Thursday, July 31, 2014

Four Months Old Today!

My baby girl turned four months old today!  Hooray!  We've made it through a third of her first year of life.  Ella is such an adorable baby.  She absolutely loves any attention and will readily smile and laugh at anyone that gives her the time of day.  It is so cute to hear her giggle over and over again.  The other big news of the past month is that she rolled over for the first time a few days after her third month mark and hasn't stopped since.  She is a rolling machine, but hasn't figured out how to roll back onto her back and often times gets stuck and then very mad as a result!  So, I am constantly flipping her over these days.  Due to her rolling over issues, we actually moved Ella into her crib last week because she kept on getting stuck in the corners of the bassinet.  Normally, I wait until my children have consistently slept through the night for at least a month before moving them into the crib in their own bedroom....but Ella had only slept through the next three times when we did this.  But apparently all she needed was some more wiggle room as she began consistently sleeping through the night the second we moved her!  Who knew?!  It's just so funny to me because Ella is my littlest baby, but the most physically active and the most independent of my children as neither Lia or Logan were in their own room at this age.  The other big news of the past month is that Ella got stung on both feet a total of SIX times by a yellow jacket while at a picnic at Lake Samm!  It was awful.  She went from a totally happy, smiling baby to a screaming and crying baby (who would not stop) for FOUR hours.  Ugh.  It was a horrible evening and my mom and I ended up in Urgent Care that night at 9:30 after she had been screaming for three hours.  Luckily, it stopped an hour later and she was totally fine and normal by the next morning.  Thank heavens as it was quite the scare.  Besides the bee drama, Ella is just doing great and is the love of our lives!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Painting Mania, Part 2

Apparently we have a thing for buying homes that have never been painted since they were built AND are in dire need of a repainting.  When we bought our first house in 2007, we immediately painted the entire thing by hand within the first few weeks of ownership.  Since I was pregnant with Lia and didn't have any children to care for, I was able to help Ron paint the entire thing with the help of my parents and even some friends.  However, this second time around with house #2 was a different case.  With a newborn, toddler, and six-year old to care for, I wasn't able to step outside to help Ron once which meant that he had to paint the entire house alone.  And by hand.  And in the blazing heat most of the time.  With the exception of our family trip to Priest Lake and hosting Lola, Ron spent most of his month off outside on one ladder or another transforming our house from a dull and worn out tan to a fresh and clean, light grey.  The poor guy.  But he stuck with this massive project like a pro and got all four sides painted before heading back to work today.  Unfortunately, he still has to paint the white trim (with a new shade of white) which he will work on a little bit at a time after work each day in August before school officially starts back up at the end of the month and we lose him until next June.  Hopefully he will get it all done and be able to breath a massive sigh of relief.  What a guy!  Good job, papa!

Saturday, July 26, 2014

Lola's Visit

Lola just left today after a week long visit.  She was able to meet baby Ella for the first time and spend time with  Lia and Logan after not seeing them for almost a year since our trip out to Chicago last August.  We spent a jam packed week with her going out every morning for one outing or another and then doing the same most evenings.  From Thomas the Train to the American Girl Store, we kept a fast and furious pace.  We enjoyed eating out at many restaurants delighting in food from Japan, the Philippines, and Korea.  We also got to spend time with Uncle Oscar and Aunt Pat and even held a few spontaneous dance parties in the basement rec room.  A good time was had by all and we sure missed her when she pulled out this afternoon.  Thank you, Lola, for coming out to visit us!  We love you!

Monday, July 21, 2014

Northwest Trek Outing with Lola

One of the fun outings we decided to take while Lola was visiting is to Northwest Trek.  We have only been once when Lia was three years old and she didn't remember it at it was fun to head back with the entire family plus Lola.  We enjoyed the walking tour where we saw numerous animals including the two, black bears and were blessed to go on one of the best tram rides our tour guide/driver has ever been on!  We saw two of the three moose in the park, had a to drive THROUGH the buffalo heard, and even saw an owl.  Good times were had by all!

Ron and Logan at the start of the tram tour.

Lia and Ella looking for animals.

One of the caribou we saw as the tram pulled away.

Some female, bighorn sheep we passed.

One of our two moose sightings!

Logan LOVED the tram ride and preferred to stand up most of the time for optimum viewing.

Some male bighorn sheep.

A mother and baby buffalo we spotted before running into most of the heard on the road.

Look how close-up and personal we got to the buffaloes on the road!

Even baby Ella came out of her car seat for the second half of the tour and enjoyed the view from my lap!  Here are the Hartland girls with Lola at our side.

Sunday, July 20, 2014

Cutting Logan's Locks

When Lola comes into town, it means free haircuts.  Since Logan's hair had recently grown from the longer, surfer hairdo look to a shaggy mop look it was perfect timing to put Lola to work.  And so this morning, she quickly restored some order on Logie's head.  I'm so glad that I can see my boy's beautiful, brown eyes again and I can't get over how much older he looks!  He went from a toddler to a little boy in one haircut.  How did that happen?

Logan and his long mop getting ready for the big haircut.

Lola hard at work.

Logie patiently sitting while his hair gets chopped.

Logan's luscious locks the floor.

Our grown up boy sporting his new do!

Saturday, July 19, 2014

A Day Out With Thomas

I come from a long line of train lovers.  Serious train lovers.  My brother, Brent, works for Montana Rail Link in Missoula, has been published in multiple train magazines (both for articles and photographs), and belongs to a group of men that "chase" trains around the state snapping photos on their tripods.  I'm not kidding you and I'm just getting started.  Brent acquired this love from my dad who is equally a train buff if not more.  He LOVES trains.  He has an elaborate train board set up in the basement with the original Lionel trains from his childhood that are over 70 years old.  He dragged my family on too many "train hikes" throughout my childhood along the defunct Milwaukee railroad tracks (R.I.P.) up on the Snoqualmie Pass, subscribes to multiple train magazines, gets lost on the car ride home from my house due to frequent stops at the Auburn train yard, and can talk to any conductor or engineer for hours due to his endless curiosity and questions about trains.  My dad acquired this love from my grandpa who actually bought my dad's Lionel trains when he was still a baby so that my grandpa could play with them for a few years before my father was old enough to receive them as Christmas gifts.
Needless to say, I come from a long line of train lovers.  So, it should come as NO surprise that Mr. Logan fell in love with choo choos around Christmas time.  He LOVES them.  Going to grandpa's house has become Logan's favorite thing to do so that he can see his favorite person (grandpa) and watch him run the choos choos on the train board.  In addition, we still have an active train track that runs right through our we get to see them on a regular basis and can hear their whistle daily at our house.  Logan gets so excited whenever we see them.  Heck, I now get so excited whenever I see them because I love watching his reaction.  In fact, I now find myself wishing for a sighting every single time we drive through a certain spot in town that parallels the train tracks.  As a result of this obsession, Logan took to Thomas the Train like a fish to water when I first popped in a DVD that I had purchased online a few months ago.  It was love at first sight.  And when I saw a commercial for a Day Out With Thomas on this DVD, I immediately remembered seeing one nine years ago when Ron and I were staying at the Salish Lodge the day after we got married.  So, I knew that one came to our area years ago and hoped that it still did.  I hopped online and found out that indeed a Thomas the Train still comes through the little town of Snoqulamie every July!  I was thrilled and quickly bought tickets for our little family to go, plus Lola who would be visiting from Chicago.  After months of waiting, the day finally arrived today and off we went to ride our favorite tank engine.  As you can imagine, Logan was so excited.

Logan, Lia, Lola, and mamma all heading into the event together.

Posing with Lia and Logan and a real train.

Logan loved the tent full of little train sets that they allowed the children to play with.  He wandered around several tables and tried them out.

I could barely get Logan to look up at me he was so focused on the trains.

The REAL Thomas the Train Engine pulling up to the station!

Lia and Logan climbing into the Thomas bounce house for a quick go before boarding the train.

Lia jumping up and down.

All aboard!  Logan, Lia, and Lola waiting for the train to depart. 

My little engineer complete with his Thomas t-shirt and hat ready to go.

Ella trying out Logan's hat after he decided that he was done with it.

A close-up of my cutie during the train ride.

Posing with the real thing after our ride was complete.  What a fun day for Logan!

Friday, July 18, 2014

Girl Scout Camp

Today wraps up Lia's week long Girl Scout Day Camp in Bonney Lake.  She has had a wonderful time with her two friends, Addyson and Sienna, and has enjoyed doing all sorts of activities like learning outdoor skills, making crafts, and singing songs and playing games.  She has loved her counselor and the older Girl Scouts that help out with everything.  Lia has been a trooper because it has been in the 80s and 90s all five days this week and has never complained--even on Tuesday when she went from 8 hours of day camp straight to 3 hours of gymnastics in an unairconditioned gym.  Now that's my little Girl Scout!

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Hot Summer Days

After rolling into town late Sunday night, I have spent most of  Monday and Tuesday unpacking from the trip, doing laundry, and organizing the house.  Since Lia has been at Girl Scout Camp this week, I basically went into "work mode" and didn't plan anything fun for the younger ones in my house.  Even though temperatures has reached into the 90s both days, poor Logan has just wandered around the house and the yard while I cleaned and Ron painted.  Finally after Lia got home on Monday, I decided that this little guy needed something fun in his day and quickly ran out and blew up our baby pool and sent him out there to play and cool off.  However, our somewhat deflated pool was still standing today when Logan found it again in his clothes (with one of my colanders he had stolen from the kitchen in his hand).  After stripping him down to his diaper, these are the pics I snapped of my little guy as the sun was setting.  Such a funny little boy.  Glad the little things in life still can keep him happy!

Monday, July 14, 2014

Family Trip to Priest Lake

We just returned from our annual, July trip to Priest Lake and it was wonderful as always!  We introduced Ella to this special place and were also treated to a visit from Brent and his family at the end of our stay.  The older children had a great time playing in the sand and in the water and with their older cousins.  Ella did a great job travelling and took many naps on the beach in her little tent or out on the boat.  And I just loved being back up at this favorite spot of mine during my favorite season of the year!  This family vacation was another good memory to add to the books.

My mom joined us one morning on one of our favorite outings--a boat trip to Upper Priest Lake.  As always, the thoroughfare was beautiful and so relaxing.  Here are the kiddos and me enjoying the view from the front of the boat.

Baby Ella took a little, cat nap in the area under the front seat of the boat.  Both of my other children have napped in this exact same spot when they were babies!

Logan helping me navigate our way up the thoroughfare.

Grandma holding baby Ella in the boat.

After returning from Upper Priest Lake, we stopped at Fairy Fern Beach for some play.  Here is Mr. Logan checking out the beach.

Lia and Logan testing the colder water found at the entrance to the thoroughfare.

An attempted family photo as Logan refused to stand up and "join us." 

Like Logan at this age, Ella spent quite a bit of time relaxing in her tent.  Here she is just watching the rest of us play on the beach before falling asleep.

Papa hanging out with Logan and Lia on the dock.

My two boys.  I just love this picture.

Sweet, baby Ella taking a nap.

Lia playing in the boat inner tube.

Logan being brave enough to jump off the dock and into papa's arms.

Lia hard at work in her "restaurant" on the beach.

Mama and the three kiddos enjoying the sunset from the swing on the deck.

Kelsey loving her cousin time with Kelsey and Sarah after they arrived!

Silly girls playing in the water.

Brent helping Sarah with another sand creation.

Baby Ella testing out the water with grandma's help.

The girls enjoying another day hard at play on the beach.

The Hartland fam down at the beach.

Papa and Logan rolling around in the shallow area.