Tuesday, July 25

let the bat saga begin

June 1
Brown's Island
Little baby geese keeping our attention for quite some time.

June 2
St. Matthew's Preschool
It's no joke I have a bad memory so I'm only 90% sure this was the from the play date at Leena's preschool.

June 3
Ashland Strawberry Festival
Leena got in a firetruck, rode a pony, ate a sucker, and got a balloon. Pretty much every two year old's fantasy.

June 4
A new installation of Live Art at the garden and all the kids loved this butterfly sculpture.

June 5
Duck Blind
Installing flooring, one small piece at a time.

June 6
Watching the Bott's is the perfect excuse to walk five kids to the corner convenience store and get a cold treat on a sweltering day.

June 7
Finding a match for my cousin's new Amelia! It's a fun game to play.

June 8
Otter Cove
When Leena asks Bunker for a toadstool, Bunker stops what he's doing and makes Leena a toadstool.

June 9
Otter Cove
And when Lydia asks Bunker to help her work out a design for a clothing rack, Bunker stops everything he's doing and builds her a prototype. Lucky.

June 10
Schell House
When you go to a birthday party and ask more than one adult for a dessert. This kid has it figured out. Next thing she'll start working on is her sneak factor.


June 11
Kitchen Table
The latest craze in toddler activity at our house: "Draw Moana." "Draw Maui." "Draw Hei Hei." "Draw a boat." "Draw the heart." "Draw Gramma." I think you get the idea.

June 12
Boehmer-Heimer Country Club
Making sure Buzz gets enough water. As in, she was lifting his head and telling him to drink.

June 13
Front Yard
Good technique, kids. I'm always proud of a good sharing moment.

June 14
When you have that weird amount of time between nap and dinner and nothing else to do, Lowe's never fails to be an entertaining (and productive!) option.

June 15
Living Room
He got such a kick out of me blowing air on his face through a straw that I packed straws as car toys for our road trip to the beach.

June 16
Hofheimer Building
First date night in quite some time and we went to our buddies, Nick and Lauren's wedding. To prove how long it had been, this was the first time we ever used an Uber. Trying to keep up with the times but it's just so hard.

When you put a bunch of firefighters in a room together:

When mom and dad look nicer than they have since the last wedding and are flying solo:

June 17
On the Road
I drove first because Andy was still a little bit drunk, which is the best way to start a 14 hour drive with two small children. They did great though. Probably better than Andy and I. (Also, warning: vacation has started. There's no way I could pick just one photo for each day.)


June 18
Fort Morgan, AL
Waking up on Father's Day, bringing the kids out to the beach in their pj's, and promptly stripping down for an early morning skinny dip. Really can't do much better.

These two (well, three) water babies. It's so much fun watching them love the ocean.

June 19
Fort Morgan
Tropical Cindy changed the weather and trapped us indoors for a bit. But it was the perfect excuse for a cousin's shopping/leggings party for the girls!

And Moana watch party for the boys. I love how excited Edwin is to be sitting with his older cousin-cousins. 

June 20
Fort Morgan
It doesn't take cabin fever long to set in when you are stuck in a house with four kids and six adults. As soon as there was a break in the storm, we suited up and ran outside. Still overcast and still super windy, but the storm created all these tide pools that were perfect splash grounds for the kids.

And we tried not to blow away.

June 21
Fort Morgan
Best nap of the week happening right here.

Still stuck inside for the most part, but at least we were able to get next door and do some tye-dying!

June 22
Fort Morgan
Cindy scared other people away so we pretty much had the place to ourselves, with the occasional cousin sighting.

Obviously we were still able to play hard enough for this to happen. Leena never fell asleep at the table so I'm okay when this happens because it is so dang funny.

June 23
Fort Morgan
Mr. Sun! And wind! And monster waves with a rip current so we couldn't swim!

The annual beach Olympics. Sack race and egg walk pictured. Crab walk, wheel barrow, and limbo not pictured. Everybody wins!

June 24
Fort Morgan
 We stayed an extra day and moved next door to our cousin's house and it's a good thing because a.) the weather was perfect, and b.) Andy's finally getting around to that sand castle.

And I know it's not a great picture, but this was the most relaxing part of the week. Both kids napping, blue skies, shaded porch, cold beer, sitting with my husband.

One last romp in the water. There was a sand bar about 100 yards out so we were all standing ankle deep in the middle of the ocean. And Leena went boogie boarding for the first time!

June 25
Nashville, TN
Happy Valley Dim Sum
We thought, Let's go to Chic Fil-A. They have a play area. Crap, it's Sunday. Then we thought, We'll go to Cracker Barrel. The kids love the rocking chairs. Crap, it's Sunday after church. Then we thought, Let's try one of the Asian places in this Asian strip mall. Have you ever had dim sum? No. Me neither. Let's give it a try. Fast forward to Andy and Leena eating chicken feet and me looking away so I don't yack and the kids not able to sit still more than a few seconds so Andy took them out of the restaurant and I was left to dine alone at a round table for six with four plates of food in front of me. So obviously it was a successful stop.

Then we thought, Let's play it safe and just have Wendy's at the truck stop for dinner. And then let's go explore this abandoned castle looking place that's across the street before we hit the road.

June 26
Front Yard
Everybody is helping with the post-vacation chores. Washing cars and washing tractors.

June 27
Living Room
Let the bat saga begin. Because, of course, something crazy had to happen while we were on vacation. So here I am protecting myself from a flying bat because the last thing I want is a bat flapping in my face or rabies. Why do I think this will happen? Because we are attempting to catch not the first, but the second bat of the night.

And here the little brown bat baby is. The animal control guy was showing us just how small his teeth are and why they worry people won't notice getting bitten in their sleep.

June 28
Let's move on to the next morning when Andy has gone to work. Kids are playing and I'm doing some leftover dishes from the night before. I think to myself, That's funny. We didn't have greens for dinner last night. What's this blob of soggy collards doing in the sink? Oh, it's a bat. I immediately text Andy and he says I have to get it out of the house. I thought it was dead so I thought that was doable. I got my glove on and my bag ready (kids still playing completely unaware of any bat instances thus far), then it moved. I threw the bag and glove, told the kids we were going outside. Leena doesn't have pants on. Like at all. Edwin was in just a diaper. And I was in my pj's, no bra. Neighbor Greg came to the rescue.

June 29
The bat man came to assess the situation. This poor guy is confused and sleeping on the side of our house in the middle of the day. I really don't mind them. It's just the erratic flying and slim chance of rabies that bothers me.

June 30
Molly's House
Beep-beeping all over the place.

Thursday, July 20

pooter shooting

May 1
Celebrating Uncle Robert's birthday two weeks late with singing and strawberry rhubarb pie.

May 2
Warner's House
Showing off her latest finds. Neon balls are keepers. White ones are meh.

May 3
It's pretty sweet to look down and see that giant belly poking out. Also, this is right about the time Edwin really became a "walker".  I just don't know the exact date because he's my second child.

May 4
Smokey Building
I can't tell you much about this because it's from a workday for Andy and he's not with me to give me any of the details. But it's a glimpse into some of what he does.


May 5
Duck Blind
Insulation is insulating!

May 6
These are my photogenic hobbit children. On another note, let's talk about the weather. Notice the date, notice the clothes. I can't believe sweaters were necessary in May and how quickly it became 90 degrees on a daily basis.

May 7
Andy must be on a nature walk for tiny things while the kids play.

May 8
Edwin's Room
Early morning box cars. Sometimes I think I should just get rid of all toys and keep all the trash.

May 9
A Mother's Day surprise from Ducky and the kids! They planted a vegetable garden, complete with tomatoes, squash, and Leena beans.

This guy helping pick up the dirt they just put down.

May 10
Front Yard
Andy must be going on a nature walk for disgusting things and found this grub that makes me want to throw up.

May 11
Children's Museum
Every time they get in the play cars together, my heart melts a little. For their friendship and for how quickly this moment is going to come in real life and I don't even know it.

May 12
All set up for a LuLaRoe Mother's Day Open House, with the help of my mother. When you get all the stuff out there, it really is a lot!

May 13
Front Yard
Leena, me, Mom. Three sets of nice looking legging-ed legs.

May 14
Schemmel House
Everyone's Mother's Day portrait. I am constantly amazed by the multiplication of families. I think it's so cool how so much comes from just two people. For example, my mom's parents had 14 kids, who in turn had 30 children, who in turn have had so many kids I don't even know. And my parents who had 2 kids, and we now have 4 kids. It's not a genius thought. It's simple. But it's really amazing, the power of Mothers (and Fathers).

May 15
Garage Mahal
They love to help/not help. But they certainly aren't afraid of getting dirty and getting hurt. I don't mean disasters; we parent. I mean trips, head bumps, or walking into walls. Because my kids seem to not notice those (walls) all the time.

May 16
Front Yard
Inaugural pool day. I use these at home water activities to see which swimsuits fit and which do not. This one, not so much. Look closely, there's a butt crack peeking out.

May 17
Front Yard
Gardening pals. Guns out, guts out. That's what they say, right?

May 18
I couldn't not include this photo. Cracks me up every time.

But really, the Schemmels came over for a rainbow themed dinner feast. You can see remnants of the rainbow of food on my plate. And Porter is the king of the table.

May 19
Front Yard
New swimsuits (and new water bottles). Definitely fit and definitely pass the test of cuteness.

May 20
Strawberry Farm
Not too far from home! We happened to pick the day of the Strawberry Festival to go to the Strawberry Farm and it was so much fun. Leena ate every strawberry she saw, including the ones smushed on the dirt road.

I was feeling reflective when I was choosing photos. These two are all about the details. Those gap-teeth are the cutest gap-teeth on the face of the planet. And the curls sneaking out of his baseball cap and his newly confident walking legs, I mean.

May 21
The laziest dinner guest. But Leena took the photo so I think this is her first intentional photo to ever take. That makes it special. And it reminds me that Mike and Kristen were over for dinner (because it's their dog) so we were in great company.

May 22
Somewhere, South Carolina
We are winning our first solo (kids and I) longish road trip! En route to Hilton Head to meet my dad and Angie for the week.

May 23
Hilton Head
A dolphin tour to kick off vacay! Leena and Bud keep a diligent look out. We saw plenty of dolphins, btw, but I liked this photo of their two heads best.

Edwin loved the boat ride, but he loved all these dried up reeds even more.

May 24
Harbour Town Lighthouse
When we needed to get out of the condo we walked to the lighthouse and the park.

Garage Mahal
Back at home, Andy cut a hole in the countertop for the kitchen sink in the Duck Blind. Our view is way more exciting.

May 25
Hilton Head
Beach day! Umm, not something to attempt alone with a one and two year old, neither who are the least bit scared of water. I think Leena nearly tore Bud's shoulder out with all her hootin' and hollerin' in the waves.

May 26
Atlantic Ocean
Ella and I way up in the sky! Leena calls this "pooter shooting". Feel free to ask her about it someday while she still talks like a two year old. It's a boring story, but she makes it very entertaining. 

Harbour Town
After dinner ice cream. Sometimes choosing the worst photo is the best photo. Because no kid is ever this unexcited about ice cream, so to catch three is pretty good.

After ice cream walk. We are all heading our separate ways toward home in the morning so it was really nice to take our time with the evening and enjoy every aspect.

May 27
South Carolina
I mostly needed to stop at South of the Border to see if the giant animals that were there in college were still there. They are. All of them. I don't advise making this a stop on a road trip. For any reason. Not even the bathroom. Unless you need photos with a lot of giant animals. Then you should definitely stop.

May 28
Robin's egg that we had to explain to Leena. Then Andy dropped it and we had to explain that.

May 29
It's a splash pad kind of day!

May 30
Garage Mahal
Painting cabinet fronts, drinking a beer, and listening to sleeping children. Not a bad way to spend an evening really.

May 31
Mike and Kristen's
Moving day and the helpers who don't help are doing a great job. This was a tough one because we hated to see Mike and Kristen leave our neighborhood and our city.