30 May 2010

I Love It When Sundays Don't Mean the End of the Weekend

David and I continued our fun-filled weekend with a jam-packed Sunday.  After breakfast this morning, David headed outside to install Olivia's car seat in the Acura.  Once he got that in, I drove him over to the office to pick up his bike so we could ride over to the local Farmer's market.

He sort of cheated on his ride back, but I CAN NOT stress enough how many stinking hills there are around here.  It's so hard for me to enjoy a ride somewhere because I am always on the lookout for hills - even when I am going down the hill, I'm thinking to myself, Oh, this is going to suck going back up it.

He rides his bike to work almost daily... and stops at the gym on the way back home.  
In case you can't tell.

But he can still be kinda lazy.

We headed over to the Farmer's market around noon and the whole time (with the exception of cussing out hills) I kept wondering why we hadn't done this before.

Oops - I cut his head off, but I was also riding my bike while taking this picture.  Trust me, it's easier to drive and take pictures than to bike and take pictures.  And, let me just tell you how thankful I am that he was pulling her AND our market goods instead of me.

Wait, YOU are thirsty Olivia?  All you did was squeal with excitement!

Family photo

We stopped off at our favorite booth and Maria gave us tons of extra food "for the baby."  I'm going to be making some delicious zucchini bread tomorrow "for the baby."  Oh yeah, it'll be for the baby.  Ha.  We ended up checking out this booth that sells hummus and pita bread and got the most delicious tzatziki (cucumber yogurt sauce) and shapati (sun-dried tomato, pesto and feta mix)  and found a place in the grass to pop-a-squat and have a little picnic.

Happy camper

We rode back home (oh those hills!) and by the time we got back, Olivia was passed out in her Chariot.  David pulled her out and put her in her crib for her nap.  While she slept, we got ready to head out to the strawberry festival.

He's skilled at "the transfer"

Olivia got all decked out for the festival with her Strawberry Shortcake onesie.  Not surprisingly, when we got there, we were pulled to the games area and David immediately took Olivia into the bounce house/obstacle course.  Thank goodness he loves doing stuff like that because there was no way I was getting up there.  Olivia loved it (but I think her papa loved it more).  Before we checked out the rest of the festival, David had to finish being a kid and ended up climbing up some "Spider Climb" in under a minute.

"I mean, I gotta do it."

Watching her papa pretend to be Spider-Man

The festival was WAY bigger than what we expected.  There were so many booths set up and unfortunately, we only got to see a few of them because we got there late because of Olivia's nap.  We did end up getting her two new hats (one that is the same as one of my favorites she had when she was a newborn) and the sweet salesman threw in a headband for her.  David ended up getting a strawberry shortcake, but I can't pass up getting a funnel cake.  It's my favorite thing about festivals.  We ended up getting a tasty snack that is probably going to be stocking stuffers this Christmas, so I am not going to go into details on that one.    We finished up the festival with some yummy homemade root beer.

Yay, some other crazy African artwork to fill David's office. 

My favorite thing is this girl's expression in the back.  She should have done two thumbs up because that root beer was SOOO good.

And, this was just plain creepy.

All in all, it was a great day spent together as a family.  I'm going through something personal right now that could really get me down if I let it, so it was great to have a reminder of the things that I have to be thankful for -- an amazing husband, a beautiful daughter and a wonderful support system of good friends and family.

Tomorrow will be a LAZY day for me and Olivia.  David is currently changing the tires on his new motorcycle because he's going to ride with some friends tomorrow and then head into the office.  We'll be making zucchini bread and relaxing.

Happy Birthday, Mom.  Everyone enjoy your Memorial Day.

29 May 2010

The Weekend Thus Far

*This post contains one swear word and a little bit 'o skin.

Like I said a few posts ago, David and I have been in the market for a second car.  David came home Thursday night with what I say is his Shit Eating Grin look on his face and announced that he had found our car up in Fresno.  I spent Friday getting the house straightened up and our bags packed and we left that afternoon for the valley!

I can't tell you how many times this has happened...

I booked us a suite with the movie package (Woot Woot) thinking we would get into town and relax at the hotel Friday night and then get the car Saturday morning.  David could not contain his excitement about getting the new car, so we headed straight to the dealership when we got there.  I think we arrived around 7 and didn't leave for the hotel until TEN.  Olivia was such a trooper, running around the inside of the dealership and trying to play with all of the car keys hanging on their master board.  We headed to the hotel and found out they were out of portable cribs.  Fortunately, our room had a pull-out sofa bed and after an hour and a half of trying to get Olivia to sleep, she was down for the night without rolling off the bed!  Needless to say, we didn't watch a movie and fell asleep as soon as Olivia was down.

But, back to the car.  We ended up getting the Acura MDX in a gorgeous dark cherry pearl color.  It's so pretty and FANCY inside!  It's way too smart for me.  It knows which key belongs to which person and adjusts the seats and side mirrors accordingly.  WHAT?  Olivia loves it and had a blast climbing all over it today.  We ended up hitting up a couple baby stores and got Olivia a new big girl car seat in PINK PINK PINK.

Here's David trying to figure out how to install the new carseat in 85 degree weather and then realizing that the instruction booklet is FORTY pages long.

We took the three hour drive separately and I had the pleasure of listening to Olivia scream for 1/3 of it.  I'm not kidding, ya'll, she SCUH-REAMED.  I felt so bad for her because there was nothing I could do. She was so tired and just did NOT want to sleep in that little baby car seat.  She fell asleep right about the area where there was no cell service and the only radio stations sounded like a bad night at Don Pablo's.

My poor baby.

My only entertainment was knowing I was driving NAKED.  Bwah ha ha ha ha.

When we got back home, it was still really warm outside, which is really surprising for 6:00.  David laid out and took a little nap while Olivia did some practice with her new golf clubs.

Yeah, he was trying to sun his bun.

She's a pro!

After dinner, bathtime and a little Skype time with Nana & Poppy, we were all ready for bed.

Love that baby girl.

25 May 2010

Peek-A-Bob and Adventures in Babysitting

I mentioned last week that Olivia was perfecting her Peek-A-Boo skills with her travel blanket. A few days ago, she figured out she could use her Bob Marley t-shirt to play it too.

Oh, she thinks she's soooo funny!

Yesterday, Olivia and I watched my friend Maren's tiny baby girl, Avi for a few hours so she could edit some wedding photos from their photography business, Applemoon Photography. Avi is beyond adorable and so easy to look after. If only that girl would SLEEP some! Here are some cute pictures from their afternoon of fun.

And, yeah, Emily Dickinson is her homegirl!

Olivia giving Avi the low-down on how it goes at our crib.

Hogging her toys!

Avi and Olivia checking out the latest in Life & Style and Baby Einstein.

Looks like Olivia lost that game of Tug 'O War!

Here's a little video I got of the girls staring each other down!

Playdate! from Amanda Michelson on Vimeo.

22 May 2010

Way Down in Carpinteria

Last weekend, the three of us headed down to the Santa Barbara area to do some Mommy Mobile car shopping. David and I have been sharing one vehicle since we moved out here in November of 2007. (Side note - I can't believe we've been out here for 2 1/2 years. Time sure does fly when you plan a wedding, plan and grow a baby, and then spend 13 months raising said baby.) Anyway, David and I have really done well sharing one car, but it's time to add another one to our already packed garage. We had settled on the car that we were going to get and then I changed my mind at the last minute. I really feel like it's a smart move to find a car (please note that I said CAR and not mini-van) with three rows so that somewhere down the line, we don't have to do this whole car shopping/Consumer Reports researching again. Because, let me tell you folks, it's not fun.

In a 32 hour timespan, David, Olivia and I checked out at least one type of vehicle (and often times more than one) from the following makers: Acura, Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, Chrysler, GMC, Honda, Hyundai, Infiniti, Lexus, Lincoln, Mazda, Nissan, Toyota, and Volvo. We drove from our house to Santa Barbara, down to Carpinteria, up to Goleta, down to Thousand Oaks and back home. Needless to say, we were ALL exhausted Sunday night. We have at least narrowed down our choices to our top 5.

We did get to enjoy a little downtime while we were there and ended up eating dinner in the little beach town of Carpinteria. After looking up reviews online, scouting out a couple of restaurants in person, and talking to some locals, we decided on a place called The Palms. It seriously had to have been the most unique restaurant we have ever eaten at. I guess their "claim to fame" is that you grill your own food. At first thought, it sounds kind of fun, until you see that everyone is lined up at this tiny grill in the middle of the restaurant waiting to flip their steaks. Oh yeah, that and the fact that they bring a raw hunk of meat to your table while your dining on their "all you can eat" salad bar. One trip is enough to get you not wanting to go back for more. The night we went, it was like pigs to the trough! They offered unlimited baked potatoes and bread right next to the salad bar. You had to reach your hands into the Orrowheat bag to get out a piece of bread. Needless to say, we ordered something off the menu that didn't need grilling and neither of us left with our stomachs satisfied. But, we did have a great time laughing at the locals and the craziness of the restaurant.

My attempt at nonchalantly getting a picture of the meat at the table behind us - just got my "hunk of meat" instead. I later saw that couple poking at their steaks and salt and peppering them...The Palms Special Seasoning.

Mmmm, raw meat, right next to a salad from a dirty salad bar.

The Grill. Just curious how often that gets cleaned.

17 May 2010

Lucky Number Thirteen

Happy Thirteen Months, Olivia! I'm still getting used to the fact that you are one, so if you could slow down the aging a bit, I would really appreciate it.

You are moving around like you have been walking your whole life. You are SO curious about everything - you want to peek in all the cabinets and drawers and pull everything out and investigate it. If we are using something, you want to see what it is and how it works. I'm assuming it's that same curiosity that made you take one of your papa's socks from the laundry room and put it in the toilet bowl.  Thank you, by the way, for waiting a couple days after that to learn how to flush.

You are such a happy little squirt - unless, of course, you aren't getting your way which DOES happen sometimes. That's life, Kid. Your favorite toys are probably your books. You love the Peek-A-Boo books and are so smart about knowing which pages to look behind. Speaking of Peek-A-Boo, last night on the way home from Santa Barbara, you played Peek-A-Boo with your papa using your blanket. We were so amazed at how smart you are to have figured out that you can hide behind your own blanket, although we should have known it since you've always been a fast learner.

You are eating so many new things now. Right now, you are feeding yourself fish for lunch. And, this morning, you ate egg casserole for breakfast. YES, you are your father's daughter. Although, it seems you also love your sweets and carbs...not sure where you get that from. You eat string cheese like it is going out of style and the other day you ate an entire raw carrot. Those seven little teeth you have sure are sharp. And, yes, you still prefer your mother's milk over that from a cow.

Magnum is starting to like you a little more - well, maybe it's more appreciate than like - since you are constantly (unintentionally AND intentionally) dropping food for him to eat. I still think he is waiting for the day we send you back to where you came from.  Sorry Magnum, no chance of that happening!

You are starting to sign "more" some, but we aren't the best at making you do it all the time. We promise to be better at that. You are also getting good at doing the motions to "Itsy Bitsy Spider" and you LOVE to dance to any kind of music (and sometimes the lack thereof).

Your hair is growing like crazy and most days, you look like a cross between the Gerber baby and a ragamuffin. Your hair is a lot like mine in that it can't decide if it wants to be curly or straight, so it's a little bit of both. You have this one curl on the back of your head that is just beautiful and I secretly hope that someday the whole back of your head is filled with them, but only if that's what you want.

We love hearing you try and talk. "AhgNuh" is your favorite thing to say and your squeal of joy when you see Magnum is delightful. I love hearing you say "MaMaMaMa" over and over again and "Lordy Lordy Lordy" is still making a regular appearance in your vocabulary. When you are tired you say "Nyeah Nyeah Nyeah" and I think you are calling for your Nana wanting her to rock you to sleep.

You are the best and most important thing to ever happen to us and we love you more and more each day.