Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Preston's Summer Haircut

Today I took my little man to get a haircut, and I asked the stylist to cut it shorter on top so I could put product in it and style it more. She initially gave him a mohawk, but it didn't stay up too well. I guess I will need to train his hair.

I laughed so hard initially, as he looks so different to me. But since Steve won't allow me to do anything even slightly different to his hair than what he has had the past 20 years, I had to do it to my baby boy.

Thursday, April 22, 2010

Happy Anniversary Miz!

Today Steve and I celebrate our 4th anniversary! He is the love of my life, caring and patient with me, and attentive and doting to our children....what more could I ask for? We celebrated our anniversary two days ago by going out for dinner at Hot and Hot Fish Club, one of our favorite places. We enjoyed a tasty dinner on their patio and discussed our past, present and future. We talked about how blessed we are, and then daydreamed about what we hope to attain over the coming years.

Tonight, Steve leaves for his "Walk to Emmaus" weekend (what I did back in January). So though we won't be together, he should come back looking at things in a different, better light which should strengthen our marriage even more. What a great anniversary gift.



I love you Miz (yes people, I call my husband Miz)!

Sunday, April 18, 2010

I Did It Again

A couple of weeks ago Steve and I began talking about getting a playset for the backyard. It is something I always said I wouldn't agree to since we have two parks within 2 blocks of our house. However, I have once again gone back on my word, and succumbed to the pressure from Steve. We decided it would be a joint birthday gift for the kids this year, but we wanted to get it early enough for them to enjoy while the weather is so pleasant.














So after much debating on the location, measuring, and speaking to Alabama Power....we bit the bullet. We went with a nice cedar playset from my favorite multi-purpose store, Costco. After reading the reviews of what a nightmare it is to put together, we hired a company to deliver and set it up. I must say, it was the best money spent yet! We purchased it Friday, they delivered it yesterday, and had it set up by 2pm today! Now that is service!



After naps, the kids ran out there and had a ball! As expected, they loved hanging out in the clubhouse. Bennett also loved the picnic table that came with it, and insisted on eating dinner out there (we didn't, even though she begged). Preston is climbing up and down stairs well, so he can walk down from our deck by himself and run out to the playset and climb up the ladder safely. He is still a little intimidated by the slide, and prefers a hand to hold, but he is loving the independence he has in the yard.





We are hoping that this playset will be enjoyed by them (and their friends) for years to come. But it should also offer us the ability to work in the yard, which we enjoy doing, while they play. Happy kids = happy parents!

Tuesday, April 13, 2010

Good-bye Winston

Today is a very sad day for the Bantas because my parents had to make the difficult decision to put their beloved chocolate lab down. Winston has been apart of our family for 13 years, beginning his life with Brian at Ole Miss. That dog started off chewing on every piece of furniture he owned, drinking beer and running wild through his neighborhood, to sleeping in my parent's bed, eating microwaved food, carrots for snacks and hunting with my father on the weekends. He had




a helluva life, and will missed by all of us deeply.


Over the years, he lived with Sassy, Daisy and most recently Jake (three of my parent's dogs), but was always my father's favorite.


He was also loved dearly by both Shelby (my former weim), and Spencer. He and Spence have spent many a days together laying around, and are big buds. I can't imagine how shocked Spencer will be when we return to Peoria this summer and his cousin isn't there.


We love you Winston, may you rest in peace and keep Shelby company in doggie heaven.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Call Me Crazy

Call me crazy....Saturday night we decided to take the kids camping at Oak Mountain Park, overnight! I say call "me" crazy because this was entirely my idea and Steve only went along as a favor to me. I have always enjoyed camping, and had my own gear from my camping trips in Illinois. However, Steve has never been camping before, and thus had no supplies or a true desire to go (not to mention it was Master's weekend and he hated to leave the TV).




When the OTM Mom's Club organized this camping trip, I signed our family up! I then went and bought the kids and Steve new sleeping bags. The weather couldn't have been more perfect, sunny with highs in the 70s and lows in the mid 40s. But this past week, our whole family has been suffering from the pollen....sneezing, coughing and runny noses. Though I knew being outdoors for an extended period could wreak havoc on all of us, I did not want to miss out on a chance to take the family for their first camping trip!


This is something I always thought could be a fun "thing" for us to do when we roadtrip. My family did not camp growing up, but I have always enjoyed it as an adult and thought it could be a fun way to spend a few spring or summer nights every year as a family. My only problem is that Steve did not grow up camping, and really has no desire to sleep on the ground when he could sleep in a perfectly comfortable bed. However to me, it is being outside, creating traditions, and letting the kids be able to explore that is fun. So after I explained to Steve my feelings, he reluctantly agreed to go (and he never once complained about it....that is why I love my husband!).















So Saturday arrived, and though we were the last ones to arrive of the 10 families, we set our tent up in a hurry, cracked open our first beer and started mingling right away. The kids had a ball exploring the site and playing with the other kids. They had a true campfire dinner: hotdogs, chips, fruit and s'mores, and then the kids all got into a group and told ghost stories. I say this loosely because all they really did was hold a flashlight up to their face and mention monsters and anything else scary that they could think of. Then it was bedtime.

Steve walked Pres around until he fell asleep while I laid down with Bennett in the tent. That part of the evening was a success, both kids passed out quickly. However, everytime Steve tried to lie Preston down in the tent, he fussed. So we held him until we went to sleep, and when we still couldn't get him to sleep in his own sleeping bag, I allowed him to lie on my chest all night. I know he wasn't feeling too hot, coughing and suffering from a runny nose, but with 27 lbs of love on my chest...I started feeling bad myself! After 5-6 hours of on and off crying, coughing and sneezing, I really starting doubting my decision to take our family out there. But when Preston starting wailing at 4am and I couldn't console him, Steve and I decided to hit the road!
We threw everything we had in the back of our car and went home. The kids were asleep again before we even exited the camp, and transferred easily to their beds once we got home. I think we all would rather sleep in our own beds. After a couple of hours of sleep, our day began as normal...ugh! Needless to say, it was a loooong Sunday!
I loved that we tried something new with the kids, but when we try camping again (you notice I said "when" and not "if"), it will be when both kids are allergy-free and a little older. I just hope I can convince Steve to come with us!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Shoe Model!

Lately Preston has been trying on everyone else's shoes. He loves to put them on himself and walk around the house. He isn't partial to anyone in particular, wearing mine, Steve's and even Bennett's!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Happy Easter!

Thank you Jesus! What a wonderful end to the Lenten season. We enjoyed another gorgeous day, meaningful church service and tasty lunch at the Mizerany's! We had a great weekend, relaxing and spending time with family and friends! Before church this morning, Bennett inserted a tulip from our yard into the tall flower cross in front of our church. Afterward we tried to get a family photo and then one of just the kids, but as you will see...it didn't turn out too well. Lately Bennett has been acting goofy every time we pose for a photo.






Since Pres slept at church, we headed to the Mizerany's for a big Easter lunch right away. We all filled our bellys and then the kids went out to enjoy the day. Abby, one of their cousins, was so sweet and thoughtful and brought an entire basket of stuffed eggs for the kids. She then took it upon herself to hide them all and help them find them. They had a ball scouting them out, and eating the candy inside of them.
















Preston has quickly learned that there are prizes inside each one, and that is the only thing he is interested in anymore. That child inherited my sweet tooth and just LOVES candy!


We knew the sugar high was going to wear off, so headed home for naps. Bennett couldn't even make it home, passing out within minutes. Pres, on the other hand, was all hyped up and slower to wind down. Then it was time for Steve and I to enjoy down time....perfect end to a great weekend!

Friday, April 2, 2010

Easter Party with Friends

The children obviously didn't have school today in observance of "Good Friday." So several of my friends decided to get our children together for a party. We dyed eggs, had a picnic lunch, then hunted Easter eggs. With beautiful 80 degree weather, what more could we ask for today?









We brought old t-shirts for the kids to wear while they dyed the eggs, even though that didn't guarantee that their hands wouldn't be stained for Easter Sunday. Then we spread them out on blankets in the yard to eat their lunches while the mommies enjoyed a mimosa or two. It really was a perfect way to spend a Friday morning.












All of the kids had fun playing together while we hid Easter eggs for them to "hunt." Unfortunately, Preston was acting tired and crabby, so I had Steve come get him before he could find eggs.



Fortunately Bennett found several eggs. Since she isn't as assertive as the older kids that were there, she only got half as many as them. Which in the end, really worked out for us since she was eager to eat whatever candy was inside each and every one of them before we went home.

All and all, it was a perfect day! Really, what better way to spend a beautiful day than outside with good friends!