Saturday, December 20, 2008


Yesterday was my last day of work for 2008. Report cards went home and the quarter officially ended. What a relief! The last week of the quarter is always hectic. We usually have testing to do and report cards to do. Luckily, we didn't have conferences this time. We'll have those again after next quarter.

With half of the year over, I can take a break and relax for 2 weeks with my family. Of course, I see this as a great opportunity to get a head start on next quarter so I went to work today. Yes, it's Saturday, but school was open and I feel so much better when I get ahead of things. I worked from 10-2 while Scott and Ryann watched college basketball all day. I don't know how much progress I actually made but it's a start.

We have company coming on Tuesday and staying through New Year's. I'll start getting ready for that tomorrow. This afternoon, I'm in school mode so I'll be on the computer for a while while Ryann sleeps. It's just so peaceful when she naps. :0)

Saturday, December 13, 2008

It's a Girl!

We went for another ultrasound on Thursday. We found out that we're having another little girl! Ryann will have a little sissy to torment. Hopefully she'll take it easy on the little one. We're hoping they'll get to be great friends. Here's the latest picture of our newest little girl.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

It's Official...

The holiday season is here!

I love Christmas time. I have a long tradition of putting decorations up the day after Thanksgiving and taking them down on New Year's Day. On Friday, Scott had the Christmas music playing throughout the house and Ryann and I decorated the tree. She's not as helpful as you might think. She is very good at taking the hooks off the balls and smashing the balls together. This year, it took a lot more energy than it has in the past. :0) Scott put up the outside lights on Saturday so we're all set.

Here's a picture of our new living room, complete with new furniture and a Christmas tree! As you'll notice, I haven't found the perfect things to hang on the wall yet. I'm still searching.

Thursday, November 27, 2008


A week or so ago, we decided to take Ryann to get her 18 month pictures done and have our family portrait done as well. We had a 6:20 appointment so I rushed home from work and we all got ready. We got there on time and waited 45 minutes for them to tell us that they didn't have us in the schedule but they'd fit us in. By then, Ryann was cranky and so were we. Her hair was also a wreck by then. The photographer was obviously in a hurry so she gave up easily when Ryann began to run away between shots. Overall, I'd say it was a pretty unsuccessful attempt. Here's what we ended up with.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Messy Business

I decided it was time to get Ryann some markers and teach her how to color. We always try crayons at restaurants but she's mostly interested in taking them out of the box and putting them back in repeatedly. I thought markers might be more fun.

I saw an advertisement for markers for 18 month olds and up. They are shaped like little animals and are "perfect" for gripping. They are made not to tip over, like weebles were back in the day. We find that the only thing they're perfect for is mess-making, as you can see.

The commercial neglects to tell you that, because they don't tip over, the toddler will pick them up by the ink side every time. Ryann likes to put her fingers on the ink part. She can't figure out the angle needed to get the ink on the paper. She just rubs the side of the animal on the paper then decides it's more fun to put her fingers in the ink again. I will say, she seems quite gifted in fingerpainting. :0)

Saturday, November 15, 2008

A Little Progress

Scott and I spent some time getting more things settled this weekend. It's starting to feel like home. We still have a lot to do but we're getting there. Scott is working on painting our living room. We have new furniture arriving on Friday for it. We're excited. I was sure to have it treated for stain protection. I'm sure you can imagine why. I'll post a picture once we get that room settled.

Here's the kitchen. For those who saw our old kitchen...yes, it's the same color. I just love that "Pacific Pines."
This one is the dining room. We went with two colors, the "Pacific Pines" and "Bonjour Beige." The beige is the main color for most of the house.
This is where we spend most of our time, the family room. The wall behind the TV is "cigar." It was a risk but we like it. You'll notice a growing heap of toys. There's a basket under there but Ryann's things have outgrown the wimpy little basket.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

So Much for Halloween

When I was in NY, I loved Halloween. It was one of the best parts of fall. I always decorated and had candy to give out. My brother and I even hosted a couple of Halloween parties with costumes and everything.

When I moved to AZ, I continued to decorate and give out candy. Last year, we dressed Ryann up as a pea. She was a very cute vegetable.

This year, I started looking for her costume over the summer but never found one I wanted that was the right size, right price, etc. So...I'm a bad mom. I didn't dress my child up this year. I wasn't that broken up about it because we had no where to go anyway. We don't have any family here to visit and our friends have kids that they take out.

We planned to stay home and give out candy. That part of the plan fell apart, too. We didn't get a single trick-or-treater! We assume that is because we are one of 3 new houses on the street. Next year should be different.

To top it off, I felt sick. I have some sort of cold again. Ugh! I opted for bedtime soon after Ryann went.

So, Halloween was a bust this year but Scott is glad because now he has the responsibility of eating the candy. :0)

Thursday, October 23, 2008


...Baby Dobbins 2! This is the first picture of Ryann's little sibling. He or she will be joining us in May, just in time for Ryann's birthday. What a gift! At least we hope she'll be happy about it. We're thrilled. Our little family is growing. It's very exciting. Baby D2 is 11 weeks, 5 days old in this picture. We'll be able to tell if it's a he or she in December. We have to get the big sissy prepared for whichever is coming. We'll keep everyone posted.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Back to Work

I went back to work today after the 2 week break. It was rough giving up my baby this morning. I handed her over at daycare and immediately wished I could have her back to hug a little more. We spent a lot of time together over break. I had a little withdrawal today.

As for work, it was just like I never left. I really like my job and I love my friends at work. It's just so easy to stay home. :0)
Tonight, I need to get after some school work that I neglected over break.
(41 School days until Winter Break...but who's counting?)

Saturday, October 18, 2008

State Fair...Wow!

Last night, Scott and I took Ryann on our annual trip to the AZ State Fair. We started going the first year we were married because I wanted to see what a fair was like in AZ. That first year, we got a caricature done. The next year, we went again and had another drawing done. It sort of became a tradition. Last year, we had Ryann drawn, rather than us again. Those drawings are the primary artwork in our bedroom. So, this year, we headed there again.

We went Friday night rather than our usual Saturday morning in an effort to get $5 admission. However, we had to pay $12 to park so it was a wash. At any rate, we set out to do all the usual things, eat junk, see animals, watch carnies, etc. We took Ryann to see the animals in the agriculture areas. She talked a little turkey in the fowl area but her interest seemed to be lacking. We took her to the kiddie farm play area. She liked running through the "corn" maize but that was it.

When we left there, I discovered that she has gotten much better at walking while holding my hand. She used to jerk her hand away every time but she stayed with me enough to walk for a while. We walked to the elephant rides. She loved the elephants. She watched carefully as they walked by and reached her hand out to them. She was yelling something to them but I don't understand a lot of what she says. :0)

The highlight of the evening, aside from the funnel cake, was the figure 8 races. We went up into the grandstand with all of the die hard fans. It was actually quite entertaining. They are like demolition derby cars but they are racing in a figure 8 shape. They have to criss-cross and they crash into each other sometimes. I wasn't sure if Ryann would like the loud noise. When the races began, she wanted me to hold her but she was very interested. She even clapped and yelled a bit as she observed the people around her doing the same. It was an interesting change of pace.

We left around 9, 2 hours past her bedtime. She was good all night, but we were sure she'd sleep as soon as we got in the car. Nope. She goofed around in the car the whole way home. Then, she went right to bed. I thought she did very well for such a busy outing. Scott and I were beat, though.

The only thing lacking from our trip was the caricature. We decided to wait until next year to get another. Now our collection will have a missing year. Oh well.

Visit From Uncle Chuckie

Last week, we were lucky enough to have my brother, Chad, come for a visit. He works for AMA (American Motocross Association) and he was working a race in Las Vegas. He decided to fly in and out of Phoenix to see us. He's a pretty nice brother. :0)

He arrived Wednesday night and stayed at our house. He went to breakfast with Ryann and I on Thursday then drove to Vegas. He came back late Sunday morning and stayed until Monday. He got to spend some quality time with his niece and we had a nice Sunday dinner together. It was really great to see him. Ryann likes to have him come play with her.

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Trouble With Sharing

As Ryann gets older, I have discovered a problem...sharing. It isn't as easy as I thought. I'm not talking about Ryann, either. This picture is Ryann playing with MY Pooh Bear. I have had that bear since before I was born, if that's possible. He has lived with me my whole life, sometimes in more inconspicuous places. When I was in college, he rode to Cortland every fall and from Cortland every spring in the front seat of my car. I know how odd that is, but it's true.
Since we've been married, Pooh has been in our bedroom in the armoire. When we moved, he was placed in the top of a box, which Ryann spotted soon after we arrived in the new house. She has been very helpful with the unpacking. :0) So, while I think it's cute that she likes the bear that I have loved for 35 years, I cringe when I see her dragging him by one ear or bashing him on the floor. I guess as she grows up, I will learn to share. I guess it's just a growing pain.

Fall Break

One of the most wonderful things about my job is the time off. Everyone comments about how lucky teachers are to get so much time off. Well, I agree. It's an incredible blessing to be able to spend 2 weeks with my little girl after ever quarter and 7 weeks in the summer. Of course, during the teaching weeks, I see her for about 2 hours a day. That part stinks. Last week, we had report cards and parent/teacher conferences. On Thursday, I was at school from 7am to 8:15pm. Ugh! I missed that whole day of Ryann's life.

Since then, we've been making up for lost time. I took her to the park, right behind our house, on Sunday. The weather was awesome! It's finally cooling down a bit. Ryann is funny about the outdoors. She loves to be outside but isn't sure what to do once she's there. We walked down the sidewalk to the park and I set up a blanket under a tree and had her soccer ball ready. She stood on the edge of the grass staring at me as if she couldn't get to me. After a few paces back and forth, she tested the grass with one toe and was on her way.

It was a beautiful day but our 16 month old attention span lasted about 20 minutes. Then it was time to get moving again.

I have a whole list of things I want to accomplish at the house and for school over the next week or so but I haven't done much yet. We've all had colds and been somewhat lazy. I'm just spending time with Ryann and catching naps when she does. Maybe that's what break is really for anyway.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

New Do

These are pictures of my first attempt at the double pigtails. I thought she looked adorable but they didn't survive her nap. She was patient enough to let me do them in the morning but the after-nap re-do wasn't as successful. She certainly is patient with me most of the time. I might find myself annoyed to be a guinea pig at 6 am. Apparently she isn't that annoyed. Maybe it's because she knows how adorable she looks in pigtails. :0)

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Our Little Monkey

Ryann learned to climb the stairs today. It's terrifying but we think it's better to let her practice with us than have her sneak by herself and get hurt. We have a gate but it's not always up. She's quick. She's gotten there ahead of us a few times. She's got the "up" part mastered but the "down" is still a little shaky. The best part is how she pants like a puppy and talks to herself when she does it. :0)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Doctor Visit

Ryann went to the doctor today for a routine well-baby visit. She weighed in at 22 pounds, 4 ounces and 31 inches long, I think. I might be a little off on the length. At any rate, the doctor said she falls within the 30th percentile for weight and length. Dr. Ring also broke it to us that Ryann probably won't be a NBA star. She said Ryann will probably end up like her mother, on the vertically challenged end of the spectrum. I guess it hasn't hurt me at all so we'll love her anyway. :0) Apparently her height at this age indicates how tall she'll be as an adult. I think that's crazy to think. I'll hold out for a few extra inches and give her lots of milk to grow big and strong. :0) In the meantime, we've ruled out basketball as a scholarship option to WSU.

As I'm sure Ryann would agree, the part we could have lived without was the series of shots. It was time for more immunizations and her flu shot. She cried, I teared up, and then we went home and had snacks to feel better. The pictures show her pretty band-aids on one thigh and her in the high chair, healing.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

The Big Picture

I posted pictures of a few of the interior rooms of the house but this is probably what you're more interested in seeing. Here is what our house looks like from the outside. It sits at the end of a culdesac. Behind the house is a park. It's a great location for a family. We really like it.

This picture shows our brand new sod, just put down on Wednesday. Luckily, it rained that evening to help the sod get its start.


I believe every child needs some spaghetti pictures. Therefore, as Ryann was pasting it in her hair, on her clothes, and everywhere in between, I ran for the camera. She tries to be very independent and loves using her fork. I think it's really cute. I'm not sure her daddy thinks it's that cute. I had to take her directly to the bath after dinner. Scott was on clean-up duty. :0)

Sunday, September 7, 2008


On Friday, August 22nd, we closed on our new house. It was quite a nice birthday present for me. We had planned to do a ton of painting and start moving some things over that weekend. However, we were very disappointed to find out that we couldn't get our keys until Monday, August 25th. Grrr!

Plan B was to paint only the necessities and move all week. Scott and I both had to work so it was to be quite a challenge. Fortunately, my father-in-law came to the rescue. Actually, he was already planning to come help but he got more than he bargained for. :-)

Monday, Dad packed while we worked. Then we all went to get the keys and go to the new house, paint in hand. We started with the loft, our new office. We knew we wouldn't want to move bookshelves, our desk, etc. once we were moved in. So, we painted into the night. I took Ryann home to go to bed while Scott & Dad finished up. The color is "Brown Bag." I think it looks like, well..... a brown bag. I like it, though.
Tuesday, Dad packed again then we moved stuff when we got home. We worked late into the night, again. On Wednesday, the real magic happened. Scott took the day off. We had movers come for the big furniture while Scott, Dad & our friend, Marc, moved a ton of stuff. On my way home from work, I wasn't sure where to go home to. Wednesday was the first night we spent in our new house. Ryann seemed to like it. She'd been a little grumpy with the chaos of packing at the old house.

Thursday and Friday, Scott was off again so they did the rest of the moving, assembling, and annoying phone calls to utility companies. Thursday night, I went to our old house to grab odds & ends and clean. I was there until midnight, knowing I was out of time. Friday, the carpet cleaners were at the old house. Our tenants moved in on Sunday. We were glad that there was no vacant month but we were scrambling to get it all done in time.

We started Labor Day weekend with boxes piled high in most rooms. Luckily, we had Monday off. Now, we still have a mess but it's starting to come together. Ryann is super helpful, unpacking boxes, eating unknown objects, and just getting into trouble. She slows progress down a bit but she's the reason we're here in the first place. We're so excited to have a house big enough to raise our family. The backyard is dirt for now but it's big and our plans for it are even bigger.

Here are some pics of the new pad. You see the dining room, kitchen and family room.
I'll post more pictures as we get settled.

Patience Paying Off

For all those who repeatedly suggested that I cut my daughter's hair, this is what I was waiting for. This is her first big girl pony tail. Granted, it falls out too easily to actually let her try to wear it all day, but I did it. :-)

Yes, she has resembled a sheep dog frequently over the past few months but my quest to avoid bangs and create a pony tail has been successful. Isn't she such a big girl now?
She seems happy about the whole thing

Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Blogging 101

This is my first attempt at blogging. I've decided that maintaining a blog will be much easier than trying to keep everyone up-to-date through e-mail or phone calls, especially since I'm the worst "phone caller" on Earth. :0)
A friend of mine does a blog fairly regularly and for some reason, I'm drawn to it almost daily. I hope it will be the same for those of you who want to keep up on what's new in our household. I am always anxious to share things that are going on in our world. We constantly have so much to share about Ryann, work, our new home and lots of other things. Hopefully, I'll have this blogging thing down soon and you'll be able to check in on us any time.
Here goes bloggin'.....