Sunday, June 22, 2008

Fresh fruit, anyone?

This last weekend we went to Jones Orchard for some good ol' fruit picking fun. We have been dying to get up there to pick some fresh fruit for some time, but last year most of their crops were destroyed due to the crazy weather around here. But alas, we made it and we had a blast!
I can honestly say we ate a good amount while we picked. Isabella loved picking the fruit right off the trees and placing them in her own little basket. It was so funny to see her examine the fruit and decide whether it should go in her basket or if it should go to "the birds".
Although we did not have any luck finding but a few edible blackberries, the supply of peaches and plums was endless and they were really good. However, nothing quite compared to the delicious strawberries that Scott worked so very hard to find. YUM! Just thinking about them makes me want to go downstairs and have a few.
The only downside to our little adventure was that it was very hot and the orchard offers very little shade. So in order to try to keep Sam cool, he was usually either under the little bit of shade available, or inside the nice air conditioned van. Oh well, he didn't seem to mind.
OK, and now I'm off to bed. It's super late and I know I'll hate myself in the morning, but I had to upload some photos to Costco's website to pick up tomorrow during my morning of errands. I'm working on a little project and I can't wait to share it with you, but not until it's completed.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

Pigtails, snails, stripes, and everything nice,...

that's what my little girl's made of!

Today was a lot less hectic than the last couple of days have been, which could very well be because I am exhausted! I'm suddenly REALLY realizing and appreciating all of the help Scott provides when he's around. Hurry home Cakes!

Anyway, unlike the last couple of days, today I wasn't worried about being out of the house by a certain time and that felt really good. But as it turned out, without any rushing, we were ready in time to make it to the Cordova Library for storytime, which was leaps and bounds better than the storytime we went to at the Children's Museum. The lady today read 4 books and sang 3 songs with the kids, and afterwards they got to decorate their own kites (today's theme was summer). I'm certain we'll be returning in the coming weeks.

Afterwards we went to the park for a little while so Isabella could "fly" her kite and play on the swings and slides. Unfortunately, that did not last too long because the sun was quite brutal, there was no shade and the three of us were roasting.

Today was also the first time ever I have ventured into the pigtails arena. Until now I've pretty much stuck to the side bow, pony tail or hair up on a clip. Although there are pictures of it, I will not be sharing the backside in the hopes you cannot see my inability to make a straight part.
Does she not look adorable? She certainly thought so as she looked at herself in the mirror and "humbly" exclaimed: "Mommy, I look beautiful!"

Sam decided not to sleep through our escapades today and was quite a content little baby boy. I just realized that most of the pictures I have posted of him recently are of him in his carrier. I promise you we take him out of it, quite often actually. But when it's just me, I can't really hold him and take his picture, so this will have to do for now, until Scott comes back or I grow another couple of arms, whichever comes first.

So off we go now over to my brother's so Isabella can play with her cousins and release some of that never-ending energy of hers. Until next time,...

Wednesday, June 18, 2008

Another fun one

Today was all about running free, playing and stopping to smell the roses,... literally. We spent the morning at the Botanic Gardens. There was a whole lot of walking, a whole lot of talking and a whole lot of picture taking. Isabella really enjoyed looking and smelling the flowers and running around the paths in the different gardens.
But without a doubt, her favorite part of the day was feeding the fish. Holy cow! The couple of times we've been to the Botanic Gardens we've never actually purchased the fish food, so we've always just settled for going and looking at them. I've always been amazed at how quickly they come up to the surface when people get close. Well, I got my answer today.

I had Isabella sit down and placed the food on her lap for easy access. As soon as Isabella threw one pellet into the water, all the fish swam and huddled right in front of her. So I had her take a fistful and throw it in and I can honestly say I had never seen anything quite like it. The two of us were totally mesmerized watching these fish go CRAZY wild; jumping over each other and splashing all over the place just to get to this food. Needless to say, we spent quite a while there watching the fish. Even when the food was all gone, we just sat there talking and laughing about what we had just witnessed. Seriously, if you've never actually fed the fish, you must!
I remembered to pack some old bread in our bag this morning so we decided to cross the bridge and move on to the area where the ducks and the geese were. How fun to actually feed them! I took out the bread, gave some to Isabella and we started throwing it in their direction. Mind you, Isabella's reach,... yeah, not very far. So before I knew it, we were surrounded by these hungry, fearless and very focused geese whose eyes were glazed over by desire and determination. OH MY GOD! Oh, how I wish there had been someone else there to photograph/record this little episode because I'm pretty sure the look on my face was priceless.

Now I'm yelling at them and kicking my legs and trying to shoo them away, but nothing was working. So I look down and immediately realize that Isabella is frozen in place by fear with all this bread in her little hands ~ bread that the geese can clearly see, definitely want and are coming for. I grabbed the bread from her hands and threw it as far as I could, made Isabella sit on the stroller and started walking/running as fast as I possibly could to get away from these crazy beasts. Suddenly I hear Isabella say: "They're following us, mommy". I turned around and what do you know ~ there they all come, waddling and honking and scaring the living daylights out of us. I guess eventually they realized we had nothing else to offer, being that they had eaten all of our bread and joyfully taken my dignity, not to mention a few years off my life.
In hindsight, it's really funny and I'm laughing, a lot, as I'm typing. But if you would've been there, I guarantee you would've been terrified too. Those things did not back down!

So, where was Sam during all of this commotion you may ask,... luckily he was doing his thing ~ peacefully sleeping through the entire visit.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Just a chillin'

Recapping a conversation that occurred this evening and went a little something like this:

Me (in the kitchen): "Isabella, dinner's ready."

Isabella (in the living room): "What?"

Yeah, I've already blogged about how much I'm loving the whole WHAT? thing here.

So I patiently repeat: "Dinner's ready, come eat."

To which she replies: "What, mama?"

A little less patient, I say: "D I N N E R * I S * R E A DY!!!"

Somewhat defeated, while walking into the kitchen she responds: "OK, OK, chill out mama!"

Incredulous, I ask: "What'd you just say?"

And quite matter of fact, she looks me in the eyes and answers: "I said just chill out mama."

Chill out? Chill out? Where does she get this stuff?

One down, Three to go

So our first day of fun for Butler, party of three, was a great success. We got up bright and early and went to the Children's Museum so that Isabella could sit through their toddler book club which takes place every Tuesday morning. Today's selection was "Ten Terrible Dinosaurs" by Paul Stickland, and it was cute enough but I think Isabella had a much better time with crafts and snacks. Afterwards we got to and play around the museum.
We got to drive an airplane, a fire truck, a police car and a motorcycle. In addition we played with puzzles, Play-Doh, paper, scissors and glue. Isabella loved getting dressed up as a little pig and dancing on the big stage to the same music that Napoleon Dynamite danced to in his school. Yeah, the very immature teenager in me couldn't stop giggling about it, but luckily she thought I was laughing because I was so enjoying her performance, which don't get me wrong, I was. But then she picked up a ribbon ring and started twirling it around, and I'll be darned if that teenager didn't come back with thoughts of Will Ferrell's ribbon dance scene from Old School. Hilarious, I tell ya,...
Honestly, she really enjoyed wearing the pig costume and dancing on the stage.
Does this not SCREAM Will Ferrell in Old School?
Anyhoo, the highlight of the Museum visit was a Curious George play area, and Isabella absolutely LOVES George the monkey. So she played Curious George putt-putt, and she played in the Curious George market, and she made calls from the Curious George office, and you name it ~ everything Curious George, she did and thoroughly enjoyed.
Oh, for the love of George,...
Sam says: "Power to the people", or something,...
I realized it was getting late and since I was having a bit of a hard time getting her out of there, I lured her out with the offer of lunch and a bit of play time at Chick-fil-A. It worked like a charm.

Hey Daddy, we love you and we miss you!

Monday, June 16, 2008

So Many Reasons

Father's Day yesterday turned out much nicer, and bigger, than we had anticipated. Scott had purchased a meat smoker a few weeks ago and was dying to try it out. So what started out as smoking some ribs, somehow turned into a huge menu. Luckily, my brother called and said their plans had changed and they were on their way over. Otherwise, I'd be eating leftovers this entire week.

After some good ol' family time, many laughs, too much food, including some very yummy desserts, we decided it was time for Scott to open his presents. I'm trying to make it a point to give him one handmade present each year, in addition to his purchased gifts. Last year I made him a mini scrapbook, which he loves, keeps in his nightstand and looks at quite often. This year I wanted something a little different, something that tells him the many reasons he's such a great daddy to our children. I wish I could take full credit for the idea, but I saw something kinda like this a couple years ago in a scrapbook magazine, and added my own little twists to it. And as it turns out, it was his favorite gift:
So, first I stamped the kids' hands (holy cow,... no easy task with a 3 month old) on white cardstock. Then I asked Isabella what types of things she likes to do with her daddy and I wrote all those activities around the hand. Some of her favorite things were doing puzzles, playing chase, going to the park, doing his nails (hee, hee; sorry Cakes,...) and many other reasons why he is the best daddy ever. With Sam's hand, well a lot of those were reasons why I think he's such a great daddy to Sam. Anyway, then I matted them, framed them and added a picture of the kids. He loved it and immediately asked if he could take it to work, and this my friends, makes my heart happy.
And now I have a request, one which will involve much prayer, meditation, or any other form of spiritual connection you practice. Please send some relaxing, happy thoughts my way ASAP. You see, Scott left for California on a business trip bright and early this morning leaving me here with the kids all by myself until Friday afternoon. Now, I know many of you have husbands who go out of town frequently and are used to this, but I don't and I'm not. So, any happy thoughts you can send my way will be well received and much appreciated.

I do have quite a few activities and outings planned for this week so that we're not all couped up in the house looking at each other's faces (not that they don't have beautiful faces to look at) and driving each other crazy. Hopefully, that will help to get us through the week. And if you notice an unusually high number of postings this week it's because I promised Scott pictures of the kids every day (oh, the pressure,...).

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Father's Day

to all the wonderful men in our lives!

Saturday, June 14, 2008

This Boy

... is 3 months old today. Here are a few fun facts about baby Sam:

* As of this past Tuesday he weighs 17.10 lbs and is officially off the charts weight-wise
* He is such a happy baby, always giving us those great big smiles that melt our hearts
* He adores his big sister Isabella and watches her intently whenever she's around
* He loves to eat. A lot. All of the time, actually
* He is such a good sleeper, waking up only once and most nights it's around 5:00am, allowing his mommy and daddy a few good hours of decent sleep
* He must have the sweetest dreams because he's always smiling and often times actually giggling in his sleep
* He loves bath time, especially if his sister is involved
* He still prefers to be swaddled when he goes to sleep (due to his size, we'll be needing to upgrade to a queen size sheet pretty soon)
* He coos and grunts all the time when you talk to him, making for some pretty deep conversations
* It appears he is going to have blue eyes like his sister
* He's a great little traveler (trust me, we've just recently been there)
* He's pretty close to outgrowing his size 9 months clothes since most of them are a bit snug around the belly
* He just started giggling when you play peek-a-boo with him
* He's a bit of a late bloomer in the Colic department - where most babies usually outgrow it by this age, he's just recently had a few episodes, thankfully during the afternoon
* He must be pretty close to starting the teething process because he is constantly drooling, and it's not just a little bit here and there,... oh no, it's by the gallon
* He's just starting to reach for things

It's hard to believe our sweet boy is already three months old. He has brought so much joy to our home and we are crazy head over heals in love with him.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Underage Gambling

For dinner tonight we had chicken cordon bleu with bacon ranch Suddenly Pasta Salad and a vegetable. I cut Isabella's chicken into bite size pieces and arranged her meal on her new Princess plate. She's sitting at the counter watching Noggin when she suddenly looks down at her plate, carefully examines it for a while, and with her sassiest little girl voice says to me: "I bet I'm not gonna like thiiiisssssss!", while pointing to the pasta salad.

OK, so when did she start betting? I'm pretty sure I don't walk around the house saying: "I bet if you don't pick up your toys you're going on a time out", or "I bet if you don't eat your meal you're not getting a cookie", or "I bet if you don't listen and do as you're told you won't get to play outside in the backyard".

No, I don't talk like that because I don't like uncertainty, I don't want any room for possible misinterpretation and I'm simply not the betting type. I am much more direct, like: "Isabella, if you don't pick up your toys you ARE going on a time out", and "Isabella, since you didn't eat your (insert meal here) you are NOT getting a cookie", and even "Isabella, when you START listening and doing as you're told, then you'll get to play outside".

And, in the interest of full disclosure, here's the other new "thing". Everything I say to her, and I mean everything, is met with a "WHAT?" EVERYTHING! It is driving me crazy. So yesterday after having one too many of my requests fall on "deaf ears", I finally told her that since she was having such serious hearing issues we'd have to go see Dr. Senter, her pediatrician, so that he could fix her up and make sure her listening is perfect going forward. Guess what?! Yep, you guessed it, she heard that loud and clear.

So I'm left wondering, as we prepare to enter the threes next month ~ will the thrilling threes be any easier/better/more tolerable than the terrible twos?

Oh, and just so you know, our betting girl was right on the money and won the jackpot ~ she did not like the pasta salad.

Wednesday, June 4, 2008

It appears I've gone AWOL,...

... but the good news is I'm back! And it's June, which means it's my Birthday Month ~ woo hoo! But first, let me catch you up on the end of May:

* Our trip to Indiana was phenomenal. Due to some scheduling conflicts, we had to postpone our Kentucky stop until a later date (hey Katie, have your people call my people), but the kids traveled like pros and we all made it there and back in one piece, well three, but you get the point. It was so great spending time with the Miller clan. We visited some parks, did some shopping, ate good food, drank good wine, and hung out quite a bit. I didn't really take a whole lot of pictures, but here's one of three very wet and cold kids having too good of a time to actually care:
Isabella, Jack (center) and Luke

Oh, and you know that saying: "Like a kid in a candy shop"? Well, I propose that in order for people to really understand the meaning of enthusiasm/excitement/eagerness behind it, the saying needs to get changed to : "Like Rachel in a chocolate shop".

Sorry Rach, I just couldn't resist. Oh yeah, that's a huge chocolate assortment she's surrounded by and it was out of this world.

* Scott did a wonderful job with our wood floors. They look beautiful and I can already tell a difference with my allergies. Let's just say it's certainly motivated me to make some changes around our house.

* May included one trip to the ER for our baby boy Sam. One evening at around 11:00pm, out of nowhere, he woke up and started crying inconsolably for hours. And I'm not talking a whiny wimpy type cry, oh no, I'm talking "something REALLY hurts and you just ain't fixin' it" kinda cry. Finally at about 1:30 am the after-hours nurse told us that because of his young age, we should take him to the ER to have him looked at. After being there for a while with him crying on and off, at about 3:30 am I finally swaddled him and he passed out instantly. The doctor looked at me like I was crazy since he was suddenly sleeping so peacefully. I tried to explain to him that he was probably exhausted from crying for 4 plus hours and that was probably the reason why he had "fallen asleep" (seriously, they can make you feel like such an idiot sometimes). Until this day, we have no idea what was wrong. Thank goodness everything checked out just fine, but needless to say that made for a very long and tiring next couple of days.

* I know I need to address the pink elephant in the room ~ I have not posted my after pictures of my OPAM project because,... well, the truth is I haven't finished it. With a five day trip to Indiana, an ER visit, and well,... life happening all day every day, I just didn't make the time. Don't get me wrong ~ the bathroom is painted and all the blue painters tape is gone, but I still have to paint the cabinet and add the final decorative touches.

*I am not posting a OPAM for the month of June because we will be baptizing our baby boy on June 28th and I plan to do quite a few things to the house by then, since we are having some friends and family over to celebrate the special occasion. The one BIG thing I'd like to accomplish beforehand is painting our living room, which is no easy task due to the height of our two story walls. But after four years in this house, I finally found a color I really like and I'm ready to commit and make it happen. I do promise to post before and after pictures of everything I actually get done in June, including the May bathroom project.

OK, so right now I'm gearing up for my big day which I will be spending with my awesome hubby and some wonderful friends having dinner and going to enjoy a comedy show (not that my life isn't a crazy comedy act most days), and I am so looking forward to it.

Finally, I just have to share since she's done it again,... The very talented Marci Lambert photographed my children recently and although most of you received an e-mail with the actual slide show, I will leave you with one of my favorites.
Man, she's good. I can't wait to have our family shoot with her this coming Fall.