Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Rainy Days

These pictures are all from July 8th - 11th. That would be the time period in this crazy Nashville summer when we went from drought and 109 degree temps to torrential rains every day. Insanity.Which was a contributing factor to the invention of this:
Princess doesn't like storms and ends up in our bed constantly when it's thundering. We've tried everything but three night of her kicking me in the back and I was pooped. There also happened to be an itsy bitsy little house spider on her bed one evening and the tent-bed was born. All I know is it kept her in her own bed for about two weeks before she ended up tearing it down and we all got better sleep during our summer "rainy/stormy" season.

More rain, different day....
On the evening after our good 12-week baby appointment we went out to eat Mexican food and had to walk across the street for Jeni's ice cream. Someone was way too into her treat to pose for pics!
The most memorable part of that evening was leaving two Ariel dolls on the table at Rosepepper, realizing it less than 10 minutes later, running back across the street and having them tell us they're thrown away already and WE can go through the food trash looking for them if we want them that bad. If that isn't customer service....We already have a love-hate with that place. We want to love it but their food always ends up being a giant glob of semi-melted cheese on a plate, and overpriced at that. And now that we have Chuy's we've officially decided Rosepepper can keep their gloop and we'll keep our money. So rude. I posted about it on Facebook and had so many other people angry about the thrown away toys! It really is rude, why not keep it until the end of the night? What's it to them? So, since we couldn't take back our tip or do anything about it, we asked an absolutely upset, crying, sobbing Lilli what would make her feel better. I was willing to let her take anything she wanted from that place at that point. And she wanted three rocks from their landscaping. So three rocks she got and she placed them in our alley. She always remembers what they're from and everywhere we've been since then she leaves her toys in the car because of "the two Ariels".
In Brent's glasses......I think if she ever ends up needing them we may go with a slightly different frame!
Although I really think she'll take more after me - good eyes (she can spot an airplane or bird 10 miles away) but bad teeth (she already has a cavity - ugh - more on that later!!).

Monday, July 30, 2012

Around Town

These pictures are also from early July, the weekend after July 4th.

Lilli can pretty much be found in dress-up costume, at all times. We're very thankful for the VERY nice princess costumes some friends at church have given her.
One Saturday night we went to Target, and of course we had to have some burritos.A different day, as Sleeping Beauty again. We got some summer clearance toys at Target. This little set of $2 rocket balloons is some of the best money we've spent all summer. You blow them up with the little pump and then they fly all over the room making a "rockety"/firework type sound. Pippin HATES it.Flying all around the room....
And the problem with her room is the ledge. Luckily about 24 balloons came in the pack because many of them, and unfortunately all the purple ones, are now stuck up on the ledge.
For $1 we got these two little cars where you blow up the balloon and as the air comes out the car races. It is HARD to blow them up. I was trying and pretty much gagging (as is my normal thing lately...) and Lilli was trying so hard her eyes were crossing. Hilarious. Of course Brent had no trouble blowing them up.
Getting more pickets for the other half of the fence. Who needs a truck????This summer at church the book reading contest has been big business! Every Sunday and Wednesday Lilli has looked forward to picking out new books from the really nice Children's Library we have and signing them out herself. You can tell it's been very popular from the large stack of returns in the basket!The contest ended last week and Lilli did great! She wasn't a "big" Top 3 winner but she did get lots of prizes. Stay tuned!!

Sunday, July 29, 2012


I ended up taking off the Thursday and Friday after the weird, middle-of-the-week July 4th. I knew we were planning to try and stay for the fireworks, meaning we'd all be out late and likely grumpy the following morning, and then who would want to go back for just a Friday? So Lilli and I took off Thursday and Friday, and Brent took off Friday with us.

I'm not one to just sit around the house and Lilli is really in a phase where she wants other people to play with, all the time, so I asked Wendy if her kiddos would want to meet us down at the new Cumberland River/East Splash Park. They've really built up the East bank by us, and when we tried to go for Brent's birthday the water wasn't working.

We met a little before 11 with picnic lunches. The water doesn't turn on until 11, but we figured the kids could play with the other sand, see-saw and "fake" grass features. But WOW, it was hot. I think 103-104 that day, which was quite a bit cooler than it had been. It was really pretty much miserable - all the play features were blazing hot, as in if you didn't put a beach towel over it they could easily get a burn. They did amuse themselves by rolling up and down the fake grass hills, in the shade.

Several minutes after 11 the water finally cut on. I still don't think it's working quite right. There were several engineer looking people watching it and I was honestly super unimpressed. The Public Square fountains are a lot more exciting and fun, with wading pools as well. The water spray was just these little constant arches, that's it. Good enough for the kids, but then all those concrete tiles were BURNING hot on their toes if they weren't wet.The water would run for maybe 5-7 minutes then all cut off to cycle back through. It's on this odd slant so tons of water would gather in the corner. It seems to me like this wasn't exactly well designed.
But the girls had fun sitting in it and "swimming".It really only took a little over an hour for them to be done with it and ask to go home! I think next time we may just stick with Public Square, but hey, it is free (on my tax dollars) and less than two miles from our house. Can't complain about that!

On Friday we hit up some more water - that's really the best thing to do when it's this crazy hot! We headed out to the Maryland Farms Y where it was pretty much us and every housewife in Brentwood with all their kids. Lilli didn't care though - she loves this pool and we do too!
I still need to get her some swim lessons this summer, hopefully before we hit up the Caribbean in October (our current vacation plans).

Chilling during the mandatory "bathroom" break.That evening we had our friends the Godby's over. Lilli had so much fun playing at Serif's house a couple weeks earlier and had been wanting to play with him again. Pippin is always excited about company.The two of them are becoming fast buds - you know they have a lot in common when he shows up as Batman and she was already dressed as Ariel.We had a great time and Lilli hasn't stopped talking about Serif since, and always asking which house is his when we had past that direction. It's nice having a friend just around the block that you can get together with really easily!And that was our little early July "stay-cation". It was SO nice to have a few extra days around the house where we could do things we don't normally have time to do!

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Freedom Fest 2012

Going back all the way to July 4th now....

The 4th was pretty low key for us. Brent worked on the fence while Lilli and I went over to a friend's pool and did some swimming. I know, it's a rough life. That evening our church held it's annual "Freedom Fest" downtown. One of our members owns a very large, very profitable parking lot a block from the stadium/river. Instead of renting it out on this very popular downtown night, they block it off for our church and two other East Nashville CofCs for a big cookout. We had grilled hot dogs and hamburgers, and every brought chips, desserts, watermelon and beverages. It was so much fun, and there were even a few inflatables for the kiddos.

One member from one of the other churches came dressed as Captain America and handed out bubbles to all the kids. No clue how he stayed in that costume all night on that HOT July 4th!!

Of course Lilli loved jumping in the inflatables with her buddies! (She's on the right in the pink shirt.) There were two bounce houses, one for the bigger kids and one for the smaller ones. It worked out great and everyone stayed where they should be. One thing I really appreciate about the "bigger" kids is they really do look out for the smaller ones and are so respectful. I think that's a main difference between a smaller church where they all know each other and a bigger church where no one knows anybody.
Jumping around with her friends. She could jump all day and all night.Wendy brought some flags for her kids and had an extra one for Lilli. She and Zach ran all over the parking lot being extra patriotic during the entertainment portion (a Neil Diamond impersonator.)

There was still about an hour to kill between the end of the entertainment for the evening and the incredibly late fireworks start (9:45!). A lot of people with older kids went to stand on the bridge and river for the best view, but we knew that really wouldn't be a fun wait with Lilli, or queasy me for that matter. So we stuck around the parking lot with a lot of Lilli's friends and let them play, with each other and the Iphones, and hit the dessert table up a few more times before the fireworks started.
We had a great view without the hassle of the crowd and could relax in our lawn chairs with plenty of personal space. We can also see fireworks from our upstairs since we live so close to downtown, but it was nice to have the full view and enjoy the synchronized symphony music/fireworks production.
The show probably lasted about 15minutes and was really great. We've watched before from East Park, but this is the closest we've been before.And Lilli actually enjoyed it! We showed her some YouTube videos earlier and she was excited about seeing all the colors, so that made it more fun for her (looking for pink & purple specifically). We also brought along Brent's "shooting" headphones. She hates loud noises so that offset a lot of the noise and I think "mentally" made her feel better about it. We really weren't sure she would like it, especially with it being SO much after her bedtime, but thankfully she did and hopefully next year we can go again and the new baby will sleep through the whole thing!

Friday, July 20, 2012

The Proud Big Sis

Here's the proud big sis wearing her shirt to school to tell all her friends the big news.She's told her teachers all kinds of things. Some of them I probably don't even want to know.
This afternoon in the car on the way home she told me her tummy was going to pop open in five minutes with her baby. Good thing we have such a short commute.

Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Big News....

But the "biggest" news of the July 4th-ish weekend was the announcement of this:(ultrasound at almost 10 weeks in late June).

But to back up the story really went a little something like this. When I was planning Brent's birthday and his main surprise (the Ipad), I had NO clue I would have a bigger surprise for him!
After the Ipad there was one small wrapped package left. Lilli noticed and said something about there being one left to open. Brent knows me pretty well - in that the junky stuff, aka Lilli's selections, come first and the best stuff is last. So he asked "What could be better than an Ipad?"

I think we can all agree this was!Even though I had only kept the secret for maybe two hours I was so glad to finally tell him! Of course I had already texted a few really close friends with the news, because heaven knows I couldn't tell Lilli!

We actually didn't even tell her until the night before we told our families, 10.5 weeks later. She has seen Brent taking his daily belly shots and even put her head up to my stomach - but had no clue why.So when we told her that Friday night, her first response was "Can I take the baby for a ride in my wagon?". I had no clue that she was lacking in wagon play so desperately! She asked a few questions and was very excited - she's wanted to take a baby home from the baby room at daycare for quite some time. The baby's due date is January 23 - the day before her 4th birthday - so it's actually fairly easy for her to understand it's going to be a while. She does actually believe that at her birthday party my stomach is literally going to pop open and she will get a baby. While that would make for a legendary party, we're just going to "stage" her birthday early in the month to make it a bit easier (on me).

Our decision not to tell Lilli until we "had to" proved to be the right one. As soon as pulled into my parent's house she went around back to blow bubbles with her cousins Kacey and Cody. We were still bringing in luggage and it couldn't have been over five minutes that we had been there when Kacey came inside, walked up to me and said "Aunt Rachel, are you having a baby? Because I can see your baby." I told her to hush and then she asked again if I was having a baby and I told her that wasn't nice to ask people. I had no clue where that could have been coming from, but luckily it didn't seem like anyone had heard.

Our plan was to let everyone get there, put Lilli in her custom "big sister" outfit, and have her give the grandmothers a framed ultrasound picture.It was a bit chaotic but got the job done before Kacey could ask more questions! Turns out that as soon as we got there Lilli told her cousins she was going to be a big sister! Cody, being a bit older, had just come inside and whispered to Suzy if she knew anything, while Kacey just took the bulls by the horn.

Once we got back to Nashville on Sunday night we pretty much blew up Facebook with our announcement and had over 100 likes/comments/private messages! There are a few good things about the Internet.

Since then Lilli has told everyone! She actually tells people she is getting a brother AND a sister, so I get a lot of questions as to whether or not I'm having twins. Problem is she also thinks there is a baby in her belly. But she will tell you she wants a sister.

I'm pretty much felt like dog poop the whole time - gagging over everything (especially tooth brushing and cooking) and getting sick some as well. That's actually gotten a good bit better this week and I even managed to cook dinner from natural, raw ingredients three times this week! Raw meat and basically most food in general has just grossed me out for many weeks now. We had an appointment last week at just over 12 weeks and everything was sounding good with a strong heartbeat and measuring right on track.

So that's the "other" story of what's been going on around here!

Monday, July 16, 2012

4-th"ish" of July Celebration, part 2

Before bed on Saturday night on the "4-th"ish weekend, Grandma read the bedtime stories for the girls after tubby time.
Eventually Cody decided that maybe he wasn't too big to hear a story or two after all.Lilli has way outgrown the crib, but Cody and Kacey are occupying the twin beds. So Brent built Lilli a little tent/fort to sleep in using the crib mattress. She loved it. Kacey loved it too and kept asking Lilli is she could "sleep over" with her. Thankfully she kept telling her No since that room already has Brent, me, Pippin and Lilli as its occupants. Then Kacey would ask her "if she was sure" and Lilli was still say No, so Kacey would ask her if she could sleep with her again. I don't think Lilli quite understands "Are you sure?", but she definitely understands No!
Sunday morning the girls dresses were fairly coordinating with their patriotic themes.And once again we did not get a good picture of them together. It reminds me a lot of this year, when she also did not want to have her picture made with Kacey.
This is more the subdued angry tantrum look - pouted lips, looking away. The problem was the grass was "too crunchy" but the real problem was no nap the day before and staying up over 2 hours past her bedtime.
This one is at least....decent.
We all left after lunch on Sunday and headed home to more 109 degree goodness. We got the sprinklers going on our garden as soon as we got home but there's not a lot you can do about temperatures that hot. A lot of my potted plants bit the dust, but some have started coming back after this week of constant rainfall we had!
And that's some of the excitement from the 4th-ish weekend celebration!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

4-th"ish" of July Celebration, part 1

Two weeks ago my parents had their annual "4-th ish" of July celebration at their house in West Tennessee. With the 4th oddly falling on a Wednesday, we celebrated the weekend before. We loaded the kids up, popped in some DVDs and headed West.

Pippin is always happy to be included on any trip. Especially when it's 109 degrees outside (literally) and he can sport his bandanna. Which at least saves him from a full bath when he rolls in dead birds. (true story).After lunch the usual Carden family activities took place - shooting inanimate objects.
This year even the boys are starting to get in on the action. Hopefully Lilli will never have any interest in this!!
A different approach....but probably not a bad idea considering the heat.
The annual "grandkids" shot - taken indoors to avoid some whining.

The "everyone" shot. Also taken indoors but still with the usual amount of whining and horseplay. At least both dogs are looking!After dinner, when it was only about 103, everyone headed out to do some fishing on what's left of the pond this summer.
Three cheers for Pippin who at no point fell in the pond this year! He was more than happy to clean the fish food bowl and stand guard. Only a very few fish were caught so I think he never got all that wound up or close to falling in.
The best way to catch fish when there's hardly any water and it's so hot is to feed them directly where you're fishing.
Lilli never caught any this time...but she did try for a few minutes.
Grant let her touch the one he caught and she thought it was super slippery. I'm surprised she touched it and glad it didn't cut her!
Princess was a little hot and a lot tired so he hitched a ride back up to the house with her Granddad. Price for the lift was one ham.
And one cheese.Messing around with her boy cousins, Cody and Grant. She liked to swat them with her lovey and watch them fall down. This is a game that's gone on for years now! She also had fun playing dolls and house with her girl cousins Madison and Kacey, too.Stay tuned for part 2!