Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy little bee

Happy little bee
Originally uploaded by mbowling
Our favorite month and Mikey's favorite holiday is quickly coming to an end. Trick or treating was a huge success in Ella's book. I never intended to hit so many houses. I thought Ella and I would just be tagging along with Payton. I never imagined she would want to climb all the steps to the front doors. Oh, I was SO wrong. I don't think she realizes exactly what's in her possession. For her at this age, it isn't about the candy. It is more about being given something, anything, to put in her bag. it also was about the sights and sounds of the night. Her pace was slower than normal because she loved seeing the other kids dressed up and all the Halloween decorations.

She did decide she had enough walking and asked for mommy to carry her when we were just getting ready to head home. Of course, we were the furthest from the house that we had been all night. Payton too decided she was done as her sparkly shoes were killing her feet. We made it back in time to see the birthday boy, Pirate Luke and his sweet parents who stopped in their old neighborhood for a visit. After Rene and the good witch left, we went over to see the Comers. Aaron and Carter were the coolest super heros that we saw all night.

It was a lot of fun and my homemade antenna lasted throughout the night, so I was pleased. I guess I was just happy that Ella wore them. We have more candy than what we did when we started. I'll have to post a picture of our stash. It's a bit excessive. Can we ship some to anyone? We got lots of good stuff! Any ideas on what to do with it all. Eating it is not an option.

Happy Halloween!

The little bumble bee
Originally uploaded by mbowling
The little bumble bee wanted to wish everyone Happy Halloween. She's already had the opportunity to wear her costume three times -- Boo at the Zoo (from where this photo was taken), trick-or-treating at mommy's work, and then this morning she's doing a tour of the federal building. Of course, she'll have it on again tonight as we roam the neighborhood with Payton. Well, that is if she'll put it on. She visted her grandparents last night and she refused to wear it, no matter how hard we coaxed her. Look for more photos in the upcoming days!

Happy Halloween and Happy Birthday to Kim and Luke -- two of our favorite goblins!

Monday, October 22, 2007

Bunnies, pumpkins and a road trip

Sweetness and Softness
Originally uploaded by mbowling
We are back from a whirlwind trip to Sioux City. Since our plans to visit a pumpkin patch in the KC area were washed out with stormy weather, my mom found one in northwest Iowa for us to visit. Pumpkinland was a quaint pumpkin farm complete with a munchkin corn maze and petting zoo. Ella’s favorite area had to be the bunny bin. She loved holding them and chasing them as they tried to hop away. A few times, they ended up upside down, but they were the best behaved little bunnies. Mike captured the sweetest photos of the adventure, some of which are posted to flickr.

Ella also got to see llamas, goats, a pony, chickens, kittens and a puppy before we dragged her through the munchkin corn maze. I tried desperately to get Ella to pose on some hay bales for some fun fall photos, but the child was not willing to cooperate. She was more interested in pushing a miniature wheelbarrow through the pumpkin stand and filling it with miniature pumpkins and small gourds. The promise of pumpkin sugar cookies was finally what lured the little one away from the stand.

Our other adventure was having Ella sit through church rather than stashing her away in the nursery. She actually did quite well. She kept herself fairly entertained with paper and pencils, and her books. She seemed aware of the service because after the reading of the scripture, prayers or songs, Ella would clap her hands and say “yea.” It was a little embarrassing, but was positively adorable.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Front View of New Do

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun
Originally uploaded by mbowling
Here's a pic with me sporting shorter hair. It doesn't look that much shorter in this picture, but trust me it's short. I didn't like any of the pictures that Mike took of my hair, so I'm posting one from our night out to celebrate Shelly's return to KC from Austin, even if it only was for a weekend. Of course, Shel isn't in this pic and I'm sure Karissa and Angela will love that I've blasted their photo on their internet, but my audience is so small that I think they're safe.

Back View of Hair

Back View of Hair
Originally uploaded by mbowling
Blogger wasn't playing nice, so I uploaded this to Flickr, but here's the back of the hair do. It's shorter in the back that the front. I haven't been this short in a long time, but I must say I love how fast it dries as I have a LOT of hair.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Rain, Rain, Rain

Rain. Rain, Go Away
Come back another day

Seriously, it wasn't suppose to be raining this morning. We had big outdoor plans to hit the pumpkin patch today. Somehow picking pumpkins in the pouring rain isn't how I envisioned our trip. Let's hope the rain does stop, so we can squeeze a trip in. Oh wait, then there's mud to contend with, but mud and sunshine is more desirable than rain and mud. Truly, this is our only weekend day we can go before Halloween. Ugh! Rain, please stop.

Switching to Ella news, we have a little singer on our hands. Her favorite song is the "Wheels on the Bus," which shamelessly I didn't know all the words and motions to at first. After finding them online, we've started singing it with her. She really enjoys all the moves, especially the "move on back." The cutest part is when she joins in at "All around the town." She jumps in early with "All" and she'll hold it until you catch up with her. It's so precious. I have to get that on videotape. (Hint Hint -- Mr. Michael).

And photos of the new hairdo to come. I just need to pull them off the camera. After one week, I have to say, I'm still so happy with it.

Mike says he needs a cup of coffee before he'll drag himself out of bed. I can't blame him. Laying leisurely in bed on a rainy morning is one of our favorite ways to waste time, but the piles of laundry are beckoning me out of bed. So I'm off to start coffee and the washing machine.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Random Thoughts

I'm tired. I should be in bed, but I haven't blogged in awhile, so I thought it was time to do so. So here are a bunch of random thoughts running through my head tonight. First, I got a haircut, actually a better description would be I chopped my hair. Six inches at least gone from my head. I desperately needed a change. I didn't go to my appointment with the plan to do something that drastic, my hair stylist had to push me. She not so gently reminded me that I've been talking about cutting my hair for a year, and it's just hair, so basically get over myself and take a risk. I'm so happy and those that know me know I rarely leave a hair appointment happy. Mike, of course, was shocked but was beaming when I walked in. He is one of the few guys that I know that finds shorter hair sexier than long hair. At various times during the weekend, he would turn to me and give me the nicest compliments. It was so sweet. I'll have to see if I can take a cute picture and post it.

My family room is nearly back to normal. We still are figuring out where a few of the wall items will go, but the baseboards are on and they look good. I love, love the colors on the walls. My hubby did good. So, it's now on to the next project -- new sills for the bedrooms above the garage. After that, I would love to start on the basement -- adding another bathroom and adding a playroom, or I would love to be shopping for new flooring on the main level, but those are strictly pipe dreams at this point.

Ella is just as adorable and precious as ever. Mike and she spent a few hours at Deanna Rose yesterday because Ella's daycare was closed, and they needed some precious daddy and daughter time. When I got home from work, Ella told me all about the animals she saw. Her vocabulary is exploding lately -- I love hearing her say broccoli, poopie, hand (as in hold my hand), thank you and love you. I sneezed tonight while reading our bedtime stories and she said, "bless you." It about melted my heart.

Never take two kids to PowerPlay by yourself. I learned this lesson the tough way. It was exhausting and overwhelming. I swear my head needed to be on swivel stick as it would have helped me keep better track of two kids completely over stimulated. I decided to take the girls to not only give Mike some time to finish his work in the family room but also because they were so helpful when I pulled out the Halloween decorations. They almost fought over who could help me dust. It was too precious. When I first gave Payton a paper towel, Ella came over to me and said, "Mommy, Ella towel." I loved the help. I would clear off the decor items and spray the pledge and then Payton and Ella would take turns wiping down the furniture. Payton had so much fun that she was pointing out potential items that she could dust. Now, if they would learn how to vacuum and scrub floors and toilets, I would have it made.

That's enough of my random rumblings for tonight. I told myself I was going to bed early tonight. Well, it was nice in theory.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

Paint, Cars Go Fast and Plugged Back In!

Holy cow, what a crazy couple of weeks.

Two weekends ago, I painted half the walls on the main floors in the house. And last weekend I had the pleasure of NEXTEL cup racing all weekend. Its been both busy and satisfying. And of course I need to blog all about it, but it takes me forever to write a blog and Amanda is going to hit me over the head here soon if I don't! :)

First, painting--I took off a Friday and Monday and painted both the family room, the tall wall with the window that was connected to the family room, the big feature wall next to the dining room and the hallway. It took all 4 days. I was so wiped out by the end of all it. But I have to say that it really looks nice and I'm happy with my painting skills. I finally learned the fact that if you pull the tape off and it pulls some paint with it, you can always go back and use some touchup paint to take care of it! Next little project is finally, and I do mean FINALLY, putting new baseboards back in the living room. You really don't want to know how long they haven't been there.

Last weekend was NASCAR's stop in at Kansas Speedway. Scott (Amanda's brother and a rabid Tony Stewart fan) and his girlfriend Holly, and her parents made the trip down in Holly's parents' RV. We got out to the track about 8:45 both mornings and really enjoyed ourselves. The NASCAR experience on race day really is like no other. Each driver literally has their own merchandise trailer outside the track. There is plenty of other things outside the track as well. You don't have to pay for parking so you could just pull into the track, go see all the sights and sounds from the outside and still have a great day, even without tickets. One of the craziest things your can do at a NASCAR track--you can bring in your own beer, provided it was in a small softside cooler! We all brought in enough beer to last the entire race and didn't spend a dime at the concession stands. It was great. The Busch race was great on Saturday, and Sunday was probably the oddest finish to a race I had ever seen. I'd write a post about it, but if you really want to know what happened you can look it up on It was a long day, to say the least. So thank you Amanda and Ella for letting me have a wonderful Father's Day present. I am sooo thankful to have such a loving wife and daughter! It was really an awesome time, and I can't thank them enough. They sure make it easy to love them.

And finally wrapping up--we have cable TV again. Sort of. We have the "lifeline basic" cable from Time Warner Cable. Its essentially channels 2-18. Nothing special, we just couldn't take the rabbit ears anymore. It was just wayyyy too frustrating. So we spend about $11 a month. I think its going to be worth it.

Sounds like Ella is stirring so I better go get her up!

I'll post some pictures here soon.