Saturday, June 30, 2007

Adios, Amigos! :)

A few pics for your "viewing pleasure" :) Here I am with my "Shelba"...and my new "do" :) I am really liking it and it's so simple to do...just a quick hairdry and whalaa! (photography by Hailey :))
Since I can't post a 4th of July post (boohoo!)...I thought I'd at least post a pic of our lil' family last year on the stairs of our cabin on Independence Day!
Ah, and here is my much promised pics of our "favorite bicycling buddies"...good ol' Dave, Heather and Ethan (and hopefully our next pic can have Abby and Emily in it too) We love riding all over with you guys!!!! Here we are on one of our neat bridges near our house (on our trail). Look at us "hard core cyclists"...we're awesome!
Here's the "lil' best buds" in their lil cart....awwww...how cute are they?! They just have a good ol' time chatting away (or arguing) while either Dave or Heather pulls them...
A kind of scary pic of my awesome bud, Heather, and I (which I'm sure she'll be excited I posted :)) after our first bike ride together....look at the new muscles we gained...wow, we're just "ripped"!
A pic of "the boys" (Dave, Ethan, Kev and lil' D)...after the ride...look at those manly, men...and yes, Dylan was thirsty :)....and below is our special b-day (surprise) dinner with my wonderful and dear friend (40 year old) Kim this past week! Her hubby bought us all an amazing dinner (and her family in PA even called in some shots for us...so we had some yummy drinks too :))...it was my first "girls night out" since, well, I can't ever remember having one...maybe at my bachelorette party? It was long overdue and very fun! Wish I could "highlight more about Kim" today, but I'm plum out of time...so all I can say is, Happy B-day, Kim!

Well, it's about 5am on Sat. morning and we're "raring to go"...ok, so that's not exactly true...it's gonna be a few hours (or more)...but we're getting there and so excited to be almost on the road!

Anyway...I just wanted to post really quick and say "Adios, goodbye" and "I'll miss ya'll!"

Yesterday was a crazy, busy day....don't even know where to start, but it was full of the normal last-minute packing, running errands (i.e. oil change where the girls had their first encounter with twinkies...yumm!), Hailey had her last day of art camp and her art show (her stuff was so cute and she was proud of it), Shelby was still in rare (normal?) form (got a few spankings), we stayed up too late, blah, blah, blah. The girls are all excited...talked about the trip all day. They even made a few funny remarks....Hailey told her friend in the car that we were going to "North Carolina, which is kinda of like the North Pole, but not really" (ha!) to which I had to explain a little about "the differences of those two Norths" :) And lil' Shelba...she was just chatting away about "bemembering" (remembering) the cabin and the creek and Nina playing in the creek, etc, etc....it was "I bemember this" and "I bemember that" (ha!). Anyway...so they are stoked and ready to go! Gonna be a long drive today (8 hours), but we'll be excited the whole way. My dear, sweet grandma will probably be in the hospital 'til at least Monday, but she's doing better. They are slowly getting her electrolytes (mainly Na) back up. I don't think I mentioned they diagnosed her with SIADH, which is a fancy acronym for a "messed up Antidiurectic hormone"...which if I understand right was possibly caused by her depression, which messed with her hormones and in turn messed with her urinary output and that messed with her electrolytes. The docs were surprised she never had any seizures cuz her sodium (Na) was soooo low. Anyway....so sorry for all the slang about her condition, but I don't have time to explain it all properly...nor have I had time to really research it like I'd like. But, she's resting comfortably and hopefully getting better and we are relieved and thankful her condition is treatable. We look forward to seeing her soon.

Well, I'd love to post more, but I was just getting online to say "Adios" and "fond farewell". Hopefully I'll be back to blogging in a week or so, but who knows. And don't forget about me this week. Picture me sitting on the porch swing just enjoying the noise of the rushing creek and breathing that fresh mountain air. Love ya'll and I'll miss ya'....and thanks to those friends (ehem...Jill and Heather) who are helping out with our "household duties" (aka, Phil and sprouts/plants")...you guys are the best! I hope you all have a wonderful and spendid week and a fabulous 4th of July holiday....and a Happy Birthday shoutout to my wonderful friend, Kim.....she turns the big 4-0 today! She should be in New Jersey by now after her long flight last night with her family....I pray she's has a great day today! And early happy b-day wishes to my Aunt Sue who's b-day is next week! Special hugs to you guys! Adios!

Thursday, June 28, 2007

Have I mentioned I need a VACATION!?


Ok, so the week has gotten progressively worse. I don't know what it is, but I think I have "stress-out person" tatooed on my forehead and everyone is trying to make it worse! Maybe it was a bad idea to admit my anxiety issues earlier this week cuz that has call come back to bite me in the butt...I am not coping well and not dealing with everything like I should! Anyway....it's 3pm and both kids are still awake...Shelby just spilled a huge bowl of spaghettios all over my good carpet in the kitchen...not to mention she was in rare form at the grocery store (she was licking the cart...and when I told her DON'T DO THAT!...she looked at me...licked it again and then stuck out her tongue at me....after me reprimanding her I again got my daily does of "I don't like you, mom, you soooo mean!")....anyway....she can sure push my buttons...now I'm just waiting for some raging infection to come her way due to her big ol' "lickage of the cart"...it will serve her right if she gets sick on our vacation (though I'll be the one dealing with it...lucky me!).

Then of course...guess what happens when I get home...two things that I paid for are not in my bags :( Great! It's pouring down rain and now I have to go back and get two meesly things with my tired, crabby kids who like to lick carts :( It's just been one of those weeks and it shows me more than ever how much I need this vacation coming up! I think I've called Kev like every hour today...he must think I'm nuts and I know he's worried about my sanity. If it's not been one thing it's been another (i.e. our neighbor's dog is lose again and keeps running in our house and almost got hit by a car twice....I won't even go into how I feel about that....not cool to have a lil' puppy roaming the neighborhood hiding under people's cars and almost getting run over!) Ok...so, that's my rant today. You'd think I was hormonal, but really I'm not....it's just been one of those weeks! Though on a positive note Shelby did use some good ol' fashioned English manners today after the little noodle fiasco...she was sitting in the high chair (her naughty spot)...and all of a sudden she said (in her most serious voice) "I have something I need to tell you, mom...I'm sooooo sorry" :) Awww...in the midst of the chaos and mess...I told her I was proud of her for apologizing, cuz I think that was a big thing for our lil' Shelba to do :) So, don't worry...it's hasn't been all bad....I did see the sun shine through briefly today :)

And my whole purpose for blogging today was actually not to rant and rave (sorry)...but to ask for prayers for my sweet grandma. I know I told you she was in NC now with my aunt (and her sister)....and that she has been struggling. Well, things have progressively gotten worse and this morning was so bad (she was not very coherent, was wheezing badly and actually fell out of bed...my aunt found her on the floor)...so my aunt and great-aunt took her to the hospital in Asheville (an hour away) and she has been admitted for 3-4 days. They gave her some breathing treatments and have her on oxygen and he O2 sats are in the 90's again, so that's a relief (ok, so that's probably complicated medical terms for some...but you want your oxygen saturation to be in the upper 90's or 100...hers were in the 80's)...so, she's doing better with that and I know they were doing more tests and x-rays on her lungs (for her chronic lung problems). But, they found she has a bad electrolyte imbalance and that is probably why she's been so incoherent and confused. I am so relieved as electrolyte imbalances are fairly simple to fix with IV fluids. So, I just wanted to lay my heart out there and ask for thoughts and prayers for her as she rests and "gets back to normal" in the hospital. Hopefully she'll be back at the cabin this weekend so we can see her there. And please pray for my Aunt Mary too...she is just one of the kindest people you will ever meet and she puts her whole heart and soul into taking care of my grandma. She is an amazing daughter to her. I hope I would be the same for my own mom :) So, please just be thinking of them and for all of my family as we start traveling (my parent's leave early tomorrow morning and are going to see my grandpa's grave site up in Northern FL and then they will spend some time at my bro's in GA) We are all getting excited to see each other and relax...and we all need this time to just CHILL OUT! :) I'll probably post one more time briefly tomorrow! Hugs to everyone today! :)

(fyi...the above pic is my grandma G...with my two cousins, Eric and Celyn, and, of course, Hailey...I love this pic taken on my b-day this year in FL...when we went to Butterfly World :))

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

I need a vacation...

A trip down memory lane...in NC....here we are at our favorite creek, Big Creek. I always thought it was in TN cuz you actually do cross the border into TN to get to it, but I do believe you cross back over again into NC so I guess I was always wrong? Anyway...we love this creek and it's always an annual picnic trip and the kids love to look for bugs and butterflies and some of the "crazy ones" (my hubby...and sometimes me :)) even swim in the freakin' frigid water! But, it's so fun to hop on the big rocks and just enjoy the scenery :)
The kiddos in their red, white and blue garb last 4th of July on our favorite porch swing on our cabin porch :)
Oh my, how this little guy has changed in 1 year! What a sweet lil' firecracker!
Me and my honey at the big ol' waterfall (Mingo Falls) in Cherokee :)
This is our annual carving spot at the bridge by Mingo falls...good ol' Pops (my dad) always does a carving for each new child and this last year we added Dylan and also added a memorial for my grandpa who passed away (thus the RIP Dad)...we always look forward to seeing it every year :)
This is a pic from 2003 of us all by the "old cabin"...look how young we all look! :) And us with only Hailey :)
This is a new annual fun event "girls day out"....last year my aunt took Hailey and my cousin Celyn out and they got all matching stuff from outfits and hair to matching grown-up purses and face painting. This year Shelby gets to join in the fun!
Above is the cabin we rent with my parents and my brother and his wife-to-be :) It's an awesome place and overlooks the creek...we love it!
Shelby learned to walk for the first time at my grandparents cabin (as you can see)....this was 2 years ago...sigh...times fly!
This was 2005...we try to take a family portrait at my grandparent's cabin each year...I don't have last year's for some reason, but this one has my grandpa in it anyway (and Dylan in utero)....it's a beautiful cabin and the flowers are amazing too....such great memories!
Had to show Kev sporting his "manly side" HA! He's actually a "good shot"...I'm not so good, but it's still fun (FYI...we don't shoot at anyone or any animal...intentionally :))
Us overlooking the mountains...Maggie Valley is right by the Blue Ridge Parkway and it's an amazing drive...look at those Smoky Mountains! Breath-taking!
An old pic of Nina and the girls (Celyn and Hailey) playing in the creek by our cabin...they love it!
I love this old pic from 2005...of some of the boys in my family...this is at the Big Creek...the bridge over it....
And we usually let the kids get horse/pony rides...it's usually this same OLD horse too! And below is my bro getting ready to go horseback riding...we went like 3 years ago with my bro and Candy....good times :)

Ok, so that's a common saying around our house, but I'm excited to say "my need" will actually be coming true in just 3 more days! Whohoo! In honor and celebration of our upcoming annual 4th of July trip to the good ol' fashioned town of Maggie Valley I thought I'd post a few pics of our past trips. That way for those of you who will miss me (which will be everybody, I'm sure! :)) and shed some tears that I'm not blogging for a whole week...you can look at these pics of me and smile as you imagine me in the midst of this beautiful peaceful mountain scene. We have had so many good times over the years in good ol' Maggie Valley, NC. I don't even know when we honestly started going there (I was very young), but I just remember my grandparents first cabin there (or at least I think it was their first)...it was a small little thing tucked neatly about halfway up the mountain and I still remember all the good times we had there....on the gazebo across the road overlooking the amazing stream...all the cookouts...all the family times...all the peacefulness. And we still get to do some of those things at that same little cabin (part of my family rents it out every year). But then my grandparents built an even bigger and better cabin farther up the mountain with the most amazing view...it really is breathtaking. I wish I had better pictures cuz it really is amazing. It's the most relaxing place...so enjoyable to just sit and breathe the fresh mountain air, watch the hummingbirds eat from the feeders and just relax. I can't wait...can't wait for the fun times we're gonna have there in a few days with my extended FL family cooking out, shooting off fireworks (we always have a lavish display put on by all the boys)...it's quite a show....and then all the fun times playing/swimming in creeks, horseback-riding, picnicing, climbing a million stairs to get to a beautiful waterfall, shooting guns (yes, even I do this...what a woman!) :)...among many other fun things. The times are always good...and they always go by too fast...and now there is sadness mixed in as we remember the love my grandpa had for his mountain home and the pride he felt seeing all his family gathered there. Those are the times I will remember and miss. My grandpa was in his element in NC...and that is where I will remember him being happiest. Those times I hold close to my heart. Today I just ask for a prayer... prayer for my grandma. She and my aunt are already at the cabin (they just drove up there from FL)...and my grandma is having a really, really hard time. She has had a rough couple months just reliving my grandpa's death and she just simply needs prayer....prayer for her mood to lift, prayer for her strength and will to live...prayer for her health (she has chronic lung issues). I wish I could just reach out and hug her and make this pain go away for her. She is the deares,t sweetest lady and I love her so much. It breaks my heart to hear how sad she is. She is just on my mind constantly today....and in my own prayers.....

So, with that I just wanted to leave you with some pictures. Hopefully I'll have time to blog once more before we leave, but I make no promises...this week has been crazy and I still have yet to pack. It's been another one of "those days" which is turning into "one of those weeks". I'm not gonna complain cuz I'm trying to do better with that. It's just been an up and down day. Started out with return trip to Walmart. Have you ever been charged for something that wasn't yours and actually wasn't even in one of your bags??? Well, let's just say stuff like this has been happening to me a lot lately...maybe it's cuz people see me pulling my hair out with 3 kids and they think "what a sucker...let's overcharge her...she'll never notice"...Who knows...but I never realize the mistake til I get all the way home...this happened last night at Walmart and this morning bright and early I made a return trip there to tell them I never bought a $3 pepper....thank goodness, Walmart never puts up a fight (unlike some store that starts with a T and ends with a T :))....anyway....so that was how my night ended last night and my morning started (and I do believe the weirdo in me even dreamed about the Walmart fiasco...I'm so strange aren't I?!). Just a hassle and I don't like hassles. I know it was JUST 3 bucks, but it's the whole principle, right?! Ugh! Kev thought I was nuts for driving back in there for a few dollars, but he amused me and said it was ok...oh well...I got my money back and I can sleep well tonight! So, there....

In other news I made the "big chop" last night...and got a new "do". I love it...it's very choppy/layered and not so short that I look like a big ol' melon head with frizz :) Anyway...it suits me and a it's a load off my mind (literally) to have a lighter/easier "do"! I love my hair shorter, but Kev always looks at me funny for days after...he even said last night "it's like I have a new wife" :) LOL! But, I think he meant that as a compliment (not that he wants a new wife :)). Anyway...so that's a done deal and it was a long time coming (4 inches off at least!)...been needing it for months...I only get my hair cut like twice a year, so this will be my big cut before my brother's wedding. Yahoo! :)

Anyway...in other news Shelby has started being a little more mannerly...not only is she saying "please" and "thank you", but she also says them in spanish (i.e....she'll say "please, por favor" all at once when asking for something") It kinda shocked me yesterday, but I'll take the "double please" over nothing, which is what I usually get! Thank you, Dora the Explorer!

Well, this post is very choppy, but that's my mood today...so oh well! Hope everyone is hanging in there! Counting down the days til the NC vacation...whohoo!

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

My Strong-willed Child....

Well, better late than never...just realized I never posted these VBX pics from a few weeks ago...so this is all I have for today...sorry I didn't take pics of the "ordeal at the mall" :) I'll let you just picture that in your mind :) So here we are in our VBX "Reaction" (bright) garb :)
And here's Hailey and her (boyfriend) Tyler who just happened to be in the same group as Hailey (along with his mom who was leader :))....they are sporting their newly tie-died hats thanks to our awesome craft team :)
Here's the VBX girls (praise team)...you go, girls!
Hailey and one of her bestest buds, Julia :)
Hailey actually tie-dying her hat...yes, the sun was shining too bright for our Hailey that day :)
The three kiddos before the VBX program sporting their new hats :)
My (usually) sweet girls :)
Shelby and her favorite character at VBX...MR ROBOTO! Whohoo!
I just posted this cuz Shelby loved this blow-up plane (maybe a future pilot?) As you can see she's running back and forth next to it...but it was more fun inside! :) They had great games and food at the carnival after the program...below you can actually see Shelby and Hailey jumping in the bounce house! :)

Well, I simply don't have the energy today to muster up a thoughtful and carefree post so I'll just say it like it is...I feel very challenged today (dare I say, stressed)...by my strong-willed child. I won't go into all the gorry details, but let's just say that "picture day" in Indy had left me ragged and worn and ready for a good cry. Ok, so maybe that's dramatic, but after the morning I had with my own little drama queen (who's name will remain anonymous...ha!) I think I'm entitled to have a little drama of my own :)

So, I guess I must have been fooling myself that our trip to Penney's today would be easy, effortless, quick, non-stressful....it was just a quick picture of Hailey (who BTW scratched herself again recently...I really should have kept some mitts on her!)...anyway, she's easy to photograph, never causes any problems when we're shopping, never makes much of a fuss at all. But, maybe I should have remembered that I have two other little rascals who follow along and one especially that likes to push my buttons. Anyway...I don't know what set HER off this morning...maybe it was a breakfast of grapes that she did not like or maybe it was the fact that she had to miss her fav. PBS show Calliou, maybe it was the fact that she didn't get to wear the non-matching outfit she wanted to wear...who knows....it could be anything with her...but the moment we arrived at the mall at 1oam it all went downhill....she refused to get on the elevator...it was one of those "who will have the stronger staredown"...I think she won and I gave her an earful when I finally grabbed her and placed her ever so gently on the elevator floor :( From there it went to sobbing, to disobeying...to saying as loud as she could "You're MEAN mom"..."I don't LIKE you"...and, yes everyone was staring (but this was honestly better than yesterday's alternative of calling me POOPY and PEEPEE as loud as she could cuz she was not getting her way) :) Somehow we made it through the hour at the mall only to start it up again in the enclosed capsule of the van :( Great...an hour and a half of her throwing stuff, wanting the stuff back that she threw, more "mean mommy" and "you SOOOOO MEAN...I DON'T LIKE YOU!"....to kicking my seat so hard that I reached right back there and took off her flipflops and tossed them in the front seat. It was not a pretty sight. It wasn't a shining mommy morning for me. If I wasn't so rushed I would have stopped on the side of the rode and set her straight, but instead we had to rush to art camp and she got her earful at home along with a double time-out (she deserved much more)....and then time for her nap.......only to find out Dylan had filled his pants to 10times the normal diaper capacity and there was spillage from his ears to his toes. Anyway...so now 2 hours later they are finally in bed and asleep and this is my blissful moment to collect my sanity and vent for a bit. I know we all have days like this and reflecting on my post yesterday I know I just need to take a deep breath...cast off this burden on Him and say a little prayer. I did that all day today, but in the midst of chaos I don't think I put my heart into it. I need to do better. You wise friends of mine who commented yesterday...I love you...you knew what I needed to hear...bless you! I know we will leap past this hurdle of the strong-willed child. Somedays are just harder than others...tomorrow will be better (hopefully :)). With that I need to go put my feet up and have a bowl of ice cream...I deserve it today! (sigh) :)

Monday, June 25, 2007

Don't Worry, Be Happy :) :)

The pics are "non-post-related" again...but I guess they emphasize the point "be happy" :) Here's the girls "skating" last week while daddy was making ice cream :)
Dylan driving with his foot :)
Shelby after enjoying red velvet cake batter :) And below is "speedy Hailey" on her new roller blades...I kept calling her "Speedy" and although she said it annoyed her, I think she loved it :) Ha!

Ok, so I'm on a little mission lately to "destress" my own life and those around me. Granted it's a VERY slow process and I'm horrible at truly relaxing and not getting anxious about stuff...but for my 100th post today (whohoo!) I simply just wanted to post some interesting statistics that were posted in our bulletin at church yesterday...it made me think a little about the things I needlessly worry about and maybe it'll do the same for you.....

40% of the time we worry about things that will never happen.
30% of the time we worry about things we cannot change.
12% of the time we worry about criticism from others that are untrue.
10% of the time we worry about our health.
8% of the time we worry about legitimate problems.
(Research done by David Stare...not sure who he is, but I'm not at all surprised by his findings cuz I know I'm guilty of all that worry!).

So, that means 92% of the time we are worrying needlessly....putting undue stress on ourselves and in turn possibly causing those legitimate problems that we may have (health issues, etc)....Hmmm....I'm not gonna get on my big ol' soapbox today and preach about this...but doesn't it just make you think...what in the world is wrong with us all that we worry so much?! Now maybe you're a non-worrier and "hats off to you!"...I wish I was YOU! But, I know many are just like me. I am guilty of worrying about my health, worrying about my family's health, worrying about tomorrow when I should be living in the now and enjoying and living each day to the fullest, and worrying about what other's think of me, worrying about money, worrying about jobs, and the list could go on and on I'm sure. UGH! What a huge burden so many of us put on ourselves. I for one need to make a life change....not only do I need to stop worrying (or at least curb my worrying so it's not so massive)...but I need to "cast all my cares upon Him" and NOT worry (as Matthew 6:25-34 says). For you cannot worry and worship God at the same time (this was said in church yesterday too...and it's so true!). Anyway...so that's my sermon for today....short and sweet :)

So, yes, I'm on a mission to be less worrisome and help those around me be the same...though I admit I am doing a poor job so far. Yesterday was just bad, bad, bad. The only thing that made it bad was that I spent like 3 hours trying to decipher my PTO minutes and type them out into legible form (the grand ol' job of the new PTO secretary..me). I got so anxious about the whole thing that I was almost panicked...I could hardly function. I knew all along how silly it was to waste my time on that, but the perfectionist in me will just not let things go. I finally gave up and put it aside, but late last night I started to get the upper abdominal pain I used to have all the time (but haven't had in 6 mos)...anyway...I know it was stress-related and try as I might I am having a hard time "casting this burden off". So very silly...I know...I really do know that...such a trivial thing. So, now you know...I get anal about things...yes, it's a major downfall of mine. I really have been pretty good about stuff the last 6 mos since starting this blog, but I guess the old habits can rear their ugly heads at any point (such is the way of the devil...he knows how to put that doubt and worry in your life). Anyway...so I just wanted to share with you my thoughts on worry and how important I think it is to NOT be anxious.

And with that I will end on a "funny" note. Today Hailey had one of her good friends over...now I'm not sure what denomination she is, but I know she goes to church and previously I thought she might be catholic? Anyway...in the car Hailey wanted to listen to our VBX music which is very loud/boisterous and very much "praise-like" (not hymn-like :))...anyway...her friend heard the music and said..."this is rock music about love and it must be GOTHIC!" What?! I almost burst out laughing...it was hard to contain it. Gothic??? Is that really a word in a 7 year old's vocabulary. She then asked Hailey if she was a Gothic Christian (can you even be a gothic and a Christian?hmmm??) Anyway...Hailey said "yes", cuz I know she has no idea what gothic even is (her friend explained it was when you "wear all black"...and that's "ok" and sometimes "she wears all black too") Anyway...it was an interesting conversation. Made me really wonder what songs her friend listens to (among other things that I wonder about this girl :)) I was proud of Hailey though...she just kepting saying, "this is music about God" and she just kept singing and doing the motions :) I guess we'll need to talk about the whole gothic thing when she gets home from camp today. Can I tell you I'm just so excited about my kids growing up and all the "fun" things we're gonna need to start explaining to them. Gone are the carefree baby days......sigh :(

Anyway...so happy Monday to ya'll out there and whohoo on my 100th post! My hope for everyone today is simple, but true (and you can sing it if you like :)) "Don't worry, Be happy" :) Love ya'll!

Saturday, June 23, 2007

Happy Saturday and Other Misc. Info :)

Shelba and Bro with Spidey...boy, superheros will never be the same to Dylan after this scare :)
Shelby and her good buddy, Cameron, at Messy Mania digging into Play Doh :)
Oh the joys of colored shaving cream!
Time to break out that ancient wedding present...yummy....
Hailey and Julia hamming it up outside art camp yesterday :) Look at those blooming artists!
So, here's a few little pool pics to share for today...hopefully later I can download some newer pics....but here's the three kiddos getting ready to go to the city pool last week...
Hailey and one of her best buds, Julia, in the pool doing dances :)
A bigger view of the pool (and slides) with Hailey and Julia dancing away at the bottom :)
Dylan all smiles in his stroller as he watches the girls swim :)
Shelby being a bathing beauty on her new "Shelby butterfly" towel from Auntie Sue :)
Shelby in the kiddie pool sitting on the water spout (thus the look on her face :))
Dylan in the kiddie pool pouring water on himself :)
A bigger view of the kiddie pool and the masses of kids...and yes, you can see Shelby and Dylan in this pic (made me realize I should have been more attentive rather than taking a picture...though it's a very shallow pool with many other attentive moms and lifeguards :)) And below is proof of our "upright/pantless" boy :) Look at the pure joy in his eyes (I dare say he actually likes the breeze on his legs rather than the restriction of pants! :))


Ok, well I try to stay away from Saturday postings, but I didn't really give any weekly news about our family this week and I hate to let the week close w/o doing that (since I know you're all just sitting on your rears reading my blog EVERY day waiting for ALL our news...Ha! :)). Anyway...so I'm mixin' it up a bit and here's a weekend post complete with my fav. bullet points :) Tadaaaa...
  • First of all I want to say that I hope/pray my mom's early a.m. lab draw went well and that she will be cleared to go home at any moment...that's my number one thought and prayer for today! :) I miss your emails and blog comments, mom! Love you! (*** Update***YES, she is coming home today (just talked to her)...she is just waiting for her prescription and discharge, but she's all ready to go with her bags packed...yippee!)
  • On a very sad note I wanted to post that today is the funeral for our IU's football coach, "Coach Hep". While I didn't know him personally nor are we true IU fans...this is a sad day for IU/Bloomington and it's students and colleagues. Coach passed away this past Tuesday from a brain tumor that he'd had for over a year and he was the mere age of 59. Yet another true tragedy...as he was a wonderful Christian man with a family, kids, grandkids...I mean...that would be like my own father dying. Just can't imagine. So, we're thinking of that family today and knowing most of Bloomington is mourning a great legacy at IU.
  • Onto more happy news...Hailey has joined the messy adventures of "art camp" this week (and will have it again next week too) at our local downtown art center. It's been a great time for her as she is "little miss artsy fartsy" :) Ok, so she probably wouldn't like that name, but she is a pretty good artist so art camp is right up her alley. It's been a great experience so far for her...she has 1 1/2 hours of "Around the World" art in the early afternoon (she's does stuff like foil art from Saudi Arabia and stuff from China, etc...I'm a little unclear as to what she's been doing cuz she can never seem to remember the names of the foreign objects she's making :))...but the highlight of her art camp has been the 1 1/2 hours of ceramics she's done in the late afternoon...she's made everything imagineable for the perfect tea set...a pinchpot with lid (which is now gonna be a sugar jar), a tea cup, a waffle plate, a pitcher, and some surprise gift she made for me yesterday. She's come home with great stories about it all and is so excited by all the pottery making...she's even had clay in her hair so you know it's been a "good time" :) She's been going with her bestest buds, Baileigh and Julia...so it's been fun to hang with friends too (which is what our Hailey loves most...her buddies :)). Supposedly there is an art show next Friday for us to see all the "art" the kids have made and then hopefully we take it ALL home! Oh joy!
  • In other exciting Steg news we are finally getting our deck sealed! I know this might seem a little boring to most of you...but it's actually been a funny experience for us :) I guess this was something we should have done over 2 years ago when our deck was fairly new. But, like most things we have slacked and been lazy...but this week the opportunity hit and as usual Kev answered the door for a guy "selling stuff"...and he was giving quotes for sealing decks (among other things). So, Kev disappeared for awhile and was chatting with this guy...he came back all excited about the quote. I won't give the number cuz I don't want anyone bursting our bubble, but we got a pretty good deal for our VERY big deck...and he also threw in our playset....not too shabby :) Anyway...so he came back the next day and I crazily gave him a check for half the job thinking he'd be back in an hour to do the power-washing (cuz he said he would)...hmmmm...I came back from art camp and there was no sign of him and a very dry/dirty deck still...I really thought he scammed us and was running with our money (yes, I don't trust people like my wonderful hubby does...maybe it's my FL, big city upbringing?). I was steaming.....anyway....it happened to be the same afternoon my mom left a message about going into the hospital...so I only heard that message (and freaked out a little) and never heard the deck guy's message. I felt bad later when I heard it cuz by then Kev had already called him and told him I thought he was running off with our money...ha! Lovely. Anyway...to make a long story short I guess the guy had his truck stolen and he was dealing with that and he DID return that night and the next day to powerwash everything....he even threw in powerwashing our house siding, which was awesome! It all looks great....and hopefully today it won't rain again and he can clear coat our deck! Kev is so relieved he doesn't have to attempt this job himself....we think the guy way underestimated the size of our deck...cuz it took him like 4 hours to wash our deck (he thought it would take 2)....soooooo glad Kev never attempted this job...it would have been an all-weekend event :) So, we're happy to have someone else doing the dirty work and this guy is pretty nice and full of "interesting" stories...so we're glad he's not a scam artist and happy our deck will soon be safely coated :) Phew...this was a long bullet point!
  • This bullet will be shorter! :) Hailey has been tracked down by her little boyfriend again :) It's actually been pretty quiet for Hailey on the "boy front" lately but this week it picked up for her :) Good ol' Robert got in an itch to talk to her and he would not stop calling until she called him back...he's a very persistent little guy (and very cute too I might add). Anyway...he and Hailey had a nice chat about summer activities and then there was a big discussion on "best friends". So they had to list all their best friends over the years. I laughed when she told him HE was her best friend this year! Awwww....isn't that sweet?! So, have no fear...our Hailey is still VERY friendly and loves those boys! :)
  • Shelby has also engaged in a little "art fun" this week. She went to our local city Messy Mania this week with her buddy, Cami. We went last year too and she had a ball doing all kinds of messy things like panting, using shaving cream to make things (yes, this was a highlight for her...I hope I can download the pics...they are a hoot!) Spiderman showed up too and that was a little story in itself...cuz he snuck up right behind Dylan and scared the crap out of him...I'm not sure Dylan will ever feel the same about super heros :) But, it was overall a fun, smiley and VERY messy time, and we came home with some great art work for our "wall of art" :)
  • I am happy to announce that our little 16 month is finally "upright" most of the time! He has thankfully "almost" given up the crawling mode! I really thought this day would NEVER come and I was starting to get worried, but he persevered and is now walking (almost running) everywhere! I am thrilled actually. I was praying he'd be doing it before our trip to NC next week and he pulled through for me! So, hats off to my boy! It's the greatest thing to see him waddling all over the place. I mean he's been officially "walking" for months, but this is more than 5 steps...it's all the time...I love it...and now everyone is realizing how tall he really is...he's not far from Shelby's height. And you'll laugh to see him walk cuz he has to has his hands up in the air like he's "praising the Lord" always...it's so funny :) Way to go, buddy. We're so proud of you for making the plundge to "upright mode" :)
  • In accordance with "growing up"...Dylan has also started saying real phrases this week. I was shocked when after getting into some of his sister's toys (and after me telling him "no")...he looked at me and started handing me the "inappropriate baby toy" and blurted out "Here ya' go!" It was clear as day and so very cute :) I think he's also saying "What's that?", which was Hailey and Shelby's fav. first phrase. I love it that I can finally understand his jabbering...cuz he really does have a lot to say :)
  • Shelby has not had the best week as far as "issues". While I won't go into each one I will say that she's hit Dylan over the head with a chair (on purpose)...and has also shoved him to the point that he moved a few feet in the air. Not cool. She's been in rare form this week...maybe due to the rain that has kept us indoors almost every day...but still...no excuse. We are trying to "nip her nastiness in the bud" right now...it's not a simple process. But, then again I know some sibling rivalry is normal and now that Dylan is more mobile and definitely quick on his feet...he is getting into more of her stuff. Plus he likes to run over all her stuff with his big ol' tonka truck and he is pretty distructive with that thing...I have crushed toes and bruised shins to prove it :)
  • Dylan has recovered from his (briefer than normal) upper resp. infection. Phew...I was getting a little worried earlier in the week cuz his wheezing was way out of control. He was not the normal "happy wheezer" either :( He was very fussy. We never had to drag out the inhailors, but we were close. So, I think he just had a minor cold mixed with new teeth drainage. But, it all brought back the nasty memories of steroids and inhailors...not fun :( So thankful he is better :)
  • On another funny Dylan walking note....since he's now upright and mobile he has literally been pantsless many days this week. I guess he's never had this problem before cuz they stay on when he's crawling...but we now realize our boy has NO butt and is just a tall skinny little thing....and most of his pants are too big...and with not backside to keep them up...he has literally just walked right out of his shorts most days. I'll be in the kitchen making something and he'll be running around the house with his tonka truck and he'll turn the corner and sure enough...he's sporting only his diaper on the bottom....he loses his pants in transit somewhere in the house. This has posed a problem when we are in public so bless Kev's mom's heart...she got him some new small pants (yes, we have reverted to 12 month clothes...craziness!). Oh, the struggles we face in this Steg house :)
  • As far as the food issues for our "stubborn boy"...well, he's still refusing healthy food and I'm still "being lazy" and not wanting to "push it" (hence cometh puke)...but I will say he's been very excited about baby food again so he's been getting plenty of drippy veggies that way. And he's taken to feeding himself the drippy food too...he LOVES to be responsible for his "intake". It's actually pretty funny cuz he gets very excited :) So, while we've not made much progress in the solid healthy department....I've not been overly stressed about it, which I guess is good and there has been no expelling of food either, which is also a huge bonus!
  • And while we're on the subject of "issues"...I am proud to announce that Shelby has had NO accidents in the "bathroom related area" :) She's actually almost been dry at night and during naps for a week, which by daddy's promise means she might be able to wear panties to bed (gasp!). So, great job, Shelby Gracie...we're so proud of your hard potty work and lack of urination on our floors!
  • A week from today we'll be basking in the fresh mountain air of Maggie Valley, NC...can't wait for all the relaxing fun with my wonderful extended family! :)
  • We finally broke out a wedding gift after 9 years of preserving it in our basement. I have no idea who gave us our wonderful ice cream maker on our wedding day, but we've wanted to use it for years (honestly)...we've just never took the plundge (which again reitterates our laziness :)). Well, this week was THE WEEK! Ever since our basement clearing Kev has had his mouth watering for some homemade ice cream. So, on Monday we broke it out of it's box....we even used the 9 year old ice cream packet included (gasp!). And guess what...it was AWESOME!!!! I really, really, really had my doubts about the tastiness of a 9 year old ice cream and the ability of a 9 year old ice cream maker to make it...but was soooo good (and I usually don't say that about plain vanilla :))....Anyway....so it was kinda fun to finally "open" an old wedding gift. We even made "cake batter" ice cream last night for our best buds who came over for dinner...and it was delicious...almost like the cake batter at Cold Stone! Yumm! So, now we have a new hobby and some yummy new dessert! If you ever visit...we'll make some for you...any flavor you like! So, thanks to whoever gave us that fun gift 9 years ago...it's come in very handy this week! I won't tell you the other wedding gift we have yet to use....but let's just say we're hoping to make some fried rice in it soon :)
  • Well, this week has ended on a happier note as we think our little fond fishy friend, Phillip the Beta, has pulled through and not croaked yet. There were worries and tears shed earlier this week as Phil's right eye started to puff...Hailey was certain he would die and already planning for his replacement...it was not a pretty couple of days with her hovering around his tank tapping on it just to see movement. Well, we're relieved to say that for at least the moment his eye doesn't look quite so puffy and he is eating again. Phew...it'd be a sad day to have our first fish family member pass on :( Thanks for hanging in there, Phil! :)
  • Well, it's been "invasion of the birds" at Casa De Stegs :) I had the bright idea weeks ago to reposition our one bird feeder and get the other one out of hiding in the garage. Anyway...I thought it would be fun to feed birds in both the front and back yards...I've always love watching birds (I guess it's a trait I got from my dad...I still remember him with his bird book pointing out birds to us as kids). Anyway....so my bright idea finally got put into action this week. Kev dug into our nasty, rocky clay and planted my two bird hangers and I filled the feeders up and we were on our way....well, the next morning....I really thought our house has been taken over by winged creatures. They were swooping and squaking from all directions...all species of birds were feasting from our feeders. It was crazy bird chaos. I really felt like we were in the Bird movie by Alfred Hitchcock...oh my! I was a little scared to be honest. There were birds pirched everywhere like they were ready to attack us if we left the house. They were on all the roofs of all the houses near us...on the fences by us...in all the trees. What did I start?? So, in a matter of like a day all the seed was gone....and even yesterday...we had bunnies feasting for hours on the ground by the feeders. We have a natural wild life preserve in our yard. Yikes! So, if any of you love birds (or bunnies) feel free to bring your binoculars and sit in our living room :)

Well, that's all I've got for today. All of a sudden it got really dark in our room so that's bad news for our deck getting done...and bad news for our big bike ride we planned with our best buds, Heather and Dave :( Maybe the rain will clear up later?! Anyway...hope you all have a fantastic weekend and BTW...Happy Summer...it's official now! And did you know my next post will be my 100th?! Wow, I'm so proud of myself for keeping up with this blog thing!