Thursday, October 30, 2014

Trunk or Treat...

...Sunday night the church where AR goes to preschool had Trunk or Treat. I'd never been to one before and the cars were all really decorated awesome! We've been to quite a few Halloween events and this was actually one of my favorites. My wild child that was singing Frozen in the dressing room at Kohl's earlier in the day was so quiet and soft spoken at Trunk or Treat, it was crazy! Even with her own teacher she was quiet and shy!

Finally! I got to meet her friends from school, they're triplets! We see pictures every week and I think she's been calling the boys by the wrong names but hey, at least she's got friends.

Here's my mermaid in the "Red C"

My sis and H came with us. Here's H as the Queen of Hearts in front of a castle.

This trunk had a ring toss and did I mention that all the booths had some great candy???
Hello Reeses!

The trunk had their two black labs dressed up. They were sitting perfectly still that I almost thought they were fake. The kids loved petting them.

They also had a hayride which AR LOVED!!!

The mermaid and the Queen of Hearts

We came home with a bag full of candy and two happy girls! It was warm enough that I just put her gymnastics leotard underneath her "shell bra" and all was good. Excellent event and I'm glad I got to talk to her teachers since I hadn't seen them since open house in August!

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Girls' Day Out: Big Joel's and Pumpkin Galore

...Last Friday, AR and I had a Girls' Day out. I feel like I've been slacking in the mom department so as much as AR enjoyed the outing, as a momma, I just needed it. Life has been super busy so we haven't had time to do as many fun things that we normally do, but don't worry, I cram a lot into my Friday afternoon off: Big Joel's Safari, Pumpkins Galore, and H's Fall Festival at school!

First stop: Big Joel's! Thank you Stacey and Addison for this awesome birthday gift. Here's AR as a deer.

I kept telling AR we were going to see camels so that was our first stop. Look at these things, they were HUGE!

She even fed one, poor miniature horse to the left didn't stand a chance to get any food. :-(

This is an emu and I was shocked that AR wanted to feed him/her because it like pecked at the spoon.

OMG! This zedonk was cray cray!!! I thought he was going to knock the fence over.

And then we found the goats and she kept saying. "Feed that one, Mommy!" because they climb up the fence and head butt each other! I kept saying, "Be nice! Share!" So of course, AR then began yelling at them, "BE NICE!"

Here's both Momma and Daughter racoons

Then my diva climbed up on this tree stump and said, "Take my picture!"

Cheeseburger!!! Great time and so glad we went on a Friday because there wasn't a big crowd. OH, I forgot! When you walk in there are macaws and other birds and snakes. The macaw started squawking and made AR cry because "he scared me!" It was funny and sad at the same time.

When we left, we stopped at Pumpkin Galores which is right down the road. They had two giant swimming pools filled with corn kernals. AR built "castles" for a long time. FYI-Corn doesn't hold in a castle form very well.

They have a great swingset which AR loved this horse.

And this roller slide which is REALLY high up! I was worried about her climbing up but she did it no problem.

The barrel train wasn't running since it was Friday but she enjoyed pretending (and got to ride on one later that night). Also going to say that I'm loving this pic!

And I'm lovin' this one too! Riding the John Deere!

She wanted to ride these pedal tractors but could only go backwards. She yelled at me for help and when I did, she'd say, "NO! I pedal myself!" Yeah...

One last Momma/AR pic and someone was not happy to leave!

I'm so glad we got to spend the day together. Hopefully things will slow down for us after Halloween and I can get back to doing all kinds of fun stuff with my baby girl!

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Cakeway to the West 15.2...

...Same trip continued!

Cake #232 Jersey County Courthouse

Cake #233 Calhoun County Community Foundation

Cake #234 Pere Marquette Lodge & Conference Center
Awkward! Walked inside and saw people holding trumpets so I walked out and BAM-there was the cake!

Cake #235 Aeries Riverview Winery

Cake #236 Piasa Bird
Very cool! Ate lunch at Fast Eddie's after this one...mmm, burgers, fries, Elwood on a Stick, and shrimp!!! Oh and did I mention for both of us, it was less than $15!?

Cake #237 Alton Visitor Center

Cake #238 Alton City Hall

Cake #239 Lincoln-Douglas Square and Franklin House

Cake #240 Robert Wadlow Statue
We had way too much fun at this one!


#olympiadhandstandcontest #overachiever #almostpeedmypantslaughing

Cake #241 National Great Rivers Museum

Cake #242 Our Lady of the Rivers at Portage des Sioux

Cake #243 Castlewood
This wasn't on the same trip but one more cake found!

Our convo on the way home:
Sha: Today wasn't so bad. We didn't kill each other.
Me: I know, we're ready for the Amazing Race.
Sha: What?!
Me: We found twenty cakes, ran a marathon, ate ten shrimp, did handstands, and covered a ton of miles. I think we're ready.
Sha: I think we'd definitely be picked when they saw how we reacted when we got angry.
Me: Yeah, we'd never get picked. They'd have to bleep out every other word.
Maybe if we clean up our language, we'll be on the next Amazing Race? And we'll have the #cakewaytothewest to thank for it!

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Ozeri 3x Tower Fan Review...

...Gotta love Missouri weather? Last week, I was wearing pants and hoodies and this week we're pulling out the shorts we'd already packed away! Luckily, I have this awesome Ozeri 3x Tower Fan so I don't have to turn the AC back on.

  • Upgraded with canted fan blades that utilize the physics of blade curvature to generate opposing sound waves to reduce blade noise and isolate the soothing sounds of the airflow itself.
  • Boasting unrivalled technology, the 3x Tower fan is engineered with 3 independently controllable fans and 3 fan speeds, offering up to 9 levels of cooling and customized airflow.
  • Defining the latest in stylistic innovation and digital decor, the 3x Tower fan is among the world's thinnest fans at less than 3 inches thick and boasts a visually arresting design with an elegant reinforced glass base stand.
  • Features 3 preprogrammed airflow patterns designed to foster sleep, relaxation and comfort with 90 degree whisper-quiet oscillation for optimal air circulation.
  • Extended range remote control and the touch sensitive LED control panel provide easy access to all features, including a 7.5 hour timer that can be programmed in 30 minute increments.

  • Of course, AR was curious about it but I loved that the vents over the blades were small enough that her little fingers couldn't get hit.

    Girl loves wind in her hair!


    I love how this revolving fan took up almost no space in the room and was silent to boot! The screen over the blades are great because my curious two-year-old kept wanting to touch them but luckily, there was no worry on my part. I also enjoyed the timer options and the option to use one, two, or all three fans!

    *I received this product at no charge in exchange for my honest opinion.

    Friday, October 24, 2014

    Cakeway to the West: 15.1...

    Last Sunday, just my sis and I went #cakehunting. We got up to 242...we are sooo close!!! Only ten-eleven more to go with the bonus cakes!!! Some cakes are already being taken down (the Busch Stadium one which is one of my favorite/funniest pics we've gotten) or other issues are going on with their areas so I'm glad we got as many as we have so far. I just hope the last few we need stay in place until we get them!

    This trip was a little frustrating as some had been placed in locations we'd already been to. For instance, this first cake at Express Scripts has a cake right across the street that we'd already gotten. :-/

    Cake #222 Express Scripts

    Cake #223 Fountain Park/MLK Statue

    Cake #224 Sumner High School

    Cake #225 Annie Malone

    Cake #226 First Baptist Church
    We text this pic to my dad and said, "Look! We went to church!" All he wrote back was "God Bless You." Side note: I think this cake used to be a roaming cake.

    Our next stop was smack dab in the middle of the #rocknrollmarathon So we stopped and ran a bit...realized we already had this cake and the one we were looking for was actually a few streets down.

    Cake #227 Lafayette Square
    No worries-we found it! Check out the runners in the background!

    BONUS! Ameren Cakes!!!
    We already had the one Ameren cake on right. Ameren donated a ton of money to this project so the cake on the left was located inside their facility and only available to their employees until NOW. So BOOM, got it!

    Cake #228 America's Central Port/YMCA
    First Illinois cake for the day!

    Cake #229 Lewis & Clark State Historic Site
    We realized that old people thought our shirts were cute, people our age thought it was dorky, and some people just thought it was our birthdays!

    Cake #230 Confluence Tower
    Discussions of handstands started here...wait for it...

    Cake #231 Southwestern High School
    OMG! We drove way out of the way to get this one that was in the middle of no where, sitting outside a football field in a town with a spray-painted sign with it's name on it. Seriously...

    Stay tuned...

    Wednesday, October 22, 2014

    Halloween at the Park!!!

    ...This past Saturday, we met up with some of AR's friends at the park for a little Halloween playdate. As we were getting ready, AR wanted to clean the toilet...her request!!!

    Once we were all ready, we met our friends and turns out we have quite a few superhero friends! It's always good to have some of those around in case of an emergency.

    We recycled our mermaid costume from this summer and AR was a winter mermaid.

    AR's bestie Emma was there although I feel like it's been YEARS since we've seen any of her friends!

    They had this bouncey thing that AR loved!

    Then she'd just climb to the highest part of the playground when I wasn't looking! No fear, seriously!

    Me and my girl who I'm so grateful for these days. I mean I'm grateful for her every day but here lately things have been rough, just a lot of things going on with life in general, so when she grabs my cheeks and says, "Mommy, I love you" or "I missed you, Mommy" it means the whole world to me. Love you, baby girl!

    Shoutout to Ang for organizing this and to all the mommas for the great treats!

    Monday, October 20, 2014

    2014 Cards #Postseason...

    ...On my wedding anniversary, Papa took us girls to the NLCS game 1 against the Giants. Unfortunately, we didn't bring home a win but we had a great time! Here's Papa with his granddaughters and his brick.

    My sis and me with the brick...and AR photobombing, she wouldn't get out of the pic!

    All us girls!

    Papa and his girls!

    AR is still free so she didn't have a seat. Well, what do you do when you don't have a seat? Sit on the cupholder!

    Sha and I pulled out our stocking caps for some rally cap ju-ju but it just wasn't enough!

    I was really hoping for an I-70 series but alas our boys just couldn't pull it off. Since we're out, I'll say this once and probably never again...GO ROYALS!

    Friday, October 10, 2014

    Potty Training Conversations...

    ...It seems as though more and more of my friends are discussing potty training. We started loosely training right after her second birthday. Luckily, my mom was here all summer so they worked really hard on it and she's doing great. We still have accidents from time to time and use a diaper for naps/bed time but she's usually more successful than not. Most days she has no accidents at our sitter nor at preschool and I consider that #winning! Here are just some of our conversations over the past few months...

    *On the phone with a co-worker and former Olympic soccer player, I lean over AR's carseat and she says directly into the phone, "Mommy, I wear panties!"

    *AR hates when I vacuum. One Saturday in June, I told her to go wait in her room while I vacuumed the living room. A few minutes later, I finish and go to check on her. She's innocently sitting in her room in the dark, on her glider completely naked. I ask her if she needs some Mommy love (meaning Mommy holds her and we cuddle) and she said yes. I pick her up and sit on the pee. Needless to say, Mommy had to change her pants and panties too.

    *Leaving Emma's birthday party we just got on the interstate when AR says, "Mommy, potty! I poop!" Next exit-poop break! Luckily, we made it.

    *Conversation on the potty:

     Me: You need to wipe your vagina.

     AR: Oh 'gina?

    Me: Yes, your vagina.

    AR: Audi 'gina?

    Me: Yes, AR's vagina.

    AR: Mommy's 'gina?"

    Me: Yes, Mommy has a vagina.

    AR: Daddy 'gina?"

    Me: No, Daddy has a penis.

    AR: Oh, penis...Audi penis?

    Me: No, only Daddy has a penis. You have a vagina.

    AR: Oh, Audi 'gina. Okay. 

    *On a Sunday morning, I was called to the bathroom to help "the baby" aka her doll to go potty. What this really meant is that she took her baby potty and dropped her in the toilet.

    *I was folding laundry on the couch while Matt sat in his recliner. AR was running around naked before bedtime. I heard her toot and asked if she needed to go potty. “No, I fine, Mommy.” Matt and I continued talking while AR stood between my legs. I glance down and see she has pooped. I exclaim, “AR, why didn’t you tell me you had to potty?” and Matt says, “Wow, AR, I didn’t know something that size could come out of you.”

    So yeah, it's a work in progress but we're getting there. I will say this, cleaning up poop in a diaper is much easier than cleaning up poop in panties!

    Wednesday, October 8, 2014

    Just Chillin' at Nanny's...

    ...This trip was lots of play and relaxation too! With a 2 year-old, you know you can have fun anywhere so some days we didn't even leave Nanny's house. Here's so pics of us just hanging out around Nanners' house. Here's AR and I chillin' on the deck early one morning. Of course, my child has no idea that vacations are meant for sleeping in!

    On Sunday, AR went golfing with Nanny...still at Nanny's because they live on the golf course!

    AR helped Nanny cut bell peppers for dinner...

    ...and sampled a few too!

    Nanny and AR worked on learning how to sew

    My mom is so good working with AR on things I wouldn't even think of doing like cutting with a knife/scissors or sewing...I'm too chicken but Nanny knows how to let her do it safely.

    Ta-da! Finished product...a bunch of scraps sewed together! Hey, we all gotta start somewhere, right?

    Thank you Nanny for a great trip!!!

    Tuesday, October 7, 2014

    Weeki Wacha State Park...

    ...First off, happy birthday Nanny!!! On Saturday, Nanny took us to Weeki Wacha State Park where they have a LIVE mermaid show! It was a little cheesy but it was still an awesome show. These women (and one man) were underwater for almost twenty minutes total. They had these breathing things that they took a "shot of oxygen" which totally reminded me of those vaporless smoking things.

    The park is a natural spring and you can actually swim in it. Here's AR and me waiting for one of the shows to start.

    The first mermaid show we went to was an informational one so it was a bit lost on AR but she had a good time making funny faces at me.

    AR and Nanny

    After the first mermaid show, we took a quick boat ride which AR was trying to hang out the boat!

    Some quick ice cream that can be seen on AR's shirt in his pic then we headed back to see The Little Mermaid show. This is my mom's FL best friend, Aunt Gissy, and Gissy's mom, Nana.

    Another mermaid again!

    AR and I with a fake mermaid and there were peacocks roaming around!

    AR even got to meet a "real life" mermaid and wanted to hold her hand.

    Monday, October 6, 2014

    Homosassa State Park...

    ...Friday at Nanny's, the day started off with making lasagna! Here's AR and David helping Nanny with the meal.

    We headed to Homosassa State Park, a place we visit every time we're down there. AR really enjoyed it this year as she's just more aware of her surroundings. Here's the fake alligator that wasn't too sure of...

    Through my writing venture, I've made a great friend with another author, K.S. Thomas, who lives in Florida. Her, her mom, and her daughter drove up to hang out with us for the day. AR was so excited to see her daughter and the two were besties within thirty seconds of meeting each other.

    We watched the manatees being fed and I snagged this great shot.

    Here are the girls, love this shot! It was sooo hot but it was nice and cool in the underwater viewing deck.

    Nanny, AR, and me in front of the sign...we have to get this pic every time we go!

    After a few hours at the park, we headed back to Nanny's and enjoyed a late lunch/early dinner of lasagna and some delicious chocolately dessert I requested because I knew through our many conversations that K.S. is a fan which must be why we get along so well despite my dislike for coffee. Here we are looking so hip and with front of Nanny's quilted wall hanging...:-/ So glad we got to meet up! She's just as awesome in person as she is in our writing group and now I have two autographed copies of her books, my name is even in one! Hopefully we can meet up more often. We're trying to locate a Hastings we can chill at so if anyone knows where there's still one open, let me know.

    After a long, hot day with manatees, new friends, chocolate, and more swimming, AR took as nice long bubble bath!

    Sunday, October 5, 2014

    Nanny's or Bust!!!

    ...Late Wednesday night, well late for us at 8PM, AR and I boarded a jet plane and headed to Florida to visit Nanny. This is the first time AR had her own seat. Despite having to lug around a carseat throughout the airport, it really wasn't that bad and she did AWESOME!!! Carseats are not required but my two cents-totally worth it and glad we had it because our flight was very turbulent, probably more so than in a car. In a car, she wouldn't have a lap belt so I'm glad we had the carseat for the flight.

    Our flight wasn't full so we had the whole row to ourselves. I borrowed these headphones and they worked out great...except that AR still sang Frozen out loud! Luckily we were by the wing so you could barely hear her. You'd think she'd fall asleep and I'd say, ha, you're crazy! She wanted to fall asleep, cried a bit, but wouldn't give it up. When we landed I apologized to those around us and they were like, what? We couldn't even hear her!

    Here we are right before landing time! Still wide awake!!!

    We got back to my mom's around 1:30AM but that didn't stop AR from getting up super early to swim! I brought my laptop to the patio and enjoyed the outdoors as well...not a bad view, eh?

    These two didn't get out of the pool ALL DAY LONG!

    And Nanny didn't get all that sunscreen rubbed in too well either...

    Oh well! Still cute!

    A quick rainstorm came through but that STILL didn't stop them!

    Check out this girl, finally got out of the pool and chillin' before dinner...well at least trying not to fall asleep!

    We walked to the neighbors' for dinner and saw this! Great view to start the day and gorgeous day to end it!

    Saturday, October 4, 2014

    Bowling for Autism...

    ...This Saturday night, we're sitting in Nanny's house in Florida but last Saturday, AR and I were bowling for autism. AR's sitter put together a bowling fundraiser. It was really a great deal...$40 for 5 people to bowl which included 3 hours unlimited bowling, shoes, pizza, and a pitcher of soda. $20 went directly to Autism Speaks and then she had raffles and other fundraisers. In total, I think she made a little over $300!

    AR insisted on wearing her Pacman shirt and she loved the cosmic bowling lights.

    She bowled with me every other frame. We actually did better when she helped me!

    Of course our sitter and her family were there which AR loved (despite her face in this picture!).

    This was our bowling lane (minus me) playing the Heads or Tails game.

    And AR's best girl friend from the sitter's was there and shared the same lane as us. These two were loving it!!!

    Thursday, October 2, 2014

    Shawna & Ryan's Journey through Adoption...

    ...Know what I love about blogging? Finding new friends! Know what new friends mean? Lots of love and support! When we started our infertility journey back in 2010, another patient, Shawna, at my clinic found my blog. We immediately started emailing, walking each other through our procedures, praying for each other, and became great friends.

    While fertility treatments didn't work for Shawna and her husband, Ryan, they have pursued other options. They have an amazing foster daughter who I've been lucky enough to meet. You can see by the way they interact with her that they're meant to be parents. They are now pursuing adoption and doing some fundraising to help with the funding.

    They have a ton of items that are offering free shipping to the winner from the donor so we are looking for bidders so anyone in the US can participate.  The auction will run from October 1 thru October 15th and all bidding will take place on our adoption page. There are some great items including Scentsy, Thirty One, Avon, jewelry, household items, St Louis Cardinals items, and adult and kids personalized items and much much more. Great ideas for Christmas presents or buy something for yourself! Please check out their Facebook page and help them raise money for their adoption!