Friday, January 28, 2011

Reid McDowell Autobiography, Age 7

Reid's class has been working on their autobiography in school. He brought his home this week. I thought I'd share it so I had it documented as well. (portions in bold were pre-written on sheet for the students)

This story is all about Reid McDowell. I was born on September 17, 2003 in Olathe.

When I was little, I called fruit snacks fruit fracks. I called pancakes canpakes. I think that was funny.

When I was in kindergarten, I had a teacher named Mrs. Drescher. She was nice. My friend was Cohen. I loved kindergarten.

Now I am in first grade. I have a teacher named Mrs. Welch. She is ok. I have a friend named Adi. Adi has a cool mask. I love first grade.

When I grow up I want to be rich so I can have a jet pack. I would like to be rich.

I thought this was so cute and so funny that he put that his kindergarten teacher was nice and his current teacher is ok. We're going to have to work on the sucking up with him. :)

I also loved that he put he wanted to be rich because then he could have a jet pack. I asked him about it at dinner and he said he just made something up so he could be done. Yep, good 'ole Reid... still about as unenthusiastic about school as he can be.

He also told us that he was mad that Mrs. Welch made him write "I think that was funny" at the end of his story about fruit snacks and pancakes because he does not think that it is funny. He didn't have a detailed ending on his first draft so she "made" him put that.

I couldn't read what kind of mask Adi had but finally figured out that it's "cool." I remember him telling me about it now, it's some type of ski mask/stocking cap type hat.

Reid got +'s on all three of the grading criteria: Writes sentences with capital letters and punctuation, adds details to each topic sentence, and spells "expected" words correctly and close on others. The teacher wrote 'excellent effort' on his paper.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

More McDowell Mania

We have three ENERGETIC boys. We are BLESSED to have them AND an 18 year old boy that stays with us and PLAYS with them. I'm often told that I'm crazy for housing another kid when we are as busy as we are. Obviously our family LOVES it so I thought I'd publish some proof why. These videos are from some post-dinner play. Russ and Ross had the boys in the living room keeping them out of my hair while I cleaned up the dinner mess and then I sat on the couch watching them play for a while... until Ross decided he wanted on my lap (third video).

This is NOT a rare occasion at our house. This is almost every night!!

Weigh In Wednesday

Ok, weigh in down. I'm trying to go with 'satisfied' as my reaction although I didn't win so it's hard for me. I'm not happy for sure. Down 0.6 pounds and I worked HARD this week. Ok, yes, I cheated some so I should be glad for the down. Next week if I get to 166 I earn a facial and I haven't got my pedicure from 169 so I might just throw them together and do a little spa trip!! :)

Since I'm a numbers gal, here are a few numbers:

22 - Days until I go to DC to see my BFF
65 - Days until Rock the Parkway Half Marathon
6 - Pounds I am down from the date we started at work (new pics of me when I hit 10 pounds, we'll see if we can notice a difference yet).
7 - number of Reese's peanut butter cups in my freezer from Christmas (is it sad that I know this?)
0 - peanut butter ghosts left in my freezer that my sister left at my house
100 - ounces of water I plan to drink today

Ok, that's all for today. Here are the team results from our third weigh in:

Mrs Consistent: -0.69%
Carmen: -0.36%
The Cheater: -0.35% (lost the same pounds as me, but I'm a very tad smaller)
Nancy Nazarene: 1.09%
The Lone Male: out this week (sick kid)

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

A new look

I've been meaning to post these pictures for a while now. They aren't the greatest but it's hard to photograph a small half bath and get a decent picture. I recently had the half bath painted (previously JoCo beige) and when Courtney was home over Christmas break I had her help me pick out some new accessories. We got a new mirror (the old was the basic builder oval), a "BATH" sign, and an "M" picture. I really like the way it turned out. All I need now is to change the towels that are in there. I need some black and gold ones.

I currently have TONS of projects all over the house that I want to do. Our house is a MESS! Let me tell you - I think we're at that stage (6.5 years) where it's not "new" anymore and it's sure taking a beating from the three boys. We have some 'maintenance' projects stacking up as well as a bit of updating that needs done. We have a few "trouble" areas as well that could use some major organizing/de-cluttering. My guess is Courtney will never come visit us again because I always put her to work when she does :)

I should have taken some before pics of the bath but I didn't so maybe I'll be brave and take some before pictures of the several other areas that I want to tackle in the coming year(s).

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Some updates and good pictures

Last night Russ took Reid to hockey practice and I had the little two at home with me. Dinner needed to cook for an hour and the little boys don't have much patience. I told Ryan that he could pick out what he wanted for dinner but it had to be healthy. This is what he came up with (and the order he ate them in):

* water
* jello
* fruit cup
* cheese crackers with peanut butter
* green beans (I think he ate one)
* peas (I think he had like one spoonful)

And, OF COURSE, he wanted it all in his lunch pail. We've been playing "school lunches" a lot lately and he really likes it.

I thought Ross looked so cute yesterday in a shirt that we got from a friend so I wanted a picture in the morning. He was not having a great morning so he was not having it:

When we got home from daycare he was much more cooperative:

Isn't he getting to be such a big boy? Here are some pictures from the last three days. Notice any similarities? He is ALWAYS carrying around either one of his hockey sticks or this toy rubber axe that he actually got for Ryan for Christmas. He likes to whack people with the axe and he carries his stick everywhere finding balls all over and hits them. He LOVES hockey sticks.

Not sure if he was carrying anything here but I thought it was a cute picture...

And a belated thank you... but THANK YOU Grandma Cella for the blankets and pillows that you made for the boys! They really liked them and they love getting packages in the mail.

I got robbed (and other pathetic excuses)

Ok, weigh in is over. I thought it was going to be bad and I was pleasantly surprised that I lost 2.4 pounds. (weighed in at 167.4) I didn't win though, the Cheater lost FOUR pounds and is now within two pounds of my weight.

I did hit my 169 goal and earn a pedicure!! WOO HOO! At 166 I earn a facial and I've been wanting one for a while now. So, I've met both weekly goals that I have set so I'm going to say that my goal for this week is to lose 1.4 pounds and get to 166.

I had MANY sins this week
* Red Robin fries
* Ritz crackers with peanut butter covered in chocolate (Courtney left in my freezer)
* A ghost peanut butter cookie (Courtney left in my freezer)
* Handfuls of popcorn the minute I walk in the door

I could go on and on. I didn't deserve to win based upon my eating this week... but I still wanted to.

So, I've lost 5.4 pounds in two weeks. If I can keep up this pace I'll be happy but I'm still mad that I didn't win :)

The Cheater: -2.31%
Carmen: -1.41%
Nancy Nazarene: -1.01%
The Lone Male: -0.49%
Mrs Consistent: 0.23%

No pictures this week (I took them but they still look the same). I'll post pictures next week if I hit 166 and we'll see if we can tell a difference yet.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

My three sons... and our night out on the town

I wanted to document most of this just so I would remember this night - the boys and I had a good time and made some great memories, good and bad...

Russ had plans with his best bud, Mike McConnell, tonight. McConnell recently found out that he has colon cancer and Russ wanted to spend some time with him just hanging out. They were going to watch a football game and drink a couple of beers. Being the home-body that Russ is, he preferred to watch the game at home (quieter) and drink beers at home (cheaper). So, Russ went out to eat with Mike and I got the boys around (woke baby up from his nap) for a night out with mom. I typically think I can handle anything with the three boys so I was up for the challenge.

When I went in to wake up Ross he was laying on his back with his eyes wide open but he did not react to me at all. Then he saw me and acted surprised and stood up, but shaking. He was having a hard time actually waking up so we left with one very crabby baby. He came around in the van and I took the boys to Monkey Bizness for some open play. They were CROWDED when we got there. Adults standing everywhere and tons of kids. I talked to the older two about the areas they could go in and not to leave without coming to me. I went in the toddler area with Ross and then we took trips out to check on the older boys. The boys played for an hour and 45 mins and they played HARD! Ryan's face was bright red and he was sweaty. Ross climbed, slid and played until he was just pooped (well, mostly hungry). There was one slide that he could stand up on and see all of the birthday balloons and he stood up there and said "boon" about 100 times.

We left Monkey Bizness to go find some dinner. I told the boys that I would take them to Red Robin but there were three of them and only me so they had to be really good. I told Reid that he had to be the man of the table. He asked me if we could pretend that he was the dad so I told him that was fine. To make Ryan happy, we were pretending that he was the oldest kid. They both seemed to think this was a good idea. It worked pretty well too! (mom 1, kids 0) When they got out of the car I got Ross out and Reid held Ryan's hand through the parking lot (never happens). Then when we got our menus they both circled what they wanted and ordered all by themselves. Ryan ordered 'lemons* and mac n cheese' (*melons - cantaloupe). Reid ordered spaghetti and mandarin oranges. We got a basket of fries almost immediately and Ryan had a little fit because they were so hot. Then when we got our food he had a big fit because his mac n cheese was too hot. He ate all of his cantaloupe and I ordered another side of it because Ross was loving it too. Ryan never touched his mac n cheese.

Towards the end of our meal Ross was starting to get unsettled and Ryan had to go to the bathroom so we went in there to go. On the way back Ross was 'tooting' quite a bit. When we sat down to sign our check he was throwing a HUGE fit. I think he had some more toots stuck - his tummy was really bothering him. He was arching his back and nothing would make him happy. The waitress came over and asked 'is there anything I can do to help mom out?' Deciding not to punch her, we grabbed our stuff and got out of there - screaming baby in tow. I didn't even put Ross or I's coat on. We grabbed our balloons and hit the van (and I couldn't even get Ross excited about the 'boon'. As we're getting in the van, Ryan asks "Are we going to go home and eat dinner now?" I'm not sure what he thought we'd been doing for the last half hour at Red Robin!!

Finally Ross settled down. and we decided to head to return a movie and some library books. On the way there Ryan says all nonchalantly to me "bad guys are a son of a bitch." I just said... "well, bad guys are bad, but let's not say that word." That kid cracks me up - earlier in the day he popped off with a "God Damn It Ross." I think mom and dad need to start watching our mouths a bit closer :) As we were running our errands we got a text from Russ that McConnell had left and he was missing his family. As much as he wanted time with his buddy - he kept texting us to check on us too :) We finished our errands and headed home. After some playing around with balloons, bouncy balls and reading books the boys were in bed shortly after 8:00 without a complaint!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011


Ok, I know the title might be a BIT over the top but I was so excited this morning. My one goal this week was to beat "the Cheater". Last week this girl weighed in with her jacket on so she would be higher in weight so my biggest goal was to beat HER, whom Russ and I have now dubbed the Cheater. Well, she lost 2 lbs for a percentage of 1.25%. I lost 3 lbs for a percentage of 1.74%. Not only did I beat HER, I beat EVERYONE. I earned $8 as the week's biggest loser!

Of course my first instinct was... "phew, now I should just give myself today to relax and then get back on target" but anyone that watches the Biggest Loser knows that the 2nd week is ALWAYS the hardest. So, I'm staying focused! I was rushed this morning and did not grab or plan my lunch - not good for someone staying focused AND it's freezing outside (literally). So, I went down to the work cafeteria hoping I could be good... and I was! They had almond crusted tilapia that came with a side of cooked carrots and rice with pineapple and mandarin oranges in it. It was actually pretty good. The southwest turkey wrap with sweet potato fries is what REALLY sounded good but with the fries and the sauce it was definitely double the calories.

So, I sit at 169.8, less than a pound from my pedicure reward. This week I earned my 5 new iPod songs! So, this weeks goal is to lose at LEAST one whole pound. It sounds easy but I know after a 3 pound week that it won't be super easy. Additionally, our running group does not meet this Saturday so it's going to take a lot of work to get some good miles in. I have been exercising pretty good but I usually do anyway - I'm trying to keep my focus on making better food choices.

So, I guess that's it for this week. I have to go pick out my iPod songs now! :)

Results - Week 1
Carmen: -1.74%
The Cheater: -1.25%
Mrs Consistent: -0.91%
The Lone Male: -0.65%
Nancy Nazarene: 1.17%

* Side goal as well: I am the smallest by 3.5 pounds but The Cheater, Mrs Consistent and I are all within 5 pounds of each other so my goal is to never let one of them get lower than I am. Petty? Maybe... but you know I like competition.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Snow Day(s)

I received a text early Monday morning that Olathe had cancelled schools due to the snow. I shut off my alarm, sent a text to daycare that the little boys wouldn't be there and went back to bed! SOOO nice! The boys slept until after 7 (and so did mom). Russ took the day off as well and we just had such a great day.

Reid and Ryan went out to play in the snow around 9:30 a.m. and I made them come in for lunch before noon for about 45 mins and then they went back out. They lasted until almost 2:00. It was a nice day, not too cold and snow still falling. Ross was just fine hanging out inside during the morning but when he saw everyone else going out after lunch he wanted to as well. I bundled him up and took him out for about 20 minutes. At first he just stood by the garage staring but eventually he walked around and played with his little shovel.

This is Reid using his shovel to throw snow at Russ' back. Russ was over at our neighbors house talking after finishing up their sidewalk.

This was the only other picture I got of Reid and it cracks me up. I have no clue what he was doing.
This was the only good picture of Ryan that I got as well. I may have "over-bundled" them up... they both came in sweating :)

I found camouflage long underwear at Wal-Mart in Holton last weekend when I was up there. The boys had on their long underwear, a set of clothes, and then their snow pants and winter coats. When we went in around 2:00 for a nap/quiet time the boys all three stripped down to their long underwear. Ryan came over to me and said "does this tutu make my butt look fat?" I was shocked and started laughing so then he just kept taking it a step further and further... he thought it was quite funny. He had to ask Hockey Ross if his long underwear made his butt look fat too. And as you can see... it did quite the opposite - he's getting just as skinny as Reid is.

Here's Ross in his camouflage long underwear, playing some hockey with dad.

Ryan actually spent about 5 minutes sitting still on the couch playing with this little Etch-a-Sketch. I had to take a couple of pictures. I do NOT exaggerate when I say that this does NOT happen... the kid does not sit still and play with something... ever.

Reid was standing over by Russ' office so I asked him what he was doing and he turned and looked at me without saying a word and I saw. He was pretending to be a guard or Marine by the office door. He is SUCH his daddy's boy.

Ross found a nice little holding spot for his finger today too... we've caught him doing this like 4 times now. He just sticks his finger in there and leaves it for a second or so.

Of course the kids can't be too quiet and calm for long, especially when dad is around. The wrestling was definitely in full swing too. I think I got some pretty neat pictures - this is very typical in our living room.

And one final picture. This is why this kid gets away with so much!! Dark brown eyes (like his dad) and knows he can use them to get away with murder... darn this kid melts my heart...

I loved Monday! We had such a good day. I was hoping for a second snow day and about 8:15 Monday night I got word that Tuesday was a snow day as well. As much as I loved Monday, Tuesday just wasn't as great of a day. Russ didn't feel well, the boys were a bit crazy, and Ross was BUSY! I wouldn't let the boys play outside today because it was so MUCH colder than on Monday. We went to the McDonald's Play Place for an hour or so to meet some friends and try to wear them out. Unfortunately, I was the one that got worn out - they fought a LOT and got in trouble. When we got home I sent them immediately to their beds and they went without talking back, they knew they deserved it. After about 30 minutes on their bed they regrouped and we spent some time watching a movie and playing toys. Later in the afternoon we went to the gym so they could play some more (and I could get my run in, even if it was on the treadmill). Ross was CRAZY BUSY this evening and I am EXHAUSTED so it's time to sign off and get to bed!

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Wednesday Weigh In

We started our Weigh In challenge at work today. We did this last year for a solid seven months. This year we are paying $2 each Wednesday and the person that loses the highest percentage of weight each week takes the pot. There are five of us currently but it's a nice $8 we could win each week. It keeps me motivated, plus I just like the competition.

I was down over 2 pounds from this Monday so this week is going to be TOUGH. Everyone else waited until today to start but I was ready to get going. I gained a TON of weight over Christmas. We ate out nonstop and my exercising basically dropped off. I'm back to watching what I eat and working out now!

I created mini-rewards for myself for each 3 pounds lost. When I get to 172 I get to purchase 5 new songs for my iPod. I'm actually excited for that! (At 169 I'm going to get a pedicure.)

Last year I took a picture of myself each week at weigh in so I could see if I could notice any differences. So, I'm doing the same today. I purposefully chose this shirt that I really like but it's too tight. I figure I'll wear it each Wednesday (I'll probably get really sick of it) and then I'll see if it fits better as we go along.

So, I know this is a family blog but it's MINE so I can talk about whatever I want. I promise to only post about my weight on Wednesday's and I hope you enjoy the ride....

(I hope I can lose weight in my stomach quickly - ugh)!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Other fun with Aunt Courtney

First of all, this picture is leftover from Thanksgiving but Courtney just shared it with me and I had to post it. This is our house on almost any given day. There is no question we have a TOTAL BOY house!

Here's a series of pictures of spending time with Aunt Courtney on the days that she was here over Christmas break...

Ryan playing dishes (his all time favorite thing to play with). The new black pots and pans set was his gift from Aunt Courtney - and he absolutely LOVES them...
Ross playing with an Iron Man that talks when you push his chest. And he has figured out how to make him talk over... and over... and over

Ryan making seasoned crackers for Christmas Eve at grandpa and grandma's house. Courtney was supposed to make them but Ryan had to pick up the slack.
Dumping in the ranch seasoning packet...

Reid stayed with Courtney one day that I had to work and he took her out to lunch and paid all by himself. Of course he chose CiCi's pizza :)

Post Christmas: Ryan in his "how to train your dragon" set that he received for Christmas from baby Ross (came with a toy ax just like he asked for)

After Christmas Russ went out to Arizona to watch the Missouri Tigers in their bowl game and Courtney and I got to spend some time hanging out with the boys. We took them out to dinner at Fritz's one night. They had a ton of fun and were really good.

Here are some of the pictures from that night:

Ross eats everything in sight! However, he does NOT like ice cream...

A New Experience

So, rewind a few days (weeks) because I just had to share a fun experience that we had. The night after Aunt Courtney came into town for Christmas (22nd) our advent calendar idea was to "go someplace FUN for dinner." We went to a Japanese steakhouse that is RIGHT by our house. I had been the week before with my work group and thought the boys would really enjoy it. The food is cooked hibachi style (at your table) and the chefs are very funny.

The guy first asked us if he could make fire. I said "sure, the bigger the better." I guess I didn't think about how scary that would be for baby Ross because he did NOT like it. It is pretty hot and pretty big but he got over it rather quickly. The older two boys (ok, and the adults too) had so much fun. Reid tried all of the food and really liked it all. Ryan didn't try much and mostly just ate the snacks that I had brought along for Ross.

There was just a ton of entertainment:

* a volcano made out of onions
* both boys jumped from a fake ketchup bottle being squirted at them (string inside)
* catching shrimp flipped to us (Russ 2 for 2, Mom 1 for 2, Courtney 1 for 2, Reid 0 for 4)

The boys have talked about the restaurant and the night several times since then. It was definitely a hit and something we will absolutely do again.

The yummy food...
Courtney and Ryan...

Russ and I (and Reid having some soup in the background)...

Trying the soup...
Ross even liked it...

Post fire, calming down...

Volcano fire...

Enjoying the show...