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Friday, March 29, 2013

Big Sister Turns 40!!!

It's my sister April's birthday!!!!  I can't believe she's 40, now that we're older 40 isn't "old" anymore.  Of course as we say these days "40 is the new 30" and I personally can't tell you how much I'm loving my 30s and truly believe life only gets better as we get older.  I'm sure my new baby niece Charlie is and will continue to keep her feeling young! 
I want to wish her the happiest of birthdays and enjoy every minute of her special day and know that the Vranich family loves her and misses her everyday!  She always spoils my babies and wishes there's more time to see them whenever we are in town, but the feeling is mutual and they are in love with their Auntie April just as much!  I'm sure Addison is not going to understand why we don't get to see her Auntie April ON her birthday!
Happy Birthday Big Sis!!!  I love you more than words can express, we're thinking of you and celebrating in spirit!

Thursday, March 28, 2013

Invading the Miller's Vacation!!

I got the best news the other day from my brother's girlfriend Kelly...she's coming to St. Pete for a day and we get to see her!  Kelly and her family are driving down from Michigan to come see the Tiger's play against the Ray's at the Trop.  We literally live like 5 minutes from there.  I'm really excited that we'll get to hang out with Kelly for a couple of hours before the game.  I've decided not to tell Addi because she is going to blow once she sees Kelly, plus as discussed previously she'll probably ask me every 5 minutes if she's here!
Anyway, I just love this girl and the best part is she loves us and our kids just as much!  We get along as though we are already sisters.  While Greg and Kelly have been dating for a while, I've decided to stop harassing my brother in regards to when the hell is he going to pop the question.  I guess I don't need a piece of paper to consider her my sister in-law, but it would be nice to go to their wedding and then start harassing them about making some Ramsden babies!  I feel really lucky that my baby brother has found such an amazing girl and LOVE that we get along so well.  Can't wait to attack her with big hugs and kisses and then some lunch! 

Wednesday, March 27, 2013

The Vranich's Go Cruisin'

A couple of weeks ago John came home and decided we should go on a cruise.  I was honestly a little shocked because my husband doesn't make vacation plans.  Of course the reason why he suggested it was because they were running a good deal and I was all about it.  Once we figured out the kids don't need a passport we went ahead and booked it!  As soon as it was booked Addison started the count down until we were leaving.  Thank God we didn't book it several months ahead or it would've been a long painful countdown!
We arrived on the boat and the kids were extremely excited...Brody thinks he was excited because of course as soon as we pulled up to valet he decided to take a nap.  The process to check in and get on the boat was painless.  We got there early enough to head to our room and start to unpack.  Once we did that we had our emergency drill and then headed to the pool.  I'm not going to lie, the FL weather hasn't been too pleasant so I was a little worried we were going to freeze the whole time, but once the sun was out it was really nice.  Brody didn't agree and was pissed that he was in his bathing suit and that we thought for a second he was going to get in that freezing pool!  Addison on the other hand decided to just become numb to it and jump right in.  She's such a fish and we knew we wouldn't have any issues with her entertaining herself while swimming around! 
The next morning we headed to the buffet for breakfast.  The kids were so excited to look out the windows and watch as the water splashed by.  It was actually really cool to see their faces/reactions to this whole new adventure.
Of course after a while Brody decided he needed a rest and once again he was back into one of our arms "cuddling".  It was so weird how clingy and how often he would tell us "I so tired".  You would think we would be excited, but it was a little annoying since we would basically be confined to just him.  We took turns, but it was still just weird!
The cruise had a cool Kids Club that Addison could go to so we decided she should try it out in the morning and then she could come back with us after 2 hours.  Well, when I went to drop her off she was already very hesitant about the situation.  I told her to try it out and I would be back in a couple of hours, if she didn't like it she doesn't have to go back.  Low and behold, John went to get her and she started bawling when she saw him (guess she won't be doing that again).  She had fun, but she "missed us".  So, we had to scratch that idea off our list, which really wasn't that big of a deal since its not like we could put Brody in there too!
The first full day on the ship was interesting.  It was super cloudy and looked like it was going to storm the whole time.  Thank God it cleared up and we got to soak up some sun...ALOT of sun.  Once again Brody ended up falling asleep on John first (before the sun came out) and then he got passed onto me while the sun came out.  As I mentioned, it was super cloudy at first which lead me to not put lotion on yet.  After more than an hour of holding Brody in the hot sun w/no lotion...I was in trouble!  I was able to lay him next to me on the other lawn chair and while I was excited to be free, I made a huge mistake by not putting on a "just to be safe" first round of lotion before we left our stateroom.  After I finally put my 8 lotion on, I had a feeling it was just too late and things may not end up how I planned and I was COMPLETELY RIGHT!  While my kids slept covered up, I thought I would be fine just sun bathing with my 8 lotion, little did I know, several hours later I would be swearing at myself and staring at my bright red face (mostly forehead) in the mirror.  It was seriously a joke and I must admit I don't think I've ever been so stupid in my adult life!  I mean normally I go tanning at a tanning place a couple of times before hand, but hey I'm trying to live life a little more "healthy"...see where that got me?! 
After all the sleeping was done, Brody decided to join the party and he finally had a great time swimming.  They had a cute kiddie pool with slides so it was perfect to get my little guy in there and even Addi loved it too!  I'm so happy we found this section so we could get away from the older spring breakers (I sound so damn old) and loud music.  We ended up spending most of our time at this pool the last full day too (after Brody napped for 3 hours) and as I mentioned it was perfect especially for Mr. Brody!
Our room was PERFECT!  We had a balcony room that was extremely spacious.  The bed was super comfy and BIG.  There was a bunk bed that came out of the wall which Addison slept in and they brought us a pack n' play for Brody (he actually slept in it).  The bunk bed was perfect up until the last night.  Unfortunately Addison somehow managed to roll out and fall on top of John's legs.  It seriously gave us all a heart attack, but she was ok.  Like I said THANK GOD it happened our last night or else she would never venture up there again.  Overall though it was really cool and Brody loved all the space he had to play on "his" ipad.
Our one stop on the cruise was in Cozumel, Mexico.  The weather was once again perfect.  It was a little over cast and windy to keep us cool when the hot sun came out.  However, once again Brody fell asleep on me while John and Addison got to enjoy the water and do some fun water sports.  The water was pretty choppy, but luckily they were out there long enough to enjoy the sand and all it had to offer.  We headed over to the pool that had a kid area, a larger pool and even water slides.  I honestly don't think Brody even went in the pool, but it was exciting for him to look at.  I wore my cover up most of the time due to my "stupid" sunburn lines, but it was a perfect excursion with our kids.  It was actually really ok for me to just take care of Brody since I was so humiliated by what I allowed the sun do to my body!
Our last night we made sure to go to a nice dinner and venture around the ship.  Addison was super excited to visit the library, unfortunately there was a very small section of kids books and within that small section the books were in Spanish.  She was still excited and of course I had to take a picture to send in to her teacher to let her know that Addison was still working hard even on vacation!
We couldn't complete our ship experience without getting the kids (and John) their 100th ice cream cone.  Brody wanted ice cream morning, noon and night.  He was so pissed when he couldn't have ice cream for breakfast, but luckily he got over it.  My favorite part about eating was Addison's excitement in regards to the buffet.  She would go up there all by herself and pick the most random things that she would NEVER eat, but she loved doing it!  When we got home she was so mad that we couldn't go up to a bunch of food and pick what she wanted, now we're back to chicken nuggets, cheese quesidillas and turkey hot dogs (BORING).
Overall the trip was a success.  The kids did really well and had fun.  I'm thinking if we go this route again we will need to bring some grandparents to help out so John and I could perhaps get just a couple of minutes to enjoy the vacation and each other's company.  Its nice though that this is an experience Addison and hopefully Brody too can say they had a great time!  Thank you Royal Caribbean - Jewel of the Seas for a great family vacation, I would highly recommend it!

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

My 2 1/2 Year Old is Running the Show!

 (Brody & Talon at Addison's B'day Party)
 (Sleeping on the Cruise)
(Luckily He's Cute)
I honestly don't even know where to even begin this post.  How can this cute little guy be such a nightmare right now? Mr. Brody has decided that he's the boss these days and he's calling the shots.  I can't believe what a couple of months can do to a little boy.  Brody has been keeping us on our toes to say the least.  Unfortunately this little guy has been getting lots of time outs and hearing lots of "don't hit, don't talk back, don't...don't...don't).  I can't believe what a little terror he's been and people keep telling me its only go to get worse...THANKS!
The main issue right now is how he thinks he's in charge so when we tell him he has to do something he tells us "NO I DON'T HAVE TO DO THAT, YOU GO TO TIMEOUT!"  If he only knew how much I would love to be in timeout everyday.  Unfortunately we've all been feeling a little under the weather for the last couple of months so I have a feeling perhaps this is where some of his sassiness is coming from.  It makes me so sad when he's bad because when he's sweet he's the love of my life and I'm thanking God for giving me my little man, but when he's bad I swear a tornado comes through and we have a totally different little boy on our hands!  Getting him in the car to go places is the worst because all he wants to do is play on the ipad and be left alone, so the ipad seems to be a necessity in order to get him to semi cooperate.  He did end up having an ear infection a little over a week ago and is finishing his antibiotics so I'm hoping there is a rainbow at the end of this nightmare.
We've also had to convert his crib into a toddler bed which is another story within itself.  Some nights he does awesome and most nights he ends up in our bed by 3 or 4am.  Honestly I just want to get sleep so after trying to get him back in his bed and he then returns to lay with us I give up.  Luckily he's a little bit easier to sleep with than Addison, which means we aren't getting kicked in the face all night and we don't have to listen to teeth grinding.  I'm just going to keep trying to get him back in his own bed, but hey I'd rather him end up with us at 4am to sleep than make us get up!
Today was no exception to his sassiness.  He was extremely mad when it came time to take Addison to gymnastics camp, but we managed.  Then it was time to get ready to go to his first swim lesson and we started the "NO" all over again.  Thank god once we got there he was actually excited and he didn't even cry while swimming.  He actually really enjoyed it and I couldn't tell him enough how proud I was.  I even rewarded him with a little treat afterwards and now he is still talking about how he was a good boy.
So, in the end...it sucks that he's at this phase, but like everything else this to shall pass.  I'm going to keep doing what I can and stay on top of him being a nice little boy and remind him its not nice to be mean.  I feel like I have a long road ahead of me, but I'm pretty sure I went through the same thing with Addison...kind of!  ;o)

Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Once Again Addison Doesn't Disappoint!

Holy moly this girl is seriously not giving us one bit of a reason to be upset with her.  Addison Marie is continuously making us smile and extremely proud!  Last week she was honored with Student of the Week (for the 2nd time).  I'd be lying if I said I was surprised, I mean everytime I see her teacher she only has amazing things to say and whenever I'm there to volunteer she's always helping her friends and her teacher.  Still I was beyond excited and had to hold back the tears.  How can you not get a little choked up when your baby girl is being recognized for her hard work!  So, of course after she told me we had to hit good ol' Target so she could pick out a special gift and get some pretty flowers.  I believe 100% in teaching her that if she continues to be a good student she deserves to be celebrated.  She's learning how important it is to try your best and try to have fun while doing it.  
John and I headed off to Addison's school this morning for her mid-year teacher conference and once again I couldn't be more proud.  Addison is growing by leaps and bounds!  She has improved so much since the beginning of the year and its ALL HER.  She loves writing and learning new things everyday.  She had a dentist appointment yesterday and I let her get something from Target (once again) because she was so brave while getting her cavity filled.  Addison actually decided to pick out a "chapter book" rather than a toy.  She's obsessed with wanting to be at the "chapter book" level so I told her that while she won't be able to read it on her own, her and I could read it at night together!  Back to the conference...she's already at a 1st grade level in each area which means she will be more than ready next year for 1st grade!  I really can't thank her teacher enough for all the hard work she's done by bringing out Addison's potential.  Mrs. Moyer is constantly telling me how much she enjoys Addison and what a great helper and friend she is and as I said her school work only continues to get better!  Its seriously such a huge relief to hear this and know John and I are actually raising a beautiful, smart and loving little girl!  PHEW!

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

Renovation Nightmare = Beautiful Backyard!

I honestly don't even know where to begin this entry because this project was such a hot mess I almost can't stand to re-live it!  I'll tell you about it anyway!
So, John has a guy that has his own company basically doing work for the new company John is with.  John is now doing Property Management, basically buying small apartments buildings, making them look amazing and then managing them (in a nut shell).  "The guy" who is doing the work for them said he could help us out with a bunch of projects that we wanted to get done around the house.  We had him over, I made him a beautiful spreadsheet of exactly what we needed him to do and he gladly told us "ohh I can do this and that with no problem".  "The guy" charges next to nothing so John and I were beyond excited to "get this party started".  We decided the backyard should be the first priority.  We've never really been able to use our backyard because of little to no grass and it just got nasty back there through the years.  I was super excited the kids were going to have a backyard to play in and we would have space to have friends come over and hang out before it got too hot.  We decided to cut down the tree in the backyard, tear out the plants toward the very back, sod the entire backyard, create a patio w/brick pavers and then also make a little fire pit.  "The guy" said he could get all of this done in 2 days.  Well, 2 days turned into over 2 months.  It was so disappointing to get a call every day "I don't have time to come by today, but I promise I'll be there tomorrow" then he wouldn't come for a week.  It was partially our fault because when he said 2 days worth of work he didn't mean consecutively, he meant we would just pay him his 2 day rate.  After figuring that out I was actually fine and more understanding.  It was the times when he said he was coming to finish a project and never showed up and wouldn't answer John's calls.  We received the sod around 3pm one day and "the guy" said he'll be right back he had to run back to one of the properties to finish a project.  Well, 2 hours later he wasn't back or answering John's calls so John had to start laying sod 5 at night.  There were 2 piles sitting in the ally so we really had no other choice.  I seriously couldn't believe what we were going through.  So, John laid the sod and next up was getting the brick pavers laid that were sitting in our backyard (that John had to go pick up b/c "the guy" continued to say he would get them tomorrow and tomorrow and tomorrow).  There was no way that John could lay those so finally "the guy" got one of his friends to come out and do it for us.  He did an awesome job and was super friendly.  In the end the job got done w/just 2 small things that had to make it totally completed. 
(sold the trampoline)
(love our new entertaining space)
(1st fire)
(kids love having their backyard back)
 
As I said there were a couple of things to complete.  We knew we were DONE using "the guy" and had to take matters into our own hands (wait I think we were basically doing that from the start anyway).  We still had a tree stump sitting in our backyard and then needed to lay rocks on the sides of the house. Luckily there was a guy walking the neighborhood looking to do some work and we ended up paying him to cut the tree stump down and clear out the weeds/grass on the side of the house. I swear its NEVER ending. Today we got rocks delivered to lay on the sides of the house so John spent 4 hours dumping rocks. I'm not here to sound like a snob, but this is exactly why we would prefer to pay people to do these things. We just don't have time or the knowledge to complete these kind of projects. I'm utterly disgusted with the experience we had and have no interest in getting our LONG list of other projects done unless we know someone can complete it from beginning to end.  It proves once again you get what you pay for and we would rather pay more money than go through this experience again!
On a happy note...I'm in LOVE with our new backyard.  I'm interested to see what our water bill will be since John is watering it every night, but in the end we got exactly what we wanted! I just need to talk John into letting us get the kids a swing set so I can let them walk out the sliding door and play their little hearts out.  Hope you like it and I will post more pictures to show off the fun we have with our hard work!  

Friday, March 1, 2013

Baby Girl Turns 6!

Can you believe this little beauty is now 6 years old?!  I seriously can't.  I keep saying to myself "man, this is getting real".  I can't believe what a lucky mom I am to have such a beautiful blessing in my life!  She's growing by leaps and bounds and more importantly she is the most loving and caring little girl.  I don't know what we did right, but I truly believe she's on the path of having a happy and healthy future. 
Of course having such an amazing little girl its hard not to spoil her!  I mean the girl is constantly getting pretty much everything she wants and its simply because she isn't giving us a reason not too.  I mean the biggest complaint I have is the fact she asks for chocolate every 2 seconds when she's home, but with a simple no and a 100 times of seeing if my answer will change she gives up.  I really do thank God everyday for my little Addison.  She hasn't given us too many issues since she turned 6 months (which I will hold those 6 months over her head until the day I die) and that's a huge blessing.  John and I will continue doing what we do, setting boundaries and hope she stays on this path of being a sweet, caring and loving little girl, not only at home but out in the real world as well. 
 
HAPPY BIRTHDAY ADDISON!!!  I love you more than all the stars in the sky!