Sunday, July 21, 2013

The Park is our Happy Place

Her pony tail bouncing on top of her head as she runs.
His big gummy smiles that light up his whole face.
Her cheeks turning red as cherries from playing so hard.
His contentment in watching his big sissy run wild.
Her fearlessness in trying to climb every ladder, rope, and net.
His eyes showing their true blue color in the sunshine.
Her high pitched squeals as she comes down a slide.
His consistent finger chomping when being pushed in the swing.
Her friendliness toward every kid there.
His big belly laughs when he is thrown in the air.
Her genuine excitement when she realizes where we are.

These are what make every trip to the park so incredible.

Jude's first time swinging at the park.

Jude's first time going down a slide.

Nothing cuter than a group of little girls playing together and holding hands.

Our attempt at family pictures make me laugh.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

She Understands the World around Her

This is the conversation I had with Emma this morning.

Me: Emma, what do you want for breakfast?
Emma: Toooast! (she walks over to the fridge)
Emma: I reeeeeach. (stretches her arms above her head trying to get the bread)
Me: I don't think you can reach that high baby.
Emma: I climb. (puts her foot on the door of the fridge)
Me: Don't you dare try to climb up there.
Emma: I fall, hurt self.  (pats her head)
Me: Yes, that would be a big fall.
Emma: Momma be saaaaad.
Me: You're right, baby.  Momma would be very sad.  I don't like it when you fall.
Emma: No. (smiles and runs out of the kitchen)

She is such a big girl and I absolutely love being able to hold conversations with her.
Her tiny little voice and facial expressions make my day.  She is truly a special girl.

Thursday, July 11, 2013

"Biiiiiig Bow"

Jude's morning nap time was arts and crafts time for Emma and Momma today.
I thought it would be fun to make a big Minnie bow with my little Minnie loving girl.
This was so easy to do and Emma absolutely loved it.  She kept saying "biiiiiiig bow" 
the whole time she was putting all the little circles on it.  I absolutely love how this quick and easy
project turned out.  This simple construction paper creation will be cherished forever
and I look forward to showing it to Emma when she is older and sharing its story with her.

Once the bow was complete and Emma marveled over her masterpiece for awhile,
she quickly turned from excited to upset.  She was not happy that she couldn't actually 
wear the bow.  You would have thought the world ended.  The bow almost had a very short
life span because my wild thing just about tore it in half.  Luckily my creative juices were flowing this morning and I quickly taped the bow to the wall and had Emma stand under it so it appeared
as if she was wearing it.  This was good enough for my sassy girl and her sweet smile returned.

Then she decided that Minnie needed to wear the bow.

I love doing these special little activities with my baby girl when we have one on one time.
She may still be too young to remember them, but I will always be able to share the story with her.

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Wordless Wednesday Part 2: Best Breakfast Ever

I know I already did a Wordless Wednesday, 
but this just happened and I thought it was too cute not to share.

Emma decided to make eggs for breakfast this morning. 


When she helps me cook it is always her job to dump things
into the bowl so she had to dump her eggs into a different pan.

Adding a little bit of spice.

Taste test

Transferring to the table.

Wordless Wednesday: Splish Splash

Friday, July 5, 2013

Celebrating the Red, White, and Blue

The 4th of July was always my favorite holiday growing up.
It was usually spent at the lake soaking up as much sunshine as possible.
Our lake house was definitely my favorite place throughout childhood.
The week of the 4th was basically a week long celebration with the whole family.
Mattresses and couch cushions spanned the entire upstairs floor so all of us cousins
had a place to sleep.  Lunch time was spent eating sandwiches and chips as quickly and as quietly
as we could.  We ate quickly so we could get back down to the dock as soon as possible.  
That was our choice, but we ate quietly so my Grandpa could hear his soap operas.
That wasn't really our choice, but he never missed a day of his beloved shows
and it wouldn't have been the same without them on in the background.
Who would have thought that years later I would find myself watching one of the same
soap operas?  Silly, special, or maybe a little bit of both?
Being at the lake house also meant countless games of dominies played in the sunroom
with a certain cousin peeking under the glass table before picking his next domino.
Quieter games of 31 were also a good source of entertainment during the evenings
or on a rainy day.  Boat rides usually involved arguments over who was going to sit in the tip
and who was going to have to be stuck in the back with the adults.  None of us cousins
ever seemed to get enough turns on the wave runner and the railings of the dock
were always lined with towels, ski belts, and life jackets.  Many paddle boat rides were taken 
so we could sneak off and jump in the water without our life jackets on.  Yes, parents,
aunts and uncles, this happened on a regular basis.  Weren't we clever? 
Going to eat Mickey Mouse pancakes or to Shooters was a special treat, while trips
to Buck Creek (or Butt Crack as we called it) were a regular occurrence.
Adventures on the golf cart were just that, adventures.  If Grandma, Grandpa, 
or Uncle Jeff would have known how many times we got that thing stuck 
we would have been in so much trouble.  Tubing was loved by far more than skiing was.
The tube was often tied to the dock so we could wrestle in it and try to knock each other out
while singing "teeter totter, pee in the water."  Toads, lightning bugs, and sunfish
were caught and released.  Bigger fish were caught by Nick and Justin.
If not as many people were down for the weekend and a few of the kids were lucky
enough to get a room, we always wanted the duck room.  There were several attempted swims
across the cove or efforts to keep up with Aunt Jenni on her laps.  Pee island was our exit
from the Main Channel and the sign that our boat ride was coming to an end, 
which was sometimes a relief when it was the slow kind of boat ride when it seemed 
like all we did was look at houses.  My aunt spent ungodly amounts of money on fireworks
and my Grandpa made sure us kids picked up every last piece of trash off the boat ramp.

That was my childhood 4th of Julys and this is a glimpse of what 
4th of July looks like now that I'm an adult with a family of my own.

She can't go anywhere without doing the Hotdog Dance.

These pictures do not truly capture Emma's excitement over the fireworks,
but I will always remember her pure joy.  She absolutely loved the big splashes of color in the sky.
Every time the sky lit up with the magic of fireworks she clapped her hands and asked for more.
Her smile and happiness will forever be one of my favorite 4th of July memories.

As the pictures show, Jude didn't exactly share his big sissy's excitement.
He was less than impressed with the loud booms, but I think this mostly had to do with
the fact that he was really sleepy instead of the actual fireworks themselves.
I'm hoping he will find the joy in them next year.

I hope I am able to make the 4th of July as special for my kids as it was for me.
I want them to enjoy the family time, but also recognize and appreciate the true meaning
behind the holiday.  Here's to the first year of making that dream a reality.

Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Longing Eyes

Little J,

I think you and I would both really like it if you just took off crawling today.
It seems as if you are starting to get frustrated that you are not cruising 
right along side your sister yet.  You have started watching her like a hawk
with what appear to be longing eyes.  Longing to be running wild with your Sissy
and into your Momma's open arms for a big hug and squeeze.
But don't worry little boy, you will get there one day very soon and then
you will have plenty of time for adventures with all three of your big sisters.  
The memories the four of you will create together will be so special.