Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Baby Blues and Bubbles

There's something about brightly colored bath toys (and cute baby butts) that makes me want to grab my camera and snap a few pictures.  That, and these blue eyes.

My grandpa Milt had the prettiest blue eyes.  Both Ryan and I have blue eyes ourselves (though he'll call his hazel and try using "that's what my drivers license says" to try and prove the point....mine says I'm 110 lbs, lets not get into the validity of those...) but I always envied the blue of my grandpa's eyes.  I'd call them ice blue if I had to put a crayon name to them.

Abby's eyes are closest in color to mine....but I can't help but see a bit of my Grandpa Milt in her eyes.  When I was pregnant and picturing what my baby would look like I always hoped she'd have blue eyes and blonde hair.  God (and genetics I suppose) didn't disappoint!

Monday, March 24, 2014

Water Park Videos

I'd forgotten I took these until I pulled my SD card out to upload my pictures.  I was mostly playing around with the video function on my camera but I figured since I had them, I might as well share them!

I know, the audio sucks but I posted them anyways.  In the first one you can see her normal water park "move".  Dipping her hands into the water, tossing them up into the air and say "wooo".  She's a funny one, that kid!!


Friday, March 21, 2014

Wisconsin Dells

This past weekend we joined my good friends from Freeport, Mike/Kristina/Connor, at the Wilderness Resort in the Wisconsin Dells.  Last year Mike and Kristina had so much fun with Connor that they invited us to join them and we couldn't pass up an opportunity to pretend winter was over and act like swimsuits were normal attire.  

We got there early Friday evening and after a quick dinner headed down to the water park to see how the kids would do.  After last winters swim lessons and a summer of using our pool we hoped that Abby would be excited to see water.  

We were wrong!  I'd wanted to try and enroll her in lessons again this winter but the timing just didn't work out.  

She hated it.  In her defense, it was loud, cool (it was warmish for us, but probably a little on the cold side for her), there were lots of people and lots of things happening, and it was past her bedtime.  Honestly, I had a feeling she wasn't going to be immediately OK since she gasps even when she gets water in her eyes in the bath tub.

We learned that this little face, is her "tell".  When she's scared or unsure, that little finger goes in her mouth and doesn't leave.

Friday night we stayed for about an hour and she eventually warmed up to it.  For a long time though she didn't leave Dad's lap and even when she did she didn't seem to sure.  To cap off the evening we decided to go on one family slide with the tube.  Abby didn't cry, but I'm also pretty sure she didn't like it.  Ryan and I even thought it was a little scary!!  It was all dark (which made me sick!!) and there were quite a few twists/turns.  It ended with a huge waterfall over your head which Abby hated.  We figured we'd tortured her enough and when back to the room to put her to bed.

Our room was great!  We'd rented a two bedroom townhouse and the bedrooms were on a second level.  We could put the kids to bed and sit up chatting/watching TV.  Connor is a trooper though and doesn't go to bed until 9 or 10 pm so he stayed up with the big kids (the adults) while Abby slept upstairs.  It was really nice to have an area where we could stay up and chat and not feel like we had to tiptoe around in a dark room whispering while Abby slept.

Isn't this little guy handsome?  Well, he's not so little.  He just turned two in Feb and outweighs Abby by at least 10 lbs.  Mike even had me carry him up the steps to one of the water slides just to get a taste of what it's like....I cried Uncle half way!!!  I didn't realize just how tiny Abby was (and how lucky I am!) until I tried lugging this guy around.

The next morning we were hopeful that Abby'd gotten over her fears and was ready to play....nope.  It took less time, but there was still a good amount of tears before she was ready to explore.  Connor even tried to comfort her with little hugs.....she wasn't having it.

Finally, things started to look up and Abby was ready to at least consider the water.  Ryan was great with her.  He sat with her and played with her until she felt ready and he was amazing at keeping an eye on her once she started to explore.  I was in charge of the camera and the adult beverages!  At one point we were sitting at our table chatting and she decided to start walking towards the water.  Ry followed her wondering how long it would take before she'd get nervous and wonder where "her people" were.  He said she walked all the way to the kiddie water area and into the water waist deep before turning around and wondering where Daddy was.  Little stinker!

She's loosing more and more of her baby features every day.  Stop it!!!  Stop growing!!

Though it started off a little shaky by the end of the day Saturday both kids were having a blast.  I wish we could have stayed one more day because I think Abby would have really had a lot more fun the third day.

All in all we had a great time and summer can't get here fast enough!!  I can't wait to start taking Abby to the parks and pools around us and just to get outside again!  It's supposed to be 50 today and I'm secretly hoping we can get out of work a little early today and maybe get some time on the swing.  We've been cooped up inside for far to long....come on summer!!!

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

1 Family x 12 (March)

I'm posting our family picture before the full Water Park post because, gosh darn it, I'm determined to get out of the "it's the last day of the month and we've got to take our family picture" cycle I've been in for the last few months.

So, there will be more details on the trip in some upcoming posts (and some video too!!), but here is our March picture.  It was the only one we got where Abby wasn't screaming in terror or looking the other way.  One thing we know for sure; when Abby gets nervous or scared, she bites on her fingers.  I have about a gazillion pictures from the water park of her with her fingers in her mouth.  Poor baby!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Pink Racoons (Quilt)

If you're friends with me on Facebook you've probably seen a few quilting posts popping up in my feed over the last few months.  I haven't posted anything official here yet because I didn't have anything finished to show you and many of the projects I'm working on are gifts so I don't want to spoil any surprises.  But, the time has finally come to show you some of my hard work.

I took a quilting 101 class back in October of last year.  After taking a weekly picture of Abby on a yard of fabric I had A LOT of fabric and wanted to make something lasting with it.  So, quilting seemed like the obvious choice.  The class was 6 weeks long and in it we learned the basics of cutting, assembling, quilting and binding a quilt.  Since the class ended I've been working on a number of projects including Abby's queen (!) sized quilt. This small baby quilt is the first piece I've finished and I'm so excited for my cousin Cathy's baby to get here and be able to snuggle in it.

I'm so proud of this quilt!!  I learned quite a bit along the way and will do some thing differently for the next one, but that's what learning is all about.

I cleverly (smile) named this quilt Pink Raccoon and the pattern is called To the Point by Cluck Cluck Sew (I love her patterns!).  The fabric is from the Acacia collection by Leah Duncan.  One great bonus of working with fabric from the same collection or designer is that your quilts coordinate without even trying!  Perfect for a new quilter like myself.

Here's a close-up so you can see some of the free motion quilting I did.  I case you didn't already know, pink loops in the picture are what is actually considered "quilting" it's one of the very last steps in the process and is quite interesting.  Traditional quilters will do this step by hand!!  But, most modern day quilters use their sewing machine to do this step.  However, when quilting the needle is literally only moving up and down.  You've take the feed dogs down and you are in complete control over where the fabric moves and how fast it moves (determining stitch length).  I took a separate full day class to learn how to do just this step.  The quilting I did here is called loopy loops and is a cute, fun way to quilt.

Here's a quick shot of the back of the quilt.  So much time and attention is given to the fronts that people often forget to even look at or show the backs.  For this back I used small strips of fabric that matched the front and incorporated it into the back.

Binding is the very final step of the quilting process.  The binding on this quilt is the dark green border around the edges.  I choose a dark contrasting color to make it pop and I'm so glad I did!

Two final closeups to show you some of the detail that goes into the quilts.

This quilt was specially made for the newest cousin in the Ritterbusch family.  My cousin Cathy is having her first daughter.  I missed the shower in January and the quilt wasn't ready until this weekend, but it should already be there for her when the baby comes so I made it "in time".  Phew!!  I can't wait to meet the new little peanut at the Ritterbusch family reunion in August. 

Monday, March 3, 2014

1 Family x 12 (Feb)

Not my best photo....but Ry and Abby look great. Honestly, I've been under the weather with the flu for a few days now and a family picture was the last thing I wanted to do this weekend.  But we had to get our Feb picture in (yes, we technically took in on March 2nd) and you might remember from this post that I'm trying to be present in pictures even if they aren't perfectly staged and professionally done.  So, here's Feburary's picture.