Friday, December 19, 2008

Blue buddy has died(?)

Adam has a very vivid imagination. Along with it comes a lot of imaginary friends. They are mostly named for colors, such as blue buddy, red buddy, but he also has a few others like flame buddy. His buddies usually fight the bad guys with him and generally keep him company. They have personalities, birthdays, likes, dislikes, everything a person would have. They have come and gone over the last couple of years, I think they first appeared 2 Decembers ago when I stopped working before Noelle was born and he no longer had a friend to play with on a daily basis. So anyway, we are leaving this morning to go to the store and Adam is suddenly hysterical and in tears crying saying Blue Buddy (his original and favorite one) has died and how sad he is and how much he loves him. He was being very dramatic and I have to admit I was having a hard time controlling my laughter so Adam would not be offended (he is very sensitive lately, we can't even tease him without causing tears). I was waiting to see if he was just pretending or what, he does that sometimes and after a minute or two is done. He was serious this morning, he actually had tears running down his face. Of course I explained to him that since Blue Buddy is pretend he can only die if he wants him to but he was sad for a while afterwards. I LOVE Adam's imagination but this was a bit much. I am fine with the buddies going away because he doesn't need them anymore, but dying? He seems to have forgotten about it for now fortunately.

Friday, December 12, 2008

Decorations and a new look

Justin and the kids finally finished making snowflakes and hanging them up. I think they made about 30 total! It does look neat though. Adam seems to have a knack for cutting them. I think being a kid he just cuts instead of thinking about how it is going to look if he cuts here versus there. Also he just folds them however instead of being exact about it like adults tend to be. I made a few, but Adam's were by far the best ones!!

Clearly I have changed the look of the blog. The pink was really bugging me and I couldn't figure out how to change the colors so I just did a whole new template. I really like this simple one. Also I am hoping to get my new scrapbook pages up today! So don't forget to look for them at the bottom!!

Thursday, December 11, 2008

The next installment of The Noelle Bedtime Chronicles

After the crayon incident at work last Tuesday I decided it was time to get tough about nap/bedtime. (Side Note: We have actually been trying to get Noelle to stay in bed at night since about February or March when she originally went to a toddler bed. We have yet to succeed with it for more than a 2 week period. For instance when I put her in the bottom bed of the bunk bed a little while back she did fabulous, for 2 weeks. Right after I blogged about it she quit staying in bed and behaving at sleeping time. I don't know what it is about the 2 week time span, but that's always what she gives us.) So last Tuesday, the 3rd, we starting putting her back in bed every time she gets out and turning her body if she kicks the wall. It has taken 35 to 90 mins every night since for her to fall asleep. And I say fall asleep because as long as her eyes are open she is defying us in some way, whether getting out of bed to spin in circles (seems to be her favorite one), kicking the wall, or trying to open or close the door (that we are most likely standing right by). When she finally gives in she is asleep instantly. We are leaving the kids with their Uncle Derrick next Monday night and I am so afraid that she won't go to bed for him. I do know that we can not afford to break the routine of putting her right back in bed every time she gets out. I am really hopeful that she gets better before then. Normally I would just not go out in the evening until she was staying in bed, but this is Justin's company Christmas party that I have been looking forward to for months and there is no way we are missing it. I have to say that I am So So Thankful that I have a husband to share this bedtime battle with. We take turns putting the kids to bed so whoever does her bed routine is who deals with her till she falls asleep (including if she wakes during the night and when she gets up in the morning if it is a weekend). I really don't think I could handle this if I had to do it alone every night or if Justin were not supportive. But it is still so frustrating!! I swear the kid lays there thinking of new ways to irritate me. I wrote a while back that she has to wear onsies to bed, well now she has to wear them backwards so the snaps are out of her reach. Anyone want to take bets on how long it takes her to figure out how to unsnap them?

And then there is Adam. He tells me today that he wants to go spend 2 or 3 days at Grandma and Grandpa's house. Sounded like a good idea to me, when can I drop him off!! Then he offers up that he wants to do it so he doesn't have to listen to mommy and daddy AND so he doesn't have to eat his fruits and veggies first!! I was seriously dumbstruck. I think I actually needed to push my jaw back up. Is this how he really feels about us? I take this to mean he thinks we either talk to much or he just doesn't like what we say and we torture him with fruits and veggies. We did of course shattered his hopes by telling him that his rules are the same no matter where he is. I think this one will keep me laughing for a while. I remember him telling me another really funny sentence right before his 3rd birthday. His words were, "I finished my oatmeal before you beat me." I promise we do NOT beat the kid when he doesn't eat, contrary to what he wants you to believe.

I am hoping to post a few more decoration pics soon, so don't forget to check back!

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Homemade Christmas

When we moved into the apartment last May we packed a 5x7 storage pod completely full, including every Christmas decoration we own. The pod is right down the street from us, BUT the Christmas stuff is on the bottom in the back, and it was one of those 'hold the last thing in and close the door real quick' deals. In hindsight I realize I should have at least kept out our stockings, which are very special to us. Every year we each add a charm to our stocking to commemorate the year. We always make a special trip to the store just for the charms. I'm sure we will still pick them out this year, just won't be able to add them till next year.

The whole point of this is that we have NO Christmas items. I did go ahead and buy a 32" fiber optic tree that changes colors constantly. A little cheesy, but hey at least it is a tree. We joked for a couple weeks that we would cut out a tree from green paper and tape it to the wall, then we could just pile the presents by the below it against the wall. We had a pack of small ornaments that were given to us recently that were just the right size for the tree and we have each made an ornament out of craft foam as well. Justin and the kids have made a very long paper chain that goes all the way around our living and dining room space. It's a start anyway. I do hope to find a few inexpensive decorations. Oh, I almost forgot about the angel. We all made an angel for the top of the tree out of craft foam. She has a glittery halo and very glittery wings!

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

A busy few days...

We had a wonderful Thanksgiving! All the food turned out great and we had a fun relaxing day at home and visiting with Justin's brother and sister, who joined us for dinner.

I got to go Scrapbooking with a couple friends on Friday night and had a great time. I have printed all my pictures up till last week and can't wait to get it all scrapbooked. I have been trying to do a couple pages every few nights so that I can have Noelle's album caught up by her birthday in January. Should be pretty easy to do since I am already to August of this year.

We all went out Saturday morning to play in all the snow we got overnight. We probably had about 2 inches here at the apartment, even though other areas barely had any. We had a great time having a snowball fight! Its been a long time since I took part in one of those. Justin and I couldn't figure out why we were both so sore the next day, it actually took as a while to realize it was from the snowball fight. I guess we need to get out more! LOL Justin and the kids made snow angels and then we went inside to warm up with warm spiced cider. Adam loves the snow, always has. Noelle is still a little wary, I don't blame her though, I'm not much a fan myself.

Saturday night we went up to my sister and brother-in-law's house for dinner and to just visit. They made a very yummy kid friendly dinner of fried chicken tenders, mac and cheese and homemade biscuits! My whole family loves the mac and cheese which is a homemade recipe with lots of Velveeta. The kids helped Stef decorate her tree while we were there and Adam found a PlayStation game that he fell in love with and brought home to practice so he can beat Uncle Steve at it next time they play.

So far this week has been a doozy and I am really looking forward to the end of it. Yesterday Noelle found some crayons in the closet at work while she was supposed to be sleeping and proceeded to eat them, draw on the wall and carpet, and generally make a mess. Neither my boss nor I had any clue they were in the room or we would have taken them out. It was my very first experience with this in all my years as a nanny and mom, I am very careful about keeping art supplies out of reach when not in use. Monday night I got the news that Adam's daycare would not be re-opening under the current owners and would be sold and hopefully opened up in January some time through a new company. I decided it was time to pull him out and asked my boss if it would be okay to bring him with me. They very generously said that would be fine and I am SOOO thankful for it. It really takes a load off my shoulders, as well as saves me $120 a week. That day, Tuesday, was his last day at daycare and he will be with me from now on. I plan on looking into the center when they re-open but am sure they will be even more expensive than the old one. I am also hoping the change will improve some of the awful behavior we are seeing from him recently.

Thursday we are heading up to Westminster for the Tree Lighting at the fire station by my parents house. I am looking forward to it as it will be my first year, even though Adam has gone for several years. Then Friday night is my MOPS Christmas party and Saturday I will be going to a paint your own pottery studio with MOPS and then to lunch afterwards.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


I will be cooking my first Thanksgiving dinner ever today. Wish me luck with the turkey! It seems very foolproof and simple, it has a pop up button and cooks in a bag. I do plan on using the thermometer just in case though.

Friday, November 21, 2008


I took Noelle and A (the little girl I nanny for) to the Denver Zoo on Tuesday. I couldn't pass up the great weather! A has only been walking for a few weeks so we haven't done outings yet except walking to the park. Now that she is walking we can do all kinds of things easily. I had no expectations for the zoo except to have fun and enjoy the warmth. (I am not of the attitude that we have to see certain things or get all the way around the circle.) As I expected the girls really just wanted to walk around, not look at the animals so much. They both did enjoy the duck pond by Tropical Discovery though. We probably spent close to a 1/2 hour there. One thing we did get to see was the big daddy lion. He had his nose right up to the glass and was just staring at us and licking his lips (I think he had just finished getting all the meat off a bone). Noelle was amazed by his huge tongue!! We also saw the giraffes and zebras, both of which Noelle requested. I am so glad we took advantage of the 78 degree day, since it was in the 30's 2 days later!

(A is so sweet and adorable, but I have decided not to list her name or put any pics up of her since I have not asked her mommy or daddy if I can.)

She is signing "duck".
She found these sticks and carried them around for a while as her treasure.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

The Many EYES Of Noelle

Our little way of making patching fun. (Justin can be credited with the drawings, when I do it it just looks silly.)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

we HAD snow....

for a few hours anyway. We woke up Friday morning to snow on the ground and more coming down. Adam was SOOO excited!! The weatherman said we were going to get snow a couple other times and it never happened, much to Adam's disappointment. Justin nor I had any clue we were going to get snow this time so it was a complete surprise to all of us in the morning. I took the kids out at about 10am to play before we had to go to an appointment. I'm glad I didn't put it off because when we came home about 11:30am the only snow left was a very small mound where someone had piled it up before we made it outside. Adam had a blast throwing snowballs at Noelle and I. Noelle took at least 10 minutes to be okay with the snow and cold, and even after that she was only tolerating it.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Dentist Visit

The kids went to the dentist Saturday morning for cleanings and exams. Adam has been to the dentist several times since he turned 1 and has always enjoyed it and done a great job. This was Noelle's first visit so we had very low expectations. We had Adam go first so she could watch him and hopefully like it because Adam does (usually that's all it takes for her to like something). She really surprised us by being very excited for her turn. We all had to leave the exam area when Adam had his x-rays and she was telling us "clean my teeth" the whole time. She let them do a cleaning and exam!! We were very proud of her!

Saturday, November 8, 2008

One Bed!!

Okay, I guess really it is 2, but they go together. Noelle has been sleeping in the bottom bed for a week and a half now!! We are so proud of her and excited to no longer have the playpen set up. She gets out of bed to get books but has fallen asleep in bed every time. YAY!!

We actually had to trick Adam into sleeping up top the first night, but then he loved it!!

We have a stool, but Noelle seems to prefer to use the toy box to get into bed.


Noelle's left eye is starting to turn in again. We are trying patching her every day for an hour or so in case it is being lazy, which we hope is the case. If the muscle is getting tight again then the patching will not help. The first day did NOT go well. She was very mad at me for putting it on her, even though she sat very nicely and even closed her eye for me while I actually put it on. As I was trying to get a picture she kept putting her face in the floor and then ran into a corner so I couldn't see her face. She is normally very clumsy (of which I believe is partly due to her eyes), but with the patch on it is way worse. She runs into the corners of things and even ended up with a little gash on her forehead. Poor kid, I'm sure she will get used to it soon enough.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008


We very rarely see these two so sweet together. This was from the photo booth at the Zoo.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008


We had a really fun day on Friday. First Stef, Steve, and I took the kids over to the Children's Museum of Denver for the Trick or Treat Street they had. The kids got to do some trick or treating, craft, and games. They rode on a kid train that drives around on the plaza and then we all took a short ride on the trolley that runs along the South Platt. We had a good time, although I had expected there to be a little bit more to do than there was. Afterwards we all went to dinner at Jay's along with a few more adults and kids. Then it was off to the Cordova house for real Trick or Treating. In past years we have taken Adam to a max of 10 houses, but it was so nice out we stayed out for an hour and a half. There were about 12 of us, but only 5 were kids. We had such a great time getting to visit and walk around. Adam was actually in short sleeves with NO coat.

I don't actually have any pictures from Friday because I forgot my camera, and of course Stef didn't have hers either. I guess it's a good thing we took pics at the zoo! I really hope Adam remembers this Halloween since he will probably never have such a warm one again.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Boo At The Zoo

We went to Boo At The Zoo Saturday morning. This was our 3rd year going. The previous times we froze our toes to the bone and learned that you have to get there at about 8:30am if you want to park in the actual Zoo parking and not walk a mile to get there. We had fun the other years, but nothing like this year. I think the gates open at 9am, but they always open them earlier. By about 9:30 we were able to start taking off coats and by probably about 10 or 10:30 it was beautiful out. It was really nice for the kids not to have to wear warm jammies under their costumes like most years in Colorado. The kids really liked going trick or treating and getting to see the animals. After a few stations Noelle finally figured out how to go up to the employees to say "trick or treat" and put her bag out. We had a picnic lunch and walked just a little more before Adam was done. That is much longer than we lasted previous years. We all had such a great time and can't wait for more Halloween fun this week!!

We also went to Beth's annual Halloween party Friday night. We always have fun and so do the kids. Adam and Noelle got to play with Ethan and Mary while Justin and I pretty much relaxed for a couple hours.

Such a cute little Piglet!

The handsomest Peter Pan ever (although he did get called Robin Hood several times).

Mary, Noelle, Ethan, and Adam

They were sword fighting but stopped for a quick pic.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Such a handsome boy!!

I'm not usually very impressed with pictures taken by a school. But last years turned out so great (we had NOT ordered it, since you have to pay and order beforehand) that we decided to go for it this time. I am sooo glad we did, I LOVE it! (And yes, his hair is spiked with white gel, we have gel in several colors that he uses on special occasions.)

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Mommy's little helpers

The kids love to help us cook, especially baked goods! And I guess you could say I've had the baking bug the last couple of weeks. We made Banana Bread last weekend and Coffee Cake Friday night. Noelle helped me make Oatmeal Raisin Cookies this morning. We cooked 6 to enjoy for snack this afternoon and froze the rest in balls so that we can cook just a few at a time later on. Adam and I made Chocolate Chip Cookies this afternoon. We are freezing all of them in balls for later. I also want to make another Coffee Cake in the next few days, since we ate the first one in less than 24 hours. I'll add that we had help from a friend who was visiting.

Oops, a few oats missed the bowl!!

Adam loves to crack the eggs, and he is really good at it.

We had so much fun together!!

Could have been worse

I got a call from Justin about noon on Saturday while I was at MOPS. When a phone call starts out "Charlotte, this is important!" you know something is seriously wrong. Apparently Noelle decided she needed some vitamins and sat at the table and ate Adam's vitamin, a vitamin c capsule (opened it and spilled most on table), a Claritin, and chewed up and spat out one of my prenatals. Justin, Adam, and I use 7 day pill boxes because otherwise I would never remember when or if we took out vitamins. We (used to) keep them on the dining table in a wooden bowl with the napkins so we remembered to take them every night at dinner. Now, she has sat at the table in my spot daily for months and has never tried to play with the pill boxes, until Saturday. I told Justin he needed to call Poison Control immediately and he did. Thank goodness for that sticker with the number on the phone and a magnet on the fridge. At that point he had no clue how much of what she had managed to ingest. Poison control said she would be fine since she ingested so little, apparently she would have to eat about 10 prenatals and 30 vitamin C before it would hurt her. They told him to give her some milk and crackers to soak up what she ate in her belly. She is fine and we are very thankful it didn't happen on a Sunday night or Monday when there would have been 6-7 days of pills in the boxes. Needless to say we are no longer keeping the pills on the table. I'm sure we will forget more days than before, but Noelle's health and life are too important to have it any other way. We bought a box to put the pills in that is tall enough that she can't see what is in it and are keeping it up on the counter where she can't reach.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Grandpa Ron's Birthday

We went up north to celebrate my dad's birthday Monday night. The kids always love going to grandma and grandpa's house, especially now that we don't get to see them as often. We enjoyed chili and homemade chocolate cake, yum! Ever since Adam was a baby he has gotten gifts at every birthday celebrated at grandma and grandpa's house, regardless of who's birthday it is! So Adam got a guitar and Noelle a monkey with it's own cage, it even talks! They both loved the presents!! Uncle Merle brought a bag full of neat toys to play with too. The kids had a blast chasing a remote controlled helicopter and hovercraft around, as well as a mechanical cockroach that walked around.

Also, their Papa Greg's birthday is today, HAPPY BIRTHDAY PAPA!!

I had to go buy Noelle some onesies today. Now she has figured out how to undo her diaper while dressed! I went to get her out of quiet time in the play pen, time out because she kept yelling at me, and she had her shirt off and her diaper undone. At least her pants were still on. Right before bed she tried taking her diaper off again while in her footie pj's. I decided it would be a good idea to start wearing the onesies tonight.

I forgot to mention how Noelle smushed her finger last Friday. She was in her closet trying to close the door and ended up with her pinkie in the bi-fold door. Of course every time she tried to pull it out it just got squeezed even more. I heard her crying and couldn't figure out why she wouldn't come to me. Well duh, SHE COULDN'T!! Poor kid, her top 1/3 of her pinkie was completely flat. I thought for sure we would be going to the ER or something. Amazingly though it has NO damage. No bruise and no marks on the fingernail, which is fully intact. I now wish I had taken a picture but I was just so worried that it was going to be damaged badly it hadn't occurred to me.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Noelle bares her backside

Noelle just doesn't like bedtime. She usually does great up until we actually tell her to go say goodnight to Adam and whichever of us wasn't reading to her. She usually starts screaming instantly and yelling "NO". It all started when we took her out of her crib and into a toddler bed soon after she turned a year. Since then she has gone back and forth between the toddler bed and a playpen. She is currently in the playpen because mommy decided that spending 30-60 minutes each night getting her to stay in bed, with her screaming or laughing at us the whole time, was just too much of a stress right now. (I really wouldn't care about her staying in the bed except that Adam shares a room with her and she opens the door and comes out.) She has been very mad at us at bedtime this last week. We finally decided to not even go in her room anymore so that she wouldn't be getting that attention from us. Last Tuesday when I went to tuck the kids in before going to sleep myself I had quite the shock. Noelle was asleep on her belly with only her pajama top on, no pants or DIAPER! I honestly couldn't stop laughing and went to grab the camera for a picture before even thinking about how to handle the situation. Once I finally controlled my laughter I had to figure out how to diaper a kid sleeping on her belly. Thank goodness she hadn't peed yet! We keep pull-ups around for when we are out so I decided the best thing to do would be to slip one of those on her. She was even nice enough to lift her pelvis for me. For some reason it never occurred to me that she would do it again. Wednesday night she only took off her pants, but Thursday she went for the diaper again. This time she had peed, in TWO places, before I did my nightly tucking in. Noelle is no longer allowed to wear two piece pj's to bed, only zippered footie ones. The girl sure keeps me on my toes!!

Time to try something new

Life has been so crazy and overwhelming lately that I have decided I need an outlet! I am one of those people who actually has conversations/arguments in my head with people and that's how I "get over" things that are bothering me. So obviously I tend to keep things holed up in me and then they fester and I am in bad shape. (I'm GREAT at the silent treatment!) Also I really want a way to keep our friends and family up to date on what's going on at the Allen house, since we are not real good at calling people. So I am looking at this blog as a kind of therapy to keep me sane and hope our friends and family will enjoy reading it as well. Please leave any suggestions for the blog or comments so I know how I am doing.