Sunday, January 30, 2011

Brotherly Visit: Botanical Gardens

Originally when we knew Alex was coming to visit, I was going to take him with me to the Science Center with the girls... but, when Adam decided he was also going to take the day off, the Science Center idea was vetoed and we settled on the Botanical Gardens instead.

Not a place I had been yet so I suppose officially it was put on the Iowa Bucket List that day.

On the way to the Botanical Gardens, Alex noticed that the car in front of us had a flat tire, so after much honking we were able to get the lady to pull over and Adam and Alex changed her tire.  She was also headed to the gardens.

Seeing as how it was still close to Christmas, the gardens were still decorated in the Christmas theme, the main one being Dr. Seuss.  Alex is walking through the garden of colorful poinsettias on colored step stones.

While I thought the gardens were really neat to see, one thing that made the trip most enjoyable was the wonderful strollers (for FREE) available for use.  We had not brought our stroller along with us, so these were a godsend.

There were a lot of really cool plants and displays and both girls enjoyed the waterfall and (SUPER HUGE) koi in the koi ponds.

I thought the outside art piece was pretty cool too... here is a picture of the piece in front of the gardens, and also a picture of Alex looking down through the piece taking a picture of me.

Brotherly Visit: State Capitol

So... it's been a while... but, I have to post anyway about this!

Adam's brother, Alex, came to visit in late December while he had off from teaching for a few days.  He drove down on the 29th and we spent time 29th, 30th, 31st, and the morning of the 1st with him.

On Thursday, the 30th, we went to Des Moines.  I started this Iowa Bucket List of things I wanted to do before we moved out of the state (if we move out of the state), and it included the State Capitol.  I've lived in this state for almost 10 years, and had yet to be to the State Capitol.

Here is our family in front of the State Capitol.  It actually ended up being a very warm day... it got up to 60 degrees in Des Moines this day!  However, it was kind of icky out when we first started our day.

This picture might not be much to look at, but it speaks volumes.  Raven thoroughly enjoyed the Capitol once she figured out that her little scream could echo... and echo and echo!  She ran around the Capitol making random little screeches and generally looking for trouble.

Julia also really enjoyed the Capitol once she found this old phone booth.  What fun it was to pretend to make a call on this phone... she was delighted... too bad she has never seen a phone that looks like this before!

We enjoyed the State Capitol, especially the neat library, and after I bought my postcards, we were able to "tick" this off our list and we headed to lunch at one of Des Moines' finest, Tasty Tacos on Grand.  YUM!


Thursday, January 20, 2011

First Dentist Visit

I wish I had a picture to share along with this post... but I don't.
Today was Julia's first visit to the dentist.  These days (as opposed to when I was small), dentists want to start seeing kids when they are 2 and 3 years old.  For a kid who just recently was able to go to her regular doctor without tears, going to the dentist, who she has never seen before, was a big deal.
We dropped Raven off at daycare first, and despite my discussions with Julia yesterday and today, Julia was pretty upset that we were leaving Raven somewhere... but, we still got through that bit without tears.  (I cannot imagine trying to contain Raven while also trying to help Julia through her first dental experience... **shudder**.)
Julia was a big girl and allowed mommy to "paint" her teeth pink (she wouldn't let the hygienist near her, but all is well).  Then she brushed her teeth and showed the hygienist she could do it and she also allowed me to brush her teeth.  She liked Dr. Megan and allowed her to lay her down on our laps so she could count Julia's teeth and also brush her teeth again.  By the end of the visit, Julia was all smiles and giving high fives and saying "Thank you!"  She was also excited to pick out her very own new toothbrush (Ariel, of course) and some toys from the toy drawer for doing so well.  She received a bag full of dental goodies which was still clutched tight in her paws when I dropped her off at daycare today.
I am thankful for a good first visit to the dentist; we have our next visit scheduled, but most likely we won't be going back to the specific clinic (i.e., if we move).  However, at least we've started and are on a good streak for doctor visits the last few months.  I'm sure soon that Raven will start the screeching at the doctor... but, I'm enjoying these few months of crying and tantrum reprieve.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Bad Bear

Today we put Julia and Raven down for a nap after we came home from our trip to Omaha, but we guessed that the kids might not nap as they had slept part of the way home.  We still decided they needed to rest (and so did we!).  Adam went upstairs to get them after about one hour, and when he walked in the door, he saw Julia's bear, sitting on a stool, in the middle of their room.  Apparently the bear was naughty for something having to do with a princess dress.  Absolutely hilarious... she even came downstairs proclaiming that her bear was naughty.  I wonder what other trouble her animals get into while they are napping.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Raven's 15 month appt

Raven had her 15 month appointment at the doctor today.
Yes, I know, she is 16 months old today.  *wink*
Raven weighed in at 24.7 lbs, which puts her at 75th percentile for weight, and she is 31 inches tall, which is at 60th percentile for height.  Dr. C suggests that she'll be taller than Julia at some point, based on tracking her size, but also based on her hands and feet - they are both significantly bigger at this age than Julia's were.  (For example, Julia was wearing size 3 shoes at this age, but Raven is in 5's already.)
Raven also had three shots -- poor baby!  Although, I think the "being held down by mom" was worse than the actual shot.  Ha!
Today the girls are staying with the college-aged daughter of a friend.  I started back to work full-time last week, so on Thursdays, and a few Fridays, the girls will be going to alternate daycare.  I was fortunate that Kristen was able to watch them on Thursdays (and a Friday or two) in January for me, and our friend Allison will start watching the girls on Thursdays in February.  Today was a great example of how quickly Julia is growing up - even though there is a dog at Kristen's house and even though Julia doesn't know Kristen well and hasn't been over to the house for some time, she took right to be there and was calm and accepting of being told that she was staying with Kristen today and that I needed her to be a good big sister to Raven and use the potty for Kristen.  She was awesome.
I have to say that calms my heart some when I think about the future and what that might hold for daycare.  While I expect at some point that Raven will be less than "easy" when it comes to being left with random people, it has always been Julia whom I've been wary of leaving without a lot of tears and thrashing.  Thankfully, in the last few months, she is really showing herself and her ability to understand and be more accepting of situations that might be foreign to her but are deemed "okay" by mom... what a relief!  I have been very concerned about having to start them somewhere else when/if we move, but today released a lot of that anxiety for me.  Yay!
Have a great Thursday!


Monday, January 10, 2011

A Swift!

So... you probably don't know what this is, but believe me when I tell you it is super cool.
This is a swift, and this is one of many swift designs on which you place your yarn and from which you can ball your yarn either with a winder or by hand.  Swifts are fairly expensive, but I knew Adam was up to the task and he surprised me with a swift as a Christmas gift.  The pegs are adjustable so that different sizes of skeins of yarn can be placed on the swift in order to ball it.
Balling yarn without a swift is possible, but it can get very messy very quickly (just ask Adam who has watched me ball yarn from a skein just laying limp on the couch).  I'm very excited to use this!  And, what's even cooler is that it is collapsible, so I am able to take it apart and store it easy as well.
(Thanks, honey!  This is a great gift!)

A Fun and Special Hat

What I love about hats is the different techniques I'm able to try on a relatively small project.  Doesn't work out?  That's okay, it's only a hat.  Looks great?  Sweet, now I can try it on something bigger and HEY, now I have a gift!
(Really, I typically think of it as a gift first and as a technique learner second, but you get my meaning.)
This hat is my first felted project.  As you can see, you knit the project way larger than it needs to be and then felt it in the washer.  It was super fun to do the felting part of this... I love how it turned out!  Now I'm excited to knit a bag or small purse or something that I can decorate... SWEET.
This is another "gift hat"... I think this is number 10 since the fall... I'm losing count but having OH SO MUCH FUN!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Fave Hiding Spot

If you've been in our basement in the last couple of years, you might be able to figure out where this is...
Raven is hiding along side the entertainment center where there is about 6 - 8 inches between the center and the wall... she thinks it is a fabulous hiding spot, even though we can know easily where she is based on the giggles... and the fact that you can see her.  Hee!

Saturday, January 8, 2011


Congratulations to my sister who had her son, Dante (apostrophe somewhere) on Thursday, January 6th!  So happy for you, sis!  Yay!

Snow Angel

I am in St. Louis this weekend, but I had to share this great picture that Adam took of Julia out in the snow yesterday morning, making a snow angel.  So cute!

Monday, January 3, 2011

Happy New Year!

I realize that this salutation is a few days late, but I found I didn't have anything profound to say.
Have you set Resolutions for yourselves this New Year?  I haven't, necessarily, this year, other than that I hope to be better to myself so that I can continue to be a better wife and a better mom and a better Child (o' God).  Lots of work to do there... we'll see how it goes.
I wasn't completely honest with my Blog A Day in December, though I finished the month with 32 blog posts.  I still have a number of "Pella Love" posts to write and also a new set of ideas that I am pondering.  Recently we started tackling our Iowa Bucket List and I am also excited to try a number of new recipes.
Also, this is our last month home with Adam before he leaves for Siebel.  It is odd; it's not as if a month isn't a long time, but knowing that he will be gone in about four-and-a-half weeks... it seems so much closer now that it is the month before and in the same year... so, Mommy is getting in some "alone time" before then, but also trying to squeeze in time with my hub and my fam and well, pretty much making sure we are all completely sick of each other once February comes that it takes a few weeks at least before we miss Adam.  *wink*
Here's hoping you all have a wonderful New Year!  Thanks for continuing to read my blog (it's been 3.333 years now!!!), commenting, and everything else... it's been a lot of fun hearing from you and feeling like this isn't for naught.
Happy New Year!