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Saturday, April 28, 2012

Who Needs a Playroom Full of Toys...

When you have a perfectly great dog bed and laundry basket at your disposal?

I hope everybody has a great weekend and that you all get a chance to play a little in whatever way brings you joy.  


Tuesday, April 24, 2012

So Proud of Our Little Peanut!

I can't believe I haven't had a chance to post about this yet but our sweet little Chloe took her first steps a couple of weeks ago, I think it was on Monday evening, April 9th, 2012!  She had been squatting and going from the squatting position to standing up by herself for several days, and one evening we were sitting out on the patio enjoying the backyard, and she just stood up and took a step.  That step led to several more steps, and she just started doing laps around the concrete patio!  I actually had time to run in the house while Chad stayed outside so I could get my phone and record it.

Here is a video of our little girl taking her first steps:

After that day she wouldn't do any walking unless we were outside on the concrete patio.  Something about the texture of it must have made her feel more secure.  After a few days she started actually walking on the floors in the house.  Gradually she has been increasing the frequency of her walking.  She still reverts to crawling sometimes, but she is really getting great at walking.  She can walk barefoot, in shoes, on concrete, tile, wood, grass, mulch, etc.  She can even walk while holding a ball or a stuffed animal and she has also mastered turns.  I would say over the next several weeks she will continue to grow in confidence and steadiness and soon she will be solely walking!  We are so glad and proud of her!

Brady can walk while holding on to just one finger of my hand and I think that is more about feeling confident and secure than for any actual help with walking.  I have a feeling one day soon he will just take off too!

Every day the babies do something that reminds me just how big and grown up they are becoming.  It is bittersweet, but I am also so proud of how far we've come!


Friday, April 20, 2012

How I Became the Crazy Neighborhood Bird Lady

It all started out so innocently, as most of these things do.  I thought that since we have a yard with a tree in it, it might be nice to hang a bird feeder there.  I figured a few birds might come eat from it, and it would be a nice thing to be able to show the kids a little bit of nature.  My grandparents have lived on the river for over 35 years now, and their property includes an inlet with a dock.  Across the river from their house is a riverbank and a wooded area.  Growing up I had the privilege of witnessing all sorts of wildlife, including birds, ducks, geese, turtles, fish, tadpoles, frogs, lizards, snakes, deer, etc.  Obviously a backyard in the suburbs is hardly going to afford those sorts of opportunities for viewing wildlife, but I still wanted them to witness what nature we could at home.

So I did a little research on Amazon and purchased a sturdy, decent sized, and purportedly squirrel-free bird feeder and a jar of food.  Note: bird feeder is actually squirrel free, I haven't seen a squirrel yet!  After putting the bird feeder out the first time, it took a week for it to be empty.  Over the course of time we'd see 5 birds, then 10 birds, and now up to 20 birds in the yard at one time.  I now have to replace the food in the feeder once a day!  We had to buy a GIANT bag of bird food, the way people who have giant dogs have to buy dog food.  I have somehow managed to commit myself to feeding a very large bird population in our neighborhood.  I think our backyard has earned a reputation among the bird community for being the place to be.  It probably didn't help when I installed this bird bath, although I mainly did it for aesthetic reasons.

As if this bird situation couldn't get any stranger, I looked outside this morning while I was feeding the babies and was astonished to find two ducks!  They have been in our backyard intermittently since this morning and are currently camped out by the bird feeder along with probably seven other birds.  Our community has several lakes so it isn't surprising that there would be ducks nearby, just that they would decide to hang out in our backyard of all places.  Apparently they also got the memo about the new Ringley Family Bird Sanctuary.  I am not sure how long they will stay or if they will ever come back after today, we'll just have to wait and see.

Here is a picture of the two ducks:

Please also note how my bird feeder is EMPTY yet AGAIN, because all of these birds are eating us out of house and home!

Happy Friday to everyone, hope you are having a great day!


Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Pictures from Playing Outside

The title says it all.  Here are a few pictures from our play time outside earlier today:

Have a great day everyone!


Monday, April 16, 2012

Jagged Tree Stump or Beautiful Bird Bath?

In the backyard we had a random tree stump with a jagged edge where the tree had been sawed off unevenly.  I saw it when we first looked at the house and it bothered me.  I didn't like it, but I wasn't sure what we were going to do about it.  After thinking about it, I decided it would make a nice bird bath if I could find a copper bowl to attach to the stump once the top was leveled off.  Chad borrowed a saw from our friend Dustin and sawed off the jagged edge and I nailed on the new copper bowl.  Voila!  The old stump was transformed into a new bird bath!  Today I planted some pretty blue flowers around the new bird bath during the babies' afternoon nap.  I am glad that we were able to turn what was once an eyesore into something pretty and useful.  Here is a Before and After picture of our stump/bird bath project:



I hope everyone had a good start to their week!  Good night all!


Saturday, April 14, 2012

Saturday Shenanigans!

Today was a busy and fun day for everyone!  I have a lot of fun pictures to share so it is easier to just show you the pictures and tell you that way.  

Mom and I went shopping at Target and picked up these hats and sunglasses for the babies:

We also went to the HomeGoods store.  This was my first time at one and boy did I love it!  We found several awesome buys!   The first thing is an ABCs canvas Grandma Lisa bought for the babies' playroom.  We also found these cute Elephant lamps with the yellow polka dot shades.

We even found Sadie a new dog bed (her old one was left at Doggy Daycare by mistake), and she loves it!

Meanwhile, Chad was at home with the babies in the backyard watching them enjoy their new baby pool!

Chad also set up their new sand and water play table during one of their naps, and they had the best time playing with it this afternoon!  Warning to all parents though, even though this is a ton of fun for the kids, they WILL get messy, so be prepared!

Finally we wrapped up our busy day of shopping and playing outside with a bedtime story from Grandma Lisa.  We had a fun visit with her, and we are so sad she goes home tomorrow, we will miss her!  

Wishing everyone a fun weekend with their families!  


Thursday, April 12, 2012

Babies' First Haircuts!

I've been debating when I should take the babies for their first haircut for some time, and after Brady's mullet seemed to take on a life of its own I decided it was time.  We've been taking a lot of after dinner walks around the neighborhood with our new wagon and it has been a great way to meet our new neighbors who are also outside.  I was joking with one of our new neighbors Natalie, who I had just met, that I needed to take poor Brady for a haircut.  She then said, "That is what I do for a living!  I have a studio in my house, let me give you my card."  What luck!  We have a habit of living near some really talented people.  First our great friend/neighbor and amazing photographer Carlea lives in the townhouse right next to our old one, and now we live on the same street as a talented hair stylist!

Since my Mom is in town I thought it would be a good opportunity to take advantage of the extra set of hands to hold or entertain babies and scheduled an appointment with Natalie at 2:30 this afternoon.  I was a little nervous because I wasn't sure how the babies would react to having their haircut and I was hoping they would be good for our new neighbor.  They were completely patient and calm the whole time!  I was pleasantly surprised to say the least!  Here are some fun Before and After pictures:

BEFORE BRADY:  This is his "Phil Mickelson" mullet as we liked to call it.  It was MAJOR.

BRADY AFTER:  He looks like such a little man now!

CHLOE BEFORE:  Her hair was less extreme, it just needed a little trim here and there.

CHLOE AFTER:  All nice and neat now!

Here is a cool picture of Natalie's neat in-house hair studio!  It was awesome!

Here is the back of both babies' heads AFTER:

Grandma was a HUGE help and held Brady the whole time during his haircut.  No one cried or even whined, I was so proud!

Have a good night everyone!

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