Sunday, July 27, 2008

Queen of Procrastination

Well, the deadline to enter the contest I had thought of entering is three days away and this Queen of Procrastination has not made any steps toward getting these pages submitted.

In part due to lack of time to sit and write out the material lists. And, I will admit, partly because I am a chicken.

As the day approached, I became more and more nervous about sending them in. So, I decided to just go ahead and post some of them here. I really have been having fun working on these pages.
I've just been selecting my favorite photos and colors that inspire me. And maybe one of these days, I will send them some where!
I have a few favorites. On the top of the list is the page titled "grow". I love the photo of Franky and Red walking in between the two giant trees. So metaphoric of life and watching Red grow.

My second pick has to be the "peek-a-boo" page. The day I took these pictures, Red and I had spent a fun evening in the front yard. One I don't want to forget.

The third page I like the best is "happy". My parents had just sent Red a new driver and golf bag. The smile on his face would've lit up a dark night. That page was quick and easy. Love the colors, too.

The "makin' a splash" page was a lot of fun to put together. Those colors are such a representation of summertime. They make you feel as though you are a part of that wonderful day in the water.

I like the page of us at Morro Bay, too. It isn't too often that I relinquish control of the camera long enough to allow a picture to be taken with me in it! Franky and I have made a pact that I will start letting him have some "behind the camera" time so that Red will remember what I looked like as he looks back at his childhood!!!

I hope you all enjoy my work! I will keep everyone posted. You all will be the first to know when I do submit a layout! Until then, I'm going to keep on playing and having fun recording our memories.

Mr. Roboto

Everyone who LOVES Target, raise your hand!!! I love that store. We went there last night to have some pictures developed and look around. When Red saw these 'jammas, he said,"Mama, I have to have those. They're JUST like Daddy's!" Franky has a pair of shorts like these he wears around the house.
After his nap today, he asked to wear them. Now he's parading around doing the robot dance and being silly. I had to snap a few pictures of this little peanut. He's just way too cute.
What a fun way to spend a lazy Sunday afternoon.

Sweet Escape

The title of this post couldn't be more true to life. It has been what seems like forever since we have been camping. We were all having withdrawls! So on a whim, (which is the way we roll!) on Thursday evening, we headed up to Quail Valley.

This would be Reese's first camping trip and good practice for our much anticipated August get away.

We arrived so late on Thursday that we basically set up camp and went to bed. At the crack of dawn (Remember, I am with Franky and Red) on Friday morning, we were up and eating breakfast. Red was on his bike, riding down hills by 7:30am. No major crashes, only a short flight over his handle bars landing in some soft dirt (Thank God!).

As the day warmed up, we found ourselves in the creek. Reese was the first to take the plunge. He LOVES the water. I got in after him. Red was pretty skeptical. No, THIS boy does not like "dirty" water. The kid who would roll forever and a day in the sand or dirt, did not want any part of the creek. After about thirty minutes, he decided it really didn't look all that bad. He jumped in and started making mud pies.

Reese thought they were pretty tasty and would either eat a bite or dig his paws in them. Red thought it was pretty cool that Reese was helping him make the pies!

Our Rat Terrier, Sophie, even got in the creek. She didn't want to be left out. Besides, she and Red had made friends with a couple of girls who romped and played with us. It was pretty cute. The girls were at that age where they felt "too old" to be playing with Red but they were drawn to him and kept coming back to our camp asking to play with him and the dogs.
It was so nice to get away this weekend. I feel relaxed and refreshed despite the mound of laundry that has crept out of the laundry room and is slowly making its way down the staircase!!! Can't wait for our trip in August. If anything, this weekend has made us look even more forward to it. : )

Class is in Session

I am very pleased to say that Reese's Basic Training Class number two went remarkably well. (No, I didn't have Red harnessed and duct taped!) I used the good ol' reward for good behavior trick. I can't believe what this redhead will do for a bag of Skittles!

This week we actually ventured out of the training room and worked on walking our dogs around the store on their leashes. Reese did very well. He got a little nervous as people approached us asking, "What kind of dog is THAT?"

I hope at some point to get some pictures. I think we are going to go to class on a Saturday one of these days. That way Franky can go with us and be the monkey handler! : )

Red Makes a Splash...

We have been having so much fun lately...Here's Red having a blast at his friend Emily's birthday party. It was all about water, right up Red's alley. There was a slip and slide, two kiddie pools filled to the brim, beach balls, bubbles, and a hot tub (cool water, of course) just for the 6 and under crowd!

I had to laugh, at one point there were about ten kids in the hot tub. One yells, "It's a Dance party!" On cue all of them started showing off their moves! I wish I would've had a video camera...

Speaking of "dance parties", we also went and saw the movie Mama Mia. It was too cute. ABBA now has a number one fan who's 3 1/2 feet tall, has red hair, freckles and knows almost every word to many of their songs!!!

At the movie, Red danced in the aisle and sang along with the music. The people behind us were cracking up! We now own a copy of the sound track which Red likes to listen to each morning while getting ready for school. :) His favorite song at the moment is Dancing Queen!

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

First Day of School

Tonight was the first night of Reeses' basic training class at PetsMart. We decided to take him so that he could get a little more exposure to other people, animals and places. In hopes that (maybe) by the time we go on our vacation to the beach, he will become more of a social guy instead of a 50+ pound scaredy cat!!!

Red didn't know we were going until I picked him up from school. When I told him where we were going he let out a big hoot and told everyone he was taking his dog to "school". I explained on the way that he needed to be very cooperative and that we had to listen to the instructor so we could learn how to train Reeses. He was in agreement.

Have you ever heard that if you live with someone long enough you begin to look alike? Have you heard that applied to dogs and their owners? Well, tonight I was witness to it! No joke, you could easily separate the dogs from the owners and have a great chance of pairing them back up correctly based on their appearance. Myself not included of course, I don't really think I look much like a labradoodle!!! (Just give it time. Maybe I should get a perm...jk)

By the time the class started there were six pets and eight "trainers" plus the instructor and her pup. The scene was something like this, two dogs barking non-stop, one dog pulling his ten year old girl all over the room, a schnauzer and a little jack russell scuffling, growling at one another and rolling around the floor together - their owners tugging at their leashes, the instructor with squirt bottle in hand trying to "correct" the barking dogs' behavior, Red is laying on the floor in front of her (arms flying in the air) saying (in a very loud voice)"Betcha' can't squirt me", me begging Red to sit down and pay attention to the class, the instructors' pup is raiding the treats and knocking over boxes of stuff the instructor brought with her. And Reese? Laying beside me quiet as can be. I wish I had his ability to drown all of that out!

It was really quite an experience. Turns out, Reeses knew all of the things we worked on today. I learned a few new things which I plan to use with all three of our furry friends. I also learned that instead of a collar and leash for Reeses, next time I'm taking them for Red. Along with some duct tape....I'M KIDDING! (What a terrible Mom!!!)

Saturday, July 12, 2008

All Dogs Love Peanut Butter

In an effort to win the affection of one HUGE and ever growing Doodle, Franky goes for broke!

This weekend, my Mother in Law was visiting. The last time she was here, Reese was shy and didn't get near her. A few times he even barked at her. This time, Reese decided to make friends with her. He followed her around, let her pet him, ate treats from her hands and even went outside when she opened the door. [wow!]

I think this made Franky a little jealous because after three months, Reese still hasn't really warmed up to him. The only time he will have a thing to do with Franky is when we go to bed (and then I think it's because Reese is trying to find a "nice" way of telling Franky to get off HIS bed).

Well, this weekend Reeses began warming up to Franky. He was letting Franky pet him and would actually sit next to him on the couch where as before, he did anything to get away. So, while we were sitting on the couch this afternoon, Franky pulls Reese over into his lap. Reese stayed. We were in awe. Franky yells to Red, "Hurry! Bring me the peanut butter!!" He gets a glob of peanut butter and with Reese in his lap, sits and feeds it to him. How pathetic. It worked though. I just had to snap a picture. This will be something to laugh at down the road...I'm still cracking up!

Angel Kisses

{Prepare for gushiness...}

Every once and a while, I have one of these moments when I look at our little redhead. A flood of emotions comes over me as I realize how blessed we are to be his parents. Blessed that God trusted us in the care of this spirited boy. Blessed that each day we get to see him grow, explore and learn.

As I look at this picture, I see what an amazing boy Red is becoming. A boy who is destined for great can tell by the bright shine in those big blue eyes and the spray of angel kisses across his nose.

We love you so much, Red!

Wednesday, July 9, 2008

Someone Call the Playdough Police...

Is it just me or are there others who just love the smell of playdough? (You're thinking I'm nuts? Just wait.)

Red has been having a really rough time at preschool lately. I've tried all sorts of things to get him to "do what your teachers ask", stop spitting (something he learned from one of "those" kids, because I KNOW he didn't think of THAT on his own...hmm), play nice with his friends, stop arguing, stop talking back, the list goes on and on.

So, today I decided to try a reward for good behavior (aka. blackmail). When I dropped Red off at school today I told him I was going to call his teacher to check on him. Instead, at lunch I dropped by and found out that he had been behaving well. This wasn't surprising to me as his day usually gets a little rocky around nap time. I knew if I could have an impact on the rest of the day, this was my chance.

I pulled him aside and told him he should be very proud of himself for having such an awesome day. Then, the bribe...I told him that if he continued to have a great day, there would be a wonderful surprise for him at home. One that he would be sooo excited about...PLAYDOUGH!!!

Red's eyes were bright with excitement. His hands together on his chest, a HUGE smile spread across his little freckled face. The kid LOVES playdough. His Mama, not so much...

I really do love the smell of playdough. But when it's in my house, that's about the only thing I love about it. I guess you could say I have a love/hate relationship with the stuff. I hate the little pieces that fall onto your floor, I hate the thought of it in my carpet, I hate that it gets deep into your finger nails where it stays for weeks, and the last (most) bothersome thing...I hate when someone mixes the colors...even just a little. There, I wrote it. (I told you you'd think I was nuts.) Does someone have a little control issue? Yepp. I actually think someone must have brain washed me at some point in my life. I feel that strongly about it.

Today, Red decided he was going to provide me with some much needed "therapy". He has this playdough set that someone got him for a birthday. I have had it hidden deep inside our pantry but I had promised, so I pulled it out. It came with four colors of playdough. Being the control freak I am, I opened two colors.

We started playing and honestly the set was so cool, I opened the other colors. Before I knew it, Red had mixed the blue and green. AAAAAGGGGGHHHH!!! I didn't say a word. Red says, "Look Mama. This fish is so colorful!!!" It was. It was actually very cool. I don't think I've EVER mixed the colors. It was AWESOME! He says,"Mama, lets mix ALL the colors together and make a colorful snake!!!" I say,"Go for it, Red!" (I'm actually freaking out, the Playdough Police are going to come and take our playdough away!!!) We played with the playdough for a good hour. Red had so much fun. I confess, I had fun playing with the playdough. I was still a little freaked out by the mixed colors. We now have three containers of "colorful" playdough as Red calls it.

Red helped clean up. The mess wasn't terrible.

Just before he went to sleep tonight he said , "I had fun playing playdough with you, Mama. I think we should do it again tomorrow."

OK, who cares about the stinking mixed colors! :)

Sunday, July 6, 2008

Our Little Firecracker

We had a really nice and quiet 4th of July this year. My Uncle and his family came over in the afternoon and we BBQed and celebrated their daughter's 14th birthday. Great food and wonderful company.

Red has so much fun with Rachel. She is such a cutie! Red is already asking when she's coming back so they can play in the pool and eat more cake. :)

Our neighborhood was really quiet this year. Usually we set up chairs all along our cul de sac and everyone takes turns putting on a show. This year it was just us and two other families. It worked out great though. In the past, I think all of the fireworks intimidated our little firecracker. This year he was ready.

Franky put on his earphones (that he wears at the races) which made the sounds much more tolerable. Funny, Red can be the loudest thing in a room but if something else is loud, he can't stand it!:)

Red loved the little show Daddy put on for him. He even held the sparklers this year. It was so awesome to see him waving the sparklers, making shapes in the night sky. He was so impressed with himself. It reminded me of when I was young and thought that sparklers were the most beautiful thing about 4th of July.

As I sat and watched Alex, I began to miss my Mom and Dad. The 4th of July was always such a fun time at our house when I was growing up. We always worked our tails off preparing the house and yard for a huge BBQ that we had every year on that day.

We would play volleyball, badminton, croquet and swim. We ate great food and then would watch the fire works show. We OOOOed and AAHHed as the sky lite up with the bursts of color. Such an AwESoME time spent with family.

It was at one of these BBQs that Franky and I started dating. Such unforgettable memories...

Happy 4th of July.

Summer Home

SuMmER...What is there not to love about 100 degree heat, hot sidewalks beneath bare feet, sweet seedless watermelon, dips in the cool water of the swimming pool, the bright yellow faces of the sunflowers growing in our backyard, butterflies fluttering around trying to avoid Red's butterfly net and a little mouth circled in color painted by a ice cold Popsicle?

OK, so the 100 degree heat I could probably do without, but would we enjoy the rest of the things on the list as much if it wasn't so stinking hot?! Maybe...

This is the time of the year I long to be at the beach. Breathing in that fresh cool air, listening to the waves, sand between my toes. Unfortunately, this will only be a daydream until August when we take a little time to go camping in Morro Bay.

So, what better to do than redo a few things. Since I have such a love for the sea, in much of our home you will find colors that remind you of the beach. Sea shells sit on shelves and peek out of containers of all sorts.

I've been working on little projects all over the house, but most of my focus has been upstairs where the majority of the "beachy" things are found. I just need to find the right fabric to make some sort of window treatments and this room will become the retreat I've been dreaming of since we moved in.

I found a few photos of us at the beach which seem to fit perfectly in this old peely bookshelf. I love things with peely paint on them. Our county's lead program would likely have a fit if they saw some of the things I have in our house. Lucky for me, Red doesn't chew on furniture!!!
I found this cute little rack that made a great place to hold some fun things in my scrap booking room. I love it when something is beautiful in it's appearance and also functional. I have been having so much fun in my little room lately. I have actually decided to submit a few layouts to a magazine called Memory Makers. I'll keep everyone posted on how things turn out. I'm not expecting anything big but am excited at the possibilities!
This last photo is of a treasure I received from my Mother-in Law. She handed this to me when we visited last and said that she was getting ready to toss it but thought that I might would like it because I loved sea shells. After I finished gasping at the idea of this beautiful treasure (given to her by her Mother-in-Law) could have been gone forever, I nearly jumped with joy. I LOVE this box which sides are made of either oyster shell or mother of pearl. It is pieced together with brass which has the most beautiful patina. I am so thankful to have it and will treasure it forever!

I hope you all survive the summer heat and enjoyed a little peak of my "Summer Home". :)

A Day in the Life of a Labradoodle

I'm sure that all of you have seen at least one version of the movie Freaky Friday? Well, I've decided, if I were ever given the opportunity to switch a day in the life with someone, it wouldn't be a person. Nope. It would be our labradoodle, Reeses. He is one lucky dog!

He gets to spend his days in an air conditioned house with all the amenities. Treats are plentiful. He doesn't have to watch his weight or worry about getting dressed and getting to work on time. At night he sleeps spread out on 3/4 of a california king sized bed, the rest of the day he just plops down and naps wherever he wants. He has a basket full of toys. He is pampered with lots of love and attention. When he drinks water, some lady wipes his chin off so he doesn't drip water everywhere. What a life...

Yep, he has captured my heart. Red's too. The verdict is still out on Franky. He is still clambering to get Reese to like him. :)

Off to See Some Giants...

In the middle of the month, we decided to take a trip up to the Giant Sequoias. It had been years since Franky and I had been. We both had wonderful memories of our last trip (except for maybe the dog getting car sick...long funny story). My two nieces, Karlie and Chelsie, were with us and had a great time. So, we thought it would be a neat experience for Red.

We loaded up in the car stopping in Three Rivers to pick up stuff for a picnic. Red tells the lady who helps us," We're going to see a GIANT!" (I can only imagine what he was picturing in his little redhead when we told him we were going to visit the"Giant Sequoias"!) She laughs and tells him to have a good time.

When we get up to the trees, Red was in awe. He loves the outdoors and thought the trail to the General Sherman was his very own race track. He ran weaving back and forth on the trail. Hooting and yipping along the way. We had to remind him a few times that we needed to be a little quiet so that others could relax and enjoy the scenery. He actually listened and mellowed a little. Then to our amazement, he was the first to spot a young deer near the path. He whispers very excitedly,"Look Mama and Daddy, a reindeer!!" We were amazed how close it came to us and how quiet Red was and that he didn't scare it away.

When we reached the General Sherman Tree, Red was mesmerized. He stood and looked at it for a good minute then decided he was ready to hit the trail.

We had such a terrific time. It was so peaceful amidst those giant trees. So amazing to see something, once very small, has grown into something so beautiful. When I think about it, I am witness to this kind of miracle everyday. I am watching Red grow.

Growing into an amazing boy...

Girls, do you remember the phrase, "Aunt Shell, she's got that look in her eyes..." That was such an adventure! What a trip. So glad you guys were with us, though. Wish you were with us this time. We miss you.

Our Little Swimmer

How cute is this little redhead? His smile is like a ray of sunshine. Oh, how I love this boy!!! More pictures to come...

At Long Last

I have once again taken a break from the blogging world to chase Red, scrap a little, play in the swimming pool, play Wii, do a little redecorating for summer, wipe up the water left on the floor after Reese drinks (no joke). Ya-da ya-da....excuses, excuses.

So, for those of you who are stalking my blog (you know who you are!), this one's for you!!! : ) And, just so you know, I appreciate everyone who reads about this crazy/wonderful life we have. It's great to know that you take time out of your busy lives to stop and see what's happening with us.

June was a fun month. It got warm enough to enjoy the pool a little. Red loves splashing around on his kick board and is just starting to venture into the "sink or swim" phase of summer. That is what I call it when Red becomes brave enough to let go of the "life-saving" floatation device of choice and swim to me or to the side of the pool. With each passing summer, this phase begins a little earlier.

Red has a motivator this summer. You see, Reese is already jumping in and swimming to us...He LOVES the pool. I guess Red figures he can't be one upped by a dog! It was really funny the other day, we had put Reese outside the pool fence so that Red could practice (if we don't, Reese jumps in on top of Red...not good.). It takes Red a little while to warm up to the idea of swimming but he really wanted to show his Daddy the progress we had made. So I get out in the middle of the pool and count "1-2-3". Red says,"Wait! Wait! I have to stretch my legs!" He stretches them out to the sides and toward the back. Then with toes pointed stretches them straight out in front of him. "This is how 'they' do it." OK, Red. "Ready? 1-2-3..." Nothing happens. "Are you gonna jump, Red?" Reese is outside the fence whining. "Wait Mama. I have to do this." He sticks his head under water and blows bubbles. "See. You have to do that before you swim." OK. "Ready-Set-GO!!!" Still no jump. "Ok, Alex. Reeses really wants to get back in the pool. Are you gonna jump or what?" He finally jumps. I'll bet by the end of summer, he will start swimming. Then next summer we'll start all over again!

Fun times!