Sunday, July 19, 2015

4th of July weekend

We decided to spend 4th of July at home enjoying the long weekend and checking off a few new-to-us family activities...

~Ice skating!  We have a hockey rink nearby and have always talked about trying it during their free skate hours.  A great place to cool off on a hot summer day!  Lily loved it and was a natural on the ice.  William?  Well, he enjoyed watching from the sidelines...



~Of course, pool time was a necessity.  We love showing Dad how all those lessons are paying off! 

~Bowling!  An awesome way to spend the 4th of July afternoon. William hasn't stopped begging to go back, so I guess he liked this better than ice skating.  

~For fireworks, we had dinner at our neighborhood golf course and ran around on the grass while waiting.  Both kiddos made it way past their bedtime and were able to see multiple shows around the valley.  Perfect for parents and kids alike!  

A successful, relaxing weekend full of lots of family time.  Couldn't have asked for a better holiday!

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Weekend getaway

Our family was in need of a weekend getaway to relax, spend time together, and celebrate some good news from Ryan's work…so we booked a last minute trip to Sedona.  How lucky are we that this amazing place is less than two hours away!

~We kicked off the weekend with a quick wine tasting at Arizona Stronghold in Cottonwood.  (Pics courtesy of Lily, so excuse the fuzziness)


~After our tasting, we drove the 20 minutes to Sedona, checked in, ordered a pizza, and headed straight to the pool.  My two swimmers have come a long way this year and it's so much fun to be at the pool together! (And even better to sit on the edge and watch while Daddy played! :)

~Saturday morning, we slept in (just kidding, the Osterhaus clan is awake with the sun!).  After a solo run, I met up with Ryan and the kids for a joint run/bike ride/sight seeing/park play adventure.  My idea of a perfect morning!

~We then headed to Grasshopper Point.  We started with a short hike, and then hit up the swimming hole to play in the cold waters.  A few older kids were climbing a cliff, walking along a ridge and jumping off into the waters below.  Lily immediately said "I WANT TO DO THAT" to which I at first ignored….she isn't known to be overly adventurous or brave.  After she continued to insist, I said "ABSOLUTELY NOT!" and then continued to ignore.  (I've said it once, and I'll say it again, heights bother me and there was no way I was going to let Lily climb up there and then jump off into unknown waters).  

Luckily for Lily, her dad is less protective (and chicken) than her mother….after a little persistence, I gave in and off they went.  Ryan will admit he was a bit nervous on the ridge walking to the jumping point…it's fairly high and very narrow.  Dad jumped first, and I just knew our girl would chicken out and he'd have to go back up to retrieve her.  But after Ryan counted to three, off she jumped…and came up with huge smiles and so very proud of herself.  Me, well, I was shocked, amazed, and a little in awe of our girl.




After all that excitement, we were tired, hungry, and ready to relax.  We headed to the Indian Garden Oak Creek Market for a tasty lunch outside while watching a storm roll in.  Heaven for us this time of year!  The rest of the day was spent napping, watching the rain, and then walking to dinner.  

~Sunday morning, we did touristy Sedona.  We booked the Sedona trolley, learned a bit of history while William loved riding a "train", admired the beautiful red rocks, and toured the Chapel of the Holy Cross.  Such a fun hour ride for all ages!

~Our final stop of the trip…the Sedona airport and lunch.  While I might not recommend the restaurant, the views on the drive to the top of the mesa were out of this world, plus the airplanes taking off and room for the kids to run made it worthwhile!

Our weekend was exactly what our family needed….quality time together, lots of relaxing, a little adventure, all in one of the most beautiful places in the world.  

Sunday, June 21, 2015

Snip, Snip!

Apparently, if you promise to cook dinner for my girlfriend Kiki, haircuts are free! 

Lily was in desperate need to lose a few inches…the chlorine in the pools was creating very brittle and slightly green ends.  When I mentioned this to Kiki, she said 'come on over!'  Don't have to tell me twice!





Wednesday, June 17, 2015

An interview...

May 31, 2015
Weight - 46.5 lb 57 percentile
Length - 46.75 inches. 75 percentile

From the birthday girl herself: 
1. What is your favorite color? Pink and purple!  
2. What is your favorite toy? My favorite is art. Because you get to color, and do drawings, and everything I like.
3. What is your favorite fruit? Rasberries.
4. What is your favorite tv show? Barbie.  And the Color Crew. 
5. What is your favorite thing to eat for lunch?  Chocolate sandwich (nutella).  
6. What is your favorite outfit? My fancy long dress and fancy golden shoes (thank you Nanny!).
7. What is your favorite game? When William and I play family.  I play the mom. 
8. What is your favorite snack? Candy!
9. What is your favorite animal? A pony.  Because it's cute
10. What is your favorite song? Do Re Mi (she sang it at her musical theatre performance this spring)
11. What is your favorite book? Green Eggs and Ham, by Dr Seues.  I like to read it by myself. 
12. Who is your best friend? Mckenzie.  And Molly.  
13. What is your favorite cereal? Frosted mini wheats
14. What is your favorite thing to do outside? Play with my friends, play with you, and go to school.
15. What is your favorite drink? Water.  Lemonade.  Cranberry juice.
16. What is your favorite holiday? Christmas because I get to spend time with my family.  And May because it's my birthday! 
17. What do you like to take to bed with you at night? My water
18. What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast? Yogurt
19. What do you want for dinner on your birthday? Pizza.  And cake.  
20. What do you want to be when you grow up?   A Mommy.  Because then I can have kids.  

Thoughts from Dad:
1.  What is your favorite personality trait? Favorite personality trait would have to be her confidence.  Although frustrating at times (she’s never wrong), I love that she’s not afraid to try new things.  
2.  What is your favorite memory this year?  Her discoveries as a 5 year old as she starts to realize and understand more the world around her.  Nothing better than hearing her say, “Dad!, did you know ____???”  Favorite memory of this is when she learned about the harmful effects of smoking…then she preceded to make me watch a five minute video talking about the effects of smoking…while I showered…and she stood outside the shower holding the iPad up so that I could see.  And then telling me, “Dad, don’t ever do smoke.”  …and yes, that quote is correct (“do smoke”).   
3.  What is your favorite book to read together?  Honestly, I haven’t been reading with her as much lately.  I tend to read to William more right now and Mom takes the “Lily shift.”  I’m going to take the easy route here – my favorite is actually listening to her read.  This is her first year of really being able to and I love going by her room and hearing her read Dr. Seuss books…and then her realizing how long they actually are!  :)   
4. What is your favorite activity to do together?  Anytime I get to do one on one time with Lily is and always has been my absolute favorite.  There is something about driving around town with her and just listening to her talk, while I don’t say a word.  And of course listening to music together in the car…”Dad, I love the Avett Brothers.”   
5. What is the most difficult part of parenting this year?  The extremes she can have with her mood.  I imagine this will be the most difficult thing going forward.  Not a big fan that she already rolls her eyes at me when she walks away.  (Thought I had a few more years before that happened).   
6. What is the best part of parenting this year?  Being able to see more and more of her “adult” personality coming out.  I tell Lindsay all the time – I love this time in Lily’s life, but I can’t wait until she’s older and we can hang out on a more adult level…she’s going to be a lot of fun.
7. What is your favorite song Lily sings?  Every song that she sings that Lindsay and I introduced her to are awesome to hear.  If I had to pick one though, it would be the Ariana Grande songs from the Jimmy Fallon show that she and I watch together.  Someday she’s going to realize how inappropriate some of the words are and then I’ll be in trouble.  But for now, I just enjoy.   
8.  What is your favorite 'Lily-ism'?  Not sure if this is a “Lily-ism,” but I would say her laugh.  She has the most hearty, real laugh.  When it comes out, it makes my heart melt. 
9. What is one parenting trait you wish to improve.  Patience – I know I said the same thing last year, but it’s true again.  Letting her make mistakes without correcting her right away.  I need to work on that. 
10.  Any last thoughts?  She is really grown this past year and it’s incredible to see her personality take shape.  She is an incredible person and I can’t wait to see where she goes from here. 

Thoughts from Mom:
1.  What is your favorite personality trait? When Lily is “on”, she is the absolute best person to be around.  Her personality carries the room.  She is witty, smart, kind, loving, and her laugh and silliness are out of this world. 
2.  What is your favorite memory this year? Watching Lily learn to read and write.  Each week at school, Lily was required to write in a journal.  Her teacher would assign a topic and give a required amount of words or sentences.  (By the end of the year, they were expected to write at least three full sentences and were not allowed to use words like ‘very’ or ‘so’ over and over again, ha!).  At Lily’s spring parent-teacher conference, we were told that Lily is the best journal writer…so much that her teacher teases the other Kindergarten teachers that they don’t have a writer like Lily in their class.  Lily will write up to three full PAGES in her journal while her classmates are working on their three sentences…our girl has A LOT to say and apparently writes like she talks.  So very proud of her!
3.  What is your favorite book to read together?  We’ve started reading chapter books this year, and I am loving it!  We’ve started with condensed versions of a few classics, including Secret Garden and The Little Princess.  We’ve also read Junie B Jones and Ramona.  I don’t necessarily have a favorite book we re-read, but am loving the excitement and eagerness that she feels wanting to find out what happens in the next chapter!
4. What is your favorite activity to do together?  Not to sound repetitive, but my favorite time of day is when we read our book before bed.  It’s one of the few times it’s just the two of us and our girl is actually quiet, listening yet engaged.  For me, it’s a great bonding time…after we read, we turn off the light and chat about our day.  Something about the quiet and the dark brings out the sweetest side of Lily (and probably myself as well!).
5. What is the most difficult part of parenting this year? {THREE YEARS IN A ROW!} While Lily continues to be a serious talker, her strong, assertive personality has proven most difficult for me.  While these traits are exactly what I'd wish for her as an adult, they tend to be very difficult to parent.  Unfortunately (and fortunately), we have very similar personalities and often clash, as we both want things to go our way and are too stubborn to give in.  Luckily for both of us, Daddy knows exactly how to diffuse our tempers.
6. What is the best part of parenting this year? Watching Lily continue to grow into a young lady.  She is breaking out of her shell and getting better at trying new things.  One example is soccer this year.  It’s not her favorite sport and she’s not one of the better players.  However, she tried her hardest each and every game, cheered on her team mates, was never upset that she wasn’t the one scoring goals, and always ended the games with a smile.  Towards the end of the spring season, all her hard work finally ‘clicked’ and she scored two goals in one game.  She was so proud of herself!  It was a really neat experience to watch as a parent. 
7. What is your favorite song Lily sings? Shut up and Dance with Me”.  No, not really, but let’s just say we’ve discovered pop music and I’m not sure how I feel about that.  But she still loves her musicals…the new version of Annie is a huge hit in our household.
9. What is one parenting trait you wish to improve.  Patience.  And remaining calm when I don’t feel patient.  She knows how to push my buttons and get me all worked up. I tell her all the time to take three deep breathes before over-reacting, and I need to start taking my own advice. 
10.  Any last thoughts  Oh my, I love my girl.  She is nothing that I expected yet everything that I want in a daughter. Her honesty, her love, her spirit, and yes, her strong personality, all make me beyond proud to be her mother.  Uncle Bill used to call my aunt Sharon, cousin Kristen and I “spirited women” and I’m so very proud to be raising another one to add to our ranks.

Friday, June 12, 2015

Seriously, six?

May was a doozy of a month for our household, and therefore we were beyond thrilled to end it on a positive note, celebrating our favorite girl.

A few surprise visitors arrived for Lily's birthday week…Nanny and Papa Kurt.  Of course, a visit to Scottsdale isn't complete without a trip to the train park.  

~The surprises continued with balloons in bed…one day before her actual birthday.  




~Why a day early?  Because we had another surprise…a stay-cation at the Westin Kierland resort.  We picked up coffee, cake pops and chocolate milk, and headed over to meet Nanny and Papa Kurt.  After opening her gifts, off to the pool we went!  Two of Lily's best friends, as well as their families, joined us for a fun day of swimming and celebrating our special girl!  


~Happy birthday, Lily LaVaun.  We love you more than words!  

Monday, June 8, 2015

Catch

A major milestone in our household...Ryan and William can officially play catch together.  I'm not sure which one enjoys it more, but there are lots of smiles and giggles from both my boys.  And lots of begging for more baseball each and every day from William Thomas!  He is all boy and tells us each morning that he "has baseball, basketball, and football practice tonight"…sounds like our life will become quite busy once he enters organized sports.




Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Surprise visitors!

Over Memorial weekend, Ryan made a trip to the airport with Lily in tow, who was under the impression he was picking up a co-worker as a favor.  But who showed up instead?  Grandma O and cousin Aynslee!  Lily was just a tiny bit excited.  :)  

To make the weekend even more special, it was Aynslee's 10th birthday…and we had a blast celebrating her!  

~10 balloons and a few gifts for her once she woke up (Lily and William were not so patiently waiting…they tend to wake up a bit earlier than most families).  


  

~Birthday cake and singing for the birthday girl.  


~Cave Creek Balloon Festival.  We started with dinner on the grass while playing with friends.  But once the sun went down, 12 hot air balloons started inflating right in front of us.  We accidentally had the best seats in the house!  



  
~Fireworks as we left the festival ended our fun day celebrating Aynslee.  

Lots more fun occurred over the weekend, including swimming, biking riding, and overall bonding with our cousin.  Thank you so much Aynslee and Grandma for visiting!!