Tuesday, July 2, 2013

What I Know About Kids


Hello Readers! Happy Tuesday! I’m back in the mix of things as we returned precious Laners last week to his parents, boo! We miss him already!  We had a great time last week. We went to the zoo, the fire station, to ride the train at the park and we swam and played a lot. I wanted to share a few things I’ve learned about kids. I’m sure most of you are now rolling your eye and thinking, “Lenzie, you don’t have kids, therefore, you must know nothing about them!” Well, you’re partly correct, I do not have kids, but I have learned a few things about them from being an aunt and I thought I’d share them.

1.      Kids do NOT like to hear the word NO, or any form of the word. You could be saying, “Don’t poke yourself in the eye”, but just by saying DON’T it evokes such a strong “reaction” to the word it is better left unsaid. Please note that I am the AUNT so I can give in a bit more easily than a parent. Instead of NO, DON’T, STOP, NOT we say let’s do this instead or just distract away from the initial action. That seems to work so far. I do not like to hear the word NO either, so I can’t say that I disagree with the sentiment.

2.      Kids are surely a bit bi-polar. They can go from Happy to Meltdown in 0.2 seconds and for no particular reason. These are some of the reasons I’ve made precious Laners cry/whine this week:

a.      We had to drive through the tunnel to get to the zoo instead of going to the zoo and then the tunnel.

b.      I would NOT let him roll the window down while driving through the drive thru safari while an emu looked right at us with a death stare.

c.       The same thing happened as (b) but with a deer, a zebra, a crazed monkey and a buffalo.

d.      I would not let him stick his hand inside the Monkey cage to feed the monkey for fear of him being bitten.

e.       We made him leave the zoo to go eat at his favorite Chick-fil-A.

f.        The game was not downloading fast enough for his liking.

g.      His burp cloth had chocolate on it.

h.      I wouldn’t allow him to staple his finger.

i.        He didn’t want to see the Fire truck he had talked about seeing ALL day.

j.        He didn’t want to leave the Fire station he cried about visiting in the first place.

k.       I called his muffin blueberry instead of black olive.

These are just a few of the occurrences of the week. We had such a great time with that little man, even though we made him cry/whine a few times.

3.      Bubbles can solve all problems. I’m not sure if there are drugs in bubbles or if they are just that much fun, but once you start blowing bubbles, either in gum form or soap form, everything is forgotten. Is the kid upset because he can’t go swimming, no problem, just push the trigger on that bubble gun and everything is just fine!

4.      Kids HATE sleeping. I don’t understand why they (Laners) feels the need to wake up at 6:20 AM on the weekend, but he did. He also does not appreciate it when you tell him to go back to bed. If/when that happens, he will almost tear down the blinds to show you that, “It’s light outside Lenlen” so that makes it totally ok to be awake. . .

5.      You can’t have anything nice with kids. These are just a few things that were destroyed/broken while precious Laners was visiting:

a.      Our cream microfiber bar stools. They now adorn chocolate grave stains and ketchup marks. This wasn’t even the stool he was using. I was unaware you had to create a splash zone for toddlers while eating. I also found a piece of macaroni lodged in the stool yesterday. I’m sure I’ll find more surprises later.

b.      Lane somehow pulled up a rock from our shower floor. Our floor is river rock tile.  How he did that, I have NO clue, but he was in the shower and said, “Lenlen, a rock” and showed me the one he pulled from the ground. Haha

c.       Maxi dresses, apparently they make the perfect napkin/tent/bridge. Not only did Lane love it, but precious Jace also initiated me with a projectile spit up. . .

d.      Ipad screen protectors. It looks like my ipad was dragged through the mug and attacked by a wildebeest. I’m not sure how it happened, but otter boxes are a must with kids.

e.       Jeans with holes in the knees. Lane thought that it was a perfect place to hide toy cars, bouncy balls, fake spiders, ect… The holes are now stretched about twice their original size. I’m sure they’ll shrink up once they’re washed.

 

We had a great time with precious Lane and baby Jace and we did not want to give Lane back, maybe just for a day or two so I could catch up on my sleep, but then we want him back. We sure WISH that they would move closer! We miss those precious boys! Here are some pics from our fun filled week!
 
 

Precious brothers
 

  So EXCITED to be in OKIEhoma
 
  See, Bubbles cures all things, maybe except crazy faces!
 
 Aquarium Fun!
 
   Would NOT take his glasses off!
 
   Splash Pad Fun
 
   This is my fun in the sun outfit
 
 Uncle Jake loved cuddling baby Jace
 
Have a great 4th of July friends! Be safe!  

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

What Happened to May?!


Hello Readers! I hope you all had a fabulous May! It went by sooo fast, probably because it was jam packed with fun things! Jake & I LOVED South Carolina! It was sooo pretty and peaceful! It was a nice change of pace from our usual Vacations!

 Hunting Island, South Carolina
 Hunting Island, South Carolina
 South Carolina
 South Carolina
 Tried the panoramic option on the Iphone and found that my hands were a bit shaky...



Other exciting news in May, We got a new nephew!! Jace Thomas was born on May 31st! We are so excited to meet this little man next week and to, of course, spend some quality time with big brother Laners. 



I will be sharing lots of pictures when Laners visits and when we get to meet Mr. Jace. I hope you all have a fabulous week.

Friday, May 3, 2013

May is Exciting, Y'all!


Hi Readers! Happy tres de Mayo! I hope you all have had a fabulous week! We have experienced Spring, Summer & Winter all this week! Seriously, it has been like 90° and 30° this week. It is crazy!! Jake & I are sooo excited for May. These are our super exciting things happening this month.

1.      It is the start of the summer travel season, not that we only travel during the summer, but it is warm and we are ready to explore!

2.      We are headed to South Carolina!!

3.      We are getting a new precious nephew! Carlos Jr, or Baby Jesus as Lane calls him!

4.      It is the beginning of our Summer Milkshake Challenge!

Now most of these are pretty self-explanatory except the ice cream challenge. Oh, the ice cream challenge. I realize that this challenge is in direct competition with my lose weight challenge, but when a choice between ice cream and running arises, you ALWAYS choose ice cream. If you live in the Northern USA you might not be familiar with Sonic Drive In. I am OBSESSED with their unsweet tea with a tiny bit of raspberry. Aside from their million drink options they have a new summer milkshake menu! Jake & I have made a pact to try all 25 flavors of milkshakes by the end of the summer. This may mean more running and eating less, but it will be worth it! The only catch to this challenge is that we have to try them together. This means 25 trips to Sonic together. I usually only visit alone during work. I’m so excited! These are the flavors:

1.      Hot Fudge Shake

2.      Peanut Butter Shake

3.      Peanut Butter Fudge Shake

4.      Peanut Butter Cookie Shake

5.      Peanut Butter Banana Shake

6.      Peanut Butter & Jelly Shake

7.      Peanut Butter & Bacon Shake, yep you read that right! SOOO Excited for this one!

 


8.      Strawberry Banana Shake

9.      Chocolate Covered Strawberry Shake

10.  Chocolate Covered Banana Shake

11.  Chocolate Cream Pie Shake

12.  Coconut Cream Pie Shake

13.  Banana Cream Pie Shake

14.  Strawberry Cream Pie Shake

15.  Cheesecake Shake

16.  Chocolate Cheesecake Shake

17.  Strawberry Cheesecake Shake

18.  Cherry Cheesecake Shake

19.  OREO Cheesecake Shake, Jake wanted to try this one at 8:00 AM this morning. . .

 


20.  Vanilla Shake

21.  Chocolate Shake

22.  Strawberry Shake

23.  Pineapple Shake

24.  Fresh Banana Shake

25.  Caramel Shake

 

I realize that this is such a fat girl move, but I’m excited regardless. I hope you have a great weekend!

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

DIY Corkboard Map Tutorial

Hey Y’all! I thought I’d share my first EVER DIY post. I am very skeptical of DIY posts as I am a terrible teacher. Just ask anyone who has ever asked me a question. Seriously, it is just easier if I do it for them. Hopefully you’ll all be able to make your very own Cork board map. Like this one below. I found some like these on ETSY and a few other sites, but they were soooo expensive. Who wants to pay 50 bucks for a 12” x 18” map?! Not me!! My map only costs about $15.00 and it is 20” x 30”!

 

Supplies:

·         24x36 cork tile – Mine came from Hobby Lobby, it was only $16.99 and I used the 40% off coupon.
·        Dremel Rotary Tool- If you don’t have one hopefully you can borrow one!
·        Hot glue gun & glue sticks
·        2 Picture hanging backs (They look like shark teeth)
·        Ribbon ½” thickness– About 1-1.5 yards
·        Tracing paper
·        Sharpie (any color- I used black)
·        Ball point pen or mechanical pencil
·        Scissors
·        Tape
·        Straight Pins
·        PowerPoint map or large wall map would also work.

If you don’t have Microsoft PowerPoint you can purchase a paper map and cut it out. If you do have access to PowerPoint this is how you can print your own map template. The first thing you need to do is find a picture of the continental USA or whatever country you wish to create. Hawaii & Alaska meant more cutting so I axed them from the plan. You can simply Google “USA Map png” and tons will show up. Find one that you like, preferably with all the states outlined and save it.

 
Creating Your Map Template

·        Create a new presentation in PowerPoint.
·        Click the DESIGN tab and open PAGE SETUP.
·        Change the Width to 30 inches and the Height to 20 inches and press OK.
·        Insert your saved map picture.
·        Scale the Map Picture to fit inside your slide.
·        Go to the FILE tap and press PRINT.
·        Under PRINTER press PRINTER PROPERTIES.


·        Scroll under PRINTING SHORTCUTS until you find POSTER PRINTING and click.
·        Under POSTER PRINTING pull down the drop down menu to select 3x3 (9 sheets).
·        Click OK and then click PRINT.

This should print your 9 paged map that you’ll then cut and tape together. One you have your map pieced together you are ready to ROLL!

 
Lay out your cork board and pin your map in place. Take your sharpie and outline the map onto the cork board.  *TIP: I didn’t worry about any outlying islands or crazy cuts. Remember you’ll be cutting this with a power tool, so make it easy on yourself!

Once you’ve got your map outlined, remove the pins and put the map to the side. This is where the dirty work occurs. I would suggest that you should cut your cork board outside; however, I was hardheaded and it was cool outside so I put down a sheet to protect my living room from sawdust. Slowly and cautiously begin cutting out your map. *TIP: Please follow all safety precautions listed in your Dremel User Guide.

 Jacob took this picture. Notice his finger over the camera?


Once you’ve got your cork map cut out you should sand your edges. At least clean them up a bit. I then took the map outside to use a handheld broom and brushed all excess dust from the map. *TIP: Florida, Maine, Michigan and Texas are pretty fragile. DO NOT HANDLE just those states or you’ll need additional hot glue. . .


There she is, all cut and ready to be cleaned!

 This evil cat was "helping", if by helping I mean rolling/walking in the saw dust and tracking it ALL over the house. . .
Told ya it makes a mess! Thank goodness for the sheet we laid down to catch the dust!

 
The map all cleaned and ready to be traced.

If you don’t plan on tracing the states you can skip this step. Place your tracing paper over the cork. Place the paper map on the top of the tracing paper. Make sure the paper map and the cork map are aligned before pinning the paper map and the tracing paper in place. Use the ballpoint pen or pencil with no lead to trace around all the states. *Tip: If you can’t remember if you’ve traced the state, trace it again just in case.

 

The state lines from the tracing paper.
 

Once you’ve traced all the states remove the paper map and tracing paper and make sure the entire map transferred. If it did, GREAT JOB, if not, re-trace what needs to be traced. Once all the states are visible, use the sharpie to trace over the graphite lines and around the edges of the map.

The map with the lines drawn in sharpie!

Hot glue the picture hangers on the back. You’ll want to make sure the ribbon will not cut across any of the fragile land masses (MI, WI or MN). Hang that awesomely cheap and awesomely cute map up and get to traveling! We are only pinning places that we have travelled together. I plan on painting a canvas with a cute travel quote, but I'll add that later.

 
Have a great week readers!

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Worst Aunt EVER!!!


Hi Readers! Happy Mid-April? I’m a bit behind, but what’s new? I hope you all had a fabulous Easter! Our Easter was GREAT as Mr. Laners was down to visit. We LOVED getting to spend almost a week with him. I wanted to share a little warning/story that occurred when this sweet boy was visiting.



 Who can say "NO" to that face?! 
 

I’m sure it is no big surprise that I will basically give that child anything that he wants. Lane never hears the word “NO” from Aunt LenLen or Uncle Jake.

Lane: “I want to go play outside in the rain”
Lenzie: “Ok, get a Jacket”
 
"Get out of my way"
 
Lane: “I want to ram my John Deere gator into your shins”
Lenzie: “Go ahead, it is just a bruise”   

"I LOVE shopping with my Aunts"
 
Lane: “I want this, this, this and this” (any store we are visiting)
Lenzie: “Put it in the cart”

The point I’m trying to make is that I will do/give him anything if he whines, pouts or throws a fit. This particular day Lane was a bit whiney. We had just eaten pizza and we were headed to Wal-Mart.
 
Eating Pizza, wearing a Mustache, typical Friday.
 
Mom was driving and K was in the front. Johanna & I were in the back with Lane. During the short trip, less than 2 miles, from the pizza place to Wal-Mart Lane managed to bite his tongue. So, Aunt LenLen gets the bright idea to give him an orange tic tac to distract him from the ordeal.

 
Evil Orange Nuggets AKA Tic TacWe had already eaten them on the way to the pizza place so this was nothing new for him to eat. Lane had eaten one tic tac and decided he needed another. This was all to his Mother’s dismay. She said that he had just eaten and did NOT need a tic tac. I, of course, give him another tic tac. In the split second that it takes me to look down at the tic tac container the child had stuck it up his nose. Lane looks right at me and says, “nose”. I look at his face, which has an orange streak from his lip to his nose and try to gain my composure. I’m assuming the tic tac went into the mouth first and then into the nose. I know that upon confession of this act two things are certain, I will be in serious trouble and there will be immense panic. I immediately start thinking that they’ll have to cut his nose off to retrieve the candy and he can’t go around without a nose!! His nose is adorable! I calmly state, “Lane stuck a tic tac up his nose” I hoped that no one would hear me. EVERYONE heard me. The entire car looks at me like; 1. I just spoke in French (which no one in the car understands), 2. I said that there was a bomb hardwired into the car and we would have to drive at a certain speed to prevent the bomb from exploding or 3. I must be the dumbest human on the face of the planet to give a two year old a tic tac. I was quite certain that I could not speak French (unfortunately) and that there was not a bomb in my car.  

.:. {ENTER PANIC MODE} .:.

I could see the tic tac up his nose, so I knew that it wasn’t lodged somewhere in his brain, that was a relief; however, it was stuck in his nose. I did not want to stick anything up his nose for fear of pushing it further into his skull. We tried having him “blow his nose” into a Kleenex to try and dislodge the evil orange nugget. We had no success. The tic tac had not dissolved enough to come out so we rushed to the ER. Yes, we were that family. Once they explained why we were there we were called back quickly. The nurse rolled his eyes once we told him our reason for the visit. Please note that this entire time Lane was perfect. He wanted to play catch and let the “shark” (the pulse monitor) bite his finger. After about 10 minutes we tried once again to have him blow his nose. This time, the evil orange nugget shot right out of his nose. Mom retrieved it from the floor and asked K if she wanted to save it for his baby book. K declined. After about 45 minutes we left the hospital. I was relieved from most of my Aunt duties for that day, after all, I was the reason we had to spend an afternoon in a hospital. Lane ended up completely fine, but I still feel awful! I keep having flashbacks and dreams of tic tacs and strange tweezers. I might be suffering from PTSD. Can one get PTSD from a tic tac? I’m fairly certain you can. I took some valuable lessons from that nightmare.

1.      NEVER give a child a tic tac, no matter how whiney, sad, pitiful or precious they ask. DON’T DO IT.

2.      Maybe saying “NO” isn’t such a bad thing, even if it makes someone (Lane) sad.

3.      Smarties are a MUCH better option. They dissolve faster.

4.      I’m not sure that I’m cut out for motherhood. . .

I hope that you can all take away some knowledge from my stupidity. Have a great week!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Welcome Spring!!


Happy Spring Readers! I am sure you’re all excited for spring to finally be here! Flip flops & shorts are right around the corner. This also means bugs and swimsuits are also near, both are equally terrifying! With spring comes hours and hours of being outside and especially for those who haven’t entered the “real world” yet, it also means spring break! I wanted to share a few things that I heard on the radio on my way to work today. I don’t know if I’ve told you all how obsessed I am with Wake UP! with Taylor & Kenny on Cosmo Radio.


It is on Sirius 109 and it is great! I have been listening for years! I practically feel like I know them both and that we would be best friends if they ever met me, Haha! Every Wednesday Dr. Wider has a segment over reader questions or anything that might pertain to the current events. Today she mentioned a few things that are super important to me and I wanted to share them with you all. As spring is here, we are now spending so much more time outside. I want to remind/plead you to please wear sunblock (of at least SPF 30-I’m looking at you J & A & JM). Most people do not apply sunblock correctly. How hard could it be, right? Well apparently we are all just uninformed. You should apply about a shot glass full of sunblock every couple of hours while you are outside. It is even better to skip the peak hours when the sun rays are the strongest. Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer in the US. MD Anderson says that, “almost half of Americans will have skin cancer by the time they are 65.” Half of Americans!! That is a ridiculously high number! There are a few ways to help you stay proactive in the fight against cancer.

ð Check your skin monthly and look for changes in the ABCD’s of moles/spots.

 

o   A: Asymmetrical- The spot should be mostly symmetrical.

o   B: Border- The border should be smooth with no raised edges

o   C: Color – The color should stay consistent throughout

o   D: Diameter – Should not be larger than 2mm, think pencil eraser size.

ð See a dermatologist yearly to check any moles that may be irregular. If you notice any changes in the above self-check please have it evaluated by a doctor.

ð Always wear sunblock with a SPF of at least 30, apply liberally and every 2 hours.

ð Wear sunglasses and a hat while outside.

ð Seek shade! It can be an umbrella, tree or anything!

ð Most Importantly: DO NOT USE TANNING BEDS!  

 

That is enough of my skin cancer lecture, I also want to share something else that was mentioned this morning that stems from the Ohio rape case that occurred last week. I can only speak for myself, but I’m sure we’ve all been in a situation either while traveling or even at home where we felt uncomfortable by someone. Maybe they were being too aggressive or someone was following you home. Maybe you have had too much to drink or were even drugged (this is happening more frequently). There is an App called Circle of 6. You should check out the website for all the specifics, but I’ll give a short run down to explain how cool this app is.
 

This is a picture of my homepage. You first need to choose 6 friends. These friends need to be trustworthy and preferably available. I know all people won’t be available at all times, but hopefully one out of the six will be if you need them. Once you choose your friends the app will send a text alerting them that they have been chosen to be one of your 6. Once inside the app you can send a trio of HELP texts. The first says, “Come and get me. I need help getting home safely. My location is near (lists a Google map link showing your location” the second, “Call me and pretend you need me. I need an interruption” and the last message, “I’m looking for information about healthy relationships. Just letting you know.” There is also an emergency button that you can add any phone number and it will call with the push of the button. The last text is a confirmation saying, “Thanks everyone. I’ve gotten help”. The great thing about this app is that you don’t have to type all of that out. You can send the help message in little or no time at all! Not all of these may be applicable to your situation, but even if I sent the healthy relationship text, my circle of 6 would be alarmed and would hopefully call/text to see what was going on! I thought this was such a great tool and every girl on a college campus should have this app!

 

I hope you’ve found my information helpful. Have a great week friends!