Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Monday, August 30, 2010

Walk this Way

I finally caught a little bit of Michael walking on video! He is also doing his other favorite activity which is head banging with the bars on the stairway. He is so funny, he will start to do this anytime music starts to play! It is so cute.

I'm not entirely sold on the soundtrack to this clip...I will have to keep looking for good clips to use. Any suggestions?

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Zoo Crew

Yesterday it was so nice out we decided to enjoy the weather and head to the zoo with a group of mom friends. We got there right when they opened and had the place pretty much to ourselves aside from some other young children- definitely a perk to going after school starts!

Michael loved looking at everything and didn't make a peep the whole time. I think his favorite were these goats because he could get up close to see them.

I had my new camera with me to take some photos, but I got all flustered in the moment and didn't take very good pictures. It is definitely one thing to shoot photos at home but taking it out on adventures is another thing! Hopefully I will get better with time.

Michael was being such a good boy and kept his hat on the entire time we were at the zoo! He must have been very distracted!

We had a great time and can't wait to do it again!

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Put it on a stick and call it a kabob!

HyVee puts out a weekly circular and for some reason, I find it really fun to look at. It's like grocery shopping without leaving the house!

I came across this page and I thought all these kabobs looked really good.

Then I looked at the photo closer....

Are they serious? Is HyVee really selling these? Can you put anything on a stick and call it a kabob?


Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The end of summer

These cooler temperatures around here have really made it feel like the end of summer. It is absolutely perfect out right now. Michael was sleeping in his carseat so I wandered around and watered some plants and just soaked it all in. It is a perfect day.

We went to our sing a long this morning and I had a lot of fun. We actually got there early and had time to grab a table, a coffee and some chat time before the music started. Michael really wanted to crawl around the whole room and touch all the other kids with his goober-ry hands. He even surprised the other moms with walking a few steps on his own! Yay, Michael!

Jester Park has been so nice to go to on these nice days. I had a trunk full of instruments for school the other day so I couldn't take my stroller and we explored in the baby carrier instead. It was fun to get off the path!

And of course it wouldn't be park time without some swinging!

I hope you all are enjoying this beautiful day also! I'm just updating, eating a quick lunch and then I am off to school to do some more instrument tryouts with 5th graders-wish me (and my hearing) good luck!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

A Day in Photos

Michael has discovered lift the flap books and loves them! Even more so than the touchy feely books.

I found a bunch of great books about music to use in my classroom...who would have thought of checking the library? So glad I am still learning next things in my 6th year of teaching!

Michael's still working on his steps! He is getting closer!

Zinnias. I love them-have I told you that yet? I'm planting them everywhere next year!

Could this cat be any lazier? Sometimes I swear he doesn't move from this spot all day.
All. Day.

Monday, August 23, 2010

Back to our regularly scheduled playtime

Gosh, last week was so crazy with all my teacher meetings, getting ready for the school year, hosting family, and the state fair. I am definitely ready for a "normal" week!

This week is the first full week of school starting so I will be back to my part time schedule. It is a little different right now because starting in about 6 weeks I will be teaching every day with the addition of a long term subbing gig. This new job is a huge blessing and kind of funny how it just appeared out of nowhere.

After going part-time this year I felt like I was really neglecting my career. I've been seeing lots of friends do great things with their jobs and I felt a little left out. So I guess I need to be careful what I wish for? :o) I think working every day will be a good reality check for a couple months and then we'll see where life takes us after that!

But for now, we are just doing two days a week and I am glad to have a slower week than last! Michael and I have lots of playing to catch up on-we have library time, sing a long time, walks and playing with friends. Here's to a new week!

Saturday, August 21, 2010

Embrace the Camera

Embrace the Camera is a trend going around mom-type blogs about making a concious effort to embrace the camera and take pictures with your little ones. How many pictures do you have of you and your baby? I can tell you how many I have-just a few. I love the ones we had done, especially his newborn ones when he was first born.

So I was sitting downstairs with my macbook and waiting for Scott to join me for our evening movie (heaven forbid I start the movie without him- and we also watched Invictus, it was disappointingly not as good as I had heard) so I thought I would embrace the camera and take a photo with photo booth.

Only there was one problem: Michael was asleep!

I grabbed the next best thing- my other baby...Scampy!

Thursday, August 19, 2010

State Fair Highlights

It's Iowa State Fair time!
The official end to summer!
The biggest event of the year!

I've been going to the state fair ever since I can remember. My family used to camp (all 6 of us!) in a little pop up camper in the campground and we'd do everything at the fair. I think it is kind of nice my parents still go and camp even though none of us kids stay with them anymore.

Scott and I headed out after he got off work on the first night of the fair, which is our little tradition. It was super hot, but I think it kept the crowds away. I read in the paper attendance was down 20,000 people from last year on the first day. Yikes.

Anyway, our first stop was at the Nadas concert. I've loved the Nadas ever since I heard them play coincidentally at the state fair when I was in the state fair queen contest way back in 2002. They are a local band that got their start in Ames and when I was finally old enough, I used to love seeing them at a local establishment in town. So, so fun. Sometimes I really miss those days. Anyway, the concert was good and we actually had seats to sit in.

Scott bought us some beers. He didn't tell me how much they cost until we got home. Yikes!

After the show we wandered down into my favorite part of the fairgrounds-the garden! I've gotten so many ideas from here and each year they do new things. I loved these purple flowers, especially the two different types of sweet potato vine next to each other. I'm totally doing that!

We then headed over to the Cattleman's tent for dinner. This was a hard choice for us because we usually eat at the Pork tent, but Scott thought would eat there later in the week with his parents so we chose beef. Beef vs. Pork...we have such hard decisions to make in Iowa. :o)

We got there late so luckily there was no line! Yay!

Scott had a ribeye sandwich and I had a roast beef sandwich and I think mine was better and also cheaper. He complained about it the whole night-ha!

Michael had his first french fry, which he was not very excited about. He wasn't sure what to do with it.

After dinner we headed over to the 4H building to see my sister's 4H project that made it to state. I am claiming some of the credit since she borrowed the idea from my famous 4H project about how being in high school band changed my life. And propelled me into being a lifelong band nerd. That is a story for another time.

Her project was so cute and I loved the shadowbox. I've never done one before-maybe she can help me next time she comes over! Great job, Denise!

Somewhere along the adventures at the state fair, Scott got sidetracked by the Toro lawn mower display. He was *really* excited. I don't get it.

The last stop of the night was a Bauder's ice cream sandwich that we shared while listening to another free concert (the Sioux City Rockestra). They were both good! We had a fun time watching all the fair-goers and saw lots of sleeping babies in their strollers. Of course, ours was still wide awake! Too much action!

We took one quick loop through the midway and then we were headed home.

It was a great night!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

What's this?

Michael has really been enjoying hanging out in the yard while I get some work done and it makes my life a bit easier! He loves to explore everything with his little fingers and give it a taste. He is such a little boy.

It has been great weather the last few days and I am so sad I've had to spend them inside at school meetings. :o( I am adjusting my schedule a bit this year so I will be excited when it is my day "off" on Friday!

Friday, August 13, 2010

Front garden: Before and After!

You asked for it, so I'm back with more amazing before and after garden shots!

Okay, you didn't really ask for it but I am just having lots of fun with this. So bear with me! If I was really organized, I would have evolving photos from each area of my yard from each year. How cool would that be?

I'll get right on that.

Here is the "before", taken in early May. Notice the green maiden grass that we moved down by the pond (hmm...should check on that is doing) and all the scraggly dead fountain grass we removed to make way for the new.

Yes, I swear those salvia were that bright!

Here is a "during" which was taken on my iphone in June. Notice the teeny tiny petunias and purple fountain grass.

Here is is today:

The salvia is getting pretty scraggly although it is still blooming a little bit and I try to keep it pruned up a bit. The petunias have exploded and this photo does not do them justice! I love them!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

Sunshine Day!

Wow, it is sunny out today. Lots of sunshine. So much that it is over 100 degrees today!

Michael left for daycare earlier than usual this morning so I had some time this morning when it was "cooler" to get outside for some exercise. First of all, we did not do well with the early pick up time! I was really scrambling, especially since Michael hasn't been waking up until 7:30 most mornings. By the time we did breakfast and got all dressed, it was time to go! How do you moms do it? I need to get my act together!

The run outside was terrible. I thought I would actually be proactive this morning about using sunscreen since it was so sunny. I was feeling great about myself and only when I got home to look in the mirror I realized I didn't rub it in all the way. Yep, I ran around my entire neighborhood and pranced down the road with my face totally white. Lovely. It was so hot and humid out; I think I will be staying inside for the rest of the day!

Remember when I was complaining about my sweet potato vine not growing well? I think something was eating it, so I put out lots of
poison and now it is doing great! The hot sun really causes it to grow like a weed.

The Zinnias are doing well also- my first plant I've ever grown from seed! It was super easy and I can't wait to do it again next year. They are so bright and cheery. I originally wanted to grow some so I could have them for cut flower arrangements, but they are so pretty outside I can't bear to cut them!

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Before and Afters

I love this time of year!

Everything in my garden is really peaking right now. We've had lots of hot sun and rain the last few weeks and while usually things are dying in August, my little plants are going strong.

I've also discovered a love of Roundup this season and despite a couple of bare patches in the grass where I sprayed and some lost petunias, my weed destroying has been successful. My husband even bought me a huge 3 gallon pressure sprayer to get the job done! It has really cut down on the amount of hours I spent pulling weeds, especially the pesky ones like dandelions that don't pull up easily. So...secret's out!

My front pots are doing great! I love this sweet potato vine with the multi-color leaves because it goes well with the brick. It has kind of taken over the petunias, but I like it anyway.

Remember the big landscaping project we did this spring? (here and here are some refreshers!) Here is the before and after of all the new plants I planted in May. Everything has done so well here, mostly because it gets watered frequently by the lawn system. I'm pretty sure I only watered it with the hose a handful of times, if even that many! It is the ultimate way to be a lazy gardener! I really like the black eyed susans because they are so bright and cheery and you can see them well from the road. I still have some filling in to do in some spots but we'll see how things come up in the spring. I'm totally done with planting for this year! Now it is time to enjoy the fruits of my (minimal) labor!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Living in the dark ages...

Hello, readers! We have had quite the issue at our house the past few days...our internet has been down. Yeah, I know. So I am updating from Panera Bread, eating a big salad and enjoy a diet Pepsi. How did I earn such a treat, you ask? Well, I ran 2 miles in 92 degree heat with lots of humidity this morning! I was going to get out of the house as soon as I dropped Michael off at daycare, but then I decided I needed a little midmorning nap instead. My 10 minute catnap during Jersey Shore reruns turned into a two hour snoozefest instead and I had to run outside at noon. Ugh, I was sweaty to say the least!

Next week I start school again so I am trying to enjoy one of my last days off to myself. I have been helping a friend with his summer lesson program so that has been getting me excited to get back to teaching, but still-I feel like summer just started! My garden is just finally starting to look good! The state fair starts this week!

So hopefully we'll get our internet fixed soon so I can update you with all the fun things that have been going on lately! Have a good one and stay cool!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Weekend at the Lake

Earlier this month we went on a little last minute camping/boating trip down to a lake a couple hours south. It was lots of fun! Beautiful weather and great friends...what more could you ask for?

Michael had a great time on his first tent camping trip. We were a little worried about how he would do, but he did great!

Scott hauled the boat down and we had a fun afternoon getting some sun and doing some wakeboarding. It was awesome! Michael even had a great time-he napped lots on the boat!

The next morning we woke up early and packed up because of an impending storm. We decided to hit up the hotel at the park to check it out and it was beautiful! I took this cool photo of the massive fireplace in the lobby using my favorite program, yes-you guessed it- autostitch!

It was a great weekend and hopefully it becomes an annual trip!

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Michael's 9 Month Portrait Proofs

We had Michael's 9 month portraits taken a few weeks ago on one of the hottest evenings of the year!

Luckily, they turned out great and we love them! Our photographer emailed me some web-res photos to share. I hope you enjoy them as much as I do!

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