Archive for October, 2008

our pumpkin was a lemon

When Emily, Owen and I picked out our Halloween pumpkin a couple weeks back, we felt good about it. It had a sturdy, round shape that wasn’t rivaled by any other pumpkin in the patch (or so we thought). Wednesday night we started carving…

Owen found the pumpkin guts intriguing. Then came the scooping…

And that’s when the trouble started. When I picked up the pumpkin, it felt soft on the bottom. And as we started scooping out the pumpkin innards, we discovered that it wasn’t just soft – it was mush. This is what it looked like after the scooping:

Was it rotten? Did it go bad just sitting out on our front porch? Who knows. Regardless, we thought we’d give the carving a chance. We tried to carve a face, hoping the pumpkin walls were strong enough to hold up. Through the eyes and nose, things looked stable. But once I started on the mouth, our greatest halloween fears were realized…

So alas, the great pumpkin fiasco of ’08 concluded. Emily salvaged the seeds and cooked ’em up for us to snack on. Which is nice. But the pumpkin ended up in the trash.

The end result was disappointing, but looking back, we all had a good time. And I doubt Owen’s going to remember it. He probably already forgot.

Halloween night pictures coming after this weekend…

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and we have a winner!

Congrats to Kristy – Charlie Brown is the correct answer! A lot of folks (including Kristy) thought that’s what he would be last year, especially after this post. Luckily for us all, he’s still bald enough to pull off Charlie (but not for long…his hair’s really starting to come in nicely). We watched Charlie Brown & The Great Pumpkin a few nights ago, so Owen should be able to pull off a pretty good Chuck (as Lucy calls him).

Note: Owen will be Charlie Brown – not Charlie Brown on Halloween. In other words, he won’t be dressed up as a ghost with 20 extra eye-holes (see image here).

Well done, Kristy. You are indeed our champion. Thanks to everyone who participated. There were some great ideas out there. I think my favorite suggestion was my Dad’s idea of John McCain – timely!

Kristy, here’s your prize: Owen dedicates this tap-meets-moonwalk dance to you:


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Last year we invited our readers to guess what Owen would be for Halloween (take a stroll down memory lane by checking out this post). Nobody got it, but there were some good guesses.

So here’s your second chance! You have until Friday to give us your guesses. The winner will get fame and glory, courtesy of a post right here on the ole’ family blog. Please, if you’re already privy to what he’s gonna be this year, hold your tongue…er, typing fingers.

Here’s a pic of Owen’s Yoda costume from last year for a little inspiration. Best of luck.

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my new love

Those of you who know me well, know that I’m always looking for a good bargain.  (Or a way to make money to buy something for a bargain…hence my Craigslist obsession.  Which is still going on, I might add.)  My friends Anna and Abbey have told me about the deals they get at Aldi, but until this week I had never ventured inside the store.  There were a couple of things that held me back…a) you have to bag your own groceries…not always fun with a toddler, b) you have to pay using cash or debit card, c) you have to bring your own bags or buy them there, and d) you have to pay a quarter for your cart.  These may seem like silly reasons to not visit a grocery store that’s supposed to give you great bargains.  Well, it held me back for quite a while.  Probably because I have really enjoyed shopping at Schnucks…I have a favorite checker who really likes Owen, I can go through the entire store and get everything I need in less than a half hour because I know the store like the back of my hand…and there’s something to be said about knowing your grocery store.  But recently the prices at Schnucks have continued to go up, up, and up.  In a quest to save some money on groceries, I decided to get over my hesitancies and GO TRY ALDI!!!

And boy am I glad I did!  First of all, paying a quarter for your cart is not a big deal at all!  You put your quarter in and then you get it back when you return your cart at the end of your shopping experience.  If this helps cut down on the cost of food, I’m all for it!  As for the buying/bringing bags, I’ve recently gone “green” and purchased reusable grocery bags that I take with me whenever I go shopping.  I just brought those with me to Aldi…problem solved!  Bagging groceries was no problem either.  They have a counter where you can take your groceries to bag them before you leave.  I actually enjoyed bagging my own groceries so my bread didn’t get smashed by my bananas…like sometimes happens when others bag for me.  And finally, the paying with cash or debit was fine, too!  I just had to remember to leave the house with my cash and I was good to go!

So, I got over my aversions to Aldi quickly and fell in love when I walked in the door!  Now, the atmosphere isn’t what I fell in love with.  I mean, it’s not dirty or anything, but it’s nothing to be amazed at.  The thing I fell in love with were the prices!  Something kind of quirky about me is that I have this weird ability to remember exact prices of different things I often buy down to the cent.  This actually serves me pretty well in my money-saving quest.  I was able to look at the items at Aldi, mentally compare them to what I pay at Schnucks, and then bask in the glow of the money I’d saved!!  Here are some examples of the prices at Aldi vs. the prices at Schnucks:  Aldi BBQ Sauce $1.19…Schnucks at least $2.50; Aldi Hamburger Buns $.85…Schnucks $1.80; Aldi Wheat Bread $1.09…Schnucks $2.99 (I don’t buy the cheapest bread at Schnucks).  Well, there’s a glimpse at my savings.

I was able to get most of my groceries at Aldi.  They don’t have everything you need, so it is necessary to go to more than one store, but for the money I saved…it’s definitely worth it.  I got all but about 10 things at Aldi.  I was expecting my total to be at least $55…considering it probably would have been close to $70 at Schnucks.  I could hardly believe my ears when the check-out lady told me my total came to $36.60!!!  I was pumped, thrilled, tickled…and can’t wait to go back next week!

I definitely got great deals at Aldi…but I’ve also been very impressed with the quality and taste of the food I purchased.  It was great to save a few bucks on groceries but still be able to provide my family with healthy food choices.  If you haven’t been to Aldi and are looking to save a buck (or $30), check it out!

Now, how do I make sure the Aldi people see this blog post and give me even greater discounts for giving them free advertising???

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Last Saturday, Travis and I took Owen to the pumpkin patch.  This is becoming something we look forward to every year…although this year we chose a different patch.  Last year we went to Eckerts…which is a great place to go, just a wee bit far away (over an hour from our house).  We thought it through and realized that Owen would a) not enjoy the ride there, b) fall asleep in the car on the way home and ruin his afternoon nap, and c) there is a fee just to enter and Owen isn’t old enough to take part in many of the activities anyway.  If you’d like to relive our pumpkin patch experience from last year, go ahead and revisit this post….because this year our pumpkin patch of choice was Rombach’s (totally free to enter and only 20 minutes from home!).

Owen had a great time looking at all the “apples”.  Yes, that’s right.  Owen calls pumpkins “appahs”.  Not totally sure why…but I’ve gotta give him credit for his skills in comparison.  Both apples and pumpkins are round, have a stem (granted the pumpkin is much larger in size and has a much thicker stem), and we went to a place to go pick one out (similar to how we went apple picking about a month ago).

At the pumpkin patch, he DID NOT want to be carried.  He wanted to run free!  Here’s a picture of him walking with Travis…one of our attempts to get him to hold our hands!

Besides running around like a wild man, Owen tried his darnedest to pick up those “appahs”.  He sure did give it his all!

We spent quite a bit of time trying to pick out the perfect pumpkin…but we may have spent more time trying to get Owen to pose for the perfect picture.  I had this grand idea of having a super cute picture of him posing in the middle of a pile of pumpkins (like we were able to do last year when he wasn’t yet mobile).  But alas, the child was a crazy man and wouldn’t stay in one place…and when he would stay in one place, of course he wouldn’t look at me and smile!  What fun would that be?!?  Here’s a shot of him with me posing in front of the baby pumpkins that Owen loved so much!

And here’s the best posed picture we got of Owen.  Sometimes you don’t have to have them smiling at the camera to have a frame-worthy picture, right?  Regardless, if you come to my house sometime in the near future, I’m sure I’ll have a couple of pumpkin pictures framed for my own viewing pleasure.

Oh yeah, and don’t forget…last year we had people guess what Owen was going to be for Halloween.  This year is no different so start thinking!  Don’t put your guesses in comments for this post…there will be a special post dedicated solely to the awesomeness of Owen’s Halloween costume from last year and the one to come for this year.  Keep checking back…

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I saw this Mike Tyson’s Punch-Out t-shirt the other day (it was one of my all-time favorite Nintendo games). Then it hit me: Little Mac’s trainer, Doc Lewis, looks just like Stanley from The Office.

Am I crazy here? You tell me.

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17 months on the 17th!

That’s gotta mean something, right? I’m sure there’s some old wives tale about it somewhere. Anyway, our little guy is officially 17 months old!

This 17th month of life has been packed with noteworthy events. I’ll recap…in case you’ve forgotten!

1. Owen got his red cast taken off, his blue cast put on…and then taken off again! He is now walking around everywhere…even though he is still walking like he’s got a cast on. It gets a little bit better every day.

2. Owen had surgery to get his adenoids removed.  Since the surgery, Owen has turned into a different kid.  He’s still our feisty little guy, but overall he is SO much happier.  For one thing, I haven’t wiped his nose since he fully recovered from the surgery.  For those of you that know Owen well, that is pretty incredible.  He is also sleeping so much better…sometimes taking up to 4 hour naps!  (That’s been a miracle for an exhausted pregnant mommy.)  Another big difference is that we can no longer hear him breathe!  We used to call him Darth Vader…  I can’t even begin to tell you how thrilled we are that the doctor recommended this surgery.  It’s so nice to have my healthy baby back!  (Well, I shouldn’t say back considering he’s been dealing with this stuff since he was 2 months old…Let’s say, it’s nice to see what Owen’s like when he’s healthy!)

Owen is also really into climbing…which definitely keeps me on my toes!  Here he is trying to climb onto the console table behind the couch:

Besides climbing, he talks my ear off!  He loves to make animal sounds and loves to try to imitate the things we say.  I’ll have to try to get another video of him chattering…there’s really no way to explain what he does without just listening to him.

There’s the Owen update…until next month!

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home improvements

Ever since we bought our house 3 1/2 years ago, I’ve always hated this:

For one thing, the microwave’s numbers didn’t show up. I had to just guess that I’d typed in the desired time correctly. So annoying. Plus, that black shelf is hideously ugly!! I mean really, did the previous owners LiKE the way that looked?? Getting a new microwave has been on the list of things to do, but there’s always been something a little more pressing (like a flooding basement). This year for my birthday, I decided to pool all my birthday money as well as the money I’d made from my Craigslist sales and get myself a new microwave! The money actually went a little further and I was able to replace these horribly ugly light fixtures that the previous owner put up in the kitchen:

Wow. I’m looking at those again wondering how we put up with them for 3 1/2 years. (Especially considering the long brown light didn’t even work! I’ve had no overhead light for 3 years!) It’s amazing what you just get used to and learn to deal with.

A friend of ours from church does lots of construction work. We hired him to come out and give us a hand with the installation of our new microwave and our new light fixtures (since neither Travis nor I are particularly handy when it comes to that type of thing). Here’s a picture of the new light fixtures that he installed in our kitchen. (I realize that the ceiling is horribly stained from the old light fixture. We’re planning on painting the ceiling very soon…we just haven’t gotten there yet. Try not to be too distracted by the horrible ceiling and think how much better these fixtures are than the old ones! And…they work!!)

And now…for the part of the kitchen that literally makes me giddy every time I see it! The new microwave with a decorative shelf above!

Ahhh…home improvements can make a girl so happy!

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owen’s going to be a…

That’s right!  Next April, we’re going to be a family of four!

We’ve been kind of hinting at the fact that there’s another one on the way and were just waiting to see if someone would catch on and say something.  Well today, Katrina must have picked up on the hints (that or she heard through the grapevine!) and asked if I am pregnant.  I’m curious…did anyone notice the picture in this post where I look like I might have a slight bump coming on??  Or did anyone notice that there are two kids sitting on lawn chairs in the heading of our blog??

Anyways, we are very excited about the new addition to our family.  Owen is starting to understand that there’s something going on with Mommy’s belly.  I told him there’s a baby in my belly (he’s obsessed with “bebes” these days).  Now he can’t stop patting, kissing, and hugging my belly and saying “bebe, bebe”.  He often tries to pull up my shirt to that he can get a closer look!

I’m officially through the first trimester and starting to feel a little bit better.  The week Owen broke his leg was the week that morning sickness hit full force.  Needless to say, it’s been an exhausting few weeks!  I’m thankful that Owen and I both are feeling much better!

My official due date is April 22, but I will be having a scheduled c-section a week early.  (Owen was a c-section baby, too…largely due to the fact that he has such a perfectly round, large head!  The doctor thinks it’d be best to go ahead and take this one as a c-section, too.  I’m just glad I won’t go through 20 hours of labor and then have an emergency c-section like I had with Owen!)

Although we’re super excited about having another one, there are times when I look at Owen and think, “He’s just a baby…what are we doing having another one??”.  I keep reminding myself that they will be 23 months apart, and that gives Owen a lot of time to grow up!  Keep baby #2 in your prayers…we’ll keep you updated on how things are going around here!

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he’s a domestic one, that owen

Yes ladies and gents, that’s my son. And that’s the vacuum cleaner he’s holding. No, your eyes don’t deceive you…he’s actually using the attachments and is vacuuming the corners. Look at that form!

As you can tell, vacuuming isn’t his only chore.  I’ve also got him watering the flowers.

If his interest in domestic tasks continues, I’ll be sitting back with my Iced Chai and cinnamon bread (my snacks of choice, as of late) watching him clean my house. What a life!

Now I’m debating when to teach him to scrub bathrooms…

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