Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Playing Dead

If you have a place in your heart for dogs with a sense of humor, you'll want to check out this video excerpt (on youtube) from David Letterman's Stupid Pet Tricks.

Casey hopes to teach Claddagh to "play dead" very soon. Actually...she does that pretty well already. Here's a shot of her with an impressive "drool bubble".

Spring is Here

Three summers ago, with the help of family, Casey and I landscaped our front and back yards. We bought the house I grew up in from my dad and let's just say...landscaping hadn't necessarily been our first priority for many years. Unless...does mowing the lawn count? I didn't think so.

Well, so landscaping wasn't our second...or third priority either. To say that we overhauled the yard after buying the house would truly be an understatement. I could not believe the number of comments we got from passersby and neighbors, even our mailman had an opinion. But I digress...

There is a bed at the front of the house that, historically, could kill anything (my mom can attest that nothing would grow). We found out first hand when we planted five spirea and two of them were dead before summer's end. I stood out there and watered for what seemed like hours every day, but it just wasn't enough. The heat of the sun beat on the bricks and just baked the plants in the bed. (unintentional, yet impressive alliteration, no??) The spirea were replaced and after hooking up a soaker hose (best thing ever!) the sun was welcomed because we had underestimated how much water the plants actually needed.

However, even pre-soaker hoses when nothing would grow, there would always be a random tulip or two from years ago that would poke it's colorful head and bloom without fail. While they're pretty and I appreciate their hard work, they kind of screw up the "look" we're going for, so I would carefully pluck them - bulb and all - to restore the unity of the bed. Try as I might, I haven't been able to get them all.

This year is no exception. From behind the spirea, which so far aren't much to look at, peaks one fancy, red tulip (and some unsightly weeds, but they're not the point). Now, my thumb is only very light green and I'm still amazed by perennials (aren't you?), so when I look at the tulip I can't help but be proud of it. Good for you, Tulip, for braving the ridiculous Wisconsin winter and coming back this year. It's nice to see you again and I'm happy to have you as a reminder that spring is, in fact, finally here (nevermind the snow we had two weeks ago).

Since I couldn't be more excited for spring and days spent outside...this year at least, the tulip stays.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

thank you, little girl i don't know

Thank you, anonymous little girl in the West Bend area. Thank you for outgrowing your adorable, painted, four poster bed. I'm guessing you're not little anymore and your parents (or you, since I'm sure you have an opinion) thought it was time to move into a full or queen size bed. The bigger version of a big girl bed. I promise Mallory will love it like any little girl should.

Also, thank you to your parents for donating it to the local St. Vincent de Paul. (And thank you to St. Vinnie's for only charging $35.88 for it!)
Thank you, little girl, for deciding you could do without this small dresser and fantastic-for-our-average-sized-bedrooms storage solution of a hutch. You've probably moved on to more age appropriate storage...a chic bookshelf or a practical desk. This will be perfect for Mallory some day. I imagine she will be very particular about which animals are allowed to sleep on each shelf and which toys and keepsakes are worthy of being displayed. This is all, of course, several years from now, since she doesn't yet know these things matter to little girls.
Lastly, thanks for this extremely versatile dresser/chest/oversized night table. I can see this piece living on long after the others. Mallory could re-purpose this many times over, as a catch all for crayons and trinkets or treasures from outside like week-old dandelions she thought were pretty or a rock in the shape of a heart. Oh, and a special thanks for the yellow, smiley face band-aid. I'm guessing there was no extra charge for that. (click on the picture to see it...)
I appreciate the pieces matching, though I can't promise they'll continue to look this way. I hope you'll forgive us if we paint them. It's too soon to tell how they'll end up.
Phone call between Casey and I the day Meme and I found these pieces at St. Vinnies:
Me: (smiling) Hi, so........I found a bed and some other pieces for Mallory's room.
Casey: (confused) A bed? Does she need a bed?
Me: (matter of factly) Well, not today, but someday she will.
Casey: (laughing because he knows I'm not asking for permission) You know she's 6 months old, right?
Me: (anxious) Yes, but how can I leave them here when they're so perfect?
Casey: (mildly sarcastic and still laughing) You're absolutely right, we need to have them. I can't wait to see them.
Me: (happy) Okay, I just wanted to make sure you felt the same way.

Monday, April 27, 2009

Big Girl

Is it...
her blue jeans??
the concerned look??
the HAIR??
her silly smile?

Why does our not-even-8-month-old look like such a big girl???

Hello Pretty, Little, Baby Teeth

Mallory's first two teeth snuck their way into her mouth at the beginning of April.

Aren't they cute??

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Waiting for Daddy

Friday, April 24, 2009

A Trip to the Park

Today we met my friend, Penny and her son, Alex at Regner Park. This was Mallory's first time at a park...hello swings!

I had to stuff her blanket and my jacket behind her in the swing so she wouldn't wobble forward and back when the swing moved.
Hmm, just as I thought...zippers are cold and hard. Perfect to chew on.
(Based on her current whiny, cuddly, sensitive, indifferent attitude the last couple days, in combination with the fact that she's on a baby food strike again and has been slightly feverish, I think we have more teeth on the horizon.)
Can you tell I am tired??
Alex, headed for the slide...
He has the perfect "camera smile"
Pretty baby ready to go down the slide
(she wasn't sure how she felt about it afterward)
"What is this tickly stuff??? Make is stop!"
An hour was enough "fun" for one day. Yay for park weather!!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Swimming "Lessons"

Mallory had her first experience in the swimming pool today. We signed up for a "Mommy and Me" class at the YMCA. She was quite vocal about it and seemed to really enjoy herself. I got lots of smiles from her and she even got excited when the instructor swam around with her.

My friend, Sarah, was teaching a class at the Y right before ours started so she was excited when I asked her to take a few pictures. Unfortunately, the pool didn't prove to be so conducive to pictures...blurry, water reflections, lots of movement, etc. She still managed to get plenty of cute shots and we're glad to have it documented!
Mallory laughed when I poured water over her head.

Five other babies in the class-two boys and three girls
(including a girl I went to high school with whose daughter is 6 months old)
Casey's not sure how he feels about Mallory's "topless" debut...
She got to hold a rubber duckie while "swimming" across the pool. She never let go and kicked her feet all the way across.

(she LOVED the splashing water!)

Swimming across the pool trying to catch the ball floating in front of her.

LOVED swimming on her tummy and kicking her legs...I kept calling her "frog legs".
...excited to splash and kick...
She couldn't get comfortable on her back. She didn't want to relax her neck and shoulders or even bend her legs to kick her feet.
She was really QUITE proud of herself!
(Thanks, Finley, for donating your tiny, baby, swimming suit.)

Monday, April 20, 2009

Happy Birthday, Dad!

My dad is 57 years old today. I'm not sure how old he is in this picture (7 or 8??), but I've had it since I was like 10. Probably younger. He gave it to me to display in my room and if anyone asked who it was I was to tell them it was my boyfriend. Not many fathers are anxious for their little girls to have boyfriends so young, but I suppose they can make an exception when it's a picture of themself.

Happy Birthday, Dad.
I love you.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Grandpa's Birthday Dinner

We went to my dad and Lynn's house tonight for dinner to celebrate my dad's birthday (tomorrow).

Pre-dinner we played...
Post-dinner we played some more...
This rocking chair belonged to my dad when he was a little boy. Kevin and I grew up using it and it's been in our attic since we've outgrown it. My dad recently refinished the chair so it could live on with our kids. Mallory enjoyed it so much she wanted to eat it. She pulled herself toward it and immediately opened her mouth, Grandpa is just holding her up.