Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Custom Artwork... again.

People have been more than generous with giving me a helping hand since Derek's been gone. People have mowed my yard, watched Jackson, cooked dinner among many other things. Well, the other day at church a couple of ladies who clean houses by vocation, came up to me and asked if they could come and clean house-- at no cost every couple of weeks. I was around a ton of people, having a rather not-very-good day, and it literally took all my effort not to cry as I said, "Uhm... yes, please!"

So, they came over yesterday morning. They tackled the kitchen, dining room, living room, the bathrooms, all the bedrooms. I mean, it looked spectacular. I say looked because I have since cooked and Jackson has gotten out all of his toys, but it's only clutter. I can see out of my windows, no grimy fingerprints. I'm no longer distracted by the dust on my picture frames and shelves down the hallway. The crayon all over the bathtub (it's allowed) is all cleaned up and so is the artwork on the wall where Jackson redecorated the week before Derek left.

They ladies spent several hours here in the morning and left around the time I was getting lunch ready for the kiddos. Jackson was having a meltdown, "I waaaant a baaanaaanaaa" and I was willfully ignoring him. I walked in to put their plates on their table* to find an entirely new piece of artwork on my wall by a very pretty, little cutie who just likes the color purple.

Seriously!?! The cleaning ladies had only been gone not even seven whole minutes. Jackson had carried in the box of crayons in the midst of his fit and I just placed them on the counter. I did not think to count them. Clearly, there was one missing and was used to add some flair to my dining room, yet again. At least the ladies told me how to clean it off and maybe I will actually get it off before they come again.

*I've been looking for a new table for the kiddos to use. The table we were using only had one chair and the kids were able to knock it over pretty easily. I had been browsing craigslist for a few weeks and found one close by and at a good price. They used a cell phone to take a picture and I was under the impression that I was on my way to pick up gray and hunter green table. Much to my surprise, it was purple, teal, and pink. Oh well. It works!


Thursday, August 26, 2010

Pictures for Daddy

In the past several letters from Derek, he's been leaving some very subtle hints about wanting more letters and more pictures.
* It's okay to share my address with other people- family, friends, all of facebook!!
* If you want to send more pictures, that'd be cool!
I've spent the last week petitioning people send letters. Surprisingly (or not), telling people that Derek has to do 20 push-ups for every letter he receives is really motivating for people! And of course, I'm still doing my part writing letters and trying to capture new, cute things that Jackson's been up to, and that's what I'm sharing with you today!

Jackson takes very good care of Elmo and feeds him some of his lunch. Elmo would say, "yum" every time he "ate" a cracker.
(How's this for pretend?)

Jackson now refers to his blanket as "bip" and he loves to wear it as a cape and run circles around the house.

Jackson is yelling, "Go, go, go!" when watching pre-season football, while enjoying some pizza! 
(is this masculine enough to make up for this?)

This is Jackson playing it cool during the dance party the other day. The kid loooooves pockets.

 Jackson's added several words to his vocabulary, and "catch" is one of them. He'd say it every time I'd roll the ball to him.

We have a new recliner now and Jackson loves to sit in it and "rock"-- all of time time. 

If you'd like Derek's address so you could send him a letter and I haven't given you his address, please let me know!! It doesn't need to be fancy or lengthy-- just anything to remind him of home. He doesn't have any contact with the "outside" world and he'd be so encouraged to hear from you!


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

One very happy lady

Last night, some friends invited us over for dinner. A good time was had by all as we discussed conversations that never would have been allowed at the table (or ever) growing up. It's really surprising we made it through dinner in the first place as there were several bursts of laughing through out the meal. I hear my phone ring in my purse (on the floor) and was about to ignore it until I realized that it was Derek's ringtone-- the Mario Brothers song. Dada, da, dada, da!

I'm sure I've never moved as fast in my life as when I jumped up from the table, shouting "That's Derek's ringtone!!" digging in my purse, and saying "Hiiiiii!!!!" in like two seconds flat. It was such a surprise. I'm still a little bit giddy over the whole thing. DS Hosea (the guy who runs the facebook group) had mentioned the boys have earned the privilege to use their phones on Sundays. Derek did call on Sunday, but because of an incident involving one of the soldiers attempting to purchase candy, the guys only had 5 minutes to power up the phones, talk, and have their phones back in the box. Needless to say, it was a VERY short conversation. But last night-- we talked for an entire 12 minutes and it was fabulous!!

Jackson was close by so I put the phone on speaker, and when Jackson heard Derek's voice, his eyes lit up and said, "Dada!!!!!". He said "Hi, Dad" and waved to the phone before getting distracted by matchbox cars. I was so glad to realize that Jackson hasn't forgotten him!

Later in the evening, after Jackson was in bed, Linda (my mother-in-law) came over and we purchased our plane tickets and made our travel plans for Derek's graduation in October. I'm quite giddy about that too. We are flying into Atlanta, driving south to Columbus (Fort Benning) where we'll stay for a couple days, driving over to Augusta (Fort Gordon) to stay a night before we drop Derek off at his AIT training, and then we're gonna party it up in Atlanta for a few days and have a mini-vacation. It's gonna be so much fun. What's even cooler, is that I finally was brave enough to use the Name Your Own Price gadget on Priceline and got Derek and I a 3 1/2 hotel for $79 (yes, that is half price). Check out our place:

Meet the Augusta Marriott Hotel

Check out the gorgeous lobby!!

Okay, this isn't the room we booked, but I'm thinkin' of trying
"This is the one night my hubby and I have together before I have to send him off for five more months of training"
card to see if we might get an upgrade. Things like that always happen in the movies. So, it's bound to work in real life!

I am so excited to get to see the hubs. Just to get to talk in person, hang out, relax!! I know I shouldn't be so excited yet because it's still six weeks away, but that also means, "It's only six weeks away!!" It's been exactly one month today since dropped him off and it's gone by so fast that I just know the next six weeks are going to fly by!


Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Just Dance

This morning, Jackson and I had a super fun dance party busting moves to Lady Gaga. And when Chacey got here, there was more groovin' and movin' fun to be had! Here are a few of the best clips of the morning to the songs Just Dance and Poker Face.

Notice how Jackson starts out all calm and playing it cool with his hands in his pockets... and as time goes on, his dance moves get bigger and bigger until it becomes the infamous gallop that he likes to showcase when we are at a restaurant waiting for our food. Chacey has some pretty bold move herself!


Monday, August 23, 2010

We're a pitiful bunch

This weekend wasn't very kind to us. It all started Saturday morning when Jackson started throwing up-- at Wal-Mart of all places. I should have known something was up because the kid wouldn't eat anything... and he loves to eat! Then came the huge diaper blow-out that occurred in his carseat. Uhm, GROSS! And seriously, who know you'd need an engineering degree to get the cover off to wash it?! I haven't even attempted to put it back on yet.

The real excitement started Saturday night when both Julie and Jackson were taking turns getting sick. And I had no idea what to do! Should I console my upset child first? Or clean him up so he's not covered in grossness? And it took me for.ev.er to get the stupid bumper pads off (untying every single knot that I once proudly put on there) because it was now disgusting... all while Jackson was crying. I needed about 27 more pairs of hands, and a less sensitive gag reflex, if I'm honest. Eventually I got him calmed down and back to sleep, but it was 1:30 by that time.

Then the next morning, I woke up knowing it was my turn. Julie stayed in bed until 10:30 and almost immediately went back to bed for most of the day. I was totally jealous. To avoid being Jackson's jungle gym and in hopes to get any rest I could, it is possible that we watched three Elmo DVDs before noon yesterday. He did take a nice nap. My mom came down in the late afternoon. She cleaned up the kitchen and family room and ended up taking Jackson home with her so I could sleep and kick this bug asap. Amazing!!!

On Sunday, Jackson began to eat again- but only bananas. He had four that day.

Lying in bed, I began to crave a McChicken. I partially blame the pregnancy, but I also blame the fact that I was just starving. So, Julie and I drove an entire 1 mile to get our sandwiches and back home. Yet, I felt like I had been hit by a bus. The trip was so exhausting that it made me nauseous, gave me a huge headache, and made my fever go up!! I had to lie down, cover my eyes, and eventually enjoyed my sandwich an hour and a half later. Julie and I were hanging on the couch moaning and complaining about how it hurts to move and we decided that we were a pathetic, pitiful pair!!

Fortunately, I woke up feeling much, much better today after getting to sleep in-- a rare treat!! Julie stayed home from school, but is feeling up to going tomorrow. Unfortunately, several of our friends and family now have the same bug. Sorry!!


Friday, August 20, 2010

Puzzle Maker

Ever since I've gotten Derek's address, I've tried to be very good at mailing something almost every day. At the end of each day I write about what we've done, how things are going, and the latest news about Jackson. And then I'll send a couple days worth of letters at a time.

But, I don't want to just include a letter on regular notebook paper. So I've tried to come up with fun, different things to send his way. One day last week I sent him the blog posts since he's been gone and another day, my tweets. I've send some cards, pictures, news clips, comics. Sometimes I get tricky and throw in a pop quiz:
"I found an entire roll of toilet paper in the toilet. Any guesses of how it might have gotten there?"
But today I was feeling like I just needed something different, so I visited a website that I had long forgotten, but it's a total favorite! You totally need to visit puzzlemaker.com. It is such a fun easy site to make your own puzzles about whatever you want! The site was introduced to me by a favorite teacher in high school who would always have a cool puzzle as a review of the chapter before a test. His puzzles would include vocab terms or historical events, but I'm partial to sending silly messages or love notes! Once for Derek's birthday, I made a scavenger hunt of sorts for the evening. He'd have to finish a puzzle to determine what was next on the agenda!

So today, I sent him two puzzles. One was a Hidden Message puzzle, which is a word find puzzle that has a hidden message in the left-over letters. It's so much fun and it's the easiest thing in the world. Just type in a message, include the words to find, and click create and you're good to go! I also created a cryptogram, which is a little harder because he has to decipher the code. You can be as generous as you wish with the letters you chose to give away. In my encrypted message, I included our travel plans to come see him in October.

 Derek doesn't love puzzles as much as I do, so I am sure he'll have not nice thoughts about me when he gets his letter sometime next week. But I am just not okay with being predictable and boring. And besides, I had plenty of fun making them. He's just excited to get any mail in general, so I'm kind of banking on his excitement over the mail outweighs the fact that he has to work for the messages!


Thursday, August 19, 2010

Sleepless in South KC

I am looking for advice, tips, suggestions-- anything, please! I've been in a general state of tiredness all week and Jackson has decided he just doesn't need to sleep all that much anymore.

First off, Jackson has always been the kind of kid that when he gets super tired-- he sleeps less. He does not make up for sleep; he just continually gets less and less, which is what's happening here. Second, he's always napped more than the average kid--last week he would have gotten around 11 hours of sleep at night with anywhere from 3-4 hours in naps during the day, at almost two years old.

It all started with a busy weekend and a messed up nap schedule. Sunday night he was up in the middle of the night for over two hours, but only took one nap on Monday. Since then, he's only taken one nap a day and I have just assumed it was time for that adjustment.

The thing is, is that he still needs more sleep than he's getting. I've tried moving his naps to later in the day, but he gets cranky around dinner time and stays that way until bedtime (has always been 8:30-9ish). And then, this morning he was up at 5:45am (his normal is 7:15ish). For the day. During the five o' clock hour. This is my indication that he needs more/longer naps. He has gotten progressively less and less sleep each day this week and I just can't handle him loosing anymore sleep. Last night he got 9 hours of sleep at night and if he naps like he has been this week, the nap will be 2-3 hours.

We went from 14-15 hours of sleep a day to 11-12 hours in a matter of days and statistically speaking, that's quite a bit. While for some kids, I know that's totally normal, it's just not Jackson's normal. And I would think this change might be okay if he wasn't showing signs of tiredness throughout the day.

And since he's able to climb out of his crib, I've lost a bit of the power in just putting him down and letting him cry himself to sleep.

Is this no sleep thing a phase? Is he just exploring his freedom of escaping the crib? Does it ever end? What's the best way to adjust to one nap (and to make it count!)? What can I do when it's 5:00 and evidently tired and cranky but we still have hours until bed time? HELP!


Wednesday, August 18, 2010

Blogger's Swap: Treats from Indiana

A couple weeks ago, I posted about a regional/city swap that I participated in a few weeks ago. I shared what I got together to send to a fellow blogger representing the Kansas City area. I actually received my swap package before I sent mine out, but I was waiting until I got mine all ready to send before I shared about. And then I just forgot! Thankfully, I've had people ask me about it to remind me to post about it!

Molly, from Fletcher's Favorites, was my swapper! She's from Indiana and she sent me this fabulous Vera Bradley stationary kit! Apparently, Vera Bradley started from a small town in their state. How cool! She also sent some caramels from a family candy shop!

Seriously, it's the cutest set ever. It all comes in this fancy box that opens at the top, but also has a little pull out drawer at the bottom. There are several sheets of stationary paper, postcards, note cards, and the funkiest envelopes. Plus several cute stickers and address labels. I love to write letters, so I'm super pumped. Though, I'm a bit hesitant to use it because I never buy nice stationary, so I don't want it to go to waste!

Another swap is in conversation over here! And, you should totally hang out awhile and get to know some of the bloggers and check back for when it will actually take place! They are awesome people! Topics include "real" stuff like opinions on new policies, Obama, healthcare, etc... but also includes great conversations about Speidi, reality tv, and currently Veronica Mars!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

First day of school

Today was Julie's first day of school! 

She's definitely not a fan of the uniform (khakis and polo shirt), but I assured her that it could be worse! That, and we reminded her that everyone else would look just as silly as she did. It was only a half day, so she came home and said, "I've got to change. I just can't do this."

She has a couple of friends over now until volleyball practice starts at 3:30. Look at them doing their homework like good little high school students!

And I definitely can't forget to mention that Julie had volleyball tryouts yesterday and totally made the varsity team!! How cool is she?!

We had a back to school night at the school last night. Goodness gracious do we have a crazy, busy year ahead of us! I went out to purchase a planer today just to keep track of it all! Working volleyball concessions here, weekend trips there. Midterms, basketball, and fundraisers... oh my!!! We're going to have so much fun!


Monday, August 16, 2010

I have dreaded this day for a very long time

Jackson has learned to climb out of his crib.

This is just really unfortunate news for me. In a recent conversation with a friend about moving Jackson into a toddler bed, I said, "I don't have confidence that Jackson will stay in his bed, his room, or even in this house if he doesn't have the crib to confine him."

As if the kid needs more to distract him from taking a nap. He was up for over 2 hours last night playing (for the first hour) and screaming. He had missed his afternoon nap two days in a row and was getting progressively grumpier. So when I put him down for a morning nap this morning... and he climbs out! The poor kid has bags under his eyes. He desperately needs to catch up on sleep. At least he's taking a nice nap now that last late enough to keep him bearable until bed time. And hopefully he can have a good night's rest tonight.

Here's the latest clip I have of Jackson avoiding his nap. He just gets so hyper when he's tired as to convince himself that he doesn't need a nap. Trust me. He does!!

On a positive note. I went to my 12 week prenatal appointment today. My doctor couldn't find the heartbeat, which totally stressed me out, but she sent me in for a sonogram so I got to see the little fella/lady. The heartbeat was great (137) and the baby even waved. The sonogram tech was super fun and typed in "Hi Daddy" so I could send it to Derek. How cute!

The baby is on his/her back. Head to the left. The arm is under the words.


Sunday, August 15, 2010

It's been three weeks...

... since I said good-bye to the hubby, and surprisingly it hasn't been that bad. Of course I miss him like crazy, but I've kept pretty busy and it's gone by rather fast.

I seriously think the best thing for me is having Julie here. She is so perfect for our family and she's super fun! It is nice to have someone to talk to and hang out with. I look forward to her coming home from volleyball practice so she can tell me all about it and we enjoy indulging ourselves with several episodes of Veronica Mars! Right before she came, I began to wonder if maybe I was in over my head, but now I am truly convinced she's exactly what I needed!

I started to receive letters from Derek this week and now I anxiously await for the mailman to walk by each day!! It is an adjustment to getting used to the time-lapse in communication, but we're figuring it out! Thursday's was by far the coolest letter yet. First he told me that I get to drive him to his AIT base (Fort Gordon-- four hours away) after his basic training graduation, so that's extra time that we're going to get to spend together!!

Also, he mentioned that a facebook group might exist for his company with pictures and updates about what they were doing. It took me half an hour to find it; I didn't know where to start... but I found it!! I searched through all of the picture so diligently and found him in the background of a few pictures. It really is quite challenging as they all sort of look alike with the same uniforms and haircuts. But it's way cool to see what he's up to, like the Confidence Course they did last weekend. I was also able to obtain more info about his graduation weekend so we can look into our travel plans down. We were only expecting just a handful of hours to spend together, but it turns out we will have two full days plus the drive to Ft. Gordon. How cool!?! I'm gonna plan a sonogram visit soon and figure out how we are going to celebrate Jackson's 2nd birthday that weekend, among just hanging out together with the hubs.

Derek is super anxious to receive mail and pictures. He's mentioned others have gotten mail already and that was a day or two before I even had his address, so I feel so awful that he's had to wait to get his mail. I have tried to be diligent about sending stuff often and I've made sure to take some good pictures to send his way!

Jackson is "getting Daddy" while he reads the tackle page in the Daddy book.


Saturday, August 14, 2010

We went shopping today

This morning, Jackson and I accompanied Grammy and Aunt Ashley (pronounced Ash-Ah) to JC Penny's. He had a lot of fun running around in circles around the clothes, trying on hats, shopping for shoes, and chatting on the phone.

(these are cell phone pics, so they're a little fuzzy)

I promise to schedule some man-time this week so his dad won't freak out and wonder what his happening to his little boy while he's gone!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010


My new washer and dryer got delivered today. I am a little bit disappointed. My laundry still isn't done; it's still piled high in my bedroom waiting to be taken downstairs. I was just kinda hoping that they'd be magic or something, but no such luck.

Awhile back, I posted about how our dryer wasn't drying well and we'd have to run in 2-3 cycles just to dry the clothes. And then, just days after Derek leaves, the washer decided to not drain the water, nor spin, any longer. Fortunately, Derek was accessible by phone at the time and we decided it'd be best just to get a new set.

Home Depot has free haul away of the old appliances-- ah.may.zing! The only issue I had was getting the standing water out of the washer so the guys could take it away. It probably wouldn't have been a big deal, except that I had forgotten about it and then remembered about the water days later. I went down to get the sheets out of the water and proceeded to run up the stairs in time to vomit outside on the grass. Needless to say, it smelt baaaaaaaaad.

A wonderful friend, Brad, got the sheets out for me and set them outside to air out, but we didn't have time to mess with the water that day. So, then last night I realized that it needed to be done pronto, so I called upon my friend, Brandon. He came over with a wet vac and got it all cleaned out with bleach. Don't I have amazing friends? Even better- Brandon came over to mow the yard today.

One thing is for certain- I am completely taken care of by the people around me. Even though the things that have come up since Derek's left have been annoying (i.e. mold in my pantry. UGH!), I have great people to rely on to help me out. I'm a lucky girl!

Anyone wanna volunteer to take care of the laundry? ........... No??..... Anyone?!?..... I just thought I'd ask.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Wanna know what I got today??

I got a new toy. And it happens to be pink. Yes, it is indeed the first pink Android phone. And she's mine. Don't tell Derek. He'll be insanely jealous (not about the pink, but about the phone).
I was sort of bummed my family was switching from Verizon to Sprint only because I just really liked my old phone, the Samsung Rouge. I found her sister phone. It's a lot more features, apps, and all sorts of bells and whistles. I just have to figure it all out. Even better- they bought my old back from me so it was basically 40% off. How awesome!

I even found Jackson some shorts for next summer at Target for only $2.50 a pair. That was pretty exciting.

And more exciting than any of this... I GOT A LETTER FROM DEREK!! Two actually. Since last Sunday, I've only received a quick three minute phone call and I he told me he mailed these letters and I have been impatiently waiting for these guys ever since Wednesday night!! The best part is that I finally have an address for him so I can start sending him letters and pictures. That is... once I can decipher the chicken scratch his handwriting. He's been writing really fast so he can finish the letter in the little free time he gets and it just makes it that much more difficult to read! But I am more than up for the challenge.

The gist of basic training so far- lots of push ups, lots of screaming, not a lot of sleep. He said he's making friends and having a good time. And that is so good to hear. I miss the guy, I really do. These past two weeks have gone by pretty fast, so here's hoping the next 33 go just as quickly!


Sunday, August 8, 2010

Down at the lake

We were invited to the lake this weekend by some awesome friends. Here's a recap:

The beautiful sunset view from the boat

Chillin' in the boat, eating lots of junk food!!

Taking some time to jump out of the boat for a swim in the middle of the lake!

And Julie had tons-o-fun tubing for the first time

Jackson got to spend some quality time with his Grandma and Grandpa while I had a wonderful relaxing weekend with friends. Not only did we enjoy the water, but we stayed up late watching movies, eating wonderful food cooked by HanNah, and cracked ourselves up at the dinner table. Julie even got herself her very first American boyfriend... of the completely smitten five-year-old type. Boy, does he have it bad!!

Summer is almost over... school starts in one week! If only someone would tell the sun to give it a rest. We have a forecast with 100 degree temps in the forecast all week. UGH!


Thursday, August 5, 2010

Blogger's Swap: KC Pride

I never thought that I'd really be one to have several online friends since I am perfectly capable of making and maintaining friends, ya know, in real life. But, I over the past several months, I've become involved in the community of blogging and I'm addicted! It's just really cool to have friends from all over, all with different backgrounds, all doing different things with their lives. I have come across people drastically different from me, doing things I've never dealt with and I've become fascinated in their lives. I have also found friends very much like me- National guard wives, Psychology grad students, moms with kids Jackson's age and it's way cool to chat with someone who knows where you're coming from.

A few months ago in a particular community, the idea to do a swap came up and in not too long, it was all set up. You put your name in if you want to participate. You'll be given a name to send stuff to and someone else will have your name. The theme: regional swap. The budget: $10-20. I was given the name of Holly- from Michigan, the organizer (no pressure!), so I set out to collect goodies from Kansas City. I had a few ideas in mind, not all of them worked out, but I'm satisfied with how it's turned out.

The goodies (okay, items 1-6 are just brochures I picked up, but I love this city and gotta get the word out about all the fun stuff to do here!)
  1. Kansas City Zoo: kind of ironic that this is first because, it's probably the crappiest zoo you've ever been too. But! It does have a cool IMAX and Starlight Theater is right there too, which has outdoor traveling Broadway shows and I love it. 
  2. Greater KC Attractions: this is just a compilation of all the big and small things to do in the area. Includes gardens, amusement parks, museums, historical places, etc... A lot of these places are free!
  3. Kaleidoscope: This is by far one of the coolest places for kids to visit. It's actually owned by Hallmark (more on that later) and is a place where kids can go in and be super creative with all sorts of left-overs from the Hallmark plant plus other super cool stuff. Like, color a picture and make it into a puzzle. Things glitter, streamers, crayons, markers galore. Even better: it's totally free.
  4. Crown Center: Home to lots of shopping, restaurants, hotels. Remember the free movie nights from few weeks back-- that was here. In the winter time, there is an outdoor ice park. It's pretty cool. 
  5. Harry S. Truman Museum: Located in the "small town" of Independence where President Truman once called home, this museum focuses on his Presidency- including the end of WWII, beginning of the United Nations, and the beginning of the Cold War. The Buck Stops Here.
  6. National World War I Museum: America's official museum dedicated to World War I. I believe it's the only one. Even though the attraction isn't free (unless your active or retired military), the tickets are good for two consecutive days. After soaking up history, check out the great views of the city!
  7. Singing Hallmark Card: musical to number 12
  8. Gates BBQ: Okay, I personally despise Gates BBQ. I am a loyal fan of KC Masterpiece and Oklahoma Joes. However, KC Masterpiece is a national brand so she'd have access to it up in Michigan, and since Oklahoma Joe's has yet to offer their BBQ at the grocery store, I had to opt for Gates. I am being true to this city as a lot of people looooooove this stuff. But seriously, BBQ is big here. Simply put KC=BBQ, BBQ=KC... either way.
  9. Royals MLB cards: I am a big fan of practical gifts. Everyone can use a deck of cards and people will be like, "why do you have Royals cards" because Kansas City-ian knows that no one outside of KC actually sports Royals stuff. It may have to do with their consecutive subpar performances, but we are loyal fans. Perks to a not so great time: great promotions and giveaways at the games-- free t-shirts, hats, Girls Nights, Firework Fridays. Plus the games are still fun. I had hopes of making it to a game to get an extra free t-shirt, but I just couldn't make it happen.
  10. Crayola Keychain: I was searching for a Chiefs keychain, but didn't have luck since football season hasn't started. Inside Crown Center (see above) is a really neat Crayola store. Not only does it have lots of cool things to buy, but it's a mini-museum, if I might say, with interesting info about the history of Crayola and crayons. And there are easels and crayons for kiddos to make their own artwork in the store. The keychain is an 'H', it's kind of hard to tell!
  11. The Pink Stuff Salad Dressing: I totally love the color pink. But, I was even hesitant to try pink salad dressing because, it's just weird. I am SO glad I did. This stuff is YUMMY!! There are several Pizza Shoppe restaurants around the city and they have a great lunch special. It's actually where Derek and I celebrated Valentine's Day this past year.
  12. Hallmark Bow and Postcard: Hallmark headquarters here in Kansas City where the company began. There are a few plants around the city, but the main offices and Visitor's Center are down by Crown Center. It's a very cool place to walk through and the main reason why: you get push a button and watch the machine make the bow and spit it out at ya! I totally made this bow for Holly! My other favorite part is checking out the Presidential holiday cards over the years, ornaments too, and seeing cards from other countries. It's free and you get a free Hallmark card too!
So I know this is a super long post, but I just have to boast my KC Pride. And I just can't deny my advertising and promotions undergrad. Quite honestly, I think someone needs to do a better job at advertising this city anyway. A lot of the brochures were hard to come by and there are tons of things that deserve more attention. Maybe they should just hire me!

Okay, so who's coming to visit!?!


Wednesday, August 4, 2010

We miss you, but.....

Jackson woke up this morning missing his daddy.
"I waaaaant. I waaaant. I waaaaant Dada!!"
It was so pitiful. He was super sensitive about everything and I couldn't get him to calm down until we looked at some pictures of Derek and then he smiled big. That is, until I broke his pop tart in half to show him the stuff on the inside. Then he sobbed. Then he got mad-- crushing it to pieces. And then sobbed some more because he was trying to put it back together and it wasn't working. Enter more pictures of Derek and he's been alright since.

Yesterday was Derek's first day of basic training (up until now, it's all been processing stuff) and it was the first day we didn't get to talk to him on the phone. It's been 10 days since he's been gone, and it's gone by pretty fast. I miss him a ton (even more when it makes Jackson sad) and all of the things that he typically contributes to our household... but if I focus on them, I become a mess, so as a coping mechanism, let's focus on some of the positive aspects of his absence.
  1. The freedom to wear his boxers and t-shirts without complaints
  2. A lack of smelly farts while tucked nicely in my bed
  3. Fewer conversations about farting and bowel movements, in general
  4. No one to complain about my many shoes throughout the house
  5. Making the bed is super easy because I only use half anyway
  6. Time to practice on the Wii so that I can totally kick butt when he comes home. (I am so sick of losing at bowling!)
  7. Freedom to chose movies that he wouldn't like
  8. Being able to talk during a movie and not getting yelled at
  9. Actually remembering to jot down the little things Jackson does and says each day
  10. Not having to explain to people that "Daddy dressed him"...
... or explaining to Daddy why plaid and stripes don't go together, to begin with.



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