Archive for June, 2010


Monday, June 28th, 2010

I am not a very fashionable person.  I never have been.  My sister on the other hand is.  When we had a girl I was a little nervous at first about knowing what to do if she happened to be a “girly girl”.  I think I am handling it just fine.  What do you think?

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Inflatable jewelry, now that is fashionable right?

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Stylin’ and profilin’!

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Who needs a tiara when you have inflatable rings?

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Cute as a button!

Posted in Parenting |

Field Trip #5

Monday, June 28th, 2010

For our fifth field trip we ventured North on I-65 about thirty miles to Kentucky Down Under (KDU).  I have lived in BG for almost a decade and have really failed to take advantage of the tourist attractions nearby.  Today was different though.  The folks at KDU wanted to give something back to educators, so they made the month of June free for all educators.  Since the ticket price is usually pretty hefty we opted to take advantage.  It ended up just being Mikayla and I, but we had a great time (until the rain came).  The weather was overcast so there was a breeze every now and then, but still hot.  We were sweating before we even began. 

We began the day at an exhibit where you have a cup of nectar and Lorikeets fly around, land on you and eat the nectar.  Mikayla was loving the birds, but wasn’t too crazy about them landing on her.  She laughed when they landed on me and flew around her though.  I didn’t get very many good shots because I was holding/watching her and shooing off the birds.

KY Down Under 002 Loving some birds!

KY Down Under 003 Pretty birdie.

KY Down Under 004 Maybe if I run fast enough I can catch it…

KY Down Under 005 Well I didn’t catch it, but it was still cute!

The next two stops on the trail were not nearly as exciting for Mikayla.  The first was a talk about different sheep and what they use sheep for in Australia.  She was really upset with the fact that she couldn’t pet the sheep, but got over it pretty fast when they let her pet the dog.  She also thought it was fun to watch people milk the cow they had.  Then we watched a brief minute of the dogs trying to herd the cattle.  If she were a little older this would have been more fun.  As it was though, she was just sitting in her stroller in the heat.  Not a big fan!

Our next stop was the cave tour.  I wasn’t sure how Mikayla would do because it was a 30-40 minute tour.  I brought along our Ergo carrier and started with Mikayla on my back.  This lasted for about fifteen minutes while we waited for our tour guide to show up, but then she was done.  So we switched to the front carry, which lasted a total of five minutes.  She really just wanted to get down and walk, but not the best thing when you are in a cave!  So I opted to carry her through the rest of the tour.  She did pretty good after that.  The steps were a little tricky, but everyone around was very helpful and looked out for us!  Here are some shots from in the cave.

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Shot from inside the cave.

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It really was a beautiful cave.

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My silly baby and me!

Our final stop was the Outback Walkabout.  This was the stop I was most excited about because I knew Mikayla would love watching the kangaroos hop around.  Our tour guide was very nervous, I think it might have been his first few days on the job.  Plus we were the only ones on the tour.  Despite all this, we still enjoyed visiting with the animals.  Mikayla was unsure at first about touching the animals, but after she saw me do it she loved it.  She even got upset when I picked her up to take her to the next one.

KY Down Under 015 Touching the kangaroo for the first time.

KY Down Under 016 She really wanted to touch his head/ears, but she wasn’t allowed to.

KY Down Under 017 Look mom, he loves me!

KY Down Under 018 The emu wasn’t nearly as fun as the kangaroo.

While we were on the Walkabout the clouds started rolling in and the thunder began so we headed to the car.  We got to see pretty much everything so I wasn’t overly concerned, plus we were both tired and sweaty!  Mikayla fell asleep as soon as we hit the road and took a three hour nap.  Then she went to bed thirty minutes early.  I think she wore herself out!  Here are a few more snapshots from our adventures.

KY Down Under 011  Snagging a snack between tours.

KY Down Under 013 Attempting a self-portrait.

KY Down Under 014 A little more successful, but still not great.

If you missed our other field trips you can check them out here, here, here and here.  I am still trying to decide where our next field trip will be, so stay tuned.

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Posted in Parenting |

DIY Toys for Kids

Sunday, June 27th, 2010

If you have been around Ben or I much since we became parents, you will know that we have tried really hard to not buy a lot of the stuff society says you must for a baby/kid.  Instead we have borrowed or bought used just about everything we have used for Mikayla.  Even our cloth diapers!  We have also been very adamant that we did not want a lot of toys laying around the house when simple items we already have on hand do the trick just fine. 

Pots and pans for example.  They make a great toy and Mikayla will enjoy them for hours.

A couple of weeks ago we got a huge box in the mail filled with Styrofoam peanuts (I can’t remember what else was in the box).  Mikayla had a blast playing with the peanuts.  She played with them all week long until they basically deflated and had to be tossed.  It was her “go to” toy of the week.  My friend who is teaching me to sew brought her kids over the same week and they all three had fun playing in the peanuts.  At one point I looked over and they were all in the box playing.  Priceless…and free!

At the beginning of summer I made a water toy for Mikayla.  I basically took a big tub, filled it with sand toys and for less than 5-10 bucks I had a water table.  Do you know how much these cost in the store?  Mikayla loves it and I didn’t have to spend hardly any money.  I could have done it even cheaper if I had used measuring cups, basters, brushes, spoons, etc that I already had on hand. 

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Here recently Mikayla has really been into sticking straws through plastic lids.  This is practical in only two situations.  One, you have a cup with plastic lid and straw.  Two, the cup is empty (it gets pretty messy otherwise).  Today I got a bright idea to fashion a toy from an empty tube container (similar to what Crystal Light comes in or Pringles can) and pipe cleaners.  I took a hole punch and punched several holes in the plastic lid.  Then I pushed pipe cleaners through to resemble straws.  Perfect…until Mikayla started playing with it.  The pipe cleaners only stayed straight for a few seconds.  I quickly had to rethink my plan.  If only I had straws laying around the house.  I decided to try out chopsticks.  Voila!  They fit perfectly into the holes and were sturdy.  If you had straws they would work better and the toy would be more independent.  As is, I made sure to keep a close eye on her so she didn’t poke something she wasn’t supposed to.  She had a blast taking the chopsticks out of the hole and putting them back in.  Total cost of the toy, less than $2 (chopsticks were free from previous outings at Japanese restaurants).

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What other DIY toys have you crafted?

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Posted in Parenting |

Kimono Dresses

Saturday, June 26th, 2010

For the second installment of “Sewing Boot Camp” I voted to make a kimono for my goddaughter’s baptism gift and of course one for my darling as well.   After Dacia made one (to test out so she could be a better teacher), she thought it would make a cute kimono dress.  I agreed and so we proceeded with the project.  It was super easy, and I actually (proudly) made Mikayla’s all by myself.  Go me!  I didn’t get any shots of Molly in hers, but maybe her mommy could send me some.  I used a pattern tutorial (from this website, just email her), made the length five inches longer and at an angle instead of straight down.  Here are what the measurements looked like for a 6-9 month dress and 12-24 month dress (I hope this isn’t too confusing).


Make one of these (this will be the back of the dress)


(Make two of these one for right side and one for left so you will need to flip the pattern.)

Measurements for 6-9 / 12-24 month dress (all measurements in inches):

A – 17.5 / 20

B – 5.5 / 6.25

C – 3.5 / 4

D – 14 / 15

E – 10.5 / 12

F – 2.25 /2.25

G – Connect corner of C to end of F

H – 6 / 7

I – 13 / 14

J – 7.5 / 10.5

In addition to these three pieces you will need 1/2 inch bias tape (66 / 70 inches).  We had a great time putting these together.  Here are a few shots of the final products.

June 017 Molly’s Kimono dress from the front.

June 018 Molly’s Kimono dress from the back.

June 019 Ms. Sassy Pants modeling hers (it wasn’t wrapped very well because she was extremely squirmy)!  It is a little big, but I think it is cute!

Posted in Life |

Field Trip #4

Tuesday, June 22nd, 2010

For this field trip we traveled out of the city, county and state.  At 10pm on Saturday evening we got in the car and began the trek to Tallahassee, Florida to visit some dear friends and their precious baby!  We drove through the night and arrived in time to take showers and head to Molly’s baptism.  A few months ago we were honored when Catherine and Dave asked us to be Molly’s godparents.  It worked out perfectly that we were able to come down and be a part of this special day with them.  Here are some pictures from the event (courtesy of Catherine because I did not take my camera).  Molly did beautifully and Mikayla actually stayed in the service right up to the sermon.





After the baptism we went back to the house where Mikayla took a really long nap (I guess she was tired from our car ride).  On Monday we just hung out at the house while the girls took alternating naps.  It was almost hysterical how it played out.  When one would go down the other would wake up.  Ben and Dave ventured out to play disc golf and Cat and I even managed a trip to a fabric store!

On Tuesday Mikayla and Molly got to experience a first together (which I think is really special).  They both got to visit the beach/ocean for the first time.  At first Mikayla wasn’t much of a fan but after awhile she seemed to enjoy herself.  Here are some highlights.

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It is kind of hard to see, but the sand says “MLK 6-22-10”

Altmaier visit 010 Swimming in the ocean with daddy (this was before we discovered the horseshoe crabs and nobody wanted to get back in)!

 Altmaier visit 019 Mikayla was just as content sitting in the sand eating snacks and drinking her water.

Altmaier visit 023 Altmaiers with cutey Molly!

Altmaier visit 026 Hanging out with daddy!

Altmaier visit 031 Cheesy grins!

Altmaier visit 036 Family photo op!

Altmaier visit 042Mom, look at the water!”

Altmaier visit 043 Just hanging around!

Altmaier visit 048   Digging in the sand.

We love visiting with the Altmaiers.  We have a special type of friendship (you can read about it here).  Thanks for hosting us and letting us be a part of Molly’s life!

We are at the end of June, which means summer is almost over.  I have a few more field trips up my sleeves so stay tuned.  You can read about previous field trips here, here and here.


A Picture’s Worth…

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

What do you think Mikayla just got done enjoying in these pictures?

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Posted in Life, Parenting |

Field Trip #3

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

For our third field trip of the summer we decided to head to a local hotel that has an indoor fountain and glass elevator.  I thought Mikayla would like to watch the water and ride up the elevator and see the “sights”.  I think she had a great time.  Daddy got to come along for this trip which made it extra special.  We watched the fountain for a bit and stuck our hands in the water.  Mikayla really liked to feel the different plants and point to everything!  She even got a kick out of the stone turtle and frog that were hidden in the plants.  She loved going up and down in the elevator and watching everything along the way.  Here are some pictures from the trip.

June 002 Laughing as she climbs off the ledge.

June 005Pointing to the fountain (and please ignore the fact that she isn’t wearing shoes)! 

June 008 She was very cautious about sticking her finger in the water.

June 010 Daddy taking his turn going up the elevator (sorry about the flash).

June 011 So high you can hardly see them!

June 013 My baby girl and me!

In case you missed our other field trips you can check them out here and here.  Stay tuned for our next adventurous field trip. 

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Posted in Life, Parenting |

Field Trip #2

Saturday, June 12th, 2010

Disclaimer:  I forgot my camera at home so there are limited pictures.  Pictures that I post have been “borrowed” from other people.

Week two of summer vacation has come and gone and that meets it is time to update on our second field trip (in case you missed field trip #1 you can check it out here).  Our second field trip was to my hometown, Somerset, to await the arrival of my niece.  My sister went into labor (with her third child) on Sunday morning and Baby Taylor arrived on Sunday evening.  We spent the day at my parents house playing with Mikayla and my nephews.  We made bird feeders from pine cones, peanut butter and bird seed.  We ran up the hill and rolled back down.  We shot basketball.  I taught T-Bone how to set the table.  Had a yummy BBQ chicken dinner courtesy of my mom. 

Finally, we were able to head to the hospital to meet and greet the newest addition to the family:  Taylor Nicole Absher.  She weighed in at 8lb 5.5oz and was 21 inches long.  And a head full of dark brown hair, more than Mikayla had!  Everyone was excited to finally meet Baby Taylor, even Mikayla.  She loves babies.  Congrats go out to Christa, Kris, Tyson and Tanner on their newest bundle. 





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Posted in Life, Parenting |

Little Dentist

Friday, June 11th, 2010

If you have seen Mikayla smile in the last little bit you will have seen a mouth full of teeth.  She currently has four top front teeth, three bottom front teeth, and one molar for a total of eight teeth.  The molar actually snuck up on us.  We didn’t notice it until it had already poked through her gums. 

When the first tooth appeared her dear Aunt Chel, who is a dental hygienist, gave her a toothbrush and toothpaste set and encouraged us to brush her teeth each day.  She has always been a fan and actually gets excited to see her toothbrush (unlike her daddy).  This morning she found Ben’s travel toothbrush and was walking around brushing her teeth.  It was so cute.

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Aunt Chel are you proud of me?

car and shirt 028  She loves brushing her teeth.

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Posted in Parenting |

Sewing Envy Decreased

Friday, June 11th, 2010

Awhile back I made a post about having sewing envy and my desire to learn to sew.  Just recently I made a post about “Sewing Boot Camp” and how I wanted to make this shirt for my first project.

“Boot Camp” started on Wednesday.  We began the day by trying to figure out my hand me down sewing machine.  It turned out that we needed a different sewing needle.  Apparently my husband who also uses the machine likes to sew with a really large needle!  Dacia braved the pouring rain and headed to the store for supplies while I stayed home with the kids.  When Dacia returned we began cutting out the fabric pieces and got right to work. 

After four hours of sewing, talking and tending to kids we still had a lot of work to do, but “boot camp” was over for the day.  After I put Mikayla to bed I got back to work.  I finished the pleats all by myself.  They were actually a lot easier than I thought they would be.  At 9:30 I decided to put the sewing away and go watch the Blackhawks win the Stanley Cup. 

car and shirt 023Progress Day One – With pockets, chestband, shoulder straps, and hem still needing to be done. 

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Progress Day One – Without pockets (this is what I ended up with), chestband, shoulder straps, and hem still needing to be done. 

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Up close shot of pleats. 

On Thursday I headed to Dacia’s house to finish up the shirt. And here is the end result (please ignore my hair and jewelry, I was wearing brown).

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Sewing was not as difficult as I thought it would be and I am excited to have learned some very important skills on this shirt (straps, pleats, ruffles and hems).  If I did it over again there are some things I would change, but all in all I am pretty excited about my first sewing project.  My next project is going to be a skirt for Mikayla.  I think I might try this skirt made from dishtowels!

Thanks again to Dacia for helping me out and Carson, Callie, and Mikayla for putting up with us sewing for two days!

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Posted in Life |