30 July 2009

Laugh Out Loud

For the last month or so, Olivia has been silently cracking up at everything...from our silly dances to lifting her feet to her face. Only two times before have we gotten even a 1/2 second glimpse into what her laugh will be like.

Until last night. David and I were on the floor with her while she was doing a little tummy time action and I happened to have my point-and-shoot camera out. (Don't get me started on my anger towards my new digital SLR not working for the entire AZ/ATL trip.) She was doing the silent crack-up when I decided to get a video of her. And somehow we managed to catch her first real laugh on video. The best part is RIGHT as the video starts. And, again, you can see all of the drool that this girl produces.


28 July 2009

Another Word for "Put Your Hat Back On"? RECAP.

I know it has been awhile since I blogged...the last two hardly count since they were mostly just pictures so I could keep the badgering emails at bay while I enjoyed some family time and now I'm back and wondering why I didn't blog more while I was gone since I had an extra set (er, extra THREE sets) of hands to help me with Olivia. But, alas, I didn't, so I'm going to do a quick day-by-day recap Jill-style while she sleeps soundly to the sound of the hairdryer on low. (In great Lauren-style: Dear White Noise, I love you. The end.)

Wednesday, July 15th: Fly out of beautiful Santa Barbara and land in a convection oven that looks a lot like Phoenix. Olivia does fabulously on the plane and much to my mom's disappointment is asleep until we put her in the car. Olivia makes a horrible 3 month impression by screaming the entire ride home.


Thursday, July 16th: Too hot to do anything outside, so I eat a little breakfast and watch my mom and dad light up like the Christmas tree in Times Square while playing with Olivia. We hit up Buffalo Wild Wings because apparently you still get cravings post-pregnancy.






Friday, July 17th: Pretty much repeat the day before except add in delicious blueberry pancakes and stay home for some yummy tilapia instead. Spend a good majority of the day watching Nana and Poppy marvel at every move she makes. Pack up and try and condense two suitcases into one. Ponder why the breast pump is my enemy.


Saturday, July 18th: Get up WAY too early and arrive at the airport with more time to spare than David and I ever have. Head out to Hotlanta and enjoy every minute of Olivia being the BEST traveller EVER. Changed a dirty diaper in our lap and no one complained. Atlanta weather is beautiful and my Cheeseburger in Paradise salad is everything I remember it to be. Watch Peyton get to know his cousin.


Sunday, July 19th: Hello, Atlanta Zoo! Another beautiful day in Atlanta and another educational adventure for Olivia. Too bad she sleeps the entire time. Eat dinner out at a not-worth-mentioning restaurant and come home to condense my one suitcase into an even smaller one. Ponder why the breast pump is my enemy.




Monday, July 20th: Leave Ryan's and head north for a cabin in Blue Ridge. Two miracles occur in the car - Olivia laughs in her car seat and falls asleep without crying. Really enjoying having two people in the backseat with her. Arrive at the cabin after several scary twists and turns down narrow gravel roads and feel as if we are truly in God's country. Olivia naps on the back porch. We feast on Kentucky Kernel chicken. Nighttime comes and Dad hears Olivia cry while I change her diaper. Thus begins the first of three nights where Nana sleeps downstairs in our room.




Tuesdsay, July 21st: Dad convinces us that the town of Young Harris (where he and I are doing an installation the next day) will be full of cool shops and better than the town of Blue Ridge. Drive there to find it is really a one-horse town. Scope out the residence hall and eat at a place called Rib Country where none of us orders ribs. (Ryan's choice.) Back at the cabin, Olivia gets in her swimsuit and takes a swim in the hot tub. Envision gold medals around her neck.




Wednesday, July 22nd: 5:30 arrives WAY too soon and we are out the door for the installation. Start the day off horribly when said-enemy is packed without necessary pumping materials. Ponder how I will get through the day without release. Continue horrible day when Labor Ready guys call to say they are out of gas. Go to four gas stations before finding one with a gas can for sale. Arrive back at college by 8:30 to find no truck full of mattresses and a wet-spot on my shirt. Wait. Wait. Wait some more. Get a call with the news that the truck wasn't loaded and won't arrive until 3pm that afternoon. Head back to cabin for lunch, a nap, and RELEASE. Leave Olivia again (heart breaks) and drive the 45 minutes back to the middle of nowhere. Arrive to no truck. Wait. Wait. Wait some more. Truck finally arrives at 6pm. Haul mattresses and complete a floor and a half by myself. Finish job by 9:30 and dread the scary drive home in the dark. Make it home in one piece only to find Olivia asleep in her bed. Heart breaks again.




Thursday, July 23rd: Question how morning comes so quickly. Pack up and head back to Atlanta. Watch in awe as Olivia laughs in the car, sucks on my pinky finger and falls asleep without crying. Wonder if we've turned over a new leaf. Arrive back to Ryan's and spend a good majority of the afternoon working on Olivia's photo book on Shutterfly. Realize my baby girl is growing too quickly. Eat at California Pizza Kitchen (Ryan's choice to meet my requirement of a "non-chain restaurant", huh?) and come back and pack. Watch Katie Holmes "dance" and wonder how many strings Tom Cruise had to pull.


Friday, July 24th: Head off to the airport and realize not everyone in the South is friendly. Switch seats with Dad and hope the 3rd person in our aisle will switch with him. Priest sits down next to Mom. He "prefers an aisle seat." Contemplate the cons of cursing a priest. Olivia wows the passengers on the flight with her traveling skills. Change another dirty diaper in our lap. Take that, Holy Man. Arrive back in the convection oven. Relax for awhile and head to a baby store to custom design a magnet board for Olivia's nursery. Get a sweet tea from Chick-Fil-A to curb my withdrawals. Arrive home and watch Olivia try and figure out how to use the ExerSaucer. Pack bags....again. Ponder why the breast pump is my enemy.




Saturday, July 25th: Try to keep a happy face while I take Olivia back home and away from her Nana and Poppy. Make my mother promise not to cry. She fails. Arrive in Santa Barbara and realize that someone has turned off the convection oven. Somehow manage to pack two suitcases, a bag of laundry, a large picture frame, a car seat, two adults and Olivia in Michele's Jeep Wrangler. Head home and enjoy a nice Girl's Night In.


Overall, the trip was WONDERFUL. A huge thanks to my parents for all of the help they gave me with Olivia. It was so nice to be able to take a nap or take a shower without feeling guilty or worrying that Olivia might wake up. Also, thank you to my parents AND to Ryan for having all of the necessary baby stuff at your homes for us. It was so great not having to take a Pack N Play, activity gym, swing, car seat, or toys on the plane. (Next time, let's work on that breast pump!) And, a big thanks to David for letting me go and spend some time with my family. You were definitely missed.

It is, however, nice to be home. I am hoping that we can stay home for awhile. All of this traveling has thrown Olivia's sleep habits into a downward spiral and I'm not sure how many more sleepless nights I can take.

***And, Blogger, I think you have just officially replaced my breast pump as my new enemy. You and your spaces in unnecessary places, your old-school picture uploads, and your sometimes centering and sometimes justifying to the left. You make me not want to post pictures. And, hear this, BLOGGER, that's why I'm doing this in the first place.

21 July 2009

Little Captain Redbeard

Olivia has been drooling so much for the last two or three weeks that she has developed a little rash on her chin that comes and goes. We slather it with Neosporin and Cortisone cream and once we think she is all cleared up, it will come back again with a vengeance. We have since dubbed her "Captain Redbeard" since most pictures we take do nothing but exaggerate the appearance of the rash. Here are a couple that aren't too bad and you can see from the one taken today just exactly why it's so difficult to keep that chin dry 24-7.

19 July 2009

A Little Something to Tide You Over

Olivia and I are having a fabulous time visiting my parents and my brother. Arizona was so hot that we literally stayed inside the entire time. (Except for a quick trip to satiate my needs for Buffalo Wild Wings.) The weather in Atlanta is better than we could have hoped for. We spent the morning at the zoo and in typical Olivia fashion, she fell asleep through the entire thing. She is still somehow on west coast time, so at 11:16pm, she is just now falling asleep. A HUGE thanks to my mom for rocking her to sleep for me.

Here's a great picture that my brother snapped of his dog Peyton and Olivia. He has been AWESOME with her.

11 July 2009

A Love Letter

When David and I first started dating, we would write each other notes all the time. We probably filled up 3 or 4 notebooks with handwritten notes back and forth to each other. When David and I would be away from each other on trips, I would write him a "love" letter for each day that we were apart. I haven't done that in some time, but since it is our 1 year anniversary, I'm going to let you take a peek at my letter to him.

Dearest David,

With all of the events that have happened in the last year (my growing belly and the beautiful baby that has blessed our lives), it is hard to believe that we've already been married for an entire year. As I sit here in the hotel room with Magnum in his bed and Olivia sleeping peacefully in our bed (and you out playing with the boys), I am realizing just how lucky we are to have found each other and how fortunate we are to have figured out how to make our marriage work.

Good Lord, David, we were set up by a 17 year old senior in high school! You were a true California boy who had no idea what euchre was and could care less about basketball or golf. And, your choice in music? Oy. Me? I was a born and raised Hoosier who had never heard of Groove Armada and couldn't even stomach the smell of sushi, much less the thought of eating it. What was she thinking? We were a match made in ... okay, maybe we weren't.

Do you think we hit it off because opposites attract? I don't know, but they definitely complement each other. Without your "eclectic" taste in food, I would never know that I LOVE spinach, asparagus, tilapia, trout, and egg souffles. And, without my love of desserts, you would never realize just how much you LOVE frozen Ding-Dongs.

The fact that you are business-minded and I am more of an interpersonal kind of gal works great for the both of us. I don't think you could handle staying home with Olivia every day, and I FOR SURE couldn't support the three of us on a teaching salary. I feel SO blessed to be able to stay home with Olivia, to know that I am the one to nurture her and care for her each and every day and will (hopefully) be able to do that for many years to come. And, I wouldn't be able to do that if it weren't for you. You work so incredibly hard. And, you are so good at what you do. As much as "Business Dave" scares the crap out of me, I am grateful for that part of you because it affords us the lifestyle that we have....the one where we don't have to worry about daycare for our daughter, the one where we can live in a beautiful area of California, and the one that allows us to travel all over to see our friends and family. I don't tell you enough how much I appreciate all that you do for us. I hope you know that even the little things don't go unnoticed.

There are so many things that I love about you, David. You have so many wonderful qualities that I truly hope get passed down to Olivia. You are such a giving person - I know that you get that from your dad. You are always wanting to help other people, and you give up a lot of your personal time to do that. You are also so patient with me. And, God bless you for that, because I know I am not easy (um, remember, those pregnancy hormones and then the post-pregnancy hormones). While the fact that you are logical is an annoying trait for sure, especially since EVERYTHING I DO is based on emotion, it is one that helps to make our marriage work. I can come to you with any problem and know that you will offer up a solution that will work. And, I love that you are always trying to make me laugh. Whether you are making up songs or dancing to a tune in your head or searching out the funnel cake kiosk at a local festival, you are always aiming to please. (Well, except when you make me do lunges to burn off that funnel cake...)

I love the fact that you have just walked into my family as if you were a part of it from day one. I love that my friends are your friends and that your friends are now my friends. And, I LOVE watching you with Olivia. On our drive up to Palo Alto this weekend, you got to sit in the back and play with Olivia while I drove. I honestly don't know how we didn't get into a wreck on 101 because I could barely keep my eyes off of you in the rear view mirror. She adores you, and I adore you even more because of that. Thank you, thank you, thank you for giving her to me...to us.

I have truly enjoyed the first year of our marriage - will we ever be able to top this year? - and I look forward to the many, many more that we have to come. I love you, Babe.

Amanda


One of the happiest days of my life...




09 July 2009

Hotel, Motel, Holiday Inn

We have been traveling so much lately that I am starting to think of the various hotels as our second home. Doesn't it sound more luxurious that way? For the most part, I really do enjoy the travel. It's become a little more hectic now that we have Olivia...she not only requires more packing (and, thus, unpacking and laundering), but I also know that it's not a bowl of cherries for her to be stuck in the carseat for such long stretches. But, once we arrive at our second home...not so bad.

So, for starters, we typically get our hotel rooms from Hotwire.com. If you haven't utilized that site, I HIGHLY recommend it. Hotwire gives you the general location and the star rating, but doesn't tell you the hotel name, and you typically get it for a hugely reduced price. We have been able to stay at nice 4-star hotels for generally half of the price. We have never been disappointed with a Hotwire hotel.

The hotel living is easy...why with people cleaning your rooms daily, food brought to you with the touch of a button, and FREE SHAMPOO, who would complain? Honestly though, it's not the free shampoo that gets me all excited - it's the shower caps! I have a stockpile of them at home that I take with me. Because, come on, who wants to wash and style their hair everyday? I don't. Not when there is a precious 12 week old I could be loving on.

But, there are a few things that have as of late started to boggle my mind. Why, oh why, must the TV always start on the hotel guide channel? And, if you don't give me a printed station guide somewhere near the remote, how am I supposed to know what channel So You Think You Can Dance comes on? Speaking of technologies, why is it ALWAYS the cheaper hotels that give you free internet while the hoity-toity ones charge you for it? Same with the water bottles. Six dollars for a bottle of Deer Valley water? Please. Also, whoever came up with conditioning shampoo is INSANE. And, by insane, I mean male. A shampoo cleans and a conditioner conditions. You can't have something that does both. I long ago stopped bringing my own shampoo and conditioner, so when conditioning shampoo is my only choice, I wash once with it and then attempt to use it a second time as conditioner. Trust me on this, it doesn't work.

The latest mind boggler has to do with the soap. If we only stay one night...or heck, even two nights...there is no way that we can use an entire bar or two of soap. So, when we (that's a collective WE there) leave the hotel, what happens to all of that soap? I looked it up on my dear friend Google and it seems that some hotels recycle the soap, but many don't. We have now started to take the soap back to our house to use it. (You know...doing our part and all.) But, for the most part, does it just get thrown away?? Could we send it to Juvy or something so that it can be used as punishment for foul-mouthed boys?


Lessons in Sharing


I'm guessing this is what it's like to have twins.

And, I am only guilty of putting him in the crib. He crawled into the Snuggle Nest (aka, on the road diaper changer) in the van on his own yesterday.

07 July 2009

The Road Less Traveled...


Uh....does anyone know where that is? Anyone? Because the Michelson family has NO. IDEA.

We are off again, this time in a southernly direction. We are taking off in a couple of hours to head down to the Los Angeles region. No, not to go to the Staples Center to say fairwell to
Michael Jackson. We are checking out a factory and dropping off a mattress at UCLA. David was calculating the drive time yesterday and figured we could spend anywhere from 8 hours to 13 hours in the car for the entire trip depending on traffic. And, uh, that doesn't include stopping to feed this little munchkin. (At least there is a meal at Buffalo Wild Wings in my future!)

We will return on Wednesday night and then will head up Thursday afternoon to Palo Alto for an install at Stanford. We'll stay the night there on Friday and then
will leave on Saturday to spend our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY in Monterey/Carmel. I have never been to that area, so I am super excited. Plus, it's our ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY!

We come home on Sunday and Olivia and I leave again on Wednesday to go to Arizona to visit Nana and Poppy for a few days before we head to Atlanta to visit Uncle Ryan.

If my calculations are correct, we'll have spent more of the month of July away than at home.

When I told Olivia that we would be road trippin' once again, she said:

WHHHAAAATTTTTT??

06 July 2009

Weller than Well at Her Two Month Well Check...

...I learned that and that she was the prettiest baby our pediatrician had ever seen. Who knew?

Olivia weighed in at 10 lbs, 12 oz and was 23 inches long. She had to get a couple of vaccinations and she was NOT happy about that. After the shots, she was much better, and I honestly think that it was harder on me than it was her.

As I pulled out of the pediatrician's parking lot, I remembered back to the first couple of times we took Olivia to the doctor after she was born. It took my mom, my dad, and myself to get her out of the car and into the office. Then, it took both my mom and me getting her undressed and onto the weighing scale. She pretty much screamed the entire time we changed her and weighed her. This time, I was able to do it all on my own. And, she was as happy as could be until the needle came out. She has grown and changed so much. It's hard to believe that 11 weeks, 3 pounds and 2 1/2 inches could make such a difference in a baby.

Here's a picture of poor Olivia telling her Papa about getting her shots.


And, a picture of the boo-boo.


02 July 2009

We're Baaaaaacccckk!

And, ready to take another trip again! Ha - not for another week.

The Michelson fam had a FABULOUS trip out east last week. Olivia did awesome on the plane rides out. Unfortunately, her mama didn't do as well. I must have come down with a 24 hour flu bug because I was miserable on the plane. I threw up numerous times. It must have been quite a site to see me toss Olivia to David everytime I felt the urge coming. Thursday night was rough, but fortunately Olivia slept in with me Friday morning and I felt much better.

We met up with Kiel and took Olivia to the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History. Afterwards, we met up with Lauren and Meghan and headed out to dinner. We stayed out a little later than planned, but once we started gabbing, there was no stopping us!





Saturday we headed over to Baltimore and got to meet up with my friend Jill and her family. It was so great seeing them (Ellie is the CUTEST 2 year old on the face of the planet), and I was finally able to meet her new baby, Ari. I always feel like Olivia is tiny, but compared to Ari (who is 3 1/2 weeks younger), she is a giant! Unfortunately, we could not get the two babes to be content at the same time. Olivia sat there for most of the visit like a little angel while Ari nursed, but the second Ari was finished, Olivia was sleepy. So, our photo op was not the greatest. I guess it's just an excuse to get together again!



The trade show went well, but the highlight of the Baltimore trip was getting to hang out with Lauren and Meghan. We had a blast touring Baltimore with them and just hanging out. It was SO NICE for me to have some girl time too! Those two ladies were AMAZING with Olivia. I really felt comfortable having them watch her for me because I knew how much they adored her.

The plane ride back home was eventful as well, but Olivia and I both did great. I am feeling more prepared for my next solo flight with her which is to Arizona in a couple of weeks.

We go to our 2 month check up (a couple weeks late....) today, so stay tuned for some new stats!

*And, I would love to add more pictures, but I need to get ready to head to the doctor...so maybe check back for more later!