Saturday, August 27, 2011

A Welcome Change

Parenthood has been interesting lately (and by interesting I really mean TOUGH). Very difficult. Pull my hair out and scream kind of challenging. We're not exactly sure what the deal is but it seems our children have decided it is time to test our parenting skills and I'm sad to report that we just might have room for major improvement. For the past few weeks there have been numerous meltdowns, back- talking, hitting, biting, fighting, screaming, and even eye rolling. We've implemented a "Nice Chart" and when they do something nice, they get a sticker. We've been using time-out. We try to make a big deal when they are making good choices. Blah Blah blah Long story short: we are tired. Very, very tired.

BUT there is hope...

Mr. Boy starts preschool next week!

MB at his Preschool Open House

Some Mothers cry when their kids go to school. Not me. You might find me celebrating by doing back flips. It's not that I don't absolutely love my kids (even when they're being rotten). I just think there comes times in our lives when change is good. I really hope that this change will be an answer to a desperate mother & father's prayer for help.

Look at these two angels. How can they be any trouble at all? All they wanted was a snack before bed time. And their request? Cucumbers, mushrooms, corn, tomatoes, peppers and bananas. If the old saying is true, "You are what you eat," then I think we should be eating more sweets instead. ;)

Sighhhh. Oh joy to the ups, downs, and all-arounds of parenting. Good night.

Sweatin' for Sarah 80's Style

This morning we went to Salt Lake City to support our friend, Sarah Hays-Shurtz. She has been fighting with everything she has to get rid of cancer. She has an amazing ability to look for the positive.

It was a fun-filled day with great friends, beautiful weather, and 80's attire.

Our kids had a very rough morning and did not want to cooperate & stay in their stroller for the 5K. We definitely weren't there to compete but we came in pretty close to last place. Of course this has nothing to do with "us" being preggo and out of shape (for real, there were people much slower and in worse condition than us).

Me and Melissa G.

Luuuunge, stretch...
HeRoos (don't look too close- you may see more than you want to) hehee, Katie J., Lori P., Me, Corrine R.

At the finish line each person was given a purple balloon to hold.

When Sarah arrived on the motorcycle we released the balloons into the heavens.

Hooray for Sarah!

Katie J., & Sarah

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Sarasota Florida

HeRoos and I had so much fun in April that we decided to bring the kids back to Florida in June. It was a completely different experience vacationing with little ones. There were no naps on the beach, novels to be read, nor romantic dining but we did create some great memories.

We decided to give Disney World a try. This is the only picture we have from the entire day. It was HOT. The kids are still a little young to truly appreciate it and I was feeling yucky from being pregnant so it wasn't our favorite day. It was much better after dark when it cooled down and people started going home. We were able to walk straight through the lines to go on rides.

We stayed at this hotel the second night but we didn't have a lot of time to hang out there since we were at Disney World during the entire day and had to check out the next morning.

Busch Gardens was a much better experience for all of us. There was an entire section geared toward ZoZo and MB's age. There weren't a lot of people there and we discovered a water park (too bad we weren't prepared with bathing suits).

Look at those pink cheeks. It was SO toasty in Florida.

I couldn't believe how shy they were around Big Bird.


Mr. Boy and Zo love playing "Tigers" so it was neat for them to be able to see real tigers up close.

They got souvenirs in the gift shop and named their tigers "Snowflake" and "Mister." The tigers have become favorite toys.

We rented a condo for 7 days and it was right on Sarasota Beach. When we woke up in the morning we walked out to the ocean and played until lunch time and headed back in for naps. Then when it cooled off a little outside, we would walk out to the ocean and play until dark.

Rise and shine.

Zo wanted to try out what her daddy had on his face.

The sand doesn't get hot and the texture is smooth like flour. Zo never got bored of playing in it.

Mr. Boy is buried in the sand.

Mr. Boy was in his element. He crashed fearlessly in the waves over and over again. He loved being in the water and we had to drag him out.

Look how happy he is.

We played and played until the sun went down.

I love these little fish!

We rented a kayak and went out on our own.

The kids weren't sure what to think of being in the kayak and going through the mangrove tree.

We parked the kayak at this little island and played in the water for hours. The kids were in heaven.

The sun and water tuckered everyone out.

We went back to my favorite Italian Restaurant and I must admit we were terrified about taking the kids. They exhibited less than desirable behavior at the previous places we had eaten out at. I decided it worth the risk since I really wanted my Eggplant Parmesan dish. To our great surprise, they did well. Zo even decided to show off her dance moves when the musician started playing the saxaphone. She provided free entertainment for all the patrons.

What is a vacation without ice cream?!

We stayed in Orlando for 2 nights before flying out. It was my kind of hotel- nice sheets and an awesome shower. We went to Sea World. The boys had so much fun that they decided to go back the next day. Mr. Boy got to feed the dolphins. Zo and I hung out at the beautiful pool and then went back to our room for naps. It was a great day for the boys at Sea World and a relaxing day for the girls.

Random thoughts...

Vacationing with small children is not easy and we learned a few lessons:

* Never give Zo Benadryl if you want her to sleep. A 6 hour plane ride just might be one of the most miserable experiences of your life.
* When at restaurants and your kids start acting up, it's ok to pretend that they don't belong to you.
* Check to make sure the spray sunscreen works at the store before buying it and heading out on a kayak trip.
* While kids are little and still need naps, money may be better spent on something rather than amusement parks.

On a more serious note, we had a couple of experiences that taught me the importance of trying to help instead of sit back and judge & complain.

While on our plane ride home, Zo had an extremely rough time. She was miserable and made sure she had company in her misery. There were some passengers on the plane who gave dirty looks and we could hear them complaining. We felt awful about it but we tried all of our tricks and were out of ideas. There were two families with small kids sitting near us who came to the rescue. They loaned us books and even a DVD player. This helped calm her down until she finally fell asleep.

Another kind act...Since we were on vacation, we ate out a lot which would seem like a wonderful thing but it was actually very stressful. Our sweet little kids aren't always so sweet, especially when it comes to sitting for long periods of time. We went to an Italian Restaurant near our condo and tried eating outside so we wouldn't disturb anyone. It was so HOT while we were waiting for our food so we decided to go inside. The owner, who was also a grandfather, was in tune with the situation. He came over and talked to the kids and brought them free orange drinks, shredded Mozarella cheese, and olives. He knew just what they would like and took the time to share his calm demeanor. It made our night so much better and I felt like hugging this complete stranger.

It's so much easier to sit back and judge people for their parenting or lack thereof. Thankfully, there are some who know that it's not easy and are willing to help out or even send an understanding smile our way.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

ZoZo Turns 2

Daddy got ZoZo ready for church. Don't you just love all the flowers in her hair?

In just a matter of months, this little girl went from hating anything girly to loving all of it- hair bows, dolls, dresses, sparkles. I don't know what caused this change to happen.

She was so cute pushing around her new stroller as her skirt swished back and forth.

Zo thinks Mommy is a horse.

G.G. tried to help her hold up two fingers but that was a little tricky. We'll have to keep practicing.

HeRoos once again questioned my cake creation skills. As I was making it, he kept walking by and saying, "I thought you were making a butterfly cake." A little while later, "That doesn't look like a butterfly." It wasn't until moments before her party that I put the butterflies in place.

Mr. Boy wanted to make sure everything was under control. She finally blew the candle out by herself.

HeRoos acting as the camera man. G.G. & Pops made some delicious homemade ice cream to go with the cake. We also had Hawaiian Haystacks for dinner since ZoZo loves rice.

Our friends, the Terrando's.

Aunt Kim & Uncle Dave. The kids love to visit them!

Grandma & Grandpa Roos.

Butterfly treats for the kids to take home.

Happy Birthday to our feisty and sweet two year-old girl! Over the past year, she has learned how to defend herself against a very rough, big brother. She also makes sure her lungs are strong and her vocal chords are loud so she can be a great singer some day. She doesn't allow anyone to tell her what to do or push her around. She is very determined.

She has her daddy smitten and she can get away with just about anything. Every morning when he puts on his shoes, she runs & gets her shoes (it's always a disappointment when she can't go with him to work).

Zo can give the meanest scowl and then brighten up an entire room with her beautiful smile.

Some of her favorite foods are cottage cheese, shredded Colby jack cheese, green smoothies, bananas, rice, oatmeal, and chocolate chips.

Her favorite things to do are play in sand or dirt, pick flowers, read books, gather items and carry them around all day, go for rides in the stroller or wagon, play with her brother, chase the neighbor's cat, attend nursery on Sundays, and sing songs while making hand motions (Itsy Bitsy Spider, Popcorn, Pat-a-cake).

We love our ZoZo and hope that she continues to be her own little person, full of life and love!