Wednesday, December 30, 2009

Is Retouching Socially Irresponsible?

In the wake of a disturbingly wrinkle-free Twiggy ad campaign, British Members of Parliament are calling for a ban on Photoshopping ads aimed at children, and disclosure of digital alterations in ads aimed at adults.

See Article

I don't know how I feel about the topic. In my line of work we use photoshop day in and day out. Photography is by no means a direct reflection of what's in front of the lens, so there is some definite interpretation and manipulation with the human eye when working with imagery. And of course I've altered some of my own pictures to give myself a "glow"!

But on the other hand, I have seen numerous images in magazines, online, etc. of people with porcelain skin, missing-rib waistlines and flawless perfection. I do feel this puts a standard of beauty out there, BUT it's also important that people are taught this does exist and to not let it take over your mind and self-esteem.

There will always be marketing plans, the need to sell a lifestyle, youth, perfection, beauty, class, social standard. That's not going away. Education on reality, acceptance and social structure is key so that we can look past the flawless execution through photoshop and know it's not what we need to aspire to be.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

We Wish You a Merry...WHA?

So I'm driving the boys around to look at lights...and we make our way over to the street with the Griswald house that we go to every year. We spend some time looking at that house, get out of the car to see the scene in the garage, and then pack up the boys to finish looking at the rest of the lights on the street.

As we near the end of the road I look out to the right and see a nicely decorated house...but as I look closer I see...THIS! I mean...I get it...it's supposed to be someone who was hanging lights and fell in the process.

Come on.

This is clearly Michael Myers hanging from a tree with a knife! And if you look closely the face looks like a zombie from "I Am Legend". There is no joy in this image!! This should have been up for HALLOWEEN!

I appreciate the effort, but let's keep Xmas rated G people.
Sheesh.

Review: Capriccio Ristorante

Capriccio Information

When my grandmother and I volunteered several weeks back, we were surprised to find that Capriccio's was catering for the evening. I had never tried their food, but had heard of their Dallas location. Of course we were super excited to try something new!

The food was amazing!! Maybe it's because it was cold outside, or I was starving, or we were about to get to work on our feet for several hours, but the food was delicious. I think it's hard to find really good Italian food, and the pasta, salad, bread, desserts-all of it, were excellent.

I highly recommend!!

Sunday, December 27, 2009

Happy 3rd Birthday Nickolas!

My sweet boy is 3 years old today!!

I really struggled this year with how to handle his birthday party. In the past, we've only had family, and that worked well at those ages. But this year, I worried about him turning 3 and not having more friends involved. So we debated, and debated, and ended up deciding it was best to keep it low-key again for a few reasons. 1-it was right after Christmas (I know, I'm sorry Nick), 2-we didn't want to spend a lot of money (once, again..sorry Nick), and 3- we did Christmas at our house this year and knew we'd be just plum tired (poor Nickolas).

SO-I was determined to make this special, darnit! We had a DINOSAUR themed birthday party with family and I thought it turned out pretty good! We had a few dino decorations...a HUGE blow-up dinosaur with dino EGGS! I paper mach├ęd eggs with small dinosaurs inside, so that each child could open them up at the end of the party. We had a dino DIG! So we filled a kiddie pool with sand and lots of small bones and put it in the kitchen for the kids to dig. They loved it. My grandmother made a dinosaur cake which turned out great. And we attempted to play Jurassic Park but my family overturned that decision in leiu of the football game.

2 of the kids were unable to make it, so it was only the boys and my sister, but I don't think Nick minded, and it was definitely nice to have a smaller crowd as we came to an end this holiday break. Nick is happy with all his dino gifts and he's now my big 3-year old BOY!

Love you Nick!

Christmas 2009

Can you believe it...a white Christmas!?!

This was the first year we spent both Christmas Eve and Day at our home! It was wonderful! Thursday night Keith's parents came over and Keith's Cousin Johnny. We had food, let the boys open presents and spent some time in the snow and visiting. Then we baked cookies for Santa and the boys were in bed early with excitement and anticipation for Christmas morning. Keith and I were up late wrapping up gifts, filling stockings and cleaning.

They strolled into our bed early, about 6:30 I'd say, and we made them lay there until 7:00 which is kind of the "rule" for wake up time. Christmas morning shouldn't be any different...we were tired!

We came out and the boys opened the few presents Santa had left and went through their stockings. We had a great breakfast with eggs and sausage and then the best part...playing in the snow!!! We built a snowman, made snow angels and had snowball fights. This time I was dressed warmer and stayed out for a good hour. If I didn't need to come in and start getting ready for my family to come over I would have stayed out and played!! My family was over at about 11 and we ate, opened presents and hung out. Lots of fun!

That evening I took Kolbe and Nick out to look at lights since I knew we didn't have too much longer for the season. We went over to the Shops of Legacy and got out and walked through with all the lighted trees and huge Christmas tree. They enjoyed it.

We were back home, boys in bed, relaxed and happy! What a great Christmas 2009!

Friday, December 18, 2009

Review: Chuy's Tex-Mex

Awhile back I had lunch with my friend Lori at work, and she casually offered up Chuy's! I said "YES", since I have always wanted to try it!

For the most part, I had heard good things about this place, and there was a new location off 75 that sounded neat, so we headed that way.

I ended up ordering one of the specials, and it was some kind of soft taco wrap but with cheese, shrimp and cream sauce on top. I'm sure all very heart-healthy. The sauce had a bit of a spicy kick, and it was a unique and tasty flavor. I would definitely recommend!!

The atmosphere was great, typical tex-mex environment...my only wish is that we were there during happy hour instead of during lunch!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Map My Fitness Sucks

Many weeks ago I installed an app on my iPhone and also joined mapmyfitness.com. The intention was you could carry your phone while you ran and it would track:
• Time
• Speed
• Avg Speed
• Distance

Also a few additional stats. It would then keep a log and you could access this information online.

I was PUMPED.

So I get my running gear on, laces tied, music going, hit GO.....

and....

nothing.

It said it was searching for a better signal area so I started to troubleshoot. I was determined to get this thing working. What better combo-your phone, music and something that tracks your runs. Long story short-it didn't work, so I didn't run.

You can map my run right back to the couch.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Erik=Opa

When Erik was born I thought he was a clone of Keith's baby pictures. As he's grown over the months I still saw the resemblance, and thought out of all the boys he looked the most like Keith.

In the last couple of months, and in looking at Keith's dad's baby picture again, I began to ask myself "Did I give birth to Keith's dad"?

I made sure during the boys' pictures that we tried to get a pose similar to Opa's picture, at least for a side by side comparison. They were both 8 months old in the pictures (eventhough Erik's was 76 years after Opa's).

The resemblance is unbelievable. Same smile, cheeks, facial structure and head. I can't get over it. I see absolutely none of my features in my baby boy!!

Good thing he's a cutie!
I think it's neat that they share those characteristics!

Monday, December 14, 2009

Kolbe's Holiday Program

Kolbe's Holiday Concert was Friday morning at 9am, and I had been looking forward to it for a long time. Last year, his program (and Nick's), was canceled due to icy roads, so it's been 2 years since we've seen him sing. The last time he was so little that when he saw us he ran out through the audience and sat with us the whole time.

This year was a lot different.

I was so impressed with all the kids. They sang 5 songs:

• Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer
• Up on the HouseTop
• I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus
• We Wish You a Merry Christmas
• Jingle Bells

And we're not talking a snippet, they sang the whole song-all the verses. That is a lot for 4 and 5 year-olds to remember, and get up and sing in front of a large crowd. It was a great morning!

Good job, Kolbe!!

Saturday, December 12, 2009

Visiting Santa: SUCCESS!

Last Friday night I took all 3 boys and met my Mom at Vista Ridge Mall to visit Santa. I had NO expectations since last year didn't go so great, and it was the first time trying to get all 3 in a shot. Plus, I didn't know if the baby would be scared, or if Nick would fight it again.

Success!!

They all did so great, and my 8-year old sister Taylor got in the picture too. Most of the time she goes and we get all of them together-it's kind of become tradition that my Mom and I take them together.

To top it off, there wasn't a single person in line on a Friday night, so Kolbe got a lot of time to talk to Santa and tell him he wanted...you guessed it...choo choos!! We are working on year 4 of train addiction.

They all did GREAT! Thanks Santa!!

P.S. Kolbe looks SO much older in this picture, I can't get over it.

Friday, December 11, 2009

Volunteering: Gift Bags at the VNA

Up until summer of this year my grandmother and I were doing Meals on Wheels 1 to 2 Fridays a month (when I had Fridays off). Since then, I have started doing 5 day work weeks, and have not had the opportunity to work with the VNA (Visiting Nurses Association)...but Wednesday night we got our chance again!!

We made our way over to the VNA office where there was a group wrapping packages and assembling gift bags to hand out on the holiday delivery routes this year. 3700 bags needed to be filled in 2 days!! It was a great system, and it ended up being over 28,000 items (7+ per bag) that were wrapped, boxed and placed into gift bags. My grandmother and I figured we probably packed about 50-75 bags each in about 2 hours. There were a good 50-60 people there during our shift, half of them from a local high school class. They had food available for us and snacks, but most of all we just really enjoyed doing that together and being able to give our time. That really is the best thing you can offer.

I am always reminded by the people that receive the meals, and it is ingrained in my memory when they told us most times the delivery person is the only person these recipients will see in a day. I hope that these gift bags will brighten their day, and that they enjoy the holiday season happy and healthy.

Monday, November 23, 2009

Grossology

On Saturday Keith and I took the boys to SciTech in Frisco for the Grossology Exhibit! They LOVED it!

Everything was geared towards bodily functions: toots, burps, poops, snot, etc. There were games that launched balls into a giant nose (acting as dirt). When the nose is full is sneezes them back out. Slides and climbing walls that were supposed to be enlarged skin and the intestines. Hands-on booths for making "snot". A life size "operation" game and lots more.

Really inexpensive too (which is what we are going for right now). I believe it was $6.50 each and of course Nick and Erik were free!

You can't ask for a better place for 3 boys!

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Kairos Acne Care: I Want to Try!

Site Link

A friend of mine sent me this months and months ago, and I guess now that I have broken out with zits the size of tomatoes on my face the last couple of weeks I'm interested in it again!!

Apparently it's a hair care system that also clears up your skin! Here's the deal:

In place of acne-aggravating oils that are found in to many hair-care products, Kairos uses natural oils that don’t clog pores. This also prevents oil build-up so you don’t have to shampoo as often which is ideal for someone like me with very oily-prone hair. In addition, several of the products are formulated with acne-fighting Salicylic Acid, which has been proven to clear, heal, and prevent the recurrence of blemishes. Don’t worry though, your hair will NOT smell like chemicals, the products contain a delicious blend of natural botanicals such as Lavender Oil, Sweet Almond Oil, Tee Tree Oil, and Chamomile, for a soft, delicious scent.

I'm going to look on ebay for it...but I want to try it!!

Monday, November 16, 2009

Review:2012/Date Night

Here's the online synopsis of the movie:

Apocalyptic sci-fi thriller following the prophecy stated by the ancient Mayan calendar, which says that the world will come to an end on December 21, 2012. When a global cataclysm thrusts the world into chaos, divorced writer and father Jackson Curtis (John Cusack) joins the race to ensure that humankind is not completely wiped out.

Nicolle's online review of the movie:

It was just OKAY. So-so, eh, alright, something to do, a GREAT way to get out of the house and away from the kids!

I have to say, I think I over-expected too much-which in my old age I have learned everything is about expectations. This movie was a little too long ( 2 1/2 hours), and very over the top. Keith and I were actually laughing out loud when we really shouldn't have been. I mean, it's not polite to laugh when plastic surgeons are trying to fly planes and lift them off the ground that is eating itself and millions of other people, right?

Keith and I enjoyed it because we were on a date and eating happily at the Studio Movie Grill. We also enjoyed an evening of dinner and drinks at Maggiano's followed by a stop at Albert and Debbie's place for Debbie's 40th birthday party!!

We were in celebration of our dating anniversary (which I still make Keith celebrate, but hey he didn't mind when he found out it was a night off), 16 years ago today!!

HAPPY ANNIVERSARY KEITH!

Friday, November 13, 2009

Apple-Turkey Wrap Recipe

Disclaimer: This didn't go over so well with the kids, and the picture is not accurate, but I tried this new recipe for a turkey-apple wrap and is was de-lish!!

Ingredients:
• Tortillas
• Honey mustard
• Apples
• Turkey
• Cheese
• Lettuce

I kept mine really simple because the boys like "cleaner" foods, and it was yummy. Just spread honey mustard on the tortilla, put layer of lettuce (I used Romain-more nutrients), cut up apples, turkey and cheese and layer in.

Quick and easy and no more than 150 calories!!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Bounce House Rental

Kolbe's birthday party was a lot of fun, and went fairly well considering it was the first kids' party we had ever had at our house.

Pirate theme, hunting for gold, hot dogs in buns made to look like pirate ships...and the best part...CAKE!

I have to say, I was VERY impressed with the bounce house we rented and the place we used. I found it online, and you didn't have to talk to anyone (which was a little unsettling but their emails were excellent). You plug in your zip code, order, they give you all the details.

On that day, the bounce house arrived at the exact time slot they said, and we had it ALL day...we're talking 11 hours. They came and took it down within 15 minutes and it was perfect! All for only $87!! You can't get much better than that!

Here is the link to the place, we would definitely use them again!

JUMP FOR FUN

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Review: Russo's New York Pizzeria

This is my new favorite pizza place!! Ever since Pappa's (which was once Chicago's in Addison off Beltline) closed, I have been on the hunt for a replacement...this is it!

Sara and I tried this several months back, and I have been there many times since. Ginormous New York style slices, great atmosphere and pizzas 5 times the size of my head. Perfection.

You can get a slice and a salad (as many toppings as you can come up with) for $6.99.

Who wants to go with me again?

Locations

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Hasenauer Family Reunion

Back in August, there was a Hasenauer Family Reunion up in Pennsylvania that quite a few of us went to. It was a wonderful trip.

My grandfather, Mom, sister and Kolbe flew up early on Friday morning and my Aunt, Uncle and cousin drove it, so we all made it in Friday afternoon. Lots of family there that picked us up and we were able to spend hours visiting. We stayed at my cousins' house.

The actual reunion was that Saturday, and we spent pretty much all day there. They had rented a pavilion and the set up was comfortable and low-key, perfect weather. TONS of food and a potluck style. I couldn't get over how much food was there, but was not surprised, since everything up there is planned around meals. =) It was greatly organized, with lots of information on the family, lineage, name tags, pictures, etc. I met a lot of new people and got to visit with those already known.

The most exciting thing (to me), is that we were getting a 5 GENERATION picture. My great-grandfather, my grandfather, my Mom, me and my son! How often are people able to do that? We have been able to get 4-generation pictures quite a few times (shown is one over 20 years ago), but the 5-generation is really unique.

We spent Sunday and Monday site seeing and visiting. Roadside America, shopping and more eating! It was a wonderful trip and I'm glad Kolbe was able to experience it!

Saturday, October 31, 2009

Happy Halloween!

What a great week of fun-filled Halloween celebrations!

Wednesday night was the Fall Festival at Kolbe's school where there were candy, games a bounce house, face painting of LOTS of kids!! Kolbe won another immortal fish.

Thursday was the Halloween party and parade at Kolbe's school (where my child was the ONLY one not dressed up thanks to dear old Mom).

Friday was Halloween at Fossil- which I was VERY sad to miss while being laid up in bed with a 24-hour bug.

And of course tonight was Halloween night. My Mom and sisters came over so we could all go out and trick or treat with the boys. We got an early start, a little after 6 and didn't get in until around 8. The kids buckets were full, the weather was great, the boys were great and my sister was a hilarious and believable OLD WITCH!

Unfortunately, Keith has been in bed all night sick again, and I'm very sorry he missed trick or treating with the boys. I'm hoping he will be better tomorrow!!

Hope everyone had a safe Halloween!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Happy 5th Birthday, Kolbe Paul!

I can't believe it was 5 years ago today that Keith and I welcomed our first son. It's been an amazing 5 years, and I love taking this day to reflect on the start of parenthood.

SEE KOLBE'S ONLINE BIRTH ANNOUNCEMENT

Review: Paranormal Activity

Summary: A young couple suspects that their house is haunted by a malevolent entity. They set up video surveillance to capture evidence of what happens at night as they sleep. Their surveillance and home videos have been edited into the 99 minute feature film "Paranormal Activity". (taken from another site)

My take on the movie: The first half of it was REALLY slow. I almost thought this is so dumb and boring and I want to leave. But there were a few spots now and again that were somewhat humorous, and of course I was curious.

Boy was my curiosity fulfilled. Halfway through it really picked up, and there was at least a time or two where I jumped in my seat, and even a time I got goosebumps. I can't even remember the last time I got goosebumps in a creepy movie. The ending was excellent and it was SO scary that I actually had a hard time falling asleep that night.

In fact, it's kind of creeping me out right now just thinking about it.
I'm done.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

My First 5k (Post Baby #3)

Oh it's been several weeks now, but yes I finally did my 5K post-baby that was originally scheduled for May.

It was a great race. My grandfather, Aunt and a few friends were out there. My cousin did the 1-mile fun run. The weather was perfect and the course was refreshing-much of it along a path through shady trees.

Of course I wasn't concerned with time, but was thinking I could make it in 39 minutes. I finished in just over 40. Talk about slow, but at least I did it.

I feel motivated and felt it was the jump start I needed since I hadn't run for 3 weeks prior. Here it is a good 3-4 weeks later and I have only ran a handful of times since. I would really like to do one more race come November and need to get my butt in gear!!

I need motivation! I need a new house with a running trail outside of it...wonder where I could find that...hmmm....

;)

Thursday, October 22, 2009

CASH4GOLD: DO NOT DO BIZ WITH!

Note: This is my experience only, I'm sure the 900,00 people they claim are satisfied are very satisfied because everything online is true.

Several months back, I believe while I was still on maternity leave, I started organizing some areas of the house and came across some old jewelry. Things like my high school class ring, the wedding band I had when Keith and I got married that I no longer wear because we got new rings, and some random necklaces and rings. I decided to try a jewelry shop around here and they offered me all of about $69. At the time I thought-not worth it.

So here we are, October, and the items are still in a plastic baggy buried out in my garage. I come across them as I am in the midst of this "simplification process" of my life. My grandmother had recently sent in some items through this cash4gold and got some money back. So I get online and request the free pack, send my items in. The whole process was great: you get a tracking number, you can check in online and you know when you check is coming. Even when you get your check you can send it back and get your items back. What could be bad about all of that. You know what? The fact that I opened my mailbox one day and received a check in the amount of...wait for it...

$29!!!

Oh well. I cashed it and that's that. It wasn't really about how much, it's about getting all this clutter and materialism out of my life...one more step towards simple is complete.

Monday, October 5, 2009

Happy Birthday To Me!

Yesterday was my birthday, and a day of celebration. This year I was not focused on the age, getting older, the new gray hairs, the twenties being gone. I thought to myself-gosh darnit I'm lucky to have another...not everyone makes it to 33!

It was a lovely day. Sleeping in, breakfast in bed, a homemade card and the day with my guys. Dinner at my grandmother's house with family to top it off.

Work today was great. Lunch with friends and co-workers, a decorated desk with cards and a snowman made of jumbo cake balls from Bethany.

Thanks to everyone for another great year!

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Las Vegas Trip: 2009

Yes, my posts lack a sense of organization anymore, but so does my life at the moment!

Back in MAY, Jill and I took a long weekend and got away...VEGAS BABY!

We had a fantastic time!! The rundown: Lots of food, gambling and drinks. It was perfect timing. Right before I returned back to work on maternity leave and after I had been home for 3 months with the boys. Trust me, I sure did miss them, but I was ready for a break.

We stayed at The Venetician and it was by far the nicest hotel I have stayed in. We say "Beatles Love" one night, and I was hesitant to spend that much money on a ticket, 'cause you know I'd rather shovel it into a slot machine, but it was more than worth it. I want to go back with Keith just to see that show again!

Saturday night we met up with Sara and her sister 'cause Sara was in town for JCK. So ironic that the last time I was in Vegas I was with her too!! Fabulous dinner at a Wolfgang Puck restaurant and lots and lots of gambling.

Perfect getaway!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Goals Complete: 09.09.09

So my 09.09.09 goals were not as successful as my 08.08.08 goals as far as number of accomplishments. Here is what was accomplished:

√ Become a Creative Director.
√ Create a legal will.
√ Finish knitting a scarf
√ Get a pedicure.
√ Go to Six Flags.
√ Have lunch with someone new.
√ Organize the garage.
√ Take Kolbe on the DART rail.
√ Visit Dr. Ardman

LOTS to do this year to complete before 10.10.10. I will be carrying over the current goals and adding new ones. Let's shoot for a better year!!

Saturday, August 22, 2009

Nickolas & Beds

On Tuesday night when I walked in the door from work, I heard Nickolas crying in the back of the house. We have 3 boys....this is nothing new.

I walk back there and see Keith sitting with him as he's laying the bed, screaming. I look down and see he has a bump about the size of a marble in between his eyes! I gasp!!

I'm not one to overreact at all the bumps and bruises-but this one looked BAD and it was worrying me because of the location. Keith said it swelled in about 3o seconds. He had enough time to explain that he was playing on the bed and went to land on the pillows and missed and hit the hard edge of the headboard. Ouch!

We decide he needs to go to the ER just in case so I pick him up and turn right back around and head out.

We were in there about 2 1/2 hours, and everything checked out fine in the end. Thank goodness. The spot has little cartilage at this point because of his age, so nothing broken and his behavior (normal) shows that nothing happened internally.

Result: Now on day 4 of the morphing colors on his face!

Review: Fireside Pies

It has been several months now, but I still had to make a review on Fireside Pies in Dallas as it was excellent!!

We had a group of about 10 girls...Friday night...girls night out. Can't get any better than that, right? Cocktails...said and....PIZZA!

Fabulous pizza!!

I had been looking for a great pizza place for awhile, since Chicago's Pizza in Addison had closed, and this one does it! Unique combination, custom pies and excellent atmosphere with patio seating.

Two thumbs up!

Thursday, July 2, 2009

Review: Twisted Root Burger

I have definitely found my favorite burger joint- TWISTED ROOT BURGER.

Awhile back I went with a group from work to the one over in Richardson, and had some hesitation because I'm trying to lose my "baby weight", but I wanted to socialize after returning to work from maternity leave.

What a pleasant surprise when I ordered a turkey burger, and found it to be BETTER than a regular burger. The atmosphere was fun, they call your order according to the "celebrity name" they assign you, and it's lively and fresh.

I highly recommend it and look forward to going back!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Goal Complete: Go To Six Flags

On Sunday morning I took Kolbe to Six Flags with my Mom, sister, Aunt and cousin. The weather was GORGEOUS!

We got out there about 1:00 and Steph and Stevie were already out there. We headed over to Looney Toons Land and let Taylor and Kolbe ride on some rides. I got to ride Tony Hawk which was my first time-I hadn't been in over 5 years, so I forgot how much fun the roller coasters are! This ride is on a track but then the car spins too.

Kolbe tried quite a bit and of course loved the train the most. He didn't want to ride the log ride, and got scared on the Mini Mine Train, but for his first time I thought he did great.

At least one of my boys are BOUND to like rides!! The odds are in my favor!!

Sunday, April 26, 2009

SHREVEPORT TRIP!

How could I have forgotten to post about our Shreveport trip!? It was last weekend!

We had a blast!

Kolbe was down at Keith's parents house, Nickolas went to my Mom's and Erik stayed at my grandmother's house. We left about 2pm on Saturday and came back about the same time Sunday.

It was so nice to make the drive and have peace and quiet, and a little adult conversation. We took our time, ate and enjoyed. Got to the hotel/casino (we stayed at....hm....I can't remember), but it was nice. A Marriot right next to the casino-within walking distance. We spent a good 6 or 7 hours gambling. At at the dinner buffet and had a good time. Of course we didn't win, but it's the entertainment value and just getting away. We stopped by another casino for about an hour the next morning.

The boys did great while they were spending the night out and we had a really good time. It went by WAY too fast!

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Deep Sea Adventure

Today was an adventure!

I took the 3 boys to see "Deep Sea" at the Omni theatre in Fort Worth. It was playing at 1:15 so I started out there at noon. They were great for a majority of the time, and we were gone for a good 4 hours.

Highlights:
• Kolbe being so excited to get there.
• Walking to the theatre and Kolbe hanging onto my shirt.
• Seeing the dinosaur outside and Nickolas growling at it.
• Watching Nickolas watch the show.
• Seeing the kids play in the "fountain".

Hiccups:
• No parking because there was a job fair going on.
• The lights being off when we walked in and the kids being hesitant.
• The chaos getting the popcorn after the show.
• Kids fighting over who would hold the popcorn bag.
• Kolbe needing to pee on the way home (but changing his mind after I pulled off the highway and got him out).

They were fun to take and I really enjoyed it. Kolbe said he wouldn't go back though. =)
I have great boys!

Happy 2-Month Birthday Erik Mueller!

Erik is 2 months old today!

Yesterday we had his checkup at the doctor (with me taking all 3 boys by the way). Everything checked out well. Erik weighs 13lbs. 4ozs. He is 24" long. He had 3 shots and an oral. A few things we discussed-his thrush keeps coming back...I need to give him the medicine for a full week this time. He already had an ear infection so she was concerned about that. And, based on how he was laying inside of me he turns his head predominately to the left. We have been working with him to look the other way, draw his attention that way, lay him on his side at night so he turns that way, etc. We need to work on it for the next 2 months.

Overall, he is a joy and is healthy! HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Kolbe Helping with The Baby

The other morning I laid Erik on the blanket and told Kolbe I was going to get in the shower. I asked him to please give the baby his pacifier if he was really crying. He said "okay".

I get out of the shower. Quiet.

Kolbe comes into the bathroom and is VERY excited. Unusually excited, so I know something's up. He's talking so fast I can't understand him, but I hear the name Erik at the end of the sentence and once I heard that I knew I needed to go out into the living room to check on him.

What do I see? Kolbe has scotch taped the pacifier to the baby!! After I gasp, I start laughing...and explain that although that's a very smart idea...it's not necessarily the best thing to do and let's just keep the tape up higher...like out of reach...

At least he's a logical boy.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Goal Complete: Take Kolbe on the DART Rail

I have been wanting to take Kolbe on the DART rail for so long because of his love of trains. On Thursday when I had just him and Erik for the day, I decided to get some guts and take them!

We drove over to the George Bush Station and headed on the red line south. This route goes all the way down to the Dallas zoo. Kolbe absolutely loved it and was so excited that it went so fast. He also enjoyed all the station stops and repeated the names and was counting the stops until we got to ours. I decided we would get off at the CityPlace Station since it was in a tunnel. He enjoyed that a lot.

Then we hopped back on to head back north. I did miss the stop on the way back, but we got off on the next one and came back on the other train. I had Erik in the sling and he pretty much slept the whole way. The boys did great-Kolbe did great and enjoyed it. He wanted Opa to take him the next time!

I was exhausted when the day was done, but it was a fun ride!

Easter 2009

We had a wonderful Easter Sunday last week. That morning the boys woke up and hunted for easter eggs and went through their baskets. The Easter bunny really enjoyed hiding the baskets for them and putting out the eggs we had all colored together.

Afterwards we packed up and headed down to Oma and Opa's for the day. We had a lot of family there and the weather was a little chilly at first, but turned out nice. We had a nice lunch, visited and played with the kids.

What a great day to spend together and be thankful for our family and friends.

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

Credit Cards

It's amazing how the "economic crisis" is effecting everyone! Not only have we had some company changes that have directly impacted myself and my family, but now it's hitting consumer credit.

Fortunately, we own a home, have two cars, and currently don't have any large dollar expenses other than some medical bills from having Erik which we saved for. BUT, we do have some credit card debt that we have aggressively been paying off and THOUGHT that was the best thing to be doing.

Turns out-it may not necessarily be the best thing to do as a priority. I had one credit card I opened to finance some microderms. Paid it off in the 12-month, no interest window and was never late on a payment or abused the card. About 3 months after I paid it off they lowered my available credit, and about another 3 months thereafter they closed the account. NOW, it's going to say "closed by creditor" on my report and that available credit/income ratio will be hurt.

In the last 2 weeks alone I had another 2 cards that I have had for over 10 years, and used regularly but always pay on time and more than the minimum, they increased the interest rate by about 6%.

How is this supposed to be helping the financial flow when we have credit in good standing, have no major economic issues and manage our finances? This money towards interest could be going into cash flow but instead they are punishing people who are not a risk. Do they want EVERYONE to start hurting more in this state of the economy?

Apparently so, and in the meantime I am trying to do whatever I can to not jeopardize my credit score, but the government is making that very difficult to maintain.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The Arboretum

Two weeks ago I took the boys (all 3) to the Arboretum and met up with Keith's parents there for the day. Keith went to a game and enjoyed a much needed break with friends!

It was a BEAUTIFUL day! The weather was absolutely gorgeous. The boys really enjoyed the time there. The liked the pirate ship the most, but also enjoyed the flowers, climbing in the houses and the fountains and hills to roll around on. Erik was great and slept literally the whole time we were there with the exception of about 15 minutes when I fed him.

I think the most stressful part was getting into the gardens because the parking lot was so crowded we had to take a shuttle from a parking lot off-site. Quite the load with 3 kids and 2 strollers but it worked out!

It's amazing what you'll do so your kids can see plants! ;)

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Arts & Crafts

At the end of my pregnancy, I was useless!! So, I have a lot of "making up" time to do with the boys. I have made an effort to have a lot of organized crafts and fun for them to keep them occupied, especially when we can't make it outside. It also gives me the chance to do specific activities with them.

So far we have done finger painting, working with clay, decorating eggs, making foam eggs for Easter and decorating and making and decorating bunnies. Lots of coloring as well. Some the the items I have for the near future are making model airplanes, making and flying a kite, building paper airplanes and more foam art. I also want to work on gathering items that begin with certain letters of the alphabet and creating boards.

This picture is a rose Kolbe, Nickolas and I made. Kolbe rolled up all the clay balls, Nickolas flattened them and I cut and molded them together.

I LOVE being back in the swing of things!

Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Visitors From Kentucky

Pictured is my Mom and her long time friend from elementary school, Kathy! Kathy and her husband, Mel were in town for a week and they made some time to come and visit. It was a great evening! We hadn't seen them in a good 6 or 7 years, and it was great to catch up.

We hosted and also had my grandparents over and sister and her boyfriend. The house was pretty full and we picked up a great meal, talked, let the kids play and just enjoyed the evening.

I grew up with Kathy and Mel and remember spending the night at their house, them being a part of milestones and Kathy being my Mom's best friend.

We sure miss them being in KY!

Bunnies

How appropriate with the upcoming Easter holiday approaching seeing as society created the bunny as a symbol and all.

Awhile back Kolbe was climbing down from the tree in the backyard, and stepped on these bunnies!! They were covered in hair, and the mother had dug a whole for them. They were barely recognizable-we couldn't tell if they were bunnies or rats. We checked on them every day to make sure they were doing alright. The boys were pretty good with them and didn't touch because we knew the mother may not come back if they did.

In about a week, they were already big enough to hop out. I had know idea they would grow that fast. I didn't see them for about 2 days, and unfortunately this past Saturday morning we found one in our swimming pool. I think the other 4 are not out of the yard and hopefully doing okay. What a crazy world it must be for them!

Monday, March 30, 2009

Our Garden For the Spring

Last Sunday Keith and the boys planted a garden!

We had done this last year, but this year was even more exciting because they were both able to pick out things to plant and help with it.

Kolbe picked out the flowers and some strawberries, cucumbers and tomatoes.

They are both great with watering everyday, and Nickolas is really good with picking the flowers out. What a team!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Camping Saturday Night

Okay-the tent may have been 2 feet from our back door, but it was still camping!!

Saturday night was a lot of fun. The boys set up the tent and I stayed out there with them for the night. We went out about 9:00 and had the cover off the top so we could all see through and it was so nice. The weather was perfect, plenty of room and they were so excited when a plane would come by and just looking at the stars and naming everything around us.

It took awhile for them to fall asleep, but of course it would because it's so new to them. The weather was chilly come morning, but they slept until about 7:15.

After doing this it's definitely possible to take them both tent camping. I think Nickolas is old enough now, so I'm excited about doing it again and actually traveling to camp soon!

Goal Complete: Become a Creative Director

Last week I made it into the office to have my very informal review. It went well, and I was promoted to a Creative Director! I was VERY happy about the news. I have been in my current position for well over 5 years and have since started my own "team" within the company and have really made many strides in the last several years.

I am looking forward to returning to work (NOT NOW), but at the end of May with much motivation, a new line of thinking and new challenges.

This should be an exciting year!

Wednesday, March 18, 2009

Review: The Last House on The Left

Plot Synopsis: After kidnapping and brutally assaulting two young women, a gang led by a prison escapee (Dillahunt) unknowingly finds refuge at a vacation home belonging the parents of one of the victims -- a mother (Potter) and father (Goldwyn) who devise an increasingly gruesome series of revenge tactics.

Steph and I went to see this movie Monday afternoon, and we were excited after reading the reviews. I was SO impressed with this movie. Excellent plot, acting, suspense and shock value. It's been awhile since I had seen a movie this good....UNTIL THE LAST 10 SECONDS!!! I couldn't believe how this movie ended. If they would have just cut it short, and ended it 10 seconds earlier, it would have been an A+! The last part knocked it down to about a B+.

So, not a showstopper, but you may want to consider walking out before seeing the very, very end and make your own ending!

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

WELCOME ERIK LEEROY MUELLER

Erik Mueller was born on Monday, 2.23.09 at 1:02pm. He weighed 8lbs, 11ozs and was 21 inches long. Everything went well, and he is a happy and healthy baby boy!

The surgery went well. I was so nervous about the IV and epidural, and both of those went fairly smooth. The surgery itself went well, and after they got Erik out they had to do some more work and that was somewhat painful, but they gave me something to knock me out. I remember being in recovery and being taken into my room after that. Recovery in the hospital had it's ups and downs including the pain medicine box not working for 2 hours, an allergic reaction to the tape they used on me and some of the nurses not being entirely friendly-but once again, it was all worth it.

Everything is going well, so far so good, and we feel so incredibly lucky to now have THREE amazing, healthy BOYS!

SEE MORE PICTURES OF ERIK LEEROY

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Nesting for the 3rd Time: Why Not Compare?

I sit here in anticipation that 48 hours from now I will be holding my precious son or daughter. The thought today has been overwhelming. I am very emotional. Wanting to nest, clean, pack my bag, the list goes on and on - but physically can't. Feeling contractions and pain. I'm feeling relief it's almost here. Sadness it's almost done. Excitement has gone to the back burner and nervousness takes over. Each pregnancy has been so different, so I thought I'd jot down some of the differences. In my state of mind, they're all the down times, but of course pregnancy has been a wonderful thing...

Pregnancy #1- KOLBE

• Not much morning sickness but got sick every time I flew in an airplane.
• Had major sciatic pain about halfway through and had to start seeing a physical therapist 3 days a week.
• Preterm labor at 34 weeks, ended up in the hospital to stop contractions. Gave medication to stop labor that made me shake, anxious and become jittery.
• Doctor gave me Ambien to help me sleep, made me hallucinate.
• Restless leg syndrome.
• Huge amount of water retention.
• Iron deficiency at the end of pregnancy.
• Sleep deprivation the last month.
• Gained 60lbs. total. Took 6 months to lose it all.

Pregnancy #2-NICKOLAS

• Had a lot of morning sickness throughout the first trimester and beyond.
• Sleep deprivation the last month.
• Severe heartburn.
• Gained 55lbs. total. Not quite sure all of it EVER came off!

Pregnancy #3

• Had a lot of morning sickness throughout the first trimester.
• Failed 1st glucose test and had to take the the 3-hour test (PASSED).
• Baby positioned itself on weak point of old incision and ended up in L&D with severe pain and contractions at 36 weeks.
• Was in L&D for a second time with irregular contractions at 37 weeks-no progress.
• Severe heartburn (prescription didn't even work).
• Sleep deprivation the last 2 months.
• Severe restless leg syndrome.
• Numbing of hands and feet near the end.
• Severe pain in hips, as if bones were loose and could not hold frame.
• Gained 56lbs. to date. I'm GONNA DO MY DARNDEST TO GET IT OFF!

I will always cherish the experience of being able to carry children and share everything with Keith. There's nothing like feeling your baby move inside of you, and seeing that life you created for the first time-that first moment. I look forward to that moment once more...

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Goal Complete: Create Legal Will.

After probably a good year or so of researching, and working on it AND putting it off, last night I FINALLY signed a formal legal will with a notary!

It still needs a little bit of work, but a really good friend of mine was nice enough to help me out in the whole process and now it's good enough where I can go into next week feeling comfortable about it. Keith's is complete too, but we need to make slight changes in the next couple of weeks like adding the third baby, finalizing who would take the kids if our primary choice didn't work out and some details in the paperwork including better witnesses.

Thank you SO much to my friend for your help, and (*SIGH OF RELIEF), it's something I can check off my list for now!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

6 Days Until Baby Day!!

Baby is doing great!

The sonogram picture came out really well. This is the face. Of course most people can't see a thing in it, but I can tell, and I think it looks like Nickolas! In this the dark round on the right is an eye, another eye to the left, then the forehead and a head of dark hair!! The lips are pretty dominant and the area to the right she said is the umbilical cord.

Could be girly?

The doctor gave me a prescription of Ambien while I was in labor and delivery (AGAIN!) yesterday. I have my last check-up on Thursday and then 6 days from now I will meet this little one that's been keeping me up night after night!

We check in at 10am and by a little after noon....WELCOME BABY MUELLER!

Future Birthday: 02.23.09-WOW.

Everything's Amazing: NoBody's Happy

This is an awesome video. I think this way every single time I fly, other instances too, but flying is so apparent.

http://barefootmeg.multiply.com/video/item/56

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

My Night in Labor & Delivery

Last night completely caught me off-guard!

Yesterday was a great day! I had slept almost 10 hours the night before which I haven't done in months, and then headed over to a work luncheon/shower at 11:30. Afterwards, went back to the office to hand everything off since it was my last day. I felt really good. Went home about 6:30 and felt so good decided to give the boys a bath, then relaxed for the night.

I didn't have an appetite though so didn't eat dinner.

At about 9:30 I started feeling some "cramping". For awhile I thought they might be contractions, but they were about every 5 minutes, and I thought there's no way. If they are-it's false labor (felt familiar, like what I had with Kolbe) and I kept laying on the couch.

At about 10:00 I had a SHARP, sharp pain in my pelvic area, on the incision spot I have been complaining about for weeks but the doctor said was normal as the baby gets bigger. It literally feels like it's ripping on the inside. This time though, it was not going away and it didn't feel right. Called the doctor and she told us to go to the hospital.

My Aunt rushed over to sit in the house so the boys could stay asleep. Keith and I checked in about midnight. Dr. Bass showed at about 1:00 and they had me hooked to the fetal monitor. She checked me and of course, no labor progress, (which I knew there wouldn't be-that was my problem before is I never progressed). Fetal monitor showed contractions at sometimes 4 minutes, sometimes 2-VERY irregular. Also something I had with Kolbe. She explained that after 2 c-sections that close together, the baby is pushing on a spot that is causing this pain and also putting a lot more pressure on that area. They warned me of the signs of "uterine eruption". Not likely to happen, but very scary thought.

Being I'm only 37 weeks she really wants to get the baby to stay in for another 7-10 days (I do too)! So she gave me a shot of demerol for the pain, something for heartburn and a snack and told me to stay for the night so they would try to level out the contractions and get everything back to "normal". If they couldn't, they were going to take the baby today, and as much as I have been complaining when it came down to it I REALLY didn't want that! At about 7 this morning the pain was a lot better and the contractions leveled out, they decided they would release me.

She said come in on Thursday morning and they would check me again and set the date. I'll know more then!!

Friday, February 6, 2009

I Am Lucky To Have Keith

He's a cutie!

Not only that, but I cannot even begin to explain how supportive he has been this pregnancy. For well over a month now he has been taking care of the boys needs every night. Home from school, bath, bed routine-all of it. He says he will take care of it until after recovery, or unless I am up for it at night, just let him know. But that I need to be getting rest.

If it was even possible he has been even MORE helpful this week with me being sick. Getting the boys ready 3 mornings this week and taking them to school. I am usually the one to take them since I don't want them there so early, and I don't get to work until 9, especially since I have been working from home lately too, but this week he took care of it.

He does most of the cooking too. And I don't believe I have heard him complain one time. He is very empathetic, and although I know he has to be exhausted and needing a break, he always just says he knows it has to be so hard for me and to try and get rest!

I don't know what I would do without him!