Monday, June 23, 2008

Mommy's little helper

Lately any time I am in the kitchen Gabrielle wants to be right there "helping" me, or at least watching what I am doing (and will throw a fit if she can't see what I am doing--ugh). Let me tell you that the other day I thought it was really hard, to hold her on my hip while I was getting supper ready--most things require more than one hand to do. So I decided to let her stand on a chair in one of the corner areas. She did a great job and really enjoyed it. And as you can tell, I rewarded her with a couple of the utensils that I had used to whip up some brownies. I think she really liked that part of being in the kitchen with me too! :)


Gabrielle still enjoys playing Peek-a-boo with us. Usually it involves the arm-protector thing from Nick's recliner in the living room. The other day it was the blanket from the couch. I think it's so adorable that she puts it on her head herself...hopefully she's just learning how to show us her own sense of humor!

More toys to climb on--yeah!!

Gabrielle had gotten this trike from my parents for Christmas, but I stuck it away for a while. She's at least learning how to climb on it without falling off (too much). Unfortunately, her feet don't quite reach the pedals yet, so we just push her around the living room on it.

Excited about her new toy!

Using her other toys to push-off of.

We also got a small outdoor play set this week for her to be able to climb on, but thought that it would be a good idea for her to get used to in in our living room first. Besides, as of now, she's not real sure about walking too much in the grass. Who ever heard of a child with a grass-aversion? Although, I'd have to say that she still pulls at it and tastes it when she gets the chance. :)

Did I also mention that it's been around 100 degrees (or more) every day since the beginning of May here? One more reason to leave it inside!

More fun climbing up the green side...I haven't gotten many pictures of her going down the slide yet, mainly because she goes so fast. But, also because she wants me there to "catch" her. I'm already proud of her that she doesn't need me to hold on to her hand or something like she did the first few days she used the slide.

PS-Obviously in these pictures she wasn't wearing her hair clip...I think it's going to be time soon to get a haircut if she can't leave her "pretties" in during the day *sigh*.

Monday, June 16, 2008

Happy Father's Day!!!

Gabrielle and her daddy enjoying a picture after church and a wonderfully-tasty Taco Bell lunch.

Our little cutie showing off for the camera a bit while we were getting her undressed for the evening!

She was clapping for herself...I'm not sure why, but her grin was TOO cute!

On the road again!

We took a scenic drive up to Santa Fe for the day, enjoyed a nice lunch, and drove through their downtown area. Unfortunately we didn't get out to walk around because Gabrielle was asleep in her car seat, and it looked pretty "tourist-ish" anyway.

A couple of pictures taken from the car on the "Turquoise Trail" just east of Albuquerque.

Beautiful mountains around us while we drove (and Gabi took a quick morning nap).

There was a quick stop at a shop where we bought a magnet and a trinket box. They also had a small petting zoo. We didn't feed them anything, but did stretch our legs and enjoy checking out a few animals that we didn't find at the zoo the day before!

On our way home we stopped for lunch in Roswell, NM--alien central. They are pretty darn serious about their space stuff here (since supposedly there was a UFO that actually landed here years ago). If for no other reason, I would guess that it at least makes tourists curious!!! Check out the McDonald's play area that was shaped like a space station. Neat!!!

Gabrielle getting a little climbing in after lunch.

Nick getting a little PlayStation time on the video games...

Ronald McDonald as an astronaut.

The McFlurry is a spaceship too hanging from the ceiling.

Just a quick picture that I took while we were driving out of town. I'll say it again...they are pretty serious about their aliens! Even the lampposts have creepy eyes painted on them!

Fun at the zoo and aquarium

Another picture of our little car-lover.
Trying to pass a little time before the zoo opened.

Quite a few of the animals just looked "tired" this morning. Several of the ones that we saw were just resting, but this tiger was actually up and walking around. Not too entertaining though, I guess, but better than some of the other animals.

We were a little worried that Gabrielle would be ready to leave around lunch time, but we actually got her to take a nap in her stroller for the first time--guess we just had to strap her in and lay it back.

Nick and I checked out a few more animals before we were done at the zoo and got on the train that would take us to the Aquarium and Botanical Gardens.

Once the train started Gabrielle woke up obviously refreshed and ready to see some more animals--great!

Our little photographic daughter after lunch. Now it's off to the Aquarium!!!

I'm not as brave as Jill petting sting rays from me!

Okay, so this is a Red Snapper fish, and supposedly there's a really funny movie clip referencing this fish...or so Nick says--

There was a cylindrical shaped tank that held lots of neat jelly fish--obviously one of Gabi's favorites of the day.

Gabrielle more interested in getting into my purse than checking out the fish...go figure!

Puffer fish (I think)...

Having a little fun with mommy!

Only a mother could love that face!

After another train ride we are back to the zoo, and ready to head back to our hotel for the day (and naps for all!).

Got some much better pictures of some of the animals, including my favorite, the giraffe!

And, it just so happened that I wanted to check out the polar bears on the way back to the car, and they were just getting ready to feed them. It was crowded around the fence, so I don't think that Gabrielle got to see much of the action, but Nick sure got some great pictures of them jumping into the water and checking all the people out!

Asking a random stranger to take our picture made me panic about how so many times in the movies they run off with the camera. I guess ours wasn't that exciting for the guy who took our picture. A fun day for all of us...I would totally recommend the Albuquerque Zoo if you are in the area!

Our trip to Albuquerque

Sorry I've been so late in getting new pictures posted from our vacation last week. It's been a crazy week with Nick leaving extra early for work in the mornings, and not returning home until 8 or 9 pm. And, Gabrielle and I have been taking a "Mommy-toddler" swim class in the evenings too. What a week...good thing a friend is going to watch Gabrielle this morning so that I can go get a haircut--the last one I had was before Christmas break! And, on top of all that, Nick and I are headed out to a Shrimp Dinner "thing" tonight...I don't know all the details, but I do have a babysitter lined up!

So, here's some of my favorite pictures from our New Mexico vacation last week...

Check out the houses in the distance. A lot of the houses were flat on the top...makes me think that they probably don't get much rain here, or they'd probably have lots of roof-leaking-problems.

Gabrielle enjoying a new toy in the car--a little Barbie "junior" that Grandma Reinke had given her at Christmas, and I thought she was finally old enough to enjoy (and it was nice and small to pack in the car!).

A little family pool time before we went to bed. Gabrielle really liked this floaty thing the first night in the pool, which was great because I didn't feel that I had to hold on to her every second. But, sadly after the first few nights, she thought that she was more than capable to get out of it and swim on her own (just like mommy, I guess). So, our other couple of nights in the pool were unfortunately shortened versions of the first night.

Our little girl already wanting to drive. People tell me that your child grows up so quickly, so I'm sure she'll be 16 before I know it! Actually Gabi and I were waiting in the car while Nick went in to a guitar entertainment for us, I guess! :)

A picture at dinner...a restaurant at the bottom of a tram that we didn't get to take to the top of the mountain because it was too windy the week that we were there.

Daddy and Gabi with full bellies after our meal...overlooking the city of Albuquerque in the distance below.

Gabrielle enjoying the nice weather and the wonderful mountains around us.