Friday, April 27, 2012

Five Question Friday!! April 27, 2012

Happy Friday everyone! It has been raining pretty much all day. I believe it started sometime late last night, or should I say early this morning lol. But luckily, Alan and I got the car so we were still able to run the few errands that we needed to. Tonight is also my friend Jessica's Bachelorette party, I will be stopping by to hang out and dance with the girls some.

Here is this week's Five Question Friday!

Do you make your kids finish all the food on their plates?
Well my kiddo is still only a toddler, so no I don't force him to eat everything on his plate. I do however, make a point to encourage him to try and eat a little bit of everything I give him. I have been pretty successful with this too. :)

Do you give an allowance?
Lol once again my little guy is only a toddler, so no.

But as for when he is older? Meh, probably not.

My husband and I both came from families who did not give allowances, instead rewarded us with special treats and events. I think we will continue with this parenting style for our children.

Being the Buddhist and non-materialist that I am, I do not want to encourage a desire for money at a young age. I have met children who receive allowance for their chores and have asked them if why they did the chores, all they could tell me was because of the allowance. I then asked them if they would continue to do their chores if they didn't get an allowance and they told me they wouldn't.

Now I am not saying that all children who receive allowance are like this, but I do not want to even give my children that option. I would prefer to encourage them to help out with household things and not focus too much on rewards. I like the idea of my children doing chores simply because they want to help out with the family, not because they expect a reward.

I will get off this soap box now lol, I apologize. :P I feel like I got real preachy there for a second, sorry!

Do you actually park your car in the garage?
We don't currently have a garage, though we want one soooooooooooo badly! But at our last place we did, and we parked our car in it all the time. This might mostly have been because of all the student parkers in front of our house though lol.

What is one food you will NEVER cook?
Um I dunno, I am pretty open to cooking anything really, as long as I know how to cook it or have the directions. But I guess anything that I know my family wouldn't eat? So anything odd, like seafood or Indian cuisine or something.

Do you have anything exciting planned for the summer?
Oh you know, nothing too exciting...

Just HAVING MY BABY GIRL!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Does that count as exciting lol??? :P

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Earth Day 2012

Our Earth Day this year was lots of fun! After speaking with my mother, my plans changed slightly but that only made it easier for us to spend more time at each place rather than rush through everything.

We woke up relatively early and had a small breakfast of waffles, donuts and fruit. Then Lon and I packed my tiny little car full of all of our recyclables and we headed to the recycling center. If you remember, I had called ahead to see if someone would do a little impromptu tour for us so that Alan could learn some as well. Well the tour was pretty cool, they showed us the whole recycling process that they do on a daily basis. They asked that I didn't take any pictures but we had a great learning experience! Alan's favorite part was dumping all the recyclables on the moving track to be weighed and processed.

We recycled so much too! If I remember right, we recycled over four pounds of plastic materials, ten pounds of glass materials and seven pounds of aluminum cans. That is a lot of material! :D

After hitting up the recycling center, we had lunch and then met up with Grandma Melanie and my siblings to go to the Party for the Planet at Zoo Montana. Uncle Kalvin and Alan were excited to go see all the animals! :) First we went through the zoo and looked at all the animals, afterwards we took the boys through the nature trail and did my nature scavenger hunt with them, and we spent the rest of our time on the playground.

Looking at the goats outside the barn

Alan's favorite enclosures were probably the grizzly bears and the tigers. When we got to the grizzly bear enclosure, the two bears were in their pool playing with each other. Alan thought that was so cool and funny, we sat and watched them for maybe twenty minutes lol! He kept calling the bigger bear Kalvin Bear and the littler one Alan Bear. So cute!

The bears playing in the water

It was really hot out, so we had some trouble finding some of the animals. They wanted to all hide in the shade too lol! Our zoo experience quickly became an animal scavenger hunt by itself because we were all taking turns trying to find each animal in its habitat. The boys enjoyed it throughly, they would jump and squeal and giggle if they found the animal before anyone else did. :)

Grandma found the wolverine first! :D

They had a new enclosure that none of us had seen before too! A new beaver enclosure, right next to the river otter enclosure! Alan and Kalvin thought the beaver was awesome, with its big paddle tail that kept splashing in the water. We told them about how they make river dams and Alan thought we were talking about Lincoln Logs. He insisted on going right home and making his own Lincoln Log dam lol. Silly boy!

Looking at the beaver with Grandma Melanie

After seeing the beavers, we went on our nature scavenger hunt. Alan and Uncle Kalvin found pine cones, a big black beetle, some bird eggs (which we of course left in the nest lol), a mushroom cluster, several different shaped leaves, a caterpillar and some swords (Alan's name for sticks lately lol). We were quite successful! :D The boys really had a good time running around and getting dirty trying to find all of the things on the list. Alan even touched the bugs! :) After the scavenger hunt, we just HAD to go try all the slides at the zoo's playground lol. Alan slid down each one maybe fifty times but would not touch a single swing. How is my boy so opposite of me lol? :) Then it was time to head home for dinner.

What a great day filled with learning about the Earth and all the wonderful things on it! We had a wonderful day. :D Happy Earth Day everyone!

Toddler Talk Thursdays!! April 26, 2012

Happy Thursday everyone! Today wasn't as warm out as yesterday was, but since its my only day off in a while I figured Alan and I would still take our little walk over to my parent's house. We did and though it looked like it wanted to storm on us the whole time, we had a really good time! This time on our walk, we saw a rollie pollie on the sidewalk. I told Alan to scare it so that it would roll up, and he bent down close to it and yelled as loud as he could lol! :D Needless to say, the rollie pollie wasn't scared at all and continued on its way to the grass. It had me laughing for blocks though lol! He is too funny sometimes!

Tomorrow night is my friend Jessica's Bachelorette Party. I was invited before I was pregnant lol, so I think I will still be going, for a little bit. They even bought me a matching shirt and nicknamed me Sexy Hippie Mama or something silly like that lol. Pretty close to the right name! :P We will be doing dinner and then going out the bars afterwards. I just hope that I can have fun with them and not just become the DD lol. And I hope I don't get exhausted like right away, it will be fun to go out dancing with the girls! :) Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Here is this week's Toddler Talk Thursday! Enjoy this one, because apparently next week we are switching to something new! Be sure to check it out!

This week's topic:
Toddler Art Projects

I am an artist and an art teacher myself lol and if you readers haven't noticed there has been a lack in art class posts, as there has been a lack in art classes. This spring has been extremely slow for my art classes and I haven't really had enough kids sign up to hold my classes. :( I have been going through art withdrawal to say the least lol. :P

Alan was in my art classes up until they stopped having them and he always did great in them! He would always participate and even help out the other kids sometimes. :) The type of art projects I did with the toddlers would be clay, drawing, painting (finger painting and water painting), collage work, beadwork and basic art skills like cutting with scissors and glueing. Alan's favorite always is cutting with scissors, glueing things and painting.

Alan painting, sometime last year
Now that my art classes aren't running and I am spending most of my day at home with Alan, we have been making a point to do art projects at least twice a week. We will draw and color like every other day or whenever Alan requests to, but I try to set up a fun little project as often as I can. I let him finger paint (and have found its a lot messier at home then at work lol) and we make collages and bracelets together. And if ever we need a birthday card or one for a holiday, rather than just buying one Alan and I will make our own. I think the recipients of the cards enjoy them a lot more that way.

Thankfully, if I am not feeling up to par one week, Alan also has daycare to get his art fix. :) We often do holiday based projects with the kids, and will always be open to busting out the crayons and paper or the beads and pipe cleaners (we have found pipe cleaners work better with toddlers for beading than string).

Two beautiful bracelets Alan made me

All in all, the point of teaching toddlers art ISN'T to get them to actually create a piece of artwork and I think sometimes people forget that. The true point of it is to get the toddlers used to fine motor skills and to develop their creativity and imagination. So if half of your toddler's artwork looks the same or ends up as shredded paper (I had a student that did this with EVERYTHING lol), don't fret. They are still getting all the development they need. :)

Don't forget to tune in this time next week to see the changes made to Toddler Talk Thursday!

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

The Pregnancy Post: Week by Week! Week 28

I am officially in my third trimester! Wow this is crazy, I can't believe it is less than three months now til we get to meet our beautiful Anna! I am feeling very unprepared right now lol, but I keep reminding myself this was how prepared we were with Alan at this time.

Today was a nice 70 degree day, so Alan and I took another walk to my parent's house. We both put on shorts and headed out for some fun. Once we got outside, we discovered that it was closer to 80 degrees out lol. It was so hot! We loved the sunshine regardless. :) Alan found little pine cones today and had to bring two with him to give to Grandma and Daddy lol. I got a picture of him too. I still can't get over this haircut lol!

Here's this week's Pregnancy Post!

How far along: 28 weeks and 3 days

Size of Baby: 2 1/2 pounds and 14.8 inches long or the size of a Chinese cabbage (???)

Developments of Baby: Baby girl's survival rate outside of the womb gets better every week now. :D She's developing billions of neurons in her brain and adding more body fat in preparation for life in the outside world. She can now blink her eyes, which now sport lashes. With her eyesight developing, she may be able to see the light that filters in through your womb. 

Weight Gain: Now this is on my mother's scale, so I'm not sure if this is right. But a total of fifteen pounds!!!!! :D I gained FOUR pounds last week, woot! Let's hope that was right! 

Belly Button In or Out: Still in but its getting closer and closer to popping out everyday. Ewwww lol!

Maternity Clothes: Hardly any this time around. Just work pants and jeans really. In fact, both my shirt and shorts today are regular clothes and my shorts are really baggy on me!

Morning Sickness: Had bad morning sickness this morning, but otherwise this week has been okay.

Stretch Marks: No new stretch marks to be found so far! :D

Labor Signs: Only Braxton Hicks contractions when I walk a lot, but otherwise no labor signs yet! Thank goodness, Miss Anna better be full term like her brother lol!

Gender: A Girl :D

Movement: Sooooooooooo much movement, and its starting to hurt more. Lon has also started saying that my alien is trying to burst out when he sees her move an arm or leg ALL the way across my belly... Yeah, that's fun lol.

Sleep: I wake up normally between three and five every single morning now, but I make sure to get a morning nap in so lately it hasn't been too terrible. Thankfully.

Best Moment This Week: All this warm weather we are having! We have already bust out the sunscreen lol! :P Love being out in the sun and all the Vitamin D I am getting!

What I miss: Not too much really. At least I can't think of anything this week... Wait, my memory! I miss having my brain lol! I am always forgetting things and having to have people remind me lol. Makes me feel like a kid again. Kinda...

Food Cravings: Dr. Pepper, Salmon, cheeseburgers, cheesecake, pizza, Laffy Taffy, tacos, Cool Ranch Doritios, Starburst, Skittles, Snickers, chocolate, cake lol, chai tea, milkshakes, Salt and Vinegar chips, grilled cheese sandwiches, and definitely lasanga lol!

Food Aversions: Eggs, my husband's beef jerkeys, salad or lettuce in general, french fries or tator tots, pasta and most similar carbs, spicy or Mexican food and raw meat. Yuck to the extreme!

Symptoms: Morning sickness, feeling weak or light-headed, round ligament pain, all around exhaustion, the need to pee ALL the time lol, out of breath easily, food aversions and nausea, major forgetfulness, odd dreams, heightened sense of smell, lower back pains, cluster headaches, leg and butt cramps, overly emotional at times (gotta love pregnancy hormones!) and light Braxton Hicks contractions

What I’m looking forward to: Meeting Miss Apryl's baby boy with Alan. I am hoping to expose him to as many newborns as possible these last three months!

What I'm not looking forward to: The heat making this pregnancy icky. So far I've been lucky lol.

Here are some belly pics. The last one is of Alan kissing my belly, from my view. :D

28 weeks and 3 days

I love it when Alan kisses my belly!

I hope everyone has a great day! Tune in tomorrow for my Toddler Talk Thursday and my Earth Day posts!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Lon and Alan's Haircuts

I didn't want to darken my wonderful anniversary day yesterday, but a tragedy has struck my family and many others in my town. Monday morning, my aunt's training barn burnt down with 19 horses inside. None survived. Seven of the horses in there my aunt trained with on a regular basis and one of the horses was her beloved show horse. For more information, here is the link to the newspaper article. My aunt and her family are absolutely devastated, as well as many other students of this training facility. We just continue to remind ourselves that those beautiful creatures are no longer in pain and are in a better place. Now the process of rebuilding begins...

To put some light on a sad time (and to change the subject), Lon got me the sweetest card for our anniversary! Its one of those musical cards and it plays "You're my Best Friend" by Queen. Love that song! :D

The front of the card, the bicycle rocks back and forth when the music plays!

The inside of the card
So sweet, thank you honey! Happy first anniversary babe! :D

Now, for our main attraction lol...

All three of us have been needing haircuts lol. We are one shaggy hippie family lol and as summer approaches, it is getter warmer and warmer out. So last week, Lon got his hair cut. He went from shoulder length hair to short, short hair! I think he looks really good though and he got a bonus from one of his jobs because of it! Go hubby go! :D

Lon before his haircut

Lon's new haircut, ooooh looking good! :D
Then Saturday, Lon and I cut Alan's hair. It was quite the adventure, to say the least lol. We stripped him down to his pull up and clothes pinned a blanket around him to block most of the falling hair. Then we moved into the kitchen and Lon started cutting.

Alan's long hair before the haircut

I didn't know that Lon was going to cut Alan's hair as short as he did lol! I thought we were just going to trim it a little. But apparently Alan had told Lon that he wanted his hair short like Daddy's, so that was alright. Plus he will be REALLY cool now this summer! :)

Alan was a very well behaved little boy while Lon trimmed his hair. He was a little scared of the scissors at first. I held both his hands and talked to him and even though he kept saying ow when Lon would trim the longer pieces, he calmed down. After Lon was finished though, I couldn't believe my eyes! What a big boy he suddenly looked like! It was just crazy!

His short hair!!

We probably cut four or five inches off of his little head lol. His hair hasn't been this short since he was like ten months old lol! :) He just loves it, he thinks it makes him look like his Uncle Kalvin. Everyone we have shown thinks that Lon did it with a buzz cutter lol, but we did it with scissors! I love it, I think it makes him look like he is a preschooler. So cute!

Be sure to stop by tomorrow for my first third trimester Pregnancy Post and Thursday for my Earth Day 2012 post! Have a great day everyone! We sure are! :D

Monday, April 23, 2012

One Year Ago...

I said the two best words I could say to the one person who is the love of my life. 

I said "I do" to a life of endless happiness and love. To all those wonderful kisses, to all the laughter we will share, to all those silly adventures we will take together. To long nights taking care of him when he is up sick and to all of those amazing foot and back rubs. To all those dinner failures and invention successes and to all the beautiful children we will have.

A year ago, today, I married my beloved husband Lon. We had a beautiful wedding at the Veteran's Park with all of the important people in our life present. I still look back on that day fondly, flipping through our gorgeous pictures taken by the great Jeff Bryson. It was so perfect for us!

Our goofy wedding party

In this past year, we have been through a lot of ups and some downs. Financial issues, loss of jobs, our trip to Canyon Ferry, Lon getting a job, an unexpected pregnancy, morning sickness, ER visits, Lon getting another job, potty training Alan, the Cadillac being totaled... Through all of this, we have been strong together. I believe we can fair any bad weather and I will always be stand by him. We are together for the long run and I can't wait to see where the trip takes us.

Lon, I love you with all of my heart and want to spend everyday of the rest of my life with you. I want to have more children with you and raise them together, then grow old together. You are my knight in shining armor, my prince charming, my protector, the light in the darkness, my savior, my pillar of strength, my safe haven, my everything.

Happy one year anniversary Lon. I hope for many, many, many more to come!

My good friend Apryl had her baby boy on Sunday. You may remember her from my post about her baby shower? Yeah lol... :) He was born on the day before his due date lol, how close to Alan! :P We are so happy for you, Apryl and Dan! Congratulations on your beautiful little bundle of joy! We can't wait until we get to meet him, I'm sure Alan and him will be great friends as they get older!

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Nature and Childhood Development

Thursday, I watched a documentary on PBS called Nature's Child. It was about nature and how it affects and benefits childhood development. Of course being the hippie that I am, I already knew this lol. But it was still a very interesting show to watch and I learned quite a bit from it.

In this day and age, most children spend their time indoors either on the computer or at the television. Gradually, less and less children are spending quality time outside. If they do get outside, it is either at school during recess or for an organized sport. While these are also good development teachers, they are not enough. Children need to play outside in their neighborhoods, like we all did as kids. But this is happening less and less. Why is this, you ask? Well there is one theory that I have found to be pretty feasible. Some believe that modern day parents are being conditioned by the media to be afraid to let their children play outside in the neighbor, whether by themselves or with other kids. Parents are so afraid of child abduction that they would rather keep their children indoors, where they are "safe."

"Safe" is not always best for development though. When a child grows up in a protective cocoon, they are not able to be as resilient in later life as a child who is allowed to take risks. Surprisingly children thrive off of taking risks and overcoming challenges. Its what TEACHES them to cope with stress and/or scary situations, thus furthering development. Of course, you have to be conscious of safety but it has to be real for them.

In reality, child abductions have been nationally decreasing in the past ten years, thanks mostly to the Amber Alert system and other abduction prevention programs. There is a way to keep your child safe from Stranger Danger and still allow them to grow and learn with nature. You can teach your child to be conscious of strangers around them and what to do if a stranger approaches them. Another preventative measure you could take as a parent is to supervise your children while they are outside. Sit out and enjoy the nature yourself while you watch your children play. Its not that hard. :)

Technology is thought to be very helpful to childhood development. After all, there are endless cases of toddlers and preschoolers who know how to run certain technologies (iPod, cell phone, etc.) BETTER than their own parents who own them! Being a hippie and a Buddhist, this upsets me somewhat. Technology is a material, and I feel like materials are slowly taking over this world lol. You hear all the time about how a teen loves this one material (her cellphone, his car, etc), but hardly ever hear about the human exchange of love. I believe that technology actually inhibits development, especially social development. You may think that your teenager is being social when she is on Facebook, but she is in reality by herself, sitting in front of a screen. How is that being social? On the other hand, nature promotes development and all types of it. A child interacts a lot with people when they are outside, as well as any creatures they come across. In a sense, the more manipulative the parts that a child interacts with, the more creative and imaginative play is. This is why being outside is so much fun for kids. They are being active and are taking in so much more than they would with technology. After all, humans existed for years without technology and in nature. We live in nature, not in a computer program. This isn't TRON guys! ;)

There are also several levels of nature that your children should experience on a regular basis. They are considered levels because of the way they vary in how much wilderness or nature is actually in them. The four levels are:

-Neighborhoods and Yards
This is the outdoors surrounding your house. Children experience animals like dogs, cats and squirrels around their neighborhood, and will still get the sense of  being in nature. Children need to experience "suburban" nature as much as the others. 

-Playground Parks
These are parks that have playgrounds, tennis courts, wading pools, etc. Children will experience a somewhat different environment than they would around their house and will also get to interact with other children they don't necessarily know. Some Billings examples are Pioneer and Rose Park. This is still considered somewhat of a "suburban" nature but is still beneficial. 

- More Natural Parks
These types of parks don't normally have playgrounds, instead they have hiking trails and picnic areas. Children will get to see more outdoorsy animals like ducks, deer, gophers, etc. Natural parks encourage exploration, which is very beneficial to development. Some Billings examples are Phipp's Park, Zimmerman Park or Riverfront Park.

-Wilderness and/or Camping
This would be the equivalent of taking your child to a National Park, lake, or the woods. Children get the full experience of being and existing in nature. They will encounter all different types of animals and insects, plus probably see some plants they have never experienced before. Every child should go hiking or camping at least once in their childhood, I believe it is extremely helpful with development.

Another thing that maybe some people don't realize is how important hunting and fishing is for a child's development. They both teach a lot of discipline and responsibility to the children. With hunting, a child needs to learn to be responsible for themselves in the wild, as well as the gun they are carrying and the animal whose life they are taking. A lot of responsibility that might be hard to teach elsewhere. With fishing, a child will learn to be patient and to respect the earth, as well as to care for the fishing equipment they are responsible for and the fish whose life they are taking. Speaking of death, hunting and fishing are also very helpful in teaching children death in a good way. How can death be good, you ask? When it brings more life. Hunting and fishing show children that death leads to food and thus further life. Doesn't that sound beneficial to your children when they might have to experience death in their life, through either the death of a pet or even a loved one. A child who has taken an animal's life by hunting it will not be as confused by death, they will already understand it and will cope from it better.

With Alan, we take him outside as much as possible. Once a day if we can. Even if it is only for a walk around the neighborhood or if its as awesome as taking him camping to Canyon Ferry, we still make the effort to have him be outside and explore. When outside, I also allow him to lead the adventure. I am an adult and have had almost all of my outside experiences, why shouldn't I let him decide what he wants to do? He is the one growing and learning. I will mostly just follow Alan around and if he looks like he needs help deciding, then I will suggest something to him. But he is in control and he loves it!

I probably sound like a crazy ranting naturalist hippie woman to most of you but I encourage you to try this out. For the next month, try taking your kid to a different outside experience at least twice a week. Take them outside and let them lead you on a exploration, and encourage them to get dirty! You will find that not only are you enjoying your quality time with your child outside, but they are learning about how the world around them works. It is a great development tool and its so easy!!! So the question I have you now is, WHY ARE YOU STILL INSIDE?????? GET OFF MY BLOG, GET OFF THE INTERNET, AND GO PLAY IN THE SUN!!! Lol.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Earth Day Plans

Earth Day is this Sunday and though we don't have too much planned for that day, I have a couple fun activities for us to partake in.

First, I will be posting a blog post on here about children and the benefits nature has on their development that day. It is based off of a PBS show I watched yesterday and my own hippie naturalist opinions lol. I encourage you to stop by and read it! :)

For Alan and I, I have developed a nature scavenger hunt that we will be doing at hopefully several different parks. It asks for fun things like pine cones, seeds, beetles (we have little containers to catch them) and mushrooms. I hope that we can go to Zimmerman Park, Pioneer Park and Riverfront Park at least. Maybe even Phipp's Park if we have the time. :)

Then I plan on taking Alan and all of our recyclable stuff down to Pacific Recycling to teach Alan a lesson about recycling. We have been recycling aluminum cans, plastic and glass for almost a year now but its been a few months since we have actually made a trip down to the center. And we normally drop Alan at my parent's house and go alone, since it is easier. But I have already called ahead and spoke with one of the staff, they will set up a mini tour for us so that Alan can learn. So cool!

Lastly, we will be making a trip to Zoo Montana for their Party for the Planet. There we will get to visit all the animals in the zoo, as well as see all the cool Earth Day based booths. We wanted to go to this last year, but weren't able to for some reason. This year it will be awesome though!

What are your plans for Earth Day? How do you celebrate it with your family?

Five Question Friday! April 20, 2012

Happy Friday everyone! Today Alan and I plan on cleaning up the house some more and then possibly taking a walk to my parent's house again. If it stays nice outside that is lol! :)

Here is this week's Five Question Friday!

Groceries are high right now what is easiest way you have found to cut back?
We have been doing some light couponing and shopping with our Preferred Card at Albertsons.

I say light couponing because I have several friends of mine who have recently REALLY got into couponing. Like use multiple newspapers, have an online coupon group, save $100 or more each trip kind of getting into it lol. And though I think its awesome how much they are saving, I don't think I could spend the time (or concentration for that matter lol) on couponing like they do. But still, major kudos to them! :)

What are the top 3 things on your "bucket list"?
I've never really written a formal bucket list, is that something people do now lol?

Um, I would have to say go scuba diving somewhere tropic. Go to Japan. Explore Alaska the way Chris McCandless did (minus the dying part, of course lol).

Would you rather give up AC or heat?
Really, this is a something that someone would have to think of lol? Obviously I would waaaaay rather give up AC. Air Conditioning is a luxury whereas heat is somewhat of a necessity, especially during winter in Montana. In fact, we don't even have air conditioning at our current apartment. If it gets hot in there, we open our windows and turn on the fans. So glad we can do that now!!!! Yay for nicer weather! :D

What's your favorite cocktail??
Um, I really don't (or didn't when I wasn't pregnant lol) drink often enough to have a favorite cocktail lol. In all honesty, I had to google a cocktail list to see what qualifies for a cocktail and what doesn't. Thanks wikipedia! :P

My favorite cocktail (or more likely the one I have ordered the most, maybe like three times lol) is Sex on the Beach. I have found though that I like just plain Malibu Coconut Rum and Pepsi mixed together.

But like I said, I barely ever drink!

What was your first job & how old were you?
Lol you will all just love this. My first job was at Chuck E. Cheese lol.

You know, Chuck E. Cheese aka every parent's hell? Lol I started working there when I was 15 years old and worked there til I gave birth to Alan at 20 years old. Yes, I worked at that chaotic place for five whole years and moved my way up from a normal worker to a Team Leader to the Birthday Coordinator.

I make fun of it somewhat now, but really it wasn't that bad there. It was loud and crazy like all the time but after living with my crazy family, I was totally used to it. And I actually really enjoyed hosting the birthday parties. They were my forte, so to speak. By the time I had quit, I had worked out an entire fool-proof process to host these parties that guaranteed a outstandingly awesome report to my management. No wonder they gave me the Birthday Coordinator position. :)

I am also grateful for working at CEC because it was part of the reason I was hired to work at the YMCA. They were really impressed with my five year stay with the company and that I was well trained with hosting the perfect birthday party. So thank you, Mister Mouse! :P

Tune in Sunday for my post about the importance of nature in childhood development. Its for Earth Day and I think its a pretty good rant, if I do say so myself lol. Have a great weekend everyone!!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Toddler Talk Thursdays!! April 19, 2012

I cannot believe that I am days away from being in the third trimester! This is crazy, it seems like just days ago it was Thanksgiving and I had just found out I was pregnant again. And now? Its like less than three months away that we will be meeting her! I cannot wait, I am ready to meet her now.

Today since the weather looked nice out, Alan and I took a walk to my parent's house to do some laundry. Well it may have looked nice out lol but it was super windy and we were not prepared for it! Poor Alan looked like he was gonna be blown away and the mean wind was making little tears form in the corners of his eyes. :( He still managed to have a great time regardless, he kept picking dandelions and throwing them into the wind to watch them fly away lol. I found those "helicopter" seeds (the ones that spin when you throw them up in the air?) and showed him how to play with those, he loved it! We also had a conversation with a worm, a bird and several puppy dogs lol. And we found a pine cone too! It was a pretty good walk, despite the nasty wind.

Here is this week's Toddler Talk Thursday!

They changed this week's topic from Art Projects/Crafts to another sports related topic. Next week we will continue with the Art Project theme.

This week's topic:
Little Sports Fan

Lon and I aren't all that into sports teams, like football or baseball. We actually hardly ever even watch sports on television, unless its like a MMA fight or a Griz game.

But Aunt Natalie and her boyfriend Jake go to University of Montana in Missoula, so we do kinda cheer on that team lol. I think one of Alan's first onesie was a Griz outfit lol. We always make a point to wear maroon when the football team is playing and follow the game like any other crazy fan.

Alan supporting the Griz, circa November 2011

And let me tell you, in Montana there is nothing more important or crazed than the UM Griz v.s. MSUB Bobcat rivalry lol. You think that there is some team rivalry in your town, well in Montana people base relationships on what team you support. I had boyfriends in high school who told me that they would seriously consider our relationship if I wasn't a Griz fan lol. And their parents are the same way! We always say, there ain't much else to do here so why not? Lmao!

Other than that though, we don't really have a big sports team that we are obsessed with. Not even Lon lol. In fact, we didn't even KNOW who was playing the Super Bowl until we got to my parent's Super Bowl party! Oh well, we get by. :P

Next week's topic:
Favorite Art Project/Craft

The Traveling Red Dress: Passing On the Love!

Its been almost two weeks since I had my photo shoot and after posting on several Traveling Red Dress forums for another worthy woman who would be willing to share their journey with my blog and I, I have found the perfect woman! She is a beautiful woman named Meghan who lives in Pennsylvania. She has three children, one of whom is physically disabled and also a set of twins. Needless to say, this woman is very deserving of her Red Dress moment and I believe that my dress is the one for her.

This is what she sent me, a quick summary of her adult life. I plan on having her write a more in depth story that I will share with you later but for now, meet Miss Meghan:

"I am the women that would love to wear your red dress. Here is my story. Shortly after my husband and I were married we decided to have a child. For 1 1/2 years we tried and was told by a really bad doctor that there was nothing wrong and to "Go home have some wine and have fun". We decided to stop trying and would find a new doctor in the new year. Three months later, and while not trying, we became pregant while on vacation. I had a wonderful pregnancy, many ultra-sounds and great prenatel care, or that is what we thougt. 

On may 16, 2001 our son was born unexpectedly with spina bifida and hydrocephalis. He was rushed to the childrens hospital an hour away. I was druged against my wishes to keep my calm. I was not out of control, just crying. Well, I remember little of the few minutes I got with my son before he was transfered. I was a new mom at 24 to a very sick baby and my life from then on would involve doctors, therapists, wheelchairs, leg braces, and other huge issues. He is now a wonderful 10 year and the apple of his moms eye but still a very physicaly disabled young man. 

My husband and I decided to waited 5 years to add to our family, because of our son, and found out it would be difficult to conceive. We found a wonderful team of doctors who diagnosed me with Poly cystic overies, this expained why I could not concieve had extra hair, could not loss weight and other "fun" issues. They worked with me to attempt to bring a child into the world. Because we could not afford ivf or other pricey options. We decided on a drug that was only cheap, $8, but had a low chance of concieving and was told by the doctor that he had only had one other women have twins on the drug and she was a twin herself so, there was a small chance of multiples. 

Well, three years and two miscarraages later I gave birth to twins, a boy and a girl. Both misarrages were single pregnancies but, I was able to carry twins to 38 weeks weighting in at 6 and 7 lbs!!! After the twins were born I found myself coming to the term that I have been depressed for a long time and have had anxiety issues for as long as I can remember. I now fight every day to be the best mom I can to my three wonderful children and not let my depression and anxiety rule my life. Thank you for reading my story."

I think she is a very strong woman and she is definitely deserving of my Red Dress. I plan on sending it to her before the end of this month and simply cannot wait to hear more from her and to see her Red Dress photos, which I am sure will be just phenomenal! Thank you Meghan for sharing your story with us, you are a strong and wonderful mother!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

The Pregnancy Post: Week 27 and the Dreaded GD Appointment

This morning I had my last four week check up with my midwives, which included the 28 week Gestational Diabetes Glucose test. *Shudders* It was actually a lot better than I thought it was going to be, but I will post more on that further down.

For now, here is this week's Pregnancy Post!!

How far along: 27 weeks and 3 days

Size of Baby: 2 pounds and 14 1/2 inches long or the size of a head of cauliflower

Developments of Baby: Baby girl will start to get hiccups this week. Her brain and lungs continue to grow and develop as well. Added layers of fat are continuing to form on her body. These layers will help her regulate her temperature once outside the womb and help keep her warm.

Weight Gain: Still only at eleven pounds. My midwife and I also had the weight gain talk again today. Ugh... The only plus to this is the extra ultrasound she mentioned giving me towards the end of my pregnancy. Yay!

Belly Button In or Out: Still in but its getting closer and closer to popping out everyday. Ewwww lol!

Maternity Clothes: Hardly any this time around. Just work pants and jeans really.

Morning Sickness: We had a break through in this area this week! My doctor figured out why I have morning sickness and why no meds will work against it! Will explain more down below! :D

Stretch Marks: No new stretch marks to be found so far! :D

Gender: A Girl :D

Movement: She is a little shaker and mover! I mean this question should be, when ISN'T she moving lol!

Sleep: Sleep is better this week. I have been able to just pass out and not wake up for a while, unless I have to pee.

Best Moment This Week: Hearing Anna's heartbeat and finding out exactly where she is sitting in my belly.

What I miss: Not feeling weak all the time. I feel like a sick person, always so weak and shaky. Me no likey. At all lol!

Food Cravings: Dr. Pepper, Salmon, cheeseburgers, cheesecake, pizza, Laffy Taffy, tacos, Cool Ranch Doritios, Starburst, Skittles, Snickers, chocolate, cake lol, chai tea, milkshakes, Salt and Vinegar chips, grilled cheese sandwiches, and definitely lasanga lol!

Food Aversions: Eggs, my husband's beef jerkeys, salad or lettuce in general, french fries or tat or tots, pasta and most similar carbs, spicy or Mexican food and raw meat. Yuck to the extreme!

Symptoms: Morning sickness, feeling weak or light-headed, round ligament pain, all around exhaustion, the need to pee ALL the time lol, out of breath easily, food aversions and nausea, major forgetfulness, odd dreams, heightened sense of smell, lower back pains, cluster headaches, leg and butt cramps, overly emotional at times (gotta love pregnancy hormones!) and light Braxton Hicks contractions

What I’m looking forward to: Being off of work tomorrow and getting some much needed housework and laundry done. My landlord stopped by yesterday and I was sooooooooo embarrassed lol! He didn't even care because he knows we have a toddler and I am pregnant, but I probably apologized to that man about our mess maybe fifty times!

What I'm not looking forward to: Working tonight after getting all that blood drawn.

Here are my belly pics.

27 weeks and 3 days

So the appointment today was surprisingly a lot better than I thought it was going to be. I went in and was given the option of having orange or lime flavored. I of course chose orange, lime is nasty lol! The drink  tasted a lot better than it did last time and was way easier getting down. Then I met a new midwife, her name is Pam, and she talked with me about preparing for the third trimester. She brought up my lack of weight gain and how she and the other midwives had been researching it and had discovered something.

The reason why they think I always have morning sickness during pregnancy and why no medicine ever seems to work for me is because of the way my babies position themselves in my body. They seem to favor my stomach and will most often be found laying RIGHT on top of it. Thus squeezing anything in there out and causing morning sickness. This is good news because we know why now, but it sucks knowing that there is FOR SURE nothing they can do about it, except monitor me and baby to make sure we are growing enough. This does mean that they will have to do an extra ultrasound towards the end, which I am not complaining about lol! :)

Then she checked to see where Anna was positioned and can you guess where she was? Yep, right on my stomach. Wow! Pam measured my belly, which was right in between 27 and 28 weeks. And she listened to little Anna's heartbeat, which was a healthy 140 beats per minute. Anna was even nice to her and didn't roll away from the monitor, although she did kick it a couple times lol. :P After watching a quick video on preterm labor signs, I was sent back to the lobby to wait for my blood draw. While I was waiting, they let me pick out something small for Anna from them. There was mostly winter stuff still in the basket but I chose a cute little hat for her. I just love the colors! :)

It still felt like the longest forty minutes ever! But she finally came to get me and took me back to our room. I warned her again about my wooziness over needles and blood, and she reassured me it would be fine. She had me lay on my back and look away from her, while she prepared me. Then she told me to just start breathing slowly and clear my mind. I did that and without warning me, she began to draw my blood. This actually worked! I felt woozy and light-headed the whole time, but didn't black out. She finished and told me to sit and drink a full water bottle before standing up again. They were taking no chances this time lol.

I didn't black out though! I am so proud of myself! :) I am still feeling shaky and weak, but should be okay to go into work. I just hope its not too crazy today! Cross your fingers for me!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Adventures in Potty Training Revisted

This time last year, we were attempting to potty train Alan. At the time we had estimated that Alan would be potty trained by May or June, but that was not the case. Right after we had our wedding, he regressed and started refusing to potty train anymore. I didn't want to push him because I don't think that learning to use the toilet should be stressful, so we took a break. We stopped having him use the potty every half hour and started just letting him use it when he wanted to at home.

Fast forward a year, we are pregnant with Anna and due in July. Alan was using the potty every now and then, but we were no longer in underwear or even pull ups. And I was consistently changing his diapers on a daily basis. I have never wanted to be a mom of two in diapers, unless they were multiples. So Lon and I decided that our goal would be to have Alan mostly trained by the time Anna was born.

This week was our first week of really trying to potty train. I cleverly named it Operation Alan Use a Potty All Day Long Week lol because I am determined! :) We are going about it in a similar way, except minus the underwear. I couldn't do all the poop messes in the undies pregnant, so we opted for pull ups this time around. And we upped the time to every twenty minutes, instead of every half hour, in hopes that we will better stop any accidents. Yesterday went great, he went pee in the potty several times and only had one technical accident. And today is going even better because after lunch, Alan not only peed in the potty but he pooped in there too! :D This is one of the first times he has pooped in the potty! Lon and I are beyond elated as this was our main struggle with him last time around.

I am confident this time around that he will actually be potty trained by summer! If we can at least have him in underwear with minimal accidents, that will be sufficient too. This time around seems different though, he is older and is more into it, I think. He will actually tell me when he gets an urge and will sound excited to practice on the potty when I ask him. We are moving in leaps and bounds. :)

How did you potty train your little one? How many times did it take to fully train them?

If you liked this post and this blog, please click on the link below to vote for my blog at Top Baby Blogs. I have moved up again over the weekend to Number 282, yes! Thanks to everyone who is voting for me! Especially all you weekend voters, you really help bring my numbers up (or I should say down lol)! You are all awesome!

Vote For Us @!

Monday, April 16, 2012

Billings Roller Derby Dames

This Saturday, Lon and I went out on our wedding anniversary date. Our anniversary is actually a week away from today but as its on a Monday this year, we thought this weekend would be best for us. Plus we had plans to go support my two cousins in their roller derby bout! My mom watched Alan so we could go alone. Thanks mama! :)

Ready for our date!

The Billings Roller Derby Dames played the Bisman Bombshellz and boy was it one crazy adventure going! Let me tell you, roller derby is intense! It took me a while to figure out exactly what is going and how you score points but once I got that figured out, I got really into it! Those girls kick some major butt! I wasn't able to take any good action photos with my camera, so I am borrowing some from the wonderful photographer Tim Mazzaferro. Look at this insanity!

My cousin Katie (her derby name is KO Katie lol) skated like a champ the first half but after a bad collision with some other girls, she was exhausted and somewhat sick. She had to sit out the second half of the bout. :( She still rocked it when she was out there though! My other cousin Abbie (her derby name is Rapummel lol, for her long hair and rough attitude) was a great help to the team as well. She went in several times and was one wild mama!

I was really excited to find my family during halftime. We first saw my cousin Garrett and after chasing him down, he led us to the rest of my family there. My Aunt Sheila and Uncle Steve were there supporting their daughters, as well as my cousin Spencer and my other cousin Josh with his wife Randi and their daughter Fayth. Randi is also pregnant, about a month behind me, so it was cool to see her again and share pregnancy stories. She is expecting a boy, due in August. :)

We sat with my family for the last half of the bout. It was a lot of fun to cheer the girls on and hang out with people we know, Lon and I had a great time with them! The Billings Roller Derby Dames ended up winning 154 to 64! How awesome for those girls!

After the bout, Lon and I rushed the floor with my family to congratulate my cousins. They were pretty happy with the win and super excited to see that we had finally come to watch them. I played tourist and got pictures with both of them lol. :P But I love my cousins!

Abbie aka Rapummel and I 

KO Katie and I
All in all, it was a great date! Lon and I had a ton of fun, and can't wait until this June when their next bout is. You know we will be in the stands cheering them on! Lol the funny thing is that Lon thinks I should try doing roller derby after Anna is born. Uhhhh, me doing roller derby????? Baby, have you ever even SEEN me with roller skates on? I don't stand... Ever.

So we will have to see lol. If I do, it will be years before I am actually competing, I think. It will take me at least a year to learn how to skate good and then I will have to learn how to keep my balance while ramming into someone... Oh boy lol!

Friday, April 13, 2012

Five Question Friday! April 13, 2012

Ahhh, its Friday the thirteenth! Billings has already had their share of bad luck today, around eleven this morning there was a mass power outage that covered most of the city (our house, my parent's house, and both of our works lost power), all due to a squirrel lol. Wow can you say bad luck???? :) I am still optimistic at the day lol. This afternoon, Alan and I took that half hour walk to my parent's house that I sooooooooo badly wanted to do yesterday, and we had a great time! Alan found a pretty flower (it was a dandelion lol) and spoke to almost every dog that barked at us as we passed. He thought they were talking to him, so he held a conversation with each of them lol. Pretty sure they were just barking at us because they wanted to be out walking like we were. :)

Smelling his preeeety flower lol!

Tomorrow night, Lon and I are going out on our date for our one year wedding anniversary. We are going to my cousins' roller derby for our date lol. Not your average date, but we are pretty excited. And I am gonna dress hot... Well as hot as a six month pregnant mama can lol. :P

Here this week's Five Question Friday!!

Who mows your grass?
Our landlord lol. Its in our lease that he takes care of the yard work because let's face it, it would be almost impossible to coordinate yard duties between four different busy families lol. So I think that's why he does it himself.

Do you have a picture wall or picture gallery in your house (show us! <--- my addition to the question)?
We did, until about last month when we started packing to move, which now has been postponed. It was located in our living room, right when you came inside our house, and was filled with wedding pictures, camera snapshots and professional family photos. I loved my picture wall so! I'm actually thinking about re-setting it up since we don't know when we will be moving now. Maybe it'll be a job for this weekend! :)

What book has influenced your thinking the most? Or, what blog? (I want to read what gets people thinking!)
I have several books that influence my thinking the most. Two of the more obvious ones are my Buddhist mantra books, the Tao Te Ching and the Dhammapadda. They are the equivalent to a bible in my eyes. I use them everyday.

Another book that really opened my eyes to the hippie lifestyle and free thinking is the novel Into the Wild. Now most of you may have seen the movie, but there was a book first. I think the reason why it opened me up so much as a person was because it taught me that materials are nothing and love is everything. This book really was what turned me to Budhism. I have a scrappy copy of it at this point because I read it probably once a month lol.

Do you have allergies? If so, how do you handle it this time of year?
I had awful hay fever as a child and a teenager but as I transitioned into an adult, it went dormant. As of right now, I have zero allergies and take no meds for them. Which is awesome because when I was about ten I took maybe three different things for it, with no results. Yay!

What's your go to meal to cook in an hurry?
For lunch? Probably tomato mac and grilled cheese sandwiches. But for dinner? Most likely spaghetti or a Hamburger Helper meal. Those things are last minute life savers lol!

Hope you all have a great day and a wonderful weekend! Tune in next week to see how my date with the hubby went! I will be sure to take lots of pictures, this should be awesome! Go K.O. Katie and Abbie!

On Breastfeeding

***Warning to all non-mothers: This is a post ALL about breastfeeding. It may be viewed as TMI to some, this is why I am not sharing this post on my Facebook. Please do not read if you do not want to hear about all the pretty little details of breastfeeding lol. You have been warned!!***

I breastfed Alan until he was almost nine months old, but struggled with it the whole nine months. There was no, "It gets better as they get older" which was what I was told with Alan. He had the same issues with latching and nursing comfortably on day one as he did when I stopped. But I was stubborn and determined. I didn't just want to give up and go completely to formula only because it was hard. I credit that to what made me able to breastfeed for that long.

There were several reasons why breastfeeding was so difficult for Alan and I. First off, I have a large chest lol and that made it hard to line everything up for breastfeeding. Then there was the issue with my milk.

For most women, the get their colostrum just before or just after giving birth. This is what the baby feeds off of for the first few days of their life. For me, my colostrum didn't come in until after I had been home with Alan for a few days. So while at the hospital, Alan was supplemented with formula. By the time my milk had actually come in and despite our many efforts at trying to breastfeed, Alan wasn't interested in learning how to latch on. I still made many attempts at it, but eventually gave up and went to exclusively pumping and feeding him with a bottle.

With Anna, I want to breast feed again. I still feel that it is the best thing a mother can give their newborn and want to try with her too. This time around, I feel that I am a little more educated as a parent and will not have the same issues as I did last time. I am also proud to say that I am already producing colostrum at only 26 weeks pregnant and though it is seen now as more of a nuisance than a blessing, I am very grateful. This time around I am also preparing my body for breastfeeding, a thing that I thought was somewhat weird with Alan. But I was a young mom then so.

To prepare for breast feeding I have been doing more research on breast feeding theories, such as the fourth stage of labor theory. The fourth stage of labor theory is the idea that immediately after birth your baby breastfeeds, no matter what. Breastfeeding is seen as the last stage of labor and delivery, and thus should be treated with just as much importance. Your baby should be instantly placed on your chest for the first hour after birth, with the measurements and tests reversed for afterward. Your baby can be dried and the Apgar test can be done with the baby on you while you attempt to breastfeed for the first time. This would have been quite beneficial with Alan and maybe could have helped my colostrum come in faster.

I sold my breast pump when Alan was just a year old, so I will also be on the hunt for a new one for Anna. I had the Evenflo Double Breast Pump originally but didn't like it too much because the breast shields didn't fit me right. I want to do more research on pumps for bigger chested gals but I like this one right now. It doesn't normally have large breast shields, but Medela has an option for you to order them.

Medela Pump in Style Dual Breast Pump

Now, this is my dream pump because it is EXPENSIVE lol. But if I can get it for my baby shower or find one cheaper, then it will be mine lol! I like dual pumps so much better than single pumps because they get the job done so much faster! Love it, love it!

What did you do to prepare your body for breastfeeding???

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Toddler Talk Thursdays!! April 12, 2012

Happy Thursday everyone! Today we were going to walk over to my parent's house (they only live a few blocks away from us) but when I woke up this morning, it was raining! Lol I'm not complaining too much though, because it looks just gorgeous outside! The trees, flowers and grass are all bright green and happily singing in the rain! They sure are enjoying all this water, you can see it in their color! :) Lol, I'm done with my hippie moment for now. Here's this week's Toddler Talk Thursday!!

This week's topic:
Toddlers and Sports!

I have written about this before, sometime last year. Coming from a sporty family (my sisters and I have been in dance and swimming since a very young age and Kalvin is into baseball and football), I definitely recognize the importance of sports. Its another form of early discipline and guidance for children, as well as physical exercise. I also understand the importance of starting children early, maybe not in team sports, but at least physical activities related to sports.

For example: Even though Alan is not yet in any actual sports classes, we still are very active as a family. Alan will go swimming with us, we take him for walks and hikes, and we involve him in the sports we play as a family. He has been taught how to throw a football, kick a soccer ball, toss a frizbee and hit a baseball with a bat. On Aunt April's birthday, we all involved him in our family baseball game after dinner and he just loved it. We also take regular trips to the YMCA's Open Kids Gym so that Alan can climb, tumble, run and jump. He loves going there as well. :)

Next year, Alan will be going to preschool most likely at the YMCA. I think their preschool is the best option, as they promote healthiness and physical activity. They take their students swimming, outside to play and to the gym for different physical activities. On a weekly basis. Lon and I love this! :) And as Alan gets older, we will give him the option of several sports that he can participate in. I have often daydreamed about which sport he will choose. Will it be baseball? Or football? Will he be a soccer player like Aunt Natalie, or more into track and running like Aunt April?

Whatever he chooses, we will support him. If he ends up having ADHD like his father does, sports will be even MORE beneficial for him! All in all, sports and physical activity is very important in our family. We are and will always be active and healthy! :D

Have you put your toddler in sports yet? If not, do you participate in physical activity with them?

Next week's topic:
Favorite Toddler Craft/ Art Project

Our Easter Sunday 2012

Easter was fantastic this year! Alan, Lon and I had such a wonderful time with our beloved family. What a great way to celebrate love and rebirth. :)

Oddly different from Christmas morning, Alan let us sleep in Easter morning. He didn't wake up to do his first Easter egg hunt until about ten! Which was just AWESOME because we had spent that night up until one or two just preparing the house for the hunt lol. :) We had filled forty eggs for him total, twelve with Cars 2 Squinkies and the remaining with various candies. We had also filled his basket with a Fireman Sam DVD, a giggler toy, a Star Wars light saber candy and a M&M sucker. We hid the eggs starting in his bedroom and making their way to the living room.

Alan did a great job finding all of his eggs! Lon and I just followed him, snapping pictures, while he found egg after egg. Even the ones we actually tried to hide from him lol! He is a regular egg hunting champ! :) He kept stopping and opening each egg after he found it though, resulting in any candy in the egg falling out onto the floor, which Alan would quickly scoop up and eat. :P Lol good thing I vacuumed the day before.

After the hunt, Alan had to find all of his Squinkies and try a piece of each kind of candy we gave him lol. So we sat down and opened all his eggs. He was really surprised to see all that he really had found and really enjoyed helping us open the eggs. :) He loves his Squinkies too! Only a few of them ended up being duplicates of ones he had already had but they were like McQueen and Mater, ones he wouldn't mind having a twin of. :) Then we had a quick breakfast of Easter eggs and bacon (yummy) and headed over to Grandma Melanie's house to do their Easter egg hunt.

At Grandma Melanie's house, Uncle Kalvin was anxiously awaiting our arrival. As soon as we got there, he informed us that the Easter Bunny had already been to their backyard and we were now just waiting on the birthday girl to get herself pretty lol. He wasn't too pleased with Aunt April. :P Finally once everyone was ready, we lined the three kids up at the entrance of their backyard and started the countdown. Grandpa Kevin (Easter Bunny lol) had once again done a great job of layering the egg hunt for the kiddos. Alan had a bunch to find at his level, as did Uncle Kalvin and Aunt April at their own levels. What a great hunt! Lon helped Alan find his eggs, while I took pictures of them. I got some really good ones of the both of them too! Here are a couple of my favorites from it:

We once again had to do inventory of all of the eggs and prizes Alan received before we could leave for Grandma Amber's house lol. :P Alan found maybe twenty eggs on his own, most of them filled with nummy jelly beans and Butterfinger eggs. Then we went to Grandma Amber's for Easter brunch.

For brunch, we had scrambled eggs and bacon with pancakes, fruit and yogurt. Aunt Ariel was there, along with Grandpa Steve and Uncle Chase. Uncle Cameron was unfortunately still in Seattle for school and wasn't able to get time off to come down for Easter. :( Miss you Uncle Cameron! :) Alan chowed down on his eggs and pancakes, but wasn't too into the bacon or fruit. He did a great job on brunch regardless. :) We didn't do any egg hunts at Grandma Amber's but Aunt Ariel and I took Alan outside to play with Buster and Benny for a while. Alan even got to see the ducks who "live" out in front of Grandma Amber's house, according to Aunt Ariel lol. He was pretty excited and chased after them, but then was confused why they didn't stay and instead flew away lol.

Alan took a short nap after that, before we had to head back to Grandma Melanie's house. It was nice for Lon and I to get a few minutes to ourselves in between all the running around we had been doing for the holiday. Wanna know what we did lol? Fell asleep, just like Alan! :P Hey we were pretty beat from the day already lol!

At Grandma Melanie's house, we saw Great Grandma Carol and Great Grandpa Floyd as well as Great Uncle Jerry. We had lasagna for dinner and it was the best! Oh it definitely satisfied my pregnancy craving for now lol! It was also great to see everyone, and they were all so happy to see how much Alan has grown since Christmas! He did a great job showing off to everyone how smart he is lol. Great Grandma Carol especially loved it when Alan drew her a picture on her marker board. It was awesome to see her smile like that at him. :) We took some family pictures and watched Hop on tv again. All in all, we had a great dinner with them and an awesome Easter with everyone! I honestly didn't want it to end lol, that would mean we would have to go back to work and reality lmao! :P Oh well!