Tuesday, July 26, 2011

The Land Of Cousins

Also known as Kansas City. Granted we have cousins in many places but recently we were able to tag along w/Daddy on his trip/work meeting to Lenexa. And that always means that Addison and I get lots of cousin bonding while he sits in boring meetings. It's a win win! :D

We started our evening off with just a dinner out with our own little family. It was horrible. Not so much the "family" part of it as much as the "dinner" part. I've officially sworn off Applebee's now. Their food is one level BELOW mediocre, the service was also sub par, and apparently they are making their budget cuts in the way of air conditioning. It also didn't help that Addison decided to throw tantrum after tantrum when the food came. But at least she looked cute before the tantrums came. And at least we weren't too disappointed to leave our nasty meal behind as we followed up with her consequences of hanging out in the car until she was done.

Notice the perspiration? Yeah, it was that hot. Maybe that's why she was minutes away from a meltdown when this picture was taken.

The rest of our stay was quite wonderful. We spent the mornings giving Daddy rides to work and then would jaunt off to Aunt Michelle's house and hang out for the day. We would play, eat lunch, nap, and then rush on to pick Daddy back up from work. We even got to enjoy eating a delish dinner with the Hufford cousins our 2nd night in town. It was so nice of them to throw an impromptu dinner together for us. And it was especially nice that Addison has finally reached the age of playing on her own instead of hovering by me the whole time. It made our visit that much more wonderful! Here is a pic of Daddy, Addison, and Laney (cousin / Addison's twin) hanging out in the basement. Thanks so much for the fun Mark & Maren!

Addison, Daddy, and Laney at Mark & Maren's house.

The following days we even got to take part in Ashlyn's birthday party, a couple of school play dates with Preston's friends at Aunt Michelle's house, a hot and sweaty afternoon at Deanna Rose, followed up with a delicious dinner with Mommy's siblings and all the cousins yet again. It was really a great visit and a nice impromptu trip. Can't wait until another boring work meeting happens again! :D

Enjoying a fun lunch at Aunt Michelle's house.

Posing at the Deanna Rose Farmstead. One word......HOT!

It was pure coincidence they lined themselves up by height. Such happy campers! It was probably for the best that we came 30 minutes before closing time. I think that was about the exact time I could survive before dropping from the immense heat.

This is one of many moments of hand holding and hugging w/her older girl cousins. She very much adores those ladies and the attention they shower her in.

Pointing out the "stinty piggies" at the farmstead. She loves to announce when ANYthing stinks (including Mommy & Daddy). And she has reminded me often of those stinky piggies ever since we got home. Her memory is quite impressive lately.

And last but not least, killing some time at the park while we wait for Dad to finish up at work.

Monday, July 25, 2011

What We've Been Up To

Fair Warning: This post is all about the exciting, glamorous, life of a stay-at-home Mommy and her 2 year old's achievement with potty training and all the wonderful verbiage that comes with it. While you may not find this as riveting as we do, we must still document it for posterity's sake so Addison will remember all the exciting details of her voyage into "Big-Girl-Hood". So proceed at your own risk!

Yep, we are still alive and kickin' here at the Hufford house. We've just been a bit preoccupied as of late. We've spent the last week or so hanging out in the bathroom. I know, exciting eh? Apparently this girl is VERY excited about it:

And frankly, as quickly as she's taken to the potty training process....it makes this Mommy VERY excited as well.

I've prepared for this day in the back of my mind for quite some time. I knew she was still a little young but figured we'd give it a go before baby brother comes along just to see how interested she is with it all. If it was a fail, we'd shelf it until baby brother got nicely settled into the family. After all, visions of me running to the potty w/one child while trying to carry a newborn were not leaving me with warm fuzzies.

I'll admit, I had reservations with actually beginning the potty training process. Most (okay all) were my own hesitations. For one, she is growing up! Sniff sniff! And that is a hard adjustment for a Mommy to make amongst all the others that seem to be flooding into our lives lately. For two, I was intimidated with the whole process. My first child, my first potty training experience, yadda yadda, etc. It's sooooo complicated and scary! I think that is what kept me dragging my feet in the beginning. I kept trying to make it this huge, official, process including some elaborate opening ceremony and commencement of events when I finally just realized that it wasn't rocket science and she was a smart girl and I'd catch on eventually. So, one random Friday morning a week ago we decided to call it "Potty Day #1!"

We jumped right in and talked about big girl panties most of the morning and then put them on her. It was a very exciting moment but all along I was mentally preparing myself for the messes that would ensue at least in the beginning. And ensue they did. Three pee pee accidents all within 5 minutes. I didn't last long after that. I decided she wasn't ready (okay I wasn't ready) and decided to diaper her up and quit. Then as I was strapping on the diaper I realized I really didn't give her much of a chance to try simply because I didn't want to clean up messes. So, off came the diaper, and off came the panties for that matter. We spent the next week bare-bumming it around the house and THAT has been the cure. I'm not saying we haven't had our fair share of accidents but luckily she really panics when she feels the urge come on and nothing is there to catch it. Which makes me think she thought the panties were just a pretty diaper alternative. And of course we've instituted the candy reward system. A skittle for a pee-pee and a starburst for a poopy. And of course, Mommy and Daddy reserve the right to dip into the treats as reward for their hard work as well. Which means we've had to replenish the stock quite frequently.

My little princess bare-bumming it around the house.

So, to update...things have been going great! We reserve pull-ups for naps and diapers for night time but during the day it's nothing but bickies! (Hufford-ese for "Po-po" which is Bell-ese for the chubby little behind - yes we have LOTS of languages in this house ;-) And don't get me wrong, I have NO complaints about watching her chubby little bum run around the house all day long. I even manage to get in a few squeezes here and there for payment for all my hard work! ;-)

So, here we are in our 2nd week and I think we'll keep trucking. She hasn't "mastered" it by any means but we've drastically cut down on diapers and wipes and pull-ups and messes so I'm going with it. I have a silent celebration each time she drops a poopy in the toilet since that is one less poopy I have to wipe off her bum. Woohoo! And she is surprisingly better about the poopys than the pee pee's. She hasn't had any accidents with those (except a few in the diaper-which could have been my fault b/c I was being lazy or preoccupied). It also doesn't hurt that you can literally set your watch by how often and when she poops during the day. I've always secretly LOVED that she's a "regular" type of girly. We've progressed from running to the potty by reading her signs to now actually hearing her say: "Pee pee in da potty? Pee pee in da potty?" Plus, she's learning to hold it more and go less. Not in an unhealthy way. In a "we don't have to go pee pee every five minutes and one tablespoon at a time way." I'm loving that too. The bathroom isn't the most exciting place to hang out ya know. Luckily she will sit forever drawing "circles" on her pad of paper or reading her books while we wait it out.

And now into week 2 we've come a long way. Even though she all the sudden seems scared of the potty, or at least hesitant to go sit on it, once she's on it and reading her book she refuses to get off. I've actually had to bribe her to LEAVE the bathroom so we can get other things done. And we've also graduated back to the Mickey & Yo Gabba Gabba panties. She has finally started realizing they don't hold squat. Of course I have yet to muster the courage to leave home w/only big girl panties on her little bum. I'm sure that will come in time but right now we'll take what we can get.

So, overall, I'd give Addison 5 stars out of 5 stars for acheiving such a huge milestone at such a young age (2 years and 3 months-but whose counting? ;-). She's such a smart girly and YET again she has proved this Mommy's predictions and hesitations wrong. One of these days I'll catch on to her amazing abilities and never ever doubt again.

Getting into messes (aka Mommy's make-up) while we have been sitting bored at home waiting for potty successes. It's amazing what a little boredom will create.

So, signing off from our current throne! Wish us luck in the remainder of our journey. I'm hoping she'll have this ALL figured out by the time baby brother comes along. I'm sure she'll be excited to tell him of her latest journey into Big-Girl-Hood. :D

Sunday, July 17, 2011

Girls Just Wanna Have Fun!

So, I would like it to be known and documented....Daddy isn't the ONLY fun parent around these parts. Every once in awhile this Mommy decides to go a little crazy from our regular hum-drum of life/routine and mix it up a bit. Especially lately, as we've realized how much actually getting out of the house keeps us sane and happy!

These past few weeks we've tried to keep our mornings busy with different activities and then make it home just in time for naps and a little of the boring cleaning stuff in the afternoons. The new schedule seems to work well for us so far. Maybe it's a little of the one-on-one bonding I'm trying to squeeze in with just Addison and I before the next sibling comes along. So, here are a few things we've been up to lately...

Playin' At The Park!
We try to make it to story time at the library every Tuesday. But it takes us about an hour or so just to get out the door and drive there for only a 15 minute event. Which is why we tack on a little more excitement and visit the nearby parks and fountain for some more fun. The heat has been blazing hot but we fight through it and still manage to have a good time. Luckily, we have a nice fountain on the square to dip our toesies in to cool off! Then we throw in our coins and make wishes (okay we mostly just clean out the pennies from my wallet and throw them in but it's still fun!) And we may or may not have dined on the deliciously, low-fat, juicy burgers that are also sold nearby said fountain and square ;-). After all, Addison is quite accommodating to this Momma's pregnancy cravings.

Coolin' down at the fountain on the square.

Checkin' out the train park across from the library. Yeah, so I didn't realize that you can't actually ENTER the train. We only spent about 5 minutes at this park before moving on to the next one. You live, you learn, right?

Once again, we donned our bovine attire (okay maybe just Addison did but I DID sport the colors!) and headed out to enjoy Chick-fil-a's "Cow Appreciation Day".

Not only do I feel it's my duty to support the cows as my Grandpa was a cattle farmer, but I do also come from the "Bell" family line so I must also support the cheapness I was raised in and thus dine on anything free at any time...whether I'm hungry or not ;-).

This year we met up with Aunt Josie and cousin David and realized that we could actually avoid the HUGE crowd if we show up right after breakfast is done being served. Such a major relief as last year the crowd was enormous at the "normal people" lunch time.

It was a blast to visit and eat and we even got to enjoy the park afterwards. Apparently, Josie, like myself, is also intimidated by large chaotic kids swarming the play place. Plus it doesn't help that both of our kiddos melt down once they reach the inner most highest corner and thus require being saved/pulled free by their Mom's. Yes, I speak from past experience and it's not gonna happen more than ONCE in my lifetime if I have anything to say about it!

Anyway, I digress....the chicken was delicious, the park was hot but fun, and the long nap we enjoyed afterward was just icing on the cake!

My little bovine. All dressed up and ready to go!

Enjoying our chicken and juice!

Hanging out and sweating at the park! She's such a trooper. She is a heavy sweater but it never stops her from having a good time. Luckily she's getting more self-sufficient at park play so this sweaty Mommy can sit down and watch.

Movies & Poppies!

After cleaning out the mini-van one day, I came across a movie brochure from our local theater that listed daytime kiddie movies for super cheap prices. Granted all the movies are already on DVD but anything is more fun when you get to sit in the real theater and eat the real popcorn (or as Addison now calls it...Poppies!)

A couple of weeks ago, we ventured out to enjoy the movie "Marmaduke". I was a little hesitant as I have never attempted going to the movies w/Addison by myself, especially with lugging around this big old belly and carrying all our belongings amongst a crowd, and realizing the movie itself wasn't a cartoon and wouldn't hold Addison's attention more than 5 minutes. However, all was for naught. Poppies are the key to this little girly's heart. She will do anything/everything you say just so long as she can get her handful of Poppies to her mouth during the process. She was a bit hesitant on trusting the theater chair to not flip her up but luckily we overcame that fear quickly. Even if it did involve me sprawling my left leg over it to weigh it down for the duration of the movie. It was hilarious to watch her watch the doggies and to even do her fake laugh when the other kids laughed. It was a pretty cute movie as well. Such a fun way to spend a Wednesday. Can't wait to go again this week!

Movies & Poppies! Does it get any more fun than this? Nope!

Even though some days it seems to take a lot of work to get us out the door at a decent hour, it's so much fun hanging out w/Addison and just enjoying her. I can't wait to relish in these last few weeks of just her and I and our little daytime adventures! :D She's a fun and silly girl to hang out with and I am one lucky Mom! Here's to all of the adventures waiting around the corner!


The title to this post is two-fold. I've realized today I'm extreeeeemmmmeeely behind in my blog posting but also the title is very fitting for my first "catch-up entry" of our rodeo visit.

Wayyyyy back about what seems like a month ago (and it could have been), John and I went to our 2nd annual PBR Springdale Rodeo. They've been happening much longer but we only discovered that this one existed last year. I enjoy going so much that I think I'm declaring it as our annual "must-see" event.

Although, I'm definitely NOT a cowgirl, I grew up going to rodeos as a kid and loved them just as much then. Every year our family (aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, etc) would converge upon the Ozark, MO Rodeo. It was also at this rodeo that I purchased my very own cowboy hat (spray painted pink of course!) with pink feathers included. I loved wearing that hat but mostly I loved the memories I had of spending time with family and watching the rodeo.

For this reason, I think I enjoy going to the Springdale rodeo that much more. I get to reminisce on those childhood memories, my wonderful Grandpa/cowboy that is no longer on this earth, and all the things the rodeo brings with it. Luckily, John seems to enjoy it just as much (or maybe he's just too nice to say "No" to my excitement).

This year we splurged yet again and bought the "box seats". Um yeah, I didn't know they existed either and this is the only time in my life I've ever purchased box seats - especially for a rodeo - but it's worth the extra $$ just to see the action up close and personal. And boy did we! We were closer to the chutes this year so we had many a buckin' bronco right by our fence post.

The view from our seats. A little blurry, but one of the bronco's that came up close and personal (sans Cowboy at this point).

One of our newest faves is the mutton busting event. A.door.a.bull. (no pun intended ;-) This is where the kiddos come out and perform for the crowd. Full blown impersonation of just how the big boys do it with the bull riding.....except the kiddos get to ride sheep. They are adorned in their chaps and leather, number pinned to their shirt, with safety helmet included. The chute opens, the sheep runs to it's heart's content, and the child holds on for dear life. It's so cute to watch how much they get into it. It was most fun watching the little boy dressed up as a clown on his barrel who would tend to the fallen cowboy as quick as possible to make sure he was okay....even if he did only fall about 5 inches from the sheep to the ground.

Overall, the weather was definitely hot and humid and the air was definitely not circulating but we pushed through it all so we could enjoy the last (and my favorite) event....Bull Riding! Apparently the bulls were too tough this year because no one seemed to make it to the 8 seconds. It was still fun to watch on the edge of our seats though! So, until next year......Giddyup!!

Friday, July 8, 2011

4th of July Weekend

This year for July 4th we decided to mix it up a bit and try something different. We spent the weekend prior to the holiday in Branson at the condo. It seems like our lives have been crazy hectic lately with everything and the baby hasn't even arrived yet! So we went in with very minimal plans for our weekend. First and foremost on our list was to relax in the A/C, nap, swim, and golf.....oh and the Dixie Stampede of course!

I've been wanting to take Addison to the Dixie Stampede for quite some time now. One could easily say I'm living vicariously through her as she didn't even know the place existed up until now. But I just knew she would love it and boy did she. She is starting to recognize "Orsee's" lately and has always loved music and lights so the show did not disappoint. Luckily we had perfect seats for her and cousin Alexa to play on the side when their attention span ran out.

She was amazed at all the horses, music and dancing and kept saying "Wow!" over and over with her mouth agape. Plus she thoroughly enjoyed mauling her corn on the cob (one of her latest favorites) while watching all the entertainment. Daddy talked me into buying a $2.00 flag for her and that was the highlight of her night....who knew? She waved it frantically calling it a "Kite!!" all night long. Best and cheapest souvenir to date I believe.

I was even lucky enough to get to tag along w/John as he went golfing one morning. This is a rare treat (first one to date actually) since I usually have to stay at home w/Addison while he goes out with friends. But this time Aunt Cassie happily agreed to hang out w/Addison. Despite the heat, the course was beautiful, and it was pretty interesting to watch. We bailed after the first 9 holes since our golfing partners were in no hurry to move a long and the heat was getting worse. I enjoyed watching so much that I think I got the bug to take up lessons one of these days! :D

We spent the rest of our time hanging out in the swimming pool, went to dinner one night, and vegged in front of movies another night. All in all, it was a great relaxing trip and was so fun spending it with family/cousins.

Checking out the "Orsee's" before the show at Dixie Stampede.

Proof that Mommy was there! I'm usually the photographer so now I make it a point to be captured in at least some of the memories.

Our party crew waiting for the Stampede (and food) to start. (Alexa, Cassie, Addison, John, and Kyle)

Addison dining on one of her favorites while watching the entertainment.

Random Sidenote: When John and I were dating, we came to the Dixie Stampede and got recruited to be in the performance. I had been enough times to know all the ins/outs of our event - the barrel racing. Such as, we were both going to be riding a stick horse - not a real one, and competing against the other team by running around two barrels in the dirt corral. Little did I know about John at the time but he is competitive AND athletic. I wasn't in it to win it by any means but once that whistle blew he was OFF! And I was trailing behind barely able to keep up. By the time we neared the finish line he took pity on me and slowed down just in time for me to run right into him and push him face first into the dirt while I landed ever so gracefully on top of him...in front of an audience of over 1,000! It was hilarious afterwards but quite embarassing/entertaining during. Poor John got skinned up pretty bad on his knee but was a good sport. Up until I decided to "nurse his wounds" by applying the wet nap doused in alcohol. Sigh....what one won't do for love eh? Either way it was fun to remember back on those days and then realize that here we are yet again with our 2 year old and another one to arrive soon! Funny how time flies! And no, we didn't get recruited for any events this time...thankfully.

And last but not least, "Aunt Tassie" easily won the "Best Aunt of the Year Award" by building the girlies this cute little fort while we were all hanging back and relaxing...and watching.. Addison LOVED it!

I won't go into detail about how Aunt Tassie and Uncle Tyra (Kyle) were Addison's favorites the whole weekend. So much so that she was not interested in hanging out w/Mommy and Daddy much at all! I guess they are pretty cool after all. I'm definitely glad she is surrounded by so many loving family members that adore and dote on her.