Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Super Issac to the Rescue

Issac’s birthday

While we were setting up for Josie’s birthday party in December, Issac declared that he wanted a soccer party for his birthday.  The idea seemed to stick and everyone we came in contact with Issac would ask, “Are you going to come to my soccer party?” I had decided on everything from the cupcakes to the parent-child soccer game. However, in April when it came time to order the supplies Issac changed his mind to a Super Hero themed party. The past three years we have had Issac's party on memorial Day weekend and this year, we decided otherwise & had the party the Sunday before his birthday.  Thank goodness to because I had family come from Ferndale and the I-5 bridge collapsed the Thursday before Memorial day weekend!!
Issac requested that Tyler cooked Cheeseburgers and Hot Dogs on the barbecue and that I made super hero capes for all his friends.  I turned to Pintrest & had two runs at a cape made from a tee shirt but they looked cheap & cheesy. I decided that I could make my own pattern and quickly purchased, red, blue and yellow fabric. I wanted to stay with the primary colors and I wanted the capes to be easy for the children to put on & take off so I bought Velcro for the neck closing.  Although the capes took longer to cut and sew than I projected, they turned out great.  Each kid enjoyed having their very own personalized super hero cape. 
 Above- 14 homemade Super Hero capes!
Bellow- All the kids minus Lily. 
 Daniel in the green did have a cape but didn't want to wear it in the pictures!
 Bellow- Super Di & Super Leah
After lunch, we did presents and cupcakes.  The park was a perfect place for a party with lots of free space for our little super heroes to run freely and a playground for the children to play on.  Issac got everything he asked for; a bug catching kit, a scooter, some squirt guns, cars and a tortoise!!!  Issac has been asking for a turtle since last Summer some time.  Honestly, we are unsure where the idea got into his head from but at Christmas he asked and we looked into the cost and the turtle was out of our price range.  In April, Aunt Nicole came down for a visit & asked Issac what he wanted for his birthday and he replied; "A turtle."  Although Issac wanted a turtle, he received a tortoise.  A turtle requires an aquatic tank that is much more difficult to clean than a tortoise.  Issac choose to name him Crush.

Issac's actual birthday is May 23rd which fell on a Wednesday.  In my family, my Grandma would always make whatever you wanted for dinner on your birthday.  So, now that Issac is old enough I let him choose what we had for dinner and he choose breakfast for dinner; French toast with bacon and eggs for dinner. After dinner we had cake.  I made a chocolate cake with vanilla frosting and then made a number four out of chocolate chips.  Issac was on cloud nine!

Issac wakes up happy.  He comes in to the living room smiling and wants to cuddle for about ten minutes before he gets his milk and requests to watch a movie or cartoons.  About an hour after Issac is awake he is hungry.  For breakfast he enjoys bagels with cream cheese, a variety of fruit, yogurt, cherrios, french toast with peanut butter or eggs and toast.  After breakfast we read books before some free play time while I work out and/or clean house.  During his free play time; Issac enjoys playing with his cars, train set and dinosours.  He is very intrested in animals.  He likes to know the names of different animal species, where they sleep, what they eat and because he is a boy; where they poop and what their poop looks like. 
I have worked with both the children with flash cards and puzzles and a wide variety of learning tools.  Issac knows the alphebet, all his shapes and colors, can count to 30 and can spell his name.  We have ran in to a road block on writting at the minute and I think it is because I am left handed and Issac is right handed.  I recently went to the local homeschooling supply store and purchased a few writting workbooks for us to get started on. Both kids enjoy going to story time at the public libray each week,  Issac always chooses dinosour books and curious george books.  Issac can get himself dressed and put on his shoes.  he is loud and silly like his Mama and enjoys playing outside with rocks, sticks, dirt and other kids.  He is very determinded to ride his bike without his training wheels, do the monkey bars without assistance and go to school.
Issac enjoys walking the dogs, trips to the park and basically any activity outside.  Every day, when Tyler walks through the door after work, Issac runs to gret him and tell him about his day.  "you know what I ate today Dad?   You know where Mom took us today Dad?"  Issac loves it when Tyler takes him to wash the cars, go to the autoparts store or outside to play.  We have established a daily rutine where Tyler take the kids for an hour while I cook dinner, clean or just take a break.  The kids love this daily time with their Dad where they get his full attenion.  After playing outside with Tyler, the kids come inside for dinner.  At bed time, tyler brushes the kids teeth and then reads them two books, some days three.

Friday, June 14, 2013

*Road Trip 2013*

On May 4th, we packed up our Focus and set off on a twelve day road trip adventure.  Our first stop was at Nevada’s Wild Horse State park.  It was beautiful, peaceful and relaxing.  Until the wind started to blow.  We had arrived around noon and sent up camp, had lunch, drove to town for some milk and then went for a nice adventure walk when the wind really started to pick up.  Next thing you know, we watch a nearby tent snap and the campers pack up.  As we sat discussing our options, our tent poles began to snap.  Tyler rushed to disassemble our tent as I loaded the car and Issac sat crying.  Issac was really upset that we weren’t going to be camping, sleeping in the tent and having hotdogs and smores over the campfire.  Once we explained that our tent was damaged and promised to go camping this summer, we hit the road.  We drove until the Sunset and found cheap hotel in Elby.  The kids were happy with a little Disney Channel and a bath.  In the morning we continued on to Uncle Don’s house in Las Vegas.  Sunday, Tyler & I celebrated our sixth wedding anniversary on the road to Vegas.  The drive was beautiful and the road was empty.  Arriving around two in the afternoon, we had spent about 5 hours in the car so Uncle Don & Ashna walked with us to a nearby park so the kids could burn off their energy.

We spent the week enjoying the weather and spending time with the Neeley Family.  Everyone was so welcoming and it was wonderful to meet more members of Tyler’s extended family.  We tried to do our family adventures during the day so that we could spend the evenings with Tyler’s Uncle Don & Aunt Pam. Tyler’s cousin Ashna is a 21 year old Nanny so on Monday we meet up with her at a super cool park.  Tuesday we adventured to the strip with the kids.  We walked around, had lunch and visited the M&M world. 


Wednesday we drove to Hoover Dam.  It was so amazing and beautiful.  After walking across the bridge over the Hoover Dam, we had lunch a Longhorn Sheep Park on Lake Mead.  We are told that Longhorn Sheep freely roaming the area, and there are signs warning so.  However, in the 2 hours we were at the park, there wasn’t one single sheep in sight!!! Another Mom at the park said she was sad for us because it is such a cool experience but we still enjoyed our time at the park. 

Thursday we did a tour of the Ethel M Chocolate Factory and adventured our way through the Botanical Cactus Garden in Henderson.

.  Friday, we enjoyed a trip to a splash park with Ashna and Trevor during the afternoon. 

Saturday we took the kids to the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef & aquarium with Cousin Trevor.  The kids spent the majority of their time at the sting ray exhibit and then in the shark reef.  It is so cool to see their facial expressions as they watch the animals swim around.  Issac is full of questions and we almost needed a tour guide to answer them all but thankful he accepts a “I’m not sure buddy, we’ll have to look that up in a book at the library.”

Then Saturday Night we left the kids with cousin trevor & Aunt Pam while went to the Fremont Experience with Don and Jerrica.

Sunday, we celebrated Mother’s Day with a trip to the park with the kids.  While we were at the Park Uncle Don made each of the kids a cake.  Don made a Lightning McQueen cake for Issac & a Cookie Monster cake for Josie.  Then he made a delicious fried chicken dinner for everyone.  It was a nice relaxing day and a perfect end to our week in Las Vegas. 

Monday we drove seven hours to Sandy Utah.  Utah was a quick stop but seeing that Tyler’s Grandparents live there, we couldn’t be so close & not make the trip.  We spent the night at his Uncle Dave’s house.  Monday we spent the day with Tyler’s family.  Spending our time and celebrating with a big BBQ dinner with Tyler’s Uncle Dave, Aunt Angie, Uncle Chad, Cousins Paul and Shay and then his Grandparents Don & Cindy Neeley.  It was a quick one day stop but worth every second.  A Big thanks to Dave & Angie for hosting us and for hosting everyone over for dinner. 

It is always good to spend some time with family.  But by Wednesday morning we were all ready to go home.  Tyler & I switch off drivers whenever we stop.  We arrived home around eleven pm Wednesday night.  We spent Thursday & Friday relaxing and unpacking.  We had such an amazing vacation.  The kids loved everyone they meet and Tyler enjoyed the time off work while I enjoyed a few less diaper changes.  We really could not express our gratitude to the Neeley Families; both in Las Vegas & Sandy.  We love you guys and will cherish our memories with you for years to come!!! XOXO

April Showers Bring May Flowers

At the end of March we moved.  We downsized from our rental house to an apartment for many reasons.  The house we were renting had a laundry list of issues and although it was tough to move from a 4 bedroom house with a yard and backyard into a two bedroom apartment, we have managed to make it work.  Also, as long as we were paying a larger rent to rent someone else’s house, we would never be able to pay down our debt to one day purchase our own home.  Between the rent decrease and the utilities we are saving $300-$600 a month.  A large portion of that is from the power bill.  For reasons unknown to me the power bill at that house was $150 in the summer and upwards of almost $400 a month during the winter & we would STILL be freezing cold and wearing sweatshirts inside. 

Both my Mom & Tyler’s Mom played a key role in helping us have a successful move.  My Mom came down the third weekend in March and helped with the kids while we signed our new lease and rented a truck and loaded everything.  The Thursday before Easter weekend, Tyler’s Mom came down.  Laura helped Tyler paint and clean out the old house and helped with the kids while Tyler & I finished moving some small stuff.  We turned in the house keys on Saturday.

Every member of our family is happier. For Tyler, we are 7 miles closer to his work and near the bike trail that runs along the Green River.  He has been riding his bike to work when the weather allows.  For the kids & me; our apartment complex has many perks including an indoor pool, hot tub, sauna, work-out room and playground.  But the best perk of all is the kids.  The neighborhood we have been living in was filled with senior citizens.  Here our children are interacting with other kids of all ages on a daily bases.  Issac & Josie are both learning valuable social skills such as sharing, caring and empathy for others.

Easter morning the kids woke up to a huge pile of Easter goodies and eggs hidden everywhere around the apartment.  My Mom had bought each of the kids an outfit and dress shoes and Laura got the kids each a camping chair and then Josie a plasma car (Issac got 1 for Christmas) and Issac a basketball.  Then they had their candy free over-flowing Easter baskets from the Easter Bunny.  After breakfast, we took the kids up to West Fenwick Park to play and enjoy their new toys.  After our delicious ham dinner, both Grandmas headed home and the kids were sad to see them go.  Issac said, “I really like having two Grandmas spend the night at my house”. 

The majority of April was spent unpacking and arranging the new living quarters, hanging pictures on the walls and putting book cases together.  However, at the end of April, my best friend Diane hit a big birthday milestone. Yup she’s 30 now! Grandma Laura came down and spent the night to watch the kids while Tyler & I enjoyed a night out with our friends. We enjoyed a nice dinner, a comedy show and some dancing before receiving a fabulous night of uninterrupted sleep at the Marriott. 

I meet Diane in the Spring of 2002.  When I was promoted to manager at Papa Murphy's she was my first Assistant Manager.  Our friendship grew over the years as we danced many nights away downtown Seattle.  But I would say that is since we both got married and had kids that our bond as become unbreakable.  We share parenting theories and practices.  we enjoy family outings and holidays together.  I am so grateful for Di. The morning my Grandma died, she was on the phone with me as I cried and babbled giving me support and assurance that everything would be okay.  And when she faces tough times, I am there, on the phone for hours helping her talk through her pain.  I look forward to watching our children grow and continuing to create memories with the Wagester family for years to come.  XOXO BABE!


Thursday, June 13, 2013

Valentines Love & other Gushy stuff

Wow! I can’t believe that 2013 is almost half way over. I swear we were just ringing in the New Year!!!  We have been super busy this year.  I have purchased my own domain and created my own website.  My long term goal is to no longer use Blogspot and only post on my own website so that I 100% own my own content.  Feel free to check it out.  (leahsipress.com)  However, it is more difficult and costly then it appears upfront and I’m still learning how to fully function and operate all the features.  So I am going to continue to use this website.  I feel behind on our family’s digital scrapbook so here is a really long post to cover how we enjoyed February and March.
In January, after many bike riding lessons, here and there, Issac finally mastered riding his bike, and stopping his bike.  The first weekend of February we got a visit from Grandma Laura & Grandpa Mark.  We spent the afternoon outside in the sunshine watching Issac show off his bike riding skills. I made a nice roast for dinner and Laura brought dessert.  

In Seattle, every first Thursday the museums are free from 5pm-close.  So on February 8th we meet up with Grandpa Brad or Issac calls him “Grandpa Dad” at museum of flight.  Although Issac enjoyed spending time with his Grandpa and seeing all the airplanes; it was kind of a rough time of day for such an exciting activity and we had a break down….. or two before heading home.  Honestly, the kids do best at activities between 10a-4pm.

For Valentine’s Day, we did multiple crafts at home, and attended the Valentine’s Celebration at the Zoo, did some cookie decorating, and held a photo booth session.  I love how excited the kids do for each activity we plan. I enjoy seeing Issac clinch his fists with excitement. On Valentine’s Day morning the kids awoke to a bag of gifts attached to a balloon.  I sewed each of them a pair of pajamas and a tote bad, we added chocolates and books to each bag. 

We had purchased a living social deal for the Imagine Children’s museum on Bainbridge Island.  So on March 3rd we packed up and took the ferry for a day trip to Bainbridge Island.  The kids loved it. Besides the children’s museum, we walked around town, had hot chocolate, found a park to enjoy and then paid a trip to the waterfront before heading home. 

For Saint Patrick’s Day we had planned a Roaring 20’s themed party.  Honestly, the theme was my best friend’s idea and everyone seemed on board until the last minute.  So instead of having a party with only a quarter of the guests in costume, we just had a St Patty’s Day party.  This was a bumer because I sewed myself a fabulous flapper dress.   It was a fun time, although I got a little cranky because there were just too many kids in too many age groups and only one TV.  We built our own photo booth and that was fun for the kids and adults alike.  I hung a black flat sheet against the wall and Diane & I purchased different props from a variety of stores.
The day after our party, we took the kids to the Rainforest CafĂ© with the Wagester family.  It had been almost a year since we had last gone and we thought it would be a nice treat for the kids.  We went at opening so the place was empty and our kids were free to enjoy all the mechanical animals.