Monday, August 30, 2010

Sophia's Last Swim Lesson


This summer I signed Sophia up for swim lessons at the Plainfield Parks and Rec Center. It was a 4 week session, every Tuesday and Thursday for 45 minutes! It was so much fun and Sophia is a TOTAL FISH! (Guess she gets that from her mother!) She absolutely loves the water and swimming!! She must repeat the phrase "kicky in the pool" at least 100x per day!

My parents came to her last class and were able to catch a few videos and snap some pictures!

We start the class out in the shallow end singing a few songs like "The Wheels on the Bus!"

Then we play a little "Ring around the Rosy!"

Sophia and her best friend Maeve!

Sophia standing proud next to Miss Emily (her instructor)

Floating then kicking on her tummy!

Getting ready to put her face in the water!

Splash and water fountains at the end!!

We sure will miss having swim lessons! Thinking of doing another class this winter!

Allyson

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Counting ... 1, 2, 3 .... 10!


Sophia has become obsessed with numbers over the past month! It all started when Nate was reading her a "numbers" book and she repeated "8!" From that point on, she obsesses about numbers. Each time she is coloring, she wants us to write, "8", "9", "2", "3", etc on her paper!
When we are driving, she looks for numbers EVERYWHERE; billboards, bus', street signs! This kid LOVES numbers!!

We are pretty impressed in our 19 month old's newest skill, although her pronunciation skills on a "few" numbers could be improved! Ha!

video


Hello, My Name is "Phia"


We have been working on teaching Sophia her name and how old she is ... turn of the volume and just smile at our little video!

video

Allyson

Fun at the Park with Isaiah!


We have really enjoyed meeting Jenn and Isaiah at the park the past few Wednesday's after Jenn gets out of school! It has been awesome watching them grow up together and really learn to "play together" as opposed to "alongside" of one another!! Such a sweet family, we just LOVE them!

Both kids stoic ... cracks us up!

Actually smiling for a picture ... too bad she isn't looking at the camera!

Her first time down the tube slide!

Here comes Isaiah!! He was a pro!

Jenn and her little man!

I sure miss those days of the tire swing! Although, YIKES,
my rear was killing me when I got off!

Hugs for everyone!

"Look at me, Look at me!"

Some serious static!!

Allyson

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Indiana Dunes Vacation


Since our first time camping at the Warren Dunes State Park went so well, we decided to try the Indiana Dunes State Park for two nights, three days! We had a great family time! Sophia really has embraced the outdoors (much to her father's enjoyment) and sure knows how to get dirty! It took everything in me not to stop her from playing in the dirt! (I know those of you that have boys probably are laughing at me!) She played in the dirt, rubbed it all on her face, her shirt, you name it ... she had dirt there! Pretty cute but VERY messy!

Sophia and Nate reading Goodnight Moon before bedtime on Sunday night! We put her Pack N Play in the tent and she stayed awake for over 1.5 hours talking and singing until she fell asleep!

All ready for a yummy camp stove breakfast of oatmeal and peaches!

Our campsite ... not too bad, but we prefer lots more trees and borders so we can't see all the RV's and campers around us! Privacy is the name of our game!

Playing at the campground (Shhh ... don't tell she is still in her PJ's!)

First morning at the beach! There wasn't a cloud in the sky nor a smile on her face for the camera! She always laughs and cracks up while the camera is hidden ... I think she was a little irritated I kept trying to take her picture! She wanted to play in the sand! "Yay Beach, Yay Sand!"

On the giant teeter totter in the campground playground!

Ahhhhh ... walking hand in hand with Mommy next to the surf!

Finally a SMILE!!! This is the smile we see after a good 2+ hour nap!

Looking forward to going back next summer and maybe staying a few more days!!!

Allyson

Crafty FRIDAY!!!


I have had a "craft" bug for some time now. This week I have found myself on Etsy searching for cute little headbands for my girl. Some are really reasonably priced, while others are just way too much to spend for a 20 month old! After looking through tons of pictures I had the revelation, "I could actually make some of these. They can't be THAT hard!" Yesterday I found myself at Jo-Ann's searching for decorative elastic (which the choices are HORRIBLE) and flowers. I finally found what I was looking for ... here is the finished product (only a few finger sticks and droplets of blood later)! What do you think? I need a picture with Sophia wearing it too!!



My friend Libby inspired me to make a bow/clip holder for Sophia's bows. I looked at them on Etsy and they were close to $20-30 each! Once again, I searched for the perfect materials and this is how it turned out ....

I was very pleased! Personally, I think it looks adorable and will match her bedroom perfectly! The white "S" will look great with her pink walls!

I need some more craft ideas!!! No better way to spend a Friday night than with a hot glue gun, needles, ribbon, and thread!!

Allyson

Friday, August 20, 2010

Wet Fridays


Ever have one of those days you just need some water to cool you down?


We do!!!!!! Freeze frame ... sweet!

"Some people call me SPIKE!"


Have a GREAT AND WONDERFUL COOL weekend!!!

Allyson



Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Mama's New Ride!!


Sometimes life doesn't go according to plan! Sometimes it surprises you with something sweet, special, way before intended!! According to our 5 year plan on our Excel spreadsheet (I know many of you are laughing b/c you know this is so true! HA), we were to planning to look for a mommy mobile in Dec, find one late Jan/early Feb. However, when something amazing like this car falls literally into your lap ... you can't help but change the plan a little to accommodate for its awesomeness!

My dad was driving around Greenwood, less than 5 minutes from his house, saw the van in someone's driveway and took down the number. He knew we were eventually going to look for a mommy-mobile. He called the guy and then proceeded to call me and tell me, "I have found the perfect vehicle for you guys at a great price.!" I thought, it can't be that perfect to change THE PLAN! After talking with Nate, we decided I should call him to get the scoop. I don't need to bore you with the details ..... as we all know the outcome!!

Wonder if dad will charge me a finder's fee? HA!

Some of you car people out there are wondering ... what does it have that makes it so perfect?

It is a 2005 Honda Odyssey Touring Edition. Fully loaded with black leather interior, heated seats (yay for warm buns in the winter), all new leather floor mats throughout the car, extra 8th seat, DVD and Navigation System with Touch screen, back-up camera, like-new interior and exterior with only 1 scratch, and on and on and on .... so needless to say we are thrilled and I am not one bit ashamed to be driving a mommy-mobile!

Now the only thing left is to head to the license branch this morning and get another BUTLER plate for the back! The blue BU plate will match our new ride beautifully!!


The color is "Ocean Mist!"


I LOVE all the room in my trunk! Plus the push button hitch allows for one hand to be occupied holding one sweet, but heavy 27 lb child!!

What do you think? I think she likes her new "ride!"


Here is a cute little video I shot of her last night when we got home!! Make sure the volume is up so you can hear all her little "chatter!"


video


And for those of you wondering, we will not be having enough children to fill it up .... just wanted enough space b/w the kids to minimize fighting ... (unless we have two girls and then it will be all verbal bickering huh? HA!!)

One happy mama, riding in a "Sports Van" (as it says in the vehicle description)!

Allyson

Thursday, August 12, 2010

School = Sadness


Now that I have been primarily staying home with Sophia for the past 19 months, I have seen two school years come and go. Each August I think will be easier than the last on me, but alas, I still grieve and mourn all the teachers going back to school! Why you may ask ... well, b/c I lose some of my closest friends (and sister) to their "day jobs." No longer can I call up so-and-so and meet them at the park or pool! It means the end to our summer bible study at church where Sophia gets to play with all their kids and make good friends! It means the outdoor pools will be closing until NEXT MAY! It means minimal social outings until after 4pm! Worst of all, it means Aunt Sarah can't come over at any time or any day to hang out with us (or give this mama a much-needed break!) So, as "this summer of ten draws to an end", I reflect and continue to be very thankful for the fun summer memories with all my teacher friends, while I anxiously await next May!!


Allyson

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Greetings from Sophia ...


Sophia wanted to send her greetings to a few people .... we would have done more however as you can see at the end of the video we had a slight problem!! HA!!

video

Guess what is why teachers always told us never to tip back in your chair!!

Allyson

Monday, August 9, 2010

Weekend Getaway in Michigan!


For the past three summers, we have headed to Michigan to visit my dear friend Abby and her family! This year was the most exciting, as we both have children!! Sophia thought Abby's little boy Matthew was cute to look at, however, she seemed way more interested in the dog-dog! :)

When we arrived on Saturday, we headed out for a nice lunch at a WONDERFUL restaurant called Marie Catribs. They have a killer menu that is mighty healthy and tasty!! Marie specializes in GF foods as well, so Nate and Sophia were in hog-heaven. Here is a description of my sandwich from their menu ...

Sweet Potato & Quinoa Burger

Our darling of the restaurant! This is made with sweet potatoes, quinoa, onions, cilantro, almonds and spices. Served with fresh greens, ginger-tomato chutney and curried veganaise on your choice of bread.

Every bite was as tasty as the bite before!! After a tasty lunch we headed back to the Sturm's house so Sophia could catch a late afternoon nap! After we all rested, we headed to Pickerel Lake and did a 2.5 mile hike/walk around this beautiful lake. We saw 3 swans in the lake along with tons of lilly pads! It was beautiful!

Sophia with a sleepy Matthew (awaiting our table at lunch)

Getting ready to start our walk ... Sturm family vacation style!

Me and my baby girl! :)

Family picture although Sophia was less than thrilled to be in our arms, she wanted to be walking around the bridge!

Beautiful brown eyed Matthew! Isn't he the cutest thing?

Check out my sweaty-spikes! Thanks Mommy for making me look crazy!

Another family shot by the Lilly pads!

We grilled out Saturday evening and had a tasty supper! Sunday morning we headed over to Grand Haven for a lighthouse and pier tour. After our almost 3 mile walk, we had some awesome chicken and lamb gyros!!

Gotta get a stroller shot!!

Sophia and Mommy before we head down to the lighthouse at the end of the pier!

By 1pm Sunday evening, it was time to say goodbye to our dear friends and head to our next destination: Warren Dunes but not without a stop at the famous Dutch's Farm Market where we purchase our 5 lb box of fresh picked MI blueberries. You can't leave western MI without getting some fresh blueberries. They taste 100x better than any store pints!!

When we arrived at Warren Dunes State Park, we checked in at our campsite and set up our tent! Sophia had a blast "helping" us get the tent up! We put her pack 'n play at the back of the tent, changed clothes, and headed to the Dunes to take a dip in Lake Michigan!! Sophia had a blast playing in the sand and digging holes! She was initially scared of the water, so she would make Nate go fill up her watering can multiple times! She would say, "Wa-wa peeeease da-da!" It was so adorable!! The beach was PACKED on Sunday evening while we were there! Thousands of people were playing in the sand, water, and laying out ....

Sunday evening we cooked a nice dinner on our camp stove, took showers, and put Sophia to bed. Nate and I stayed up and read books and played games. We forgot our bug spray so we got eaten alive -- ok, well I DID b/c I am so sweet!! Must have had 15 bites or more!

Setting up camp!

Yummy GF hot cereal with peaches!!

Monday morning Nate was up for a long run, while Sophia and I slept in (till 7am)! I cooked us both a batch of hot GF cereal with peaches! It was tasty and Sophia LOVED it (as you can see in the picture below!) After Nate returned, we packed up the campsite and headed back to the beach! This time, we were the only people on the beach! (Well, it was 9:20am too). We played hard in the sand and water. Sophia and I took a nice long walk down the beach! I kept trying to teach her that those birds were actually called "sea rats" but she just kept saying "ucky bird!"


Sophia wasn't thrilled with smiling ... she was obviously busy working in the sand!


By 12:30pm we thought it would be best to pack up all our stuff and head home .... Whew, what a vacation! Not much time, but so many fun and awesome family memories!

Since our first night camping in a tent with Sophia went so well, we are planning a 2 night, 3 day camping trip to the Indiana Dunes at the end of this month!! Wish us luck! Anyone wanna join us??

Allyson


ALIVE!!!


Yes, I know it is hard to believe, but we 3 Longs are still alive! My disappearance from the blogger world is multi-fold .... lack of time in general ... lack of alone time (we are down to one nap = only 1 mommy break) ... lack of good pictures ... lack of motivation to type and upload pictures!

I have broken out of my blogging-funk and am back rearing, ready to go ... hopefully you are ready for lots of updates!!!

Since I blogged last, we have been extremely busy trying to soak up the final rays of the summer with all our teacher buddies and teacher aunts! :)

Sophia and I have been taking a Mommy and Me swim class at the Plainfield Parks and Rec Center with our friends Libby and Maeve. We have had a blast! It has been so awesome to see Sophia's LOVE of the water grow with each lesson. She LOVES floating on her back while I sing "Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star" in her ear. She is mastering the concept of kicking while on her back. Of course my child LOVES to kick and splash the teacher in the face with the water! We have 1 week's worth of lessons left and I am sad to see them over! It gives us something to do each Tuesday and Thursday morning PLUS makes her exhausted = excellent afternoon nap!!

A few weeks ago we were able to get together with my three other dear friends from our old breastfeeding group! These ladies helped me through many rough patches during her first year. It has been awesome to see the kids grow, change, and develop into their own little "person!" This is the first time out of our many play dates where all kids could play together doing the same thing .... aka ... first time they are all eating on their own, walking around, talking, etc. It was so great to see them loving towards one another. I was able to snap a few pictures, however, I am quickly learning it is VERY difficult to take "good" pictures of toddlers!! It always seems that one is smiling, one is crying, one is stoic, and one is trying to run away!! :)


Nathan chowing down ...

Maeve in her adorable pigtails! She loved the egg casserole!

Isaac mid-bite ... what a handsome little guy!!

Nathan and his mama Denise! What a beautiful family inside and out!

Sophia, Nathan, and Isaac! Maeve was the one that ran away out of this picture! :)

Sophia giving one of her many hugs to Isaac! She is quite the hugger these days!!

This is all the time I have for a post! Little princess is calling out from her castle to get "up, up, up!" Stay tuned ... many more posts and pictures to come!! You will really enjoy the pictures from our weekend getaway to MI!!

Allyson