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29 October 2009

For Jill, Forever Ago

I got a text message from my friend Jill yesterday saying, "Blog Dammit," and she reminded me that all of my followers (her) missed me.  So, here I am.

Here I am, sitting in the hotel room in Elkhart, Indiana while David has a meeting with nothing to blog about.  I don't want to blog about my trip yet, because I don't have enough time to give it the credit that it's due, so I am just going to post a few pictures that we took before we left for our trip and hope that it holds you all over for a few more days.

We are having a great time being back in the Midwest.  The trees are absolutely beautiful right now.  We've been able to see many of our friends and family and are looking forward to getting back into the Indianapolis area tomorrow to see many more!

20 October 2009

It's Not All Rainbows and Fluffy Clouds

My friend Jill and I were having a conversation today* and I brought up the idea that most blogs (mine included) make it seem like life is made up of smiling babies, sunshine and roses, and perfectly vacuumed carpets.  Let me tell you, just in case this was your belief of our household, that is only true about 90% of the time.....okay, maybe a little less than that.

Sometimes, you have days like yesterday.  Days where your precious 6 month old WILL NOT do anything but cry when you put her down.  Days where the only thing she wants is to be carried around - and not in the comfortable carrier either.  Days where the only nap she'll take is the one where she is physically attached to your body.  Days where your husband has plans with his friends after work and you are left at home by yourself to deal with that crying baby and that very achy back.**

And, sometimes, sometimes you have photo shoots that are less than perfect.  Shoots where your baby doesn't want to smile in front of the props.  Shoots where the sun starts out shining and then ducks behind the clouds and turns that warm baby cold.  Shoots where the wind picks up and blows your hair all over the place and ruins one of only three family pictures you have.

And, then there are the nights.  Nights like last night.  The night that followed that day.  A night that took four attempts at putting that same sleepless baby down to sleep - two attempts by Mama and two by Papa.  A night where we switched from swaddling to sleep sacking because she was rolling over and getting stuck and scaring the bejeezus out of the Mama.  A night where the second my head hit the pillow, I was out...only to be awoken a couple hours later by the cries of our baby.

So, yeah, our life is not rainbows and fluffy clouds all the time.  But, I can tell you this.  Every day, there are smiles - LOTS of them.  Every day, there are hugs and kisses.  Every day, there is love.  And, every day, we are thankful for the precious gift that we've been given.

*Thanks Jill.  I needed that call and conversation more than you could possibly know.  XOXO.

**It's those kinds of days where I REALLY wish my parents lived close by.  Shoot, who am I kidding?  I wish that every day.

17 October 2009

If Daniel Wilson Photographs Our Lives, Then Aqualung Provides the Soundtrack

Today, Olivia turns 6 months old.  SIX MONTHS!  It's so hard to believe that half of a year has passed since she arrived. To celebrate today, she decided to do a push-up.  That girl never ceases to amaze us.  It seems like just yesterday we were amazed at her ability to hold a rattle and now she is sitting up and playing with multiple toys at once.  She's 15 pounds and 26 inches of pure joy.

Olivia's Half Birthday from Amanda Michelson on Vimeo.

16 October 2009

Highlights: Not Just a Magazine for Kids

So, it's hard to believe that a week ago I was frantically packing the four of us to head to Arizona for the weekend and I haven't blogged about the events that ensued since then.  And, for the life of me, it seems so exhausting to even try and remember what all we did!  That's what having a baby will do to ya!

So, I'm just going to try and give you the highlights.  (Anyone remember the part in Marley and Me where Owen Wilson does the little montage of events to carry the audience through time?  "Wrote a story about Boca, had dinner with Gloria Estefan, watched Jen gush like a teenager, took a trip to Disney World, left Marley with the neighbors...."  Yeah, I wish I could do it like that!)

Instead, I'll break it into event categories....starting with my favorite:

EATS!  Caught up on some chain restaurants - Buffalo Wild Wings where Olivia won 3 out of the 4 trivia rounds she played, Texas Roadhouse - Mmmm, I love me some ribs, green beans and those rolls with cinnamon butter, AND Cracker Barrel.

ADVENTURES!  Took a trip into Old Town Scottsdale where we had lunch at the Sugar Bowl.  Average age of the patrons = 61.  And, yeah, that included two babies.  Decided to skip out on the ice cream and immediately regretted that decision after tasting my brother's homemade chocolate chip ice cream sundae.  Saved my extremely high calorie intake for my mom's AMAZING Apple Crisp Cobbler!*  Old Town Scottsdale was not as much fun as I had hoped for.  I kind of think if you've seen one kitschy little shop with Native American goods, you've pretty much seen them all, but it was a gorgeous day to spend outside walking around.

Mom and I also took an afternoon trip in to Buy Buy Baby searching for toys for Olivia for Christmas.  Talk about overwhelming.  Does she really need six different toys that light up and play music?  Me thinks not.  Any suggestions for outstanding toys?

We took Olivia swimming TWICE - once at night and once during the day.  She loves it.  Just don't tell anyone in Sunbird that she isn't really potty trained.

I seriously made everyone there turn around before I sprinted my sizeable arse into the pool!

Olivia went for walks with her Poppy every morning!  It was awesome to have an extra hour to "sleep in" knowing she was in good hands.  She also had lots of play time in her walker and on her Nana's lap!

PEYTON TIME!  Olivia adores Peyton and he is sooo good with her.  She surprised him with her little Peyton onesie and he couldn't have been more pleased.

FLIGHT MISHAPS!  So, David and I are notorious for cutting it close time-wise to our flights.  And, yeah, we've been bitten a couple times - missed a flight out of DC and had to stay at the airport an extra 4 hours waiting for the next flight out and barely made it out of NJ and onto Phoenix last Christmas.  This time, I'll admit that it was my fault. I read the flight departure as 10:50 and not 10:05, so when David realized my mistake, we high-tailed it out of my parents' house and barely missed checking our bags on time by about 3 minutes.  We turned lemons into lemonade and David caught the original flight out and left me, Olivia, our two diaper bags, our two huge suitcases AND Magnum to stay one more night in Arizona.  It was actually really nice to have an extra day there.  I know Mom and Dad weren't complaining about the extra 2 trips to the airport either.

All in all, another great trip out to the sunny state of Arizona!

Views like this are just an added bonus we get when we visit Mom and Dad!**

*Let me know if you want the recipe for the BEST Apple Crisp Cobbler ever!
**Sunset picture courtesy of the Ryan Cooper gallery.

13 October 2009

You Say It's Your Birthday

Today is the 1st birthday of The Amanda Diaries! It was one year ago today that I wrote my first (two) blog posts and this sweet little adventure began. Over the course of the last year, I have written 118 posts and read 462 comments. Of course, little Miss Olivia has been the (main) topic of 67 posts (43 of those since her birth) with my lovely husband and family not far behind. That's not surprising since keeping everyone informed about our little family is my biggest reason behind doing this. I'm so excited to have chronicled my pregnancy and the beginning of Olivia's life on this blog and am looking forward to turning it into a memory book for her.

That being said, I DO totally love hearing from YOU, Dear Readers, so please comment away. I spent last night and this morning tallying up my biggest fans and realized that there are many of you who have commented before but have stopped doing so. Please, please, please don't be afraid to tell me your thoughts. I LOVE seeing your reaction to what's going on in our little world.

Anyway, I'm sure you are all just dying to know who my NUMBER ONE fan is......drumroll please....with a staggering 89 comments, the award for most comments goes to.....Miss Lauren Robinson! Marissa, you come in a close second with 75, and Mom and Irma tie for third with 71! Honorable Mention goes to "Caroline" as she is our youngest commenter!

Big love to you all. I thank you for checking back here and inviting me, David, Olivia and Magnum into your home approximately every 3 days. (Yep, I'm a math geek.) I hope this little blog keeps on going for many years to come.

Happy Birthday, Blog!

And, speaking of birthdays, Magnum just celebrated his 9th birthday on Sunday. Happy Birthday, Baby Boy!

**I can't think Lauren and Jill enough for encouraging me to start this. Wish I could share a piece of chocolate cake with you to say thanks!

***Update:  Yes, Lauren, there is a card for that!

12 October 2009

My First Clue Was When He Started Saying "Like" and "Totally" in Every Sentence

After four different doctor's visits, a plethora of x-rays and blood tests, and 30+ nights of hacking and coughing, David is finally starting to feel a little better.  And, he has an unconfirmed diagnosis of Valley Fever.  The plus side of this is that the treatment involves steroids - which means, my husband will be a little more buff and has also been on a cleaning and organizing spree of our house!*

Looking forward to seeing that smiling face more often!

*Steroids make David behave as if he's been doing Century Club with shots of Espresso!

Stay tuned for a post about our weekend at Nana and Poppy's.

09 October 2009

Takin' a Swim Through the Ol' Gene Pool

Sitting on top of my parents' king size bed (which Olivia and I kind of crashed in this morning) are two pictures of them when they were younger. I had seen them numerous times before, but it wasn't until this trip that the picture of my father completely stood out.

I'm gonna put this kid in a pair of overalls and a little cap and she'll look just like her Poppy!

I have thought to myself many times that Olivia looks a lot like my mom, but I am not seeing it as much in her baby pictures. Maybe it's just her nutty personality shining through.

Well, I guess we know that Olivia gets her hair (or lack thereof) from her Poppy!

08 October 2009

For All You Non-Facebookers

Here are a few pictures that I've taken of Olivia over the last two days.  She is starting to sit up (for more than ONE second) and so, seriously, the picture taking is ON!  If we all thought it was bad before, it's only going to get worse.  She's a true model, sitting perfectly still and looking oh-so-poised in most of the pictures.  She's just got to work on getting her drool under control.

05 October 2009

We're In Trouble If She Starts Blogging...

If Olivia were to Twitter, it might look a little something like this:

Or this:

Or even a little like this:
*A hint to non-twitterers, read from the bottom to the top.

Little rotten girl! Tweetin' all over the place.

And, a side note, there are a few videos of Olivia up on Vimeo. You can find the link to the right of the new post. Please turn your volume WAY down.