Thursday, August 18, 2011

A Day in the Life of Callie (August Edition)

On Wednesday, August 17th, Josh and I spent the day capturing Callie's expressions and activities! I love doing these "Day in the Life of Callie" for more than one reason:

1. We have a lot of family and friends who live so far away-this is a great way for them to see Callie growing and what all she is doing!
2. Eventually, I am going to make a book with all of our blog posts (it's a GREAT feature for bloggers) - it'll be a hardcover - almost textbook like! All our posts and colored pictures! It'll cost an arm and a leg to make, but we have captured so many amazing things in our blog that I am very excited to continue these posts so we'll always have these memories!
3. I love recapping Callie's days- it helps me feel like a better mom knowing we are doing fun things with her :)

It was Joshs' morning to wake up with Callie (we rotate mornings in the summer and on weekends during the school year-that way one of us is guaranteed to get a good nights sleep). Here is our Morning Princess! Just like daddy - blinking for a photo!

In the mornings, we try to take her downstairs to cuddle, drink some milk, relax on the couch! We always have PBS Kids on - but it's more for Josh and I to try and wake up :) Callie doesn't like watching cartoons, and if she does, it's for seriously 1-2 minutes! I'm okay with that though! My favorite is Curious George! Josh really likes Super Why - it's a great educational cartoon for kids!

Mom's awake & it's breakfast time :) Let's start with yogurt and blueberries! Yes, mixing them together is GREAT fun :) And did you notice who is NOW at the table! Yup, we have officially moved away from the high chair and into the booster chair at the table :) Big girl!

I asked Callie if she wanted to have eggs for breakfast - she said "egg" - so I took that as a yes :) YUMMY! Only mommy and Callie like eggs in this house :)

Time to get ready for the day - we are getting ready to head out on a fun McRae Family Fun Day! Brushing teeth and washing our face...she looks cute and ready to go :)

We ventured into Harmony, MN to a place called Niagara Cave! I had heard about it and did a little research! It was about an hour from Austin and totally worth the drive! When we arrived, we had a picnic lunch on the grass - figured we'd fill our tummies BEFORE heading into the cave for our hour long tour :)

Everybody was Kung Fu Fighting...Those cats were fast as lightning :) Haha - it looks like she's doing karate or something...just walking around and talking with her hands - wonder where she gets that from :)

Story has it that the Niagra Cave was first discovered by a farmer. His three pigs went missing and soon realized they had fallen into a small hole in the ground - he realized just how deep this hole was, so he asked some local kids to climb down and rescue his pigs! This was back in the late 1800's if I remember correctly - so sure, why not! The soon discovered the caves and in the 1920's opened it up for tours! Paths were dug up and electricity was installed!

There are a lot of stairs, very narrow paths and it's wet - so strollers were not allowed! We thought we'd try out the carrier - and surprisingly, at her size, she took it and allowed us to carry her around :) Correction - allowed Daddy to carry her around! Up and down stairs with Callie in front of him - Wow, that must have felt GREAT on your back :) We chose to have her in the front so she would have a good view of everything!

#1 rule inside the cave - DO NOT TOUCH THE WALLS! Okay, I can make sure I do not touch the walls :) This cave is still growing/expanding - naturally - so if the oils from our skin touch the walls, we can hinder the growth of the cave...this rule was expressed to us so many times! Okay, we will not touch the walls!

It was awesome inside! Quick recap - My sister, Heidi & her family used to live in El Paso, TX. When I was in High School, I would go visit for one week EVERY spring break - it was AWESOME :) A couple times they brought me to Carlsbad Caverns - an A-MAZING Cave! Now Niagra Cave was not as big, but it was still very cool to see - and to think - it's by us :) YEAH!
This was the natural waterfall that was inside the cave. I wish we could have gone to the bottom of it - but that just wasn't an option.

Daddy showing Callie the waterfall and letting her look over the edge of the bridge we were on - VERY far drop! Callie kept saying "Woda" her version of water! Notice we're in jeans and sweatshirts! That's because it was 46 degrees inside - year round! Josh chose NOT to wear a sweatshirt, because he was carrying Callie around and figured he'd get hot!

Apparently this section grows 1 square inch every 100 years...think of how long it took for this big section to form! Amazing! Oh remember what I said about NOT TOUCHING THE WALLS! Yeah, well, Josh and I did not touch the walls, but how do you tell a 17 month old not to touch the walls when the walkways are TINY - so tiny that I literally was walking with my hands crossed in front of me so I wouldn't touch the walls!

The evidence was all over her - turns out, the cave really is still growing, and water really is present! The walls looked like mud all over her hand! I wanted to capture a picture, but it was so dark inside that only a few pictures actually really turned out :)

AND - you can get married inside the cave! Who would have thought, right! Looks like you can only invite 10 people! Actually, our guide told us that 30 is typically the number of guests - 40 being the absolute most! I wouldn't want to wear a white gown down in there :) I wonder where they get dressed and ready for their wedding - some nook and cranny?

This one is called "Paul Bunyan's Bed" it was a long section that looked like it had been dug out - very cool looking!
It was at this point that Callie decided she was tired and didn't really want to be down here anymore....luckily she stuck with it and wasn't too bad!

This is an example of one of the narrow paths - this area was also known as "The Grand Canyon" as it was over 250-300 feet below our entering surface!

Daddy & Callie still sticking with it - walking through the narrow paths and under the rock! There were a lot of "low lying" areas!

The best we could get! A family photo inside the cave, before heading back up to the entrance! The stairs going up SUCKED! I didn't think it would be that bad, but turns out - very steep, slippery stairs is not fun :) I felt REALLY bad for Josh at this point! Luckily, Callie still weighs 22 pounds!

WE MADE IT! Daddy taking a little break as soon as we were out of the cave! Callie was super tired, but what a trooper! I think she's about to capture her 2nd wind!

Here is the map of where we went! Callie was checking it out and is showing great enthusiasm :)

Mommy and Callie outside Niagara Cave! Ah yes, back to sunshine and warmth! It was a very quick reminder that we are NOT ready for winter to come...

I love this picture that Josh took :) I love my girl so much!

When we first walked in, I said, "There are some pigs - that's a weird statue to have outside a cave" - after the tour, we quickly realized WHY there were pigs...the poor lost pigs found this cave! Oh yea, I forgot to mention this - the pigs had dropped so many hundred feet...and when the boys found them - they were ALIVE still!

Then I told Josh - we live in a town that kills pigs and we took a McRae Family Fun Day trip to a place where pigs discovered beautiful caves... coincidence!?

Josh captured some great pictures of the butterfly!

We let Callie run around for a bit on the playground before heading back home! We knew she was tired and would fall asleep right away in the car, but figured she should stretch her legs a bit!

She loves slides and climbing on play structures :)

She also likes to do this - sit down, hold onto the sides and then just hang there! Silly little Monkey :)

When we got home, we were all tired! Callie was trying to convince daddy to play, but he was tired too!

So we ate dinner instead! It was leftover night - everything came out of the fridge and we ate up whatever leftovers we had (every now and then we do this...not my favorite meal, but it works!) Callie finished up some BBQ Ribs, peas and fruit! Josh and I enjoyed the leftover French Dip - which I have mastered by the way :)

When she finished, I gave her a bowl of cottage cheese! I think this girl is going to turn into cottage cheese one of these days! Notice her place mat was missing in this picture- that's because she thinks it's fun to THROW it on the floor! That "bag" hanging on her chair is actually a "wheel chair bag" - I bought it, decorated it, and it now houses her bibs, the tray to her chair, and some books and things to keep her occupied while we are getting her food ready!

After supper, Callie was ready to do something - lately she has this fetish with putting on her shoes! We can't help her and if we try to at least open the velcro on one of her straps, she freaks out! So this is what she often does...puts her shoes on by herself!

So I decided it was time for a walk :) Callie and I ventured out to our traditional evening walk - this time, the park! This is the closest park to our house, which I kind of like, because we have to walk to get there, but it's not close enough that it isn't special when we go!

There was a little puppy that was going for a walk and Callie kept watching this puppy for the longest time! She didn't stop looking until we reached a different house and their three big dogs came over to say Hi to Callie! Kisses and all :)

We walked to the park - which isn't far from our house...but if we could cut through back yards, we'd save a ton of time :) It's just that our house is in the middle of a maze, so in order to get out - you have to go "AROUND" everything!!! This park was awesome, because the steps were at a good level and there were railings all around - this was the FIRST park that Callie has been on that I let her do the whole thing by HERSELF!

She loved it - she would climb up the stairs, through the tunnels and down a slide! She did this over and over again :)
She even got to the point where she could lift herself up by pulling and stepping on the bar (see picture below for better explanation) was CRAZY how quickly she picked this one up. I showed her once how to do it, and she can do it by herself now!

Here is a little video of Callie on the playground! It's a little more than a minute long :) I love listening to her little giggles as she ventures through the equipment!

On the way home, Callie was finishing her cookie! She kept looking back at me saying "Coo-Key" and I said, "Where did it go?" - she was looking all around - finally I said, "Callie, it's in your tummy" - and this is what she did - she pulled her shirt back to look at her tummy :) Man she's cute! Every time she eats something now, I tell her it's in her tummy and she looks either down her shirt or lifts up her shirt to look at her tummy :)

Bath night! Daddy stayed home to relax, so while mommy picked things up, daddy and Callie had bath time :) Just to wash our body -not our hair this time! Notice that baby doll? Yeah that's a bath time doll! She LOVES it :) Takes her swimming and gives her a bath :)

Time to brush our toofers! Daddy already sang his ABC's while brushing her teeth, so now it's Callie's turn! She sings along with us too "E E A E"...

Time for bed for our Precious Princess!
Goodnight, Callie XOXO

Hope you enjoyed another "Day in the Life..."

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


On Thursday, August 11th, Josh & I packed up the car (very full) and headed up to Northfield, MN with our beautiful daughter...and to-be Flower Girl!

Josh's sister & my wonderful & favorite Sister-in-law was about to marry her best friend, Mike Sundberg - who we love! These two are a perfect match in more ways than one. There's an old saying "Couples who play together, stay together" - These two are a good representation of this quote!

The wedding was taking place at The Grand in Northfield, and we were staying at the Archer House - which was a very sweet hotel :) Don & Sharon let the 3 of us bunk up with them, which was brave, because not only do we come with A LOT of stuff, but it was Callie's first hotel experience! Which, she did GREAT!

The rehearsal was a blast, and Mike's parents hosted an amazing Groom's Dinner (the food was seriously AMAZING! I wanted to slather the potatoes right to my thighs they were that good!) Mike took Josh's lead and bought his groomsman toys: Nerf Guns :) There were little Nerf Gun bullets flying all over the room! Callie received a SUPER cute "Flower Girl" shirt from Auntie Kayla (she made it!) and a "Super Grover" (perfect gift by the way - she LOVES him!) We emptied one of her bags, and she was walking around the room collecting these bullets! She had a bag full and was having a BLAST!

That night, Josh stayed down with Mike & his buddies for a few beers and Don & Sharon were hanging out with Mike & Colleen (Josh's awesome Aunt & Uncle - flew in from Colorado!!!) Anyway, I took Callie back up to the room and was going to give her a great bubble bath before the big day! The tub was filling up with water, the bubbles were everywhere, and Callie was ready to splash around! I went to turn the water off, but instead - the water cranked to SCORCHING HOT & the handle fell off! GREAT! I tried to put it back on, but it just wasn't happening. So I took Callie out of the tub, tried to open the drain - which the whole thing broke, but water was able to go down - wrapped her in a towel and called the front desk! The employee came up - who seriously was probably still in high school! He said "boy, this has never happened before, I don't know how to fix this...I'll get a wrench!" - GREAT! good idea, as my daughter is clearly wrapped in a towel - soap suds probably soaked into her skin!

Long story short, he came back with the wrench, LEFT it for us if we wanted to use it, and gave us a key to another room - so we could use that shower! By this time, Don & Sharon came back, so we finished Callie's bath together in the tiny sink! Oh boy - what a night :) Callie was a trooper, and the memory is hilarious! All showers were possible this weekend thanks to the wrench!

Friday morning - The day of the wedding :) Callie was up nice and early in hopes that she would take an early nap! I was off doing wedding duties to help Kayla & Mike! Kayla got ready and looked BEAUTIFUL! Her maid of honor, Katie, did a great job on Kayla's hair - I loved it! She had a make up artist follow her around all morning & afternoon for pictures (great idea) and everything was falling into place as their wedding day happened!

Family pictures were outside at 2:00, so I made sure to head upstairs and 1:00 to get ready myself and get Callie ready. She let me do her hair and get her dress partially on - when she realized what was happening, she threw a temper tantrum! Josh took her for a walk to calm her down, and we were able to finish tying the bow and putting her shoes on. Her dolly also had a matching dress that I made for her :) Callie looked beautiful and was ready to be Auntie Kayla & Uncle Mike's Flower Girl!

A girl's got to have her popcorn!

Feeding duckies - or "guckies"

Mike & Colleen :)

I will be 100% honest with you, Callie looked beautiful and I could not have been more proud of her! She did such a great job for her age and for the excitement of the whole day :) Her daddy and I were very proud and honored to be her parents (a first of many moments I am sure!)

It was time - time for the I Do's and the Mr. & Mrs! The girls were walking down the aisle, I was trying to entertain Callie as she prepared to walk down the isle herself! She would have done a great job if it weren't for me! You see, last minute before she walked down the isle, I took a water bottle out of her hands - BIG MISTAKE! She was mad and started crying, so her daddy came and carried her down the isle :) Callie did a great job of throwing flower pedals and all was great :) I missed the entire wedding though :( Because I wanted to keep Callie preoccupied so she wouldn't be a distraction to the ceremony and Kayla & Mike's big day!


Kisses for Auntie Kayla!

Kisses for Uncle Mike!

Colleen, my dad & I :)

Callie's perfect pedicure!

Getting sleepy!


:) Love this picture! Don & his kids...both married off!

Callie's Grandma Lynn & Larry deserve an award :) Around 8:30-9:00ish, they took Callie back to the room and let her go to sleep! They stayed with her until we came back about midnight! We didn't want her to be up later than she needed, and honestly, she doesn't need to be around the loud noises so young...

Thank you Lynn & Larry for not only taking care of Callie, but allowing Josh and I to spend time together and enjoy Kayla & Mike's special day without having to worry about Callie - we knew she was in great hands :)

Lynn & Larry :)

THANK YOU GRANDMA! I have been waiting for this cake :)

The DJ played, we danced, we had some beers, we took fun photos in the photobooth, and yes, we kissed :) So did the bride & groom - hey it's a wedding!

It's blurry - but SO CUTE!

Congratulations Kayla & Mike! We are so happy for you and so excited to spend more time with when's that baby coming :) :) Hehe - just kidding!!! Or am I???