I know, I've been neglectful again.  Truth is, outside of birthday planning and party throwing, life has been pretty normal and calm.  We've been battling a cold and apparently a stomach bug as well for the past week or two.  Ben's the only one with the stomach bug though, and Rylie and Shawn are the only two who have managed to avoid the head and chest cold.

I'm typing this from my couch in my pajamas still (at noon) with cup of coffee carefully balanced in my lap and a stack of unused tissues on my knee.  I'm waiting for my cold meds to kick in, so we can get up and do what we need to for the day.

I do have laundry going and I've vacuumed the floor, but purely out of necessity.  The cat must be angry with me, for either the dog taking over her territory and being inside the actual house way more than normal, because I shut her out of the bedroom the past couple of nights, or because she feels neglected by me because of my attention to Scotland.  She showed her anger for me by pooping on the floor in the living room, as well as the living room blanket that goes on my couch, and in front of Scotland's toys.  Yup, that was a definite sign.  It was also a sign that if she doesn't watch herself very carefully she can find herself locked in a kennel every night, and while I'm not home.  I don't want to have to rehome her because the kids really love her, and I love her, when she isn't using my carpet and blankets as a litter box, but if this continues for too long, I may have to.  I can't risk Scottie finding the poop before me.  Everything goes in her mouth, and EWW!

Ben's going to be in his first and only wrestling tournament this year.  We just didn't feel that he was ready since he literally knew nothing a few short months ago.  The season is at an end and he really wanted to participate in a tournament and the one in town is this weekend, so we signed him.  He has his singlet and everything but I still need to go out and get him his headgear.  We're going to run to Dick's this afternoon and pick up some so he'll be all prepared.  I'm excited and nervous, but I'm not telling him I'm anything but excited.  He looks so cute in his singlet, and no matter how well he does, I'm still proud.

I should add, while I'm doing an update, all of our family news, since God only knows when I'll post another real update.  Hopefully it will be sooner rather than later.

The kids will be playing soccer again, starting next month-ish I believe.  We gave them the option and both Ben and Sydney jumped on it.  Also, Rylie is finally old enough to "play" soccer.  I think it's cute that they say at age 3 they play at soccer not play soccer.  Very cute and she's so excited.  It's been torture for her watching Ben and Sydney playing last year and not being allowed to play.  We have to get all the kids new shoes as well as Rylie's ball, bag, shin guards and athletic clothing.  I can't wait either.

Shawn got a new job.  He'll be at home more, and his office will even be here in the house.  He will still have to travel but not across the country very often.  Only Kansas, Nebraska, and Iowa.  I'm so excited!  He's been in Boston all week for training and orientation.  It's been a rough week without him, due to illness going around the house.

This week started Lent.  Once again, I'm trying to give up my potty mouth.  I don't accept it from my children, and to be honest, too much cussing just sounds trashy and classless.  I'm not opposed to some cussing and I'm not one to wince or even judge those that do it, but I just don't want to be the person throwing F bombs all the time.  I can't promise I'll be perfect but I can promise I'll try.  This year for Lent, the kids are also going to do meatless Fridays although I'm not making Ben do it at school.  I'm already going to be eating meatless and I do most of the cooking here so why not. Especially since I've been trying to get the kids to be more adventurous eaters and I also made the resolution this year to be more adventurous as well, including but not limited to, eating more fish! I also just want to step out of my comfort zone a little more, not just with eating and to take care of myself more.  I'm joining a gym this year, even though I can't promise I'll be the best at going or even lose weight.  I just want to take care of myself, and get some me time.

Valentine's Day was last Saturday.  The kids did valentines for their class and our family.  Sydney's class had their party on Thursday.  They exchanged valentines and made pizzas.  Ben's class party was Friday.  For the party I made heart shaped sugar cookies, brought sprinkles, (another mom brought frosting), raspberries with white chocolate chips, and water bottles to drink.

I found these really cute paper straws at the craft store and had to have them for the kids water bottles.  Aren't they cute?  At Ben's class party, they got to play 2 different minute to win it games, and decorate and eat cookies before exchanging valentines and going home.  The games were really cute.  One was to take a stack of solo cups and turn it into a pyramid in one minute.  It was more of a group activity which was a really good idea for team work.  The other game might be my favorite part of the whole party.  They had ping pong balls in a tissue box tied behind their backs around their waists and had to dance and shake all the balls out in one minute.  It was soooo fun and cute to watch.

Shawn surprised me with the biggest bouquet of gorgeous flowers I've ever seen, as well as my favorite chocolates.  Christopher Elbow are so delicious and beautiful.  The best treat.

And, really the last thing I can do for an update, is talk about my sweet Rylie.  She turned 3 last Saturday, on Valentine's Day.  THREE!!! Can you believe it?!?!

Here's the post I made announcing the pregnancy.
Here's the post I made introducing her to the world.
Here's the post I made about her birth.

For her birthday party she wanted Sheriff Callie theme.  In case you aren't familiar, Sheriff Callie is a calico cat who is Sheriff of a town in the Wild West.  She rides a blue horse named Sparky, and her best friends include a red bird named Peck and a cactus named Toby.  We were giving her a big girl party for her first time, at Chuck E Cheese so I didn't have to provide food or many decorations.  The first present she received from us was a pink hat and bandana.  She opened all of her presents from us in the hat and bandana in the morning and then she got to play with all of her new stuff.

When we went to Chuck E Cheese, I set up the table with the centerpieces I had made.
I also made giftbags for each of the kids attending that looked like bandanas.  The gift bags included a bandana, a sheriffs badge with their name on it, a foam picture frame they can put together themselves, party blowers that had bandana paisley on them, a heart bracelet, some heart suckers, and a bag of Sheriff Callie's trail mix that contained popcorn, pretzels, mini marshmallows, and pink and purple sixlets (a chocolate candy that are similar to m&ms).  Each kid also got cowboy/cowgirl hat.

Shawn bought extra tokens for the kids when we got their, and I participated in the ticket blower thing with Rylie.  Rylie also got a cape and a special cup.  I think and hope everyone had a great time. I know we did.

It's always fun to do birthday parties where the adults can be kids too.  The only thing is that we have to pay per kid so we kept the kids at the party to just the close cousins, my sister's kids and Shawn's brother's kids.  The next party we throw will be Sydney's and luckily we are doing it at Laugh Out Loud so we can invite more people.  We rent the place after hours so we don't have to worry about kid amounts.  Sydney wants to invite her whole class and we can invite the whole family.  Then right after that comes Scotland's 1st birthday which we are going to do at home.  As crowded as it will be, it will be fun.

Alright, it's time to get dressed, and head off to Dick's sporting goods for this head gear so I can get back home.  Hubby just called.  He's on an earlier flight so he'll be back in town around 8 as opposed to 10:30.  It is an extra hour to hour and half after he gets off the flight to get home since we don't live near the airport, but even the 9 or 9:30 isn't so bad.


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