Sunday, August 31, 2008

Happy Birthday....... Tabitha! Here is our sweet friend that is having a birthday today. She works with Chuck, and she is pregnant with her first child. She is finding out on Tuesday what it is. My guess: a girl. I'll let you all know if I'm wrong on this one. Anyway, Happy Birthday, Tabitha. We hope it was fabulous!

Week in Review

I haven't posted all has been way too long! I've missed you!

We have had a great week:

We went swimming last weekend at a friend's house. He graciously allowed us to spend some time there while he was away. I have got to get Allison some swim lessons next year. She LOVES the water!

Please allow me to pose for you while I get in the pool:

But getting in this way is way more fun:

And now I'm tired, so I think I'll relax like a mermaid here:

Big Babe, NOT Allison, came down with a fever virus at the beginning of the week. Big Babe had to go to the doctor on Monday and get her ears, throat, and lungs checked. Because Big Babe, NOT ALLISON, came down with the fever virus, Allison had to miss the first day of Mother's Day Out on Monday. We did get to go on Thursday though. She LOVED it! She was getting sooooo bored here with me ALL the time. She was a little bit upset when I picked her up. She wanted to stay some more. This is her beautiful artwork she made on her first day:

We got a new helmet and kneepads this week, so Allison spent some time on her new scooter:

Then she was done with the scooter:

And moved on to her bicycle:

And what did I get accomplished this week? (It's a burning question, isn't it?)
I made this:

Friday, August 22, 2008

Happy Birthday (L)ance!

Today is our friend, Lance's, 38th birthday...Allison just calls him Ance (pronounced ants).

Lance does not have any family here, so Allison and I decided to step in and bake (L)ance some cookies for his birthday.

And, in honor of (L)ance's birthday, I thought I would try to come up with 38 reasons that our family loves (L)ance:

1. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
2. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.
3. He lets me take his hydrangeas (ok, maybe I steal them...but that's a mute point).
4. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
5. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.
6. He loves Casa Mexicana almost as much as we do.
7. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
8. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.
9. He helped me hang my dining room curtains after I tried and stripped out the screws that hung the rods.
10. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
11. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.
12. He LOVES to fish.
13. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
14. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.
15. He had a scooter before having a scooter was cool (it is cool now, isn't it?)
16. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
17. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.
18. If he is there, it's a party.
19. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
20. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.
21. He made up a song called "The Wheels on the Scooter" to the tune of "The Wheels on the Bus" all for Allison's benefit one time.
22. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
23. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.
24. He is one of Chuck's dearest friends. (Do guys have dear friends, maybe it's just one of his closest friends).
25. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
26. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.
27. He unashamedly licks the ice cream off of paddles when my mom is here and makes homemade ice cream.
28. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
29. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.
30. He danced with Allison on her third birthday and then led her around the house on her new scooter. She loved it.
31. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
32. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.
33. He pretends like everything I cook him is the best thing he has ever eaten.
34. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
35. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.
36. He is so sweet to my almost-80-year-old aunt that she invited him to come to Conway and visit her sometime.
37. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably.
and......drumroll, please........
38. He laughs spontaneously and uncontrollably without consuming alcohol.

And, if you're single out there, (L)ance is STILL single. How could anybody resist him?

Monday, August 18, 2008

Just Indulge Me as I Reminisce's been three such short years. But I can't imagine them being any more fulfilling. I can't write a whole lot without getting just incredibly sappy (there's time for that later), I just have to share a few of my very favorite pics of my baby over the past three years.

And, drumroll please, my all-time favorite photograph of Allison:

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Welcome to Candyland!!!!!

Allison's 3rd birthday party was so much fun!!! She has been waiting for this since May. We have a lot of friends and family with birthdays between May and now, and Allison just has not been able to understand why it has not been her birthday yet. Well, baby, it's here. I hope you had a great birthday party!

Candyland was the theme:

We made rainbows with fruit loops:

(Although some of the kids thought it was better to just eat the fruit loops:

Then we made gingerbread women (although Allison's turned out to look like a plate of spaghetti with colored meatballs):

Allison was so excited about opening her presents. This is the first time that Allison has been able to open presents by herself. She's turning into such a big girl - and she even said "thank you".

Then, she blew out her candles and everybody ate cupcakes:

The kids played a lot, and they played so well together:

The final big event of the day was to jump on Uncle David:

Then everyone did their hugs goodbye:

What a fun day!!!!

Saying goodbye to Hannah

It was such a treat for us to have Marty, Hannah, and Evan come on Friday, spend the night with us, then stay for Allison's birthday party on Saturday. It was a bit hard to remember what we did when Marty and I would stay at each other's houses before we had kids. We concluded that we sat around, ate bonbons, drank margaritas, and watched "American Idol". I have to say this is way more exhausting, but WAY MORE FUN!!!! Thanks Harvey family for being our friends, and thank you Marty, for being my friend for many years now.

Towards the end of the birthday party, Marty and I had two tired girls. It was time for the Harvey family to go, but Hannah and Allison had to have their final words together before Hannah departed:

Then Allison walked Hannah to her car:

The many faces of Allison

One of my favorite things about Allison is that she is VERY animated. She has sooo many different faces, and today was no different. As I was uploading pictures from the party, I just got cracked up watching how excited she was getting over everything:

Recipe requests from Allison's Birthday Party

Here are the recipes for the two things that I made for Allison's birthday party. These requests were mainly from my sous chef, Marty. Thanks Marty for helping me slice and dice.

Chicken Salad

2 1/2 cups diced and chilled, cooked chicken breast
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup sliced, seedless grapes
1/2 cup sliced almonds
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup mayonnaise
1/4 cup heavy whipping cream

In a medium bowl, whip cream to soft peaks.

Combine chicken, celery, grapes, almonds, parsley, salt, and mayonnaise with whipped cream. Chill.

Luscious Spinach Artichoke Dip

3 (14 oz) cans artichoke hearts, drained and chopped
1 1/2 (10 oz) packages frozen chopped spinach, thawed
1 can Rotel tomatoes, drained
1 1/2 cups and 1 tablespoon sour cream
3/4 cups and 1 teaspoon mayonnaise
3/4 cup and 1 teaspoon cream cheese
3/4 cup grated Romano cheese
3/4 teaspoon minced garlic

Preheat oven to 375. In a small baking dish, mix together artichoke hearts, spinach, sour cream, mayonnaise, cream cheese, Romano cheese, and garlic. Cover dish. Bake until heated through and bubbly, about 25 minutes.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Cupcake Taste Test

I made cupcakes today for Allison's birthday party tomorrow. Allison and Hannah got an uniced one for dessert at dinner. Allison didn't care too much for hers, but Hannah ate hers and then decided to go in for a top-secret mission to eat Allison's:

A quick "hello" to Tina

I received the sweetest email last night from a customer from when I co-owned Lads & Ladybugs. The last time I saw her was about two weeks before my last day at the store in May, and I had given her my email.

Now, I don't usually do that. I've been in retail longer than I would really like to admit (try 15+ years), and there have only been a handful of customers that I really even thought I would miss.

Well, Tina is one of the people that I just loved. She has a beautiful little girl named Madison who will be three in November(?). Tina and her husband adopted Madison as a newborn just a few months after Allison was born. We just got to talking and discovered that we had so much in common. (Namely that we both LOVE to spoil our kids, and we both think they have to be the cutest ones in a bunch).

Tina has a smile that lights up a room. It was a true, true joy for me to get to know her over the last year or so at L&L.

I emailed Tina back last night with my blog address, so she could see what the Rickard clan has been up to this summer. So, Tina, if you are reading this, thank you for emailing me last night. It just made my day!

(P.S. Tina, I hope you don't mind me sharing this photo with my family & friends).

Madison in the tutu that I made for her (she just couldn't be more adorable):

What ever happened to all the great blogging I was doing?

That's a good question! I'm sure it has something to do with the fact that all of Allison's birthday festivities are this weekend and needed some preparation; and Allison and I have been soloing it for a little over a week while Chuck completed "The Summer of Rickard" in New York.

Speaking of NY, most of you saw how Allison cried when we took her daddy to the airport last week. Well, I'm just sad to say that I did not have my camera with me when we picked him up on Wednesday afternoon. It was like a scene from a movie. Right after we walked into the airport near baggage claim, I saw Chuck coming down the escalator. I said to Allison, "Ok! I see daddy. Do you?" Well, she started searching - looking around so intently. Then - she saw him. And there was no stopping her! She could have ran in the Olympics this weekend with the way she took off across the baggage claim area. Chuck had to put his carry-on down in order to catch her when she leaped into his arms. The whole time she was screaming "My daddy! My daddy! My daddy" and just smiling from ear-to-ear. It brought a little tear to both of our eyes, and everybody in the airport was just looking and grinning like they had seen something really special. And they had!

Anyway, I will leave you today with a few pics of the fun we had at JumpZone on Monday. Nana took us there to get Allison's mind off of missing daddy and to start the big birthday week celebration.

(P.S. - Get ready....I'll have lots of things to blog about over the weekend. My friend Marty and her two beautiful kids are coming today, and the big party is tomorrow morning.)

Friday, August 8, 2008

A mother's dream.....

.....sometimes turns into a horrible, horrible nightmare. A funny nightmare, but nevertheless a nightmare.

That is exactly how Wednesday went (ok, I'm a little behind on the blogging.)

Christina and I had this wonderful vision of taking Allison and Annabelle to their very first live show. I think we were even trying to tell ourselves it would be like introducing them to "the theatre." Yes, we were going to introduce a just-turned-two-year-old and an almost-three-year-old to "the theatre." "The theatre" was actually "The Backyardigans Live!"

Then, we were going to take them to this fabulous lunch at Mimi's (think the very opposite of Chick-fil-a, where we should have gone.)

Here's how it went:

We arrived at Robinson Auditorium; got our tickets from the will call window; and proceeded to find our seats - each of the girls with their Tasha dolls in hand:

The show begins, and Annabelle starts crying because it was dark. I did not realize that she all-of-a-sudden has become scared of the dark:

We get through the first half; the girls run WILD (and I do mean WILD) during intermission; they do not want to go back in for the second half, but we insist on completing this lovely trip to "the theatre". Minutes after we get our seats for the second half, Allison starts insisting (rather loudly, I might add) that she wants to go home. Then Annabelle catches on to this. Christina and I oblige, and we exit a little early. Can I tell you this was probably a good thing since we could not find our car in the four-story parking deck?

Mom, where is our car?

We finally find the car, which Christina and I basically kissed when we found it. And off to Mimi's we went....for a twenty minute wait for a table at noon (past the girls lunch time). But Christina and I still had on some kind of rose-colored glasses and decided to wait. Once we got seated, Allison decided to lay down in the booth with her booty in the air to try to take a nap. It was lovely.

After our meal, we left Mimi's and headed for Garden Ridge. That's a shopping experience for a whole different blog.