Tuesday, July 29, 2008

Babies in the cart

So, it's summer. I look outside, see the beautiful weather, and try to think of ways to enjoy it. We like to go on walks, bike rides, go swimming when the opportunity presents itself, play on the playset, play with friends, etc.....

Since we have done all those things, what else is there? How about an obstacle course in the backyard? Good idea. I told Eric this morning about my idea, and he got all excited and started planning.....big surprise to those of you who know my husband, right?

Well, as soon as all of our packages were picked up this afternoon, Eric was off to design and set up the course. It took him about 90 minutes to get the job done. He used all the plastic chairs we had, Emily's bike, car, Little Tikes car, the lawnmower, snow thrower, saw horses, a picnic table, pop-up tent, boxes and patio furniture. I am sure that I am forgetting something else, but you get the idea. It was a serious course.

Our good friends from across the street came to test it out - and after a few test runs, we were in business. Kids from all over the neighborhood came by to give it a try. Some were very serious competitors. Eric was out there until I called him in for dinner. Oh, and even the adults gave it a try. Eric had the best time, 36 seconds.

Just so you know, the object of the course was this: At the start/finish line there was a stroller that contained twin dolls, a bin with a bunch of "groceries", a Little Tikes grocery cart and a Nino's grocery bag. You had to fill your shopping cart with all the groceries from the bin, put the babies in the cart, run the course, empty your cart contents into the grocery bag, and secure the babies in the stroller. Not too complicated - and hilarious to watch.

It was so fun to watch and root for everyone. The kids had such a great time - despite the majorly muggy weather. Eric took it apart after dinner. It was kind of sad, but we had to water the lawn.

Till we obstacle again............
(click on picture to enlarge)
In case you are wondering what "Babies in the cart" means - it was what Eric said to EVERYONE as they were filling up their cart. I guess he thought they would forget to put the dolls in the cart as they took off for the course. I must have heard it about 1,000 times as the afternoon went on. That and some other pretty serious play-by-play commentary.....I think he may have missed his calling. :) Love you hunny!!

Monday, July 28, 2008

Random Stuff

I would have posted this last night, except my ridiculously SLOW computer decided that it just wasn't up to the task of opening Photoshop. This means that I cannot edit and resize photos - and thus, no blog entry. As it stands, I was able to open Photoshop today, but that was over 40 minutes ago, and it has taken me forever to resize and edit the couple of photos I have for today. You could say I am a LITTLE frustrated.

We are finally over the excitement of Paige's birthday. Because I had her party a few days before her actual birthday, I feel like the celebration went on forever. It was fun, but time to move on to bigger and more troublesome things.

Emily went to a friend's birthday party this Saturday at Pump it Up. She had a blast. Her friend that she saw is the daughter of one of my childhood friends. There were a bunch of us there - a reunion of sorts. We all collectively thought how interesting it was that we were all grown up, and now OUR kids are playing together. I even got to see Erica's sister who I have not seen since I was probably ten. That was pretty cool.

On Sunday, we went rocket launching again. This time we went with our next door neighbors. They have a son, Salvatore, who is ten and had a couple of smaller rockets to launch. They also brought their other son, Dominic (7), and daughter, Olivia (2) - who loves to play with Emily. It was a little windy out - but no more windy than it was last time we launched. Unfortunately, Salvatore lost one rocket, and one parachute landed in a tree. Eric's rocket pop rocket also got caught in the high branches of a tree. Dominic tried to climb and get it, but it was way to high (see circled object in photo below left...and Dominic below climbing up).

above: Emily and Olivia
above: Eric, Sal and the boys getting ready to launch

Eric and Sal (the Dad) did end up going back after dinner to try and retrieve Eric's stranded rocket - they were successful due to Eric climbing up the tree and using a long tree trimmer to knock it down. Salvatore is looking forward to a trip to the hobby shop today with his Dad so that he can get a big rocket like Mr. Eric.
We rotated Paige's car seat to the forward facing position. She kept giving Eric these looks as if to say, "Daddy, this isn't right." But, in spite of her initial trepidation, her first ride facing forward was filled with many screams of excitement and much hand clapping.
And then there's this....she did it herself people. Both stethoscopes, because, apparently, you have to have backup. Paging Dr. Paige.........
Have a great Monday!

Thursday, July 24, 2008

One more thing....

Twelve Months of Paige and her puppy. You can click on it and make it bigger if you like. I am not sure why she looks so much younger in that nine months picture...I remember I had the same thing when I did Emily's first twelve months.

Paige's First Birthday

So it is finally here. I cannot believe it. I was doing some reminiscing about last year, the day Paige was born, and it feels like it was yesterday. It was a rainy morning, but it turned out to be just like today - blue skies and sunny. Beautiful. Just like my girl.

At one year old, Paige is a very busy little girl. At the moment her favorite thing to do is run towards any stairs, and climb up them before you even realize that she is gone. She loves books - to look at, and have you read to her. Her favorite books are little ones that have little or no words at all. She doesn't have time for a whole story. She loves to play ball, and with any of her shape sorters. She is just getting the idea that each shape goes through a specific hole, and I suspect that she will soon have that all figured out.

She likes to go for walks, but does not like to stop. She likes the bike trailer, but she prefers to go in it all by her self - not crammed in with her BIG sister.

She is a BIG time Mommy's girl. She loves to be held when she is cranky. Lord help you if you try and put her down. She follows me everywhere - sometimes crying and running after me at the same time.

She still loves sweets. You can't eat them in front of her - or else you will have a whining baby at your side, begging for a taste. Actually, that pretty much goes with anything you are eating in front of her. She loves turkey, chicken, steak, pork, carrots, watermelon, strawberries, macaroni and cheese...actually, I will just list the things she is not into at the moment - peas, broccoli, green beans, blueberries, plain pasta and lettuce. These are the cake pictures from today. My Mom was HORRIFIED the whole time that we let her make such a mess. I loved it. So did Paige, do you think?

I spent the better part of the day at a car dealership with my Mom getting her new - well used, but new to her - car. Since it was a used car, we had to get it today, or it would be gone. Not the way I would have liked to spend my daughter's first birthday, but what can you do??

And this child - she was perfectly willing to give me at least one good picture today - unlike her little sister, who would not sit still for ANYTHING. See picture below. I think she was over it.

Happy first Birthday Paige. We love you so much.

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Last time

Only a few hours left on this twenty-third of July. One year ago tonight I was so excited and nervous to meet our new baby girl. It feels like yesterday, and it also it feels like so long ago.
Nothing huge planned for tomorrow - we already had her "big" party last Saturday. But I am thinking that there will definitely be some more cake, a few presents and another round of "Happy Birthday". There will also be the final monthly photo shoot with Porter the Puppy. Check back later tomorrow for pictures.

Tuesday, July 22, 2008

Nothing new

Just another hot and humid summer day - not that I am complaining. Paige's birthday is in two days. Hard to believe that my little firecracker is just about one year old. It's all downhill from here right?

Emily's last swim lesson is today, so tomorrow we are officially free from any weekday "must-do" plans for the rest of the summer. What do you do so that your one year old, and your five year old are entertained at the same time........such problems I have, right?
Have a great Tuesday!

Sunday, July 20, 2008

Paige's Birthday Party

Even though Paige's official birthday is on Thursday, we had her party this past Saturday. Since Eric was behind the camera - I was doing all the food prep - I don't really have any candids of the guests....well, I do, but I think that everyone would not be too happy if I posted it since it is a shot of their mouths full of cake. Oh well. Here are some cute ones of the birthday girl and her very cute big sister - who by the way, has her very first loose tooth. More on that later....

Paige reading her favorite book and Emily playing outside.

Emily must have hurt her back. What is that face she is making??

And now...the cake photos:

Unlike her big sister - Paige loved the singing...and no real big surprise - she loved the cake. I made both the big polka dot cake, and some additional cupcakes. The polka dots are made from rolled fondant - which my Mom picked up at Michaels. I wasn't sure if Paige could handle those - hence the cupcakes. At first, she wasn't sure what to do with the cupcake - she had never had a whole one to herself. I broke off a piece, and she quickly got the idea. She ate the whole thing. She LOVED it. She even kept the hat on - was too busy concentrating on the cupcake....

Had to include this one of Julie and Emerson. Emerson has grown so much since the last time we saw her. Cannot wait until her and Paige are old enough to play together.

All in all, Paige had a great party. She wasn't even the least bit crabby. Wasn't much into her presents - she liked the ribbon most of all. Thanks to all that came. I swear there were more people here than Paige, Emily, Julie and Emerson.......

Thursday, July 17, 2008

Quack Quack

Paige is not a talker. Not that I mean to compare my kids BUT - by this time in Emily's life, she already had a vocabulary of at least 30 words. Paige has about two. Three if you count "Uh-oh" as a word.

Her other words are "quack-quack" and "poo-poo". I am so proud.

Her small vocabulary was actually helpful today at Costco. I was going down the refrigerator aisles looking for the big tub of Nestle Tollhouse cookie dough - and did not find it - when Paigey said, "Uh-oh". I just thought she was being cute, so I repeated it back. She said it again. I looked down, and she was missing one of her way-too-much-money Stride Rite pink sandals. Thankfully, it was only about 20 feet behind me. What a save Paige.

She can recognize a duck in any book, and will oblige you with a "quack-quack". Of course, if I ask her to do this for anyone else, she somehow clams up. Loves to make me look bad already......

She has had a tough couple of days filled with many bouts of crying and fussing. I am hoping this will pass soon, as I am REALLY over it. To those of you who will be coming to her party on Saturday, sorry about the crabby baby. Don't take it personally - she's just at the party for the cake.

Like my new frame trick? I think it's pretty cool - and so easy to do in Photoshop Elements. Also, thank you to Terry for the really cute dress. Paige actually wore it yesterday, but I didn't get any pictures because of some severely stormy weather. So, I put it back on this afternoon for our little photo shoot.

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

More Photography

First things first - went for another bike ride tonight after dinner. I heard that ninety degree temps are coming our way, so I thought it may be a good idea to take advantage of this gorgeous weather we have been having. As you can see, Paige is still not loving the bike trailer...at least this time she didn't cry DURING the ride. Only before and after.

More photography experiments from this morning. Look at that sky. What snow? What winter?

My favorite of the day (above)

Checking out those rocks again.....And didn't i see that same look on Emily's face yesterday? Annoyed with me already and she's only eleven and a half months.

And finally, Paige's new best friend - her sippy cup. You can see it in the bike trailer pictures above. It's like her pacifier. Since we have pretty much taken away her bottle, she has befriended the sippy cup. And, oh my goodness, she drinks a lot of watered down juice (95% water, 5% apple juice). At least three full sippy cups a day, but sometimes four. She still doesn't like milk in her sippy cup - and I am working on that one. Anyone have any suggestions???

Monday, July 14, 2008


I don't know if any of you know this about me, but I know pretty much nothing about photography. I know bits and pieces of stuff, but for the most part, I just turn my camera on the automatic mode, point it at my subject matter, and click away. Digital photography was designed for me. Now I know if the picture I took is blurry, or just not right.

It's pretty bad because our family business is all about photography. People who know plenty about aperture, f-stops, ISO's and all that jazz buy stuff from us everyday. So, it's time. I must learn - and most of all....RETAIN.

The first thing I wanted to know is how do you do that thing where the subject is in focus, but the background is all blurry. So, Eric showed me. Pretty cool.....The only thing is that my models are not exactly the most cooperative. I had to bribe Emily with a cookie - and Paige, I am just lucky if she's not crying....
This one is my favorite - and it's really hard to get this shot. The moving swing adds quite the degree of difficulty.
Yeah - she was OVER it. I can picture this exact same face on her in about eight years.......
These next ones were taken this morning with my little Canon point and shoot. No real great photography here - just a very cute little almost one year old enjoying a beautiful morning.
She loves those rocks. She picks them up and will hand them to you - but if you aren't paying attention...right into the mouth. As if we don't feed her enough.