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July 28, 2011

Christmas in July 2011

Most of you know I choose to make my Christmas cookies in July and here is the tag that I send along with my treats:

Around the busy holiday season in December, people and businesses are bombarded with an overflow of holiday treats and goodies. Often, it’s more than we can possibly enjoy, no matter how hard we try.  Therefore, please accept these “Christmas in July” cookies and enjoy them ‘til your heart’s content!         
Merry Christmas!
P.S. These cookies have not been in my freezer since last December! They were baked fresh this month!

Most of you also know we don't give our daughter much sugar, if any. I was doing the single mom thing while my husband was out of town working and I decided to give Rachel a sugar cookie to keep her in one spot while I made dinner. She didn't take one bite, but instead, tried to pull off the sprinkles and eat them one at a time. She didn't get too far, but it was comical watching her pick up the teeny tiny sprinkle and put it in her mouth.

 

July 26, 2011

What do we need?

Rachel was supposed to be helping me "shut the door" on the fridge, and when I looked to see if she followed through on her instructions, this is what I saw!

 

 

 

July 25, 2011

Sunday Road Trip

We took a road trip on Sunday to the Thumb because my niece, Avery was in Michigan. She had a fun time playing with Rachel in the sprinkler at grandma and papa's house. The two of them also enjoyed playing with all the vintage toys my mom dug out of the attic.

As usual Rachel gets a drink of water from the sprinkler. 

Avery is here!

Check out the vintage chairs the girls are sitting on! My sister and I sat on the same ones as kids. We had to remove Rachel shortly after the photo because the chair webbing was starting to fall apart and she was sinking into the chair! 


 


 

 

July 22, 2011

Eggs

The other night Rachel had a snack before dinner. I gave her a hard boiled egg while I was making dinner. It must have been a full moon because she was "out of order" and being extra messy and funny. I believe she shoved most of the pieces into her mouth at one time.

 

 

 

July 20, 2011

Fun in the Kitchen

If you've ever been to my house or stalked the home photos I have,  you will know that my kitchen and living room are very open. The "doorway" is over 12 feet wide, therefore, we cannot put a baby gate across it to prevent little hands from diving into the kitchen cupboards, or being in the kitchen when I cook. But this is fine with me. I love to be cooking in the kitchen, it can sometimes be annoying when a half-crying toddler is nagging on your knees, as you are trying to cut potatoes, but I'm glad she can see me in the kitchen and be a part of the cooking process (she watches and pours things in for me and stirs ingredients together). I think the most annoying thing about not blocking off this area to her, is the toys she hauls into the kitchen, the ones I almost always trip over while moving from stove to island counter top to sink to fridge while making a meal.

Anyhow, in an attempt to make cooking somewhat educational, while keeping her away from the hot stovetop and oven, I decided to make and display some educational items on my refrigerator. I typed up some items at work - ABC's, Colors, Shapes, Numbers - and printed them off on card stock. I then attached them to the fridge using clear contact paper. Now when we are in the kitchen together and she isn't hanging on my knees, we can  say our ABC's together and practice our colors, numbers, and shapes.

I have big plans (I've already purchased the flash cards) to cut and affix flash cards onto a sheet of paper according to their theme - such as, food, parts of the body, animals, etc. I then want to swap out the sheets of themes so each time we cook, we can cover a different topic! I think it will be fun to mix things up a little bit and keep Rachel entertained. 

This "sticker" is my effort to keep the refrigerator items on the refrigerator. We have the magnet letters, but they often get carried away with a handful of other things. 

 

July 18, 2011

Slippers for a Princess

Rachel loves to wear her dad's slippers. She puts them on, walks around and continuously laughs.

 

July 14, 2011

Closet Babies

Can you find the baby in the closet?

 

Rachel loves to sit on the unopened package of diapers in her closet, and play with the tags on her unworn clothes. I've caught her a few times in the morning sitting on those diapers, drinking her cup of milk. 

I must admit I'm somewhat ashamed of how messy my daughter's closet is, but it's summer and I have ALL WINTER to clean it! So instead of staying inside, we'll be outside playing or at the beach!

 

July 12, 2011

Oh Canada

Since I am "catching up" on "long lost" events that took place in the spring, I thought I should blog about my trip to Canada in May.

I was invited to a bridal shower for a friend who's (now) wife is from Canada. I was responsible for all of the paper products for her wedding so I thought it would be fun to visit and make the trip to Canada for her open house shower. I got in touch with a friend from Sault College who now lives in Hamilton, Ontario and asked her to meet me about halfway and hang out with our kids before I went to the shower. I realized after me met we haven't seen each other in 8 years! Thankfully Facebook and email has kept us in touch!

Rachel and I left early for the 3.5 hour trip to Canada. We planned to meet my friend Gabe and her son Jonah at a park in Chatham which was the halfway point for both of us. As with any border crossing, I'm always a tad nervous. I had our passports and Rachel was peacefully sleeping in the car when I drove through customs to begin our journey to Ontario. She missed out on the bridge and most of the excitement of Canada. We began our trip across 401 East toward London. I believe the "locals" call this "The 401." The road itself reminded me of the turnpike and toll road across Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania - barren, hardly any traffic, no bill boards - which make for a very boring trip! The signs that I did encounter made me laugh:
Fatigue Kills
Tailgating Kills - Leave Some Space
Drinking & Driving Kills - Don't Drink and Drive!
Not only could I read these signs in English, but shortly after, I was able to view the French translation of them as well.

At one point I passed the Windsor Hotel where the sign said "Electrically Heated." I was relieved, because I was worried if I ever stayed there, I'd have to bring my own wood to keep the wood stove in my room lit and the room warm. Thankfully Canada now has electricity!

We arrived at the park and during our trip it kept looking like it was going to rain. A few sprinkles hit the car on the 401 but didn't amount to anything, and so we remained dry while hanging out. It was GREAT to see my friend from years ago and I LOVE her son Jonah. He is 4 and just full of surprises. We had lunch at Harvey's (new to me) and my friend was excited because they had poutine. For any of you who do not know the Canadian delicacy, poutine is french fries and cheese covered in gravy. I'm always mortified by this dish. I tried a bite once while in college and I cannot eat it. I especially do not like how the gravy makes the fries soggy!

Anyhow, our lunch was great, Jonah called me out for saying a bad word (shut up) and after lunch we took a walk around the cute little town of Chatham and found another park for the kids to play at and us to catch up on the past eight years. It's so great to know you have a wonderful friend when after such a long time you can just pick up and keep talking like you've been hanging out all this time. I love that about my friend Gabe. 

After our fun (and short) time with Gabe, we headed to Kristen's shower. I must admit I felt terribly under-dressed, in jeans and a shirt, but we were at the park all day and I knew we'd be "getting dirty" so I didn't wear a cute skirt or sundress like everyone else! My attire just helped me appear more American to the all-Canadian-except-for-family guests. 

The shower was very cute and laid back. Just an open house to visit and hang out. Enjoy some food and wine and visit with the bride. I was introduced to everyone and immediately forgot their names - I need to work on that. One friend called me out as the Facebook friend with the caricature as my profile photo. And she was correct. Rachel was a big hit (naturally) and I am in love with the Blueberry Hand Soap from Bath and Body Works that was given to me as a favor!

A week or so after Rachel's first trip to Canada, Kristen, the bride, sent me a package with two ADORABLE tee shirts inside. They were both for Rachel as souvenir of her first trip Across the Border.

 

July 06, 2011

Springtime Fun

It seems like there is "something" with the weather each year. Lots of snow, no snow, lots of rain, no rain, too much hot weather, not hot enough, but that is the joys of living in Michigan. I don't complain about the weather too often, why gripe when you really can't change it at all, but some people will say we never really had a spring and went right into summer.

This weather didn't stop us from making Rachel's play area in our back yard. I burnt the collapsing picnic table we had, we scraped away some sod, dropped some mulch on an area and plunked her plastic toys on the mulch. She loves it! I scored a lot of outdoor toys from a lady on craigs list and Rachel loves being outside.

Since then, the weather has gotten nice and warm. Rachel plays in the sprinkler and her blue pool. I often set up a low rubbermaid tub and put water and toys in and and she splashes around in it while I am outside trying to get yard work done, washing the car or cleaning out the garage.