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November 23, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving 2010

This Thanksgiving will be at my house, the turkey is thawed, the potatoes need to be peeled, the stuffing is ready, the house is clean and my parents, father-in-law and grandmas will all be coming over to enjoy family, food and fun!

Rachel is sharing her Thanksgiving Greeting! (Can you see her tiny foot?!?)



November 19, 2010

Reach and Scoop

It's official, Rachel survived 8 weeks of Aqua Babies & Tots swim classes. She was the youngest kid in the class, most of them were walking and around 18 months to 24 years. At the beginning of each class, the parents had to set their child on the edge of the pool, get in and then grab your child and get into the pool. I was extremely nervous my daughter was going to crawl away while I was getting into the pool or try to get in with me. She didn't do anything! She sat and waited for me to pick her up and put her into the pool each time! She loved the water and first splashes with her hand, then both hands and then she begins to chat while in the water.

We sang songs, we went up and down, we threw balls, tried kick boards, noodles and life jackets. It's hard to encourage your 10 month old to "reach and scoop" with her hands and "kick, kick, kick" when she doesn't quite understand the concept. My daughter cannot swim, but I am now holding the tools to help her become more comfortable with the water and I know what to do to encourage her to float on her back and "reach and scoop."


November 17, 2010

Pumpkin Guts

Since we got pumpkins from the pumpkin patch, we had to carve them! I was really excited to see what Rachel would do when she felt the "guts" on her hands.

Here is our blank canvas. I will admit, I was in a hurry and felt like I just needed to get this done, before I put Rachel in a bath and then to bed, so it was a bit rushed and my imaginative juices were not flowing. I was also recovering from having a cold for what seemed like three weeks.


At first, she seemed to love the pumpkin! 

(Yes, I cut out the bottom of the pumpkin. It makes putting in and lighting the candle much easier, and then the top can never fall into the pumpkin!)



I put the guts on her feet. She didn't want to touch them. I held the guts in my hand and she would act like she was going to touch them and then pull her hand away. Of course the guts made the black plastic very slippery so her attempting to get away was not going well.


Here is the finished product! I call it the "Super R Pumpkin!"


All the seeds went to waste. I thought about my friend Mowen as I threw all of the seeds into the trash. When we were in college, Mowen and I somewhat perfected the pumpkin seed recipe. Our secret is to boil them in water first, and then bake them in the oven. It prevents them from burning. And that year we also experimented with flavors, salt, ranch, cajun...

November 16, 2010

Blue Box

How much fun is it to be inside a box? In September, Rachel was testing out the blue boxes I bought to store some of her toys in.



November 15, 2010

Halloween 2010

Rachel had the option of wearing four different costumes for Halloween: Lobster, Butterfly, Pig and Pumpkin.

The pumpkin costume was missing an eye, and I never got around to fixing it, so I decided not to dress her as a pumpkin. She was a butterfly at school and a pig on Halloween Eve when we went to an open house. I don't have any school photos of the butterfly! The lobster costume didn't have holes for her legs (think of a mermaid) so she quickly wore that for a photo shoot and then undressed.


If you're going to wear a pig costume, you have to have a pig tail! 

Here is the lobster, laying on the floor. 


And here is her cousin Avery as a lobster when she was little! Thanks to Avery for letting us use your costume!

Rachel really enjoyed being in the pot! Thanks to Grandpa for letting us borrow it!





November 12, 2010


There is a pumpkin patch near my father-in-law's house that my husband and I usually go to every year to pick up a few pumpkins. This year would be no different, except our daughter and father-in-law and his friend Wanda would be joining us. The patch is so close to my in-law's house that we walked there.

We let Rachel loose in the pumpkin patch, but she didn't do too much. I let her hang out with a few pumpkins and then we went to the petting zoo part of the farm. There was a tiny goat that was roaming all over the place and she loved watching him! 



November 10, 2010

Rachel's First Trip to God's Country

I decided in October to visit my college roommate. I haven't seen her since my Wedding Celebration in October 2008 but I haven't seen her at her house in the Upper Peninsula since her first child, Alicia was born. She now has three children and Alicia is (gulp) eight!

The five hour trip was uneventful. I have determined that I last about three hours in the car alone. I don't count my daughter as a passenger because she can't talk. Around mile stick 212 on US 127 I saw a fox attempt to cross the road. He made it half way across and then turned around. I saw a few cars pulled over by cops, but nothing more. My daughter did excellent on the ride to and from the UP. She never cried, I was able to make a bottle while driving and hand it to her. I stopped just across the bridge to change her diaper because I felt guilty for not letting her "stretch her legs."

I was warned by my friend that her son, now 19 months old, was somewhat of a bully and she was concerned he would pick on my daughter. We discovered that he was far from a bully with Rachel. He was such a kind and gently boy that he loved being with her! 

We relaxed on Friday night when I arrived and then on Saturday went out to lunch and to the zoo. My husband was questioning my trip to the zoo because he was certain there was no zoo in the UP and he confirmed this with a college friend who was born and raised in the UP. There was a zoo and the older kids loved it. You can purchase apples to feed the bear and cones of food to feed other animals. My daughter had fun watching the goats move about and I was fascinated with the little pigs. The weather was perfect! Sunny and warm enough for a light jacket/fleece.

I brought sugar cookies on Saturday for the older girls to decorate while the "babies" took their naps. They did an excellent job and we all enjoyed eating them after they were decorated. We had a great time, my daughter slept well at their house and was fabulous in the car!

Some of my favorite signs:
US 2 is not a freeway, please drive safely. 

There are 12 passing lanes in the next 128 miles. 

I forgot all about the signs advertising Sea Shell City on the way north: Rare oddities from Davy Jones Locker

One of my favorite events of the weekend happened when were in the "town" of Engadine. We were walking from the car to the restaurant and I was asking the girls what the different buildings were. Lauren pointed out the bar and said, "That's the bar. You know, where people go to hang out."  I was also in awe that there was one school, for K-12.


I helped Lauren line up these blocks, in alphabetical order, and then I insisted she lay next to it and get her picture taken because it was longer than she was! 


My heart melted when I got to meet Lexi. 



Russell loved Rachel. He was so gentle and interested in her. 


Lauren was trying to read a book to Rachel but she wasn't too interested. 


This is what greets you when you go to the zoo. 



Alicia (the oldest, and pictured above on the right) was awesome with Rachel. She will be an excellent babysitter in the future! 


I took this photo (below) for Lauren. She was taking pictures with her mom's camera and took a photo of an animal's butt and thought it was hilarious. 


I was into the pigs. This was what I thought was the "runt" of the litter. He was obnoxious, fast and my favorite.


Here he is "in action." 



Russell feeding the goats. 

I'm thinking the girls were attempting to feed an animal they were not supposed to feed. I gather this because they are waaay far away from the fence! The animals that you could feed had a fence you could walk right in front of. 


Lauren wanted me to take some photos of her dancing. I put these together so you can get the dancing idea. 



November 08, 2010

Rachel is 5/6 of a year old!

Usually when I take my daughter's monthly photos, she sits fairly still in the orange chair. Well, something was up her butt today because she didn't want to sit on the chair at all! She was fearless and kept leaning forward and falling off of the chair! I had to utilize a spoon and that kept her busy enough to snap a few shots while she sat in the orange chair.

She still doesn't have any teeth, her hair is growing like crazy and she seems to be getting skinnier! I'm not sure if she is a true Stroschein (my sister and grandpa were super skinny as children) but lately her pants keep falling off of her body! The other day she wore 3 month pants and they fit her great. I can see they maybe getting a little short, but they didn't fall down. Usually we have to roll the waist or the cuffs to keep her from crawling out of them.

She loves to eat, but doesn't always love what she has to eat. She will gobble up a pork chop at dinner at home, but then when I pack it for lunch at school, she doesn't eat it! She ate pumpkin last week like a champ and then when I added it to a turkey apple blend, she didn't eat it at all! 

She is becoming more independent, standing with less support and somewhat fearless. 


This is what happened when she was "done" sitting in the chair! She insisted on getting out and luckily I caught her! 


November 05, 2010


We have to represent our school through our child! Thanks to Julie and Ted, Rachel is decked out in her LSSU onesie and pigtails! I snapped this just before her dad left for work! This was one of those days where she just had to chew on her fingers!


November 03, 2010

Rachel's Craft

I believe this is Rachel's Fourth Craft project that has come home.

First = Easter Craft

Second = Mother's Day Craft

Third = Father's Day Craft

It's too cute when she comes home with something like this! I know she can't cut them out, but she did have to flatten her hand and have it traced! 


November 02, 2010

Hat Season

Hat season is around the corner so I dug out some winter items for Rachel to take to school just in case the weather got really cold and she needed a hat for "recess." I was so happy to be reminded of this pink handmade hat she received when she was born! It was made by my husband's friend's mom, Bonnie. Last year when Bonnie gave it to us, I was thinking it would be perfect for next winter when her head was bigger. So we had to try it on Rachel to make sure it fit. She not only has a pink one, but also a purple one!


Then Grandpa had to hold her high in the air which she just loved! I'm just surprised she kept her legs stiff, which is key to this "trick."



November 01, 2010

Drag Racing - Ubly, Michigan


We had the rare opportunity to watch my husband drag race in the Thumb area in September. It was nice to be able to stay at my parent's house and drive to and from the track (it's a 10 minute drive), because I am always worried about how my daughter will sleep and nap in a motorhome, parked at the racetrack, around loud cars.

Of course any trip with our daughter requires a separate vehicle just to haul all of her gear. Toys to play with, lots of clothes, bottles, diapers, food, etc. I rarely forget anything and this trip was no exception! We had it all figured out and my husband did awesome in the 1/8 mile races. Rachel and I stayed away from the staging lanes/burnout zone and watched her dad fly down the track!

The Gremlin set a new track record of  6.56 seconds at 98 miles per hour. This record was surpassed a week later when the Gremlin ran 6.50 at 102 miles per hour.



This may have been Pete and Patzi's first trip to the Thumb just like Rockwell! 


Saving money on ear plugs and only having to use one! 

If you've ever been to the Thumb area, you may have seen the Windmills. For more information on the over 40 windmills, read here. They are clearly visible on your way to the track and while at the track.


Our daily hang out in the pits when her dad wasn't racing!