Wednesday, November 12, 2008


Happy many-weeks-after-Halloween! Rachael was a bumblebee this year--pretty cute! She was pretty sick of her costume by the time Halloween rolled around, though. She wore it to downtown Royal Oak's trick-or-treating event one weekend, then wore it most of the day at daycare the day of by the time we were heading out to trick-or-treat around our neighborhood, she was DONE with Halloween. That's cool. I got my $12.50's worth out of her super-fine Target costume. ;-)
Here are some more pics:
"Momma, his HEAD comes off!!"

Sitting with her Jack-o-lantern (groovy carving, Dave....)

And, for a little perspective, a pic from Rachael's first Halloween (2006). Awww....

Our little Bumblebee today!

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Fall Is Here!

Yay, it's fall! I'd been dreading fall a bit, mainly because I had a couple of long-ish road trips for work, but now that they are over, I'm settling into enjoying my favorite season.

We went last weekend to find Halloween pumpkins. Rachael loved riding around in the wagon at the pumpkin place! Here are some pics from our trip:

Happy fall! :-)

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Getting Ready for Winter...

It's strange to be thinking about winter when it's still warm enough for shorts and t-shirts, but today we went out shopping for Rachael's winter coat and snow pants. Last year I waited until Rach actually NEEDED such things (end of October-ish), and I ended up buying from the pile of rubble that was the winter coat selection. So I was a bit more proactive this year.

Anyhoo, this is the coat we ended up getting--we have the matching snow pants too. Cool, eh? I wish I could get away with wearing a shiny pink coat. ;-) If you're looking for little kid outerwear, Gap had a lot of cool stuff to pick from, and their prices were in line with Carter's and other common outerwear haunts. Gymboree only had coats available online last I checked (not in stores for a few more weeks, they said), but the few they had online were insanely expensive. If you are insane, be sure to purchase your toddler's winter coat from Gymboree online. Heh.

Friday, September 5, 2008

If this hadn't been at a brunch buffet, this would be disgusting

We went to brunch last weekend at Fox Hills, home of the best brunch on the planet. It's a rare friend Kim and I both happened to have won brunch passes earlier in the summer, so the five of us (Kim and Mike, Dave, Rach and me) headed to Plymouth for a morning of gluttony. That is when David appeared at our table with a piece of cake and a strip of bacon. Only at brunch would it ever seem OK to have cake and bacon on the same plate...and even at's a stretch. ;-)

I applaud your creative menu, sweetie! Good thing this isn't anything close to our usual meals!

Friday, August 8, 2008

Zoos and Tutus

Busy day today! Rach and I went to the zoo this morning with our friends Kristin, Gabby, and Sophia. We had a great time--Rachael enjoyed the reptiles the most, mainly because she could get right next to the glass and see the animals an inch away from her face. The poor turtles are probably scarred for life after seeing Rachael's nose pressed against the glass like that. Beyond that, her favorite part was running around the zoo's playground...oh, and eating lunch. :-) Here's a pic of her, zoo-ready (thanks, Jim, for the sunglasses!):

I admit, I was looking forward to Rachael sleeping for hours when we got home. After all that running around in the sun, I was expecting a 2.5 hour nap from her. I was wrong. So wrong... After refusing to sleep (and ignoring my pleas), Rachael got up, cranky and over-tired, demanding entertainment. And of course she wasn't interested in puzzles, blocks, outside....UGH. Desperate, I ended up having her try on the tutu I'd picked up at the Gymboree outlet.

Hee hee....she dug it! Her tired eyes lit up as she started twirling around in the filmy tulle. A girl should never need a reason to throw on a tutu, even if it's paired up with a dirty shirt, right?

And *any* tutu is set off perfectly by mom's (gigantic) brown sandels:

So glad I took today off work! Zoos and tutus are way better than conference calls. :-)

Sunday, August 3, 2008

What Child Labor Laws?

As I have been whining about on Facebook, we spent our last two weekend moving mulch. The yard looks nice now that the mulching is done, but in the end we had 11 yards of mulch that had to be moved from the heap on our driveway to the various mulch-happy places in our yard. If it weren't so flippin' expensive to have a service do this, I swear I'd hire it out.
In lieu of hiring labor, we turned to our nearly-two year old! Ha. She was intrigued by our mulch mountain and found the process of shoveling mulch into a wheelbarrow just hilarious. She even pulled on her daddy's work gloves so she could truly play the role of laborer. Our neighbors got a kick out of watching us put our kid to work. ;-) Perhaps we get her a kid-sized shovel for her birthday next month?

Getting a ride back to Mount Mulchmore....

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

A New Post. Finally.

I know, I much for my resolve to post more regularly. I always have lots to write, but evenings seem to be so short and laundry piles so high. Excuses, excuses. ;-)

We just got back from Connecticut after a few days of visiting my brother and sis-in-law. They are awesome people and superfans of Rachael's, so we had a great time and kept comfortably busy.

We went to the Mystic Aquarium on Saturday, Rachael "getting it" much more at 21 months than she did at 13 months. Jim and Jen have two large aquariums and she LOVED those too, especially their huge orange fish. No, we will not be getting fish of our own. I don't mind cleaning litter boxes, but I do mind cleaning fish tanks. Ew.

Sunday we went to the beach and--shocker--Rachael loves the ocean. I think she has a modest respect for water, but not enough to appreciate how dangerous it can be. So all four of us had eyes on her as she splashed about, giggling in the refreshingly cool waves and digging her little hands into the wet sand. It's so cool to watch her catch on to new things--so rewarding. As my friend Brad always says, "kids are the bomb!"

Here are a few pics from our weekend, all taken using the fresh, tiny camera David's folks gave him for his birthday.

Check out this filter:

Playing blocks with Daddy

"Daddy, I want a fishy like THIS one!"

"Uncle Jim, I'd like an ocean just like THIS one!"

I love this one of Dave and Rach

"Aunt Jen, tell my Daddy that I need a fish tank JUST like yours..."

Beluga Whale smiling at Rachael

Monday, June 2, 2008

All American Girl

I love this picture from Memorial Day and just wanted to share it. Gotta love girly camo shorts (the camo is made up of butterflies. So cool.) :-)

Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Getting Caught Up!

It's been quite a while since our last post--over a month! Time flies...I was out of town for work for a while (yuck) so no time for blogging...or much else! I'll stop whining now. ;-)

We're really looking forward to this weekend, since my brother and Jen are flying in on Saturday and will be staying with us until next Tuesday. Yay!

Anyhoo, here are photos of highlights from the past few weeks:

1) Rachael's New Sandbox

Crabby the Sandbox

Getting nice and sandy

2) Mother's Day! Rachael got me these cool TiVo slippers (and a cool new pair of earrings!)

3) More visits to Jungle Java in Ann Arbor (awesome indoor play place with a special section for kids under 3 years old. It's fabulous to take her someplace where I know she won't be trampled by kids twice her size.):

Hold on tight!

Climbing up to the slide

Woooo! Down I go!

4) Visit from Audrey and Alex!

Audrey and her lil boy

This baby is a lot lighter than mine (ok, he's also 16 months younger...)

No babies looking at the camera, but both relatively happy at the same moment...

Monday, April 14, 2008

Spring Fashion Show

My brother and sister-in-law are addicted to Gymboree. Yes, addicted. In case you haven't shopped at Gymboree, it's a clothing store with the cutest little kid gear *ever*. And the best part is, since they turn over their various product lines so quickly, they typically have very good sales on last month's styles. Call me backward, but I can usually wait a month to pay half-price for that must-have toddler sweater. (Although I admit to splurging a few times on full-price outfits around the holidays...)

So get this: brother and sis-in-law (Jim and Jen), the aforementioned Gymboree addicts, stumbled across a Gymboree outlet while spending the weekend in Maine. It is not good for Gymboree addicts to be left alone in a Gymboree outlet, unsupervised. The result of this unsupervised shopping frenzy was shipped to Rachael in a large we've been playing 'fashion show' with her new spring and summer fashions. :) Jim and Jen are excellent shoppers and picked out adorable things! Featured in this post is Rachael's new Honey Bee outfit (she only agreed to model if I gave her some Cheerios. Fair deal.)

Rachael says, "THANK YOU, Aunt Jen and Uncle Jim, for the cool new clothes! Now we just need it to warm up around here so I can start wearing short sleeves! Love you and can't wait to see you in May!"

Wednesday, April 9, 2008


Last week, my aunt asked me, "is Rachael afraid of ANYTHING?" I shrugged, unable to think of an answer quickly. Rach doesn't like the vacuum, but she certainly isn't afraid of it. Ditto on thunder, strangers, dogs, and the crazy-loud motorcycle noise from the people across the street. I suspect daycare has made her brave. :)

In any case, you'll probably be shocked to know that Rachael is not afraid of water. She's tentative at first, takes her time, but ultimately, she digs it.

Here are some fun swimming pics.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

New Car

Rachael received several new cars for Christmas, but this one (from mom and dad) had to sit in the basement until spring. We finally had a blistering 65 degree day on Monday so we pulled the Toddler Coupe out of the basement and put her together. While Dave was assembling Rach's new ride, he discovered that we were missing the Coupe's hubcaps. So Rachael's car has an "urban" flare to it, as you can see. ;-)

Rachael loved exploring her car! She kept getting in and out, experimenting with the doors, twisting the steering wheel. She quickly discovered the horn, much to our, uh, delight...

Here are a few more pics of her fresh new wheels:

Riding along with the windows down....

Backing in (with some help from Daddy)

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Girls at the Mall

A few weekends ago, my friend Melissa and I met up at the mall with our girls (Melissa's daughter, Sophie, will be three years old this May). One of the malls nearby has a neat play area so we figured we'd let the girls run around and exhaust themselves while we chatted. (note: I'm typically very opposed to these play areas because they are breeding grounds for germs. But I will let her play in these petri dishes from time to time).
Anyway, my brave, curious 18 month old did not have a reasonable fear of the four and five year old kids who were also racing around...and who were not carefully watching out for little ones. So there was very little chatting between Melissa and me; rather, there was a lot of protecting Rachael from herself as she casually took on kids twice her size for access to the toys. She seemed to genuinely want to play with the other kids, which was neat but also a little scary. I mean, show me a four year old who really knows what "gentle" means....c'mon....

Both girls had a great time and emerged from their play date un-injured and pleasantly sleepy. Here are a few pics from our afternoon:

Rachael on a big alphabet block (for which she beat up a few six-year-olds and claimed as hers. Ha.)

Girlfriends at the mall! I thought it was cute that they were both wearing striped pants, too.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

A Tribute to Frankie

On March 9, we had the heartbreaking task of putting Frankie to sleep. She was getting so sick, so uncomfortable. Knowing that, it was still devastating.

Frankie was MY cat, no question. She was a stray, and she found me in 1999 when I had just moved out of my parents' house. I couldn't believe anyone could abandon a cat so beautiful--she was Siamese and had the most striking blue eyes. I'd show people photos of Frankie and they'd swear I had "photoshopped" her eyes. Frankie and I became our own little family at a time when my human family was in rough shape--I don't think it's a coincidence that God sent me such a loyal, loving companion.

So, for Frankie, I offer a passage from Kahlil Gibran's The Prophet, where he speaks On Friendship:

"And a youth said, Speak to us of Friendship.
And he answered, saying:
Your friend is your needs answered."

Thank you, Frankie, for being the furry, loving friend I needed back then and always. You will be missed.