Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Vacation, Pt. One

So we survived our first vacation with Raegan. It was really a lot of fun! We spent Monday and Tuesday in Omaha, Nebraska. We've been there for vacation a couple times before, and we always really enjoy going there. Raegan did beautifully in the car on the way up, and minus a ten minute stretching of wailing on and off, did fairly well on the way back too (especially considering that by the time we started back she had only had a 30 minute nap all day and it was 2:30!)

We made it out of town by 9:00 a.m Monday morning (which considering our original goal was 8:00, that's not too bad). We packed sandwiches to save some money, and stopped at York, Nebraska to eat. Our first activity was the Strategic Air and Space Museum about 20 miles outside of Omaha. It actually worked out really well to do things in the order we did, because it broke up the trip a little bit and gave us a chance to move around. We went there the last time we went to Omaha in 2005, but they had some new exhibits and a kids' playplace that wasn't there before.

I always go a bit slower than the boys do because I like to read all of the signs. I learned that you would only live about 10 seconds in space without a spacesuit before your whole body would shut down. Didn't know that! I also walked through the traveling exhibit about Germany in the 1930s and learned more about the whole euthanasia movement that they had going on at the time. Horrible, horrible people.


Outside the SAC. Isn't that just postcard perfect?













Raegan, just chillin' out watching Zane "fly"


One of the traveling exhibits was Anakin's podracer from Star Wars. Very cool!




After we left the SAC we went to drop our stuff off at our hotel, then went over to Old Market in Downtown Omaha. It's basically a collection of a huge variety of stores. Lots of different types of art and "hippie" type stores. Lots of incense. :) We walked by several people playing guitars with their case open for money. It was interesting to see adults just sitting in the outdoor patios of restaurants on a Monday afternoon drinking a glass of wine or eating appetizers. The best store that we found was basically a swap meet inside a store. It was just a jumble of toys, collectibles, and random this and that. Luke and I found so many toys from our childhood. Very cool! Our other really cool find was The Passageway. We were trying to find this toy store on a map, and we finally figured out that you had to go down this ramp to a whole corrider of stores underneath the stores on the street. As my husband said, it was very "Harry Potter." :)

We also went to the Gene Leahy Pedestrian Mall. I'm not really sure why it's called a mall, because it was just a park, but it was very nice. There were walking paths and some sculptures, and these huge metal slides set on the side of a hill. Zane and I had fun going down them!







After Old Market, we went to Fuddruckers (best hamburgers!) then back to our motel. Zane and Luke swam for awhile, then we all turned in early for the night. I recall why I got Raegan out of our bed at home: she thinks that since I'm right there I must feed her every time she stirs all night long. Blech! I've gotten very used to her waking up one, maybe two, times at night, so the FIVE times she woke me up that night were not appreciated!



This is getting reaaaaaalllly long, so I'm going to post our pictures from the zoo in the next post. I need to go get some stuff done before Raegan wakes up from her nap! More to come......

Friday, June 25, 2010

I almost forgot to upload the slide show of the pictures of Zane and his group with the ship that they made. :)

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Camp Invention

For the last three summers Zane has gone to two weeks at Camp Invention. It's put on the by our school district. Every morning for two weeks Zane would go over to South High and get to do experiments and build things. A big part of the program is problem solving and figuring out how to make things and meet criteria set by the instructors with common household items and junk, basically. For example, this year Zane took in an old tape recorder that no longer worked to take apart to put into the can crushing machine that his group was trying to make. We'll have to look into what the school district offers in the summer for middle schoolers next year, because this was the last year that Zane could go to Camp Invention. :( He's really enjoyed it, and it's one thing that he reliably wants to do every summer.


Here's Zane last summer with the bug he made:




And this summer sharing about how they are going to get rid of Trash Island. His group was the S.S. Deatheaters (woo hoo Harry Potter reference FTW!) and they were going to either take the trash and shoot it up into outer space, or turn it into other things. Heh.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Look out!

So Sunday afternoon Luke and Zane went to the lake. Luke and I both don't feel comfortable with Raegan out on a boat for an extended period of time, plus it was in the upper 90s that day. We're talking about going on a camping trip later in the summer, and getting her on the boat for a short amount of time (with a life jacket, of course!)

Raegan and I stayed home. We both took a nap and splashed around in our little blowup pool for awhile. Later in the afternoon I got back to work on the never ending pile of laundry. I left Raegan sitting upstairs in the kitchen with some toys while I ran downstairs to check how much time was left and when I came up I discovered this:




Doesn't she look so proud of herself? She was laughing out loud about it!


So the stinker won't crawl, but she's already pulling up on furniture and sometimes even crusing along the coffee table a little. I suspect she's going to be one of those kiddos that just skips crawling altogether. I showed Luke the photos when they got home and he said, "Baby gate!" lol

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Baby Zane

Major posting spree today! :)

I almost forgot: I scanned Zane's angel picture that Luke and Zane's mom got taken when he was 4 or 5 months old. See if you can see any similarities between him and Raegan. Sometimes I can see it in her facial expressions, compared to some of Zane's baby pictures, but not very often.


Zane (wasn't he a doll baby?!)



Obviously the photographer that did Zane's pictures was much better at keeping his diaper out of the shot. I love her expression, but no thanks to the diaper showing. :)
I have to call and talk to the manager on Monday. The girl who did our photos seemed to think that they could scan the photo of Zane and blow it up to a bigger size, which I am excited about. When Zane's mom and Luke split up, she took most of the pictures of Zane with her. Luke has a handful of photos of Zane around the house, and wallets of Zane at 6 weeks, 4 or 5 months, and a year. So if Sears can do that, I'm probably going to get the one year photo of Zane blown up so that we hang it and Raegan's side by side somewhere in the house. I thought would look really neat.
Okay, done posting for the night.

Sweet Deals!

Got Raegan's 9 month portraits done at Sear's this afternoon. They turned out really cute. As always, we ended up picking totally different pictures than what I thought we would. Girlie always surprises us! You can follow this link to see all of the shots she took. We ended up getting #7 to share with all of the family, #11 to put in the frame on the coffee table, and a collage to hang on the wall with #15 in black and white as the main picture, then some of the other bathtub pictures in color at the bottom (one of them being #19, which I LOVE!). I was really impressed, because Sear's wasn't really that much more expensive than Wal-mart, and we got a much better selection. Plus, she was a nervous, shy gal so she didn't try to push a whole bunch of poses and backgrounds on us like they always have at Wal-mart. It probably helped that I went in knowing exactly what I wanted?

While I was waiting for her to upload all of the photos so we could pick out what we wanted, I wandered over to the baby clothes, which are strategically placed right next to the portrait studio. Completely on accident, I'm sure! They were having a MAJOR sale on clothing, and I found a couple really cute outfits. Raegan certainly doesn't need any more summer clothes this year, but I found a couple outfits for next summer. The price tags said one was $6.99 and the other was $5.99, which I thought was great. They ended up ringing up for $4.89 and $3.49. Very cool!



I LOVE the colors in this outfit. If they had it in 12 months, I probably would have bought it even though she really doesn't need it. I love plaid!

Olivia, doesn't one of your daughters have this outfit?

After we got done at Sear's, we went over to Old Navy. I had seen a commercial for men's cargo shorts for $15 and Luke has been wanting to get another pair. He couldn't find any he liked in his size, but he was able to find a pair of board shorts for $8 that he will use as a swimsuit. I also found this swimsuit for Raegan for $10:



Raegan has one already (thanks again, Olivia!) but it's still a little big for her and she keeps basically undressing herself because she can slip out of the straps so easy. We figured it would be worth it because we have out blow up pool up now, so she should get plenty of use out of it.

I love good bargains!

Swim lessons

I have been having so much fun with Raegan at her swim "lessons" this last week. I kind of wish that I had signed us up for more than one session! I guess we'll just have to make sure that we go to Kenwood Cove after we're done with lessons. She just loves being in the water, and she's not at all scared. Raegan's favorite part is jumping in the water. I sit her on the side of the pool, and she just flings forward into the water. You'll be able to see it in the first video below. I'm glad that she's not nervous about the water!











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Friday, June 18, 2010

Milestones

New things Raegan has been doing in the last week or so:

*She pulled up on the recliner, without using someone's pant legs to assist, for the first time. Then she stood barely leaning against my leg, and stood on her own for about a second before she toppled over.

*Raegan plays catch now. She loves these small hard balls that came with a helicopter my mom got her. She'll hold them in her hands forever, but if you throw one to her, she will throw it back to you. We'll do it back and forth ten or fifteen times - she loves it!

*Her right bottom tooth is starting to poke through.

*She's started making noises like a monkey or owl, kind of a "hmmm" or "whooo" type of noise. It's really cute.

*Raegan's starting to army crawl. She will also crawl a little bit with her hands and feet (not knees), with her butt straight up in the air. She just can't quite coordinate it on her hands and knees yet!

*I mentioned in an earlier post that Raegan LOVES mashed black beans. At my company picnic last night I discovered that she also LOVES avocado. To the point where she was yelling at me for not giving it to her fast enough. Her favorite foods right now are black beans, bananas (always!) and chicken and apples. She also loves feeding herself puffs, which tells me I need to start dicing up soft veggies for her to start on.

*She's doing very well at self soothing to fall asleep for naps and bedtime. I would say maybe once a day, probably once every other day, she gets too tired and she'll scream for maybe five minutes before she falls asleep. She's waking up once, sometimes twice a night, typically around midnight at 5:00-6:00 a.m. Pretty soon I'm going to start working on her being able to self soothe back to sleep without one of the nursings. :)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Chocolate Chip Cookie Recipe

For those of you who know me pretty well, you know that I am really into baking. I LOVE baking. If I could start a business and make cookies and cupcakes and such and make a living off of it, I would do it in a heartbeat. When we lived in Manhattan, I dabbled for a while in selling baked goods at the Farmers' Market, but there were already several big booths do that, so I really wasn't making any money off of it. It sure was fun though!

Here's my current love affair: chocolate chip cookies. I found this recipe on the Domestic Pursuits blog that I like to follow, and it is by far the best recipe for simple chocolate chip cookies that I've found to date. It's a little different that your usual recipe on the back of the package of chocolate chips: it calls for a combo of butter and shortening instead of one or the other, and it uses extra brown sugar instead of equal parts brown and white sugar. I've changed it a tad and I put in a little extra vanilla, because I've always done that and I like the taste. Don't add too much extra vanilla though, or the cookies get a little runny and crisp up too much around the edges.

Chocolate Chip Cookies

2 1/4 cups flour
1 teaspoon baking soda
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 cup butter, softened
1/2 cup vegetable shortening
1 cup brown sugar
1 cup sugar
1/2 tablespoon vanilla
2 eggs
1 package (12 ounces) semi-sweet chocolate chips

*Preheat oven to 375 F.
*Whisk together flour, baking soda, and salt in a small bowl.
*In a mixing bowl, beat butter, shortening, brown sugar and sugar together until creamy.
*Add eggs, one at a time, beating well. Beat in vanilla.
*Beat in flour mixture gradually.
* Stir in chocolate chips.
*Drop by rounded spoonful onto ungreased cookie sheets.
*Bake 9-11 minutes, or until golden brown. (I almost always bake them for 10 minutes, unless I'm making bigger cookies. This leaves them a little soft in the middle. I'm not a big fan of crunchy cookies, but if you are, leave them in a little longer.
*Cool for two minutes on cookie sheet before removing.

Enjoy!

Monday, June 14, 2010

My baby is weird...

I have NO idea what my daughter was thinking while she was doing this. She started when I took a break from feeding her to talk on the phone with my husband, and she would not stop. At first I thought maybe there was some food on her Bumbo and she was tasting it, but even after I wiped it down she kept trying to bite it.

I think it was extreme exhaustion from our first baby swim "lesson" because within five minutes of me taking this video, Raegan was out like a light. She slept for an hour, woke up in an AWFUL mood, so I convinced her to go back in her crib, where she slept for another 2 hours and 10 minutes. And she went to bed with no fuss at her usual time tonight. Swim lessons every day of her life!!!! :)

ETA: No sound for some reason, but you're not really missing anything besides the sound of her trying to tear a hunk out of her Bumbo!

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Growing up

I keep forgetting to post this story, so I'm going to do it real quick, even though it's a month old.

There's this kid (B.) in Zane's grade that he doesn't get along with very well. I'm not really sure why, they just have always been a little snippy with each other. Last year or the year before, Zane was a royal jerk to him at the school skate party. This kid's stepdad works with Luke, so we found out about it the next day and Zane got in huge trouble. Since then there haven't been any big problems, but it was pretty apparent at school events that they definitely still do not get along.

Fast forward to Zane's 5th grade honor night. Some of the kids had solos for a song they did at the beginning, and this kid was one of them. After the program, Zane went up to the kid's mom and said, "B. did a good job on his solo."

And I was so proud. He's growing up, and turning out to be a pretty decent person. :)

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Abilene excursion

Our little mini-trip to Abilene was nice. We ended up not going to either mansion, because apparently now they charge, and at $10 per adult and $5 for Zane, we really didn't feel that it was worth it. I was also surprised that the Eisenhower Museum charged ($8 per adult and $1 for Zane) but it was a lot bigger than what I thought it was going to be, so I felt like it was worth it. I would say we probably spent an hour to an hour and a half in there. There were a lot of displays focusing on WWII, so Zane really enjoyed it a lot. There was the main museum, Eisenhower's childhood home, a chapel where he and his wife are buried, and a library (that we didn't go to). It made for a nice afternoon. We spent $17 on the museum, and about $5 or $6 on gas, so it was comparable to what we spent on our trip to Great Bend. Gotta love cheap entertainment! :)

Zane and I are talking about going back to Abilene sometime this summer so that we can check out the Greyhound Museum and Museum of Telephony there.

I won't share all of my pictures with you, because I really did take an awful lot for a smaller museum. Here's some of the best ones though. The museum didn't want you to take pictures with your flash on, so the ones that turned out the best are the ones where I had turned the camera back on, and forgotten to turn the flash back off. Whoops! :)

Note Zane being a dork in the background. Raegan wasn't really sure WHY we were holding it up to her ear.

Mural at the entrance of the museum


I think this was badges for different divisions/infantries/something. I just thought it looked cool.




Guns are always a hit with the guys :)


They kept leaving me because I wanted to stay behind and read about Nazi stuff.








I LOVE this picture!






In the chapel/final resting place for Eisenhower.



Cuties!

Friday, June 11, 2010

Change of Plans

Well, our vacation plans for this weekend have been dashed by suspicious weather. We were going to go to Omaha today and tomorrow, but today's 50% chance of rain and tomorrow's 60% chance stopped us. If you look at the hourly forecast tomorrow was mostly a 40% chance, but the highest chance of rain was in the morning, right as we would be going to the zoo. Luke and I also realized that the next weekend he has Zane is right before his two week shut down at Great Plains. So even if we can't go over the weekend, we can go during the week, when it will probably be less busy anyways. And if we find extra things to do, and Raegan is handling the vacation well, then we could always stay longer if we wanted.

So since we aren't leaving today, we decided to take a mini-trip today. Luke has been talking for months about wanting to go to the Eisenhower Museum in Abilene, and I can't remember if I've ever been to the Seelye Mansion or Lebold Mansion, so we're going to head that direction as soon as Raegan gets done with her morning nap. I like that Luke only works a four hour shift on Fridays if he even works at all right now.

I finally got the video loader to work, so here's Raegan playing with her Pop-Pop:

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Tuesday, June 8, 2010

This and that

Raegan and I enjoyed another day of girl time, as Zane will be with his mom until tomorrow evening. We started off our morning with a houseguest:



My mother-in-law wanted to go out of town for today and tomorrow, so she asked if we could watch her dog Wes. Also known as Eeyore. :)

After Raegan's morning nap, we went to Cotijas, which is one my favorite Mexican restaurants. We discovered that Raegan is CRAZY for refried beans. By the time she was losing interest, it dawned on me that her intense and instant love of them probably had something to do with the lard in them. I was thinking of them as the refried beans that I eat at home, which are essentially mashed up black beans. Oh well. I'm sure she's old enough to handle it. I also gave Raegan several sips out of my glass of water, which is one of her new favorite things to do. At home I've been letting her have a couple sips a day out of my water bottle with the lid taken off. It's gotten to the point where if she sees me drinking out of my water bottle she'll open up her mouth wide and just stare at it. I need to keep trying out the sippy cup with her, because she's not interested in it for anything more than banging. Anyways, it was very nice to hang out with my mom and eat a deliciouso chimichanga.

After Raegan's afternoon nap (during which I changed my layout on my blog instead of doing laundry like I should have), I used the strawberries that my mom gave me from their patch to make a smoothie. I love baking and cooking, but I don't typically use my blender for very much. It had some kind of brown goo on the outside of it. Like a pop had exploded in the cabinet. I checked the cabinet and couldn't see anything. Strange. So after I washed the blender, we tried again. It turned out pretty tasty. I wanted to add banana, but I only had one left, and I wanted it for a snack later tonight. :)


My mom ended up with waaaaay more strawberries than we did!


Yummy!

My helpers!


After smoothies (which Raegan did not get to try because I'm keeping her away from all milk products until she's a year old because of Luke's allergy to milk), we went outside to enjoy the beautiful 80 degree weather. I blew some bubbles for her, which she thought was hilarious. I also got some video of her outside, but am having a heck of a time getting them to load. So I guess pictures will have to do for now, because I need to be getting to bed. Tomorrow morning we're driving to Herrington with Granny to pick up the half a pig that we ordered a couple weeks back.

Playing outside (i.e. trying to pull up fistfuls of grass)

Practicing for time at the lake!

Where's Daddy? I thought he would be wakeboarding behind this thing!






Monday, June 7, 2010

Lazy Monday

Ah. Lazy Monday at home. This wasn't my original intention for the day, but the downpour this morning and afternoon changed things for us. When Raegan and I left the house this morning (Zane is at his mom's until Wednesday evening), it was very overcast and there was some thunder. By the time we got across town it was pouring. :( We raced into my work anyways. I had to look at my new classroom (with a bathroom and a ton of bulletin boards!!!) and decide where on the walls I wanted to put up tackstrip.

Then we came home so Raegan could take a nap. Poor baby has a cold, so it was a short one. Eating was kind of unpleasant for her also - it's very hard to eat and mouth breathe at the same time, you know! She did entertain herself trying to eat puffs while I cleaned up the kitchen and unloaded the dishwasher. I had us all ready to go to the store, and when I opened the front door, it was raining again. Blast! So we just stayed inside and played. It was perfect weather for napping, so when Raegan went down for her afternoon nap I decided to take one myself. I. Love. Naps.

We finished off the day by finally making it to Walmart, then running out to my parents' house for awhile. It was nice to just sit and visit.

So yeah, not the day I had planned, but it was still very nice. :)


Sunday, June 6, 2010

New things

Things Raegan is doing now:

She imitates just about every noise you make, as long as she can figure out how to do it. If you click with your tongue she'll click back at you. If you blow raspberries, she'll blow these GIANT spit bubbles. (That's her favorite noise to make right now). If you stick your tongue out at her, she'll do it right back at ya. And this week, if you say, "Mamamamama" or "Dadadadada" or "Buhbuhbuhbuhbuh" to her (several strings of babbles in a row) Raegan will say it back to you. It's so cool!

Luke also discovered that if you whisper to Raegan, she'll start babbling really quiet, and if you yell, she'll start yelling too. Isn't she just so smart?

Still no crawling, dang it. But she does scooch all over the place (when she's inclined to do so) and she can get up on her hands and knees and rock for a second. She stands holding on to the coffee table, and she's cruised along the coffee table a couple times.

She's starting to eat more solids, but still isn't anywhere near that 3-4 jars a day that her pediatrician said she should be eating. However, I'm not going to shove food down her throat, so she'll do it when she's ready. I say, Raegan's 50th percentile for height and 55th percentile for weight and obviously smart, so she's doing just fine. She still much prefers nursing, although I would say she's up to 1 to 1-1/2 jars a day of baby food. Last night she actually ate some bits of banana flavored puffs and seemed to like them. Or at least, after she ate one and made some faces, she went back for more. That's a first! She'll eat more solids when she's ready. I know she's getting good nutrition since I'm still nursing, so I'm just not worried.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Just a couple random pictures

This is the hibiscus plant that my sister in law gave me a couple weeks back. Isn't it beautiful? However, I think it's silly that the blooms only last one day. :)

Raegan sat on the front porch and entertained herself while I planted some flowers in our front flower bed.


Apparently Radar was very thirsty to attempt to drink out of Daisy's bowl while she was eating. And apparently Daisy was very hungry to not get pissed at the cat for invading her space while eating.

Check out the mohawk, dude!