Friday, January 31, 2014

Confessional Friday

Before I start on my little secrets, I have to ask for a few prayer requests.

1. Please pray for my Grandma. She fell last night and her hip is out of socket. She was admitted into the hospital last night and she is being kept comfortable until surgery later this morning.

2. Continue to pray for my dad. While his surgery went well, he is still in quite a bit of pain.

Now....let's confess

1. I confess I'm over it. Snow, ice, wind, cold, polar vortex, winter weather advisories, all of it. Done.

2. I confess I made the absolute ugliest treats for Ava's CNY treat. You'll see on the next post. Haha!

3. Christmas lights. Need I say more?

4. My inner lazy has gotten the best of me. When I am this cold all of them time, I sit under a blanket in front of the fire place. And do nothing.

5. I confess it is January 31st and I have no clue what I'm doing for Ava's Valentines at school.

6. I am so looking forward to this weekend. Like tons!!! We have things to do! And lots of awesome people to see!!! Bring it!

Have a great weekend, Loves!!!

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Adalyn Grace Houghtaling

We got it. After almost 8.5 months of waiting on "The Call", we received it Wednesday night. Late. I had been talking to the agency throughout the day because our Immigration Approval is going to expire.

We went to bed. We all passed out. And about 11:45pm, the phone rang. I looked at the phone and thought "oh, they must need something else", not even realizing the time. The following was the next 30 seconds

Me: Hello?
EAC: Sara? Congratulations, it's the call!!!
Me: John, take your CPAP off! We're parents again!!!

We spent the next 20 minutes learning all about this little munchkin. And little she is. The paperwork and pictures are from July and she only weighs 20 lbs. She is currently in foster care in Guangxi province. She will be 3 on April 7th. She is post op cleft lip/palate. And she looks fantastic!!!

Introducing our little Addy Grace!

Eyebrows, Eyes, and Power Steering

This week has been insane!! Let's start out with Monday...

My van was driving funny. I felt like I was driving a bus. It was so hard to steer. So we took the van out to the dealership on Monday night.

Moving on to Tuesday...
The day started with a call from the dealership stating my whole power steering system was shot. There were actual metal shavings in the lines. And it will be days before it is done. Saturday at the earliest. (that's today. Not done. The pump is on back order with no ETA.) They told me they would cover a rental car under warranty as long as it was a Chrysler vehicle. And this started me calling every Enterprise in Toledo to find a vehicle. Of course, the only branch that had one was the furthest away.  My mom took us out to Enterprise and the vet for Raphael. Busy Day!

Wednesday was a somewhat relaxing day. Until about 11:45 pm (next post) We had hair appointments. I swear there is absolutely nothing as wonderful as having someone wash your hair. Anyhow, that evening at home Ava decided to implement a new technique she learned from Janie, our hairdresser. Waxing my eyebrows. With bandaids. And yes, it hurt! Haha!
Thursday was another crazy day as my dad had his third surgery on his arm. Yes, the one he broke a year ago. He cannot straighten it and even after this one, I don't think it's going to be much better. They literally took out some bone fragments and added anchors. This was the x-ray after the fact. Check out that hardware!!!
This weekend has been somewhat quiet and we are hunkering down for the next wave of crappy winter weather. I try not to complain. I live in Ohio. I get it. I'm ALWAYS cold, even in summer. So that's not the worst thing. But I am so sick of driving on crappy roads. If it's not snow, it's drifting or black ice. I cannot wait until the crap melts. I'm thinking sometime in August????

Poor Raphael

And now guinea pig #2 is sick. This one isn't as sick however he has about 6-7 dry scaly patches all over his body. He has one directly above his left eye. This is what prompted my calling about 7 vets in the Toledo area. I finally found one. And it was $65 just to have him looked at. Ugh. But I cannot have another guinea pig die. So, we went....

The vet and her assistant were completely over the top AWESOME!!! They took their time and were so nice to Ava. They talked directly with her and told her everything. She felt so important. And then came the checkup. (The Doc McStuffins song is my head right now) Anyhow, they let Ava do everything!!

They took a little piece of the scaly spot to test. Raphael was not a fan of that all. He was so sweet.
They couldn't really come to a conclusion what is wrong. They think it's a combination of a vitamin C deficiency and mites. They put him on two antibiotics. He actually takes them pretty well. And we are now giving him a vitamin C chewable. He seems to be doing a little better. Hope he has a speedy recovery!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014


How is it possible that this sweet little face has become so incredibly sassy???

( all time favorite pic of my girl)

The latest and greatest is Why? Everything is why...
Ava, it's time to get dressed for school. Why?
Ava, it's time for dinner. Why?
Ava, can you bring me your hairbrush? Why?
Ava, you can have a piece of candy. Why?
Yes, I tricked her. And proved my point to John. 
She has starting answering herself with "Oh, because?" Haha!

Sunday, January 19, 2014

More Snow, Good Friends, and Funny Faces

Another weekend in the books. Ahhh.... 

Friday we hit the road about 4pm and headed out for a quick trip to Medina. It was an interesting ride. For sure. The roads were clear when we left but the further east we headed, the weather and roads turned terrible. We made it to Sandusky and I told John I couldn't drive anymore. The roads were AWFUL!! I was so scared and had my whole family in the car. Ugh. We stopped to turn around and decided that we didn't even want to do that. We were going to get a hotel. We headed to Walmart to get Ava a bathing suit and the friends we were going to meet called and to tell us that if we could push for about 10 miles we would be past it. I kind of threw a fit but John talked me into it. So we pushed through. And so glad we did. Once we FINALLY got to Medina, we had a great time!! One of John's friends from school hosted and their whole group got together again. The stories I heard almost gave me nightmares...
One of John's "groupies"
We later found out that the storm we got caught in was a little clipper just hanging in the area. They got 6 inches of snow in an hour. Not a "little" clipper to me. Haha!

We got up and went to breakfast with Uncle George and were home by 11. We chilled for a bit and had a nice visit with Nana and Jojo. And a little lunch with Daddy. 

We had John's Holiday party at The Pinnacle. So we got to get all dressed up and had little miss take our picture. Not too bad. We dropped her to Grandpa and Tina and headed out. 
BP put on a great party! The venue was fabulous, the food was fantastic, and we had some photobooth fun!!!
Today was pretty know, we just hung around and read the newspaper. 

Hope you had a great weekend!!

Friday, January 17, 2014

Confessional Friday!

Let's get right to it!!

1. I confess I am soooooo beyond over the moon happy it's Friday. This was my first 5 day work week in almost a month. I'm tired. Haha!

2. I confess I am knee deep Chinese New Year planning. I volunteered to coordinate our FCC group, plus Ava's class, and I'm even doing a little something here at work. Can't wait to share it all when it all comes together.

3. I confess I am so over Christmas lights/decorations. I hope I don't offend anyone if this post (Kelly), but good golly Christmas is over. I confess our lights are still up but they are NOT being turned on. We haven't had the best weather to take them down, you know with the Polar Vortex and stuff. :)

4. I confess AGAIN, I must pay more attention to my child going to school. Not only did she sneak ANOTHER pair of jeans with holes in them, but I picked her up the other day and she had a clump of what looked like glue in her hair. I asked what was in there and she said "gel". After I did her hair, she ran back into the bathroom and threw some gel in. The proceeded to dry in a big gucky mess right on the top if her head. I swear my kid is clean.

We have some fun things happening this weekend and I'm looking forward to it. Plus some relaxation. Have a great weekend!!

Monday, January 13, 2014

Daddy Daughter Day Out!

Due to John's schedule, Daddy and Ava do not get a whole lot of time together. So occasionally he will keep her home with him and today was one of those days. After a tough workout

They headed to the zoo to try out the new wagon! 

I think it's safe to say they had a pretty good time. Don't you love this picture??


Saturday night John and I had a date night. When I told Ava her response was "Are you going to kiss and have wine?" Haha! I was given strict instructions on the care of the guinea pig. Make sure he has food and carrots and don't let dogs near him. I sent this picture to Nana's phone so she would know he was being well taken care of. Haha! 
Last week Kim Kardashian posted a baby picture of herself comparing herself to her daughter. Well, I didn't think she looked like Kim, but whoa did she look like Leilani!!! I sent a message to Jolie and she did a side by side comparison. Leilani on the right and Kim K. on the left. Tell me that isn't crazy!
I found my outfit for the wedding. Whew....check that off my list. It is exactly what I wanted. Wait until you see. Now to find shoes for the little peanut feet in my house....

Happy Birthday, Sweet Piper!

Remember this??

Well, Little Miss Piper turned 1!! She is absolutely adorable!! We got to celebrate with her Piper in (One)derland party! Only a few pictures, but this sweet girl had a great time!!!

Love her new chair and it even matched her Mommy's shirt! Haha! 
Thanks for letting us celebrate with your family! We look forward to many more birthdays!!!

Swim Lessons

Ava started her winter lessons on Thursday. I should have put her in a different class. My little mermaid  isn't getting the water time she needs. But she still enjoyed it, of course!

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I wish....

Lately Ava has been wishing for quite a few things. Crazy things. To the point that John and I are now in on it and we wish for crazy things. We could be watching a show, at the grocery store, at the mall, and there is always something. I decided to make a list of things she has wished for.

- A whale
- A gold tooth
- To live in a hotel
- To ride in a helicopter
- For our neightbors to live with us
- To be a muppet
- Drive a car
- Summer (we all do, baby!)
- She could take my arm to school
- A lizard like Mrs. Kipling on Jessie
- Work with Mommy
- Sleep in the snow

This is just what I captured the last few days. This kid cracks me up!! And now a sweet picture of Ava and the love of her live, Raphael.
We are back to work and school after the big artic blast. It's supposed to be in the 20's and it seriously feels so good outside. Isn't that hilarious?!?!?!? Tonight we start swim lessons. I put her in the advanced class so let's see how she does! Stay tuned...

Monday, January 6, 2014

Snowpocalypse 2014

We are snowed in. Northwest Ohio received about another 10 inches on top of what we already had. We live in Ottawa County which means we are under a Level 3. Which means if we are on the roads, we could be ticketed. So, yep. We are snowed in.

Before the snow hit, I went grocery shopping because we needed EVERYTHING. I hadn't been shopping since way before Christmas. Well, I left at 11:30 and didn't get home until 3. Because everyone was at the store to stock up. I was in line for an hour an 20 mins. No exaggeration. I seriously had tears. I was hot. I was crabby. But I did not have Ava with me. Thank goodness. I would have for sure melted down right alongside of her.  
 My view from the line...
 Since them we have tried to stay sane...
We helped Daddy
 We relaxed on Mommy
 We watched the snow fall
 Took a nap on the table
 Took a tubby with Jake and his ship
 Made a trek to Miss Kelly's
 Watched crazy Daddy in the hot tub
 And spent some quality time with Raphael

Luckily our neighbor saved the craziness today and she has been at their house for hours. Although, I'm enjoying the quiet, I can't wait for her to come home. I want to make snow cream!!

Friday, January 3, 2014

Confessional Friday

Is it sad that I'm ready for the week to be over and I only worked two days? Haha! I'm happy to be back on a schedule. But the snow sucked for me yesterday. Which leads me to Confession #1

1. I have the best neighbors. After getting stuck in my driveway yesterday morning for 20 minutes (with Ava constantly asking why we weren't leaving yet), I wasn't in the best of moods. And then John called right before I was leaving work to let me know that our street hasn't been plowed yet. And there was no way in gods creation I was getting down it. He almost got stuck in his 4 wheel drive on the way to work. So I decided to call the neighbor on the main road to see if I could park at their house until the plows came through. They were so nice!! They moved their cars around so I could park overnight if needed, shoveled a path from their house to our house, and even carried Ava over so I could lug everything else. And it doesn't end there. Apparently another car got stuck on the road but was able to make it into my driveway before I got there. Both neighbors on the side of us and across the street called to let me know. Oh, I'm not done. Kelly's husband plowed our driveway and then after the plows came through, we had a big pile at the end of our drive, and the neighbor across the street came and removed that. All while I was snuggled in front of the fireplace with my girl. I'm super lucky and will make sure I let them know they are appreciated.

2. This one is dating back about a month. But I confess I am not a fan of The Polar Express. I think it's kind of scary. I sat down and truly watched it for the first time and while the animation was cool, the people are mean and the kids were scared. Not what I would consider a holiday movie.

3. I confess I love my new boots. That is all.

4. I confess that I have bought about 7 dresses in the last 2 weeks. John's son is getting married and I just cannot find what I want. And they have all been returned. Back to the drawing board.

5. I confess Ava cracks me up. The other night we watched a movie and there were Eskimo's. She kept calling them minions. "Mom, why those minion's walking on the ice?" Haha!!

And a picture of my sweet girl to kick off the weekend! Who can't put their ipod down long enough to brush their teeth?

Easy Bake Oven

Starting on Christmas morning (yes, not before because we could have eliminated this), Ava begged for an Easy Bake Oven. This is all she talked about. Well, she received Christmas money which I usually put in her account, but she received enough to get her own oven and still put some in her account. So...we bought it.

We prepped the pan

We mixed the batter

And this is what we got
So gross. She kept saying "I thought it was easy" Haha!!! I told her I would work on perfecting it. 

Wednesday, January 1, 2014


And because I didn't know of another way to cheer my girl up, we headed straight to Pet Smart. I don't know if this was the best way, but we did it.

Meet Raphael (see a pattern?) Her little swollen cried out eyes...:(

We are keeping our fingers crossed. Please pray Raphael lives a long (5-8 years) life. 

Rest In Peace, Donatello

Our New Year fun came to a screeching halt when we got home this morning. Ava ran into the room to see Donatello and he wasn't alive. Let me back up a bit...I was kind of anticipating this. The last couple of days his breathing seemed pretty labored and he wasn't eating they way I thought he should. So the other day when I went to get the new water bottle, I asked the person working about his breathing. Apparently, pine bedding can be harmful to guinea pigs. It can cause upper respiratory infections which can be fatal. So, I bought paper bedding and cleaned his entire cage from top to bottom. And two days later, he is dead. I had noticed yesterday that he had some crusties around his nose and eyes. So we are pretty sure this is what happened to Donatello.

So....Ava stopped in her tracks and my heart just stopped. We literally sat on the couch for the next hour while Ava did nothing short of sobbing. My heart is so broken for her. I never want to see her experience that pain again. My poor girl.

Rest In Peace

New Years Eve

Last year we started a tradition and planned to keep it going this year. While we did pretty much the same thing, just on a lower scale. We took Ava to a hotel! She absolutely loves staying in hotels and this one had a pretty nice pool. Before the hotel, we met Sara and Eric for dinner at Mon Ami. This meal makes John's whole year. They have a seafood buffet and I'm pretty sure between John and Eric, Mon Ami loses money. These boys can put away some crab legs!!

Ava Kate was in love with the chocolate fountain. And in love with her face afterwards! She kept looking in the mirror!!

After dinner we posed for some pictures

And the following were taken by Ava Kate herself. Not too shabby!

After dinner we headed to the hotel and within minutes we were in swim suits and down at the pool. 

Well some of us were freezing and hung out in the hot tub....

After a couple of hours in the pool/hot tub, we headed back to the room and snuggled, watched a few episodes of Honey Boo Boo (seriously), and toasted with tropical punch. 

Another fabulous year in the books! Hope everyone had a safe and Happy New Year!!!