Thursday, September 27, 2007

Social Butterfly

Socially, it's been a busy week. Tuesday was my first attendance at my church's preschool mom group. Wednesday was girl's night out with my wonderful college friends and tonight our good friends the Comers came over for tacos. I needed this week. It's so comforting to be surrounded by people who can understand and empathize with you without any judgment. (It's not that I have a bad life, quite the opposite actually, I think my life is pretty good.) But it's important to be reminded that there are people in our lives who are just there to listen, laugh and promise they'll continue to be there for the crazy journey.

As a working parent with a young child, there certainly isn't nearly enough days in a week to spend quality time with my friends. Luckily, I am blessed with great friends who are living a parallel life, where no apologizes are needed. We all wish for more time and a less hectic life, but we'll settle for a leisurely dinner every few months or so. I also recognize I couldn't have been a social butterfly this week if it wasn't for my loving husband who graciously handled Ella for two nights in a row, so I could have some "Amanda" time. So thank you sweets. I think you're the best. Love you!

Friday, September 21, 2007

Ella's First Rock Concert, Complete with a Kiddie Mosh Pit

My First Mosh Pit
Originally uploaded by mbowling
Oh, what a night...Ella had the joy of experiencing her first concert. Although, I'm not sure Trout Fishing in America or Mr. Stinky Feet qualify as rock bands. Everest, our phone/internet provider, had a free family fun night at Shawnee Mission Park, complete with a concert, moonwalks (unfortunately ella was too little for all of them and the lines were horrendously long!), balloon animals and Chiefs cheerleaders.

My girl has some serious dance moves (which she so doesn't get from either of her parents). She darted to the front of the stage and charged her way into the mosh pit to strut her stuff. Okay, maybe all she did was bop her head and spin around, but she was by far the youngest one in the pit. I didn't capture any fabulous pictures while she was dancing away. I was so focused on watching her and jockey positions with other moms trying to keep their eyes on their little ones. We didn't quite make it to the end of the show as our dancing queen morphed into crabby kid before ending the evening as sleeping beauty. Overall, a great way to kick off the weekend.

Monday, September 17, 2007

What happens with no parental supervision

Never leave your 19-month-old alone for too long or this is what you might find. Ella loves to spend time flipping through her books while I prepare dinner or do some late night pick-up. I thought this day she was keeping herself entertained with her books. I realized though I wasn't hearing books drop to the ground periodically. So I ventured up to check on her, and this is what I've found. I had a good laugh and then grabbed the camera. As you can tell, Ella was quite proud of her mess. Lesson learned: if it's too quiet then trouble is brewing.

It was a very busy weekend. We kicked it off with the Light the Night walk. Great event. Ella enjoyed a bounce house for kids just her age and her and mom shared a bomb pop before the start of the walk. We finally convinced her to ride in the wagon about 1/2 through the family loop.

We then were up early Saturday to do a one-day trip to the Omaha zoo, where we met up with my mom, my brother Justin and my SIL Brandi. We had a great time. I just love that zoo. It did my heart good to see my brother. It had been since May, and I needed some good Justin time. I've posted a few pictures from our trip. I'm just hoping my mom has better ones to share with us. I'm tired or I would say more about the trip. Perhaps another time. My dreams await -- perhaps I'll have a party in my dreams tonight.

Sunday, September 09, 2007

Parenting tips in the wild

For some reason, some of the funniest moments for Amanda and I when we parent always seem to come back to poop. More on that in a moment.

This Sunday night Amanda, Ella and I decided to go take the long walk down to the park back behind our house. Its a good 15 minute walk at big-people pace. But when you have a toddler in tow (or vice versa) you timing may vary. And believe me, ours did. Every 100 feet or so, Ella walked, then go to Amanda, "Mommy carry...(me)" So Amanda would pick her up, take 4 step.."down....DOWN..." So another 100 feet, "Daddy carry?" 4 steps. "Down, DOWN!" and so it continues the walk with a 18-month old.

So we finally made it to our destination after a half hour or so. There's a nice playground with a couple of slides and Ella had her run of the place. 15 minutes of sliding and swinging and what not later, Ella is standing at the top of the steps and isn't doing anything. Until she starts bending her knees slightly and grunting. Well, we all know what THAT is don't we? And who's the parents went on a walk without a diaper bag? (hand raised) Amanda and I look and each other, take a look in the diaper, and yep, nice shiny and smelly looking right at us.

So. We take a look around. Well, we could change her with no one around, but that's quite a bit of work without a new diaper. But there was a trash can in the park, and we could pull the back of Ella's diaper back far enough, so we hauled her over to the trash can (please don't do this at home, or take it for GOOD parenting advice) and turned Ella upside down, pulled the back of the diaper and out dropped the poop! Thankfully it didn't catch her back or anything else but the trash can. Ella thought it was funny, so thank god she didn't think her parents were trying to throw her away.

Friday, September 07, 2007

How I spent my 32nd Birthday...

Crazy Ball Girls
Originally uploaded by mbowling
Where else but Tunnel Voyage and I couldn't think of a better way to spend the night. We were there to celebrate Payton's 5th birthday -- the fact that she's 5 completely blows me away. (I witnessed her entrance into the world, how could that be five years ago?!)

Back to tonight, Ella couldn't absorb the experience tonight fast enough. I just enjoyed watching her having a ball, as usually she thought she belonged in the big kid area. Luckily, it was fairly quiet, so there were no worries of her being overrun by big kids. Definitely a fun night, but I'm exhausted. I'm heading to bed, and I guess I'm ready to turn the page and start another year of my 30s.

Thursday, September 06, 2007

Wanna Order Some Cookies

I am shameless posting this on the blog. I justify it by saying it's for Ella. Her daycare is once again selling cookie dough to raise money for education materials and playground equipment. Each box contains 48 chunks of delicious frozen dough ready for the oven, and each box is $14. The great thing about these cookies is you can decide how many you want to bake, so if you have a craving for a cookie and only want to bake a few, you don't have to whip up a whole batch and clean your kitchen. We sold this same line last year and they were mighty tasty!

The flavors for this year are chocolate chunk, peanut butter, oatmeal raisin, sugar, white chunk macadamia, chocolate chip, double chocolate brownie, M&M, snickerdoodle, heath toffee, chocolate chunk pecan, chocolate mint, lemon cooler and peanut butter cup.

We need to turn in order forms and money on Wednesday, Sept. 19. If you are interested, it would be much appreciated. Checks can be made payable to Corporate Kids.

If you aren't interested in buying cookies, Mike and I are raising funds for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society's Light the Night walk. We've both fallen behind on fundraising. If you would rather support that, let us know and we'll give you the link to our team fundraising page.

Thanks for reading and supporting us.

Monday, September 03, 2007

What a long strange weekend it has been.

Well, I'm back home after a whirlwind 30 hour trip to Chicago.

You know one time Amanda did a day trip to Chicago for work a few years back. She was so exhausted. If its anything like what I'm feeling today, I'm sure it was 10 times worse.

Anyway, it was a good trip overall. Scott, Tricia and I had a good time flying together. I got the biggest laugh out of Tricia when the our plane bound for Chicago started headed down the KCI runway and just as the wheels picked up off the ground, I shot her a look of terror and said "Holy shit, this thing FLIES??".

55 minutes later, those same wheels hit the Chicago tarmac and off we were to hit Portillo's Hot Dogs south of Midway airport. By the way we were cruising in our pimped out Chrysler 300--free upgrade, woo! Tricia was in heaven reliving some of her Chicago days while were driving around the area. Portillo's was great. I think I still have the gut rot from it.

We took the 40 minute drive out to west Chicago to meet up with the fam who were all eating at Chili's for lunch. It was good to see everybody, but it sure made me miss my wife and daughter. By the way if you aren't up to speed on why they weren't with me, then track me down online some time. Not enough time for me to explain it all here. But yes, all of my other family was with me except them. It just wasn't right and I didn't feel like a "whole" person the entire trip.

After crashing for 3 hours or so in the hotel we got all dollied up and headed to the wedding. It was nice--the DJ really had no idea how to handle an outdoor ceremony, though. I saw Curtis shoot him this look like "what the HELL are you doing?" It was really a touching moment. It was a touch hot in a suit, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky and it was nice to see the family all dressed up (for a change).

The reception was a good time--great food for sure--filet migon and other great things were on the menu. Filled us up and there was a very stocked open bar! So you know all the cousins had a good time on Curtis' father in law's dime. :) It really was great to have all of us sitting around the table, but we all knew that there were 2 very important people busy having a lonely Sonic dinner all the way back in KC. Made it back to the hotel about midnight, said goodbye and good travels to Mom and Dad since they were headed on for their 2 month vacation/retirement/spending Mike and Scott inheritance trip. I'd post a link to their newly christened blog, but I haven't gotten the go ahead yet. Sorry folks.

5:15 came EARLY this morning, but we were ready to get back home. A 40 minute drive, 30 minute breakfast, 1 hour flight, 1 hour drive home and I was back in the arms of my girls at 11:00 am. Mikey was and is happy. Even more so after 2 and a half hour nap today too.

Friday night feels like it was eons ago.

Good niii........snnnnzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

Haircut by Mom

I had to cut Ella's hair. It wasn't an official haircut, but the poor thing had a snarl that I couldn't comb out. She actually cried out in pain as I was combing it. So I figured that I would cut (pun intended) my losses and grab the scissors. Knowing that toddlers don't sit still, I was terrified as I approached her with a weapon in my hand. Of course in typically toddler fashion, she was fascinated with them and fussed a bit when I wouldn't give them to her. The loss of hair was minor -- that is this time.

I'm dreading the day when she decides to take the scissors to her hair herself. I've never known for that to create a good outcome. My first black market haircut occurred at the age of five when my 6-year old best friend Susie and I decided to play beauty salon underneath her parent's dining room table. We were caught just before it was my turn to shred her luxurious, shiny black hair. Of course, my hair was already butchered and I had the privilege of donning the "bowl cut" better known as the Dorothy Hamil haircut until my hair grew. A good eight years had passed before I thought it wise to give myself a haircut again. Upon examining my reflection in the mirror, I decided my bangs were too long. Of course, I couldn't wait for a hair appointment, so I chopped them off. I think the end result gave me bangs that might have measured maybe a 1/2 inch when wet. It was not a good look. Luckily for me, my hair has always grown fast. It is still to be seen if that's the case with Ella. Let's hope or better yet let's hope she never discovers the horrors of self-inflicted haircuts.

Mike is back home. Even though he was only gone for maybe 30 hours, it is always good to have him home. Ella and I capped off the last weekend of summer with our longest trip yet to the pool. Pictures of the fish to come later. The camera needs a new battery. She showed off a new skill of jumping off the side of the pool. It's crazy how much her skills around the water have advanced this summer. Oh, I'm so sad that it is now closed and summer is coming to an official end.

Sunday, September 02, 2007


Mike is currently in the air. He had an early morning flight to Chicago for his cousin Curtis' wedding. Ella and I are hanging out together today. She's currently enjoying a late breakfast because she slept until 8:30. I think her day at the zoo yesterday was a bit tiring. How I wish I could have slept in that late. Instead, I couldn't fall back asleep after Mike's alarm started blasting around 5:30. Oh well, I did lay in a bed a bit before getting up to do some yoga.

We'll miss Mike, but we hope he has a great time. I'm not sure how Ella and I will spend the day. It seems everyone of our play buddies is out of town. We may explore a new park or maybe a trip to the pool for one last dip. It will depend on how late our nap goes.

Well, Ella spotted her outside swing from her chair, so we're on the fast track to get cleaned up and get outside.