Friday, February 28, 2014

Library Overload

We spent some time at the Northville Public Library this morning. I'll be honest - I am SO sick and tired of this cold - I could puke (I puke easily these days). But seriously. It was -9 when we woke up today (without the wind chill). NEGATIVE NINE. When you have a child as active as Jack, LONG winters make you feel like you're going crazy. I hate moving, but if Tyson came home tonight and said we were moving somewhere warm (perhaps a place where 2 inches of snow sends people into a panic) - well, I probably would grab some boxes and start packing. It's just the state of mind I'm in right now. No offense, Michigan. I really love your other 3 seasons.

Moving on.

So - after some coaxing and threatening (yes, I do that) and almost reaching my breaking point for the day - we finally got loaded into the car and headed downtown. We checked out LOTS of new books. Jack played a computer game and Josie did puzzles. And then we headed back home.

I'm participating in a local Vendor Sale for a charity this weekend - so, Tyson, GOOD LUCK!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Saturday, February 22, 2014

We Have NEWS

Tyson and I are excited to announce that Jack & Josie are expecting a sibling in August! I'm 14 weeks along and starting to feel like a normal person again. We heard a heartbeat at 9 weeks and saw the baby at 12 weeks. No decision yet on whether we will be finding out the gender...but lets be honest - we're 2-2 finding out.

Here is what I can tell you:
- Josie wants NOTHING to do with the baby. If I'm holding a baby, she gets upset. We have some work to do. She's a mama's girl.

- Jack has been asking some VERY interesting questions. First he thought the baby would come out my feet. No. Then he thought maybe my mouth. No. He thought aloud the belly button might be an option...but has since settled on "a red door." I'm currently pleading the 5th.

- I haven't had any cravings or aversions (except whatever I am cooking for dinner). I ate a lot of oranges at first. Oh - actually Jolly Rancher Jelly Beans have been a permanent fixture in my diet. Not a lot, just a few a day. I liken them to my daily prenatal vitamin, except they don't make me gag and they're delicious.

- This baby will be born at the University of Michigan Women's Hospital. I am using a midwife and will deliver at the birthing center. I'm pretty excited about it...well, as excited as one can be when delivering a baby. I think it's a great fit for my ideal birth plan...let's just hope the baby cooperates.

- This baby will most likely NOT have a "J" name. We do have a few "J" names we both like, but I'm doubting we end up choosing one. We are not the Duggar family.

More info to come. With the winter we've had so far - August seems REALLY far away, but I know it will be here SO fast. We are excited (and a little scared) about this new journey. As we all know, Zone Defense is HARD for Hoosiers.

Friday, February 21, 2014

Wrap-up of the Week

Cruel & Unusual Punishment: Preschool closing for a week (still not sure why) in the middle of winter when we are JUST getting back on schedule. Needless to say, it's been a LONG week. I know summer will be here soon - but at least I can sit outside while my kids play.
 I snapped this pic of Josie. She was pretending to talk to one of her "Papa's" on the phone. I caught her hiding behind the curtains & blinds in Jack's room. Jabbering away.
Jack had a AWESOME swim lesson! He is starting to swim by himself! Hoping we can get him in the pool a few more times before Florida.
Tuesday I was washing sheets. This is usually a chore I do while he's in school - but since he didn't have school this week... He wasn't happy about me "stealing" his sheets. He protested with Occupy Laundry Room - his first official sit-in. I see BIG things for this kid as a politician.
At one point - I walked away and went to clean up Josie's room. When I came back Jack & his sheets were missing. But never fear - I found them both. Jack was trying desperately to put them back on his bed. It didn't go well. Eventually I convinced him to HELP me wash the sheets...and when he went to bed that night he was loving how clean they were. I guess he doesn't realize when they're clean every other time...?!?!?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Indoor Snow Play

We got more fresh snow this week - and I just wasn't in the mood to go play in it. I feel like that is sending the wrong message to Mother Nature, when - in fact - I don't want her thinking we LIKE the snow. We don't. We're done with it.
I scooped up some fresh snow and brought it inside. Then I let the kids stir in some colored water. It was a lame way to play in the snow - but it held their attention for quite a while. I even had to go back for a second scoop.

And they both made snowmen - so it wasn't a total bust. We have officially started planning a trip south. I hope Florida cooperates with us. We've had a LONG winter and would appreciate some sunny skies & warm temps. AND - I think Disney is in the forecast too! Jack & Josie don't know about this yet - but I'm thinking we will have some pretty excited kiddos!

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Weekend on Adams Lake

We spent the weekend in Wolcotville, Indiana on Adams Lake with our friends, the Carstens.  Tyson and Matt have been friends since they were in elementary school. We love spending time with Matt & Julia...and Jack & Josie love their boys. Matt's parents recently built a new cottage - with enough room to house 20+ (Matt has 4 siblings and there are a total of 10 grand babies!)
 Maddox, Jack, and Jace had so much fun sledding and playing on the frozen lake with their daddies.
Devin (their youngest) is 8 months old now and is ridiculously cute! He's laid back just like his brothers.  On Saturday we wasted a couple hours watching IU lose to Purdue. No one in the house was happy about that. Julia made some delicious chicken chili for us - which definitely helped.
Before bedtime we took a stroll on the lake and then headed inside for some hot cocoa. The kids all went to bed and the parents enjoyed a night by the fire.
Here is our February 2014 group shot. We took one back in October when they came to Michigan to visit us.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Sesame Street Live

A few weeks ago Tyson and I decided to take the kids to Sesame Street Live downtown Detroit for a Valentine's Day surprise. It was my first trip to the iconic Fox Theater - an absolutely gorgeous venue.
 Josie loved seeing all her favorite characters. Cookie Monster even came right up near our seats!
Jack played it he was too old for Sesame Street - but we caught him clapping & dancing to the music.

We had a fun morning! Then headed to Indiana for a weekend at the lake with our friends (you'll see that tomorrow!).

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Give a "Like"

If you love dogs, like Clevengers love dogs - then this post if for you! My Dad's company is doing a fundraiser for the Kosciusko County Animal Welfare League. For each "Like" Dad's company gets on Facebook - they will donate $1 toward the AWL's fundraiser to build a new shelter. AND - another donor has offered to match their donation - so each "Like" is really worth $2! Facebook users go HERE and give Clevenger Insurance a "Like." The fundraiser ends 2/21.
The AWL holds a special place in our hearts. In 2004, right after I moved home from college (and in with my parents) - we had to put our dalmatian, Freckles, down. It was a sad, sad day.  Being 22 and pretty carefree - I took it upon myself to go to the shelter and find my parents a new dog. Did I consult with them on this decision? No. My family was sad, but my family can't be without a dog in the house...and I knew what I needed to do. I needed to pick out a new dog. Except to my surprise - a dog picked ME! I took a black lab mix from his cage, walked him outside and sat in a chair to watch him.  He played, but came back to me for a pet, then he climbed into my lap. And that was that.

I called my mom, she agreed to go to the shelter and meet him - which for Shirlee means we'll be taking him home. My dad was now the only one who wasn't in on the plan. We pulled up, the dog jumped out, my dad shook his head, he hooked the dog up to a leash and took him on a walk. We named him Hogan and the rest is history.  I should add that he has been referred to as "the best dog ever" on more than one occasion.

Tyson and I adopted Cooper from a shelter in Cleveland. Joe & Gina adopted Ellie Mae (Hanky's sister) from the AWL. We love our shelter dogs! Thanks for taking a second to help this cause!

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Never Will I Ever...

Judge a woman walking through Target with a pant-less toddler when it is well below zero outside.  Why? Because I was THAT woman last week. Oh yes, Josie was pant-less as we strolled through the aisles of Target. I got some looks. I knew what people thought and I didn't really care. Here is why: Poop happens. Unfortunately for Jos, it happened in a real bad way as we were enjoying some beverages at the store's Starbucks.
I scanned my purse. Phew! I had BOTH wipes and a diaper (which may not seem like a big deal, but I have been caught without them on more than one occasion - which was an epic mom fail). We went to the bathroom and that's where all hell broke loose. Poop was everywhere and by everywhere - I mean, it got on the sleeve of my coat and shirt...all over Josie and the changing table. Awesome. We made the decision to abandon the pants - because we ARE in Target and we can buy a new pair. It took me about 20 minutes to get everything cleaned up. I apologized to anyone who happened to come into the bathroom while this was going on. They were all older ladies who claimed to "remember those days." I also reported our debacle to Guest Services...because reinforcements were needed. And then we went shopping. (And pretended nothing happened)
As we left, my sleeve still smelled like poop. But Josie got new pants and we headed home to do laundry.

So next time you see a lady with a pant-less child in public - don't be so quick to judge. Perhaps she just spent 20 minutes of her life cleaning up infant/toddler poop...  Also - don't get too close. Poop happens.

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Weekend Visitors

We had special visitors this past weekend. Nancy & Denny needed a "Jack & Josie fix" - so they came up to Northville.  Annie came, too. Poor Annie...she's blind and suffers through abuse at the hands of toddlers.

Josie was trying to convince Grandma she should stay a little longer.  Tyson & I agree. We actually got to go out for an adult only dinner on Saturday night...wait, what do you call those? A date?!? It was really nice!
Jack tried to convince Grandpa to stay, too...
Denny & Tyson made a Starbucks run and Denny came back with flowers for me! Notice - it says DENNY...not TYSON. :)  What a nice Father-in-law!
And one ride in the car with Josie - convinced Grandma Nancy a trip to Target was in order. Poor Jos. We bought Jack a Britax Boulevard waaaay back when he was 1. When Josie was 10mth and out grew/weighed her infant carrier - we skimped and bought a Graco. It was fine when she was little - but now, it's become uncomfortable. She hated being strapped into it. Grandma couldn't stand it and bought her a new seat. As you can see - she loves it. (seriously - not one tear in & out of the car all day yesterday!)
Although - Mr. Jack gave a very convincing argument as to why he should get the NEW seat and Josie could have his OLD seat. Sorry, buddy. Not this time.

Friday, February 7, 2014

Jack Dances to Ice Ice Baby

Here is a little dance video of Jack rocking out to Ice Ice Baby. He has some signature moves that he needs to work on...but we're getting there.

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

More (Bad Word that Begins with "S")...Snow

Josie and I had some time to kill while Jack was at school on Tuesday. I had some books on hold at the library, so we spent some time in the Children's section. The difference between Jack & Josie at this age is pretty remarkable.
Jack was always running full speed through the library, trying to jump off would have thought he was a caged animal, set free.  Josie, on the other hand, is calm & easily engaged. She does puzzles, plays computer games, and works on fine motor skills.
Sometimes I catch myself thinking - "How are my children from the same parents?" But then I remember that Jack is a VERY active boy and Josie is just a typical girl.
Since we got more SNOW yesterday - we did some indoor activities. First up was a "pool party" in the tub. It's the one place they can be within a foot of each other - yet not fight. For obvious reasons, this was a much needed activity. Jack cleaned his boats and Josie played with toys.
After the pool, we had a picnic lunch in our living room (also known as the Christmas Tree room).  Jack has been begging to have a "real picnic" and this was the closest we could get to that. We watched more snow fall and decided it was time for a nap.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY to Grandpa Denny today! Hope you have a great day! XOXO J & J

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Beating the Winter Blues

We spent - yet ANOTHER morning - at Kids Gotta Play (playground showroom). I'm telling you - I can't stand being inside for MONTHS at a time and this place is one of my favorite ways to beat the Winter Blues.  Jack jumped his heart out on the trampoline.
 He also shot some hoops with his sister. (see - the Hoosier blood runs deep)
And there was lots of climbing & playing...and I actually saw the pent up energy fall off their little bodies.
Our friends, the Festa boys, showed up too - which was a BIG treat for Jack! He and Christian had a lot of fun playing together.
Josie and Landon chatted on a tire swing. By lunchtime - we were all worn out & hungry. Unfortunately, only Josie & mommy were ready for naps... Jack has banned them from his life. Four year olds can be so difficult.

Monday, February 3, 2014

My Favorite SuperBowl Commercials

There was lots of talk during & after the seemed people were disappointed with the commercials this year. I liked quite a few of them - but I'm not really hard to please. If it pulls at my heart or makes me laugh, I think it's a good commercial.

This year there were two that I loved. And they both made me cry.

The first one was this one:
Seriously - how awesome that this soldier was welcomed home by his entire community. Even if it was just done for a commercial - I truly believe the sacrifice made by members of our military is absolutely worthy of such celebration.

And because people have fought for our freedoms - we can enjoy this commercial:

I made the mistake of looking at Coke's Facebook page and reading people's reaction to this commercial. Unless you feel like being completely disappointed with society, I recommend NOT reading people's comments.

Maybe I'm biased - having been raised in a household where I often heard a second language being spoken. Maybe I'm biased because Saturday I shopped at Meijer and heard at least 5 different languages being spoken around me...and it made me happy. Maybe I'm biased because if I walk down my street I can see families of all ethnicities taking in their groceries and shoveling their driveways. I don't want my kids growing up with a mindset that ENGLISH is the only language spoken in this country. I don't want them thinking any less of someone of a different culture. And if they DID - well then I would feel like I was a failure.

I have to hope that there are more people like me...more parents like me...more teachers in classrooms teaching the importance and beauty of diversity. God Bless America & the people who live here.

PS: if you want to see some serious awesome-ness - go to Coca Cola's YouTube channel and you can hear each girl sing in her native language. Amazing.

The SuperBowl

We were HAPPY HOOSIERS living in Michigan yesterday...and it had nothing to do with the weather. No - our Indiana Hoosiers pulled off a big upset over an undefeated U of M team - and we were pretty excited! We celebrated with brownies & ice cream after dinner.
We watched the SuperBowl - or some of it. Josie was nervous for Peyton - and for good reason.  Honestly, we didn't care either way who won. Obviously, as former Indiana natives, we enjoy watching Peyton, but Russell Wilson is a good kid and he was a deserving winner.
Jack was less interested in football and more interested in building towers. Fine with me. I watch football players plow into each other - sometimes HEAD FIRST and I pray my child never shows interest in the sport.  Tyson says he values Jack's brain too much to allow him to play football. I have to agree.

Stop by Mumbling Mommy today to see my post: Making the Most of Bedtime Stories.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Snow Globe

With the weather people predicting more snow (we won't call it a snow storm - because we could still leave the house) on Saturday - the kids put on their shades and pretended we were on the beach in Florida. Unfortunately, pretending doesn't warm us up.
We woke up to a few more inches of snow and then eventually freezing rain...then sleet, then more snow. Tucker has put his paws down. Enough is enough.
"Whhhhhy? Whhhhy do we live in this snow globe?"
 Coop spent most of yesterday (and, let's be honest, most of EVERY day) snoozing on the couch.
And just before lunch - Tyson and I were talking in the kitchen. Jack & Josie were playing in the basement.  All of the sudden we heard Josie scream. I assumed it was a flight with Jack, but he was upstairs in his room at the time. So I ran down to see what was up...and I found Josie sitting in the mini grocery cart.  That space is usually reserved for her dolls. I have NO idea how she got in it. But one thing was certain - she wasn't getting out without help. Poor Jos. And I just had to snap a picture before I rescued her. I kind of feel bad about it...