Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Being goofballs …

For being New Year’s Eve … it was a pretty lazy day!  We played and played, and played some more!  Then Tim and Andy came over for games and a New Year’s "woo hoo" – we just barely caught the ball drop!   


Check out those cute pony-tales!  Cute!



Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Rain delay!

We had big plans tonight: Andy, Tim, Andy, Carter and I were going to go ice skating at Brenton Ice Skating Plaza!  Woo hoo!  But then it rained, and ice skating in the rain didn’t sound too appealing, so we organized an impromptu Game Night!
We played an old favorite: Monopoly on the Nintendo.  I would like to let everyone know that I’ve beaten my Monopoly stigma and am a reformed player.  I have a good attitude even when I’m paying Tim $2,000 for landing on Boardwalk with a thousand hotels!  You think you’d let a friend stay for free – tight wad!  Then we tested out some of the cool DVD games we got for Christmas.  We started with Deal or No Deal.  Team one (Andy and I) had our offer up to $300,000, but opened that stupid billion dollar case.  We played it out and won $200,000.  Not bad for a night’s work!  Team two (Andy and Tim) started steady, picking low money, then knocked out big amount after big amount, ending with $92,000.  Not too shabby, either!  Next up, Family Feud.  After we figured it out (hard!), it was good times!  Andy and I started off stealing money from Tim and Andy, but in the end, they kicked our butts by almost doubling our total!  Finally, the classic Let’s Make a Deal.  Tim, of course, won both games, making good deals.  Andy and I, however, always seemed to get the box with the tuna-fish sandwich or broken watch and not the 1978 Thunderbird (valued at $4,400)!
I think Tim cheats.

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Carter helps Andy make a tough decision in Monopoly

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When Water Works (ticket price: $150) went to auction, Andy and Tim just wouldn’t give up!  Tim finally took it for $403!  “I think you’ve been had,” Mr. Moneybags told Tim!

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Team one (Andy and I) had the $200,000 in our case all along! 

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What would you do:  Take the $900 or try and beat the dealer in high card?  If you beat the dealer, you win a cozy new camper, valued at $3,600.  My how inflation changes the game!!

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

The 3 'n 1 Turtle!

What a great gift!  This inflatable turtle thing triples as a sandbox, pool, and ball pit!  Yeah!  Not so yeah: we had to blow the thing up!  I blew it up about 2/3 full and thought I was going to die, and daddy came in to finish and save the day (jerk!).  We filled it up, and Carter can’t get enough!  It even has its educational merits: if you say, “Carter, can you find me a <color> ball?” she finds the color you asked for and pitches it to you!  So smart!

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Andy and Carter finish inflating the turtle

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“Yeah!  Look at all this fun!”

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Normal parents do not do things like this (at least, I imagine they don’t!), but Carter fills out a top nicely with balls!

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“I am so tired from playing in with this turtle!  I need a nap!”

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Where'd she go???

It was so strange … I was making supper (yes, occasionally I cook!  Not well, but I cook!), and Carter was there, and then … she was just … gone …

This is Carter’s “cupboard,” where I put the tupperware that she can bang on, throw around and tear up.  While I’m doing supper things, she usually opens and closes here cupboard and gets all the stuff out, then leaves

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 One minute, she was opening and closing the cabinet, then, she was gone!

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Where ever could she be?!?

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SURPRISE!  She couldn’t stay hidden too long – she can’t keep quiet!!

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie


I’ve been spending some of my “break” working harder than I ever do at school.  But, there’s no one here who talks back! 

How gross is this?!?

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When I moved furniture to clean the carpets, this is what I found under the couch:  a dozen cat toys, Survivor Thursday’s pizza crust from who knows when, a crunched up cracker with a suspicious pair of toddler socks.

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On the left: gross, dirty carpet.  On the right: pass one, of three, with the carpet cleaner.  Seriously … this is sick …

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Vintage Punky

We had a pretty unproductive and boring night, so here is a vintage Punky photo to enjoy!

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This is exactly one year ago, to the day!  Carter was rolling over, but making little attempt to be mobile.  She coo’ed and ca’ed, but had no means of communication.  She loved Gerber rice cereal and formula.  Isn’t it amazing what can change in just 12 short months?!?  But, she has that same irrestible smile


Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Clean Carpets – Happy Mommy!

Carter “helped” me clean the carpets today.  And, as always, was nothing but helpful and fun!

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The carpet cleaner is not your lazy boy, Carter Kay!

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Carter was never afraid of the carpet cleaner, but every now and then, she’d walk away and stand by the wall, just eying it

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I agree:  too loud!


Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

The tub

Our bathtub is so gross!  A couple years ago, we had it re-tiled by some "professionals" who weren’t so professional.  Over the years, the caulk has started to fade and the mildew has seeped into it, making it impossible to clean completely.  I’m sure you’ve noticed in Carter’s tub photos – eww!  So Andy scraped off all the old caulk, super-cleaned the entire shower, and re-caulked it.  

So much better!  I know it wasn’t moldy before, but it always seemed gross to me.  Now, it’s like a whole new shower!  Yeah!


New and sparkley clean!

Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Christmas with the Chalupa's

After our Carruthers Christmas, we again packed up the Durango and headed to Grandma & Grandpa Chalupa’s for Christmas.  All of the Chalupa’s were there early for a family Christmas.  Carter (16 months) and Courtney (15 months) don’t get to see one another a ton, but whenever they’re together, they act like they’ve never been apart!  They are adorable!  They are wonderful Christmas gifts themselves!  The girls both went wild opening their gifts and each others’ gifts.  They both received Sit and Spins and Little Tike Tool-benches.  Carter received some fun musical CD’s, an awesome Elmo DVD, and a hilarious Elmo and Cookie Monster “giggle ball.”  Too funny!  At one point, Courtney showed signs of starvation, so Brian let me give her some Cheerio’s, which Carter had to have.  Carter would take two: one for her and one to feed to Courtney (if you have these photos, I would LOVE THEM!).  The rest of us opened gifts.  Andy and I received gift certificates to the mall (which we’re going to use for home things from Pier 1), Carlos O’Kelly’s and Chili’s (which we’ll use for “date night” – anyone want to volunteer to babysit?!), and a ton of DVD games: Deal or No Deal, Let’s Make a Deal and the Family Fued.  We also got Ice Age II, which I can’t wait to watch (on my week of vacation!)  It was nice to sit around and be together, since it so rarely happens with everyone’s hectic schedule.  I guess that’s the Christmas miracle: not the gifts or the lights, but being together and enjoying one another.  It was a present-filled, family-loving night!

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How can you not love this crazy Chalupa?!  My very-favorite (and only!) niece, Courtney (15 months)

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Sit and Spin #1 …

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… and … could it be … Sit and Spin #2?

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It’s either Sit and Spin #2 or a step!  Carter must be confused!

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Carter and Courtney have the SIT part down, but are struggling with the SPIN aspect right now!

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Proud parents and aunt & uncle:  Andy, Courtney, Kelly & Carter

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After long days in the very cute dresses, both girls retired to warm pink jammies while the rest of us enjoyed Slush.  Because of the frozen rum, the girls obviously couldn’t have the Slush, but they could, and did, have cups and spoons that they loved!

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Grandpa and his Girls!

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Aunt, Uncle and Baby-Sitters Extraordinare!  Carter, Corey and Amber

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TRIPLE trouble!  Carter, Uncle Kevin and Aunt Katie




Andy, Kelly, Carter & Charlie

Christmas with Grammy & Poppy

After tearing up Santa’s gifts, we packed into the car and headed to Brighton.  We arrived around 11:30 and a “discussion” about how we should proceed:  should we (a) have dinner, like a logical, sensible person would or (b) dive into presents?  Of course, my vote was for (b), but Carter had to eat lunch!  After lunch, we exchanged gifts.  Grammy and Poppy got some very nice gifts, like a pretty sweater and a snake light (I’ll let you guess who got what!!), and Andy and I also received some wonderful gifts, like “Lisey’s Gift” by Stephen King and “Emmit Otter’s Jug-Band Christmas” DVD (if you haven’t seen it, I highly recommend it!!!).  Carter made out like a cute little bandit!  She got some cutie-pa-tootie new clothes, cool blocks (that Daddy loves, too!), a Mickey CD, two Elmo CD’s, some books and a couple stuffed animals.  Wow … a couple somebodies must really love Carter!!!

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Poppy helping Carter stack her blocks

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Carter and Grammy, trying to decide which present is next

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“IT’s ELMO!”

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Carter helps Poppy open his flexible snake light