Friday, November 30, 2012

I Love How Much They Love Each Other...

Isn't this the most precious couple of pictures you have ever seen? 

Yeah, I came across these two being oh so adorable yesterday morning. Lon was watching them while I did a few loads of laundry during his mid shift break at home. He hollered at me to come look at the kids and I found the cutest two children ever! Alan was gently laying on Anna's belly while she played on her play mat and he was telling her about the loin and their faces in the mirror. He was pretty much explaining reflections to her! I thought it was the sweetest thing ever, I tried to snap a few pictures of them playing but you know how well a mama can hide with a camera lol, before I knew it I had both kids attention. :) But it was still a very sweet moment for the whole family! You can really tell that they love each other so much, and that melts my heart so. 

I love my family! How did I get so lucky? 

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Fifteen Minutes Outside: The Challenge

I have always understood the importance of children being outside on a daily basis. When I was young, my parents would not let us come inside for a while so that we would get out fill of being outdoors. Somedays I hated it, but now I am very grateful for it. I wanted to do a similar thing with my children. Before we moved to this new house, we did not have a yard to play outside. I would try my best to take Alan to parks on a weekly basis but it would not always happen. Now that we have a new yard, I have been trying to take him out more and more.

According to ABC News, nearly half of the children in Alan's age group do not go outside at least once a day. The ones that do usually get their outdoor activities in at daycare or preschool. The remaining 49% who do take their preschoolers outside are usually exercisers themselves. "Parents might not realize the importance of getting preschoolers to exercise when they tend to be thin, but doing so instills good habits that can protect them against childhood obesity later on, Tandon said." Though I have always known the importance of playing outside, I did some more research to find the health benefits. I have found this awesome book, 15 Minutes Outside: 365 Ways to Get Out of the House and Connect with Your Kids by Rebecca P. Cohen that has the same basic idea that I do.

Here is my goal, you can call it an early New Year's Resolution lol: To take Alan outside to play at least once a day for at least 15 minutes, no matter the weather.

This means fifteen minutes of play, so just running errands with my kiddos in tow does not count. I have to take him out, even if its a little snowy and cold, and actually participate. Some days I feel like I just do not put enough effort into parenting. I do not feel like I play with my kids enough. I need to change that. I need to start enjoying my children for who they are, children. Life is all fun and games for a child, how did I forget that? In all this hustle and bustle of my adult life, I must have forgotten the magic of being a kid.

There are many benefits to taking your child outside on a daily basis. Some of these are:

*Vitamin D absorbed from the sunshine

*Burns calories and energy, helping to prevent obesity later in life

*Other health benefits from the activity

*Redirects their energy towards something constructive

*Encourages children to be creative

*Allows children to get rough and dirty without breaking anything

Alan just LOVES to play outside. He has just loved this challenge. We have been participating for about a week now, in the warm weather and the rain and the slush and the snow. Nothing will stop us! :) Here are some fun pictures from our outside adventure earlier this week!

Alan attempting to play in the puddles
How often do your children go outside? Would you participate in the challenge?

Monday, November 26, 2012

Thanksgiving 2012

I have so much to be thankful for, I am still realizing this everyday. I know I have been MIA, but we are still getting our new place figured out. Earlier last week, my cousin Blake and his girlfriend Maddie had their beautiful baby boy. He was born at 5:30 in the evening and is a healthy seven pounds! They named him James. :) What a sweetheart he is! We have yet to meet him but cannot wait! I bet he is just gorgeous!

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving. The children let Lon and I sleep in some and when I woke up, I made a big breakfast of eggs and bacon for everyone. Alan and I made four dozen pumpkin cookies for everyone, it was quite a bit harder than making cupcakes with him. There is a lot more to making pumpkin cookies than just mixing everything into one bowl. But they turned out fabulous nonetheless! Everyone enjoyed them, a complete success!

First, we went to Great Grandma Carol's house. Aunt Carolyn and her whole family were there, including the adorable Miss Sophie. My family had gone to Townsend to meet up with Aunt Natalie.  We missed them so but they had a wonderful time too! Alan had a great time chasing her around and playing with her. They played with all the same toys we did when we were kids. It was pretty cool. Sophie was also very excited to see Anna, since they are buddies. She was even more excited when she found out that Anna was going to eat her first solids. Everyone gathered around her, which worried me because I thought that she would not like all the attention. But she did not care. The most important audience member was there, my Great Grandma Carol. This was our special Thanksgiving and early birthday present to her. And she loved it so much! I enjoyed seeing the happiness on her face as she watched Anna take her first bites. It made my day almost as much as it made hers!

Anna enjoyed her first meal, despite what most people said. She did not spit it out or fuss, she knew that she was eating and she was happy! That girl has wanted to eat since she was born, I swear. She was so happy once she finally got to. Here are my favorites from her first meal:

We also visited Grandma Amber and Grandpa Steve. Aunt Ariel was there, along with Uncle Chase, Uncle Tyler and Aunt Sam. Alan played with the puppy dogs and I chatted it up with my MIL while she cooked dinner. Lon caught up with his brothers too, which was nice. He does not get to talk to them a lot because he is always working so it was good for him. Then it was dinner time. We had two types of turkey, regular and smoked turkey. The smoked turkey was definitely my favorite! We also had mashed potatoes, sweet potatoes, rolls and green bean casserole. Yum! I love Thanksgiving food!

After dinner, we all sat around and talked for hours. We even forgot to have pie, we talked so much! How I love just doing that with my loved ones. :) What a perfect way to end our Thanksgiving! Our Thanksgiving weekend was mostly uneventful, I did not participate in Black Friday and the Nutcracker was sold out early this year. But Saturday, Aunt Natalie came into town and surprised us! We had dinner together and then met up with them for some dessert at Perkins. Alan must have had a little too much fun because he got excited, choked on some spit and then threw up all over my mom and I. It was quite chaotic lol! But we survived at least. And I was so happy to see Aunt Natalie! She has to work Christmas this year so we were afraid that we would not see her this year. I was so happy for the surprise!

I hope everyone else had a wonderful Thanksgiving as well! There is so much to be thankful for! If you liked this post and this blog, please click on the link below to vote for my blog at Top Baby Blogs. I guess that they have reset there listings, so the easier for us to move up with a lot of votes lol! ;) Hint, hint! I am now currently at Number 186, but it would be the coolest to get down to 150. Thanks to everyone who is voting for me!  You are all awesome!

Vote For Us @!

Thursday, November 22, 2012

22 Days of Thankfulness

Happy Thanksgiving!  I thought I would participate in this on my Facebook this year and also post them on here. It is always a good idea to be thankful, not only over November but everyday of every year. But for now, here is my 22 days of thankfulness!

November 1: I am thankful that my family is not affected by Hurricane Sandy. I cannot imagine what some people are going throuhg right now because of that storm. Even though my family is struggling with our move etc., we are at least safe and sound. I pray for anyone affected by Hurricane Sandy. May you all find your way home. Our family does not have alot to give, but we have already donated to funds helping these people. I urge everyone to do the same! Our American brothers and sisters need some help!

November 2: I am thankful for the gas man and MDU today. If not for him stopping by during his lunch break because they were so busy yesterday, we may have moved into our new house too soon and been in somewhat of a dangerous situation. No need to worry anyone, our has just has minor gas leaks that are being taken care of as we speak. We will also not move in until the gas man has stopped by for an inspection once again, just to be on the safe side. We can never protect our little family enough!

November 3: Today I am thankful for my husband. He works 14+ hours almost everyday between two different jobs and yet, still has time to rock Anna to sleep and play monster trucks with Alan. He is always invested in our well being and will be there for us til the end of time. We love you Lon Andersen!

November 4: I'm thankful for my son tonight. He is my first born and gave me the gift of motherhood. I have grown so much because of him and that is only beginning. Alan, you are such an amazing little boy. I can't even begin to describe how smart or awesome you are. You are my life. I love you so.

November 5: Tonight, I am feeling very thankful for my daughter. I never thought I would have a girl, but I could not see my life any other way. Anna, you are such a beautiful child, inside and out. I dream about all the wonderful things we will get to do together as you grow older. You are so smart and tenacious for your age, you never cease to amaze your father and I. We love you to the moon and back baby girl!

November 6: Today I am thankful that I live in a country that cares about my opinion. Even though I dislike politics, I am grateful that we have the freedom to choose our leaders. I am also thankful that as a woman, I am able to vote. There was a time when this was not the case, and there are still places in the world today where this is STILL not the case. I am proud that I voted and thankful for that ability.

November 7: I am thankful for my job. Sometimes it can get stressful but I get to work with kids and my children can stay with me. Plus it gets me out of the house doing something I truly love and live for. Not alot of people can say that. I am one lucky mama and I know it!

November 8: Tonight I am definitely thankful to have heat. We did alot of running around today and I was soooo grateful to come home to a warm house. Especially in this Montanan cold! Brrr!

November 9: Tonight I am thankful for snow. Now some of you may be confused but not only was I raised as a snow bunny, but the way I look at it, at least its just snow and not hurricane aftermath. I am humbly reminded of all the people still without homes tonight because of the hurricane. :/ So all you snow complainers, SHUT UP! Snow is beautiful and I'll take it any day over a hurricane! With that being said, I hope everyone stays warm tonight! Brrrr!

November 10: I am thankful for those who fought for our country and our freedom. They put their lives on hold, left their families behind and are risking themselves on a daily basis. For us. I specifically want to thank my Aunt Mary Lou, cousins Joseph and Anthony, brother-in-laws Cameron, Tyler and Aaron, and any of my friends husbands who are in the military. You guys are the best! I love you all so much!

November 11: I am grateful that we are finally fully moved into our home tonight. Most of you may remember a time last month where we thought we weren't getting this house and I thought we would become homeless. I am so thankful that both of our landlords worked together to get us safely moved from one place to the other! Thank you to everyone who helped us move too! You are all awesome!

November 12: I am thankful for my mother. She is an amazing, wonderful, beautiful person and I love her so much. She helps us out in every way she possibly can, I think she would give the clothes off her back if need be. My children are so very lucky to have her as their grandmother and I am so lucky to call her mom! I love you Mom!

November 13: My father is just as awesome as my mom. I am thankful for him tonight. He is a great dad and the perfect role model for Kalvin and Alan. My dad taught me how to ride dirt bikes and drive a truck. He taught me how to fish and how to hunt. Thanks for all of that dad. I love you so much!

November 14: I have an awesome baby brother and his name is Kalvin. He is the best brother ever, I love him so much! I remember when he was born and every birthday after that. He was the one who taught me how to care for babies and children, I helped raise him with my parents. He is a great uncle to Alan and Anna as well. We all love you Uncle Kalvin!

November 15: I have two wonderful sisters, today I am thankful for my littlest sister April. Somedays, I feel like she is my mini-me and yet others I am reminded that she is definitely her own person. April has taught me to be a girly girl, something I never had thought of before she was my sister. I love you so much April, and I am so thankful for you!

November 16: Tonight I am thankful for my other sister, Natalie. We are as far apart as Alan and Anna are. I think this makes us share a special bond. I love my Natalie, we have grown up together and been through so much while we grew up. I am thankful that she taught me how to share when I was young, that is a trait that I am glad has stuck with me as an adult. We love you Natalie!

November 17: I used to hate technology, but I am very thankful for it today. Without technology, I would not be in constant contact with my loved ones who live all over the world. I would not be able to check the weather on a whim, or cook food in under a minute. I am so grateful for technology and that we have computers. Could you imagine living without them at this point lol?

November 18: I am thankful for modern medicine and technology. Anna has a fever today and without it, we would have never been able to get the information to treat her symptoms. Fevers may seem so minor to us but the truth is, in some countries that could be fatal to a baby. I am glad that I live in a country that has updated medicine and technology!

November 19: I feel blessed because of my past. Without my past, I would not be the person I am today. Parts of it may have felt hopeless or terrible, but those moments are the most bittersweet and precious to me. Those are the times when I grew as a person and learned who really loved me. I am lucky to have experienced my past because it has made me into the wonderful person and mother I am today.

November 20: Tonight I am thankful for babies! My cousin in law had her son tonight and we are so elated for her! Babies make life so happy, yay! We love babies!

November 21: Motherhood is such a beautiful gift, I feel so thankful to be a mom. I was almost a mom in highschool but Alan finally blessed me with this gift in 2009. I love being a mother and cannot imagine my life without my children. I would be so lost lol. Thank you Alan and Anna, you are the best gift anyone could have given me!

November 22: I am thankful for family and fellowship today. It is a very special and precious thing to be with your loved ones, I enjoy it so much.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

This Week in the Andersen Household

Still fixing and figuring out A LOT of things with our new house and I still have yet to get our internet set up at all. Plus, I am so busy dealing with everything, I barely have time to sit down during the day, let alone write a blog post. Le sigh... But we are still here, still alive and still HAPPY, so that is good. Here is what has been happening with us this week.

Let me say, I love where I work!! 

I love that my job has occasional little perks like getting ballon swords and shields blown for your three year old... FOR FREE!!!! This was Alan's treat I brought home from work this last Saturday. Yeah, I knew there was a reason I worked there lol! Not really, there are many other reasons, but the perks are just wonderful!

One way to find out if you stay at home too much??? You take pictures of fallen towels because they look artistic to you. Check!

We have been having unbelievable amounts of problems with this new house. I do not even want to fully go into it yet, for fear that we may end up with even more. I am starting to feel like this house might not have been the best idea but I still love it so much, I am having a hard time dealing with it. This last week, our basement flooded with sewage water. It destroyed more than half of our laundry, our Christmas tree, most of our shoes, our baby fence and several other baby things from Alan that we had been saving for Anna. I was pretty devastated over the whole thing, I mean I had just stocked up Alan's and Anna's winter clothes. Almost all of Alan's clothes were destroyed, he has maybe three pairs of pants now. It has really opened our eyes up to the necessities in life and how they are the only important things in life.

Lon felt bad that our tree was destroyed, he thought and thought for a few days of a way to make up for it. He wanted it to still be special for us. He finally came up with the coolest idea, something that I will definitely be Pinterest'ing in a later post! But for now, here is our 2D tree!

We are one day away from Thanksgiving, and all the excitement that comes with it! Oh how I love holidays, it is an excuse for everyone to be as happy and loving as I am everyday lol! I love to spend time with my family too! This year, my family will be going up to Townsend to see my grandparents, aunts and uncles. I will be missing them tons, as well as my Broadwater County family. But our Thanksgiving will be quite busy and exciting as well! We plan on going to Grandma Amber's house and Great Grandma Carol's house for our Thanksgiving meals. Not to mention, it will be Anna's first time eating solids! We got the approval from her pediatrician, who we LOVE by the way, we just cannot wait! I will be sure to post some pictures! She is such a big girl!

Look at her, wearing a dress with tights!
That is what is up with our family this week! I hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! I know that we will!

Friday, November 16, 2012

Snowy Adventures

It snowed over the weekend. We were the last people in Montana to have a snowfall, I think Missoula got it first, but we got it pretty light thankfully. The day started out with light rain and ended with heavy snowfall. By the next morning, there was a blanket of snow all over the ground. Alan was so excited when he saw it falling, it was almost like he had never seen snow. I guess it was a year ago that he last saw snow and he was really little. :) But the first words out of his mouth that morning was, "Mama, let's go play in the snow!!" He could not even wait for his snow pants to be washed. My little snow lover, he is just like his mama!

We went outside for maybe only twenty minutes but by the time we were done, there was not a bit of snow untouched in our yard. Alan ran from one fence to the other, all around his tree and chased after me with snowballs. He would trip and fall face first into the snow, giving himself a "white wash" (I think that's what we called it when we were kids?) and loving every moment of it. I have never heard him so hysterical. Even when he was all covered in snow and cold, he did not want to go inside! I had to bribe him with a warm bath and some hot chocolate to get him inside. Silly little man!

What do you like to do during winter?

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

Moving Out and Moving On

I did not anticipate it being so hard to move out of our old place, but it was. We had previously lived there for two years, moved in when Alan was still a baby. I had picked it out, it was my baby. I loved the bay windows, the fireplace, the whole house. It was 105 years old but full of life and character in my opinion. It was our third apartment to live in as a couple but our first to move into with two bedrooms. Alan pretty much grew up in that house. It was the first and only house he remembers living in. A lot of memories were made in those several rooms.

I discovered how truly hard it was to move while moving. I was packing up various things in Alan's room, when I remembered all the nights I spent with Alan in his room: dressing him, rocking him to sleep, playing with him and comforting him when he woke up scared at night. Alan took his first bath in this bathtub. He learned how to use the potty with that toilet. This was MY child's childhood home and we were getting rid of it! I had to take a break from packing then.

Cleaning the place after we had fully moved out seemed even harder. I kept making up excuses to not clean or to leave the house earlier, subconsciously because I did not want to end this. Cleaning was closure for this apartment and I was no where near ready for that. I remember crying while scrubbing the wall that Alan chose to make his canvas, hating that I had to end it. Maybe I am a little over emotional about it (my mom and sister would call me emo, I hate that word lol) but I just keep thinking about how my parents still live in my childhood home and I can see it whenever I please. I'm not sure how I would feel if they did not anymore, but that is not the case.

I think our landlord had just as much of a hard time with us moving as we did. Our landlord literally watched Alan grow up from a baby to a preschooler and was there through Anna's pregnancy with us. He is an older gentleman and all of his family hails from the East Coast, so he took a liking to us. We exchanged Christmas cards and trick or treated at his house every year. My landlord did ask us to continue doing these things and we promised him we would. He is kinda like a third grandpa to our kids! We do love him!

Alan loves that he has two doors to his bedroom!
I am grateful though that we are finally fully moved out of that place. It does feel good to be in our new place now, on our own. I love to wake up in the morning and walk around the house before anyone else does. I love that its all hardwood floors, I can now clean them while Anna naps! And I just LOVE that we have our own house and our own yard. Alan can now play outside on a daily basis! Too awesome.

Even though I will always love that old house, I am glad that we have finally moved out and moved on. This time around, the change does feel good.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Anna Ariel: Four Months Old

I am quite late on posting but we got rid of internet at our new place, so my posting options have become limited. I do not want to abandon this blog though, so here we go! Be sure to tune in the rest of this week for more updates on our family!

At four months old, Anna Ariel:

*Weighs 10 pounds and 14 ounces and is 25 1/2 inches long.

*Has grayish blue eyes just like her brother's and dark red-ish auburn hair. Its down to her shoulders blades now too!

*Can sit up against the corner of our couch with supervision! It makes her feel like such a big girl! She loves it!

*Can now sit up only slightly supported. She is so strong with her little core now! I think she is almost ready for a jumper!

*Has her own little language she uses to communicate with us now. She will tell us a whole story or cuss us out when she is angry. I love it so much!

*Can roll from her back to her belly and the other way too. And NOW, it does not scare her when she does it lol. Big girl!

*Is still primarily breastfeeding. She is still supplemented with bottles, but I am proud to say she mostly drinks breast milk!

*Can lift almost all of her chest off the ground when she is on her tummy. She is so beyond ready to crawl now, its not even funny! Maybe another month or two for that lol!

*Wants to start eating solid food! We cannot hold her while eating anymore, she tries to eat all of our food! I asked her doctor if it was okay to start feeding her and she said we could by Thanksgiving! So Anna's first dinner will be on Thanksgiving! How special!

*Can pull her feet up to her mouth to eat them. She just did this for the first time last night. I got so excited!

*Loves to be held. She still does not like her bouncer or anything yet. I am hoping she will start to like them soon, it will only be a few more months until she does not need them anymore!

*Has refined her limb movement greatly. She can now grasp and catch things with ease.

*Uses her legs as a communication tool. She will kick her legs in specific patterns when she is happy or upset. It is so funny to hear it accompany her coos!

Thursday, November 8, 2012

Anna's Three Month Photos

I attempted to take Anna's three month old photos just before Halloween. I say attempted because in my  opinion, they did not turn out as nice as I had wished but they were good enough. For Alan's three month photos, we put him in a stocking as it was so close to Christmas. I love those pictures and wanted to try and think of something equally cool. That's when I thought of the pumpkins.

I figured we would cut out little holes on the bottom of the pumpkin and put her in it like a Bumbo seat. Well after trying this with not a lot of luck (I kept getting her stuck in it and upset) we decided to just take pictures with her next to it. So here are the first set of pictures, unedited still. I will posted the edited versions later.

I like the way the natural sunlight makes shadows on everything, this makes for a cool effect when I edited them. I think they turned out pretty decent, for how crazy the whole photo shoot was. Here is the edited versions too:

I hope everyone enjoys them, I like them soooooo much better now that they are edited! So pretty!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Cordelia's Halloween Birthday Party

I have also neglected posting about Cordelia's party, in addition to posting about our moving problems, because I have yet to develop the pictures from the party and correlate them with the ones her mama Heather took. But I have the pictures from Heather, so I guess now is as good of a time as ever to do this post. I need to stop slacking! Well... maybe once I am unpacked.

Anna's friend Cordelia had her first birthday party last month. Since she is a Halloween baby, her party was Halloween themed. All of the children dressed in costumes, ate creepy Halloween food and played some spooky games. Cordelia's older sister, Tatum and Alan ran all over the house, terrorizing the younger children. They were wild but had quite the fun time. Heather was so creative, she used lots of Pinterest projects to make many different Halloween snacks. There were peanut butter eyeballs, pretzel spiderwebs, apple and marshmellow toadstools and even jello worms! I loved how cool everything looked and how yummy it all was!

We had quite a fun time at Cordelia's party. It is fun to get together with everyone and just let the kids play together. I love it! Happy birthday Cordelia!

Tuesday, November 6, 2012

Month in Review: October 2012

October was a good month for my family. We participated in several fall activities, found a new place to move into, celebrated my two year blogiversary, I worked Color me Rad and we even had some Halloween fun! What a busy month! Here's what we did:

This month we celebrated Lon's birthday and Uncle Aaron's birthday. Alan and I made Lon a birthday card and birthday cupcakes, and we got him some new clothes for his birthday. Anna's friend Cordelia also celebrated her first birthday, she had a fun costume party at her house for it. Mama Heather made so much cool food, it was so awesome! I also celebrated my two year blogiversary, along with it came some new changes to my blog. Hope everyone likes it! Its not a big anniversary but Lon and I also celebrated our year and a half wedding anniversary. We are pretty excited to have made it a year and a half! :D We hope for at least sixty more years! We also celebrated Halloween this year. Alan is old enough to enjoy Halloween and we could not wait to do all the fun things we did! We went to Healthy Halloween with Kelton and Kelsie, had a Halloween party at Alan's school and then went trick or treating with Uncle Kalvin and Aunt April. What a fun Halloween!

Fall had officially begun in the Big Sky, so Alan and I played with the fallen leaves and helped Grandpa Kevin rake up his yard to start out the season! We got the official okay on our new house and started moving in later this month! I love our new house, its perfect for our family! My cousin in law Maddie had her baby shower, a cute Winnie the Pooh themed party, this month. It was so much fun to see her! She is such a little cutie! I was able to hang out with another pregnant mama too before she gave birth on October 29th, Miss Jessica and I took our families (minus Lon, who had to work) to the corn maze for some fall fun! Alan loved the whole time he spent with Carly and her cousins, he loved the hay bale jungle gym! I also got to experience the beauty of Color me Rad this month, by working with the blue crew throwing the cornstratch. COOLEST THING EVER!!!!!!!!!!

Even though we were preparing to move houses, I had quite a lot to think about and write this month. I wrote about baby wearing and my love for it. Anna enjoys it almost as much as I do, which is a bonus! I reviewed the new television show The Week The Women Went and explored life on the "greener grass" side. I shared my own version of three bean chili with you readers. I hope some of you have tried it, we have at least once since I posted it! Yum! I also shared our weird milk substitutions for cereal. There are some weird things but the household favorite was peanut butter. I showed you an interesting breast feeding chart that I found on Facebook. How many of these breast feeding positions have you tried with your children???? I also broke my vow of non-materialism for Buddhism by desiring a specific piece of nest jewelry. Maybe for Christmas? And finally, I had my first book review in almost a year, for the Hunger Games. What a fantastic book, I cannot wait for the second one!

There was a lot to share about Alan and Anna this month. After getting Anna's newborn pictures finally developed, I shared hers and Alan's newborn pictures to compare. Anna turned three months old October seventh and has started trying to crawl, sit up and eat food! Crazy girl! She has been having some slight weight gain issues, which have thankfully been corrected. She is back to her regular gaining schedule now and we are very thankful for this! I compared the songs I used to sing with Alan to the songs I sing to Anna now. Several of them are different but most of them are the same. I thought about the importance of motherhood to me and how my life has changed since having children. Since it was Halloween, we held our first annual Guess My Halloween Costume Game. I gave you readers five clues before revealing their costumes after Halloween. Here is the first, second, third, fourth and fifth clues for the GMHC Game!

What a great month October was! I hope that November is just as good! It is the month to be thankful, so it very well should be!

Monday, November 5, 2012

Moving Challenges

Friday, I said that I would post about all of our current moving challenges and obstacles we have faced this past month with our dream house. Well if irony would not have it, we had even MORE challenges and obstacles presented to us this whole weekend. Thus making it near to impossible for me to even have a chance to write this post, let alone actually proof and post it. Ugh life is so difficult lately. I remind myself daily that we are in soooooooooooooooooooooooooo much better of shape than a lot of those living on the East Coast, but I still find myself occasionally slipping and complaining. Its frustrating, really. To prevent myself from just completely sounding like a cry baby whiner, I have been with holding information from you, my readers, again. I am sorry, I seem to keep doing that. What I am realizing is that this is not really whining, this blog is a form of a venting system for me as well as a chronicle of my life. Looking back on my life so far, I enjoy remembering the hard times because they were the most precious, the most raw moments of my life. They are the moments that truly helped me grow as an adult and as a person. I cherish those moments now. I need to remember to chronicle the good times and the bad times, trying not to sugar coat it too much. I know that you readers are loyal, you will not abandon me because I have a bad day. So I will share with you now all of our moving challenges.

Remember this post from earlier this month? Yeah that was technically when we got the place. Almost a whole month ago. I put in our month notice for our current place (which I had to do at that time period anyways, because we refused to sign another lease on this place) and we started packing. Our new landlord mentioned there were some things that needed to be fixed and that it would take around a week to "turn over" the place. We were okay with that. We continued with all the usual moving preparations- countless address changes, box packing, decluttering and donation, switching utilities over into our name. We waited that week and then called him. Our landlord informed us that it would be another week due to a carbon monoxide leak in the furnace. He needed a replacement piece and was waiting on that. We assured him it was okay, we would definitely rather be safe and have everything fixed before moving our family in, but reminded him of our deadline. He told us to call back in a week.

A week later, I gave him a call and his news was grim. He said the place would not be ready until the first due to the replacement part just arriving. I told him that it would not work for us to move out on the first, we had to be out of this place by then and I needed to do my own turn over cleaning. He promised me that he would bust it out for us. I was skeptical of this, as a parent, so I found a back up duplex for us to move into at a cheaper price. It was no where near as nice as my dream house but it would have sufficed for us. I even let the landlrd know that this was only an option. I waited for our landlord's call and none came. So we started to prepare to move into this new place. That night before we signed the lease, our new landlord called, telling us the place was finally fixed. I called the other landlord, letting her know that our place had opened up. She was very happy for us. We prepared to move again.

Monday night, I signed the lease and recieved the keys to our house. It finally felt like ours. I remember being so very happy at that moment and feeling like we would move in by Halloween. How wrong was I. :/

That night, I had my friends Chelsea, Kelsie and her husband Keith help me move a few loads over. It smelled a little gassy in there, but I assumed it was due to being closed up after the leak had been fixed. I aired the place out and thought nothing more of it. Tuesday night, my father and my cousin Blake helped me move a few loads over and it once again smelled slightly gassy. My father and Blake both commented on it. My father told me to leave the windows open overnight and then do a carbon monoxide reading with our alarm the next morning. I decided to not do much with the house over Halloween, except for closing the windows and checking the smell. Once again, it stank of gas.

Thursday, I called our gas company and had the gas man meet us at the house for an inspection. Our jeep has officially broke down and we are still waiting on the Cadillac to be fully fixed (hopefully the end of next week), so we had to walk over to the new house. And I spaced completely as usual, leaving Anna's stroller at the new house. So we walked the ten whole blocks in the cold carrying Anna and occasionally Alan. Needless to say, it stunk to the maximum. But we got there and met up with the gas man, which I am so grateful for now. He did a inspection and discovered that all the carbon monoxide leaks had been taken care of but there were two minor gas leaks, that were still dangerous. He showed me where they were and what to do so I could show our landlord.

So this is where we are now: we have been waiting over the weekend for our landlord to fix the problems, camping out in our living room with all of the other rooms spotless at this point. Today we are having the gas man come back to make a follow up inspection and we will go from there. Please pray we can move in soon, we only have until the seventh at our old place!

Friday, November 2, 2012

Five Question Friday! November 2, 2012

Happy Friday everyone! I am sooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo very delighted to say that today is one of our last days in this old house! We only have beds in our living room right now, from our co-sleeping adventure last night (for another post lol) and we will be moving them out Monday! We just need the MDU gas man to give us the okay on our house. We have had a lot of problems with this house we are moving into (I will write a post about this today) so I am very glad that we have finally gotten everything fixed and can move in! Hooray! Not much else going on today or this weekend, just a ton of unpacking and cleaning the old apartment. I might try and take a break to visit my friend Jessica, who had her second baby last Monday, or take Alan to a park but other than that, just unpacking!

With all of this moving we are doing, I am reminded how lucky my family is to have possessions to move right now. In some places arcoss the states, there are people who do not have anything right now. There are people who are still lost and maybe will never make it home. Yes I am talking about Hurricane Sandy. This is a very humbling thought to me. Because of this, we are not only moving this week but decluttering our family from unneccessary materials and donating them to those in need. I have clothing for a whole family, food and some other small neccessities that we will be shipping to the East Coast. I urge everyone who is safe and away from the storms to do the same.

Those people need our help right now. I beg you, please give everything you can. Our family does not have much but we have provided a whole family with materials, love and support. You can do the same. Still praying for everyone affected.

In other news still, we are going over to my parent's house for a good ol' Friday Fish Fry after we move our last non-neccessity load over to the new house. I have not had fish since before I got pregnant (not counting the salmon I had in the hospital with Anna because... I said so) so I am one excited mama! I seriously love fish, it is the only "seafood" I will eat! Lobster, crab, squid and all those other weird things gross me out but I grew up fishing the lakes of Montana, and then eating my catch and feeling like ten million bucks. Yeah, those were the days. Mental note: take Alan and Anna fishing when they get old enough. Can you tell I am excited???

Here is Five Question Friday!

What terrifies you the most?
Honestly? Anything happening to my children.

That is my biggest fear. I could deal with all the hatred, negativity, fire, death, disease, and destruction in this world as long as it never affected my children. But really, the only nightmares I ever have are about something happening to my kids. I love them to much to let anything ever happen to them!
Favorite fall/winter drink?
Around this time of the year is when I start getting back into drinking chai teas hot instead of on ice. I usually prefer them on ice except for this one time of year, like November until January. I do not know why, probably just the cold that Montana brings with it every winter.

Do you and your spouse have the same political views?
Oh FQF, this is the SECOND time you have had me post about politics, after I already promised myself I would not post about them. I do not believe they belong on this blog, as it is my family blog. Politics are dirty and have no place on my blog. But for the sake of FQF, I will answer this one question and post about them again. Thank goodness its only four days away now!

My husband and I do have the same political views. We both are pretty liberal and though we never discuss who we plan on voting for beforehand, we always end up voting for the same people or things. We think that much alike lol.

 What was the last book you read? Was it any good?
 The last book I read was the Hunger Games. I posted a review of it on here. And yes, I just loved it! What a great book, I cannot wait until I can get the second book to read! Ahhhhh the suspense!

Do you look forward to the snow each winter? Why or why not?
Being a Montanan, I do love the snow! I was raised as a snow bunny, my family used to go ice fishing and ski and sled and go snowmobiling all the time when we are kids. Its kind of built into me. I usually cannot wait for the first snow each year but this year I am a little reluctant, only because Anna is still so young and so tiny. But I know that Alan will really enjoy the snow and Winter this year, I cannot wait to experience that!


I hope that everyone has a great weekend! Ours will most definitely be filled with unpacking and housewarming! Yay!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Anna's First Halloween

We had a good Halloween this year. Alan was finally old enough to truly enjoy everything and it was Anna's first Halloween. To answer all my curious readers, Alan was the Incredible Hulk and Anna was a cupcake. :) I dressed up as Anna's birthday girl and she was my cupcake.

I woke up Hallween morning to this wonderful post on Facebook from a great friend. I instantly shared it on my own page, but for those of you who are not my friends, here is the post:

Tomorrow, a lot of creatures may visit your door. Be open minded. The child who is grabbing more than one piece of candy might have poor fine motor skills. The child who takes forever to pick out one piece of candy might have motor planning issues. The child who does not say "trick-or-treat" or "thank you" might be painfully shy, non-verbal, or selectively mute. If you cannot understand their words, they may struggle with developmental Apraxia of speech. They are thankful in their hearts and minds. The child who looks disappointed when he sees your bowl might have a life-threatening allergy. The child who isn't wearing a costume at all might have Sensory Processing Disorder or Autism. Be kind, be patient, smile, pretend you understand. It's everyone's Halloween. Make a parent feel good by making a big deal of their special child. :)
I just love it! Is that not the total truth? I think so! I hope everyone remembers this every Halloween! Here are the kids' costumes. Do you not love Alan's? We hand made it ourselves and did not spend a dime! Looks almost professional though! :P

I took a break from moving to take Alan to Healthy Halloween at the YMCA for the day. It was the first Healthy Halloween I did not have to work, I was pretty excited. We trick or treated around the gym, saying hi to all of Alan's work buddies. Everyone loved Alan and Anna's costumes. Then we checked out the Halloween games in the Thomas Kids Gym. There were several fun little games for the kids- a ring toss, bean bag throw, tick tack toe game and even some cardboard cutouts to pose with. Alan had a blast and got a cool prize from each game. He would only pose next to Donkey from Shrek though, the other ones he refused to stand next to for some reason.

We took a little shuttle bus around downtown to go trick or treating too. We trick or treated at Babcock Theatre, Bajon's Books, Good Earth Market, and the police department before walking the rest of the way home. Alan's favorite was the police department. Thankfully, Anna slept the whole time around but we were all exhausted by the time we got home.

After taking a little nap, it was time for work. Alan got to wear his Hulk costume to school, he was very excited to show his friends. His BFF Korbin ended up not dressing up like the Hulk as well, he dressed up like Darth Maul, but one of his other friends dressed up as the Hulk. His other two friends were Batman and Robin. A bunch of superheros at school! :) No one showed up to my first hiphop class but I had two girlies show up to the second. We finished learning the rest of Thriller and preformed it for their parents. I thought it ended up really good and the parents loved it! What a good idea I had for a fun Halloween class.

We had a quick dinner of pizza delivered by none other than Aunt Sam herself, she loved that she got to see Anna in her cupcake costume with Grandma Melanie. We put everyone's pumpkins out, including Alan's spooooooky pumpkn lol. Then we went around the block with Grandpa Kevin, Uncle Kalvin and Aunt April. This was the first year Alan really wanted to go trick or treating. He was so excited, he would not stay with the group. I finally convinced him to hold my hand and we were set. After that, all Alan wanted to do was knock on the door. He would even knock a second time if Uncle Kalvin had already knocked. No one minded though and we had a fantastic time!

We did not get a chance to visit Grandma Amber and Grandpa Steve but we had a make up Halloween visit with them today. Instead we went to Great Grandma Carol and Great Grandpa Floyd. It was so awesome to see them, its been since Alan's birthday that they have seen the kids. I laid Anna on the floor to let her show them how she can roll over now and how close she is to crawling. I am not sure who enjoyed it more, Great Grandma Carol or Great Grandpa Floyd. It made them so happy though, I loved every minute of it! After a while, Great Aunt Carolyn and Great Uncle Rick brought cousins Julie and Sophie over to trick or treat. Sophie was dressed up as a pirate and Julie was a starving college student lol. :) Alan was excited to see Sophie but he was a little rough with her. He knocked her over on accident a few times.

Sophie was all about Anna though. I did not realize that she would be soooooo into her, but she would not leave her side! She kept petting her head and talking so sweetly to her. It melted my heart! I have not heard Sophie talk to much either, the last time we saw her was her second birthday party in June. She was not talking as much then! She is quite the little chatterbox now. How cool! I love watching kids grow up! And I am so glad that Anna already has a little buddy in her cousin Sophie! Very cool!

Halloween was the best this year! We had such a great time! I hope everyone else did too! Happy Halloween everyone! :D How was your Halloween?