Monday, April 19, 2010

Twinkle Toes!

So, I had to leave Lia and Ron "unsupervised" for a few hours this past Saturday to attend a baby shower. One of the things I love about Ron is that he always thinks outside of the box--even when it comes down to activities with Lia. As a result, he decided to give Lia her first, official pedicure! What cracks me up the most about this whole event is that it has NEVER occurred to me to do this to my daughter's toes...yet, it did to my husband. Am I so the only girl in a family of all boys and is Ron so the son of a hair stylist? It all has to do with our upbringing, doesn't it? :-)

Showing off those pretty in pink toes!

After I got only one or two pics snapped of Lia's newly manicured feet, she decided that she was done with the shoot and took off running. One of her many stops (while I chased her around madly with with the camera) was a quick slide onto the couch! This is the cheeky pose I manged to catch of her before she was off and running again.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Showering Kristina!

Yesterday, I co-hosted a bridal shower for my dear friend, Kristina, who is getting married next month. Although Kristina and I were in 7th grade girls' choir and sang a duet together and sat by each other in Algebra class in 8th grade, we didn't really become true friends til 9th grade. We owe it all to Home Economics class and a baking assignment gone bad. We were cooking partners for the quarter and absolutely massacred a buttermilk biscuit recipe by confusing the baking soda with the baking powder (or was it the reverse?!). As a result, our biscuits came out as hard and as flat as hockey pucks. Although Ms. Frazier was furious, this experience bonded us for life and, twenty years later, we are still palling around to tell the story! I am absolutely thrilled for her pending nuptials and loved planning and throwing her shower with Jessica, another one of Kristina's good high school buddies, who also doubles as a bridesmaid. Here is a run-down of the shower:

Jessica graciously offered to host the shower at her house which was okay by me! Together, we came up with a delicious lunch spread of all homemade goodies since Kristina deserved nothing less! On this table, we served orzo salad, frog eyed fruit salad, chocolate truffles in Kristina's wedding colors, chocolate chip cookies, and my mother's world renown orange rolls.

The other line-up included chicken salad sandwiches, veggies with hummus, nuts and pita chips, and delicious white cake with raspberry and lemon filling.

One of Kristina's and Jessica's good friends is a professional baker and brought this divine cake to add to the desserts. Here it is up close before it disappeared a few hours later.

Some of the darling decorations Jess made for the festivities and Kristina's loot piling up in the living room!

The bride-to-be with her three bridesmaids: her matron of honor and cousin, Anna, on the left and Jess and I on the right. Since Kristina has been a bridesmaid TEN TIMES and has kept all of her dresses, she decided that she wanted this shower to have a "wear it again" theme. It was rather hilarious to see the gowns that walked through the door. Anna, Kristina, and I all wore previous bridesmaid dresses and Jess wore one that she attended a wedding in. I actually got a kick out of wearing the "purple beast" eight years later. Too bad Lindsay wasn't there to match me! :-)

After eating, we gathered in the living room for a game and gift opening. I had prepared a "Getting to Know Their Story" crossword puzzle for the ladies to play. Since the top prize was a $10 gift card to Starbucks, the stakes were high and the players were serious. Here they are hard at work.

We finished off the affair with cake and endless gift opening. The glowing bride was spoiled rotten which was so great to see as she has been such a loyal friend to so many other brides (myself included)! Here she is sporting some new dishware!

Can't wait for the 5-15-10 affair on Whidbey Island! Stayed tuned for next month's report!

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Stripping and Sleeping...

Some of you may recall the post I wrote earlier this year describing the discovery of my naked daughter standing in her crib in a pool of her urine when she should have been asleep. Well, this little incident has continued to occur on and off again over the past few weeks. Sometimes, we find her bare naked and awake having the time of her life and, other times, we find her fast asleep in all her nude glory. And while this strip and sleep obsession has developed, Lia has also become fascinated with her blankets and has learned how to pull them up and over her body from a laying down position. Last night, Ron found the best of both worlds: our naked daughter fast asleep underneath a few layers of blankets that she had carefully pulled over herself. We just thought this was the funniest thing. Take a peak for yourself...

Our modest stripper dreaming away...

This neat and tidy pile of jammies and discarded diaper were found at the base of her crib. Don't they look like they were placed there with such care and foresight?

Looks like we're really going to have to commit to turning the pajamas inside out every night before putting them on Lia. Never a dull moment.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Easter Time in Tennessee!

We just returned yesterday from a whirlwind weekend in Tennessee where we celebrated Easter with several members of Ron's family. His grandparents and one aunt and uncle all live in a town located in the beautiful countryside outside of Knoxville. Many members of his family gather each year to celebrate the Easter holiday, but this was only our second time joining them (and Lia's first). Although we were only there for two full days (we travelled most of the other two days), we truly had such an enjoyable time. The weather was in the 80s the entire weekend and Lia had so much fun getting reacquainted with her two girl cousins on this side of the family that are so close to her in age. It was hard to leave it all to come home to reality....

Since Lia is in the running for the world's best behaved toddler, she travelled like a pro. Honestly, I don't think that I will ever be blessed with another child like her. She thoroughly enjoyed the airports and riding the airplanes and watching Grover thousands of feet above ground.

Since we absolutely refused to pay the astronomical prices that American Airlines now requires for checked luggage, we carried everything (which was a lot of stuff since Lia can now have two pieces of luggage herself). In order to manage the armada of luggage, Ron rigged up the above scenario in order to transport Lia and a bunch of our loot. As you can imagine, Lia loved it and could be found requesting to "ride the suitcases" the second we disembarked each plane.

Our first full day in Maryville was Easter Sunday. Before attending church, we went outside for a few pictures in our Sunday duds. This is NO JOKE the view outside of Ron's aunt's house. They live in this beautiful home up on a hill with a stunning view of the valley below and the Smoky Mountains off in the distance. Can you even begin to imagine what it would be like to look at this every day of your life? I can't.

Lia in her Easter dress.

Here is Lia with her darling cousins, Regan and Addison. We attempted to get a photo of the three of them holding hands, but one of Aunt Janet's dogs sabotaged this (Lia, over HERE!).

That's a bit better, but what is up with Lia striking a pose over her shoulder like that? Such a cheeky, little one...

Regan came up with the fabulous idea to make some stone soup while waiting outside before church. The other girls quickly agreed and got to work.

The Hartland Fam.

After attending Catholic mass at Ron's grandmother's church, we returned home to Aunt Janet's house for a fabulous Filipino-American fusion Easter feast. We then headed out doors in the heat to hunt down some eggs. Here are Addison, Ron, and Lia running over to start to the hunt!

Armed and ready to go.

A girl on a mission.

The three cousins eyeing their spoils.

Ron and his girls.

After the Easter egg hunt, Uncle Robbie (Ron's brother) joined us on a walk down the country lane to visit the animals and play in the creek.

Lia communing with a donkey.

Uncle Steve joined us later on our walk so that we could feed their horses carrots and "grain cocaine" (as he fondly calls it). As you can imagine, Lia was fascinated with this and kept on asking to feed the horses for hours afterwards.

Throwing rocks in the creek that's found at the end of the road.

The family that throws rocks together, stays together.

We wrapped up a marathon Easter day with a marathon hair cutting session. Lola, stylist extraordinaire, cut a total of seven heads of hair that night in the garage. Lia was one of these privileged heads which I thought was most appropriate as this was her first, official haircut (she has only had her bangs trimmed up until this point).

Monday morning started off with an informal family photo shoot wearing the traditional blue jeans and white shirts (requested by Lola)! Here are Ron and his two bros.

Lola and her boys.

Lola and her girls.

Ron's entire immediate family.

We then headed off for a day around town. Stops including visiting Ron's grandparents, lunch at Chick Fil-A, and shopping at the mall. Here is Lia with her cousins and the three generations above her.

We finished off both Sunday and Monday evenings with quite possibly my favorite activity all weekend long: watching twilight fall over the Tennessee countryside from atop "the hill." Both nights, we lined up a long string of lawn chairs and just plopped down and talked the night away while surveying our kingdom below (well, really, Janet's and Steve's kingdom). It was so beautiful and peaceful outside and the temperature was just perfect for blowing some bubbles!

Lia, her sippy cup, and the Tennessee twilight.

Uncle Steven and cousin Regan taking a ride on the ATV while we watched from our lawn chairs.

What a great weekend! Thanks Aunt Janet and Uncle Steve for being such fabulous hosts!