Sunday, May 31, 2009

Fix Him!

Well guys, this is it. Today is my last day of posting for the super exciting "A Photo a Day in the Month of May" series. It's been real, but I'm looking forward to my more sporadic blogging just for the fun of it. Know what I mean?

Anyway, I'm leaving you with a funny story and an old photo so here we go.

The day after Isabella's dance recital I was looking through the many pictures I took and doing some photo editing. Isabella came over to the desk and sat on my lap. She intently watched as I worked and finally asked:

Isabella: What are you doing?
Me: I'm editing some pictures from your recital.
Isabella: What does editing mean?
Me: It means changing or fixing.
Isabella: How do you do it?
Me: Well, look at this picture. See how your eyes look red here? I can make them not look red by pressing this button right here.
Isabella: Oh! What's that called?
Me: It's called "Red Eye Removal".
Isabella: Hmm, do it again!

I flip over to the next picture and remove the red eyes.

Isabella: Cool!

I forward to the following picture and since it doesn't have any red eye issues I move on to the next one.

Isabella: Wait! Go back!
Liz: What?
Isabella: You forgot to fix him!
Liz: Fix what, honey?
Isabella: The picture!
Liz: Baby, there are no red eyes in this picture.
Isabella: Mom!!!
Liz: What?
Isabella: Papa Abu has red eye all over him! You have to fix him!

The picture in question:

I sure do love that girl!

Saturday, May 30, 2009

Every morning

One of the first things we do every single morning is go outside to check our garden. I guess it's one of those small things that just makes us happy. Our fruits and vegetables are coming along quite nicely, so I thought I'd share a brief walk around our garden with you this morning:

Hello lettuce!

The blueberry bushes look promising.

The peaches are looking good.

In addition, most of our strawberry plants have flowers, which means strawberries are on their way soon. The tomato plants are growing, the herbs are getting sniped and used quite frequently, the grape vines are sprouting new leaves, the pear tree looks fabulous, etc, etc, etc.

We love our little garden! Won't you come by and have a taste?

Friday, May 29, 2009

I have a sneaky suspicion

that we will be doing quite a bit of this in the upcoming months (and by "this" I mean hanging out at Tata and Papa Abu's apartment complex pool.)

Sam's first time in a big pool.
He's not quite sure what to make of it.

For Isabella cold water = playing on the steps.

Our awesome cousins playing around.

It appears some of us take the "hanging" part a lot more serious than others.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Meet our "Marley"

OK, so we finally got around to watching Marley & Me this past weekend and can I just tell you, this movie has touched me in so many more ways that I had ever expected. I definitely recommend it!
Oh, Marley! We couldn't help but laugh at all of his shenanigans because you see we too had a "Marley". I say had because luckily our "Marley" eventually outgrew all of those crazy behaviors and did indeed turn out to be the best dog ever.

Meet Mick (our Marley):

When we rescued Mick in January of 2003 he was about 6 months old, just slightly bigger than Copper and full of energy. We had just moved to Louisville in December and apparently didn't have enough going on so so we decided why not add an untrained puppy to our new household.

Mick was a terrible nightmare during his first year with us. He was not house broken and to make matters worse, he was truly wild. We could not leave anything out that we didn't want chewed or slobbered or peed on. He had to be gated in the kitchen or crated in the den in order to minimize the damages.

We quickly realized that what we had ahead of us was no easy task so we wasted no time in taking him to obedience training. I started with the training, but between the German lady trainer actually scaring the living daylights out of me and Mick being the unruly dog that he was the decision was made that Scott should be the one to continue with the training sessions. OK, so I made the decision. But he did so much better with Scott as his handler, or so I thought.

On graduation day I was so proud of Mick for making it through the entire training, that is until he pooped right in the middle of the room. During the graduation march. Humiliating! It's a miracle they actually released his certificate. Maybe it was my crying that moved them.

Anyway, so now we had a semi-obedient dog who thought it was OK to go potty whenever and where ever the urge hit him. It got the point where we would take him outside and he would sniff everything and walk around and literally do his business within minutes of coming back inside. Can you say FUN?!

We called a million different resources to ask for suggestions including his trainer, but she acted like she had no idea who we were. Funny, I thought for sure she'd remember the dog who pooped right in the middle of their most recent graduation ceremony. Oh well,...

This was so incredibly frustrating that on several occasions Scott and I actually looked up no-kill shelters to take him. We were at wit's end. So overwhelmed. But something happened every single weekend we thought would be his last with us. It was almost as if he knew and turned up his charm to irresistible levels. So he stayed.

Finally someone gave us some useful advice on how to fix the problem. And guess what! It actually worked. Suddenly things were clicking with Mick. Then he turned two. And this was the beginning of our wonderful life together.

Mick loves water. Whether he's drinking hundreds of ounces of it or swimming in it, either way it makes him happy! He loves chasing after sticks or balls or anything else you throw for him. Mick loves to chase our cats around the house. The cats on the other hand don't seem to like it so much. Mick is crazy about our other dog, Copper, and til this day totally loves playing with him and using him as his own personal squeaky chew toy.

Mick has been there for us when we've been through so many of life's difficult circumstances. He always knew exactly the right time to come over and put his head on our laps, as if telling us everything would be alright. He took to our children instantly and loves them and lets them play all over him. He is an awesome watchdog. He's always known when to watch over us and protect us, it's as if he can sense my anxiety level rising. He is one of the best crumb vacuums I've ever had (Copper being without a doubt the best ~ absolutely no food touches the floor when Copper's around).

Mick is a big 'ol baby and an awesome cuddler. He is a happy dog and often times actually looks like he's actually smiling. He is that dog. You know the kind. The one that people who walk through our door not liking dogs end up wanting to take him home with them. Yep, that's him. Our 100 lb lovable beast.

How this dog went from being the nightmare that he was to being the best dog EVER I'll never know. But what I do know is that we absolutely adore our Mickey, he is a huge part of our family and we can't imagine our house without him.

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

My short lived panic attack

Isabella: Mama, you see this scratch here? It really hurts.
Me: Oh honey, what happened? How'd you get that scratch?
Isabella: I don't know.
Me: Come here, Baby. Let me kiss it and make it all better.
I kiss the aforementioned scratch.
Me: There, is that better?
Isabella: Not really.
Me: Not really?!
Isabella: Well, the kisses don't really make it feel better.
Me (panicked, but keeping my cool): They don't? Hmm, I always thought they did.
Isabella: Nope, they don't make the boo-boo better, they just make me happy and then I feel better.

Phew! For a moment there I was really concerned with where that was headed.

Sometimes you just have to stop and smell the roses

... or inhale the bubbles.

Whichever works!

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Is it terribly wrong

that I look forward to this moment every single day?

That I get giddy the second I close his bedroom door and sometimes actually do a little happy dance? That sometimes I'm SO overwhelmed by the lack of noise that I just don't know what to do with myself? That I don't always (read hardly ever) use this time to catch up on the housework? That sometimes I myself crawl into my nice cozy bed and take a nap? Or read a magazine or a book? Or scrapbook? Or catch up on e-mail/Facebook/blogging?

Tell me, is this wrong?

Monday, May 25, 2009

For a rockin' good time...

just add water.

As in turn on the sprinkler in the backyard.

As you can see it doesn't take much around here for us to have ourselves a good 'ol time.

Sunday, May 24, 2009

Oops! I missed a day,...

and I was doing so good,... Oh well!

Yesterday's scheduled filled up on us pretty quickly and unexpectedly. We had some errands to run in the morning for a house project we're going to be starting soon (more about that later). Then we went to our awesome babysitter's High School Graduation Open House. Can I just say that was pretty bittersweet for me. I am SO proud of Jessica for completing this chapter in her journey of life and starting her college career soon, but on the other hand I absolutely hate that she is moving away to go to college!

We totally ADORE her. I met Jessica at church years ago during a Summer VBS session and instantly knew this was one special 15 year old. She is smart and mature and funny and responsible and gorgeous. Jessica was Isabella's first and pretty much only babysitter (if you exclude one crazy girl we used only once when Jessica wasn't available or my family members). Isabella specifically tells us to go out so that she can play with Jessica. I don't know what we're going to do without her here. We sure are going to miss her.

So, after the Open House we picked up my Dad and headed down to Tunica, MS to do some shopping at the Outlet Mall. Luckily everyone found a little something. But as you know, nothing works up an appetite like non-stop walking and shopping so we did what anyone else would have done in our situation. We went to the Paula Deen Buffet to eat entirely too much delicious fried food. I don't really have too much to say about it since I've already described our previous Paula Deen Buffet experience in excruciating detail here. But I will say this, it was just as good the second time around as it was the first. And Christie, I did have the Creme Brulee and it was divine!

Anyway, we got home pretty late and I went straight to bed, which is the reason for the lack of posting. I'm not sure what's on our agenda for today, but I'm desperately hoping it involves some vegging out.

Friday, May 22, 2009

Dots and Stripes

We went out on a shopping expedition this morning looking for cute bedding for Isabella's new bed which was being delivered this afternoon. We found a variety of matching quilts and shams at Marshall's so I let Isabella pick her favorite one. And may I add, she did a fine job. I really like what she selected. Then we were off to Bed Bath & Beyond to find matching sheets, and luckily that turned out to be a successful trip as well. Although I still need to find accessories to finish off the room, I'm happy with the way it's turning out so far.

The furniture delivery people got here and set it up in her room while she was napping in my room. This allowed me the opportunity to get it all ready for the big reveal.

Just as I had suspected she loves it and can't wait to sleep in it tonight.

The new bed consists of a full size mattress set and frame. I'm planning on making her a headboard sometime this summer. I'm still not 100% sure what I'm going to make, but I'm thinking that maybe if I'm brave enough it could quite possibly be something along these lines:

Photo taken during 2005 Vesta Home Show

We'll see how daring I really am,....

Thursday, May 21, 2009

Last day of School Surprises

Today was Isabella's last day of school and she was as excited going in this morning as she was when I picked her up this afternoon.

I myself was so excited, cause I had a bunch of surprises for her when I picked her up from school. For starters, since Sam and I took Papa Abu to the hospital to have some tests done earlier in the day, he ended up going with us to pick Isabella up and that alone totally made her day. She was thrilled that he was there and joyfully told both of her teachers that he was her grandaddy. So sweet.

Once we got in the car I told her that while she was at school we had purchased her a new "big girl" bed and that although it wouldn't be delivered tomorrow afternoon, we could go and get some new bedding for it today after Sam's nap. She's thrilled! Yep, so far Mommy is two for two.

We got home and she played in her room while I put Sam down for nap. Then I asked her to come into the game room because her Daddy and I had a surprise for her. She walked in and was surprised to see a bunch of goodies all for her. You wanna take a wild guess as to what she's into these days?

She loved it. All of it. But she especially loved the Tinkerbell diary with lock and key. She now walks around saying that only she has the key and only she can open her secret diary. I'd love to see what kind of personal secrets her diary will contain. Maybe smiley faces and letters and numbers,... ooh! All I have to say is thank goodness for Michael's $1 aisle.

She immediately got to playing with all her new treasures and again and again told me how much she loved me and thanked me for an awesome surprise and for being so kind and so sweet.

Hey what do you know,... Mommy is three for three today! Yes!

That never happens around here so I'm off to bask in the glory of my success (as short lived as it may be).

Until next time!

Insert teenage girl squeal with delight here!

Step aside American Idol, America's Got Talent, Dancing with the Stars and every other reality talent-show-like show. Today is the season premiere of my most favorite TV show EVER:

I love this show.
LOVE it!
I have seen every single season and eagerly look forward to it all year long!
I cannot wait until tonight!

And since I still have to wait another 12 hours before I can totally disconnect from this world and lose myself in the wonderful "So You Think You Can Dance" universe, I leave you with one of my favorite dances from last season's show:

Katee & Twitch Contemporary:

BTW: Twitch was my favorite contestant and I voted for him religiously and I totally thought he should have won and was devastated when he didn't! Seriously, like totally!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

79° + Sun + Water =

A whole lot of fun!

A friend of ours recently bought one of those big inflatable water slides and invited us to come over to play. So we spent the morning playing and swimming and sliding and splashing. Well, the kids did while the mommies sat around the pool/slide to catch up and catch some rays.

Let the fun filled summer days begin,...

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

I had totally forgotten

... how unbelievably stubborn, short-tempered, cantankerous, obnoxious and dramatic one year olds can be. Those tantrums,... are you kidding me?

Lucky for us he recovers rather quickly, but still,...

Monday, May 18, 2009

Beware of crazy drivers

We had the most amazing weather here yesterday. So much so that we decided to forgo our weekly going out to lunch after church tradition and come home to cook out instead. We spent all afternoon outside and loved every little bit of it. The kids especially enjoyed playing outside.

Our awesome neighbors gave us this Jeep last summer for Isabella since their daughter had totally outgrown it. And she's REALLY into it this year. Thanks again, guys!

Daddy made sure that the battery was all charged up and both Isabella and Sam had a blast riding it. Isabella was quite the crazy driver. Could this girl be any more distractible? Lord help us during her driving years. Sam on the other hand was a great little passenger, only once violently trying to take over the wheel.

I'm happy to report we had no major accidents and only some minor incidents. They rode and rode until the battery died, at which time Daddy took it to the garage to recharge for round two later on. My Dad came over for dinner and again we fired up the grill and made some really yummy burgers.

I live for beautiful lazy days like this where we just get to be together.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

It's Showtime!

Caution ~ Photo-Heavy Post!

So like I mentioned yesterday, we had the pleasure of attending Isabella's first tap and ballet dance recital. It was awesome! She wore the biggest white tutu and looked absolutely stunning. She really got into it and danced beautifully. And I realize I'm the Momma and can be somewhat extremely biased, but trust me her Daddy, Papa Abu, Aunt Maria, Uncle Chris and both cousins (aka her fan club) all felt the exact same way. And I'm sure there's no bias there,... especially from her Daddy.

Isabella's Fan Club:

Papa Abu hangin' out with the grand kids before the show:

She performed one tap and two ballet numbers.

Tapping Away:

Beautiful Ballerina:

I have officially crowned her the Michael Jordan of dance being that during times of extreme concentration her tongue was either peeking through or totally hanging out. I seem to remember her doing this before,... maybe during one of her school programs.

Seriously cute!

Anyway, after her performance we gave her a beautiful bouquet of pink tulips, which she loved, and took some pictures.

As you can see here even after it was all said and done she was still on cloud nine.

We're so proud of you, sweet girl, and we love you so much!

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Special Delivery

Isabella's first ever dance recital is today and to say we are excited is a gross understatement. She'll be dancing tap and ballet and she'll be wearing the biggest tutu I've ever seen on a three year old. EVER! And she looks absolutely STUNNING in it. I can't wait to share some pictures with you guys later. But let me get back on track here. This post is about a special delivery.

Okay, so I thought she was as excited as she could get until we pulled into our driveway after having dinner last night and saw a note on our mailbox. It stated there was a "Special Delivery" for an Isabella Butler by the front door. So I told her and after eagerly asking "For me?!?", she quickly ran to the door to find her surprise.

She was shocked and thrilled and actually speechless, and that's saying quite a bit these days. I explained that since they couldn't be here for her recital her Aunt Liz, Uncle Chris and Cousin Daniel sent her this beautiful flower arrangement wishing her good luck. She just could not believe it. Seriously, how sweet is that!

It's a miracle we got that child to sleep anything at all last night as excited as she was. Thank you guys so much! You definitely made this event even more special for her with such an awesome gesture, and I honestly did not think that was even possible. We love you and miss you and hope to see you soon!

Friday, May 15, 2009

She's at it again

Once again Isabella raided my scrapbook corner to get enough materials to create another scrapbook page.

I just love how incredibly proud she is of her creation. And I also love how she calls herself an artist because of her passion for anything involving crayons, paints, pencils, markers and now scrapbooking materials.

She proudly showed her Daddy her page as soon as he got home from work. Her Daddy oohed and aahed over it and asked her if she was now a "Scrapper" like her Mommy to which she indignantly replied:

"No Daddy, I'm a scrapbook pager."

Alright then,...