Zoo Journals

What. An. AWESOME. Day!  
It hit me recently that I don't have much more time with just these 2 kids.  
Don't get me wrong- I'm SO excited to meet #3, and can't wait to add him/her to our family.  
However- 3 kids is a lot different than just 2!  Especially with a newborn.  
So I'm trying to really take advantage of our last few weeks together before everyone's lives are temporarily turned upside down.

Today we took an impromptu trip to the zoo.  
I whipped up little "Zoo Journals" for the kids (namely Ada) to complete throughout our trip.  
And I can't get over how much she ATE THIS UP!
She worked very hard to make sure we saw each animal in her Zoo Journal- 
and she put a lot of thought into her "Observations."  

Dax got into his Zoo Journal, too!  Check out how he's even marked off his animals like big sister.  :)  
I flipped through his after we got home and he had "checked off" each and every animal.  
(With lots of extra blue scribbles, too!)  
Towards the end he even wanted in on the "Observations"- 
he would point to an animal page and state "Sleeping" or "Big".  

We are TOTALLY doing this every time we go on a "field trip" from now on.
Enjoy the pictures I was able to snap in the midst of the chaos!
We got lucky and caught the jellyfish at their feeding time! 
We learned some extra information from the Biologist about them- 
which Ada absorbed every syllable of!  
Love Dax's completed jellyfish box!

When we were leaving the aquarium, Ada begged to show me her favorite fish of the entire exhibit.  She searched and searched for it in this particular tank- and luckily we caught a glimpse of it before it darted back into the coral!
I took a picture of it for her. :)

 Checking off the monkeys!
Her monkey observation: "Some monkeys sat in baskets."
 Watching Ada check off the monkeys before doing so himself.
Notice the blue streaks on his face. :)
Watching Ada check off the monkeys, before doing so himself.  Notice the blue streaks on his face!  :)
 Ada had to stop at the gorilla photo-op.

Realizing I'd put in a page for the "Dax" animal in her journal!  Her observations of the Dax:
"He was marking on himself!"
I put an "Ada" page in Dax's book.  
When I asked him if he'd seen an Ada animal at the zoo, he looked at me like I was crazy.  
"Uh-huh" he said. 
Like, "Duh.  She's here.  She's been here the whole time.  You're not funny, mom."
Her Tiger observation: "He was sleeping in the sun for a long time.  And then he woke up and wagged his tail, and heard us."

And it's not a zoo trip for the Dowell kids without a carousel ride!  And a picnic- which of course was too chaotic to snap any pictures of (like much of the trip!).


Photo Dump

Just another random phone photo dump here!

MorMor made Ada and Dax special quilts- this is Ada's, which she actually made several years ago.  
She used all of Ada's old baby blankies for hers.  
She loves this thing- and rarely lets Casey and I borrow it!

This is Dax's that she just finished- it's made from all of his old t-shirts!  
He loves it, and calls it his "MorMor Blank"- it is so soft, warm, snuggly, and COLORFUL!  
I'm obsessed.

Ada took this one.  I just think it's so cute.  She was having a "Circus Parade" and took several photos of her animals on display :)

"Dress Crazy" day at church- she wanted to wear just the Rapunzel dress, but I tried to explain to her that "dressing crazy" meant it had to weird and funky, and tried to force the leopard sweater on her to spice things up.
In the car on the way to church, Ada stated "I am just wearing this sweater for now, Mom.  As soon as I get to church I'm going to take it off.  OK?"
At least she's honest!

I've been taking the lazy mom route the past few weeks at Ada's dance class and letting Dax bring the iPad.  He is just so much to keep up with, keep out of things, keep alive, etc- and it buys me a good 30 minutes of time to watch sister, too.
This is a picture of him watching a video on YouTube he somehow found.  Of a cat.  In the kitchen sink.  Getting a bath.  A 6 minute cat bath.  What happened to "Mickey Mouse Clubhouse"?!  Ha!

Trying to start new tutu trends at dance class.
Tutu shawl: Nailed it.

Ada is obsessed with African animals.  This is her picture of Africa- the first picture was the original, and then she added a pink hippo and giraffe that I thought was too cute not to get another picture of!  She did this all on her own- we don't do any "lessons" on stuff like this- she just soaks up any information she can on it!  The obsession began with Lion King. :)

She also did the next few drawings on her own, too.  She loves Africa and Anatomy. :)  She said she learned all of the human body stuff from Blues Clues.

Top left: human heart.
Bottom left: "eye in the dark"- ie: dilated pupil.  (Seriously!)
Right: lungs

Left: baby in my belly
Right: tongue with "bumps to taste food"- taste buds!


Photo Dump

OK, the weather has seriously been gorgeous around here lately.  
We are taking full advantage of it before we've got a newborn confining us to more simple tasks in a few weeks!

Family bike ride last weekend.  
I thought I was going into labor towards the end of it (sort of joking)- 
I will not be mounting a bike again anytime soon. 
33 weeks

We rode up to one of the many parks in our new neighborhood!
Little scared of the whirling monkey bars!

Doing chin-ups before going down the slide.
We've been playing out on our driveway lots, too.  
Ada's beloved scooter finally made the commitment to be an "outside toy"- 
so we've been trying to ride it as much as possible on our street.

We're having a ROAD RALLY! -Ada

Kiss.  Boo-boo.  -Dax
 It was jammie day at Ada's school today- she was lovin' it!

And 4 out of 4 days this week we have ventured out to Sonic during happy hour, purchased ourselves some diabetes in a cup, and worked it off at another neighborhood park.  :)  Heaven.


We met up with our friends Jude and Mia at the park one day!
'Nother day, 'nother happy hour at the park.
(They're carrying their slushies)

Marking our cups so we don't make the fatal mistake of drinking the other's...  Ada likes to mark hers with a "happy face".  But then just claims whichever one is heaviest is actually hers.  :)
I'm on to you, girl!

2 things to say about this picture.
1) Please remember it was jammie day.
2) She slid through a puddle on the slide was in the process of removing her very wet leggings.

TIME OUT- for running away from mommy towards the street.
And for making 34 week preggo mommy run/waddle after him.
He actually got a leg pop for this one, too.
Getting so big and brave.
Who am I kidding, he's been doing this since he was 10 months old.
Lord save my soul.

Mommy heart attack.  This wall/ladder was TALL.

"Blue tooth!"

Helping brother learn to climb the blue spiral ladder thingy.
Dax is sick- for the first time really since May!  
(Aside from his stomach flu he caught from Ada in the fall)  
He's got an ear infection (in the ear that the tube's already fallen out of) and nasty chest cold- 
but being a champ as usual!  
So happy I'm staying home- he's so much healthier.  :)
Dax tattooing his arm with a pink crayon while waiting on the doctor...
 And this lovely gem was taken by the kids.  
They always get a hold of my phone- so I indulged them and let them take silly pictures of me while I was making dinner one night. 

Adventures at Naptime- No Sew Heart Applique

Let me preface this by saying that I did in fact sew a few stitches on this heart appliqué.  
If you don't have a sewing machine you can either a) skip that step, or b) sew them by hand.  
I just like to know that it's a little better adapted for wear-and-tear with some mechanical reinforcements. :)

So, here's how to make your girly-girl a Valentine's Day shirt on the cheap!
1. Get yourself some Heat-n-Bond Lite or Ultra.  
Ultra is best if you're skipping the sewing part.  
I live for this stuff when machine monogramming.  Check out products at Sweetish Baby.  :)
2. Cut out a square of the Heat-n-Bond and follow the directions to iron it onto the back of your fabric. The square should be about the size of the appliqué that you want to make.

3. I used Word to make a heart template.  You could get crazy and free-hand it.

4. Use your template to cut out your shape- I like to secure it using a spray adhesive to prevent slippage.

Peel off your backing, and you're ready to go!

My daughter chose this ruffley pink fabric.

5. Iron on your appliqué.  This would be your last step if you're going no-sew!

6. It's going to hold up better if you can stitch a few- I used my machine, but hand stitches are just as nifty!

7. Trim those edges..


And then ask your cutie for a photo-shoot.  I'm sure she'll indulge you!

Those boots are to die for.

Nailed it.