Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Gotta Love Pool Parties!

I know I've already said this, but I looooooooooooove summer!! I love that I have a little boy who has a summer birthday because that means.........POOL PARTIES!!!! We had Toby's birthday party at our neighborhood pool, and we were rebels because we didn't reserve the clubhouse for the occasion. We just had a few friends and some family here, and oh what's that?? Oh, right. A nugget tray, some chips and salsa, aaaaaaaaaaand cupcakes. Yes, it's a party! I was nervous that the lifeguards were gonna come up to me and ask for the fee to reserve the clubhouse and the moola to actually have the party there. NOPE!! These lifeguards could give a rip. I'm pretty sure the only two things they look and listen for are kids drowning and thunder. Thunder means a 30 minute break for them. You'd think that's all it did here in Pine Mill Ranch.

Back to the party! We had lots of fun. We all went swimming for about an hour. Then, we had some yummy food, which included some homemade salsa (thank you Lindsey for the recipe!). It is now a staple in our house. I also made cupcakes, but the most important part was the icing. I had looked up how to make buttercream icing. The great thing was that I remembered someone else making it and saying how easily it melted. Check that......we'll leave the cupcakes in the house until it's time to watch Toby smash it in his face. It's a good thing because at the end of the party (in August remember) you could see the butter starting to pool. Gross? You'd think so, but I'm pretty sure I had 3 of them that day. I kept thinking, "hey, at least the icing is organic." Organic food is a whooooooooole other post which I will be writing about shortly. :) Good stuff! I have to crown Toby as the Strech kid champ of making a mess with the cupcakes. He straight bicep curled that cupcake right into his face. It was awesome!!

this was Micah on his first birthday

I mean, Toby's giving it all he's got! He might be smaller, but the boy can cram a cupcake!

assessing the damage

back for more

he's like, "ok, this time, can you tell I shoved a cupcake in my mouth?"

I also have more good news..........the two bottom teeth that have come in which are about 17 feet apart are NOT his middle ones!!!! One has broken through in the middle! I'm still not sure whether or not there is a second middle one or not. I was starting to really get used to that look though.

pretty sure Toby's looking to see if Micah has a cupcake for him to eat

handsome Papa and cute Toby

Stanley (John) is playing Toby's favorite game with him!

Sugar Bear (Sarah) and the birthday boy! (how beautiful is my sis??!)

He got some really cute stuff for his birthday! The lawn mower and the Choo Choo Train rider has been a hit with all three kids! They all take turns riding it...........which translates into me setting a timer for 2 minutes each, then making sure they give Toby his turn.

Micah's new favorite place to be

Toby is starting to communicate more and more. He has his own signs for a lot of things. We taught him the sign for "more" which he did right at first. After a while, he transferred the rubbing of his chest to the rubbing of the back of his head. Do you know how much food was in his hair at the end of the day? I mean, seriously, it was crunchy. He now has it back to his chest! Also, anytime we get in the car, he'll play for a few minutes, but then he wants us all to sing songs. You would think he was directing a choir, but that's just him saying he wants us to sing. He loves music!! His dancing cracks me up!!! We put on Sugar Bear's (Sarah) jump cd and he just goes to town! He usually watches me and tries to repeat it. You should've seen him shimmy............ok, just kidding. Kind of. :)

Tobias, my little squirrel monkey, we love you to pieces!!!

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Undercover Birthday

Oh man does my husband know me!!!!!!!!!!!!!! About 3 or 4 weeks ago, Les told me that he had been planning a special something for my birthday! He is REALLY good at this, so I was super excited. All he told me was that there were only going to be a few of us, it would be an all day thing, and we would have to get up at 6:00 and drive for an hour and 1/2. At first I just knew it was going to be a day at the spa with the girls. Then he said, "you'll never guess this." Aaaaaaaaaannnnd he was right. I was thinking the total opposite of what he was really planning..........and I am so thankful it wasn't a day of pampering at the spa. Don't get me wrong, I love getting a massage, and even though I've never had a facial, I'm sure I wouldn't mind someone rubbing mud or soap on my face. Love pedicures, love soft fluffy robes, love hot tubs before and after massages, looooooove "slumber rooms" when I actually get a chance to read my current Karen Kingsbury book without someone running at full speed straight into me, drooling on me, or playing referee because it's someone else's turn to be the dog in the "dog/trainer" game!!! Seriously.
SO, Les tells me before I leave where I'm going..........

The Bell's ranch to spend 8 hours shooting Mr. Bell's guns at his outdoor gun range!!!!!!! AAAAAAAAAAHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!! I seriously wanted to call Jennifer Garner and ask her if she wanted to come with me. Sidney Bristow is my hero. So, 0600 comes along and Sarah, Amie (Luke's wife), and I are headed out to learn the ropes.........but first, there's no celebration until we start the day with donuts. Now, for the past month our family has started eating nothing but natural/organic food for several reasons. Donuts? Not so much organic. I'm pretty sure those were inhaled in about .4 seconds. Loved them! Even though I felt a little sick right after. I gotta press on!!!

So, we get to their ranch and this is what is waiting for us.....

this is all for me!

Mr. Bell, a police officer who teaches concealed hand gun carrier license classes, and a guy who just graduated from St. Mary's ROTC were there to instruct us. Mr. Bell is a former Army Ranger and knows EVERYTHING about guns and bad guys...........and he has a pretty cool daughter. :) Love you Bella!! (that's "beautiful in Spanish). We learned so much from him!!! We had so much fun!!!! He first had us shoot at targets, then we'd have to put 3 rounds into the target. Then we'd have to take a step out and shoot. Then we'd have to start with our hands up in a surrender postition, grab the gun out of our holster (yes, that's right) cock it, and shoot! Booya!!!!!! After lunch we would do different drills like shoot the target while walking straight at it, shoot 5 different targets while walking from right to left or left to right, start with our backs to the target, turn around find the bullet, load it in the magazine, load our gun, cock it and shoot.........all in a few seconds!!!

Sarah, me, and Amie

Mr. Bell!!!! Best instructor......very serious when he needed to be, and very encouraging when we needed to hear it. :)

Sarah shooting at the targets "hiding" behind the trees!

Mr. Bell and Amie.......she was a natural!

We enjoyed this day so much, that we didn't want to leave when it was over. Soooooooooo, he let us shoot these at the end of the day......

Thank you, thank you, thank you Les for a phenomenal birthday present!!!!!!!!!!!!

this was my target when I got done with him after a couple of hours. :)

Friday, August 13, 2010

Tobias Gage Strech is ONE!

It's bizarre to think that just a year ago I was going up and down the elevator every chance I could to see our new baby boy in the NICU!! And for no reason!!! They HAD to take him up there for 48 hours because my weird body had a fever when I went into labor. We still aren't sure why. Who cares?! We have a precious little squirrel monkey!! I remember for the first couple of months when he was still trying to control his bobble head, he would just lay it on my chest. Actually, he would find that place right in between my jaw and my shoulder, and nuzzle right in my neck........eyes open just looking around with his head down. Our little squirrel monkey. Now he's one!!!! Is he walking yet??? I would say more like, taking one step and diving into whoever will catch him. He is funnier every day! He loves to get a reaction out of people, he growls at anything that is an animal or out of place (for example, he growled at the coffee maker the other day), the child can HUM a ball, he loves certain songs like "If You're Happy and You Know It", aaaaaaaaannnddd he has the most jacked up teeth I've seen on a baby. :) His top two middle teeth came in, with a lot of room in between.......then some bottom two teeth came in. We're praying they aren't supposed to be his middle ones. Check it out......

can you see his two bottom teeth???

Oh we love this boy! He is very happy, and goes with our flow very well. Carter and Micah are so giddy about him still. Sometimes a little too giddy. Usually every day I have to pull Micah off of Toby because he thinks he is hugging him, but it looks more like something my brother and I used to watch on WWF.

He's up now and trying to type this himself........that's my signal......over and out!

Happy Birthday Toby!!!

Can you guess who put this tupperware container on his head? and it wasn't Les...