Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Photo Dump

I've gotten a little behind in sharing pictures and filling you in on the more mundane parts of my life so this is a bit of a dump of information. Enjoy.


Riley has been enjoying the easel grandma and grandpa picked her up at a garage sale now that she's tall enough to really use it. We often bring it outside and let her draw to her heart's content. One side has paper and the other side a chalk board.


We've also been spending a lot of time at my dad's house.

This kid loves her rocks.

My dad's "guard dog".

This play house was originally built when my dad lived in the house I own now. He built it for my siblings (who are 10+ years older than me) in the '60's, but I think of it as mine. At the time it was painted to match our red house and was in a lot better shape (obviously). I spent hours and hours playing in this thing with my friends. We would open the drop down window (painted red here) and play McDonalds drive thru.

I have no recollection of my friends and I writing all over inside this thing, but we pretty much covered every corner.

Wish it was back at our house for Riley to play in. I think she's dreaming about the same thing.

Enjoying a windy day at Papa's.

More rocks!

Riley's been getting pretty good at writing her letters. Jesse started practicing with her by using her magnadoodle thing. He'd write a letter and she would draw over it.

Now she has been free handing most of her letters on paper and gets most of them right. I'm impressed at how quick she's been to pick this up.


How could I forget to mention that Riley is in a big girl bed now? This happened the week my mom passed away so I guess it makes sense that it got a little lost. She loves it and has done really well with it. So much more than I thought she would. There was only one night that I realized she was still up 2 hours after bed time. When I went into her room I found her sitting on the floor reading books with the light on... and books were everywhere. Since then it's like she's afraid to get out of bed without our permission. That even means in the morning when I would love for her to get out of bed and occupy herself while she lets us sleep in. 

She corrects me when I call her bed a crib... because it is clearly not a crib anymore. And who did she get those huge feet from? They look ginormous here.


As with many other toddlers she is loving stickers right now.

First time in Party City and this girl was in heaven. She behaved herself really, really well, but was so excited at every turn. So many colors and fun things to play with. We were here to buy stickers, of course.

We've been trying to get in some last minute walks after I get home from work. Usually it's just Riley and I since Jesse usually walks with her to the park or the library in the afternoon when he gets home from work, but Jesse came on this one too. She usually begs to watch TV so this is one of my ways of getting her to do something else. Plus I think it winds her down after a long day.

Stopped at the park one night for a few minutes before heading home from our walk. It's pretty hard to avoid the park since it is right down the block, but luckily she usually cooperates.


Nothing exciting, but wanted to get caught up with pictures and such. I'm sure there will be plenty more of these in the future. 

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Minnehaha Falls

On Saturday I was going to go to a blogger get together at Minnehaha Park that was organized by a couple of local bloggers. Originally, I was going to bring Riley with me without Jesse as he wasn't too keen on sitting around with a bunch of bloggers and their husbands that he didn't know. However, that morning he changed his tune and seemed pretty hip to checking out Sea Salt for lunch and exploring the falls with Riley. The event ended up getting cancelled (to be rescheduled later), but we decided to go to the park anyway.

Riley seeing the falls for the first time. 

There was a moment when the clouds parted and the sun came out so I brought out the hat and shades, but that sunny moment was short lived.

Riley's favorite part of the park visit was throwing rocks in the water. Over and over and over. I was starting to worry about the ecological balance of the water.

I might have made her dance on this rock.

Unsuccessful self portrait. This kid is always on the go. 

Off to the left were a gazillion people. Even with the threat of rain that morning and an overcast sky it turned out to be a pretty nice day. We showed up around 10:30 which appeared to be just about right to get a decent parking spot. Almost two hours later the cars were circling the lot just to find a space to park. 

I've been wanting to check out Sea Salt Eatery for years. I've heard so many good things about the food. Really good things. So I have to say I was quite disappointed. I had the mahi mahi tacos (meh), Jesse had the red beans and rice (meh), and Riley had the kid's fish and fruit (super greasy - gah). Not only was it not great, but none of it digested very well. I am willing to give it one more shot, but think I will have to get some suggestions of what to get from people who love this place. Or maybe next time I will just get a glass of wine and chill out listening to the waterfall.

Some serious coloring while we waited for our food.

On our way back to the parking lot Riley decided to stop and climb this tree.

Just attempting to get the right footing...

"Can anyone help a girl out?"

Jesse has been to this park before, but now has some renewed interest since he saw how much Riley liked it. In fact, I am pretty sure they will be coming back on Friday during 'Riley and Daddy Friday'. Now I'll just have to convince him to come again when the blogger get together is rescheduled. 

Saturday, June 23, 2012

June Photo a Day week 3

Photo a Day inspired by Fat Mum Slim


Turns out there isn't a lot of yellow in our lives. I had a hard time finding something at home that was yellow beside this chair. This is Riley's teddy bear that she recently became fond of. She was never one for stuffed animals, but picked this one out of the pile one day and it's been by her companion ever since. 

Out and About

My husband had to go into work for a bit on this Saturday so I took Riley out shopping with me. She was a little off that morning, but was a superstar at the store. I was so proud of her and she was pretty pleased with the sticker she received at Old Navy. Here we are just wandering around outside the mall. 

In Your Bag

This would be the weekend bag which is basically my purse and diaper bag all in one. Diapers, coloring pages and crayons, lotion, sweater, wallet, camera, and so much more that you can't see.

Something we don't know about you

Wow this was a hard one because I don't really think I've kept much in the unknown area (especially since this blog is read mostly by friends and family that know me). I was looking back at old pictures hoping something would stand out and I came across this one of me as a blond. Really blond. This only lasted for  three months as I was never comfortable as a blondie. I was dishwater blond as a kid, but my hair eventually got darker and darker. I'm not sure what got into me to try this, but I was a lot more experimental with my hair in those days. I am thinking this picture was taken in the early 90's - please note the dark lipstick, and heavy eye makeup. Plus I am wearing a leather shoelace around my neck and my favorite sweatshirt. I had that sweatshirt until it was falling apart... and come to think of it I still have a leather shoelace hanging out with my necklace collection. 


My house had a leak in the ceiling years ago. It was fixed, but there was always a little damage that you could see there. Since the original leak was fixed we've gotten a new roof and my husband scraped down the damage and painted the ceiling. We figured it was nothing to worry about anymore, but on Father's Day we had an unexpected leak in the same spot. The roof above this spot is actually a second story deck and that's where I found my dad on his hand and knees getting all wet on Father's Day. We couldn't find the source of the leak that day, but it leaked the next night when it rained again. My dad came back a couple days later and we finally found a small gap near the door. Thankfully, it was a pretty simple fix. I'm sure we would have figured this one out on our own, but it sure is nice to have the dad I do to help with these things.

Fave photo you've ever taken

I decided that my favorite picture would probably have to have Riley in it, but I couldn't decide on just one. If I had to pick I would go with the one where she is wearing the outfit with "auntie" on it and she has a funny smirk. It was just one of those moments that I didn't realize I was capturing. It still makes my husband and I laugh whenever we look at that picture. 

Where you slept

Once upon a time I had a pretty bed. It had decorative pillows (not too many) and a decorative throw. I made the bed every morning and loved getting into a 'made' bed at night. Then I had a kid.

See June Photo a Day week 1, and 2.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Father's day 2012

I usually don't host family events at my house because I just don't have the space, but it was really important for me to host this year's Father's Day. I figured I would be able to pull the event off since the weather is typically nice enough this time of year to spread out through the house and into the yard. I watched the weather all week, and even though it rained during the week, Sunday looked like it was going to be perfect. Sunny. High 70's/ low 80's. Sure, the weather seems to change from day to day, but even that morning it looked like all skies would be clear. But then at 12:15ish the clouds came in and the weather channel online reported a small chance of rain during the 1 pm hour. Ok, I can deal with this. Maybe it won't happen - what's 30% chance of rain, anyway? And if it does happen? It will pass quickly, right? Right!?

Turns out it rained all afternoon and my ceiling started leaking. The cruddy weather meant my large family was crammed in my not so large house. I figured some of them would want to hang out in the basement or something. I mean it's remodeled people! But, nope - all hung out in the living room and dining room with a few scattered in the kitchen. But all was fine even if I didn't get to set up the ping pong table or ladder ball. All were happy to celebrate the dads that day... and surprisingly my brothers didn't even turn on the TV to watch sports.

There are more people to each side of me here. Definitely a packed house. 

I so desire a mudroom or some sort of entryway. Our back door looked like this as well. 

Time to eat. Luckily the rain let up enough for us to grill burgers, chicken and hotdogs. 

I turn away for one minute and my brother tied up my child. 

Little Alex checking out a picture of Grandma Ann (where she's standing next to a statue of a cow).

Baby Rocky!

Riley helped decorate the inside of this card for her Papa.

Dad and his granddaughter, Jacey. 

James checking out the meat my dad received as a gift. Since my dad seems to have everything he needs we often give him food. I made him Sloppy Joes. 

I tend to like 'in the moment' photos, but I have to admit I do like having these (somewhat) 'organized' photos to look back on. My sister, Judy, often spearheads this, and true to form, she got the grandkids and great grandkids in a picture with my dad (plus a non-grandkid, Jenny... but she's married to a grandkid and produced two great grandsons so we let her stay). And while my kid is doing some goofy thing with her legs it was the only picture where she wasn't whining. Plus I love how cute Jenny and James are here looking at each other. 

My dad wanted my nephew, Quentin (the tallest grandchild), to get a picture with the shortest grandchild, but that didn't really come together so my sister, Judy, stepped in (she's about 5'3"). Yup, he's tall. I'm sure this stuff never gets old for him. : ) 

Next in the posed photos series my dad sits with his 'kids'. Here I am squeezed in with 6 of my 8 step-siblings. Gotta love Chuck's big "I'm 8 years old" smile sitting right up front by himself.

And now on to the in-laws. These were all the folks that were brave enough to marry into our crazy family.

And finally, all the dad's. Happy Father's Day to all of you fine fellows. 

The sun finally appeared about a half hour before everyone left. Here are my nephews and my niece that I thought would be playing video games in the basement. They pretty much played with Riley's princess ball the whole time they were at my house. Aren't they cute?

Even with the rain it was nice to have family over to my house for once. Maybe next time the weather will cooperate.