Monday, June 24, 2013

Summer lovin' and other tidbits.

Salutations blog world or any soul who happens to stubble upon my ramblings.  I had to take a temporary leave of absence from our blog because life got insanely busy.  I can only handling juggling so many balls at once and the blog ball got dropped. Actually I dropped it and kicked it off to the side.  I am now ready to dust off this blog and jump back in to update you all.  I've got my headphones on, british indie-rock music blaring, lets do this.

Back in May I was rushing to a meeting at the art museum. I had Amelia with me because it was one of those days where you can't find a babysitter for all the fro yo gift cards in the world, and I fell down some concrete stairs.  You know those stairs that are shallow and wide? not the "normal" dimension for stairs, yep those are the ones, they "tripped me up" quite literally.  They shall now be known henceforth as "death stairs". I knew I was in bad shape when I couldn't walk it off.  Sometimes you can walk off a rolled ankle or at least limp, not this time. There are so many frustrating things that happened that day but also so many nice things, mostly friends dropping what they were doing to help me out.  I'm so grateful for friends.  Being away from family you really rely on your friends, and its nice to know they are there for you when you need them the most.  Even when they have to put you in your place because you are too prideful to ask for help.  After a grueling 3 hours at the doctors office the results came back that it was not broke, although we all wished it was, recovery would have been easier. Instead it was a level 2/3 sprain with major ligament damage to ligaments on both sides of the ankle, and possibly a broken big toe on the opposite foot.  Because Amelia was with me she loves to talk about it.  It happened weeks ago and she will still bring it up saying "Mom fell down the stairs and went boom. Took a ride to the doctors in the blue car." I love the fact that I went "boom".

I really could have been blogging at that time since I was on mandatory couch rest but since I also had Amelia to entertain it would have been impossible.  She would have insisted on helping type and therefore the post would have looked like this: "Hi guys, my day has beenajd;fkjgo;ijadfoigj aiojdfgkjsdfkjgoieartjlakdfjg".  So, as fun as that would have been I chose to read and watch movies instead. Also it should be noted that klutzy people on crutches are hilarious and dangerous. I don't think I need to elaborate on that one, just know that its miraculous that I did not injure myself further.  My ankle is doing a lot better, still not functioning 100% but working on it.  Stairs are still tricky, incase you were wondering.

We ventured up north to the city of slightly cooler temperatures over Memorial Day and spent time with family.  Amelia fell in love with my grandparents pond and had a blast trying to feed the fish flowers.  I had the chance to visit with some old roommates at a bridal shower, it was awesome to reconnect. Nathan had a chance to visit his grandma, he's been looking forward to seeing her as they have a special bond and I'm glad we were able to fit in the schedule.  We tried to see as many people as we could, its always tricky trying to find a way to see everyone.  If we missed you, don't be offended, we will pencil you in for next time, it doesn't mean we love you any less.

Summer is upon us and we are trying to enjoy it without simultaneously bursting into flames.  Amelia is constantly asking to go to the park at the most inopportune times i.e. 3 o'clock in the afternoon when its 100+ degrees outside.  So we are working on playing outside in the early morning or evening when its much cooler.  Nathan's picked up tennis again and plays weekly.  We've been having some bbq's, going to the splash pads, and hanging out with friends. Typical summer fun.

I am current teaching a Medieval art camp at the museum for the next few weeks.  I went from being the assistant art history teacher to "here you can have the whole program" with 5 days to spare before camp started.  So for the last 3 weeks (or so) Medieval art has taken over our house.  I've been pulling late nights trying to have everything ready and thank goodness for express shipping.  For a moment I thought "wow this will be awesome, I'm in charge. I can teach what I want (mwhahahaha, evil laugh entered here)".  That thought lasted for approximately 2 seconds as all my responsibilities hit me like a ton of bricks.  I just finished up the second week and things are running relatively smoothly.  I think Amelia has caught Medieval fever though, she's constantly asking to play with my castle replica blocks, watching 'How to Train your Dragon' and 'Brave', and playing/pretending to be a dragon.  I'm very grateful for Nathan, he's kept me sane as I've pulled this camp together.  Plus, he listens so politely as I gush on and on about how wonderful Gothic architecture is.  Poor guy deserves a trophy.

Just a few fun things about Amelia, incase you are curious about our "red tornado". Amelia loves animals or lizards and is constantly asking "can I pet it?" to whatever animal she sees.  Poor kid would probably love a dog but I love breathing more.  She's really into the color blue and yellow and loves to say "Phew, close one" as she wipes her brow. She's not afraid to climb up to the big slides on the playground, in fact she likes climbing everything.  She continues to think she can do things older kids are doing. She tried to ride a 7 year olds bike and got a pretty good scratch from the chain after it fell over on her. Her favorite books are still her pirate books she got for her birthday, we read them at least twice a day. As much as she is a tomboy she is still a drama queen.  It definitely keeps us on our toes. Speaking of toes, she does not like to wear shoes, she's a barefoot beauty through and through.  She takes them off within 10 minutes of going somewhere.  Its our daily struggle.

If you've forgotten what we look like, here are some photos from the last few months.

Amelia's first time riding the carousel on Main Street. 

Crazy bed head. She gets this from Nathan. 

Playing with her tennis racket. 

Watching some Curious George before church. 

Melanie, Jen and I at Jen's bridal shower. Yay for roommate reunions.

Amelia petting the neighbors cat at Pop Pop's house. 

Amelia and Pop Pop (my dad)

Amelia at my grandparents house. I absolutely love their backyard, its like a mini garden of eden. 

Amelia playing by the pond. Nathan was just out of the picture standing beside her, for all those who may be thinking "Thats unsafe!!" 

Amelia eating her first ice cream that she bought from the ice cream truck. Of course she chose Spiderman. 

Amelia playing with some of my Medieval blocks. She's looking forward to camp ending so she can have them.

Playing in her sleeping bag, pretending to be camping. 

Amelia and I during girls night when Nathan was at a camp-out. 

Nathan and Amelia making homemade ice cream.

Amelia watering plants at my grandparents house.

Amelia and Nathan napping on a Saturday afternoon. Evidently the show they were watching on the tablet wasn't that interesting.

Amelia pulling her silly face. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

Birthday Easter shindig

Well we survived the birthday/Easter weekend of 2013.  I'm happy to report that everything went relatively smoothly and Amelia had a blast.  On Amelia's actual birthday (Friday) I took her to the store and let her pick out two new books, she was very excited.  We also colored Easter eggs as a family and this time Amelia didn't dump the dye on me.  A vast improvement from last year.  Nathan's sister Nancy and her two girls came down on friday and we were able to spend some time with them.  We really like that our house is the "Wheeler Bed & Breakfast", we love having people stay, whether they are traveling through or just down for a visit.  Saturday morning we took everyone to an Easter egg hunt that the city sponsored.  It was a madhouse of kids running around grabbing candy but the girls had fun.  Amelia was hilarious, she just looked at the candy on the ground slightly confused as to why everyone was going crazy around her.  She tends to shy up in crowds or around big groups of people.  She was thrilled to get some suckers though.  We snagged a photo with Alice, from Alice in Wonderland, who was there helping with the egg hunt.  I have no idea why they had Alice and not a bunny but frankly I'm glad.  Easter bunny characters are kinda creepy.  I don't think i've ever seen a decent looking one.

Saturday afternoon we had a bunch of Amelia's friends come over for her pirate party.  I was a little nervous having it over Easter weekend but it went well and most of her friends were able to join us.  The party guests "walked the plank" for pirate hats, the plank was a huge hit.  If you want to entertain toddlers set up a plank.  Seriously, they played on it for over 20 minutes.  The kids also colored Jolly Roger flags, got pirate tattoos and played "pin the x on the treasure map".  Amelia was the only kid who refused to pin an x on the map.  She stood off to the side cheering and clapping for everyone else. She also didn't want to blow out her birthday candles so Nathan had to assist with that.  My dad drove down for her party and she was really excited that she was able to play with "Pop Pop" on Saturday.  Amelia's favorite birthday gift she received this year was definitely her tennis racket and training tennis balls.  Nathan and I bought them for her a few months ago and we've been excited to give them to her.  She loves playing with ours.  She loves to practice her "groundies" in the kitchen and generally use the racket like its a hockey stick.  She still plays with it everyday and I had to take it away for her on Sunday when I wanted to take some Easter photos of her.  They didn't turn out so well.

Nathan had early meetings on Sunday so he wasn't around for the mini Easter egg hunt my dad and I put together for Amelia.  We really kept her Easter basket stuff low key this year since she just had a birthday.  Watching her search around the living room for eggs was delightful.  My dad left Sunday morning and we had a really mellow rest of the day.  Complete with snacking on candy and untraditional Easter food for dinner.

Lets see, what else have we been up to.... We took Amelia to the annual Rubber Ducky Drop at the rec center which was a lot of fun.  The rec center reserves the pool for an open swim for the event.  Amelia  loves swimming so she had blast.  She was so excited to go to the pool she put her swim suit on a few hours before the event.  I tried to get her to wait but she is incredibly stubborn.  The ducky drop is divided up by age groups and every kid leaves with a ducky which they exchange for a prize.  Amelia's age group received a floaty tube thing, I'm sure she will play with it quite a bit this summer.

Nathan has been incredibly busy at work lately.  He's been in charge of audits and teaching training classes,  his plate is quite full at the moment.  We are looking forward to his schedule being a little less hectic.  I taught an Easter class at the art museum and two of my students from my summer classes showed up. To be perfectly honest, I was overjoyed when they showed up, they are my favorite students. I probably shouldn't have favorites but oh well.  I do.  It was such a wonderful surprise.  I'm excited for this summer to have them in my classes again.  Since last summer was Roman Art this summer is Medieval Art.  I'm really looking forward to classes, I know the kids are going to love learning about Knights and Vikings.  I'm looking forward to sneaking in 'Monty Python and the Holy Grail' references/jokes.

Not much else is going on in our neck of the woods.  We are excited that Amelia is three (although she is adamant that she is still two).  It sure has been an interesting ride watching her personality grow. Summer is nearly upon us and with that means family vacations, playing outside (with copious amounts of sunscreen), going to the pool and bbq's with friends. I'm looking forward to all of it, minus the heat.

 Amelia with her new tennis racket.

 Dying Easter eggs.

 At the Easter egg hunt at the park. Wearing her pirate(ish) shirt for her party. 

 Amelia's pirate ship cake. 

 Us and Alice. 

 Captain Amelia, using her kaleidoscope as a telescope. 

 Nancy and her girls with Alice. 

 Coloring Jolly Roger flags at her party. 

 Blowing out the candles. Love Amelia's expression. So typical Amelia, "You want me to do what?".

 Nathan playing "pin the X on the treasure map". I painted the map. 

 Opening presents. 

 My dad trying to get a photo of Amelia in her Easter dress. Notice the racket....

 Amelia searching for Easter eggs Sunday morning, with her new backpack. She wears it everywhere. 

 Amelia climbed up onto the bar to get to her pirate bag and Easter candy. I stepped out of the room to get my keys and this is how I found her. She promptly stated "Mom get me down".

Amelia and my dad trying to take Easter photos. If you look close you can see her pirate tattoo on her hand. Perfect Easter accessory. 

 More pics of my pirate. 

Amelia pretending to have a telescope (before she used her kaleidoscope) while saying "I see an island!" 

Sunday, March 3, 2013

In the blink of an eye, time flies.

Hello bloggity blog family, its been awhile.  Perhaps I should reintroduce myself.  I apologize for being so neglectful.  Sometimes I have a hard time juggling everything and this blog tends to be the first ball that falls.  Enough of that, I'm sure you all want to know how we are doing.  The short answer: well. The long answer: stay tuned.  I guess I should go back and start with where I left off.  So that would be December.

Christmas was a huge blur for us because we traveled up north to see family.  Our trip started off really well with visits with friends and family.  However, Christmas night Amelia came down with croup, effectively tweaking the rest of our trip.  We took her to Instacare on the 26th to confirm our suspicions.  Croup is nasty, we had a lot of long nights.  We are grateful for our family who helped us take care of Amelia and to our friends who understood that we could not meet up like planned.  We were able to make it up to Logan and visit Nathan's aunt and uncle.  It was so great to see them since they've returned home from their mission. We also made a quite stop to pick up some beloved Aggie gear.  Two days after we returned home from our Christmas trip, Amelia caught the Norovirus bug (stomach flu), while at Target.  We have now joined the elite group of parents who have had their child throw up in public places.  I'm pretty sure we need matching bracelets for this club, so we can recognize members and commiserate.  So we canceled our New Years plans and Amelia missed out on a friend's birthday party, but we thought it wise not to share our sickness cooties.  Then Nathan came down with the stomach flu, and the fun continued.  So that was December for you.  Oh and the world obviously didn't end on 12/21/12.

Next came January.  I secretly and perhaps not so secretly love January.  Its cold, gloomy and perfect.  I love winter.  Anyway,  Nathan and I both have birthdays in January and sometimes we combine gifts and do something special or big.  We decided this year for our birthdays we would redo our bedroom.  It's been a lot of fun planning and using Pintrest to come up with ideas.  In fact, although its now March we've (finally) decided on the direction we are going.  It takes a while when you have very different ideas.  So things are starting to come together, slowly but surely.  Can't wait to let Amelia help paint.  Speaking of painting,  Amelia has been loving her easel she got for Christmas, and she has become quite good at drawing circles and smiley faces (except her faces don't smile).  I love how excited she is to do art.  She also painted her first canvas board.  She is so independent and definitely has her own style.  The other fun thing that happened in January was that my dad and sister came down to spend my birthday weekend with us (and to enjoy some sun, I'm sure).  I was completely surprised and shocked when I answered the door.  Nathan has officially planned 3 surprises for my birthday's, you'd think I'd catch on but really I can be completely dense when it comes to surprises.  Nathan also made me a fabulous birthday cake, he worked so hard on it and it was delicious.  I'm a lucky girl, birthday surprise visits and two birthday cakes, what more could a girl ask for?

February rolled around, and with that came Valentine's Day and art classes.  I taught an art class on Kandinsky (He's the father of Abstract art).  My 2nd grade students loved learning about Kandinsky and Abstract art.  Little kids have the greatest imagination and when given the freedom of abstract art, they are able to create some wonderful projects without fear of doing something "wrong".  Its quite liberating.  Amelia had a lot of fun with the class as well, the kids just love having her there to help.  Nathan's been quite busy with work but he was able to take us out for ice cream on Valentine's Day.  I picked out a few boxes of conversations hearts that were blank, it came with a pen so you could make your own conversation hearts.  Amelia loved them. They were a perfect addition to our sugar cookies.  If you're curious yes we had fun coming up with "rejected" conversation hearts. Our neighbors really appreciated them.  February was kind of a blur to be honest, we've been super busy.  Nathan was a coach for a city league volleyball team with his coworkers, they just finished their tournament this week.  He's decided that he enjoys playing but not coaching.  Amelia and I enjoy cheering him on.  I've been helping out some friends and so we've been having a lot of hectic days/weeks.  Things are finally calming down, which is good for us and blog updates!

I'm loving March so far.  We celebrated Dr. Seuss day this past weekend and Amelia's birthday is at the end of the month.  Which means I've got to finalize plans for her special day.  I can hardly believe she's turning three.  Amelia is currently in love with playing in the dirt with her bucket and shovel.  There is a big pile of red sand by our house, due to a new home construction, and its become her favorite place to play.  She loves tying blankets around her like a cape and running around.  She is quite stubborn and independent, which is sometimes not my favorite thing.  She likes to dress her self and play hide and seek.  She says the funniest things.  Usually in the morning she hollers "Mom where are you? I'm awake!"  Recently we have been dealing with some night time separation anxiety.  She's been waking up and wondering where we are and sometimes freaking out because we aren't with her.  Its been hard and frustrating since she's been such a super star sleeper, I guess we were bound to have some sort of sleep issues sometime.  The first week Nathan and I walked around like frustrated zombies but now we've got a system that's working and we are close to being done with the phase. Hallelujah!

So to wrap it all up, sickness, busy schedules and lack of sleep contributed to the delay in updates.  That's my excuse and I'm stickin' to it.  Happy St. Patrick's Day, because lets be honest, I might not update before then.

Nathan and Amelia building snowmen Christmas Eve. Nathan's first snowman in fresh wet snow.

Amelia's very own Christmas tree, with ornaments she picked out herself. She redecorated it at least 10 times. 

Luminaries on my mom's grave on Christmas Eve. 

Amelia's first live Nativity. 

Amelia sick with croup. Worst Christmas gift EVER. 

Aggie Love. Or as Amelia says when she sees an Aggie bull, "Daddy moo cows".

Amelia coloring Curious George's face on her easel. 

Amelia's new Retro Red Radio Flyer trike she got for Christmas. She loves her "cycle".

Funny Faces. 

Canvas Board painting. 

Nathan made me this super yummy birthday cake. Look at the ganache oozing :)
 Amelia's conversation hearts. 

Rejected conversation hearts. 

Amelia style. 

Learning how to blow chocolate milk bubbles.

Strawberry ice cream on Valentine's Day. 

Picnics are more fun than eating at the table.

Dr. Suess Day. 

One fish two fish.

Dr. Suess style sugar cookies.

 Practicing faces. The circles are hair, according to Amelia. 

 Watching some cartoons before church.

 Spiderman love. 

 What to wear? how about your Halloween costume. In February. 

So to wrap it all up, sickness, busy schedules and lack of sleep contributed to the delay in updates.  That's my excuse and I'm stickin' to it.  Happy St. Patrick's Day, because lets be honest, I might not update before then.