Sunday, July 31, 2011

Backtracking to March: Everything else

As a continuation of my last post, here's what's left to share of March's madness:

Ryan stopped "napping" somewhere around February/March.  This was actually an improvement from Chloe, who gave up naps before her second birthday!  Why do kids do this?  Don't they know mom needs that two hour window of peace and quiet each day?  While Ryan suddenly refused to take naps, that didn't necessarily mean he no longer needed them.  And this was (and has continued to be) demonstrated time and time again by the many afternoons I'd discover him asleep on the floor, couch or wherever else.

Aside from refusing to take scheduled naps but still taking plenty of unscheduled naps, we found additional ways to occupy our time... licking strawberry syrup off the floor.

...discovering new places to hide.

...exploring the pantry.

...and cleaning the bathroom!

(Couldn't help but smile and think of THIS when I discovered Ryan with the Comet.)

It was also a triumphant month for the potty trainers in the household.

Oh, and hello there, fashion statement!  Who knew underwear over the pants could look so cool?

While we're talkin' potties and underwear, I should also mention that we helped encourage other little boys (ie, Ryan's cousin, James) to use the potty, too!

"See!?  It's easy!"

And for those of you who still claim that Ryan looks bald,this one's for you.

Love those toes.

We took advantage of the blossoming orchards and snuck out one afternoon for pictures.

And as you can see, my subjects took their jobs very seriously.

We baked cookies with Janea and Tay...

...then worked them off with some good old Jillian Michaels' 30 Day Shred.
(Notice the cans on the floor, which were used as "weights")

We climbed the ladder into the attic -ALL BY OURSELVES- and played "house" while Ryan took an "unscheduled" nap and daddy carried up and stored storage bins.

We enjoyed some "girl time" one afternoon following preschool while sick Neil and tired Ryan napped inside.

Chloe picked the snacks.

We celebrated St. Patrick's Day with green jello, some peek-a-boos...

...and a yummy new recipe: Sloppy Joe Spaghetti Cups

(I used shredded chicken, not ground)

And speaking of food, we also had a picnic at the park.

...and shared lots of laughs over staticky hair and whatever else may have seemed funny at the time.

We planted an orange tree for Family Home Evening.

(Currently we have 2 oranges.  They both look like limes right now, but it won't be long...)

I became a California driver...
...for the second time...

...passing the much dreaded, written test with flying colors (well, I missed 2). There's a really funny story behind this photo, which ultimately justifies it. After all, what adult, who's been driving legally for 13 years has her husband take a picture of her holding up her temporary California license? Let's just say it took 3 trips to the DMV to register my car and obtain a license successfully.  In my defense, the list of documents needed to register a car were not up to date on their website, which explains one of my wasted trips.  As for the other, they wouldn't accept my marriage certificate, even though we never received an actual license when we got married.  So I had to go back and get my passport since I had nothing else to prove my married name was legit.  Then, finally, on the third trip when I had everything I needed for my license and went to take the test, I ended up doing the front and back pages (18 questions on each side, 36 total), only to learn when I completed it and took the test up to the grouchy DMV lady, that I was actually only required to answer 18 of them (one side). So, in essence, I did twice the work that I had to, and, thankfully, passed BOTH times!  Needless to say, I was pretty relieved to finally be done with the silly process, hence the photo.  I know, I'm a nerd.  But if you had any idea how much I hated tests (or the DMV) you'd understand.

Now, onto the next event of the month.   My good friend, Tami put together a workshop for some photographers in the area. She lined up the models herself, did their hair and makeup (because she has multiple talents), and then let us loose with our cameras. It was a fun way to break the ice, learn from one another, practice without the pressure, and just have a good time. I'm not gonna lie. When we first moved to Ripon last Fall and I learned there were two photographers in our ward, I wasn't thrilled. But this experience was a good slap on the hand for me. I realized that I was being completely unreasonable and ultimately allowing my insecurities to get in the way of building wonderful relationships, which I've since done! Tami, Janea and Misty have grown to be some of my greatest friends, and certainly my closest here in Ripon. Since March, we've gotten together to let our kids play, we've had girls' nights out, we've done other shoots together, and we've talked endlessly about photography.  It's been a huge blessing for me on many levels, and I'm grateful to Tami for opening that door and bringing us all together. She is an incredible photographer and person. She's also the first friend I had in Ripon, seeing that our husbands work together, so she'll always hold a special place in my heart. I'm fortunate to be a part of such a wonderful and talented circle of women.

Here are a few I took at the workshop. Still have a handful more, which I'll get to some day.

And here we are, hunting our prey. Misty took this.

It was a cold, rainy, windy day, and by the time we finished our feet were soaked from walking around in the tall, wet grass. It was worth it though.

{Of the photographers, Janea is second from the left, Misty is fourth from the right, and Tami and Amber are on the end.}

And I guess I ought to, in closing, mention this fun fact too (are you still awake?).  During the month of March, the kids BOTH became obsessed with... 

Superman!  It all started one Wednesday evening when I came home from a youth activity to find Neil and Chloe watching Superman IV.  It just happened to be on TV and according to Neil, Chloe was hooked the second he flipped it on.  As I got dinner started and observed her out of the corner of my eye, I couldn't believe how into it she was.  She wouldn't take her eyes off the screen and reacted so innocently and honestly when Superman or anyone else was in danger.  At one point she even started jumping on the couch and cheering, "Yeaaaah!  Goooo Superman!" when he defeated the bad guy.  Well, we just happen to own the Superman collection and let's just say we are all too familiar with it now.  The initial excitement has worn off a bit, but Chloe and Ryan still average a viewing of Superman at least three times a week.  That's better than the twice a day they were requesting back in March and April!  Chloe's favorite is Superman IV, probably because it's the first one of the movies she saw.  Ryan's, on the other hand, is the first Superman, naturally, because of the "chuh chuh gah choo choo twain."  Chloe also started going around repeating the phrase, "No pain, no gain!", which comes from the cheesy gym scene in IV.  And because Chloe repeats it, Ryan has caught on and now says it too from time to time, too.  Chloe has also figured out how to play the theme music melody on the piano AND on Ryan's play saxophone.  No joke.  Funny kids.

Wow, March turned out to be a lot more eventful than I realized!  Hope you enjoyed.


Coates Family said...

You are the cutest mom ever. Miss you guys.

Strong Family said...

You are way too cute and so talented. If only I had it in me:) We need to get together in the near future!!

Wendy said...

Loved it. Can't wait to see more posts. Love you. :)

Lizzie said...

lots of fabulous fun going on at your place :) your kiddies are just too cute!! enjoy the rest of your summer.

Twinkies said...

What a super nice mom you are to pour strawberry syrup on the floor for your son to lick up. You're a much much nicer mom then me.

Love the blossom photos. Those turned out beautiful.

dayna said...

I so miss you, dear friend! I often think how you would fit right in where I live. Just wish I could take you with me everywhere. SO glad you keep up your blog--makes me still feel like I know all about your goings ons there. I will get mine back up and running...probably after my degree is done (ps we will be welcoming baby #3 feb 3!)