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!

Friday, July 31, 2009

Baby Showers!

It's nearly time for Thomas Hoffman and Baby Jungquist to arrive, so it was definitely time for a Bond girl celebration! I hosted a baby shower for Sarah here at our house Saturday morning, and we got to go to Firefly restaurant downtown for an evening shower for Amanda.

To make the weekend even more special, it was a virtual Bond girl reunion. TPS friends in Florida, Carrie and Lynette, flew out on Thursday to join in the fun, and Amanda and Katie joined us from Edwards on Friday. Luckily, our husbands took over most of the parenting duties starting on Saturday morning and we were free to party it up.

Friday afternoon after everyone's arrival, we hosted a pool party and little birthday celebration for all our July birthday girls. {Sidebar: All the food this weekend was prepared from Pioneer Woman recipes. If you haven't yet discovered the cooking section of ThePioneerWoman, then let me pause while you go visit. I'll wait the several hours it'll take you to return.}

Saturday morning was full of last minute preparations for Sarah's shower and then it was time to celebrate! We played a funny MadLibs game, baby gift bingo and decorated onesies. The food was yummy and my most recent cupcake creation turned out really well. The clothes for baby Thomas were simply adorable and we were so happy to celebrate Sarah in this experience.

After an afternoon of girl talk, the Bond girls left our kiddos with the daddies yet again and headed downtown for a dinner celebration of Amanda's newest little one. We went to a great little tapas restaurant and did presents and cake. Yummy food, great friends, and lots of laughs - a great way to celebrate friends!

In spite of the crazy-busyness of the weekend, it was wonderful to have so many good friends here with us. The house seems so quiet now that they've all left. Friends, we miss you! Sarah and Amanda, congratulations on your newest little ones! Can't wait to meet Thomas and Baby Jungquist!

Thursday, July 30, 2009

Ava's Big Girl Room - Step 2

Things are slowly coming together for Ava's big girl room. We've nearly completed a new light fixture for the room and received some lovely artwork for the walls when our friends came to visit from Florida.

The room that is Ava's playroom downstairs was intended to be a dining room and had a chandelier type light fixture hanging in it, but it was replaced with a ceiling fan by the previous owner. Matt found the old light fixture in the attic a couple weeks ago and we decided to repurpose it for Ava's big girl room. It's not hung up and wired yet, but with a little spray paint, it's very close to being ready!

Another new addition to her big girl room is the artwork generously supplied by a dear TPS friend. She's been working on several pieces of art for her daughter and some other lucky little girls, and we feel so lucky to have some of her creations to hang on Ava's wall. Here's a couple pictures for now (Ava insisted on sitting on the bench for the picture) with more to come when we finally get her room finished and have them hung on the wall. Thanks, Kelli, for the wonderful artwork!

Monday, July 20, 2009

Ava @ 19 Months

Since we're days away from Ava being 20 months old, I guess it's about time we share a little of what she's like now.

In a nutshell, she's very communicative, she's funny, and fiercly independent. She likes her school and shows me the way to her classroom each morning. When I walk her in, she gives me a hug and kiss, then she says "window" which tells me to leave...she wants to wave goodbye at the window. Ava is talking up a storm these days and has baby versions of a lot of words. Rudimentary as her language is, it has changed our communication from something that is highly frustrating to something that resembles a cooperative partnership. She speaks, we listen...and sometimes vice versa.

Ava loves to read books, to feed "breakfast" (all meals these days) to her stuffed bear, and to color. She also really enjoys running and jumping. Exploring her new physical prowess is apparently one of her greatest delights.

It's hard to put into words how cool we think this baby is. She's really not a baby anymore, but an increasingly capable toddler, but it's hard not to want to hold & squeeze her just like when she was littler. She's an affectionate kid and loves to give kisses and hugs, so we feel very lucky to be the objects of her attentions.

Since she's doing so much, here are a few videos that capture a little bit of Ava just as she is...right now.

Ava playing computer, July 5, 2009

Running Amuck, July 5, 2009

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Baby on Fire

Not really, but it's catchy, isn't it?

Since Ava had to go to bed before we did fireworks on the 4th of July, we saved some sparklers for her to do on the 5th. Probably a 19-month-old and fire isn't the best of combinations, but Matt always had her under control.

She had a pretty good time although I think she'll enjoy it more next year. For now, she was pretty content to let Daddy help and didn't mind being done when the sparkler went out.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

4th of July Festivities

We had lots of fun for the 4th! We hosted a pool party in our backyard and were joined by lots of friends for a fun afternoon of swimming, hamburgers, and sparklers. We had great music, too, thanks to Matt wiring up some outdoor speakers.

Ava and Grace both sported new hairbows for the occasion from our friend Carrie's etsy shop. They were about the cutest firecrackers I've ever seen.

I continued my Martha Stewart streak from the day before and made a cupcake flag from the recipe in this book. It was so fun to make that I'm excited to try more of the designs for upcoming parties.

Happy birthday, America!

Us, as Martha Stewart

Things have been busy around here this weekend! We've been crafting, cooking, and tinkering up a storm.

First, our new TV antenna arrived on Friday. Since we were home with the day off, Matt spent the afternoon getting it hooked up and tuned in. We're now the proud viewers of 6 crystal-clear TV stations! The really interesting thing is that the 3-foot metal antenna is in the closet in the office. Yep. Lots and lots of swearing was required to get that in place and working. :-)

While Matt worked on that and Ava napped, I got to sewing. Our outdoor seat cushions were a total mess and really needed to be replaced. Since they're so expensive, I decided I could make them on my own. A quick-ish trip to JoAnn's and I was on my way. I cut-out and sewed together 8 new seat cushions. I also made two patchwork quilt beds for Libby. It's so hot here that she never slept in her other beds. These help her keep cool, but are still cozy.

Ava stayed busy too...she's perfecting her strut in Mommy's heels.

We've got more projects coming up this summer. Looking forward to all the creativity!

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Ava's Big Girl Room - Step 1

So, our goal by the end of summer is to have Ava transitioned into her big girl room. We've set an August 1 deadline so that we can be through the worst of the challenges in time for me to catch a nap before starting classes again.

In order to get there, though, Matt and I are taking on several projects for making her new room homemade. Matt will be doing the furniture and I'm doing several projects for the decorating part. The first step was her quilt. She'll have a twin bed and trundle, so I've made a shaggy flannel/denim quilt to go on it. I started last Saturday and finished up last night. It's drying in the dryer now and will be ready as soon as the rest of her room is.

Next projects are matching curtain ties (already have curtains that will work), a floor pillow, and some artwork from an awesome friend - not to mention the furniture. We'll keep you posted on the progress!