Sunday, May 31, 2009

Life's a Beach

Here are just a few more shots from our trip to Santa Cruz. First stop: Hidden Beach.

Our standard self-portrait, of course!

We visited Capitola Village and watched the surfers for a bit.

Heading down to turn the puppies loose at Sand Dollar Beach. They really love the beach! Until Cooper found something to roll in and stunk so bad that I had to have Ib dunk him in the ocean.

The water was cold and he was not happy about being in it. To top it all off, he got another bath once we got back to Nini & Markus' house! That will teach him to roll in stinky things!

I'm pretty sure I was NOT this big when we left Tucson. I had plenty of time to grow in the car, apparently!

Ib taking in that ocean air.

A nice sunset at The Flats. We had a bonfire on the beach. What a great evening!

One more gratuitous belly-shot. This is really the only comfortable way to sit when you're packing a paunch.

Can't wait to do it all over again!

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Going Back to Cali

Ib and I decided to take a 4-day weekend road trip to Santa Cruz for Memorial Day. Not that we need an excuse to go to SC, but we were really anxious to finally meet Jameson and hang out with the rest of the Lettner family, as well. So we packed our bags, loaded up the puppies and hit the road. Instead of leaving in the middle of the night, like we usually do for the 14-hour trek, we left right after work and stayed in a hotel in Indio, CA.

Saturday morning, we got up and continued on our drive. Once we hit SC, we took the puppies to run on the beach and tire them out before invading the Lettner residence. We set up their crate, which was fascinating to Analise. She was determined to sit in it. Then she wanted to sit in it with the dogs. She insisted that we "lock" the door, too. Eventually, she even brought out her blanket and tried to lay down in it for a nap. What a funny girl! Nini had run to the grocery store just before we arrived, and this is the scene she came home to. She kept reassuring us all weekend that we're going to be great parents...we just might need a bigger crate!

Uncle Ib and Jameson spent some quality floor-time, bonding. What a couple of cuties!

Monday morning Analise and Uncle Ib were cutting a rug in the living room. She loves to dance!

After a delicious breakfast at the Red Apple Cafe, we went to pick strawberries at Gizdich Ranch in Watsonville. Analise took a single bite out of each berry before putting it in the bucket. She just wanted to make sure they were sweet and ripe.

Jameson kept a watchful eye on the dogs. Though he wasn't real keen on Vinnie's puppy-kisses, he was a champ! Cooper's behavior was especially impressive. His patience (and anxiety) around kids is improving, and he only tried to chase Littles once (or twice).

The road was long and our visit was short, but we had a great time! Thank you Markus, Nini, Analise, Jameson and Littles for your hospitality. We love you all and can't wait until we see you again!

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Christmas in May!

We've got ourselves a menagerie! This afternoon, there was another package on our doorstep.

This box traveled all the way from North Carolina, from my Aunt Nancy. She hand-made this card...the bear is stitched! She has all sorts of great designs. I think they are so darling. She totally needs to start an online store!

Two sweet little giraffes to add to the crib.

Our niece, Analise, had a little stuffed elephant on her car seat handle named Ellie and he went EVERYWHERE with her. Vinnie almost mistook it for one of his toys a couple of times, but Ellie's been in it for the long haul and still has a place hanging in their car. I think this giraffe is going to have a similar future. It's a teether and if you pull the string, it vibrates. He also matches the bigger, patchwork-corduroy giraffe.

The finger puppets are just too stinking cute! I forsee 10 verses of "Old MacDonald" with these guys. Does anyone know what sound a moose makes?

What a nice surprise! Thank you, Aunt Nancy, for thinking of the three of us!

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Great "Ant" Polly

Yesterday I came home to find a package from Pennsylvania on the doorstep. Anyone who knows me, knows that I LOOOOOVE packages! And I espeically love to open them right away.

This particular package was from my Aunt Polly. The card was so cute, it was very hard to wait for Ib to get home before I ripped into the baby blue and yellow packages. It was to our Lil One, from Great "Ant" Polly.

Don't you know, he worked late. Of all nights! But finally, I got to shred paper. We found a whole herd of giraffes...and boy are they cute!

The cuteness just didn't stop! I squealed each time we unwrapped something else.

Even Ib was enjoying himself.

You can't see it in this picture, but the striped PJ's have little giraffe feeties, too! CUTE, CUTE, CUTE! Everything has a home in the baby's room now and is just counting down the days!

Thank you so much to Aunt Polly for such a generous bounty of gifts! We really appreciate your thoughtfulness, and we just love everything. And Little [insert name here] Contessa will too!

Sunday, May 17, 2009

Happy Campers

Friday after work we headed up to Mt. Lemmon for a spur-of-the-moment sort of camping trip with the Rawns and Chrapczynskis. This time, we managed to make it to the check-in station at the campground before Ib's truck sputtered out, due to altitude sickness. We let it sit for a few minutes and it finally fired back up and we were able to drive down to the camp site.

We all seemed to be experiencing some technical difficulties when it came to setting up the tents. Ours was new, so at least we had a half-decent excuse.

Saturday morning Colin prepared a feast of eggs, chorizo and hashbrowns and we made some pretty tasty breakfast burritos. Then the girls colored. Then it was 8:00 am.

Around 10:30, we decided to go check out the lake. There were lots of folks fishing, but not many fish biting.

Take a good look. This is Maddie's "before" picture. She sure is cute!

We spent about 45 minutes at the lake and then headed back to camp for a nap. There was a nice breeze, so it wasn't too hot in the tents.

After nap time, Hailey was exploring. She's just about ready to walk and was getting pretty brave playing in the dirt and rocks.

Meanwhile, Madison didn't stop to take a nap. She played and played and played some more. This was the end result: after she brought us some firewood...that had already been in someone's fire. Pictures can't even begin to show the amount of dirt on this child. All that was missing was the little cloud of dirt following her...although I think I saw it a couple times. Needless to say, she was having a blast!

I shared some applesauce with Hailey for dinner. She is a smart cookie, and was dipping her cracker in the dish, since I wouldn't give her the spoon. When I saw that, I figured I might as well let her give it a shot. The first couple spoonfuls went mostly on the bib, but she did pretty good after that.

The girls and the puppies went to bed early, while us grown-ups enjoyed the quiet (and some S'mores) around the fire. Then, (upon returning from my 1000th trip to the outhouse) I heard a rustling under the picnic table. I thought Cooper had snuck out of the tent, but last time I checked, Cooper didn't have a white stripe down his back. Yep, there was a skunk, about 3 feet away from me. For a front-heavy gal, I can still move pretty fast when I need to. Mel and I hid in the screened-in porch on their tent. What good that was going to do us, I still am not quite sure. Ib snuck up on the hill behind it and threw rocks, scaring it off. And then we called it a night.

Bright and early this morning, we all broke down our camps and Ib warmed up our famous French Toast for everyone. Complete with real Pennsylvania maple syrup. Then, we loaded up and headed back to the hot, hot Tucson heat.

All in all, it was a fun trip. I wouldn't necessarily recommend it to other 5-month-pregnant certain aspects were a bit challenging. For example, getting dressed in the tent...on an air mattress. Now, this can be an acrobatic feat in itself under normal conditions. But add a volleyball to the equation and you end up somewhere between a turtle stuck on it's back and a beached whale.

There was also the outhouse factor. Thankful as I was to have an outhouse (because that volleyball feels like a bowling ball on the ol' bladder)...running up and down the hill 3 times in the middle of the night, holding the flash light in your teeth and watching for skunks around every takes a real trooper. Especially last night, after Holly said, "Not to scare you guys...but, just so you know, there are 2 black widow spiders on the door of the outhouse." I've always had a very strange phobia about toilets...and something coming up and grabbing my bare butt out of the darkness. So that pretty much sealed the deal for me: I admitted defeat. My late-night bathroom runs consisted of putting on my shoes and leaning up against the first tree I ran into after stepping out of the tent. In a way, it was sort of a personal victory.

This photo kind of sums it all up. But we're all happy campers and are already talking about the "next trip".

Monday, May 11, 2009

Economic Stimulus

I'm pretty sure that after all this weekend's shopping excursions, I'm single-handedly responsible for stimulating the economy. So, "You're Welcome."

Sunday morning, after skating, Ib brought home breakfast and Birthday/Mother's Day flowers for me. He's the best!

After that, I headed back out to the mall to enjoy the air conditioning...and the sales! I picked up a few more maternity shirts and 2 pairs of jeans. I found a pair of shoes and some polo shirts for Ib, for work. I had decided, after all that, to skip the Goodwill store, but was sucked in by a rocking chair sitting outside. It turned out to be not in very good shape...but since I was already there, I decided I might as well go in. Adult clothes are $1.00 and kids' stuff is 50¢, so it's hard to beat!

These are to wear when he's out on the tractor with Grandpa. Shirt optional.

I thought this vest was pretty cute. It's 6-9 months, so the weather ought to be cool enough by the time he grows into it.

Immediately upon seeing this, Ib said, "We need to buy him some more skater clothes." Then he made some comment about me dressing the poor kid like a girl.

The tie didn't impress him, either. I thought it'd be cute for a family portrait. And for 25¢, who could leave it there?!

But the grand finale was the raincoat. I think it's adorable! Little reflective stripes and the embroidered fire truck and dalmatian...Come on!

Ib felt the need to remind me that we live "IN THE DESERT" and that generally one doesn't need a rain coat, unless IT RAINS. I just let him know that the coat is a size 2T. And, by the time our little guy grows into it, maybe we'll have moved or will go on vacation somewhere where it rains.

And won't Ib feel silly for making fun of me, then! When kids' rain coats cost $12.99, but luckily I spent that 50¢ two years ago and our kid is all set to jump in puddles.

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Because I'm the Mom, That's Why

Since I'm rapidly outgrowing everything I own, I decided to treat myself to a little pre-Birthday/Mother's Day shopping trip last night. A couple special contributions from PA & OH facilitated this little outing.

JCPenney was having a great sale! 30-50% off selected maternity wear, plus coupons for $10-$15 off your total purchace. Black is definitely slimming.

I've also been working on my's slimming too. Though JCP had a much better selection than my old-faithful, Target, I was still horrified at some of the AWFUL patterns us poor pregnant gals are expected to wear. Give me ruffles, any day!

And what shopping trip would be complete without a trip to the baby department...especially now that I know what to buy!

More super sales in the baby department!

I picked this out for Daddy.

He likes turtles.

And the monkey on the skateboard was a must-have! It even came with a little matching hat.


I found this hat awhile back and it's been buried in my sock drawer. Now it's got a place in the baby's room, just waiting for September (well, maybe November or December when the weather finally cools down!).

All in all, it was a very successful shopping trip! I figured I deserve to spoil myself on my Birthday and first Mother's Day. Now I can only hope that I don't outgrow these clothes overnight! Our little seamonkey is growing fast!