Tuesday, November 02, 2010

Columbus Zoo

Reese and I went to Ohio a while ago to visit Tessa and Duffy while my parents were also visiting. It was such a fun week! We ate yummy food, shopped a little bit, visited my grandparents in Zanesville (whom Reese met and charmed for the first time!) and went to the Columbus Zoo. Reese and I drove the 9 hour drive alone and she was a champ! It was such an easy drive that I'm wondering why we haven't gone more often!

Once everyone was present and accounted for, we went to Graeters...home of the most delicious ice cream in the world!
One of the highlights of the trip was our visit to the Columbus Zoo! We started our visit with an animal show created for the Columbus Zoo with incredible antics of nearly 100 exotic, barnyard and domestic animals including many cats and dogs adopted from local shelters. It was hysterical and Reese was giggling the entire time.

The kangaroo is pumping up the Jeep tires so that Jungle Jack can make it to the Into the Wild shoot on time.
After the show, the trainers brought some of the animals out to meet the audience. Reese got brave and went to make friends with the talent!
These cute little larakeets would eat/drink right out of the little cup in your hands! They may or may not have mistaken the skin on my hand for the yummy juice in the cup, which wouldn't have been that bad--it didn't really hurt--but it did scare me, so I screamed, flinched and dropped the juice, which freaked Reese out and she started balling. That was one rule--you were supposed to use calm, soft voices in the bird cage. Oopsies.

This baby elephant, Bohdi, pushed its blue toy around the whole time we were there and Reese thought it was the funniest thing!

The keeper had some apple pieces for us to feed the rhino. As soon as she could smell it, she came right over and stayed until all the food was gone.

The trainer was pretty impressed that Reese--a two-year-old--was more brave around the rhino than his six-year-old son. She had no fear!

another shot of Bohdi playing on the way out
The Columbus Zoo takes in manatees rescued from the wild and cares for them until they are healthy enough to be released back into the wild.

Kinda hard to tell from this picture, but Reese was throwing heads of romaine lettuce to feed the Manatees. The manatees became Reese's special friends because she was able to feed them. She got a stuffed manatee in the gift shop and has wanted to sleep with it every night since! (Also, it looks like she is really close to the edge, but not to worry, I had a death grip on her--there was no way she was going in without taking me with her.)
We were pretty lucky to see this koala awake--apparently they sleep between 18-22 hours each day!
This porcupine-looking animal was in the same habitat as the koala. It's not actually a porcupine, or even in the same family, oddly enough; but for the life of me, I cannot remember it's name! He liked to bury himself under some wood chips, but we got him to come out for a quick peek.
We got to see the polar bears right at feeding time. The polar bears saw the keepers coming over with some fish and some fruity ice pops and when the keepers started to throw them in, the polar bears dove in so gracefully. It was pretty unbelievable. There was also a place under the water that you could go to see a view from below. That had to have been one of my favorite things to see!

I took this picture of Reese in the garden at my grandparents house. She is such a ham. It was so nice to see them and to introduce them to Reese.

It was a blast to spend the whole week with Tessa and Duffy and my parents. Reese LOVED playing with Tessa's dog Harper and had a blast taking him to the doggie park...but she needs to work on respecting dogs that are bigger than her before I let her go back...to the doggie park, that is. Tessa and Duffy were such gracious hosts and I can't wait to go back!
This picture pretty much sums up the week.

Monday, October 04, 2010


Reese LOVES to read books...and have books read to her. She loves to read the same books over and over again, until she memorizes them. Then she turns the pages to whatever book is closest and recites the book du jour. In this clip, she is telling the story of Hansel and Gretel from the "Brothers and Sisters to the Rescue" episode of Little Einsteins. If you haven't seen it, you should--it's a good one. It's actually the 'musical adventure' of Hansel and Gretel, which is why she does a little hum in between some of the lines. I was so happy to finally catch this on film!

One of her new favorite books is Purpleicious. We got it at the library and kept it until we maxed out our renewals. My mom heard how much she loved this new book and bought Reese a copy of her own--along with purpleicious jammies! It took a little bit longer, but Reese memorized that book too and it is hysterical! I'll try to catch that one on film for next month's story time!

Thursday, August 12, 2010

I have a niece!

Meet Blair Kelly Oviatt.
Is she just the most perfect thing?
Love this happy family!

Saturday, July 17, 2010

lake playtime

Once the weather warmed up (can you believe it was in the 60s for the 4th of July?!), we had a lot of fun enjoying one of our favorite summer pastimes-- hanging at the lake! Reese was significantly more nervous about the water this year. The first day that we spent at the lake, Uncle Mike took us out on the boat, and every time the person in the water said, "Hit it!" and the boat got loud and fast quickly, Reese got pretty freaked out. She did not want to go in the boat again after that. So sad.
We are so spoiled to have my sister Lindsey's in-laws at the lake who let us come over and sit on their dock and go out on their boat and eat all their delicious snacks!
Reese relaxing after a long day at the lake with Luke, Lindsey's nephew.
Luke taking the jet ski out for a spin. Don't worry, his dad was close by.

How adorable is this little Ava Taylor?! I look forward to seeing our old friends the Taylors in Montana every summer. And Reese LOVED playing with them on the dock and on the water trampoline. Just like old times in Virginia (except now Reese is actually old enough to play with them!).

Reese and Ella
I can't believe how grown up these kids are getting! Ella has always been one of my style icons for Reese, and I love it when people tell me that Reese looks like her!
Who doesn't like to enjoy a nice chocolate chip cookie on the dock?!

Reese finally got brave, and went in the water with me!

After most of the family went home, we did take Reese out on a nice, leisurely boat ride and Reese did really enjoy it. Hopefully next summer she will remember how much fun she had in the boat and in the water! Can't wait!

Friday, July 16, 2010

double baby shower

What could be more fun that a baby shower for a baby girl? A baby shower for two baby girls!!!!

While the whole family was together, we had a double baby shower for Lindsey and Lauren. We invited lots of friends from Montana and the two girls scored tons of adorable things for the babies!

Lindsey's husband Mike grew up on a farm and is a die hard John Deere fan! Luckily, John Deere paraphernalia also comes in pink!

For the party favors, we made onesie and cupcake sugar cookies. We had a ball decorating these cookies together! They were almost too cute to eat.

I'm embarrassed to say that we did not get a picture of our beautiful spread. But, our brunch menu consisted of the following:

Strawberry Banana muffins

Lemon Yogurt Berry Parfaits with homemade granola

Fresh fruit with cream cheese fruit dip

Ham and cheese melts on mini buns

Watermelon Limeade

My favorite item on the menu was the strawberry banana muffin! They were light and delicious, and not too sweet for a mid-morning snack. Here's the recipe I used:

1 1/2 cups sliced strawberries
1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon sugar
1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
1/2 cup whole-wheat flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/4 cup light olive oil or vegetable oil
1 large egg
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
2 ripe bananas, mashed

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a standard 12-cup muffin tin with paper liners. Toss together strawberries and 1/3 cup sugar. Using a potato masher or fork, lightly mash berries; set aside.
In a large bowl, whisk together flours, baking powder, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. In a glass 2-quart measuring cup or a medium bowl, combine buttermilk, oil, egg, and vanilla; whisk to combine.
Make a well in the center of the flour mixture and pour in the buttermilk mixture and the berry mixture (with juice). Fold in two mashed bananas just until combined. Using an ice cream scoop, divide the batter among the muffin cups. Sprinkle the tops with remaining sugar.
Bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of a muffin comes out clean, about 17 minutes. Cool 5 minutes in the pan, then transfer muffins to a wire rack to cool completely. Enjoy!

Thursday, July 15, 2010

take me out to the ballgame

Note: To me it seems like ages since I've posted anything new. Nothing crazy is going on. I was out of town for a few weeks and have STILL not been able to get all the pictures and videos that were taken on said trip (it's a long story). I'm finally to the point where I am ready to give up on those (adorable!) videos and just work with what I've got.

This summer we planned our trip at just the right time to be able to watch lots and lots of Dean's baseball games! His team has had an away tournament over the 4th of July weekend for the last four years, usually in Spokane, so we are usually lucky if we get to see even one home game when he gets back. But this year the 4th of July tournament was in Helena, and our party wagon made a slight detour on our drive up from Utah to watch one of his games. When the Kalispell Lakers returned from that tournament, they had another tournament in Whitefish (only about 45 minutes away), so we got to watch five more days of games! Reese loves to watch Dean play baseball and cheer for him. She yells, "Go, Dean-o-baby!" She'll actually just copy anything that hears being yelled, for any player...or even directed to the umpires. She started shouting, "C'mon, Blue, you're killin' me!" I have no idea where she heard that....but it may have been from the player's mother sitting right next to me...not mentioning any names.

After the Whitefish tournament, the Lakers had two more consecutive days of conference games at home, and one of Dean's best friends Connor came to watch. Reese has a HUGE crush on Connor. She has ever since she met him last summer. She would come home from a trip to Montana and pretend to talk on the phone to Connor--it was hilarious!
It was so funny when she first saw Connor arrive at the game--her face lit up like a Christmas tree! Unfortunately, Connor brought his girlfriend to the game too and had to split his time between the two women. Reese would call Connor about every two seconds and tell him that Dean was on second base ("Connor, look! There's Dean!") or she would say to him, "What's cookin', good lookin'?" After a while, my mom promised to get Connor a hamburger if Reese called his name 100 times....and we almost got there! Bless 'im, Connor is so nice to Reese...even when she is a little obnoxious. (she was acting too silly to get a very cute shot of them together, what can I say?)
As you can see, as one of the team captains Dean has a lot of fans! (And yes, we are wearing jackets and have blankets on our lap. The weather this summer has been crazy! Jackets in July?! It was pretty windy and chilly that night.)