Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Happy Halloween

As I mentioned in our Trunk or Treat post, we had a low-key Halloween planned.  Of course, it was busy fitting everything in after work but a ton of fun!!

I left work a little early and picked up the girls from daycare.  Ryan met me with pizza at my parents house.  My sister and her husband brought Tyler over too so we able to have some cousin time!  The girls scammed Grandma and Grandpa out of a ton of candy (ask Natalie how to get anything from Grandpa - she has that figured out!), played and entertained Tyler (see photo below).

After a little dinner, some more candy and lots of photo attempts we headed for Ryan's mom and step-dad's house. We got to meet up with Ryan's sister Jessica and her son Cameron.  So the girls got double cousin fun for the evening!  Instead of eating their candy while we were there, the girls opted for ice cream (what else do you get while trick or treating at a house with an ice cream truck).  Then the kids had a great time in the bathtub.  

Happy Halloween from Doc McStuffins and Natty Zebra!!


Tuesday, October 30, 2012


I can't believe this is a the first post from the newly redesigned and named blog!!  I had a really hard time trying to come up with a name.  I was chatting with the wonderful blog designer extraordinaire Tiffany from Tiffany Kuehl Designs about the craziness that is our everyday life.  Eventually she suggested Life in the Craziness and the name evolved into Between the Chaos which will probably be a name that will always fit our life.

Working with Tiffany was easier than I had ever imagined.  I have never had a real blog design so I had no idea what to expect as my name moved up the waiting list. She has an awesome Pinterest board of color inspiration and I selected the palette for the blog after a lot of deliberation - that was hard for me!  With minimal direction, Tiffany took off on the header, background and button.  She was so fast in her changes and more than willing to entertain some of my less than stellar ideas.  I would highly recommend her to anyone with blogging, branding or social media design needs!

Thanks for stopping by to see the new look, I am so thrilled!  Now to work on some of the new pages :-)


Saturday, October 27, 2012

Halloween Fun :: Trunk or Treat!

We live in awesome town.  Actually our city (not really our town, but the city that we are a suburb of) was voted "the best place to raise a family" in the US.  We have lots of Halloween festivities that are family friendly.  We went to a local church this afternoon for Trunk or Treat.  This is a day-time trick-or-treating from the trunks of cars and from themed tables set up inside the church.

Claire couldn't have been more excited to get in her Doc McStuffins costume.  She has been practicing for weeks now.  My wonderful mom completed the lab coat today so we had all the components for a perfect Doc.

Natalie on the other hand wanted nothing to do with her costume.  I asked her if she wanted to put on her zebra costume and she shook her head no.  I held it up so she could see it and she shoved it away.  So under protest, we put on the tights and under shirt with the hope that she would put the rest on once we arrived.  That being said, I didn't even get a before photo of Natalie in her costume (which she gladly put on once she saw all the other kids in costumes).

The girls enjoyed seeing all the other costumes and getting candy.  We skipped the majority of the inside tables since the girls just wanted to play with the toys (the church is also a preschool).  Their favorite was the playhouse that Claire made her clinic in true Doc McStuffins fashion.  After we ate dinner we went out to see the beloved horse (good thing Aunt Jessica has horses or the girls would have wanted one!).

After all the fun (and a few pieces of candy) we made the not so wise decision to take the girls to church.  They were bouncing off the walls - but really why did we think that wouldn't happen?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

A BIG bed!

Last September we took the crib rail off Claire's bed, giving her a toddler bed.  Recently, she has been having a hard time settling down at night.  Lots of rolling around and restless legs until nearly 10 pm.  When we've gone in there to tell her to lay still, she would beg to go to our bed.  She has never spent the night in our bed, so this was a very strange request.  After a few days of the same story, it dawned on me that she could be getting too BIG for her toddler bed!

Claire is a big girl for her age.  She's three and a half, but wears a 5t and I have actually bought her some size 6 pants.  I was a giant kid (I've been 5'8" since the fifth grade) so I anticipate that she will grow early too.  So this weekend we decided to make the final conversion on her bed and take the plunge into a full-size bed.  It hit me really hard that this is the bed she will have for the rest of her time at our house.  

We initially took Claire to Bed Bath & Beyond to pick out her own bedding.  She selected an elephant themed set that included and elephant stuffed toy.  After we got home, I realized that the six piece set wasn't a bed in a bag and didn't even include sheets.  I then went back to the store to get a more suitable set for the price, and settled on a darling floral print.  

Ryan made a bunkie board (a support board in lieu of a box spring so her bed wasn't too tall) and we rearranged her room to accomodate the big bed.  Claire has informed us that she no longer needs to go to our bed since she has a comfy bed of her own!  She is having a little bit of a hard time falling asleep, but it is due to excitement rather than an uncomfortable bed.  

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Happy 18 Months Natalie Sue!

Everyone says it, "they grow up so fast."  In the sleep deprived early days, you vaguely are aware that there are different days.  Before you know it, your baby turns one.  A blink later they are no longer a baby, but a full blown toddler.

As I was reading books with Natalie tonight, I took a current inventory if you will.  When she sits on my lap, her face is directly in line with my shoulder.  She is at the perfect height that I can kiss her sweet cheeks.  Her legs are so long that her feet nearly reach my knees.  Her hair is just above her shoulders and has soft curls.  When I hold her, she rests her head on my shoulder and her knees actually rest on my lap.  These are the little things that I am trying to burn into my memory, things that I never want to forget.

As far as developmentally, she is actually running these days.  Running absolutely everywhere.  No longer does she look like a sand lizard with her arms and legs flaring as she runs.  She tries her very best to keep up with her sister in everything.  Natalie loves to climb and there isn't much in the house that she hasn't climbed at this point.  She is busy all the time and enjoys the following things:

  • Stomping her feet
  • Dancing
  • Playing dress-up (loves fancy shoes)
  • Picking out food from the refrigerator and pantry
  • Brushing her teeth and washing her hands
  • Tackling daddy
  • Putting a purse over her shoulder and waving 'bye' 
  • Playing catch
She's still on the small side so I am hoping the pediatrician appointment this month doesn't show her down another percentile (she's dropped every month since 9 months).  I think that she's grown recently as she feels heavier.  In clothes, she's in 12-18 month across the board as of this month.  Her pants are good for length but too large in the waist and the shirts fit a little large.  

Verbally, she tries really hard to talk.  She will repeat two word phrases, however if she wasn't repeating something I don't think that I would know what she was actually saying.  Words that are in her everyday vocabulary are:

  • Claire
  • Dog
  • Yes (Yeah)
  • Ice Cream
  • Drink
  • Thank You
  • Kitty
  • Blankie
  • Baby
  • Paci
Natalie is a VERY strong willed little miss.  She doesn't like it when you help her without her consent.  She likes to pick out her own clothes (read: has a tantrum if you put her in something she doesn't want to wear).  She still holds her own hair for comfort and often pulls out her ponytail in the process.  She stands up for herself when her sister takes a toy that she thinks should be hers.  

I took a stroll down memory lane and pulled out photos from her birth.

I am amazed at the difference that 18 months makes!!  

Happy 1/2 Birthday Little Girl!!

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Fall Fun :: Pumpkin Patch!

Fall is upon us here in Michigan.  It was a chilly, overcast day on Saturday when we took the girls to a local pumpkin patch.  Miss Grace was home for the weekend and she even joined us!

We have never visited this pumpkin patch, but the girls were thrilled as soon as they got out of the car.  There was a big corn box and a some ride on toys that commanded immediate attention and excitement.

Next up was a hayride through the fields and woods.  The hayride was a scavenger hunt for scarecrows and everyone was counting to see who could find the most.  They also had little Native American scenes set up throughout the woods.  

There was a HUGE 5' diameter drain-tile that was turned into a slide.  Claire conquered her fears and went down by herself (after a fit at the top of the slide).  Daredevil Natalie, on the other hand, would have gone down with Ryan many times if we would have let her.  

There was a mammoth corn-maze, one entrance for adults and another entrance for kids that lead to a shortened path.  We also visited the animals at the petting zoo.  Of course, Claire thought the animals were too loud.  Natalie loved the quack-quacks and the oooohhss (cows).  

My favorite part was the actual picking of pumpkins in the pumpkin patch.  The girls selected their own pumpkins to take home.  Claire picked up an odd shaped, white pumpkin since it was the most beautiful pumpkin in the whole patch.  

We ended our visit with some apple cider and pumpkin donuts for dessert before dinner.  We had soup waiting at home for us in the crockpot and after dinner we painted our pumpkins (confession, we have yet to ever carve pumpkins as a family).

The girls were so glad to have the chance to spend some time with Miss Grace!  We were so thankful she was able to join us!

Monday, October 1, 2012

Happy Birthday Ryan!

My husband turned 32 last week.  I haven't hardly talked about him on the blog since I primarily talk about the girls, but he is a super laid back guy.  Because of this I tend to be a little too lazy complacent when it comes to birthday plans.  The day of his birthday,  I still didn't know what I was going to get him!  My boss encouraged me to have a mini-party for him that night, so I left the office a little early and headed to our local one-stop shop.  I picked up a little cake, candles, a couple of packages of Snickers and Reece's Peanut Butter Cups (his favorites), party hats, noisemakers and a bottle of Crown Royal.  When I went to checkout, I realized that I didn't have my ID with me and therefore couldn't buy the whiskey (I couldn't believe I actually got carded, but seriously?!).   I called my father-in-law and asked him to meet me at the little convenience store not far from home so I could actually come home with the good part of the gift!  So after the small detour, I was home with my little family and ready to celebrate.

The girls had a riot at Daddy's birthday party!  Claire absolutely loves playing birthday so this was such a treat to have an actual birthday and real cake.  We had a great time until a nasty migrane wiped me out.  I felt so awful heading to bed and leaving the birthday boy to clean up all the mess.  What a happy birthday for him...

This past weekend was full of celebrations with family.  Lots of good food, laughs and gift cards (my husband LOVES gift cards).  What a blessing to be able to celebrate with everyone!  

Ryan I hope your 32nd Birthday was wonderful and I hope your 32nd year is full of joy.  I love you more with every passing year and cannot be thankful enough for your support, help, encouragement and love.  The girls and I are so blessed because of you!