About Me

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I am 36 years old and a mother of two beautiful little girls. Kevin and I have been married for 11 years. He is a stay-at-home dad who runs his own business from our home. I am a part-time 3rd grade teacher and have been teaching for 15 years. I live no more than 10 minutes away from my parents, in-laws, sisters, nieces, newest nephew, grandparents, aunts, and uncles... I wouldn't want it any other way!

Thursday, July 31, 2008

Last Day of July

This is a completely random post of thoughts going through my head on this last day of July.

Today is the last day of July...summer is almost over. Well, I guess it actually goes until Sept. 21, but summer as we know it ends when school starts back in late Aug.

First of all, here are my girls at the splash park. The sun was right in their eyes, so I couldn't get them to look at the camera. Plus, with all the fun and excitement of the splash park going on, I couldn't keep them too long as they were quite ready to start playing. I wanted to include these pictures because it reminds me of how we have spent so much of our summer...in swimming suits!

Can you just read it on their faces..."come on mom, can we pleeease go now?"

We have thoroughly enjoyed our summer. I posted a video clip of Katelyn jumping off of the diving board at the beginning of the summer. Well, that is old news by now. That girl likes to be thrown across the pool or from the diving board without her life jacket! She swims above and under the water now without her life vest. She has really become quite the water bug this year.

Kennedy became very interested in letters and sounds this summer. I had noticed that she was talking about letters, but didn't realize that she knew almost all of the letter names and sounds. I love that she has learned them on her own, thanks to the Letter Factory DVD.

I am actually getting excited for school to start. I have had so much fun buying Katelyn's school clothes. She is going to look so darn cute. Unfortunately, her school isn't air conditioned, so I have had to be careful as to what I can buy her so far, long sleeves and pants are impossible due to the heat.

I am not sure if Kennedy is going to Friday "Playgroup" this fall or not. She isn't potty-trained. If she doesn't decide to use the potty regularly before Labor Day, then she won't be able to attend. She is only 2 years, 4 months. So, I am not too worried. If she isn't ready for potty-training, that's fine. After all, she is my baby. I don't want to push her to grow up too fast. Pull-ups really are the only "baby" thing she still does. She never took a pacifier and we put her in a full-sized bed well before her 2nd birthday. She decided this summer that she was just too big for sippy cups, so I threw them all away. If she wants to hang onto pull-ups, so be it for now.

I am going to have a student teacher this year, for the first time. I am really excited about this new opportunity. Additionally, I am the Literacy Specialist for my school (but I still teach 1st grade). I love learning all of the newest research and best practices in the area of literacy, now I get a chance to keep up my learning and share that info. with the staff. I also got a SmartBoard for my classroom. It is so cool! It is an interactive whiteboard/computer screen. I literally have the Internet at my fingertips as well as word processing, slide shows, videos, etc. It changes the way I will do so many things...bye-bye overhead projector!

Well, I told you it was a random post. I have loved being home with my girls this summer. I am so fortunate to have a job that I enjoy and also get nearly 3 months at home with my babies!

Sunday, July 27, 2008

Baby Ethan Has Arrived!

My newest nephew...

Ethan Jack Cvitkovich was born on Friday, July 25, 2008 at 9:46 PM. He weighed 7lbs 1oz. and is 19 inches long.

Mindy sure makes pregnancy and delivery look so easy. Not only did she gain very little weight on her already teeny-tiny body, but she had no first-trimester nausea and never complained of the usual aches and pains of pregnancy. She even carried her almost two year old daughter, Emily, all around the zoo while she was 8 months pregnant! (Emily is very attached to her mommy and wouldn't let daddy hold her and didn't want to ride in the stroller). Emily is such a mama's girl that she had a permanent seat on Mama's belly these last few months. But, she is already adjusting beautifully to sharing her mommy with her new baby brother.

Mindy's labor was a whopping 2 1/2 hours from start (at my parent's house) to finish! Considering that she needed to stop by her house, get Tom, grab her bags, and then drive to the hospital which is almost 30 minutes away, she wasn't at the hospital long before that baby boy of hers was born. She would have even have delivered faster, but they wouldn't let her push for almost 30 minutes because the doctor wasn't there yet. They just kept telling her to breath through the urge and to not push.

To top things off, Mindy's belly had already become pretty flat while we were still in the delivery room! The nurse was amazed at her belly shrinking back down so fast! You couldn't even tell that she had been pregnant or had just delivered a baby...sickening I know! But, I sure am glad for her!

Ethan was born just one day after his big sister's 2nd birthday and on his grandpa's (Tom's dad) 60th birthday...how cool is that!
Congratulations Mindy, Tom, Emily, and Baby Ethan! We love you all!

Reagan Alyssa

Reagan is my niece. She is 2 years, 8 months old. She and Kennedy are only 4 months apart and are the best of friends. My sister hasn't been able to get any pictures of Reagan because she will not cooperate for a professional photographer and she runs away from my sister whenever Tiffany has the camera out. So, I had Tiffany bring Reagan over to run around our yard while I snapped some pictures of her. We can't have this little girl grow up and wonder why there aren't many pictures of her, even though Tiffany has tried and tried to get them. (Tiffany was the same way as a child and took it quite personally that my parents had substantially fewer pictures of her than the rest of us kids).

So, without further ado, here's Reagan...

How sweet is this next one...I love how she is holding her little dress.

Would you look at those curls! Blond ringlets galore!

I love this next picture because it is totally Reagan! She is always on the run. She is such an active child who is next to impossible to keep up with... let alone photograph!

Sleepy eyes...I think she has had enough for one day!

Thanks for the pictures Reagan. We love you sweetie!

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Favorite Family Stories - #2

While Kevin and I were dating, we decided to go on an evening canoe trip to celebrate our 3 year "dating" anniversary. Kevin borrowed a canoe from a friend so that we could have a romantic evening trip down the river. We parked my car near the river where we would finish our canoe trip. We took the canoe and Kevin's truck up the river to where we would start our canoe trip. That way, at the conclusion our fun-filled canoe trip, we could take my car back to get Kevin's truck, pick up the canoe, and head home. Perfect... now we were ready for our evening.

The trip did not start well. First of all, we brought Gunther along. For those of you who don't know us personally, Gunther is Kevin's black lab. Gunther would not stay in the canoe the way he had on our previous canoe trip. Instead, he was jumping in and out of the canoe, soaking both of us with river water. So, Kevin tied Gunther's leash to the inside of the canoe in order to keep him from jumping out. Unfortunately, Gunther decided that since he couldn't get out of the canoe, he should ride in the front of the canoe...which so happened to be right where I was sitting. Now I had a wet, stinky dog panting on me and barking in my ear while trying to take my seat in the canoe. I couldn't take it. So, Kevin and I decided to switch spots. Kevin informed me that if I was in the back of the canoe, I would be steering the canoe. He asked me if I could steer a canoe. I told him I could figure it out. Unfortunately, I didn't figure it out. In addition to getting the canoe stuck in the bank several times, we hit about every rock, stick, fallen tree, low-hanging branch, etc. in the river. Kevin decided it would be best if I just relaxed and enjoyed the ride while he took care of all of the paddling and steering.

The trip was taking longer than we had anticipated and it started getting dark. Rivers can become pretty eerie places in the dark. We were both getting a little jumpy. Suddenly, a fish jumped up out of the water on the right side of the canoe. The fish jumped across the canoe, hitting Kevin in the chest, and landing in the water on the left side of the canoe. Kevin freaked out. I know it is hard to believe it happened, but I swear it did. We laugh about it now, but it really had us both pretty spooked.

Farther down the river, we startled a bunch of herons nesting in trees. The herons started screeching at us. It was like a scene from a horror movie! Additionally, it had gotten so dark, we couldn't even tell if we were going the right way on the river. Kevin and I both were ready to get off the river and be done with this canoe fiasco.

We FINALLY got to the end of our trip where we had left my car . We were exhausted and so relieved to see my car. That is when Kevin asked me to hand him the keys. I just looked at him and said, "UH-OH." You should have seen the look on his face. He said, "What do you mean, UH-OH?" Of course, I giggled a little and told him that I left my keys in his car, back at our starting spot. So there we are, in the dark, wet and tired, smelling like river water, with a stinking wet dog, and WITH NO CELL PHONE and no keys. Kevin was not happy with me to say the least.

Since we were not near any houses, we trudged along the road until we arrived at a nearby country club. As embarrassed as we were, we had no choice but to go in and ask to use the phone. There was no way I was going to step foot inside looking the way I did, and besides...someone had to stay outside with Gunther. So, I sent Kevin in. He called my brother to come and pick us up... and all was well.

It definitely wasn't the most romantic of evenings, but memorable none the less. As an added FYI...Kevin and I got engaged about 3 weeks later. So, he must not have been that upset with me. Ironically,we had our wedding reception at the same country club where we walked that night to make our phone call.

Even though it has been 10 years since that crazy night, we have not been on a canoe trip since.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Weddings...A Little Girl's Dream

Everyone knows that all little girls begin planning their wedding day when they are about three years old . But, what most people may not realize is that the mommy's of little girls start planning the future wedding at about the same time too.
When Katelyn was newly three years old, we were shopping for spring clothes at Gymboree. Since it was spring, Easter dresses and accessories were out. Katelyn fell in love with these large, plastic pearl necklaces at Gymboree. She kept begging me to buy one for her. While I was at the checkout, and not purchasing the pearls, Katelyn was having a terrible time deciding if she should get the white or the pink pearls. She said that she wasn't sure which color she would like when she is all grown up and ready to get married. She was really going back and forth between the pink and the white. The cashier thought it was absolutely adorable that Katelyn was really wanting these for her future wedding, some 20+ years down the road. She couldn't believe that I still wouldn't buy the girl a necklace, but I stuck to my guns.
When I was telling a friend about the story at work the next day, my friend said, "So which one did you buy?" I proudly said that I didn't buy either one because honestly, what would she do with a gaudy, plastic, pearl necklace? My friend was shocked and told me that I had to go back and buy one so that I can give it to Katelyn on her actual wedding day along with an explanation of how badly she wanted the necklace when she was merely three years old. My friend was exactly right, why hadn't I thought of it myself? I rushed over to Gymboree right after work that day and purchased both...the pink and the white pearl necklaces. I figured the story wouldn't be complete 20+ years down the road unless we have both necklaces.

Here is our future bride-to-be, now five years old, and prancing around in her "wedding dress." I plan on showing these pictures at her future wedding as well as a video I have of her dancing with her daddy at her "wedding" in our living room. I guess it is true, little girls and their mommy's truly do start planning for the big day from the time they were a small child.

Katelyn my darling, my biggest wedding wish for you is that you will find a prince as charming and wonderful as your daddy.

Monday, July 14, 2008

Smile, It's Picture Time

Katelyn and Kennedy have been going through growth spurts lately. Not only are they getting taller, but their looks are changing...they are looking older. Katelyn is getting cute little freckles (despite all of the sunscreen I slather on her) and Kennedy's hair is getting so long. I decided to take the girls out to our front yard after church yesterday for a mini photo shoot since we haven't taken a lot of pictures yet this summer. So, here are a few of my favorites of each of the girls...

Katelyn was just hanging out here waiting on me to finish taking pictures so we could finally go swimming.

I love Kennedy's hair in this next picture!

Look at those little toes peeking out from under her dress.

I had to put in this silly one of Katelyn because it is just so her...

And now for her sweet little innocent side...

Is there anything sweeter than a 2 year-old little girl in a summer dress?

I absolutely love how she hiked up her little dress here.

Can someone please tell these girls to slow down a little on the whole growing up thing?

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Favorite Family Stories - #1

Kevin and I thought it would be fun to document some favorite family stories from time to time. You know how family stories go...we think they are funny, but you kind of had to be there to get the gist of it. Anyway, I hope we will enjoy looking back and remembering the silly moments in our lives.

When Kevin and I were first married, I was haunted by a cricket. The darn thing was in the house and would chirp all night long. Every time I woke Kevin up, the cricket stopped chirping. It was terribly annoying. So, one night, I decided to try to put an end to this craziness so I could finally get some sleep. I could tell that the cricket was in the kitchen in a crevice by a cabinet. I set out one piece of dog food about two feet or so in front of the cabinet. I was hoping to lure the cricket out and then smash him with my shoe (sorry for the violent intentions, but I had had enough!) Well, my plan kind of worked... that cricket came out, grabbed the piece of dog food and took it back into the crevice before I even had a chance to hit it. I can't believe how quickly it happened, especially since I was laying on the floor, shoe in hand, ready for that cricket. I swear it zoomed by me in a split second!

Of course Kevin didn't believe me. He said that there was absolutely no way that a cricket took a piece of dog food. He said, "I believe that you believe it happened, but Joey, it just isn't likely."

Eventually the cricket stopped chirping after a few days. I figured that it had left the house for good.

Several months later, we were remodeling the house. Kevin had to pull the cabinets out from the wall so that he could install a new tile floor. Wouldn't you know that when he pulled that one particular cabinet away from the wall, there was our cricket...deceased. OK...get ready for this... there was one piece of dog food behind that cabinet with the dead cricket...HONEST!

I never laughed so hard. Kevin was pretty surprised and had to admit that I was right the whole time.

This is just one of those funny little stories that we retell in our family from time to time.

Friday, July 4, 2008

A Day At The Spa

I took the girls to Sweet and Sassy for a girls' day at the spa. Katelyn and Kennedy enjoyed pedicures, glitter, and some fun time dancing and dressing up like little divas. We have been spending a decent amount of time at the pool and so our toes need to look good:) Katelyn selected a bright blue nail polish and I chose pink for Kennedy. We had a great time being girly!

Gotta love having girls!