4/11/08

So my friend Rebecca has this great blog http://mamalikestojitterbug.typepad.com/rebecca/.  She is a fantastic writer and she deserves and award for chronicling her families life in such a witty and comedic way.  Anyways, I am taking this blog entry from her blog.  Imitation is the best form of flattery right?

Four Things Tag

 

Four Jobs You've Had in Your Life

1.  I worked one summer at my Dad's old Company (4th grade - it paid my way to Space Camp) filing updated catalogue sheets and purchase orders.

2.  Salesperson at Attivo Eurostyle (Men's Clothing)

3.  Cleaning Person (vacant apartments, apt laundry rooms & the office that I worked in)

4.  Property Manager

 

Four Movies You've Watched More Than Once

1.  Armageddon

2.  Erin Brokovitch

3.  Tombstone

4.  The Godfather Trilogy

 

Four Places You've Lived

1.  Whittier, CA (where I lived in early childhood)

2.  Anaheim Hills, CA (where I lived in late childhood)

3.  Fullerton, CA (where I lived in my post high school years)

4.  Chandler, AZ (where I live now)

 

Four TV Shows You're Watching

1.  Grey's Anatomy

2.  Brothers & Sisters

3.  Private Practice

4.  LOST

 

Four Places You've Been on Vacation

1.  Rocky Point, Mexico

2.  Bahamas

3.  Disney World

4.  San Diego

 

Four Things You Love To Eat

1.  Bagels & Cream Cheese

2.  Loaded Burritos

3.  Anything that accompanies dip (usually Gramma's secret Ranch Dip)

4.  A big fat juicy steak, medium well with grilled onions

 

Four Things You're Looking Forward To

1.  Getting Payton out of diapers

2.  Loosing weight/getting physically fit

3.  Taking our November Thanksgiving trip

4.  Toby Keith's new bar that will be located in MESA!

 

Four Places You Love to Shop

1.  Target

2.  Coach

3.  Barnes & Noble

4.  Crate & Barrel

  3/24/08

Our second home improvement project for 2008 is to update and re-model our pool and backyard.  The current decking around the pool is chipped and ugly.  The pool tiles are southwestern and have years of calcium build up on them (plus those who know me know that southwestern isn't really my thing lol).  The granite is an ugly orange color, the landscaping lights don't work and the patch of grass is anything but lush.

We have contracted with Armor Deck for new water level pool tiles, new decking and they are also going to put down a mock flagstone under our covered patio, the elevation where the pool umbrella is and all along the side of the house by the patch of grass.  We're still trying to schedule the darn job but it should start here in the next week to week and a half.  If it doesn't, Lord help whoever answers at Armor Deck.  Let's just say scheduling isn't their forte.

Jarrod spent two days last week shoveling all of the existing granite up and digging a giant trench around the pool deck perimeter.  It was hard work.  Work that thankfully, I am allergic to lol.

We purchased some really cool rust landscape lights to go along the pool perimeter and we're going to put in a neutral granite so the flagstone really stands out.  We may add a couple of plants here and there too.  Also on the checklist is fake grass from Lowes.  Yes you read that right...fake grass.  Looks real.  You just vacuum it instead of mow it :-)  We should be able to handle that!

So...that is where we stand on home improvements.  In case you haven't figured it out, you can click on a picture in the slideshow to the left and you can view all of the pictures in that slideshow.  Figured this was an easier way to view certain batches of pics.

Also topping the "fun" list for today is my car.  It's been paid off all of 8 days and it is going BACK into the shop tomorrow morning (that will be 3 trips to the car repair place in 8 days).  I know...you are jealous!

~AB

 

3/21/08

 

Our house is 14 years old and each summer we keep having to turn the A/C down another degree to keep the house cool.  We've been really lucky and haven't had to do any major repairs to it since we bought the house, but well, we all know that good luck doesn't last forever.  Basically, our unit was a giant piece o' crap, it was old and they don't even manufacture units with a 10 SEER (energy efficiency) rating anymore.

 

Thankfully, I have worked with a great HVAC company at work for almost 8 years and Fresh Air (623-434-3897) gave us about 8 or 9 options for replacement units and really good prices.  We decided to spend a bit more than we wanted to get a pimp A/C unit.  We got a Trane (nothing stops a Trane) 5 ton, 14 SEER HVAC unit and it was installed today.  As you can see in the pics, a giant crane hoisted our piece o' crap off of the house (OMG I cannot believe the shape that unit was in) and then flew our new unit up and onto the roof.

 

For something that costs so darn much you should get to look at it every day and enjoy its presence in your house.  I guess we'll just enjoy the fact that the new A/C unit doesn't shake our house when it turns on like the old one and we should see a nice little drop in our summer electricity bills.

 

~AB

3/18/08

Happy Birthday Dad!  Today is my Dad's 61st birthday.  I thought I would take a walk down memory lane and open up the old photo albums to see what I could find of Dad's past birthdays.  Since I'm still getting used to the laptop...I chose two pictures to share:

    

The first picture is from Dad's 32nd birthday on 3/18/79.  I was a mere tyke, a little over 1.5 years old.  I'm not sure what dates my dad most in this picture...the antique brass deco outlet cover, the very busy "wheat and flowers" wallpaper, the daisies and butterflies drinking glass, the plaid button down shirt, the thick rimmed glasses OR the fact that your hair is poofy and longer than mine lol.  You must have gone through lots of conditioner in the 70's Dad! 

The second picture is from Dad's 50th birthday on 3/18/97.  I was 19, living in an apartment and working 3 jobs to show my parents that I could "make it".  I guess you could say from 1979 until 1997 that's what my Dad taught me.  How to "make it" in life. Physically, emotionally, financially, you name it.  This is one of my favorite pics of my Dad and me.  This is how I remember my Dad during my "teenage" years.  A savvy dresser, his pager always on his hip, the foo-man-choo moustache/beard thingy with just the slightest tinge of gray (which that gray could have easily been attributed to me) and he always smelled like Obsession for Men.

Hopefully in the near future I'll be able to get another pic of my Dad and me on one of his birthdays to keep the walk down memory lane going.  Happy Birthday Dad.  We all wish we were there to bake you another homemade angel food cake with Duncan Hines chocolate frosting just like the seventies lol.

~AB

Edited to add:  Taylor just looked at these pictures and asked my "why is Papa Wilson a girl there"?

3/17/08

Happy St. Patrick's Day!  Today was one of the happiest days of all...not because of green beer and little leprechauns...but because today, March 17th, 2008, my car is officially PAID OFF!  Thanks to Mom B. watching Payton during the week and saving us the 2nd mortgage payment that is costs to have two in daycare, we were able to double up on car payments and we OWN our 2003 Ford Explorer!

Isn't she a beauty?  This is the truck on a cool October day in 2003 when she was just waiting for a pregnant married couple to come swoop her off the lot and into the home of her dreams.  Now, she has a juice stain in the middle seat, cheerios and crackers smashed into every little nook and cranny imaginable, a stroller, two car seats, a DVD player for long road trips, reusable grocery bags to help save the environment, hand sanitizer and kleenex in the front arm rest, 69000 miles and her 2nd new a/c compressor.  Despite how she has aged...have I mentioned yet...SHE IS 100% OURS! 

~AB

3/16/08

Well, I've got my new laptop so I can update this bad boy whenever and from wherever I feel like it!  So, here goes...

Yesterday, we went out with Chris and Cindy and Mike and Courtney to celebrate Chris' upcoming birthday on the 18th.  We all met at Durant's for fabulous steaks and wine.  I'm not talking Outback steaks here people...I'm talking steaks big enough to satisfy a pack of wolves!  It was kind of like Ruth's Chris, but you can dress casual if you want to.  After dinner, we all headed to the Phoenix Symphony (Chris' surprise birthday present from Cindy).  We saw Tchaikovsky Fourth Symphony with some really young Conductor named Alexander Mickelthwate.  The music was:

PAART - Cantus in Memory of Benjamin Britten
GOLIJOV - Dreams and Prayers of Isaac the Blind
TCHAIKOVSKY - Symphony No. 4

We six were by far the youngest at the Symphony...also clearly the only ones who found it humorous when this clarinet guy played his solos during the 2nd song:

He was a very ANIMATED clarinet player lol.  He wiggled and jumped and moved to the beat of the clarinet!  Mike and I pretty much had tears rolling down our faces during this song and Jarrod made it 100 times worse when he whispered to me "Clarinet Hero III"!  :-) 

The first two songs were all of the string instruments and I expected a full orchestra.  We got full orchestra during the last song thankfully.  There were trombones and this guy with a tuba that was bigger than he was.  There was also these poor 3 guys who sat in the back and finally got to stand up after about 35 minutes into the song...one was playing some big drum, another was a cymbal player and the third and most popular man of the evening...he played the TRIANGLE!  It was very dramatic and funny...he would raise his triangle while all the other instruments were coming to the height of the song and then he would deliver his mind blowing "PING".  It was a riot.  We wondered what he gets paid.

All in all it was a great night out with friends (no kids...thanks Mom and Dad B) and we were able to absorb some local culture.  Symphony pictures are on the "pictures" page.  Enjoy.

~AB

12/7/07

One of the cool things about being a parent is exposing your child to different things.  That being said, it is also an opportunity to try out different things yourself.  Tonight we had the opportunity to take Taylor to see the Nutcracker (Arizona Ballet and Phoenix Symphony).  It was a great evening for a few reasons.  (1) We got to spend some time with just Taylor.  That is something that we haven’t done in over a year now.  (2)  I have personally wanted to see the Phoenix Symphony for a few years now.  (3)  I would probably never have gone to the ballet without taking the kids.  We all got dressed up (Taylor was very excited to wear her Christmas dress out on the town!), we went out to eat (and not at Chili’s for a change!) and we went to see the Nutcracker.  Amanda got great seats (aisle) and I must admit it was pretty cool.  Well to be honest, the first act was pretty cool, after intermission it got kind of dry for all of us.  But Taylor was a trooper and was a super good kid for the entire program.  She didn't even blink during the first act.

Some interesting facts about the evening:

·         It was the first time that we attended an event with Taylor that didn’t involve Shrek or the Wiggles.

·         It was the third time that Payton stayed the night somewhere other than our house (in 13 months!).  One other time at my parents and an overnight visit to the ICU when she had RSV….

·         It poured all night which made it freezing by Phoenix standards.  (in the low 50s)

·         Apparently the lowest paying job at Symphony Hall is the Coat Room Attendant…it took 20 minutes to get a booster seat…and we were 5th in line.

·         I have a new respect for ballet dancers.  Some of them were really talented.  However, I am still not a fan of the men’s costumes and I am a firm believer that men should not wear white tights.

·         Believe it or not, they do have souvenirs at the ballet.  The girls now have their very own Nutcrackers.

It was a great evening and Taylor wants to go again (next week).  Maybe next year we will take Payton and only go to the first act.

~JB

10/30/07

Well this little area of our website is slightly neglected eh?  I'm not going to try to catch up :-)  You'll notice some new Bowser family pictures in the pictures forum.  Those are from when Jarrod went home to Indiana to attend his Grandpa's funeral.  The girls and I couldn't make the trip so I sent Jarrod with the camera.  He saw Aunts and Uncles and Cousins that he hasn't seen in many many years.  He saw both his Grandmas.  He saw "fall".  I hear "fall" is when it cools off before "winter" (whatever that is) and the leaves (don't know what those are either) turn pretty colors of orange and yellow.  Best of all, he saw his best friend, Nick.  For those of you that don't know, I think it was 1st or 3rd grade that one of them sent the other a postcard because they were going to be new in school.  They became best buddies, grew up together, my cousin married him (Nick) and then I married Jarrod :-) Well, Nick was a pallbearer with Jarrod for Grandpa and it truly gave Jarrod warm fuzzies.  There aren't many people you can call lifelong friends that are by your side on a moment's notice and will help your family bury a loved one. 

Jarrod turns the big 3-4 tomorrow.  Hee Hee.  Mid thirties.  He'll celebrate by taking his 2 mermaids trick-or-treating and having a Happy Halloween cake that Taylor picked out for him.  We did all go out to dinner for his birthday last Friday night (Mom and Dad, Justin, Roxy and Simon).  We're having everyone over tomorrow night plus Coco and Mikey.  Should be lots of trick-or-treating and lots of making fun of THIRTY FOUR lol.

We bought our first artificial Christmas tree.  Seems 10 foot noble firs don't like the desert winters or sitting in the direct line of the heater for the month of December.  I think we bought our tree last year on 12/2 and it was totally dead by 12/6.  We had to re-arrange the ornaments at least 3 times to keep them from falling on the floor.  So...artificial it is.  A 9 foot Seneca Fir with 3500 branch tips and 1000 GE "always on" lights.  The sucker is under warranty for 5 years so we won't be chopping down our own tree in Sedona until at least then :-)  No sap this year.  No finding pine needles under the TV stand in May.  No bringing in a bark scorpion that climbs to the top of our vaulted ceilings.  No tear down the day after Christmas.  The way it looks on December 1st is how it will look on December 25th.  It will be GLORIOUS.

We're still waiting on our new little nephew's arrival.  The little fellar was playing pre-term tricks on Roxy and she's waiting out her last couple of weeks at home.  We thought for awhile he might be an October baby, but now we're not so sure.  I'm excited for him to arrive and to see how small a new baby is considering "my baby" is about 25 pounds right now.

~AB

8/11/07

I...have turned...thirty.  Yes, thirty.  THREE-OH.  My how my 3rd decade of life just passed me by.  I guess turning 21, meeting your future husband, getting engaged, moving to another state, getting married and having two children will do that to you!  They say I should be entering my "power" 30's.  I'll let you know how that goes lol.

To start my birthday celebration, we had catered in Mexican food at work on 8/3.  That evening, we dropped the kids off with Mom and Dad B and we went to see Bourne Ultimatum.  HOLY cow that was a great movie!  We loved the first two but we think this one was the best.  It was action packed the entire movie!  After the movie we went to dinner at Red Lobster (yummy)!  Eating crab has taken on new meaning ever since we started watching Deadliest Catch on the Discovery channel :-)  On 8/4, Jarrod let me sleep in while he picked up the kids.  I opened my presents and got exactly what I wanted...800 pictures at shutterfly.com and 3 photo albums!  WHOO HOO!  For lunch we met all the AZ Bowsers at Islands for family fun and CAKE!  After lunch, we went home and got ready for my birthday party that I was not allowed to know anything about.  The party started at 7pm and it was a wine party!  It was us, Justin, Roxy, Simon, Mikey, Coco, Cindy K, Dave, Amelia, Aidan, Cindy Y, Chris, Nathan and Amara!  Everyone brought wine and food and it was sooo much fun!  The kids played until there was nothing left on the shelves and we tried all different kinds of wine and ate great munchies!  The jokesters of the party were Jarrod and Justin, who put 30 candles on my "grave" birthday cake and brought out the fire extinguisher while singing happy birthday!  FUNNY BOYS!  It took Taylor, Simon and me a couple times to get all the candles blown out!  After the kids all went to bed, the adults played Cranium.  We sculpted humpty dumpty, drew mountain climbers, hummed Billy Jean and Celine Dion.  One of my game tasks was to hum Good Vibrations.  I quickly showed my age by humming the Marky Mark version instead of the Beach Boys version (which was printed on the card) lol.  Due to our wine-induced status, Coco and I were not allowed to play in the 2nd game.  We were great in the 1st game, but I couldn't spell broccoli in the 2nd game so we were given the boot lol!  The evening finally ended at 1:39am...holy cow.  It was the perfect way to spend my 30th birthday, with my hubby, my kids and my closest friends :-)

~AB

7/15/07

Our 6th Anniversary was on 7/7.  We celebrated by dropping the kids off at Mom and Dad B's!  WHOOT WHOOT!  No really, we did drop the kids off for a Saturday night sleepover with their grandparents and Jarrod and I had the evening to ourselves!  We went to The Keg for dinner and had shrimp cocktail for an appetizer.  I had a teriyakki sirloin with sauteed green beans and mushrooms, a loaded baked potato and a ceasar salad.  Jarrod had a chicken breast with lobster and shrimp in a white wine sauce and garlic mashed potatoes.  It was HEAVENLY!  We tried our best not to wolf down our food but we still couldn't make dinner last over an hour lol!  You could tell that we have an 8 month old and a 3 year old when we "read" the entire dinner menu in 3.5 seconds.  After dinner we went to see the third Pirates of the Caribbean movie.  LOVED IT!  We saw the 2nd one on our last anniversary so Disney better hurry up and get #4 going before 7/7/8.  After the movie we went to Va Bene and listened to some live music and had a couple glasses of wine.  We were still home before midnight lol!  We had a great anniversary! 

~AB

7/3/07

Well, we found out last week that we are going to get another NEPHEW!  Justin and Roxy are having a baby BOY!  For those keeping score, that will be 5 AZ Bowser men to 5 AZ Bowser women.  To think it all started with a fresh-outta-college, Intel bound, twenty something and it is now (or will shortly be) TEN people is pretty cool.  Sounds like going out to dinner next year is going to start requiring reservations lol.  So, Junior (we know his name, but it's not on their site yet, so I can't steal any thunder) is set to arrive around November 21st!  Taylor and Simon are 4 days apart so we'll see how close Roxy can get Payton and Junior (but 1 year apart).

Speaking of Intel, Jarrod celebrated his 10 year anniversary with Intel on June 9th.  He'll be CEO in no time!  ;-)

The 4th of July is tomorrow and we are having a family get together at Mom and Dad B's house.  The kids will no doubt run the show, the adults will be mere spectators lol.  There will be "Mom look at this" and "Auntie watch me" and "Uncle throw me here".  It is supposed to be a chilly 117 degrees tomorrow so there will be no firework watching in our house.  It will still be around 106 at 9:45pm for fireworks so, we'll watch them on TV.  Besides, after watching fireworks at Disneyland and Disneyworld, Tumbleweed Park just doesn't compare lol. 

Our 6th Anniversary is right around the corner too.  Hard to believe 6 years ago tomorrow we were watching Justin & Roxy get engaged in Newport Beach and watching fireworks all along the coastline with all Jarrod's Purdue buddies.  At least it wasn't 117 then!

~AB

P.S., Please sign the guestbook.  Say "hi" to the kids.  If my 81 year old Great Aunt Babe can sign the guestbook...YOU CAN TOO!  HI AUNT BABE!  XXOO

6/1/07

Baby Katelyn has her own website to keep her family and friends up to date on her daily fight.  You can read about Katelyn's journey here:

http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/katelyncalderone

Please continue to keep Katelyn and her family in your prayers.

~AB

5/21/07

It's been a long time since I've posted here.  I'm going to step away from family news for the moment because this is important.

Never underestimate the power of the internet.  Two of my Aunts met their husbands on the internet and I’ve never seen either one of them happier than they are now.  The internet enabled Jarrod and I to have a long distance relationship until I moved to Arizona.  The internet introduced me to a unique group of mommies, some of which I have “known” now for four years.  Back when I was pregnant with Taylor, I joined an internet mommy board.  It’s a secret little realm of moms where there truly is no stupid question about pregnancy/child rearing/life.  It’s like free therapy J  I have had the opportunity to meet some of these women in real life.  They exist.  Some I only know from pictures, but they are no less real.

 

Last Friday, one of my mommy friends took her four month old daughter for her well visit with the Doctor.  Their world came crashing down when they learned their daughter, Katelyn, has leukemia.  They immediately went to Riley Hospital for Children in Indianapolis, IN.  Katelyn has been diagnosed with ALL.  She is on day two of chemotherapy.  She will be at Riley for a month.  I have had a hard time processing how a sweet, innocent little four month old gets dealt a hand like this.  I can’t even begin to fathom what Katelyn’s family is going through.  In fact I panic when I try to.

 

So, never underestimate the power of the internet.  Katelyn needs prayers.  I am not afraid to ask for them.  Please pray for Katelyn’s remission.  Please pray for her resilience.  Please pray for her family.

~AB

3/12/07

Background:  We have a 20 gallon salt water aquarium that has a clown fish ("Nemo" per Taylor), a yellow tang ("Shark" per Taylor) and a bicolor blenny ("Jack" per Taylor).  Well, about 2 weeks ago, Jack committed fishicide and jumped out of the tank.  We flushed Jack while Taylor was sleeping figuring she would never notice.  Well, tonight, she noticed.  After I put Payton down I came out into the loft to find her staring at the fish tank.  Here is our conversation:

Me:  Taylor what are you looking at

Taylor:  I'm looking for a fish

Me:  What fish are you looking for?

Taylor:  Jack

Me:  Jack isn't there anymore, he went to heaven

Taylor:  Where is heaven?

Me:  Up in the sky above the clouds, where Jesus lives

Taylor:  Why is Jack in heaven?

Me:  Jack was sick and Jesus wanted to make him better (I'm pulling this out of my you-know-what)

Taylor:  Jack was OLD so Jack went to heaven

Me:  Yes Jack was old and sick.  Do you understand he isn't coming back?

Taylor:  Yes.  *stares at aquarium* Mommy Jack needs water

Me:  There is water in heaven.

Taylor:  Jack needs rocks

Me:  There are rocks in heaven.  Jack is swimming and happy.

Taylor:  Mommy, I want a new Jack.

Me:  Ok, you can get a new Jack.  Old Jack is in heaven with Jesus.

Taylor:  With Jesus like at a wedding?  Did Jack go to a wedding?

Me:  Yes Taylor, Jack is swimming in heaven at a wedding.

 

~AB

3/11/07

MOMMY MOMENT!  I love these.  Yesterday I took Taylor to have her hair cut by Bre (my hairdresser) at Madison Avenue Salon.  Jarrod brought Payton so he could take Taylor when she was done.  I think Jarrod wanted to die lol.  There he was sitting in the plush grey velvet chair in the waiting area while a bridal party took up half the salon with big hair and mimosas.  After our last experience at Snip Its (the kids hair cut place), imagine Franc from Father of the Bride...that was who cut Taylor's hair.  I wanted a trim.  He insisted she needed "long layers".  It was awful.  Just awful.  So, this time, we went to a real salon.  Taylor hopped up into Bre's chair and was very proud of her Redken "apron".  Everyone who walked by gushed over her blonde hair and natural curls.  Taylor loved the attention and did a great job!  Apparently she told Jarrod all afternoon "how pretty her hair cut was" and "don't you like my haircut Daddy"?!  Too cute.  Oh, I cut all my hair off too.  It is now above my shoulders.  I've always heard I look younger with short hair and well, let's face it, I'm pushing thirty this August.  I need all the help I can get.  Two kids has made my body defy gravity so Bre had her work cut out for her lol.

~AB

2/27/07

So last Saturday was my Cousin Kevin's wedding.  We all made the trek out to Tucson to attend.  The wedding was beautiful, it was outside with the Tucson mountains as a background.  Payton of course wanted to cry, so Jarrod watched from the back.  Taylor kept running back and forth between Jarrod and I.  At one point she pushed the butterfly toy on Payton's car seat and Twinkle Twinkle Little Star became part of the ceremony.  I tried to muffle the sound with a blanket.  I don't think anyone really heard, but it sure was embarrassing!  Taylor could hardly wait for the reception to "go dancing with Uncle Lukie".  The girl LOVES to dance.  In fact, she was on the dance floor before the DJ's started playing music!  Taylor and Luke danced ALL night.  Well, Luke danced while also affectionately chasing after the flower girl lol. 

Note to self:  nothing good can come from the silence that you hear while washing bottles in the kitchen when your 3 year old is supposed to be watching Dora on the new 50 inch plasma TV.  Dora yells.  In fact, she screams her lines.  There should not be silence.  So I ask from the confines of the kitchen "Taylor, what did you do"?  Her response "I don't know Mommy".  Great.  Taylor apparently tried to turn the TV off when the show was over and pushed all kinds of buttons affecting the TV, DVR box and Receiver.  The DVR Box was madly flashing all kinds of codes on the display instead of channel numbers.  I deserve a Nobel Prize for figuring out how to get the TV back working.  It was either figure it out with a 3 year old and a 4 month old OR deal with one mad Dad when he came home and discovered his new prized possession was um, shall we say...temporarily on hiatus.

~AB

P.S. Jarrod had me edit the "46 inch plasma to 50".  I guess it's like telling a woman her pants are a size 14 when they are really an 8 lol.

2/20/07

Jarrod is a big talker.  To this day he jokes about beating up my dad because my dad never made me do yard work.  I'll never forget the look on his face when he had me pulling weeds one summer morning and I about had a heat stroke.  He looked at me in utter disbelief and said "your Dad made you do yard work before, suck it up".  My response was simple..."My Dad never made me do yard work...we had a gardener"!  Jarrod totally mocks me to this day over that.  Another story I remember telling Jarrod about my Dad was when I was in 4th grade, my Dad had one of his employees deliver me flowers at school for Valentines Day.  My Dad also brought me flowers one time when I was little and had bronchitis.  The flowers were in the shape of a dog and I named him "Freddy".  The last flowers I remember receiving from my Dad were on Valentines Day 2000 when he brought them to my work.  Anyways, Jarrod thinks my Dad spoiled me and uses these examples ALL THE TIME. 

Well, Jarrod now has this cute little tradition to give the girls flowers on Valentines Day.  Taylor has gotten lilies every Valentines Day since 2/14/05.  Her first Valentines Day she received a stuffed bear.  Payton got a pink tulip from Jarrod this Valentines Day and something tells me she will continue to get pink tulips ☺ When I asked Jarrod how long he was going to give them flowers he told me "as long as I am alive...your dad gave you flowers".  And he thinks my Dad spoiled me...

~AB

2/13/07

I’m starting to realize why moms (not all, but most) wear the same clothes year after year!  My cousin, Kevin, is getting married next weekend and I haven’t bought a new dress for about four years.  So last Saturday, Jarrod had to work and I took both girls shopping.  I took the smaller stroller, the one that the car seat hooks into, since it’s impossible to get our Sit-N-Stand stroller maneuvered around clothing racks.  It has the turning radius of a big rig.  Payton is cruising in her car seat and Taylor is walking free while I repeat every 2 minutes “don’t walk away from Mommy”.  In case you don’t remember being 3, you don’t retain ANYTHING at that age.  They have the memory capacity of a chair.  Fast forward to the store.  I find a rack with some really cute dresses.  I am excited because they have my size!  My phone rings and I bend down to pick it up and look up and Taylor isn’t there.  Here starts “Marco Polo”.  “Taylor, where are you”, “Over here Mommy”, “Taylor I can’t see you”, “Mommy I’m taking a shower”.  At this moment I see a rack of clothes start moving and the hangers have blonde hair lol.  Okay, I’ve found Taylor.  She likes to “take a shower” in stores, which is the 3 year old imagination of hiding in clothing racks.  So, I have both kids in reach, dresses in my size, off we go to the dressing room.  1.  We have to WAIT for the handicapped room because the other rooms aren’t big enough for my entourage.  2.  The SECOND I take off my clothes, Payton starts crying.  The world has stopped; she isn’t being strolled to sleep.  3.  Taylor is taking the clothes that were left behind by the last person and putting them on.  Oh well, it kept her occupied.  After I block the door with the stroller so Taylor can’t show my motherly body to the entire store, quieted Payton and made sure Taylor was occupied with her size 8 shirt, I try on two dresses faster than I’ve ever done anything in my life.  They both fit.  Off to look at shoes.  Shoes were fun.  Taylor had her tennis shoes off before I had pulled the first box off the shelf in my size and she had on a pair of black high heeled boots.  She looked very toddler chic.  Then she started telling me she “smelled” something.  Well, I could smell it too and it was the lady about 10 feet away from us.  Her feet stunk and my 3 year old was going to make sure the whole store knew it.  So, I grab the shoes I want in my size, head to check out when Taylor decides she has to go potty.  Right now.  Off we go to the bathroom, where the handicapped stall was occupied, so I had to prop the regular stall door open with the stroller, hover Taylor over the toilet and beg her not to touch anything.  After the restroom, we finally make it over to pay for our items and here goes Payton again.  She’s had enough shopping and wants to be held.  So, I’m signing my receipt with a baby in one hand and my bag in the other, Taylor is pushing the stroller down a walkway in the store and almost flattens another shopper.  Off we go to the parking lot.  Taylor has to be the FIRST to make automatic doors open or she throws a fit.  Taylor spots another shopper heading towards HER door and takes off sprinting for the door that leads to the parking lot.  I throw the bag into the stroller, tell Payton to hang on and we run after Taylor.  We finally make it to the car, get everyone settled in and it is then that I have my revelation.  It is easier to look in your closet and say “hey, I can wear that one more time” rather than go shopping with two kids.  THAT is why moms wear shirts with a faded spaghetti sauce stain, jeans with a hole where a belt loop used to be and the same dress to every wedding for 10 years.  J

~AB

1/23/2007

January has been an "adjustment" month.  On 1/2, Payton started daycare and I started back to work.  Jarrod's 2 week Christmas vacation was over and he also returned to work.  This month we've spent trying to get everyone on a schedule that still allows us to keep some sanity.  Thankfully, Payton has started sleeping through the night, Taylor is 99% potty trained and Jarrod and I are adjusting to life with 2.  It really is different when you add a second one to the mix!  I just got back from Vegas...went 1/18-1/20 with two girlfriends that I've known via the internet for 2-4 years.  We stayed at Excalibur and walked out butts off for two days!  We ate, drank, gambled, got lost, saw a show, took tons of pictures and talked about our kids and hubbys.  It was a great getaway, but I was glad to get home to my family.  Today is Dad Bowser's 57th Birthday!  Happy Birthday Dad/Papa!  OH...we have had numerous nights where temps have gone below 30 degrees.  It has been super cold and so far we have a ficus, 3 pygmy palms and a hibiscus that are trying to live through the cold.  Every night that we get a freeze warning, all of our bed sheets get strewn across the front yard to try to keep things from freezing.  It's real attractive lol.  Funny how you care more about landscaping when you actually PAID to have it put in!  I will be one po'd homeowner if my plants and trees don't make it!

~AB

P.S. Please sign our guestbook!  It's when you sign the guestbook that I feel like all the time and effort put into this website is worth it!  (Feel guilty yet)?

12/29/2006

Christmas week was a whirlwind!  On 12/22 all four of us went to the Phoenix Zoo in the morning.  It was 39 degrees outside when we left!  It was so cold that I had Taylor in a pair of jammies that were too small for her under her jeans (no one owns thermal underwear in this state)!  She had on a jammie shirt, long sleeve shirt, sweater and jacket on the top half.  Payton was bundled for a blizzard and I wore a jacket that I haven't worn since we were in IN 6 years ago!  It was COLD!  Anyways, we had a lot of fun, saw giraffes, rhinos, tiger, lion, baboons and an elephant.  The lion was sleeping when we arrived so Taylor yelled "WAKE UP" and this lion rolled over and sat up!  It kind of freaked Taylor out, but it worked!  We also rode the merry go round and had lunch.  About that time, it started to sprinkle outside and it hadn't let up when we were done eating, so we headed home.  We had a great time even though it was a short trip :-)  That evening we went to dinner with Jarrod's parents, then wound up in Urgent Care, shortly followed by the ER and a 2-day hospital visit for Payton (details on Payton's update page).  Christmas Eve began with Payton getting discharged from the hospital.  Since Payton was too sick to go to church, I took Taylor to the family service at 4pm.  Taylor did great during the service and even walked up front for the "Feeding of the Lambs" (Story time with Pastor).  She stood up at one point and started waving and yelled "HI MOMMY".  At another point she started climbing on the pulpit.  Then she wanted to walk through a crowd of 50 kids to bring me her sippy cup...you're getting the picture right? :-)  She did enjoy the service and all the singing.  After church, we picked up Florindino's pizza for dinner and brought it home.  After our Christmas Eve dinner, we all piled into the car for one last drive looking at Christmas lights.  After Christmas lights, we came home and Taylor set out 4 cookies and water for Santa.  She said Santa didn't want milk :-)  Jarrod then read "The Night Before Christmas" to Taylor and Payton.  Taylor's current "question everything" phase made the story twice as long..."why is Santa wearing red", "where are they flying", "what's in Santa's bag", etc.  After the story, Taylor opened the last flap on her Advent calendar and marked off the last day on her Christmas countdown calendar.  Christmas morning started at 5:45am with Payton's feeding.  Around 6:45am I went in to wake up Taylor and she scowled at me and told me "Mommy, I'm still tired".  After some coaxing by Mommy and Daddy and a reminder that Santa had been to her house, she let me carry her down the stairs.  As soon as we rounded the landing on the staircase, Taylor sprung to life!  She could see what Santa had left for her...a KITCHEN!  She wanted out of my arms and she went as fast as she could down the stairs.  She just stood in front of the kitchen with a HUGE smile on her face and kept giggling.  She couldn't believe her eyes!  Santa left Taylor a kitchen, markers, book, Cabbage Patch puppy, baby diaper bag and lots of goodies in her stocking.  Santa left Payton a mailbox, ring tower and rattles.  After playing with her kitchen for a little bit, we decided to start on presents.  Last year, presents took hours and we had to do it in two shifts.  This year was totally different.  Taylor WANTED to open presents.  She NEEDED to rip paper off of the gifts.  The faster she opened something, the quicker we could get to another present lol.  She would open something, then grab another one and say "Mommy is this one for me"?  I actually had to fight my 2 year old to open my own presents lol.  She would also say "Let's open more presents guys".  Taylor had a wonderful Christmas.  She received pots and pans, blender, kitchen accessories, microwave, play cleaning supplies, books, games, Tawny Stylin Head, jewelry box, clothes, Dora Vamanos Van, puzzle, My Little Pony holder.  Payton received lots of hand rattles, teethers, peek a blocks, puppet book, growth chart, photo album, learning blocks, clothes.  After presents at our house, Taylor took a short 1 hour nap then we headed to Jarrod's parents house for Christmas with Justin, Roxy, Simon, Grammy and Papa.  Taylor and Simon opened presents and loved every last minute of it.  Simon would open something then say "Thank you Auntie/Uncle".  Taylor would open something then ask for another lol.  We're working on the "thank you" part!  Taylor received a Baby Alive doll, clothes, books, flashlight, tub toy, elephant backpack, giraffe towel, stickers, Dora magnets, games, TMX Elmo Barbie.  Payton received books, a baby flashlight, push and spin toy, lion pull toy, clothes, glow worm.  We spent the rest of the afternoon at Jarrod's parents house and the kids took every last gift out of the box and played with everything.  We had a wonderful Christmas and the best gift of all was being able to bring our baby home from the hospital for her first Christmas.  Taylor and Payton are very lucky to have such wonderful family and friends to share the holidays with!  Thank you everyone!

~AB

12/16/2006

Tonight was the Bowser Christmas Party at Justin and Roxy's new place.  About 9pm, all the parents were putting their kids down for the night, which consisted of Simon and Taylor in Simon's bed, Nathan in a pack-and-play by Simon's head, Connor in a pack-and-play at Taylor's feet and Aidan in between Nathan and Connor on the floor lol.  It was like a little frat party in Simon's room.  Needless to say, there was not much sleeping going on and we all took turns going in telling them to quiet down or else!  They just aren't old enough to realize they need to WAIT until they hear us walk down the hallway to start playing again :-)  At one point, Taylor was hanging off the bed tapping Aidan on the head, Aidan was growling at Connor making him laugh and Nathan had his head in his hands watching it all unfold lol.  We didn't leave Justin and Roxy's until 1am and a great time was had by all!

~AB

12/9/2006

We went over to my parents house for our annual Christmas cookie making day.  We generally make enough cookies to feed a small country.  This year, my mom decided that it would be fun to let the kids decorate their own sugar cookies.  I think we took about 50 pictures between me, dad and Justin.  I am sure Amanda will have them posted in the very near future (hint: I am watching her post Halloween pictures right now so we are pretty far behind!).  Anyway, everyone had a great time.  Dad took Simon and Taylor with him when he took Murphy for his walks.  Payton was a trooper, but she has been passed out for about 5 hours now.  Amanda thinks that there was so much going on that it wore her out.  I guess we should have gone later in the day so she would sleep through the night!

~JB

12/8/2006

We went out to look at the Christmas lights this evening.  We usually go out to the foothills at least once a year to see the lights.  If you have never been out that way, it is definitely worth the trip down Ray/Chandler.  As usual, we made the trip to one of our favorite locations.  This guy has a train running through his yard and several snowflakes on the mountainside.  It is pretty hard to describe, so you will just have to make the trip out there to see it.  Here is the web site.  Pretty cool stuff!  Of course when we left, all we heard from Taylor for the next hour was, 'Can we go back to the choo choo?'

~JB

12/7/2006

Greetings from the Arizona Desert!  We decided that we needed to have a single family page. I think all of the pages work now.  Over the next few weeks we will be loading it up with pictures, video, etc. 

~JB