Thursday, December 29, 2011

Little to no time...

So you know what people that are already too busy do? They get second jobs, or in my case 14th jobs. On top of Verizon, Wishing Wells, Briargate Wellness Center and being the commander of this house I am now gainfully employed by a company called Support Space. They are online and over the phone tech support that companies can use to out source their calls. Currently Support Space's largest client is Geek Squad and who most all calls are routed from. Let me just say this...through a GIANT smile on my face...any one reading this blog right now is computer literate and while you may not think you are, trust me, you are. I spent just over an hour yesterday on the phone with a lady trying to get her to type in a web page address. Just that...just a web page. Bottom line though Verizon is having more layoffs and while I am as optimistic as I always am I would like to have something in the background if I needed it. It would be extremely hard for me to do phone support all the time rather than the kush life I am used to with being a lead engineer, but it's easier than hunting our own food. Helen has a good time laughing at me as I lay my head on my desk and say no ma'am I still don't think you are typing in exactly what I am saying. I'll probably end up drinking more but again it's easier than hunting our own food which is about where we would be if we didn't have my paycheck. I make commission on every call I take and pretty much the instant I go live I am routed someone and then let the hilarity of the situation unfold. :-) So if anyone ever needs tech support you can just click on this link and find me...crazy huh?

http://www.supportspace.com/support/expert/crystalwells

Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Peas aren't that bad after all...


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Someone has decided that peas aren't half bad after all. :-)

Wednesday, December 21, 2011

The Plane



A picture of the plane Joe took his instruction in.

Look who can fly!


For Joe's birthday I got him an intro to flight lesson. Here a couple of pictures from his flight this morning! I am stoked just looking at the pictures...it looks so freaking COOL!


Joe and his instructor pilot.



The view while flying over Colorado Springs!

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Presents and Peas

We held our annual Thanksgiving Dinner and Toy Drive this last weekend. I am super excited to have collected over 40 toys just as we always do. I read in the newspaper that times are so tough this year that our local hospital that runs a toy drive is begging for toys, last year they brought in over $137,000 worth of toys and this year they are only at $7,000. We dropped them off to the Safe House which was ecstatic about the load and I know they will go to families that wouldn't otherwise get shiny new Barbies. :-)


Here's our stack...well after Austin dug through it some. ;-)





We started feeding Lil' Bit rice cereal before Mexico and thought everything was fine but then one day down there she ate, went and took a nap and an hour later woke up puking everywhere. That horrible little kid puke where they cry in between each gag. :-( So we cut out rice cereal down there thinking that perhaps we overfed her or something was wrong with that particular rice. We got home and fed her new cereal and the same thing happened an hour or so later. Did some research and she either has an allergy to rice (highly unlikely since it is so rare) or her system is super sensitive to new foods. We have been making baby food from scratch and feeding her just a few tablespoons of different types of veggies, so far she hasn't reacted like that again but it took at few weeks for her to get sick from the rice so we will have to wait and see. I took this video last night of her first experience with peas...it was just too cute.





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Thursday, December 8, 2011

Poor Sister

I was brushing Lil' Bit's hair trying to get rid of some of her cradle cap when Austin asked what I was doing. I explained what I was doing and how I was helping sister. Austin at this point shook her head and stated "Poor sister has crabs." I about died laughing.

We've been attempting to get settled back in from all the traveling although I still haven't put up our suitcases. The girls were exactly how they should be on a trip but that sure is challenging for us parents. Austin has this new venom side of her personality where she will scream at you generally some kind of command followed by a low growl. Both of these make me want to smack her in the mouth but since in the fight or flight spectrum she is definitely a fighter I have taken to calmly telling her that she is not allowed to speak to me like that and placing her in timeout. Who's know if it will work, all I know is that what we were doing wasn't working. This new found zen approach gets me some pretty hilarious looks at stores, like yesterday when she was taking off her boots, throwing stuff out of the cart and screaming at me through Walmart. I am pretty sure everyone watching was just waiting for me to hit her...half with their cell phones dialed for social services and the other half (obviously parents themselves) hoping that I would do so. Like I always say this parenting thing is a crap shoot.

Monday, November 28, 2011

Mexico!

As it turns out traveling with two children at these ages is a stressful as the general public leads you to believe. :-) But here are some pictures of the fun that was sprinkled in with the stress.

Joe and Tyler at Thanksgiving dinner.


Austin ate every bit of her body weight in ice cream.


The amazing kids place play area.



My parents and Austin at dinner one night.



We have been calling Tyler Thunder Thighs all week, hopefully that name doesn't stick but isn't she just such a little chunk?



Joe and his girls in the pool.



Apparently the open mouth thing is something that both my girls do all the time.



If George was around Tyler was sure to be found sitting on his lap.



Tyler wanted so bad to be in the pool with her big sister.



Austin just about passed out when she realized that they also had a swing set.








Joe singing with his girls on the back porch of our room.


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Friday, November 18, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

I am pretty sure that Joe wishes that we would just skip Mexico this year again due to the business with the thought of leaving everything in the hands of his very young workers. But we are going and leave tomorrow morning, the girls and I (well at least Austin) are extremely excited and can't wait to sit on the beach and explore the place. I read a quote one time that stated that it was easier to grow old as a parent because you are so excited to watch your children experience their firsts. I couldn't agree with this more. This is our 11th trip to Mexico as a family and this is by far the most excited I have ever been...just the thought of Austin building sand castles and running from the ocean's waves has me giddy. It will be truly amazing. I am already completely packed which took FOREVER and a lot of sweat to close those suitcases. Again I am pretty sure if we had one more kid we couldn't make it happen, although I had to pack diapers for both girls this time which was a huge part of the process. Austin does really well at home with potty training as long as there aren't other distractions like you know, Grandma and Uncle Dane like there will be for 8 days. So rather than stress I packed accordingly and just brought the diapers. The only real down side to this Mexico trip is that Tadd won't be with us. I am super bummed about that, he paid for his trip and then got a HUGE promotion at work and can't take the time off. Tadd is now the Finance Manager at the new Used Car Super Store here in town, it is essentially his dream job so I don't think he's even that torn up about not coming. I think Joe and I are more sad than he is. Me because I love to laugh with and at him and Joe because now he is stuck playing golf with Dane...although that does make me laugh pretty hard. Last trip down Tadd let Dane drive his golf cart and I personally watched as Dane drove them off a bridge and then into a tree, the kid just spaces out sometimes and his brain disconnects. Hopefully he gets over that now that he has his learner's permit.

I promise to take a ton of pictures and post way too many of them on here. Hope everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving! XOXOXOX

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Why I am glad to have a brother.

Tadd and I ventured out to some storage unit auctions yesterday and we couldn't resist one unit that was so covered in dusk you couldn't tell what color the furniture was. The ideal unit for treasure hunting...because it has every possibility of being really old. The bidding was going no where fast and hanging around under $10 dollars so I jumped in and scored the unit for $50. Tadd actually kicked me at this point because ol' Pretty Boy Tadd HATES to get dirty. When we got back to the unit to unload it first thing we find a giant black widow spider which means the girls were instantly locked in the Lexus so they didn't get near anything. Here starts the hilarity of having a brother like mine...we both looked like idiots as we spent the rest of the 7 hours it took to unload the unit swatting at our bodies just in case a spider had gotten on us. I dropped two microwaves and one TV because the cords hit me in the leg and I was convinced it was something creepy and crawly. Tadd made me laugh so hard that I dropped a couch, a headboard and three sets of drawers. Just when things couldn't get any funnier watching us drop things and swat at make believe spiders...Tadd reached into a shower kit bag, leaned his head to the side...sighed...and threw the bag at me to ask me to look in it and see what I saw. I literally peed my pants a little bit when I looked up and said "well Tadd you just touched someone's sex toys". Nothing could get any funnier than watching ol' Pretty Boy's face at that moment. He just shook his head and said why the HELL do we do this stuff? LOL Just when we had stopped laughing from that, or should I say I had stopped laughing at him, Tadd was struggling...I mean really struggling to get this stupid headboard in the truck while I was helping Austin get more to drink in the car. Tadd yelled over a little help please, and I told Austin I have to go help Uncle Wells...she looked at me and said "Nah he's got it Mom". I was laughing so hard that I couldn't help poor Wells who ended up just standing there for another couple minutes while I composed myself. He claimed that he was just going to light fire to his body last night, I haven't seen him yet today to see how bad the burns are. ;-)

Monday, November 14, 2011

Look what we did this weekend!

Yep we decorated for Christmas! With Mexico this weekend and when we get back we head up to South Dakota to visit Derek and Rachel and their new little baby we knew we needed to get up the tree sooner than later, so we buckled in and put it up this weekend. :-)





J and I also made ornament frames, this is mine and while it's looks simple I can assure you that it took us about 5 hours to complete but was super fun! It's even supposed to be lit but the stupid lights have a short in them so they come on whenever they feel like it, although it does make that moment magical!








Friday, November 11, 2011

Weekend here we come.

I am so glad to hear that other people are having issues with daylight savings time...holy smokes our house is in chaos because of it. The girls wake up wicked early and are nearly too tired to eat dinner at night.

I have always wanted to try one of those Brazilian Straightening systems where they bond keratin to your hair, so there was a Groupon that came around a while back and I bought a severely discounted one. I made the appointment for this last Wednesday thinking that it would be awesome to have straight non-frizzy hair in Mexico (which is coming up next weekend...Yahoo!). Had Joe come home early from work and I headed to my appointment, I think my hair looks much more manageable when I just let it air dry and MUCH less frizzy but Joe thinks it looks about the same. Needless to say that comment alone makes me not want to spend the normal $150 price tag every three months, but it was worth a discounted try. Like I always say, I don't spend much time away from the girls and I can say that Joe has never taken both of them anywhere. In fact most of the time when Joe watches them it is during nap time so I can run to the store if we need a lot of groceries or something like that. So on Wednesday night when I pulled into the driveway just one and a half short hours after I left I was surprised when I was greeted by one of our friends in the driveway that was picking up his dirt bike we had been storing. He was chuckling and said, "Man Joe has his hands full in there!". Hmmm, never what a Mom wants to hear.

I walked in our house to be greeted by Joe looking frantic, the dogs barking insanely, Austin covered in blood and Lil' Bit screaming on the floor. With my best "I'm not panicked voice", I looked at Joe and asked is everything OK? And picked up Lil' Bit, yelled at the dogs and grabbed Austin. Joe then explained that Lil' Bit had been crying since I left, the dogs were going insane due to the guy picking up his dirt bike, Austin got in trouble for shouting at Joe and when she went to run away tripped over a chair and fell on the tile floor only to cut open her lip.

I have a hair cut scheduled for this next Wednesday so I am hoping the girls can take it a little easier on poor Joe.

Oh yeah and our leaf tray finally dried...look at how amazing this thing turned out!!!!!

Friday, November 4, 2011

Happy Friday!


Look at this ridiculously cute Baby Joe! I cannot believe with our two daughters we have one that is completely Joe and one that is completely Crystal. It's like we did the job ourselves each time.











Monday, October 31, 2011

Planning your children 2 years exactly apart.

So I know that most people can't plan exactly when they are going to have kids but if you could making them 2 years apart or 3, 4, 5 whatever but the same distance in 12 month increments means that they fit in the clothing that is appropriate for the season. Like Lil' Bit being able to wear Austin's First Halloween outfit. Makes clothes sharing extremely easy on me. :-)


Hambone The Bouncer (Take 2)

Could you imagine in your wildest dreams learning something new like bouncing and having this 2 year old yanking on the contraption you are strapped in to?



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Halloween!

I was all ready to take both girls to the annual Halloween party that we go to, got them all dressed and Lil' Bit started acting really tired and when I put Austin's costume on her she said "It's nice Mom, but it hurts though." I about died laughing. Apparently the elastic was entirely too tight for her liking. So I snapped a few pictures let everyone strip back down and went to the party by myself.

I told Austin to smile and she gave me this weird looking face, so I told her to think of something funny and this is what she did.


I love Lil' Bit's face here...it's like she's thinking, what in the hell do you have on your head?


The girls being serious for a brief moment.



My Little Bumble Bee!



My butterfly that looks like a Koopa Trooper from Mario Bros.

Friday, October 28, 2011

Things that make me giggle.

This morning I was paged by work and got up and dealt with all that entails and then when I was done crawled back into bed for a few last minutes of warmth and peace and quiet. Of course the girls could sense this and woke up immediately after I laid down. Joe was on it though and got up with them. Here's the giggle part. :-) Joe wakes up slowly, much like I am sure most parents even some people do. Kids on the other hand do not wake up slowly - once they're awake, if you catch them too early or wake them up it's a different story. So this morning all I could hear downstairs was Joe grunting and attempting to make coffee as quickly as possible, Lil' Bit squealing because she was left alone in the living room and Austin asking about a thousand questions with no answers. Made me laugh so hard that I couldn't sleep so I just got up.

Second giggle spot. I leave the girls alone in the same room for a few minutes here and there and don't really have a choice not to. I have a ton of things that I get done throughout the day and it's pretty hard dragging them with me. Like making the beds this morning, I am in the other room and I hear this scenario. Austin talking to "Baby Sister" - Austin's voice elevating to excited level - Lil' Bit giggles - Austin starts breathing through closed teeth queue SUPER excited - Austin apologizing to "Baby Sister" letting her know it would be OK. Luckily Lil' Bit very rarely cries from this and Austin is never malicious so I can't help but giggle since to Austin it's like we got her a doll that plays back.

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Snow Day

We got a lot of snow here in Colorado yesterday, of course in true Colorado fashion it is already melting away today. But that made for a perfect snow day yesterday, one where the girls stayed in their PJ's pretty much all day and I slow cooked some meat for shredded tacos. Here are some pictures of our day.

Joe donated his old phone to Austin so she can play games on it, here are the girls watching Baby Girl play



Lil' Bit decided that she was hungry during her nap so I went in to give her a bottle and when my back was tired of leaning over the crib I let go and she held on. I thought it was too cute not to snap a picture.


Austin wanted to see the snow so she put on my hoodie and went outside with Dad, here is the little Ewok playing with the snow on our patio.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Well crap.

Obviously I was super proud of Lil' Bit for rolling over but I forgot that also means that she can no longer sleep swaddled. I don't remember the adjustment from being a swaddled sleeper to a non with Austin as being a tough one but looking back I am sure it had it's challenges that I am just forgetting about. Poor little thing is constantly rolling over to her tummy getting scared, crying and I have to come in and save her. Needless to say the girls in this house haven't gotten much sleep in the last couple of days. Poor little Austin was up until 2:30 last night after Lil' Bit let out a scream and woke her up at 11. I find this to be just one of many great examples of family, when one person either struggles or succeeds we all do. So I am trying to teach Austin that baby sister is learning something new and it's hard for her. We've had a couple extra meltdowns today due to the lack of sleep last night but that's what happens. We'll see whether or not this trying to Austin a life lesson at 2 thing works out, because let's face it I find this whole parenting thing a crap shoot anyhow. I second guess myself at every turn and fret about everything yet crackheads have the ability to produce great kids. Although it did become painfully apparent to me the other day that if my girls turn out to be (fill in the blank), bad people, axe murderers, or Nobel Peace Prize winners...it was more than likely me and not Joe that caused it. We have a classic household where Joe leaves for work everyday and returns every evening and spends several hours a day with the girls...whereas I spend every hour of every day with them. I believe that children are the product of their consistent routine (or lack thereof) rather than the abnormalities in life (aside from perhaps trama). Take for instance when Joe is home, some rules fly out the window like Austin must pick up all of her toys by herself or she isn't allowed to play with them when it is just me, and Joe will help her pick them up when he is home. I don't ever tell Joe to change how he acts is these instances because I think it's nice for Austin to understand that rules are rules and while sometimes we can bend them it doesn't change that they are there. We obviously have our battles due to these inconsistencies but I'm OK with that. Whether or not she has a tidy apartment or has manners in a job interview are up to the everyday constant rules we have in place, not the Sundays where anything goes. Currently Austin grits her teeth and shakes her head when she is mad or frustrated. My Mom asked me where she got this from and I should have known due to the above statement that it was my fault but this morning I realized when she did something wrong and I spoke to her through gritted teeth it dawned on me where she gets it. While it's exciting to raise little people and watch them become part of our society it is also nerve racking to know how much every one of my moves is being duplicated.

I am going to attempt to give these two stories credit...hopefully my ability to tell a story gives them justice.

Joe and I broke down and got iPhones and they came in the mail yesterday. They have this app on them called FaceTime which is Apple's version of Skype. So Joe called my new phone yesterday to talk to Austin. I handed her the phone and she was giddy with excitement about being able to hear & SEE Dad in the phone. But I told her to be careful and not touch the screen or you will hang up on him. So she set the phone down on the chair and was talking to him. Joe said at this point "Baby girl I can't see you unless you get your head in that little box." - Meaning the preview box on the phone that lets you see what the other person is seeing. Austin stops looks around my office and grabs the box that our phones came in and put it on her head and stood there. I just about about peed myself laughing.

We have had an influx of bees this year and whenever they come in the house I whack them with a newspaper or as Austin says "bam" them. Two days ago a bee was buzzing around inside my office by the window. I picked up a magazine and whacked him so he fell into the window sill. Austin wanted to see the carcass as proof so she went to stand on the back of her sisters lamby seat, to which I told her that she couldn't because she would fall. So she went and got the camera, stood on her tippy toes with her arm raised above her head at the sill and snapped a photo of the dead bee. I couldn't believe what I was watching. Kids are scary smart...holy cow.

And last but certainly not least...sleeping baby pictures because they are like crack to me. :-) Although black star for Crystal - taking the picture of Tyler actually woke her up - D'Oh!

Monday, October 24, 2011

Pumpkin Carving!

We carved pumpkins this weekend with a bunch of our friends. It's funny because in thinking back I can't ever remember my parents having parties so either they didn't have many friends or they didn't like to host for fear of the next day mess...which I could actually understand, because my house is destroyed right now. :-) Whereas at our house Austin is helping to prepare for parties pretty much every other weekend even if it's just the old roommates that come over.

Part of the pumpkins and snacks before we tore into them.



The first round of people gutting out their pumpkins.



Hacking away in the glorious sun.



Some of the pumpkins up for display.



Another set of pumpkins all carved up.

Marmee's Gift

We don't really get Fall or Spring in Colorado, really we just have Summer and Winter and they seem to overlap at various points. Today it will be a high of 80 degrees and on Wednesday it will be 30 with dumping snow. So when Marmee (Carole) sent Austin these AMAZING dried leaves from Indiana I knew we had to do something awesome with them. J and I love do any type of crafts so I drug her in on this one and away we went.

Here's Austin crazy excited about being able to paint her hands without being in trouble.


The TV tray we decided to make with the sheet all laid out and paint everywhere already.


The TV tray after we put down Austin's hand prints and the gorgeous leaves.


Austin getting more and more messy. Now she is painting her arms, waiting until it dries and then peeling it off. A true right of passage for a child.


Lil' Bit watching from the Lamby just wishing she could get her hands on anything.


We decided to Mog Pog the whole tray so the writing surface would be smooth for Austin. Well we were surprised to say the least when we dumped it on and it was completely white. Hopefully it dries clear or J and I went to 3 hours worth of trouble for a good laugh.

Friday, October 21, 2011

Tyler rolling over.

I finally captured Lil' Bit rolling over with the lights on. :-) I had forgotten how hard of a process it was for baby's to learn this and how rewarding it is to them when they accomplish it.



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My Mom's latest project!

Oh my word...isn't this cute. My Mom thought that the girls and my brother and I all looked so similar that she put together this collage of some of our baby pictures. Along with my Aunt Deb and the girls' Aunt J. Apparently I used to hold my head weird too. Oh yeah and the funny part to me...we must live in a different time, with us 30 year olds having kids...Aunt Deb and Aunt J are 10 years differnt in these pictures.







Thursday, October 20, 2011

First Night

The girls slept in the same room last night they both went down at 8 and both woke up at 7:30 with Lil' Bit eating once at 5:45. It was AMAZING! And while I don't want to jinx anything in thinking that every night will be like last night I was pretty darn happy with the outcome.


I have started to limit the amount of TV that Austin watches or should I say not allowing the TV to be on in the background. She doesn't watch much but asks for it all the time and just like any oppressive parent figure...once a child asks for something they must want it too much so I take it away. Obviously that is a slight exaggeration but I just worry now that she notices that it is on in the background that it will do more harm then good.


Speaking of harm, I broke my back and sweat the good fight putting in that stupid crib bumper and then read 15 minutes later that the Association of Pediatricians recommends the removal of bumpers due to suffocation and SIDS related deaths. Don't want to test that fate so ripped the sucker back out.

Oh yeah and two days ago Lil' Bit rolled over from her back to her stomach. I set her down in the living room and when I came back she was rolling over to reach a toy just out of reach. Last night I captured it on film but the video was SO dark that I am too embarrassed to post it. I swear we paid the light bill, I have no idea why it looks like we live in a cave.



And Austin wearing one of my hats...just too cute not to post. I feel a future snowboarder!


Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Day 2 Nap Time


Both girls are in the room and have been for...buckle in for this one...1 hour and 45 minutes. I haven't heard a peep. Which means that Austin is probably playing and Lil' Bit is watching her, but I will totally take it. I think perhaps I will make them both sleep in there tonight, hell I don't need rest any how so might as well.



We just applied for Lil' Bit's passport which is funny in and of it's self since comon' she's a baby but the funniest part is that it is good for 5 freaking years.




Just look at these two...you will only be able to tell that they are in fact white.




Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Big Girl Bed

I have been agonizing over what "Big Girl Bed" to get Austin and then it dawned on me that we already have a bed in there and I can start the, what I can tell will be a painful process of having the girls share a room. Luckily for the situation I am as stubborn as they are so it will HAVE to happen. Last night it became very apparent now that Joe and I don't have the air conditioner running in our room at night that we can't have Lil' Bit in there. We were whispering last night and woke her up not to mention that she was nearly sleeping through the night and is now waking up at 3ish to eat.

Here we are while I make up the crib for Lil' Bit...all smiles at the thought of getting a roommate.


Things started to turn a little more serious when she realized that she would not be sharing the crib with her sister.


Lil' Bit all swaddled up...bumper installed...and could literally give a care less where she sleeps.


Austin laying her the bed crying because she wants back the crib.


Actually at this point nap time has been going on for 10 minutes I have been in there 5 times to say go to sleep, stop crying, leave your sister alone...etc. And Austin has met me at the door twice. Hmmmm, I kind of miss her crib too. Perhaps I will get her a larger crib and keep her in it until she is 16. :-)