Friday, March 30, 2012


My title was way to long so I had to abbreviate. This is what it stands for:
“I’m glad you learned how to tackle because I don’t know how to play tea party.”

2012 March

Yes it’s true. Belle has learned the joy in tackling Daddy. It makes her giggle and it is SO CUTE! She's even figured out a method—it’s the same everytime:

  1. Look all sweet and innocent
  2. Ready or not, here I come
  3. I’m not quite big enough to actually fall on top when I tackle, so be patient as I climb
  4. I’m on top! But, not quite in position yet…
  5. Yes, this is the spot! I think I’m just gonna lay here for a minute.
  6. Yup, still hanging out. Oh, smile for Mommy!

Haha. She’s so funny. I love this girl. Too bad these photos don’t capture the giggles, but I assure you there were LOTS. I have a video, but it’s over 5 minutes long and I know the attentions span of a you-tube watcher is like 15 seconds, so I didn’t hassle.

Anyway, last night was filled with lots of laughter, tackles, and hi-yahs as Derek was spending lots of quality time with the kids before he took off for his two weeks of army duty this morning. He’s taking a training course the is required for his next promotion, whenever that comes along.

These days, Jackson’s tackles consist of a running headstart with a last minute jump—if you’re unprepared, it can knock the wind out of you. Thankfully, Derek was prepared for this one!SAM_8289

Derek and Jackson have been watching The Power Rangers together and consequently there has been an influx in "hi-ya" activity going on in my house. Jackson couldn’t hold still for a millisecond to get a picture of his "hi-ya" hands!


This is a quick glimpse of what my bed looked like at 10:30pm last night as Derek began packing his gear. You know that this looks like to me: a giant velcroed-together-ball of camouflage that will soon occupy this same location when he gets back in a couple of weeks after it goes through the laundry. I HATE VELCRO.


This morning, we had a big family breakfast, which was a special treat! The menu: Mickey Mouse waffles, scrambled-cheesy eggs, cantaloupe, and orange juice. Spiral straw optional. 


Jackson got some last minute Daddy-hugs. Jackson is such a trooper. I know he doesn’t understand why Derek has to leave, but he copes pretty well. In the one year that Derek has been home after doing nine-months of Basic and AIT training  this makes a total of fives week of active duty {one week in June, two in September}. On top of the weekends, many which have been three day exercises. Unfortunately, Jackson is no stranger to the process and tomorrow or Sunday he’ll really realize Daddy is gone and he’ll say something like, “My tummy hurts when Daddy is at army work.” It really makes him sad… which of course makes me super sad for him. So, we always end up cuddling a lot when Daddy is away, which is totally okay with me.


I talked to Derek this evening and he made it to wherever he is in Nebraska. Fortunately he has cell phone access, so whenever his schedule allows, we’ll at least get to talk with him some. Derek will always have my complete support regarding his army duties and one day I know that Jackson and Belle will grow to understand their sacrifice.  For now, we just have several things planned to hopefully make the next two weeks just fly by!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Great Grandpa's Old Car

This morning, we went out and about running some errands when we decided to stop by to see if Great Grandpa was home. Unfortunately we missed him and Jackson was pretty  bummed. I decided to check out some garage sales and I learned today that Jackson really enjoys garage sales {yes, I am very proud}! After leaving the second garage sale, he said "I love garage sales. I am so, so happy. I am not mad at anyone right now!" Haha. In all honesty, he has been having several "mad" episodes lately, so this is a very critical disclaimer!

We get a call from Great Grandpa and he says, "come back, I'm home now!" So, we drove back over and visted him. My kids really love to play with the trinkets at Great Grandpa's house. Jackson started playing with a Model A toy car, which Jackson was very excited to know that Grandpa had one in the garage that matched {he loves when things match}! Before we know it, Grandpa decides to take us for a ride around the block in his retirement community. It was a fun little adventure!

Jackson exploring the old car

Despite the grumpy face, Belle really did enjoy it. She loved looking out the window as we drove!

Jackson liked the backseat, but only while it was parked. He definitely didn't want to sit in the back with me while we drove.

Grandpa's Model A is 79 years older than Jackson {it's even older than Grandpa}. Jackson enjoyed the ride, but his thoughts about it were summed into two points: 1) it's noisy and 2) it's bumpy.  He was mostly impressed that Grandpa has THREE vehicles!! That's like little boy heaven {and apparently Grandpa heaven too!}.


Saturday, March 24, 2012

Date Night

Derek and I enjoyed a wonderful date night tonight! It was more than just alone time away from the kiddos—it’s was about time together, period! All week long we’ve just been in and out in opposite directions! It was wonderful.

We went to the Plaza—my favorite place in Kansas City. I just love it. I love the atmosphere, being surrounded by lots of people. All sorts of shopping and eating! Of course, there’s always the sentiment of being the place where Derek proposed! And, they have the cheapest movie tickets around. Two tickets for $12. Heck yes.
We went to Jack Stack Barbeque for dinner. Yum! We’ve tried many different KC BBQ places, but had yet to try this one before tonight. I’m a fan. It wasn’t even too expensive. We shared an entrĂ©e and got an extra salad for me and we were both plenty full! Plus, we didn’t have to carry around a box of leftovers.

Derek was gracious enough to walk through a couple of stores as we walked to the movie theater. {That’s another thing I love about the Plaza—walking! I’m just a wanna-be city girl stuck in the suburbs}. Maybe one of these days when were not paying an arm and a leg for grad school, we can afford some of those designer jeans I was drooling over.

The movie of the night: Hunger Games, of course. It’s been YEARS since I’ve seen a movie on opening night/weekend. We used to go to midnight showings all the time pre-kids. So I’m feeling pretty cool, young, and hip! I’m sure mentioning those things disqualifies them all…
Here are my thoughts:
  • I enjoyed the *this* book-turned-movie much more than others and I think it helped just knowing that the author helped write the screenplay as well. Like, even though minor things were changed/left out, it’s okay because I know she had a say in what the movie was about.
  • I’m still recovering from a near heart attack from a certain part of the movie. Seriously, I’ve never jumped so much in my life. Derek laughed. So did lots of others. Kind of embarrassing. But seriously, I don’t do well with jumping out things.
  • I enjoyed that a lot of the greatness of the movie comes not from what is say, but by actions and implications. The dialogue is minimalistic, but it’s speaks monuments.
  • Overall, the whole Hunger Games series kind of stresses me out. The whole plot is a bit troublesome. I loved the books and I really enjoyed the movie. But like my professors at the Focus on the Family Institute always said, “A movie is never just a movie.” There are presuppositions and agendas. And while was aware while reading the book/watching the movie that this is fictional stuff, how far from reality is it? Is it fiction at all? But it’s also the thing about it I love the most. A movie with depth.

After the movie, we headed over to Yogurtini for a nightcap. Mine consisted of chocolate and birthday cake frozen yogurt with oreos, strawberries, chocolate syrup and strawberry puree. Derek has mint fro-yo with cinnamon toast crunch, fruity pebbles, cookie dough bites, Reese's pieces, and sprinkles.

And if you’re wondering if this date was so wonderful—why did I come home only to get on my computer to blog about it. Well, he’s reading the second book in the series. He’s addicted now too. Oh, I forgot to mention that he downloaded the ebook yesterday just to surprise me by reading it! I had mentioned to him that I hoped it would work out for him to read it before we saw the movie, but I didn’t think too much about it! It just made me feel so special that he rushed to read it just for me! We spent most of dinner talking about the book—and I love talking about books! Boy does he know me!

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Happy St. Patrick’s Day!! No one in our family is getting pinched today—we’re all sporting green! {my eyes closed in a picture… always happens. Ugh!}


We didn’t make it out to any of the larger celebrations around Kansas City like
last year, but we did go to our town parade! We had a good time. I love that downtown is super close. It’s barely over a five minute walk and we beat all the traffic!

My favorite St. Patty’s day picture EVER! {see how short she is?! These are capri pants, well, are supposed to be, but they almost fit like full length pants!}


Miss Cutie Patootie wasn’t too fond of holding still to take a picture. I love this shot—Jackson’s trying to so hard to get her to cooperate. I love these two together!


We got to kind of a grumpy start having to wait for the parade. And then the firetrucks came first with their sirens and Jackson really isn’t a fan of loud noises. Once the candy started being tossed, he loosened up and ended up having a good time!


Once she saw Jackson waving “hi” and getting candy, Belle started in on the action too. That little arm was waving like crazy!


And just because I can’t stop taking pictures of her cuteness, I snapped a few more on the walk home!


Along with St. Patty’s day, we’re also celebrating the anniversary of Derek coming home after spending nine months of Army training in Georgia!! I feel I summed it up best in my facebook status earlier today:

One year ago today Derek came home!!!!!! It was the longest nine months of my life, but I'm so proud to be the wife of an American Soldier. Jackson and Belle have had to sacrifice a lot too, and one day they will understand why Daddy has to go away sometimes. Great hubby, great kids, great country-- life is good.

Friday, March 16, 2012


The one thing I hear on an almost daily basis is how much Belle just really looks like me. My mom says so, friends at church, random people at the store! One gal who worked at Build-a-Bear told me we were practically twins {yeah, other than the fact that I supplied rather than shared the womb…}. Of course, Belle is the cutest thing ever, so I take it as a huge compliment. I guess I just I don’t really see it like others do. But based on the sheer number of comments we get, I’m bound to believe it anyway. I just give in to peer pressure like that.

I wanted to get a few pics together with her {as normally I’m behind the camera} so I could see for myself. I took a ton, but when you mix a busy one-year-old and my inability to take pictures of myself, we only ended up with a couple. I still can’t really see it, but at least I have a few to document the super fabulous time I had spending with my princess while big brother was away.

{I posted this one just because Belle is making a super cute face. I, too, am a nose-scruncher. Maybe that’s the resemblance!}

The past few days with Belle have been super fun. She has definitely soaked up the attention and I feel as if I’ve gotten to know her a little more intimately—Derek feels the same way! I was able to plan our days around her schedule alone. We had a Parents as Teachers meeting yesterday and I learned she can do a lot more skills than I ever expected! Like, she can follow simple instructions. Chores are right around the corner for this gal!

She has said Jackson’s name a few times {which, by the way, is super cute!} so I think she misses him. I know we do!! Here are a few picture texts I have received of him in St. Louis:
The train ride—looking pretty comfy!

          Jackson and cousin Gabe &
playing at the park {his knee seems back to perfect working order!}

Grandma Linda with her two grandsons {Baby Eli will make three this spring!}

Kinda makes you think that one of my siblings needs to start having babies so my children have more cousins to play with, right!? There are three of them—ages 30, 19, and 20… surely ONE of them could join me!

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Spring break ramblings

  • Yes, it’s spring break! It’s only Tuesday and it’s already been fabulous! Who knew I’d be 27 and still loving every moment of not having class!? I’m enjoying it so much I don’t really want to be on the computer very much so this post is a bunch of mini-topics all thrown together!

  • Jackson is doing MUCH better. I know I should have updated everyone sooner, but I haven’t been on the computer much. I feel so blessed to have so many people checking in to see how he’s been doing. Friday and Saturday were hard—taking care of a three-year-old who can’t walk is very challenging. He started taking some steps on Sunday afternoon and has progressively become more active. He’s still not running and jumping, but he’s on the mend. The doctor said it was most likely what they call an occult fracture, which is a tiny fracture that doesn’t appear in an x-ray and it will just heal itself. I kind of figured it was just a heal-itself sort of thing, but I really needed to make sure it wasn’t something bigger, just in case! Mommy worry, I guess!
  • Lately, I’ve been looking for healthy snack ideas for the kiddos. There were some good fruit sales this week and so I decided to try dehydrating. I borrowed my father-in-law’s dehydrator and have been experimenting! The results have been good and people keep eating them, so I guess that’s the real indicator of a successful treat! I’ve done strawberries, apples w/ cinnamon, banana w/ coconut, and two batches of fruit leather {like a fruit roll up}. The process does demand some time in cutting up and preparing the fruit, but I’m super loving the fact that it’s a healthy treat without any added sugar or preservatives. Having a decent stash with what I’ve already made, I was planning on packing up the dehydrator, but I stumbled across a great deal at Aldi’s today and got 15 peaches, 10 nectarines, and 5 plums for 10 cents EACH! I couldn’t pass it up! So on the schedule for this evening: slicing and dicing!

  • Jackson is headed out with Derek’s parents to go to Saint Louis for a few days to visit his cousin Gabe {Aunt Mary and Uncle Brad, too}. They are taking the train and he is SO excited. I’m gonna miss Jackson {not going to miss having him climb into bed in the middle of the night} but I’m really excited to get to spend some time with just Belle. Derek and I both agree that her personality has just blossomed so much just in the last week or two and I’m happy to get some one-on-one time with my second baby!

  • This weather is phenomenal! I am so in love. We have played outside so much!! Of course, the kids love it and really, this weather makes me so productive {hence the abundance of dried fruit, cleaned-out van, and raked flower beds}. Another nice day tomorrow… Yes, please!! Here are a few pictures from this evening:

Jackson is showing off his skills! {which currently include standing, walking,AND bouncing a ball!}


The primary reason I dug out my camera was to capture Belle’s curls! Her hair is typically so, so straight… but today, little locks of curls have become apparent and it is SO CUTE!!!


Check it those cute curls!! I love it!


This is a normal push toy, right??

2012-03-13 18.48.32

Nose, nose! Belle’s a genius.


  • The Sticky Bellies giveaway ended yesterday.

results powered by

Entry #14 Michelle T.

I will send out an email and get you hooked up with Carly. If I don’t hear back within 48 hours, I will pick a new winner.

  • Lastly, happy 30th birthday Uncle Philip!


Friday, March 9, 2012

Urgent care, x-rays, and a splint

While playing at our favorite indoor inflatables playplace, Jackson messed up his knee. No one really knows what happened really, but basically he was jumping with Daddy and his knees sort of buckled. Only, it wasn’t just a buckle because he couldn’t walk or stand afterwards!

Break my heart.

It was obvious that playtime was over, but Derek and I just couldn’t decide what to do! We were torn between taking him to Children’s Mercy Urgent Care or just taking it easy at home. There wasn’t swelling or any thing visibly wrong. But he was in so much pain and I was worried about the small chance that it COULD be something. So, we went.

The office wasn’t totally crowded, which was super nice!! By the time they took all of our information we were called back to a room. The doctor showed up to take a look at him before the nurse even came by.

This is Jackson talking the ear off of whichever staff happened to be in the room. “Daddy was bouncing and I fell and I hurt my leg. And it just hurts and I don’t like that.” over and over and over…

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He was given some ibuprofen and we took him down the hall to get
some x-rays. He was a good sport. He kept asking, “Why are they taking pictures of my leg?!”

2012-03-08 20.12.09 (1)

Then, we waited and waited and waited. Jackson was tired. He hated the ID bracelet on his arm and was asking every two seconds to get it off! He was playing on our tablets and was irritated that the free wi-fi was too slow to load neflix{oh how terrible it was!} It nearly killed him that he couldn’t make his way to play with the toy located on the wall.

So, here’s the scoop. Nothing broken, torn, or dislocated. But, Jackson is in obvious pain. He has consistently pointed to the same spot to indicate where the pain is located. And with him being three, it’s really hard to get specific information- how does it hurt? etc. Also being three, he isn’t really capable of making this whole thing up! Last night he tried to take a few steps, but was limping pretty badly and the doctor said if he can’t walk correctly, don’t let him walk at all. We have a follow up appointment on Monday with an orthopedic doctor.

They wanted to get him in a knee immobilizer, but they didn’t have one
small enough so a makeshift splint was made.

2012-03-08 21.30.43

The best thing about the evening, Jackson got THREE Thomas Stickers! {notice how they are all applied so that they are right side up when he’s looking down?}

2012-03-08 20.20.56

And *finally* the bracelet came off. I was about to lose it if he asked one more time!

2012-03-08 21.37.06

Thankfully he fell asleep in the car so bedtime wasn’t really an issue! Derek and I both expected him to up and playing by morning.

However, morning came and he was much more sensitive! Poor kid. He woke up crying that his leg hurt. I carried him to the table for breakfast and he asked if I could feed him his oatmeal. And when he was through eating, he simply asked to go back to bed. {Say what!??!!? My child… back to bed?! That’s when I knew we were dealing with some major pain.}

He’s laid around all day. We went out to take a walk with Daddy and out to eat for Grandpa Forrest’s birthday. But other than that, he’s been on the couch or bed all day!

He hates the splint on his leg and I finally got him to stop complaining by
putting bandaids on it for him! Yay for Toy Story and Angry Birds!


He’s super reserved about looking/touching/moving his knee. He seems to be able to move it okay, but he refuses to put weight on it at all. Part of me wonders if he’s just scared because it hurt last night, but then another part is just convinced that he would be up and playing if he could manage it at all! It has got to be hurting for him to not play for an entire day. He won’t stand to use the bathroom and needs us to carry him everywhere {and when you carry him, he’ll say, “Not too fast! It hurts!}. When we leave the room and he’s on the couch, he’ll say, “Don’t forget me!” I am so sad for him!

We’ve got an appointment on Monday. I am thinking this is just a thing that might take a day or two {or three} to heal. But, I can’t help but be kind of worried that something major might be wrong! Only time will tell, I guess. Hopefully he’ll be back to running around by the end of the week.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Deja Vu

This was always one of my favorite pictures! It was taken on August 20, 2009 {just a few days shy of being 10 months}


This one was taken today, March 7th, 2012 {Three years, four months old}


Another from 2009


And today


I am captivated by these pictures. I’ve been staring at them for several minutes. I really needed this! Being three is clearly a difficult age and it has been difficult to parent! We nearly didn’t make it to McDonalds with Grandpa today because of some serious toddler attitude. As he was playing, I remember taking these pictures a couple of years ago and I just felt the need to take some more! Looking at these pictures and comparing has been a much needed reminder of how fast kids really grow. This difficult age is just a phase. Before I know it, he’ll be too big for a happy meal, he’ll be using real dumb bells {not climbing on styrofoam ones!}, and he won’t be so eager for me to snap his picture. He sure is the same happy little fella! I’m definitely gonna soak up some little boy hugs and cuddles as soon as he wakes up from nap!!

Thursday, March 1, 2012


In January, we got a 90-day pass to the local community center because winter is cold and the kids need to a place to get their energy out. Well, it’s only been super cold, like, twice… but we’ve gotten a ton of use from our membership. We go swimming on Tuesday nights, Jackson attends several little kid classes, I like the aerobic classes, and Derek uses the equipment.

I haven’t been on a Thursday morning before, but it worked with our schedule to go this morning, so we went! The aerobics class offered was a Zumba strength training class. I like zumba and I do a strength training class too, so it sounded like a good pick!

Today was a funny day in my head. Just bizarre. Random thoughts all during class and I thought I’d share.

  1. Zumba Strength Training. Cool! Sounds fun.
  2. Okay, so I’m five minutes late… there is still 55 minutes left for a good work out!
  3. Oh! My favorite spot in the *very* back is open!
  4. Three pound weights it is! Plus, they are a cuter than the 2’s {sissy} or 4’s
  5. I haven’t had this instructor before—she’s so cute and peppy!
  6. Standing next to a dude! I didn’t know guys did Zumba! {I may or may not have chuckled at the thought of Derek joining me for a class. I think it’d be totally fun, but he wouldn’t do Zumba in a class full of people in his life depended on it!}
  7. Holy cow! That guy is TALL! I feel tiny. {awesome feeling!}
  8. Oh, I love this song!!! {Stronger by Kelly Clarkson} And then about 30 seconds later after doing a bazillion squat jumps to the chorus, "Whatever doesn’t kill you makes you stronger"… Ohmigoodness, I hate this song!
  9. Whew! A song where my classmates are taking turns creating moves. I need a breather.
  10. Holy crap! Stupid overachievers. No need to suck up—there’s no grade!
  11. Strength training Zumba… who thought of this!? My arms are killing me! I should have gone for the 2s!
  12. Ha! We’re divided up and facing each other like a dance off. Yes, a room full of white girls {and one tall, buff, zumba dancing black man.} I’m going to pretend I’m in Step it Up.
  13. Mental Image: If any of us suburban KC folks actually made it to a dance-off in the inner city, we’d probably be mugged before we could show off our lame skills. {This image kept me occupied the ENTIRE song. Haha. I’m still laughing}.
  14. Back to my normal spot on the back. Why can I see myself in the mirror? I am in the 5th row! It’s not a pretty sight, I don’t want to watch!
  15. Ugh! How can my cute and peppy instructor still looks cute and peppy! I am a complete HOT MESS!
  16. Why do I see the childcare working holding Belle and looking for me?! I interrupt my mad zumba skills to go see.
  17. Poopy! Great. I get 60 minutes to work out and you poop now!? The diaper bag is my car. As to not waste my exercising moments, I run to the car and back to keep the heart rate up.
  18. Okay, diapers changed. Quit making me feel guilty by that crying everytime I drop you off!
  19. Seriously, this guy is so tall. His arms span is practically the same as the two girls in front of him! Pfft. Look at him and his 8 pound weights.
  20. Salsa dancing is seriously such an ab workout. How do they make it look so easy?! I am such a white girl.
  21. Uhm, I don’t think push-ups count as a cool down exercise. Forget that! I gotta go pick up my kids!

Fortunately, no pictures of zumba are available. I do have some pictures of the fun things Jackson gets to do in class while I exercise! Along with the simple activities like running around the gym and playing Duck, Duck, Goose—the classes are full of fun activities.

This day they had a little obstacle course—a wedge for doing summersaults, basketball hoop, “river rocks” to jump over, a balance beam, and something with bean bags.

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And another day they got out the big parachute.

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Most days I don’t really know what he does in class because I, myself, am in a class. But on these days, I was working out on the eliptical machine right where I could watch. It’s so fun to peek on him. He thought it was so fun to go under the parachute.

Side note: You couldn’t pay me enough to be the teachers of these classes. Complete and total chaos.


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