Friday, July 31, 2009

Water Baby

Red Fish just can't get enough of the water. Just taking a bath is a great time for her. We've pretty much filled the summer with water activities at least three times a week. We've been boating, swimming, wading pool, splash parks etc. This is going to be one sad baby when the cold weather hits. Today we went to the zero entry pool at my Mom's athletic club. Red Fish loved that she could walk, crawl, run, and lay on her back in the water.

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Pudding Paradise

What could be more fun on a summer day than making a big bowl of pudding and heading outside for a little art, toddler style? Red Fish started out very serious and careful.

Then she started to think squishing the pudding was awfully fun.
So she threw caution to the wind.

And really started to enjoy herself.
She had almost as much fun cleaning up the mess. She had a blast hosing herself and the table down. She even scrubbed down her highchair I had brought out to hose off. Apparently anything that involves squirting something off with the garden hose is fun. We need to buy a sprinkler.
I had fun just watching her race around the table and squeal. Good cheap fun for everyone!

1st haircut

Well I didn't get great pictures. My camera died after I snapped one at the haircut place and then Red Fish wouldn't cooperate for the after picture. She was really good for the haircut. We just got a few pieces evened out and trimmed. She got to sit in a little car and she thought that was pretty cool. Any outing that ends with a balloon is pretty much a hit.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Splash Park

Sas and I took the kids to a splash park this morning. They had a blast!

Monday, July 27, 2009

The Next Generation

Lovely L was able to stop by for an hour a couple weeks ago. We're working hard to make sure our girls get a chance at the same kind of friendship we have.
And we are excited to add another girl to the bunch. Now there can be three little buddies.

Red Fish was trying to teach baby C where her nose is. For some reason Red Fish always wants to show babies where their nose is.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Too Funny

I was cleaning up Red Fish's room and hanging up her clothes while she was going through her drawers "helping" me put things away. I walked out to get another stack of stuff to put away and I came back to find this little diva. She had put on a beret, her winter scarf, a pajama shirt, two tutus, sunglasses, and a backpack full of toys. It was so funny. She was strutting around the house like you wouldn't believe. She kept bringing Two Fish different pairs of shoes to put on her and then making him hold her up to a mirror so she could see if they looked good.

Books & Other Things

First Art- Art Experiences For Toddlers & Twos by MaryAnn Kohl
I had this fantasy for the summer that I was going to do weekly art projects with Red Fish and introduce her to all sorts of new media and ideas. The summer seems to have gotten away from me. We have painted a few times, colored a lot, done sidewalk chalk and used a lot of stickers. That's about it. This book has great recipes and ideas for toddler art projects. I'm trying to set a goal to actually use some of them by the end of the summer.

The Creative Family by Amanda Soule- A great reminder of the things I truly believe about the importance of family, love, creativity and imagination in parenting. I wish there had been a few more project ideas but I love the sentiments in the book. My ideal parenting would be full of creative projects, family traditions, and a lot of imaginative playtime. I totally agree with Soule's ideas about toys and art supplies. Kids need a few quality toys that can create an imaginary world. Art supplies should be readily available and high quality. Kids should be given tools to explore the world around them rather than distractions like television and video games. Now if I can just find the energy to implement these ideas in my family.

Other than reading I've been starting to nest quite a bit. Before Red Fish was born I went crazy reorganizing the house and getting the perfect nursery ready. I feel the same urge to do that now but I'm having a hard time getting anything done. Turns out it's much harder when I have a toddler and my energy disappears at a shocking rate. I did manage to make a set of curtains for Red Fish's new room (I love my nursery too much to change it for the next baby and I just barely finished repainting the fish) Her room is coming together at a snail's pace. Good thing I don't plan to move her over until New Fish gets a little bigger and needs the crib instead of the cradle. Maybe I should plan on her room being done for Christmas instead of September. (My plans turned out to be more expensive than I planned so everything was put on hold until I could save up more money.)

I've also gotten to about 1/100th of my organization projects I wanted done by September. The fridge has been scrubbed this week, the pantry reorganized and all of the kitchen cabinets have been reorganized. That just leaves... the rest of the house including the scary garage and basement that never really got totally moved into. Wish me luck!

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Future Fourwheeler

A long weekend at the cabin. Nice weather, time to read, and some family time. Red Fish isn't quite ready for four wheeling yet but she liked trying on the helmet.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

I'm a Stranger Here Myself- Bill Bryson

This book is basically a collection of thoughts on moving back to the US after living abroad most of his adult life. Bryson comments on everything from the mundane to the bigger questions of liberty. I started out totally in love with this book. The first quarter of it made me laugh out loud literally. I enjoy Bill Bryson's droll humor and observations on American life. It cracks me up that he writes about the joy of having a garbage disposal and the annoying questions on the immigration paperwork. The chapter on all of the bizarre accidents Americans get into, including 142,000 visitors to the ER as a result of "clothing injuries," is hysterical. I liked his quips about the war on drugs and the cost of the FBI. His writing on the legality of snooping on people in dressing rooms, stores and work places was downright disturbing.

I did sort of run out of steam after awhile. I think because the book is a collection of newspaper articles it's hard to take all at once. It worked well for me this month because I have been too busy to read for long periods of time. I think the best way to read this book would be interspersed through a bunch of other stuff you are reading. A little light comic relief. Overall I liked it, should be fun to discuss in book club.

Sunday, July 19, 2009


My darn camera made over 50% of my shots blurry so I'm really mad. Good thing Lovely N was the photographer. It was a really fun reception. The decorations were beautiful, the yard was amazing, and the bride and groom are so cute. Red Fish was shaking her groove thing on the dance floor most of the night. It was hilarious. She spins in a circle, shakes her arms, and wiggles. It's so cute. Even after I had to sit down Red Fish never seemed to run out of energy. I think she could dance all night.

Saturday, July 18, 2009

The Wedding

Well it's official. I've got a new little sister and I couldn't be more thrilled. They had a beautiful sealing this morning. I just got a few snapshots afterward because it was too hot for me to handle outside. I'll post more from their reception.
Our growing family
My "little" brothers

31 weeks

Rehearsal Dinner

Happy Couple
Happy Family
J&A had their rehearsal dinner at my Mom's house last night. It was beautiful. Red Fish did pretty well with the fancy dinner but she just couldn't get the courses. She wanted all of her food to come out at once.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Annual Family Cabin Trip

We went to the cabin with Two Fish's side of the family again this year. It was so fun. The grandkids all have such fun together and this year Two Fish's brother M (another fun uncle Red Fish adores) even came with his daughter to join in the fun. All the kids ran around together building forts, riding four wheelers, painting their fingernails, and playing card games.
Red Fish and her cousin S (best buddies for life.)
Playing a game of Ninja Strike
The little girls hanging out together
The fort in the woods
Waiting in line for a four wheeler ride

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Welcome Home Brother M

He totally promised to come home and be fat with me this summer. He lied.
The sign Red Fish made for Uncle M. She worked very hard on it. It included crayon, paint, and stickers.
The welcoming party
It didn't take long for Red Fish to bond with Uncle M. She followed him around for the rest of the day. It was really sweet. Even when Uncle M was running around testing all of his instruments she wanted to stay right with him. She practiced her little trombone too.

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

A Fabulous Trip

Family Trip

Day 1-

The trip did not start off well. We were packing up to leave and Blue Fish started having problems. (He had been licking his foot like crazy the night before. I checked it but didn't see anything.) Blue Fish did not eat his breakfast. Blue Fish pretty much spends 99% of his time plotting how to get more food so of course I assumed he was dying. I rushed him to the vet. He had a foxtail under the skin in his foot that had gotten infected and had to have a little surgery. I called my Mom because her dog had been licking his feet while he stayed with us and turns out he had the same problem. Poor babies now have very ugly shaved feet and a whole bunch of antibiotics for the next little while. If you don't really love dogs- don't get one- they are expensive. Lucky for Blue Fish we really love him.

Next we drove to Jackson, WY. It was a really long drive but Red Fish did great. She was pretty hungry and tired when we got there so she lost it for a little bit. It was the roughest part of the trip. We tried going to the Wild West show and that was a huge mistake because she absolutely hated it. It terrified her and we had to leave. It was really noisy. Don't bother staying in Jackson if you are taking kids. It's overpriced and not that fun. Just move on to the fun parts of the state.

When we got back to our room Red Fish raced around the room like a maniac and jumped on the bed. She was NOT going to go to sleep. I definitely learned on this trip that toddlers are much harder to travel with than babies are. (We haven't gone anyplace for very long in the last six months or so.) I also learned that toddlers are more fun to travel with. I also learned that if you ar genetically predisposed to a bony little bottom and happen to be carrying an extra 30 pounds of weight on top you will have a very bruised hiney after a long drive. Not so fun.

Day 2-
Went so much better than day 1. We went to the Grand Tetons National Park and it was awesome! I know I've been there before with my family but I can't remember and Scott had never been to Wyoming at all. We took the tram to the top (totally worth the money, it was one of my favorite parts of the trip.) We hiked around and Red Fish was in heaven watching all the paragliders take off from the top. She absolutely loved riding around in Two Fish's backpack. We ate lunch in Teton village and it was beautiful. Perfect weather. We got rained on everyday we were on vacation but not enough to stop us from doing anything. We bought this great travel book with maps and guides to all of the National Parks in the US and we followed one of the guides all around the National Park. We hiked around Jenny Lake for quite awhile. Red Fish tried really hard to get at the lake. She's a water baby. At the end of the day we drove back to Jackson and walked around town for awhile.

Since Red Fish apparently was not going to nap or go to sleep on this trip (too much excitement) we watched the Jackson fireworks show from the park across the street from our inn. It was amazing- possibly the best firework show I've ever seen. Wyoming definitely knows how to do fireworks. I was a little afraid that Red Fish would think the noise was scary but she loved the show. When we went back to our hotel and Red Fish was totally asleep within ten minutes she was so tired. It was a really great, really long day.

Day 3- Yellowstone
We drove through the last part of the Tetons on our way to Yellowstone. Jackson Lake was especially beautiful. Southern Yellowstone is pretty, but the northern parts are my favorite. We had a picnic in West Thumb and spent an hour or so walking around the lower geyser basin. Red Fish learned to point at all the steamy springs and say "hot hot." We had to keep a pretty close eye on her to keep her from trying to dive into them. The backpack carrier became invaluable on this trip because Red Fish LOVED riding in it and we didn't have to keep a death grip on her.

There are a lot of rest stops in Grand Tetons and Yellowstone. Some are much better than others- I know because I tested all of them at least three times. Blast my squished bladder. The good thing about this was that I didn't have to change many diapers. Two Fish would would change Red Fish while he was waiting for me. Sadly my lung capacity is also not what it was before I was pregnant.

We went to see the Old Faithful Geyser. Very touristy but everyone has to do it right? Red Fish loved it when it went off. The look on her face was priceless. From there we went to the Midway Geyser Basin to see the Excelsior Geyser crator and the Grand Prismatic Spring. It was beautiful. We went through Firehole Canyon and eventually up to Mammoth Hot Springs.

Mammoth Hot Springs was one of my favorite parts of the trip. I'd never been there before and it is stunning. We ate a picnic before we hiked through them and a whole bunch of Elk basically moved in all around us. It was pretty amazing. Red Fish was so excited.

After the hotsprings we drove to West Yellowstone in Montana and stayed in the Holliday Inn. Red Fish was thrilled and jumped on the bed and sang because she really loved this hotel for some reason.

Day 4- More Yellowstone
We drove through East and West Yellowstone. My favorite part was the Yellowstone Canyon and Yellowstone River. The falls are absolutely amazing. We hiked down to the lower falls to see the drop off and it was breathetaking. Red Fish was cheering. It's a 308 foot drop off-higher than the Niagra Falls. I couldn't get a great picture of them because we were standing at the top of them.

On our way out of the park, we got stopped in a construction zone and two bison walked right up to the car. It was a little scary but very cool. A little while later a moose trotted right past the car as well. Two Fish got to see all of the wildlife he wanted to see (except for a bear but I'm fine with that.)

We had an uneventful drive home. Red Fish can wave to cows for several hours. We tested this out on the drive home. Who knew there was so much livestock between our house and Montana? It was a great distraction for her. We also sang a lot of songs. Red Fish has this bizarre need to be in control of the music the whole time we are in the car. She has her favorite bands and if a song comes on my ipod that she doesn't like, boy does she let you know! At least most of the music she likes is good music. There are a few songs I could do without, but hey when on vacation go with the flow. If she wants to listen to that stupid Rihana Don't Stop The Music song 500 times in a row it's preferable to a sad baby. If she wants to eat fish crackers and nilla waffers dipped ketchup for lunch go with it. (Totally disgusting.) We watched Disney movies on my laptop (she had never seen one before) and she got a huge kick out of 101 Dalmations.

Overall I have to say it was an awesome trip and all three of us thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. It was so fun to have a family trip and we squeezed it in just in time. No more travelling for me for awhile.

The best part of all of this besides the beautiful scenery was spending time with my little family. There really is nothing better. The three of us laughed and giggled a ton. Red Fish was a trooper with all the time in the car and handled everything really well. It made me excited for future road trips and I'm all about going to National Parks.