Monday, July 30, 2012

Impromptu park visit

Told you I had a lot of pictures to catch up on.  This is my last one.  Swear.

On Friday, the girls and I stopped at a park on the way home from checking out the progress of our new house.  I felt like it was an okay day to play outside--87 seemed  so much cooler than 107.  Turns out, it was still hot.  I think someone needs to build a park that's completely under one of those canopy shades.  We just played for a little while...just long enough to get sweaty and sandy and to have to drag Ayla out of there pretty much kicking and screaming.  Little pill.

And speaking of our new house, I haven't posted any more pictures because...well, it doesn't look all that exciting yet.  The next stage is framing (yay!) so once that is underway, I will put some pictures up.  We've picked out the stone for the front of the house, the window trims, appliances, and this Thursday, we have a meeting at the builder's office to choose faucets, cabinet door pulls, doorknobs, and fireplaces. :)

Princess Dance Camp

Last week, Ayla went to Princess Dance Camp.  It was a four-day deal...two hours a day.  Everything revolved around the Disney princesses--arts, crafts, and of course, dancing.  We felt like it was the perfect time to do next summer, she may be over this princess phase. :)

The first day I dropped her off, she didn't want me to go.  I was really surprised because she did so well with Vacation Bible School.  It took a little coaxing from both her teacher and me.  Something about stickers and sparkles and she was off. :)  She ended up loving it and looked forward to it for the rest of the week...especially when she got to wear her "ballerina dresses."  A dream come true, really.

On the last day, we were able to see the dance they learned during the week.  It was to the song "Kiss the Girl" from the Little Mermaid.  So cute.  However, she. Did. Not. Dance. At. All.  She ran and sat in her spot to get ready for it but once the music started, her little finger went up to her mouth and she froze.  Didn't want to have anything to do with it. :(  I felt so bad for her because I caught a glimpse of myself as a little girl and was that exact same way.   Afterwards, her teacher said she did the whole dance when they practiced it before all the moms came in.  I didn't doubt for a second that she knew the whole thing, she just didn't want to do it in front of me and everyone else.  I didn't make a big deal out of it because I didn't want to make her feel bad, so we just talked about the other activities she did that day.  Later that day, I YouTubed "Kiss the Girl" and let it play without saying anything.  Her eyes lit up when she realized what it was and I was treated to a mini-version of her dance.  I knew she could do it. :)  It's just all stored away in that pretty little head of hers for future use. :)

She has since been talking about "dance class" quite a bit.  Timid or not, she really did enjoy it.  I'm trying to decide whether or not we put her in an actual class in the fall or if we should wait another year.
On our way on the first day and sooo excited.

Aubree was not impressed.

After she was comfortable with me leaving, I stuck around to peek in at her for a few minutes.

Love this one.  She looks like such a big girl!

Showing off her crown!

Sitting in her spot, waiting for the performance to begin. :)

This was her during most of the dance. :)

Showing off her dance outfit.

The more she poses, the more weird and twisty she gets.  Hilarious.

Splash Park birthday party!

Last weekend, we went to my friend, Erika's girls' 5th birthday party at a splash park.  It was the perfect way for the kids (and adults) to be able to have some fun outside without melting from this crazy heat wave we've been stuck in.  The girls, of course, had a blast!

Playing catch-up

I'm playing catch-up tonight.  So many pictures, so little time.  

First few are pictures of Ayla's most current breakthrough--she finger painted.  Actually used her fingers and didn't freak out.  Well, for a while anyway.  She was having a grand 'ol time while repeating to herself, "it's okay to be messy."  :) She completely coated her hands with paint and was fine until it started to dry.  At that point, she turned back into my OCD, neat-freak, first child.  She held her hands up to my face and said between clenched teeth, "It's dryyyyying on my haaaands! Wash it off, wash it OFF!"  Sigh.  Baby steps.

Next up--Big Sister Ayla coaching Little Sister Aubree on how to walk in heels. :)  Have I mentioned I love having little girls?  Seriously, how cute.  Ayla will grab my 6-inch heels and strut around the house like it's no big deal at all. :)

And last--pictures of the girls brushing their teeth together.  Aubree LOVES brushing.  Anytime we're in the bathroom, she says, "brush? brush?" until we hand her her toothbrush...hopefully it stays this way because it's often a struggle with Ayla.  

Friday, July 20, 2012

via Instagram

via Instagram

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Cabin 2012

Get comfy 'cuz this post is out-of-control-photo-heavy.  I think I uploaded something like 142 pictures. No kidding.  Because of that, these are all straight out of the time to mess around with editing.  

We spent last week at our cabin in Solon Springs, Wisconsin.  I was excited to be there since Aubree and I missed it last year.  Also, this is the first year in a LONG time that everyone was there.  All 16 of us. :)  It was so good to see everybody...we really had a great week together.  

We left Friday evening (the 6th) after we fed the girls dinner and drove about halfway and stopped in Clear Lake, Minnesota for the night.  We got up the next morning, had breakfast and got back on the road for the second half of our trip.  The girls both did SO well both to and from the cabin.  No major meltdowns from either of them.  Thank goodness for whiny-bitch Caillou on the heaven-sent DVD player in my parents' van.  If it wasn't for that, this whole road trip would have been a different story.

Ayla going completely nuts with excitement as we got on the road.

Aubree taking her nap and an hour or so before arriving at the cabin.

Ayla starting to get antsy...she kept saying it was taking a long time. :)

We went up to Duluth, Minnesota early in the week.  We grabbed lunch and then went to ride the Alpine Coaster.  It's like a mini-rollercoaster.  You sit on these carts and you can control your speed with a brake.  It was sooo fun!  I was pregnant a couple of years ago when we went so I wasn't able to ride it and last year when Dean and Ayla were there, she was too little to ride it.  This year, she was big enough to ride with me.  At first, she was a little freaked out.  Totally my fault.  As soon as we were given the green light, I went full speed ahead.  I heard her panicking so I slowed down and gradually picked up speed again.  Very quickly, she was loving it and didn't want it to end.  She ended up going again with Dean. :) After the coaster, we went back into to town to do some shopping and boat-watching at the Aerial Bridge.

Playing with cousin Will...Ayla completely fell in love with him throughout the week.  He was so sweet with her.

Waiting for the ship to arrive...

Finally free from her stroller, where she spent much of the week while we were out and about each day.

Here it comes!

Dean took Ayla fishing for the first time.  It was right before dinner, so we didn't have a whole lot of time to sit there.  She didn't end up catching anything, but I think she was excited to finally do it.  She's had a fishing rod for a year and we've never used it!

We took another day trip up to Gooseberry Falls...suuuper pretty.  We made a couple stops along the way.  A quick photo-op along Lake Superior and then lunch.

Made it to the Falls!

I love seeing her have a good time...nothing better than that smile.


Aunt Marla and Ayla pretending to be bears in this little cavern.

Grandma and Grandpa strolled around with Aubree until she fell asleep for a much-needed nap.

Will and Dana

Newly engaged--Bryson and Natalia!

She was obsessed with throwing rocks into the water.

Check out Ayla's stink-face.  She wanted nothing to do with being in this picture.

Grandma still pushing Aubree.

Getting Ayla to stand in the falls.

She's awake! 

Next, we drove up to another point along Lake Superior.  Dean, Bryson, Natalia, Dana, and Will decided to jump off the cliff into the FREEZING water.  I've only ever had my feet in this lake and it's shockingly cold.  I can't imagine having my entire body in it.  Crazy.

Looking below and coming up with a game plan.

Off they go!

So. Cold.  Everyone scrambling to get out of the water.

Aunt Kathy keeping Aubree busy.

One time wasn't enough for they boys so they decided to go again.

There goes Dean!

Will making his way back up.

Mommy-Aubree shadow!

Ayla went to the lake/beach by the cabin a few times...Aubree and I made it there later in the week.  Ayla took some huge steps in the water this week.  She's always been pretty apprehensive about being in the water, but for some reason, she just decided to go for it.  She had her life jacket on, of course, but I think with the addition of a couple of swim noodles, she felt comfortable enough to paddle around on her own.  I'm so proud of her!  And Miss Aubree was loving the water as well.  She was lounging and splashing in her little floater.

Aubree kept squishing her toes around in the wet sand.

Will and Kathy out on the sailboat.  Dean took a spin on it as well, but I didn't get any pictures!

I brought a couple of shovels and buckets for the girls to play with while we were there.  Aubree was a complete mess every time.  Sand and dirt everywhere. :)

Getting ready for a bath.  We had to get creative with bath time with only a shower and no bathtub.  We ended up using a big plastic tote outside.  It was perfect!

And a bunch of random pictures...

Sigh. Yes, she's still drinking out of a bottle.  And yes, I still have to hold it for her because she refuses to do it.  Not going to lie, still love this snuggle time. :)

I love the way they're looking at each other. :)

Dean and his three younger, taller cousins--Ben, Will, and Bryson.  Keep in mind that Dean is 6'3".

The last day we were there, we had a family reunion...we had a pretty good crowd!  Once again, we fed the girls dinner and hit the road.  We drove halfway again and stayed the night in Albert Lea and drove the rest of the way the next morning.

Cooling off in front of a fan.  It was HOT all week.  Definitely the warmest week I've ever  spent up there.  It's normally pretty mild and even cool, but it was pushing 90 for most of the week.  With no A/C.  Yikes.

I need to give credit to Dean's cousin, Will, for the rest of these pictures.  He took a lot of great photos so I wanted to get some of them into the books!  Somehow, I have them all out of order, but you'll get the idea. :)
This is the Alpine Coaster I mentioned above.

Waiting for the ship to come through in Duluth.

Alpine Coaster

Family reunion!

Gooseberry Falls

Waving at the people on the ship