Friday, October 28, 2011


Around our home we have been trying to prepare Lauren for the arrival of her baby brother, as much as you can prepare a toddler for a new sibling.  We talk about the baby in Mommy's tummy and we volunteer in the church nursery once a month to get Lauren used to the idea of mommy holding a baby other than her.  She LOVES babies!  When the babies are sitting in their car seats or bouncy seat and start to get fussy she is always quick to run over and help.  "Mommy, I rock" she says..which means she wants to help "rock" them to calm down.  So, as gently as a two year old can, tips the car seat or bouncy seat back and forth to rock it. She loves to hug and kiss them...and even held her cousin Xenia when she was only a few weeks old.  Thankfully when she sees me holding a baby it doesn't really bother her anymore.

Because of her love for babies we have been playing with baby dolls A LOT.  Daddy is the professional baby wrapper as we like to call it.  He can swaddle those baby dolls so tight that Lauren can't get the blankets off.  Ha!  I don't even come close to his professional wrapping services.  My blankets always fall off....gotta keep that guy around!  He's a good daddy!
She likes to give her babies pacifiers, change their diapers, and say, "shhh, shh, shhh" when one of them is crying.  Also, as you'll see in the pictures below...the shopping cart has become the stroller.  It can hold five swaddled babies and sometimes six.  We joke around that she had sextuplets overnight.  haha!  She will make a great little mommy big sister.  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Pinterest Fail

A couple weeks ago I decided to figure out what the hype was all about and joined the wonderful world of Pinterest.  I can't really explain it to you....but people post their favorite things like recipes, photos, crafts, DIY projects, etc.  Many of my friends find it addicting...I wouldn't say I have the hang of it enough to become an addict but I do find it rather enjoyable.  If you haven't jumped on the Pinterest bandwagon, do it!  It has been very helpful for my non-creative, non-imaginative mind especially when it comes to decorating our home and finding crafts to do with Lauren.  We have lived in our house three years and don't have much decor on the walls.  Mainly because I have no idea where to put things and we have a small house (which I am very thankful for) but no storage space...and I have a phobia problem with clutter. and if something I may decorate with might clutter our house I just don't do it.  I probably throw away and give away things I shouldn't just so I don't have to deal with the mess.  Yes, my name is Crystal, I'm a minimalist and I have a problem.  :)

Also, these days Lauren is becoming more and more interested in coloring and playing with play doh.  One of the recipes I found was how-to make play doh from scratch.  I remember my mom making play doh when I was a child but never had a recipe to do it myself.  Now I do!  I'm super excited to make it and play with Lauren and see if she eats it as much as I did.  Ha!  We haven't made any crafts we found on Pinterest yet but with the arctic winter fast approaching we should have plenty to do once the snow falls.

One of the projects I found was a tutorial on how to make a scarf out of an old t-shirt.  I am definitely not crafty.  It is in my genes, my aunt owns her own quilting business and I have a cousin who can make shoes out of a plastic bag (serious!) but the "crafty" gene did not get passed down to me.  I am kind of bitter about it but when I saw this project I knew it was something I could do.  I thought.  Well, anyway, this is what it was supposed to look like.  

Pinned Image

....and this is what mine looked like (at least the model is cute)

Turns out, you need to use a t-shirt that's not 100% cotton. section.
Ah well, I ended up throwing everything away...I'll try again when I find a tshirt (that's not 100% cotton).  At least I didn't waste any money.  So if any of you have an old tshirt (size large, not 100% cotton) you want to donate to the cause I'd much appreciate it (we obviously don't have any).  
Don't you think this crazy little nugget would look so cute in a DIY fashion scarf?  I do!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Pumpkin Patch

 Yesterday we did one of our favorite fall family festivities... Say that 3 times fast!  We met up with my husband's family at Howell's Pumpkin Patch and Lauren enjoyed spending time with her Papa, Grandma, Aunt, Uncle, and Cousins.  I'll let the pictures do the talking... (beware for picture overload).

Lauren road horse statues 

..and horse tire swings

...and real big horses ponies.

Lauren and Sugar, her pony. 

 Rubber Duck Races

Playing in the corn pool

Lauren and her cousin Miller feeding goats

We tried to get a picture of the four cousins but trying to photograph four kids is not so easy.  You would have three of them looking and one of them turned around playing with the hay.
We basically just said, "Ok, just stand here for two seconds and look this way." ha!  This is the best picture I got.  
Miller, Maleah, Lauren, and Keegan

Riding a hay rack ride to go pick out our pumpkins.  
We weren't even moving yet and Lauren was fa-reaked out!  
She cried and clung to Nick the entire way, until she saw some cows.  Then everything was a o.k. 
Man that girl has a love for cows!

...on a mission to go find us some pumpkins!

All done picking out pumpkins and getting ready to take the hay rack ride back.
"Mommy, some things at this pumpkin patch are scary."

Lauren and the pumpkin she picked

Sweet cousins, Maleah and Lauren

We had a great time at the pumpkin patch.  Thanks for inviting us to go along with you Papa and Grandma.  I will leave you with this funny picture and story..

This is Keegan (he's 4) and his pony Ginger.  
The man in the overalls was operating the pony rides and walked along side Keegan's pony.  While they were walking around the circle the man in the overalls says to Keegan, "What's your name?" 
"My name is Keegan, what's your name?" 
The man says, "They call me Grandpa Jim."
...and Keegan replies, "My Mommy goes to the gym."
Bahahahaha!  Kids say the darndest things, don't they? 

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Apple Orchard

 So did you know I love fall?  Well, I do.  I really really do!  One of the things we enjoy doing as a family is visiting the Apple Orchard.  It's about a 45 minute drive from where we live but it's totally worth it.  There is so much for little kids to do there.  By far the thing Lauren enjoyed the most was petting the animals.  There was horses, goats, turkeys, chickens, and pigs but mainly she liked the goats.  Actually, she looovved them!  I'm pretty sure she would have brought one home if we let her.

She carefully fed one tiny piece of corn to each of them

...and sometimes her fingers.  

Daddy trying to teach her to open up her hand so they can eat more than one piece of corn.

There was also lots of places like this to take your picture...and this was the only one we could get her to cooperate in.  Ha!

Bull Riding 

Playing in the corn pool

And the best picture award of the day goes too.....

The giant slide was definitely STEEP.  Mommy freaking out steep!  Nick kept telling me, "Crystal, it's not that high once you get up there."  Yah right!!  And Lauren did end up loving it.  Well, the first time when she didn't know what was coming.  The second time around she started bawling before Nick made it all the way up this hill.  ha!  

The last thing we did was jump on this ginormous trampoline.  Lauren was really unsure about the whole thing.  Probably a combination of the scary slide + it being lunch time + really close to nap time.  

...and the reason I enjoy the Apple Orchard...freshly picked Iowa apples.  Now, off to make apple crisp...

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Goodbye Mullet

Today Lauren got her first official haircut. Well, I suppose you could call it a haircut but really she just got a trim. Her hair is curly in the back but straight on top and just an all around mess. So we had it evened out and hopefully it will lay a little better. My sister Angela works for Bella Salon in Johnston (call her up if you need a cosmetology service she's ah-mazing) and Nick goes every 3 weeks to get a haircut (ya he's kind of obsessive about his hair...can't be too long you know). Most of the time Lauren and I just stay home but it's been awhile since I've had a haircut so we made it a family affair. Nick and I had appointments but we didn't have one for Lauren and were not planning on this being her first haircut but that's the advantage of having a sister in the cosmetology business. So I'm sorry these pictures are not the best quality...I wasn't prepared so these were taken with my phone (and of course I don't have a before shot).

Trying to instruct Lauren to look down

Listens pretty well

...but she'll do anything for fruit snacks

All done

Thanks Auntie Ang for the great haircut!