Tuesday, August 31, 2010

August 31

Audrey decided at lunch today that it would be more fun to eat her broccoli if she could wear Mommy's sunglasses. So we let her wear them, and then she happily ate her broccoli. Such a silly girl!

Monday, August 30, 2010

August 28

I had to take a picture of this...Daniel reading a fiction book...just for fun!! I'm so proud of him. This is actually the second night in the row that he has spent hours reading. If Daniel is willing to sit down and read, then you know that The Hunger Games trilogy must be really good!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

August 29

Today I organized my closets/drawers. I have a little money to spend on clothes for this fall/winter, so I thought I would take inventory of what I actually own before buying anything new. Here are two things I learned about my wardrobe:

1. I don't "need" any new clothes. I have plenty of clothes. I may not like to wear them all, but I have plenty.

2. My clothes are very boring. This is my shirt closet. Summer shirts on the left, winter shirts in the middle, and a handful of maternity shirts on the end (Before the rumors start: no, I don't need those at this time...they have just been hanging in my closet since I was pregnant with Audrey). My shirts basically consist of solid colors and stripes, with a handful of exceptions. If I buy any new shirts, it will be out of a desire to create a more diverse wardrobe.
I have no intention of actually keeping my clothing this organized...but it was a good way to see what I have (I have several things I totally forgot about!) and to get rid of some stuff I never plan to wear again.

Saturday, August 28, 2010

August 28

We had a busy night tonight! First, it was the annual State Street block party. This is one of my favorite things about living on our block. Every year they barricade the block, set up games for the kids, and have a big potluck dinner for everyone on the block. (Daniel wanted me to link to last year's party, so here it is). Today's picture is of our neighbor and friend Tik's little girl, Sophie. I think she is so adorable!!

We had to skip out on the block party a little early tonight (and unfortunately we missed the dunk tank, a new addition to this year's party!). Daniel is running sound for our local theater's production of Chicago. So he headed to the theater, while I took Audrey to the baby sitter. Then I met up with my friend Heather at the theater to watch the show. I was a bit unhappy about paying $20 per ticket for tonight's show...seems a bit expensive for community theater. But it was a really good show. Probably the best local theater production that I have ever seen. And it was fun to get dressed up! So I guess the $20 was worth it!

Friday, August 27, 2010

August 27

I suppose it's about time for some "after" pictures of our bedroom. You can see the before pictures on this post here.

We didn't really do anything different here. But this is my closet. And it's such a great closet, I thought it deserved a picture.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

August 26

Yesterday I posted a close up photo of Audrey's happy face. So today, here is a close up photo of Audrey showing her more serious side.

P.S. Doesn't it look like her eyes are two different colors? Like one is more blue, and one is more green? I noticed the same thing on yesterday's picture as well. Hmm...I've never noticed this before, but now it is all I see in this picture. Maybe it's just the way the light is hitting her eyes. I've never really noticed it in real life.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

August 25

Audrey and I went on a walk tonight, and she was being so adorable and hilarious and silly. She kept turning around and looking up at me with this sweet smile on her face and saying, "Mama", like I was the best person in the whole wide world.

At one point a truck drove past us, and she started cracking up laughing. I said, "Audrey does that truck make you happy?" And then she kept saying, "Happy. Truck." and then laughing hysterically over and over again. Then a car drove past and she said, "Happy. Car." followed by more silly laughing. Then she started listing off the names of all the characters on Yo Gabba Gabba, because, like the cars and trucks, I guess they make her happy as well.

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

August 24

It's finally here! I have been waiting for this book to come out for almost a year now, so I was very excited to finally get my hands on it today!

I'm determined to finish it tonight. It's 9 pm, and I'm on page 200 out of 400. No more time to blog...have to keep reading!

Monday, August 23, 2010

August 23

The Hunger Games are a series of books (written for young adults, but perfect for all ages) by Suzanne Collins. This summer, it was my goal to get as many people as I could to read these books. And I think I succeeded, as many of my friends read and loved the books as much as I did. They are such good books...and the third and final book of the series, Mockingjay, comes out tomorrow. So to celebrate the release of Mockingjay, I hosted a Hunger games party tonight for all of my friends who loved the books.

We encouraged everyone to wear a Hunger Games-themed costume (the books are kind of science fiction/fantasy-like, so there were lots of interesting costume options). Not everyone did, but it was a lot of fun to see those who did dress up. This was my costume...I dressed as Glimmer...a girl who often wore metallics, and who tried to sneak a weapon inside her ring (hence the big ring on my finger!). On my eyes, I had this big silver tinsel eyelashes...in case you were wondering why I look so silly! I sprayed glitter in my hair, but you couldn't see it very well.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

August 22

We went to the State Fair today wtih the Millers and ended up staying for almost 5 hours! And it was really hot. And I am still suffering from this annoying headache. And now I'm really tired. But it was also fun. The fair is just an interesting (aka strange, unusual, weird) place...full of interesting people and interesting foods and interesting exhibits...it is always a fun experience!

Poor Cael broke his foot a few weeks ago. But I think his cast is just so adorable! Especially in this picture, with his hat and his sno cone and the expression on his face...too cute for words!!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

August 21

This is my latest project--a household notebook. It is my newest attempt at keeping my life and our house organized. I am a pro at creating organizational systems. But I am a failure at following through with those systems consistently. We'll see how I do with this one.

For those who are interested, here is what is inside my notebook. Just do an internet search for household notebook or home management journal and you'll find all sorts of forms you can print. I printed a few from these sites (http://www.lifeasmom.com/ and http://www.moneysavingmom.com/), and then I made a lot of my own lists/forms to make them work for me. A lot of people use binders, but I saw one mom who made hers spiral bound, and I really liked that idea. I spend a lot of my free time curled up on the couch with my laptop, and a spiral bound notebook seems easier to work with on the couch than a big bulky binder.

1. Calendar: I just have a monthly calendar here. Some people include daily/weekly calendars, but our schedule isn't quite that crazy right now. I also included a master list of birthdays/anniversaries each month. I'm determined to do better at sending cards to people. I have piles and piles of handmade cards; I just always forget to send them out!

2. Chores: This is my new chore chart. I have pages to check off a few tasks that I want to accomplish daily (like posting on this blog...and doing dishes and other boring stuff like that). Then I have checklist pages of tasks that I want to get accomplished every week (like dusting, cleaning bathrooms, vacuuming, laundry, etc). I really enjoy crossing things off of a list, so I am hoping that this "checklist" system will work in helping me keep everything in our house/lives in order.

3. Meals: For the past year and a half or so, I have been pretty good at planning our meals and shopping sales/using coupons to keep us on our grocery budget. But I have always wanted one central location to make this an easier process. In this section, I have a place to write down the best deals found in stores' weekly ads. Then after looking at those deals and at my coupon box and at the food in our pantry, I have a place to write down our week's menu. And then, printed separately from my book so I can take it to the stores, I have shopping list pages created for shopping at multiple stores with room to write down prices and coupons used. I used this system today, and I think it is going to be a good thing. Oh, and I also included a page to write down meals that we like, which will hopefully make things easier when I am trying to brainstorm menus each week.

4. Bills: Here I included some pages to write down what bills are due each month, how much is due, and when they were paid.

5. Gifts: Since Christmas is coming up, I included some gift pages at the end. Pages to write down gift ideas and what we bought each person. I tend to go overboard with gifts and buy too much, so maybe this will help us stick with our Christmas gift-giving budget!

So, that's the notebook. I'm excited about it right now, but somebody needs to check in with me in a couple of months and see if I am still using it!!

Friday, August 20, 2010

August 20

Here's the deal: It's 11:50 pm, and I just spent 45 minutes navigating flooded streets in the rain trying to get home. I have a headache that has been torturing me all week. I have no picture, and I'm not going to take one. Come back tomorrow! Good night!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

August 19

More swimming!! Lindsey and I took the kids to the pool at our friend Jason's condo complex tonight. The weather was much warmer than yesterday. We had the pool to ourselves, and it was perfect! Audrey, Simon and Elliot had a lot of fun in the water. I didn't get to take a picture while they were in the pool since it was just Lindsey and I with three little ones who can't swim. Simon kept pretending like he was drowning, Elliot kept running around outside the pool, and Audrey kept wanting to jump in the water again and again...we had our hands full! Here is a picture of Audrey and Elliot after we got out...they love each other!

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

August 18

Audrey and I got to go swimming today at our friend Angela's grandparents' house. I've mentioned several times on this blog our horrible luck when it comes to swimming outings, and today was no different. We had arranged to meet Angela there this morning, and this morning it was cloudy and only 75 degrees. Now, 75 degrees is a welcome change from the hot weather we've been having, but it was a bit chilly for swimming!

I'm kind of starting to think that Audrey is more excited about wearing her swimsuit than she is about going swimming. She was SO EXCITED when we put her swimsuit on today, but when we got to the pool, she was not as enthused. Though the cool weather/water may have had something to do with that! Regardless, we did stay in the pool for about an hour or so, and for the most part, Audrey seemed to enjoy it.

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

August 17

I had stamp club tonight, so it was Daddy/Daughter date night. Daniel took Audrey to the state fair. They rode on a bus and saw all kinds of animals...sounds like they had a good time!

Monday, August 16, 2010

August 16

Audrey loves to give her Daddy hugs and kisses. This is the sweet little smile she gives him, right before running up to him for a big bear hug and kiss. When it comes to hugs and kisses, she is Daddy's girl. She is not as willing to run to me for hugs and kisses, though she runs to me for just about everything else!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

August 15

Here is a picture of the newly painted dresser. (Picture of the old dresser is here). It is definitely an improvement. It still doesn't match the other furniture in our room, but at least it looks a bit more up to date. I wish we could find a way to make the ugly TV on top look better. We should just get rid of the TV in the bedroom, but as someone who occasionally suffers from bouts of insomnia, I'm not quite ready to do that. A flat screen mounted on the wall would be nice, but that's not really in the budget right now.

I have a couple of projects to finish up, and then I will post all of the after pictures of our bedroom. This little project has given me the remodeling bug. I'm ready to do the kitchen next!

Saturday, August 14, 2010

August 14

We are back home, and it's really good to be home. Our bedroom looks great...I'm very happy with how it has all come together. I still need to add a few decorative accents, and then I will take and post the "after" pictures.

Today we went to my dad's house for a pool party/baby shower for my sister, who is due in November. Audrey is always a bit shy when we get to a new place, but she warmed up to everyone and kept us all entertained by the end. She also got to wear her "hoo-toot" which is always fun. Today all she wanted to do was stand on the side of the pool and jump in (with me catching her of course) again and again and again and again. She didn't want to float inAnd she didn't want anyone else to catch her, only me. My arms got quite the workout lifting her out of the pool over and over again!

Thanks to Seth for taking today's picture of the Mott sisters and Audrey. I also found the picture below, which was taken the last time we were all together for a pool party at my dad's--three years ago!!
And just for fun--here is a picture of all of us when we were little. I don't know when this picture was taken...but I'm pretty sure it was late 1987/early 1988...over twenty years ago!!!
Check out the quality difference between those three pictures!!

Friday, August 13, 2010

August 13

Highlights from today:
  • Audrey and I spent nearly an hour at the Keokuk mall this morning. If you've ever been to the Keokuk mall, you know this is a pretty impressive feat. Audrey thought it was great though. I let her run around and push her stroller all over the mall. We don't ever get to do that at our mall because it's too crowded. I'm pretty sure the word crowded has never been used to describe the Keokuk mall.

  • Audrey finally got to wear her "hoo-toot" (swimsuit) today. She was SO excited to put it on, and then we went to the pool with Heidi and her kids. We were at the pool for about 20 minutes when a nasty thunderstorm blew in out of nowhere, so we had to leave (Seriously, we have horrible luck with swimming outings). But Audrey still thought it was fun, and she's been talking about her "Hoo-toot" and Heidi, Aubrey, Jackson and Libby all day.

  • Great-Grandpa and Grandma, Uncle Seth and Aunt Elisabeth came over for a little visit tonight.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

August 12

I need to start taking more pictures on this trip as I've only taken a handful so far. Today was a fairly quiet day, but here are a few highlights:
  • Audrey woke up around 7:45 am, much better than her 6:30 wake up call yesterday!

  • Audrey and I went to visit my friend Heidi and her kids this morning.

  • The funeral home was really busy today, so no running around down there for us today.

  • Audrey took another three hour nap this afternoon!!!!

  • Audrey and I went to Wal-mart again.

  • Audrey had macaroni for dinner for the fourth day in a row.

  • After Audrey and I had dinner, I heated up some leftover chicken parmesan for my mom. And Audrey ended up eating a lot of my mom's chicken as well! That's today's picture, because it is a pretty big milestone. I have been trying to get Audrey to eat chicken FOREVER, and she always spits it out or refuses to try it. Tonight she scarfed it down like it was her favorite food in the world!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

August 11

I liked yesterday's bullet points, so I think I'm going to make it a theme for the week.

Today's highlights:

  • Audrey woke up at 6:30 am (two hours earlier than she woke up yesterday), and that made for a really long morning.

  • Audrey said hi to the ducks (and gave them hugs and kisses) about a gazillion times. The M & M's weren't so popular today.

  • Audrey opened and closed every door in this whole building (and there are a lot of them!) about a gazillion times.

  • Audrey and I took Nana to physical therapy.

  • Audrey and I went to Rand Park. Due to the early wake up time, Audrey was a bit of a grump during this whole park outing. But we did stop and take a picture with Chief Keokuk.

  • Audrey, Nana and I went to Great-Grandpa and Grandma's house for lunch....where Audrey's grumpiness continued...until she got to eat a lemon bar, and then all was right with her world again.

  • Audrey took a 3 hour nap, which made up for the early rising time.

  • Audrey and I had races all around the funeral home.

  • Papa grilled hamburgers for our dinner tonight.

  • Audrey sat on Nana's lap for over an hour and watched TV tonight.

Now Audrey is in bed and I'm going to read a book for the rest of the night!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

August 10

Today's highlights:

  • Audrey and I went to Wal-mart

  • Audrey and I went with Nana and Papa to a local BBQ place

  • Audrey said hi to the ducks and M & M's about a gazillion times

  • Audrey entertained herself by running around all over the funeral home

  • Audrey took a nap, though I wish it would have been a bit longer

  • Audrey and I took a trip to the Keokuk library

  • I fixed supper for everyone

  • I discovered a new TV show: Animal Hoarding...wow!

And now Audrey is asleep, and my brother and I are getting ready to watch The Book of Eli. Such an exciting life that I lead!

Monday, August 9, 2010

August 9

First--an apology for the poor quality picture. I failed at even getting this one in focus. Poor Ava is blurry, while Audrey is a bit more in focus. Just pretend I was trying to be artistic and creative, okay?

Second--Audrey and I are now in Keokuk for the week. We stopped by to visit our friends' Ryan and Courtney and their baby girl Ava tonight. Not sure yet how we are going to fill our time for the rest of the week...should be fun though!

Sunday, August 8, 2010

August 8

This week Audrey and I are going to Keokuk to visit my mom and go to a baby shower for my sister. Daniel is staying here to run sound at the Muni, and he is also going to take some time off to work on a large list of house projects. One of Daniel's projects is to paint this dresser. We inherited the dresser from Daniel's grandma and while I'm grateful for it, it is not the most stylish piece of furniture in the world. We're hoping a little paint and some new handles will help to update it a bit. He is also painting our bedroom, something we have wanted to do ever since we moved into this house 5 1/2 years ago. I had the hardest time picking out a paint color and ended up with a biege/tan color called Taupe 4. How boring is that! Hopefully the room will look good when all the pieces are put together. Here is a before picture I found on my computer from when we first moved into the house. I can't wait to show an after picture when Audrey and I get back from our trip!

Saturday, August 7, 2010

August 7

Tonight was book club night. We read The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society, so Heather made a potato peel pie for us to enjoy tonight while we discussed the book. Overall consensus on the book: the title may be weird/long but it is an enjoyable read!

Friday, August 6, 2010

August 6

I never get tired of watching Audrey eat watermelon! It's right up there with ice cream at the top of her list of favorite foods.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

August 5

Today Audrey and I went to the Decatur Zoo with some friends. It's about a 45 minute drive to Decatur, but it was free admission day (and their zoo is way nicer than Springfield's) so it was worth the drive.

Audrey was in her "I'm too cool for the zoo" mode for most of the day. I always expect her to get so excited about seeing the animals because she loves seeing animals in books and on TV. But she always seems unimpressed at the zoo. I think it is partially because she's stuck in her stroller a lot of the time. She kind of zones out when she is in the stroller.
I did get her out of the stroller a few times to see the animals I thought she would really like. But she was acting unusually scared around the animals. There was a rooster, and she loves making rooster sounds, so I thought she would love the rooster. This rooster was saying "cock-a-doodle-do" really loud over and over again. And I think it scared her. She kept saying "Okay" (which is what she says when she gets hurt) in this scared little voice while making a grimacing face. Then I tried to take her into the petting zoo to see the goats. And she was terrified. She wouldn't let me put her down and she was clinging so tightly to me, that I didn't even have to hold her. She was holding on to me completely on her own. So, I guess she's not a big fan of goats. (And tonight, when we ask her about the goats and the rooster at the zoo, she does the same grimacing face and says "okay" in her scared voice...it's kind of adorable).
But we did have a good time! Aside from a few rough moments, I think Audrey had a good day. She loved eating lunch, running around with the other kids, going to the reptile house, going on a train ride, watching the carousel and, of course, eating ice cream!! (which is what she was doing in this picture)

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

August 4

I was debating getting out Audrey's pool/sprinkler tonight so she could play in the water. She saw a picture of a girl in a swimsuit earlier today and kept saying over and over, "Hoo Toot (her version of swim suit). Then she would point to herself and say, "Me." And then she would tug on her shirt and say, "Off". Poor girl really wanted to go swimming! But the mosquitoes in our yard are awful now, and I didn't want the pool to become a gathering place for them.

Well, a storm came through and it rained for a little bit, so I decided to just let her play in the "tuddles" instead (after thoroughly covering us both in bug spray). She didn't get to wear her "hoo toot" but she did get to play in the water, so it seemed to be a happy compromise.

I have to mail back my rental lens tomorrow. I really liked the lens a lot. I saw a few differences between this one and the more expensive one I rented before, but not big enough differences to warrant paying an extra $800. So the Tamron 28-75mm f/2.8 officially has a place as the next lens on my wish list!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

August 3

Tonight I took pictures of Anna and her family. Anna is a very active almost two year old. She and Audrey are only 3 weeks apart in age. I know what it is like to try to get a picture of Audrey, so I knew I was going to have my hands full with Anna! And Anna was full of energy! She was running everywhere and would not sit/stand still for even a split second. I got my exercise chasing her all over the place with my camera, trying to get a decent shot. And did I mention that the heat index was 112 today?! Definitely not the best weather for taking pictures outside.

But regardless of all that, I do think that we ended up with several good still shots of Anna (and lots of action shots!). And we got some good family pictures too, so it was worth all the effort and sweat!!

Monday, August 2, 2010

August 2

I got to take pictures of Baby Julia tonight. She is four months old and so adorable! She was extremely happy and smiley all night, making it so much fun to take her pictures!!

Sunday, August 1, 2010

August 1

Tonight we had the Lanters over for homemade ice cream and blueberry cobbler. The kids were excited to eat their ice cream in cones (Audrey's first time to eat a cone!). But...freshly made homemade ice cream is probably not best served in an ice cream cone. It was MESSY but yummy!!