first! :)

17. I love "hosting." Having company over, preparing foods, etc. We don't do it nearly enough though.

18. The first time I was ever on an airplane was for a trip to Florida that was our high school graduation gift from Jackie.


19. I have a tiny scar on my lip from when I had chicken pox as a kid.


20. I still remember all my teacher's names and room numbers from elementary school. (Mrs. Burroughs/24, Mrs. DuPree/5, Mrs. Pasterick/8, Mrs. Kavanaugh/13, Mrs. Neblett/11, Mrs. Bruening/21, Mrs. Freeman/23).


21. I recently started seeing a chiropractor. I was so nervous about going, and still cringe every time I hear my neck and back cracking, but my back is feeling so much better!

22. When I was in high school, I taught a sex education class to middle schoolers.

23. I've had terrible seasonal allergies since I was 14 and I hate them!

24. I lived in an all-girls dorm during my freshman and sophomore years of college. When I found out I was placed there, I cried. In the end, I loved it there and probably wouldn't have ever met Angie or Heidi had I not been placed there. (I know Lauren and I would have met thanks to the College of Education!)

25. Before getting my Highlander in 2008, I drove a 14 year old Honda that ran great! But....the doors didn't lock, my driver's side window constantly got off track, and the CD player/radio didn't work. It was nice to get a new car! :)

May 17, 2010

Dino-mite!

We finished up Dinosaur week here at our house. The green stegosaurus I posted the beginning picture of turned out cute, but it looks more like a porcupine to me. :) We worked on another stegosaurus the next day. I traced Gavin's hand and made 3 handprints on one paper and drew the outline of a dinosaur on the next. Then, I let Gavin paint it using a dishwashing brush. I thought it was creative....giving him another tool to use to paint.
He disagreed - he cried and kept saying, 'No brush!' so I eventually gave in and let him have regular paintbrushes. (Apparently he just didn't like that brush because he painted over the weekend with q-tips just fine!)
This is what the two pages looked like....then I cut out the dinosaur and the handprints and glued them to make the stegosaurus! I love how it turned out. :)


Again, I can't take credit for these ideas....I got them from Little Learners Lounge and No Time for Flashcards. I also found a small pack of dinosaurs at the dollar store that we used. He made footprints in playdough with them and we sorted them by color. After the week, he now knows the following dinosaurs: Stegosaurus (he says "saurus spikes"), T-Rex, Triceratops (he calls it "tops") and Teranadon (which he learned from Dinosaur Train on PBS. He's so smart! :)

May 13, 2010

Journal Jars by Jen is up!

I finally got the motivation (Thanks, Danielle!) to get some of my jars listed on my Etsy page. It's not spectacular, but it will get better! :) Thanks for looking!

www.JournalJarsbyJen.etsy.com

A tour of the house!

I have been promising pictures for a while, so here they are! I realize that many of you will probably never get to Arkansas for a visit, so this is where we're living for now. Enjoy! (And know that you're always welcome to visit!)


As I started this, I realized I don't have a good picture of the front of the house. This one will have to do! :)Here is the backyard. Since I took this picture, we also got Gavin's climber that he received for his birthday. It's on the other side of the yard. I tried to post the pictures as you'd see the rooms when you come into the house. As soon as you walk in, there is a room to your right with french doors that we're using as Gavin's playroom. You can see I had fun decorating it with some posters like it was my classroom. :) The table is for me to use to scrapbook or work on Journal Jars while Gavin plays.




If you hadn't turned right into the playroom, you would have entered the living room. We love the high ceilings and that it has a fireplace. Can't wait to use that this winter! :) We love how the mantle is coming together, too.


Off the living room to the left is our master bedroom and bathroom. We're not big fans of the patio door blinds, but it isn't our home to change them, so we're dealing. We really love the bathroom, with the exception of the shower stall. It's way too small and reminds me of showering in the dorms at college.

Off the living room is the eat-in kitchen. We'd love to have a bigger space for our dining room table, but this serves the purpose. I love that it overlooks the backyard because I can see Gavin playing if I come in to make lunch or get dinner started. And, we love all the cabinets!!!

The first bedroom on the right wing of the house is what we're using for our guest room/office right now. We'd love to get a more comfortable bed and an actual desk in here soon, but they just aren't in the budget for now.
And the last part of the house is Gavin's room and bathroom. We're not huge fans of the dark walls, but it works. He's doing great with his big boy bed and loves to read his books in there.


We hope you liked the house! It's much better in person, so let us know if you want to see it for yourself! :)

May 11, 2010

The Best Mother's Day :)

I had such a great Mother's Day! Mother's Day 2008 was pretty special - being my first and getting to spend it with my own mom and grandma. Last year, Jarrod was in NY and though I got to go to Cincy and see my family, I still missed that "pampered" experience since Jarrod wasn't there. This year was awesome!

Jarrod got up with Gavin and let me stay in bed. I was miserable with my allergies so even though I'm sure it was because it was Mother's Day, I'm so glad he let me lay there with my eyes closed a little longer. Then, the tears started.

I cried 4 times on Mother's Day. First, Jarrod brought my coffee and my present into bed. He gave me the sweetest card that made me cry. Jarrod is NOT a card person, so the fact that I not only got one, but that he wrote in it what an amazing mom and wife I am, I couldn't help but cry! He got me some amazing skincare products from Aveda. This may not seem like a super sweet gift, but I am constantly complaining about my skin, so it was really thoughtful of him to find something that would hopefully make me feel better about my skin (though I'm not too happy with the cost of it!!!) Then, I got a text message from my own mom that made me cry for the second time. It's amazing what just a few simple words can do to me!

I eventually got up and even though it was my special day, I made my favorite boys pancakes. In the process of making them, I knocked a full glass bottle of olive oil out of the cabinet and broken glass went everywhere. That's why I cried for the third time....I got a piece of glass in my finger. No fun!!! It still hurts, so I think there's still glass in it...

After I got out of the shower, Gavin gave me his card. That was the last thing to make me cry. This is my third Mother's Day, but it's the first time I've gotten a card "from Gavin." It's adorable and Jarrod sat with him to let him color it with markers. Such a special card that I will always cherish!

The rest of the day was great. I took Gavin on a bike ride, then we both napped. Jarrod let me continue to nap while they had some fun in the backyard. We eventually got ready and headed to a new restaurant for dinner. We tried a place called 'Mama Fu's' and it was so yummy! It tasted a lot like PF Chang's but wasn't nearly as expensive. And the best part - we showed up to learn that moms ate free for Mother's Day! What a nice surprise! Gavin and split a piece of chocolate cake for dessert (my new diet started yesterday....). After I finished putting Gavin to bed, I came out to a nice glass of wine waiting for me (and 2 hours worth of ironing, but that was my fault for putting it off for so long!) It was a great day with my husband and special little boy! I am so lucky!



May 10, 2010

Gavin's birthday celebration

I know it's a little late, but here are the pictures from Gavin's birthday celebration! :)

On Sunday (the 25th) we planned to do presents and cake. We were only half successful. I had this vision in my head of a train cake for Gavin. It was going to be so cute! I bought all kinds of stuff. It was going to be 5 small train cars. One car hauling its freight (M&Ms) and another hauling animals (animal crackers). The middle car was going to have the number 2 candle....it was going to be adorable! Well, I failed miserably at my first cake-making experience. So, we did presents that day, but decided to just buy a cake to have on his actual birthday.

Since most of Gavin's gifts this year were big gifts, there wasn't a ton to open. He got lots of books from Mommy, Daddy, Tyler and Briana, and an outfit from Memaw. I just realized while typing this I didn't take pictures of any of the big gifts. We'll have to do that another time! He was much better this year at opening presents, and now will randomly ask, "Open presents?" :)





On his actual birthday, I made him a birthday breakfast of pancakes in the shape of the number 2, which he immediately shouted, "SNAKE!" when he saw the first one. Guess he didn't understand the correlation. :) Maybe the '3' pancake next year will go over better.

Then, we were all looking forward to one of Gavin's favorite dinners. Daddy's homemade spaghetti! The only problem - Jarrod was working later than normal, so I made the sauce, and it didn't turn out like his! Gavin took a few bites and then realized it wasn't the same....it wasn't a hit like Daddy's usually is!
And since my cake was a disaster, I ordered one from Sam's. They didn't have a train option, so we stuck with good old Elmo!
Blowing out the candles with a little help from Daddy!
He was so serious! All he wanted was to eat the cake. I couldn't get him to crack a smile at all!


Pure deliciousness! Gotta love Elmo cake!


And this is for all the family that couldn't be with us. We wish you were here! Hope this helps you feel like part of the celebration. :) (Sorry if it's a little jumpy - I was trying to record and snap a couple pictures at the same time!)

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