Thursday, September 29, 2011


Sunday was free admission day at Cheekwood Gardens, sponsored by Regions bank. On Sundays they're only open from 11-4:30, so with Lilli's afternoon nap it made getting there a little hard. We ended up going straight after church and picking up Subway for a picnic lunch on the way there. It ended up working great, we got there soon after they opened and didn't have any trouble getting a parking spot.I'd been wanting to take Lilli to the trains exhibit all summer and it just never worked out. For the main feature they've got this intricate train exhibit built with about 6 or 7 different trains running on small tracks. (On a side note, her dress is 100% adorable - it's Burberry. Burberry! For kids!!)
The trains exhibit was huge with all the kiddos.....
Of course they had a Thomas....he was the big hit.
Many Tennessee landmarks, like the Cheekwood mansion, Graceland, and the Parthenon, were rebuilt in the little train city.

Of course she never wanted to leave to actually eat our lunch, but we finally drug her away to eat our sandwiches.

After we ate we walked through the Japanese gardens. She knows panda bears eat bamboo so she was excited to pull on real bamboo.

We walked through the always pretty color garden and there were a ton of butterflies to chase.
And then...a bee started chasing her. You can see it on the right, near her shoulder.
Some major overreacting. I am pretty sure the bee was way more scared of her!
The whole train set-up.
We swung back through the trains one last time before heading home for naptime. Naturally my child leaned over the tiny, tiny fence and derailed a train before I could grab her. Not our finest moment.
Watching from a MUCH safer distance.
We really only covered a small fraction of the gardens at Cheekwood, but our main purpose was just to see the trains. And since admission was free I didn't feel bad skipping the museum and all of the lower gardens. Some other day (when she's not tired and ready for a nap!) we'll go back and do some nice family photographs, like the ones we took there when she was just three months old!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

TACA Art Festival

Last Saturday we met Adam, Julia and Ella over at Centennial Park for the TACA Craft Fair. The TACA Craft Fair isn't your ordinary crafts festival. You have to be a member, so there's no junky stuff or tacky toilet paper covers and jewelry made out of paper clips. Of course the downside is that everything is pretty expensive!

Halloween fever is in fever pitch, still. Both Friday and Saturday she wore Halloween outfits. Of course the pink sandals really made the outfit. Needless to say she got plenty of attention.Her favorite booth was these intricate little birdhouses with tiny little birds. The small ones were $12 and she wanted to touch each and every one. For the most part she did well with just "looking with our eye" and getting to hold things for (literally) ten seconds. There were some $129 wind-chimes made of antique silverware that made me nervous and she banged them around.
The girls on our's the mommy workout!
Not a thing flattering for anyone in this pic....(and that mirror was over $3K!! Step away slowly....)
I think Lilli is flaunting her lemonade a bit....
Lover of ketchup and hot dogs.
Sound asleep and life is good! Although she did wake her up throwing a fit later...
None of us bought anything, other than food and lemonade. I appreciate nicer crafts, except for the price tag. Regardless of leaving with exactly what we came with we had a great time at the Craft Fair!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Topsy Turvy Firetruck Taco Popsicles

One of Lil's favorite games to play with "Daddy Brent" is to be hung upside down by her toes and "dropped" on the floor. She's a daredevil and I'm glad that one day I'll finally have someone to ride the scary roller-coasters with me!She could do this all.night.long. Often it's used as bribery to get her to brush her teeth, pick up toys, etc.

It's also a great way to capture just how curly her hair is!!! So many little ringlets, but I really need to get it styled and shaped up.
Contrast happy face with the "No firetruck" face. It's always a bummer when the firemen are out putting out fires and not parked in front of the fire station.
Three sad kiddos.
Friday night we ate dinner at Taco Mamasita (delish!!). It cracks me up how much Lilli has changed since the last time we ate there. Nashville has so many restaurant to choose from that it can be a while before we circle back around. Our food was great, and afterwards we popped into one of the little children's shops near it. Lilli was not impressed with the little hat Brent tried on. I was not impressed with their crazy prices.
Yes, she is wearing a Halloween shirt. She's obsessed and is wearing Halloween gear most of the time. After dinner we stopped at Las Paletas for some popsicles. Their popsicles are the best, made of all fresh and natural ingredients. Some are creamy, but a lot are fruit based and are safe for Brent and Lilli to eat. She wanted an orange one, so she ended up with a really fresh tasting cantaloupe while I got a Nutella one.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Lions and More!

On the 17th we took Lilli on another big outing - her very first movie in the theater!

For Christmas I had been given a book of certificates for the movies. Brent and I really NEVER go to the movies - literally the last time we went to the theater was January 2008, to see a documentary on running marathons. We're not into Hollywood and the prices are ridiculous. We've got a great home set-up, so there's just no point in paying to go out and see movies.

Our passes expired in December, and Lilli is so into all things Disney right now that we decided to go ahead and use them and take her to see Lion King. Luckily she was still free, but the total for the two of us to see Lion King 3D on a Saturday night was $29. That's just stupid. Our out of pocket ended up only being $1.Of course we had to get popcorn!! This was a huge treat for her - we don't normally do popcorn at home because of the choking hazard to kids under 4, but for this occasion we let her pig on out!
I had forgotten how incredibly long all the trailer are! She kept asking for the lions, but other than that she was perfect. She absolutely loved the movie and was tossing punches during all the fight scenes and had no issues keeping her 3D glasses on the whole time. The next day at church and then at school on Monday she was telling everyone she got to see the lions.
Running out of the theater afterwards she was roaring at everyone. As much as I had wished something princess-y was playing she had a blast with the Lion King. Puss in Boots (from Shrek) is coming out in November so I think we'll probably take her to that, too.
Sunday morning I woke up to this - my entire side of the closet had collapsed. Pippin never even barked about it when it happened! He's not much of a guard dog. Our Sunday afternoon project was fixing all my shelves back. I blame Brent, he made me put a jacket on my side that had been hanging on his.
Lots of fun times on the playground on these pretty fall days...
Daddy's glasses don't work quite the same way as 3D glasses....
Working on her letters...she does a great job writing her name! (this is just her L).

Sunday, September 25, 2011

The Fair!

On the 15th Lilli's daycare had a parent meeting in the evening. Parking there is so limited we just walked down from there back to my office instead of trying to cram in. This was the first time Lilli had been face to face with the giant Billy Graham statue outside my office."Whoa that's big!"
On the 16th we went to State Fair over at the Fairgrounds. This was Lilli's third year at the fair - she was small but so into it in 2009, and we went last year but I don't think I ever posted any pictures because it fell between our trips to Chicago and TX.

Of course one of the first things we did was hit up the petting zoo. These animals were hungry, all of them would fight over the food. One donkey wanted to eat the jacket I had tied around my waste. I should have let him because eventually it fell off somewhere and now it's gone forever. We never could find it and no one turned it in to lost and found which stinks because it was one of my favorite running jackets.

Lilli loved feeding them and ran around in circles trying to get food to pretty much all the animals.
Of course we had to have corn dogs for dinner that night.
Another big highlight was all the chickens, bunnies and other animals up for show. A lot of them were for sale and it was pretty tempting to buy something. When ducks are 2 for $25 you just feel like that's a deal you shouldn't pass up. But thankfully we did....
We let her pick a game to play - this one was very simple. All she had to do was pick a duck, easy peasy! Bad thing was she wanted to keep the duck instead of trading it for a prize. She got a "Medium" prize which meant she could pick from a lot of stuffed animals or some cheap toys.
She went for cheap toy - this yellow car. She still sleeps with it every night.
And what's the fair without some rides? Only problem is her height!! Most things you had to be 36 inches to ride and she's only 32 inches. Some of the ones that didn't have a height restriction on the short end had one on the tall end and she's too small to ride things by herself. The bumblebee was the only thing she was tall enough to ride and I was also small enough to join her.
It went around in circles and then also up and down. She had SO much fun!
Hopefully next year she'll be tall enough to ride a few more things. Of course we had to top the evening off with some cotton candy and a funnel cake. The fair only comes once a year so you gotta live it up!
Early that morning I had gone to my favorite consignment sale to load up on some fall clothes for her. I found several cute things, but I knew her favorite would be these Disney pajamas! She's into all things princess right now, with Ariel as her favorite, so it was no surprise how thrilled she was about these!
And both of them have already been worn several times since then, and she's actually sleeping in the pink ones tonight.