Monday, June 30, 2008

Weekend in Idaho

We had a fantastic long weekend in Idaho visiting David's parents and attending David's 10th High School Reunion. We managed to pack quite a bit into the four days we were there! We saw both sets of David's grandparents, went to two High School Reunion functions, corrupted Windows on Mom and Dad's computer (Grace gets the credit for that one!), took Mom out for a Margarita Pedicure (VERY fun!), helped Dad finish the tv stand, went on the Tour of Homes Parade, and saw a puppet show at the library. Whew!

David's High School Reunion was interesting, it wasn't very well planned but they still managed to get a fairly decent turn out. I knew a few of the people since several of them also attended the University of Idaho but the vast majority I met for the first time Friday night. My 10th Reunion is next year and I'll get to pay David back by letting him hang out with people he doesn't know for a few hours! There were plenty of people that already had four or more kids at David's reunion and I have a feeling that won't be the case at mine. I can't even imagine having four kids right now...yikes!

Grace went to a puppet show at the Library Thursday afternoon and was very impressed when the spider came down to see Little Miss Muffett. She did a good job paying attention for about 30 minutes before she lost interest. She did get her very first (temporary!) tattoo which she thought was pretty cool. She thinks the bug is very pretty.

The boys worked a bit on finishing our new television stand. It was installed in our living room late last night, I'll post pictures of the finished product later. You will all drool and wish you had a Father in Law like mine, I promise! Ethan was enthralled with watching the saws. He's definitely all boy.

Grace did a lot of coloring while we were there and it was cute when she colored with David's Grandpa. They shared the Dora coloring book!

The trip home yesterday was loooooong and hooooooooot but we made it home in one piece. The weather got funny in Portland, the rain came out of nowhere and came down in buckets. There was a ton of lightening but not a lot of thunder (or we couldn't hear it over the roar of the rain on the van). We stopped for an hour and had dinner with my parents before heading out on the last leg of the journy. The hard rain continued until we got a little past Wilsonville and then it just stopped completely. We got home late so we just put the kids to bed in their clothes and unpacked a bit before heading to bed.

Thursday, June 26, 2008

We're here!

Well we made it to Idaho without any major damage or meltdowns which is what I call a successful car trip. Grace only slept for two hours out of the seven which is less then I predicted, but she did pretty good. Ethan slept about the same and wasn't as happy, although we discovered that he could be pacified by continuous feeding of Peach Puffs. Thank God for Peach Puffs! We only made two stops, once at a rest stop outside Hermiston and again in Bakers City for dinner. We passed through a minor fire (not sure if it was supposed to be a controlled burn but it did hop the freeway), saw two deer, and watched two and a half movies.

It's been nice visiting with family and we'll be sad to leave Sunday!

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

We're packed...I think

I cheated and took the kids for a short drive through town to get Grace to fall asleep in the car for her afternoon nap. While I was out I stopped by Dutch Brothers...might as well get some fuel for packing right?!? As planned Grace was snoozing by the time we got home but I wasn't so lucky to have both kids fall asleep. I wrapped Ethan on my back and got to work. I'm happy to say that Ethan got his nap (and when not napping was not crying) and I got all of our clothes packed. Accomplishment indeed.

I spent some time this morning trying on some of my nicer clothes to find something to wear Friday night for David's 10th High School Reunion cocktail get together. It was a nice surprise to realize that Weight Watchers is actually working and I can fit into pre-Grace clothes! Not only that, but I can fit into clothes that I wore when David and I first got married almost seven years ago. Now THAT is an accomplishment. Sure some of the dresses don't fit exactly the same as they did pre-kids, but the fact that I can get them on and have them not look too awful makes me happy. I still have no idea what I'm going to wear so I packed two outfits so I can decide later. David was no help in my decision and just said to wear a nice dress or skirt or something. Men are no help in the "how dressed up do I need to be without looking too dressed up" clothes trying on scenarios. It's easy for him to say that he'll wear a long sleeve button down and khakis but no tie since that covers a wide range of dressy events while I'm stuck wondering whether I should wear a dressy dress or go more casual with a skirt.

So now I've got all of our clothes/toiletries packed and a tote bag of books/toys/treats in the car ready to go. The plan is to have David pack the van while I'm at bible study tonight and then when I get home we'll load the kids in their pajamas and drive up to Portland for the night. David will "work from home" at my parent's house until around noon and then we'll make the long trip to Nampa, Idaho. Good thing nap time is in that time frame so I anticipate plenty of sleeping. Who knows, maybe I'll even get to join them!

Monday, June 23, 2008

We love to play outside!

We love to play outside in the front yard in the late afternoon because it's shady and Grace stays more or less in our yard and out of the neighbor's yard. I can't say the same for the back yard which also contains poison oak. I brought the zoom lens outside with me and managed to talk Grace into sitting with Ethan by telling her to pretend they are riding a motorcycle. She loves to sit like this in the bathtub saying they're riding a motorcycle together and it worked for getting a decent picture of the two of them together!

Grace was having fun running and jumping as fast as she could down the front steps and I caught this great mid-air shot. She's pretty fast!

She had to stop for a breather by the tree and when I asked her to look at me this is the look I got. Guess she's tired of having a camera follow her every move ever since she was born! Too bad I'm not stopping anytime soon....

Ethan was thoroughly amused by Grace's whirlwind antics and I witnessed him clap for the first time. He was super happy and his applause just made Grace go faster! I asked Grace to show him how to do Patty Cake and she sat next to him and sang him the song which was pretty cute. Ethan was enthralled.

And finally the cute shot of Ethan from behind. I don't know why but I just really like this shot!

Building Sleeping Beauty's Castle

Grace and I worked hard to build Sleeping Beauty's Castle in our living room today in five lovely colors. Grace is rather peculiar in her desire to separate out colors and put me in charge of the orange and green towers while she built the blue, yellow, and red ones. She loves to build the towers but isn't so great at remembering to build them to stand up on their own and tries to get me to hold them up for her. Each one is a castle since that's all she builds these days!

Trying to figure out why the castle won't stand on it's own.

"Mommy will you hold it for me?"

And just because he's the most adorable baby boy here's a smiley picture of Ethan from last week. He's really close to getting his first tooth which I pray will happen soon because I'm tired of him teething on me. Ouch!

Saturday, June 21, 2008

Perhaps we should have bought a smaller tv

Today we made the trek up to Ikea with the intent to purchase a new tv stand since we're tired of looking at the makeshift one we have at the moment and the upside down milk crates just aren't making the cut. To prepare for the trip we measured the wall (it's short), and the measurements of the console table currently in place. What we forgot to measure was the tv itself, which would have been a good idea as we discovered later.

We made it up to Ikea around lunchtime but decided to try shopping a bit since David was convinced it wouldn't take any time at all to pick a tv stand and be on our merry way. Two hours later we decided to just go eat lunch at the Ikea cafeteria while we continued to consider our options. I have to say that for $12 we ate like kings at Ikea. David and I each had a ham and cheese sandwich and split a fruit bowl and some fries while Grace had some yummy macaroni and cheese and chocolate milk. Seriously, the food was great and super cheap!

Back at the media storage department we looked at our options for the 3000th time and realized that the Ikea designers had never stepped foot into our living room to design a tv stand perfect for us. Instead they designed them to be just a touch off. We were down to three options, a low white stand, a higher dark wood stand with glass doors, and a really wide medium wood stand. None of the colors exactly match the woods in our living room, but the cloest was the wide medium wood stand. Problem with that one is that it was only 6" shorter then the entire wall and would really be crowding the fireplace. I didn't want the white one because I thought the huge black tv and electonical goodies would look even more large and black with a white background. Plus we don't have any other painted furniture so it would look odd. David didn't like the dark wood since it is darker then the other woods we have and would stick out like a sore thumb.

We moved on to the warehouse in the vain hopes that perhaps one of the stands came in another color option. They didn't. But we found another one that could work that David dismissed earlier because he didn't think our tv would fit. Looking at the dimensions we could tell it would be close (it's the kind that completely surrounds the tv in a box so dimensions are crucial!). He called our friend Pat and had him look up the dimensions of our television and it was a little less then an inch too big to fit. Lovely.

So now we're back to square one and might be calling on my favorite Father In Law to work us some magic and help David make one to fit our requirements when we visit next weekend. We did get to stop by and visit with my Dad and brother while we were in Portland which was nice. Dad had been working on painting the shed and it looks great so far! I'm sure Mom will love it when she gets home tomorrow.

Thursday, June 19, 2008

So what's the little guy up to?

I've been posting a lot about Gracie lately but thought I'd spend some time talking about the little guy. Ethan has really got crawling down now and is pulling up like crazy. He's not really cruising the furniture yet, but I'm sure he'll start doing that soon. My guess is he'll be walking within three months, but I know it's only a matter of time before I'll have two kids to running in opposite directions to cause me grief.

No teeth yet but they've been tantalizingly close just under his sore gums for awhile now. He's either going through a growth spurt or teething because he's back to waking up a few times at night lately which isn't my favorite thing. Last night he was up at 11:30pm, 3am, and up for the day with Grace at 6:45am. He loves to eat solid foods and absolutely loves peaches. Loves them. His new food of the week is black beans which he's not a huge fan of thus far, but we'll keep trying. He did finally decide that avocado wasn't so bad so there's hope.

This is the view I have of Ethan most of the time these days. The back view as he crawls off to grab something!

Night Night Babies

It's time to meet the important babies in Gracie's life. First of all there's Pink Baby, a very nice smelling doll Grace received for her first birthday from my grandparents. She's been a hit from the beginning.

Purple Baby was a gift from Gracie's Opa and Oma (I happen to know that Opa got up early and braved the crowds at Walmart the Day After Thanksgiving and then spent time going through the dolls to find a cute Cabbage Patch doll with a good easy feat!) for her second Christmas. Purple Baby also smells good and came with the lovely name EmmaLeigh but inevitably has been called Purple Baby.

Blue Baby was a gift from Gracie's great Opa and Oma for her second birthday. He also goes by the name Baby Boy. He has been an invaluable baby as Grace also has a baby boy to love and take care of, just like Mommy.

Grace loves to put her babies to bed. She especially loves to plop them ever so gently into the crib (even if Ethan happens to be in the crib and doesn't want to share the space).

Each baby receives a loving kiss after being placed in the crib. Isn't she sweet?

Heaven forbid anyone in this house goes to sleep without a baby of their own! Oh no, Grace makes sure that both Ethan and her babies have their own babies to help them fall asleep. I'm not sure who might be more grateful of her generosity.

After settling the babies in the crib Gracie proceeded to sing them a lullabye. It went something like this:

La La La La La
I love you
La La La La La

And then she ran to the bookcase and read Elmo Does the Hokey Pokey to her babies.

The book was so good Gracie just had to dance the Hokey Pokey for her babies enjoyment! She had me sing the song for her and she performed the actions. You had to be there.

And now it's time to turn off the lights. Night Night babies!

Wait a minute, someone wants to escape the room before he gets shut inside all alone! Grace patiently waited for her brother to make his getaway before proceeding to close the door.

Sleep tight babies! I love you!

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

The First Tooth Cleaning

Today was Grace's first trip to the dentist office and it went pretty well. By that I mean there was no crying, hysterics, or tantrums by anyone involved. The dental hygienist was really great and did a good job working with her to get her to do (or attempt) what she wanted her to do. She managed to get one x-ray picture of the front of Grace's teeth which she said was great for her age. Grace did NOT care for sitting in the big chair once she found out that it had to be reclined for them to reach her teeth, so she did most of the cleaning standing up or on the hygienist's lap. She let her "tickle" one tooth with the cleaner and let her brush bubblegum flavored vitamins (fluoride) on her teeth and used the straw to suck it up. She really liked the straw. After that the dentist came and I helped to hold her so she could look in her mouth and check her teeth. She said everything looked good but we need to start flossing her teeth once a day. She must have noticed the look on my face because then she showed me the tool we can use to accomplish this seemingly impossible task so we'll give it a try tonight. We go back in six months and will try to do a little more cleaning next time, but the main goal is to make her comfortable going to the dentist. Since she had no cavities she got to pick out an electric toothbrush and is super excited about her Winnie the Pooh toothbrush. As soon as we got to the car she said "I want to go home and brush my teeth!" which I'm sure is music to her dentist's ears.

Monday, June 16, 2008

The littlest cowgirl

I still haven't gone through all the pictures from this weekend, but tonight I managed to get through most of the "people" shots and will work on the "action" shots later. So for now you can enjoy some pictures of our little cowgirl having a ball playing on Jim and Jane's rocks. She's easy to entertain!

Sunday, June 15, 2008

Happy Fathers Day!

We had a fantastic weekend at the Sisters Rodeo and both David and I were lucky enough to spend Father's Day morning with both of our fathers, a real treat for both of us! I'll share more rodeo pictures later, we downloaded 245 from the camera tonight and I just don't have the time or patience to go through them all tonight so I'll leave you with just a taste, that way you'll come back for more!

This is my dad enjoying the rodeo yesterday afternoon. He's the magic worker that put the hoo doo on Gracie and got her to sleep for 30 minutes during the rodeo which pretty much makes him my hero. We spent some time behind the bleachers in the tiny bit of shade to cool Gracie down when she got too hot. I shared a grape/lime snow cone with her which she very much liked. I asked her how it tasted and she looked up at me with a huge grin and said "It tastes like candy!" which I think means it tasted very very good. Dad is super patient with Grace and is always willing to go along with her on whatever adventure she wants to embark upon which puts him pretty high up in her book. Mine too.

This is my father in law who is also a terrific guy. He had a pretty big hand in shaping my husband to be the fine upstanding man he is and for that I owe him big time! David really looks up to his Dad and I can't help but appreciate his valuable advice. He's a very caring individual and I always enjoy spending time with him. I appreciate his willingness to discuss personal matters over the phone with Grace. I'm sure he really enjoyed his speaker phone conversation with Grace about how he sits on the potty, we owe you big time for that one!

And finally there's my husband, the man who is walking alongside me in this parenting adventure we embarked upon almost three years ago. He has learned the art of drinking tea at princess tea parties and will willingly wear silk capes and jewelry that Grace puts on him. He happily takes phone calls at work from Grace telling him about her latest potty success and has been a good sport about such things like pulling out a nursing pad from his shirt at work. Thank you so much for all the ways you provide for our family and meet our needs. We love you!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Grace loves to swing!

We're almost all packed, the dog is dropped off at the kennel, and things are reasonably ready for us to leave. It's a miracle. So we got to go to the park this afternoon, though our picnic will have to wait until next week. I played with my zoom lens and regular lens and got some fun swinging pictures of the kids.

I hate packing

Actually that's not very accurate. I hate packing while Grace jumps up and down on the bed squashing the clean wrinkle-free clothes and Ethan sits on the floor crying so hard tears are running down his little cheeks. I tried putting the oh so tired Ethan down for a nap (he's not sleeping yet but protesting in the crib) and found the dreaded Barney on tv so I can attempt to finish up packing before we leave for Sisters, Oregon this afternoon. I promised Grace a picnic in the park today too so hopefully I can make that happen!

We're scheduled to leave at 3:30pm this afternoon, let's all pray we make it to Sisters before I go mad.

Thursday, June 12, 2008

Where did my baby go?

I brought the kids in for a hair cut this morning and as our hair dresser worked her magic my baby boy turned from hairy munchkin to little boy in about 15 minutes. I don't think I'm ready for this. Of course he's adorable but he looks more like a boy then a baby! Did he have to get so big so soon?

And this morning he discovered he can crawl from one room to another. He was playing happily in his room this morning when Grace wanted her breakfast so we went into the kitchen so I could get her all set up with her bowl of cereal. Along came Ethan chugging down the hallway, stopping as soon as he reached the kitchen with a huge grin on his face!

His satisfaction with crawling has been short lived. Now that he can crawl all he wants to do is crawl over to something to pull up on it (usually me and my legs) so he can stand. He's not going to be satisfied until he's running just as fast, if not faster, then Grace!

After the kids' haircuts we stopped by the park to celebrate the sun's decision to appear after such a long break. Both the toddler swings were open and Grace *really* wanted to swing so I plopped both kids in and they had a grand time for about 15 minutes. Grace kept exclaiming that she was swinging into the trees and was having a blast. Ethan didn't have a lot of facial expressions but every time his swing started to slow down he started trying to pump his legs and move his body to make it go faster...where'd he figure that out from?!?

The Trifecta is Complete

We are now the proud owners of all three of the major console systems. David stood in line at Walmart in Salem to get a Playstation 3 Metal Gear Solid 4 bundle at midnight last night to join the Xbox 360 and Nintendo Wii that we already own. So far I'm not terribly impressed, but I don't think I'm the target demographic. I stayed up late to see David's new toy and was super impressed with how sharp Planet Earth looks on blu ray on our tv through bleary eyes at 1:30am. I think I'll be less impressed with Metal Gear Solid 4, but then again, I won't be playing it.

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

The cutest pouts you've ever seen

There must be something really wrong with me because I think these screaming baby pictures are actually cute! Not that I enjoy the screaming, crying, and tantrums but there's something just so endearing about these pictures. I want to remember my children as they are, normal human beings that experience a range of emotions that happen to include a few unhappy faces along the way.

This picture is from Grace's first St. Patrick's Day and she really isn't in a bad mood, just made a fantastic pouty face while I was snapping pictures.

This is probably my favorite of the bunch, the crying pumpkin just makes me laugh! And she really isn't crying about wearing the costume, that wasn't the problem at all. She's mad because right before I snapped this picture she was trying to run around the side of the house and I wouldn't let her. I know, I'm just so mean.

This one is great because it features two precious little faces. The look on Grace's face as she reacts to her screaming baby brother is just priceless. The sad thing is that I didn't get any better Christmas pictures of the two of them together. This is pretty much all I got!

This picture makes me smile just because Ethan has the cutest little scrunched up newborn face and that wild hair! If my hair stuck straight out no matter what I did to try and tame it I'd probably make a very similar grimace. While I'm glad his wild hair has calmed down I kind of miss it!