Monday, July 27, 2009

Mt. Whitney

This past weekend the Dunlap gang gathered together at Mt. Whitney for some good ol' family time to remember Grandpa John by spreading his ashes near his favorite fishing hole. Our family that lives in Sonora met up with us and we had a ball eating, hiking, and pawning Delaney off onto baby-crazy family members. Saturday was going to be a busy, unstructured day outdoors, and I was nervous about how my inflexible infant might handle the abnormal day. But guess what? She had what I like to call her very best day of existence! She was in a good mood almost all day, she napped like a champ, was sweet, silly, and totally wonderful. Grandpa John would have been proud.

We also had the perfect "camping" set-up for a family of an infant, which I believe added to the charm of the day. We spent the day in the great outdoors, admiring Creation, but then retired to a hotel room later that evening. Seriously perfect.

But all good things must come to an end, or perhaps back to reality. The beginning portion of our 4 hour drive home consisted of Steve dry heaving on the side of the road with Delaney screaming her head off in her car seat. Yes, this is the stuff that memories are made of. When we put in our request for a baby, we forgot to mention that we'd prefer the kind that conk out as soon as you turn the car on. Silly us. I guess we'll know what to ask for next time around.

Mt. Whitney--we were at the bottom, not the top.

Little family in the woods.

Grandpa's grandkids (and great granddaughter!) and significant others, minus Mark, Kristen, & Bill.

The "big kids": Kevin, Terry, & Doug at Grandpa's fishing hole.

Papa and his girl.

Hanging out with the girls: Great Aunt Terry, cousin Emily, & Great Aunt Joni

Sunday, July 26, 2009

The Porch

Now that we have a little one, our house projects have slowed considerably. However, we were (and still are) determined to finish at least one big project this summer. That project is our porch. Since we bought the house 2 years ago, we have wanted to restore the closed in front porch to its former glory. So a few Saturdays ago, Steve and his Dad got to work. Here's at look at what they got accomplished. Keep in mind that the porch is not yet finished--we still have to refinish the original columns (they will replace the 4x4's) and add new porch lights, but we're pretty excited about how things are looking already.

This is what the house looked like almost 2 summers ago when we purchased it.

What the inside of the porch used to look like.

Making progress...

And here's what it looks like now! Our happy little home with its well-deserved face lift.

Tuesday, July 14, 2009

Delaney in Oregon: Rasmussen Farms

This post ends the detailed saga of Delaney's journey to Oregon. I realize that these posts have probably only been interesting to a small handful of people, so my next post will not be so Delaney saturated. But this one is, so look out. There's a lot of pictures to view. You were warned.

Of course we couldn't leave Oregon without a visit to Rasmussen Farms. My Grandparents' farm is located in the breathtaking Columbia River Gorge, at the base of Mt. Hood (I sound like a guide book). It is one of the most beautiful places that I know of. I couldn't wait to bring Delaney to the place that holds so many special memories for me.

Meeting Great Grams & Great Gramps for the first time.

This is my Great Aunt Zelda. She makes all of the Christmas stockings for the family. It was very special for Delaney to receive her stocking from her Great Great Aunt.

My not-so-little-anymore cousin Solveig helped me give Delaney her bath in the sink. Delaney's not sure what to think.

See, I put Delaney in her cherry outfit because it's cherry season. It makes perfect sense.

We attempted to pose Delaney in various locations around the farm. She was a good sport about 46% of the time.

Delaney then decided to eat the petunia. My mom thought this was great fun, while I was frantically trying to recall how to administer infant CPR if she began choking. I'm a worry wart.

Solveig and Delaney posing on a tractor. It's hard to believe that my little cousin is now a beautiful young lady. I love both of those girls!

I found this little gnome in the sunflower field, focusing all of her will towards picking that flower.

Steve loves playing the "flying baby" game, mostly because it makes me antsy. As you can see, this girl is crazy about her daddy. That makes two of us.

The obligatory photo in front of the giant pumpkin.

I have many, many more pictures from our time spent at my Grandparents' farm, but I practiced some restraint and only posted a few of my favorites. We had such a great time, and are looking forward to the next visit...maybe in the fall? We'll see...

Delaney in Oregon: Fourth of July

I was really looking forward to Independence Day in Oregon because you get to light off your own fireworks. Riverside county would easily go up into flames if people were allowed to play with fireworks here, so instead we're limited to watching Mt. Rubidoux catch on fire for our 4th of July celebration. But in Oregon, now that's a different story.

We were very patriotic and started off our day watching the Independence Day Parade in Independence, Oregon. As you can see from the above picture, there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It was hot. Steve and Delaney hung out in some shade away from the parade route while the rest of us (Mom, Dad, Jimmy, Uncle Bill & Aunt Janet) braved the heat. It was worth it; I scored some candy, but Steve was not so lucky.

After the parade we moseyed on over to my brother Jimmy's house. He BBQ'd up some ribs on his fancy grilling machine. My BFFs Alison and Beka, along with their husbands and offspring joined the party.

Steve, Jake, Brandon, Beka, and Jack.

BFF Alison (with a bun in her oven) and myself.

BFF Beka and cowpoke Jack. Beka and hubby Jake are my dear friends expecting there little one from Ethiopia. They've been officially waiting for a bit over 7 months, and the average wait time for a referral is 8 months. I can't WAIT to see a picture of their little guy. And I bet they're pretty excited, too.

Delaney just kickin' it with Grandpa, Grammy, and Uncle Jimmy.

In my humble opinion, I think that Brandon (Alison's hubby) looks good with a baby girl on his shoulder. A natural, really.

We intended to end our day with a fireworks show at a local middle school, but we were too tired from the heat and traveling with an infant. Instead, my mom and dad bought a pack of fireworks and we lit them off on the driveway. It was a good day. God bless America.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Delaney in Oregon: Silver Creek Falls

One great thing about Oregon is that the temperature rarely gets above 90 degrees. I think the average is about 10 days over 90 a year. 90 degrees in Riverside is just a normal summer day, so we were really looking forward to escaping the heat. Well, the heat decided to follow us north, and we somehow timed our visit during Oregon's first heat wave of the summer. Hooray for us. So, on one of those over 90 degrees days, my parents and Steve and Delaney and I traveled to Silver Falls, our favorite state park ever. We did our best to hide from the sun, took a little hike, and walked behind a waterfall. I have a zillion fond memories of this campground, and it was a lot of fun for me to introduce my little offspring to one of my favorite childhood spots.

Family photo opt at the beginning of the hike. Good thing I wore my hiking shoes.

Here we are at the top of the falls. I like this baby. Perhaps I will keep her.

The five of us behind the waterfall. When's the last time you walked behind a waterfall?

Steve and Delaney at the lodge after our hike. We celebrated our accomplishment with choco tacos and ice cream sandwiches.

I think this baby looks pretty happy, don't you? If the teaching thing doesn't work out for Steve and I, it's good to know that we could always fall back on Delaney's income from being a baby model.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Delaney in Oregon: Around the house

So when you travel with a 3 month old, you're kind of on a short leash. Hence, we spent a lot of time hanging out at my parents' house in Jefferson, Oregon. Here are some pictures of our adventures around the joint.

You might know that I'm a fan of cats, so it was only natural that we spent some time visiting all of the barn kitties. At first I thought, "Let's put the kitty on Laney's lap." But then I started thinking about all of the potential little germies that kitten might have, so I instead had Laney hover over the cat for a photo shoot.

In the barn, enjoying all of the natural smells that the countryside and a flock of sheep have to offer.

Speaking of sheep, this is Bruce. He has a thing for Delaney.

Here Delaney is "picking" strawberries with her Grammy. In her pajamas. Yep, we're country folk.

Just modeling a new summer hat.

Here's a few of my Dad's favorite things: his girls and his Studebaker. Now if only we were wearing Beaver gear, he'd be in heaven. Maybe next time.

Delaney in Oregon: Spending Time with the Lee's

Because we have so many pictures of our Oregon trip, we'll have to post them in segments. This first post focuses on Delaney meeting her Lee side (my Dad's side) of the family.

We had a BBQ at my folks' house and Delaney got to meet Great Aunts & Uncles, cousins, and her Great Grandma Lee. I didn't get pictures of everyone there (I'm still learning how to be a multi-tasking mama), but it was quite the event.
The above picture is of my cousin, Carol, holding my cousin Lora's daughter, Bailey. Delaney is sitting on her Great Grandma Lee's lap. As you can see, Grandma Lee is quite smitten with Delaney.

This is my Uncle Bill. Oh man, I could (and should) write a whole post dedicated to him. He's the kind of guy that you can never tire of. He knows exactly what to say to make everyone have a fun time, no matter what the situation. Delaney will learn to love him just like I do.

This is my Aunt Janet, my Dad's sister and Uncle Bill's wife. She fits the role of a "Great" Aunt perfectly; she loved holding Delaney, whether she was a happy baby or a cranky baby.

Here's my cousin Lora, along with her daughter Bailey and Delaney. Lora and I are a year apart, and so are Bailey and Delaney.

Uncle Jimmy (my bro) with Delaney and the "boys," Jaeger and Buddy. Don't mind Delaney's grumpy face, she had a long day of introductions and travel.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Home again, home again, jiggidy jig jig

We made it home from our trip, and although we have somewhere in the ballpark of 500 pictures to document Laney's first Oregon adventure, I don't have the energy right now for a detailed saga of our journey. I promise to get to work this week to post more pictures. In short, we had a great time, Delaney was loved by all, and we're exhausted. Funny how vacations do that to you, huh?

We survived the plane rides, thanks to many nice and forgiving strangers, as well as everyone's advice. I nursed the girl like mad, we sang, dangled toys in front of her, and prayed. The flight there went reasonably well; the flight back was much trickier. That Laney girl likes to keep us on our toes. But it's over with, and it only gets better from here...I think.

Now that we're back home, we decided to transition Delaney into her crib at night, which is a whole *gulp* 10 feet away from our room. Who knew something as simple as that would be an emotional thing? As we closed the door to her room that first night, I wiped a few tears away, and Steve said in a bit of a sad voice, "This is just the first of many moments like these." What will we ever do when she goes off to college? We also started cloth diapers today, so wish us luck!

Delaney had her 4 month appointment today. She is doing altogether very well, and the doctor was floored by her strength, ability to turn over both ways, and determination to start crawling. Delaney is very tall (75th percentile) and thin (6th percentile). She can thank us later for those good genes! Because she's so tall but thin, the doctor wants us to start her on rice cereal through a bottle a few times a day. I'm wary about this; Delaney hates the bottle and we already have a battle of wills with napping and sleeping at night. Must we fight all day and night? But she needs some more meat on her bones as she is burning so many calories being so active so we'll give it a shot.

I guess that about sums up where we're at now. Here's one little picture from Oregon to tide over Delaney's fans. I realized that I never post pictures of Delaney and I, so this picture features both Dunlap girls. It was taken at one of my favorite places on the planet, Rasmussen Farms. Enjoy.

2 girls & 1 Delaney-sized sunflower