A note from the writers

Blogger seems to be having some trouble with its videos. They've been uploaded correctly and will run sometimes. If you can't see them now, come back another time and try again. It's totally a game of chance to get them to run. If anyone out there has a fix, I'd love to hear about it. Thanks!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

This is ok...for now.

Kids do the darndest things.  What can you do, but laugh?

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Ten on Tuesday (The Wednesday Edition)

Sorry for the lag in posts....here's 10 to make up for the time.  :-)

1.  How about that America, huh?  Whether we all agree or not, power has once again transferred peacefully between two leaders who share little more, politically, than a great love of our country and our freedom.  Isn't it amazing?  Love it.

2.  John P. Casey is back on this side of the Atlantic.  Very exciting stuff.  Even better, he came to visit for the long weekend.  There was a lot of Wii Star Wars being played and a lot of just hanging around.  It looked a lot like this...

3.  And sounded a lot like this...

4.  Ava got to go pick out her first toy.  She got a gift card from her Uncle Wes for her birthday and we've just gotten around to taking her to the store.  She's now got her first ride-on toy, a turtle, and she loves it.  She can get on and off by herself, but needs about one more inch to get it moving by herself.  So, we've turned it into an adult pull toy...

5.  When we got to this house, our hot water heater needed to be replaced.  We managed to get that done about four months after we got here.  It was then that we realized that the water softner was leaking too.  Thanks to having a knacky husband and a great idea about using boat sealant (Thanks, Dad!), we were able to take it apart, patch it up, and save ourselves $1000.  Gotta love knacky husbands.

6.  Our good friends, the Hoffmans, are expecting a second child at the end of August or so.  We're so excited for them and can't wait to meet their new little one!

7.  Speaking of the Hoffmans, Sarah is out of town this week, so we're short one (fabulous!) childcare provider.  Luckily, my mom was planning a trip out here at some point in January anyway and was able to come stay with us for the week.  Gotta love parents who help out in a pinch.

8.  When Grandma is here, Ava gets lots of spoiling.  Unfortunately, since Mom and Ava are here by themselves most of the time, their visit together hasn't been as well documented as it should be.  Gotta love self-portraits.

Like that bruise on Ava's head?  She really smacked her head on the coffee table this week. Gotta love toddlerhood.

9.  This seems to have been one of the longer weeks on record.  Cannot wait for Friday.  Cannot. wait.

10.  And this about sums it up.  Just when you think you're too tired for it all, something really makes you laugh.

Monday, January 12, 2009

Not yet ready...

...to dine with the queen.

While Ava is certainly a very polite child (she always says thank you as she dismisses you with her cup, bottle, or toy), as you'll see in this video, we're not really ready to take her to dinner with the Queen.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Ava Video

A couple of videos of the kiddo.  Exciting as my closet organization story is, we know this is why you're here.  :-)

First, our little drummer girl...

And, she doesn't often wear belt loops, so this is a real treat...for us.

Weekend Warrior: Office Organization

The dawning of a new year has left me feeling the need to finally get organized.  It could also be that I'm a champion procrastinator and realized that my break before classes and papers begin again is nearly over.  Whatever it is, I've finally tackled some of the scariest organizational challenges in our house.  

Our DVD collection has become astronomical and we were out of places to store all those cases.  Now that we have the new TV stand and got that part of the house all prettied up, it just didn't seem right to make a new mess by putting an ugly bookshelf full of DVDs right next to it...plus, I needed the storage space in our coffee table for new board games received for Christmas.  Enter DVD sleeves and binders.  I removed all the DVDs from their cases, saved the cover art/information, and alphabetized them into 4 binders.  We still have a bookshelf full of DVDs because of TV shows and special sets, but this is so much better.

The second task was to organize the closet in the office where we keep all the office supplies, computer stuff, and my craft/sewing stuff.  All this stuff used to live in a closet in our house at Edwards we referred to as "the closet of death."  While nothing threatened to fall on your head when we crammed it all in here, we still couldn't ever find anything and, in general, it was a real mess.  So with the help of these and my new labelmaker, we're now organized to within an inch of our lives.  

Here's the before...

And here's the after...

Really loving this.  Just a couple more things to get cleared up and then we're really ready for a new start to a new year.  Two weeks late isn't bad....:-)

Have a great week everyone!

Tuesday, January 06, 2009

Ten on Tuesday

1.  I started back to work today.  Why is that I always feel behind when I've been away from work, even when I left things to be picked up right on time when I got back?

2.  Ava woke up with a fever and cough today.  Hopefully, the Motrin knocked that right out.  

3.  Bless Sarah Hoffman for taking in sick children with unbalanced pigtails.

This photo isn't from today, but you get the idea...

4.  Matt built us a new TV stand over the Christmas break.  We put it in the house yesterday.  It's beautiful and perfect and we both love it.  Here it is in all its glory...

5.  Since we've started this blog, we say the word "blogworthy" at least 10 times a day in our house.  For example, the TV stand goes in the house, I take pictures of Matt standing next to it and he says, "It's great, isn't it?  But is it blogworthy?"

6.  It's cold in Vegas these days.  The sun is deceptively bright, but there's just no heat coming from it.

7.  I'm moving to a new office for work tomorrow.  Thus, I really do have to sort all the paper I've got stashed in this desk...just so it doesn't, you know, blow away when I'm walking across the sidewalk.  Exciting times!

8.  Ava likes to play chase.  As in, she runs away from you and you stomp your feet on the tile behind her.  Her little baby running stride isn't really a match for a regular mommy step.

9.  Baby socks in our house must be fabric painted.  Otherwise, she runs around looking like Bambi on ice all day.

10.  So very glad that classes don't start until next week.  Easing into this whole reality thing is definitely the way to go.  

Monday, January 05, 2009

Ava & Santa

Still catching up from the last couple months...

Here are photos of Ava and Santa (squeezed this in while we were in Fort Collins).  

She did fine as long as I was with her.  

On her own, however...

Sunday, January 04, 2009

A New Home

In the interest of keeping up with posting better, we've chosen to move from the website to this blog.  We won't be posting bulk pictures, but the best of the best and, hopefully, we'll post them more often.  Bear with me as I learn to use this new program...still growing!

Wishing you all the best for 2009, friends!

An Update

At the beginning of November, we took a weekend trip to Chicago to celebrate Matt's grandparents' 60th wedding anniversary. We had a great time and got to introduce Ava to that side of the family. 

When we got back, it was time to start planning a first birthday party!  Ava's birthday was on 22 November, and we were lucky to have both sets of grandparents and one of her uncles in town to celebrate with us. We also had friends from Las Vegas over to help celebrate. Matt and I made the cake from scratch (including the icing!) and had a great time with it. Ava was a pro at opening presents and really seemed to revel in the attention. How could a baby not enjoy having so many adoring fans? :-) 

My parents had to leave a couple of days after Ava's birthday in order to host Thanksgiving at their house, but Matt's parents and brother stuck around here for Thanksgiving. We had another big party for Thanksgiving and were happy to welcome so many good friends to join us for dinner. As this year Thanksgiving was also our fourth wedding anniversary, we got to have a great celebration for the day. When you live so far from family, it's nice to have a group which feels like family here. Good times! 

We took Ava for her 12 month well-baby appointment the day after Thanksgiving. She's perfectly normal and healthy. She weighed in at 20lbs, 13 oz, and was 30 inches long. She's mastered all the gross motor skills she should have and she's a happy, active baby. She says uh-oh, duck, socks, quack, Daddy, Hi, and bye-bye. She loves to talk on her cell phone (or anything she can hold up to her ear, including waffles) and put-and-take is her favorite game. She's walking like a pro and is even running quite a bit. The difference between her at 13 months and 12 months is amazing...she truly turned into a toddler in the last month.

The couple of weeks after Thanksgiving passed in a blur. I had finals and final papers to write and Matt was very busy at work. The weekend after finals week, we went to Edwards AFB to visit old friends. Matt & Dave had gone up for TPS Patch Night and Sarah and I took the girls to pick them up. We got together with our TPS friends remaining at Edwards and had a great time. That Saturday morning, we also got to see John P. Casey. He has returned to the US after spending two years in Germany and is now attending TPS. He had just returned the night before and we surprised him by showing up for breakfast at the diner he was in. Great times! 

Despite the busyness, we managed to get through it all just in time to be ready to go to visit Fort Collins, CO, for Michael's commissioning into the United States Army. Matt administered his oath of office. It was a whirlwind trip, but we were glad to be there to celebrate such an important moment of his career.

We returned from Fort Collins on the 22nd of December and then went into Christmas preparation mode. Thanks to help from the Hoffmans, Matt and I were able to go Christmas shopping for Ava without her along to see the surprises. :-) We celebrated Christmas Eve with the Hoffmans and had a great meal.

Christmas Day was wonderful around here. Ava loved opening her presents, although it was slow going. Eventually, we stopped removing the toys from their packaging so that we could at least get them all unwrapped. 

Since Christmas, the great home improvement blitz has been in full gear. I have painted the whole house...we're finally rid of all the crazy, technicolor walls left to us by the previous owners of this home. Matt has been spending time in the garage building a TV stand cabinet. It's in the finishing stages now, and looks great! We'll get some pictures when he's done. 

Even with all the work, we've found time to have fun too. We celebrated Sarah Hoffman's 30th birthday with her and some friends at a Japanese steakhouse. Yay for babysitters! We also celebrated New Year's Eve at the Hoffman's house along with the Fullers. None of us are the wild party people we claim to have been in our younger days, but at least we made it until midnight. 

That’s all I’ve got for now.  More soon!