Wednesday, October 29, 2014

An Afternoon Date!

Since Michael works for the county he gets all those minor holidays off that everybody else has to work. Even the bigger boys had school on Columbus Day! So the four of us that were at home went and ran some errands in the morning before deciding to have a lunch date. 

We chose to take the kids to the Black Bear Diner in Federal Way. Since we loved the one in California so much we figured why not. 

It was great and seriously the prices are the same as going to Denny's or Shari's and the food and service are way better. 

Ella got a hamburger and only ate half of it, but she took it home and ate the rest later. 

Zeke wanted mini corn dogs and he actual ate some of them. Crazy I know! 

Michael and I split the same burger we did while in California and loved it. Also there onion rings are amazing and the ranch is homemade. Yum yum yum! And I don't think I'm ever going to be able to go here and not order the chocolate malt shake. It's seriously the most scrumptious thing ever! Oh one of the fun things we discovered is if you come in on a Sunday and everyone in your party is wearing Seahawks shirts you get 12% off your order. Another reason to love them! 

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

No Sew Fleece!

My friend Jen...Logan's mom is expecting a baby boy in December so it gave me a great excuse to make a baby blanket. I've made lots of burp cloths and I've crocheted a baby blanket before, but I had never made a no sew fleece blanket before. I've seen the kits at Joann's, but I wanted to make sure the blanket wasn't too big and would really be useful as a car seat blanket. It will be nice and warm for the little guy. 

First I bought two different kinds of patterned and the other plain. I chose footballs because Jen's husband Richard is a crazy Husky fan. They did have actual Husky fleece, but it was more expensive and I didn't like the idea of a boy having a blanket with purple on it. 

I laid both fabrics (1.5 yards) on top of each other and trimmed them to be exactly the same size. 

Then I cut out a 4" X 4" square on each corner. 

All four corners cut the time consuming part! 

I ended up taking that 4" X 4" piece of paper and folding it so it was only 1" thick and then I used that as I guide to cut the rest of the blanket. Later after giving the blanket to Jen her mom suggested that should have used my rotary cutter....that never even crossed my mind. Plus I need a new blade so I doubt it would have gone through 2 pieces of fleece anyway. Oh and learn right! 

Then came the tying part. This was interesting because first started on the football side and I tied every other piece...with just one knot and then I flipped the blanket over and tied the rest. It helps the ties look nicer since the colors aren't the same going all the way around the blanket. Jen's mom also told me there is a new way to do these blankets by making a slit in the fabric and then pulling the it through. I had even heard of that way before. I might have to look that at up the next time I decide to make one. 

All done and folded in half...the perfect size for a car seat. It was fun to make and it only took me 2 hours start to finish. Also there was enough fabric left over I was able to make 2 burp cloths....I didn't like the way one of them turned out so I only gave Jen one and also a sleeping bag for one of Jack's puppy's. That boys sweet love of stuffed animals is so cute! 

Monday, October 27, 2014

No More Diapers!

While we were on vacation it became clear that Zeke was ready to be potty trained. When your kid comes in the room and tells you he's poo'd and he wants you to change him I think that's pretty clear that he's ready! 

I decided to start training him the morning of October 2nd since we could be home for 5 days without having to go anywhere. That morning I had him pack up all his diapers. No more diapers for Zeke.

He packed up the diapers from both the upstairs and downstairs.

That's a heavy bag of diapers for such a little guy!  

Since he wasn't going to be wearing diapers anymore it was time to break out the McQueen undies. 

Then it was time to toss the diapers out in the garage for going back!

Mommy, Zeke and Ella....we all got potty charts!

We also spent most of that first day watching Elmo's Potty Time over and over again. Uncle Ry bought this for Owen back when he was a little guy. It's been a great tool in teaching the kids about using the potty.

The first day was a big success....he went pee in the potty the first time I sat him down and then poo in the potty the second time. For the first couple days he did great....lots of accidents of course, but they are just chances to learn. Thankfully Zeke hates to be wet so that has really helped. He did have a few bad days where he literally didn't go in the potty once. I was thisclose to putting him back in diapers and then later that night he actually told Michael he needed to go potty and then later told him he needed to go poo. It's like a switch flipped! He is doing great! He knows how to control his bladder so well...he can hold it over 3 hours and when he does sit down on the potty and focuses he can be finished in a matter of seconds. He is by far the easiest child I've ever potty trained and he's not even 2 1/2 yet! Crazy!!! 

Lately he has reverted a little in regards to pooing in the potty, but as long as we make him sit for a while on the potty he'll usually do his business there. As for nap & night time he is wearing night-night undies aka Pull Ups. Most days he's wakes up from his nap and he's totally dry. Of course at night is a different story, but I know that will take a while. He has actually had one dry night, but I think if we really wanted to work on that we would need to start limiting his fluid intact after dinner and I'm not sure he would approve! Right now he's still only going on his little potty chair...we even take it with us to friends houses and MOPS. However, his most recent accomplishment was using the big potty at a restaurant for the very first time. My favorite thing is when you ask him if he's a baby he says, "No...I big boy!"  

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Disneyland Road Trip - Day 11

Sunday September 28th was the last day of our road trip. We had planned to go to the Ape Caves at Mount St. Helens, but this morning we decided to sleep in. The Ape Caves are close enough we can go to them another time. We were so tired and it was so nice to sleep until 8am! It's the little things sometimes that make the biggest difference! 

We went out to breakfast at Elmer's with Ga-Ga & Pa and then we went our separate ways. 

On this second leg of our journey....the part after Disneyland we were much more lenient with the kids in regards to watching movies. We were all so tired so literally it was just one movie after another. It was funny because once the credits would start even Zeke would start saying, "nother one!"  

After driving over 2000 miles it was so nice when we started seeing signs of home!!! 

Crossing over the state line! 

And since we were going to drive right through Vancouver we figured it would be a pity to not stop at Joe's Crab Shack. We love us some seafood! 

After a few more hours in the van we finally drove up to....


2633 miles, 30+ pills of Ibuprofen taken, 21 meals at restaurants, 11 days of vacation, 7 different hotels, 6 people in one van, 4 days at Disneyland, 4 times swimming in hotel pools, 3 state traveled through, 3 visits to National Parks....making wonderful memories as a family....priceless!!! 

And you'd think we'd rest when we first got home, but nope! We had the kids help us clear out the van. I just wanted to get it over with so I could sit down and relax and not feel like I needed to jump up and finish anything. 

Then it was time to break out Zeke's present from Disneyland. I had specifically kept it from him because I knew it was too big for him to play with while he was strapped into his seat. 

He calls this his 'Big Mac'! And he loves it. He doesn't necessarily play with Mac all the time, but he loves all the Cars! 

So the big question...were we crazy to take an 11 day road trip with 4 small children? Heck ya! But it was so great! The kids are awesome car travelers and I seriously can not wait for our next car trip. There are so many cool things to see and do and I want to make more memories with our kids while they're young! 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Disneyland Road Trip - Day 10

Saturday September 27th we had planned to go to Crater Lake and again we almost decided to sleep in, but couldn't pass up the experience. So we were off on another adventure. 

On our drive north we got some terrific views of Mt. Shasta. 

It was fun to see the mountain that the building I worked in while at Safeco was named after.

 This particular day was about the same amount of travel as the day before, but the longest stretch of driving was in the morning instead of the afternoon. That seemed to make a difference in regards to our attitudes about being in the car though. 

Once we got up to Crater Lake we went into the Cafe/Shop to eat. We thought about buying lunch, but a regular old PB&J was almost $5! I did get a soup and Michael got a coffee, but other than that we just ate the food that we had left in our cooler. 

The upstairs of the Cafe had a bunch of big tables so we ate up there. It was a nice area and I didn't feel all weird bringing in outside food. 

Silly grape eating girl! 

By far Crater Lake is the most beautiful thing I've ever seen! The blue color of the water is so deep and so radiant. 

It was also cold!!! Of course Ella would not wear her coat worth anything! 

Strolling around! 

This is something I want to do...visit as many National Parks as possible! 

See the different shades of blue in the water! If you don't know anything about Crater Lake let me enlighten you. It's was formed forever ago when a volcano collapsed on itself. Wizard island in the middle is the crater of the volcano trying to rebuild itself. The water in the lake is completely pure. It's all from rain. There are no rivers that flow into Crater Lake nor out of it...yet the water level remains almost the same all year long due to evaporation and seepage. So cool!!! 

Making memories with my babies!!! 


without a doubt...

the most...

incredible thing...

I've seen! 

The first night of our trip we stayed in Roseburg and the last night of our trip we did again. Ga-Ga & Pa were going to stay a little further up north in Eugene and we happened to be in Roseburg at the same time so I asked if they wanted to join us for dinner. Of course they said yes and actually they canceled their hotel reservations in Eugene and stayed at the same hotel as we did. 

For dinner we ate at this nice little Italian restaurant I found using my phone. I had a serious craving for some ravioli. 

When we walked in I could tell this wasn't a normal restaurant that people bring children too. Oh well...we were there for an early dinner so not that many people were there yet. By the time we left there were quite a few people and we even got told by the couple at the next table that they were really impressed by how well behaved our kids were. That's always nice to hear! 

After dinner it was back to the hotel for this....

Look at that face! It says it all! After days of not being able to swim he was finally able to swim in an indoor pool! He was one happy boy! 

It's so nice that Pa was there to snap all these pictures of the kids having fun! Ella is such a daredevil. Michael would stand there and tell her to jump and she would keep telling him to move back farther. 

This big boy was getting more and more used to the water! 

Beautiful Bathing Beauty! 

Zeke loved being held in the water like he was swimming! 

Love their milky white skin! 

Look at that strong brooding boy! 

It was a fantastic end to a fantastic day!