Thursday, June 24, 2010

The Wonderful One Year Old

Lily will turn 17 months old on July 4th, and I have got to say, she has reached a very fun and lovable age. She willingly gives smooches and snuggles, dances on command and anytime she has the desire, feeds her stuffed animals and dollies, crawls up on everything, and says "peas" anytime she wants something.

She is quickly turning into more of a "toddler" and less of a "baby" (although, we will always call her our baby) and with this new found autonomy, we are discovering a little girl who know what she wants--and when she wants it. In fact, we were just discussing the other day whether or not it was a good thing that we taught her "please" because anytime she sees anything she wants it is, "Peas...peas...PEAS....!!" The problem is, hearing her say, "Peas!" is so darn cute that we can rarely say no...after all, she is using her manners and wouldn't it be confusing to say no when she was so polite? :)

Cute but naughty... :)

Last week, I decided it would be a "good" idea for us to travel 3 1/2--4 hours to Denver, to go to the Ocean's Journey Aquarium. Lily did surprisingly well on the trip to Denver the night before the trip, taking a nap for about an hour and then, as much as we hate to admit, watching "Elmo's World" on DVD. Now, we don't normally advocate for lots of TV watching--and I'll admit that we even had plans on restricting her TV viewing completely until she turned two. didn't happen. And she loves Elmo, who she lovingly refers to as "Ba." So, we were able to travel another hour  (in peace) while she was transfixed with her precious "Ba."

The night at the hotel was okay. She was not too fond of her pack and play (she's never really slept in it) and would not sleep since she could see us in our bed from hers. So we read to her until she fell asleep and quietly snuck her into her bed. The next morning, she woke up about 6:00 am and decided that, because we were in her line of sight, she absolutely would not continue to sleep.

Look at that smile!

We dragged ourselves out of bed, managed to find enough food at the continental breakfast that would be suitable for a picky 1 year old, packed up the car, and drove to the Aquarium. Lily loved seeing all the "Fissies" and enjoyed walking through the aquarium and splashing in the puddles (although, I'm not sure why there was so much water OUTSIDE of the glass).

Looking at the fishies

Posing in the lilies

It was not until the trip home that we were met with the nightmare. We headed home, with Lily napping happily in the backseat. We figured we'd get at least an hour and could hopefully make it to Cheyenne, Wyoming, before she had a totally backseat meltdown, at which point we'd plug the DVD player back in and stop for lunch.

Boy, were we wrong. We hit standstill traffic right outside of Loveland. In fact, the traffic was SO still, that we only travelled FOUR miles in ONE hour. And, thanks to the sudden stop, Lily promptly woke up. I was able to distract her for most of the time with some apple juice in a juice box (which makes her feel like a big girl). But, when we finally exited to Fort Collins, an hour past her normal lunch time, all she wanted to do was get out of the car. She certainly did not want to eat. In fact, she made this very obvious by flinging every morsel of food we put near her. Our waiter was nice, although we could not help but feel sorry for the poor guy who had to clean up her mess. She spit out every drink we gave her and basically began yelling for her release. Finally, I told Brian to just box up our food and that I'd take her to the parking lot to play. After an hour of going no where, I had no desire to do anything but get home.

Luckily, Lily slept for most of the ride home. She woke up about 3 miles from home, which certainly was a nice surprise for us. In fact, I think she would have been quiet all the way home if I hadn't turned around an caught her digging in my leftover Shrimp Primavera...that's right, red sauce all over the backseat, Lily, and her car seat. Sigh.

Sleeping in the car

But, what can I say? Despite all of her shenanigans, we absolutely adore her! We just may not take any family vacations until she is a tad older....

it's a struggle for a family picture
We are just one happy family--as long as we aren't making her do what she doesn't want to do!

Sunday, June 20, 2010

Happy Father's Day!!

Today is Brian's 2nd Father's Day--however, since he went to Minnesota last year on Father's Day, it was the first time we got to celebrate as a family. We did not do anything extraordinarily special--we just spent the day together enjoying our happy little family of three. I am so glad to have him next to me as I parent and I could not imagine navigating this life without him right by my side. I love you, honey, and I love how much you love me and our precious Lily.

Holding newborn Lily

Daddy's little girl

Kissing :)

Reading, their favorite pastime
So sweet...

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Oh the WEATHER!!

The last two weeks have been quite traumatic on the weather front!! First, we had a massive hail storm a few weeks back, with hail as big as a golf ball:

Brian, holding the hail

When this hail was coming down, we were just amazed. It was like we were sitting inside of a tin can--that's how loud it was! Luckily, the flower garden, at this point, was not heading out, so we had minimal flower/vegetable damage. We did, however, have significant car damage, which was definitely an unpleasant surprise...

Then, last night at about 7:00 p.m. the sky began to turn black and swirly. At first, I told Brian that I thought we'd be fine if we stayed upstairs and finished dinner, but, within minutes, the sky became even more ominous and a gigantic wall cloud sat virtually on top of our house. That's when the sirens began to wail.

We quickly trucked it to the bottom level of the house, Lily in tow. She was not very happy about being trapped in a small interior room and kept trying to climb back up the stairs. Within minutes, the hail started. This time, it pelted the north side of our home, actually cracking a window in Lily's bedroom. Lily became concerned at the loud noise at this point--and I don't blame her. The hail was hitting the basement windows so hard I was honestly concerned that it would shatter.

We had the storm radio on throughout the storm. The weatherman reported that there were multiple tornadoes on the ground throughout the Scottsbluff area--although, luckily for us, it seemed to avoid our neighborhood.

That is not to say there was no damage...our yard was an absolute wreck. Many of our flowers are bent and broken from the hail and intense winds. The houses across from us suffered multiple window breaks and will most likely need roof repairs. My car, yet again, got dented. Reports from the entire town were even worse: a trailer park is being condemned after many of the trailers were destroyed, the roof of  a local car lot blew off, and several power lines were down.

Here is a video from a storm chaser that I got off of YouTube (it does have the camera strap blocking the view in a part of it)--I believe it is just between Scottsbluff and Minatare on Highway 26 (or I'm guessing from the landmarks)--which is just miles from our house: