30 April 2009

Chuck E Cheese

Why going to Chuck E Cheese at 9:30 am is a great idea~
*Your child will take a 3 hour nap
*No one else is there so your toddler can run wild and you don't have to worry about them being run over by big kids or being snatched up

*The baby you bring can roll around the floor on a blanket and if he so chooses he can sleep on the floor without being stepped on
*The workers check the machines every day to see if they're working properly so there are a lot of free tickets hanging out of the machines. If your child is like mine you will find that they enjoy ripping the tickets out of the machine and you will have more than you can imagine by the end of the day
*You will get to play some of the games while your child dances crazily to the weird background music

We went to Chuck E Cheese with my friend Tina and her toddler Michaela. Rosalee pretty much hated all of the rides but loved playing the games with balls. A few times she would grab the ball and run off so I had to chase her down and get them back. I thought we'd only be there for 45 minutes but we ended up staying for just shy of 2 hours! The baby I watch enjoy rolling around the floor looking at the lights and ended up taking a short nap. It was a fun time and $10 dollars well spent!

The picture of Rosalee was taken the third time I put her on the ride. The first two times she cried the whole time... But at least Michaela enjoyed herself!

Rosalee liked this game because it was a giant bulldog head and you had to shoot balls into the mouth to win tickets. Rosalee kept saying, "eat Trouble eat" and laughing. We seriously played this game 7 times!

A friend of mine criticized me for not taking pictures with me in them. I'm usually the one with Rosalee so there isn't anyone to take a picture of me. Tina was nice enough to take some pictures of me so I can show off the ever growing Zeke.
After playing I took the kids to the grocery store and realized that I won't be shopping for several years to come. The kids took up more room in the cart than the food and they took turns fussing or grabbing at random items. People gave me the weirdest looks being pregnant pushing a cart full of little ones. But the best part came at the end of my shopping experience. I was feeling EXHAUSTED and starving and without having to say a word a nice man brought an extra cart over to me. He started loading my groceries into the cart and then proceeded to follow me to the car. While I loaded the kids into car seats he loaded the food into the trunk. It wasn't until I thanked him and said good-bye that I realized he was the co-manager of the store. (Seriously the guy could have been a hobo and I would have excepted the help!) So for those of you Indiana people reading this- SHOP AT MARSH! :)
Later that day the blessing poured in. Lately I've been feeling so burdened and upset that I just needed a day where things went better than planned. First the kids slept for 3 hours which meant I got to eat a nice lunch, clean the living room, and pack a box. I even got to work on some of my crafts I've been putting off because of my never ending to-do list. The next great thing was I decided to go shopping at a discount store (Gordman's) because I had some cash and a coupon. (Okay, so I wanted some shorts or capris for our trip to Hawaii but I want to sound frugal here!!) On the way there I saw a "going out of business" sign on the Sportsman Warehouse. I thought, "hey Jesse would like some new fishing stuff" and decided to go. It was the last day for the store so everything was 80-90% off. I decided to get Jesse some jeans, a belt, and some fancy wading/fishing boots. He's wanted the boots but they cost $60ish dollars so I figured now would be a good time to get them. In my head I figured my total would be around $25 and I had $28 in my wallet so it worked out. At the register the saleswoman rang me up and then hit a button. The magic button which took an additional 75% off of my total sale. So I got 2 Carthart jeans, a belt, and some $60 fishing boots for $6.89. I about fell over and actually asked her if the total was correct. Next I went to the original store I wanted to go to and found some toddler summer pajamas on sale. Rosalee also found some Sesame Street and Mickey Mouse (her two obsessions) books for $2.99. At the end of my shopping experience I still had $1.75 left and I got a lot more than two pairs of maternity shorts/capris!
When I got home Jesse was VERY excited about what I got him. When I told him how I didn't get anything for myself he laughed at me. According to him I do that a lot... He said the next time I sell some of his knives or our furniture I could go shopping. Two and a half hours later our friend came over and bought several of Jesse's knives for $47! Woo hoo mama gets a new swimsuit and some shorts this weekend!!!

28 April 2009

Come back sun!

Last weekend was FABULOUS! It was mostly sunny and warm. We had some strong wind, but we could still go outside. Rosalee got use to the idea of being outside for several hours in a day that when it rains (like today) she protests and stands sadly at the front door looking out the window. It got really pathetic when she climbed up the back of the couch, sat in the window sill, and talked the birds outside. Her conversation went something like this-
"Hi birdies. Outside birdies. Rosalee outside no. Rosalee cry. Bye bye birdies. Rosalee cry."
It was the saddest, yet cutest, thing I'd ever seen! We left her boots at my mom's house or I probably would have let her run around outside in the rain. To make up for being an evil, non-puddle playing, mom I'm going to take Rosalee to Chuck E Cheese tomorrow for a play date in the morning.
Here are some of our pictures from this weekend when we were outside enjoying the almost summer like weather. For Jesse's last fish lab they went out on the river and used electroshock techniques to conduct educational samples. This is the type of work Jesse hopes to spend the rest of his life doing.

A shovel nose sturgeon
A longnose gar

Sauger with a puffed out face (Jesse corrected me and said they are "gill flaps") because it felt threatened. It also does this to make it harder to be swallowed.
On Sunday we talked about what kind of things we do on Sundays to help keep it a holy day. Jesse and I realized what we do is try to have it be a day of family time with as little distractions as possible. We put off watching TV until Rosalee is in bed, don't do homework (I'm sure Jesse doesn't complain), and don't go shopping or spend money unless it's an emergency. (Say what you may but I won't let my vomiting child suffer!)
video

For our Sunday dinner we decided to enjoy the nice weather and use our grill in the yard. Jesse loves any excuse to use the grill so he was more than excited at the idea. In fact he was the one who bought chili and hot dogs on Saturday when I asked him to go shopping. One life law of Jesse's- if the sun is shining the grill should be out and being used. Rosalee found eating outside VERY fun! Plus I don't think she minded getting covered with chili...
The weather was still nice on Monday morning but the weather man said the rain/storms were coming and would last for most of the week. As soon as the baby I watch got here we packed the kids into the car and went to the local park. We met our friend Melissa and her daughter Mia there. The kids played on the toys and then when the zoo opened we went there. The zoo opened on Saturday for the season but we wanted to wait so we wouldn't have to battle the crowds. This is a free zoo right in the park and I love it! I am seriously going to miss having a FREE zoo just 5 minutes from my house. Especially now that I know they are putting in an otter exhibit. The baby slept the whole time in the stroller and Rosalee enjoyed running around seeing all the animals.

They have a few small fountains near the entrance that Rosalee had fun dipping her fingers in. The globe rolls around so Rosalee kept pushing on it and laughing.

Rosalee LOVES the monkeys! She was smiling and laughing the whole time. One monkey came down and started "talking" to her. This picture was taken while the monkey was saying something to her and she was laughing hysterically.

The porcupine was dancing with Rosalee. It would wiggle and bob back and forth. Then Rosalee would mimic the moves and the porcupine would start dancing again. As you can see by Rosalee's hair it was VERY windy.

Next we went to the farm petting zoo area. Sadly our camera battery died at this point or we'd have more pictures. They wouldn't let us bring the stroller in the pen because they said the goats would jump in it. Jesse decided to stay outside the pen with a sleeping baby and take some pictures of the kids playing. Rosalee loved the goats and they loved her! They would follow her until she would pet them and then she'd follow them until they let her pet them. She kept petting them and calling them "mommy goats" because the zookeeper told her they were pregnant and having babies this August. (Poor goats I feel for you!!!) They also have two miniature horses, a handful of chickens, and a llama. The llama was being spirited and didn't want to go back into the barn. Most parents picked up their kids because it was kicking and running. Where was Rosalee? Oh yes, chasing it saying "I pet you yama!" Mia and Rosalee were being really cute with the chickens but our camera died so those photos will just have to be stored in our memory. After the petting zoo we saw eagles, a vulture, an owl, and some prairie dogs. I'm pretty sure Rosalee could have stayed there all day but had to go home so Jesse could make it to class on time. Another bonus of the zoo... Rosalee takes 3 hour naps. :)

26 April 2009

On the road again

In 3 weeks from tomorrow we will be in our car/U-Haul headed west. For the past 3 years we've looked forward to Jesse's graduation and now it's so close. Actually it is almost scary how close it is. At this point Jesse only has some seasonal work set up back in Idaho but it beats living in a cardboard box! For now our plan is to move to Blackfoot, Idaho and stay with Jesse's parents until we can find either a permanent housing situation or more importantly a permanent job. So if anyone out there knows anyone, has connections, etc. for a wildlife/fisheries/natural resources job let us know!
Everything happens for a reason and we're just happy to be closer to our family. Hopefully some jobs will open up during the summer and we'll be back on our feet this fall. Right now we're at the point in life when we'll just say, "come what may and love it"!

Land of spuds, here we come!!!

25 April 2009

Dream stroller

Today I was reading a parenting magazine and I found
the
perfect
stroller
for our family!

Plus~ it has two seats (a must with 2 under 2), the seats can turn so both can look at the parent, look away from the parent, or look at each other, you can snap an infant car seat on it for convenience, and you can take out one of the seats for storage, shopping, etc., and it can hold kids up to 40 pounds. (With Rosalee we could use this for many, many years to come!)

Minus~ it costs over $200... even at Wal-Mart.

http://www.walmart.com/catalog/product.do?product_id=10660990
So if any of you find this stroller, or one very similar to it, please PLEASE let me know!

24 April 2009

Quilting cave

If you can't be handsome, you might as well be handy!
Thankfully for me, my husband is both! For Easter Jesse made me a quilting frame after we realized the ones at the store were $100+ dollars... on sale. Today I brought the frame out to use and the kids thought it was a new toy for them! So Jesse put a blanket on it and attached some toys to the side bars. Rosalee and the boy I babysit were in heaven! The quilting frame is at the right height that the kids can run under it and stand while playing. Jesse has told me (since I was pregnant with Rosalee) that he wanted to build a sensory cave/room for our kids. So now I get the quilting frame I've wanted for years (for less than $30 mind you!) and our kids can have a fun sensory fort/cave/area to play in. Thanks Jesse!!!

The frame is large enough that it fits a queen size blanket really well. After Jesse put up some of the toys I took a quick picture before the kids started playing in the cave.

Rosalee was having fun running through the cave. It is the right height for her because she barely touches the blanket with her head.

Rosalee loved smacking, pulling, etc. all the toys for at least 20 minutes straight.

While I was writing this Jesse made lunch for the kids and then they decided to have a picnic inside the cave. I thought it was cute to see Jesse hanging out with the kids eating homemade burritos. Rosalee's burrito was made with soy cheese and surprisingly it melted and smelled like normal dairy cheese.
On a side note... Jesse was on the 11 o'clock news last night! For his senior project he was in a group that worked on improving the local water systems. They interviewed him about his ideas and it ended up on the news. I'm very happy and proud of Jesse for all he's been able to learn and accomplish over the past 3 years here. It was nice to open the WLFI website this morning to see my husband's photo on the main page. I've included the article from the website below.
Wabash river clean-up plans
Watershed project coming in 2011
Updated: Thursday, 23 Apr 2009, 10:14 PM EDT
Published : Thursday, 23 Apr 2009, 10:14 PM EDT
Kristin Crowley
LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) - " If we want to have long-term sustainable water quality in the Wabash river, we have to do that through improving the water quality in the water shed that drains into the river," said Wabash River Enhancement Executive Director Stanton Lambert.
Lambert said there are various strategies to improve water quality, such as putting up green buffers along the creeks and rivers that feed into the Wabash River, and reforestation along creeks to help hold water and soil so the soil sedimentation doesn't wash into the river.
Purdue wildlife students like Jesse James were put into groups this semester to come up with ideas for river improvements and shared those ideas with the community. James' group said high quality prairies could help clean the river.
"It reduces agriculture run off which will provide clean water for Wea Creek as well as the surrounding areas, which will dump into Wabash landing," said James.
Watershed Coordinator Sara Peel said implementation of the watershed plan will start in the fall of 2011. Peel said she wants as much input from the community as possible before that time.
"The next steps we'll be having some community meetings, we'll be attending the fairs to get more information out to the community that isn't here tonight," said Peel.

19 April 2009

Busy busy busy

With slightly less than a month until Jesse graduates and we move, we've been busier than I thought! Jesse is going crazy trying to get everything done for school, I'm trying to pack, keep the house clean, entertain Rosalee, and Rosalee is just being her normal crazy busy fun loving self.
Things we accomplished this weekend were- Jesse getting recertified as a wildland firefighter, reserving the U-Haul, packing more boxes, selling our recliner, one bookshelf, end table, and an extra booster seat, emptying out our freezer (okay so this is sad because our freezer died and all the meat inside was ruined but I'm trying to stay positive!!!), cleaning up the yard and porch, potentially finding a family to take over our lease for the rest of summer, and teaching Rosalee to recognize and say some colors (orange, pink, and purple).

This is the tree Jesse cut down at his chainsaw class last week. The firefighter training was at the same forest so he took a picture of his tree after class. He's very proud of himself for doing so well with zero prior experience.
Both Jesse and I find trees covered in poison ivy oddly beautiful so here's one he saw while out in the woods.

We're HUGE slackers and still a pile of leaves in our yard from last fall. We've been slowly getting rid of it but every time we find time to pick them up it rains and the leaves get all soggy. Rosalee kept saying "help Daddy" so I gave her a cooking spoon and she dug right in! We love how helpful she wants to be and we try to encourage it even if it can slow us down.

I love magnolia trees and am sad that they don't grow out west. (But I'll save that for a later post about the things I'll miss about Indiana.) The weather was VERY nice on Saturday so we spent a lot of time outside working on the yard and just enjoying playing. Rosalee and I walked around and she started playing with some magnolia petals in the neighbor's yard. She kept calling them "pink" or "pretty pink" and wanted to fill her hands with as many petals as she could. It was hard, but we were able to get her to stay still long enough to get a picture of her with a magnolia on her head like a hat.
On Sunday Jesse received an award from his department at Purdue. I jokingly call it the "happy camper" award but he deserves it. It is an award voted on by peers and teachers on who worked the best, hardest, and well with others at summer camp. Apparently enough of the students appreciated Jesse driving them around, fishing with them, and playing pool with them that he won! We're very proud of him.
Funny story~ we sat next to one of Jesse's professors and Rosalee kept calling him grandpa. The man has black curly hair, a black (with some gray) mustache and beard, glasses, is in his late 40s/early 50s, and has the same face shape as my dad so he actually looks like he could be my dad's little brother. She kept calling him grandpa and asking where grandma and JJ were and something about pigs. The man just kept laughing and holding Rosalee every time she would jump into his arms. I'm just glad he was humored by her and was willing to put up with her.

I'm sorry the picture isn't very good but I was trying to keep Rosalee from diving off the table while trying to take a picture. She stood on the table and said, "yeah Daddy! Clap Daddy!" and then proceeded to stand there clapping for Jesse. He can proudly say he's the only person who got a standing ovation. :)
Every Spring Purdue has a Bug Bowl/Spring Fest put on by the Agriculture Department. We wanted to go on Saturday but by the time Jesse got home from firefighter class it was over. So we went to some of the exhibits (which were free, my favorite price) after the award ceremony before going home. We saw a lot of animal and plant exhibits and even saw a cricket spitting contest. I tried to get Jesse to participate but he wouldn't go for it.

Rosalee was SO excited to pet the duck and chicken chicks. We tried having Jesse hold a duck and then Rosalee pet it but she kept trying to kiss it/lick it on the head so we gave it back to the girl.

Rosalee got to touch a starfish and horseshoe crab in the aquatic area. She loved looking in all the fish tanks and kept screaming "fishy!"

We ran into one of the Agriculture mascots and Rosalee wasn't too sure about it. She screamed at Santa and the Easter Bunny but she slowly approached the chicken. After some coercing from Jesse she gave the chicken a fake half hug.

Rosalee's favorite part- the insect petting zoo. Leave it to our kid to love the insects the most! She loved the tarantula and giggled when it tickled her hand with one of it's legs. She tried to pick up the hissing cockroach and got mad at the guy when he would pull it away from her. My thoughts- GROSS!!!! KILL IT!!! but thankfully Rosalee takes after her dad.

Rosalee started to get tired so we made our way back to the car. While Jesse talked with some people I took Rosalee to get her face painted. She pointed to the picture of a butterfly and said "ooooohhhh" so I thought it'd be a good idea to get that done. The lady asked which color she wanted and she pointed to the purple paint and said "purple". I LOVE that she's getting better all the time and being able to tell us what she wants! I can tell it makes her happy to communicate her wants and it helps reduce the amount of tantrums BY FAR.
Across the street from where we parked was the 4-H tent. Rosalee pet the rabbits and again kept trying to kiss them. When one of them started chewing on another rabbit's ear Rosalee laughed and said "funny rabbit". These rabbits are miniature Rex rabbits and are SO soft! Jesse isn't allergic to rabbits so one day we might get one since cats are out of the question.
As soon as we got home Rosalee and Jesse passed out for a nap. Currently (almost 3 hours later) they are still sleeping and I am enjoying silence and the ease of folding laundry without little hands to help.

17 April 2009

Beast Feast

Every Spring the Purdue Wildlife Society has a special dinner called the "Beast Feast". We've never gone but we thought we should since this is Jesse's last year here. The dinner was held at one of the forestry buildings west of campus and town. Before we ate we went for a walk along the creek to let Rosalee enjoy the nice 70 degree sunshine.

Rosalee and Jesse playing before dinner
The food for the dinner was donated by various students from Jesse's school. They had goose, deer, duck, dove, squirrel, rabbit, salmon, and trout as the main dishes. Each one of the meat was prepared differently depending on who caught it and cooked it. We all agreed that the worst was the goose. They had 3 different goose dishes and all were nasty! Jesse and I thought the squirrel was weird but Rosalee LOVED it!! She kept asking for "more" and then fussed when we ran out. We all liked the plain roasted dove but Jesse and my favorite was a bacon wrapped jalapeno dove breast. At first I wasn't sure how I'd like it but I ended up eating 5 or 6 of them! My mom has an aviary full of doves and I'm half tempted to butcher some and make this dish again. We all liked the rabbit, but Rosalee kept asking for "more" until I told her she was "all done". Thankfully she didn't fuss when I wouldn't give her anymore. So we've determined that Rosalee's favorite meat dish was the squirrel leg, followed closely by the rabbit.

Rosalee is saying "cheese" but it makes it look like she's disgusted with what we're feeding her. She was eating roasted dove breast in this picture which she actually didn't mind. The second picture is of Jesse gnawing a squirrel leg.

I promise you I did NOT eat that! This was the rabbit they roasted... didn't waste time with cutting it, just gutted it and threw it on the grill.
Ah the things you do when your husband studies Wildlife in the Midwest...

13 April 2009

Easter weekend

On Saturday Rosalee and I decorated boiled eggs while Jesse was taking a chainsaw class. (Seriously... he know is an "expert" on how to make trees fall down) I wasn't sure how dye and a toddler would mix so I gave her some crayons to use and I dyed the eggs myself.

Rosalee had fun coloring on the eggs with her crayons. She thought using 2-4 crayons was better so I had a hard time convincing her otherwise.

Saying "cheeeeeeeeessse!" with her masterpiece.

I tried having her pose again but she kept trying to eat the egg! If you look at the top of the egg you'll see where she already bit it.

Our lovely creations! Every year I try something different and this year I tried using a rubber band to make funky designs. The second picture is of my rubber banded egg. We made an egg with a special crayon message for Jesse. On the other side of the egg it says "Happy Easter".
After Jesse got home I hid the eggs in the yard and we let Rosalee find them. At first I think she was confused, but she quickly caught on. We had to keep a very close eye on her because she kept trying to eat the eggs, shell and all.


On Easter morning we slept in, which was GREATLY appreciated by me! Rosalee was excited to find a basket of food and promptly sat down to eat it. She got some new toys as well and I couldn't get a picture of the third toy because she wouldn't stay still long enough. (So look for that to come later.) Jesse got some candy and I got a quilting frame. The frames at the store cost over $100 and Jesse built me an exact replica for $25!!! So if any of you are serious hand quilters let me know and I'll give you the information on how to build your own frame. Jesse wasn't able to finish the clamps in time so my frame isn't ready to use quite yet. He said he'll get them done either today or tomorrow so by Wednesday I should be ready to go! I had a great Easter dinner planned but by the time it came to start cooking all I wanted to do was sleep (because of a terrible headache) so we've decided to postpone it for a day or two.
Rosalee with her Easter basket on Sunday morning. It was filled with boiled eggs, a banana, and an orange. Yes, we're mean parents and don't give our child candy. Rosalee did get a Sesame Street cash register that she LOVES! She doesn't understand how to use the cash register exactly but that doesn't stop her from pushing all the buttons.

Jesse with his Easter candy

Rosalee with her new farm floor puzzle we got her for Easter. She kept taking the animal pieces out and making the noises and then laughing.

A rare photo of Marie (yes I do still exist!!) with Rosalee. We were all dressed up and ready to go to church.

These are the best shots we could get of Rosalee in her pretty Easter dress. Both of these were taken while catching Rosalee stealing snacks off the shelf. Jesse and I bought her the dress last year when the Easter dresses went on sale so it's nice to FINALLY see it off the hanger and on the baby! Is it just me or does her dress look like a fairy dress?