30 May 2012

wordless-ish wednesday: family

we had such a wonderful time with our sickels-side family last weekend. i took a crap-ton of pictures throughout the weekend, but this one is my favorite. ruby really loves her auntie sam. (and i think sam thinks ruby's kinda cool, too.)

22 May 2012

ruby: 14 months

well, ruby turned 14 months old last week & I can officially say that I *love* being a mom of a toddler. the more ruby grows & discovers, the more I love being her mom. she is a blast, constantly doing something new & exploring her world. don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the snuggly, tiny baby phase, but I also feel like this age is one of the most fun. it probably has a lot to do with me working in a toddler room in daycare for five years. I've got loads of songs and games up my sleeves and I don't get frustrated with behavior bc I know what is developmentally going on. honestly, when ruby was a brand new baby, I felt like I spent a lot of time guessing what was wrong when she cried and not knowing exactly what was going on with her sleep/eating/weight gain/insert any other milestone people ask you about. I'm sure the whole "new mom" thing had an effect on that, too, but let's just be honest - our kids get cooler everyday. :)

so, what's new? here are the deets:
• ruby has some stellar fine motor skills. the chick holds writing utensils like you're supposed to. like, the way I didn't learn until 2nd grade & not even then until I practiced with that positioner thing-y the teacher put on my pencils. (am I alone in that? anyone else remember those? actually, very helpful.) anyway, like with everything else she does, I'm impressed.
• ruby signs "more", "all done", & "eat" regularly. I need to teach her more signs bc she likes it & it saves us a lot of tears (both of us) bc I can understand her better. most of the time.
• she moved to her toddler bed officially - like, she has to climb up to her bed now. it's adorable. (ummm, of course it is.)
• still in size 3 diapers & in 12 month or 12 - 18 month clothes, although she still fits into some of her 9 ( and even 6!!) month stuff.
• she still eats pretty much anything. except bananas. not so much a fan of those anymore. strawberries are what's cool now. and oranges. and I think she might physically harm me, if I got in her way of eating ice cream. seriously. she comes by her sweet tooth naturally, though, that's for sure.
• current words: dad, mama, uh oh, bye bye, wow. she understands a ton. will do most things I ask her to do - go find her dad, bring me a book, etc.
• loves: reading books, dancing (with each index finger pointed up in the air), climbing, painting, splashing, anything sensory, and watching sid the science kid on PBS.

ruby rocks. she rules. and is such a sweet girl.

20 May 2012

our week in iphone pics: may 13th - 19th

this week was brutal. work was, i don't even know what work was. it was out of control. we are under-staffed right now. my position is supposed to carry two cases. right now i have eight. so, that's been fun. but, we've hired a few people that are starting soon and that will be sure to help. and to make up for the less-than-wonderful work days, ruby, T, and i have had some fun-filled evenings and weekends. check us out...
1. ruby has been pretending her cymbal is a pacifier lately. it kills me. 2. practicing
her "gentle touch" skills with the cat. who, i'm certain, will be eternally grateful
that i've taken the time to teach her such things. 3. playing peek-a-book with mom,
signing "more". (well, her version of "more" anyway.) 4. putting my sunglasses
on in the backseat. 5. we seriously need another gate. we have one at the top of
the stairs, but this girl has learned to easily scale the boxes at the bottom of the stairs
that used to stop her from such experiencing such adventures. she is on the move.
6. and speaking of doing "big kid" stuff, here she is practicing her spoon skills.
no big deal, ma, no big deal.
1. wrestling with dad. 2. "i just don't know, mom." 3. checking out the trees.
4. puttin' down an ice cream cookie sandwich. 5. we found a mallard (!) in our yard.
and ruby almost ate it. okay, i'm kidding. but she was did chase it around the yard.
poor duck. 6. family trip to alterra, our local coffee shop.

1. ruby sorta loved her first brewers game. 2. T was pretty proud of his girl
sportin' our team's hat. 3. and speaking of hats, it's officially summer when
little baby bonnets come out. 4. hello little yogi-sleeping-babe. 5. more sleeping -
dad and ruby catching some z's. 6. on the way to work, ruby paged through one
of her favorite books while i recited it from memory from the front seat (the skills
that we develop as parents are crazy!. the best part, though, was when we finished
the book, i could see ruby signing "more". so i recited it again, of course. :)

1. this ruby-sized water bottle is ruby's new best friend. 2. the behavioral health
program that i work for has been creating an art installation with the help of the
youth in our program. the youth did all the painting and this weekend the final
piece was assembled. it looks so freaking awesome. i hope the youth will be proud
of themselves everytime they see it. 3. it has been HOT, so i got ruby this ridiculously
cute pool. and then ruby continued to freak the heck out in excitement. 4. this girl is
getting really good at standing on her own. this week, she's started getting up all by
herself. pretty impressive. 5. she's a goof. 6. this is the i'm-watching-sid-the-science-kid-
and-can't-be-bothered face.

1. ruby isn't doing anything particularly special in this picture, but her outfit
is just too cute and i had to document it. 2. then i tried to get ruby to smile in a
picture with me and she mean mugged instead. thanks, kid. 3. here is ruby stealing
a bite of T's cinnamon roll. (and he doesn't look all that happy about it!) .
linking up with amy at a good life blog.

18 May 2012

flashback friday: besties

tonight, i'm shining a spotlight on two of my closest friends, lisa & hillary, and flashing back to a few fantastic girl's nights out. we all lived together for a couple years while in undergrad. those were the days, right? minimal responsibilities, staying up all night long talking about everything imaginable, IMing one another while just room away from each other, shopping, etc. the good times went on and on. eventually, we had to get real jobs and found ourselves missing the time we had together. so, for a couple years, every few months we would take turns traveling to one each other's houses to eat delicious food, drink wine, and simply reconnect. we haven't had one of our get-togethers in a couple years now but we made some sweet memories. love you ladies.

this was one of hillary's times to host. we booked a room at a hotel, got dolled up,
drank margaritas, and ate the. most. decadent. (and possibly most expensive)
 dinners ever. it was wonderful. and those beds? god bless fancy linens.
here we are in kenosha. lisa lived there at the time and we went to this italian restaurant
and then had drinks (are you seeing a pattern here?) and a sleepover at her house.
one of my favorite pictures of the three of us. this was in
milwaukee at a seafood restaurant. and yeah, there were drinks. ;)

14 May 2012

mama's day

happy (belated) mother's day, y'all! i hope you all had a beautiful day celebrating your moms (and being celebrated if you're a mama yourself). we had such great weather, got to spend some time with family, a good friend, and catch a ball game. mother's day ftw!

i didn't really take pictures at brunch in the morning. we went to 'firefly urban bar & grille' in wauwatosa, just outside of milwaukee. the brunch buffet was just okay, which was kinda a bummer b/c we kinda live for brunch. but the atmosphere was really nice, the sun was shining, and it was lovely to visit with T's family and celebrate the moms.

after brunch, we headed straight over to miller park to catch the brewers/cubs game, as was my request for mother's day. i was super excited because it was ruby's first ball game. we picked her up a brewers hat and she rocked it, i must say (of course). she really seemed to have so much fun - clapping when everyone clapped and yelling when everyone cheered. and of course, she entertained everyone around us, which was especially nice since the brewers lost. and to the cubs. which makes it even worse. but it was a perfect day for a ball game and i had a great time.

my very good friend, michelle, also met us at the game. it was so stinking great to have her there. we don't get to hang out anywhere near as much as we used to and haven't been to a game together in a couple years, so that made the day extra special. she is my closest friend and like family to me. ruby likes her, too. in the bottom right picture, ruby was dancing with michelle. some other fun moments: ruby was highly entertained by the birds and planes that flew over the stadium (the roof was open) and she got her own seat while T scored us some hot dogs and ice cream. such a big girl.  

12 May 2012

our week in iphone pics: may 6th - 12th, 2012

holla! here we are at the end of another week. i've just finished the most scrumptious little ice cream sundae of vanilla ice cream, cherry pie filing, hot fudge, and graham cracker crumbs. seriously. i need to start working out. ... anyway! back to our week. it was a lovely week as the weather was a bit warmer than it has been as of late. we made the most of it by spending a little more time outside and we even got to grill. suh-weet. and now we're moving on to next week, which will kick off with mother's day. suh-weet squared. life is good. check it out...

1. on the way to work/daycare in the morning, ruby reads (and look at her all
snuggled up with her hungry caterpillar while she reads the book. so sweet.)
2. ruby has loved her little car for a long time and she's finally figured out how
to climb on it herself so she pretty much does it all the time now. 3. time
outside with mama before dad came home. 4. practicing walking with mama.
5. brunch. enough said. 6. ruby is also a fan of brunch. and also eating mama
and dad's food. 7. family drive along the lake. it was a cool, rainy, beautiful day.
1. again, with the reading. this time, though, in a tutu. 2. mama makes good
food (chicken/lime/avocado/corn salsa rice bowl). 3. ruby shoves good food
in her face. 4. when ruby's hair ends up like this after bath, it always reminds
me of jim carrey as "the grinch". can you see it? 5. sweet, sleepy snuggles.
6. ruby tries (unsuccessfully) to not look bored while she waits for me to take
her on a walk. 7. after walking, we needed a break and 'sid the science kid'
did the trick!
1. my heart melted when i got my mother's day present made by ruby at
daycare. look at that little foot. 2. so happy to see dad at the end of the day!
3. this is ruby's newest face. she puts it on anytime she sees something new.
so, basically, it's on all. the. time. 4. this isn't the best shot, but this is ruby
dancing in her carseat. in this picture, she's clapping her hands. every time
'party rock anthem' comes on, she starts grooving. (it might have something
to do with her mama singing along, loudly, but who knows.) 5. i will be the
first to admit that it doesn't take much for ruby to impress me. but with that
said - check out her hold on that crayon. her fine motor skills are legit!
6. shades! heading out to a farmer's market. 7. what better way to end the
week than with a trader joe's chocolate chip cookie ice cream sandwich?

*linking up with amy over at a good life blog.

11 May 2012


when i was a little girl, my mom enrolled me in tap, ballet, and jazz dance lessons. i loved it so freaking much. and, i got very excited about the outfits i got to wear. always full of sequins and sparkles. inspired by my little dancing self, my mom found this leotard and tutu and obviously couldn't say no. i tend to keep the frills and over-the-top girlie stuff to a minimum around here so this probably fills the quota for the next year but even i think we can all agree... oh. my. cuteness.

here's ruby reading, saying hi to me, and saying "enough pictures, ma!"
(and don't worry - that's an old debit card. which is not to say
that she doesn't go through T's wallet already or anything.
heaven help us when the teenage years come...)

                                little ballerina checking herself out                                          

some sweet details

09 May 2012

wordless-ish wednesday: a little fun outside

i was able to get home early on tuesday and so we got some extra family time. we spent a little time outside and it was quite lovely. and check out ruby's mad walking skills. go, girl, go!

08 May 2012

ruby antics

ruby has long been known as a trickster. when i was still expecting ruby, T's sister, candice, got a reading and the woman foretold that ruby would keep us on our toes all while also keeping us laughing. and that is absolutely the case. with ruby, every day is filled with moments like this...

T: "ruby, don't touch that."

ruby looks at me, like "is he trying to tell me what to do?"

"watch this, old man."

"uh-huh. that's right. whatcha gonna do about it?"
(notice her finger still on the 360 power button)

"yeah, i'm talking to YOU. i said, whatcha gonna do about it?"

"aha! you'll do nothing! why? because i'm cute. duh!"

and i just cannot forget this one. monday, i was driving ruby and i home from work and daycare. i was on the phone with a friend when i looked in the backseat and saw ruby doing something i'd never seen her do before. and i could not stop laughing. seriously, whose kid starts undressing themselves whilst strapped in the car seat?? in fact, it's probably a good thing she was strapped in, or the chick would've been buck naked before i exited the freeway! oy vey. love this kid.

07 May 2012

dreaming. pnw style.

to write this post, i have to go back. way back to march 2009 when T and i took a trip to seattle. there wasn't a particular reason why we chose seattle for vacation. our trip was in april so we weren't exactly going for the sun. (we're kinda like that, though. we've yet to go on a "tropical" vacation. we are city-walking, shopping, people-watching, find-the-local-secrets vacation kinda people. but i should say, in a surprising twist, it was freaking hot and i got a sunburn on that trip. not the norm, i know, but a pleasant surprise.)

so, anyway, we loved seattle. and about half way through the trip, we had a conversation about moving to the pacific northwest. and that day, it was like my life opened up. like i knew there was something missing before then i just didn't know what it was. it's really hard to explain. i've tried. but i'll try again. i guess, at that point in my life i'd earned both a bachelors and masters degree in social welfare, i'd met, fallen in love with, and married my best friend, and we were trying to start a family. i was pretty much where anyone would want to be in life. i mean, i was where wanted to be in my life. but yet there was always some draw in me to be somewhere else. the idea of something else, something more sat inside me.

i had always wanted to visit seattle. something about the city, i don't know. i'd never been and didn't know anyone who lived there. i just felt that the area would suit me somehow. and i wasn't wrong. flying in, as the earth began to cover in more and more green, i immediately fell in love. seriously, i remember the way i felt so clearly. so, long story short, it turned into a dream vacation that in turn helped me dream for a new, very different, future.

so that was three year ago. we still want to move and i've spent countless hours doing internet research on different areas to possibly live in. the more we talked about it, the more we considered expanding our potential locations outside of seattle, but still in the pnw. i have a cousin that lives in portland so i started to talk to her about how she likes the city. the more i learned about portland, the more it seemed to be a good fit for us. it's a smaller city, similar to milwaukee, which i love. microbreweries abounding? yes, please. and still absolutely green and beautiful.

we knew we had to visit, of course, and check it out, at the very least. it took a bit but we finally got a trip planned for march of this year. i've got a ton of pictures and experiences that i want to share from our trip, but that's for later this week. first, i wanted to share a little background for our trip out there and why it was so an important.

we've still a lot of planning, saving, and more planning to do before we can move. and i'm not so naive to think that it will be easy to just up and leave. we have incredible friends here and good, stable jobs. we don't live anywhere near my family so i'll be used to that part, but still, we also won't be able to plan a weekend to visit them at the last minute. and as for T's family, they've always lived close and have been able to see ruby almost weekly since she's been born. so i know it will be hard for them to be away from her and us.

but with all of that said, all i can think of is a quote that i've seen -

i'd rather have a life of "oh, wells" than a life of "what ifs"

and i think that pretty much sums it up. maybe we will hate it one day when we move. maybe we will cry every day because we miss our families, our friends, and the sun. but at least then we will know and won't have to wonder what might have been.

05 May 2012

our week in iphone pics: april 30 - may 5, 2012

well, another week is in the books. and it was a pretty good one. full of our favorite things - family time, food, snuggles and tickle-attacks, reading, and even a special event tossed in. check it out!

1. ruby wasn't quite ready to start the week so back to bed she headed.  2.
snuggles with ruby's cat-bestie, peyton. 3. attempting to snuggle said cat.
3. after-bath-snuggles (the best kind, in my opinion) .4. tambourine-playing
fool. 5. new trick: stacking blocks. and getting quite good at it, i must say.

1. two thumbs (er, fingers) up for standing on her own! 2. keeping our pearly
whites pearly. 3. tickle-time with dad. 4. little birdie eats cheese. 5. sid the science
kid. have you seen this show? it's on pbs. it is seriously awesome. 6. that's a tomato,
ruby, not an apple. but don't let me get in the way of you enjoying the heck outta it.
7. reading books before bed with dad.

1. we went to a 5K walk with our friends. this little guy, xander, is about six months 
younger than ruby and full of smiles. ruby was a little slower to warm up, but
2. soon enough she was eating fruity cherrios and singing songs. 3. playing in the
grass, waiting for dad to get home. 4. tossing a ball around with mom. 5. check out
my new car air freshener from bath and body! love it! (and shout out to my friend, anna,
for giving me the heads up on them! you saved my stinkin' car.) 6. and what would
any day (or hour, rather) be if ruby wasn't reading a book?

04 May 2012

flashback friday: everybody loves a wedding!

lately, i've been lucky enough to have the time and energy and fun stuff to blog about so i've got loads of memories that i want to document here. but, i also love the idea of "flashback fridays" so that's what's on deck for today.

and it's a fun one! our wedding. it was a perfect day. sunny, light breeze, 75 degrees. i couldn't have dreamed for a more perfect day. and, appropriately enough, it was on a friday instead of the usual saturday. which is a very good thing because the day after our wedding, it started to rain. and it rained pretty much all day, every day, for the next 8 days. not that it bothered us too much since we were on our honeymoon in sedona. :) but that's another post. for today, here's a stroll down memory lane, to the day of our wedding.

one of my favorites.


03 May 2012

catching up (again): easter dress

yeah, i know. easter was quite a while ago. but mid march to mid april was seriously rough for us. ruby was sick for over a month, and then we were on vacation, and then she was kind enough to pass along her sickness to us. so i'm still trying to catch up on all the fun that we did have in between that stuff. and one of those fun times was easter.

when i was a little girl, i remember my mom taking me to the store each easter to pick out a dress. and the dress had to have a bonnet, too. i love that i have a little girl now to continue that tradition. last year we picked out a little dress and bonnet for (then) 8-week-old ruby. it didn't even fit her. she was drowning in it. but it had to be done. i didn't start blogging until ruby was about 3 months old, so here's a never-before-seen pic of little ms. ruby and me celebrating her first easter together, with kisses.

so, the tradition continued this year. but there was a sweet little twist on it. the dress and bonnet in the picture (s) below are actually hand-me-downs from ruby's older cousins, teagan and maren. my sister, lisa (their mama), handed down some (and by some i mean, 4 rubbermaid containers full) of clothes for ruby. it was so generous of them to share with us and it's great to see ruby toddling around in her cousins duds.

the morning of easter, i dressed ruby up, gave her her basket of easter eggs and plopped her in the front yard to play. i took a lot of pictures. little girl in a bonnet (plus those shoes!) = super photo ops. ultimately, we ended up with a wardrobe change because ruby couldn't crawl around in this dress and she was getting mighty frustrated about it. so i put her in another dress from her cousins, put a sweater over the dress, left the bonnet on, and we headed off for a walk to the coffee shop for some breakfast. a lovely morning, indeed.

i introduced ruby to dandelions. in usual ruby-fashion, she tried to eat it.
wardrobe change! conveniently enough, the bonnet matched the new
dress so ruby demanded she keep it on. sheesh, diva.
"oh, hi mom. i got an egg."
flirting with people at the coffee shop. those shoes just kill me. super cute.

02 May 2012

wordless-ish wednesday: captain of her ship

ruby, at our happy place (target) surveying the goods. :)
(i had to go super slow, of course, but she was having so much fun in the cart.
i think she gets sick of looking at my face in the actual seat. poor mom.
that's okay, though, because this - this is just too cute.)

01 May 2012

our week in iphone pics: april 23 - april 29, 2012

here i am with my first "week in iphone pics" in a long, long time. i've been meaning to do this, as i always think amy's looks like such fun! check her out and link up to get in on the weekly-camera-phone-fun! and without further ado, here was our week. check us out!

dad took up running last week. so what did we do while he was gone? stuffed our faces with strawberry cake, chocolate frosting and vanilla bean ice cream, of course!
i'm a big kid now. like, i eat waffles in the morning on the way to school. a big kid, like, for reals.
ruby is so funny, i tell ya. one morning last week, we had just gotten up and apparentally,
 she decided she just wasn't quite ready to start the day.
so, this is her throwing in the towel before the day had even begun.
the cat looks a little concerned, no?
oh my goodness. are there even words for this? we took a trip to target and found this hat.
which was way too small but also way awesome.
this girls reads. in her room. in the car. in bed. while watching tv. she also loves baths.
combine the two and you have ruby's version of heaven.
i did some serious organizing. i've got more to do, but i gots to say, i'm pretty proud of myself. :)
 ruby loves her giant teddy bear. she especially likes to use him as a little chair.
we got a special visit from our friends sarah and sam. and they came on their motorocycle which was just about enough to send ruby over the curiousity edge! she was intrigued, to say the least, until the moment they drove away.
another one of my favorite pictures of the week. she keeps doing this. she'll try to crawl over the bar on the chair, get stuck half way over, and just end up dangling there with her feet in the air. (and yeah, she might have been crying in this picture, but i just had to get a picture. don't judge me, please.)
hours of endless entertainment. ruby makes goofy faces instead of eating.
saturday morning, i took ruby with me to get my oil changed at the dealership. one of the salesmen got ruby a balloon. and yeah, she pretty much loved it. i mean, how could she not? it was ginormous.
practicing with a spoon. where in the h-e-double-hockey-sticks has my little baby gone?!
new pants. for 12.95. boom. h&m, i heart you.
aaaaaand, most exciting moment of the week.......
drumroll, please....
ruby has started standing on her own!
go on with yo badself, rubinski! she's got skills!
(and, as you can see, she's very excited show them off!)