Sunday, June 28, 2009


This weekend we went as a family to a bowling lane. It was a blast. S has bowled a few times, like with friends or for a birthday party. She really loves it. She is even interested in joining a bowling league.
M, on the other hand, originally did not want anything to do with bowling. Maybe it was too loud for her.
Recently we picked up summer bowling passes for the girls, as part of the alley's Say No to Drugs campaign. They each get free shoes and two free games all summer long! Sweet!
Last week we joined some friends for bowling. S was super excited. M said she was but when we got there she was insistent on not bowling. Then she saw her friend M bowling and decided she could do it too. She has been hooked since!
Well, now that we are all bowling, we decided to make it a family event. We went to a bowling alley on Saturday and had a blast! C even pulled out his old bowling shoes from his brief league days. We each scored pretty good. It was a lot of fun for the family and I look forward to more family bowling adventures. That and taking the girls bowling, maybe on a weekly basis.

Summertime fun!

We have really enjoyed these summer days. The girls love to be outside, especially playing with the sand and water table! What fun! They love it!
Their legs tell how much they love to be outside. M and S both sport bruises and scrapes all up and down their legs.
M loves to run. She runs everywhere and any time. It's hard to get her to use her walking feet. When she is outside, she seems to want to run faster than her feet can carry her, so she has had a few spills. She has also become very adventurous on our Wave Climber. Today she learned how to slip out of one of the circle windows at the top. And climb up through it. Plus she insists on climbing up the slide and hanging out on the top, not quite ducking under to stand on the platform. And she finds unique ways so slide down. Today it was backward and then sideways.
S has a talent for tee ball. We really need to get her a tee. She also loves to play with chalk and draw wonderful, detailed pictures. Last weekend we pulled out the sprinkler to water out grass patch stuff. We decided to let the kids play in it. S was hesitant at first and insisted C run with her. By the second time though she went through it on her own and had a blast.
Riding bikes is still a hit. I am amazed at how well M has done with riding her trike, with little help from us! She really picked up on riding all on her own.
The girls also like to go for walks. Most nights M asks to go for a little walk.
It is so fun to see them outdoors.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Office window

I love the view out of my "office window!"
I was in our family room, looking out the window and realized that this is my office window.
What a view! The garden with the pond and the birds and chipmunks hopping about.
I love being a SAHM. I am so blessed! I get to be with our girls and I get to do freelance work at home. So looking out my office window, seeing nature, enjoying the peace in the house (the girls were eating breakfast), just brought a sense of calm over me. I thank God for all his blessings. He has given me a wonderful opportunity.

Monday, June 22, 2009

Summer, Summer, Summertime!

I am loving that we are into summer but hating that it feels like the season will vanish into thin air!
The temps are hot and humid, which is hard to believe given that what, two weeks ago or so, it was only in the 50's!
The flowers are still blooming. I even saw one of our purple cone flowers! And the clematis by the kitchen window finally exploded!
And I think I am getting some lettuce from that lettuce seed paper from Kraft! And the oregano and tomato plants! WOW! They have exploded! I see yellow blossoms on the tomato plants even!! Do those become the tomato??
We have been enjoying the outdoors, especially this past weekend.The weekend before, C had "tilled" up the corner bed (which had shrubs and rocks and such for landscaping.) All that was taken out and he filled in the area with top soil and grass patch stuff. There is already some grass growing!
This weekend he removed the poor looking mungo bushes that were in the back, right by the house. Not sure what to do with that dirt patch now. I have a packet with wildflowers so I suppose I could plant those for now. Maybe in the future I'll get some other flowering bushes or make into a flower bed. S has been wanting to have a flower garden.
The weather was just right for Father's Day and First Day of Summer.
We mostly celebrated Father's Day on Saturday morning. We like to do breakfast in bed for Daddy. The girls and I "sneak" out of the house to pick up McDonald's. It was so nice Saturday morning that we decided to eat outside on the patio instead. C got a picture album of pictures of him and us and the girls and cats and more; a coloring book from M; a travel mug from S; quite a few homemade cards and pictures and a Weber charcoal grill.
Our old grill was nice, small and did the job. We'd gotten it back in 2003, when we were in the duplex, our first home when we returned to the state. The people in the unit next to us were moving or something and asked if we wanted it. It looked pretty old and beat up but we took it. C found some replacement parts at a hardware store and it was just fine. We tried a larger model once a couple years ago but it was too big, C said. Then he'd been eyeing up this other model a lot so I thought it would make a nice present.
The new grill got right to work. On Saturday we grilled corn and brats and hot dogs. On Sunday it was steak, potatoes and a foil packet with mushrooms, onions, garlic and seasonings. Yum!!
What a wonderful summer weekend, let me tell you!
The girls also enjoyed it with playing in sand and water table to playing in the sprinkler. Lots of fun in the sun!
We also took time to relax too. On Sunday, after a yummy meal at Famous Dave's, C decided to stop at a local home improvement store and we found a porch swing for super cheap! We are actually using it on the swing frame that was left here at the house. So we have this beautiful swing to enjoy while the girls play. Ah! Summer, summer, summertime, indeed!

Thursday, June 11, 2009


The tomato plants are still alive!

Last week I gave them some Miracle Grow plant food. Last week I also added cages.

They've been pretty low maintenance so far. We had a couple raining days this week.
The oregano is also thriving.
There hasn't been much activity from the lettuce and herb seed paper. Patience, I know.

our new pond!

My wonderful hubby has added beauty and serenity to our back garden! Last weekend he cleaned out the pond (all the leaves and ick from fall/winter: not pretty at all and there were some surprises in there!)

Then he pulled out the water pump and fountain stuff from our old house (and some passed on from friends).

And he picked up this cute little stone-looking turtle that spits out water!
It was a lot of work but it is awesome! Thank you, C!!

It is so beautiful back there! I love to hear the water rippling. And it looks so peaceful. I just love it!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Big changes

OK. Call us crazy but we’ve embarked on a couple big changes for M.
We started potty training over the weekend. She is 30 months old, so I am sure a lot of people will say it is about time. Honestly, I’ve been the one waiting! I guess it is such a big project that I have dreaded it. She has shown some signs of being ready, like telling us when she is going potty. And she has shown some interest in the potty.
But the timing was off with our schedules to devote fully to potty training. By summer, I said, when it is warmer for her to run around with just training pants and a T-shirt.
So with visits to family and our family vacation to Chicago out of the way, there was no need to delay. And we went shopping on Saturday and picked up a huge box of training pants, so that got the ball rolling for us.
Our primary means of potty training is cotton training pants but we will use Pull-ups when we go out and about. A couple days ago it was rainy and cold but today we got to enjoy temps in the 60's so M got to run around bare-bottomed in the backyard and in the house, confined to the kitchen area!
Training has been pretty good so far. Typical ups and downs. I think she is finally getting to the point where she realizes when she is going and tries to make it to the potty chair.
On top of all of this, we also converted her crib into a toddler bed over the weekend. I know. Crazy. But we don’t have much of a choice with the potty training and all. With S she was already in her full bed because M was on the way. So during potty training, she had the ease of getting out of bed.
Well, if we are to stay consistent in M’s training, she needs that ease too. We made it a fun experience for her. She got to help convert the crib and I put on her new bedding set. It is so cute! Which means that I need to finally paint and decorate her room!
Anyway, C thought that doing both at the same time should not have any affect on her. And so far she's taken it all in stride.

Saturday, June 6, 2009


Our family vacation was also Cow’s great adventures in the big city.
Back in April, we bought S a stuffed cow from Chicago O’Hare Airport. It's a typical black and white Holstein cow with the words "Chicago" written on its chest. It has since become S’s nearly constant companion, especially at bedtime.
We had explained where the stuffed cow came from and I think at one point we may have said that we could take cow to visit the city he came from. Thus, came the idea of Cow’s Adventures in the Big City. Actually, C came up with cow's new name: ChiCOWgo!
Here are some pictures of cow’s adventures.

Pictures (l-to-r):S and Cow on the CTA train. Cow trying a Chicago style hot dog!
Cow at the top of the Sears Tower.
Cow ready to be the cow that jumped over the moon!

I heart Chicago!!

"Welcome to Chicago!"
That was the greeting we received outside the Sears Tower on Wednesday, our second day in the city.
I had to laugh. Did we look so touristy? Maybe, with a stroller, two kids and a backpack on both C and I? Although I imagine any city dweller would be carrying the same, especially with kids in tow! But somehow the man knew. Oh well. Yes, we were tourists for two fun-filled days for our first family vacation! And we look forward to future visits to a wonderfully awesome city!
First off I have to say the trip went smoothly, thanks to my loving hubby who researched the places we wanted to see, where we could get tickets, even buying them on-line, looking up and booking a hotel, and, very importantly, researching the Chicago Transit Authority system, which was our mode of transportation during the visit.
We opted for the CTA because we did not want to have to deal with traffic, headaches and nightmares associated with traffic, maps, finding parking and parking fees, etc. It was so nice to jump on the train and bus and just go and get to where we wanted to be. Yes, it took us an hour from our hotel to get into the city but honestly, that was the same amount of time we would have spent on the road and with the headaches of traffic and parking! I highly recommend CTA! It was so cool too! It was a great way to travel and it was a lot of fun! If I were a city dweller, I would definitely take CTA to get around!!
C was so wonderful in planning out the trip. He found a hotel in the Chicago O’Hare area that was a block walking distance from a CTA station! What a perk! And he read all the guides and schedules and maps for CTA so that we knew where we needed to be, the stops we needed to take, etc. We all became pros at the system by the end of the trip! And we will definitely go that route for future trips! Thanks, sweetie!!
Secondly, the girls were great! They really enjoyed the trip and were well-behaved. We had a couple issues with M but overall she was pretty good, held our hands and listened. I don’t know how much of the trip really stuck with them but I am sure we’ll hear details out of the blue. S already figures she and M will live in an apartment in the city.
As I mentioned earlier, our hotel was in the Chicago O’Hare Airport area. I expected to see and hear airplane traffic but you should have seen my jaw drop and my eyes grow big and round at the sight of a HUGE jet flying right over our hotel to land at the airport! OMG!!! S was quick to point out that it was a good thing the plane didn’t hit the hotel. Seriously!
But once inside (and there for our extended stay) any concerns about airplanes overhead went away. The hotel was very nice and clean. The rooms were big and comfortable, with enough room for a pack-n-play as well as the two beds. And it was quiet inside. Whew! There might have been little airplane noises but the air traffic patterns changed all the time so we did not have planes over us all the time. In many cases, they were far in the distance. And once in a while they took off over us. But the girls, M especially, never tired of looking at the planes.
We had such a great time at the sites. On Tuesday we went to the Shedd Aquarium, my all-time favorite place!! We saw lots of fish, coral reefs and, the best part, Beluga whales and dolphins!! The newly renovated Ocenarium is cool. It was rainy and windy on Tuesday (I was extremely glad I packed long sleeved shirts and jackets!), so we scrapped the plans to go to Millennium Park. But that was OK because we spent all morning and most of the afternoon at the aquarium. The girls missed naps, which we figured would happen, so M fell asleep on the bus from the Museum Campus and through the whole trip back to the hotel, which was about an hour on the train. S only got a half hour of sleep on the train but that was OK.
Wednesday was a beautiful, sunshiny day; perfect for a trip to the Sears Tower and then to Millennium Park. After lunch (Chicago hot dogs!) at the park, we got on the bus back to the Museum Campus, where we went to the Adler Planetarium. It was probably a little over the girls’ heads in some parts, M especially, but there were some cool hands-on things and then we saw a kids-specific star show with some characters from Sesame Street. It was neat!
We had such a great time together! There is so much of the city I would have loved to take the girls to but this was a good taste for them. I look forward to future trips, maybe even next year!