Friday, April 29, 2011

I've got the fever

For a grown woman with a house and a husband and a job and a child, you might expect a little more from me.

But I admit it: I've got Royal Wedding fever.

Yep.  That Royal Wedding.

Maybe it's because I had the world's biggest crush on Prince William when I was 12 years old. 

Maybe it's because I'm a sappy, hopeless romantic.

Maybe I'm just kind of a goof. 

Whatever the case, I can't get enough.  I've spent my free time over the past week watching absolutely horrible Lifetime made-for-TV movies and Biography and TLC specials.  Anything that details their story. 

I DVR'd the wedding, and watched the first bit this morning as I made Leah's lunch.  I watched the rest of it tonight over a pizza.  It was stunning

I loved the dress.  Is it too early to order one for Leah?  Do you think I could book Westminster Abbey this many years in advance?

Thursday, April 28, 2011

Things I'm doing lately

...dreading my husband going away

...getting excited for summer

...signing Leah up for swim lessons

...watching Veggie Tales without the little.  Because they're awesome and make me laugh

...dreaming about the future

...running with the new jogging stroller.  (Have I not mentioned this?  It's worthy of it's own post!)

...trying to get into "couponing."  It's a lot of work

...longing for a good book to read

...wishing my church had MOPS and Bible study groups over the summer.  Why do they take a break, when that's the only time I can do those activities?

...going to bed MUCH too late for one who has to be up at 5

...almost bought an ovulation test (I don't need it yet, but OH BOY was it tempting)

...cleaned up pee pee on the floor after letting a naked wild woman run through my house

...enjoying - as always - the show!

Sunday, April 24, 2011

Happy Easter!

Oh, Easter!
Mommy was glad we abandoned the "real' egg-dying escapade.  That wouldn't have gone over so well.

Look what the Easter Bunny brought!

Somebody enjoyed finding Easter eggs.

Last year, she could barely lift her head to see what was in her Easter basket.  This year, she walked to it.

Checking out her haul.

Gifts from the Bunny.

She loved carrying around her basket!

Bedazzled Easter Leah

Enjoying dinner with the fam.
The end of another lovely and exhausting holiday.  Totally worth it!

Saturday, April 23, 2011

A decade plus two

- 2010 -

Casey and I made the trip to Littleton this weekend to visit the Columbine memorial. 

I have to admit that I love the memorial.  It is at once impossibly difficult and amazingly healing.  I'm not sure how those two go together, but that is always the experience for me.  I get a little anxious right before I visit, because I never quite know how much it will affect me.

It is funny how things change.  Until last year, I empathized entirely with everything written from the students' perspective.  Now, when I walk through the memorial, the words that strike me are the ones written by the parents and the staff.  When I read those words, they affect me in a whole new way. 

I wish I could go back and apologize to my mother.  To be kinder, gentler.  More understanding and empathetic.  She was so traumatized by what happened to me, and it was such a difficult thing to have to deal with her trauma, when she didn't understand because she hadn't been there. 

If only I had known how much easier it is to have the firing squad aimed at you, rather than your baby.  If I could have understood how many times over a parent would take the pain on themselves and off of their child.  But I didn't understand that yet.  I didn't know that I would face a world of Columbines and smile, rather than risk my own daughter. 

Our own lives simply aren't worth very much when we become parents. 

And I have to say... technology is a wonderful thing.  I am so fortunate to be connected to some wonderful, caring, supportive people.  Facebook was absolutely transformed into a sea of purple and white Columbines for the anniversary.  It was amazing.  And humbling.  And inspiring. 

It reminded me of the very, very much good that has come out of the past 12 years. 
- 2011 -

Friday, April 22, 2011

And then one day, she wasn't a baby anymore

My own, personal Easter Bunny came early. 

Although we've seen hints of it for a while, she could not do this yesterday.  Honest. 

I guess that's just how fast they change.

Could we love that Big Girl any more?  I doubt it!

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Some of my favorite things

Oh, what a weekend!

Casey and I had a date Friday night, which included two of my most favorite things: Sushi, and live music.  After having been pregnant for 9 months and not having any, my absolute adoration of sushi might possibly have increased.  All these months since having Leah, I totally should have been overindulging sushi on a regular basis.  I've been missing out, and I'm feeling the pressure; my days of enjoying sushi are numbered.

After our wonderful dinner, we went to a piano bar and enjoyed the music.  And witnessed three of the saddest bachelorette parties of all time.  And had a few drinks.  And enjoyed them!  And greatly enjoyed our time just the two of us.

On Sunday, my good friend Kate and her two beautiful girls introduced Leah and me to one of the most awesome indoor adventures around: Little Monkey Business (spelled with a Z, but I can't bring myself to do it.). 
We had a fabulous time playing together, and I got to see a little preview of what is in store for our sweet little Leah in about 18 months.  I can't decide if I'm excited or terrified/heartbroken to have a nearly 3-year-old; although Ella makes it look pretty easy!

It was a very busy weekend, and I needed both the time with my hubby and the time to share and spend with another mommy.  And so I'm refreshed and ready to take on another week.

And on that note... 5 weeks 'till summer break!!!!  Waaahooo!!!

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Just our typical Saturday activities

It starts at 6:30 with a few little noises on the monitor.

I always try to shut my eyes and go back to sleep.  Even though I know exactly what is coming next, I pretend that maybe she's just talking in her sleep.  Kind of like when you watch Titanic and hope that this time, the boat won't sink. 

But it's inevitable.  The noises get a little more insistent, and a little more difficult to ignore and pretend she's still sleeping.

So she comes to snuggle in our bed for several minutes.  And then I no longer mind being awake.

Soon, though, we have to get up.  Normally, we would make our way downstairs to make breakfast: two eggs and a banana.  This Saturday, though, we were going to a pancake breakfast fund raiser for our friend's son's baseball team.

So instead, she got a sippy cup of milk while Mommy got dressed.  Her eggs were "to go," since we didn't think she would eat only pancakes.

She made a spectacular mess at the restaurant eating her eggs and a few bites of pancakes.  She smiled and flirted with the other patrons and had fun with baby Ella.  And can I just express how ridiculously cute those two girls were when they got together?  Let us pause for a few pictures...


Leah says, "HI!"

It was such fun to watch the two girls!  They're finally interested in one another!

A little kiss from Miss Ella.  The first time, Leah kissed Ella without even being asked, but we didn't have the camera out, so we had to re-create it.  SO STINKIN' CUTE!

Then it was off to our Music, Together! class, in which she stood and walked like a big girl, and Mommy realized just how much she's changed since we first started going in January.  I only teared up a little...

When we got home, she took a nap, followed by lunch.

And then, it was just your typical Saturday afternoon in the Strassner household.  Which tends to look a little something like this...

I sure do love my life.

Sunday, April 10, 2011

To my very special friend

Baby shower?  Success!

Auntie Jessica is about as cute a pregnant lady as they come.  I had a ton of fun designing the baby shower, and I think it was a happy day for an adorable mommy-to-be.

I love it when everything comes together!  This party had been swimming around in my head for the past three months or so, although I couldn't really start designing until after Leah's birthday. 

Each waterbottle listed a special ingredient that little boys are made of.  I was pretty pleased with the way this idea turned out!

All the food was "Baby" themed, aka "mini."  I made Baby Quiche, Babies in a Blanket, Baby Boy Muffins, Baby Vegetables, and even a Baby Lasagna (lasagna rolls). 

Cake pops!  They turned out okay, although I wasn't totally pleased with them because I'm a perfectionist.  They were a LONG way from perfect, but they were a hit nonetheless.  Thank goodness.

The ever important presents table.  The boys were gently shoved out the door shortly after this photo!
Sisters-in-law and the soon-to-be cousins

Leah says HI to her little friend

Mommies are soooooo pretty!

I am so happy and excited for my beautiful friend!  And honored beyond words that I got to share in her special day in this special way. 

As far as her D-Day, I'm voting May 11th at 2:17 p.m.  So far, my track record for guessing babys' birthdays is 3 for 3; we'll see if my streak stays alive!

Friday, April 8, 2011

These are the things that occupy my time

Alright, so it's not exactly going to save the world. 

But hopefully, it is going to make a pregnant lady very happy tomorrow at her baby shower.

And to me, that's pretty priceless.

So even though it's nearly 11 on a Friday night, and even though I have hours more work to do, I'll continue to stand here and dip these silly cake pops into chocolate.

This is what I do.  And I wouldn't have it any other way.

After all, even though you might have more babies, you really only get one shot at the baby shower. 

And Auntie Jessica deserves a special one!

Sunday, April 3, 2011

Spring Break Round Up

I can't fully express how sad I am to see this spring break come to an end!  It has been such an awesome, fun and much-needed opportunity to hang out with the two people I love most in this world. 

I have to admit, though, we got quite a lot accomplished (including more than one nap on the part of the momma - can I get a "woo woo"?!)

The wedding you already know about, so here are the rest of the highlights:

Practicing our new favorite game, entitled: Leah lays on a pillow. 

Yes, if you bought her some kind of a fancy, modern toy for her birthday with lots of bells and whistles, you were clearly trying to overachieve.  All that girl needs is a pillow - all to herself. 

Practiced walking (a lot!)

Experienced the park near our house for the first time.  Barefoot, I might add!

Went to the zoo

The obligatory "How big is Leah?" picture

But really, I can't believe how much she's changed in a year!!!!

It was so much fun to watch her actually experience the zoo for the first time!  When we've been in the past, it has been a much more passive experience.  This time, she actually saw the animals.  She pointed, waved and made animal noises the entire time, and it absolutely warmed her mother's heart.

How many giraffes can we fit in one paddock?  Evidently, quite a few!
Although the temperature was in the 70's that day, the morning started off a little cooler than we had anticipated.  We had to break out sweatshirts and blankets.  Fortunately, it warmed up quickly.

Of course, her favorite animals were the geese (go figure!).  She loved to hear them honk and call to each other, and every time she spotted one, she got really excited and pointed so we would be sure not to miss it. 

I'd love to tell you she was excited about the elephants on the other side of this fence, but to be honest, there was a bunny rabbit a few feet away which captured her interest.  She's all about the exotic animals!

Watching the Sea Lion show after consuming Mommy's entire lunch.

Leah and Daddy in "Tropical Discovery."  Otherwise known as the place with all the snakes.  YUCK!

MOM - I told you I wanted to see the lions!
I adore the zoo!  I got a membership about a month ago, and I had been absolutely dying to try it out!  I see many more visits in our future this summer.

Went to the swimming pool (pictures somehow unavailable... not sure what I've done with them)

Had coffee with Auntie Jessica.  And by "had coffee," I mean spread out on the floor and emptied out Mommy's purse AND the diaper bag all over the floor.  I choose to believe the other patrons at rhymes-with-Carbucks were charmed and delighted by us.  In unrelated news, I decided that our days of meeting Auntie Jessica at coffee houses are over.

Practiced our other new favorite thing: sticking out her tongue!
Our girl laughs SO hard when I stick my tongue out at her.  I don't know what brought on the giggles all of a sudden about her tongue, but I LOVE it!

Had lunch and went to the park with Mimi and Poppi

Sidenote: It reached the 80's yesterday.  Notice that my toes are out of hibernation?  It was heavenly.  Of course, today Colorado weather had to remind us just what it's capable of... so it snowed. 

Other skills learned/practiced:
New word: Thank you
New foods tried: Chicken parmesean, bean dip, peanut butter and jelly sandwich, sausage, zucchini, shredded beef and Cheddar Bunnies/Goldfish crackers.
Practiced singing a lot
Now does the evil villain laugh: Bwah, haah, haaah

It was a busy and wonderful week, and I wish there were a dozen more just like them!

I changed my font at