More fun in the yard:
Denis will start another week of vacation tomorrow. He's already threatened to spend more time and money in the yard if I don't give him enough indoor projects. I've got an extensive list going, but he is superman, so he'll probably finish everything indoors and still spend time and money outdoors. Definitely NOTHING to complain about and EVERYTHING to be joyful about.
I printed this - it looks incredible. I really wish Riley was in it too. :(
This is only the beginnings of her dirtiness that evening. It definitely got worse.
I remember trying so hard to teach Riley and Paul NOT to pick flowers because we didn't have very many. Now we have so many! I love that they can enjoy picking and bringing them to me. We always have a vase full on the table. They are a far cry from a florist's arrangement, but most certainly more special.
Denis got home from work and snuck in the back gate to surprise us. Charlie and Camille couldn't get to him fast enough!
There she is kissing him again. I did get one out of her this week, finally.
Please ignore the mess in the background. One of Charlie's bookshelves collapsed so books are piled up. Of course she adds toys to the top and makes it look that much worse. The awesomeness in the photo far outweighed the mess so I had to share it anyhow.
This little girl is so happy to get in her bed at night. We had to do the "cry it out" method with Riley, but haven't had to do it since. Paul, Charlie, and Camille have always been so easy to put down for bed. I think the biggest difference in our parenting was we made sure to always lay the kids down before they fell asleep nursing. When we couldn't keep them awake in the early months I just made sure I wasn't gentle in putting them down. On random nights she'll cry when we walk out of the room, but she stops within a minute. I went back in with the camera last night since I hadn't taken crib pictures in a while. She was so happy to ham it up for me. When I finished she grinned and said, "bye bye." A few minutes later I checked on her and she was OUT. What an angel! (Although she was a bear all day today because she doesn't feel good).
She was so proud of figuring out how to climb on the couch. Now I am trying to prevent her from falling off. She sure loves this new "trick."
My hubby gives me the best flowers ever. They just keep on giving over and over. These are all from our backyard. The images below are from last week, but the kids and I spent all afternoon out there today. We played soccer, planted some green onions, walked the balance beam and slid on the slide. What fun in such a beautiful yard! Thanks to the hubs.
Here's a few of Camille rolling around with her blanket. If she sees it she HAS to have it. I've been making a point to keep it in her crib so she doesn't walk around with it. If she has her blanket the thumb automatically goes in her mouth. Yuck, I'm fighting that, not encouraging it.
The coat closet was open this morning when we were picking up. I walked away and got into doing something else when Camille started fussing. She wouldn't stop! I asked Denis to help her. I thought she was wandering around fussing because she didn't know what to do with herself (we'd picked up all the toys). Nope, she was standing in the coat closet crying because she was unable to reach my scarf that looks exactly like her blanket. She was a happy girl once Denis gave it to her. RIDICULOUS !
Nanny Jaime had the idea of taking the kids to the Strawberry festival Friday night. Thankfully my parents had the brilliant idea of leaving Camille with them. It is definitely not a place for toddlers! We saw an infant (maybe a month old) that I am sure will end up in the hospital next week for fever and some kind of serious infection. People are crazy!!! The lines weren't too long, but the wait was ridiculous because they were still working out the kinks with many of the rides and flow of people. Paul is the only kid that got whiney, but overall they did great. We only stayed until we used all 48 tickets (which was under 2 hours), but we were all DONE by that time anyhow. I think the St. Tammany Parish fair, a couple of years ago, was a better experience for the kids. It was a bigger park and the first day of the fair started early in the day. We were able to go long before there were big crowds. We will probably only go to a fair every couple of years because it is expensive and a hassle. The kids love it and it's something close to home that supports the town. I guess it's worth the money. Maybe. Sort of. Probably not.
The best part of the night was a taco bar and apple nachos by Nanny Jaime! We probably could have stayed at Nanny's and had just as much fun for a lot less money. Lesson learned.
Charlie loved the tea cups so much that we did them twice.
I used my wide angle lens at the fair because I knew I'd be in close proximity with the kids the whole time. After using my 50mm for so long I now notice the distortion a wide angle gives an image. That was the only lens I used for over a year and I never noticed. I guess I just didn't realize what I was looking at.
He is super cute no matter the lens.
At least I got Sammy to look at me for a cousin pic. Paul was being too silly to cooperate.
Just some blur for fun. This is what the whole 2 hours felt like to me.
Riley had art day at school (hence the butterflies on her face), got picked up in carline, had strawberries at Mae Mae's, dinner and dessert at Nanny's, and the strawberry festival. She was one happy, excited little girl!
After this picture we discovered Charlie was sitting in some stranger's gum. Yuck! This was right before the ride started. She was able to sort of enjoy the ride, but not really. Don't blame her. I'd have been disgusted too.
8 years has flown by! Happy Anniversary to us!
I can remember when I was a teenager, and when I was in college, pining away for this life. I remember that I just wanted a glimpse of what my future held. I no longer want a glimpse. Today is perfect. Tomorrow isn't here yet. I know Denis can say the same. We adore Jesus, each other, and our children. We both have jobs we love and are healthy. What more can we ask for? With confidence I can say we have let God direct us down this path in life. We have yet to be disappointed, and I doubt we ever will be. So to ALL of you that ask "how many more kids are you going to have?" "Are you pregnant yet?" It's not really any of your business or ours. WE DO NOT KNOW ! We really do let God lead our lives. It is not up to us. We have great faith that even if we have times of trial that God will guide us through with the reason for bringing us closer to him. We are open for whatever He wants for us.
Ok, enough sappy stuff.
My sweet man hid 8 cards all over the house. He sent me text messages all day telling me where to look next. Then I got a dozen roses and some awesome chocolate! If this was because he had to work on our anniversary then I hope he works next year too. :)
He's simply the cutest boy I've ever met (of course I'm biased). Keep scrolling. These get even better.
Charlie got her first cabbage patch kid from Nanny Jaime for Easter. Riley has mine from when I was a kid and she adores it. I'm so glad Charlie has one now too. As you can see below she is such a good little momma.
Everything on her, behind her, and next to her is all her doing. Messy girl. I guess we should have picked up a little before we took video. Oh well. You get to see my house for real.
One of the many April fools jokes from the lovely hubs. Upside down pictures (all over the house), moved kitchen drawers, cereal in the wrong boxes, and my underwear knotted together in one long rope. The kids and I laughed all day!
The speed of life.
We went to the Olive Garden for an Easter egg hunt Saturday morning. Denis organized this for his team member's children. He'd delegated to other people to hide the eggs, but when we got there it wasn't done yet. He had to run out to hide the eggs and I got to take pictures of my kids with this yummy natural light pouring into his restaurant.
Checking out the goods after the OG hunt.
The Easter Bunny stopped here and now we are all 5 lbs heavier.
How about that hair?
I can't get her to kiss me for anything. She'll sure kiss her daddy though.
This was one of the first pictures I took in our 2 minute session before heading out for church Easter morning.
Camille kept running through the banner. Then I realized Paul was holding his water gun.
I enlisted Denis to help a little too late. For some reason he thought I wanted him in the picture. Definitely not, but that's ok because we ended up with this hilarity.
Paul really isn't thrilled that I took his water gun away. Then Denis yelled "get in the car" and they all took off. Oh well. They're cute no matter what right?
This is totally a Pinterest idea. I did work hard on these all week though. These are hollowed out real egg shells. I hand painted them and put a Christian message in each for the kids.
We gave each kid a coloring sheet to match the message hidden in their egg.
What they each thought about their eggs. Paul thought it was cool, Camille didn't care, Riley thought it was too pretty to smash, and Charlie just watched how the other kids reacted and had a mixture of emotions about hers.
What they each did to their eggs.
Well, I did Camille's. She didn't have a clue that she was supposed to smash/crack it.
Riley won this bunny at the egg hunt Easter Sunday. She was rolling around in the grass with it saying,
"this is the best Easter E V E R!"
I didn't know there were loose nerds in some of the eggs from the egg hunt. Oops. It didn't take Camille long to figure out what to do with them.
We have framed pictures from my childhood church, Denis' childhood church, our church in college, and the church from our previous city. We've been in this city for 3 years and I'm just now getting the picture I want of our church. I tried once before, but didn't like the outcome, so I never printed it. I will print this one and put it in the frame that's been hanging empty for 3 years. Finally.
I just love the Easter season. What a great excuse to have an egg salad sandwich!
Mae Mae has a different type of egg for each of her grandchildren. We don't go to their house Easter Sunday, so they brought my kids eggs over a few days early. Denis hid them in our yard. All but Camille had a fun time hunting. Camille didn't like having to put her eggs (hearts) in the basket. She wanted to sit and play with the first one she picked up.
She's a climber. (Denis was right there in case she fell).
Zoo fun with the Kelley's
Paul is the sweetest big brother. He adores his baby sister. I think he's going to miss her when he goes to school. Charlie has had a bit of a time acting out since we've had Camille. She's kind of mean to her. Paul sets such a good example of how to treat a baby. It's been rubbing off on Charlie. Thankfully, she's getting better and better with Camille.
I have no idea why these next 2 photos look a little green. They didn't initially, but do now. Maybe you won't notice. I'm sure you wouldn't have if I didn't say anything. Like Denis says, just keep quiet and no one else will know.
They could play with caterpillars anywhere, but choose to do so at the zoo. Seriously?
These boys are fabulous. We are so lucky to know them and most of all have them as zoo pals. Nobody else could do the zoo like we do. It takes us ALL day to go through the little bitty Baton Rouge Zoo, and we don't even see all of the exhibits!
We are ready to celebrate Jesus' resurrection in the secular way. This is the first year we've grown real grass in our baskets. I think we started a week too early. Here it was perfect. By the time Easter came it was much taller and crazy looking.
I get Riley for a whole week! Yay! She is so great with Camille when she wants to be. Most of the time she's too busy to give her a second glance, but I caught them playing together this afternoon.
My big girl is an artist through and through. I hope she will use her talent for something great one day.
Does she really need this many mediums to create her art?
I had a few random plans for the day when my sister called me to go look at wreaths with her. There's a lady in my neighborhood that makes beautiful ones. I bought Jaime a Saints one last year, and it seems to be her favorite. The lady that makes the wreaths opened a shop a while back, so we went to check it out. To our surprise it is located in the side part of a shipping store. This worked out perfectly because I was able to mail my NILMDTS cd to my most recent client while she shopped for a wreath. She picked up a summer wreath and saw a plastic Easter egg in the pail hanging on it. When she asked the workers they said it was part of an Easter egg hunt Sassy Decor and More was holding for their customers. If you found the golden egg you got the below Easter basket free. We searched high and low for 30 minutes. We were NOT giving up! Finally I found it on top of a greeting card display. It was blending in with a card about the same color. I know I looked in that spot once or twice before, but I guess just not at the right angle. Jaime got her wreaths and we got a free basket. I was thinking if I didn't have Charlie with me I would have divided the items up in my kids Easter bunny baskets. Since she was with me I let the kids dig in. They were well entertained and still have plenty of activities to do.
There were 4 Melissa & Doug activities, a paint book, doodle pad, giant color by dot coloring book, Melissa & Doug triangle crayon pack and a watercolor paint set, Reese's eggs, bubbles, fancy bubble wands, a jump rope, a garden tool, a white chocolate bunny, little chocolate bunnies, and a stuffed bunny (Charlie's favorite).
There's no telling what it cost to put that basket together. It is definitely more than I could or would spend on my kids for Easter. We do try to teach them to not be so materialistic. We actually scaled down a bit for Easter this year. They just have so much stuff! After the kids went to bed last night I had the thought that we should have donated the basket to a shelter with kids, or a church that could give to a family in need. Since I didn't have that thought until my kids did half of the activities we will donate some extra money to a charity this Easter.
Thank you Sassy Decor and More for the fun hunt and the continued fun my kids are having with their new toys/activities. Believe it or not Paul and Charlie have played with the bubbles most. That's something that we always have, but I guess there's something special about new container of bubbles.
I cannot consistently focus properly when videoing with my 1.2 lens. That's what happened to be on my camera this time, so I went with it. So sorry that the focus is actually on Charlie's head.
Denis' project this week turned out nice. I love it from outside, but it's taking some getting used to from inside of my house. He built one at the old house and we had muscadines growing on it. By the time we moved out it was B E A U T I F U L ! The kids had fun eating those because they got to spit out the seeds and skin. This time we are trying seedless green and purple grapes though. I can't wait for the grapevines to start growing!
B E F O R E
Notice the difference harsh daytime light and shadows creates opposed to nice evening light in the after image.
A F T E R
Deep in thought
(not really, this only lasted 2 seconds).
This baby was so miserable all day. Her daddy played and distracted her the last hour of the evening. This ended up putting her in such a good mood that I didn't want to put her to bed. She was so happy for the first time all day that I wanted to enjoy her a bit longer.
Come out, come out, where ever you are (I'm saying that to her tooth that must be coming in).
I love this age! This little boy is my pal! He is such a great helper and big brother. If I haven't said this already I'm saying it now, I am going to miss him so much when he starts school in August. (You will probably read this 100 more times between now and then.)
The kids got gooey fake lizards and frogs from a birthday party recently. They had a blast playing with them. Camille did NOT ! This is so funny to me. Maybe that makes me a mean mommy, but I couldn't help but laugh. It is also super funny when she sees somebody with bunny ears. She screams and shakes until they get away from her. She is scared of just about everything. Although, she did learn to accept her Peek-a-boo bear from Santa.
She goes, and goes, and goes. My usually sweet angel has been sick with a cold this week. She is kind of acting like she's teething again. I also saw her pull at an ear a few times today. I've never had a kid with an ear infection, but she just might. B E A R , was her name today. Ask Nanny Jaime, she was around to witness. Not fun! This was a few weeks ago when she actually felt good.
Oh the faces...
If you do not think this is the most adorable jegginged (I'm sure not a real word) butt you ever saw then surely you are mistaken.
After my dad's crawfish bday party (pictures a ways below) we went to church with him. After church we walked over to the gym to see the St. Joseph's Altar. I've never seen it before (that I can remember). It was impressive, gaudy, and beautiful all at the same time. I probably shouldn't say gaudy when describing a communities offering to the poor, but I did, oops.
If you would like to read about the altar and it's meaning please go to this link for a great, simple explanation.
This Rosary cake was incredibly beautiful. The rosary is a very powerful prayer right out of scripture. I have always felt the presence of God when praying it. Maybe that's why I loved this cake so much.
The kids were fascinated as well. I'm not sure what they were talking about here, but they sure had big eyes that wanted to dig into that candy.
W O W
This is the table where the costumed children, pretending to look for shelter, find sustenance at the altar.
This made my day! Caroline, Marshall, and Jaime showed up at my house with this awesome bundle of flowers from my grandmother's yard. She must be smiling down knowing that she is still spreading joy with her flowers.
Planting grass seed in their Easter baskets. I've been wanting to do this for years and finally remembered early enough this year. This was a week ago. You should see the baskets now! They look awesome!
Hard at Play
Any excuse to party is good for the Guagliardo's! Happy Birthday dad! I believe it was a successful party. Fun was had by ALL. Thank you so much Jess and Bern for hosting!
Camille spilled a capri sun (that she never should have had) all over her adorable dress. I let her run around naked until it was time to get dressed for church. I don't think anyone really cared, but I'm not entirely sure I should have let my one year old run around naked at a party (at least it was family party).
What an awesome, on purpose "photo bomb"
We sure love that Mal Mal!
Yummmm, I already want more.
I really do wish I could find the picture of me and Mal wearing matching orange shirts and hats. It would be fun to see the difference years later.
It was hard to get these lit because of the wind. As soon as Jaime and Jess finally got them lit and stood back all but one blew out!
Dad laughed and blew out the one candle that stayed lit.
Great job on the cake Jaime! It was delicious and I want more of it too.
Riley was fascinated with this baby crawfish. She said she was going to keep it forever. When I informed her that wasn't an option she went straight to Aunt Jess and convinced her to keep it. News flash Aunt Jess: SHE WILL NOT FORGET THAT YOU PROMISED HER YOU WOULD KEEP IT. It would be wise to think up a cover story for when she asks you where it is.
Paul had a blast playing wiffle ball. He's a good hitter! Charlie loved lining them all up and fighting for a bat. I never did figure out what she wanted the bat for. It certainly wasn't to play the game. Camille kept running in the way of the game, so I had to put the camera down and entertain her. I have no idea what Riley was doing. Maybe she was playing with Maggie. IDK.
Apparently, once we left, the remaining crew played adults vs. kids and had a blast. Adults won (go figure). It'll be a funny day when those kids are old enough and coordinated enough to kick the adults behinds!
This poor, deprived fella had to shave and go back to work instead of going to dad's crawfish bday celebration. I'm so sorry Denis. Maybe I'll get you some crawfish this week. He wasn't thrilled about the photo or the above fact. Can't you tell from that smirk?
Denis was on vacation all week. Guess where he spent the majority of his time: THE YARD! Here's a small portion of his efforts. I can't wait until it all grows and fills in! Now he's working on a pergola by the house. I wish somebody would just pay him to do our yard work. Too bad life doesn't work that way.
I love this, but it doesn't even look like her.
The first year of calendar pictures are complete! It was a bit aggravating, a lot of hard work, and mostly fun. I do love how you can see how much she's grown in such a short time. Laughing is a must when you see how thrilled she is in the last picture.