Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Little Middle Goes to Preschool

Annie had her very first day of preschool today! She will go two mornings a week.

We all got up early to help little miss get ready for this big day. Libby helped me make Annie a special first day of school breakfast - cheesy scrambled eggs (Annie's favorite). She got dressed and couldn't wait to strap on her new backpack.

Thanks Aunt Emily! She loves her ladybug.

Oh, bless her teachers!

Ready to go!

One last hug before we left! She had a great morning!

When I picked her up, she proudly showed me her "Good Job" sticker. She said, "Mama, teacher said I do a GOOD GOB!"

Monday, August 29, 2011

Some Updates

The happenings at our house lately would best be organized in bullet form. Mainly because my brain lacks the energy to crank out much more right now.

>At six months old, I finally moved little Pup up to his crib. I KNOW, but his room is all the way UPSTAIRS. He has done just fine (even though those jammies are a tad small) and continues to sleep through the night.

His Mommy, on the other hand, wakes up a couple times at night, frantically scrambles for her glasses and presses her nose up against this screen...

>I made a valance for our bonus room window. This was my first attempt at sewing for the home. After lots of seam ripping and a few choice words, it's ready to hang. Pictures to come!

>We are under an armadillo invasion. Those ugly critters have taken to digging around in the mulch in the beds around our house. Dusty is excited to shoot them. I am grossed out.

>Annie starts preschool in the morning! We have her little yellow outfit hanging up (her favorite color at the moment) and her little bag packed at the back door. Look out two year old class - her she comes!

>Libby started ballet!

After she was a dance class drop out last year, I didn't know if she would want to start again. I waited until she asked to sign up, and now seems to love it!

>I'm still making baby food. Question: what kind of storage systems are best? I would like to start making big batches at a time.

>I got an iPhone! It is beyond awesome.

>Annie made some potty progress. Remember that post from the beginning of the summer where she had gone for the first time in the potty? Well, that was the first and last time. This week, we only got her to SIT on the little pink potty after months of NO INTEREST.

I attribute her willingness mostly to the bag of pink marshmallows I bought as a bribe. I told Libby that she could have a marshmallow too if she helped her little sister. She is now on a mission.

After about 30 minutes, this is the only thing that she had to show for her efforts.

>We go for take two of our photo shoot for the kids tomorrow. Wish us luck. Last night Libby busted her lip and Annie scraped her chin. Here's hoping that no one else gets maimed before tomorrow at 5:30 pm.

Last but not least...

>We have had an unexpected extension to our summer! Long story short, we changed our plans for Libby's kindergarten.. four days before she was scheduled to start. After finding out that she was the only girl enrolled in her class (insert nervous breakdown for Keightley) we decided to send her to a different school. The details of how this all fell into place was totally God and I am even more excited about her school year now. She actually met one of the little girls in her class today at the pool. She doesn't start until after Labor Day so we are enjoying our time at home together for a few more weeks!

Back soon with more pictures and hopefully more riveting, less random, topics to share! :)

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Super and Silly Portraits and my Paint Pick

Life is kicking into the next gear around here, so my blogging and picture taking has been a little sparse these days. Last week we took the kids to have pictures made by the marvelous Amy McDaniel. Murphy's Law would predict that this would be the day that Charlie would wake up super early and decide to be cranky during our shoot. He also fell forward (while his big sister was SUPPOSED to be holding him for a picture) and bumped his head on one of Amy's props. While my blood pressure began to rise, our sweet photographer offered to try again on another day. Whew! I gladly accepted, but was amazed when she posted these that night...

She works miracles! It kind of breaks my heart how big he looks. Can't wait to share the rest!

Over the weekend, I painted our bedroom. This is a room in our house that I have had zero inspiration to complete. I recently bought a new coverlet and duvet set that I love so that put me on the search for the perfect gray paint color. Gray is hard. After slapping six different samples on my wall and putting out a Facebook plea for suggestions, I decided on Sandy Hook Gray!

Thank you Stacey (my sorority big sister!) for the suggestion. It's a lovely color and feels cool and calming.

But as I was painting and Dusty was doing yard work, these two were neither cool nor calm.

We probably should have recruited a babysitter for our DIY weekend!

And finally, I ran across these "portraits" and had to share. Fun with the PhotoBooth app...

And Melanie made my day a while back when she texted me this picture. She found a "Bieber Yourself" app...

Annie has been "Biebered"! Is it weird that I think this cut actually works for her?

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Little Guy's Grub

Last week, Charlie got his first bite of food that wasn't made by his Mama! We started with rice cereal. He did great!

Because Libby got to feed her baby sister her first bite a couple of years ago, Annie got to do the honors this time. She took her job seriously. She kept saying, "Here ya go, Char-wee...goooood boy!".

Since then he's also conquered carrots. I'm going to try to go the homemade route this time around (thanks to some positive peer pressure from Taylor) , so I'm getting very well acquainted with my food processor. And ice cube trays. Who knew?!?

There are way too many "firsts" going on around our house lately. Slow down, kiddos!

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Summer Salad

This may very well be my favorite salad! My mom has been making it for as long as I can remember in the summertime when all the ingredients are at their peak. I think she found it in a magazine, but over the years we have tweaked it and made it a regular on our table when we are grilling out. I'm sure it had some fancy name, but we've always just called it "Summer Salad".

I made it last night when my in-laws were visiting. It went great with the chicken that Dusty smoked on the Big Green Egg!

Just layer the following on a big platter so it looks pretty...

I know the olives and garlic were not in the original recipe, but we love the Mediterranean bar at Kroger, so they are now a must!

This is so good and tastes like summer, so I just thought I would share!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Girls Day Out

Libby and her buddy Emma were born one week apart. I can remember going to Jennifer's baby shower on my due date when I was pregnant with Libby! Since they couldn't make it to our pool party, we got the girls together so that they could exchange presents and have some fun!

Emma also got to take a trip to the American Girl store for her birthday, so the girls couldn't wait to introduce their dolls to each other. Libby spent all morning getting Kit ready for our little outing. They said that Kit and Rebecca were going to be fast friends!

So funny how they both picked out look alikes.

After lunch at Johnny Brusco's, we went to Lollipop's Boutique and the girls got to make their own bath "potions"!

They loved layering different colors of bubble bath and sparkles. No wonder girls love all things spa!

Then on to sugar scrub sundaes...

Adding some colored bath salts...

As the big sisters worked, these two little toe heads made their own fun. Annie collected every sock monkey in the store for Ethan.

I think she likes him a little...

Every store should have a kiddy area this awesome. Annie couldn't get enough of this train table.

Their finished products!

Pretty painted fingers and toes! Bright yellow and bubblegum pink.

Then we topped off the afternoon by walking next door to Gigi's. We have tasted these cupcakes before, but have never been in the store. So cute!

Equal parts frosting and cake :)

Such a sweet afternoon!

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Six Months!

Chewing on everything.

Busy with baby toys.

Will try rice cereal today for the first time.

Pulls on Sissy's hair.

Flashes that gummy grin.

Charms us all.

What a big boy!

Monday, August 8, 2011

Beach Week

We just got back from a glorious (albeit scorching) trip to the Orange Beach!

The heat index reached between 110 and 115 on several days. It was the hottest I can ever remember it being down there, but if you're going to be somewhere during a heat wave, it might as well be next to a giant body of water! We went down for a week with my Mom and Melanie. My Dad had planned to come for a few days, but then had to have a tooth pulled and was on doctor's orders to stay put. We missed him!

We spent the entire week, which is rare for us to do. We tried to relax as best we could with three children. Our days kind of went like this:

-Kids wake up WAY too early.
-Breakfast then grease them down with sunscreen from head to toe.
-Haul everything we own down to the pool.
-Kids swim for 10 minutes then demand a snack.
-We bounce between the baby pool, big pool, beach, snack. Rinse and Repeat.
-Lunch then down time for everyone
-More pool...then reading books, boiling shrimp, watching movies, shopping, playing games, scooping dip, drinking wine...
-Lights out!

The ocean was beautiful - several days it was crystal clear all the way to bottom. We strapped the floaties on the girls and taught them to ride the waves in onto the shore. So much fun!

My beach babe!

First time with his toes in the Gulf. Could've used a little more sunscreen on my arm, huh?

The ocean air must have had an affect on him. Off to sleepytown...

As much fun as it was to splash in the surf, we spent most of our time at the pool. This was fine by me, since getting sand out of kiddo crevices would have been a full time job all week.

We also found the perfect poolside lunch. I found this recipe for open-faced cucumber sandwiches HERE and Mel made these for us and brought them down to enjoy on a lounge chair. Mmmmm...

Thin sliced pumpernickel bread (we used swirl rye-pump)
One block of softened cream cheese mixed with one envelope italian dressing mix - spread this on bread slices
Top with sliced cucumber
Sprinkle with dill

Simple, cool and yummy! Perhaps a new beach trip tradition!

I thoroughly enjoyed snuggling up with this last week too...

Yep, everyone was right. It is fantastic.

I would now officially declare Libby a swimmer! She never once wore her floatie in the pool this week and it didn't even make me a nervous wreck. Progress for both of us! Thank you HealthPlus swimming lessons! She seems to have the hang of it and, to all of our amazement, backstroked across the pool solo!

And just when I thought my baby couldn't be any more chill...he goes and falls asleep in the pool. With kids jumping and splashing and yelling.
SOUND asleep, ya'll.

Dusty figured out that he could float like this. He's only cradling Charlie's neck. We imagined that he might have felt like he was back in utero...

Now, let me talk a minute about the greatest invention ever for a beach-bound family with three small children...

This glorious rolling cart was the only way we made it through the week. I found it at TX Maxx last month on clearance and I can't begin to tell you how handy it was. I had other people at the condo come up and ask me about it and I would geek out and talk their ear off about the Wonder Wheeler. LOVED IT.

It was so great spending the week with Mom and Mel. They were so helpful and the kids just loved getting lots of time with them. I hope that they are not exhausted after a week with us. They may need a vacation to recover from their vacation!

So thankful for a last hurrah before school starts. I really can't talk about it without crying, but Libby starts (sniff, sniff)...Kindergarden in two weeks. Annie will have her first day of preschool the week after that. I'm so glad for lots of sweet memories made with my family and fun in the sun!