Friday, November 8, 2013

Our Florida Vaca in PIctures

A few weeks ago we traveled to Florida to visit with Grampy and Grammy.  

We spent 99% of our time swimming or eating ice cream.  

And I can promise you that I was also on this family trip, even though there isn't one picture of me. 

The girls enjoyed the water park. 

Ella enjoyed spraying an unsuspecting Abby with water. 

Grammy enjoyed spending time with Ella (and Abby). 

Abby loved playing in the sand. 

She just looks like a beach volleyball player. 

Ella couldn't get enough of the pool.  

I am confident she will be an independent swimmer during our next visit. 

Mini golf pro!  She scored a hole in one!


Little big fish. 

Daddy and his girls. 

Beach babe. 

Just a littler different than the Oregon Coast. 


Till next time!

Monday, October 28, 2013

My (Abby) Adventure to the Pumpkin Patch

Hi Everyone, 

A few weeks ago I was lucky enough to go on a big adventure without Ella.  It meant that I got Pa and Momma all to myself.  It also meant I didn't have to share my pumpkin donuts with sister either.  Double bonus. 

This is Pa and me by the John Deere tractor.  

Here I am riding a horse for the first time.  Last year I wanted NOTHING to do with it and wouldn't even allow momma to stand close to the fence.  I was petrified, but now I am a big girl.   

In fact, I think I would like to pursue horseback riding.  What do you think, dad? I am a natural, don't you think? 

For old times sake, this was my picture last year at the pumpkin patch.  

It wasn't much of an adventure for me then because I was too young to go down the big slide.  Ella seemed to enjoy it though. 

But, I sure did look cute sitting on all the pumpkins. 


Sunday, September 29, 2013

Sneaky Sneaky

Wednesday is my day.   It is the day I don't have to pack a lunch for her to take to school. (Yay for pizza bagel day!) And it is the one day of the week that I choose her clothes.

In her mind pizza bagel day= mom chooses clothes day.

You see, Ella has been picking out her clothes for some time now(years) and I don't really mind.  She comes up with some incredible outfits.  However, she prefers her favorites and refuses to wear pants, shorts, or dresses that don't twirl.  And that is about 75% of her wardrobe.

I like to think that I am broadening her fashion horizons by choosing her clothes on Wednesdays.

You can't really tell here, but this is a hot pink sweater over a Hello Kitty dress, with red glitter tights.  Clearly she chose this outfit. 

Oh, and this skort is favorite.  The striped shirt complements the floral print.  

Luckily school picture day fell on a Wednesday this year.  It saved us from having to negotiate over clothes for the day.  I choose a lovely turquoise GAP  dress for her to wear thinking the color would make her eyes POP.

She was unhappy about my choice because it did not meet her twirl criteria so she decided to toss it in the bathroom sink and douse it with water.  It was too wet to wear to school.

I was outplayed by my four year old.  

She ended up wearing pink leggings and a Tea brand tunic.  As a consequence she had to wear the turquoise dress on Thursday.  Clearly unhappy, Ella wore a twirly dress over it.

Once again, I was outplayed by my four year old.  

In case you are wondering about Abby's clothing preferences, she doesn't have any... We can't keep clothes on her!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Pre-K First Day!

Just like that we are back in the grind.  E happily went off to school today sporting her new horse dress (very important detail, folks).  It is hard to believe that in six months I will be registering her for kindergarten.

According to Ella her day was good, good, good.  She is not one to divulge much information about school.  I literally have to pull it out with her by saying, "I will tell you 5 things about my morning and then you can tell me 5 things about your morning."  Plus I rely on friends who actually get info from their kids to know what is going on.  And I might be one of those parents that nicely chats up her teachers every. single. day.  (How bad is that?! I am a teacher myself!)

Anyways my 5 facts: 
1. I went to kickboxing today.  The choreography was very challenging for me.  But I burned close to 2000 fuel points in an hour (go me).  
2. Abby and I went to Crate & Barrel to buy a gift.  I love that store. 
3. I went looking for a cute shirt for family pictures.  I could not find anything that was less than an arm and a leg. 
4.  Abby and I shared a honey wheat bagel and fruit cup for lunch.  We also bought a baker's dozen of bagels from the bagel store because I was feeling guilty sending Ella to school with plain bagels in her lunch.  Plain bagels are not very crunchy.  
5.  We ran out of time and did not make it to Target.  As a result, I did not buy night diapers.  I will probably pay for it tonight. 

Ella's 5 facts:
1. I played with Eleanor. 
2. I sat with Ravenna. 
3. The vegetables were too spicy. I liked the carrots (although she only ate one). 
4.  Gabrielle was not at school.  Why was Gabrielle not at school? 
5. It was Whitney's birthday.  She is a boy.  (Neither one of these true... There was a birthday but it was for a boy and although I have never met Whitney, I am pretty sure she is a girl). 

Oh well, I will try again tomorrow.  Sigh. 

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Missing Camera and Berry Picking

For a day I thought our camera was gone.  It was nowhere to be found.  I checked all the usual spots: each of my bags, the junk cabinet, sent out an e-mail, and even called the gym.  Man, I was bummed because I needed the camera to take pictures on our beach adventure.  In typical fashion, we were pulling out of the driveway when I screamed, "Wait!" and went inside to look for the camera.  It was then that I discovered it was lost somewhere in the great abyss.  I sulked the entire way to the beach.

And in typical me fashion I found the camera the next day, on the floor on my car, of all places.  It must have fallen out of my bag.  And so, although I could not find the camera to take to the beach, it was actually at the beach with us. Irony at its best.

Luckily I had our camera for berry picking the week before because I think these pictures are pretty darn cute.

I grew up picking berries on my grandparents' land in upstate NY.  Gram and Pa always had empty Cool Whip containers or such to toss the berries in.  We'd walk 3 minutes to the berry bushes and get to work. My Great Aunt Gertie would help too and she'd have her pants rolled up clam digger style.  I loved every minute of it.

Now, I must admit, we are new to the berry picking circuit in Oregon.  We drove 45 minutes to a local "Family Favorite Farm" (per the advertising) with hopes of pounds, and pounds of berries, tractor rides, and wholesome family fun.  We got the wholesome family fun part, but not much else.  In fact, we are so new to the berry picking circuit that we didn't even realize we should have brought berry containers. This farm had none.  Zero. Zip. Zilch.  Not even an empty Cool Whip container like Grandma and Pa.

One for me, one for you. 

Fred Meyer saved the day!  

Sunny blue skies. 

Family Favorite?  We were the only people there. 

Farm Girl 

Dandelion seeds. 


Stay away from MY berries or else.

I guess I learned two things this past week.  Take better care of the camera and always bring your own berry containers.  Living and learning!

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Our Free $92 Project

Today was a day of errands.  We were up and out early so I could make an 8 am Barre class.  From there we had to hit Target for odds and ends, Costco for groceries and, Lakeshore Learning for the last minute craft supplies needed for Vacation Bible School.

By our last stop the girls were hungry and spent.

I was dreading taking them into Lakeshore Learning.  That place is a mecca for craft supplies, educational activities, and all things fun.  I knew their little hands (and eyes) would be all over the place.  Unbeknownst to me, they offer a free craft on Saturdays.  Ella and Abby happily plunked down to work with Dot- Dots, gems, glue, markers, pom-poms, and other do-dads under the supervision of an employee.  It was an easy, east visit to the store I was dreading most. In fact, it was so easy I was able to grab a few items for at-home projects.

But, I should have known nothing is so easy.  We left the store with more supplies than needed and two gorgeous butterflies.  Ella threw her creation onto the driver's seat while I buckled Abby into her car seat.  Ready to go, I tried shutting my door.  It wouldn't shut and I could not figure it out.  An impatient Abby was protesting in the back, and the door would not close.  Ella had to go potty, and the door still would not close.  I began sweating, and the door would not close.  Heavens!

With Ryan being in China and my AAA membership lapsed, the only logical option was to renew my membership and pray that the issue was minor.  After renewing my membership, calling a friend, taking the girls to the potty, trying to close the door 15,000 times, and waiting on a bench, I noticed there was a shiny piece of something stuck in the actual lock-hook part of the door.  It was blocking that part from latching on to the car.  Using all the MacGyver skills I have (which is zero) I managed to sweep it out, but the door still would not close because a tiny fragment was still in the way.  Back to the bench to wait.  As my friend pulled up (thank you), I went to show her the problem and the door closed!  Doh.  And immediately then the AAA service appeared.

When Ella placed her craft onto my seat I think she knocked one of her gems into the door-latch space and it got lodged.  Don't ask me how because it seems pretty impossible to do, but I am sure the AAA LADY who came to rescue me got a good laugh at my inept abilities when it came to my car.  After all, a silly craft store jewel caused all sorts of chaos for this damsel in distress.

And that, my friends, is how our free craft turned into $92.00.

Saturday, July 6, 2013

2 and 4

On May 28th the girls had their yearly well-child check ups.  Luckily, their appointments did not require any shots so it was a pretty easy appointment for them.

Anyways, Abby's results were just as expected: she's a giant. She was 2 years and 9 days old for this visit.  I have included Ella's stats for her 2 year old check up in order to compare.

Abby 2 year old height: 38.5" (99.99%)
Ella 2 year old height: 36.5" (87.72%)

Ella at age 2

Abby at age 2

Abby 2 year old weight: 32 pounds (94.73%)
Ella 2 year old weight: 31 lb 9 oz (92.71%)

Because Abby is rocking Ella's old clothes, it is quite easy to see that she is significantly taller than Ella was at this age.  Funny thing, Ella was tall.  Abby literally is 2 inches taller than Ella was and obviously, it shows; her pants are all capris.

Ella at age 4

Ella 4 year old height: 41.75" (88.37%)
Ella 4 year old weight: 43.25 pounds (92.77%)

It is interesting to see that Ella is hovering around the same percentage categories for her height and weight as she was at age two.  I am hoping that Abby won't stay in the 99.99% height range forever,  If so, we will have one tall girlie!

Friday, June 28, 2013

First and Last

Let's pretend this blog post was penned June 13.  That's when the pictures below were taken in honor of Ella's first true last day of pre-school.  And let me tell you, capturing this moment was not easy.  It involved some phrases like, "Just one more," and  "Smile wide and show me your teeth, but put your hands down away from your mouth," and  "PLEASE, Mommy really NEEDS to take a good one."  Okay, to be honest with you, it involved a lot more pleading.  34 pictures later, there were a few of decent ones.  

Goodness, they look so much alike here!

Such a lovely smile.  

A sweet and silly picture, but not what I had in mind. 

If you click HERE you will see Ella's first day of school pictures 2012, and the recap of her 2011 first day.  You will notice that Ella has matured a bit in appearance; her face thinned a bit, her hair grew longer, and she needs a bang trim.   Its Abby's appearance that stunned me.  She went from a baby to a toddler.  Amazing!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Summer Bucket List 2

Last year I was more on it with the blog, and I don't know how that is possible since I had a full time job.  I often wonder how that could be, but I am sure that it has to do with cleaning, cooking, grocery shopping, and the gym.  I was lucky enough to not really have to worry about cleaning last year. We had a cleaning lady and we weren't home much, and then Ryan and I split cooking and grocery duties.

Anyways, I have wanted to create our Summer Bucket List for sometime (along with about 5 other posts), but better late than never! For reference, HERE is my 2010 Summer To-Do List.

1.  Play, play, play!  Play outside.  Play inside.  Play at the park.  Play at the Children's museum.
2.  Park Crawl.  How fun would that be?
3. Visit the Fruit Loop in Hood River.
4.  Berry picking.
5. Picnic on Mt. Hood.
6. Fish with the girlies.
7. Weekly Farmer's Market trips.
8. Utilize the library.  They have awesome activities on Tuesdays and drop in crafts on Thursdays and Fridays.
9. Summer Reading.
10.  Visit the vineyard.
11. Organize a random pot luck with old friends, new friends, and acquaintances.
12. Bike ride.  I imagine E will be without training wheels by the end of the summer.
13. Spur of the moment getaway with the kids. Seattle? Ashland? Downtown?
14. Concert in the Park ~ One time with kids, one time without.
15. Visit the beach.
16. Fly Kites.
17. Bake with the girlies.
18. Eat outside.
19. Visit Street of Dreams.
20. Water Balloons.
21. Hike at least 3 trails.
22. Walk the waterfront with the girls.
23. Spend a lot of time at the pool.
24. Boat and water ski.
25. Weekly crafts.

My last post was a bit anxiety filled regarding our summer.  I didn't feel we had enough to do and that we would be bored and home bound.  Truth is, there isn''t enough time to accomplish all I want to do everyday.  Our schedule seems to be filling up unintentionally so it doesn't feel like the lazy days of summer around here.  It's going to be an action-packed summer!

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

Just Around the Corner ... Summer

Summer vacation starts in just two days for Miss Ella.  That means I have two more mornings before our routine is thrown into chaos.  Obviously, I am looking forward to spending summer vacation with the girlies, but I also know that summertime is no break for me.  In fact, it might be my "busy season", as the hubs is usually busy with work, and the girls are home full time. As a result, I have been prepping my summertime to- do list.  It includes pin after pin after pin of arts, crafts,  pre-school skills, and an entire list of toddler excursions in the area.

Our summer isn't jam-packed, but we do have a few things going on.  I wanted to make sure we would have plenty of family time, biking riding, outside adventures, days lounging at the pool, and time chillaxing at home.

Gymnastics lessons.  We will see how that goes, but I have a feeling E's gymnastics career will be short lived. Neither Ryan nor I have the gymnastics gene, and I am sure that it is genetic trait. At least it promises to wear her out.

We will resume swim lessons.   I am hoping E will warm right up to her old swim teacher.  After all, we tried group lessons and that was a major fail. She refused to even consider swimming with another instructor other than Teacher Jessi, and Teacher Jessi's mom.  Lord knows, the only reason she worked with Teacher Jessi's mom is because she had some street credit. Crossing fingers she hops right back into the groove.

Also, we have Vacation Bible School for a week.  E is dragging her feet about it already and I will be one of her teachers!  At least it will get us all out of the house for a few mornings, provide some socialization oppurtunities, and root us deeper within our church.  I know I will enjoy getting back into a classroom type situation even if it is pre-schoolers.

Lastly, E will be attending a short camp at our local club.  I don't know much about it, but I am sure Abby will appreciate the opportunity to have some one on one momma time.

We might not have a daily routine set in place like we do during the school year, but I know this summer will be a blast.  I am also sure I will be ready for school to start in September. ; )

Lazy days of summer are almost here!

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Birthday Month

May is birthday month in our family, and when you add in Mother's Day it means there is a lot of sugar consumed in our household.  Which might explain why I am focused on an upcoming diet challenge!

Like always, I like to do the girls' birthdays big!  When you have two children so close in age it totally acceptable to have a bash.

It is hard to believe that this sweet girl is  four!  Four seems so old... just one more year and she enters grade school.  I am SO not ready!

Abby is two.  I can't believe that my little is a toddler. Her speech is exploding, and she is so helpful. 

Clearly, the party hats were a huge hit. 

Midway through the party Ella fell and landed on her belly.  Plus, later that night she developed a fever.  Poor girl, it just wasn't her day. 

Just a little birthday snack. 


Sweet friends. 

Tea sandwiches and Abby. 

Pretty girl.

We had planned to have a face painter, but something came up last minute (boo!).  Instead, we got a hula hoop show.  Who doesn't like a hula hoop show? 

Watching intently. 

Happiest birthday to my sweet girls!