Monday, August 25, 2008

A Mini Vacation

Since we're probably not going to go on a "real" vacation this year, we decided to take full advantage of our camper and take a few little trips throughout the summer and until I get to be too uncomfortable (just about there!). This weekend, we packed up and made the hour and a half drive to Patoka Lake, which was a new place for us. We had heard good things about it, but didn't really know what to expect.

Let me just say that it didn't feel like we were in Indiana, as Patoka Lake is the second largest reservoir in Indiana and it just seems unreal to have a lake this big practically in our back yard. I spent many summers in Minnesota (land of 10,000 lakes) and I have seen my fair share of enormous lakes, and this one ranks right up there! The whole park, although we didn't want to use up all our gas to see it all, is absolutely wonderful...filled with lots of picnic areas and a huge campground. We chose a campsite very close to the bathrooms/showers and it was very nice and private since there weren't that many other campers around.

Although the weather was a little too hot for big-bellied me, we enjoyed being outside and tried to take in all God's glorious creation without sweating too much. I must admit that we ended up turning the AC on in the camper a little during the day and when I got too hot, I ventured inside for a bit.

Addie had a blast and had a few firsts on this trip. She tried her first roasted "marmallow" on Friday night and the silly girl didn't like it (darn, one more for me!). We also made it down to the swimming beach on Saturday afternoon and although Chris and I didn't bring our swimsuits, we waded around with her in the cool water. She loved the beach and especially enjoyed watching all the other people swimming. There were lots of things to do and lots of different playgrounds to seek out and I think we played on all of them by the end of our trip. She even mastered going down some of the slides by herself (over and over and over again).

After waking up several times during the night with leg cramps and feeling like I had just won the Olympic Marathon, I woke up Sunday morning longing for a hike in the woods. We had been to the Visitor's Center the day before and knew of a short trail that shouldn't take us too long, in fact the trail guide said it took 30-45 minutes to complete. I was pretty proud of us for making it in 31 minutes, even with several stops along the way and going a lot slower than our usual hikes. Of course we're talking about a 7 month pregnant and out of shape me and Chris with 25 extra pounds of Addie on his back...we did good! Addie enjoyed looking at all the different things in nature, especially the fungus which she said over and over. We ended our "vacation" with a picnic lunch by the water, where it was a bit cooler and more shady than our campsite at this time of day. We will definitely make it back to Patoka Lake in the future! Enjoy the slideshow and video clip!

Friday, August 15, 2008

Addie's "Modeling" (for lack of a better word) Debut

I'm not a big fan of calling it "modeling," but I can't think of any other word to describe the action of putting on clothes and getting your picture taken....So, Addie is modeling for a wonderfully talented clothing designer, Baby Go Retro. Our photographer, Jane asked if I might be interested in this over a year ago and after looking at the BGR website and falling in love with the clothes (knowing we'd get some *free* outfits), I said "YES!" Sheila, the owner of Baby Go Retro, was my inspiration for sewing clothes for Addie and eventually starting Junebug Creations. Take a look: Addie actually made the homepage!

Fun Friday!

This morning Addie and I spent some time with my best friend Melissa and her little boy, Luke. We decided to go to this wonderful playground down by the river called Kid's Kingdom. The kids had a wonderful time going down the slide together and swinging side by side. This was Addie's first time at a "big" playground so she was a bit overwhelmed at first, but began loving it when she started following Luke everywhere and doing everything he did. He was a great friend and sweetly waited for her as she took her dainty time climbing after him. It was a little hot for the preggo mommies, but we enjoyed the time in the fresh air too.
1, 2, 3, GO!
Swinging Buddies

Melissa and I decided they look like they're awkwardly posing for a prom picture :)

Driving the Speed boat

A big girl on a huge playground!
After some play time, we headed down to a great little deli on Main St. called Emgi's. The kids got 75 cent grilled cheese sandwiches and enjoyed some fruit too. Then we went next door to the most wonderful cake and cookie shop called Piece of Cake. We sat and ate our yummy cookies and Addie and Luke even shared with each other. They are too sweet together! We had a great time with our friends and can't wait to do it again next week!

Sharing some cookie with Froggy

A Day at the Zoo

Chris decided to take off work on Wednesday morning so we could all go see the new zoo exhibit that opened last week, Amazonia. It turned out to be wonderful weather, although it got a little too hot for me (I'm hot at all times these days!). Amazonia is a simulated rain forest and has many animals from the amazon. We saw toucans, monkeys, porcupines, a beautiful cheetah, fish and turtles, and these creatures that looked like giant groundhogs in the exhibit. It was very impressive!

We decided to go ahead and see the rest of the zoo while we were there. Addie especially enjoyed the baby zebra that we got to see up close. She liked the snakes and the many different birds. We took the stroller, but she walked most of the time, which I must say is very impressive because of all the hills in our zoo! I think Chris and I were both just as tired as she was by the end of our adventure.

Daddy and Addie popping up in the prairie dog tunnel

Crawling out of the tunnel

Relaxing in the back of the van after a tiring morning!

Monday, August 11, 2008

Bluegrass in the Park

About 5 years ago, my mom and I discovered a wonderful annual event called "Bluegrass in the Park" right across the river in Henderson, Kentucky. We kind of stumbled upon it and ended up staying all day and into the night to listen to many wonderful bluegrass bands from all around the country. I convinced Chris to come along the following year and he was hooked too. The setting is beautiful, right on the river, and the weather has been unusually nice almost every year. People bring their chairs and blankets and just camp out in the grass all day. We've made it a tradition to make the short trip across the Ohio River to enjoy some terrific music, fried green tomatoes (my favorite) and watered-down lemon shake ups every year since 2003. And maybe best of all...this event is FREE!!!

We took Addie last summer and it was miserably hot, but we still enjoyed the music and the atmosphere. So this year, we thought it might be even more fun to add a music-loving, dancing toddler to the mix. Fortunately, the weather was absolutely gorgeous and we ended up staying for about 4 hours. Addie played and danced on a quilt and even made some new friends. There was a little girl who was 15 months old sitting with her family right behind us and she kept venturing up to see what Addie had to offer in the way of toys. They were so cute together, playing and sharing toys. Addie even gave Ella her "lovey," which surprised the daylights out of me since this is her most special possession.

Addie and her new friend Ella

Sharing toys

Later in the evening, another little girl arrived with her family who was about 18 months old. She was almost as tall as Addie and talked just as much and really enjoyed pointing to Addie's nose and ears and telling her all about the strawberry on her shirt. It was very cute to see them interacting.

Addie dancing and clapping to the music

I think the huge inflatable slide and jumping castle were the highlight of the day, although Addie was not big enough to actually enjoy them herself. She kept pulling us out of our chairs to take us over to them just to watch the big kids play. It kind of made me sad that she couldn't play on them...maybe next year! She did get to pet a nice doggie and see lots of "fast boats" and "noisy trains" throughout our time by the river. She loved the music and even said, "yay song!" one time when a song was over. It was a fun day for all of us!

Friday, August 1, 2008

Playing with Pudding

First of all, I highly recommend this if you have little ones, teach little ones, or just want to have some yummy fun yourself. I started buying vanilla pudding for Addie to have for an occasional snack a few weeks ago and it was a big hit. She even told me that she wanted pudding for breakfast I thought she might be excited to try some of the chocolate/vanilla swirl pudding later on at snack time.

Um, let's just say she doesn't enjoy chocolate nearly as much as the plain vanilla. She kept trying little bites and making this funny face like she hated it so rater than waste the whole cup of pudding, I thought it might be fun to let her try "pudding painting."

Oh it was so much fun. At first she wasn't sure about it, maybe she thought she was doing something naughty (wonder why?), but after she saw me putting my fingers in it and wiping it around her tray she jumped right in. At one point, she was even saying alphabet letters as she drew around in the pudding. She made an "E", an "S", a "B", and a "T" (not really of course, but she was at least saying the letters). Here are a few pictures I caught during our pudding playtime.

A little upset that it was time to clean up!

Pudding praying! She folded her hands and said "Jesus," blah, babble, blah, "Amen."

Big Sister in Training

I'm not sure if all girls are born with the mothering instinct, but I sure know that Addie has fully developed it just in the last several months. She has always enjoyed hugging and loving on her stuffed animals (as you saw in the video clip I put on here a while back) and she has a few baby dolls that she also enjoys taking care of. Obviously, we have been discussing babies a lot more recently to prepare her for the arrival of our new little one and she is really taking it all in.

We ended up "borrowing" one of the baby dolls from the church nursery to avoid an enormous fit the other day after prayer group and she has really become attached to "her." On the way home from church, she undressed the baby and as soon as we walked in the door she announced that the baby had to potty and she ran to get her little potty out of the bathroom cabinet. Later that night, she undressed the baby again, took her to potty, and then found some cloth wipes in her room to use as "cloth diapers." Chris and I are certainly encouraging of this behavior since we're trying to get in potty training and big sister mode at the same time. Chris was even showing her how to pretend powder the "boukies" (bottoms) of each of her stuffed animals in her room the other night! She also makes sure to wipe bottoms clean while saying "nakie bouky"...I'm not kidding.

She not only diapers the baby, but she also takes full responsibility for feeding her. This morning, I found her sitting on the couch giving her cloth diapered baby some milk from a bottle. It's just about the cutest thing watching her love and take care of this baby. Hopefully she will welcome a real baby the same way in a few months! (And hopefully this baby can make it safely back to the church nursery without any troubles...I am not looking forward to that day next week!)

Vote Now!

I thought it might be fun to take a little poll to see what everyone thinks this baby is going to be (besides a baby, which is always my smarty-pants answer when someone asks me what it is ;) Please cast your vote over in the sidebar below the baby's ultrasound picture.

If it helps any, I had my 26 week appointment yesterday and the heart rate was 150. My last two appointments have been in the afternoon and they were both in the 150s, so we'll see if having my next appointment (only 2 weeks away!) makes a difference since it'll be in the morning. Who knows! I am back to no feelings either way...just hoping and praying the little cutie is healthy. Happy voting!