Thursday, March 1, 2012

A New Post!!!

Oh my goodness, it has been a long time.  My lovely cousin Olivia texted me today and informed my that I needed to update Renee's blog.  So, to make her happy (she's pregnant, and you don't want to make a pregnant woman mad) here is a short post with a promise of more to come!

First of all Renee is now 2 and so she needs a new counter on her main webpage.  The picture of her and me should probably be changed too.  I'm trying to finish school though, so this is all on my very long list of things I want to do when I'm done, on top of getting a job of course.   Anyway, for now, here is a new counter and I'll get it up in it's appropriate home later, maybe.

Lilypie Third Birthday tickers

As for a little Renee update: Did you know she is completely obsessed with her baby dolls?  She is!  She loves them so much and plays with them all day.

She kisses them . . .

And talks to them . . . 

She puts them to bed . . .

Comforts them when they cry . . .

She rocks them, and shushes them . . .

And when they're bad, she throws them off the bed . . .

She can only be an angel for so long, the toddler always comes out in her eventually :D  

Some upcoming posts you can look forward to: her 2nd birthday party, her new big-girl room and her super duper potty training progress!!  Don't hold your breath though, I don't know when I'll be able to get them up.  Soon I hope, but no promises.

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Aaahhh!! I forgot to post about Halloween!!

November is almost over and I never posted about Renee's Halloween fun!  So here it is, better late than never, right?

October 9 - We went to the giant pumpkin patch in Lathrop with our friends Jason, Jodi, Keira and Jackson.  The kids loved playing in the pumpkin jump house and the playground.

Jeff, Keira & Renee climbing up on the tractor tire tower.

Fun in the jump house!!
In the picture above you can see Renee's "dallween meow" (translation: halloween cat) shirt.

Renee and Jackson getting to go on the big kid swings!!

October 11 - We had our friend Julie and her son Eddie over for some Halloween cookie decorating.  It was messy and fun and the kids loved eating their works of art :D

Eddie adding LOTS of sprinkles to his cookies.

Renee decided that her hands also needed some colorful icing.

October 28 - They had a harvest festival at Renee's daycare.  All the kids dressed up and played fun harvest themed games.

Snow White, Doctor, Sunflower, Renee the Witch and a Fire Fighter 
Renee playing "throw the hoola hoop over the pumpkin"

October 31 - Halloween!!!  We went trick-or-treating in downtown Davis with our friends Julie & Dave, their son Eddie and Eddie's daycare group.

I love this picture of Julie and Renee walking, so precious.

Renee the Witch and Eddie as Peter Pan

Enjoying her very 1st candy - a mini Snickers bar!!

The weather was so warm that when we got home we set up our pumpkin carving station out on the front lawn.  It was so nice not having to make that mess indoors!!  Although we did get some mosquito bites - it was October, crazy!!

Scooping out the innards.
Once the pumpkin was carved we all just sat out on the porch and waited for the trick-or-treaters to come.

Lewis didn't like being alone, so he sat out with us too.

Renee got to eat more candy, she liked Halloween!!

And because I love side-by-sides, here's Renee's 1st and 2nd Halloween costumes.  Apparently she's adorable no matter what you dress her up as!!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

"Nee dood dit"

Renee has been talking so much lately.  And it's really fun to be able to communicate with her.  To be able to ask her a question and not only have her understand what I'm saying, but to also have her answer me, I love it!!  And I know just about everyone learns to talk in the world, but it's just such an amazing, fascinating and rewarding process, especially when it's my own baby!!  

Of course, it's also very challenging at times, as I can't always understand what Renee is saying.  She's usually very determined though, and repeats what ever it is over and over again until I get it.  It's cute, and sometimes frustrating and slightly annoying, but it's a learning experience for both of us.  

Here are some of the things she's been saying these days (and the translations in parenthesis):

"No, no, Yoyo! My dahdoo." (No, no, Sophie.  My cracker!)

"Dadaaaa, arrr juuuu?" (Dada, where are you?)

"Mama, hood ju!" (Mama, hold you.)  This means she wants me to hold her.  It stems from me saying, "Do you want me to hold you?"

"Mama, dee dee dahdoo." (Mama, cookie cracker.)  This means she wants a cracker from the box that has the picture of Cookie Monster on it.

"Nee zock on.  Nee dood dit."  (Renee sock on.  Renee will do it.)  She's getting very independent lately and wants to do everything herself.  She usually says, "No, Nee dood dit!" when we ask her if she wants any help.  But then gives up in frustration after a couple of tries and says, "Mama, hep."  (Mama, help.)

She also likes to tell us what we're doing, like if Jeff is putting his shirt on she'll say, "Dada, surt on!"  Or, if I finished my glass of water she'll say, "Mama wahwah, all done!"

Everyday it seems she says something new, this is such a fun age!!  

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Just Us Girls and 1st Cold of the Season

Jeff was out of town this weekend from early Friday morning until late last night.  Jeff's parents are moving to Washington state next year after his mom retires, and Jeff went up there with his dad to help him scope out places to live.  

So for 4 whole days Renee and I were on our own!!  Well, Friday and Monday she still went to daycare, but the rest of the time it was just us :D  Jeff was worried that I wouldn't be able to handle Renee and all three dogs (yes, we still have Lewis) on my own, especially if Lewis and Sophie decided to get into another fight, but the weekend went off without a hitch.  Well, except for Renee's horrible cold.  

Poor baby girl, she was soooo sick on Saturday.  She had the beginnings of the cold Friday night, and on Saturday morning she seemed a little worse, but not so bad that we still couldn't go out and get some things done.   So, I carted her off to our favorite restaurant for breakfast (a special treat for our weekend alone), then we went to Home Depot to get some flowers for the front yard, and then we went to the pet store to get her some gold fish.  Really the gold fish were for me, I've been wanting them ever since we went to the State Fair, I don't know why I just love gold fish!  By the time we got back home she was exhausted!!  She had a terrible cough, tons of green snot and a fever.  I felt so bad for her I ended up letting her just sleep in my arms for her nap.  Thank goodness for reruns of Grey's Anatomy on Netflix,  they kept me from being bored out of my mind while I held my sleeping baby for two hours.

After her nap I tried to go out front to plant my flowers, but she still felt too sick to even enjoy the beautiful weather outside.  She kept just coming up to me, saying, "hi mommy" with this sad little voice and holding onto whatever part of me she could reach.  Poor thing!  I finally gave up trying to garden and we went back inside to cuddle.  I ended up putting her down for bed early, she was just so tired, and crashed pretty early myself after a long day of taking care of my sick baby.

Thankfully though Renee felt much better Sunday morning!  She woke up super hungry and thirsty, she had barely eaten anything on Saturday, and her snotty nose, cough and fever were all way less severe.  

After breakfast we went outside.  Renee played with her baby doll in her play house while I got some gardening and a few chores done in the backyard.  Back inside I let her paint with watercolors, which she loves to do.

And I let her feed her new fish, which she also now loves to do!

My parents came up and took us out to lunch later in the day.  We went to a new mexican restaurant in town, Maria's Cantina.  Normally it's a challenge to take Renee to restaurants, but they have an outdoor patio, so she doesn't have to stay locked in her high chair the entire meal.  She was really well behaved though and loved her beans, cheese quesadilla and little bits of grilled chicken from my mom's salad.

After my parents left, and it was just me and Renee again, I really started missing Jeff.  I had been so busy before I hadn't really noticed it, but now that things had settled down I wished we didn't have an entire 24 more hours to go without him.  Oh well, it was what it was. 

Normally in the evenings when Jeff is home we chat about our day, or watch a movie, or just hang out together.  But since I was on my own after Renee went to bed, and I was feeling a bit lonely, I decided to do something a bit more productive and clean out our hall closet.  While I was organizing I found my bag with the unfinished quilt I had started making for Renee.  I pulled it out and was appalled that I had let it sit so long unfinished when it was soooooo close to being done!  So I sat on the couch, put on another rerun of Grey's Anatomy and went to work.  Two episodes and plenty of Meredith/Dr. McDreamy flirtations later I had a finished blanket (my 1st quilt) for my baby girl.  Finally!!!

We made it through our normal Monday routine and I kept Renee up a little later than normal so she could see her daddy before she went to bed.  Really it was more so her daddy could see her before she went to bed.  He missed her terribly.  He missed me too, but he really missed her.  She doesn't quite get the whole talk-on-the-phone thing yet, so Jeff had had zero communication with her all weekend.  I'm not sure Renee noticed how long Jeff was gone, she's still to young to really understand that I think, but she was happy to see him and gave him a hug when he got home like she always does.  

And that was the end of our girls weekend!  

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Pee pee on the potty!!!

Renee has been doing great with the potty training the last couple of days.  We had been letting her go diaper-less at home in the evenings and on weekends, but we kind of took a step back for a while because she was having so many accidents and we were all getting discouraged.  Everyone says she will know when she's ready and that pushing her too early can make the whole process take longer, so I just put it out of my mind for a while and kept her diaper on unless she told me she wanted to go on her potty, which wasn't often and rarely successful.

On Monday night she said she had to go poo poo and so I took off her diaper and let her sit on her potty.  In the past she would have then sat there for a minute, stood up, proudly exclaimed, "all done!" and then walked away without doing anything in the potty, and then most likely peed on the floor 2 minutes later.  This time though she just sat there on the potty, so I asked her if she wanted me to read her a story, to which she of course said, "yeah!" (I love that she can verbally answer my questions now! Plus, Renee never turns down a story, unless you happen to pick a book other than the particular one she had in mind, which happens often since I can't read her mind and she has very specific and often varying ideas on what she wants.  Sighh!!)  Anyway, while I was reading her the story she peed in her potty!  Yeahhh!!!  I did a fun dance and sang "pee pee in the potty!" and jumped up and down and all over the place.  She looked at me like I was weird and insisted that I continue reading her the story.  I decided to push my luck and keep her diaper off for the rest of the evening and she peed in the potty two more times!!  She even started doing the pee pee dance with me after the third time.  She never did end up going poo poo, which is what she originally told me she needed to do, but that's small potatoes!

Then last night her success continued and she went pee pee on her potty four times.  And I only helped her with one of them, and only by reminding her about her potty when I saw her stop playing and look straight ahead like she was deep in thought (a clear sign of impending pee I learned from all the previously mentioned accidents).  The other three times she just went over to the potty on her own, sat down and peed.  I continued with the pee pee dance, and plan on continuing with it for as long as it takes; at least it's good exercise for me.

I'm not quite sure what the next step is going to be.  I'll have to see how she does in the mornings, and maybe we'll move up to diaper-less weekends.   And I'll have to teach her to better verbalize her potty needs before she'll be ready to go diaper-less in school, but we're on the road.  Yeahhh!!!!

It's such a silly thing, I know, but it's amazing how much pride I feel on the subject!  Go Renee!!!

Monday, September 19, 2011


So, if you are one of the 5 or so regular visitors to this blog I apologize for my absence over the last month and a half.  I could now explain how I've been super busy lately with school, family, dogs, etc., etc.  But I'm not going to bore you with all of that.  Onwards and upwards, right :D

I will try to do a catch up post of some sorts.  We have done so many fun things over the past couple of months and Renee has grown up dramatically in that time.  Well, grown up is not really an appropriate description.  Really what has happened is that she has prematurely turned the terrible age of 2!  Sighhh!! More to come on all of that.

The point of this particular post is so that I can share with you some exciting (well, exciting to me anyway) news that I have FINALLY completed Renee's 1st birthday photo book.  Yeahhh!!!  I know, it's only been 6 and a half months!!  I mean really Kelly, how long do these things take?  Well as an excuse of some sorts, Shutterfly recently changed their website so that you now have complete creative control over the format of every page in your book.  So I sat there and moved the pictures around, and re-sized them, and added new embellishments, and changed the background color, again and again and again.  Then they added new embellishments and new background colors, and I went back to pages that I had already deemed complete and started them over.  Jeez, I wonder why I haven't had time for blogging lately :D  The process could have potentially continued indefinitely, but a coupon code for a free book finally brought me back to reality and I finalized the silly thing.

Check it out if you have some time:


You can also click HERE if the above link isn't working.

Monday, August 8, 2011

Oh Luis!

I guess I need a little background for this post, so here it goes...

Our wonderful neighbor Joni has lived in her house across the street from us for 27 years!!  When we bought our house in 2005 we didn't move into it for 3 months while we got things settled with school (me) and work (Jeff).  And Joni, without even being asked (as we didn't yet know her), watered our lawn and plants so that they wouldn't die before we actually moved in.  She continued to be super helpful, always watching our cat and chickens, and watering all our plants when we were away on vacation.  And she never accepted any payment from us, no matter how hard we tried.  

Sadly, a few months back Joni learned that the bank was not going to help her with her mortgage and they were foreclosing on her house.  Her and her two sons had to move in with her mother, and since her dog Luis didn't get along with her mother's dog, she had to find a new, and hopefully temporary, home for him.  And to make a long story short (a little late, right?) we offered to take him into our home while she figured things out.

She brought him over on the 4th of July and we've been getting used to this 90+ pound beast of a dog ever since.  

Sophie Dog, Jeff & Renee, and Luis (black dog on the right) on the 1st night we had him.

That first night with him was interesting to say the least.  Luis, for as big as he is, is a giant wimp!  He not only has separation anxiety, but he's afraid of fireworks!!  So, that whole evening we were basically coddling him and reassuring him that everything was going to be okay as he paced and shivered.

The next day he was much better though, and I stayed home from school just to make sure all the dogs were going to be okay with this new arrangement.  They had all met before and played just fine, but asking three dogs to play together for a little while, and asking three dogs to live together and share their space and, more importantly, their human attention are two completely different things.

Sophie and Kirby weren't exactly happy about the new doggy guest at first, but they've gotten used to him.  Sophie and Kirby are 6 and 7 years old respectively, and so they had started getting into an older dog routine of just sleeping all day and barely playing with each other or with us.  But, Luis is only 4 and he still wants to play a lot.  At first our two seemed really annoyed by his constant pestering to get a game going, but now all three of them are always playing!  They run around our backyard like crazy, chasing each other, wrestling, and playing tug.  And they go back and forth between Sophie and Kirby ganging up on Luis, and Sophie and Luis ganging up on Kirby (the latter combination is really not very fair at all, but they seem to have fun).

Sophie (50 lbs.), Kirby (20 lbs.) and Luis (90 lbs.)

Don't get me wrong, it hasn't all been perfect.  There have been two pretty serious dog fights, both over food.  But, that is to be expected when adding a new dog to a group.  They have to work out their doggy seniority among themselves.  The scuffles did make Jeff and I realize that we were confusing the dogs by giving Luis a little too much attention, which made him feel like he had higher rank.  We've since been better at making sure that Luis knows he is bottom dog.  Kirby is top dog (he sleeps on the bed with us), then Sophie, and then Luis.  And now Luis eats his meals outside while Sophie and Kirby eat inside to prevent any more food related scuffles.

Even with everyone getting along, things have been less than smooth sailing with a 90 lb. dog living in our tiny house.  He is just sooooo big and so he always seems to be in the way.  And he's destroyed more than his fair share of household items including a screen door, two sets of mini-blinds, some of Renee's toys, a dog crate, and the dog water dispenser.  Plus, having two male dogs in the same household has created a very literal pissing contest in our backyard.  One of them goes on a plant, then the other one comes up behind and goes on the same plant.  They go back and forth like this until the poor plant is dead, and then they move on to another.  I try to keep up and rinse off the plants I see them peeing on, but I am too slow and many of our newly planted flowers have perished.    

None of this really matters to me though.  I am a dog lover in every way possible and so Luis's adorably sad face, dopey personality and need for a home have won me over completely.  The destruction of property is really only an annoyance in my mind, something that will (and has) get better with time.  Jeff, however, is not as easily won over by doggy cuteness, and has been waiting for Joni to come take her giant destructive dog back from day one!  Luis's ONLY saving grace (in Jeff's mind), and the only reason we haven't called Joni and said that this just isn't going to work out is that....

Renee LOVES Luis!!!!  

Renee and "Lu Lu" (that's what she calls him).

And even more importantly, Luis lets Renee "love" him any way she wants.  She climbs on him, she sits on him, she pulls his tail, she kisses him, she hugs him, she pokes at him.  Anything a toddler can imagine doing to a dog, Renee has done it to Luis.  And he just lets her.  

Not that we condone her abusing the dogs.  Quite the opposite, we are constantly telling her to be nice and gentle to all three dogs and the cat.  But it is so cute to watch Renee interact with this gentle giant of a dog.  And seeing Renee happy, makes us happy.  So, Luis gets to stay :D

He has, of course, bumped into her on several occasions, knocking her down and making her cry, he's just so big he can't help it.  But, it has never resulted in more than a bump, bruise or scrape.  Renee does more damage to herself than that all on her very own.  Luis's tail is also a force to be reckoned with, it hurts when it hits me and it happens to be perfectly aligned with Renee's head.  And so she gets knocked in the head with a happy dog tail on occasion.  She's actually really good at avoiding it now though, ducking and weaving like a pro.  She's also really good at running over to me or Jeff when the dogs get a game going in the backyard.  We hold her up so she can safely watch the comedy of three dogs tramping through our yard.  She loves watching them all play, and laughs hysterically as they run back and forth.

Dog trainer in the making.

To Renee, Luis is completely part of the family now, and I'm sure she will be very confused when he goes back to Joni.  Actually, we haven't heard anything from Joni for about a month, so we're not quite sure when, if ever,  she plans to take her dog back.  For now though, he is part of the family and we're all making the best of it.