Thursday, December 30, 2010

Leapfrog Leapster - Highly Recommended

My nephew got the Leapfrog Leapster game for Christmas.  He received a lot of toys for Christmas but this is the one toy he plays with all the time.  Now his sister's Avery and Addison want one too.  I can hear them fighting over it right now as I type this.  The best part, he is learning while he plays. 

Check out the link below to learn more.

Search for leapfrog leapster

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

Squinkies - Not Recommended

To start off this blog I would like to say I am not trying to hurt sales or say that I am an expert. I am a parent who is just observing. You can form your own opinion after this review or trying the toy yourself.  Here is the Squinkies commercial and pictures.  My review is below.

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This Christmas my nieces got a gift for Christmas called Squinkies. It has only been 3 days and they have lost all of the pieces. It is like a gum ball machine but with plastic balls the size of the tip of my thumb (they say they are 1 inch in size) and inside are tiny (and I mean tiny toys). You can get the balls out one of two ways, with a plastic coin smaller then a dime or you can open the top. The kids lost the coins so they open up the top and oh...what do you know they lost all the plastic balls with all the tiny toys that were suppose to go inside. Well I shouldn't say lost I should say scattered in different places around the house.

Cullen my 5 year old nephew was chewing the tiny toys yesterday and if I had not been watching who would have known if he or one of the other kids could have swallowed one. The last thing I want to worry about is giving the Heimlich maneuver or CPR. It looks so cute in the pictures and I read some where the age range..get this is birth to 24 months???? I don't think so! Not unless you want to kill your baby or toddler. I would say the age range is 5 and up if you do get them. I would never buy this toy as a gift or for my daughter who is almost two years old.  That being said I would recommend saving your money.


I did the Magic Fabric with the kids this morning.  It was so much fun and it took up half the morning.  This is a great activity to do together if you have the time.
Search for toys

Monday, December 27, 2010

Happy Birthdays!

Lots of birthdays starting off the week! It is very ironic that both Steve and I have close friends that share a birthday.

Steve's friend Nate is celebrating his birthday is today. I met Nate the very same day I met Steve 7 years ago standing outside the Brass Rail in Lincoln, NE on November 21, 2003. I had gone down to Lincoln to celebrate a another friend's birthday and I met my cousin out afterwards for a last call drink. Since then I have come to know Nate and he is such a nice guy. He was there for our wedding and the birth of our daughter Olivia. We don't get to see Nate as much as we would like to since he lives 60 miles away but I know Steve still keeps in touch with him. One thing I remember about Nate is when he held Olivia for the first time she didn't cry and was so comfortable around him. 

Happy Birthday Nate!

One of my best friend's birthday is today too! Crystal and I have known each other since junior over 20 years! Yikes....we are getting old! Crystal and I have been through our firsts for almost everything and we got each other through the best times of our life and probably some of the worst times of our lives. We were in each other's weddings, I got to see her kids when they were born and now as they are growing up. It is amazing to see Crystal with her kids. She is someone I look up when I am watching my sister's kids and Olivia. If it starts to get stressful I always say to myself...WWCD...(What would Crystal do?). She is such a laid back parent and nothing stresses her out and if it does she sure does not show it. I love going to her house because anything goes and she lets her kids be themselves, make messes and most important be kids. When you are around her she makes you feel so welcome and important. I am extremely lucky to call Crystal my friend and have her a part of my life.

Crystal, Em & Em in Chicago
 Happy Birthday Crystal! Love you always!

Search for birthday gifts for him

 Search for birthday gifts for her

Happy 2nd Birthday Charlie!

December 26, 2008


Charlie's Highlight Video


Today is Charlie's 2nd Birthday.  Charlie is the son my 1st cousin Leah.  Leah's dad (Terry) and my dad (Del) are brothers....the Ringling brothers!  =) 

Two years ago on Christmas day the Ringling's had planned on celebrating Christmas.  But we had a special surprise about an hour before the party was about to start, Leah's water broke!  We were so excited for Charlie to make his grand appearance on Christmas but the process took a little longer then anticipated.

It was comical because my immediate family didn't have any food in the house because we were planning on going over to Terry and Linde's.  Angie was the only one who could whip up a semi decent meal for us.  She had all 4 of her kids by then so she is required to have food in the house...especially pasta.  So this is what we ate for our Christmas dinner. 

I am not sure what was happening on Leah's end... because we didn't hear an update until the next day.  I received a text early that morning with a picture of the newest addition to our family....Charles Andrew Buller!  My goodness he was big.  That day we all went up to meet him and what a cutie.  Now he looks more and more like his mom and dad.  There are some days I think he looks more like Leah and other days I think he looks like Chad.  He is a nice combination of the two. 

I got to see a side of Charlie that I have never seen before at Chad's 30th birthday last week.  His true personality came out and my goodness does he ever like to dance and be the center of attention!  He is so adorable and I predict...a future heart breaker.  So watch out ladies! =) 

Charlie's party was Elmo themed.  The food was absolutely delicious!  Sliced pork sandwiches, homemade potato salad, beans, meatballs, little wieners in BBQ sauce, Elmo cookies from Eileen's and donuts from LeMars donuts.  That is the first time I have ever seen a donut used in place of a birthday cake but a clever idea.  The kids played pin the nose on Elmo game and a fishing game.  Charlie had a pile of many in fact he wanted to stop midway through and take a break.  He wrestled with his uncle Todd. 

Unfortunately Olivia and Steve could not make the party. Olivia was sick from the day before and was still running a temperature. She was so upset when I left the house. She wanted to help Charlie celebrate his 2nd birthday and play with all her cousins.

Wishing you a Happy 2nd Birthday Charlie!  We hope to spend a lot more time with you in 2011!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Christmas 2010

Christmas has come and quickly!  Steve's car took a beating by the time we got home we had spilled eggs and puke all over the back seat.  I will explain this later.

We spent Christmas with the Ringling's this year.  Christmas Eve we went to 4:00 mass.  Avery and Addison talked the whole time and Sully...well Sully was being Sully.  Walking up and down the pew and drawing attention to himself.  After Dave and Angie had enough with his behavior Olivia had over heard Angie say Sully is naughty and Olivia kept repeating this loudly for everyone to hear. 

As much as I would like to say that I paid attention to the sermon, I honestly can say that I don't remember a word of it.  The kids stole the show.  As we were leaving Olivia asked to have some of her crackers and generously offered some to some ladies behind us.  When they declined her her offer, Olivia's lip started to quiver and she started to cry.  It was pretty funny!  She was trying to be nice by sharing and they turned her down.  She is so sensitive!  ;)

When we got back to the McGee's, Sully ate everything in sight!  At one point I saw him with a candy cane in one hand and a piece of bread with cheese in the other.  Addison sat on the couch in front of the presents waiting to open them for about an hour while we got dinner ready.  I think she thought someone might take them.  Cullen played with his new toy he opened earlier in the day.

The meal was delicious.  Lobster bisque which Angie cooked all day, tomato salad, crab legs and rolls.  For dessert...cheese cake.  Yummy!

We had Olivia start the present opening and she was hesitant at first but by the end of the evening she was hopping right up into the chair when it was her turn.  She was very dainty when she opened her gifts.  She would rip a small piece off and hand it to me so she didn't make a mess.

The kids favorite gift was their pillow pets.  Olivia loved her Strawberry Shortcake dolls Nana had purchased and her Fancy Nancy doll she got from the McGee's.

To start off the adult present opening the kids made Dave and Angie snowflakes that had questions that I had asked on them with their answers. Then we showed the video we made over the course of 2009-2010.

We ended the evening around 10:30 p.m. so we get home before Santa arrived.  Olivia was out like a light and we had to finally wake her up at 9:00 a.m.

She opened up her gifts from Santa.  Snap and Style dolls (Giselle and Gabrielle) and a doll house Steve made by hand.  We thought she would be so excited when she walked into the playroom but she really didn't react.  She just started playing with it. 

I made an egg casserole to take to my mom's but planned on baking it when I got there so after getting it out of the half of the raw eggs had spilled all over the back seat.  Ugh!  For brunch we ate egg casseroles, bagels & cream cheese with salmon, shrimp, banana & poppy seed bread, cinnamon rolls and fruit.  We had cappuccino, coffee, hot and cold chocolate milk.

The kids opened one more gift from Nana and Papa, coloring books to keep them occupied for a while.  Then Nana and I played a game called sequence while Steve, Dave, Angie and Olivia took a nap.  Papa played with Cullen and his new leap frog game.

Sullivan ran around the whole joke the whole day.  I would say "On your mark, get set, go!"  and he would run around the room.  By the time Olivia woke up from her nap at 4 p.m. Sully crashed next to Angie.  As Steve was sitting in the chair with Olivia she started to puke all over!  Of course the one time I don't bring an extra change of clothes this would be the day.  We cleaned her up and wrapped her in a blanket and took her home.  As we pulled into our neighborhood she started puking again...all over!

So Steve's car now has puke and eggs all over the back seat.  YUCK!  To top it off Steve almost puked too!  I cleaned Olivia up while Steve cleaned the car, fed her some toast for dinner with water and put her to bed at 8:00.  

Christmas is officially over!  Now it is time to get ready for Charlie's 2nd birthday tomorrow.  I am praying Steve and Olivia won't be sick. 

Merry Christmas 2010...looking forward to 2011.  Steve and I will be celebrating our 5 year anniversary on Friday..New Year's Eve and ringing in the new year with some friends.

Friday, December 24, 2010

MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Pottebaum's!

Christmas Eve 2010

It is officially Christmas!

Steve and I are doing a "non-traditional" card this year by blogging.  Auntie Em's Eyes originally started in August of this year to document my days with our daughter Olivia and my nieces and nephews who all call me Auntie Em....Olivia even calls me this sometimes. =)  I am changing Auntie Em's Eyes by adding the time Steve and I spend with with all of you.  On the left  hand side of this blog in the family and friends section some of you may or may not see a label with your last name.  If you see your last name click on it and you will see some special moments that we spent with you in 2010.  Now...if you don't see your name please don't think I left you out on purpose.  I started this blog for a completely different reason so I had to add the pictures that I did take over the course of the year just this week.  There might be a small caption of what took place if it was before August but you will notice that most of these will be pictures. 

I am hoping by this time next year I will have most of your last names in the labels which means we spent time with you.  =)  So if you see the Pottebaum's especially me don't be surprised if I ask to take your picture or get you on video.  =) 

Speaking of videos here is a music videos I produced recently of my daughter Olivia and my sister's kids in December 2009 and this December to show "What a Difference a Year Makes".

Merry Christmas and we hope to see you in 2011!

Emily, Steve and Olivia Pottebaum

P.S. I noticed if I wrote more then one blog about you the main screen from the shutterly pictures from Shutterfly do not pop up.  Click on the link directly below it that says "Click here to view the pictures larger".  You may also order any of the pictures through shutterfly or save them to your account.  =)


My dad, sister, mom and me...Auntie Em!  ;) Xmas Eve 2010

 Dave, Cullen Sully, Avery & Addison 
Austin, Madison, Derek (Dave & Pam) Pottebaum

Dale, Rebecca, Spencer, Emerson & Keaton Pottebaum




Rick, Judy, Tyler, Haley, Alexis & Taya Delperdang


Brian, Jessica, Will & Mya Pottebaum

Tristan & Ally (Gregg & Melissa Pottebaum

Chad, Leah (Ringling) & Charlie Buller

Avery, Cullen, Addison, Sullivan (Angie (Ringling) & Dave) McGee

Avery, Addie, Sully, Cullen & Olivia
Del & Deb Ringling

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Christmas Cards 2010

Thank you all for thinking of us this holiday season! We are thinking of you too! Merry Christmas & Happy New Year!

Chris, Alison & Mia Borgmeyer

Congratulations to the Matt & Sasha, Jack, Savanna who welcomed Sofia to their family.

Can't wait to meet your two newest additions in 2011!  Kelly & Jeremy Robson are having TWIN boys in March!

Congratulations to the Beckmans.  Sam & Tad are having a baby in 2011!

Gretchen, Jeff & James Chace

Congratulations to Laura and Rob who added Ella to their family in 2010!

Ella Morrow

Siebkens - Heather & Nick I am so glad I finally got to meet Nolan and see Parker this month!

Creighton & Elena & Creighton Brown -( Brian & Carolyn) / Ryder & Kalyn Harrington - Nicole & Ben 
Ron & Jan Brown

The Waddelow Family - Kim & Jeff

Kendall & Ryan Waddelow

Congratulations to the Harveys who welcomed Lilli this year

Christmas Cards 2010

Thank you all for thinking of us this holiday season as we are thinking of you too!

Travis and Michelle are expecting their first child in March!  I can't wait to meet him!

Congratulations to the Nelson Family

Congratulations Chris and Heather!
Fonseca - Congratulations on your newest addition - Alexis! 

Congratulations to the Cummings Family!

Congratulations to Steve's Cousin Mike who was recently engaged!

Kudlacek - Chad, Amy, Carson and Morgan - I can't believe how much Morgan looks like my cousin Amy!

Whalen - My cousin Kari's son (Caleb)  He is getting so big! 
I heard throug the grapevine - Kari and Shade are expecting again?

Arens Family

Quist - Wendall & Linda - (Linda is my God Mother)

Will Doolittle - Age 6   (One of Steve's God children)

Doolitte - Audrey is Steve's God mother.