Tuesday, November 27, 2012

A Busy Fall With A Milestone ;-)

I know I've slacked off on the blog - but it has been a busy fall! We had the Fresh Beat Concert, Halloween, vacation to Charleston, an unexpected trip home...Thanksgiving with my family in RIC and Tim's in Fredericksburg. AND - we went to see Santa already! Whew...but fast-forward to now and here we are....

Since turning two, Lula has become Miss Independent. Well, let's be honest - she's always been that way; HOWEVER, since turning two she has really well...she's started testing us. Big time. She wants to determine bedtime, meals, clothes...did she turn two - or 22? LOL, it's not all bad by any means - it's exciting to watch her become her own little person. She's expressing herself in more ways than ever, and has such a silly and fun way about her. I love to hear her tell me "won more tiome mommy, won more" as much as I dislike (and secretly like) hearing "No. I no do dat!" She is full of surprises everyday!

We are still working on potty training and sleeping in her big girl bed, but we've said "bye bye" to the binky! Three weeks and counting now, and she pretty much quit cold turkey (seasonal pun intended). The holidays have been so fun this year as she starts to understand them and enjoy the traditions; and she gets super excited with each new thing (right now it's 'nowmen, Snanta, reinneer, kissmas tees and baby Jebus'). After visiting Santa last week at Papa's favorite Bass Pro Shop, she won't stop telling me about the "talking moose and catching that bear - roooaarrrr" - I LOVE IT! Especially since she was scared to death of all the animals, which she now remembers fondly. So sweet.

As we get back to normal this week following the holiday, we're doing it alone again as Tim travels to IL for a conference (Gram and Papa headed back to IL too). And though it is a tough phase as Lula grows into Miss Independent, we'll get by just fine. She's not only learning to express herself in new ways, but she's learning to follow rules and listen more too! My baby is growing up, but I know I'm gaining quite the little friend - which warms my heart.

We can't wait for our holiday trip home, and even more excited to experience Christmas through her eyes again this year...such a blessing we have in her!


My Beach Babe!

Her serious side...

Getting ready for Snanta!

Thursday, October 4, 2012

Waiting for Aunt A!

Our house is filled with anticipation...well, I think. I know I'm SUPER excited - Lula, well, it's hard to tell sometimes if she really "gets" that she is about to have company. Tim is on the road, so he will just be glad for me to have another adult to lean on. My sister, Amber, is coming in tonight! We saw her quite a bit on our last visit home in early August, but it is amazing how much Lula has already changed in that time period. Sometimes being so far away from your family makes time go by sooo slowly between visits, but we've all had a busy couple months...and thank goodness for Skype - but there is nothing like having Amber (or any family member or friend from home) here in person.

We're planning to have lots of fun! Lula's most recent obsession (aside from princesses and Fresh Beat Band) is all things Halloween, especially pumpkins...and spiders...and candy. The plan is to take Aunt A pumpkin picking this weekend - it's truly fall and we cannot wait to get out and enjoy the season!

Witching you a Happy Halloween!
Now let me count my suckers again...

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Whare daddy? Daddy...whare are yuuuuuooo....

Yesterday was one of those days; a day where the rubber meets the road on this whole traveling daddy thing. Lula had a great day at Ms. Debbie's - but was wild and crazy when we got home. I had a typical nutty Tuesday (it's just always my crazy day), and was both mentally and physically exhausted. I picked up Lula and we headed home - well - after chasing her down for 15 minutes across Ms. Debbie's yard! She was chatty on the way home and in a great mood.

And then we pull in the driveway. "Uh-oh, whare daddeee?" Breaks my heart to try and explain that he is working, but she shrugs it off, calls for him again - "daaadeeee, whare are yuuoooo...." LOL, it is too cute! Little did I know I'd be wishing I could call for him too - my baby girl was a wild one last night. An overall good mood, just wired like she was on 50 packs of M&Ms.

Plus, neither of us tend to sleep well Tim's first night out, so as usual she went to bed late - but not just late. She went to bed upset too. She was kicking and screaming (claiming "not tired" the whole time), yet she was fast asleep within minutes. Not a bad night per se...but made for a rough morning! Check out my kid, she looks like she partied all night and drank to much apple juice! I should've put a SKI in her cup. Ha!!

No photos, please. Dang paparazzi.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Vacation is great....but returning to reality is tough!

Re-entry. Not the easiest thing in the world to do after a week off - and when you spend that week with long-distance family, it is even harder. We were glad to come home, sleep in our own bed, unpack our bags, etc. but it quickly sets in just how far we are from "home" and our family. And although Gram and Gramps are visiting this week to help us recover (my back went out late last week), it is just not the same as being "home" with everyone close at hand. PLUS, there is always someone willing to chase after Lula for us :)

We had a fantastic trip - spending time with all of our parents and siblings, as well as cousins and friends. Loved the opportunity to celebrate Papa Brett's retirement and Leah and Dave's wedding! Such a special time with all of the grandparents and almost every one of the Stamps kids there (we missed you Meg!!). Nothing like relaxing and eating.....and eating, and eating. Did I mention we did some eating??

Later in the week we took Lula to the St. Louis Zoo; and needless to say - she loved it! It was nearly 100 degrees, but with low humidity, we made a great day of it. Thankfully we had Gram, Gramps, and Grandmama to help us out. She is still telling us about the animals and asking to watch her animal videos every day.

To survive the heat we had a pool day at the Harre house, another big hit since swimming is right up there with animals on Lula's list of favorite things. We loved seeing her interact with all of our friends' children throughout the week; I think her and Kinley are going to raise geese together rather than go to college.

All-in-all it was a wonderful trip - bittersweet to be back in VA, but looking forward to our next visit in early August to celebrate Lula's 2nd birthday!

 To survive the triple-digit temps, we took to the water!

Duck farmers


Best way to end a vacation!

We are all worn out!
Luckily, Tim was doing mostly day trips this week, and again, my parents decided to come help out since I was having back issues. BUT, once again, they will all leave at nearly the same time, then it is me and baby girl, making it work on our own as daddy hits the road again.

Vacations are always too short...

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Happy Anniversary!

Happy Anniversary to my wonderful husband, Tim! You are the best - Lula and I could not ask for more. We are truly blessed as a family. Who would have thought that in four years we would move across the country, have a sweet baby girl, get an even bigger TV, and the list goes on! And amazingly, through it all.......we still haven't had ONE fight. LOL....he he he....

And what is the silver lining to having your husband travel all week? More time to shop for his anniversary gift! Don't worry honey, I'll find you something nice at the gas station on my way home tomorrow.

June 7, 2008
What a great party we had!!
My beautful maids! All in a row :)

Monday, June 4, 2012

Reading with Gram

OK, so this special moment happened just after I posted my entry tonight. Had to share! Love reading with my Gram :)
Love them! Makes my heart so happy :)

Spring Sprung...and Summer is Coming

Well, the Stamps family has had a great summer kick off! Squirrels game (Lula's first baseball outing), family visits, my birthday, duck/goose visits and fun in the sun.

Lula "helping" plant flowers

After some initial fears, she loved it. Now she is ready for the
pool at Brandermill Country Club!

With mixed feelings, June means the end of prom - no more 12+ hour days, but it is back to reality for Tim as he hits the road again this week. The first few days are never fun as we readjust - and we hate it when FaceTime doesn't work! Have to say, Lula gave him a sweet send-off this morning. Lots of hugs, kisses and "bye-bye daddy" choruses. He will surely miss her this week, which is hard for me to think about too...wish we could just jump in the van with him some weeks (such a sweet ride Tim has for work). Move over headless mannequins - we're taking the HOV lane for real this time! (just FYI, he doesn't always drive around with headless mannequins in the van, just sometimes when accounts need new displays - nor does he take the HOV lane to DC with them - that would be illegal, and just weird, thought I should clarify)

Hopefully we keep the injuries and cat fights to a minimum while he is gone. I'll probably be all bleary-eyed from lack of sleep though, two-year molars are making their presence known lately and that makes us both irritable. Good news is, we have just three weeks until vacation - AND Gram is still here for another week! We are ready for some R&R in Southern Illinois - we can't wait to see everyone :)

Yes - we let her run around with wild geese, only they're
hardly wild, since everyone at Sunday Park feeds them. My dad
especially - brings his own corn from Wiese's farm! Of course he does :)

How has your summer started out? Let me know, or visit my other blog to learn about our family history through recipes - http://ourvintagekitchen.blogspot.com/

Saturday, May 26, 2012

Hail, Hail the Gang's All Here!

Hoooraaay for holidays! Nothing better than celebrating the end of prom season - 12 hour days for Tim, and the Memorial Weekend with your family. So glad to have mom, dad and Amber in town for a nice, long visit. It is overdue! The weekend is going to be fun, yet relaxing. Taking Lula to see her first baseball game tonight, look out Nutsy - we are coming for you! Also making Grandpa Ivan's famous BBQ sauce (our whole house smells like vinegar already), swimming at at BCC - and shopping, of course.

Thank you to all who have served and who are serving this great country. Your bravery and selflessness are beyond what most can imagine - we are grateful for your service.

Stay tuned for photos....AND the start of a new family blog with my mom and sister! It's going to be delicious!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Moms, Prom and CD-Rom

Happy Mother's Day! So for whatever reason, this holiday is one of the toughest to be away from home. I am thankful that Tim is not working today - he and Lula are taking such good care of me :) For anyone who isn't familiar with the formal wear industry - it is PROM season. Our friends and spouses are working crazy hours, 6 to 7 days a week. But it is all worth it; it is their "go-time" and it quite the rush for them....and exhausting.

For me, it's randomly appropriate that Mother's day is this weekend, as earlier in the week I had a dream with both of my grandmothers in it. My Grandma Ford was rocking my baby girl, she was so long on her petite lap - but Barb didn't mind a bit. Lula was asleep and Grandma just kept repositioning her, holding her close and rocking her. Not sure what spurred the dream - maybe it is my Kodak Pulse that rotates photos from the last 7 years :) Anyway, it was a blessing of a dream. I miss my grandparents so very much!

Which brings me to CD-Rom - Kodak Gallery has sold out to Shutterfly - gesh, now I have to go through and order CDs of all my photos of the past 8 years! They will transfer to Shutterfly, but I'm taking NO chances!

Again - HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY! To all of the wonderful and inspiring ladies in my life, both here and those that have gone on to heaven. Love you all! Being a mom is the absolute best thing that has ever happened to me, and I am truly blessed with some of the best examples one could hope for. Thank you Lula Claire, for making every day so special. I love you!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Ready for Spring and Healthier Weather

For those not in VA - let me start by saying we really haven't had winter this year. However, our temps go from upper 20's to 70 in just a couple days...and it is terrible for my household and our immune systems! For whatever reason, we just can't get healthy. We spent the holidays with bronchitis, which faded into a few weeks of head colds, recovered slightly, and end up with the tummy bug...add teething to this for our toddler, and it makes for JOYOUS times. We've missed work, parties, the Superbowl and other events...not a fun start to 2012. So even though we haven't had a rough winter and I'd love for Lula to experience sledding and some really good snow, I am ready for steadily increasing temps and sun. That means I either need an extended vacation (take me to the beach), or fast-forward to April.

In other news, Lula had a new first - wearing mommy's shoes.  Now this warms my heart!
Mommy's chus
She amazes me - even when she is having a bad day or not feeling well, she still has fun every day. You have to love the imagination and ingenuity of a toddler. Whether she is wearing a bowl on her head, or mommy's big shoes, the bottom line is she is having fun. She can tear up the house, shred a roll of toilet paper in the living room (yes, she has), or make pretend food to feed her babies and animals. She makes the sun shine in this house everyday. So bring on the cold, flu, crazy weather...inside the Stamps house, there is a warm-front!
Like my hat?

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Preparing for departure AND arrival!

One of the downsides of a "traveling salesman"....traveling. Tim is usually gone about four days a week, but this week, six. Not fun. And the weekend goes way too fast! Sunday nights are a treasure, and yet tonight, a little sad knowing he has to leave tomorrow and won't be back until Saturday. BUT - this time there is a silver lining...Gram comes to save the day! Just so happens that my mom already had a trip planned for this week, thankfully. Not sure how six days would feel otherwise - I don't think we've gone that long since Lula was born. So in my blue mood of Tim hitting the road, I am also excited to have my mom in town! Yeah for Gram! We are going to welcome her with open arms...and then put her to work!

Christmas is still up at our house since we've all been sick - I'm over the tree; we have some work in the new playroom, deep cleaning of the tile and hardwood floors (I'm a little OCD on my floors), clothes to retire for Lula....the list is endless! Looking forward to some good mom time, work and play :)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

A Whirlwind Christmas Trip

Well, when you live far from family, every trip home seems like a whirlwind. So many people to see, so little time, very little relaxing! OK, we did relax, but not much :) Always so thankful for all we have and those we love! But getting there....quite the adventure.

With Tim traveling up until we left, it didn't leave us much time to prepare for our holiday "tour of the mid-west," but we made it. Tim packed all day on the the 21st and we set out that evening after I got off work. You couldn't see out the back of our Commander. Seriously considering a mini-van! We drove half way to Indianapolis - feeding Lula an entire McDonald's cheeseburger along the way. She then had an official meltdown at the hotel in WV - one of her weird phobias along with elevators, but someday she'll learn to love a vacation! It only took about an hour, and a total obsession with the walk-in shower (part 2 of this story) to calm her down. The next morning, not so good with the shower, we tried to get her to take a shower, and again - she freaked. Now, 3 weeks later....she still doesn't want to bathe.

We drove through Ohio for the first time (beautiful!) and made it to Indy mid-afternoon. We spent some great time with the family celebrating Dave and Leah's nuptials and the holidays. It was beautiful! And yes, they guys wore tuxes from Jim's Formal Wear. Lula did not walk down the aisle, as I suspected, but had a great time playing with her new cousin (a goose egg on her head to prove it) and her Aunts, Uncles, and Grandparents. I, unfortunately, developed a lovely chest cold that continued to progress....negatively.

Lula and Mommy at the wedding
After 2.5 days in Indy, we headed to Nashville and spent the week with more family - including the Fords, Sieferts, Parkers, Spindlers, Baimas, Winchesters, Blackburns, Povolishes, Renkens, Pinskis, Stamps, Holtgrewes...and more! My cold turned into bronchitis, but thank goodness Tim and Lula didn't get it - until we got home that is!

Lula and Kinley Povolish doing some cooking in their pjs!

Ford Family Xmas Eve Party - Peyton and Tim show off their Camo Toes!
Overall, Lula had more Christmas than she knows what to do with - we are seriously going to have to ration toys...until her birthday when it all starts again! She got some fantastic gifts though - she is one lucky little girl who is so loved. And she gives her love right back, she started saying "Papa and Gampa" to Brett and Bruce on this trip (first in Indy, then in IL again), makes my heart so happy! "Mom-meeee" is now loud and clear too, I love her little voice and all her words. Exciting to hear people's names as she says about 100 animals already! She may have gotten one "Gam" out - not sure, but don't worry Grandma's....you day is coming!

We headed back on Dec. 30 so we could be home to celebrate New Year's in our home for the first time. Ever. Unfortunately - instead of staying up to celebrate, we were in bed at 11pm since we worked on getting organized all day and Tim was in the first stages of his sickness. This meant we didn't make it up to Uncle Tim and Aunt Sharon's New Year's day - but they should thank us for not bringing them bronchitis! We stayed home with chicken noodle soup and football. Not too bad really.

Whew! For 2012 we'd like to take a vacation from our recent vacation...and we'd like to wish everyone a happy, healthy New Year!