Saturday, January 31, 2009

Dude Man Video

We've had some requests from folks to hear the kids and see some video. I'm still working on some of Haley, but here's Kale running in the swing in the park in Black Forest. You'll notice that he's mostly just grunting right now, and (you won't see it in the video, but) he does a lot of squealing and screeching.

Sooo happy to be living here

If I've said it once, I've said it 1,000 times - we LOVE Colorado Springs! It was a complete act of God that we ended up with an assignment that landed us out here and we couldn't be happier. I once said I could live here forever if it only had a Jack in the Box, well, they opened one about 2 weeks ago. Guess this is it! Here are some pictures we took of the beautiful sunset we had this evening and the mountains. LOVE IT!!! Feel free to come visit anytime - but no guest beds in this house, you'll be sleeping in the loft!

Pikes Peak is the big one just left of center.

Something in the air

Haley has apparently sensed my curiosity in playing with the camera, as she recently picked it up and took these pictures. We didn't know that she took them till we were looking at them on the camera and Jeff asked me what these were of.

The ceiling (you can tell because there is a smoke detector in it)

Her self portrait. Haley, age 2.

More of the ceiling, I'm a little surprised it's not the floor because she loves to "look, I look".


Someday, when I have time (so don't hold your breath), I'm going to learn to be a good photographer, if for no other reason than to have frozen memories of my babies and also to decorate my house. For now, my camera is just a point and click Canon SX110, but it's great, reviews said it's difficult to take a bad picture, and sure enough.

Today we had a rare warm day here in Colorado Springs and decided we would take the kids to the park up in Black Forest. I've been struggling with my camera and need to sit down and see read the manual as my flash tends to really wash things out. I was excited at the time of day that we went to the park because the natural lighting was perfect and required no flash what so ever. Here are some of the great pictures we got of the kids (and Jeff).

Haley catching some air with Daddy - I never realized how high he actually threw her. Now I fully understand why they say that dads help teach kids trust.

Kale, acting bigger than he really is on his sisters bike. We promised him for his 1st birthday we would get him a bike that isn't pink and purple (no hand-me-downs on this one).

I think this is my new favorite picture of the Dude Man.

She was so excited because she threw her pine cone.

My boys. I think this is my favorite shot of the day, this one will definitely be printed and hung up.

Just hanging out on my blanket, isn't he a doll? I don't know how I don't reach out every day and pinch those cheeks!

Monday, January 26, 2009

Our Other Kids

I realized that I've spent a lot of the last few posts putting up info and pictures of the kids. I guess that's how it goes now for the dogs since the kids have come along. They used to be #1 and you never could have convinced me it would ever change with kids, that I would ever have less time for the pups. I don't think we love them less (they still get to have their places in our room at night), but we just love the kids so much more. Anyway, here are some pictures I took of our other kids the other day.

Poor Innocent Atlas, or maybe he looks guilty - it's all about the same for him. I could have killed him the other day when he unloaded all of his bladder on Haley's toy box. But for the most part he's a pretty good guy. Our wedding present to each other, but he and Jeff are two peas in a pod. Probably one of the most handsome guys I've ever met, he's 5 years old and still isn't done with his puppy behavior (when others are around anyway), but when it's just us, he likes to lay around on cold floors.

My Bella-Smella! Haley thought that she should wear her wings the other day, and since Bella is so laid back and will do anything for attention, I put them on her. I think she's hiding in this picture.

This one shows her real opinion of having her pictures taken with fairy wings on. Bella was my birthday present in 2004 when we first got out to Montana. She's the perfect dog, her temperament is ideal, she's smart as a whip and just wants to hear you call her a good girl, tell her she's been bad and her head falls and she pins her ears back. She's spends most of her time under my feet - if I'm on the couch, she's right below me on the floor, at night she sleeps on my side of the bed (right where I put my feet down to get out).

Now That's a Real Friend!

We're finally getting our fence put in! This is a great day because the poor puppies have had to live with a tiny 15x15 foot chicken wire enclosure off the back porch when we actually own a bit more than a 1/4 acre. But that's not the purpose of this post.

We met Bill and Crystal before they were married when we were just newlyweds ourselves (actually, Jeff has known Bill since the Academy, but as friends, that goes back to 2003). Bill and Jeff were "Crew Partners" at Vandenberg (no, that's not a metaphor for anything) where they did all of their missileer training. We've since followed each other to Montana, and now here to Colorado. In fact, they live just diagonally behind us here (or, within stumbling distance). We truly don't know what we would do without them as our friends - they let us live in their basement for about 3 months while we waited for our house to be done, and now, Bill's been back from deployment for about 2 weeks (and is still climitazing) however, he volunteered to come over and help us put our fence in. The weather this weekend was below freezing and even snowing at times (so cold that there are still 2 holes that couldn't be dug because the ground was too frozen for the auger to go through).

As up and down as life is in the Air Force sometimes, were it not for it, we would never have met such great lifelong friends.

Bill and Jeff (fighting the frozen hose) to cement the fence post in while it snows.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

My baby is 2! My how time flies!

Yup, it's official, we've had all the parties required for Haley to be called a 2 year old! It's amazing to me how far she's come in these two years. I remember back to when she was so tiny and brand new; when we had to use our own brand new parental intuition to find out what she needed and now only two short years later she walks, talks (a lot) and has so much individuality and personality. She's such a neat little person in the making.

Here are some pictures from her 2nd birthday. We took a walk through Party City and she decided she wanted an "Abby Dabby!" (or Abby Cadabby as most people know her) birthday.

Presents were definitely a highlight for her, but can you blame her, between Christmas and her birthday she really only gets one time a year to open presents.

Books, one of her most favorite things in the world.

Dress up clothes, another one of her most favorite things in the world. I don't know who liked it more in this picture - Haley or Daddy!

We sang her Happy Birthday on her actual birthday and when we lit the candles she freaked out. On her first birthday we lit the cupcake and put it down in front of her and she reached for the flame, burning her hand so it's no wonder she was afraid of it. Never the less here we are a year later. So we practiced for a week and when we lit the candles, we made it to "Happy birthday to you" before she blew them out. We lit them again while we all kept singing and she blew them out again. I guess that since it was her 2nd birthday, she figured she got to blow them out twice. She had a ball!

Playing with her most favorite toy from the party - her baby tubby. She carries that around with all of her supplies and her baby dolls and gives them baths.

Her birthday present from Daddy and Mommy - a roller coaster in her living room (can't wait for summertime when we have a back yard to put it in).

Here are some other highlights from the past week of my growing 2 year old.
Her chocolate face from the chocolate covered Leibniz cracker that she got as a snack the other day.

Dressed up in her dress up clothes from Uncle Sonny and Auntie Krystal. I think the look on her face is part of "Cheese" for the camera. Hindsight 20/20, I wish I'd never taught her to say that - we never get a natural smile out of her anymore. We're on our way to Sears tonight for their pictures and we've been working on "Show me a pretty smile" in the mirror.

Her play date with Hailey Madison - her partner in dress-up crime. They're sitting down to snack at her new table from Grandma.

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

"Schnow-Man" Cookies!

Lately Haley's taken a real interest in what's going on in the kitchen (perhaps because it's right off the family room, or because we as a family spend so much time in there), so my last trip to the commissary I saw these "Schnow-Man" cookies and knew she would get a kick out of them (they were also my back up plan in case we didn't have real sugar cookies for Santa). We finally got to them this weekend and she LOVED helping mommy make cookies.
Helping me put the cookies onto the cookie sheet.

Getting caught "sampling" the unfinished product. She was quality control.

Are they done yet?

8-10 minutes is a long time to wait when you're almost 2!

Still baking (she had lost interest by now).

Eating the cookies of our labor!

The finished "Schnow-Man!" cookies.
It was a great time, and the perfect project for her attention span. I hope that one day she enjoys being in the kitchen helping me bake bigger projects (like cupcakes for her birthday party this weekend).

Mommy-Haley Breakfasts

Now that I'm a mom of two, I find that one of my biggest struggles is making sure that I get to spend quality time with both of my kids. A lot of days are definitely one sided depending on what stage each one of them is in. Saturday morning Haley came into our room bright and earl as she does every morning and I asked her what she would like to have for breakfast. She told me "buh-bye car". I asked her if she wanted to go out to breakfast and she said her emphatic "Yes" through binky teeth. I asked Jeff if he wanted to go out for breakfast too and he suggested that she and I go out by ourselves for a girls breakfast. We had such a great time just the two of us sitting at the table at IHOP. We colored, traced our hands, made funny faces at each other and just had fun without Kale or Daddy to steal each others attention. It was so much fun. It's my hope that we can continue to do this as Haley continues to get older.
This is the self portrait we took before we headed out that morning. The binky's days are numbered (especially when they hide her beautiful "CHEESE" smile).