When it's Hot Outside....

....Lucy and I love to go to the indoor mall toys.

On a normal day, we stay inside our house for the morning and during her nap. But by 3 in the afternoon, it is far too hot to hang out in our little house anymore. So, it's off to the mall!
She normally plays for about 45 min-1 hour on the toys. She likes climbing around, being with other kids, and she usually stops-in where I'm sitting for some watermelon bites or snacks every so often. After she's had her fill of the toys (or the mall management comes to clean them and kicks us out), we just stroll and wander the mall. Sometimes she sits in her stroller and sometimes I let her gallop and prance beside me (if you've seen the way she walks, you know what I mean). It's a great way to get out of the heat and enjoy some A/C!
Here's a good arial shot of the toy area. It's nice and open feeling:
Her favorite little bridge slide:
Another favorite: the frog. She learned to climb this one pretty quickly
And now she tries to stand on it
Apparently, she does sometimes
A couple more toys
And here's Lucy at the end of our mall adventure, watching a new batch of kids on the toys:
See ya next time!


Serious Cat

My brother-in-law emailed this picture, and Casey and I couldn't stop laughing.
He looks human.
To me, he's a a human/cat computer nerd saying something like, "Yea, it's got 80 gigs of RAM." (spoken with a Kip lisp).
To Casey he says, "Well I never" (with a slight British accent).
Maybe he talks to you?


The King of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters

If you grew up in the 80s or love a really well-manicured mullet, you'll totally love this movie. And if you don't fall in those categories.....you'll still love it!...cause it's hilarious, well-made, and even brings a small message home at the end. Casey and I saw the documentary, The King Of Kong: A Fistful of Quarters last weekend and have been urging all friends to check it out. Well worth your time and money.
The basic premise:
"Billy Mitchell, named ''Video Game Player of the Century'' in 1999, set a record score in Donkey Kong that many felt would never be broken. In 2003, Steve Wiebe, who recently lost his job, learned about Billy's record and set out to beat it. With Billy's previous record now shattered, both men embark on a cross-country battle for inclusion in the 2007 Guinness Book of World Records as the supreme king of Donkey Kong."

Now I'm not an Atari junkie or NES for that matter. Yes, I dabble in Mario Kart and Tetris. But you don't have a to be a video game geek to enjoy this. In fact, it's probably more intriguing if you're not because then you are more amazed at the intricacies of the gaming world. (Although, it's pretty much what you think: a bunch of 30-40 year old men sitting in arcades trying to break records. But believe me, there's so much more)
As the film starts, you think it's all pretty silly (and well, it is) but as time goes on, you become invested in the characters and find yourself rooting for some and really despising others. It's great fun! And the message left at the end is simple yet very poignant and one that many of us have seen in our own lives. You can actually be better than the incumbent but still not get a break, unless you're part of their "buddy" network.
If you only go see it for the "Kill Screen" shots that happen when you reach the end of the Donkey Kong game (only 3 people have ever reached one), it's worth it. We were lucky to land a screening with a Q&A with the Director and Producer at the end (the same creators of "New York Doll", another fabulous documentary). They offered great supplemental info and since I don't want to spoil any of the film's twists and turns, I'll continue to be vague and just sum it all up with: go see this film! (and we'll talk after)
It's showing in very limited theaters. But it's in Pasadena this weekend at the Laemmle Playhouse. If they continue to sell-out at the box office, they'll be able to open in wider release across the country. Our screening in Santa Monica was completely full. So let's hope the good word continues to spread. If it's not showing at a theater near you, keep watching for it. And if nothing else, jot it down on your "DVDs to rent" list for a few months down the road.
Don't get Chumpatized!


Eskimo Kisses

A couple months ago my sister Meredith taught Lucy to "rub noses" and now she just loves giving Eskimo kisses! It's really quite cute. She doesn't rub her nose with just anybody. And she usually does it when she's super excited to see you, or in the morning when she wakes up (they're even better when her mouth is wide open with teeth showing).
The other day we went to a playgroup and she hadn't seen her friend Chloe for a couple weeks. So when she saw her, she got a huge smile on her face, ran over to Chloe and stuck her nose right in Chloe's face. It was adorable. She was trying to show affection. Of course, Chloe thought she was cuckoo so it was all really funny.
Another thing Lucy is in love with are animals. She has no fear of dogs and thinks they are hilarious. We had dinner at Casey's parent's house last week. His brother Chad and his wife Lauren brought their dog Otis with them and Lucy had a ball. She constantly stuck her nose in his face, trying to give him kisses. And mostly, she just wanted him to lick her face. Ew. That's not my daughter. I couldn't be more grossed out by that stuff. It was really funny to watch her though. Here she is:


Girl's Camp

I survived Girl's Camp! Actually, it was a lot of fun.
For anyone reading who might not know what Girl's Camp is....it's pretty much what you think: a week up in the mountains with 80 teenage girls. The girls learn "camping" and survival skills, play in the lake, swim, hike, act silly, sing songs, and have a fun time bonding and making new friends.
I have great memories of going when I was younger, so I was excited to be called as the assistant Stake camp director (especially since my friend Jennie was the Director) There was much coordinating that went into it over the past months but once we got up there things ran pretty smoothly. There was some normal girl drama (how could there not be with 20 girls sleeping in one cabin?). But by the last day when we had a testimony meeting they were all in tears saying how much they loved each other and how glad they were that they came to camp. Cute girls.
Our camp was up near Big Bear and the weather was pretty nice. It really cooled off at nights and made sleeping quite enjoyable (aside from the saggy matresses and occasional snoring from bunk mates). It wasn't until we got back on Friday that I realized, it had been roasting hot all week long at home. Glad I missed that!
Jennie is a creative wiz and decided we needed cute t-shirts for camp (no men's sized Tees). She teaches Screen printing at Arcadia High School and so, she came up with a logo, bought the girl T-shirts, and then printed each one herself for all the girls and leaders. They were adorable and the girls were very pleased. I don't have a shot of the actual camp shirts. But she made some extra shirts just for me and her because hello, we totally heart camp!
Here were are at the camp fire one night. It's perfect that we both enjoy acting like idiots together (and that we know how to smolder a fire?)
I know you won't know any of them, but how cute are these girls?! They're waiting in line for dinner. I've actually missed seeing them this week.
Here are some of the Stake leaders, chilling after dinner.
We decided to start something new this year and I instituted a Camp Store. Even if you're in the mountains, it's still fun to go shopping. I made fake money, which the girls could earn by showing up on time for meals and campfires, for doing "good deeds", etc.
At the store, they could purchase candy, soda, Otter Pops, popcorn, water guns, beach balls, and more. But THE most coveted item was....the Hello Kitty water bottle!
I only bought 5 of them, since I was trying to keep costs down. And I priced them at $10 camp dollars. The girls were going crazy and just HAD to have one. By the second day, all 5 bottles were purchased. I told the girls who missed out, however, to hit up the Target dollar section when they got home and they could own one too. That made them feel better.

All in all it was a really fun week. It felt more like one long day, than an actual week.
Here were some of the best things I heard from various girls while up there:
"Sister Willard, can I drive your car?" (from a 14 year old as were headed back from the lake)
"I can't eat this sandwich, there's too much peanut butter and not enough jelly. I normally just eat jelly and bread." (Jennie told her to wipe the peanut butter off)
"I went swimming yesterday and I now I think I have water in my brain."
Oh, the girls. Gotta love them.

Of course it was so much fun to come back home to Lucy and Casey. Lucy was so excited when we got there and ran up to us with great welcome home hugs and a few nose rubs. What a cutie.

Yea for Girl's Camp!


Saturday Morning Softball

Our ward/church softball team had an early game yesterday morning at 8am. So Lucy and I stopped by to cheer them on. Mostly Lucy liked playing on the bleachers and throwing spare softballs around. She dressed for the occasion and wore her little baseball hat...
...and made funny expressions
Michael was there too sporting his Dodger pride and had on the cutest new shoes!
I had to get a close-up shot.
Shannon and Danielle showed serious competition in the field.
Go team!
They won the game by a landslide. PasadeeeNAH!
After the game, Casey tried to show Lucy how to run around the bases. But she just wanted to run all over...
...and be thrown up in the air. Nice height Lucy!


little french girl

One of Casey's co-workers knitted an adorable pink hat for Lucy when she was born. It was a little big at first and of course she didn't like having it on her head. But today she found it in one of her baskets and decided to put it on. And there she sat in our 90 degree-hot house with a cute little beret on her head. Comme c'est mignon! (awww, how cute).


I listened to Christmas music today. It just sounded nice.
Maybe I'm getting excited to have a baby around Christmas time?!


Merry Go Round

Another day in the OC...why not?
We met up with my family at South Coast Plaza yesterday afternoon. Meredith shopped for clothes while Lucy and Jeremy ran around the beautiful tiled floor, as if it were a playground. So we decided to let them ride the Merry Go Round instead. Lucy's ridden it once before and loved it, so I knew what was coming. Here they are on the ride, enjoying it, up and down.
And here she is when we took her off.
The part of the bar where her hand is is where she was trying to climb back in, sideways. She almost fit. But we walked away kicking and screaming.
A little girl who loves her fun!

When we got back to my mom's house, my mom had a brilliant idea for the kids: stomping on bubble wrap! Lucy, Jeremy, and Chloe had a total ball popping all the little circles. She was genuinely laughing in the process.
That night we all piled in one car (or as Laura called it, "the clown car") and drove to Huntington Beach for dinner at Don Joses (our favorite mexican place). And it was yummmy. I got the cheese enchilada. Just gobs of melted cheese. Mmmmmm, boyyy.


Green Thumb and Golden Spoon

With family in town, there's always an excuse to go hang out in Orange County for the day. Kam and Chloe are here from utah for a few weeks. And Rachael and Brennan, although they just moved to AZ, are back to play. So Lucy and I spent Thursday and Friday with everyone at my parent's house.
Everyone went to the beach on Thursday, but since I'm not energized enough to brave it alone with Lucy, we stayed and chilled at my mom's house. Lucy has a great time in their backyard playing with all the toys and trying to spy on Chip, their turtle. My mom was busy doing what she loves...working in the garden. I thought she looked adorable in her "working" outfit and big hat, so I snapped a few pictures.
That day she was pulling weeds, planting flowers, and mowing the lawn.
When they moved into the house, the backyard was a big plot of dirt. So she had a few landscapers come out to give their opinion. And then she decided to do it all on her own. It's a beautiful yard! I'm sure many people have put in their own yards, but I've never done one so I think she's pretty amazing for making it look so beautiful.
They also have a vegetable garden with the most delicious tomatoes. They are so sweet right off the vine, almost like candy.
In the afternoon, we paid a little visit to my sister Meredith at her new place of employment, Golden Spoon yogurt. We siblings have been giving her a hard time about it (since she's 17 years old and just now getting her first job...we all worked when we were 14). But I guess that happens when you're the youngest child.
She looked real cute in her black apron, swirling the yogurt around like a pro. And she didn't even mind that I was taking pictures!
Golden Spoon has the best frozen yogurt. I wish there was a store up here. I have been dying for a yummy yogurt place (aside from 21 Choices, which has horrible parking). Maybe one day!
The rest of our stay down in OC was spent doing what we do best....chit chatting and having fun. We kept trying to watch a movie, but then we kept talking so it never happened. That's the fun about having family you enjoy being around. Cheers!


OFFICIAL NEWS: It's a......

Yes, folks I'm pregnant with number 2 and we're officially announcing that it's a boy!
There seem to be a lot of girls going around in the family (on both sides) so it will be nice to get a male heir to carry on the Willard name. We're very excited for all that will be new and different, and for some of the same.
I'm 19 weeks along (4 months) and my official due date is December 28th. That wasn't the best planning on our part (poor little Christmas baby), but sometimes these things happen faster than we think they will. Lucy and the new baby will be almost 2 years apart (22 months). Everything has been fine and great so far. I've had some nausea here and there, but no throwing up and no complications. Honestly, if these last two pregnancies prophesy all my child-bearing, I'll be a happy camper.
One bummer about the due date is that we can't really go anywhere for Thanksgiving. I'll be 37 weeks at that point. So traveling to Arizona with my family is out...and St. George with Casey's family isn't an option either. But we'll have fun with our little three-some family at home. It's the perfect excuse to actually roast a turkey (since I've never done it, but own the roasting pan).

We're very excited for the little guy to come in December and feel very blessed to have a growing family. Since he still looks like an alien, we know you're all dying to see. So here he is. This is a straight-on/close-up shot of his face. The larger top cirle is his head, titlted to the left and those two dark spots are his eyes. His mouth is the horizontal dark slit/line. You can't see a nose (I sure hope he has one, Jacko). The bottom circle area is his body. The dark spots in that area are his heart/other organs. Real easy to make out, right?
I think he looks like a Homer Simpson/Sock Monkey mix. We'll see what comes out in December....

And here's a picture of me in the waiting room this morning.


Better late than never?

Lucy turned 1 in February. We got around to taking her "1 Year Old" pictures in May. And now in August, I'm postings the prints. They turned out cute and of course I bought more than I'll ever need. But if you go to J.C. Penny, you can get all of these for only $30! (with their coupon). They had to have lost money on my photo session. If you're in the market for portraits, you must go there.
As smiley and cute as she looks, she wasn't too into the process. But she did enjoy the cake, once she realized what it was there for.
So, here's Lucy at "1 year old"!