Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Cutting Grass = Family Time

Since I was about 12, I have cut the grass at our house. We had a rather large yard and a riding lawn mower, so it wasn't a big deal and was actually fun at times. Back then I was worried about getting a tan and the mower would do the trick! I'm not much of a talker, more of a think things over and then say my peace kinda girl. Mowing the grass let me have time to my thoughts even at that young age. Now that I'm older and have a house, I still mow the grass but now we all go outside for that hour or so. I push the mower while Steve trims, puts down fertilizer, or pulls weeds. Ava hangs out in the pack 'n play and waves to me every time I get to her side of the yard. I think in her head I'm playing a game with her. It's a pretty satisfying job because when you are finished you can stand back and see the work you've accomplished. When Ava's old enough I will teach her how to mow the grass too. Steve's concerned that Ava will be too much of a girly-girl but come on how many girly-girls do you know that mow the grass?? I think we're safe.

BTW, I'm obsessed with Ava's hat so you will probably see her in it a lot this fall and winter I keep trying to tell myself that I could pull off that look too, right?? :o)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Taking My Monkey to See the Monkeys

Still a little sleepy, we got to the St. Louis Zoo at 9:00.

First stop, STINGRAYS!! Very slimey but oh so cool!

She got to pet these guys!

The not so happy Otter Family: Sean, Caeleigh, Carter, and Ava.

She's wondering why she has to stand next to the statue of the frog.

Meercat in the children's zoo. Looks a little bored don't you think??

Before leaving the children's zoo, we went in to pet the goats. One of them head butted her in the head but no tears just a very confused look.

Where's the hippo??

All this animal watching made her hungry...SNACK TIME!!

Primate House was fun but a little stinky!

Mommy Pic

Daddy Pic

Thank you Zoo for not costing us a dime and letting the kids have fun while the parents had fun too! We'll have to go back because we didn't see a ton of the animals. We had a gorgeous day, all the kids were really good, and we even ate a picnic lunch outside. It was a very happy zoo day for us!

Sunday, September 27, 2009

Friends & Wine

At least twice a year we make a trip out to the Augusta wineries here in Missouri. We go not for the wine but more for the fun we have with our friends. I'm not going to lie...Missouri wine is not all that tasty. It's OK but tends to be very sweet which does not sit well with me. Down HWY 94 there are a plethora of wineries to chose from. Some let you bring in your own food and others don't. Some charge for tastings, others don't. There is really a winery to fit everyone. Most weekends, especially in the fall, there are live bands. They are almost all family friendly too. We always make it a day without our wee one though. One of our favorites is Chandler Hill Vineyards. Great wine (from California as their grapes aren't ready yet) and very yummy food. We didn't make it there this day but we did manage to have a great time at Mount Pleasant and Balducci Wineries. Balducci has a corn field that interested the guys, so they were reenacting a scene from a Kevin Costner movie (can you guess which one??) but that quickly lead to other photos by the corn too. It was a fun time and we are looking forward to our next visit.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Mmmmm, lasagna!

I am always in search of ways to cook once but eat twice or in this case 3 or 4 more times. I have never tackled lasagna before and I'm not quite sure why when it is very easy to make and assemble. The first time I make a recipe I always make it as is to see how it is intended to turn out and then I make adjustments. I broke that rule a little in this case. Check out the original recipe here. My store was out of Italian sausage so I just used regular pork sausage, more onion, no fennel seeds, and no boil noodles. The noodles took out a step and it turned out great. However Steve and I each ate a piece and Ava ate half a piece and we had a huge pan left over. I personally love left overs so I was excited. Steve however was not so excited to have lasagna for the next week. Things ended up working out well because we ended up having 3 guys stay the night at our house after a bachelor party and they were hungry when I picked them up at 2am. Needless to say the pan of lasagna is gone! The lasagna tasted better the next day as most red pastas do. I will definitely make this again but in 2 8x8 pans and freeze one to cook later. That way we won't have lasagna up to ears. The recipe also made extra red sauce that I froze for later use too. All around winner of a recipe as you can see by Ava's face!

Monday, September 21, 2009

One of these things is not like the other...

It's no secret that Sweet Pea and Ava are best buds. That being said, they like to chase each other around and just be in the same room with each other. Whenever Sweet Pea gets run of the house she likes to be with Ava. They were playing in Ava's room the other day and Sweet Pea hops right over and gets in one of the cubbies. There were less blankets in the cubbie than there usually are so I guess Sweet Pea saw that as an invitation to get cozy. Sweet Pea then flops over on the blankets and watches Ava. I got up to get the camera but when I got back Sweet Pea was up again. I'll have to try to catch a pic of her flopped over because it is quite the site. Her tummy is all white and rather flabby too. Sweet Pea was just making herself at home in her "sister's" room. She's such a funny bunny ;o)

Saturday, September 19, 2009

Fun Soap

As previously mentioned, I love Etsy. I think it is a great platform for small businesses and you find such unique and quality items for sale there. I have been browsing the site for ideas and gifts for Christmas and stumbled across these soaps made by Persnickety Pelican. I think I might just have to buy a bar for my niece for Halloween. What a fun way to encourage kids to suds up in the shower!! I particularly like the owl soaps ;o)

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Miss Independent

Little Miss Ava is not acting so little these days. She is climbing all over everything, walking, using a fork and spoon, not drinking out of a bottle anymore and refuses to have help with anything. If I try to help her feed herself, hold the paper while she colors or writes, or try to hand her sippy cup to her she pushes my hand away and makes this face at me like, "Mommy, I'm a big girl." For crying out loud she is only 13 months old!! It's fun to see her exploring and trying new things on her own but at the same time a little sad that she's not a baby anymore :o( I guess that means we'll have to have another one soon. She does still like to cuddle and is giving kisses now to me and Steve. By kisses I mean she opens her mouth and comes at you like she's going to head butt you but she tries and we know what she means. They grow up too stinkin' fast. I am loving every minute of it though!! (PS - Don't you love the concentration on her face in the last one. She really wanted that last carrot!)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Art Time!!!

I am very much a routine person. I think that comes from being a teacher and knowing that not only adults like routine but kids thrive on it. Now that Ava is getting a little older (and walking BTW!!), I thought it was time to introduce art into our daily activities. For her birthday she got some markers that she has been dieing for me to get out of the package since she got them. I have had them sitting on my desk and she would get them down and bring them to me almost daily. I thought it was time because the kid is obsessed with writing with pens and pencils on every piece of paper she can find. She did well for her first time using them. She did however have just as much fun lining them up in a line and clinking them together to see what kind of noise they would make. She also kept thinking that the color was going through to the other side of the paper. That's why there are some confused looks and her lifting up the paper. All in all the markers were a success and will be used regularly I'm sure. Thanks Alicia!!

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Saying Goodbye to Summer

It has been hot in the Lou lately, so that meant SWIMMING!! We had a play date a Colleen's today and after lunch we headed outside for some water fun. Little Sean crashed inside but Ava, Caeleigh, and Carter had fun playing and splashing each other in the adorable giraffe pool. In case you were wondering, Caeleigh is giving Mr. Giraffe a drink in the last picture. So sweet!! It was a little bitter sweet today because that will most likely be the last time we swim until next summer. On the up side, Ava took a 2 hour nap after we got home today which was great! Play dates are so great for so many reasons. The kiddos get to socialize and play while the moms get to catch up and talk. There was a very yummy lunch involved too. We're already looking forward to the zoo with Ava's buds at the end of September. This time we're even allowing the dad's to join in the fun too!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Bored with Lunch???

I have been searching for new things to serve Ava for lunch that are healthy and fun. Well I stumbled across this website and it totally made my day. I am a very dedicated mom but you won't see me going this far with lunch. Thought it was too cute not to share though. Check out their website here.