What Kind of a blogger have I become?

I don't know how I let almost 2 months go by without a new post. I think I feel like I have so much to post that I don't even know where to start so I just keep putting it off. My sister and mother are threatening me, so here I am, back to posting. Here is the abridged version of the last two months in no particular and definitely not chronological order:

Does anyone else have this problem? Dang kids won't look at the camera when I tell them to. It has now turned into a game for Henry. Drives me crazy.
Went black friday shopping. 2am. I was so tired when we took this picture. I was miserable the next day. I'm too old for this kind of stuff. However, I'll probably do it again. It was kind of fun.
/>Here are some Halloween pictures. It's a little late to be posting them, I know. And I already posted them on facebook in October, but here they are again. Milly's costume was just too good not to show again. My little Jazzercizer.
Here is a great action shot. It shows you how fat she really is. Look at those cheeks.
And here is a link to Taylor's and my costume. It's a little inappropriate so I've just posted a link to the photo from a friends blog. Don't worry, it's not super bad, just maybe PG instead of G rated (and this a G rated blog). We went to a halloween party with friends and we dressed up as the Bobbits. It was Taylor's idea. Although I must admit it was kind of funny. Half the people at the party were too young to even know who the Bobbits were, but for those that did, it was a darn good costume. Here's the link (just click on it):

The weather here has been unseasonably warm. It only the 4th time since 1893 there hasn't been recordable amounts of snow in November in Buffalo. It's been fantastic. I can still wear flip flops. It was 60 degrees this week.

Here I am after the turkey trot. I had forgotten how much I love running in races. It was an 8k. A great distance for a Thanksgiving day race. There were 13,300 runners. Lots of people in costume, and lots of beer. Imagine my dismay when at mile 3.5 there was a beer table instead of a water table. These Buffalonians love their beer.
Lucky for these two, the weather is still so nice that we get lots of running together. I think they hate it. I have to stock the stroller with treats and toys to keep them from screaming through my runs. That, and I take my Ipod so when the toys and treats don't keep them happy, I can just turn up the music really loud and pretend they aren't there.
Still taking lots of trips to the zoo.

Milly goat has discovered the laundry shoot. Everything imaginable goes down it. If we are missing anything, I just go check the laundry in the basement. This little girl is a trouble maker. She keeps swallowing things too (things she's not supposed to). Found a sucker stick and three magnets in her dirty diapers this week. And no, it isn't possible that they just got shoved in her diaper, they definitely passed through her digestive tract. I promise, I really do try and watch her. We also found her in the toilet this week...feet first. Just hanging out in the toilet.

Little Milly Goat. Love her.


Buffalo's Insane Assylum.

Taylor and I took a tour of this incredible building this past week. It's the old insane assylum here in Buffalo. It was built in 1872 by one of the greatest architects in American History, H.H. Richardson. The building has been closed for years and years and it is dilapidated and falling apart. They are currently in the midst of restoring parts of it and turning it into a reception center and boutique hotel. The tour was pretty cool. I was hoping for more scary stories and haunted tales of electric shock therapy and crazy people, but the people giving the tour only wanted us to know about it's "great past" and "mental health throughout the ages". It was a bit more boring than I had hoped but the inside was fantastical.
It kind of reminded me of the hospital in Latvia where I had my appendectomy.

We watch A LOT of youtube around here...Elmo. Milly loves it, and hates it when Henry watches with her. She's mad here that he was touching her chair, but notice she never turned away from the movie, just screamed out in anger.
I'm just posting this picture because I love the little curls that turn up around Milly's ears and neck. I can only hope she keeps some of them as her hair gets longer! Plus I think she is so darn cute in these pjs. Don't you just want to squeeze her?!
Last weekend we took the kids exploring to a little nature preserve only about 10 minutes from us. There were lots of frogs and birds and bugs.
Milly loved climbing around, and notice her little head band. Another one of my creations. I am pretty impressed with myself.
Just before I snapped this picture, the turkey had just pecked Henry's arm. It was pretty funny.
This is how much of our apple picking went. Henry pestering Milly. Having two kids is waaay too much work. Sometimes when we go out and about with out Taylor I wonder if it's even worth the hassle.

Bad Parenting 101

Remember how I'm smitten by this little girl...I think the smitteness is over. I think I've loved her so much to to prepare me for these next few months. She screams A LOT. Loud high pitched unbelievable screeching and it's really aggravating, especially when I'm stuck in a car with her. Just the other day Henry had a conversation with me in the car that went just like this...
Henry: Mom, lets take her back.
Me: Take her back where?
Henry: To the baby store...and let's get a new baby that doesn't scream so much.
Me: That's a good idea.
You know how as a parent, every once in awhile you make bad choices concerning the safety and well being of your children? I've made a few bad choices lately. Let me tell you about a few of them. This picture is right before I took the kiddos on a run. They are sitting on plastic bags because it had rained on the stroller earlier that day. I thought the rain was over for the day. I was wrong. Very wrong. Most of our run went well until the last mile, it started to trickle, then rain, then downpour. It was raining so hard, I couldn't see, but I just ran as fast as I could. I took refuge under a bridge to check on the kids and try and get them as covered as possible and then a giant truck drove by...and this bridge we were under was in a big dip in the road, and A LOT of water had gathered in the road, and before I had time to think, we were completely engulfed by a wave of water- then another car went by and we were covered again and with leaves and dirt. Henry seemed concerned, Milly shrieked with joy (she loves the water), I had mascara streaming down my face and we continued on our way. We made it home alive and semi-well. Henry still keeps talking about it.
Here's Milly right after the run, sitting on the toilet waiting to get in the warm bath. She's soaked.
This next picture isn't the result of a bad parenting choice on my part, I just thought it was funny. Milly was very stuck here, and I couldn't help but take a picture.

This is where Milly ends up every time I let Henry push her around the backyard.

This is what happens to Milly when she plummets down the stairs at our friends house...it was kind of scary. There was a signifigant amount of blood, and it was one of those moments where you have to make that decision as a parent as to whether or not your child needs stitches. I decided to obstain from the decision making and let Taylor and our friends Natalie & Adrian make the decision. I figured there were enough responsible adults around that I didn't need to look closely at the wound. It's been a few days now, and it seems as though the decision against stitches seems to have been a good one. She is healing up nicely. This pic was the morning after.
And lastly, quite possibly my worst parenting decision this week came when I needed to get some marker off Henry's face. I tried a wet wipe with no avail and then remembered how well magic erasers get markers off the wall so I pulled them out. I kind of wish I had a picture to show you what I did, but Henry wouldn't let me take one. As one can imagine, magic erasers shouldn't be used on skin. It seems so obvious in retrospect, but it made so much sense at the time. Henry had a red puffy stinging face for an evening, and I felt horrible. I read the box later and it said to never use on skin, and that it would cause skin abrasions. Oops. Luckily he woke up the next morning without so much as a red mark.

*On a side note, the magic eraser completely removed the marker from Henry's face. so maybe it wasn't such a bad idea after all.


snapshots of life.

I've been taking a lot more pictures on my cell phone lately, I got a new phone and this one actually takes pictures that I can post online, and it's kind of become my go-to camera. So I've decided to post the pictures I've taken this past month, they are some of my favorites. Here they are (in no sensible order):

Milly wanted a snack, I got M&Ms, for some reason I thought they wouldn't be messy. This is after one brown one and one yellow one.
Milly's got hand foot & mouth disease. All these little blisters popped up at church on Sunday just after she touched every other toddler in sight, played with and tried to eat many of the toys in nursrey, and drank out of someone else's sippie cup. They say it's SUPER contagious. Sorry Buffalo ward. But if it makes anyone feel any better, I think I have it too. My tongue feels swollen and has little spots on it, and my throat hurts. Milly on the other hand seems completely unaffected.
I made this headband. I am getting pretty good at it. Before you know it, I'll have my own Etsy shop (Ha!).
Milly & Henry were in a mall fashion show for the Gap. They were cute. Henry went out on stage and waved to everyone. This is the best picture I could get.
Milly's hair is long enough for little pigtails! However as soon as I put these in, she pulled the elastics out, and I think she ate them- really.
Henry's first day of school. He loves it! I love it. It's wonderful. He came home today and told me there is a little girl there who's favorite color is black. I told him that was a funny color for a little girl to love, and asked him why she loves it...he told me, "her hair is black and her skin is black all over, just like my new shoes from the Gap. That's why she loves the color black." I told him that his favorite color was dark green or dark blue and he isn't blue or green all over, and that he should ask her what her favorite color is and not just assume it's black. He promised to ask tomorrow.
We went to an amusement park here a few weeks ago and saw this Minion from Despicable Me and Taylor decided he wanted to win it for Henry, so he did. It was kind of a half-win but we were able to convince the girl that we needed it and she handed it over. I think it would make a great Halloween costume...don't you think? I could cut it open and shove Henry inside. It's clearly big enough.
Here we are on one of the rides. We tried to make out as much as possible to fit in with all the other teenage couples there. The whole day was really fun, and really painful. We must be getting old because after just two roller coaster rides we had severe head aches and we were exhausted. We had to find the first aid station and buy some Advil, and we had to go on Kiddie Rides between all the big ones to give ourselves a break. Is this why our parents never rode all the rides with us...and offered to be the odd one out, or hold the cameras?
Took Milly and Henry to see the Giant Jesus in Utah while we were home. They loved it.
And lastly, Milly with a bunch of her girl cousins. In this picture she's doing what she thinks is the universal sign for-Give me something! I think she is on to something though, because it normally works. People give her what she wants, especially when the hand motions are accompanied by high pitched squeals.


Readers Digest version of our lives

Yep....here were are alive and well. And here is what we've been doing the last month of our lives in abridged version:
We went to Utah, and flew with two toddlers. Hell-on-Earth. Really the kids were pretty good, one of our best airplane trips yet, and only one hysterical crying fit from Milly. However, even having well behaved toddlers on 4-5 hour flights is miserable. I just want to have my own seat again!
I've just added this picture because I like it. Milly seems all grown up, getting out of her own chair and all. I love her.
While we were in Utah we went waterskiing, actually only Taylor waterskied. I sat in the boat. I am embarassingly bad at water sports unless its tubing. I attribute that to my parents who never took me on a boat as a child. But I'm okay with that because they took us to Yellowstone a lot. This is Henry and his little friend Taylor. They have finally decided to play well together and life is getting a little easier.

Here we are with Taylor's family minus Shem and Luisa. I'm the shortest one of the bunch.
And here are most of the grandkids. Milly was sound asleep so she is missing from the pic. Milly and Henry are the youngest of them all and Taylor's parents seem to have grandkids coming out their ears, but they seem to love them all.
We went miniature golfing while we were home. We went on a Monday night in Utah County and we took Milly with us. Bad ideas. She tried to eat all the golf balls and chased them around. And the place was PACKED! Needless to say we decided against taking score. In this picture we let Henry play around on the little mini gold house. I remember as a kid wishing I could play in them and Henry quite enjoyed it.
My little sister Daysa decided to be pushed around in Milly's stroller. She almost broke it.

Since we've been home Henry decided to empty and entire large container of baby powder into a shoe in his window sill. Thank you Henry.
We went to a baseball game and had a lot of fun. However the kid sitting near us that got smashed in the face with a foul ball didn't enjoy it so much. It was kind of scary.
Milly has taken a very strong liking to this large stuffed rabbit from her friend Rachel.
And lastly, Milly has grown up. She walks, kind of talks (she still doesn't say Mom but she is glad to say Doggy, Daddy, Nannie Annie, and Natalie). Pretty sad when she says my friends name before mine. However I do love immensely. I'm kind of obsessed.

More to come soon!


A Buffalo Summer

It's late, I've had a crummy day, I can't sleep, and I am long overdue on a new blog post. These past few weeks have gone by in a whirlwind. It was really hot for awhile and it made me so cranky and lethargic I accomplished almost nothing for an entire week. We've gone swimming A LOT (little Milly has some crazy tan lines to prove it), and we've spent plenty of time outside. I've also noticed that these hot humid summers are the perfect conditions for lots and lots of bugs. Ugh, It's really gross sometimes.

Henry saw his first ever backyard fireworks. They are illegal here in NY. But we found some in a grocery store in Pennsylvania a few months back and we were saving them for a special occasion. Nothing fancy, just the black snakes, a little fountain, poppers, and some sparklers. Here is Henry and a few friends with their first ever sparklers...and soon thereafter Henry's first ever sparkler burn. You would have thought his finger was going to fall off he cried for so long-like 3 hours long. I guess burns really do hurt, even if they are the size of an ant.
We went to Beaver Island with some friends from our ward this past Saturday. The water was pretty darn dirty. These little boys that Henry is with are from Gabon. They moved to Buffalo not long ago and into our ward here. They had NEVER been swimming before. It was wonderful to watch them be so excited. Their mom was equally amazed.

Henry and Milly are such water babies! Especially Milly who currently loves being completely submerged and dunked in the water. I don't think their swimming suits will ever be clean again after this little adventure in the mud. I even soaked them in oxyclean for a day and they are still dingy and brownish.
We went to the Hill Cumorah Pageant again too. It's become a wonderful summer tradition here in Western New York. I'm going to miss it when we leave. Henry looks incredibly cute in this picture, and while he really is wonderful and pretty darn adorable, he has also been giving me all sorts of trouble lately. I don't quite know what to do with the kid. Lots of yelling, very little sharing, aggression, etc. Any advice out there? I know that 3 year old little boys aren't always the most cooperative or rational, but Henry is a little more out of hand than his friends. Unfortunately, I think I know where his aggressive nature comes from, and it certainly isn't his father, but I need to find a way to curtail it. Any good books out there? Any advice? I just feel so frustrated with him sometimes.

Taylor and I have also gone on some fun dates these past few weeks, unfortunately many of which have been getting together with friends who are leaving Buffalo. Some of our favorite people have moved away this summer...we'll miss you Majeronis and Hopkins! This picture is a concert we went to with friends. We went and saw Court Yard Hounds (it's the new break off band from the Dixie Chicks...2/3 of them.) and while they weren't quite as good as the Dixie Chicks, we had a fantastic evening with friends and no children!
We even got to meet the two sisters after the show. They were nice as can be.