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Sunday, January 31, 2010

For Anyone Who Lives In MO - Please Help

PROPOSED CUT TO PARENTS AS TEACHERS PROGRAM FUNDING
Parents as Teachers Supporters Please Help!

Call or Email to Say NO to Parents as Teachers Budget Cuts!

Missouri Governor Jay Nixon proposed a $4.1 million budget cut as part of his budget plan for the upcoming fiscal year. This 13.2% budget cut comes right after the 10% budget cut that the legislature enacted last year.

Our Governor needs to hear from Parents as Teachers supporters that this cut is a mistake and he should restore the funding immediately.

Founded in Missouri 25 years ago, Parents as Teachers has become the nation's largest evidence-based home visitation program. In Missouri Parents as Teachers programs serve more than 155,000 children annually across the state from Kennett to St. Joe to Palmyra to Kansas City.

~ The 10% cut to Parents as Teachers program enacted last year resulted in Parents as Teachers funding 300 fewer Birth to 3 families and 200 fewer 3-5 families in Parkway. This comes at a time when many of our families are facing crisis and are in need of our support.

~ The proposed budget cut would further reduce the number of families able to receive services, further reduce the number of home visits and group meetings we are able to provide and further reduce the number of our health and developmental screenings.

If you support Parents as Teachers, whether you are a current program participant, former program participant or parent educator, please take the time to contact Governor Nixon to express your disappointment with his decision to cut funding for services that support Missouri's families.

Contact the Governor's office NOW - Call toll free or send an e-mail!

To Call:
· Call (888) 880-8233. This toll-free number, which connects directly to the Governor's office, will be available for Parents as Teachers advocates until Wednesday 2/2/2010. .

· Alternatively you can call the Governor's office directly at 573-751-3222. Keep your call short and to the point:

· Give the receptionist your name and home town

· Identify yourself as a supporter of Parents as Teachers

· Ask that they inform the Governor that you are very disappointed about the $4.1 M cut Please feel free to add a short personal story

· You do not need to talk to another staff member - leaving a message at the desk is perfect!


To Email:
· Send an e-mail through the Parents as Teachers Action Center Just visit the Parents as Teachers National Center website, scroll down to the bottom of the screen, fill in your email address and other information, follow the prompts and personalize the email to the Governor's office and hit "send". http://www.parentsasteachers.org/SAVEMOPAT


If you do not live in Missouri, please forward this onto friends / family that you know who do live in Missouri. Thank you!

Friday, January 29, 2010

Playdate at Kangaroo Kids

Today we watched Aidan and attended a playdate at Kangaroo Kids. Kaitlynn has been talking about Kylie for days, so she was glad to see her. We actually had a good turn out at this playdate (for a change). Lately, it has only been a few of us that attend, but today Casey and Addison, Trisha and Kylie, Eileen, Gabe and Merci and Tara and Bailey came. The kids played for a few hours.

The Circus and Preschool

Wednesday Kaitlynn and I attended Motor Masters class. Actually, I wasn't sure if we were going to go. That morning she said she didn't want to go, but eventually got up and got going. Then the whole drive there, she kept saying that she didn't want to go and that she was scared of the Crocodile song. It's actually "Row, Row Your Boat", but they add "if you see a crocodile, don't forget to scream." I told her that if she didn't like the song, she could just cover her ears. We practiced her covering her ears. She said she still didn't want to go. We called daddy and talked to him. After talking to him, Kaitlynn said she wanted to give it a try. We were about 15 minutes late, so she missed the free play. I told Debbie, the teacher's assistant about Kaitlynn saying she didn't want to come to class and didn't like the song. She said it was probably just a phase. Circle time was fine until we got to that song. Kaitlynn almost freaked out, but I reminded her to put her hands over her ears. After circle time, Miss Ursula asked if Kaitlynn was having hearing issues. I told her about Kaitlynn not wanting to come to class and that Kaitlynn doesn't like when people talk really loud. She said that she may need some type of therapy, but proceeded to ask more questions. She asked how Kaitlynn is in different situations. I told her she doesn't mind loud music, loud noises or loud sounds. She asked if she minded the noise from a vacuum cleaner or lawn mower. I told her those have never bothered her. She said this is just a stage and she probably got startled during the song and now doesn't like it. I told her that in the first class, Dave said one little girl screamed in her ear (during the song) and Kaitlynn of course, didn't like that. She said that's probably what the deal is. She said during the next class if Kaitlynn wants to, we could sit away from the circle during that song. The theme for class was The Cirucs. For the gross & sensory motor stations, they rode an elephant, walked the balance beam, jumped on the trampoline, hit a ball that was above their head while standing on an elevated surface, had to figure out how to get through a set of hula hoops and swung from a bar. For the fine & sensory motor stations, they played wack a mole, a couple duck games, cut straight lines, used tongs to put popcorn in popcorn containers, played with play-doh and played at the water table. Then it was parachute time and they sang the good-bye song.

After class, we picked up lunch and I dropped Kaitlynn off at MawMaw's preschool. Kaitlynn had a great time with the other kids. And of course, she listened very well. I had a horrible time with getting her to listen after preschool, so I treated myself to a margarita at Casa!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Girls Day Out

Monday we picked MawMaw up from preschool. Kaitlynn painted her nails. She loves painting her own nails. It's a little messy, but keeps her busy and makes her happy.

Tuesday MawMaw and I took Kaitlynn to the Galleria. First Kaitlynn threw money in the wishing well. The money goes to Habitat for Humanity. Then we ate lunch and walked around. Kaitlynn was so nervous about the next part: we took her to see her first movie. We saw Alvin and the Chipmunks 2: The Squeakquel. It was adorable and Kaitlynn loved it. By the end of the movie, she was dancing in the aisle. It was great! Of course, MawMaw treated Kaitlynn to a new purse and a pair of lady bug clip-on earrings (not sure if you can see them in the picture from the slideshow). We had a great time. Kaitlynn was wore out and fell asleep after the movie. It was a total Girls Day Out!

Welcoming

Kaitlynn received this postcard from church welcoming her to her class a few weeks ago.


Sunday, we attended church. Kaitlynn went to her class. She ran right in and stayed the entire time. When we came to pick her up, we walked in the room and just watched her playing with the other kids. I could tell she was getting a little anxious when a few of the other kids started running towards their parents. I made sure Kaitlynn knew we were there at that point. She was so happy to see us. She ran up and gave me a big hug! When I asked her about class and what her friends' names were. She excitedly told me about the boys! Uh-oh, are we in trouble? Boy crazy already!
Their lesson this week was "Jesus stopped the storm. Great is our Lord and mighty in power. Psalm 147:5 I can ask Jesus for help because of his great power."

If Mama Ain't...Planning 2010

I had the wonderful opportunity to review If Mama Ain't...Planning Daily Agenda and Devotional written by Anitra Elmore. It is a printable e-book which allows you to combine your devotions with your daily planning to help you organize your busy life.
Here's What's Inside:
~ 12 monthly devotional articles
~ 12 month at-a-glance calendars
~ 52 week at-a-glance calendars
~ A prayer focus for each month
~ A spiritual habit for each month
~ 3 key memory verses per month
~ Reflect, Project and Connect each month
~ Space for what you must do and might do
~ Space for daily meal planning
~ Space for weekly goals
~ Print all at once or one month at a time
~ Supplemental pages added to the website regularly

As stated above, you can print this 160+ page e-book all at once or one month at a time.
I opted to print it all at once and put it in a binder. I have been wanting to incorporate Bible study or devotionals in my daily living and this has been a great way to do it. For this review, I used the Daily Agenda and Devotional for one week. I like the prayer focus and spiritual focus each month. January's prayer focus was righteousness and spiritual focus was daily Bible readings. This gives you something to work on. I also liked that there are 3 key Bible verses to memorize each month and appreciated Anitra's ideas on how to incorporate them into your daily life. As I stated, I have only completed one week, but find it very useful and effective. If you are looking for a Devotional, look no further. Click here to visit Anitra Elmore.
In exchange for doing this review, I received a free copy of this e-book. The opinions expressed in this review are my own and were not influenced by receiving a free copy or by Anitra Elmore.

Looking for a Way to Help Haiti

Earlier this week, Avon announced that it will be committing $1 million for earthquake relief efforts in Haiti. The Avon Foundation for Women plans to distribute the donations to the American Red Cross International Response Fund and Doctors Without Borders.

Avon will donate 50¢ from the purchase of every full-size Skin So Soft product (excluding deodorant) ordered from the Campaign 4, 5 and 6 Brochures (from now until March 7th).

To view a brochure or place an order, go to my Avon online store.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

Kaitlynn's First Pedicure

This is what I saw when I got out of the shower yesterday morning. Kaitlynn decided to get into the produce co-op box.
We went to Wal-Mart and Kaitlynn wanted this crocodile cake. She kept telling people it was her birthday cake.
Later that evening, we went to my niece's so she could touch up my hair, cut MawMaw's hair and do our eyebrows. Kaitlynn enjoyed putting her feet in the pedicure tub.

Jammie Friday

Friday we stayed in our jammies.
Kaitlynn watched one of her favorite movies.
Of course, I rented these Valentine's movies from the library, but she isn't interested in watching any of them.
Here are some of the Valentine's books we rented from the library that we have read so far.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Valentine's Day Gift Ideas

Looking for gift ideas for Valentine's Day? Check out my Avon online store. Here are just a few great gift ideas.
In Bloom by Reese Witherspoon Gift Collection $39.99
Rhinestone Heart Necklace in Gift Box $19.99 or $5.99 with $10 purchase
CZ Heart Shape Ring $7.99
Heart Charm Pendant Necklace $7.99
Set of 3 Heart Earrings in Gift Box $14.99 or 3 for $15
Watch and Heart Key Ring Set $19.99
Heart Shaped Hoop Earrings $5.99
Heart Link Watch $14.99
Hooded Towel - Bear, Bunny, Frog or Duck $16.99
Nail Glitter and Gem Kit by Conair $19.99
Bubble Bath $5.99
Love Me Lip Balms .79
Mesmerize for Men 3 Piece Fragrance Set $14.99
Aromadisiac For Him $17.50
Here is a special shipping code for all of my readers: Free shipping on any $5 order. Use shipping code: WINTER5 (for direct delivery only)

Library and Produce Co-Op

Yesterday, I again was having a horrible day (with not feeling well). I made a call to my doctor and the nurse suggested taking my medication at different times of the day. We are going to try that for a week.

Kaitlynn and I went to the library to pick up some books and DVDs we had on reserve for her. We also signed up for a couple events in February.

Then we picked up our produce from the Produce Co-op. Kaitlynn loves pick up day. She kept asking if she could eat vegetables. I love the way she says vegetables. It's super cute! This week the produce consisted of 2 bushels of broccoli, 2 heads of cauliflower, celery, bananas (and we got an extra bunch of bananas, too), 2 bags of carrots, a tray of mushrooms, lettuce, 2 red onions, 1 red pepper, 6 Roma tomatoes, 3 clementines, 2 tangerines, 3 apples and 3 pears!

We made pasta with veggies, cooked broccoli and cauliflower and baked sweet potatoes for dinner.

The Beach

Monday, Kaitlynn and I didn't do much during the day. I think Kaitlynn is trying to give up her naps. She just refuses to take naps sometimes. We went to MawMaw's where she treated us to dinner at Pasta House. MawMaw spent the night at our house.

Tuesday, Kaitlynn and I took MawMaw to a doctor's appointment. I was a little concerned about the appointment, but I think the news is overall good. We will find out more once the bloodwork results come back. Keep her in your thoughts and prayers, please.

Wednesday, Kaitlynn and I attended Motor Masters at the ECC. The class is small, only 7 kids enrolled. There were only 6 kids on Wednesday. I like the class that small. It really allows the kids and parents to get to know each other. 2 or 3 of the kids have been in class with Kaitlynn before (Motor Developers). She has the same teacher (Ursula) and teacher's assistant as she did in Motor Developers, too. The theme for the class this week was the beach. After free time and circle time the kids started the gross & sensory motor stations. They got to surf on a raft, lay on their stomach (and sit criss cross applesauce) and hold a noodle while being pulled around in a circle, throw / toss a beach ball back and forth, hold a beach ball while walking on an uneven mat, surf on an uneven surface and put their feet in the sand and look for seashells. By far the favorite was taking their shoes and socks off and putting their feet in the sand. At one point all 6 kids were in the plastic pool! The next set of stations were the fine and sensory motor ones. Several activities involved tongs (shark attack and lobster activity), stamping on a big sheet of paper, play-doh, digging for gold, making a starfish picture and water table.
Kaitlynn's starfish picture
After class, again Kaitlynn refused to take a nap. That is until we got in the car. She fell asleep on our way to pick MawMaw up from work.
Here's a great way to watch television!
Loving on MawMaw
Kaitlynn loves taking pictures.
Dave, Kaitlynn, MawMaw and I enjoyed dinner at El Nopal. On Wednesday nights, they have a great promotion: buy 1 get 1 on the jumbo margaritas!

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Making Lemonade Out of Lemons

Eternal Lizdom awarded me with the Lemonade Stand Award last week. This award is about having a great attitude and demonstrating gratitude. Thank you so much for recognizing my blog! I enjoy reading your blog daily. Upon accepting this award, I am supposed to pass it on to 10 other bloggers. So, here are my 10:
1) Renaissance Woman
2) Amazing Salvation
3) Cop Mama
4) Life is Beautiful
5) Life of a Work at Home Mother
6) Life, Homesteading and Everything
7) Making Babies
8) Midday Escapades
9) Moments to Remember
10) Mommyhood Exposed

Monday, January 18, 2010

Birthday Party Planning

This year planning Kaitlynn's birthday party is so much easier than the first 2 years. Date, time and location were taken care of over a week ago. Theme was picked out (by Kaitlynn) on Saturday night. Invitations were ordered last night. Guest list has been set for awhile. We are prepared! Now we just need to find a bakery that can make a cake to go along with her theme and buy a few decorations.

Jesus is my best friend

On our way to church yesterday, Kaitlynn told us that Jesus is her best friend in the whole wide world. I told her that I hoped so. Isn't that amazing! I hope she continues to keep her relationship with Jesus and that it just continues to grow and grow. I hope she is always eager to tell others that Jesus is her best friend and lead others to Him. I hope that she always remembers He is her best friend.

As we entered church, Kaitlynn got to greet her favorite friend, Libby. Libby is a helper dog for Elaine (the lady we met last week). Kaitlynn was excited that she got to pet Libby as she was "off duty". Kaitlynn attended KidzMinistry. She played with play-doh, made a wind sock and said they learned about food. We were happy that she made us look good! On her wind sock, she put stickers of her favorite food - broccoli and apples. She actually stayed in her class until the last 5-10 minutes. I think it was due to her being hungry, though, because after we left her class she ate 2 bags of fruit snacks and a box of raisins. We told her if she would have stayed a little longer, they would have given her a snack.

We are so proud of her for staying in her class. She has never been left with anyone she doesn't know before. Unfortunately, she had not met the teachers in her class before, but she was excited to stay and play with the other kids and learn about Jesus. All morning, she was talking about going to class. I think she was mentally preparing herself - that she was going to go to her class and mommy and daddy were going to attend church service. She is such an independent, big girl. She makes my heart happy with how confident she is. After class, when I asked her if she wanted to go back to her class next week, she said she didn't know. After she finished her snacks, she said "sometimes" she wants to go back to class.

One thing I noticed is that she has a female and a male teacher. For some reason, she is a little leery of men. Dave and I were talking about this after church. I wondered if it was a bad thing or if it was due to a lack of bonding with important male figures. I really wondered or worried that it had to do with my dad (PawPaw Dado). He used to visit Kaitlynn every day and then one day (in late April 2008) those visits stopped. She spent the next few weeks in hospital waiting rooms and was around lots of sadness. The next time she saw PawPaw Dado, she was saying good bye to him in a hospital bed on May 5, 2008. Then she saw him before he was buried to say one final good bye. She asks about him from time to time, but I know she doesn't fully understand it. I don't even fully understand it! Dave reassured me that he thinks it is a healthy thing for her to be a little leery of men. In this day and age, it probably is.

We went to McDonald's for lunch. While Kaitlynn was playing in the play area, this little girl started telling her she couldn't do something. Kaitlynn looked her right in the face and said "my mommy said I can." She went on to give her more of a piece of her mind, but I can't remember what all she said to her. I was very happy that she stuck up for herself! She did it without being mean to the little girl, too. It was all very appropriate. She had fun playing until she missed a step, fell on her head and down the steps. She recovered from that really well and really fast. She thankfully was not hurt because the play area is very padded.

This is sad, but true. We drove around to several different McDonald's because Kaitlynn wanted Alvin & the Chipmunks' toys. The McDonald's we were at were sold out. Even sadder is, she only needs 2 more - Alvin and Simon. Yeah, it sounds like we eat a lot of McDonald's. Seriously, most of the time, we will just purchase apple dippers or a drink and (if they have a cool toy) a Happy Meal toy, too.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Saturday

Friday Kaitlynn still had a cough, runny nose and wheezy breathing but she had definitely improved. Friday night Kaitlynn was able to get some good rest.

Saturday I wasn't feeling well (worse than usual). I think I am going to have to call the doctor to figure out a different plan of "attack". I have been having lots of stomach pains and cramping (as well as other symptoms that are getting worse).

Dave, Kaitlynn and Bailey went for a walk around the neighborhood. It's Girl Scout cookie time again. So we order some from a girl in the neighborhood.

Kaitlynn is doing much better - less coughing, no wheezy breathing and her nose is not as runny. Yeah!

Penguin Paradise

Friday morning we met Eileen, Gabe and Merci at the History Museum for storytelling. The theme was Penguin Paradise. The kids were read 3 books and then made a penguin. Afterwards, we walked around the museum with the kiddos. It was good to see Eileen, Gabe and Merci as it had been quite awhile since we saw them last.


Kaitlynn and I ran some errands and went out to lunch. This was the first time just Kaitlynn and I went to a restaurant (not fast food) to eat together. We enjoyed our lunch together (as sort of a Mommy-Daughter date).

That evening she made thank you cards for the Christmas gifts she received. Actually she decorated the inside of some notecards we already had.

Then she decorated these snowflakes with Valentine stickers.

Friday, January 15, 2010

P.A.T. Visit and Preschool

Wednesday night Kaitlynn had a horrible time sleeping. She kept waking up coughing, almost choking from coughing so hard. She was so exhausted and would just cry.

Thursday the P.A.T. Educator visited. She did a hearing and vision screening.

Kaitlynn painted her own nails.

Kaitlynn is so cute and complimentary. When she was painting her nails, MawMaw showed Kaitlynn her painted nails. Kaitlynn said "Good job MawMaw". She is always telling us good job or giving some compliment.

Dave and I attended a seminar / meeting at the ECC titled Preschool on Parade. It was so helpful to attend this. It really helped with our struggle / decision on whether to send Kaitlynn to the KMO this year and / or preschool in the Fall. I might write a post on that later.

Thursday Kaitlynn continued to cough a lot and have wheezy breathing. We were getting really concerned because we had seen no improvement. Thursday night she woke up a few times, but once she spent some time in a steamy bathroom and then a few minutes in the cold air, she was great and was able to sleep through the night. Thank you God!

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Target, Chili and Motor Masters

Monday after Kaitlynn's doctor appointment, she wanted to go to MawMaw's house. Since she is not contagious and was up for the visit, I took her over there. After dinner, we went to Target. Kaitlynn found some great stuff in the $1 section. It's one of my favorite stores to shop at.

Tuesday, Kaitlynn helped make chili. We finally got our Christmas tree and decorations down.

Wednesday, Kaitlynn and daddy attended Motor Masters at the ECC. After class, she kept talking about a crocodile because they sang "Row, Row, Row Your Boat". She loves the part "and if you see a crocodile, don't forget to scream." Later that afternoon, she helped me vacuum. She loves cleaning. Very domesticated girl! She doesn't take that after me!

Kaitlynn is still feeling pretty bad. She is still coughing and wheezing a lot. She isn't running fever. The steam from the bathroom doesn't seem to help, nor does the cold air. We are giving her steroids, tylenol and using the humidifier. I hope she starts feeling better soon.

FYI - she went to class because she was up to it, Even though she is really sick, she is still very active (accept when she is having a coughing attack).

3 Times The Charm?

Late Sunday night / very early Monday morning, Kaitlynn woke up coughing. She could hardly sleep from coughing so bad. She has only been totally cough free for like a day! Monday, I tried waking her up to get her ready for our playgroup's playdate at Yummy & Co. She was crying and coughing and crying some more. The barking cough was back and the wheezy breathing began. She said her throat hurt and told me to call her doctor. She said she didn't want to meet her friends or get a cupcake. I tried calling the pediatrician's office for about 30 minutes before I could get through. I guess lots of kids must be sick. They were able to get her in later in the afternoon.

When we went to her appointment, the barking cough had stopped, but she was still coughing. I was concerned that the Croup was back. She had it in November, December and now again? 3 times in less than 3 months? What is going on? The pediatrician checked her out and confirmed that it was Croup (again). She gave some samples of steroids and said she may have to take them for 4 days (if she isn't better after 2 days). She said there are a few viruses going around that are causing Croup. She also said that if Kaitlynn gets it again, she will send us to a specialist to have things checked out. It is very concerning to me that my healthy daughter is getting sick so much now. Croup 3 times in less than 3 months! Maybe it never completely went away in December. I'm not sure, but I sure hope she gets better and stays better.

Trying Things Out

Sunday we attended a different church. It's one that a friend from MomsLikeMe.com told me about last year. We just got around to trying it out and were very happy we did. The pastor's sermon was very fitting and he's an amazing speaker. The sermon really hit home with Dave and me. We met a man named Jeremiah who set up a tour after the service. We were given a tour by a nice man named Rick. The church has a small bookstore that has some great book. Some of which Dave and I are already in the process of reading and some that we would love to read (at some point). We toured the classroom that Kaitlynn would be in and she wanted to stay and play. She said that she wants to come to class next Sunday and that mommy and daddy could go to their class. Everyone was so friendly, smiling and waving to us. It was very welcoming. We also met a nice lady named Elaine, who's husband is an associate pastor. The church just opened up a satellite church closer to us, so we might try that location. We are excited to attend Sunday and hope we are on the road to finding our church "home".

Monday, January 11, 2010

Sesame Street Live Again

Saturday night Dave, Kaitlynn, MawMaw and I went to see 123 Imagine again. We received free tickets from MomsLikeMe.com. We had dinner at T.G.I. Friday's before the show. Kaitlynn really enjoyed the show. She was singing and dancing. It was super cute!

Playing in the Snow

Saturday at MawMaw's, Kaitlynn and I went out to play in the snow. She had fun playing with the snow, running around with Sassy and sliding down the slide. That is until she found a rabbit keeping warm behind the a/c unit. It freaked her out when it jumped up towards us and started hopping away.

Here's a few videos I took of her outside.



After playing in the snow, we went to pick up lunch. Kaitlynn fell asleep on the way, so we just ate lunch in the car. We went to the mall, where Kaitlynn played at the play area and we found some really great sales at The Children's Place.

She Did It!

Sorry to leave you all wondering whether Kaitlynn made it through the sleep over or not.

She did it! I couldn't sleep that night because I kept waiting for the phone to ring. I was worried about getting into a deep sleep and then being too drowsy to pick her up. I would never want to leave her / force her to stay somewhere that she is not comfortable (for whatever reason). That is my promise to her.

Kaitlynn and MawMaw called about 8:30 on Saturday morning. Kaitlynn called to ask me to bring a Clifford movie over. Then she kept calling back to ask me different things. MawMaw said she did great. She didn't ask for us once. What an independent girl!

Saturday morning, I was a little sad because I wished that my dad (PawPaw Dado) could have been there. He used to talk about Kaitlynn spending the night at their house and was so excited about it. Unfortunately, things didn't work out that way. I'm sure he was there in spirit, but I know he would have loved to be there in person.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

First Night Away From Home

Packing her suitcase
Ready to go
Had to bring her tunnel
Kaitlynn is at her first sleep over! It's her first night away. She's staying over at MawMaw's house. MawMaw and Kaitlynn planned it on Wednesday. Kaitlynn was still into the idea on Friday. We stayed at MawMaw's for a little bit after taking her over there. We waited until she told us we could leave. I thought I would be sad because when I thought about it earlier on Friday, it made me a little sad. I guess just the fact that she is growing up and getting so big. I am very sentimental about having an almost 3 year old. But I'll save that for another post. I wasn't the least bit sad leaving her last night. I trust MawMaw completely with Kaitlynn (otherwise I wouldn't have left her there). I am proud of Kaitlynn taking this big step. Whether she stays the entire night or we have to go pick her up, either way, I am so proud of her.

She is just such a big girl and so independent. She wanted to spend the night Wednesday after 123 Imagine (Sesame Street Live), but we were worried about the weather. So MawMaw and Kaitlynn decided on Friday night. After her nap yesterday, she said she wanted to pack her suitcase for MawMaw's house. She called MawMaw and asked if she could still spend the night. Not even 3 and already making plans (without mommy and daddy)!

Let it Snow

This is what we woke up to on Thursday! I wanted to take Kaitlynn out to play in it, but we just ran out of time.

Kaitlynn stayed with MawMaw later that night. When Dave and I got back, this is what they made for us.
chocolate chip cookies with walnuts and
a cake.

Thursday, January 7, 2010

Disney Live! Rockin' Road Show Offer

Hit the road with Mickey Mouse and your favorite Disney friends for a hilarious talent search in the all new Disney Live! Rockin' Road Show! Mickey, Minnie, Donald and Goofy set out on a zany road trip where audiences join in and help find the coolest acts around. Along the way, hit a high note with Cinderella; get your bounce on with Tigger; and shout out your loudest "yee-haw" at a hoedown with Woody, Jessie and Buzz Lightyear from Disney / Pixar's Toy Story. Grab your family for a fun-filled getaway at this live, show-stopping adventure jam-packed with unexpected twists, turns and hijinks - right in your hometown!

This is the first Disney Live! show to play Chaifetz Arena. Tickets for this interactive stage show start at just $18. Tickets are on sale now through Metrotix online or by calling (314)534-1111. Tickets can also be purchased at Chaifetz Arena box office. This show is playing in St. Louis February 20-21.

Here is a discount code just for you:
MOMBLOG CODE: $18 Flat (Additional service charges, facility and handling fees apply)
This is a savings of up to $13!
Code: MBLOG
Here is the link to purchase tickets.

123 Imagine - Sesame Street Live

Wednesday Dave, Kaitlynn, MawMaw and I had dinner downtown at The Old Spaghetti Factory. It's the first time any of us had ate there. We loved the building and the decor. Next time, MawMaw and I will order something different, but the prices were great. The salad and bread were yummy, too. Kaitlynn decided that was her naptime and slept through dinner.

After dinner we headed to the Scottrade Center where we watched 123 Imagine - Sesame Street Live. We had amazing seats! We were lucky enough to score floor seats. The show was awesome! It's so much fun sharing something that I loved so much as a child with my own child. Kaitlynn was at times mesmerized watching the show. She enjoyed a snowcone, which it seems we can't go to any show without her getting one anymore.

When we left the show, the ground and cars were covered with a thin layer of snow. Thankfully the roads were not bad on the drive home. I think we will be playing in the snow later.

Welcome 2010

Friday we didn't do much. Kaitlynn did artwork / crafts.
Yes, she is still doing Christmas crafts in January. This is what she wanted to do and I haven't brought up the Valentine's craft stuff yet.

She is going to make thank you cards / crafts for the Christmas gifts she received, but I haven't figured out how I want her to do that exactly.

Saturday we went to MawMaw's. Kaitlynn wanted to eat dinner at Steak n Shake.
While there, this guy came over to our table and asked if Kaitlynn could have this red stuffed bear. He had just won it (along with several other stuffed animals that his girlfriend kept) from one of those grabber / claw machines. I didn't think people won on those. Kaitlynn just hugged that bear so tight. It was really nice of him (and his girlfriend)!

Monday we spent time with MawMaw. Yesterday we had a playdate at Chesterfield Mall with Trisha and Kylie. Kaitlynn was so excited to see Kylie. Later she talked about Kylie holding her hand. Little girls are super cute!

With the New Year, we have decided to start a new bedtime routine. We are going to end our evenings with a shower, hot chocolate, a snack and prayer. We are hoping to get back on track with sleeping. So far things have been going better. Instead of taking hours to get her to go to sleep, she is falling asleep at a better hour and much sooner.

2010 Goals To Accomplish, Hopes for the New Year

I am not really one for making resolutions for the New Year. I used to, but after not keeping them, I just gave up. There are many things that I hope to accomplish and many things I hope for Dave and Kaitlynn to accomplish and for us to accomplish as a family this year.

1. I want to build a closer relationship with God. This is something for us to accomplish as a family and as individuals. I want us to finally pick a church that we will get involved with and take the plunge.

2. I am hoping that my health issues get worked out and to finally stop feeling sick all day, everyday and to have more energy. I am also hoping that Dave's health issues continue to get better and that Kaitlynn not get sick as much this year.

3. I am hoping that we can heal as a family and that we will not let negativity into our lives anymore.

4. I am hoping that we make the right decision as to whether Kaitlynn should attend a Kids Morning Out program in February and if she should attend preschool in the fall or wait until next year.

5. I am hoping that Dave's school year goes well. He is enjoying school so much and is networking with some neat people. I hope that he is able to build some lasting relationships with people he meets in graduate school.

6. I am hoping that Dave can find a (better) job that is more suited to his degree, interests and passions.

7. I want this blog's followers to reach the 100+ mark. It seems it has been stuck at 77 followers for awhile now.

8. I want to be able to bring in more income and continue to be at home with Kaitlynn. I am open to paid blogging experiences / opportunities, taking in another child for in-home childcare and other at home work opportunities. I am also hoping to continue to grow my Avon business and continue with leadership.

9. I want us to build a better / closer support network of friends. Currently, we do not have many close friends or friends that we feel comfortable calling and asking for support. We would love to have a "go to couple" or "couples". We hope to build a network of people that can be supportive of one another and hang out quite frequently. A network of people that are sincere and genuine with no games or one up-manship involved.

I am sure that my hopes, wants and dreams will continue to grow as we get further into the New Year, but these are the ones on my mind as I write this post.

Tuesday, January 5, 2010

New Year's Eve Video


Sparkling Grape Juice

Zoo Wild Lights Video

Here is some video from our trip to the Zoo's Wild Lights event on December 30th.

Riding the Carousel

Penguins at Penguin and Puffin Cove

Puffins at Penguin and Puffin Cove

Sunday, January 3, 2010

2009 in Review

2009 was a year we had to learn to sink or swim; to fight like hell. It was a tough year, but we got through it and we are stronger for it. We learned what our real priorities are and that we needed to put our marriage and Kaitlynn first (not above God, but above things on earth). We were tried in more ways than you could imagine. Things got pretty rocky, but it built a solid foundation for us.
Death hit us again (death of my father in May 2008 and death of my cat of 20 years in July 2009 as well as of a good friend in August 2009).

January:
We started 2009 off with a dead laptop. Kaitlynn attended many classes at the ECC, such as Locomotion Commotion, Toddler Tunes and Toddler Fun. She had playdates at our house, a friend's house, Monkey Joes and the Magic House. We went to the Magic House for their free night and McDonald's play land. Kaitlynn had her first dental appointment.
We started babysitting a little boy named Hasnain (who was almost 12 months old).
MawMaw got a new puppy, a puggle named Sassy.
We saw Elmo's Green Thumb.

February:
Kaitlynn had playdates at a friend's house, Museum of Transportation, Schroeder Park, Chic-Fil-A, a Valentine party at a friend's house, Science Center and the Zoo. She attended classes at the ECC, such as Toddler Fun, Be My Valentine, Home Improvements and Just Me & My Dad. We visited the Zoo for the Delta Dental event. We continued babysitting Hasnain and started watching a little girl named Whitney (who was almost 4 months old). Dave celebrated his 30th birthday on the 11th and I celebrated my 31st birthday on the 13th. We made Valentine's Day crafts. Kaitlynn had her first visit to Urgent Care. She had a laceration on her scalp and had to get a staple. Dave and I attended Toilet Learning class at the ECC. We celebrated Kaitlynn's 2nd birthday on the 21st by having a party at our house. Kaitlynn turned 2 on the 23rd and went for her 2 year check up and had the staple removed from her head that day. What a way to celebrate her birthday! The PAT educator visited us, also.

Kaitlynn and Whitney
Valentine party at friend's house
Kaitlynn's 2nd birthday party
celebration of daddy's, mommy's and Kaitlynn's birthdays.
A few February posts: It Doesn't Matter Who Gets There First and (from February but written in March) Happy Birthday Love Bug.
(Posts from February to early July are from my other / original blog Everyday Mama Drama)

March:
I continued babysitting Hasnain and Whitney. I babysat one of Kaitlynn's friends (Ella) so her mommy could go to an appointment, babysat a friend's (Jill's) little boy (Nick) a few days, and started babysitting a little girl named Olivia (who was 2 months old). We attended Seuss on the Loose at the library, a Baby and Kid Expo, Spring Forward for Amphibians at the Zoo, went on many trips to the Zoo and to McDonald's play land. Kaitlynn attended playdates at Kangaroo Kids, a friend's house for lunch, the Zoo, Chesterfield Mall, had a St. Pat's Party at our house, celebrated St. Patrick's Day at Faust Park and carousel, Easter Bunny arrival at the Mills Mall, Early Childhood Center and Chic-Fil-A. She had some kind of virus with vomiting and a fever. We attended Gabe's 2nd birthday party and (cousin) Angie's bridal shower. Kaitlynn attended Music Makers class at the ECC.
Kaitlynn and Nick
St. Pat's Party
Faust Park (at the carousel) on St. Patrick's Day
Gabe's birthday party
Kaitlynn and Sassy
Kaitlynn and Olivia
A few March posts: Happy St. Patrick's Day and Caged.
(Posts from February to early July are from my other / original blog Everyday Mama Drama)

April:
Kaitlynn attended classes at the ECC, such as Songs, Stories and Sillies, Motor Developers and Playground Pizazz. We attended playdates at the Zoo, Kangaroo Kids, Oakland House to meet the Easter Bunny and Wilmore Park. I continued babysitting Olivia and Whitney. We took Kaitlynn to the pediatrician for vomiting and diarrhea. MawMaw's preschool gave Kaitlynn a house and slide for our backyard. We celebrated Easter. MawMaw went to the hospital for a bad sinus infection. Kaitlynn got a double ear infection and had a cough and runny nose. We think the ear infection was due to allergies (coughing and runny nose). We attended Bailey's 2nd birthday party. We celebrated Earth Day. We attended a fundraiser for daddy's work, went to Grant's Farm and McDonald's play land.
Oakland House
Easter
A few April posts: Dying Easter Eggs, Double Ear Infection, and Easter .
(Posts from February to early July are from my other / original blog Everyday Mama Drama)

May:
I babysat 2 boys (Jaden & Leto) from one of our playgroups and continued babysitting Whitney and Olivia. Kaitlynn's PAT educator visited. May 5th marked 1 year since PawPaw Dado passed away. Kaitlynn had playdates at Kangaroo Kids, Grant's Farm, Botanical Garden and Museum of Transportation. She attended Motor Developers classes at the ECC. We attended Zoo Friends' Day - Caribbean Cove opened, Grant's Farm, Eckert's Strawberry Festival, Greek Festival, South County Mall play area and Burger King play area. We celebrated Mother's Day. Kaitlynn went to the pediatrician for a check up on her ears and for her runny nose. We attended Angie & Josh's wedding and Hanna celebrated her 18th birthday.
Zoo Friends' Day & Opening of Caribbean Cove
Mother's Day
playing with Sassy and Shadow
Strawberry Festival
Memorial Weekend
A few May posts: One Year, Mother's Day, Strawberry Festival and (from June but written in July) Memorial Weekend.
(Posts from February to early July are from my other / original blog Everyday Mama Drama)

June:
Hanna graduated from high school. Kaitlynn rode a pony for the first time and attended 2 Cardinals' games. We went to the Zoo, Jungle Boogie at the Zoo, Kidgit's Mini Chefs event at Mills Mall, Mills Mall play area and McDonald's play land. Kaitlynn attended playdates at Grant's Farm, our house and Chic-Fil-A. Dave & I celebrated our 7th Dating Anniversary by attending the Shakespeare Festival (Merry Wives of Windsor) and another night went to Il Vicino's and McGurk's. We attended Ella's 2nd birthday party. We celebrated Father's Day. I babysat Nick again and continued babysitting Whitney and Olivia. Kaitlynn had a cardiologist appointment, in which we received good news! We added a new member to our family / household, a turtle (named Turtle). Great Grandma, Pumpkin, Tiger and Jasmine celebrated their birthdays.
Hanna at graduation
at one of the Cardinals' games
at Ella's birthday party
with Nick and Whitney
Father's Day
Date night
with Turtle
A few June posts: Pony Named Mouse, Babysitting, Cardiologist and Playdate, Father's Day and New Addition.
(Posts from February to early July are from my other / original blog Everyday Mama Drama)

July:
We watched fireworks and celebrated the 4th of July at MawMaw Tommie's. Aunt Neese celebrated her birthday. Some health and issues came up for me. With this came some new medications, additional blood tests, more doctor's visits and lots of days feeling sick. I continued babysitting Olivia. We attended Jungle Boogie at the Zoo, went bowling, to Grant's Farm, Kidgit's Safe Summer event at the Mills Mall, Health Fair at the Botanical Garden, West County Mall play area and McDonald's play land. I was interviewed for an article on cleaning house. Kaitlynn attended playdates at Drace Park, a friend's house, a Star Studded Concert (at Kangaroo Kids), Suson Park and Farm and Kangaroo Kids. Our cat Tiger died on the 26th. Kaitlynn had another dental appointment. I started this blog.
at the Zoo

4th of July
bowling
playdate with Gabe
dancing at Grant's Farm with Kylie
All Star game

A few July posts: Happy 4th of July, Welcome, Star Studded Concert and My Best Friend Tiger.
(Posts from February to early July are from my other / original blog Everyday Mama Drama)

August:
Kaitlynn had her 1st haircut. We celebrated Friendship Day, Sister's Day and Brandon's 10th birthday at Happy Joes. Kaitlynn had a pediatrician appointment because she was complaining of her tummy hurting. We went to the Zoo, Citygarden, Lone Elk Park, Jungle Boogie at the Zoo, Eckert's for peach and blackberry picking, McDonald's play land and the library. I continued babysitting Olivia and Whitney. We attended Addison's 2nd birthday party at New Ballwin Park. We received Tiger's ashes and put them on the mantle. Our dear friend, Jimmy, passed away. Dave and Kaitlynn went to Castlewood State Park and the Zoo. The article I was interviewed for was published.
1st hair cut
Citygarden
Kaitlynn, Olivia and Whitney
Addison's party
A few August posts: First Haircut, Clean Enough House, Peach and Blackberry Picking and Kaitlynn's 2 1/2 Birthday.

September:
I continued babysitting Olivia and Whitney. Kaitlynn attended playdates at Faust Park and carousel, Bounce U, Kangaroo Kids, McDonald's play land, Eckert's in Millstadt and Botanical Garden . We went to Disney on Ice - 100 Years of Magic, Jungle Boogie at the Zoo, Greek Festival, Eckert's for apple picking, Lowe's Build and Grow, Sprout event to meet Barney and Chica, Manchester Homecoming, the Zoo, Grant's Farm and Parties in the Park at Stacy Park. Kaitlynn attended the Bubble Picnic and Playground Pizazz at the ECC. We celebrated Grandparent's Day by taking MawMaw to St. Charles Vintage House & Wine Garden. We also celebrated Labor Day. Kaitlynn and I got our flu shots (on the same day, one right after the other). We did 3 day potty training with Kaitlynn and it was successful. The PAT educator visited. Dave and I took a Healthy Meals class at the ECC.
Disney on Ice
A few September posts: Disney On Ice 100 Years of Magic, Greek for a Day, Apple Picking on Labor Day, Happy Grandparent's Day MawMaw, Happy Grandparent's Day PawPaw Dado and Potty Training Adventure.

October:
We attended familly night at the ECC where Jim Gil performed, went to the Zoo for Ottertoberfest, saw Curious George Live, attended Grant's Farm Halloween event , Barnum & Bailey's Zing, Zang, Zoom, the Magic House for the Curious George exhibit, Grafton's Eckert's for the Pumpkin Jamboree, Purina Farms' Haunted Hayloft, Magic House's 9th Annual Not-So- Haunted House, the Zoo for Spooky Saturday, Boo at the Zoo, Stuckmeyer's Fun Farm Day, McDonald's play land, the ECC's Halloween Fun Fair and The Knack's Halloween event at Michael's. I continued babysitting Olivia and started watching a little boy named Aidan (who was 9 1/2 months old). We remembered PawPaw Dado's 66th birthday. Dave & I attended Love, Limits & Laughter at the ECC, which was a 4 week course. I attended Why Do They Do What They Do at the ECC. Kaitlynn attended classes at the ECC, such as Kids in the Kitchen, Big Science, Songs, Stories & Sillies and visited our local elementary school. She had playdates at Thies Farm (Pumpkinland), attended the Boo Bash, Halloween playdate at the Zoo and a costume party at Kangaroo Kids. We bought a new laptop because our old one was giving us nothing but trouble. Kaitlynn had a UTI. We celebrated Halloween by having a get together at our house.
Not-So-Haunted House at the Magic House
Halloween Fun Fair at the ECC
A few October posts: Happy Birthday Dado and (from October but written in November) Halloween.

November:
Dave and I celebrated our 5th wedding anniversary. I continued babysitting Aidan and Olivia. Kaitlynn attended classes at the ECC, such as Songs, Stories & Sillies, Kids in the Kitchen, Little Tykes 2, Hooked on Books and the Book, Puppet & Toy Fair. Her PAT educator visited. Kaitlynn attended a playdate at a friend's house. We went to the Mills Mall for Santa's Arrival. I became a Discussion Leader with MomsLikeMe.com (again). Kaitlynn had her 2nd haircut (first one by Hanna). We celebrated MawMaw's 61st birthday by going out to dinner. Kaitlynn had her first ER visit. She was diagnosed with Croup (after having a chest x-ray). We celebrated Thanksgiving with family.
climbing a tree one beautiful fall day
5th Anniversary
Santa's arrival at the Mills Mall
MawMaw with her granddaughters at her birthday dinner
Thanksgiving
A few November posts: Happy 5th Anniversary, At Last - Through the Years of Our Love, MawMaw's Birthday Dinner and Happy Thanksgiving.

December:
I continued babysitting Olivia and Aidan. Kaitlynn attended Little Tykes 2 classes at the ECC. We started the tradition of celebrating St. Nick's Day. I started with Avon Leadership. Kaitlynn attended playdates at Midrivers Mall, Christmas party at Yummy & Co and the Zoo for Wild Lights. We looked at Christmas lights displays, visited Santa at the Caboose, attended St. Charles' Christmas Traditions and the Zoo's Wild Lights event. Kaitlynn and I had a stomach virus and then she got Croup (again). I got a Flip Video from MomsLikeMe.com to try out. We joined a produce co-op. I sprained my left ankle. We celebrated Uncle Jeff''s, Nate's and Aunt Trina's birthdays. Kaitlynn received a letter from Santa, wrote a letter to Santa, received a call and video from Santa and did Christmas crafts. We also celebrated Christmas Eve and Christmas (Jesus' birthday). Kaitlynn had her hair trimmed (by Hanna) again. She is getting so much hair now! We celebrated New Year's Eve at home.
visiting Santa at the Caboose
St. Charles' Christmas Traditions
Christmas Eve
Christmas
Hanna, Denise and me on Christmas
New Year's Eve
A few December posts: St. Nick's Day, St. Charles' Christmas Traditions, Christmas Eve, Christmas, More Christmas Celebration and (from December but written in January) New Year's Eve.

Good bye 2009. You have been a tough year, but without you, we wouldn't have learned some very valuable lessons. With 2008 and 2009 behind us, I think we can conquer anything!