Tuesday, June 29, 2010

So Sweet

Back at my mom's house, Oliver and Nee-Nee went on their daily walk to get the mail. When they came back in, Oliver came running up to me saying "Flowers mommy!" and handed me the sweetest little bouquet of tiny daisies. "Oh, you are so sweet, thank you" I said. "I so sweet," he replied, and continued saying over and over as he played, quite seriously, with arranging the flowers.

The Lakes, Part 2

As promised, here are more photos from our time at the lakes. Oliver and I had a great time playing in the water, sitting in the sun, and digging in the sand. And then after a storm filled up his sand box, playing in the mud. One of his new favorite discoveries was Happy Hour! Who doesn't love Happy Hour? He loved the interesting chips and dip that were served, which he demonstrated by eating one bite off a chip, and then either setting it aside (or worse) putting it back in the bowl and getting another. Time to teach this kid some manners, huh? Let's just say that Mommy ate quite a few soggy chips and crackers, to prevent others from having to, of course.

We missed Marty a lot; I know he would have loved to go swimming with Oliver, but maybe next year. By the end of our visit, Oliver and I were both exhausted and ready for some air conditioning! As always, we enjoyed our time with family and want to thank them again for all the love and hospitality. Muah!

Silliness with sunglasses

Waiting for his ride


Oliver and Aunt Bonnie. Her friends, Larry and Clare, took us all for a great boat ride on a beautiful evening.

Getting cozy with Lois and Grandma Linda

Playing peek-a-boo back at the cottage

Peek-a-boo never gets old!

Friday, June 25, 2010

The Lakes

We've always called it The Lakes. Ever since I was a child, when my grandparents and aunt and uncle bought this cottage, when we talked about it, we always said it that way, as in, "Pack your swimsuit, we're going up to the lakes this weekend!" Technically, the cottage is only on one lake, the beautiful Lake Wawasee, but there are many other lakes in the area, so I guess the plural is used for that reason. Who knows.

Anyway, I love coming to the lakes. I have fond memories of being here with my family every summer as I was growing up, whether it was short weekends or week long vacations. It is just one of the most peaceful places I've ever been. There's so much about it to love. Sitting on a lounge chair on the deck with a cool drink sweating on the table next to you, watching the water and the sky and the boats going by. Reading a good book under the shade of the big oak tree next to the water. Bathing in the lake as kids, with shampoo and soap (of course, now we know that's not so good for the health of the lake, but we were all naive back then). Cooking dinner on the grill every night to keep the kitchen from getting too hot. Or better yet, boating to dinner and then boating back in the dark, stargazing. Hanging out with family, talking and laughing until after the sun sets. Feeling the cool breeze blowing in the curtains in the bedrooms upstairs. There are no Forth of July fireworks better than those seen from a boat in the middle of the lake, or from the end of the pier.  Marty fell in love with the lakes too, shortly after falling in love with me, and we got married here, so you can see some of the setting in the photos I posted a few days ago for our anniversary. We've come back every year since.

We want Oliver to grow up loving the lakes as well, and I think he's off to a great start. He's changed my experience of the lakes, that's for sure. I may not get to sit and read all day, but it's even more rewarding to see him exploring and learning new things, and being silly with happiness because he's having so much fun. I'll be posting lots of photos of our visit in the next weeks, but I thought I'd kick them off with a look back at the great times he's already had here in his little life.

Oliver's first swim in the lake, with Daddy, at 11 weeks old, June 2008

Warming up in the sun after the swim, 11 weeks old, June 2008

Swimming in his turtle raft, 14 months old, June 2009

Warming up in the sun and playing with his bucket, 14 months, June 2009

Swimming with Aunt Bonnie, 26 months, June 2010.

Playing with his bucket, 26 months, June 2010.

My baby is getting to be such a big boy! Next thing I know, he'll be getting married here! ::faint::

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

The Zoo

Last week, we went to the Ft. Wayne Children's Zoo with NeeNee. It's a great zoo, and Oliver really seemed to enjoy it. We thought we'd only go for an hour or so, but ended up staying for 3.5 hours! With a toddler! He only acted tired at the very end. He's been talking about the animals he saw ever since.

Big turtles!

NeeNee and Oliver on the Train!

The sea lions were his favorite.

One came to say hello! They kept doing laps, and every time they got to this part they'd come up to the window where Oliver was sitting. He loved it!

The new baby giraffe!

The elephants! Ok, well, the merry go round, but he loved it so much he rode it twice. If you ask him what he saw at the zoo, he'll list a bunch of animals, including the elephants, even though these are the only elephants at the zoo!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


When we're home in Connecticut, one of Oliver's favorite things to do upon arriving back at the apartment complex is to go get the mail. Whether it's there or not, we are going to check. He did the same thing when we were visiting NeeNee. I think he had a little more fun there.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Water is always fun

This post really needs no captioning, except to explain his lovely outfit. We were at my mom's, and he woke up on the wrong side of a nap. Nothing would make him happy, and frustration was mounting for both of us. Then he looked outside and saw Nee-nee (aka Grandee, who is now definitely nothing other than Nee-nee) cleaning her fountain. So we went outside, hoping a change of scenery would help. He started playing in the fountain, which my mom had just cleaned with bleach. It was probably much diluted by then, but still, I removed his shorts and shirt so they wouldn't get bleach marks. Of course, the diaper and the crocs had to stay. For a while he was content to splash in the fountain with his hands. Until he saw the hose with the spray nozzle. He had to have it. So we put it on the grass to make it like a sprinkler, and oh what fun ensued!

I had to do a slide show because I shot so many pictures. It was one of those times when I really wished I had the video camera with me, but unfortunately, we just didn't have room to bring it this trip.

Sunday, June 20, 2010


On our way from Iowa to Indiana, Oliver and I spent one night at Marty's parents home in Illinois, where we'll be returning for a longer visit at the end of our journey. Ma-maw got Oliver a cute little golf set, inspired by his love of Putt-putt demonstrated earlier this year. Oh the fun boys can have when you give them a ball and a stick!

Is this how you do it?

Ohhhh, you're supposed to hit it with the stick!

I think I'd rather throw it! 

Now, what else can I do with this stick?

Saturday, June 19, 2010


With all of our traveling, I haven't had much time to update the blog, but I have a series of "photo story" posts that I hope to get up soon. Suffice it to say that it's been a whirlwind of activity that I should probably write a blog about, but right now it's too exhausting to even think about, and today is supposed to be my free day to relax! So I'll start with a sweet photo story about friendships beginning.

My Iowa friend Kate has a son named Connor, who is 10 months younger than Oliver. Their friendship began last year when Connor was teeny tiny . . .

Connor, almost 3 weeks old, Oliver, almost 11 months old.
Connor appears to be tapping Oliver on the shoulder, as if to say, "Dude, you're blocking my view!"

Connor, 2 months old, with mom Kate, and Oliver, 1 year old.
Oliver wants to know why Connor won't run around and play with him. 
This is probably the last time they saw each other before we moved to Connecticut.

Connor, almost 16 months, Oliver almost 26 months.
A few weeks ago when we were in Iowa, we got together for a play date. As you can see, Oliver can no longer give Connor his hand me downs, because they are exactly the same size! Dare I say Connor is a bit taller?! Oliver's a little short for his age, and Connor's a little tall for his, but it's perfect, because now they match. Finally old enough to play together instead of just sit next to each other, they had a blast. 
Playing the piano . . . 

checking out toys . . . 

sharing a snack . . . 

And running laps around our new house! 

How fun it was to see them together!! It was great to see Kate, her mother K, and her sister Hannah (who just turned sweet 16!) as well. We had a little pizza party and lots of fun. I can't wait to be back in Iowa for good so we can all spend more time together and these boys can really grow up together. They are definitely BFFs in the making!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Five Years

I'm sitting at my family's lake cottage, missing my husband on our anniversary, and feeling nostalgic for our wedding that took place in this very spot five years ago today.

Won't these pictures be great to look at when we celebrate our fiftieth?! Happy Anniversary Marty! I love you!!