Thursday, July 30, 2009

Last Days of Summer!

Well, I start my new job on Monday and so I'm treasuring every moment I have with Caleb. We have had a couple of fun-packed days. We've been shopping, to the Zoo, swimming in the pool in the back yard and then to to the country fair to see the animals and tractors. Life is Good!

Here we are eating while watching the bears.

And now we're packing up to go home..nap time!

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Mild Summer Temperatures Mean Lots of Fun

Our midwest summer has been amazing weather wise! The normally humid sweat-as-soon-as-you get-outside feeling just hasn't materialized! Therefore, we've had a lot of time to have fun outside! Here are just a few videos and photos to highlight some of those fun times!

Here is Caleb practicing his baseball form with help from coach Dad!

This video shows Caleb enjoying his water-shooting Fire Engine!

Time to wash the car...and eat bananas!
New way to swing!

Evening bike-ride on the outside of town.

And eating outside!

Beware!~~Winnie the Pooh

More Beware~Beware~

Caleb's favorite movie right now is the original "Winnie the Pooh" Movie. Its so fun to watch him enjoy and interact with the characters! His favorite part is a dream sequence that Pooh has after a warning from Tigger that Ephalmupts and Woosels may steal his honey! Personally, I think the psychedelic images are a bit creepy, but Caleb sings and dances like its the best thing ever! And after its over he asks for "More Beware!" Take a look for yourself!

Monday, June 29, 2009

Summer Family Time!

Here are my boys playing basket ball.

And here we are biking along constitution trail in Bloomington! We love taking our bikes and the GPS so we can geocache and get exercise!

Friday, June 26, 2009

"White Computer" Photo Booth Fun

I picked up Micah (my nephew) at the Atlanta airport during a short layover coming home from a business trip. To keep him occupied during the flight, I let him play with my MacBook, which he affectionately calls the "white computer." He loved looking at my photos in iPhoto, but when I introduced Photo Booth to him, he LOVED it. He quickly learned how to navigate the buttons, using the effects to change up the photos, the four photos taken together, and even the videos.

Then when we got home, he wanted to include Caleb in the fun. So here are a few of our photos of the afternoon, along with a video of Micah and Caleb making pictures on the "white computer!"

Sunday, April 26, 2009

First Ball Game of 2009

The Peoria Chiefs are our local minor league baseball team. We usually go to at least one game a season, but I anticipate going more often this year. April 26, a Sunday afternoon, they advertised a Disney Day, with kids getting a free hot dog, and soft drink (of which Craig consumed all of it!). Caleb loves all things Disney, particularly Mickey Mouse, and M-I-C-K-E-Y, M-O-U-S-E would be there in person for photo opts! It was the perfect motivator.

Seeing Mickey was the highlight for Caleb. But it was a love/hate relationship. He wanted to be able to have a visual of Mickey Mouse at all times, but didn't want to get too close. We were in constant motion, trying to "find" Mikey, but then when we'd find him, Caleb would hold tightly to our neck. But a day to remember--for sure!

I love going to these minor league games for so many reasons: The casual atmosphere, the friendliness of the staff, the cool promos and free stuff, the kid friendly berm and playground, and the beautiful field (complete with palm trees, we are in Illinois right?).

Now, I have to mention the variety of blue that Caleb is wearing. As you know, Craig is a Dodger fan, and not so much a Cubs Fan. However, since Caleb loves his new Dodger hat(s), Dad thought the Cubs jersey (a perfectly fitting hand-me-down from cousin Micah) would be appropriate since the Peoria Chiefs are the minor league team for the Chicago Cubs. Either way, I think he looked adorable!

And Caleb started putting the cap on himself this week. But usually that means its on backwards, although we saw him take it off, scratch his head, and put it back on, like an old man would do it, it was hilarious!

New Frigerator!

Its no secret that I like things organized. I got a laminator for Christmas, and there's no turning back. Well, we've updated our kitchen with new stainless steel "fridgerator" and dishwasher (We've now done our part to stimulate the economy!) Since cooking isn't really my thing, the kitchen is something I've never worked hard at organizing...until now.

Since I had a clean fridge to start with, I thought...

Why not have a specific shelf for certain items?
Why not group like items together?
Why not be able to find food items before they become great micro-biological specimens?
And to help us remember those groupings, why not label where the items go?

I've justified this by saying that it will help Caleb learn to read, but really it will help both Craig and I always put thing back so we each know what food we have and what we need. I know, I'm crazy..but labels make me happy!

Note #1: Craig prefers the phrases "fridge" or "refrigerator" NOT "Frigerator." I thought I knew all those silly little things about my husband, but this one was highlighted when the women who sold us our appliances kept using the WRONG terminology, and it made Craig's skin crawl! Who knew?

Note #2: My Mother LOVED the idea of having these same labels in the fridge at the cottage. So Cottage regular attenders, beware, these labels may apply to you!


This Easter Caleb is old enough to start some traditions. While I didn't have him color his own eggs, we did spend the week before Easter practice hiding and finding the plastic eggs. Then Easter morning, I put a line of eggs outside his bedroom that lead to his Easter basket. I love how excited he was when he found each egg -hid plainly in sight! Genuine joy! My mom brought some actual eggs that I decorated years ago--real shells with the insides blown out. Kinda weird to think that I played with the same eggs that Caleb is now enjoying!

I had a lot of fun putting together his Easter Basket this year. It included, new spring sandals, some play animals (the safari variety), wonder book & markers (wonderful---since staying on the page is NOT a priority at this age!), two new Thomas the Tank Engine -Engines, an Elmo Springtime DVD, a couple hot wheel cars, and of course Winnie the Pooh themed tooth brush and toothpaste. Candy was not really introduced this Easter. He got a couple fruit bars and other yummy treats, and he didn't know the difference! Caleb's Grandma got him more plastic eggs, a video, some Bible books-focused on singing (so we LOVE those), a pinwheel, a new shirt, and other goodies. Now, I will say here that the true importance of Easter, Christ's resurrection, was not lost. We had several Christian Easter books that we read and discussed this year.

This is Caleb playing with the elephant, and doing the sign--although he does actually say the word now too--but somehow, the sign accompanied with the sound is more fun! After church we went on a walk and did a little mini-Easter egg hunt outside. The nice Easter outfit was sort of lost, because of the necessary addition of the new ball cap! Oh well...he still looks nice!

New Hobby--Treasure Hunting!

Well, Craig has introduced a new hobby for the family. It involves a hand-held GPS and looking for "treasures." The hobby is called geocaching and here is the official website. Basically people leave a log list, usually cleverly hidden, and get the GPS coordinates to share with others. When you find the cache you sign it, and put it back where you found it. Then you can log onto the website and make any reports about the cache, like whether it was wet, easy or difficult to find etc... So far we've found mostly micro-caches, which are about the size of a thumb. But one we found was a small plastic container, and people leave items behind. I guess its like any other hobby--its a sort of community, brought together even closer by internet.

Its fun because it gives us a reason to be outside, go new places, and to spend time together as a family. While the overall idea is somewhat "geeky," we love it. Craig goes online and downloads all the cache sites found in our area into his GPS. We can even get extra hints & tips (like how difficult the find is) and that has proved helpful, because we are "newbies."

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Cold March Walk Leads to a Minor Temper Tantrum

A glimpse into the life of an (almost) 2 year old...these photos were taken the same day as the cute PB Wagon photos. We came back from a walk (Caleb loves being outside) and he was not happy about having to help with dinner. So he stands at the back door screaming. And so I ignored him. Well, that's not true, I took photos, which technically is not ignoring, but let's not argue semantics! The first photo shows Caleb all relaxed and decked out in his hat/gloves that Grandma Harland made him, the next is what happened when we went inside, and the last is him resorting to being nice, giving me puppy eyes and saying & signing please. His temper tantrums don't last long-because he is still easily distracted--this time by songs and a snack.

Peanut Butter Wagon!

Well, today Caleb thought it would be funny to put his peanut butter sandwiches into the tractor wagon that I had on the table to occupy him. As you can see from these photos, he is quite pleased with himself. And although the old adage says "Don't play with your food," I don't agree, because you know what? He ate ALL of his lunch! Mom wins! (& so does Caleb!)

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Moments & Games

There are so many things I love about these moments. I love it when Caleb plays himself, but I also love it when he hams it up for the camera. I love it when poses for my camera, and then runs to sit on my lap so he can view the latest shot! Craig has taught Caleb a new game where they creep up on me saying "sneak-sneak." And although Craig has tried to explain to Caleb that being quiet during the sneaking is part of the game, Caleb's echoing footsteps and chanting "neek-neek" always warn me that I'm about to be attacked! And I love it! Another game we play while playing on the floor is "Ready-Set-Go." Caleb finds a spot across the room and I'll say "ready-set..." and Caleb will say "go!" an he'll run towards me throwing his full body weight into me, grap my neck and we'll hug and roll around on the floor! I know its a little thing, but these are the moments I treasure!

My boys-bounce-bounce-bounce

One of my greatest joys is seeing my two boys together. Here is one of Caleb's new favorite things. Craig will put him on the exercise ball and just bounce, bounce, bounce. Sometimes Caleb wants to bounce high, sometimes just small bounces that lull him into a sleepy state.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

I hate Grocery Shopping...and cooking!

I hate grocery shopping and cooking, but I'm getting better. I recently found a list online and its has motivated me to sit down and write out a list of meals each week (something I've never done before). The list is called "The Ultimatest Grocery List" and a pdf file of the actual list can be found at The list is organized by category, so it helps save time in the grocery store and reduces the chance that you'll forget something on the list.

Hippenhammer Christmas

Christmas with my family was spent in Bourbonnais. The big treat was having time to spend with my sister's family. Caleb loved playing with his big cousin Micah, and we got to meet Julia for the first time as well. Caleb was a bit jealous when I would hold Julia, but after a while got used to her, giving her hugs and calling her "baby." He has a soft spot, and if she would cry, he would cry too, concerned that she was hurt. We tried to explain that crying was her only way to communicate with us, and that it didn't mean she was hurt.

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Christmas Overview-Harland

These are these the scrapbooks I made for my nieces! We did a photo shoot of all their outfits and these photos will be put into the scrapbook, cut at the waist so they can change tops & bottoms.
Surprises! Fun, Fun!

Streeters got a Wii for Christmas. It was so fun to watch them get involved in the games!

Caleb loves tractors!

Rocking Horse

Caleb got a rocking horse for Christmas from Grandma & Grandpa Harland. He's come a long way. When we first introduced the horse to him, he was intimated by it, and needed help from his cousins to ease him into it. But as you can tell from the video, he LOVES it now!

Capturing the moment

I am so pleased with the capabilities of my new camera and how everything I used to do on my old film Nikon is coming back to me. I was so happy to be able to capture this moment of Caleb happily playing with his farm animals that he got for Christmas. (For the camera nerds out there, I had my camera set to Aperture priority and the to ISO to 1800 and the WB set to Tungston.)