Monday, March 28, 2011

Proud mama/stepmama

Some cool things going on with Zane and Raegan right now:

Zane's on the honor roll. Have I mentioned that on here already? We have a nice kelly green honor student bumper sticker on the Mountaineer to prove it. He's also in the midst of making an air cannon with a friend of his for their science fair coming up next month. Zane's school in Manhattan had a science fair every year, but his elementary school here did not. I'm excited to go to another science fair again.

He's also going to be getting an award for the exemplary grades that he got on his state assessments. How cool is that?!?! Not only is Zane smart, he can handle test taking pressure also. :)

Raegan says "mine" and "my" all the time now! She also scolds Daisy or Radar if they get to close to something she's playing with. She shakes her finger and them and says "NO NO Daisy" or "NO NO kitty". It's really quite cute. She's definitely in the egocentric, world-revolves-around-me stage. :)

Raegan can also put on her jacket/coat all by herself. We put it on the floor upside down and she puts her arms in and flips it up over her head. I would say she's able to get her arms through succesfully on the flip about every other time. Pretty dang good for 19 months old. You should have seen her face the first time she did it last weekend. She was so proud of herself!

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Stop judging already!

Why do so many people feel the need to comment on a baby's size or weight? Most people don't do that once your child gets older. I've never gotten a comment from a stranger at the mall about how skinny Zane is. :) But I got plenty of comments from total strangers when Raegan was a baby about how little she was, how tiny she was, how she didn't look like she was as old as I said she was. Drove. Me. Crazy.

In our society, it seems to be considered "better" or "healthier" by most people* to have a baby that is chubby. People comment positively on chubby babies or babies that eat a lot. Babies that are petite don't get those same positive comments. Raegan has always been tall and slender. While we tried to get her acid reflux managed when she was a newborn, she became more slender, but she never dipped down to an alarming percentage. Our pediatrician assured us that as long as she continued to measure in at about the same percentile range at every well check, then she was fine. And she consistently stayed in the 30-40% range until she was about a year old. I knew she was fine. I knew that she was nursing well and that she was meeting all of the cognitive and language milestones on time if not early. But I wanted to make her a onesie or a sign or something that said, "I'm a skinny baby and it's OKAY. Not everyone has to be chubby."

*I say most people, but it does seem to go the other way. I have a friend who is currently getting some negative comments about her baby being "too" chubby. The beauty of babies is that they know how to regulate their own eating, which makes them so much smarter than the majority of us adults. Babies know when they are hungry, and they know when they are full, which is why it's just ignorant to put any young infant on a 4 hour (or whatever hour) feeding schedule. So if a baby is slender or chubby, it's probably just genes coming into play. I'm a big fan of not forcing Raegan to clean her plate. I want her to continue to keep those signals of knowing when she is hungry and when she is full. I hope to avoid food or weight issues when she is older by not making meals a battle now.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Another zoo trip!

Yesterday, Raegan, Zane and I met up with Raegan's daycare at Rolling Hills. I was excited for my first field trip with Raegan's daycare, and it turned out to be a lot of fun! I had never been to the museum there before - it's very nice. They've changed things so that the admission price covers the museum and the zoo, so we were able to do both. Zane did an awesome job of helping with the little kids and he made himself some new admirers. ;)

Raegan with all of her daycare buddies. (You can click on it to see it larger!) It warmed my heart how happy they all were to see her when we walked up!

 Raegan loved the little counting bears in the play area. One of her new things is to count, but she always counts, "two, two, two" as she points to objects. :)

Zane enjoyed the computer game where you could put different animal parts together to make a new animal. He entertained a couple of the older girls with that.

Raegan did the nervous lip biting thing during most of the museum. She's always kind of shy at first whenever we go to a new place.

Okay, that's the extent of the pictures I'm going to share, because every time I try to upload another one, it says that there is a server error. Oh well. I think you get the jist of the good time we had!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Tanganyika Wildlife

I took the kids on our annual Spring Break Trip today. We did end up going to Tanganyika Wildlife, and we really liked it. It's much smaller than a zoo (I think there was maybe 30 exhibits) but a lot of it is interactive, so you are right there with the animals. There were many animals that you could feed, but at $1-$2 a feeding, we skipped all of them except for the lemurs. If you had several children and wanted to give them every opportunity, you could end up spending a good chunk of change there. We spent $19 on our admission (we rounded up to an even $19 to donate some change to the cheetah exhibit they are building) and $2 for Zane to feed the lemurs (one freakin' berry, btw - they have quite the racket going there for sure!) It was a little windy, but warm and a very nice day for a trip to the zoo. Afterwards we had lunch at Spangles and saw the owner/manager/whatever she is from the commercials. True fact. We also went to Toys 'R Us so that Zane could drool over toys he didn't *quite* have enough money saved up for, and got ice cream at Cold Stone Creamery before we came home. It was a great day!

My camera is barely zoomed here. The giraffes were seriously that close.

You can't see very well, but these are baby lemurs in the nursery. We also saw a rabbit that was almost as big as our beagle. I'm not lying - ask Zane! :)

I was really surprised that this lorikeet landed on my shoulder since we didn't have anything to feed them.

Zane took this picture 2 seconds before a second bird landed on me. Raegan thought it was pretty funny!

I think she looks like her Daddy in this picture with that look on her face. I get that look from him sometimes. :)

Look Mama!

Zane and I both decided that we want a red panda.

We were told that we could pet the kangaroos if they came up to us, but we had to stay on the sidewalk. They were all lazing about, so we didn't get to pet any, but it was really cool to see them all so up close. Raegan waved and told most of them "hi!" as we walked through the exhibit.

You had to feed the tortoises lettuce attached to a clothespin so they didn't bite your hand. I thought that was funny.

The penguins were super friendly with their keeper. The females kept snuggling up to her and trying to get in her lap.

Doesn't that lemur look psycho?!

Some people got the lemurs to sit on them, but we only had one berry, so Zane had no such luck. He did get pretty close to it though.

We were worried Raegan was going to try to pet it/smack it like she does Daisy (and we were told not to pet the lemurs) but she did really good.

She was super excited to be so close to so many animals!

Zane even napped on the way home....

And of course Raegan did too!

Sunday, March 20, 2011


Today was gorgeous! I'm glad that we had beautiful weather for the first day of spring. At 80 degrees, it was really almost summer-like, but I'll take that after The Century-Long Winter. We all spent a good portion of the day outside, even Zane. His cousin Keenan came over for awhile, and they went to our nearby park to play, and even stayed outside for awhile after they came back. Raegan, of course, did NOT want to come inside for any reason, and threw a whopper of a fit when she had to come in for nap. I'm really hoping that she is getting the Terrible Twos out of her system now, and we can breeze through childhood after this. Ha! I'm funny, aren't I? (I promise you I am not that naive about children!)

Before Keenan came over, Raegan and Zane played together outside for awhile. Here are some pictures that I took:

Luke made a gate for the back garage door so that he could have the door open but Raegan couldn't escape. :)

Zane trying to bust out of jail

I love the super thoughtful look on her face in this picture!

Get off that water table Zane!!! lol

Raegan doesn't want to stay on the trampoline nearly as long anymore, but she agreed to a few minutes on there with Zane.

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Spring has sprung!

spring 6

Tomorrow marks the first official day of Spring. Finally! For whatever reason, this winter seems to have been especially long this year. Maybe it was the SNOW we had in MARCH this year?

Next week is also our Spring Break. Zane and I have always taken a little trip over the break every year, usually to a zoo. Last year I took the kids to Rolling Hills here in town, because with Raegan being so young I wasn't sure how well she would tolerate a longer car ride. I haven't really decided what we're going to do this year yet. Zane and I talked about maybe going to Tanganyika Wildlife in Goddard this year, or maybe the Topeka zoo since we haven't been there yet. We're forecasted for a lot of rain today and tomorrow, but I'm hoping that the weather will cooperate with us and we can go either Monday or Tuesday next week.

I'm just glad for the break to refresh and recharge for the last couple months of school. I've had some very challenging behavior problems in my classroom this year, and it's kind of been a draining year. It had been a blessing that the year feels like it has gone by quickly though! I can't believe that we're already halfway through March, because I'm pretty sure that Luke and I took our trip to Kansas City just last weekend! :) I really need to start planning our summer vacation, because I think that's going to be upon us before we know it. I've been diligently saving money every month since November, so I think we'll be able to do something pretty nice this year.

This post has kind of turned into a ramble, so I think I'm going to stop here. Hopefully I'll have some time to take pictures of the kids the week and get them up here, because I haven't been doing a very good job of that lately.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Goodbye and good riddance!

What a week. I am glad to say goodbye to last week, and even more glad that I'll never see it again. :) Reed's funeral was Monday, and that was pretty draining. Then Thursday we had to drive to Sabetha for Luke's grandpa's funeral. I had only met Luke's grandpa a handful of times, so obviously that funeral wasn't as emotional for me, but it was still a funeral and I still needed to be there for emotional support for Luke and his family. My grandpa has been put back in the hospital because he was super dehydrated from a couple infections that he is (so please keep him in your prayers in the coming days). Then Saturday, Raegan woke up and was super fussy all morning. She hardly ate any lunch and was in her super!clingy! mode. We decided to go to Orchelin's to check out their baby chicks, and right after we got there, she projectile vomited all over Luke and herself. So we spent last night and the majority of today snuggled up on the couch. I hate it when my baby is sick, but I do have to say that I love how she just wants to sit next to me on the couch and play with her toys snuggled up against me.

So all in all, not one of my favorite weeks, that's for sure. So that this doesn't turn into a super depressing post, I'm going to change gears and tell you about the wonderful new things Raegan has been doing lately.

Some of her newest words include book (she says it like "boop"), rock (for rocking before bed), blankie (but it comes out sounding just like "baby") and water (wa-wa). Raegan is starting to put two words together a LOT now. Some examples are "bye bubba" or "bye Zane" in the morning when we drop him off for school, "Daisy wa-wa" when she hands me Daisy's water and food bowl, and "Wu dat" (what's that?). She points to many body parts (eyes, ears, nose, mouth, tongue, hair, legs, feet, hands, belly) and makes the correct noise for lion, chicks/bird, dog, cat, and bear. Her favorite song is "Twinkle twinkle" and she asks for it every night before bed. She opens and closes her hand in the twinkle twinkle position and says "Up above" like she's singing that part of the song. The absolute cuteness of it slays me every time! Also, the other day she pulled this snail toy that sings the ABC song off her shelf and sang "A Dee Dee Dee" with the same tune as ABCs right before she pushed the button. I always say, "Could she be any cuter?! :)

Raegan's also starting to let us know sometimes when she is wet, and she's almost able to pull down her pants all by herself. At her 18 month well check a couple weeks back, her pediatrician said that since "she is obviously advanced" (actual quote from the ped, btw!!), we can start introducing potty training anytime, but Luke and I both feel like she's a little young still. And really, she needs to be able to pull her pants up and down before it's really even a doable feat, so for now we're just encouraging her to let us know when she's wet and working on her self-help skills. Really, when parents potty train so young it's more about the parents being potty trained than the kid because they are the ones having to run the child to the bathroom every 20 minutes. No thanks.

And last but not least, a little video of Raegan rocking in this old carseat that we have upstairs while we figure out what to do with it.

Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Super deals!

I went to Dillon's tonight with the sole intent of snagging a good deal on toilet paper and paper towels. I was a good thrifty shopper and came out with only what I went in for. :) And I must say, I got myself some pretty good deals!

My first steal is this Bounty 8 pack of paper towels. If I were going to buy them at Walmart (where I usually shop) I would spend a good $8 on this. The sale price on these were $5.99. I had a digital coupon for $2 off, making my total $3.99. That's a little over half off what I would normally pay. I was bummed when I got home and realized that I had a $1 coupon for Bounty in my coupon booklet from P&G, but I think I'll live. We have an abundance of paper towels now (we still have 4 rolls left from the last good sale I hit) so I'll just hold onto that coupon until I see another good deal. 

Second steal was a 12 pack of Charmin toilet paper. Now, I'm not stuck on any one brand of toilet paper. I will buy any toilet paper that's reasonably priced, as long as it's not the texture of sandpaper (yowza!). This would run me I think around $8 at Walmart. The sale price at Dillon's was $5.99. I had a digital coupon for $3 off, plus a paper coupon for $1 off. So yes, I got a 12 pack of toilet paper for $1.99. And that is how I roll my friends (pun intended - ha!)

Monday, March 7, 2011

Cute pictures plus a super cute video!

A few more pictures of our fun today:

And a video from a couple weeks ago. Raegan LOVES dancing!

What a good little Mama

Today's was Reed's funeral. Since Luke and Zane were gone last week for their ski trip, neither one could really get off of work or school, so I was the only one who went. Raegan stayed with my mother-in-law for the time I was gone, then I took the rest of the day off work and we stayed home together. I debated going to work after, but I'm glad now that I didn't. It was the most draining thing I've been through in awhile, and I'm glad that I went home and made some memories with my baby. Please continue to lift the Krones up in your prayers right now. The have a strong faith in God, but they still need prayers for strength and peace in the days to come.

Raegan is definitely getting a little more girly. She still loves chasing games with Zane and making growly monsters puppets out of her socks and shoes, but she also is starting to LOVE her baby dolls. She's started asking for her baby at nap if it's not in her crib, and she was saying "my baby" as she played with her babies this afternoon. Raegan's able to give actual smacking kisses now (instead of the open mouthed slobbers she gave before) and she might tell us no when we ask for a kiss, but she is always willing to give one to her babies. :) I have always been so thankful for everything that God has blessed me with, but never moreso than today.
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Saturday, March 5, 2011

Zane's band concert

So, two weeks later, I am finally getting around to posting pictures and video from Zane's band concert. I blame it on the Kindle Luke got me for my birthday. I am so in love with that thing. Books that are out of copyright are free, so I can read tons of old classics. I read Little Women earlier this week, and I have Pride and Prejudice already downloaded and waiting. I'm in the middle of a book called After the Leaves Fall, which is fairly decent. Some of the more current free books are decent, and some are definitely NOT, but there's something to be said about having it all at your fingertips and not having to drive across town to the library. Especially now that gas is up to $3.39!!!! I keep hearing that it's going to get around $4 before the end of the year, but I really hope that's not true. I guess we'll be putting the money we save on groceries and heating towards gas. Yuck.

Anyways, Zane's band concert was February 21. It's amazing what a difference a year makes, because his concert sounded so GOOD this year. Not that it didn't sound good last year, but they are all a lot smoother and are playing much more complicated songs. I really do hope that this is something Zane sticks with, because he has a talent for it and if he continues to play well he could snag some good scholarships for college (and get to go to a bunch of football games for free!)

Tough guy :)

It seems like these days Zane cannot take a picture without making some kind of face. Even when he's trying to take a good picture. Ha. He still looks pretty handsome though.

Actually got a picture of him during the concert!


Saving money + a few pictures

I mentioned a while back that one of the ways we are saving money is by keeping our thermostat pretty low this winter. I've noticed that we've had a little more wiggle room in our budget in the last couple months, and I would guess that the money we're saving on heating is helping. To prove my point, I give you this picture:

That's our bill for the month of February. February was FULL of below freezing days, and there were several days that didn't even make it above 20 degrees. This is the lowest bill we've ever gotten in the winter, and seeing that has convinced me that we can all pull on a sweatshirt and grab a blanket if we get cold next winter also. :)

I've also discovered that couponing really does work. Our grocery/household supplies bill hasn't gone above $90 a week since I started, and last week I even made it under $75! I guess I should say that it's really been a combination of couponing and planning our menu around the sales for the week, but still.

Okay, enough blathering about saving money. I'll leave you with a few pictures from the last couple weeks.

Kitty love

Raegan loves brushing her teeth. She doesn't love waiting for us to brush her teeth first, however. :)

A rare moment of being still

Thursday, March 3, 2011

All Better

Reed is now in the arms of Jesus. I told Raegan that we don't have to pray for Reed to be all better anymore, because now he is, but we need to pray for his mommy and daddy and brother. Please keep this family in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Writer's Workshop - March 2

Sometime this week I plan on looking over my goals for February and letting you all know how I fared. I can tell you now that I didn't hit the 100% mark that I did with my goals for January, but oh well. Still better than breaking my New Years weight loss resolution by January 2nd. :) In the meantime, I'm finally getting back around to participating in the Writer's Workshop for this week. I've realy been neglecting my poor little blog lately.

4.) What inspired you this week?
Without a doubt, the 5K run/2 mile walk that was put on for Reed Krone last Saturday. I mentioned it in my last post, but I'm writing about it again because it was inspiring. And heartbreaking all at the same time.

Reed's family was told a couple weeks back that he couldn't go to St. Jude's because he is too weak. He's starting to have a harder time breathing because the tumor on his liver is expanding so much in his stomach. The tumor on his lungs in growing, and there is a new spot on his other lung as well. At this point, there is nothing left to be done but chemo at home in the hopes that it can shrink these tumors enough to open up other options. I shouldn't really say "nothing else to be done" because there is one other thing. Prayer. It was amazing to see all of the people who are praying unceasingly for Reed and his family. Reading all of the signs along the 5K route where people wrote out their prayers for Reed. It was so inspiring to know that God is finding a way to work in all of this. We may not see His hand in all of this right now, but I believe He always has a purpose.

Raegan and I still continue to pray for Reed every night when we say her prayers, but we've also added a prayer for Reed's parents too. I can't even fathom how they are feeling right now. Angie said that they have started sending Reed's 3 year old brother back to child care this week so that they can express their emotions and grieve and not scare Reese. My heart aches for them daily. Please include this family in your prayers in the days to come.