Parenting Story

Parenting Story

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Unicorns and Rainbows Birthday Party

We started off the girls birthday with rainbow sprinkle covered donut holes for breakfast. We then spent the morning cleaning and preparing for their birthday bash that evening. We got out of the house around lunch time to indulge in Happy Joe's and run a few last minute errands.

When we began planning the birthday party, Reese said that she would like to have a unicorn theme. I chose rainbows for Gretchen as I felt that the two went well together. I knew that we had the perfect theme when we found rainbow unicorn invitations and thank you cards at Target.
I attempted this unicorn cake after finding it on Pinterest. I think that it turned out fairly well!

The birthday girl definitely loved it!

I didn't get a picture of Gretchen's smash cake because she was teething and crabby during the party. It was a rectangular cake that was rainbow colored. I had used sprinkles to make a number 1 on top of the cake. Randy stuck her hand into the cake to get her started and she began sobbing and throwing a fit. I cleaned her up and she was done for the night, refusing to go to anyone other than mommy.

Though the party was held outside on our deck, I decorated the kitchen cabinets with pictures from each year of Reese's life and each month of Gretchen's first year.

My mom had purchased an American girl doll for Reese, so I made her and her doll matching shirts with a unicorn and a six on them.

Both girls received so many nice gifts and we enjoyed sharing their special day with all of the friends and family that were there to celebrate with us!~

Aidan loves weddings

I made the mistake of telling the kids at lunch that we were going to be attending a wedding this evening. Of course as soon as we got home, they had to get dressed up for the wedding. Three hours later I am finished getting ready and looking around the house for Aidan. I get Gretchen dressed and help Reese with her hair and still have not seen Aidan. I yell for him and run around finishing up a few other things and he still is nowhere to be seen. Finally, I go outside fully expecting to find him covered in dirt and needing to change clothes for the wedding. To my surprise, I find him sitting in the car, buckled in and ready to go! It was 90 degrees out and he was wearing pants and a long sleeved dress shirt!

We finally get to the wedding and the kids are ecstatic to find a photo booth. They play around with the costumes for awhile and then I finally allow them to go in and have their pictures taken. Aidan brings me his picture strip and I can't help but crack up. His outfit of choice? A pair of red, sparkly devil horns and a matching pitchfork. And in the other hand he is holding a sign that says, "Ready to mingle". That boy is going to break some hearts someday.

Randy and I decide that we are ready to go and begin packing things up and saying our goodbyes. Aidan rushes up to me and says, "Mommy I got to tell ya something!" I lean over so that he can whisper in my ear and he says, "I didn't even get to dance!" He was absolutely heartbroken because he had so been looking forward to dancing with grammy and I. Seeing how heartbroken he was, I immediately promised that we would have a dance party when we got home. And that we did. Everybody changed into pj's and we danced in the living room until bedtime. After our dance party I took 5 minutes to snuggle with both kids while tucking them into bed.

Things have been so hectic lately with the move, school starting, me going back to classes and just life in general being busy. It was so nice to get to take some time out with both of the kids and just focus on them. And I could tell that the kids appreciated the extra attention today as well. They were the most well-behaved all day today that they have been in over a week!

Monday, July 15, 2013

It's what's for dinner

The other night Aidan found the grill smoking as I prepared to start cooking dinner and asked, "So mommy, what are we burning for dinner tonight?"

Side note: It is usually daddy that cooks on the grill, not me, so he was obviously commenting that his father regularly burns dinner on the grill!

Friday, June 14, 2013


For the most part, the kids all get along very well. Reese and Aidan are usually smothering Gretchen in kisses and hugs causing her to fuss. While I try to remind them that she needs her space and that they wouldn't want somebody in their face all the time, I am so glad that they are so in love with their little sister!

While they get along well, Aidan and Gretchen really know how to push each other's buttons and Gretchen can hold her own against her older brother! She is intrigued by his cars and always trying to take them from him. Aidan gets mad and will try to take them away from her. Gretchen does not give in easily though! I have seen her take a bite at him or even ram her head at him to thwart his attacks.

Gretchen may be able to fight back against her big brother, but she is no match for her older sister! Whenever Gretchen is getting into something that she should not be or is generally annoying her big sister, Reese picks her up and places her in her bumbo seat. Gretchen is then stuck in the seat until somebody lets her out, but that doesn't stop her from trying to get out on her own!

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Daddy's girl

Gretchen has been babbling lots lately, but her preferred sound to make is "Da". Tonight as she was blabbing away, "Dadadadadada!" I said, "Mmmmmmmmmmmma!" She laughed and went right back to "Dadadadadada!" This time I copied her and said, "Mamamamama!" Again she laughed and went back to "Dadada!" I was jealous until I finally, I got her to say "Nnnnnnna". Then as I was snuggling with her, Gretchen leaned over and gave me a big open-mouthed kiss on the lips. Randy happened to be watching and he immediately tried to get her to give him a big kiss and she just pushed his face away. I guess actions really do speak louder than words!

I wanna hold your hand

Last night the kids were helping me to carry branches from the bushes that I trimmed to the backyard to put in the burn pile. As we were returning to the front yard to gather more branches, Aidan stopped and asked, "Can I hold your hand mommy?" I didn't hesitate to grab his outstretched hand as we walked through the backyard, across the driveway and back to the pile of branches in the front yard.  After the next trip, he stopped and grabbed my hand again. Aidan has always been a very tender hearted and sweet little boy and moments like these remind me of the special bond that I share with my little man.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

A Day in the Life

Every night during dinner I ask the kids about their day and what they did. Last night Aidan held nothing back, and I was a little surprised!

"We played, and watched tv, had some lunch, got naked and went to bed."

My kids love to be naked and they often strip down as soon as we get home and almost always go to bed naked, so I was not surprised at all that Aidan had stripped down at grammy's before going to bed. I was however, surprised at how nonchalant he was about it and wondered why that little tidbit even made it into his recap of the days events! Gotta love kids and the funny things they say!

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Mother's Day 2013

My Mother's Day started bright and early with Aidan waking me up at 5:45 because he had an itchy butt. I helped him to clean up and then we went down to the basement to play so that we would not wake the rest of the house. While playing Aidan approached me and said that he wanted to make daddy a card because he was probably sore from roofing the day before. I'm not going to lie I was a little miffed that it was my day, he had come to me to take care of his personal hygiene and he was worried about making his dad a card! Soon after Gretchen woke up soaking wet! So I was wiping another butt, just 2 hours into my Mother's Day. About that time Reese woke up. After giving me a kiss and telling me Happy Mother's Day, she showered me with gifts that she had made at school. My favorite was a recipe book that her teacher made. She had asked the kids and moms to submit their favorite recipes that they enjoyed making together. Reese had chosen the Ariel birthday cake that we made for her 4th birthday, while I chose my mom's egg noodles for homemade chicken noodle soup. After reading through the recipe book and getting a few good laughs, I got the kids fed and then showered and got ready for the day. We left for Dubuque around 9am and met up with my mom and sister to do some shopping. A few hours later, we were not quite ready to leave, but the kids were finished shopping, so we went to Dairy Queen for a little treat. Afterwards we said our goodbyes and headed back home. We spent the rest of the evening relaxing at home and ordering in dinner so that I did not have to cook. After putting the kids to bed, I even got a chance to play with my brand new tablet! All in all, it was a perfect Mother's Day!

What's in a name?

While visiting Whitey's the other day with my family, I ordered a peanut butter cup shake. When it was finished the clerk set it on the counter and said, "This is the Reese's." Reese immediately turned around and said, "Is that one mine?"

Days of the week

Recently while at grammys the kids found some old legos. They were dirty so grammy promised them that they could play with them tomorrow after she had a chance to clean them. The next morning Aidan asked me: "Mommy, what day is it?"
Me: "Thursday."
Aidan: "Awww when is it going to be tomorrow?"
Me: 'Well, actually it is tomorrow, but the day is called Thursday."

A few days later we celebrated Mother's Day. The next day as we drove to grammys' the days of the week came up again.
Aidan: "Mommy, what day is it?"
Me: "It's Monday."
Aidan: "So it's not still Mother's Day?"
Me: "Every day is Mother's Day because I get to be your mom every day."
Aidan: "But nobody buys you presents?"
Me: "No, but the best present is for you and Reese to get along and be my big helpers."

Sunday, April 21, 2013

Taking donations

While shopping with my family this weekend, Aidan was adamant that we buy him a new wallet. My sister took him looking for a wallet and they had the following conversation: Courtney: So Aidan, why do you need a wallet? Aidan: So that I have a place to put my money if anybody wants to give me some. He found a men's wallet but we convinced him to get a coin carrier instead, never mentioning that it was indeed called a coin purse. With a locking top, the coin purse will hopefully contain all this money that people are going to give him.

Saturday, April 6, 2013

Welcoming Spring

On Friday I was dropping the kids off as I usually do before going to work. It was a beautiful spring day, already pretty warm and the birds were chirping. One person was not so enthusiastic about the start of spring. Aidan stood at the bottom of the tree and screamed up into the branches, "SHUTUP! SHUTUP! SHUTUP!

Saturday, March 30, 2013

Easter Fail

We woke up to find our Easter baskets this morning since we will be staying at a hotel in Dubuque tonight. The kids loved their baskets and were thrilled to find them early, but soon after eating a few pieces of candy Reese came up to me and asked, "Mommy, does the Easter bunny have to buy the things in our baskets? Not sure where she was going with this question, I answered that I didn't know, then asked, "Why?" She replied, My movie says WalMart on it. I immediately replied that the Easter bunny does not have elves like Santa, so he must have to buy some things and she seemed to buy that excuse. Now that I have a reader in the house, I am going to have to do a much better job of preparing for the holidays!

Monday, February 11, 2013

No Fear

We recently got a four wheeler for the kids and it has been so funny to see their differences come out in how they drive. Aidan is very tentative, which reminds me a lot of me. He was actually content to sit atop the four wheeler without moving and watch the traffic in front of our house. When he is driving he is very slow to react. He will run into the garage door or the fence and continue to push the pedal to the floor. Though I am yelling at him to take his foot off of the pedal and back up, he just does not yet understand that he needs to change his action to get unstuck.

Reese on the other hand has almost completely mastered driving in just 2 days! Not only has she mastered driving skills (pulling her foot off of the pedal when she is about to run into something, knowing when to reverse or move forward, turning the handlebars to avoid running into things) she also found that she enjoys going fast! At first she pushed her foot down as hard as she could on the accelerator while saying, "Come on, come on!" Eventually she learned that by simply turning the grip on the handlebar the four wheeler goes faster. She usually does this in the middle of a turn. While I am worrying that she is going to be thrown off of the four wheeler, she screams in delight! I love that she is not afraid to try new things and to take a risk, sometimes I wish that I could be more like her!

Weekend Getaway

Randy and I recently took advantage of an invitation to my cousin's wedding and made it an adults only getaway. Being back to work and away from home 2 nights a week to attend classes, I was really hesitant to take a day away from my precious little time with the kids, but also realize that I need to make more time for Randy and I as a couple. After swim lessons, we grabbed a quick lunch and dropped the kids off with aunt Linda. My guilt was all for naught, because the kids were so excited to play with Linda and Lindsay that they barely had time to say goodbye. Getting back into the car without the kids was weird, but nice at the same time. We actually got to hold an adult conversation without interruption, or worrying what the kids would overhear. Halfway there, Randy realized that he forgot his dress shoes, so we stopped at Kohl's in Coralville and got to experience shopping, completely kid-free! After picking up some shoes, we drove straight to the hotel. The Hawkeyes were playing, so while Randy ran around trying to get the game on- the hotel did not have the right channel- I read a few chapters for my class. We lost track of time and soon my sister was calling to ask where we were. We jumped into the shower and ran out the door to meet up with my siblings for a pre-reception cocktail. By the time we arrived at the reception, most everyone was already seated. Thankfully, mom had gone and saved us a table. We opened the first of many bottles of wine and had a blast catching up and laughing. We stayed through most of the dance and excused ourselves for a little date, going out on the town in Cedar Falls and reminiscing on our college days. The next morning we realized that though it was fun to reminisce, we are definitely not college students any longer. After a quick breakfast, we drove straight to Linda's to pick up the kids. Our absence definitely had an effect on the kids as they were very happy to see us walk in the door! In the end, though I was reluctant to take the time away, I realize that it is necessary for all of us to have that time apart and I am definitely going to try to make it more of a priority!

First Crush

On Sunday we pulled out all of Reese's valentines, which she had already addressed to her classmates in her own handwriting, so that she could decorate them. With all of the valentines spread out in front of her, Reese said, "Where's Andrew's? I want to work on Andrew's first." I immediately asked, "Why do you want to work on Andrew's first?" Reese: "Because Andrew is so cute! I just want to take his picture so that I can hang it in my room and look at it whenever I want!" Me: "Does Andrew think you are cute?" Reese: "No." Me: (muttering under my breath) "Thank goodness!"

Monday, January 28, 2013

School aged kid

While shopping this weekend, Randy found a cars backpack that he just had to buy for Aidan. It was on clearance and Aidan will start preschool in the fall so it was an excellent purchase. The only problem is that now Aidan believes that he should be starting school. Today he laid the backpack in the middle of the room and announced, "I'm putting this here until I turn 4 and can start school!" He turns 4 in just over a month and then I'm sure the question of when he can go to preschool will become a daily occurence! I think that he is even more excited to go to school than Reese was, which is saying alot! It definitely helps to have an older sibling to look up to and copy. Aidan has learned how to spell his name and loves to do "homework" like Reese does. I can't believe that in a few short months, I will have 2 kids in school!

One BIG happy family

As we usually do, I was asking Reese about her day at school on our ride home. She started telling me how she went to the library and picked out the best book. Our conversation went something like this: Reese: I love the book that I picked out because it reminds me of our family. Me: Oh yeah, what is it about? Reese: A family of hippos! Yep, that's us! One BIG happy family!

Saturday, January 5, 2013

Change of character

Generally, Reese's personality and character traits are more similiar to Randy's. She is very outgoing and athletic and hands on. Aidan on the other hand tends to be more like me, he is very tender hearted and caring and definitely a clutz. So I was thrown for a loop when the following took place: This morning while Randy and I were working on the house, I overheard the kids playing. Aidan had built a fort in the couch we moved to the center of the room and was playing in it. Reese came and asked if she could play, to which Aidan replied, "Yes, for five dollars!" Now Aidan usually takes after me, so this showed a little of his entrepreneurial spirit, which would definitely come from his father! Reese upon hearing Aidan's request, made her way to the dining room table and immediately began cutting out and creating her own money with which to pay Aidan. This definitely showed off her more crafty side, and therefore a little bit of my personality. When Reese had finished making a few dollars she returned to the basement and "paid" Aidan her entrance fee and asked to play. Without missing a beat, Aidan immediately asked for more money, specifically he said, "Reesey, make me money all the way to the stars!"

Ladies Man

While out shopping with Aidan and Gretchen the other day, Aidan told me very sincerely, "Mommy, let me know if you see any pretty ladies." We are going to have our hands full with this one someday!