Friday, June 18

the return of Sunday FUNday!

The ONLY thing I like about summer in this God-forsaken desert? Sunday FUNday! What exactly is Sunday FUNday? Well once the pool water is bearable and the heat is not we pack up the kids and head to the Browns' for some fun in the sun. We started the tradition last summer and so far this year it's going strong yet again. Here's a glimpse of the 2010 inaugural Sunday FUNday a few weeks ago...

It's enough to make a kid HUNGRY. Or ready for a nap. Heck it tends to have that effect on us adults as well.

And what's better than Sunday FUNday? Being able to have Monday FUNday the very next day!

Oh, and remember those not-so-encouraging pics from Alex's first day of swim lessons? Let's just say he's come a long way. Here he is "practicing" all on his own just a month later. I swear he did this at least 20 times that day (and every FUNday since). It's not the best representation of his skills since he's on a shallow step but you get the idea. He's becoming quite the swimmer!

Avery likes to get in on the swim action too. As a matter of fact, it's hard to keep this kid out of the water. Alex's swim instructor has actually agreed to give him a shot at lessons so next week he gets to show us what he's really got too!

Tuesday, June 8

look who's ONE!

That's right. It's already been ONE WHOLE YEAR since Avery literally floated into our lives (right here in our very own bath tub as my mom likes to point out every chance she gets). Maybe one of you can tell me where exactly the time has gone because I have no idea. We must have been having too much fun because that's what Avery's all about. He is the happiest, smiliest, giggliest little guy I know. In the past month or so he has finally figured out how to pull himself up on things and started cruising a little bit but I still don't think he's in much of a hurry to get to walking. Which is surprising considering he tends to be a bit mischievous. I mean the amount of stuff to get into just multiplies once the walking starts...but don't tell him that. He's also very independent and can entertain himself with something as simple as a ball or toy phone for what seems like forever. His favorite word of course is "uh oh" but he also likes to attempt "thank you" which comes out more like "ay ooh".

It's also been a lot of fun watching the boys' relationship evolve as Avery gets more interactive. I'm not sure who adores who more. As Avery's birthday approached Alex insisted on getting him a gift so one day after school he and I took a trip to the store. Twenty minutes and many mind changes later we left with just the thing. And of course it had to be wrapped in Lightning McQueen wrapping paper. Alex was so proud of our wrapping job (he helped!) that he had to a have a picture with the finished product. And then he had to have a picture of me with it as well. (More on Alex's budding interest in photography later...)

Then he proceeded to put his hand through the paper. Avery didn't notice.

Conveniently enough his birthday fell on a Saturday so we started out the day opening a few gifts and then had family and a handful of friends over for a BBQ. Much more low key than Alex's big event but just as fun and special. Thanks to all who helped us celebrate!

Tuesday, May 18

snip, snip

I broke one of my most fundamental rules of babyhood. I (well not me personally) cut Avery's hair before he turned one. GASP! I know, I know. In my defense though I didn't even realize I had done it until the cutting had already begun and hey, his first birthday was only a week away. It's just that we were sitting at Lindsey's house and I finally realized what so many had been noticing for some son did indeed have a mullet. And not just an "oh look at the baby mullet" mullet. A full on "I should be wearing a shirt with the sleeves ripped off and my belly hanging out while chugging a PBR on the hood of my camaro" mullet. Lucky for me Lindsey is a hair stylist and since she was well aware of Avery's mullet situation she was more than happy to hop to the task of relieving him of it. Even though it was already past bed time. Thanks Linds!

See? Mullet.

Just because we could... For the record, Alex would have made a much prettier girl. That is he looked much better in girly things as a baby. Don't ask me how I know. Sorry Avery but it's true.

All styled and ready to go. Home to bed that is!

garage sale!

For those of you who don't already know, my friend Lindsey and I have signed up for the Susan G. Komen 3-day Walk. We each have to raise $2300 to walk so this weekend we put on a garage sale to raise some money. Being first-time garage salers I think we did pretty well in raising almost $500!!! We learned some lessons and tricks of the trade so hopefully the next one will be even more successful. Thanks to those who so graciously donated all your good junk for us to hawk!

Wednesday, May 12

mother's day

Let me start by wishing all the moms in my life a belated Happy Mother's Day! I hope you all got spoiled rotten!!! Unfortunately for me Ben was out of town so I didn't get much in the way of special treatment -- at least not in the form of sleeping in or breakfast in bed. But I did get to spend the day with my beautiful boys and my own wonderful mom so that was plenty for me.

The boys got me some very sweet cards and two new vibrant shades of nail polish. Alex was so excited he couldn't wait for me to try one out and since I had just touched up my toes a couple of days before, he decided he wanted to spruce up his own nails. As God is my witness I swear this was all his idea. What can I say? The boy loves pink!

P.S. Ben did take me out for a fun evening the Friday before and even got me a fun new toy -- a Nook e-reader! So I did get a little spoiled...

Monday, May 10

Alex is THREE!!!

April 26th was Alex's THIRD birthday! Hey, better late than never. I have to admit I had a bit of a hard time with this one. I mean technically he's not a baby anymore. Technically he's not even a toddler anymore. He really is a big boy...a "Preschooler". (Can you see my big pouty bottom lip from there?) But enough about me. What a birthday it was!

Ben and I got him an outdoor playhouse he had been lusting after at Costco but Ben ended up being out of town for the week leading up to Alex's birthday and I wasn't about to unveil such an awesome gift in a box. So after some begging and pleading (and maybe even a little whining) I convinced my mom to come over that Saturday (Alex's bday fell on a Monday) and help me bang the thing out. I'll spare you the details and the none-too-attractive photos but come 11:30pm Saturday night (hey, we did have to wait until the boys were in bed!) we were finished. And there were only 2 screws left over! We were pretty pleased with our work and judging by the look on Alex's face come Monday, so was he...

Please disregard Alex's stylish ensemble. We'll just say one of the males in the house picked it out and leave it at that.

Happy Birthday brudder!!!

Next up...THE PARTY. Oh, the party. We decided to keep it "simple" (can you see me rolling my eyes?). We had it at home, served snacks versus a whole meal, and kept to basic decor with a few key theme-inspired details -- a CARS birthday banner on the back wall, plates and napkins, and of course the Lightning McQueen cake. You know, the one Wilton sells all the supplies for in a nice bundled package complete with step-by-step instructions? Now admittedly it wasn't all that difficult to do and I think it turned out really well. But it literally took about 3 hours to complete (that's after the cake was already baked and chilled), a good hour of which was simply mixing all of the frosting colors. Needless to say it didn't get quite the reaction I was expecting from Alex but it sure did look good on the "paved" table cloth!

It was a beautiful day so we set up shop in the back yard and just let the kids have at it. And let me tell you that the Little Tikes bouncer is probably one of the best investments I ever made. Seriously. If you have young kids go out and buy one now.

It was great, don't get me wrong but holy cow who invited all those people?!?

We even had a couple of guests from as far away as Minnesota! That's right, gramma and grampa Lindstrom came down for the weekend. We had a great time visiting and watching them enjoy their grandsons. They also brought with them one of Alex's most beloved birthday gifts -- his first "big boy" bike. A LIGHTNING MCQUEEN big boy bike with training wheels and everything. I'm not sure who got more of a workout from that bike though, Alex or poor grampa!

Tuesday, April 20

day 1

Summer is making its eminent arrival very apparent here lately with temps flirting with 90, roads nearly free and clear of "winter visitors", and the start of swim lessons. Today was Alex's first day back with the fabulous Miss Shelley and well, let's just say he wasn't nearly as enthusiastic about it as I was. But nevermind because by the end of the summer I can almost guarantee he'll be swimming the length of the pool, she's that good. For the next few lessons though I think I might be bringing ear plugs for poor Miss Shelley, my fellow moms, and the neighbors...

water baby

Avery loves water. The kid goes nuts the minute he hears the tub start to fill, then splashes and kicks in a state of pure euphoria until he's completely water logged. So it was no surprise when he wanted in on the splash pad action at the zoo the other day.

Although I'm not sure you really get the full extent of his excitement from the photos so here's a little video too...

It was a good thing I actually remembered an extra outfit for him!

You might be wondering where Alex was while all of this was going on. Well, he was off "monkeying" around.

Monday, April 19

sad day

I think the pictures speak for themselves. sniff, sniff...



Monday, April 5

back to blogging...again

That's it. I'm a blogging failure. I've fallen so behind I don't even know where to start. So I think I'll just start fresh. Wait, I've said that before? Sure I have. But you keep coming back, don't you?

Things are crazy around here. Ben has been gone a lot since Christmas. Like probably 80% a lot. I started working full time back in January and am really enjoying the job (and working from home!). Alex started an Early Preschool program which he loves and Avery is TEN MONTHS OLD which means I'm working on plans for two birthday parties in the next two months. Sigh.

Avery is funny, lovey, voracious, wiry, and dare I say a bit mischievous (I can see it in his eyes!)

Alex is vibrant, exhausting, silly, dramatic, and proving to be quite imaginative.

Stay tuned for more on these cute boys...

Wednesday, January 6

in the meantime...

I just noticed I haven't posted a decent family pic in a while. So while you all eagerly await the impending barrage of Christmas pics, here's a family shot for your enjoyment. Some of you may recognize it as our Christmas card (and if you don't, don't feel bad -- our Christmas card list was extremely abbreviated this year) except this is the way it was supposed to look. You know, before Walmart got their hands on it.

P.S. If you design your own photo cards like I do, don't have them printed at Walmart even though you can get them cheap and they include the envelopes. They doctored my image even though I unchecked every possible box in the process. My cards came out dark and smudgy.

Sunday, January 3

technical difficulties

I know I promised to be a better blogger and I meant it, really! However my incessant picture-taking appears to have caught up with me and well, now my hard drive is full. Which means no uploading of new pics until I remove some of the {cough}sixthousandsomeodd{cough} digital images currently residing on my hard drive. No problem! I bought a 500GB external hard drive months ago that I've just never gotten around to hooking up. Well here I am with it all hooked up, ready to start backing up, only to find out it doesn't appear to be compatible with my Mac. Not sure how I missed that little detail. So back it goes and here I sit, waiting for Wednesday when my new Mac compatible hard drive shows up on my door step looking into online backup options. Maybe, just maybe, I can manage to thin my photo galleries enough manually to make room. But don't hold your breaths. I've got an entire 2GB memory card and part of another to upload.

So until then, please accept my deepest apologies and hang tight just a few more days...