Saturday, July 31, 2010

turning twenty seven

that's right, folks. i'm now well into my late twenties.

more to come on this year's celebration
(plus, emily's reflections on her growth and development).

in the meantime, check out my candle-blowing/baby-making skillz:

Friday, July 30, 2010

denny creek rock slide

our first family of four hike.

about a mile and a quarter to a natural rock slide
(complete with ice cold mountain water)
that the girls just loved.

what we failed to capture on film was emily carrying afton in front
and bryan's ginormous backpacking pack on back.

'twas a sight to behold, i'm told.

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

special delivery

handsome aksel james wheeler was born july 26, 2010 (a full month early!)
to proud parents james and michele.

a special welcome to the brand-newest wheeler!

weather girl

it's 81 degrees inside the house,
and this is how sweet summer comes downstairs from her nap:

gloves, hat, slippers, sweater and all.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

the high seas

here is video documentation of summer's initial feelings toward
the fine art of boating. (for those of you who can't quite understand,
she's screaming, "i want to go to time out!"):

afton is all "puffed" up in her lovely orange life vest.
i think she's really feeling the love.

eventually summer warms up to the whole idea, and
we have to reign in her enthusiasm.

bryan. swan dive.

summer eyes the marina suspiciously.

afton decides it's time to go home.

all up, it was a fabulous maiden voyage for the wheeler clan.
thanks, rob, for taking us out!

Friday, July 23, 2010

imagine me and you

i do.

i think about you day and night.

it's only right.

to think about the one you love.

and hold her tight.

so happy together.

farewell to summer's main man, k-dawg.
we'll see you in a few years upon your triumphant return from prague!

summer says she'll wait for you
(but we've all heard that line before...)

sleeping beauty

Saturday, July 17, 2010

new spice

i haven't traditionally published non-wheeler videos on my blog, but i loved this so much, i just couldn't resist.

Thursday, July 15, 2010

running with scissors

this cut here is an emily original. it started out as just a trim. but it wasn't even. then she was moving her head. then it started to curl. and my hand slipped. then it wasn't even again. pretty soon, poor summer was almost out of hair (and i'm fairly certain it's still not even).

summer doesn't seem to really care -- though after my most recent "fix it" she told me "no more haircuts, mama." so i suppose that means my stint as a rogue hairstylist is over.

just put the scissors down and back away slowly.

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

self-portrait revisited

today was one of those days. between my boundary-pushing two year old and my put-me-down-for-one-second-and-i'll-scream-my-head-off one year old, there just wasn't enough of me to go around. i snapped. things started to get all hazy. there was a ringing in my ears. nope, make that a screaming in my ears. uh-oh, make that my screaming in my we're in trouble.

and i was just beginning to feel like i was getting the hang of this. i mean, i took both girls out to a restaurant the other night. *by myself.*

sigh. serves me right for getting cocky.

toddlers and infants might not know how to do much, but they certainly know how to put momma right back in her place.

ah well, back to the drawing board.

Monday, July 12, 2010


the best part of birthdays?

the cake.

(from scratch-diddily-atch, no less)

afton wishes to be one forever!

and though baby afton is still fairly oblivious to the whole "birthday" concept, summer has finally gotten the hang of it. here she is serenading her baby sister with the international tune of b-day well-wishing:

but the official wheeler song of birthdays is this little ditty ala the ting tings.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

birthday baby

happy first birthday to our afton noelle!
born july 11, 2009, 1:07pm

Saturday, July 10, 2010

hose 'em down

on the eve of afton

wrong. wrong. wrong. i was so wrong about afton.

you see, after our first ultrasonic introduction, i made a prediction about afton's personality. i did the same with summer and was spot on. about afton, i said she “is quiet, deliberate and patient. she is focused, content and relaxed.” w.r.o.n.g.

perhaps that was wishful thinking on my part because we definitely have another fierce and feisty lady in the house. i guess it's the only way bryan and i can make ‘em. and while afton is a firecracker like her sister, she’s very much her *own* little firecracker. who knew there were so many different ways to have an explosive personality.

first off, afton is happy. she is literally the smiley-est baby that ever was. she’ll cheerily chatter away to anyone who will engage her. she loves to laugh and giggle and squeal with delight. and she’s got the cutest dimple to prove it. however, afton is also a SCREAMer. when she gets mad, it’s with a capital M-A-D. and come to think of it, she has very few moods in between.

afton is aggressive -- the likes of which i’ve never seen. this little baby does NOT get pushed around. if she sees something she wants, she’s after it (and my kudos to her for owning her happiness). if summer gets in the way, you can bet there will be a throw down. afton is certainly not just somebody’s “little sister.” she can hold her own and will let everyone know loud and clear and right away when she’s displeased.

on the flip side, afton can be very pensive. when she’s in a new or strange situation, she holds back and shys away -- almost as if she’s not even there. in such settings, she refuses to participate; instead, she dons a skeptical frown and looks at the rest of us like we’re idiots.

she does not like to get dressed up or wear bows or have her hair done (but you know that doesn’t stop me). she has big, beautiful olive-grey eyes (her very own concoction), fair skin, small feet, juicy cheeks, and sandy-blonde hair. she loves music and dancing and throwing food from her high chair. she is curious and clever and very quickly gets to the bottom of all life’s little baby riddles.

so happy birthday eve to my little miss sunshine. may you ever bring the world your God-given gift of jubilant vitality.

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

this little piggy

afton's first pigtails:

Tuesday, July 06, 2010

the sun will come out

get out the shorts! get out the popsicles!
get out the sunscreen!

it's official:
july 6, 2010 is the (long awaited) first day of summer

and thank heavens. we were beginning to think she'd forgotten about us.

Monday, July 05, 2010

wheeler family fourth

let's face it: summer hasn't really begun here in the pacific northwest.

and the dull weather we've been experiencing sort of put a damper (pun intended) on our festive fourth. of course, with the holiday falling on sunday this year, we were planning to be a bit more low key anyway.

we ended up having a picnic inside --which summer LOVED, lighting a few sparklers -- also a very favorite activity of summer's (afton, again, is proving to be a bit more difficult to please), and roasting marshmallows for s'mores over our gas stove -- no surprises there, summer was a big, big fan.

to top it all off, we fell asleep to the sweet lullaby of neighborhood fireworks bursting in the air.

let freedom ring.

a day at the zoo

owen made a twenty hour pit stop in seattle on his way from china back home to rochester, where yet another year of medical school anxiously awaited. we decided to exacerbate his jet lag and planned a forced family joy ride around the zoo.

led by our clever and astute navigator-ess, afton:
"to the left! to the left! always to the LEFT!"

is it just me, or is there something not
quite right about a hippo on dry land?

summer, our resident animal hater, surprisingly loved feeding the birds:

afton, as usual, was underwhelmed:

and here is summer waiting patiently during the
"changing of the guard" at the petting zoo:

once inside, she -- not so much surprisingly -- ran
from every living creature that came near her.

ah yes, we love the zoo.

Friday, July 02, 2010


good morning!

why, yes, i did put on my sweater all by myself.
how did you know?