Friday, July 29, 2011

Ava Conquers Her Fear

Ugh!  I've been trying to pull myself away from pinterest for the last hour(more on that later) to work on my blog post.  I've got entirely too many things to distract myself on the computer lately (including this blog). Okay...moving on to distraction #2...

I realize that there have been way too many pool posts lately, but I guess that's just to be expected when one has a season pass to the pool.  I swore that I would not post anymore about the pool this season (I mean, seriously, haven't we ALL heard enough?), but then, silly Ava had to go off and do something cool and now I have to blog about it.  More pool.  So sorry.  Feel free to skip it, but if you do, you're going to miss out on hearing all about Ava jumping off the HIGH DIVE!  That's right, can you believe it?!?  I mean, come on, the kid is only five years old.  I think she is kind of a rock star. :)

Of course, it wasn't necessarily all that easy.  I would never even encourage her to do this.  What mother really wants to watch her child dangling perilously 20 feet in the air crying that she made a mistake and then have to tell small child that it's too late...she HAS to jump?  I wasn't really looking forward to that little scenario, so I've been begging Ava NOT to jump for two weeks now, but it's like she just had this little magnet attached to her...pulling her towards the high dive, and we were all powerless to stop it.  I pretty much captured how the whole thing went down in a series (don't be scared) of about four videos, so, I'm just going to let those speak for me.  

Video #1...Bear with me, this is the longest (don't worry, that's just a little over a minute).  I would like a couple things to be noted here:  I encouraged her NOT to go and she was WARNED it was going to be high... At this point, I still think we have dodged the bullet and she will talk herself out of it completely

Video #2...I know I'm in trouble when she is sizing up the ladder as Chance does his dive.  Hmmm..I think she is really going to do it.  Note her little sigh as she walks by me.  That cracks me up every time. 

Video #3...Yep, she's gonna do it.  My worst fear is coming true.  She is going to be that kid that gets to the top of the diving board and has to be forced to jump.  Ugh!  I realized as all of this was going through my head, I should probably stop taping because that makes me look like an even WORSE mother.  I'm "making" my kid jump, she's crying AND I'm taping it. 

Oh, how I really wish you could have seen what happened AFTER this video.  I turned it off when she was crying up the ladder (just helping you remember).  She continued to cry as she walked across the board and stood on the edge of the board and cried some more.  (I was quite thankful there were only five people at the pool at the time or else I would have felt like an EVEN WORSE mother.)  Then, a calm came over her and a strange look of determination and it was then that I knew everything would be okay.  She jumped...and when she came up, she was laughing hysterically.  I guess it was a success?!?  ;)  I just wish I would have ignored the crying and continued filming the whole process.  It was hilarious.  

Video #4...I wanted to include another video of her jumping and having fun so that there is documentation that she really DOES like it now.  Yay, Ava! I'm so proud of you for knowing what you want and GOING FOR IT!



Thursday, July 28, 2011

They Wanna Do What??

Well, it's official.  I must be boring because when the kids found out Brian was going to work this morning, (what?!?  He doesn't do that everyday?!?) they practically fell over trying to get out the door to go with him.  Yeah right, I didn't really figure THAT was going to happen today, imagine my surprise when Brian said he was up for it.  

I can definitely go for a little of that action, because I have all of my extra kids today, which means I won't be leaving the house entirely too much anyway...and let's face it, that makes us ALL a little crazy.  The way I see it, it's a win-win: the kids get out of the house via a far-away trip to the student center and THIS mommy gets a little R&R when visiting kids ONE and TWO go down for their afternoon nap.  (We won't talk about how the plan will go a little south when MY kids decide they are bored and want to come home right in the middle of said nap time.)

One of the visiting kids was down for his nap for an entire hour before the second little visitor arrived, so I even got a bonus hour to myself this morning.  *Just a tasty little preview of my life when school starts when BOTH of my kids will be in school all say for the first time EVER and I am down to watching only ONE kid three days a week.  I have two entirely free days TWO WHOLE DAYS A WEEK.  DO YOU HEAR ME?!?!  It's gonna be incredible!!  (*sorry, my post got a little off track, can you tell I'm excited?)

Well, I'm off to Sonic...I'm pretty sure a vanilla diet coke is calling my name (and while I'm at it, I should probably put on something that's not my's almost noon!  SHEESH!)


Wednesday, July 27, 2011

High Dive Video

I finally figured out how to get my video on you tube. Turns out, I was using the wrong user name. I have the same user name for most things, but apparently I got creative with my you tube account. Good to know, especially when I haven't even looked at it in over a year. How am I even supposed to have a fighting chance?? Oh well, it's better now.

The other problem I discovered, is that I didn't film in landscape mode, so I have giant black boxes on either side of the video. I'll have to fix that in the future, but it will have to work for now.

The first video is one I took without Chance knowing I was filming. The let out a little scream on the way down, and when he found out was on video, he told me I had to erase it and do another "non-screaming" video. I told him, of course I would. Okay, how about a compromise? I put BOTH videos up instead?? Yeah, that sounds better. Sorry, Chance. :)

And here is the "Chance-approved" video:

Now, if I can just remember to film things the right way...


Saturday, July 23, 2011

Flashback to Memorial Day...

This is completely from the beginning of summer, but I couldn't help but put them on here.  A friend of mine took them at a cookout and just gave them to me the other day.  I thought they were so good.  Enjoy. 


Free Friday

Fridays are special at the Marlett house this summer because it is the only day I don't have extra kids around so the kids and I have fun on Fridays.  I have been trying to take them to the pool, but we have to be sure to go when it opens because buses and buses of daycare children start rolling between 12:30 and 1.  

This Friday, it was just Chance and I because Ava has swimmer's ear (poor baby) and can't swim until she is finished with her meds.  Never fear, she spent the day with Daddy at the office.  She LOVES being up there with her Daddy...and Chance loved that he got to swim even though I didn't think we were going to be able to go because of Ava.  

I know everyone is probably getting tired of all of my pictures from the pool, but I just can't help myself.  Here are some more:

Nevan met us at the pool because she had a couple hours off at work.  After the pool, we got some pizza at a somewhat questionable pizza joint.  By "somewhat questionable", I mean that the pizza was downright disgusting.  Sad, but true.  I will say that the cinnamon rolls were amazing, though.  Is that enough to make me ever go back??  No.  That's okay, it was an adventure.   

I thought I should put a picture of Ava in here to document what she was doing on Free Friday.  When I walked into Brian's office, she was rolling across the room in an office chair.  Only Ava.  Needless to say, she was having fun.  She would also like everyone to take time out of their day to see Captain America.  (or maybe that's Brian, but either way...)

*side note:  I have a really great video of Chance going off the high dive that I would really like to put on here, but I am having trouble loading it onto youtube.  Check back for it later.  I'm sure it will be stuck between a couple random posts that have nothing to do with the pool, but I WILL figure it out...eventually. 


I Have a Problem

I would like all of my blog readers to know that I have a problem.

There, I said it.

They say admitting you have a problem is half the battle, right??

Here's to hoping...

My problem:  cupcakes.  Not just any cupcake, mind you.  No, unfortunately, I am addicted to the new cupcake place that is just a mere mile and a half from my house.  See my problem?  This does not bode well for my weight loss.  Perhaps I should quit being their "friend" on facebook so I am not bombarded by all of their delicious, new flavors every single day. Although, I think I can quit my search...I have found my favorite: chocolate mint. ("mint to be"...sigh).  It's a chocolate cupcake with chocolate icing (have I mentioned the icing is to DIE for??) with andes mints crumbled and sprinkled on top.  Delicious.  I think I can quit my search for the best flavor because I definitely found it.  Now, I just wish I could quit  eating it.  That's where the "I have a problem" part comes in to play.

I used to justify my little trips once every couple weeks because I happen to know the owner and just wanted to be "supportive".  However, my one trip every couple of weeks has turned in to two trips every week.  Yeah, like I said, I have a problem.

So, for those of you that are in the Oklahoma City/Moore area and haven't tried them out, why don't you head on over to The Cupcake Lounge and check it out for yourself.  No one likes to sin alone. ;)  You won't be sorry, they're delicious.  

Anyone else out there have any "problems"??  ;)


Haircut Day

Friday was a long awaited, much anticipated day in the Marlett house: HAIRCUT DAY!!  Why is haircut day so amazingly exciting, you ask??  Well, when you have strangers remarking that your son has crazy hair, it puts a little motivation behind the action.  ;)  You be the judge:

I told's a bit scary.  I have a son that desperately wants long hair.  I, on the other hand, am a control-freak mommy that would just as soon give him a buzz cut to keep things neat and tidy.  

I think I have exercised super great skills here in letting go of my control-freakiness in hopes of giving my son what he wants.  He is nine, after all, I know I should let him make some of the smaller decisions in life.  I'm sure that his hair is one of them.  However, in this quest to let him to what he wants with his hair, I think I have just had to make myself turn a blind eye to it completely so I can resist the urge to cut it the second it even LOOKS like it is going to get in his eyes.  (Just so you know, that's exactly where he wants it.)  My blind eye lets his hair go completely wild at times.

That is...until strangers mention it.
That is not fun.
Then, you can guess what happens....


And, doesn't it look so much better.  Mommy can rest now.  At least for a week or two. ;)

This is a random side note that has nothing whatsoever to do with haircut day (except that it happened to be on the same day)...

My Shutterfly photo book came in the mail today.  I am so excited.  One thing off my list and a little bit closer to getting my photo goals accomplished.  Granted, this is the 2006 book and we are in 2011, but it still IS progress.  Actually, I think my kids enjoy looking at them even more when they are from years ago because they have forgotten (or don't even remember) what was going on in the first place.  They looked at my book for HOURS.  It even resulted in getting all my scrapbooks down for them to look at as well.  (I still stand by the fact that my scrapbooks are MUCH better, but who has time for that anymore??)

Anyway, all that to say, I snapped this picture while they were looking at my book after it came in the mail.  I thought it was precious and had to share. :)


Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Fill in the Blanks

Click here to view these pictures larger

Since I was on a blog hiatus from January to May, I thought I would add some of the pictures I would have put on my blog during this time.  It's not perfect, but it will have to do. ;)


Tuesday, July 19, 2011

Unexpected Family Fun

Here are some pictures I took from the park the other night.  We  took the kids to see Winnie the Pooh and then we took them to play at their elementary school playground.  It was a really good evening.  I think the best part was that we weren't expecting to do anything.  Brian just came home from work and said that we should go to the movie.  The movie was super short and we still had daylight hours after it was over, so we took the kids to play.  I think they are both really ready for school to start, so they liked the idea of visiting their playground.  It was fun to have them lead us around and tell us stories about things they do when they play out there at school.  I got some really cute pictures that are a few of them.


A Trip Down Memory Lane

I've noticed every time we go to Mississippi, Brian takes the kids around to see different things we did as a kid: his school, playground, places where he used to work, etc.  This made me think... I don't really do that with the things I used to do.  I just kind of take those things for granted.  I think that happens more when the kids grow up in the same state as you.  We're not going on any sort of vacation, it's just always there.  

I have already mentioned that I've been a little nostalgic lately.  That, coupled with the thinking I've been doing when we go to Mississippi has led me to exposing the kids to more of the things I experienced when I was growing up.  The more I show them, the more interested they seem to be.  I've showed them parks, my library, (we currently have a season pass to the pool I went to, and so on...).

My parents were doing some work at my old house the other day (I haven't been there in YEARS) and I asked the kids if they would like to see the house where I grew up.  I figured that wouldn't be THAT big of a deal, but they seemed really excited about it.  I threw them (plus an extra baby) in the car and took them to Del City.

When my mom got remarried and we moved to Moore, she didn't need a lot of her old furniture.  Her friend ended up renting our house and said she could use it, so quite a few things from my childhood are still there.  The kids loved looking at the house.  Ava was quite impressed when I told her my old room used to have panda wallpaper on one wall.  (Don't get any ideas, Ava...I like your room just the way it is.)  They spent quite a bit of time going through the rooms while I told them stories of things that happened when I was a kid.  It was a neat experience to have them there and get to share my stories with them.

 I told Chance he should be thankful that he and Ava don't have to share a room like my sister and I did growing up.  He told me he wouldn't mind if it was a baby brother.  Yeah, right.  That would be over in about a week. ;)  

Even though it was about 105 degrees outside, they wanted to play in the yard for awhile.  It was fun to watch them run around in the exact same places I did as a child.  My Mom played track ball with Chance.  He's been dying to have someone (that's not Ava...she doesn't throw the ball high enough) play with him.  

I know this may seem somewhat weird that it is so exciting for me to involve my kids in my "growing up" memories as much as I do.  I admit, our house now  is much bigger and I love Moore.  It's far nicer (and arguably more safe) than Del City.  I think the real issue here stems from missing my Dad and I feel like when I show the kids these things, he's maybe just a little bit closer, even if it's just for a few minutes. I mean, where else can they sit on the exact couch that my dad used to lay on?  Twenty five years have passed and there is not too much that is the same.  That's why I enjoy it so much.  I'm glad they humor me (and really even seem to have fun) on our little outings.  It's been a fun little gift for us to enjoy together. 


Cruise Facts

I meant to write this earlier to go along with all my cruise pictures, but I got a little overwhelmed with trying to get the rest of my blog caught up.  Everything is a little wacky and out of order, anyway.  ;)  I wanted to do a top 10 of some of our favorite cruise moments.  I thought it would be a fun way of recording some memories, but not too wordy to bore everyone with the details.  As I started working on my list, it became a little longer (thanks, Brian).  So, I changed it from a top ten, to a list of random cruise facts (in no particular order).  If you're looking for actual pictures from the cruise, keep scrolling...they're down there somewhere. 

So, here you go, random cruise facts from the 2011 Marlett Family Vacation:

Cruise Fact ~ If Ava is anywhere near chocolate milk, she can and will get it all over her entire outfit.  (Nothing like ruining her entire summer wardrobe before it actually even starts).

Cruise Fact ~ Every time we introduce our kids to a new beach city, Chance announces that  it will be where he lives when he "grows up".  (Since Cozumel was our last stop, that is his current city of choice).

Cruise Fact ~ 6-10 ice cream cones a day is perfectly acceptable.

Cruise Fact ~ With unlimited food options to dazzle the taste buds, Peanut butter & Jelly and potato chips was Chance's dinner request EVERY SINGLE NIGHT! (and you should have seen how his eyes lit up every time they brought it to him.)

Cruise Fact ~ Nothing is quite as exciting for the kids as little white towels folded into animals. It was Chance and Ava's nightly highlight to see what little creature was waiting in their room to bid them goodnight.  

Cruise Fact ~ Even though stingrays should be safe because they have been "de-barbed", don't be fooled by the "safety" of a ravenous stingray.  Ava's giant stingray hickey on her leg (5 minutes into our excursion) proved that they are, in fact, bad news and not to be messed with.  

Cruise Fact ~ Luchador masks are a matter of ship security and are not to be worn on-board at any time.  (Just ask Chance who was given a strict warning by ship security).

Cruise Fact ~ Why spend good money on an excursion to the beach if there is a perfectly good kiddie pool nearby?  The kids are easily entertained with creature comforts.  Oceans are perfectly great to look at, but not to swim in. 

Cruise Fact ~ All cruise cabin doors must be unlocked twice to gain entry.  At least, that's what Chance and Ava thought as both of them ALWAYS had to place their key in the door before we could enter the room.

Cruise Fact~  Even if you warn the kids that the street entertainer pretending to be a statue is going to try to scare them, it still scares them every time.

Cruise Fact ~ A dollar flute may seem like a cheap souvenir, but it is really just the street vendors way of playing an evil joke on you for the long drive home.

Cruise Fact ~ When you are in port, and certain bars are "closed" the attendants don't even have to acknowledge your presence, much less serve you a coke.  No matter how long you stand there and wait.  In case you're wondering, they also don't feel compelled to tell you that the bar is closed in the first place. 

Cruise Fact ~ Comedians on the ship are not funny.  They are just placed there for "entertainment" because you are in the middle of a giant ocean and out of options.  Give Ava 45 minutes and a microphone, and I assure you, she will be far more funny.

Cruise Fact~ When your wife tells you to stay somewhere, she will be right back, that does not mean wonder off in search of drinks.  She will not think the following 45 minutes of looking up to see you on the 10th floor of the floor of the ship (while she is on the 2nd) is a very fun game.  Word to the wise. ;)

And finally, 

Cruise Fact ~ Even though there are times that parents will think family cruising is exhausting and secretly wish for the days of their solo cruises and long for uninterrupted hours of reading, the family time and memories are awesome and irreplaceable. I wouldn't trade them for the world. 


Monday, July 18, 2011

4th of July

We had an amazing Fourth of July this year.  Brian and I were talking about it later and both agreed that while this particular holiday is always fun, this had to go on the books as one of the most enjoyable EVER.  The day before the 4th, we went to the carnival at our local park.  It's funny that I have lived in the same town all of my life and never went once.  It was way too hot to stay for long, but it was fun while it lasted.  We got the kids wristbands for unlimited use of the inflatables.  

July Fourth was crammed full of activities.  We took the kids swimming with Nevan in the morning (right after a stop by Dunkin' Donuts).  This was followed by some resting and cooking at home.  That evening, we went to our friend's house for some 4th of July fun.  We started this tradition last year.  Their house is right by our local park where the fireworks happen, and let me tell you, there is not a better seat in the house!  Before last year, I didn't think it mattered what distance you saw the fireworks from as long as they could be seen.  This was far from the truth!  Having fireworks go off right above your head makes them about a million times better.  I was like a little kid in a candy store.
I got a little ahead of myself there.  BEFORE the fireworks, we had time to hang out with our awesome friends.  They set up the waterslide and sprinkler in the yard, so there was plenty for the kids to do.  Combine this with delicious food and some bocce ball and we had a super awesome evening.  All of this followed by fireworks, which I'm sure you've already guessed was my favorite part of the evening.  It was a great day!



After a brutally hot summer, we finally got some relief the other day.  I had no idea that rain was even in the forecast, so imagine my surprise when the kids came in from playing outside to inform me that it was raining.  What?!?  It was so awesome!  It went from super hot and sunny to an absolute downpour in less than 20 minutes.  I love a good summer storm.  

There was no lightning, so I told the kids they could play outside for awhile.  If was funny, they were actually a little hesitant at first, but it didn't take them long to get in the spirit of things.  They played outside (and had so much fun!) until it started raining so hard that it began to hurt.  Needless to say, that cut playtime short and they were done with the rain.  It was a great day and wonderful reprieve from the constant 100 plus degree weather we have been having ALL SUMMER!  

It stayed cool even after the rain moved out, it stayed cooler all day.  At one point, it was even in the 70's.  Oh, how I wish it could have stayed!


Bonding with the Cousins

I mentioned that Stef watched Ava for us on Friday...well, on Saturday, it was our turn to watch Parker.  What did we do?  Go to the pool, of course.  The kids have been dying to have Daddy go to the pool with them, and our pass gets in a +1, so it was the perfect.  We even let cousin Alex tag along, too.  I thought it may be a little crazy having so many people to keep up with at the pool, but there were no problems aside from the fact that it was a little crowded.  Everyone had a great time.  We didn't stay more than a couple hours, though because the kids were so exhausted from all of their fun the night before. 

What's the kids' least favorite thing about the pool?  Adult swim.  Twice a day, they make all the kids get out of the pool for fifteen minutes.  You would think it was an eternity. Unfortunately, that was what was happening when we arrived at the pool.  It passed quickly, though and there was much cousin fun to be had after that.  

What did we do after the pool?  Get snow cones, of course.  The kids love snow cones.  It was the perfect ending to a hot day at the pool.

Unfortunately, Parker didn't end up spending the night with us on Saturday.  He got sick and went home early.  Don't worry, we still owe you one, Stef. ;)


Date Night

I've mentioned before that Brian and I place a high priority of spending quality time together.  We try to have date nights at least a couple times a month (when finances and babysitters allow).  Well, we had a fabulous date the other night.  Brian took me to Mama Rojas on Lake Hefner.  I always tell Brian that I think that it's strange that with my fascination with all bodies of water that we don't spend more time at Lake Hefner.  Well, he decided to remedy that on Friday.  I must say, that we will definitely be back (especially when it's not 110 degrees outside!)  I loved the restaurant.  Delicious.  Bonus:  We had a fabulous view overlooking the lake.  After dinner, we attempted to walk around outside for a bit, but it was so stinkin' hot that we only lasted about 30 minutes.  It was so beautiful, though.  

Sometimes, on our dates, we are a little rushed to make a movie or get back so we don't keep the sitter too long, but Friday was so relaxed.  Chance spent the night at a friend's house for a birthday party and my sister watched Ava, so we had the night all to ourselves.  It was great.  After dinner and a walk we did a little shopping and went back home for awhile.  We did end up catching a movie later on, but we definitely didn't have to rush for it.  There may have even been a little ice cream after our movie got out at midnight.  Totally healthy, I know.  Great date and we're ready for another.