Monday, November 24, 2008

Birthday Party

Saturday was the day we had Lauren's birthday party. I sent out invitations at the beginning of the month. When hosting parties for Lauren, I've been more interested in doing a color theme versus a character theme - this may change as Lauren gets older and can voice her opinion. Until then, color themes it is... Last year's color theme was pink, green, and yellow. This year I went with chocolate brown and pink polka dots. Being the OCD person that I am, everything coordinated from the invites, to Lauren's dress to the decorations to the cake. As you can see in our family picture, Joe even got into the party spirit by wearing pink to my brown.

I found some brown and pink polka dot material at Hobby Lobby and used it so spruce up my tablescape.

I made the chocolate cake with homemade icing and the cupcakes the night before.

As mentioned in a the previous post, Lauren loved her birthday balloons and carried them around all day.
Here she is patiently waiting for us to sing happy birthday.

When we were done singing I told her to blow out the candle. Lauren kept saying "Momma blow out." We tried to blow it out together.

Usually Lauren is all about the sweets but on this day she only ate a little.

The following are some candid shots from the party (compliments to my photographer, Aunt B).

This is Lexi, Lauren's BFF from daycare. These two little girls play so well together.

I debated about what activities to do with the kids. Being 2 years old, organized games are pretty much out of the question. We let the kids play with Lauren's toy's in the family room and that was fine. The hit of the afternoon was this old canister of Mardi Gras beads my mom gave Lauren a few months ago. Every kid (boy and girl) was wearing them around the house. As the kids left, each child got to pick a balloon to take home with them (pink or brown of course). Overall, the party was a success and I look forward to birthday number 3 - as long as it doesn't come too soon.

Lauren Turns 2!

I can't believe it! Lauren turned 2 last week. Time sure has flown by. The day started with Lauren double fisting some "doughnies" for breakfast.

After breakfast, we got dressed and Lauren headed to daycare to celebrate with her friends. I sent a chocolate chip cookie cake for snack and Donna (her daycare provider) said she didn't eat a bite of it.

When Lauren got home, there were two Mylar balloons waiting for her. One said Happy Birthday and the other one was of Mickey Mouse.

We had wrapped birthday gifts sitting out for her with the balloons but she only had eyes for the balloons. For the rest of the evening, she had the balloons in her hands. Dinner was a challenge because she didn't want to let go of the balloons.

Farmor and Grandpa called her and sang happy birthday. Lauren opened her baby doll while they were on the phone. Aunt Sara, Uncle Andy and cousin Stephen also called. Early in the morning, Uncle Ken called but we were still asleep. Joe finally convinced Lauren to let go of the balloons so she could open her gifts. Here are a couple of shots.

Saturday was Lauren's birthday party for her friends. I will post a separate report detailing the party.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Visit with the Burbrinks

This weekend my roommate from college and her family came for a visit. Crista, Phil, Mason and Mallory arrived late Thursday night. After getting their kids off to bed, Crista, Phil and I stayed up visiting and snacking for a little bit. Friday morning came awful early. Lauren must have remembered we were having guests because she woke up at 6:30 am!!! We ate lunch out and Phil watched the kids at the mall playground while Crista and I did a little shopping. Joe was able to join us for dinner at the Macaroni Grill.

Saturday morning Lauren had an appointment at Sears for her 2 year picture. I wanted to get a picture of all 3 kids but they wouldn't all smile at the same time. Crista and Phil were able to get a good shot of them at the house...

After the Sears photo shoot we had lunch at home and the kids went down for a nap. Crista and I hit a few stores while the guys stayed at the house. We ate dinner in and then played a new game I picked up. It's called Scattergories the card game and it was a blast. I've been accused of thinking it was crazy fun because I won both rounds but it really was fun.
The Burbrinks left on Sunday. Lauren played very well the Mason and Mallory and we look forward to seeing them after the first of the year.

Friday, October 31, 2008


Tonight is Halloween and it's the first time Lauren gets to go trick-or-treating. Like last year, we had a mild melt down when the costume was first put. Thankfully, Lauren had a quick recovery.
My Mom brought back this belly dancer costume from her trip to Turkey this year.

There are cute shoes that go with the outfit that have little balls on the ends but she wouldn't wear them.

For a while she carried around the camel and then tired of that.

Here are Lauren and Joe on the path to collecting goodies.

By the end of the evening Lauren was very good at saying "trick-or-treat" and then "thank you". We only had one episode where she walked into someone's home because she heard a dog barking.

Grandma and Pa-pa handed out candy for us while we went around the neighborhood. All in all, Lauren was a hit. She loved walking around and hearing herself jingle. Joe got her to "shake" her body - it was too cute!

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Missouri Botanical Garden

Today Lauren and I went on a field trip to the Missouri Botanical Garden. This is the last week of the special exhibit by Niki de Saint Phalle. Her sculptures are really neat and many of them are made to be walked in and climbed on. Lauren walked much of the gardens and really enjoyed the freedom that entailed.

This is the first sculpture we saw upon entering the gardens. It's called Abre serpents.

This is one of the two Guardian Lions. It was the first sculpture we came to that Lauren could climb on.

These little sheep are not part of the Niki exhibit but Lauren really liked them. Twice she stopped and said "cheese" - meaning she wanted me to take pictures of her.

This was probably Lauren's favorite exhibit. It's called Nikigator. We spent a lot time here crawling around and feeling all the different textures.

Another visitor to the gardens took our picture on the Nikigator.

La Cabeza was really cool. The inside was awesome! There's a bench to sit on and when you look up at the top, there's a moon and stones that make you think of stars. Just a little fact, this sculpture weighs 6 tons!!

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Carving Pumpkins

Last night we carved our pumpkins. Actually, we gave Lauren markers to color her pumpkin and Joe and I carved ours.

Lauren kept grabbing the markers by the wrong end which resulted in her getting marker all over her hands. She does not like to be messy so I was wiping her hand every other minute.

Here is her masterpiece. She had more fun playing with the markers and their container than she did coloring her pumpkin. Oh well.

As Joe was scraping out the inside of our pumpkin he kept asking Lauren if she would like to stick her hand in and help pull out. "No" was always the answer. She liked to look in the pumpkin and touch the outside but she had no desire to touch the gooey inside.

Joe and I tag teamed on our pumpkin - I came up with the design and he carved it out.
I guess our pumpkin was too scary for Lauren.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Pumpkin Patch

Today we went to Rambach's Pumpkin Patch. Typically we don't buy our pumpkins here because they are pricey. We took Lauren last year but she wasn't able to walk. This year she walked everywhere. Just after entering the grounds, there are live chickens, pigs, bunnies and rooster. This was probably Lauren's favorite area. No matter where we went, she kept wanting to go back to that area. Joe took Lauren on her first horse ride. Her horse's name was Boots.

Giddy up Boots!

Last year Lauren and I had our picture made in front of this pile of pumpkins. Maybe this photo op will become a yearly tradition.

Big Girl Bed

Yesterday was the BIG day - Lauren went from sleeping in a crib to sleeping in a big girl bed. The transition had been coming for a while. So, this past week I ordered some cutie bedding and it came in on Friday. Here is the last picture of Lauren in her crib...

Add VideoAs we were putting together the new bed, she was playing in side the rails calling it a pool. Joe and I kept a steady stream of talking up about her new big girl bed and how exciting it was going to be. Once we got the mattresses on, Lauren wanted to jump on the bed. Being the indulgent parents that we are, we let her. I wanted to exchange out the mattress for another one and when we took the mattress off Lauren started crying "No! My bed. My Bed". She thought we were getting rid of her bed. After we made up the bed to my satisfaction, she wanted to jump on the bed and "cheese" for a picture (pre bed rails).

Lauren had a difficult time falling asleep in her new bed. Part of that is my fault - I didn't keep her normal bed time routine like rocking her before putting her in the bed. Part of her not falling asleep also had to do with Lauren not having a nap at all yesterday and being so tired she was wired. I let her fall asleep in our bed and Joe moved her to her bed. She slept all night long with no problem. Tonight, I will definitely stick to our routine.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Life Update

Wow! It has been a long time (over a month and a half) since I last blogged. A lot has happened in our life since then and I will do my best to catch everyone up. After this blog, I plan on posting regularly again. Okay, hold on tight 'cause here we goooooooooooo...

We left off with us going on vacation to Walt Disney World September 11 -15. (I'll blog about the trip later.) On our last day of vacation I was informed that 2 managers in St. Louis (one of them being my manager) were laid off due to the downsizing of my company. On the 18th of September, I was laid off (along with lots of other people nationwide). Bummer. Their loss. Needless to say, the first couple of weeks after that were a little nuts. I've been looking for jobs but the market is kind of stagnant right now. The perfect job will come along - hopefully sooner rather than later.

On September 28, AB had family day at Six Flags. Before we headed to the park for the day you'll never guess what happened?! Lauren used the potty!!!!! Boy we were so excited. She used the potty 2-3 times that day and then the next but hasn't sat on it since. Every time I ask her if she needs to go potty she says "NO!". When I try to sit her on the training potty, she stiffens her body and refuses to sit. We will save that battle for another day.

Six Flags was fun but boy was it yucky!!! Granted, I am a Disney Snob but come on - the park felt like a glorified carnival. The music was too loud, and the upkeep was not good. I felt like the workers were always trying to up-sell me and there were advertisements everywhere. We had a good time but it will be a while before we pay to go. Lauren had a blast. She enjoyed seeing Scooby Doo and Scrappy too.

Lauren also enjoyed riding her first amusement ride by herself. Joe and I were nervous at first that she would cry when she realized we were not going to ride with her but she LOVED it.

To shore the last few weeks up, we've been on a hayride at my Aunt Libby's. Lauren enjoyed bobbing for apples - actually she liked playing in the water more. She took a couple of tries at a pinata and ate 2 1/2 hot dogs -no bun. We attended a family picnic at Garden of the Gods last weekend and was in Harrisburg when my parents got to meet Brenna's boyfriend Kelsey. Overall, life has been good. I just need a job.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Mickey Here We Come

We leave tomorrow night for Walt Disney World. Yeah!! It is a much needed vacation. We will be meeting Joe's mom (Farmor) and dad (Grandpa) there and will stay until Monday night. I will not be taking my computer with me so I there will not be any new posts until next week. I'm going to try and post pictures when I give our trip report.

Until then, sending pixie dust your way...

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Time Out Part Deux

On Thursday Lauren got placed in time out for the second time. She committed the same offense as before - shaking the mounted gate at daycare. The gate is mounted to the wall and shaking it could make a hole where the screws are located. When Miss Donna told Lauren no- don't shake, Lauren looked at her and shook the gate as fast as she could.

That night while I was rocking Lauren I started singing softly to her. Lauren must not have wanted to hear it because she put her hand to my mouth and pinched my lips closed. While I know it's unreasonable, my feelings were hurt. I'm still going to sing to her whether she wants to hear it or not!

Friday we went to Eureka Days - which is a little carnival the town has every fall. Lauren got to ride the merry-g0-round or "horse" as she calls it. She wanted to ride some of the faster looking rides but we had to keep explaining that she wasn't big enough. Eventually we left and went home to wait for Aunt B and Kelsey to arrive.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Mother & Daughter Dinner

Never again. Well, maybe never is too harsh of a word. How about - not for a really long time. I'm talking about going to a sit down restaurant with just myself and Lauren. I took Lauren to meet my parents tonight so she could spend the weekend with them. On the way we stopped in Fairview Heights to eat at Logan's Roadhouse (my favorite steak place). She was fun and happy in the car on the way over but turned into a little terror when we were seated inside.

Lauren doesn't like to sit in a high chair anymore so we tend to put her in booster seats. The only problem with that is that she will not sit still. We colored on the menu they gave us and we read the books in her bag (all of which took about 5 minutes). After that, she was EVERYWHERE. She tried to climb up the wall, she tried to stand on the table. She wanted to get down on the floor. She wanted to get under the table. She knocked her head against the back of the bench 3 times trying to get away from me. AHHHH!!!! We had a great waitress who got our food to us very quickly. Did this slow Lauren down? No! She tried to stand on her plate of food while it was on the table. I ate my dinner so fast I felt like I was inhaling it. It's nice when both Joe and I take her to dinner because we can take turns entertaining her. By the time we left, food was all over her mouth and all over my clothes.

Finally we met up with Grandma and Paw Paw. She was so excited to see them. Once she was strapped into the car seat in their car she looked at me, waved and said "bye-bye". She was ready to go with no looking back. I shed a few tears because this is the first time she has been away from both her dad and I for more than a day.

Lauren is now going to be at her grandparents' house until Sunday. I will be back then. Happy Labor Day!!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008


This afternoon I took Lauren to the doctor to have her eye checked. It looked like it was getting infected and I didn't want to mess around. When we walked into the lobby of the doctor's office, Lauren said "Cookie?". (Background: At the end of each doctor's visit, the check out nurse gives each child a cookie - Lauren must have remembered this). I told her she would get a cookie after her visit with the doctor. After sitting in the lobby for a few minutes, the nurse opened the door and called Lauren's name. What does Lauren do? Look at her and say "Cookie?". The nurse explains that she will get one when she leaves.

After getting her weight and taking her temp we are taken to the exam room. We waited quite a while. Lauren colored on the table paper, read some books and colored some more. When the doctor finally walked in the first thing out of Lauren's mouth was "Cookie?". The doctor told her she would get one when he was done looking at her eye. Thankfully her eye is not infected. She scraped the lid pretty good but the eyeball itself was not damaged. I asked the doctor to check her ears because we will be flying in a couple of weeks and I wanted to make sure they were clear. Everything was good.

Lauren and I leave the exam room and go to the check out desk so I could pay the copay. The women are fawning over Lauren and all she can say is "Cookie?". Oh. My. Goodness. Can someone please give the child a cookie?! I asked Lauren what the magic word was and after saying "pees" she was given a cookie. I told the ladies you would think Lauren never had a cookie except when she came to the doctor's office. Let me set the record straight - Lauren gets a cookie almost every night so she is not left wanting.

I didn't get to spend much time with Lauren tonight because I went to the beauty shop to get my hair done (have to cover the gray, you know?). Tomorrow night is our last night together for a couple of nights because she is going to spend the weekend with Grandma and Paw Paw. Hmm...I wonder if I could get my mom to blog about that experience.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Happy Happy Da-da

Today was Joe's 32nd birthday. This morning I was prepping Lauren to say "Happy Birthday Daddy". She kept walking around saying "happy happy." I thought we were good to go. We sat down in front of the computer to record our birthday song and email it to Joe. The whole time I sang, Lauren sat with her finger in her mouth and wouldn't say "happy" anything. At the end she finally blew a kiss.

For Joe's special dinner, we ordered Imo's pizza (his favorite). It must have been his luck day because we had a coupon that was for buy 1 get one free. 2 pizzas! Boy was he in hog heaven. After dinner, Lauren helped her dad open his birthday gifts. As she opened one of his shirts, she said things like "soft", "shirt", and "blue". What a smart child!

We (meaning Lauren) had a little difficulty going down for bed tonight. We had a couple of episodes like this last week but hoped we had moved past it. We'll see. All-in-all it was a good day. Two weeks from today we go to Walt Disney World. Let the countdown begin...

Monday, August 25, 2008

Think Goose

From June until the first part of August, Lauren's favorite movie was 101 Dalmatians. Now, however, her favorite movie is "kitty". Translated that means Aristocats. By far her favorite part is when the cats and 2 geese line up to walk back to Paris. One goose tells the cats to "think goose" and they begin to waddle. There is some great music that is playing. Lauren walks like a goose when this scene comes on. It's hilarious! Sometimes she likes to dance with Mom and/or Dad when it's playing.

Sometime yesterday Lauren hit herself in the eye with her play broom. It must have scratched the lid because this morning it was very red and a little swollen. I have been putting neosporin on it and tonight I actually put a little hydrocortisone on it to help with the itching (she's been scratching it).

Tomorrow we celebrate Joe's 32nd birthday.

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Packed weekend

Whew! Lauren and I are just back from the night at my parents house. Let back up a minute... Joe and I took Lauren to the registration fair for Parents As Teachers yesterday. She had a fun time doing the activities but I think her favorite was splashing in the water. After the fair, we ate lunch before Lauren and I headed to Southern Illinois. The trip started somewhat rough - I had to pull over 3 times to attend to a fussy child. That is unheard of for us. Typically, Lauren is a great traveller but she was in a mood yesterday. After we passed through Fairview Heights she fell asleep (thankfully).

Grandma rode with us to Shawneetown for Gran Logsdon's 96th birthday party. Sometimes Lauren gets a little overwhelmed when a lot of people come at her at once. However, at the party she did GREAT!! There were several of her little cousins there that she only sees a handful of times each year. It took a while for the kids to warm up to each other but once they did the had a blast running around the house, chasing each other and playing follow the leader. When it was time to leave, Lauren gave kisses and hugs to everyone which also rare. Once we got back to Harrisburg, Lauren got to hang out with Paw Paw before bed.

Sunday morning we hung out in Harrisburg with Grandma and Aunt B before heading back to St. Louis. We made a pit stop at Sonic for 1/2 price happy hour and a corn dog to share. When the corn dog was 3/4 done, I took it off the stick and let Lauren hold it while she took a bite. I asked if Momma could have a bite now to which she smiled, shook her head no and tried to stick the rest in her mouth. The girl sure does love corn dogs.

We are home now and Lauren is happy to see her Dad. They are playing in her room and just enjoying each other. On my agenda for the evening is laundry, dinner, grocery shopping, and more laundry. Until next time...

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Toe? Toe?

The first words out of Lauren's mouth this morning were "Toe? Toe?" while pointing to the toe that was hurt the night before. I believe she was trying to ask "what in the world is going on with my toe?". Bless her heart, I knew it had to be throbbing this morning. After getting her dressed quickly I saw to the care of the toe. Lauren was fine leaving a band-aid on today but for safe measure I put socks on her and gave her a dose of Tylenol. She didn't really hobble around much today which is good.

After dinner we made a family trip to Wal-mart. Lauren's only been about a dozen times in her life. I find it faster to go without her. She starts out riding in the basket portion of the cart but within a few minutes she is asking to walk. Joe tends to shepard her along while I do the shopping. On the way home we stopped at Dairy Queen. Seeing that I am on Weight Watchers again - and only had 4 points left for the day - I got an ice cream sandwich. As I was paying the kid at the drive thru, a little voice in the back seat said "ice ceam, ice ceam". Sharing in the care is difficult to do so we shared it when we got home.

Tomorrow is a big day. We have a Parents As Teachers enrollment fair in the morning then we head to Shawneetown to celebrate Gran's 96th birthday.

Thursday, August 21, 2008


Welcome to our blog! After seeing the cool blog my sister-in-law started I decided to shamelessly steal her idea and start a blog for our family. Many of our family members live far away and this will good way to keep people involved in our lives. I'm new to the blogosphere so it may take me some time to add the bells and whistles - but don't worry, they will come.

Today is Lauren's 21-month birthday. I can't believe how quickly the time has flown. I find myself getting teary-eyed when I think about the litte girl she is becoming. Sappy but true.

Tonight after dinner we had a minor incident. The big toe on Lauren's right foot got caught underneath a door and the nail was pulled way back. There was some blood with a few minutes of tears and crying. Joe put a Dora band-aid on the toe with neosporin hoping to make it better. However, Lauren does not like having the band-aid on her toe and kept trying to take it off. We sidetracked her by giving her ice cream. She was gimping around the living room a little bit before she went to bed. It was so cute watching her pamper her foot. Anyway, she went down to bed pretty easy tonight - probably because she was worn out from the toe drama. I know I'm worn out from the toe drama so I am going to wind down now too.