Friday, January 30, 2009

Power Out: Day 4

After being couped up for a week with the flu and then all the shuffling around the past few days due to the power outages, we were in desperate need for some ways to burn energy!

Nana and Papa R gave the boys some money for Christmas so we could do some fun activities with them. We started a gymnastics class this month at the YMCA. Today was open gym for preschoolers so we took full advantage of it. Lots of fun running and bouncing was the perfect solution!

Bryce and Drew love to walk on the balance beams, to swing on the bars and to run and jump on the mats.

Their favorites are the trampolines

And the huge foam pit. They can slide down mats into the pit, jump of trampolines and blocks into it and swing on the bars into it. It's a blast!

When we got back to the condo, Jimmy took the boys sledding. We had the perfect setup being on a golf course. Who needs a sled when you can borrow the garbage can lids from the condo?!

Bryce loved the sledding...can you tell?

Drew wasn't as crazy about the sledding. He had much more fun sliding!

It was a GOOD day!
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Thursday, January 29, 2009


Do you remember the song by Vanilla Ice called "Ice, Ice, Baby?" When Bryce was little, we used to sing that to him with his name inserted - "Bryce, Bryce, Baby!" He would smile and bounce to the beat!

On a more serious note, our area has been hit HARD by crippling ice storms. We have been without power for 3 days.
Around midnight on Monday, the baby monitor starting beeping, a sign that the power had gone off. We could hear the ice pelting down on the house. Jimmy retrieved the flashlights so he could turn our propane-powered fireplace on so we wouldn't freeze in the 20 something degree temps. Not long after, he got hit with the flu bug that all 3 of us had. There's nothing like puking by flashlight!
We had heard on the news that night that it only takes about 1/4 inch of ice to take down power lines. We had over 1 1/2 inches! We also heard that it could take several days to get our power back on. As we sat and watched as dozens of trees and branches snapped and fell from the weight of the ice, we decided it would be safest for us to vacate. We packed up a few bags and headed to a hotel in our town. This was the view of our trees in our backyard.
We had a fun few hours swimming in the pool and relaxing in our room, until 9pm when the power went off! It was time for bed anyway so we just went to sleep and thankfully stayed warm. At 8am we were awakened by several fire alarms going off - supposedly candles had been left burning. So, we packed up again and headed home.

In order to drive into our driveway, Jimmy had to cut down a huge tree that had fallen in the middle of the street. While he worked outside a few of our neighbors came over to warm up in front of our fireplace. The had run out of propane!
Then we heard that it could be several more days or even weeks before everyone's power was restored. I was exhausted from dealing with all of us having the flu. I had not slept for more than a few hours each night for over a week and I just didn't feel like "roughin it!" So, we packed up again and headed to the condos that we like to stay at in Branson.

We are so thankful for electricity. Hot water. Washer and dryer. COFFEE! TV. The internet. An oven and refrigerator!

Thank you God for protecting our family!

We will be here indefinitely...I'll keep y'all posted!
Pics from our neighborhood.

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Monday, January 26, 2009


The boys were drawing on their dry erase boards today when Drew said, "Mommy, please help me draw my famiwy!'

He wanted to draw his Daddy, Mommy, Bicie and Drew, along with all of his grandparents.

He was proud of it when we got done.

He said with a huge smile on his face, "Ah, I just LOVE my famiwy!"

This made my day!

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Sunday, January 25, 2009

It Was Inevitable!

Thankfully, Drew is feeling better.

Unfortunately, I got his same tummy bug. I was so sick on Friday I thought I was going to die! I had severe dizziness from being sick (I'll spare you the details!) and was scared to walk for fear that I would pass out...not a good idea with little ones! So, the boys basically laid in bed with me watching tv and played around my bed most of the day. It was horrible - simply changing their diapers would make me sick!

I felt good enough on Saturday to begin cleaning my disastrous house and to catch up on laundry...(It's amazing how quickly a house can get out of control after one day of doing nothing!) just in time for Bryce to get sick! I knew it was going to happen!

Oh, what a long, miserable week this has been!

Thankfully, Jimmy got home late last night. Daddy to the rescue!

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Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Poor Drew!

On the way home from gymnastics yesterday I was watching Drew through my rear view mirror. I could tell he was not looking or acting normally. His cheeks were red and he was making weird faces. I thought maybe he was too hot from being bundled up in his winter gear or maybe he was getting car sick.

Sure enough, he was not normal. He threw up all over himself. Of course he started crying and was very upset which caused him to throw up again - out his mouth and nose!

Poor baby. I pulled over to wipe his face and mouth off just as he threw up again. Now it's all over his face, running down his jacket and puddled up in his car seat. Ugh...I do not do well with the sight and smell of vomit! I tried my hardest to hold it together and not get sick myself!

In 34 months of life, I am very thankful that they have never thrown up before. This was a whole new yucky experience!

Well, it turned out that it was not motion sickness. Drew threw up another 8 times! Of course, this would happen this week - Jimmy is on a 6 day trip!

Thankfully, today is going better. He has been drinking and eating just a little. So far, so good! I'm hoping that is was just a 24-hour flu and that Bryce and I will be protected from it!

On a funny note...

I was explaining to Bryce that Drew was really sick and that he would be sleeping in Mommy's bed so I could keep a watch on him. Bryce said, "so you can see when he blows his nose?" I didn't understand what he was saying so he told me again using sound effects. Then I understood. He thought Drew was blowing his nose when he was vomiting!

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Sunday, January 18, 2009

"Look Mommy!"

So last night the 4 of us went to Target for a few things.

We were on the hunt for slippers and snow boots (we scored - both were 75% off!) for the boys because it has been SO cold here. The first display we see is lots of very skimpy swimsuits and spring apparel. Of course the boys have to ask, "What's dat?" It's definitely not something they've ever seen before in our home - and probably never will! What's up with swimsuits in January?

So as we head toward the shoe department was pass the "intimate apparel section." And this is how the very LOUD conversation progressed...

Bryce: "Look Mommy, BOOBIES!"
Drew: "Oh wow, Mommy, LOTS of boobies!"
Mommy: Very quietly, "Boys, those are bras."
Bryce: "Wow, I see BLUE boobies!"
Drew: "I see YELLOW boobies!"
Mommy: "OK boys, not so loud!"
Bryce: "Mommy, you have boobies!"
Mommy: "Yes, son, I do!"

Jimmy and I were just mentioning how well the boys have been talking. They will ramble off 8-10 word sentences and totally catch us off guard. It's like talking with little people!

I know this is just the start of many funny and potentially awkward public conversations to come!

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Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bryce Did it!

For months, we have told the boys if they did this, we would buy them some drums. Unfortunately... our bribe has not worked!

We can normally tell when they need to do this because they like to run and hide in their closet. We don't blame them...a little privacy is good!

Today was different!

This morning Bryce ran for his closet. He had "the look." I knew exactly what he was doing. I ran after him to catch him.

I said, "Bryce if you go poo-poo on the 'big boy potty' Mommy and Daddy will give you your drums!"

Amazingly, he agreed to try. Moments later, and much to our surprise, Bryce hopped up and yelled, "I did it! I went poo-poos on the 'big boy potty!' I get my drums?"

Way to go Bryce. We are so proud of you! That is a HUGE victory for the Richardson household!

Thank you Nana and Papa R for buying their drums!

We thought for sure Drew would be really upset that he didn't get any drums but he was very happy for his brother. He sat calmly and just watched Bryce playing with his new toy! He is a sweet, sweet boy!

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Sunday, January 11, 2009

Family Food Faves

We eat a lot of soup in our house. I have found it to be a versatile way to get lots of veggies, protein and fiber into the boys. And it's something they enjoy.

Here's a great recipe for a chicken tortilla soup. The best part, it's made in the crock pot. You can throw it together before you head out the door and have dinner ready 6-8 hours later!

Chicken Tortilla Soup
1 can black beans (I used 2)
1 can corn (I used 2)
1 can diced tomatoes (southwest style, if possible)
1 packet enchilada sauce mix (or if you can't find this, mild taco seasoning works well too)
1 1/2 C water
1 can tomato sauce
1 can cream of chicken soup
2 C milk
3-4 boneless chicken breasts (I used frozen chicken tenderloins - about 7)
In crock pot, mix the enchilada packet together with the water and tomato sauce. Add cream of chicken soup and milk and whisk together until smooth. Add chicken. Pour drained black beans, drained corn and diced tomatoes on top of that. Cook on low 6-8 hours. Before serving, take out chicken and shred or dice, then put back and stir it all together.
Serve with your favorite toppings: sour cream, shredded cheese, fresh lime, avocado, cilantro, tortilla chips, diced onions, etc.

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Friday, January 9, 2009

Christmas 2008: Part 3

After our 4-day Christmas celebration we packed up and headed to Branson. We stayed in 2 condos so we could spread out a little and be in the heart of all the activities.

Silver Dollar City (theme park) is an amazing place to visit at Christmas time! The entire park is lit up in over 4 million Christmas lights and holiday decorations. They also have a 5-story tall musical tree with over 1 million lights choreographed to music. It was beautiful. The boys were awestruck!

We got to see the cute Christmas Parade, drink hot chocolate and go on rides. Bryce and Drew got to experience a whole new bunch of rides because they now meet the minimum 36 inch height requirement!
Nana and I just stood by and took pictures!
We let the boys stay in Nana and Papa's condo while me and Jimmy and Randy stayed next door in another condo. Smart, huh?!

Each night we put the boys in Nana and Papa's king size bed while we played games. They really enjoyed sleeping together and surprisingly, they did amazingly well! They haven't slept together since they were just a few days old! Isn't that precious?
Swimming in the "lukewarm" hot tub was one of Bryce and Drew's favorite things. They absolutely love the water.

Bryce thought he was pretty cool standing straight up on Papa's hands!
Drew thought he was cool holding his breath under water and bouncing off the bottom! My cute little fish! They will be ready for swim lessons soon!

The big boys' favorite was probably their guided fly-fishing trip.

The Dixie Stampede's Christmas Show was really awesome too! We even got the meet the "MC" after the show.
Uncle Randy bought some little fireworks for us to set off on New Year's Eve.
The boys thought the "pop-its" were hysterical and just giggled & giggled every time one hit the ground!
However, the ones that you pull the string to release the confetti were only enjoyed by Drew. The smell of gun smoke was strong and Bryce DID NOT like it! He would hold his nose and say, "Eww....ginks!" over and over!
What a fun little vacation and precious memories!

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Thursday, January 8, 2009

Christmas 2008: Part 2

The morning after Christmas, my Mother-in-Law and I got up bright and early to hit the after-Christmas sales. We got some smokin' deals!

Then we met all the guys at Big Cedar Lodge - our favorite place for brunch.

And then we walked around the beautiful property and let the boys burn off some energy!

We were all so tired that afternoon that we just enjoyed playing some games and went to bed fairly early.

So, we FINALLY had our Christmas on Dec. 27th!

Bryce and Drew once again loved EVERYTHING they received. The stock pile of organic lollipops and M & M's were especially a hit!

The fire truck blanket Grandma M made was special too! Here's Drew modeling his new Underoos!

Thankfully, the boys also enjoyed GIVING gifts and lots of LOVE!

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