Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Chattin' Away

In the past week Adalyn's vocabulary has taken off. She had said a few things here and there over the past couple months, but nothing that really stuck. She also has a few signs that she uses, but overall continues to not be impressed with sign language.

Adalyn at 20 months

Her words to date are:
 *Up (She mastered up first and uses it all the time. She really emphasizes the "p" sound. Uppppp)

*Mom (Not Mama or Mommy....straight up Mom. When she wakes up from a nap the first thing she does is yell MOM, MOM, MOM over and over again.)

*Come (Which sounds like um sometimes and is also accompanied by her slapping her leg. She used her first two words combined together as "Mom, Come!")

*More (This also is used along with the sign for "more")

*Dad/Daddy (Most of the time I hear Dad and sometimes she'll say Daddy)

*Dog/Doggie (Dad and Dog often sound the same, but in context it is obvious. She has been working on Dog the last two days. She repeats it over and over again.)

*Hi/Bye (Actually she has been saying these two words for a long time, but they are getting clearer and clearer. For awhile it was hard to tell which one she was saying, but I think now you can tell a lot more)

*Done (She'll sign "all done" and say "un" while signing).

*Night (Which sounds like "nigh" she'll say that to everyone before she goes to bed "nigh, nigh".)

*Water (This is a combination of the sign for water and her hand over her mouth making a noise. I need to get that one on video.)

*Milk (She signs milk and has for a long time, even now that she won't drink milk she'll just randomly ask for it and then decide wait, I don't want that.)

*Shhh (She'll put her finger on her mouth and say "shhhh" for quiet.)

*Ssssss (She must always have a stick or a rock in her hand at all times when outside. When she gets a stick she'll say "sssss".)

*Car (this one isn't completely clear, more like "ar" but it is also a word she has been working on....saying it over and over again when we see one.)

*No comes in the from of a sound like "uh uh".

*Yes comes also is a sound, just the opposite of the no sound "uh huh".

*Uh Oh is also something we hear all day long. If there a toy in the wrong spot or broken or if she finds garbage laying around we'll hear her standing by it pointing and saying "Uh Oh, Uh Oh, Uh Oh" until we come and take care of the situation.

It is so interesting to see her develop her words and how she goes about doing it. Having Shane been our first who was a master at sign language (80+ signs) and had only about 10 words after he turned 2.  I'm amazed by her and any language she produces at this point. You hear all the time that kids with older siblings don't talk because their sibling does it for them. That doesn't seem to be the case in our house. She is more then eager to get her two cents in during any conversation. I think sooner then later I'll have two chatter boxes in my house.

Monday, July 23, 2012

Full Summer

I know a little boy who has had a busy full summer so far. Even with a lack of sunshine he has been living it up.

He had a session of swimming lessons. He has said he liked them, but he didn't do so well. This was level 1 for the third time (twice last summer). We had him signed up for another session in August, but canceled those after he didn't pass this session either. He loves being in the water, but refuses to get his head or ears wet which is what he has to do to be able to pass level 1. We'll give him some more time and exposure in the water and hope next year we can move past level 1.

Then he had a week of Vacation Bible School, which he has been talking about for months now. Even with his anxiousness of something new he was super excited to go. He cried a little at drop off, but each day got better and easier and by the final fifth day he didn't cry at all. He loved all the singing and activities they did. We've heard his favorite song over and over and over again since that week.

Then he had a week of golf camp. We gave him the option at the beginning of the summer to do a golf or baseball camp. He asked to do both of them, so we said sure. He again was excited to go, but those nerves just take over for awhile. I was so proud of him all week. He did great drop off every day. One day he had an issue about going to the bathroom. We talked through it after camp and the next day he asked to go to the bathroom. I was again so proud of him working through his fear and uncomfortableness. He has come a long way. Not all that long ago Kenny and I weren't sure we would ever be able to send him off to do something fun like a camp.

He is currently spending a few days in Sequim with Mema and Papa participating in a golf camp over there. The camp he went to last week was a lot of fun, but it wasn't really based on any golf skills. The one he is at for 3 days this week will give him some basic golf skills. He does think that he is already the best golfer ever.

Then in August he'll spend a week at baseball camp. Then throw in all the time we spend hanging out at the beach, playing in water and having fun with friends. I'm pretty sure Shane is having a fantastic summer.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Retaining Wall Phase 2

Last year we worked on a corner of our backyard and added a retaining wall. We had planned on taking the wall almost across the whole yard but ran into some root issues. With those issues in mind we also ran out of time last summer and needed better weather to take on the problems that had arisen.

After a lot of thinking about how to deal with the retaining wall and the root issue we decided to take out the trees to shed more light on our backyard. Then Kenny went to town removing the roots and digging out a trench so we could finish the retaining wall. After a lot of sweat, muscle, and a couple visits from my Dad and his chainsaw the path had been cleared and Kenny was able to complete the retaining wall.

It is really amazing how it makes the backyard look so much bigger and really gives us a lot more usable space. We still have one more phase to go: landscaping. I have some plans swirling in my head that include a bird bath, a trellis, some pots buried in to the ground and mulch/bark over the top of all of it.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Menu Monday

I'm still in love with our new menu board. We didn't follow the meal plan at all last week since I totally forgot that Shane had 5pm swimming lessons which put a crimp in dinner making plans.

Monday -- leftover steak sandwiches

Tuesday -- Five Cheese Penne

Wednesday -- leftovers

Thursday -- Pasta Salad

Friday -- leftovers

Saturday -- Baked Potatoes

Sunday -- raid the 'frig night sounds good to me.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Berries, Berries and More Berries

This last week we were had berries coming out of our ears and we couldn't have been happier. Our local strawberry and raspberry season was coming to an end so I grabbed a 1/2 flat of raspberries and 4 pints of strawberries so we could enjoy them just one more time until next year.

Our local berries are just so much better then the ones we get the rest of the year from California. I love raspberries but only "real" raspberries the ones grown here. Where they are soft and full of taste. Instead of those California raspberries that are hard and are flavorless. Though I am grateful that I still can give my kiddos fresh(er) berries the rest of the year, thanks to the sunny state of California (or else where for that matter).

I started off our berry feast by making a Strawberry/Raspberry Cobbler. I think it was the best cobbler I've ever made. I keep cobbler dry ingredients all mixed up and ready to go, so when I'm in the mood for a cobbler I just have to throw cobbler mix plus butter and fruit into a dish and bake. Thanks Sweet Anna for that brilliant idea!

Then I had the BEST breakfast EVER two days in a row. I could live off this meal for ever and ever and eat it all day long. Honey Vanilla Greek Yogurt by The Greek Gods (it was my first time eating this favor/brand) with raspberries and blueberries from Oregon. Heaven, just plain heaven in a bowl.

We also had strawberry crepes for dinner on Friday night. I completely forgot to take a picture because I was so exited to eat it all up. Anyways, we enjoyed our berry delicious week. Ah, summer.

Friday, July 13, 2012

Bye, Bye Bottle

Monday morning Adalyn had her last bottle. After she drank her milk we asked her to throw the bottle away in the garbage. She ran over and did it with any complaints at all. She went back to the garbage and asked for it back at any point either. Which I was surprised about.

From that moment on for the last 5 days when she has asked for milk we've given it to her in some form of a sippy cup. She hasn't thrown any fits about it. Another surprise to me. She took a couple sips on the first day and since then she hasn't consumed any milk at all. This girl went from drinking the maximum about of milk (24 ozs) a day to drinking no milk at all. Yet, she still asks for milk numerous times during the day and just carries the cup around with her.

We kept waiting for her to start consuming for food since she has drastically dropped the amount of calories she was taking in since she wasn't drinking any milk. Day 1 and 2 she pretty much ate normal. Day 3 came and I couldn't get the food in her fast enough. She started to get cranky when I couldn't get food to her in a timely manner. Day 4 was the same. She was eating 3 helpings of food at breakfast and lunch and wanted to eat a snack almost right after eating a meal.

Now this really doesn't come as a surprise to me. We knew if she stopped drinking so much milk she would eat more. But at the time milk/bottle was such a huge factor to her sleeping. Now that piece of the sleep aspect has been remove and her sleeping continues to improve!!!

Super success on no more bottles this week and improved sleep. Hurray!

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Summer Bucket List -- 2012

I made a summer bucket list for us this year. I remembered that at the beginning of summer there are so many things that I want to do, but I seem to forget what they are. Then when I'm looking for something fun and new for us to do I can't think of anything. We have our afternoon open on this sunny summer day and I was struggling to figure out what we should do. Ah...the bucket list...now to just pick which one we'll do today. I put a star by the ones we've completed already.

 2012 Summer Bucket List

Drive in Movie

Camp in the backyard

Make ‘smores in the backyard with our firepit

Wash the cars

 Play catch with water balloons

Make a magnetic puzzle for the frig
(think I'll save this for a rainy day)

*Go on a treasure hunt/scavenger hunt

Take Adalyn to a free Gymboree Class
(saving this for the fall)

*Make ice cream sundaes or banana splits

Go to an outdoor concert

Go to a local water/splash park
 (Grasslawn Splash Park Redmond or
Crossroads Splash Park)

*Sponge Ball water fun

Have Shane write a story and illustrate it
 (also good for a rainy day)

Make root beer floats

Make a hallway fort
 (rainy day activity)

Big Truck Day, Redmond August

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Conversations With Shane

Shane has been going to Vacation Bible School this week. Of course, yesterday he whined and cried all morning long and at drop off. When I picked him up he was happy as can be. He talked about VBS all day yesterday and this morning. Then started whining as I drove him there and cried when I dropped him off. I wish that kid would stop doing that! It makes it so hard, but yet again he had great day.

He came home with a science experiment today. We just did it together. There was an instruction sheet that came with it and the lesson behind why they did it today. After doing the experiment together (where you put a fizzy in a little tube with warm water. after a couple seconds tube blows the cap off and goes flying up in the air).

Me: Wow, that is really cool. Do you know why they did that experiment at VBS today? What were they teaching you?

Shane: To take five steps back.

Me: (laughing to myself) Nope, I don't think that was the lesson they were going for. But that is a great safely lesson to keep in mind.

Shane: Can you tell me what it was?

Me: Yep, they were trying to show you that no matter how sad, mad, frustrated or angry you get. Even when you feel like you are going to explode. You can always trust in God. Does that make sense what they were trying to teach you.

Shane: Yep. It's okay to feel mad or sad, but you can't explode. You should trust in God.

Me: Yep, you got it! Tomorrow morning when you get worried about going to VBS maybe you should try trusting in God and see if he helps you to not feel like you are going to explode with worry.

Shane: Because He'll do what ever you tell him to do.

Me: Well, no not really. But you can try trusting in Him and have God to help you not explode. Does that make sense?

Shane: Yep.

Okay...so a very long conversation came out of this, but the fact that he thought they were trying to teach him to step back 5 feet still makes me laugh. Ahh....5 year olds!

Monday, July 9, 2012

Menu Monday + New Menu Board

I finally got to put the finishing touches to our new menu board this weekend. It has been a ongoing project for a couple months. I am super happy and excited about it.

It really is a pretty simple project to make. What took the longest was typing up a list of meals and laminating them.

The top pocket holds the meals we haven't eaten lately. Then the bottom pocket we'll put meals we are tired of for now or just had.

The BEST part about it so far is that Kenny planned this week's menu. I handed him the board and he picked through the meals and pinned up what he wanted. He even took into consideration meals that we could use similar ingredients for. I was a proud and happy wife!

Meatless Monday -- Cheese Penne
Tuesday -- Creamy Beef Over Noodles (crockpot)
Wednesday -- leftovers
Thursday -- French Bread Pizza
Friday -- Steak Sandwiches
Saturday -- Crepes
Sunday -- Spaghetti with Meatballs

If you want to make this little project on your own, these are the supplies you'll need:

  • frame (mine is 12x15)
  • scrapbooking paper
  • clothes pins
  • pockets (I made mine with my Art Philosophy Cricut Cartridge)
  • letter for days of the week and title. (I used some sticker letters I had laying around)
  • a list of your meals (I laminated mine, but you probably don't have to)
    • On my list of meals I included main ingredients that are needed and where the recipe comes from (ie: beef, bread crumbs, cheese/cookbook name, pinterest, etc.
 Of course my inspiration came from pinterest. Here is the original idea that I "borrowed" from.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Bonnie and Clyde

We have two new temporary members of our family, Bonnie and Clyde, Russian Tortoises. We are caring for them over the summer for Shane's preschool. We have found them to be pretty darn entertaining.

Bonnie (top) (20 years old) and Clyde (bottom) (15 years old). 
Russian Tortoises live to be about 50 years old.

They have loved being outside. 
We try to take them out there every day. 
They move really fast, too. 
We've been in the middle of working on a retaining wall 
so there has been tons of dirt and hills for them to climb.

Shane has really enjoyed them. 
He doesn't do much as far as "caring" for their daily needs, 
but he loves hanging out with them. 
During his quiet time each day they'll walk around his room.

Clyde: he has been kinda aggressive outside lately with Bonnie. 
The fresh air seems to make him frisky.

Sadie finds the tortoises very interesting! When we have them outside she sits by the slider barking her brains out the whole time. We've introduced them to each other, but when those little guys are out moving around she can't contain herself. I've found her numerous time laying in Shane's room watching them. I don't think she wants to hurt them (though I hope to never find out one way or the other).

Last week Bonnie got lost in the backyard. I let Sadie out and told her to find the "turtle". She did just that. Bonnie wasn't to happy with the pawing on her shell, but I was more then happy to have found her. Sadie saved the day! I told you those little guys are fast. Plus, Kenny won't be on tortoise babysitting duty any time again soon.

It has been a blast having Bonnie and Clyde stay at our house. Great experience and memories for Shane and Adalyn. I don't see us having any tortoises live permanently in our home. So borrowing them works out great.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Summer Has Arrived!

Today was truly a perfect sunny summer day. Though we did say good bye to Joe, Claire, Carolyn and Meredith this morning. We were all sad to see them head back home after a week of play, fun, laughter and good memories.

After having such a fun filled week I wanted to keep today low key while still enjoying the wonderful summer that has just arrived. We spent a lot of time out on the deck playing in the water table and being warmed by the suns rays. I could tell Shane and Adalyn were starting to peter out on the water table, so I gave them two little bags to take on a stroll. I had them gather all things natural outside on our walk and tuck them into their bags. They had SO much fun picking flowers (weeds) and gathering pine cones, leaves, etc. 

We then ate lunch out on the deck, followed by an afternoon nap from Adalyn. Shane and I took some leave from the sun to play card games instead and do picking/cleaning up of the house. I then took time and sat and rested on the deck while Shane played in the pool and had more water fun outside.

After Adalyn woke up we finished picking up the house and then got ready to meet Kenny down at Juanita Beach Park for more water and sand play followed by dinner at the Friday Farmers Market. The kids has a blast playing in the sand and the lake. It was just the right amount of time, too. Then we changed into dry clothes and hit the market looking for dinner. We stumbled upon a craft area and a puppet show. Adalyn's mouth spent the good part of the puppet show on the ground. She was insanely excited and couldn't stop pointing at the puppets. We all ate yummy stone fired pizza, fresh cherries and peaches for dinner. The evening was finished off with the best ice cream cones ever. Well, Shane had a snow cone, but he loved that, too.

We didn't do anything wild or crazy, expensive or new today. We did enjoy hanging out together, being in the sun, having the freedom to rest, play or eat when ever we wanted to. There aren't even any pictures to document the perfectness of the day either. Just my memories and happy heart as the kiddos sleep soundly in their beds and I look forward to more days and relaxing causal summer fun like today ahead of us.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Crab Fest -- Beach Combing

Earlier this week when the skies were gray and you would have had no idea that it was July by looking outside the window, we spent some time combing the beaches and eating crab.

We were kindly invited over to some friend's for a crab fest and an afternoon of playing. Crab had been collected for a couple days since the season had just opened. When we arrived we made our way down to the waters edge to say hi to our soon to be lunch. Then we took some time strolling the beach finding treasures and sea creatures. I love myself some time on a pacific northwest beach. Salty, sandy, wet, seaweed, little crabs, misty, windy...even in July I enjoy it. Though some sunshine would have been nice, too. Shane didn't want to come up, so he spend some extra time down on the beach with Kenny.

Then the kiddos had hours of fun running around and playing together while the adults tried to get some chatting in as well.

I promise it is July...though you would have no idea looking at this picture!

Fun times! Thanks Dana, Betsy and Lucy for having the WHOLE gang over. Good food, fun, family and friends...a great afternoon.