Monthly Archives: September 2011

the sweetest little thing

the ONLY good thing about alex’s recent clingy-ness and teething and cold? the cuddles. lots and lots and lots of time in mommy’s lap. and in mommy’s arms. and cuddling up around mommy’s neck. i LOVED those snuggles! every. single. one of them.


because you’re going through withdrawal (nana, especially), here are a few photos of my sweetest little one (taken on Wednesday morning):




and despite what SOME people think, that is her REAL hair. ALL of it. curly. straight. and THICK. (and many, MANY thanks to my mother-in-law for “treating” Alex’s on-going case of cradle cap while we were in Las Vegas for a weekend)! isn’t she a sweetie (even though she doesn’t smile much)?


and in case you’re wondering, she’s 14 months old and

- weighs a little over 17 pounds

- wears size 6-9 and 6-12 month clothing (though 9 month footy jammies are too short)

- eats bananas, cheerios, chicken, green beans, peaches, blueberries, watermelon, shredded pork…. pretty much anything soft

- can army crawl but hasn’t figured out how to really crawl yet

- still prefers to be upright, on her feet

- can clap, wave, and raise her hands (well, at least one) above her head for “alex is SO BIG”

- says “buh bye” and “mama” and some gibberish

- will laugh harder and louder for her sister than for anyone else; davey comes in second; mom & dad are a very DISTANT third

- still wearing her size 0-6 month Pediped shoes

- has very NARROW feet

- still drinks milk from a bottle

- is not a fan of water or apple juice

- appears to get very frustrated quite easily

there’s something about september

it’s wednesday today. i’m very thankful that today is a VERY DIFFERENT day than monday and tuesday.


on monday, sam woke up feeling pretty crummy. by 2 she was downright miserable. and very, VERY wheezy. i am SO THANKFUL for our WONDERFUL family doctor who added us to the end of their business day. and it was VERY worth the trip. sam needed a nebulizer treatment (which she also had back in May):

and we now own our own nebulizer to do these breathing treatments at home. poor girl.


thankfully she woke up on tuesday feeling MUCH better, though not back to normal. but davey woke up with a gnarly cough and a head cold. so i had to call Teacher Leslie and keep him out of school for the day (boo!).


as for Alex, she has been nothing but clingy and not-herself for over a week. i decided it was teething. i still think i’m right even though no new teeth have poked through yet. in the past 10 days, she’s had fevers, runny nose, coughing, sleepless nights and all-around crabbiness. poor girl. i think she also has a VERY sore throat now. but her disposition is returning to her chill-and-laid-back-self, so i’m thankful for that.


and to top it all off, i’ve acquired some head cold and i’ve been the one to get up with Alex at night, so it’s a brutal combination. but we ALL woke up this morning feeling about 100x better. THANK YOU JESUS, for bringing healing to our bodies!


today i finally finished a “to do” item from a list i created a month or so ago….. my ETSY shop once again has a few items in stock. i’m actively crafting but i’m just not getting many things into the shop. i have 5 shows coming up this fall and 2 of them are HUGE. yes. HUGE. so i’ve been busy spray painting and stitching and crimping and gluing for months. well, at least for weeks. :)  i have LOTS of ideas and i’m trying very hard to FOCUS myself so i can be REALISTIC about what i can accomplish in the next few weeks and months.


dave is still busy, busy, busy with work. he played guitar in church on Sunday and his fingers were SORE. it has been YEARS since he’s done that.





on a recent excursion with my mother-in-law, sisters-in-law and niece, i found some fun vintage/antique goodies down in Snohomish, Washington. not to be overlooked, i had a BETTER time spending a day SHOPPING & eating with my family. however, i didn’t take any photos of our adventure. my mother-in-law has one of us in the restaurant, but she’s on vacation right now so i can’t get it from her to share it with you. perhaps at a future date? but on to the purchases….


for YEARS i’ve been obsessed with old gym locker baskets. i’m not sure why b/c the thought of old sweaty gym shorts or dirty underwear being stored in these things grosses me out quite a bit. but it doesn’t stop me from LOVING the old metal. the endless possibilities of WHAT can be stored in them. that said, i about FLIPPED with excitement when i found THESE babies:

i was even MORE excited when i saw one of the locker numbers:

yep. that’s my house number. and since our house is for sale and we want to move, this was the PERFECT find… a little reminder of our first home. so i bit the bullet and decided to pay $35 for the one basket. that was WAY overpriced, but it was just…. well, perfect.


when i checked out, however, it turned out that the $35 price tag was for BOTH of the baskets. yes. BOTH! big score for me!


the first thing i actually picked out in the store, however, was a Coca-Cola crate. my friend JULIE has been hunting all summer for a good one at a decent price. one booth had a LOT of them for $15 each… the cheapest price i’ve ever seen for a coke crate at an antique store! some were in horrible condition. others were pretty good. i took photos, sent them to Julie and talked to her on the phone. somehow, we narrowed it down to ONE crate.


until i checked out. that’s when i learned they were 50% off! so instead of the one we picked out, i snagged a 2nd one for julie – who can resist a 2-for-the-price-of-1 deal?!

julie is pretty happy with me for this find! i can’t wait to see what she does with them.


i also picked up a few blocks with the kid’s initials and a few new “D” blocks (D for DUNKIN):


and another sewing drawer for display:


an old, metal number 5 (b/c we’re a family of 5) stencil and a yard of an old tape measure:


i think i did great. did i mention that the sewing drawer was 20% off (another thing i didn’t find out until check out)?! seriously… it was my day!



but before i end this post, there was one more thing i found that i couldn’t get out of my head:


half of the tag read “conversation piece.” the other half read “hotel _____” (i don’t remember what else it was called). my curiosity was piqued. and the gears in my mind were turning and turning and turning… wondering, thinking, planning…

it was only $14 and i couldn’t stop thinking about it. i kept trying to think of ways to re-invent it. and in the end, i bought it. and i need to do SOMETHING with it by the end of October (otherwise it’ll sit around for months, if not years, before i just sell it the same way i bought it). but i’m still not quite sure WHAT to do with it. but i KNOW that i could make it REALLY COOL (but i could also end up doing something more “home crafted” than cool). if you have any ideas or thoughts, please share them.


oh yeah… and the bonus? that wacky hotel “conversation piece” was on sale for 20% off!


so it was a good day. it was a LOOOONG day. and dave stayed home from work to take care of the kids for me and i’m so thankful he did.




what happens in vegas….

… makes an appearance on my blog!

(from left to right: Jimmy, Hillary, Audra, Bob, Dave… and I’m the photographer). we enjoyed a weekend (Thursday night to Sunday night) trip to Las Vegas during Labor Day weekend. we were checking out real estate for the possibility of opening a development (aka: computer geek) office there… and the possibility of our family MOVING there so dave could build and run the office.

Hillary is due (with her first!) in November. sweet baby Stella is inside there and this is actually Stella’s SECOND trip to Vegas (both trips “work related” for Stella’s daddy)!


we stayed at Wynn (from what i hear, it’s one of the nicest hotels on the strip). i will concur that it’s NIIIIIICE!

(see the hotel over Hillary’s left shoulder?).

We were up on the 55th floor (there are only 60 floors), which meant we got to take a special set of elevators that bypassed floors 2-37. these next two photos were taken from our window, which was actually one entire wall of our room:

[i can tell you that Wynn has a pretty nice gym. in fact, A&H are pretty good at working out VERY regularly. and i've been trying to "up my game" a bit (aka: i'm trying to not be such a couch potato) so i went to the gym with them. i had pretty much no idea what i was doing, but while waiting for a treadmill to become available, i rode a bike for 25 minutes. then i ran (for the first time in 14 years and 9 months - i kid you not!) for 20 minutes. i felt GREAT! not at all sore (i probably could've pushed a little harder on the run, but i didn't know how to operate the machine!). and later that day when i enjoyed gelato or ice cream or something else fatteningly delicious, i did NOT feel guilty!]


crazy, weird, large, cheap necklaces. no, we didn’t buy them. audra kept trying to “get” them. i think there’s nothing to “get” other than a pile of cheap plastic in your hands and less money in your pocket!

i must confess, i didn’t take all that many photos on our trip. in fact, we didn’t even take dave’s SLR on this trip! that said, you have now seen all the photos of the strip that i took. seriously. that’s it. if you’ve been to vegas, you probably understand. it’s just too hard to take photos… it’s overwhelming.



one night, Bob took us to the OLD las vegas strip, Fremont Street:

in an attempt to continue to attract tourists (and gamblers!?), they added a roof with crazy computer graphics (man, is that what you’d even call them?). personally, i’d rather see the sky. but whatever works, right?

hillary and i got a kick out of these birds sleeping in the parking garage:


on Saturday, Hillary and Audra stayed behind to enjoy the gym and the pool and other fine amenities while i joined the boys

for a visit to



we enjoyed the “full” tour

which afforded us an elevator ride down into the dam, a walk through a tunnel and a peek into the inner workings of the whole operation.

(see that hole? it’s an old explosive hole that was drilled into the rock to blast it out… so cool)! did you know that the Hoover Dam was called Boulder Dam for the first 14 (i think?) years. did you know that they finished it 2 YEARS ahead of schedule? did you know we had a socialist for a tour guide? yeah.


did you also know that the Hoover Dam is in Nevada AND in Arizona? my geography is pretty bad, but i had NO IDEA that Las Vegas was that close to Arizona. (perhaps it’s time for me to look at a map?). Dave and i (per my request) were real “tourists” here… we put our feet in both states at once. i can’t help it: i’m a sucker for stuff like that. (i’m also a sucker for squashed pennies… and i scored TWO good ones at the gift shop).


it was freakin’ HOT that day. well over 100 on the Strip, which means in the desert, in the afternoon, with all that concrete, it could easily get up to 120*.  i’m glad we were headed AWAY from the dam by noon!


we enjoyed lunch at an IN-N-OUT and then we visited a few residential open houses. we found a SWEET set up for just under $600K. A 5000 sq foot house with an in ground pool and a 1400 sq foot guest house all on a (just smaller than) 1-acre lot. by the time we got back to the hotel it was almost 4 and the girls were done working out AND relaxing by the pool. i joined them for some shopping while jimmy & dave hit the pool and bob spent time on the phone talking about the house!


as silly as these are, these are two of my favorite photos from this trip:


on Sunday, dave and i talked about going to the hotel pool together. but then he got a text from Bob and i agreed to let him go with the boys on an adventure. a few hours later, he showed me this:


yep. they went to The Gun Store. and shot some guns. dave and jimmy shot a Beretta M9 (hand gun), a WW2 grease gun and another fully automatic rifle (perhaps an MP5?). bob shot some different weapons.

my biggest worry was weather or not any of them would get stopped by airport security for having gun powder or residue on their hands or shirts or shoes!


we spent the afternoon dinking around before our evening flight home. and, i am thankful to say, our flight home was much QUIETER than our flight TO vegas several days earlier. there were 3 people kicked off our flight…. rumor has it they were a bit inebriated.


while we really enjoyed the trip (we were REALLY spoiled), we decided that Vegas (or Henderson, a suburb) isn’t the right fit for us and our family. we’re willing to move there temporarily, if need be, but not permanently. and it was wonderful to come home to sleeping children and a day off (for dave) on Monday!


[for those of you wondering, our children were cared for by a combination of Grandpa&Grandma and our dear friend Carrilee. our children were well loved and well cared for during our adventure. we are SO THANKFUL to have had this opportunity!]

a few weeks ago….

it seems like he just got home from spring semester. and yet, he’s already gone. back to chicago for fall semester. (uncle) tom, we miss you. a lot. we didn’t see nearly enough of you this summer… perhaps we can correct that when you’re home for Christmas?


when tom left for school last january, alex was only 5+ months old. i think she looks (and acts) a bit older now.


it’s not any easier now than it was last january to get a photo of all three of these cuties with their uncle tom!


i love the relationship that davey and samantha have with their uncle tom. they ADORE him. and i think it’s REALLY cool that a 22-year old “kid” will babysit his nieces and nephew (for pay) to spend a little more time with them.


tom, if you’re reading this, we miss you. study hard. and come home soon!



teacher Leslie has owned and operated her own pre school (My First School) out of her home for 27 years. she is now teaching the children of some of her first students! weird. and cool.


i found her through my dear friend Julie. Leslie is Julie’s mom. she is calm, patient, caring, loving, fun, friendly, intelligent and so much more. i can hardly WAIT for davey to go to school every Tuesday and Thursday morning. not because i’m eager to get rid of him, but because i’m eager for him to have a little more Leslie in his life. i think that says a lot.


we didn’t have a ton of extra time on his first day of school (tuesday, august 30, 2011), but i did have time to snap a few photos on the porch swing at our house:


and some sibling love:


i had hoped this photo would be bigger. apparently i need to change the photo setting on my phone. but i LOVE this shot. he is SO EXCITED to go to school!


[the weather that day was pretty crummy. it rained, which spoiled my plans for fun with sam and alex. we were going to go to the park (one of sam's FAVORITE places) to make it a SPECIAL day for her, too. it was pretty hard for her to be at home with no play mate. she kept asking for davey - moments like that melt my heart. she's slowly getting used to having him gone for a few hours. she LOVES to go into school, though, to pick him up at the end of his day!]


we did make Rice Krispy treats just before we left to pick up davey from school. i thought he would enjoy a special “first day of school” treat after lunch (and this mommy was right)!

the NW Washington Fair

i was very thankful that dave took off one friday so we could visit the nw washington fair as a family.


we enjoyed some animals, especially newborn calves and piglets:

(those black piglets belonged to a friend of ours).



we also bumped into Tim, Carrilee, Henry, Jorja and Albert in the kiddie rides area. they all had wrist bands. dave and i bought some ride tickets for D&S

and we learned the hard way that WE would need ride tickets, too, since our kids were young enough that they often needed a parent with them. oops. HOORAY for tim & carrilee…. THEY rode with our kids to allow our kids to MAXIMIZE the number of rides they could get with their tickets.


they started with the airplane:

and moved on to the dragon roller coaster:

(which sam HATED… she was actually CRYING when she got off the ride).


then it was time for the hot air balloon (which sam did NOT want to ride):


followed by the dragon ride:


the “Al” babies (Albert and Alexandra) enjoyed watching their older siblings:


and then davey was out of tickets. but sam had enough for one more ride. just one. so she and auntie Carrilee enjoyed a spin on the race track:



and then there were a few “i want to ride with henry!” whines while we attempted to drag our children away from their friends, away from the rides and away from the temptation of buying MORE ride tickets!


we ended up having lunch on a blanket with the Dyck family. dave and i each ended up with a giant (think Renaissance Faire) turkey leg:


and after another hour or so of wandering around the Fair, we enjoyed a chocolate milkshake (or two):

before heading home for late naps. maybe next year we’ll enjoy a family morning and then a date night evening?!  and next year we WILL buy ride wristbands. they might be birthday presents, but i think it’ll be money well spent!


where did the month of august go?


it has been brought to my attention that i’ve been SLACKING (pretty seriously) here on the blog. i could give you a long list of excuses and reasons and they’d all be valid. but i don’t want to bore you. and i don’t want to complain or whine. so here we are.


posts yet to come (hopefully) soon (and in no certain order):

- davey starts preschool

- the NW Washington fair

- Las Vegas, Baby!

- farewell, uncle Tom

- antiquing with the girls