Saturday, June 30, 2012

when daddy comes home

so in preparation for their father's midnight return from a week long business trip to london, the kiddos excitedly put together this little video for him to watch (baby caleb was especially thrilled to be involved):

and left out some delicious homemade granola bars in case he was hungry after a long, hard day of travel (bryan is almost always hungry):


he didn't come home.

turns out, his flight from london to new york was delayed five hours causing a missed connection to seattle and an overnight stay in new york.

sad face :(

here's hoping he makes it back this afternoon so that i can get a two day long nap, and he can spend the weekend catching up with all his little crazies.

daddy, daddy, please come home! we'll eat you up -- we love you so!

Friday, June 29, 2012

just because

captain lubbers and i get our self-portrait on:

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

when life gives you lemons

make lemonade:

then throw in a run through the sprinklers for good measure:

Tuesday, June 26, 2012

strawberry fields

the girls have been waiting and waiting and checking and 
asking every day for weeks now, but here she finally is:

the first strawberry of the season.

thanks, grandma janna, for weeding our strawberry beds (and planting some more) so 
that summer and afton could enjoy this momentous (and delicious) harvesting occasion!

Monday, June 25, 2012

what dreams may come

caleb and mommy. 
as photographed by bryan in the early morning hours.

Sunday, June 24, 2012

Saturday, June 23, 2012

insect ink

face painting at the local farmer's market:

Friday, June 22, 2012


frozen, dipped, and covered in sprinkles:

Thursday, June 21, 2012


as promised by the summer board, and featuring special guest star, megan:

ps - is afton just too cool for school, or what?

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

the summer board

it's officially summer!

now, to answer that burning question on everyone's mind:

yes, what do you do in the summer time?

there've been a lot of ideas around the blogosphere about how to keep the excitement going during the summer months, and so i thought i'd throw mine in to the pot.

we call it "the summer board" (catchy title, i know).

even though my kids aren't in school or anything, summer is still a sacred time around here. we must get out! and enjoy ourselves! before the rains come down (and the floods come up) and winter hibernation begins.

that being said, even in the summer time, "regular" life must go on (read: cooking and cleaning and laundry and diaper changing and napping and breastfeeding, et al.), so in order to avoid being overwhelmed by all that there is to do (and all that my kids beg and beg and plead to do), i thought, "let's just add one thing, one little but fun thing to do a day. maybe even things we'd do anyway, but we'll find a way to make them special."

so as a family, we came up with an open-ended list of varied activities to do this summer, and every morning, when the kidsies wake up, and after we get ready and do our morning chores, we come downstairs to see what utterly fantastic activity awaits us that day (and to a child, every activity is utterly fantastic when written in chalk).

but in reality, most of the activities are just small ways to celebrate summer and being together, and a lot of them are reusable, like finger painting or playing in the sprinklers or going on a hike -- stuff i'm sure we'll do multiple times over the next few months. a few ideas include gifts: new books! the world's biggest bubble wand! craft supplies! a board game!

and besides keeping summer and afton engaged, the summer board holds me accountable. if i just "say" we're going to paint our toenails or go get slurpees or visit the pet store, but then one thing leads to another and i get too busy, then those little summer activities could get shuffled aside.

but if it's written on the board, well then, it must be done: the board has spoken!

and for those of you who might be looking for some fun ideas to add to your list this summer, here are a few more of ours: getting our faces painted, making popsicles, having a water balloon fight, going berry picking, having a backyard campout, having a pajama party, doing a science experiment, making our own water color paints, playing croquet, stargazing, watching fireworks, having ice cream for breakfast, making lemonade (from lemons), going to a baseball game, going to the splash park, feeding the ducks, going on a family walk, making s'mores, finding bugs in the backyard, going to the zoo, playing with sidewalk chalk, making frozen banana pops, going to the butterfly garden, having a family car wash, staying up late, going to the lake, sharing a ginormous doughnut from the farmer's market...and really, whatever else we might think up along the way!

whew. that should keep we wheelers pretty busy (and full of delicious treats), right?

mickey blue eyes

so according to his recent check up, it looks like baby caleb is maintaining his membership in the "97th percentile club" for both weight and height.

basically, he's our little two month old baby trapped in the body of a four month old baby, with the eyes and facial expressions of a seventy year old man.

and he continues to be absolutely adored by summer and afton. in fact, sometimes i think that never in the history of the world has one little boy been loved so much by his big sisters.

what a heart throb.

Tuesday, June 19, 2012

date night

bryan and i try to make a conscious effort, whether we go out or not, to plan an activity that we do together on the weekends. it can be something small, but the point is that it is planned and on purpose. keeps that wheeler spark alive (wink, wink).

here's a sample:

first, we melt some chocolate.

then, we wash some strawberries.

then, we dip the strawberries in the chocolate.
(can you hardly keep up with all this excitement?!?) 

and then, we voraciously consume said chocolate covered 
strawberries -- there may or may not be mouths 
dripping and plate licking involved (not pictured).

and finally, we enjoy a friendly game of cards.

in which i totally get schooled by my husband. 
who, ps and bytheway, hates games but plays them anyway
because (a) he loves me and (b) he loves to beat me at them.

a sno cone summer

so even if the weather is not being too cooperative (c'mon, junuary: be gone already!), we're anxious to kick off el verano around here. 

and how might the wheelers celebrate the endless promise of an exciting and wonderful childhood summer? 

why, with sno cones, of course!

now, many moons ago, when bryan and i first moved to the seattle area and lived on mercer island, we decided one hot june evening to venture out and get us some delicious, icy sno cones.

easy peasy, right?


we went from parking lot to parking lot, grocery store to grocery store, up and down main streets, looking for one itty bitty, teeny tiny sno cone stand -- the ones we remembered so fondly from our college days (*cough* in the utah desert). to no avail.

what did we find instead?

espresso stands.

and that was when we knew we weren't in kansas any more.

so as part homage to that lovely (albeit unsuccessful), long ago, lazy summer dayz excursion, i bring you our first sno cone summer:

with many more to come.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

father's day photos

a close up of the pics:

a dad's day

posing with his littles.

 what summer has to say about her daddi-o.

bryan's requested menu for dinner: grilled steak, grilled pineapple, 
grilled asparagus, and twice baked potatoes. angel food cake for dessert.

Saturday, June 16, 2012

daddy's girl

these two are bonded.

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

under the sea

summer as a mermaid.

a mermaid who wears a scuba mask.

even while she eats her lunch.

two months

why hello there, two month old baby. what's new with you?

are you sleeping? check.
eating? check.
cooing? check.
smiling? double check.

of all the transitions i've made in mommyhood -- from zero to one, one to two, and now two to three children -- bringing Big Baby C home has been my easiest.

part of that comes with practice (it only took four and half years and three children, but hey, i'm actually starting to get this hang of this!), and part of it is that caleb is a good baby (huzzah! a good baby! it's *finally* my turn!).

of course, to be clear, all babies are "good" babies (yes, even little baby screams-a-lot-summer herself), but you know, some just sleep better, cry less often, and are happy pretty much doing whatevs.  so mad props to you, baby caleb.

crazy mad props.

Wednesday, June 06, 2012

john hancock

summer's first signature:

climbing trees

i'm thinking summer and afton had decidedly 
different feelings about their tree climbing experience.

Tuesday, June 05, 2012

new friends

this past weekend, baby caleb got to meet a few new friends.

cousin caitlin (two months older):

and cousin danton (one year older):

as far as new friends go, i think these ones are keepers.

showing off

mom's handiwork:

Monday, June 04, 2012

behind the scenes

a baby blessed

here he is, in all his baby blessed and 
officially named glory, our little michael caleb:

totally owning the uber hip "white knit sweater vest and 
shorts" look, sported first by cousin danton.