Friday, October 29, 2010

Getting Ready for Halloween!

This week we've been getting geared up for Halloween at our house. I brought out the Halloween candy....we get one treat each night after dinner, we put out our "scary" decorations (Parker loves these and especially loves our neighbors awesome decorations), made sure I had everything for Parker's costume, and then I brought out Parker's costume.

The Meltdown...This happened on Tuesday. On Tuesday evening, Parker told me that he "really didn't like Dash" (from The of his favorite movies) and that he thought he would "just watch Bella be a Pumpkin for Halloween." So...I calmly asked him what he wanted to be for Halloween and he said he wanted to be a Pumpkin like Bella. My heart dropped...there's only 4 days until Halloween and my son changed his mind!! I am such a planner and usually I've got it all worked out at least two months in advance...what was I going to do!!??

So...on Wednesday, I drove to Lawrence and searched and searched for a costume for Parker. LUCKILY...I am VERY LUCKY!! At Target (where I was returning the Dash costume), I found a PUMPKIN costume for a toddler just Parker's size. It is ADORABLE and I am secretly thankful that Parker changed his mind! He will be the most adorable "Great Pumpkin" on Halloween!

Making Cookies!!
A tradition of mine growing up was helping mom make sugar cookies with frosting (one of my favorite treats) before almost every holiday. This is the first year that I thought Parker would understand and have fun helping me, so yesterday, we pulled out the cookie dough (that I made the night before) and had at it! It was so much fun and we definately made a floury mess while cutting them out! After sprinkling and baking the cookies, we let them cool and then we got to frost them! I had made all different colors of frosting, but Parker's favorite was the "witch frosting", which was my attempt to make black frosting, but it turned out more like a witches green. They are the cutest Halloween cookies you'll ever see and they are delicious! For those of you that know me...I'm not always the most patient baker, but this was so much fun, I'm ready for the Christmas cookies!

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Being a Big Boy!

Parker continues to amaze us as he becomes a "big boy." There are many signs that he is a "big boy"- going potty on his own, brushing his teeth on his own, being able to dress himself, putting his shoes on the right feet (nicknamed Ralph for Right and Larry for Left), eating pizza that's not cut up, etc. There are many signs that our baby boy is not a baby anymore. With each milestone, Parker gets a little more independent and less reliant on us- which always makes me sad, but we're usually so caught up in the moment and the craziness that is our daily life, that we don't realize it's even happening! Well...yesterday I was buying "baby stuff" for Baby Brother, who will be here in 6 weeks, and I decided to buy Parker some different soap. This may not seem like a big deal, but Parker has been using the same Johnson and Johnson baby soap since the day he was born! So, while I bought Baby Brother his very own baby soap, I went to the big boy aisle and bought Parker some Raspberry Dazzle "boy" soap. I brought it home and when he took a shower with Dad last night (his newest favorite thing to do), I showed him his new soap. He was so excited that it made me stop and think about every way that my "big boy" has changed in the past year. From being potty trained (like an old pro) to having "boy" soap, it's all gone by so fast that it makes me sad to think that in 3 short years, Baby Brother will be as smart and independent as Parker is today. It's a good thing Parker still likes to hold my hand, tell me how much he loves me, blow me kisses and ask me to catch it and put it in my pocket for later, snuggle before bedtime, and best of all he shows me his special "I love you" sign that he's done since he was 18 months old! These things I know will change with time, for for RIGHT NOW, they are what I hold onto so that I know my first "baby boy" is still here!

Sunday, October 24, 2010


Parker and I had the entire day to spend together- Brandon is traveling for work- so I thought Parker and I would spend the day doing whatever he wanted to do! Parker told me he wanted to play in the leaves...if you've ever been to our house...our trees are on the smaller side and don't drop a lot of leaves. So...we headed out to Grandma Robbie's, raked up some leaves, and had so much fun jumping in them, throwing Bella's ball in and watching her look for it, and throwing the leaves into the wind!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010


Last night at dinner Parker looked at Brandon and said: "Dad, you put the OOPS in POOPS!" Parker thought this was hilarious and so did I! This is something that my sister, Dani, is always doing....for example, she tells my dad: "You put the OLD in MOLD!" What's funny about Parker saying this is that Aunt Dani probably said this to Parker many times this summer as Parker was being potty trained! Parker loves his Aunt Dani and this proves that he is starting to remember everything that we tell him!

Parker got to spend the day with Aunt Dani last Thursday and apparently she tried to figure out the name of Baby Brother while she was alone with Parker! On Thursday night Parker told me that, "Aunt Dani asked me what Baby Brother's name was...Mom, I told her it was Baby Tarl (Carl)...I didn't tell her!" Ha ha! Sneaky! Parker sure is a smart kid!

Monday, October 18, 2010

A Fun Homecoming!

This past weekend we joined some of our good friends from college and headed to Pittsburg for Pitt State's Homecoming weekend! Brandon and I met in Pittsburg 10 years ago and felt that this was the perfect year for us to go back and celebrate Homecoming. On Friday afternoon we (Brandon, Parker, and I) headed down to Pittsburg- who knew the memories this would bring flooding back to both of us!

As we drove into town on Friday, we went straight to campus to pick up our football tickets- when we parked the car and started walking through campus, we were both overwhelmed with the memories and happy emotions that we felt! Campus looked beautiful and, although there were some changes, we both kept pointing out everything that we loved about being there.

We met up with some of our best friends from college- Tim and Jayne Holmes, and their two kids- Timmy and Sophia, and we headed to our hotel. Parker loves any opportunity to stay in a hotel. Even though it's usually a little stressful for mom and dad, we love how his face lights up whenever we visit a new place! After checking in and letting the boys play for a while, we decided to go to eat dinner and unwind from our drive down.

On Friday night, we enjoyed a relaxed evening with our friends and we literally "drove down memory lane" as we drove down Broadway, went to Jock's Nitch to get "gorilla-ed" out and went back to our hotel. Pittsburg is where Brandon and I met and we truly enjoy every time we get the chance to visit (which has only been a couple times since graduation).

We knew Saturday would be a big day, so Parker and I went to bed early, while Brandon and Tim got to catch up. We woke up on Saturday and got ready for the Homecoming parade. Homecoming is special to Brandon and I as both of us were involved in the Greek life on campus and I was a Homecoming candidate at PSU. Needless to say, Parker loved the parade as much as we did! Every time a band went by, a gorilla waved at us, and they threw candy, he laughed with happiness and we stayed for the entire hour and a half parade! After the parade we got to go visit the Tri Sigma house and the Sigma Chi house- both of which hold many memories for both of us! Parker and Timmy loved the girls at the Sigma house and they were the center of attention- getting donuts and juice and "roaring" at them like dinosaurs (the 3 year old way of flirting)! The Sigma Chi house was almost exactly the way we left it 7 years ago- smelling of old beer and with a dirty, sticky floor! But, the funny thing was, Parker and Timmy loved it- they didn't want to leave!

Lunch was one of my favorite parts of the weekend! MALL DELI! The Mall Deli is where Brandon and I went to eat the majority of the time in college- sometimes even going there twice a day! Parker loved the creamy italian dressing and even dipped his grilled cheese sandwich in it! We were so proud!

Even though we were all tired from our busy morning, we headed to the Gorilla Village and then on to the football game. Parker and Timmy loved playing together and throwing acorns and sticks in the lake...also riding the gorillas! It was so fun to see Parker having fun at our alma mater and loving it as much as we do!! Although Brandon and I both believe Parker will get a full-ride scholarship to an Ivy League school.....PIttsburg State University will still be on his list of colleges to visit before making his choice! We had such a good time and we can't wait to go back next year- I think we've already talked most of our friends into going back with us!

Miss Rosie

The other day our beloved Rosie passed away. Rosie was an "old girl" who has been a friend to all of us for many years (longer than I've known Brandon). Miss Rosie was sweet to her family- especially Morgan, Avery, Parker, and even Bella, who all crawled on her, climbed on her back, chewed on her ears, played tug-o-war with her, gave her treats, and most of all LOVED her so much! Rosie was our polar bear and we're all so sad that she's gone, but we know she feels much, much better and that she died in her most favorite place of all- camping in the mountains. Rosie- may you now have endless treats (especially table scraps), no pain in your joints, mountains to climb, trees to sleep under, and a perfect doggy heaven! We will miss you!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Parker Made a "P"!

This past weekend, Brandon was working at one of his jobs for his business, and Parker and I were outside decorating for Fall. Parker found a paint brush in the garage toybox and asked if he could "paint" with water. This is one of our favorite things to's not messy and it provides tons of entertainment for Parker. I was in the garage doing something and came around to the corner to find that Parker had painted a "P"! I was so proud of him, that I had to take a picture of it! Plus, I needed proof for Brandon that Parker had done it!! Needless to say, I think we have the smartest little guy around and everyday I find something new to be proud about!


For those of you that don't know- the month of October, quickly becomes the month of Brooke....meaning, it's a month full of things that I love to do! This October has been no different, and while our lives have been full of work obligations, we have definately taken time to celebrate this fun time of year!!

Turning 30
On October 7th, 2010, I hit the "seasoned" age of 30. And, while this didn't seem like a "big deal" to me leading up to the day, I lay in bed at 4 am on the morning of my 30th birthday and reflected on what this year means to me. First, I let my eyes adjust to the darkness of our bedroom and I had Parker snuggled up with my arm around him and Bella laying on my legs- both as close to me as they could be. I also saw Brandon- more than an arms legnth away- snoozing away and at the same time felt Baby Brother wake up with me. Seeing and feeling the most important things in my life so peaceful, gave me an overwhelming sense of peace of mind and reminded me how blessed my life is. I am blessed to have a healthy, smart, and extremely loving child, the sweetest and smartest husband, a cuddly dog, and a warm bed to sleep in every night.

My day of "turning 30" was an emotional one for me- I went to work that day and, I'll admit, I didn't have the best day. My work life has been stressful lately, but I'm starting to realize that, in the end, with that stress comes great rewards. I got home that evening and was feeling overwhelmed. We planned to go to dinner for my birthday and once I was around my family and celebrating- my stresses went away and I had a great birthday! I'm sure that being pregnant had nothing to do with my "emotional day" (ha ha)!

To me, 30 is just a number- our attitudes are what make us age. I know that I am still young at heart and Parker and Brandon help to keep me that way! ;)

Pumpkin Patch
I told my boys that I wanted to celebrate my birthday with them by going to the Pome on the Range Fall Festival- something that we did last year and I hope to make a family tradition. For those of you who have never heard of Pome on the Range, it is a local farm (in Williamsburg, KS) where they have an apple orchard, pumpkin patch, and they sell various "homemade" items, such as, wine, jam, cidar, etc.

Every October, Pome on the Range has a Fall Festival! We went out there on the morning of Saturday, October 9th and enjoyed all of the festivities- including, a moonwalk, the "reawlly, reawlly fun slide", feeding the ducks, drinking cidar slushies, getting a balloon airplane, buying apples, riding the mule-drawn hayrack ride, and most importantly, picking out our pumpkins! This is definately my favorite time of year and being able to spend it outside on a beautiful day was perfect! Thank you, Pome on the Range, for a wonderful day for my family!

The Fun Continues...
In my career, the months of August through October are the busiest (also the most fun and exciting) and it often becomes overwhelming! I am excited that my student workers have been so successful this fall in raising money during the phonathon, I'm excited that my community outreach has touched so many people, but I'm also excited that things are winding down and our routines are going back to normal! I'm sure you'll see upcoming posts from this weekend when we go to Pittsburg to celebrate Homecoming with some of our really good friends from college!!! The following weekend is Homecoming at Ottawa University, which we all enjoy and (even though I'll be working) love being able to celebrate this within our community. Then comes Halloween!!! Plus, there is only 7 weeks until Baby Brother gets here!! This is definately an exciting time of year for our family and we are so thankful for our family and friends who share it with us!

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The Big Party!

Because we thought this would be the first year that Parker would maybe "remember" his birthday party, we decided to make it as fun and full of surprises as possible! We invited his buddies, family, and some of our best friends to celebrate the big 3 year old party! We had the party at the Ottawa University Pomona Lake Lodge, which Brandon describes as "the best kept secret about the University!" It was perfect! Parker had a big "surprise" on Saturday when we pulled out to the lodge- Brandon and I went out the day before and decorated, put together the food, and set up a Toy Story Moon Walk! Parker and his buddies LOVED the moon walk and they had so much fun that we had to beg Parker to open his gifts and eat the cake!! We are so thankful for all of our friends and family for making Parker's birthday so special and for being there to help him make such wonderful memories. We had a great time and Parker is still talking about the moon walk and all of his friends and family that were at the party! Here are some pictures from Parker's special day!!