Friday, August 29, 2008

Shoes and monkeys

I love being a stay at home mom. I get to see and experience so many cool things with Kyle. I wouldn't trade it for anything. Every day he makes me laugh at the crazy things he does. Yesterday, for example, we were in the kitchen getting stuff ready for dinner. Kyle loves singing, so we were singing "If you're happy and you know it". He really gets into it and wildly claps his hands along with me. When we got to the second verse though (stomp your feet for those who have forgotten), he stopped clapping, looked at my feet, and crawled off into the dining room. I'm thinking, okay, I guess he's done with the song. A few seconds later he comes crawling back into the kitchen, carrying my shoes! I guess he decided I shouldn't be stomping my feet without my shoes. He's also discovered he has a real talent for climbing. He climbs on chairs, tables, his sandbox outside. A couple days ago, I found him sitting on the bottom shelf of our baker's rack, right next to the lone bottle of sangria. He had somehow crawled on and ducked his head between the two wine bottle holder bars. (The wine bottles have been moved - once he discovered he could pull them out they were gone.) There's a good reason we call him our little monkey. That and the fact that this kid would eat bananas all day long if we let him! I think the clerk at our little grocery store down the street must wonder what we do with all the bananas. I think we're in there every other day buying a new bunch. Maybe with my love of wild animals we should think about getting a real pet monkey!

Monday, August 25, 2008

Kyle's first haircut!

We took Kyle to get his first haircut today. While there may not be a huge difference to be seen by looking at the pictures, we can definitely tell that his mass of curls has been tamed. He was great and loved sitting in the truck and trying to help the stylist (I'm sure she loved that!). We also went yesterday to celebrate his cousins Samantha and Lauren's birthday. Check out the pictures below...



Sitting in the haircut truck

Riding his big wheel

Playing with Max and Lauren

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Snow White and her menagerie

This story starts back when I was 9 or 10 years old. At the time we had a pet ferret, Francie. She had a cage, but it must've been normal for her to wander around as well. I was asleep in bed one night when all of a sudden I wake up and sitting on my chest staring straight at me is an animal. In my sleepy confusion I remember thinking, oh it must be Francie. As the fog cleared, I realize the animal is in fact a SQUIRREL!! Yes, a squirrel had somehow gotten into our house, climbed onto my bed and then my chest. I immediately sat straight up which made the squirrel jump off and go running. I then left the room, closed the door, and waited for my mom to get up and chase the thing out of our house. Needless to say, I've not been a big fan of wild animals since.
Fast forward a few years, I was married and living in Evanston. Along with wild animals, I also am not very fond of birds. The way they suddenly swoop down and screech at you is a bit terrifying. So of course luck would have it that as I was coming home one day I see a bird fly into a window right in front of me. Now, the bird is still alive yet clearly suffering. So I decide that I need to do something to help save it. I find a rescue place nearby, put the bird in a box and start driving it over, all the while having nightmares that the bird would suddenly recover and begin flying around the car. All went smoothly however and I arrive at the rescue place only to find out that I have to pay them to take it. I have to pay to save a bird that I don't even like all because I had the misfortune to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. I guess that bird spread the word because we were the bird's best friends when we moved to Tennessee.
First we had Charlie. Charlie was the bird kind enough to almost send me to my death. I was standing on a pillar outside our house to reach the hanging basket to water it. Not the brightest move I admit, but it was quicker than hauling out the ladder. As I reach for the basket to turn it, Charlie, the bird, flies out and flutters about 3 inches from my face. Perched up on a pillar is not the best place to be when this happens to someone scared of birds. Turns out Charlie had built a nest in our basket so we had to leave it be until the eggs hatched. Then, one day we're sitting out back and see birds flying into our house. Yes, into our house. Another mama bird had decided our vent was the perfect place to build a nest and have some babies. Imagine how lovely it was to sit out back and see baby bird heads pop out of an opening in your house looking for their breakfast. Luckily we were able to get them out and seal it up so we had no other flying friends visit.
That brings me to tonight. We decided we were going to grill steaks for dinner. Brad ALWAYS starts the grill, but tonight he and Kyle were at the park, so I decided to preheat it. I go outside, wheel the grill onto the driveway (we have no deck and it had to be moved away from the garage), open the top and see a huge pile of grass. My first brilliant thought was that Brad had mowed the lawn and emptied the grass into the grill. After I realized he wouldn't do that, I thought the wind must've blown really hard and blown grass clippings inside the grill. (Okay, I realize I'm showing my blondeness here, but these were really my first ideas!) As these thoughts left my mind, I didn't need to think anymore because the reason for the grass became clear. It was a nest and the mom who built it jumped out and ran for cover. She moved quickly because I couldn't even tell what it was. I of course screamed and ran away. Needless to say the steaks were cooked inside tonight. We later discovered the animals inside were chipmunks. 7 babies were left. After much debate, we, okay mostly our Texas neighbor Chris, moved the babies to a box in the hopes that the mom would come back and they'd survive. If we were still living in the south we could've grilled 'em up for dinner : ) I'm thoroughly disgusted and don't even want to contemplate what's going to take up residence next. Check out the pictures below if you're looking for some new pets. Oh and does anyone need a new grill?????

Unrelated to the story, Kyle's showing how excited he is about the upcoming football season. "Touchdown!!!"

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Summer 2008

Can't believe it's already August 21. Even though I'm not teaching anymore, the end of summer is always sad. We've had a great couple months starting with Kyle's first birthday June 21. His party was a lot of fun and we were blessed to have great weather and lots of great friends and family come by. It's hard to believe that he's 1 already. Time really does fly. Our lives have changed dramatically this past year, yet we can't imagine a world without him anymore. We both feel so lucky to have Kyle in our lives. He makes us laugh and smile every day even when we're struggling with sleep and all the other issues that come along with raising a child. He's already got this incredible personality. Just today he was teasing us - Brad would ask him for a hug and he would deliberately come and hug me. Then he'd offer us a toy and when we'd reach for it, he'd pull it away and laugh. What an amazing blessing he is. Anyway, back to summer, we've spent a lot of time playing outside enjoying the warm weather (knowing crazy winter is right around the corner), going to the zoo and nature center, playing with friends and of course going to Arcadia. We are beyond lucky to have Arcadia - there is no place on earth like it. We're sure Kyle will grow to love it as much as we all do. Case in point, my niece Stephie recently told my sister that under no circumstances would she be going to Paris next summer (with her high school flags group) - she's coming to Arcadia. You have to have been there to understand how amazing it is, and if you haven't been, you have to check it out someday. I'll attach some pictures from the past few months. We're hoping to use this site to keep everyone updated on our world way up here. The other site was a pain, so hopefully this one will be easier to use and we'll do it more often. We love and miss all of you, Brad, Jill, and Kyle

Climbing the stairs never get tiring.

Playing on the beach in Arcadia

Pretending to drive the boat on the ferry across the lake

Checking out his new chair

Look ma! No hands!!

His first horseback ride

Playing at camp