16 months...going on 16 years!!

Our little booger is 16 months now! And, she thinks she is something special...but so do we! She loves playing dress up with my jewelry!

Our 1st Family Vacation-Lake Tahoe

We just came back from our 1st family vacation to Lake Tahoe! It is so beautiful in Lake Tahoe, or I guess I should say the Lake Tahoe area! Piper's Grandpa & Grandma are there vacationing for a few weeks and invited us to join them for a few days! We flew for a total of 8 hours and were on 4 different planes, but Piper did well considering that plus her age and the fact that she would not sleep even though I gave her benadryl! The girl doesn't want to miss a thing...like her mama! (On a side note: Let me just say I LOVE people who are nice and try to talk to your child and 'play' with them! If you ever see a parent of a young child in a situation like this, give their kid some attention b/c it helps us soooo much!!! ) The last flight home was a bit tough and I'm sure those around us were annoyed b/c we were THAT family with THAT crying/screaming baby! Ha! All in all, Piper really adjusted better than I expected! She absolutely loved Grandma & Grandpa's dog, Sandy! Sandy provided Piper with entertainment, laughter, and squeals! This vacation was relaxing, restful, and great family time for us! The views are amazing! I have never seen lake water that is so clear and blue, not to mention the beautiful trees, mountains and sky! Here is Grandpa & Grandma with Piper on the day we took a road trip around the entire lake!

No more pictures please!!!!

Emerald Island

We went to the beach one day to feed the geese and play in the sand. Piper hated it!!!! She screamed so loud when we made her stand in the sand. And, getting her feet wet was even worse! It was comical to us, but not her!

One day we went for a nature walk. We thought we'd hike a lot so we borrowed a hiking pack for Piper but it only got used this one time! She didn't like it at first but after a bit she was fine and enjoyed patting Daddy's back and head! I enjoyed this walk a lot!

The weather was beautiful and we got to take advantage of it by riding a big boat around the lake and learning more about Tahoe's history. This is us before boarding!
Emerald Island...the only island on the lake. There is an old structure on top that was a former tea house in which a private citizen used for entertaining guests. Her big house (now a museum) is on the shore. (you know, I'm a nerd about facts when on vacation!)

Michael and I took a gondola ride to the top of a mountain and we were able to see all of Lake Tahoe and several surrounding areas for miles and miles!

When the baby is away, the parents play!! Grandma & Grandpa watched Piper for us while we were on the gondola outing and again that night so we could go on a date!!!

Thanks Larry & Diana for a great time! We really enjoyed it and will be thankful for the memories for years to come!


The Latest Achievements

Will she be a soccer star??
Playing with Daddy. Piper likes to go up behind us and 'get' us!
We've been working on eating w/a spoon! It's a slow and messy process!!
We probably need to be working on eating more from a bowl too as you can see her messy tray in the picture!
1st 'big' girl piggy tails. She felt so proud of them as she looked in the mirror and scrunched her nose up and giggled!

Piper has been so fun lately! Her little personality makes us laugh all the time. She is stubborn like her Mama, sensitive and nice like her Daddy. She is definitely a girl by the mood swings that take place throughout the day! I guess it just makes things interesting, huh!?! Naps are getting a little better but not perfect! She now recognizes a tractor and growls at the sight of one. It's her way of saying 'vroom, vroom.' When I tickle her I say, 'tickle, tickle, tickle' and use my fingers to crawl up her arm. She has been trying to do that and say it, but it sounds like 'lul-lul-lul' with her tongue twisting! And, she has finally figured out the spider movement with her fingers to "Itsy bitsy spider" and all weekend has been coming up to me doing the spider movement and saying, 'uh-uh, issy-issy-issy, uh-uh' until I start singing the song! She has added some new words to her vocabulary in the past week but the one word she says over and over is 'shoes'!! I think we may have an accessories girl!!! Piper continues to be more loving and affectionate to both Michael and I as well as a tendency to try and get a laugh out of us! It doesn't take too much! I've had several people say to me "I think she is going to have the gift of mercy someday and then I have another handful of people who say, "She's a firecracker!" so it will be so neat to see how the Lord will shape her personality and gifts to serve others! I can't wait!


Buying Name Brand Diapers for Cheap!!!!

Okay, I feel led to share this with you b/c I think it's great! I am not an expert by any means and I'm not trying to be like one of 'those' blogs in which they feature good deals or money tips but I have some great advice about saving money on diapers! This info works for me and it may not be for you so keep that in mind! In my opinion, there is no reason to ever spend more than $6 on a pack of name-brand diapers unless you are picky! This week I was able to purchase 6 packs of Huggies for $21! That is $3.50 a pack!!!! Which is way better than generic pricing! Here's how!! (Bare with me as I explain!)

First let me say, you have to be willing to put a little time and energy into making this work and have patience but if saving money is money is important to you....it's definitely worth the hassle!!!!

I used to like Pampers and also was open to generic brand diapers but soon realized that Huggies go on sale a lot! Normally Huggies diapers are about $11, but at least once a month, CVS & Walgreens sells them for $9 a pack. And if you go to http://www.coupons.com/, you can print a coupon for $3 off the Huggies pure and natural diapers. BUT-this coupon works on ANY Huggies diaper. (The pure and natural diapers never/rarely go on sale!) So here was my money-saving strategy this week! This week at CVS, Huggies diapers are on sale for $9 a pack. If you buy 2 packs then you receive $4 in Extra Care Bucks back. ECB's are like free money. Basically, it is $4 worth of CVS money to use on another purchase. I purchased 2 packs at $18 and used 2 -$3 off coupons from coupons.com; therefore, making my total $12 plus tax, but I had 2 ECB's from another purchase that I used towards this purchase so I actually purchased my diapers for $10! Now on the coupons--I had 3 already from last month but I printed two more at my home and two more at my local library b/c you can only print 2 per computer and you can always find a diaper sale to use these on! Now, I went back to CVS yesterday b/c I had my 4 ECB's from the other day, 3 more $3 off coupons, and a 'spend $25 and get $5 off 'CVS coupon and I purchased 3 packs of diapers and was able to get those for $10 plus tax!! Okay-stay with me!!! And, now today I plan to go to Walgreens b/c they have Huggies diapers on sale also, but are not offering any kind of ECB/register reward back with purchase. (that's why I originally purchased my diapers at CVS.) But, today I'm going to Walgreens to buy one pack b/c I have one more $3 off Huggies coupon and $5 worth of Walgreens register rewards from another purchase made which are just like CVS's ECB's. The diapers are $9 a pack there. I will have $3 off coupon plus $5 in register rewards making the diaper pack $1 plus tax!!!!! The sales are always different in that you may not get to receive any kind of store reward for you purchase but if you do it makes it even better! CVS has all kinds of store coupons! They email me one at least 3 times a month. Also, if you go to their pharmacy and ask for the coupon booklet there are all kinds of deals like 'spend $20, get $4 off' and that $20 is before coupons are used! I've really been trying to coupon and bargain shop more and I have a ton to learn but this is one thing that I've come across and think is great! The best advice is to print as many of those Huggies $3 off coupons as possible! Ask family to do it for you, go to the library, etc.! (Last fall they had a $5 off coupon for a while and I was able to buy over a years worth of wipes for less than $10!!!!) One more thing...if you visit this site and register http://www.caregiversmarketplace.com/FrameSetup.asp, then you can send in all your huggies receipts and receive 75 cents back per huggies item purchased! I have not done this yet but plan to and it will increase my saving even more!

I know this is a lot of info but you can do it and it's really not that difficult once you do it! I'd be more than happy to walk you through it over the phone or in person if it is possible! It's a little mind boggling at first but so, so worth it in my opinion!

Good luck!


Summer Fun!

Piper is in LOVE with Daddy!
Two of our nieces, Anna & Olivia, stayed with us for a few days. We really enjoyed having them here and realized the HUGE difference between having one child and having three! Piper liked having them around but made it known when she wanted to be left alone! ha! Anna was a big help to me with Piper! She really wanted to take care of her!

While they were here, we went to the splash pad and park a few times, swam in the backyard blow-up pool, had movie nights, ate snow cones, mcdonald's and much more junk food! Hey--I'm there aunt; we are suppose to have fun like that!

Piper LOVES her big blow-up pool! She is a little fishy!
One night it started raining and we let the girls go outside in their clothes and play in the rain. They wanted to get in the pool while it rained too. Piper wanted in on the action so we gave in and let her go out there too!
And, Michael had to join them too!
The remote is Piper's favorite toy right now. She acts like she can change the channels and she uses it as a phone. It's so cute! She put the remote up to her ear and says, "Hi! Hi!" And then begins to jibber jabber like she is talking on it!
She likes Oscar!
And, I may have mentioned this before but she loves to play dress-up right now with any of my clothes she can find in my drawers. Yes, this is a bra! And, normally she puts on several pairs of underwear in addition to that and walks around the house!

Piper has been learning her animal noises recently. I've decided to work on one or two a week. So far, she says "woo, woo" for a dog; "rrrr" for a lion; "ooo" for a cow; and ah-ah for a monkey! She has added 'Hot' to her vocabulary as well as 'shoes' and she has begun to mimic the sounds of my words when I'm trying to get her to say something! Piper has also started to 'pretend.' She will get her fork and spoon and carry it around and try to feed me. I take a pretend bite and chew and then she takes a pretend bite and makes the noises associated with eating! And, like I mentioned earlier, she is pretending to talk on the phone with any object that she can put up against her ear!