Friday, April 29, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!!!

Las Vegas, Sin City, City of Lights, City That Never Sleeps….you did not disappoint!!!  I can definitely see how that city holds up to its reputation—what an amazing place!  I’ve always heard that it’s easy to be addicted, and after one short weekend there I’m already planning my next getaway (ahem, I turn 30 in October….)!

While the weekend was nothing short of amazing, it also had its bumps in the road.  First of all, it was my very FIRST time being away from Aubrie for any length of time, so I was pretty bummed and guilty to be leaving her behind in Iowa.  Then, both mine and Bobbi’s flights were delayed by an hour (mine for a late flight attendant, hers for mechanical failure), so we didn’t get there quite as early as we’d hoped.  Still, had a bit of time to fill up our travel cups and hit the strip with daylight wearing on.  And oh, the things we saw….random characters taking money to pose for pictures.  Some family friendly, others not quite as much. 


My papparazzi mode went into high gear for awhile.  We walked the strip taking in all the crazy sights and sounds, then split up into our groups: Team Bachelor and Team Bachelorette. 



We girls had a BLAST getting ready and eating up a bunch of delicious sushi (who knew I’d like the taste of eel??).  I won’t do a boring old play-by-play, but our night included a fun little show in Planet Hollywood, then heading to a club—where we spent the rest of the night.  At least until our feet screamed bloody murder in our stillettos and our stomachs decided Denny’s would be a good place for a 4am snack.  (Really, it’s not). 

Our second bump in the road occurred later that morning, after we’d gotten our mandatory 4 hrs of sleep.  We woke to gray chunky water in both sinks, and freezing cold showers.  Yay.  Two hours, a maintenance man, a trip to the lobby to complain, and 10 drink tickets/8 buffet vouchers and the hint of an upgraded room later we were on our way for the day.  Obviously 2 shades grumpier since we lost 2 hrs of touristing/pool time.  Which ended up being a little bit ok, since we all left the pool area that night no lighter than a neon strawberry.  Vegas sun is a little stronger than corn-growing Iowa sun.



Second bump: Upon return from the pool our sinks were once again backed up, and showers still cold.  Maintenance is obviously worth their weight in gold at the MGM.  They got to grace us with their presence again, but this time we weren’t able to get that upgrade (we were actually offered a DOWNGRADE to a single king bed room—not the nice suite we had—no thanks).  Went to dinner with the guys at the delicious buffet in the hotel.  THAT was worth it.  Seriously really good food, and LOTS of it, any variety, any color, any flavor from any part of the world you can imagine!  Not to mention at least 100 dessert (YUMMMMMMMMMMMMMMMM!)

  We all stuck together the second night, both touristy and fun clubbing stuff, and ended up being a pretty late (or early?) night—getting back to the suite (and COLD SHOWERS?!?!?!)  not that long before the sun came up.  But it was worth every second of the, uhhhh, less than comfortable day and trip back home.  Vegas was so much fun, and I feel that we didn’t get to spend quite enough time there.  Maybe a Thursday-Sunday trip will be in order in October :)


Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Aubrie and mommy took a trip to the zoo today!  We met up with Kelsey and her girls, Myla and Kaylee, and Anna and her girl Cameron.  Cameron is 3 wks older and is one of Aubrie’s friends (or at least her mom and I like to think they’re good friends w/all the playdates we’ve had together!), and I met Kelsey through work—Myla is 2 and Kaylee will be a year old in a month or so. 

It was exciting to be out in the nice, warm and sunny weather with the girls, and to be enjoying the animals at the zoo too!   Aubrie hadn’t been at the zoo since Halloween (which didn’t really count because none of the animals were out), and the time before that she was maybe 8 months old.  What 8 month old is interested in zoo animals??  I figured this would be a good age for her to go, since she’s so fascinated with the fishies at daycare and with all the animals she sees around town or in her books (all of them “Puppies” might I add!) 


3 exhibits in Aubrie decided she was a big girl and didn’t need to be tied down to her stroller anymore.  In fact, she was SO BIG that she needed to blindly push her own stroller into walls, the back of other people’s legs, etc.  Silly girl!  She started naming the animals…the red panda was ‘Elmo’ and pretty much everything else, except the actual fish, were ‘puppies’.  Can you tell this girl loves her furry brother??  She had a great time watching the otter swim circles in front of her, finally warming up enough to try and intimidate him (insert toddler’s ferocious growl)….until he popped up right in front of her, causing her to jump back in surprise!  I would say that was probably one of her favorite exhibits.

Aubrie trying to intimidate the otters


We meandered slowly to the goat/llama cages where you can feed them.  Surprisingly Aubrie really didn’t want much to do with them (surprising since she was so infatuated with the goats at Howell’s Pumpkin Patch in October!!).  Half hour break at the playground and slides, followed by a minor catastrophe when Miss Myla was running while watching her pretty new shoes—head vs. golf cart bumper = bumper wins + very upset toddler :(  After ensuring there were no concussions or goose eggs we went on to eat a snack near the peacock and eagle cages.  Aubrie, being the crazy goofball she is, wouldn’t sit still to eat.  Instead she marched around on the sidewalks, alternating lunges and high knees, then trying to imitate a peacock call (in her case it ended up sounding more like a grunty-scream).  Girl was gettin’ jiggy with her animal friends:) 

Aubrie’s favorite exhibit was the monkey exhibit.  And I’m not sure if it’s because the monkeys were more interesting, or if she was just having so much fun giggling up a storm with Myla and Cameron!  I wish I understood toddler babble!  The baboons were having a lazy afternoon, sitting in the sun and scratching each others backs….while the Gibbons (an ape of some sort) were partying it up in their cage—hooting and hollering and swinging all over the place.  The girls had a good time trying to have a conversation with them….who knows what they said ;)  After a quick trip to Africa to visit the giraffes and the tigers, the girls made it known that it was time to go. 

The excursion to the zoo was an exhausting one for Miss Aubrie….we were no less than a mile away from home (which is halfway to the zoo!) when she zonked out in the backseat.  That does it: I think I’ll be buying a season pass to the zoo ;)


Monday, April 11, 2011

A Quick One

Just a quick not here before I head off for an afternoon of money-making.

This past week has been interesting to say the least.  Just when I think things are turning around for the better, something else falls down on me.  BUT I have to tell myself a few things to make myself better: at least I have a job, even though I don’t work all my hours.  At least I have to only get ONE root canal, instead of 2.  At least I don’t have to worry about myself or my beautiful daughter’s health and safety due to the earthquakes and radiation/nuclear factory disasters in Japan.  At least the state trooper was nice enough to cut 5 mph off my speeding ticket after I was able to prove to him that I felt sick.  You know, things of that nature…..I need to stop being so hard on myself and the whole “pity me” syndrome I’ve been having.  Things could be SO MUCH worse.  And I’m thankful beyond belief that we are where we are.

Aubrie has been able to enjoy some gorgeous warm weather..slathered on some sunscreen to the chubby arms and legs and we got ourselves some sun time!  So much fun to watch her exploring the outdoors, watching and learning about everything around her.  The weather was in the 80s and sunny for a few days, and we got some good use out of the picnic table and slide we got her! 


New things in Aubrie’s world:

She’s undressing herself.  She’s drawing and coloring on everything she can—the girl’s obsessed with crayons!  She’s pointing to objects she knows and identifying them (such as clock, truck, ball, milk, juice, etc.  She’s also adding to her vocab every day.  New words are: stuck, thanks you (day-doo), please (pees), and go.  She’s also throwing both her hands up and asking us questions, in baby babble.  Usually ending with the word “go”. 


Saturday, April 2, 2011

I am thankful for….

This past week has really thrown me for a loop.  I am really struggling with getting my scheduled hours in at work, which makes my paycheck take a huge hit…especially with all my bills and upcoming trip to Vegas.  Credit card dispute on top of that (I won’t go into detail on that but not pretty!).  And then I find out a friend’s husband was killed in a car accident that left his 6 young sons fatherless, including a 2 1/2 month old baby.  So, with all this devastation in the lives of many around us, I thought it would be appropriate to thank God for the things in my life that he has blessed me with.

I am thankful for my wonderful family and friends, and that they have stuck with me through thick in thin throughout my life.  There are many people who aren’t real close with their families, or who don’t even have siblings to share their lives (and everything else!) with.  Even though I’ve wreaked some havoc on the lives of my sisters and parents, I am grateful for all of you for being there for me.  For supporting me and allowing me to lean on you when I’ve needed to borrow your strength.  Thank you for letting me vent when it’s the last thing you wanted to deal with.  Thank you for letting me share my opinion, even when it didn’t necessarily jive with yours.  Thank you for all of your help throughout the years.  And…thank you for letting me wear your clothes, use your shampoo, drive your car, stay at your house, use your makeup, and for whatever else I’ve borrowed throughout the years ;)

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I am thankful for my awesome boyfriend.  We’ve been through a lot, and while we’ve had our trying times and our fair share of ‘disagreements’, at the end of the day I can still say that I love you and want to spend my life with you.  Thank you for your support in times when I’ve been down: physically, emotionally, and financially.  You have no idea how much it means to me that you’re still by my side after everything.

I am incredibly thankful for my gorgeous, smart, charismatic daughter.  I am most thankful for her.  She has taught me so much in her short life: how to truly love, how to be independent, how to care for others without a thought for yourself, and just how much life changes when you have a child.  She is the most amazing part of my life, and I cannot imagine my life without her.  I would never want to: she is the #1 reason for everything I do and say.  I am also thankful for her health.  In my line of work it is not uncommon for children to become angels much sooner that anyone anticipates.  I am thankful she is my earthly angel, and that I get to hug and squeeze and kiss on her all day long.   



I am thankful for my job.  Even though we are not busy enough to stay fully staffed, I am thankful for the hours I work.  I love my line of work—it is beyond rewarding!  I love seeing a baby born barely halfway through the pregnancy get to go home with their families in a few months time.  I enjoy being able to place a tiny miracle into their mother’s arms for the first time, to help with the first bath, to teach them how to change a diaper or feed their child the first time, to be the physical/emotional strength the parent needs to cope with the road blocks in their child’s health.  I love that I can go into work taking care of patients, and in the end, say that I’ve gained wonderful new friends that I will never forget.  Each tiny baby, each new family, each big brother or sister reminds me of something I will never forget: that each and every new life is a miracle and we should treasure every moment of that life to it’s fullest.

I am thankful for the material things in my life.  They are not needed to stay alive in this world, but they sure make our lives more comfortable. 

I am thankful for my adorable puppy Gizzy.  You were my first child, and you’ll always be my baby boy!  Thanks for being such a great guard dog, an unpredictable goofball, and a good snuggler and tear-licker when I’m sad!

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Last, but not least (and I know I’m leaving many things out that I’m grateful for), I’m thankful for my life.  I’ve pushed to the edge of the cliff and back countless times, and I’m SO grateful that I am still standing on solid ground.  Thanks to the help and support of my family and friends, as well as people I don’t even know.  I plan to live my life to it’s fullest, to enjoy it, to try new things and gain new friends.  That is what we’re here for: to leave our mark on the world. 

Just a few of my favorite things:


DSC03902Feb2011 093Feb2011 080Rebels!!



Mazatlan 2007