Saturday, December 29, 2012

Look Who's 3!!!

We decided to celebrate Courtney's birthday a couple weeks early since Alexa was due 3 days before her actual birthday. Thankfully Alexa held out until the day after her party to make her debut! I just kept saying she needed to wait until Monday (11/19) and she did! Alexa and Courtney both came on the day I wanted, which was kind of fun.

   Anyways, back to the birthday girl. Courtney had a lady bug cake (if you couldn't tell. . .not my best cake, but she LOVED it). If you ask her how old she is her response is usually either 4 or 7, too funny. She had a fun time with her cousins, and we had a lot of space at Grandma Nita's house. She got a lady bug that lights her room with stars (she sleeps with it every night), some clothes (she wore several times each week. . .she LOVED them so much), a pink toy dog she can walk around, and a scooter and helmet which she and the other kids would ride around at Grandma's house. It was a fun night to celebrate our fun spirited, spunky 3 year old. She is super talkative and continues to surprise us with what she knows and says. She is a super good helper getting diapers and wipes for Alexa, and LOVES to 'help' mom do things. She is a girly girl, loves to dress up and now plays barbies and house with Lauren. We love you Courts!

Monday, November 12, 2012


The girls were excited to play in the snow, but we waited until Brady got home from school. Brady opted to read so he could play the DS though. Lauren and Courtney were super excited to get their new snow clothes on (well hand-me-downs for Courtney except for her new fun monkey hat).

Yes those are the bundles of select Hickory wood floor filling up our living room, waiting to acclimate for the next week or so. Another room full of stuff! Will be super nice to get our house back together hopefully by the beginning of December?

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Halloween fun!

I thought I better post something more fun and exciting since even though we are living in a mess we did try and do some fun yearly traditions. So here are some of our Halloween activities for the month of October.
We had a fun time at Papa and Grandma Jenny's Halloween party eating a yummy dinner, decorating cupcakes, and making spiders out of pipe cleaners. The kids were super excited to wear their costumes and play with their cousins!
Then on Halloween day we were able to carve pumpkins. Courtney just watched. Lauren wasn't shy at all and used her hands to dig the pumpkin guts out. They were excited to FINALLY cut them out:) We didn't want them to shrivel up and get all moldy on our hot front porch before Halloween.

 Brock told the kids about Witches Brew. He told the kids if they wrote a letter to the witch she would give them the supplies to make it. Well they wrote the letter the first of October then had to wait a very l...o...n...g month to hear back from her (they asked me all the time when she was going to send something). But Halloween morning the kids found a surprise from her on the kitchen table, and boy were they excited! We got to make it to drink for dinner.

Then thanks to Grandma 'Nita for cooking the sugar cookie dough I made the day before, they were able to decorate sugar cookies after dinner (our yearly tradition). They didn't get time to eat them because it was time to meet up with some neighborhood friends to trick-or--treat.

Here they are ready for trick-or-treating! They had a blast getting candy. Then we spent some time at a neighbors having hot chocolate, goodies and watching Halloween cartoon clips on their garage. Then home to get ready for bed. They did get to chose 1 candy to eat first. Halloween is so much easier on a weekend, but they really had fun and the weather was incredible!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012

Progress finally! Hallelujah!!!

Today, they tested our ceiling speaker, put the insulation back in the ceiling and patched the very large hole with sheet rock. Now for the mud to dry overnight so hopefully the wall and ceiling can be painted tomorrow, then the lights and speaker can be put back in after that dries. It is SO nice to finally have some progress. It felt pretty hopeless for a while, but now things seem to be moving forward.

Friday (11/9) the hardwood floors should come in (hopefully) so they can be put in our house to acclimate for 7 days. Then Monday (11/12) they will try and remove our counter tops and sink without breaking it- not high hopes for this according to the granite guy who came to look at it a few days ago. Will likely break, but they need to at least try and remove it per insurance company rather than just replacing it. Tuesday (11/13) they come to take out all our kitchen cabinets (all except the ones hanging from the wall). We will have to get our appliances, furniture, and kitchen cabinets out of the house - some to the garage, but I highly doubt it will all fit since now we have yard work equipment, bikes, etc, stuff we didn't have when we first remodeled our house and stored our belongings in the garage + more furniture and the kitchen cabinets too! Will definitely need a storage pod by the looks of things. I'm crossing my fingers that maybe the upstairs can start being put back together the week of Thanksgiving??? or the one right after??? Flooring, cabinets, counter tops, sink, appliances, and eventually furniture. Too bad it is a short week, probably not long enough to get it all done:(

We will be kitchen-less for a couple weeks (minus the microwave). So that should be fun. We might end up moving in to my moms for a couple weeks, but we will just see how things go. Who knows when Alexa may decide to come, but I am in no rush for the time being! I will be term this Friday, so technically she can come anytime!!! Let's hope she holds off until things get a little better/more finished around here.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012


Well, last Friday night we went to the Make-a-Wish trick or treat party and picked up Courtney's pictures @ JC Penny's. Our plan was to come home, have a quick dinner and get kids in bed since I had a 24-hr shift the next morning and was exhausted. When we got home Courtney said she had to go potty so Brady backed up from her and stepped in some liquid and totally thought it was from Courtney. She denied it and I looked and said I didn't think that's what it was. So Brock and I (after a lot of struggle - our fridge was super heavy and packed full from the previous Costco run earlier that morning) finally pulled out the fridge and shut the water to the fridge off. It had just made it's way to the front of the fridge so damage didn't seem too bad initially. I went to the basement to see if any leaking had occurred and of course there was a large water bubble in our ceiling and our speaker was discolored too. So we grabbed some towels and punctured a hole to drain the ceiling. Then we decided to just go thru insurance since we didn't have the time, know-how to fix it all by ourselves, and boy are we glad we did! So while I was making calls, kids were running around, Brock was trying to make sure the floor was dry, Courtney pooped all over the toilet and proceeded to wipe her hands all over the shower curtain. So needless to say things definitely did not go anyway close to how we had planned the night. I finally got some quick dinner made and got kids in bed. Brock was exhausted and fell right asleep while I waited for the clean up/mitigation crew to come. They showed up at 10:30 PM and left around 1:30 AM, then I got to sleep for a couple hours before my long 24-hr shift, so needless to say I felt like crap! I got sick on my birthday, and still have not gotten over my cold/sinus issues and still feel and sound terrible. Of course I took pictures of the water damage, but like a dummy I cleared my camera card so I could take pictures at Jenny and Greg's family Halloween party Sunday night, so now there are no photos of the actual damage.The cause for the water leak was from our fridge ice/water maker line. It was almost completely severed. They figured it probably only leaked for 10-15 min. Thank goodness we weren't gone any longer seeing as it is quite a lot worse damage then we previously thought. The floor was 100% saturated around the fridge in the kitchen and extended behind the kitchen into the living room (you couldn't visually see that living room floor damage, but moisture testing revealed quite a large area/most of the room).

We have had 2 giant dehumidifiers and 6 large industrial strength fans running 24-7 since Friday 10/26 night. They said the dry out process should be 3-5 days. but because of the weekend things were delayed some (such as cutting a giant hole in our ceiling downstairs). Our house is older then 1981 so it needed lead and asbestos testing (which they did Monday and got the results back Tuesday. So the hole in our ceiling (4 x 6 foot) was cut then, and the wet insulation was removed (we insulated the ceiling to cut down on noise). We have been living in an 88 degree house that is so loud you can hardly hear yourself think let alone a person a foot away from you. Will be nice to have less noise hopefully today/tomorrow??? We finally got the OK to run the AC Monday, so it's pretty much been running nonstop and the lowest we could get the house was 84 degrees (those dang fans and dehumidifiers put out a ton of heat. Probably going to be one expensive electric bill this month). It's been a frustrating, expensive year, with one thing happening after the next. I figure we have spent well over $10,000 in unexpected expenses, so needless to say things are tight financially right now too. Plumbing main, water heater, car, etc, etc, etc. Hopefully this will be the last of the expenses (well, baby/birth too. .. but Courtney's broken arm and ER visit, plus Lauren's scans pretty much took care of out out of pocket healthcare max-almost).

Right now I am downstairs eating some lunch since there pretty much is nothing I can do upstairs right now. They are tearing out our entire hard wood floor! It is so loud, dusty, and I don't want to watch them rip our house apart. It is going to be quite the headache (well it already has been so far. . .). And to think all I wanted was to have a mellow relaxing time for once welcoming one of our kids (our last). I guess I shouldn't have wished for such a luxury. I am not even ready for her to come, let alone deal with all this crap going on at our house. I just hope it can all be put back together and look as close to what it looked like before as it can. Hopefully it will be weeks and not months, but I am sure time will tell. Only 3 weeks and 2 days until Alexa arrives, we'll probably be out of our house at that time, since our hardwood floor is the only entrance/exit to our house, plus our kitchen will be pretty non-functioning once they rip everything else out. Anyways, sorry for the long post, but it's been one heck of a weekend and we are only getting started! And to think this is the condensed version.

Friday, October 5, 2012

Halloween Decorations

We have had fun making some new Halloween decorations this year, thanks to some ideas I saw on blogs. I think they turned out pretty cute. The kids LOVE to plug in the lights, in fact it's one of the first thing they do if ANYone happens to come over:) Next will have to make Halloween sugar cookies (our yearly tradition), and other fun food ideas I found on blogs too! Should be a fun fall for the kids. They already have decided what to be and can hardly wait for Halloween! I want to make a count down wood block set next, that way they can see how many days instead of asking all the time. I like this one I saw online. .. now to go to the wood store everyone talks about (can't remember the name) and see what kind of stuff they have!
Here's Courtney in her new Halloween leggings I made. . . one of the easiest projects EVER! Took maybe 3 min. to make, made from a pair of knee high socks.  She was all dressed in Halloween attire for dance. That's one of the 5 Halloween pillow covers (envelope style) in the background that I made last year. I really like them too! It's rewarding to see everything come together and it's now looking quite festive around here:)
Here are the cool ghosts we made from cheesecloth and starch. The kids had fun with this one! And I loved another idea I saw on one blog to hang ghosts from a light! Notice the vinyl bats on the lights (another online blog idea which I thought was super fun and easy).
Here they are with the lights on, the kids think they look like they are floating!
The monster jars we made. Just had to empty a few food jars to make these:) The kids loved making them though. They took a few days because of drying tome. We made a ghost, pumpkin, Frankenstein, mummy (Brady made that one. . .we used crayon to color the edge of the tissue paper before we mod-podged it on. . .think it made it look more like a mummy then the one we saw online), and a vampire! Courtney HAS to plug them in everyday. She LOVES them!
There is a small piece of the candy corn banner I made last year for a boutique. I love it still! Our new Halloween bobble head and Halloween tree.
Courtney and her ghost hair clip form last years boutique. She loves it and wears it EVERY day since we got it out. Now to make one for Lauren, since Courtney has pretty much taken this one over:)
The Countdown block idea I NEED to do next. Would be good for birthdays and Christmas too (pretty much any Holiday the kids can hardly wait for!!).

Monday, September 17, 2012

Lauren's 5th Birthday

Better late then never! I am trying to catch up on posts a little at a time. 

Lauren turned 5 in July! She got to have her first friend birthday party too, which she was SUPER excited about. It was going to be a water/under the sea party, but the weather didn't cooperate much. Who would have guessed it would be a cold rainy day in July? Oh, well Lauren and all the girls had fun!

They started by making princess crowns while we waited for everyone to get there. She got to invite 5 little girls (since she was turning 5) and all but 1 were able to come. Courtney and Brady wanted to join the fun too. I made her a Mermaid cake, which took a lot longer than I expected! I made marshmallow fondant sea shapes (shells, coral, etc) to put around the cake. It turned out pretty cute, and Lauren LOVED it!
We went outside to play some games while Brock got the craft stuff put away. It was too cold to get wet so they just got a little wet in the rain running around. They played fish, fish, shark (AKA duck duck goose) too and had a blast.

Then snacks, juice, water, watermelon, goldfish and more games. Pin the flowers on the mermaid, which was fun. They made mermaid or mermen dolls (whatever they wanted) and then played with them while we cleaned up the table and got the cake and ice cream ready. The party went so quickly. We planned it for 2 hours (same as Brady), but the girls could have been there another hour without any problem whatsoever! Then cake and present time. All in all it was a success. Everyone had a fun time, and Lauren talked about it for a while after!

She also had a family party (BBQ) on her actual birthday which was tons of fun too. I didn't venture to make the same cake again though, but had a yummy chocolate zucchini cake instead, rice crispy treats, and graham crackers with chocolate frosting inside, and of course ice cream.  The food was yummy, and Lauren had fun playing with some of her cousins.
Courtney thinks it's her birthday every time one of the kids had a party:) She can't wait for her birthday!
Chris & Amy joined via Skype. 
She got her very own camera! She LOVES to take pictures with it, unfortunately her siblings do too! Her and Brady took several pictures around the backyard after the party ended.She got a pretty dress that she worn a ton, so much it actually has holes in it! She got a cute purse/wallet to match, some money to save up and buy something she really wants, and a school set!
She got girl Lego's too! She has wanted them for a bit once we saw them at Toys'r'us. They were a big hit, and now she and Brady can play Lego's together:) 
It was a very fun time, and busy month:)

This week will be her 2 year (well almost . . . truly the beginning of October) post chemo checkup! A very busy day filled with lab draws, Echocardiogram (to make sure the chemo didn't harm her heart), CT of her chest, pelvis, and abdomen (thus an IV for contrast and oral contrast to drink over an hour), then finally her clinic appointment. It will be a busy day Wednesday, but good to make sure everything is OK. It always creates a little anxiety, but I am hopeful she will have a clean bill of health (well, maybe not a great BUN. . .it is getting hard to get her to drink lately since she got a stomach bug a couple weeks ago, guess we will have to wait and see:)