Making Bugs

We are constantly running.  Working, trips to school, fixing meals, cleaning up the house, etc.  It’s somewhat rare that I just let things happen.

For Lynzie’s first birthday, I wanted to decorate the house with ladybugs.  It was somewhat of a last minute thought.  I had plans to do it all on my own, and then I remembered, my sister just moved out here and it would be a great bonding moment.

Somehow the event became her cooking dinner (her AMAZING chicken curry) and us all (my sister, my brother-in-law, my husband and my son) sitting around the table cutting, gluing, painting and chatting through the night.  It was fun.  Of course, Zach did spend a lot of time distracting Lynzie and periodically Isaac.

The best part about it was how much fun it was for Isaac and how much he liked being a part of the group and learning how to make lady bugs.  After my sister and her husband left, we still had several lady bugs to put together, so I was working much faster and Isaac sat there with me whipping our lady bugs – cutting bodies, cutting heads, gluing them together, making wings, painting spots and setting them to dry.  The whole time he was chatting about this and that.

The next morning, I was on a conference call and Zach wasn’t home yet, when Isaac woke up, went downstairs and started making ladybugs again.  When Zach got home from work, he found Isaac working on bugs.

It is so great to see him growing up, to see the skills he is learning in school and to see how eager he is to learn more.  Several years ago, you couldn’t get Isaac to do art, now he can’t get enough, as long as he doesn’t have to get dirty.


And he’s three!

We are now the proud parents of a three-year-old.  I don’t know quite how this happened.  It’s so cliche but it seems like yesterday he was born and yet I can’t imagine him not being here.

A year ago I had to be his translator.  It worked well.  I was around him all the time, so even if he left out parts, I knew what he meant – I was there.  Today, no translator is required.  He is quite happy to talk to complete strangers.  To a busboy at a restaurant the other night:

I: What’s your name?

A: Anthony.  What is your name?

I: Oh, (laughs), Isaac.

A: Isaac.  That’s a good.  It’s from Bible, right?

I: I’m three. (Holds up three fingers.

A: Oh, really? (He has to move on.

I (to us): He is nice.  He’s my best friend.


I to A: You’re my best friend.

A: Oh, I can be your friend.

It’s a little more embarrassing when he decides he needs to ask the other person’s age and sometime he busts out crazy stories.  At the toy store, to the cashier:

I: This is an owl.   He says “whooo-whooo.  Last night there was an owl on my house.  We went an saw it.

Cashier: Was it big?

I: Oh no.  It was just little.  He flew away because a car came.

Isaac can now play games and do puzzles and draw a face.  He loves to trace letters, especially his name and can sometimes, if he is in the right mood, write out his name without help.  He is “potty-trained,” including the night.  We have accidents from time to time, but that is going to happen anytime you have a kid.

His Loves:

  • Toys: cars, trains, airplanes, helicopters and fire engines.
  • Movies/Shows: WordWorld, Cars, Cars 2, Jungle Book, Rio, A Bug’s Life and Veggie Tales Little Drummer Boy.
  • Songs: Party Rock, Wheels on the Bus, This is the Day and There Was An Old Lady Who Swallowed a Fly.
  • Books: Big Hungry Bear, his Cars Learning to Read Books, pretty much anything he can get his hands on.
  • Food: Meat (meatballs & pork), cereal, yogurt and cheese.

But it’s not all fun.  I’ve always believed threes to be the worst age and while I love the conversations I can have with Isaac, this is definitely a trying stage.  He is so demanding and emotional.  He has this, “It’s too hard” attitude about things and just drives me crazy.  He is also sneaky, in my face and just plain mean sometimes.   And a lot of this revolves around his thumb sucking.  We are trying to encourage him not to suck his thumb by reminding him when he is doing it and saying he can only suck his thumb in his bed.  This reminder almost always leads to a fit, yelling and/or being sneaky and he sucks his thumb ALL-THE-TIME!

I really do love this kid.  The way he thinks up games and activities to keep his grandma involved in hours of play.  His thoughtfulness in wanting to know if people are feeling okay or happy.  His willingness to do things he really doesn’t want to (like to go nap).  His cute “Dudes.” His spontaneous high-fives, hugs and kisses.  The way he calls everyone his “best friend” and uses it to get us to do what he wants.  It really is amazing to watch a child grow.  To see your impact on them and how their little personalities develop.


Zach’s 31st birthday was yesterday and in celebration we were having a party on Saturday night. I, of course, wanted to make it a great and special day for Zach.

Of course, being my normal organized self, I had to prepare ahead of time.  On Friday we were to go to Walmart and Sam’s and get EVERYTHING we needed for the weekend.  We got almost everything, but I wore my flip-flops and after walking around both stores, my ankles became so sore I could hardly walk, not to mention that it was late and I was tired.  So, we managed to miss a few items on the list.  We got home and the plan was for me to make Zach’s red velvet cake, so we wouldn’t heat the house up on Saturday.  Last winter, I invested in a cake carrier that came with two round cake pans.  I decided to make the most of this set up and make a layered cake, something I had never done before.  Our kitchen isn’t very big and I had the cake pans setting on the edge of the sink.  Everything was going perfect until I reached for the spatula and knocked one of the cake pans into the sink, which happened to have a soaking bowl of salsa queso….to the watery salsa queso ended up in my cake batter.  At that point I threw everything in my hands on the counter and said “I quit.”  Zach said no one would notice, but I could not, in good conscience bake salsa queso into a red velvet cake, so down the drain that one went.  I baked the other one, so Zach could decided if he really liked red velvet or not.

The next day I woke early to clean the house, I wanted Zach to be able to sleep in, so I asked my mom and my sister to come over and help me.  I’m such a people person, that if it’s really hard for me to do something in the house when Zach is sleeping.  I want him up doing whatever it is with me.  Well, I get downstairs to two piles of doggy diaherra, that I have to clean and man, that stuff almost made me throw up.  I had to hold my breath forever.  I cleaned the main floor and moved the couch to clean the floor under it.  Woke Zach up so he could take the dogs to the vet and then Mom and Stacy showed up.  The sat at the table and watched me clean the kitchen and then I went to empty the vaccum and opened the bottom of the container before it was in the plastic bag, so I had dirt all over the floor that I just cleaned!  Mom helped me clean it up and I was just thankful that the dogs weren’t around.

Zach got home with the dogs and then I had three people watching me clean.  I started to get a little frustrated and then I learned that we didn’t have any clean cloths for the mop, so I was going to have to clean the whole floor with a towel on my hands and knees.  Stacy and Mom decided to leave and in a matter of minutes I was in tears that I’d ruined Zach’s birthday and didn’t have enough time to get everything done.  He was sweet and held me and said he didn’t need anything and he would help clean.  He made me eat, which was probably a good thing and did everything I asked for the rest of the day.  (Oh, and I forgot to mention that I woke up with the worst headache ever, well, same headache I’ve had for weeks, but again and it wouldn’t go away.  After crying, it just got worse.)

Zach went to the store to get more cake mix so I could make him another cake and I laid on the couch and took a nap, this is after I’d cleaned the whole floor for a second time.)  When he was home, he cleaned the bathrooms and a bit of upstairs and when I finally woke, I saw that he had bought me flowers.  How sweet is that?  I get flowers on his birthday.

I made the cake with no issues and somehow we got ready to go and eat dinner.  We went to macroni grill.  I couldn’t even eat half my salad and half my soup, so pitiful!  When we got home, I had to decorate the cake, which I think turned out pretty good for my first layered cake.  I made the bean dip and for once I was sitting on the couch before anyone arrived.  Typically people arrive while I’m still doing something in the kitchen.  So that was so unusual.

We had a good time.  Beer, cake, snacks, friends….what more could you really want?  I managed to keep myself busy enough that my head didn’t hurt.  I think I prefer hosting parties because it gives me something to do, but I don’t get quite as much time to socialize.  Oh well. 🙂  As the party started to wind down and I sat by the fire and my headache came back in full force.  SUCKED!!!  Stacy and I decided to go lay on the hammock and the dogs couldn’t even wait for us to get in before they jumped on, so we all almost went over.  We laid there for a while, but got cold and Stacy decided to go home and I decided to go to bed.  It was a good night.

Yesterday the festivities continued…we went to see Hancock with Cody and Ron as well as have lunch and a snack.  We walked around the mall a bit after the movie.  Cody is sure growing up.  Brought Zach his Gentleman Jack, how curious that my 18 year old brother in law was the one to get that for Zach.  I’ve decided it’s better for me not to know.  I sure wish he’d move down here.  It would be great to see him more than ever once in a blue moon.

After hanging with the guys, we met up with Zach’s mom, Sue and her husband, Jack, for dinner at Hacienda Colorado.  I still stand by they have the best Chickchanga….but Zach and Sue were not too impressed with their choices.  I barely ate any of mine, so I have it for another day.  This whole not being able to eat drives me crazy.

We got home after nine and I was exhausted….good thing we had today off.  I was able to get my homework done and turned in and Zach cleaned up the house from the party and is now enjoying some video gaming. 🙂

Photos from the weekend and actually from the middle of June can be viewed here.

November 17.

Some of my best friends growing up were born around the same time as me. Matthew on the 17….Kristin on the 18. I was the oldest, older than Matthew by two days and Kristin by a year and three days. It was always good to have our birthday’s together, why? I don’t know. It was just comforting. I’m lucky to still be in contact with these two, but not the way we were growing up. Funny how life has a way of bringing people in and out of your life. Kristin is in pursuit of her doctorate at University of Michigan, another science person….I honestly don’t know how so many people I was close to in high school turned into such science geeks. I can’t relate to them in anyway when it comes to science. Matthew and his wife just welcomed their first baby into the world at the end of October. Congrats on baby Noah! I could get side-tracked at this point and go on to talk about Emily, who shared my birthday all through middle and high school, but that is a long story of a enemy-friendship circle. 🙂

All this to say, I’m learning as I get older to celebrate me and my birthday and it’s okay. And it’s always a good excuse to have people over and have some fun. 🙂 And that’s just what we did last night. I fixed appetizers, which can be found on the Recipe Page. I forgot the salt in the Checca, but didn’t realize that until today. Zach said it tasted good and I don’t eat the stuff so I hope it was still good. The sausage balls were a hit like always, but my personal favorites are the Bacon and Swiss Mini-Muffins, although I think this batch was a little more oniony than I prefer.

As most of the guest are in my cast of characters, I won’t re-tell you about them, but there are a few “newbies.”

Jonathan and Cari:

Jonathan is an old friend of mine from Faith Ministries, the first church I ever really went to. I believe we were 14 when we met and although we fell out of contact for several years, the marvolous invention of the internet has brought us back together. Cari is his wife. They have a little boy, Judah, but left him at home for the evening.

Tasha and Billy:

Tasha, Billy and I played in orchestra together in high school. I can’t say we were close in high school, but we were friends. Tasha and Billy dated though high school and got married, I believe, a year after we graduated. Again, the Internet has brought us back together and we are wondering why we weren’t closer growing up. I guess God brings people into your lives at certain times for a purpose and we just don’t know what the reasoning is.

After the initial talk and eat, we play Keri’s game, “Celebrities.” It was fun and we all were involved. Then Tasha and Billy left because they are moving and were just beat. We had some cheesecake and Zach brought Roxy down to play for a moment.

My cheesy smile:

Travis (Hanna’s boyfriend) and Hanna:

Russ and Roxy:


And then we had nine….one too many for PIT, but Jonathan said he would sit out. I decided it was okay as long as he took the photos…..well, then his wife, Cari wanted to sit out and play with my camera. I think she had fun and I got great game shots. 🙂

This one just cracks me up….look at my face.

A hand:

Stacy playing PIT:

Me playing PIT:

Zach playing PIT:

Hanna playing PIT:

My favorite shot of the game:

Game shot:

A few of the main person-behind-the-camera of the night, Cari:

Later, somehow….Stacy and Zach got into a discussion about how many baby carrots Stacy could fit into her mouth at one time, kinda like cubby bunny, but with carrots. Well, Stacy claimed 30, so she had to follow through. 🙂 It was probably the funniest thing that happened all night. I couldn’t stand it and had to go to the bathroom, so Russ had to step in taking photos for me.

Stacy and the carrots:

And the last one….makes 11! More than I thought, but not 30. 🙂

Oh, and for my birthday, Stacy painting this great painting of Lexi and Guinness.  I’m going to put it above the fish tank, which means they look at the front door.  Hehe.  🙂  Mom and Dad had it framed.  It’s great!


Happy Birthday.

Yesterday was my 27th birthday. YAY! I’ve had a good two days celebrating, but don’t have the energy to write about them now. Just wanted to post a few photos.

Zach brought me flowers home for my birthday. This is the dogs smelling the flowers. 🙂

And then this is Zach and me tonight at the Melting Pot. Yummy and fun. 🙂

I didn’t crop or any fun stuff. But there you go. 🙂