The month of April has been busy so far. We went to Kaiya's 3rd birthday party.
The kids had Spring Break, during which we did all kinds of things. We went bowling.
We went to the movies and saw Mirror, mirror. We flew kites!
I gave a mauled Chipmunk back his face. (Nanny says the chipmunk started it.)
We shopped at the mall. We ate at Red Robin.
For Easter weekend, we went to visit my brother Brandon in Indy. He lives in Broad Ripple, so we had lunch at one of his local hangouts, Biscuits, which everyone loved. Mom's tenderloin sandwich was the size of her head.
Brandon found these cool full-size Nintendo wall things for Aiden's room. Best present ever? Probably.
Then we hauled it over to the Indianapolis Zoo, where it was breezy and in the 70's, so, perfect zoo-ing weather.
Now Aiden is quite the character, and loves posing for pictures. Let's see if his older, obviously too-cool sister is as cooperative.
I can't quite tell. Let's move in closer.
Hmm. No. That's a no.
What if I threaten to cancel her allowance? Let's try that.
Yeah, I guess the fake smile is the best we can hope for today. Pre-teens are the best. I wish I had a dozen.
Moving on . . . the aquariums!
I was the only one that would pet the little sharks. And I still have all my fingers.
A very tired polar bear.
Dolphins, walrus . . .
If you notice, I had the wherewithal to purchase an ingenious little battery-powered water sprayer, (the blue thing Aiden is clutching), that a person can use to cool themselves off on a hot day. Aiden tends to get cranky when he gets hot. He loved it, as did the strangers he sprayed indiscriminately, all day long.
Lemurs, turtles, flamingos, lemurs hopscotching over turtles . . .
Aiden, having a great time.
Sophia, inspiring joy in every one around her. Obviously.
Ostrich, zebras . . .
Giraffes, and I'm going to say, uh, gazelles?
Rhinos! One of them is shy.
More animals . . .
And that pretty much wraps up the zoo trip. Some of the zoo was closed for renovations, so it seemed smaller than normal.
Then we checked into our hotel, the Hilton on Monument Circle. The kids wanted to hit the hot tub and pool first thing.
We had dinner at Buca di Beppo, one of my favorite restaurants.
We walked around the circle, got ice cream, took a carriage ride . . .
Our horse's name was Mark . . . he looked like a Mark.
Our room at the hotel was awesome . . .
The next morning we had the Hilton's Easter breakfast buffet, complete with Mimosa's. Omg.
And the pool one more time. Duh.
The we headed home.
Back at the ranch . . .
Here, our rabbits Caramel and Darcee hang out with Thomas while I cleaned out their cage. Mr. Boots investigates because he has to know everyone's business all the time.
Thomas splits, but Mr. Boots won't be scared off.
After they are back in their cage, Mr. Boots makes sure the rabbits know that he will be watching them. Because he is a creep that way.
We ordered the kids a new water slide for the summer, but this one has a little bounce house attached, so that should keep them super busy. Until they pop it.
Sophia and her cat, Snuggles.
Aiden and JJ.
I recently ordered Sophia a new bed, called a "loft bed", because it's up high, like a bunk bed, but with a desk underneath.
Here, Aiden is helping to put together the desk's chair, while Nanny guards the mattress.
This past week was crazy. Here is Mr. Boots sleeping off his anesthesia after he came back from being neutered at the vet. I'm hoping it will chill him out a bit. So far, there's not much change.
But the weirdest part by far was when Aiden almost broke his own nose. He was playing in his room when I heard the loud bang. He came out screaming and gushing blood from his nose. He said he ran into the side of his door, but how hard he must have ran into it to do so much damage boggles my mind. After the bleeding stopped and the swelling went down, I could see that his nose . . . wasn't right. It was a tad . . . askew. Aiden's doctor took a quick look and sent us to get X-rays, and I was petrified that they would have to re-break and set his nose under anesthesia. (That's how his doctor said they fix a fracture.) At least Aiden had a fun time getting the X-rays taken.
And the technician just thought he was great. She called him a "little joy at the end of her day." She also said she could see how he managed to injure his nose after he tried to high-five her and jumped so hard that he fell down. In the X-ray room. *sigh*
Anyway, she was super nice and got his X-rays to the doctor right away so that they could let us know if it was broken. Which it's not, thank goodness! That was a relief. But, his septum is definitely a little crooked, so I'll have to call the doctor on Monday and find out what we are going to do about that.
Much has happened since I blogged last. In July. Of last year. Oops. I will now use photos as illustrations, and also, memory aids, for me. Aiden had his annual heart check-up.
He did fine.
Nanny got bigger and made herself at home.
We lost Scrappy. (He is the little black dachshund in the picture.) He died of congestive heart failure at the age of 16. I miss him, he was the smart one of the bunch.
We went to the fair. One of us had an attitude problem. But I'm not gonna say who.
We went to a wedding.
Sophia got her ears pierced.
Aiden discovered the Smurfs.
Troy inexplicably brought home a kitten. This is Mr. Boots. He seems to have made it his mission in life to drive me insane.
Aiden began losing his teeth like it was his job.
Nanny got even bigger . . .
and bonded with (evil) Mr. Boots.
Tucker (thyroid disorder), and Belle (social anxiety), are best friends. I believe they attend self-help meetings together.
Party at the Caldwell's. It was dope.
New outside yard set. Also dope.
Olga likes outside field trips when it's hot out.
Olga meets Mr. Boots. She's not impressed.
Aiden still likes his blanket and thumb. (But only at home.)
Went to the beach quite a bit.
We went swimming with the Tonks.
We went to the drive-in. (This is the snack bar, my only photographic evidence. I'm not sure why. I can only assume that hereafter my hands were too full of soft pretzel to work a camera.)
I'm not sure what was going on here, but I bet his sister had a hand in it.
My dad had heart surgery, and he did fine, but he did NOT like me taking pictures of him in the hospital, so instead, here is Aiden, discovering the upside of hanging out at the hospital.
I'm not sure what this is about.
*sigh* or this.
We had Aiden's summer party. Thankfully, no one was injured this year. That I know of.
We had the back-to-school Open House.
School started in August, and this is Aiden's first year. He started out with a Mario backpack and lunch sack, but now it is ALL Angry Birds.
Going to kindergarten. I'm so glad that he loves it, because it is All-Day(!) kindergarten. And his teacher is great too. We love her.
For Drug Awareness Week, they had a Crazy Hair Day. That was fun.
Sophia took some of her girlfriends out for her birthday.
In October, the kids "decorated" their pumpkins. (Easiest decorating ever. Slackers.)
We went to the pumpkin farm, but my camera battery died after only one picture. Which was unfortunate, as Sophia was in rare form.
Mr. Boots. Plotting.
While it was still warm-ish out, I took the kids and my awesome camera and took some fall pictures. Which are awesome.
We only had two Thanksgiving's this year, one at my dad's, and one at my mom's.
We went out for a late movie with the kids Thanksgiving night, (The Muppets, which was so good!) Then for pancakes at IHOP, and then we got to see all the crazy people standing in line to shop in the middle of the night on the way home.
As it got colder out, Aiden's Angry Bird obsession extended into winter outerwear.
And he also began building elaborate structures to shoot birds at.
Mr. Boots continued his reign of terror.
The kids attempted another gingerbread house, but Aiden ate most of the candy pretty quickly, and it fell down.
December was a busy month. Aiden discovered the Chipmunks. Again.
Aiden chose to eat his birthday dinner at Hacienda. Again.
I have no idea.
We got a new Christmas tree. Pre-lit and WHITE this time. It was awesome.
Aiden celebrated his 6th birthday with his class. He wanted these cake lollipop things, and I made them, with a heroic effort on my part. They are the very devil to make, and I hate them and won't do it again. Desserts should never make you swear.
One weekend we went to visit Santa and Mrs. Claus. (They live in Decatur, who knew?) The elves were taller than you'd think.
Another weekend, we took the kids to see The Nutcracker. Aiden said he wanted to do ballet afterwards.
For Christmas we flew ourselves, the kids, and my mom to Disneyworld for a week. We stayed at the Grand Floridian and did all four parks, and it was the best time ever.
The Christmas Light display at Disney Hollywood Studios was crazy-great.
Epcot was my favorite.
Things got back to normal after we got home.
Everybody missed me. Except for Mr. Boots, of course. And my brother, who house-sat for us, said Mr. Boots was an angel. I can't believe he fell for that act.
Aiden is doing MATH in kindergarten, and amazingly, he's good at it. He does it in his head. The rest of us still count on our fingers and give up in frustration.
The kids both joined the art club at school. This is Aiden's first collage. Nanny tried to eat it, but I think that's more a natural dog reaction than a comment on his work.
Aiden is super-busy nowadays, so he's exhausted.
Nanny just turned one. She's excited.
Sophia played a pirate in the 5th grade musical program of Peter Pan. She wanted to be Captain Hook, what are you gonna do?
We've been out shopping with Grandma a lot. Here the kids are at the Lighthouse Place Outlet Mall. Sophia loves posing so much.
Side note: There's a store called the Dress Barn. It has some gorgeous clothes, but such an unfortunate name. Why would they name it that? I don't get it.
And now it's almost the end of March. Troy just had his 36th birthday, and his company is actually expanding and hiring people, so he's at work all the time. I've been busy doing PTO stuff and school work, although my current class, Business Law, is less than enthralling. And I have all sorts of projects in the works. And now I've updated my blog! Yes.
Here is a final shot of Mr. Boots, pretending to sleep, but really hatching a scheme. Devious little bugger.
Father's Day weekend was eventful. That Friday night I got to go visit my friend Kristy in Ft. Wayne, and introduce her to my friend Brie, and do some shopping at the Archiver's store, and have some dinner at the Olive Garden, so THAT was a fun night. The following night, however, was not so good. Our female black cat, Gypsy, got outside, (which is not encouraged), and at some point in the night was hit and killed by a car. She detested all other animals, but she tolerated us people pretty well. She was quirky, and she will be missed.
P.S.- She was not angry in this picture. Glare was just her natural facial expression. I guess we had that in common. The Friday after that we had a scary day with Scrappy, who is sixteen. He spent an entire day not wanting to walk on his own, and I feared the worst. By the next day he was almost back to normal, though, and I figured that he must have just been sore the day before from having rolled off the couch and hitting the floor pretty hard during a nap. SO, at least that crisis was averted and as of now, he is still with us, and, let me check . . . yep, napping.
On Sunday we went to a Father's Day cookout at my Grandpa Cook's in Warsaw:
The kids have been spending a lot of time swimming in the pool.
Last week, I finally finished my first two years of college. I'm taking about two months off before I start my Bachelor's program at WGU. The free time this past week has been great, but since I've been slacking on getting things done around the house all this time, I've spent most of it trying to get the house organized. I've thrown out a lot of stuff, took a bunch of stuff to goodwill, cleaned out cupboards, etc . . . I have a long list of home repair stuff to get done too. My summer vacation probably won't be very vacation-y. Bleh.
This past weekend we had a visit from Troy's parents, grandma, sister, and niece:
And then Sunday night we went to watch some fireworks:
I used my new Nikon for photos, and they turned out fantastic! Can you believe I took those? I know! Yesterday, Troy had a rare day off, so he grilled and then took Sophie to do some fishing with her new pink fishing pole. I do not get what they think is fun about fishing, and neither does Aiden. We both think it's gross, but at least they didn't bring any yucky fish back. And today he's back at work.
So, now I guess I'll get back to the house work. Bleh. I'm gonna be working on my admissions to WGU this week, and mom is on vacation, so we may go do some fun things with the kids. That's about it for now.
SO over the weekend, we took a quick trip to Indy to see my brother Brandon for his birthday, and I got to try out my new camera, which I must say is freakin' sweet. Using it all weekend taught me a lot about it, like not to block the flash with my hand when I turn it sideways. (Oops, and also, ow.) I figured out what settings work best for different lighting, the only thing I think I need to work on is taking more outside photos at different times of the day. But the photos look brilliant, they're so sharp! I put them all on Facebook, but I have some favorites, observe:
This is my mom, my brother Brandon, and Aiden outside a restaurant. It's such a good photo you can clearly see all of my brother's tattoos. SO great!
These are from the Children's Museum. It's like the polar bear is so real it could eat you. Or my brother. With his tattoos.
That poster is made by of jelly beans, btw. Jelly beans!
The kids were being newscasters.
The hotel we stayed at had a waterpark in it. Not a great one, or a great hotel for that matter, but the kids had fun.
Here, you can tell by Sophia's loving expression how grateful and happy she is. What an angel, right?
I'm tempted to write a scathing review of all the problems we had during our stay, but the manager was so nice about everything, and refunded so much of my money, that I find it's hard to stay annoyed. Or maybe it's just that I'm TOO nice. Right? Totally.
But then again, is it my duty to warn others? Hmm, I will think about it.
I seem to have gotten off-topic, which is to tell my single, balding, tattooed, hippie, drunken, pro-herbal brother Happy Birthday!
So, Happy Birthday Brandon Carl! And welcome to your thirties!
Today was so fun! I took Sophie to her first horseback riding lesson, and she loved it. She's ridden horses before at Loveway of course, but that was always with someone leading the horse. This is the first time she got to do it on her own, and she learned the steering part pretty quickly. She needs to work on her posture though. The horse's name was Sadie and the instructor even got her trotting a little bit at the end of her lesson, which Sophie thought was the most fun ever. When they were done putting the saddle away, the instructor let Sophie give Sadie a treat, a peppermint candy, which was so funny. The horse started looking for her candy when she heard the wrapper, and I didn't even know horses liked or could have that sort of thing! Sophie is excited about going back for more lessons, and I am happy that she likes it so much. :)