Happy Halloween

I know what you're thinking -- wasn't Nate supposed to be Thomas the Train? And wasn't Sadie a fairy? I guess they took a page from their sister because Nate woke up this morning and wanted to be a cowboy. Jill offered me her Sadie's baby Halloween costume and it was too cute for me not to let my Sadie wear, so she also had a last minute wardrobe change. Dustin is the best husband in the world because he didn't even say a word about it. He even put my Grandpa's belt buckle on Nate's costume to make it more authentic. Luckily we had all the other fixin's for a cowboy from my Aunt Kristine! Thanks Beaney!

We decided to stay in the neighborhood this year and I'm so glad we did, even if it meant we had to buy candy this year. A little girl and her grandma threw a little pre-trick-or-treating party for the kids in the neighborhood and then we headed out. Ellie ran off with the big kids while Sadie and I hung back with Nate and the younger ones. Casey's little Bailey was so cute because she would get so excited every time she got candy and would shout, "I LOVE Halloween." Nate held onto his pumpkin for dear life and wouldn't even let me hold it when it got heavy.

Our neighborhood was PERFECT because it's only 2 streets, so we managed to get it all done in an hour, the weather was gorgeous and the neighbors were so generous. My kids came home with loaded pumpkins. I don't even need to separate the junk and hide the good stuff for myself because every single neighbor gave out good stuff. I think we were the chintzy ones with our mini-recess PB cups.

Sadie was really mad that she didn't get any candy, so she attacked the bowl. Luckily we managed to get rid of all of it soon after. YEAY! No left overs. I hope everyone's Halloween was as fun as ours.


Birthday Boys

It's my baby boy's birthday! And Saturday was Dustin's, so we are just about sugared out over here -- just in time for Halloween!

Dustin's birthday was unplanned, just as he wanted it. We went out to breakfast, then he went to the gym and attempted to get some work done in the garage. That night we went out to dinner -- not where I had made reservations -- and then Christmas shopping -- how lucky am I to get to do my favorite activity n HIS birthday? After that we headed over to Noah and Jill's rockin' Halloween party. The games were super fun. I'm going to have to steal the Remember When game if I can ever get my act together. There were some really great costumes too -- I loved Noah and Jill as Dog the Bounty Hunter and Beth the most.

Kate aka Nicole Richie, Jill as Beth, Rodeo Queen Katherine, me as Wilma, Janel the Kitty Cat and Casey as a Gypsy.

Dustin did manage to be on the winning team for one of the games, so we came home with a Golden Spoon gift card.

Today I celebrated Nate's birthday by feeding him oatmeal for breakfast, shipping him off to a neighbor's for the morning while I volunteered at Ellie's school and wrapped the Christmas gifts we bought on Saturday. By the time he got home, he had a whole list of family that wanted to wish him Happy Birthday, so we spent an hour on the phone and put him down for a nap.

I'm not that mean, though. I did make him an awesome Thomas cake, which he loves, and we're having pizza for dinner while watching The Nightmare Before Christmas -- all of Nate's favorite things: Pizza, cake, Thomas, and a Halloween movie.

Now that the birthdays are over, and Halloween is almost done, I'm getting so excited for Christmas just around the corner. I can't believe how fast this year is going!

Oh, and warning -- gross photo ahead! This is Sadie enjoying Nate's birthday cake.


Party day! How cool is my son that he wanted a Halloween party? I loved it! Kerry let me borrow some cool serving stuff to add to my own, so everything looked so cute. I even spent all Thursday baking 4 dozen sugar cookies and 3 dozen cupcakes, homemade frosting, PB&J sandwiches cute into Halloween shapes, stuffing 2o goodie bags, finding orange and black snacks. . . and then for all the work I put into it, it was stinking HOT! It's the end of October for heavens sake. Why is it still 92 degrees outside? I felt so bad for all the kids who had furry Halloween costumes because they could only wear them for a few minutes. Nate even ditched his after an hour.

We played Pin-the-Nose-on-the-Pumpkin, decorate sugar cookies, potato sack races, marshmallow toss, and just general running around. I didn't get as many pictures as I wanted to because I was playing with the kids most of the time, but here are a few I snapped.

Potato Sack races

Even the moms wanted to get in on the action

Most of the kids. We're missing a few who wanted to play instead of be in the picture. As you can see, most of them had ditched their costumes by this point.

Now I'm off to clean up the mess of tissue paper and boxes across my floor and hose the candy corn, sprinkles and chocolate cupcakes off the back patio.


Oh yeah, it's PICTURE DAY!

I can't believe I paid that much money and I know I'm going to get some funky picture home. Does anyone ever look good in school pictures? I think they purposely plan them for after recess and lunch so your kids look dirty. Anyway, I wanted to capture all the hard work I put into her hair, so I made her take some picture before school. She really wanted her hair curled and I accidentally touched her ear with the curling iron at one point. This resulted in a huge melt down. I did put ice on it, but trust me, there was nothing there.

Ellie is always telling me that she has four ouchies, so after we took pictures we were sitting down talking and I asked her to show me her scabs. She starts counting them and then she says, "But now I have five!" And I asked her where the fifth one was. She tells me, "Remember? The burning."

I hope I get a picture with teeth showing! She wouldn't smile for me until I let her be goofy. I didn't pay good money to have those teeth put back into socket for nothing. Oh well, she's cute either way!


I need you address!

Hey all, in case you didn't get the e-mail -- and I know there are a few of you who didn't because I couldn't find your e-mail address -- I lost my address book. So please e-mail me your address. Thanks, Maddy


We've just dropped Dustin off at the airport for a quick trip to Denver and I can't even pull away from the curb before Ellie breaks out in hysterics.

"I miss Daddy. . ." It continues with things like, "I love all the foods Daddy cooks for us. He's the best cooker. You just make us cereal." and "Our family isn't perfect without Daddy. He's the best Daddy because he's so tall." Then Nate joins in, "I. WANT. MY. DADDY. BACK. NOW!!" Finally the two quiet down and I hear small sobs from the two of them until Ellie says, "MOM! I'm really crying, but Nate's just faking." Which was actually true.

I love this picture of Nate. He's trying to protect his track from Sadie-the-Destroyer, but he knows he's going to be in trouble for sitting on her. Poor guy is so torn. It's hard to be almost 3.

And I have to share how the Fall Festival birthday basket came out, because I'm so proud of my own craftiness. I had to come up with a way to "package" 6 gift certificates and I think it turned out pretty cute. It's a little bright, but I wanted it to stand out at the auction.


TMI -- poop talk ahead

In the process of potty-training Nate, he has refused to go #2 in the toilet. It has been a source of much frustration as I'm sure you can imagine. I have reduced myself to bribery at times even because I know he has to go, but won't do it on the toilet. I've promised him pretty much any toy he ever wants if he'll just do it. So sure enough, last night I hear him yelling from the bathroom, "I go poop!" Then he says, "I go to the store!" Of course he remembers my promise. And of course, it's also Sunday! This is where my uber-planning pays off, because I had some Christmas toys in a cupboard already, so I just grabbed one.

And speaking of planning. . . last night I was telling Dustin a few of the things I had planned for his birthday and then I asked him what else he wanted me to plan and he tells me, "I want to not have anything planned." WHATTTT? Seriously, we've been married for 8 years and we're finally acknowledging the fact that I am an over-planner and Dustin is a non-planner. It's a serious trial to both of us to put with the other one's planning approach, but at least now we've discussed it. I like to plan, then re-plan, write out my plan, talk about my plan, e-mail everyone my plan, then blog about my plan and re-re-plan if at all possible. Dustin would prefer if we didn't even own a calendar. I can be yaking away about possible plans and Dustin will not even say a word because he doesn't want to commit to anything. Unfortunately for Dustin, I did have to have reservations for his birthday dinner but I guess we'll fly by the seat of our pants from there.

Pictures from the weekend:

Ellie the Fairy. Yes, I bought her a costume and she changed her mind. I told her I wasn't buying her another costume, so this is what we came up with from a mish-mash of dance costumes and dress up. Thanks for the loaner wings B! I was the "coolest mom ever" because I curled her hair and let her wear glittery make-up.

Sadie and Claire. Aren't they so cute and little? This is the great art about living in Arizona for Halloween. Your daughter can wear a tiny little Fairy costume and be perfectly warm. I saw on my friend's blog that it snowed in Utah this weekend!

Nate loved the potato sack races. He actually did pretty well in the beginning, but he tired out and came in last. That didn't stop him from wanting to do it all over again with the older kids a couple more times. He was also sacred of Cooper and Wyatt's costume. They were werewolves and Janel did such a great job on them that Nate had no idea who they were.

Ellie swinging at the pinata. I seriously have never seen kids swarm as fast as they did Saturday night.


Yesterday was just one of those days where you try and fit everything in, and never truly do anything the justice it deserves. It's still fun, but would have been so much better if you'd just spread it out. To save you lots of boring reading, I'll hit the highlights

1. I took the kids to see the doctor -- FINALLY! This is so embarrassing, but Sadie hasn't been to the Doctor since she was 2 weeks old. It's a long story involving switching from my Pediatrician in Scottsdale and switching insurances, and just plain laziness on my part, but the poor girl is so behind on shots. She had to get 6 shots, plus go back in November to get 6 more shots, and December for 6 more and then in January, she'll hit her 1 year. I feel so bad for the poor baby! Good news - she's healthy and perfect. I was actually shocked to see that she is in the 75% for height. I always think of her as such a shrimp, but she's just long and lean. 29 inches and almost 18 pounds. I was also shocked to find out Nate is in the 90% for height. I always thought he was so short.

2. Schenpf Farms. I decided that after no naps and ten shots between Nate and Sadie that we should head out to the pumpkin patch. OK, not really. Dustin's boss and wife invited us to go with them and since we hadn't hung out with them in months Dustin decided he was going for sure. I had plans with my girl friends, so Dustin told me he would just take a 3 kids by himself. Being the sweetheart that I am, I told him he was crazy and decided to go along to help out. It was actually much more fun than I had expected.

I guess Fridays aren't as crowded, so the lines were short and we got to do everything: the train, the carousel, dinner, the slide, the Bee, the rocket ships. . . and even the roller coaster. I got to sit with Nate on the roller coaster and he was so much fun. I was holding onto him for dear life, and he was sticking his hands up in the air. It totally shocked me, but I loved sitting next to him hearing him yell. "YAHOOOO." I still think his favorite part was the train. We got on the last ride before it turned into the "spooky train" but the actors were a little confused and a few of them jumped out anyway. Ellie was scared. but Nate just sat there with this huge smile on his face because he was so happy to be on the train. And Sadie waved at all of them.

The train ride

Other rides

3. Scrapping. So we got home around 9:30 to find 2 of Dustin's friends that he had invited over, sitting outside of our house eating chips and probably making the neighbors suspicious. I made it to Beth's 4 hours later than planned and only managed to get my Christmas cards done instead of the other projects I had planned. Not all was lost, though, since I did manage to steal Halloween costumes from Beth -- the Queen of Halloween costumes, and some wings for Ellie who keeps change her mind over what she wants to be for Halloween. Plus I had gotten some crafty Halloween projects done earlier in the week.

Today Ellie has a birthday party and then we have the neighborhood Halloween party that I am super excited for! I'll have more picture soon.


It is a sad day when you have to admit that you are passing bad habits onto your children. The other day we were at the zoo with our neighbors and my kids were freaking out about the littlest things and one of my neighbors commented, "I wonder where they get that from," both of us knowing full well it's from ME! I have totally turned my kids into high-strung mini-me's. I was telling someone how upset I was about it today and she told me it was a good thing. Yeah, thanks for trying to make me feel better, but being high-strung is never a good thing.

And then this picture from the other night. Dustin was mowing the lawn getting ready to seed for the winter, so I took the kids out for a bike ride. On one of laps around the neighborhood, Nate saw the grass all of over the sidewalk and hopped off his bike. He then announces, "This is a MESS! Really really big mess." And then he proceeds to go get the broom and sweep the grass and take handfuls to the garbage can for the next hour. So I've made them high-strung neat freaks!

I've pretty much ruined my children. I look at sweet, mellow Sadie and wonder how long it will take me to mess her up.



Lynette, probably not knowing how bad I am at anything "chain" related, tagged me. However, she's so super sweet that I had to keep it going. I couldn't let her down! So here's a little tag about Dustin and me. And of course I have to pass the tag along. So I tag:
1. Holly
Because she's still new enough to the blogging world to not kill me for it
2. Janel
Because I think this would be a fun one to read

3. Michelle
Because we all know she needs to blog

What is his name? Dustin
How long have you been together? Married for 8 years
How long did you date?We were friends first, then we dated and then got married. All in all, about a year.
Who eats more? Food--him. Dessert--me.
Who said I love you first?Dustin
Who is taller?Dustin. . .by a foot
Who sings better? Dustin. I don't think it's hard to be a better singer than me.
Who is smarter? Me. Even Dustin will agree.
Whose temper is worse? I don't think either one of us has a worse temper, I just have a higher spazz factor.
Who does the laundry? Usually me.
Who does the dishes? Me. But he's emptying them while I type this.
Who sleeps on the right side of the bed? Dustin.
Who pays the bills? Dustin
Who mows the lawn? Miguel -- my latin lover. OK, he's really just the landscaper, but I love my yard after he comes. BTW, did you know it is one of my life goals to never mow a lawn?
Who cooks dinner? I think we all know the answer to this. Dustin, unless the kids want cereal or quesedillas.
Who drives when you are together? Dustin
Who is more stubborn?I think we're pretty evenly matched. Dustin is so calm and level headed that no one would suspect, but I think his brother's could back me up on this one.
Who is the first to admit when they are wrong? Dustin will admit it, but I'll apologize for it.
Whose parents do you see the most? I think it evens out pretty well. We'll have seen each of them 3 times before the year is up.
Who kissed who first? Dustin.
Who asked who out?Well, seeing as I didn't even know our first date was a date, I don't think it should count. Dustin set it up under the guise of "hanging out" and promptly uninvited everyone else.
Who proposed? Me. Just kidding. I'm seeing if you're still reading.
Who is more sensitive?Me.
Who has more friends? Probably me. I don't think men have the same need for friends as women.
Who wears the pants in the family? Dustin does, but he lets me think that I do.


Seriously here

Friday I had my awesome friend Kerry take some pictures for my Christmas cards and just because I generally wanted some pictures of my kids. My kids are such stinkers! Nate was the biggest booger of them all. There were some decent family pictures of all of us, and then Nate would be sneering. I know it will just get better as they get older, but it's so frustrating not to have a cute picture of all 3 of them. Stinkers. We have one that will work for Christmas cards and that's what matters the most.

Kerry did an awesome job with my squirmy little wiggly kids and I can't thank her enough! Anyway, enjoy some out takes. I can laugh about them now, but when the little guy was doing them I was ready to ship him off to Grandma's!

At least he managed to pull through for me in the end. Thanks again Kerry!



Yesterday we spent the day in exotic Mesa. Kerry took her kids to the Dinosaur Museum earlier this week and it sounded like so much fun that I talked Gina and her kids into coming with us.

It all started off so fun. Nate loved the dinosaurs and the kids thought everything was so cool. Then there's this room with hanging sea monsters in it, and I tried to get my kids to go in there. The next thing I know, Ellie is crying real tears and Nate is hiding. After that, everything was "scary."

Luckily you can also pan for gold at the museum, so not all was lost. My kids loved that part. The gold was so tiny, but they were all so excited when they found a little piece in the sand.

Instead of dumping the water into the fountain, Nate kept dumping it on himself. Thank goodness we did this part last! Below is soaking wet Nate and Kade and Ellie with their gold. Poor Ellie was standing next to Nate a few too many time while panning for gold.

After the museum, we headed back to Gina's for the kids to play and the guys joined us for dinner and the game. Eight hours later, we decided to head home and put the kids to bed. When we told Ellie it was time to go, she whined "But I haven't even gotten to play that much!"

I love this picture of Sadie and Skyler. He was so cute with her. Even though he's 18 months old and can totally walk, he would get down on the floor to play with Sadie. I said they could get married as long as Sadie didn't have to move to Mesa ;p.


I love break

I thought October break was going to be long and miserable, but we are having so much fun. We haven't had a boring day yet, plus we usually get to sleep in. Monday we had all the neighborhood kids over here and Ellie was so bummed that Wyatt wasn't in town. She kept looking at all the little kids and saying, "Is this it? Where are all the big kids?" We even made cookies for FHE dessert.

Yesterday we had my girl friend's little girls over for the morning and lunch. The youngest is a little feisty one, so I kept getting notes from Ellie and Chloe saying things like: "Elise pushed Ellie off the bed" and "Elise told Ellie I don't like you." Then Ellie got to go to a farm with her friend Lindsay and they came back to have a sleep over here. After HSM 2 and 2 bags of popcorn, I got them settled down around 10:30 only to hear giggling at 6 this morning. When I finally got out of bed to see what was going on Ellie informed me, "Mom! We got up before the sun was even up." Yeah, I know honey.

Oh well, I've been amazed at how much I've accomplished for the day already!



It's a good thing I decided to decorate for Halloween this year because I forgot how much Nate loves Halloween. He's been wearing his Halloween shirts and socks for the last few days and sleeping with the Pottery Barn Halloween catalog. He even ditched his Thomas birthday party and wants a Halloween party now. That works well because I already bought all the goodie bag stuff and it's Halloween themed.

Dustin's parents were in town last week/weekend and we had fun seeing them. Dustin made his famous Conference breakfast, so it was good to have people to share the calories with. Ellie got to help Grandma bake some cookies, which is always a treat since I don't bake much. Grandma and Papa even brought the kids some pumpkins for us to decorate as part of our Halloween fun!

My mom sent us a great Halloween package with socks and a spooky CD plus gummy eyeballs. Those eyeballs were a life saver when I first started potty training Nate. He would do ANYTHING to eat them. And then he would chase Ellie around the house with his mouth open and full of smashed up eyeball while she screamed. I guess brothers are made to terrorize their sisters, no matter the age!

At first Sadie loved her socks and she couldn't stop touching them, but once she tried to crawl on the tile, the novelty was gone. She kept slipping and falling on her face, poor little girls. So just one more reason why we don't own socks! She does look cute though.


Fun link

I was searching for something on-line and I found this site with some super cute holiday ideas here. Check it out!


Big Boy Weekend

So I had every intention of getting a picture of me in the dress, but by the time I got back with the babysitter, we were in such a hurry to get out of here that I totally forgot. It's really not that fantastic! I promise. Last night was so fun though. I can't believe how much food I ate! They had all these great places cater the food and they had little sampling plates. When it's little bites, you don't realize how much food you're eating. So good! I'm all about the desserts though, so I always had more room for those.

But the big news of the weekend -- Nate!

For some reason I decided that this weekend we were going to move him into a big bed. Of course I decided that he should have Ellie's bed and we would get her a new bed. So we took down Ellie's bed, moved it into Nate's room and then realized that I didn't have a plan for when to get Ellie a bed. Being Conference weekend and all, there wasn't any time to go bed shopping, so she's now sleeping in Nate's crib, with the front taken off. I offered her the guest bed, but she's actually excited about sleeping in the crib. My daughter is crazy.

And of course -- the potty training. My son is wearing underwear! WOO HOO! It's actually going really well. I haven't braved nap time yet and we haven't gone out in underwear, but this may actually HAPPEN! Cross your fingers and knock on wood.


On my bad list

I have a bone to pick with Mr. Bensenville Illinois, number 847-598-2940. I have no clue what he was going to try to sell me, but when the phone rings at 5:56 am, it better be some sort of emergency.

Just a little bitter this morning. That's all.


Ellie Update

Ellie is on break WOO HOO. She hasn't woken up before 8 am all week. She might be slightly bitter that we're not going anywhere, but she's having fun anyway. All last week I had to hear where everyone was going -- a resort in Mexico, Jamaica, a Disney Cruise. . . Oh well, we've got lots of fun things to do here.

Monday she spent the day at Lexie's house. They are such cute little buddies and I know Ellie has missed her "old" friends since school started, so she had a blast making cookies and playing. Tuesday we had her friend Abby over and her mom bought us all lunch. That evening she even got to go to Brookie and Sami's house so Lyndsay could watch all the kids -- Becky wanted to be there since it was Lyndsay's first time watching some one as little as Sadie.

Today we played school to get some of the break packet done and we're trying to potty train Nate. So far so good. I can't turn back now or else it will result in the 4 month regression I got the last time I caved in. So I will press on -- wish me luck!

Last night Dustin and I went shopping for a new dress for Zoofari. It's an annual fund raiser for the Phoenix Zoo in case you're confused at why I need a new dress. When we got home Ellie wanted to see the dress, so I unzipped the bag and showed it to her. First words out of her mouth: I am sooooo going to wear that for dress-up.

And one more thing HAPPY BIRTHDAY KERRY! Love ya!


Sadie Update

Sadie is still the cutest little baby ever. She is so easy going and sweet. We are constantly amazed at how much she gets into! We don't even need a dog because we have Sadie. She is plenty happy to crawl around the floor hoping someone left a scrap somewhere. Even if it's just a piece of paper, she'll be happy. I constantly have to swiffer and vacuum because she'll put anything in her mouth. Even Dustin's toe.

She is pulling up and cruising around on all the furniture and gets herself trapped in all sorts of crazy places. At 8 months I finally moved her out of her 3-6 month clothes into 6-12. Progress! She's such a tiny little thing, but that makes her even better to squeeze and cuddle. This last picture is for all the people out there who say Sadie never makes a sound and is always perfect -- which is pretty close to the truth. This is Sadie on Sunday when she didn't get a morning nap.