Thursday, June 27, 2013

Nakey babies...

It was so hot last weekend that we finally decided to let these little ladies sport their birthday suits (with diapers).

Kids a funny.   No matter how many toys you have at home, they always go so excited to see someone else's.  Grandma has some toys at the house for when we come over and the girls always get the biggest smiles when the see them come out.

Nothing special to report...just couldn't resist just one more post with these two cuties in it.

And a great Mommy/Daughter pic of my little sis.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Bath time is much more fun with two!

Hope you aren't tired of baby pics yet.  I've got one more post worth coming your way tomorrow.  I just couldn't resist these little bare butts in the tub.  They are so cute!

Abby's JUST started getting free reign of the whole tub.  I'd kept her in her little baby tub for awhile because it was faster to fill and needed less water.  But, now that she's pulling up on everything I figured it was time to move to the big kid tub.  She's lovin' it!  We just got some new bath toys and some foam letters came in the mail yesterday so I can't wait to let her play with those tonight.

My baby's getting too big!  Actually, I just noticed last night that I can no longer fit her entire body (from head to her tippy toes) in the frame of the video monitor anymore.  Sometimes I just stare at her in the monitor while she's sleeping.  I know that getting "big" is part of the whole process, but I want her to stay little!!!

Monday, June 24, 2013

My cousin's ride!

This weekend we were home in Freeport celebrating my mom's retirement.  Joey and Andy (and Kayden) were there too so expect a crap load of pictures of the two of them together this week.  You just can't help it when they are so stinking cute and finally old enough to start playing together.

Kayden got this cute car for her birthday and I laughed when Joey and Andy pulled it out of their Honda Pilot.  They also had Kayden, and two dogs in the car with them, so it seemed like a silly essential, but boy was I wrong.  The girls loved the heck out of this thing.

Kayden is a pro at getting in and out, closing the door and even pushing it around the house.  Abby on the other hand was only really interested in the gas cap this time around.  She just loved to open and close it.  Guess the "open close" box I have for her (don't worry, it's just an old shoe box with some toys in it), is working.

More baby pictures to come!

Friday, June 21, 2013

Pool Time with Daddy

Ok, one last pool post for this week.  I can't help it.  We love the thing!

You can see that the water is still a little green and you can't see to the bottom yet, but Ry and I have been working on that and as of last night, we can finally see the bottom.  And, it's a balmy 85 degrees these days too!!

Here's just a few pictures of my two cuties hanging out in the pool.  This was Abby's first time in our pool.  She's been in water before in her swim classes, but I'm excited that I can take pictures now to my hearts content without having to try and hid it from the dumb lifeguards etc.

Of course she loved it!  After our little dip we headed out to the store to get a few pool floaties and some toys for Abby for when the water gets just a bit warmer.  These pictures were from last weekend, and it was still just a little chilly for her.  We've got a great floaty with a sun shade on it so I'm hoping I can plop her in that for awhile and get some Mommy relax time!

Let us know when you want to come over to swim!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

NYC baby!!

If you follow us on Facebook or Instagram, you already know that we were in NYC this past weekend.  When Lindsay moved to New York back in January it didn't take me long to decide that we were going to visit her and Erin.  Erin has been living in NYC ever since she graduated from college and I'd never been there to see her either.  I boldly pronounced that I was going to go to New York this summer to visit them both whether Ryan was going to go with me or not.  That's not to say that Ryan wouldn't have wanted to go see is sister and Lindsay, but he's such a busy guy these days it's hard to say where he will be, and if he could go.  

He instantly said that he waned to go to and that he'd make it work no matter what, so I booked us two tickets and decided that we'd figure the rest out when the time came.  Let me start by saying that I was probably too bold in saying that I was going to go alone.  I don't know how I would have done this trip without him.  He was amazing with Abby (he always is), but he was the official baby schlepper this whole trip.  Whether we were pushing her in a stroller, or wearing her in the Bjorn, he was always the one doing the heavy lifting.  And for that, he is my hero!

We figured that a little bloody would help get us ready for the flight with a baby.  Abby did pretty well on the way there.  When I booked the tickets the best I could get were two seats across the aisle in the back of the plane.  Once we'd gotten through security and were sitting at the gate, I plead my case to the nice attendant about having a baby etc.  She was the sweetest.  She took a look at her computer and said "how about the first row?".  We took it of course!  We were in the first row after First Class which meant that we had tons of leg room.  It was great for Abby because she was not interested in sleeping one bit.  I put her down by our feet and let her entertain herself with the magazine rack for most of the flight.  I just had to keep the paper out of her mouth.  This kid loves her some paper!

She FINALLY fell asleep about 15 minutes before we landed.  Wah...wah.  Oh well, she was good and didn't cry the entire flight.

Once we landed and got our bags, we grabbed a car to Lindsay's house.  She lives right downtown Manhattan.  Just  a few blocks from where the twin towers once stood.  Lindsay was the sweetest and gave up her bed to let Ryan and Abby and I stay in her room.  She took the couch for 4 days and I'm sure she was glad when we finally cleared out and gave her back her space (smile!).

Wednesday night Lindsay had signed up to run in a 5k through Central Park so Ryan decided to pirate the race and run along too.  Erin and Abby and I found a nice grassy area in the park and let Abby out to stretch her legs and play.  Man, was it a great chance to do some people watching!  We saw a guy wearing a Speedo (he really shouldn't have), a guy doing some very complicated yoga, what appeared to be some crazy horrible Boot Camp class, and two guys sleeping in the grass that looked exactly like Matthew McConaughey.

After the race we went back to Lindsay's and had our first taste of NY style pizza.  It was amazing!!

Thursday it was cool and rainy so we thought we'd go to the NBC studio tour since that was an inside activity.  We took a train and a little bit of walking and we were there.  Sadly though, it was booked til 6pm that night so we didn't end up doing it.  Instead we walked over to FAO Schwartz (which, by the way, is owned by Toys R Us...somehow that made it less special to me....oh well) which was on our list to do anyways.  We walked around there and looked at all the fun toys and dolls. Luckily Abby is still too little to really understand and know how to ask for things, so we got off cheap!  We left with a little hedgehog animals that we've named Heidi (or Hilda...not sure yet).  She's cute.

Oh!  And, we did go on the Big piano.  That was really fun.  Abby was too light to push the keys but she had fun following the lights when I stepped on them.  Then Lindsay pulled her across the keys quickly.  She wasn't such a big fan of that one.  Next time :O)

Excuse this crazy blurry picture.  Thursday night we went to a really cool show called Sleep No More.  Lindsay's sister, Sarah, stayed with Abby so the four of us could go out for an adult evening.  We had so much fun.  The show is crazy.  You have to wear these mask, and you can't talk to anyone.  Pictures aren't allowed, so we were lucky to even get this one.  It's really hard to explain so you should probably go check out the website.  But imagine a haunted house type atmosphere with a play going on at the same time.  You essentially walk around this 5 story hotel building.  You can't talk to anyone and you have to wear a mask.  If the characters think you are exploring in a group they will actively break you up.  It's cool...but very different.    Check it out online.  

Friday morning Lindsay had to work so we decided to explore on our own for the morning.  We grabbed NY style bagels (another check on the list) and went to check out the memorial at the World Trade Center.  It was rainy and cool again and Abby was pretty tired so we didn't stick around long.  There was quite a rigmarole to get into the park, including needed "free" tickets from one spot, having the walk 4 blocks to get to the line to get in, going through airport like security all to get inside the park.  It was pretty small actually once we got in, but these fountains were pretty cool.  Along the ledge (you can't see it here) were all the names of the people that had died.  Ryan thinks the second hole there is actually where the old elevator shafts were.  There were two fountains like this, one for each building.

Once Lindsay got off work, we went to this brewery that was pretty close to Lindsay's house.  The beer was good, the food was great too.  Gourmet Grilled Cheese sandwiches...can't go wrong there!

Funny story:  Abby was getting a little rowdy at the restaurant so once our food got there, I gave her one of my pickles and let her have at it.  She was pretty happy for about 3-4 minutes and then she started to fuss.  She was sitting on my lap so I couldn't see but Ry said her nose was running and her eyes were watering.  I asked him to try his pickle and see if it was spicy.  At first he shook his head saying "Nope" but about 2 seconds later he changed his tune.  Poor Abby!  How could I have known that I'd given her a nuclear pickle??

Slow mornings are what vacation is made of!  Of course, with Abby sleeping inches from us in her pack and play, we were up long before we normally would be.  Each morning, she'd pop her little head up over the edge of the crib to see us laying there.  As soon as she saw us open our eyes or move even an inch.she thought it was time to play!  Oh well, at least we got lots of snuggles.

Saturday we were headed home, but not until we did one more day full of NYC.  We went to breakfast with Lindsay at the cutest little restaurant.  While we were there this group of ladies were setting up for a baby shower for one of their friends.  She was having a girl.  It was funny to think back that a year ago, that was us!  

After breakfast we laid Abby down for a quick nap and then we left to travel to Astoria to see Erin's house.  It's so cute and it's crazy that she can fit everything she needs into such a small space but it's beautifully decorated and felt like home!

Of course by the time we finally got to Erin's house we were already running a little late for our next activity, the Cubs/Mets game.  Luckily none of us are huge baseball fans so it was OK that we didn't make it to the game until about the 4th inning.  It worked out perfect.  We had just enough time to see a few plays, eat some yummy stadium food and drink some good, albeit expensive, stadium beers.  Our seats were right in the sun so it didn't take me long to decide that walking around near the food vendors (in the shade) was the place to be with Abby.  She's like a 20 lb hot water bottle sitting on your lap.  Great in the winter, not so great in 90 degree sunshine!

After about the 8th inning Ry, Abby and I left to get back to Erin's and grab our stuff.  See, I told you we were there just long enough to eat and drink to our hearts content!  Our flight left at 7:30 Saturday night so we needed to get our butts to the airport.  Again, the attendant was super sweet to us and gave us an entire row all to ourselves.  The flight was a lot less crowded on the way home which was good because Abby was overly tired at this point and just generally a grump.  She'd done well for getting less sleep than normal for 4 days, but by Saturday she was over it.  We was cranky and wouldn't settle down for the first 45 minutes or so of the flight but then she FINALLY fell asleep and was good the rest of the way home.  We got home around 10pm that night and Abby was so tired that she slept all the way til 9 am the next morning! She's NEVER slept through the night that was amazing!!  I was actually up before her and got some stuff done before I heard her peeping up in her room.

And that, ladies and gents, was our trip to NYC.  This post is a little light on the pictures but we opted to leave the big camera at home and just used our iPhones.  I'm so sad that I forgot to get our monthly family photo while were were there, but there's still my Mom's retirement party this weekend!!

Anybody else tried flying with a baby yet?  It sure is different traveling with a little one.  But, I have to say, we did pretty good.  And Abbers, she was a trooper!

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Cannon Ball!!

I've mentioned it once or twice on the blog in the last few days, but, just in case you missed it:


Gotta love a good cannon ball every now and then!

We'd love to have you all over to come for a swim.  If I'm being honest though, it's still a little green.  It's clean, but you probably couldn't find a bar of soap if you dropped it.  HA!  Annny...ways....

Give us a shout when you wanna come by for a dip.  Can't wait to see you!

Monday, June 17, 2013

Father's Day bike ride

We got home from NYC late on Saturday night (more on that in another post later this week) so we had the whole day Sunday to celebrate Father's Day.  Ry decided to go from a solo bike ride for a few hours in the morning, but when he got back we decided to try our one of our newest toys for Abby.

She doesn't look too excited in the picture above, but I tell you what, she loved it!  She even fell asleep on the ride home.  We must have really tuckered her out in New York.

There's a great little prairie path right by our house so we headed over there for a 7-ish mile ride.  It was just the perfect distance for her first time out.  She seemed to be pretty happy in her little cart.  Of course, she was most excited about the straps she could play with.

Dabber is still small, so we had to use a pillow to prop her up, but it made for a nice cushy ride for her.

Happy Father's Day daddy!!!

Monday, June 10, 2013

One pretty cute family

Two weekend's ago we all traveled to Iowa to celebrate my little niece's first birthday.  Can you believe these babies are growing up so fast?  Abby's almost 10 months old herself. 

I didn't manage to snap any pictures of that cutie on her birthday.  I was running Joey's camera and Abby wasn't feeling her best but we did take a minute to grab some great family photo's.  Didn't this turn out great for an impromptu photo shoot?

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Mulch, mulch, mulch...the magical fruit?

Ready for our latest updates?  Check out those scraggly bushes, overgrown plants, and lack of any real intention as far as landscaping goes.

Well, this past weekend we spend Saturday working to get our neighbors to love us, buy spending some time on the outside of our house.  But, lets be serious, we were tired of looking at that mess too!
*Ignore the giant ruts in the yard...those are courtesy of the truck and dump trailer.

We got up before 7 (Thanks Abby!  We didn't want to sleep in on the weekend anyways), and headed over to the mulch place.  We filled the entire dump trailer (9 whole yards of mulch), made a quick stop at Menards for a few more supplies, and headed home to get to work. Luckily, since Abby had us up at 7, she was tired by the time we got home so I laid her down for nap and Ryan and I got to work.

The half dead tree below is actually a beautiful smoke bush.  It was planted really close to the house (where the shovels are above) and we moved it out to this bed.  We aren't sure if it's going to make it, but here's hoping!

Looks so much better right?  I've said all along that I feel so bad for short sale and foreclosure houses.  They just need someone to love them again!  Our house was no different.  I don't think anyone had mulched in probably 5 years.  You could see landscaping fabric everywhere.  The weeds are out of control and the plants seem very haphazard.  But it's amazing how far a little bit of love, a lot of work, and a few hundred dollars in mulch can go!

We weren't sure how far the mulch would go but we were happily surprised that we were able to get both the front and back yard beds done.  We still want to mulch along the sides of our fence (where the dogs run and get muddy in the spring/fall) and around our trees but we've decided we will hold off on that til next year and call our mulching days done for now.

Wanna see just how much mulch 9 yards is?  Imagine this whole truck filled to the brim.  It's hard to see at this angle, buy I couldn't resist a picture of my man shirtless!

There's a better picture of the truck, and just how much mulch we moved in one day.  By this time, Abby was awake (she'd given us 2 and a half hours of uninterrupted work though!), so I was less on mulch duty and more on play with Abby duty so I was able to snap a few pictures.

My little lilac bushes look so sad here!  We plan to go back and fill in with some more plants/flowers here in the coming weeks, but for now we are just happy that we don't see a single shred of landscaping fabric anywhere!

Gratuitous half naked picture.

Oh, and, I figured I'd toss in a picture of my garden for you guys.  So, to give you some perspective, I'm standing on the deck just off our kitchen, looking to the West.  The building on the left is our gazebo/3 season room.  There's this awkward little area between the gazebo and the house that was filled with rocks.  We hated it!!  We shoveled out the rocks and have laid down grass seed to try and turn that back into yard. We'll probably plant a few plants there but just plain grass will make a huge difference.

You can see I've got two large garden areas (already planted with peas, beans, onions, tomatoes, beets, carrots, and spinach.  The raised bed is my strawberry garden.  I can't wait til next year when I can finally let them blossom and grow berries.  Then (it's pretty hard to see here) but if you look towards the back of the picture (to the right of the flag) you'll see a dirt row.  That's where my asparagus is planted.  Yup, 40 feet of asparagus.  Two more years until we can eat it...but I'm already counting down the days.  The last thing you can't see from this picture is my raspberry patch.  It's in the far left corner of the yard (if you could see through the gazebo you'd see it).  Can't wait til it's harvest time!!!