Monday, August 31, 2009

Fishies, Flamingos, Penguins & Snakes

Or, alternately titled: Our Trip to the Dallas World Aquarium!

On Saturday, Nick and I decided to take the kids to the aquarium. Although adult admission is $18.95+tax, children 2 and under are free. So we decided we better head on down there before November when one of our kiddos no longer qualifies for that freebie fare.

At any rate, we had a great time. The kids were great for us, and although Carter probably enjoyed it more than his sister, Olivia was elated to be face-to-face with a penguin, separated only by a thick sheet of glass. My favorite part was being so close to the flamingos and having Nick educate me as to how they stay such a vibrant color (just ask him if you don't know, I'm sure he'll tell you). Carter seemed to enjoy all of it, and if you asked him what his favorite part would be, I'm sure it would have something to do with the rabbits/jaguar/shark tank/penguin exibit/etc., etc. He was in awe of the vast array of animals and DID. NOT. WANT. TO. LEAVE. We'll definitely have to go back again. Can't wait to take them to the zoo!

Sharks don't seem as scary when they're this small. But still, a shark nonetheless.

Can you see the sharks behind us? This is a tunnel that you walk through where the sharks and eel swim overhead. Carter was obviously enjoying it.

They're looking at this:
Another walk-through; this time only pretty fish swim overhead. Still enjoyable for a two year old.

Olivia told me the eel were her favorite. (Love this picture!)

Carter loved these "ducks".

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Two Peas in a Pod

Nick found this picture of Carter at his first birthday party, and I was taken aback at how much my children look alike on their first birthday. I usually don't think they look that much alike, but there's no denying them here. And can you tell? Apparently Carter made that same scrunch face look that his sister does oh so often lately. Precious.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Watermelon Baby Carriage

With a little bit of effort, a good knife, some great fruit and a smidge of patience, you too can turn this:

Into this:
Voila! A watermelon baby carriage.

Perfect for your next baby shower. Or watermelon carving contest. Or a lazy afternoon at home. It really is quite fun and I enjoyed making this for Amber's baby shower recently. I just might do it again someday. Only next time, I will wear a large towel and start it on an empty stomach. Fresh fruit can be so enticing.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

For Baby Cohen

Our dear friends, The Bruners, are expecting their first baby, a boy, on October 15th. Our family can hardly wait for the arrival of Mr. Cohen. This past weekend, Amber's sister, Bethany, and I threw Amber her very first baby shower. I didn't take many pictures but she scored some great gifts and the food was excellent, trust me. After the shower, I thoroughly enjoyed helping her cart it into the house and rearrange the nursery. Hopefully she'll get some pics of that up on her blog soon (hint, hint). Thanks Am for letting us share in this special time with you and Michael!

Bethany, Amber, and me

I asked her take a picture next to the diaper cake I made for the shower.
I told her to act goofy and she flashed this gorgeous, glowing smile.
Pregnancy suits her well.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Olivia's First Birthday Party

I'll let this picture-riffic post speak for itself.
Except when I use captions.

The Cake & Cupcakes
Thanks to our personal BFG Cake Decorator, Melissa, at Kroger on Lake Forest.

She's always making this face.



Carter loves his Uncle Jeremy.
And balloons.

Olivia apparently needed some help opening gifts.
I think these boys got that covered.

Great friends, The Pittmans & Trey Davis.

I think Aunt Mindi may be more excited about this gift than the birthday girl.

Cousins: Jackson, Grayson & Carter

Brother is a pro at sidewalk chalk.
Sissy is wondering when it will be her turn.
Answer: when you no longer want to eat the chalk.

Mindi & Jackson

And what first birthday party would be complete without a smash cake? Olivia could barely wait for us to finish singing the Happy Birthday song and had no problems digging right in.

Hope you had a blast, sweet birthday girl!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


No, I did not just give you the combination to my gym locker*, but rather Olivia's percentages in height, weight and head circumference. Basically, she is 95-97% larger than all other children her age. Nice, huh? It doesn't matter to us though; even if she were in the fifth percentile of all these things, we'd still love her just the same. (Actually we'd have to love her a little less because there would be less of her to love. Get it? Less of her to love? Because she would be smaller? ... Get it?... [tap, tap] Is this thing on?...)

Anyway, she had her one year well visit this morning and she checked out just fine. Her pediatrician is really happy with the developmental milestones she's met and says to keep up the good work. And for those who care (a.k.a. the grandparents), here are the stats:

At one year of age, our big girl is 31" tall, weighs 24 lbs 12 ozs and has a head circumference of 19".

While we were waiting for the doc to come in, after I had stripped her down for the measurements, I tried to get a cute photo of the two of us because I've realized lately that I'm hardly ever IN any of the pictures I take. These pictures made me quickly realize why Nick is always the one to hold the camera in our self-portraits. I don't have the coordination to take a good picture if I'm not behind the viewfinder.

Ever tried to keep a one year old on an exam table AND take a picture at the same time? Not an easy feat.

And to think people say she looks like me...

*Who am I kidding? I don't go to the gym.

Saturday, August 8, 2009

We're almost there...

Nick will be home TOMORROW! Hooray! While we have missed him an incredible amount, these past nine days have not been near as bad as I anticipated them to be. We have an army of family and friends to thank for that (Gigi, Pawpaw, Nana, Jaja, Amber, Michael, Ryan & Leslie, to name a few). There have been a few rough moments but nothing that wouldn't have happened anyway. After all, my two year old doesn't plan his tantrums in accordance with his father's presence (unfortunately) and the storm that blew down our fence wouldn't have simply passed us over had Nick been home. All-in-all, it's been a great week, but we are definitely looking forward to getting our daddy back.

In honor of surviving these last nine days solo, I have complied a list, in no particular order, of things I have realized:
  • My house stays 95% cleaner when it is just me and the kids.
  • Watching the Rangers west coast games from start to finish is a whole lot easier when your husband isn't asking you to turn off the tv so he can go to bed.
  • It's much nicer to nudge someone to get up and let the dogs out at 4 am instead of doing it yourself.
  • The laundry basket still isn't full yet.
  • We have true friends who will drop everything to come help you find your two dogs that escaped when the fence blew down.
  • That same friend will then completely rebuild your fence in the rain, even if he is wearing his nice shoes, and even if you can only pay him with a batch of spaghetti.
  • Having selfless parents who live close and love their grandchildren (and their daughter), makes for one great high school reunion and birthday celebration.
  • Having generous in-laws (who don't live SO close) makes for one awesome day at the circus in the life of a two year old and his best friend, complete with memories of a porcupine that they're still talking about one week later.
  • I cannot blame Nick for being late to work everyday.
  • Carter can sleepover at a friend's house without a hitch.
  • Dropping off and picking up two children from daycare is much simpler with four hands instead of two.
  • But most of all, I've realized that our family is better off when Nick and I are in it together, even if that does mean more laundry and cooking. I wouldn't have it any other way.

Friday, August 7, 2009

The Big O-N-E

She learned to laugh and sit and stand
And now she can walk if you hold her hand
She loves her brother and her toys
A true princess in a sea of boys
This past year has been so much fun
But lookout world, Olivia is ONE!

I snapped this picture of my baby big girl this morning before I dropped her off at daycare. (I know, phone camera = poor quality, but you get the picture. Pun intended.)

Her birthday party will be next weekend and she has her one year doctor visit on Tuesday, so I'll post more about my Livvy later, but today couldn't go undocumented.

Here is my precious daughter exactly one year ago today, just a few hours into this world.

We love you, Miss Olivia Gayle! Happy 1st Birthday!
(daddy even called just to say so)