Sunday, September 13, 2009

Birthday Happenings...

As you all know, Kara's birthday was about 2 weeks ago, and we celebrated the big day with a party on Labor Day weekend! Nana and Papa traveled in for the occasion, along with 30 or so other guests. We rented a bounce house from the local True Value and fun was had by all!
The next day however, I was in an exhaustion coma, you know how you get so worked up for a big event trying to make sure everything is just so and that nothing goes wrong... well yeah, then the next day you are worthless because you are literally BURNT out!! So I wasted a whole Sunday away just snoozing, but that's ok because it was a 3 day weekend and the next day we went to Adventure Land.
That was probably the best day of the weekend, my parents along with Curt and I took Kara for her very first amusement park experience. I can not beleive the girl lasted 5 hours walking around going on rides, eating all kinds of junk food and watching a circus. We were sure she'd conk out on the ride home, but nope, she lasted ALL day and ALL night! My kinda girl!
Then today I attempted to take Kara all by myself to get her 2 year pictures done. I was hesitant to begin with because I literally have not had an easy experience with her at a photographer since she was 6 months old. Well, my hesitation was well deserved, it was a complete NIGHTMARE! She had been telling me all day that she didn't want her pictures done and I told her it would be fun and even tried to convince her that she would get a little surprise if she smiled pretty. Not even 5 seconds after walking into the studio she was in an all out screaming fest. I asked her if she wanted to go to time out and she replied "Ok, YES!" All of the "doggy falling off the head and laughing hysterical" by the photographer couldn't help. I left defeated. I was immaturely angry at my 2 year old for not cooperating and told her she wasn't getting her surprise and that she was going home and going to bed, she replied "Ok, YES!" Argh!!!!
Luckily, the 20 minute ride home, along with a frantic call to my mother helped calm my nerves and when we got home Kara and I had our own photo session in the backyard. Kara was a perfect subject in the comforts of her own backyard, posed in 50 different ways that I suggested and tried smiling perfectly, if only I had a professional camera I think the shots would have been better than any pictures I could have gotten from a photography studio.
Here is some of our work:

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

2 Years Ago Today...

Two years ago today my world changed forever. My darling baby girl came into this world and little did I know how immensely she would rule my heart. As I celebrate her day today, I am also celebrating the gift of being a mother. Little did I know how much I would look forward to seeing her smiling face and bright blue eyes every morning. Or how just holding her and breathing in her smell would instantly take all my stresses away, it still does, and I'm sure it always will.
Its amazing how fast time really does fly once a child enters your life. How I've watched my little baby turn into a booming toddler. From the baby who could barely lift her head to the 2 year old who can run circles around her father and I. I am so proud to be her mother and today, on her Birthday I would like to highlight for her some of the reasons why:

She is the most loving and easy going kid I've ever seen. She never hits, yells or fights with any other child, (which is pretty common for her age group).... but she just takes it all in stride.

Her sweet little voice just lights up my life, the way she'll try to sing songs that she loves and on the words that she knows she'll sing those really loud, otherwise sort of hum along the rest of the song.

The way she knows how to make her father and I laugh by squinting her eyes shut and giving us an all teeth and gums smile that seems to take up her entire face.....priceless.

Listening to her talk to her babies and stuffed animals when she is in her crib, she has such strong motherly instincts already, and how when I'll go in to tuck her in before I go to bed , she will have all of her babies covered with her blankets but no blankets on herself.... once again, such a giving child.

The way she really does listen, she'll sit and observe and take it all in and then days later tell you a story about something she heard you talking about days ago.

Kara truly is such a beautiful child, she gets comments from strangers all the time on her beauty, but the thing they don't even know, is that she is twice as beautiful inside. She is my angel from above sent down for me to love.

Happy Birthday Sweet Heart!! We love you more than you know.

Friday, August 28, 2009

Roasting "Pillows"

Yes, that is what we did tonight. We roasted marshmallows, or as Kara calls them, "pillows." The weather here in Iowa has been nothing short of "fall-like" the last couple of weeks. Forecast for this weekend? Sunny skies, highs around 70, 50's at night. Perfect smores' roasting weather!
So, we got a little flame going and constructed Kara's very first smore. She loved it to say the least, and also enjoyed helping daddy roast the "pillows."

Even Molly got in on the smores' goodness,-- sans chocolate.
And although I'll be sad to say goodbye to Summer, the Fall is definitely second on my list!

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Summer Vacation 09'

Last night Kara and I returned home from our week long visit to my family out in North Carolina. I have not been out to the Carolina's during the summer in several years now, but I thought it was due time for a beach visit. We had a wonderful time to say the least.... but I didn't expect any different. I was a little nervous traveling by myself with Kara, but daddy had to stay behind due to lack of vacation time on his part. So we took the long trek up to Minnesota and got a straight through flight to Raleigh. The flights went better than expected thanks to a DVD player and a particular whiny annoying cartoon named "Caillou" (Karas FAVORITE).
The week of course, went by extremely fast. There was shopping at the Carolina Outlets (always a hit), a 2 day trip to Carolina Beach (beautiful), a trip to the aquarium, an outdoor concert (the best) to see ColdPlay, and of course, lots of pool time at Nana and Papa's neighborhood pool.
I have WAY too many pictures to post on here, but one particular funny video that will keep me laughing for years to come just has to be shared.
Unfortunatley my memory card reached its capacity right at the best point of the video. What entails is a caption of Kara collecting seashells on the beach while her Nana and Auntie were jumping waves in the ocean. Kara was very nervous the whole time they were out there continuously calling for her Nana to come back in. But.... just as my camera died on me, my mom was taken under by a wave and Kara witnessed the fall.... here is her reaction ...

I SO wish I would have gotten the whole scream along with a shot of my mom down in the water.... but I guess we'll just have to store that scene in our memories!
Needless to say, we had the time of our lives.

Monday, July 13, 2009

3 Things I Love About Summer....

Summer time brings lots of great things, and here are some of my favorites!

1. Fresh Fruit!

I love the bright colors, the juicy pop in your mouth, and the delicious ripe smell of fresh berries.

2. City wide carnivals and fairs, with lots of parades and never ending candy!

3. And my favorite of all time.... Swimming!!!

Speaking of swimming, Kara started taking her first swimming lesson last week. One of our neighbors was nice enough to let us borrow their pool for a private swimming lesson for Kara for 2 weeks. The first day she did great, blowing bubbles (or shall I say, drinking the water), kicking and splashing. The next several days were not as successful, she developed a sudden fear of getting in the water after her first lesson.... but now today I got a wonderful report that she spent an hour in the pool just kicking and splashing and jumping in!! Look at that natural form!

I LOVE Summer!

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Funny Things....

My grandfathers birthday is on the 4th of July. Every year I send him chocolate covered strawberries for his birthday, usually decorated in Red, White, and Blue. He is a widowed man who lives in the Poconos of Pennsylvania and has a dear friend Tony who lives next door who's wife also passed away.
Anyways, when he called me tonight to thank me for the strawberries we had a very interesting conversation, it went something like this:

Me: So are you and Tony going to have dinner together tonight? (something they do regularly)
Poppy: Oh no, I had dinner at my place and he ate at his. But we are getting together for dessert, kind of like a date. But we're not gay..... the ladies will be coming over later.

Me: laughing uncontrollably...

The mans got wit and humor. And he never ceases to amaze me with the things that come out of his mouth!

Happy Happy Birthday Poppy!!!!!

Friday, June 19, 2009

Tribute to Dads

Sunday is Fathers Day, and I've been thinking about my own father a lot the last couple of days. My parents were just here visiting a week ago, and once again, I had some of the best times with them. My husband was gone on a "guys trip" for the week so my parents came out to help with Kara. I was completely smitten the whole week watching my dad interact with my daughter. It was hard for my mother or I to even get near her because my dad (Kara's Papa) was always by her side. He had to be the one to hold her hand anytime we went somewhere, sit next to her in the car, hold her, or push her stroller, and he NEVER missed an episode of Sesame Street or Cailou with her either! Of course my mom and I took advantage of this by leaving Kara in his care while we would go and have our girl time! My dad would take her for walks every morning, trips to the park, and of course several visits to the toy stores.
I've been thinking about the special things he did with me as a child too. Miniature golfing, outings to the lakes or the water parks, weekly trips to the toy store and our favorite ice cream shops. Dads are special that way, they always get to do the fun things!
And as I think back to those special moments, they make me smile, but nothing makes me melt more inside than watching my dad with my daughter. From the first moment he held her in his arms at just 5 minutes old, to the times of running after her as a toddler, nothing in the world can compare to it.
So on this special weekend that we honor our fathers, I will be smiling and thinking of warm fuzzy memories in my head as I think of my dad, both as my father, and my daughters grandfather.
Oh, and I can't forget, Kara's daddy too... because watching him read and cuddle with her ranks pretty high up there too!
Much love to all the dads in our lives!!!